My Style Icon: Mary-Kate Olsen

My Style Icon: Mary-Kate Olsen | ThoseGraces.com

I was one of those kids who grew up watching the Olsens in “Full House,” “Double Double Toil and Trouble” and “To Grandma’s House We Go.” As I got older, I watched the Olsens evolve and was drawn to Mary-Kate’s boho style. Her style, more than anyone else’s, influenced me while I was in college and bumming around New York City. Even today, I can see how I’m still subconsciously emulating Mary-Kate Olsen’s style.

My Style Icon: Mary-Kate Olsen | ThoseGraces.com

Before I left for my first year at The New School, I closely followed Mary-Kate’s struggle with her eating disorder and her subsequent rehab stay. I worried about the girl I felt I grew up with. Later that summer at the same time I started college, Mary-Kate was taking classes at New York University, just ten blocks away. Though I never saw her out and about, I frequently heard from people who had seen her around the city.

My Style Icon: Mary-Kate Olsen | ThoseGraces.com

As for her style, I love her layering of pieces whether it’s summer or winter. She’s evolved from her so-called “granny chic” days into a style all her own that incorporates layering jewelry, sweaters and scarves. As someone living in a cold climate, I look the Mary-Kate for fashion inspiration once winter rolls around. Lord knows we all get tired of the leggings and need ideas on how to make winter a little less dreary.

My Style Icon: Mary-Kate Olsen | ThoseGraces.com

Another thing I admire about Mary-Kate is her anonymity. After spending almost her entire childhood on screen, she came out of it wanting a private life more than ever. She’s even so vague in her press interviews that it took me 45 minutes to find just quotes that fit this post! In the age of overexposure, she doesn’t have Twitter or Facebook. When she’s spotted, she’s usually just walking around with coffee. You never see her doing anything crazy and probably never will.

p.s.: If you love Mary-Kate as much as I do, you should check out Olsens Anonymous, a blog dedicated to the Olsens and their style.

6 Steps to Perfect Red Lips

6 Steps to Perfect Red Lips | BeautyShy.com

Earlier this year I took on the challenge of wearing red lipstick every day. Throughout the experience, a lot of women confided in me that they never tried red lipstick even though they wanted to wear it. Several told me they picked up a tube of red lipstick after reading my blog. It may seem like you could just throw on red lipstick and go, but it requires more time and patience than your average neutral color. However, after some practice, applying red lipstick will become second nature. Keep reading to find out my six easy steps for applying red lipstick.

What You’ll Need

Perfect Red Lips | BeautyShy.com

MAC Redd Lip Pencil, NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Pure Red
To achieve the perfect red lips you’ll need at least two things: A good red lip liner that glides on smoothly and red lipstick. For me, it’s more important to have a long-lasting red lip liner than it is to have a long-lasting red lipstick. Any lipstick will eventually fade throughout the day, but a good lip liner will remain once the lipstick has worn off.
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Reintroducing Beauty Shy!

Beauty Shy | ThoseGraces.com

Things have been a bit quiet here this week because I’ve been working on putting the finishing touches on my (nearly) brand new blog, Beauty Shy! Some of you may remember I first launched this blog about two years ago, but was unable to keep up with it. However, now that I’m blogging and freelancing full-time, I have more time to dedicate to both blogs.

About Beauty Shy

Beauty Shy will be a beauty blog that helps readers cut through all the advertising and figure out how makeup fits into their lives. With all the cosmetics advertising and marketing, it’s easy to feel confused when it comes to makeup. Many voices will say, “You need this!” or “You’ll feel better with this!” I want people to feel confident when picking up an eyeshadow brush or picking out a new foundation.

I’ll be doing reviews, how to’s, and everything-makeup related over there so I hope you stop by and say hello! You can also like Beauty Shy on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Side Notes

I gave it some thought, and I’m retiring Tech Tuesday. It was fun while it lasted, but it doesn’t make sense to have a series if the topics are forced. After awhile, I just ran out of things I was interested in writing about. Good news is I’m planning on re-subscribing to all my magazines so hopefully Magazine Monday will be back in a month or two.

My Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn

Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn | ThoseGraces.com

In the past two posts in the My Style Icon series, I talked about Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani, two women who are, by all accounts, self-made beauties. Sami of Glimpse of Glamour pointed this out and called for more natural beauties. That got me thinking about women I admire who are naturally beautiful. My mind immediately went to Audrey Hepburn, who I’ve admired since the first time I first saw “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” After that, I was hooked on Audrey.

Audrey Hepburn on Sex Appeal | ThoseGraces.com

As a teenager, one of my favorite books was “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides. This quote from the book stuck with me over the years, “She held herself very straight, like Audrey Hepburn, whom all women idolize and men never think about.”  To me, Audrey is very much a woman’s icon. This is not to say that men don’t like her, but when I think of Audrey, I don’t typically think of characteristics often ascribed to the beautiful women of today. She is so much more than just woman in a sexy photo. As a young, awkward teenager it helped to see a woman who defined herself instead of letting others define her.

Audrey Hepburn on Closets | ThoseGraces.com

Though Audrey was a muse to Hubert De Givenchy, it’s her casual style that impacted me the most and not her red carpet gowns. There’s been countless times where I’ve thrown on skinny jeans with black ballet flats and a stripped long sleeved shirt à la Audrey. And whenever I don another little black knee length dress, I can’t help but to do a little spin and think of Audrey.

Audrey Hepburn on Giving | ThoseGraces.com

As I got older, I started to wonder what became of my favorite movie star. I had heard Audrey died of cancer, but wasn’t sure what her life looked like after her movie career slowed down. I learned in her later years, Audrey became UNICEF Ambassador. She traveled the world helping women and children living in poverty and fundraising. One of my favorite posts I’ve written here was on Audrey Hepburn and her work with UNICEF.

Do you love Audrey? Has her style influenced you? Do you prefer style icons that have more of a natural look? 

More Posts on Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn: Service and Grace Beyond Age
Look for Joy Always
My Spring Fashion Inspiration

4 Lessons Learned From My Most Controversial Post

When I wrote Lush and the Unnatural Truth last September, I didn’t expect it to turn into a controversy. In this post I posed that Lush Cosmetics was misleading consumers by advertising themselves as an “all natural” company while being anything but. One year, 12,000+ views and a few  Tumblr fights later, I’m sharing lessons learned from “The Lush Post.”

Lesson One: Don’t Silence Yourself But Be Ready For the Fall Out

I’m no stranger to controversy. I’ve shared my opinion on race and fashion blogging. I’ve criticized Lucky Magazine. I’ve talked about thinspiration. With these posts, I prepared for fall outs that never came.

I wasn’t ready for what happened after The Lush Post.

One of the great things about blogging is that anyone can share their opinion. However, this also means that anyone can disagree. Strongly. I realized that readers weren’t attacking me, but my view. And since I stood behind what I wrote, that was totally fine by me.

Lesson Two: Don’t Obsess Over Where People Are Discussing The Post

In the month following The Lush Post, I scoured my Google Analytics trying to figure out where people were  discussing the post. Don’t do this. It will drive you crazy. Eventually I realized this one posts wasn’t me. It was just a post, which people were entitled to have opinions on,  just like I was entitled to have an opinion.

Lesson Three: Know When To Stop Arguing

It is my  comment policy to reply to every comment left on my blog. The Lush Post was getting comments nearly every week, forcing me to revisit the argument continuously. After awhile, I was exhausted and I realized there was nothing more I could say about it.

So I did something I agonized about for weeks: I closed the comments. To date, The Lush Post is the only post where I’ve ever had to close comments. However, no comments were deleted. To date I have only ever deleted one comment on my blog because it was disparaging to Audrey Hepburn. No one messes with  Audrey.

Lesson Four: People Love Lush. Like Love.

Throughout this entire experience, the most fascinating thing to me was people’s love for Lush. I’ve encountered a lot of brands in my three years of blogging, but never before have I’ve encountered a brand that is a lifestyle as much as it is a company. If anything, the enthusiasm of Lush’s customers is a testament to the company’s products and branding.

In Closing

The most important thing I learned was to take deep breaths, don’t take it personal and know when to walk away. In the end, writing that post and seeing how people responded taught me a lot of blogging and the type of blogger I wanted to be. Would I write another post on this blog about Lush? No, probably not. But hey, that’s OK, too.