J & F Gemelli Beauty Event

This past Thursday, June 2nd, I was lucky enough to be a guest at the J & F Gemelli Salon Event at Stone Creek in Cary, NC. The event was sponsored by Elle magazine and was open to the public. It was a great atmosphere, and was very professional – the salon hired a DJ and photographer to add to the luxury of the event. Hors d’oeuvres and a wine bar completed the classy feel.

Wella's Brilliance Shampoo for Colored Hair, part of the event's gift bags. Image: wella.com.

During the event, the salon’s stylists offered free color consultations, inviting guests to come back for color and highlights (all guests were given a $10 certificate valid at any of the salon’s three Triangle locations). The stylist who worked with me, Shayna, was amazing! She brought my eyebrows a few shades lighter, a procedure which three different salons in Chapel Hill and Durham have not been able to provide. Then, she used a gloss on my hair (which was dyed a golden blonde), which gave my hair more of a strawberry tint and looked more natural with my new eyebrows. It also made my hair really soft! To finish the look, she gave me a blowout – and the best part is that all of the styling was free!

The products J & F Gemelli used at the event were Wella cosmetics, a luxe line created by the same stylists behind haircare legend Sebastian Professional. The Wella products were 30 percent off at the event, so my sister and I made sure to stock up after seeing the wonders they had worked on our tresses. The complimentary Elle gift bags included Wella shampoo and conditioner sets, in addition to the June issue of the magazine.

If you missed the event, I recommend giving Wella products and the J & F Gemelli salon a look. The stylists are friendly and knowledgeable, and the prices are comparable to those of other salons.

Everybody’s Gone Surfing

Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Blue Moon, $15.50, maccosmetics.com. Image: M.A.C. Cosmetics.

Still searching for that perfect summer beauty look? We have the solution in one of our favorite new lines: M.A.C.’s new “Surf, Baby!” collection. The palettes range from neutral looks to bright pigments, so there’s something for girls of every makeup style. Surf, Baby! offers a variety of products, including neutral and metallic loose pigment powders, five shades of compact eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara (waterproof, of course!), lipstick and lipglass, cheek powder (a summer staple!), and, of course, nail color. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the colors are nautically inspired – think browns, tans, turquoise, and corals.

If you’re on a budget, the eye and lip products are a great bet. The mascara, which works for both length and volume, promises to work its magic on even the lashes of your eye’s inner corner, and it’s only $14 – the price you’d pay for two Cover Girl LashBlast mascaras at the drugstore. And each eyeshadow is just $15.50 – less than you’d pay for an Urban Decay product, and about what you’d pay for 3-4 drugstore shadows. Our favorite shadow shade is the bright “Surf USA,” but the neutrals (which have clever titles like “Short Shorts” and “Swell Blonde”) will work well with most skin tones. The collection’s biggest steal, though, is the Powerpoint Eye Pencil, which, at $15.50, is more affordable than Urban Decay’s classic 24/7 eye pencils, and promises to stay put through even a day at the beach. The downside? The liner is only offered in two shades, “Gilded White” and “Blue Noon,” and the white is already sold out!

Got a little more cash to spend? The line offers two sets of four limited-edition loose pigment shades – one in the peach-pink color scheme and one in the bronze-gray. At $32.50, they’re a splurge, but if you want high-quality beauty products that will last through the summer, this line is definitely the way to go.

Summer Skin Savers

We’ve all heard about swapping heavier mosturizers for lighter ones and wearing sunscreen at the beach, but what else do we need to know to adjust our beauty routines to the heat? No one wants to look greasy or smudge their eyeliner with sweat (we all do it!), so we’ve compiled some summer beauty tips to keep you looking fresh!

Is your skin ready for summer? Image courtesy of Glamour.com

  • Less is more. Summer isn’t the tip for standout red lips or heavy smoky eyes. By piling on too much makeup, you’ll make your skin more likely to become oily. Stick with minimal foundation, light blush or bronzer, soft shadow and liner, and mascara. If you can, use eyeliner and mascara only on your top lid, because the bottom lashes and under-eye area are more prone to sweat and smearing. For lips, opt for a peach, nude, or light pink shade.
  • Powder is your friend. We’re all fans of Clean and Clear’s oil-absorbing sheets, but using them too often can strip away your skin’s natural moisture, causing you to become more oily! While it can be tempting to re-apply foundation throughout the day to make up for what you’re blotting away, a loose powder will help trap your skin’s natural oils in, which will prevent you from unnecessary grease. If you’re not covering up blemishes or evening your skin tone, try using more powder and less foundation for a healthy, sun-friendly look.

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In the Bag: Coach x Net-a-Porter

The 5 Revived Coach bags to be released, photo courtesy of Refinery29.com

Here at Kaleidoscope, we love collaborations – remember our Lanvin for H&M feature in the Winter 2010 issue? We’ve seen a lot of great collaborations this season – the return of Target’s Go! International collection, Urban Outfitters’ “Designed By” collection, Converse and Marimekko, and Sophie Theallet for Nine West, just to name a few. And while these big-name combinations have been great assets to the fashion world (and to our closets!), our next collaboration preview is possibly the most exciting yet.

Renowned bag label Coach has announced that on June 15th, 2011, they will release a vintage line of purses exclusive to Net-a-Porter. With classic, solid leather colors and once-signature snap enclosures, the bags are easily recognizable as Coach products. It isn’t a new design with a 70’s-inspired feel, but a relaunch of five of their most popular bags to date. They’re also a great mix of sizes – whether you want a smaller handbag or a shoulder bag to bring to work, they’ve got you covered.

