Glamour Girl's Must Haves

Glamour Girl's Must-Haves: Booties

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I think I'm addicted to booties. I can't remember a fall or winter without a pair of my own. That just sounds like love right? I realized it was more than love after I fell down a flight of stairs in my favorite pair and still wore them when I got better. image

Ridiculous but true story. I was at a friend's house when I attempted to go down their narrow, carpeted stairs to the basement. My booties had no grip at the bottom so when I got to the third step my foot slid off the edge and my body followed. Embarrassing! All I remembered was that I screamed and landed about 5 steps farther with my legs in the air. You better believe it was time to chuck those bad boys and get a new pair. This fall I'm getting rubber soles or adding grips.

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Can you see why I couldn't let them go? Suede, black, peep toe, wedge booties with fringes on the side plus a gold accent lining at the bottom. And! They were comfortable. Surprisingly, they're from Forever 21. Seems like they've been stepping their game up. (No pun intended).

Nevertheless, don't let my klutz moment deter you because booties are a must have. Here's why...

1. Booties For All Babes

One problem I always hear women complain about is finding a tall boot that fits their calves. I have some beautiful friends who have inherited calves that would benefit them greatly as a football player but unfortunately they're not interested in starting a women's league. Wearing booties with dark tights this fall will create an illusion of a sleeker leg. And a heeled bootie, a longer leg line. Be careful not to choose one that gives you a narrowing effect at the foot since it will only accentuate your calves. These tips are also great for women with thick ankles. In addition, remember not to get the trendy booties with ankle straps as they will draw attention in that direction. While the winter might be the prime time to cover up our flaws, I think it's important to embrace and find comfortable ways of exposing them (i.e. creating illusions). Here are some quality pantyhose by Spanx to last you throughout the colder season.

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If your concern is the very opposite, thin legs that manage to have many boots drooping at their feet like wrinkled skin, shop for a sleeker bootie. Stay away from the chunky, wide toe boots that give you clown feet and make your legs look like a chicken's. Also, consider wearing your skinny jeans inside the bootie and patterned or colored tights with a skirt or dress. If you've found a pair that you absolutely cannot leave the store but your feet are swimming in them, wear boot cuff socks that you can scrunch down at the ankle to fill in the space and create a cute style. Once the winter gear gets into stores, you can even get faux fur detachable cuffs like these and you'll have a whole new bootie! In fact here's a site I found called PSC Outdoors selling just that. Let me know what you think.

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2. Booties Go With Everything

From skirts to pants, school to dinner dates, work and weekend fun, booties fit almost any outfit and occasion. Here are two outfits with one bootie.

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In my mind, look one is a glam girl who's the new teacher in school. She's wearing a fun black and white polka dot blouse (From Modcloth) with a black circle skirt (from Bebe.com)to keep the corporate effect but adds a pop of color with her yellow blazer (outfitmade.com)and deep coral necklace. The necklace matches her leather cognac booties (by Isola) and a pair of dark pantyhose connects the entire look to finish. Dark tights can be the difference between wearing a skirt or not because they act as a continuation to a shorter skirt.

image Look two is the glam girl who's hanging out on the weekend with friends. While her peers might be in relaxation mode, she's always ready to shine. This casual green dress goes perfectly with the cognac boots and leather jacket (found on Amazon). The gold necklace adds finesse to the overall edgy look but the bootie takes the cake.

Below, I also have some a mixture of casual and dressy booties for an evening out or special occasion. Check out the slide show.

3. Booties Bring Balance

Ironically enough, booties bring balance. Just as basketball players are encouraged to wear hightop sneakers to protect their ankles, booties provide ankle support. A regular pump will not have the same effect. How many times have we walked into a tiny crevice with our heels and our shoe comes off or gets stuck. With a bootie, the chances of that happening are rare so you can strut with confidence wherever you are.

Shop!

Shop booties below. I pulled them just for you.

