Foundation

Foundation is amazing.  It transforms your look and evens out the most unbalanced skin tones.  HOWEVER, it is perhaps the hardest (at least I think so) process to master.  We’ve all seen people out with a streaky foundation or one that makes the face look flawless, but the neck look white.  There’s just so many places to go wrong.

It’s VERY important to test before you buy foundation and one very important trick is to stock up on a few varying shades to interchange as your skin gets tanner/lighter.  I also find it really helpful to use either a brush or a blender.  My favorites are either the BeautyBlender ($19.95) and the MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush ($34).

   

Use clean hands and start with less then you think you need.  There’s always time to add more, but applying too much will result in starting all over or going out looking like a clown.  I have had the best success by using the MAC brush to dab into the product, then start at my nose, progressing to my cheeks.  Next, I cover my jaw-line, neck and ears (don’t leave out places like ears, neck and hairline – it makes your makeup look cakey and not blended/natural).  Lastly, I cover my forehead.  After my whole face/neck is covered, I use the beauty blender to make sure there aren’t any streaks.

People have different theories on the next step, but I find it crucial to air out my foundation by waving my hands in front of my face for 60 seconds (I literally count out loud and yes, this is somewhat superstitious) before setting it in a loose powder.

My 10 Favorite Foundations:

Benefit “Hello Flawless!” Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation $34

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation $46

Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup $38

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Satin Finish SPF 15 Foundation $30

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 $42

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation $42

Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation $62

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation $42

Covergirl Naturelux Foundation $11.98

Maybelline Fit Me! Liquid SPF 18 Foundation $6.99

Summer Dresses Under $100

Everyone knows I love a good deal.  I’m talking any sort of discount whatsoever… $1 off, throw in a free gift, some sort of upgrade… it makes me giddy inside.  There’s a constant battle of splurging vs. saving in my head and I probably think about my purchases (both past and future) every 5 minutes.  I knew I had it bad when I once saw a sign while passing Old Navy at age 13 for .34 cent shirts.  I swear to you I remember nothing – like a total black out.  I came to, hours later, in my closet sifting through about 15 of the same exact shirt in every color they had.  I mean, I cleared out the racks.  Upside?  I still only spent about $6.  Low?  The shirt was horrible… like, really, really ugly.

There’s something about a deal that condones the purchase.  It’s a trap.  But, I’ve realized at the time it was so I’d have something to back up my argument when my Dad would get my Visa Buxx card statement (a pre-set limit debit card made for teenagers to teach them how to manage money which I BEGGED my parents for).  Being able to say, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  This was a once and a lifetime opportunity!  It would have been stupid NOT to have bought it!!” was just so much easier than flat out breaking the ‘no more clothes’ rule.  It got so bad that I used to buy things, hide the bags at my friends houses and then smuggle them into my house days later when my parents weren’t home… but that’s another story for another day.

In all reality, I’m still using the sale signs as a crutch for my chronic buyer’s remorse and the proof is that I wanted a really expensive pair of jeans last year so I flagged the website to let me know if any discounts/savings were happening.  A week later I got an email from them saying, “Free Shipping Until Midnight”.  Deal was done.  I saved $5.  Problem.

Summer Dresses Under $100 (Better Than The Alternative!):

           

Motel Rosie Dress $63

              

ASOS Midi Slip Dress in Floral Print $40.60

                         

Funktional Tunnel Midi Dress $98

                      

DV by Dolce Vita Cullen Shirt Dress $68

                        

Zara Linear Dress $79.90

                          

Joie A La Plage Mayan Printed Collie Dress $98

                          

Velvet Keenan Dress $68.60

                   

MM Couture by Miss Me Printed Strapless Dress with Tie Waist $94

          

Sam & Lavi Dextra Shift Dress $98

                  

MINKPINK Wishful Thinking Sundress $83

              

Zara Lace Print Dress $89.90

               

ASOS Skater Dress in Heart Print $24.86

              

Backstage Nikki Dress $70

           

Zara Silk Tunic with Lace at the Sides $89.90

            

River Island Chelsea Girl Spot Lace Dress $41.43

          

Indah Yang Cold Shoulder Tunic $54

       

Hive & Honey Floral Blousant Dress $39.99

            

C&C California Smock Tank Dress $98

          

ASOS Animal Print Swing Dress $46.40

       

Forever 21 Sheer Floral Dress $17.80

             

ASOS Bandeau Dress with Strawberry Print $40.60

                  

TopShop Fluro Dip Hem Dress $96

               

