June & July Remix

Tribal-Print-Dress
Try Wearing A Tribal Print Dress
Amber Falls Winery
Tennessee Natchez Wine Trail

Urban Decay Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray Deslick
Product Review: Urban Decay Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray Deslick & Benefit POREfessional

Summer BBQ Outfit Ideas
floral shorts
A Beginner’s Guide to Styling a Bold Print
denim shorts
Denim Shorts a Summer Staple
Urban Decay Naked 2
Urban Decay Naked 2 Evening Look Tutorial
Daily Uniform Update | Watch Carmen Style
Daily Uniform Update
A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen Style
A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes

Hats: Set Yourself Apart | Watch Carmen Style
Hats: Set Yourself Apart
Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!
Weekend Trip to St. Louis

Hope everyone has been having a good summer so far!  Mine has been going fairly well.  We had a great time up in St. Louis visiting the zoo, botanical garden and catching up with family.  To see what we thought of the zoo and botanical garden check out this post here.  Here in Alabama we’ve had a lot of fun spending time with friends and enjoying barbecues.  To see what I recommend wearing to a cookout/bbq then check out this post here.  All in all this has been a great summer and I can’t believe that the kids go back to school in less than two weeks!  Pretty soon I’ll be starting to get together my wardrobe for fall.

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Photography: Susan McDonald, Nathan Nappier & Christie

Weekend Trip to St Louis, Mo

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

Enjoying the shade in a lovely Turkish inspired garden.

Last Month my husband and I attended his family’s annual family reunion outside of St. Louis, Missouri.  This year we decided to make a weekend trip out of it and spent a few extra days in St. Louis itself.  We had a really great time exploring the great city of St. Louis and seeing all that the city had to offer.  The only downside being that the Arch was closed to the public for renovation.  While in St. Louis we decided to go visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the St. Louis Zoo.  The gardens and zoo were wonderful and I highly recommend them for couples and family outings.

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

The elephant display was constructed out porcelain plates, mugs and saucers.

The Missouri Botanical Garden

Opened in 1859 the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the United States.  Today the garden serves as “center for science and conservation, education and horticultural display.”  Never having been to a garden this old in the United States, I was excited to see what this garden had to offer.  I was not disappointed!  The garden features many different types of gardens from Victorian, Herb to Asian inspired designs.  The entrance fee is $8 for adults and children under 12 are free.  By having a membership to our own city’s botanical garden we were able to get in for free.  So definitely check to see if your botanical garden membership grants you access to other gardens around the US.

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

One of the most interesting exhibits that the garden is doing this summer is the Lantern Festival commemorating the gardens ongoing partnership and botanical research with China.  The Lantern Festival features 22 enormous Chinese influenced displays constructed out of silk, porcelain and steel.  The Lantern Festival takes place at night and lasts from May 23 to August 23 2015.  Tickets are $22.  After August 1, the ticket price increases to $26.   Unfortunately we did not find out about the Lantern Festival until after arriving at the garden.  The displays are beautiful and I imagine that they would be even more spectacular at night.

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

A beautiful Turkish inspired garden surrounded by beautiful flowers and a lovely fountain.

The St. Louis Zoo

I really enjoy visiting zoos and getting to see and learn about exotic animals.  The St. Louis Zoo did not disappoint. Plus general admission is free!  The day we visited the zoo was really hot so the nicely shaded paths and numerous water fountains were greatly appreciated.  The animal exhibits in the zoo were well constructed and a number of them looked down upon the animals.  Being able to look down on to the various exhibits really helped us get a better view of the animals. The lion below definitely seemed like he was posing for camera.

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

The zoo had a really nice train that took you around the entire park. The train had four different stops in each of the different sections of the zoo. The zoo is quite large and I would definitely recommend riding the train to the various sections to save you time and energy on walking through the entire park. The train costs $4 a person, but we definitely enjoyed being able to sit for a little while and view the park from a different angle. Plus we got a great view of the polar bear exhibit with out having to pay the extra admission fee.

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

Like any gift shop, the gift shop at the zoo was very expensive. We both ended up purchasing hats which turned out to be a fantastic idea. Even though a good bit of the park is shaded the hats really helped keep me cool and kept my husband from getting sunburned. We even wore our hats while in the botanical garden.

Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!
Who knew giraffes had such long tongues?
Weekend Trip to St. Louis Mo | Watch Carmen Style!

We had a great time visiting St. Louis and exploring both the zoo and the botanical garden. I highly recommend visiting St. Louis and experiencing all the wonderful things that this city has to offer.  Next year we are definitely going to go see the Arch!