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Love,

Your Glam Stylist Luxe LeBlanc

Glamour Girl's Must Haves: Leopard Print

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I'd imagine that wearing animal print dates back to Neanderthals. Well, that's just plain wearing animal. Not to mention, it was probably one of very few articles of clothing which they wore to keep warm. And still, so many years later, animal print is in! In fact, Jackie Kennedy wore an authentic leopard coat designed by Oleg Cassini (who we talked about in last week's Wedding Wednesdays post) that allegedly almost wiped out the species (after the trend spread like wild fire) which birthed quality faux fur. Thank goodness! image

Leopard print is one of my absolute favorites. Anyone can do it. As the colder weather creeps in for the fall, it's the perfect time to update your wardrobe [see current promotion below] and add some leopard. Last week, I parted with my leopard print booties at Housing Works. Hopefully they'll make someone else happy. Now, I'm on the hunt for a new piece.

*Reminder: Current Promotion*

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If you consider yourself glamorous, you better have some leopard in that closet of yours. The thrill of seeing such a feisty piece in your wardrobe is empowering. Leopard print represents the power and strength of a majestic feline marked by subtle femininity in the black rosettes (mini roses) across it's golden fur. Show who's the queen of your jungle. Don't let the print intimidate you. Here's how you can add leopard to your wardrobe this fall.

1. Start Small - Leopard Print Accessories

If you're new to this, let's take baby steps. You won't know how it works until you try. Start out with accessories. You can find leopard print sunglasses, scarves, jewelry, purses and more. My middle model is sporting a silk leopard scarf with a simple off-white button down and cranberry slacks. As small as it may be, the scarf adds instant visual interest to the outfit. Small to medium sized leopard print jewelry will have the same effect. It doesn't take much to spice up your look with this print.

2. Get Bold - Leopard Print Focus Piece

If you're feeling a little more confident, let's take it a step further. Find your focus piece. This means that your leopard will be easily spotted but everything else around it will be subtle. For example, leopard print shoes are perfect for the fall. It's warm brown tones invite autumn into your wardrobe. They pair lovely with deep reds, darker greens, mustard yellow, brown, black and many more. If your shoe is your focus point, you can wear them with a simple solid colored dress like my first model in green. Most people feel more comfortable in a black dress to match the rosettes but I dare you to step outside the box and try another color.

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3. Get Wild - Leopard Print All Over

Now, that you've graduated to the wild side, you're ready to try leopard all over. Leopard can be worn on top as a blouse, blazer, jacket or coat and on the bottom as pants or a skirt but I wouldn't suggest doing it from head to toe unless your goal is to be a leopard for Halloween or you've found the perfect full length leopard dress. Because the print can be so attention grabbing, don't let the piece wear you. Keep in mind that all leopard does not look alike. The prints vary in size, shapes and colors. Tip: if you tried on a leopard garment and all the attention is being drawn to it instead of your face, go for one with a lower contrast. Learned that from my extraordinary mentor in styling, Bridgette Raes. If you look closely, you'll notice that model 3 has on a loud leopard print blouse and her black shoes are also leopard print. So, I'm encouraging you to have fun when searching for your leopard pieces this fall.

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Now that you know how to wear leopard print, here are some items I thought you might like. Shop leopard print below.

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Love,

Your Glamour Stylist - Luxe LeBlanc

Feature: Glamorous Gowns for Miss Westchester & Miss Hudson Valley 2014

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Farewell Kisses for these Queens

As the 2014 Miss and Teen Westchester/ Hudson Valley ladies countdown their final reigning days, a new line of potentials prepare to take the crown. With just 17 days left, everyone, including myself, can't wait to see what the new girls will wear for the evening gown portion of the competition. However, I'm wondering what the current queens will wear for their final walk. Here is how I would dress them for this red carpet moment. #AdornedByLuxe

image Left to right: Stephanie Bavolar, Scarsdale, Miss Westchester Teen 2014. Mayra Avila, Yonkers, Miss Westchester 2014. Brittany Drahos, Queensbury, Miss Hudson Valley 2014. Kayla Lonergan, Yorktown Heights, Miss Hudson Valley Teen 2014

