Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the darker the lipstick...

im still feeling my way through this dark lipstick phase of mine. once when i wore black nail polish a guy i was dating told me it weirded him out, like im a witch or something. i promptly told him that its a good thing he didn't have to wear it! i love black nail polish and im loving this very dark purple lipstick. it almost looks black. the darker the lipstick....the better. atleast for now. dont get it twisted i still love my very bright red lipstain but this is a close second for the Fall/Winter season.

Jacket: Target | Top: Alternative via Loehmanns | Skirt: Paniz via Loehmanns
Boots: Vera Wang Lavender | Bag: Thrifted Vintage Coach

here returns the pencil skirt. i swear i wear this skirt like twice a week. the perfect mixture of sophistication yet sexxxxxxy *in my beyonce voice*.
i actually wore this outfit on a night out with the girls in Harlem. We went to Red Rooster and then to Cove and then to Social Corner. It was fun but all the same i'd rather be home sometimes snuggled on my leather couch and watching Brown Sugar...my favorite movie. in fact...thats what im doing at this very moment while simultaneously drafting this blog post. i've also quickly burned through the 6 seasons of SATC followed by both movies. i have cabin fever bad.
everyone affected by the hurricane...you are on my mind.
and im doing well so thanks for all the love on twitter, instagram and all.
what do you like to do in your down time?
follow me on instagram: @monroesteele
Photography by Tiona D.

Monday, October 29, 2012

i SPEND on SKIN: my battle with acne & hyperpigmentation

when it comes to clothing i do love a great fashion STEELE and try to limit my investment pieces (expensive stuff) to a minimum but i like, every other woman on the planet, will SPEND on SKIN.
my blog is mostly about Fashion but i get tons of emails about my skin routine. lets not kid ourselves i have FAR from PERFECT skin. it is still something i struggle with on a daily basis. but i have compiled products over the years that have really helped with my adult acne, blemishes and hyperprigmentation and just the overall quality of my skin.
i did a post about this last year HERE that you can check out.

to control my acne i use a combination of DDF and Murad treatments that utilize Benzoyl and Sulfur instead of Salicylic Acid. I've come to realize that Salicylic Acid acne treatments just make my face worse. Thus my change to Benzoyl and sulfur based products. These products dry the hell out of a pimple. But it will also dry the skin around it thus moisturizing afterward is key. After Cleansing my skin and my pores are open I place a dab of either DDF Benzoyl Perozide Gel or Murad Acne Spot Treatment right on a pimple and i go to sleep. I wash it off in the morning. I've tried this on cystic, nodule like as well as small white heads and its worked for all to decrease the size of the pimple and redness. I also use Women's One a Day with Healthy Skin Support daily and take Ortho Tri Cyclen.

i use a combination of masks as well to keep my blemishes and acne under control. DDF Sulfur masks has really been a life saver. When I have a problem area (a group of pimples in one place) i will put a small amount of the mask on that area and leave for 15 minutes and then wash it off. If I do this 3-4 days in a row it significantly helps to dry up those pimples and return that break out area to almost normal. I've also have large pores on my cheeks and to help minimize those as well as brighten my overall complexion I use Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. Check out photos of me using the mask HERE.

to remove my makeup i use OLAY Cleansing Clothes. I love that they have no smell and no added perfumes that can irritate my already very sensitive skin. After cleaning my skin I usually exfoliate with either Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Scrub (very gentle on skin) or
Arcona Cranberry Gommage (which has won the Allure Editors Choice several times). The Arcona is by far the best for exfoliating, it is fresh and really gets my pores open and ready for the Acne Treatments. I usually use Aveeno is the morning and Arcona at night before my acne treatments.
Hyperpigmentation Control

as a woman of color i struggle with the dark marks a pimple can leave behind. it can really scar sometimes and then i try to mask it with concealer which usually works but when the make up comes off its still there. so to battle those dark marks I use a combination of two products: Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum and Korres Wild Rose 24-hour moisturizing & brightening cream. They both work like a charm. *Note do NOT use these two products at the same time, it will brighten then hell out of a spot. Also dont put it on just the hyperpigmented area, cover the entire face! (i once only put the treatment where the dark marks were and it also lightened the skin around it...thus put over the entire face and let the marks gradually decrease). I only use the Murad 2-3x a week, i put on a thin film on my face and go to sleep (these are nights when i use no acne treatments). The Korres I usually use 1-2x a week during the day when I cleanse my face and just put some of this on while around the house.