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Outfit Info:  Shirt: Express | Shorts: White House Black Market | Shoes: Justice (old) | Hat: St. Louis Zoo Gift Shop | Bag:  Fossil

Photography: Nathan Nappier

Hats: Set Yourself Apart

magenta

The Rise and Fall of the Hat

American women used to wear hats all the time as part of their daily wardrobe. It wasn’t until the 60s and 70s with the rise of youth culture and the informality of dress resulted in  hats not being considered a necessary part of a person’s everyday wardrobe.  During this period of time, youth was in and tradition was out.  Hats were considered a part of the establishment and the upper class and therefore, represented everything that young people were rebelling against. Besides the occasional church lady, hats have really become a thing of the past which the majority of people no longer wear.

A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen Style

Wearing a Hat to Set You Apart

Due to hats no longer being a part of everyday dress, they are the perfect accessory to use if you want to set yourself apart. I always notice a woman or man wearing a stylish hat partly due to the rarity and because it lends them an air of sophistication and style. This past year I’ve been having a really good time styling different types of hats. Whether your outfit is formal or casual, a great hat can really make all the difference in the overall feel of an outfit.  I’ve received a lot of positive feed back from both family, friends and strangers on the street.  On a practical note a hat definitely helps keep me cool during these hot summer months.

Determining Your Hat Size

Since no one I know typically wears hats, I have been kind of at a loss when it comes to determining what size and type of hat I should wear.  It’s been a lot of trial and error.  Hats off the rack come in sizes small, medium and large.  If  your looking to invest in a hat, then you should be aware that hats have their own unique sizing.  The chart below from garmentgraphics.net is extremely useful in determining what size of hat you should purchase.  In order to determine your hat size, simply take a piece of string and measure the circumference of your head at about 1/8 of an inch above your ear.  Take the string and then measure it against a ruler to determine the circumference of  your head.  Once you know the circumference of  your head you can then match it against the size chart below to determine your hat size.

Hats: Set Yourself Apart | Watch Carmen Style

If you happen to fall between hat sizes, then you can purchase hat sizing tape.  Hat sizing tape can be used to reduce the size of a hat by one full hat size.  Hat sizing tape can be purchased at amazon.  Hat sizing tape has a sticky adhesive edge that can be easily applied to the inside band of you hat in order to reduce the size of your hat.

anthropologie top

Photo 1:  Panama from Aerie | Photo 2: Fedora from Target | Photo 3: Floppy Hat from Altar’d State | Photo 4: Fedora from Banana Republic

Hats have become an integral part of my summer wardrobe. I’ve had a lot of fun finding and styling various ones. I hope that you have found this article helpful and will be inspired to start wearing hats as part of your daily outfit.
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Photography: Susan McDonald

A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes

A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen StyleEvery summer wardrobe needs a maxi dress. Whether your dress is casual or formal they’re the ultimate way to keep cool and stay stylish during these hot summer months. The maxi dress I’m wearing in this post is one of my favorite pieces to wear on a date night. When wearing stripes I prefer to wear them in diagonal or a v-shaped pattern. One of the things that I especially like about this dress is the v-shaped pattern of the stripes. This v-shaped pattern draws the eye inward and down the length of my body creating the illusion that I’m narrower than I actually am.  Who doesn’t want  that?

A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen Style

A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen Style

Wearing Stripes & Optical Illusions

Wearing stripes can be tricky due to the optical illusion that they can create.  Horizontal stripes draw the eye across the body making the body appear wider than it actually is.  Any horizontal stripe no matter the size or color will create this optical illusion.  A dark colored stripe that crosses any part of the body will automatically highlight the width of that particular body part.  For example if you have a stripe going across your hips then your hips will appear wider.

A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen Style

Important to note that these stripes are the same picture just turned in different directions.

Vertical Stripes create the illusion of height.  Your eye will naturally be drawn up or down  the length of a person’s body.  If your short, than vertical stripes may help you with appearing slightly taller. A note of caution on vertical stripes! If the material you are wearing is tight, then  vertical stripes have a tendency to follow the outline of a person’s body. This can emphasize the shape or size of that body part.A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen Style For example, when wearing skinny jeans with a vertical stripe they stripe will follow the curve of your hips. As you can see in this picture the width of this girl’s hips is highlighted.

In my opinion, diagonal stripes are the most flattering because they draw your eye across and down.  No matter there placement on the body they will slim that body part. That’s one of the reasons why I choose this particular maxi dress.

A Brief Lesson on Wearing Stripes | Watch Carmen Style

 

black and white stripes

 Dress: White House Black Market (old similar here) | Hat: Target | Shoes: Calvin Klein (old similar here) | Necklace: American Eagle (old) | Bracelet: Gift | Watch: Fossil

Hope the brief lesson on wearing stripes was helpful!