Stephanie Bavolar, Miss Westchester Teen 2014

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This beautiful brunette, Stephanie Bavolar, was crowned in a royal blue, sweetheart, A-line gown with a belt of jewels around her waist. Throughout her reign, I've noticed that she prefers darker hues such a black, gray, brown and dark blue. There were some instances where she wore pink, red or coral but my absolute favorite photo of her is the one in ivory, standing with the horse (below). It gave her a natural glow. While I would almost always encourage my clients to wear more color, Stephanie was absolutely stunning during prom in a gunmetal gray sequin dress. If she were Adorned by Luxe LeBlanc for her final walk, I would dress her in this navy blue Faviana gown to stay true to her character. I chose this particular dress because its nude undertone brightens up the navy in addition to the sequins. This dress would compliment Stephanie's brown eyes and hair, accentuating the highlights. I would also pair this dress with earrings that match the belt's crystals. Stephanie would fit right in with Kate and Pippa Middleton. What do you think?

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Mayra Avila, Miss Westchester 2014

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It's a pleasure to write about Mayra Avila, a pageant sister of mine in 2012. I was very proud when I saw the photos of her crowning moment. Her hard work, resilience and faith paid off. Mayra wore a royal blue, one-shoulder, pleated A-line gown with a criss-cross waist that led to an open back. During her reign, she wore vibrant colors, florals and dazzling sequin dresses. Of all her outfits, the pink dress (below) stuck out the most. If Mayra were Adorned by Luxe LeBlanc for her final walk, I would dress her in this candy pink Mac Duggal gown. One-shoulder again? Yes, but with a lower neckline to elongate her neck and brighten up her face. Plus, the sweetheart cut will enhance her bust and the see through strap will act as an embellishment rather than a plain strap. I would also pair this dress with a strappy silver metallic sandal to show off her great legs. I think Mayra looks like a glamorous super hero in an A-line dress. What do you think?

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Brittany Drahos, Miss Hudson Valley 2014

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Brittany's style is sassy and versatile. She was crowned in a gold gown (you thought I was going to say crown didn't you?) with chunky crystals all over the corset portion and a sleek mermaid skirt with a high slit. During her year as Miss Hudson Valley, Brittany kept me guessing but Out of the four, she is the trendy-edgy queen. I liked seeing her in midi skirt combos and different materials like the blue lace below. I absolutely love that she is willing to explore different styles. If Brittany were Adorned by Luxe LeBlanc for her final walk, I would dress her in this sea foam green and silver ombré Faviana gown. The green would complement her golden undertones and the fit would accentuate her curves. I would also pair this dress with light sea foam green earrings. Brittany has a fabulous figure for this number. What do you think?

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Kayla Lonergan, Miss Hudson Valley Teen 2014

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Kayla is a blue-eyed blonde-haired cutie. She was crowned in a strapless, pink, A-line dress with a wide silver sequin design around the waist. During her year as queen, she wore lots of pink! I enjoyed seeing her in whites and dark blues to switch it up but I'd like to push her into a transformed unexpected look. If Kayla were Adorned by Luxe LeBlanc for her final walk, I would dress her in this beautiful soft blue gown by Jovani. This dreamy A-line would take Kayla from the bubbly Barbie image to the breathtaking Cinderella glamour. How incredible would Kayla's eyes, hair and complexion look in this piece of work? Tell me about it.

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I guess we'll find out what happens on August 16, 2014 at the Miss Westchester/ Miss Hudson Valley 2015 pageant competition. I'd like to be there but only if you come too. Click here for more info and let me know in the comment section if you'll be there. Disclaimer: this is not a paid advertisement. I genuinely think Westchester Pageants Inc. is one of the best pageant organizations out there. This blog and my work wouldn't exist if Laura, Dee and the staff had not helped me recognize my full potential. So yes, I'm asking you from my heart to show your love and support.

For more information on being styled by me for your red carpet moment, send an info request here.

See you soon!