if you are using any acne medications or hyperpigmentation treatments it is essential for those reasons alone to use SPF. if not to prevent sun damage! even those with darker skin need to use SPF. I love Aveeno because my skin is very sensitive and sometimes dry from acne treatments. Aveeno Positively Radiant daily moisturizer lotion is fragrance free, evens tone and has SPF 30 (UVA/UVB). Its light and non greasy and can be used under makeup.
i discovered this serum in a gift bag back in February during fashion week and have been addicted ever since. this serum has really helped to change my skin from dull and rough to smooth and plump and vibrant. the AMBE line was developed by a plastic surgeon in California. It is the best toner/serum ive ever used and ive used them all. within a week i noticed a difference in the way my skin looked and felt. too bad it isn't sold in stores...its that exclusive. I usually use it 1-2x daily. In the a.m. after i wash off my acne treatment, before i moisturize or after I exfoliate at night and i dont plan on using any acne or hyperpigmentation treatment. GET IT HERE. its also great during those cold winter months!
Let your face rest. Some nights its better to just let your face breath without all the acne or hyperpigmentation treatments. it gives your face time to heal. this is the best time to use a serum such as AMBE Vitamin Veil to help nourish the skin.

Note these are products that have worked for me and may not work for you. Please consult your primary care physician before beginning any oral medications.
check out my previous post about my skincare regime here and my workout routine here.

what i want to know is...what are your skincare secret weapons?

follow me on instagram: @monroesteele

Saturday, October 27, 2012

tis sweater season

its inevitable. the air gets crisp. the wind blows and chills your bones. tis sweater season and i accept it. its like death or taxes...eventually one must wear a sweater if they live in a city such as New York. i hate sweaters. they are itchy and confining just like skinny jeans. you have to calculate the thickness of sweaters to match certain jackets and sometimes the thickness completely eliminates the chances of wearing certain jackets. *head explodes* atleast its still warm enough to just wear a sweater without a jacket...atleast for the next week or so.

Sweater & Boyfriend Jeans & Ring: H&M | Booties & Bag: Zara | Sunnies: Ray Bans

this is one of my favorite bags from Zara. I love the studs and how deep it is. perfect for my DSLR and a light jacket if need be. sometimes things get lost in it though. i almost died when i couldn't find my old faithful Stila Fiery Lipstain one day and discovered it deep in the depths of this bag. i also get a lot of questions about these booties. they are still available here on Zara.com. They are also pretty comfortable as well. H&M also has an array of these sweaters in different colors for $25!
follow me on instagram: @monroesteele
Photography by Tiona D.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

ox blood leather skirt

it seems that everything i've wanted wardrobe wise has magically appeared! i had been craving a white leather pencil skirt and this one popped up at Brooklyn Flea. then i wanted an ox blood leather pencil skirt and i found this baby at Nordstroms Rack. it wasn't on sale and I suspect it never will be but knew it would be a wardrobe staple and the fact that it was less that is was less than $100 didn't hurt either.
There....i've officially gotten everything I wanted off my Fall wish list!

