Fall 2012 shoe guide: boots, boots, and more boots

If there’s one shoe that says “autumn” to me, it’s a pair of boots. It’s fitting, then, that there are so many great styles of boots surfacing on the fall fashion scene this year. From low to high and flat to heeled, here are the best fall 2012 boot trends to add to your closet.

Low ankle boots
Proof that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style–or vice versa–these boots are a versatile and trendy pick that won’t leave you hobbling at the end of a long day at a music festival.

Riding boots
This equestrian-inspired style goes with skirts and pants alike and keeps your feet warm and dry through the winter months.

Knee-high heeled boots
The seventies staple is back in a big way after a long year of ankle booties. (Don’t worry, those haven’t gone away either!)

Buckle boots
Low, high, heeled, flat–all styles are sporting serious buckles this year, which lend major edge to even the flounciest frock.

High-heeled boots
Yes, they’re wildly impractical. But they’re also wildly fun. Wear them with colored or sweater-knit tights for maximum trendiness.

Product review: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow in Nude

Nude shadow palettes are a dime a dozen, right? Not really. A good one has shades that subtley enhance your eyes; a bad one can make them look flat and blah. Here’s a drugstore palette that boasts a whopping nine shades, from bone to black, for creating a variety of nude eye looks.

Product: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow in Nude; $11 at drugstores

Claim: Naked and neutral, yet “never boring”.

How cute is that black and pink lace packaging?!

I tried it: I love nude eye palettes and natural shades in general; you can mix up a variety of eye looks, from subtle to smoky, and it’s hard to look overdone. This one caught my eye for the wide range of shades, including multiple nudes, light taupes, brown and black for lining, and a peachy pink for highlighting the browbone. 

As you can see, in the sunlight, all of the shadows in this palette are pretty shimmery, which I don’t mind; I prefer subtle shimmer over matte for most of my shadow looks anyway. Most shimmery shadows leave residue on your face, but these seem to stay put much better than other formulas I’ve tried in the past.

The palette comes with a single sponge applicator, albeit one with a nice long handle and an angled tip for lining the eyes (a vast improvement over most palettes, which feature small, unassuming sponge applicators).

The shades are really sheer and buildable–I think it would be almost impossible to overdo the shadow with this palette. I personally love this buildable coverage, but if you prefer really intense color, you can also apply the shadow with a wet brush.

The shadows are divided into three groups; one, two, and three form a highlighter, base, and liner trio for a natural look; four, five, and six form the same for a “playful” look; and seven, eight, and nine form a trio for a dramatic look. Mixing the shadows lets you create multiple nude eye looks, from very subtle to a little dark and smoky for nighttime.

Lots of nude palettes contain a “wild card” color–something that’s bright and you won’t use much, or one that’s so flat and dull you neglect it altogether. However, I don’t think there’s a single color in this palette that I don’t love. I would use the first three as base colors; #4 (pink) for a highlighter; five, six, and seven as crease shadows; and eight and nine as liners.

My vote: A winner! This is by far the best nude palette I’ve found at the drugstore in a long time. It makes me eager to try some of Physicians Formula’s other shadow palettes (they have tons to suit different eye colors and makeup styles).

Want to see these shadows in action? Head over to my YouTube page for a nude smoky eye tutorial using this palette.

Cute Shoe Monday: Christian Siriano Lambert Loafer Pump

This Monday, I’m in the mood for a sexy, trendy pump that will jazz up my fall shoe wardrobe.

Christian Siriano for Payless Lambert Loafer Pump, $34.99, Payless

I like that these are grey, not black—it’s less expected—and the tweedy texture and tassel detail are nice touches. The loafer pump is a hot style for fall 2012, and despite the high heel, these are surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in—so you can wear them to the office without your feet going on strike.

Copy Katy Perry’s Yin-Yang manicure from the September cover of Elle!

I fell head over heels for Katy Perry on the September cover of Elle. From her dress to her hair to her makeup to her wild manicure, she’s the picture of rebellious perfection. In fact, I loved her manicure so much that I decided to copy it for myself!

Yin-Yang manicure

Here’s a how-to for recreating Katy’s Yin-Yang manicure yourself:

1. Start with 2-3 thin coats of white nail paint on the left two-thirds of each nail. (You can also paint the whole nail if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary.)

2. Use a fine-point Sharpie marker or a nail art pen to draw the Yin-Yang shape on each nail.

3. Fill in the right side of each Yin-Yang with black nail polish.

4. Use a bobby pin or a fine eyeliner brush to add a white dot to each black section and a black dot to each white section.

5. Finish with 1-2 coats of glossy topcoat to protect your manicure!

Get the Look: Katy Perry on the September cover of Elle

Katy Perry has so much awesomeness happening on the September cover of Elle that it’s hard to know where to start. Her embellished candy-pink dress? The graphic black eye makeup? Her purple-streaked Cleopatra hairdo? Or that awesome Ying-Yang manicure?

Well, let’s get started, shall we? First, there’s that pink dress, which Katy takes from sweet to sassy with some well-chosen accessories.

If you want to DIY a sparkly version like Katy’s wearing (hers is by Bottega Veneta), start with a basic dress, then use fabric glue to apply jewels in a pattern across the front. You can find fabric glue and fabric jewels at craft stores like Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabrics, and there are tons of tutorials online that can show you how to embellish a garment at home.


Marilyn bodycon dress, $24.99, Wet Seal


Textured lace bodycon dress, $19.80, Forever 21; Pleated hem A-line dress, $24.99, Charlotte Russe

Then there’s the hair and makeup. This cover is making me want to try out some (temporary!) hair color streaks—how about you?

Splat Washables temporary hair color in Purple Swag, $8, drugstores

Rim the eyes in black eyeliner, then follow with the black eyeshadow. Finish with lots of black mascara on top and bottom:

E.L.F. Studio Pigment Eyeshadow in Naughty Noire, $3, EyesLipsFace.com

Then there’s that awesome manicure. (Check back tomorrow for a tutorial on how to copy it!) Any black and white polish will do, but here’s a brand I like:

Milani Nail Lacquer in Black Magic and Dreamy Creme, $4.49 each, drugstores

Even if you don’t like all of Katy’s songs, it’s hard to deny that she’s a style chameleon—and this is a pretty fierce and fabulous cover look! Have fun copying it!

Accessory Friday: Leaf collar necklace

The collar necklace is making a big splash this fall, and I love this delicate style from Forever 21:

Collar necklace, $5.80, Forever21.com

It’s not so big and chunky that it screams “Trending!”, so you can still wear it after autumn is over. And I love jewelry with leaves or other natural motifs, anyway, trend or no!