Michael Stars Belted V Neck Cami Dress $59.99

           

Forever 21 Vibrant Tribal Dress $19.80

                        

River Island Denim Shirt Dress $49.71

                 

Zara Printed Dress $79.90

                    

Asos Knitted Shift Dress $52.20

                         

TopShop Crochet Shirtdress $80

              

Forever 21 Dotted Peter Pan Dress $19.80

Trends for Every Body

So much of pulling off a trend (or any article of clothing for that matter) is being real about your proportions.  How something fits or drapes on your body is the main factor in how it will appear.  Because clothes aren’t custom made for you, don’t be too discouraged if you’re having trouble fitting into one particular size – and don’t assume just because you are a certain size in one brand, you are the same in all others.

I still believe that any (ok I guess most) looks can be achieved by everyone, but you might have to get creative and adapt the season’s trends to your body.  For instance, if you are loving the nautical bold stripes that are still everywhere, but are concerned about them not be flattering, implement the idea into your beauty regime and paint a bold stripe on your nails or maybe integrate it into an accessory.

Tailoring can be your best friend here.  But, you can also make smart purchases that are geared towards maximizing your assets.  Knowing how to create illusions with your clothing will greatly benefit how you look.  Adapting any trend to your body is universally the same regardless of what piece you are trying to pull off.  Rules are made to be broken, but here are some guidelines to keep in mind…

Accomplish…

Do’s

Don’ts

Looking Taller/Thinner -Light weight clothing-Smaller prints-Vertical stripes

-V-neck tops

-Leave jackets open

-Long accessories like necklaces and scarves

-Heels

-POSTURE

-Low rise pants-Big belts-Cropped/Short pants

-Long jackets

-Tuck in your shirt

-Very oversized clothing

-Too many layers

-Finding the right undergarments

Looking Shorter/Curvier -Bold prints-Create lines/Define waistline-Fitted, tailored pieces

-Add layers/accessories to create shape

-Overly tight clothing-Baggy clothing-Find the right undergarments

Below, I broke down some of my favorite trends that are everywhere right now.  Because I can’t go over every shape/size combination (there’s a million of them!), try to combine the above methods to make them work or email me at taylorbraun@mac.com for specific direction on how to make a certain trend work for you.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun, not frustrating!  :)

Pastels:

ASOS Pastel Pink Dress with Crochet Top $72.72, Brandy Melville Pastel Blue Tank $30, ASOS Pastel Yellow Leggings $29.09

ASOS Pastel Purple Button Up Shirt $45.45, Tibi Mint Green Pleated Skirt $225, 3.1 Phillip Lim Orange Sherbet Dress $624

Bold Prints:

Rebecca Taylor Garden Flower Dress $276.50, Current/Elliott Plaid Jeans $188, Tinley Road Sleeveless Button Down $39

Mara Hoffman Mexican Blanket Shorts $242, Tucker Backless Silk Romper $217.99, TEXTILE Elizabeth & James Printed Jeans $225

Dip Dye/Ombre/Color Blocking:

Bec & Bridge Ombre Skinny Jeans $197.40, Equipment Color Block Button Down $258, Sass & Bide Dip Dye Striped Skirt $255.50

ASOS Dip Dye Stripe Top $39.99, Diane von Furstenberg Color Block Dress $345, Velvet by Graham & Spencer Color Block Knit/Sheer Top $70.99

Neons:

Naven Petal Skirt $187, Diane von Furstenberg Lime Green Lace Dress $398, Current/Elliott Neon Orange Boyfriend Shorts $152

Forever 21 Crazy Love Neon Tank Top $11.80, Velvet Neon Pink Skirt $58, Rachel Pally Neon Yellow Dress $180

Cut Outs:

LNA Cut Out Dress $88, Forever 21 Cold Shoulder Chambray Shirt $27.80, Jeremy Scott Cut Out Dress/Tunic $134

Brian Lichtenberg Open Back Button Up $297, Mara Hoffman Keyhole Dress $330, Charlotte Russe Open Back Tee $14.99

Blast From The Past:

Free People Striped Short Overalls $148, MINKPINK Crop Tee $40, MiH Marrekesh High Waisted Flares $102.50

Marc by Marc Jacobs High Waisted Flares $228, Charlotte Russe Lace Crochet Crop Top $19.99, Kettle Black Short Overalls $149

*make crop tops modern by wearing over a maxi dress, tank or with a high waisted skirt so you are only showing a little bit of skin

*all photos taken from websites descriptions are linked to