Denim Top: H&M Mens Dept | Skirt: Blanc Noir via Nordstroms Rack | Shoes: Alexander Wang
Baggette: Thrifted | Ring: Urban Outfitters

ohhhh ox blood. from what im hearing is that its the new black. that may be so but i think
 black is the new black. what i like about this dark, rich, mysterious color is that it can almost be a neutral. i paired it with denim but it could easily work with white, black or even another red toned top. have you ever reached a point where you don't want anything clothing wise? this usually happens to me after i go on a spending spree. i look in my closet and say..there...im done. and i literally dont shop for months. i am in that stage right now. there is nothing that i really really want. i think the next thing i buy will be a Macbook Pro and im getting that for myself for Christmas. i guess its a good thing im feeling this way...i can finally start saving!
follow me on instagram: @monroesteele
Photography by Tiona D.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Catherine Malandrino Showroom

last week i had the opportunity to visit the Catherine Malandrino Showroom to view the Spring 2013 Collection up close and personal. It was great to see the pieces again and get to actually feel the fabrics and see the details up close. You can check out my coverage of the
Catherine Malandrino Spring 2013 Presentation during New York Fashion Week HERE. What I love about visiting showrooms is also seeing the decor and the designers work environment. Out of the many showrooms I've visited this was one of my favorites.
Once you step off the elevators you are greeted with a bright yellow glass wall and to the left a film projected on to the wall. It definitely set the tone before entering the lavish showroom full of intimate portraits on the walls and racks upon racks of equisitely tailored works of art. It didn't hurt to have the large windows exposing the New York City building skyline as a perfect back drop.

The Spring/Summer 2013 Collection was inspired with a them of French romance and American sportswear. The romantic them is obvious in the materials used in the collection such as delicate mesh as well as the victorian style blouses.
Catherine Malandrino is one designer who has got edgy prettiness down to a science. Case in point this gorgeous studded leather jacket with the thinest palest leather ever. I've been told its the favorite of the collection and its mine too!

What do you think about the Catherine Malandrino SS2013 Collection?
follow me on instagram: @monroesteele

Monday, October 22, 2012

my first missoni

i'd been eyeing this Missoni skirt at Loehmanns for the longest time but really couldn't justify blowing $200 for a skirt. i am still a frugalista at heart. but as if the Missoni God's knew what I was thinking everything Missoni at Loehmanns was a cool 35% off with an additional $25 dollars off. thank goodness for coupons and memberships. I walked away with this skirt for less than $90.
Jacket/Top: Rachel Roy | Skirt: Missoni | Booties: Via Spiga | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
this jacket was also a fashion STEELE! Daffy's was having this amazing going out of business sale and i scored this Rachel Roy jacket for $19. Yes...$19!!!!! i could hardly believe it myself. i love the assymetrical cut of the jacket too! i wish the Fall would last a little longer so i can get some more wear out of this skirt before the Winter. i don think it will look as good with opaque tights. ugh...gotta get ready to pack my gams away for the winter.
follow me on instagram: @monroesteele

Friday, October 19, 2012

all dressed up

during New York Fashion Week I was invited to attend the Socialyte Gala to support the Rescue Paw Foundation to save animals from kill sheltors and inhumane treatment. I was really psyched about attending being that I am a dog lover! My dog Jasmine died a few years ago. She was such a quiet sweet dog and the only time she barked was when she was dreaming. She was also deathly afraid of the vacuum cleaner! lol. anywho for those who followed my posts and tweets during fashion week you all know i came down with the fashion week flu and was sick and tired as all hell and I couldn't attend the Gala. But being the type-A person I am I took photos in the dress I wanted to wear before hand. Thus...here I am...all dressed up...and didn't go anywhere!
Dress: Amsale | Clutch: BCBG | Shoes: Steven Madden Luxe | Earrings: H&M
I bought this one shoulder Amsale dress two years ago and have never worn it. I was thinking of wearing it to a New Years Bash with my then boyfriend but then I decided to go with another dress and completely forgot about it until recently. it still had tags on it! now im actually starting to think about New Years and Holiday dresses again! Some amazing brands from
 Tadashi Shoji to Aidan Mattox. I wore a sequin Aidan Mattox dress last new years!
follow me on instagram: @monroesteele