Love,

Luxe LeBlanc

Glamour Girl's Must Haves - Studs

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No, not as in a handsome guy. I mean, that too but, I'm talking about one of the smallest forms of an earring. Studs are often underrated but they can be just as powerful as a pair of chandelier or statement earrings. Here's how:

1. Simply Studding

Wearing studs is a simple way to brighten up your face. Back when I was in high school, the popular guys we found attractive were transformed when they removed their diamond (yeah right... probably cubic zirconia) earrings. I kid you not, these guys went from an "ooh la la" to an "oh...ugh." That's when I recognized the power of "le studs." If it can work wonders for strong masculine features, imagine what it does for us girls! A small pair of shiny earrings embellishes the ear lobes but adds a delicate feminine touch to the face. Studs add a je ne sais quoi to a plain jane, accentuating the glimmer in her eyes. Such a simple, inexpensive find and it works! So, there's no excuse not to have a pair for yourself.

Find the featured Michael Kors studs here.

2. Here, There, Everywhere

Studs are incredibly versatile. They are the only type of earrings you can wear everywhere. Studs are highly recommended for interviews. They are the least distracting and help draw attention to your face, which is the place you want your future employer focused on. Studs can be worn with any outfit. From casual to formal, they fit any occasion as shown in the main photo above. Also, it doesn't matter what your style is, studs come in so many creative variations now that there are a pair of studs out there for every personality. Check out the slide show below to find your match.

3. Background Blinger

When wearing a statement necklace, studs are the way to go without clashing and looking like an ornamented object. Some statement necklaces can be paired with a bigger earring but generally, you don't want your necklace and earrings to be fighting for attention. Your face tends to gets lost in the shadows as though you're the mannequin advertising them. Studs are also great to pair with a loud top or high neckline that has lots of detailing. For evening wear, it can be a challenge to find a pair of earrings that match a dress with sparkle, sequins or gems. This is where your studs take the back seat and compliment your entire look without competing with your dress.

I hope you've found your studs more useful now and if you haven't bought a pair yet, below are a few beauties I picked out to help get you started. Let me know what you think.

Love,

Your Glamour Stylist, Luxe LeBlanc

You're Absolutely Studding in Studs

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Whose Nude Is It Anyway?

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When competing in pageants your wardrobe plays a major role in your presentation. Before you open your mouth, your attire speaks for you. Most pageants don't tell you how to dress but a select few will actually prepare you. I remember when my pageant directors at Miss Westchester Pageants (one of the few) taught us about proper attire for the national level. I made a list and was excited because that meant an opportunity to go SHOPPING! So, I got to the mall and while revising my list I saw "nude shoes" to elongate legs and avoid distraction during interview. I chuckled a little at the thought of naked shoes. What does that even mean? I asked the sales woman in the shoe department and she pointed to several beige looking pumps. They were pretty but I thought to myself, that's not what I look like naked. I'm more of a caramel complexion. I searched some more but the darker the shoes got, the less dressy-formal they were. It was frustrating. I bought a beautiful pair of Steve Madden "nude" pumps but I wasn't satisfied. Whose nude is it anyway? Not mine.   image The situation I've described is a common challenge among women of color but fortunately for us, fashion and beauty companies are realizing this and catering to us. Here's what I found:

1. Nudevotion

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Nudevotion is a website that gathers nude clothing and shoes from various retailers/brands and displays them on their site making it easier for women to find their own shade of nude. Their fairly new section called "Dark Nude" caters to women of a darker complexion. I love it.

2. Nude Barre

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I discovered Nude Barre while admiring Wendy Williams' wardrobe and realized that her stylist dresses her in their stockings almost every day. Nude Barre features nude hosiery in all complexions, from the lightest to the deepest. They are reversible for an opaque option and have a hole at the bottom to make footless tights. A great buy for the fall and winter!

3. Christian Louboutin: The Nudes Collection

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You may have already heard about this but I thought it was definitely worth repeating; Louboutin launched a line called "The Nudes Collection" with pumps that suit various skin tones. This means we all can rock our own truly nude red bottoms. Yay! I've pulled some shoes in many shades of "nude" to help you find your match. See the slide show below. Show me your nudes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest by tagging #luxeleblanc #MyNudes. Remember to comment, subscribe and share.

Love,

Luxe LeBlanc [rev_slider WhosNude]