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Photography: Susan McDonald

Daily Uniform Update

Daily Uniform Update | Watch Carmen Style

Earlier this year I decided to develop my own daily uniform to help better define my personal style.   I wrote about it in this blog post back in May.  My daily uniform for spring consisted of flared jeans and peasant tops.  For summer my daily uniform has remained fairly consistent to my spring version even though we are experiencing 90 plus degree temperatures and 80% humidity.  As you can imagine I spend the majority of the day locked in nicely air conditioned rooms only really venturing outside when I leave my car.  It’s honestly the only real way to survive this kind of heat. This has allowed me to keep wearing jeans and peasant tops.  When I do venture outside for any real length of time I obviously change into a pair of cute shorts and a top made out of breathable fabric.

Daily Uniform Update | Watch Carmen StyleWhat I love best about the daily uniform that I have developed for spring and summer is that it captures that relaxed, laid back feeling that summer always seems to elicit.  Flared denim and a peasant top encompass that relaxed summer feel that I’m trying to achieve.  I feel this particular variation of my daily uniform helps maintain that vibe, especially when accessorized with a straw bag.Daily Uniform Update | Watch Carmen StyleDaily Uniform Update | Watch Carmen Style
Delicate jewelry, like the necklace and bracelet I’m wearing below, help add to that laid back feeling.  To me heavy statement necklaces always seem so very formal and more suited to the winter months.  In the summer I want to wear something light and airy as opposed to a heavy piece of jewelry.  Plus the metal always gets hot and makes me sweaty.

Daily Uniform Update | Watch Carmen Style

Top: Anthropologie (old) | Jeans: Express (on sale) | Bag: Thrifted | Shoes: Justice (old similar here) | Necklace: Baublebar (old similar here ) | Bracelet: Gift

What do you like to wear during these hot summer months?  Have you developed a summer uniform yet?

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Photography: Susan McDonald

Urban Decay Naked 2 Evening Look Tutorial & Review

Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette I really love the Urban Decay Naked 2 eyeshadow palette that contains a stunning array of neutral shadows with such wonderful names like Snakebite and Booty Call. Though I will be the first to admit that at times I find the sheer number of shades contained within the palette a tad overwhelming.  Generally I have two to three go to shades that I wear for an everyday makeup look and am not really sure what to do with the rest of them.  Does anyone else have that problem?

urban decay naked 2

Photo Credit: urbandecay.com

Looking to expand my makeup application skills to include a date night look, I invited my friend Christie over to help me develop a night time look.  Christie whipped out the palette and immediately started to work creating my new look and managed to use all but one shade included in the palette.  I have to say that I was impressed.  For those of you that have already purchased / thinking about purchasing the Urban Decay Naked 2 eyeshadow palette, then here is a step by step guide to help your create an evening look that uses the majority of the shades.

  Evening / Date Night Tutorial Using Urban Decay Naked 2

Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Tutorial Step 1:  First apply a base of primer to the lid and brow bone.  A flesh tone shade works really well as a primer and helps with the blending the additional shades. Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Tutorial Step 2:  In the crease apply the shades Blended and Tease. These serve as transition shades.

Step 3: Just below the brow bone apply the shade Snakebite to the crease and the outer-V. Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Tutorial Step 4:  On your lid you will be applying three shades.  Apply Suspect to the inner third of the lid, to the middle-third of the lid apply Half Baked and finally Chopper to the outer-third of the lid.

Step 5:  Next you will apply YDK to the entire lid in order to blend the three shades that you applied in step 4. Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Tutorial Step 6: Now apply Busted to the outer-half of the crease and in the outer-V.Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Tutorial Step 7:  Now apply Blackout in the outer-V. Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette Tutorial Step 8:  Snakebite is applied to the outer-half of the lower lash line and on top of that add a little bit of Blackout.

Step 9:  Next apply Foxy over the entire brow bone.

Step 10:  In the inner corner of the eye apply Verve.

Step 11:  Finally, apply your favorite liner and then smudge it out using Blackout and add mascara. Urban Decay Naked 2

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Review

I’ve really enjoyed using the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.  It has a great combination of both matte and shimmery shadows which allow you to create a wide variation of daytime and evening looks.  The shades have really great pigmentation and go on nice and smooth.  The one major negative with this palette would have to be the amount of fall out or dust created when using the various eyeshadows requiring you to clean up around the top of your cheek and under the eye.  I’ve noticed this to be true with the majority of the different eyeshadows and palettes produced by Urban Decay.  Though this problem is annoying its not enough of a nuisance to keep me from purchasing these products.  At $54 the palette is rather expensive, but I feel the quality and versatility of the shadows makes it worth the price.

One of the things that I like best about the palette is its ability to look good on a variation of skin tones.  As you can  from the swatches provided below, this palette works really well on both fair and medium toned skin.

urban decay naked 2 palette

urban decay naked 2 palette

Hope you found the tutorial and review helpful! Tell me have you tried the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette?

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Photography & Makeup: Christie