The designs weigh in at around $298 – an investment, for sure, but an affordable one, if you can budget and save up until the release. Sure, you might be able to find a vintage Coach bag at a consignment store or a thrift shop for a fraction of that price, but wouldn’t it be nice to take your pick of the design and color you really want? And you won’t have to worry about where it’s been, since you’ll be the first owner. And the leather really will last longer than a lesser-priced bag will – Coach always produces high-quality products.

June 15th. Net-a-Porter. We’ll be there – will you?

First Look: Matthew Williamson for Macy’s

Macy’s was recently on the radar of fashionistas everywhere with the debut of Madonna and her daughter Lourdes’ clothing line Material Girl. Today, Macy’s unveiled a new collaboration, but with a renowned clothing designer rather than a celebrity. Matthew Williamson is a London-based high-fashion designer who’s had his own shows at London Fashion Week since the summer of 2006. His designs continue to gain popularity in the United States, sported by celebrities like Katy Perry, Leighton Meester, Blake Lively, and Oh Land.

Promotional image for the collaboration, courtesy of macys.com

Williamson’s Impulse line at Macy’s is available in the United States, so you can get the London style your favorite singers and actresses are wearing at an affordable price. Almost all of the items in the collection are under $100 (the prices range from $59 to $299), so in this case, it’s okay to splurge! The choices range from flirty, floral dresses to oversized sweaters to chic leather jackets, so there’s definitely something for girls of every style.

Our favorite item? The Grecian Sleeveless One-Shoulder Jeweled Dress, a lavender cocktail dress that can be dressed up or dressed down. Unfortunately it’s one of the pricier items at $119, but that’s still a fraction of what you would pay for a high-fashion dress, even on Gilt Groupe. We also love the Long-Sleeve Leather Motorcycle Jacket, which is the collection’s most expensive item, banking in at $299. But how many orange, genuine-leather jackets does one come across? It’s an investment, really. And the asymmetrical zipper gives it the perfect finishing touch.

Intrigued? Want to see all 33 pieces of the collection? Check out the Macy’s site here!

If the Shoe Fits…

What’s the latest designer collection that fashionistas are fawning over? PopSugar and Women’s Wear Daily would agree that it’s Alice + Olivia’s first shoe line, which just debuted on Kaleidoscope favorite Shopbop. Stacey Bendet, one of the designers at Alice + Olivia, created the line, which is exclusive to Shopbop. Bendet has even created a video advertising the line, which is available on the Shopbop site.

One of the summer looks from the Alice + Olivia Shopbop Lookbook!

Whether you’re looking for formal wear, professional looks, or casual flats, the new collection offers tons of choices! Our favorites include classy platform pump sandals (perfect for summer weddings or formals!) and leopard-print platform wedges – who doesn’t love to spice up their look with a little animal print? The shoes run between $200 and $400, so they’d definitely be a splurge, but if you wear them all summer, it might be worth it! And you’ll feel awesome wearing them, which is what’s really important. Continue reading

A Mile in Their Shoes

We’re all familiar with Gilt Groupe‘s amazing deals, but sometimes we’re still left wanting the exact items our favorite fashion icons wear. Gilt Groupe did boast Lily Allen’s amazing Marc Jacobs Nylon magazine cover dress, but that was a rarity. Often, discount fashion sites and sales are collections of products that weren’t able to sell at the full retail price.

Chanel Black and Gold Camellia Clutch, $1100, http://www.decadestwo1.com

Designers and retailers want to get rid of them, so they lower the cost and have third parties do the selling.

But at DecadesTwo1.com, this isn’t the case. Rather than offering reduced prices on new merchandise, the site takes a new approach: it’s a consignment shop. DecadesTwo1 offers clothing and accessories that celebrities and fashion figures (Charlize Theron and Rachel Zoe, for example) have already owned, but no longer wear. It takes the guesswork out of fashion decisions – you already know that a style authority has deemed the item worthy of purchasing and wearing!

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Designed By…

Fact: We love Urban Outfitters.

Lark & Wolff by Steven Alan Striped Tieback Dress, $59, urbanoutfitters.com

Fact: We love famous designers.

Fact: We can now experience both of these loves at once.

Sure, we love the variety of collections and brands that Urban Outfitters offers its customers. But how awesome would it be if, say, Alexa Chung designed her own collection for the retailer? While we’re still working on that connection, Urban now offers us something almost as good: the new Designed By collection. The collection includes pieces by well-known designers, like Kova & T, Steven Alan, and Ulla Johnson, as well as designers you might not have heard of yet, like Sunshine & Shadow and Chris Habana.

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A Jeanius Idea

You’ve seen feature articles about denim in magazines – it’s not just pants and skirts anymore! Jackets, belts, shoes, and even dresses are made in all styles and washes by some of the most prominent designers and brands. Distressed denim has made a comeback since the 90’s, and even denim button-down shirts are suddenly cool. You may even have heard about the “Denim and Rose” collection at Bobbi Brown, which released a glittery eyeshadow shade called Denim Sparkle last summer.

M.A.C. Jeanius Eye Shadow in Motorhead, $19.50, maccosmetics.com

But with its new color palette, M.A.C. takes the denim trend one step further. Today, the iconic beauty brand launched the “Jeanius” collection, which includes denim-inspired beauty products of every variety.

Like Bobbi Brown, M.A.C. has included eyeshadow in the collection as well. But these aren’t your ordinary shadow boxes – the powders are pressed into a stitched-looking pattern to resemble jean pockets! The shadows even have a metallic rivet attached for the authentic jean look. The pigments are available in two shades (washes?) of blue, and are also available in white and black. Continue reading

Target Designers Revisited

Have you ever rushed to Target the weekend a new designer collection opens, only to find the piece you really wanted is already sold out? And when you go back to look for it, they never have your size? Or how about the designers whose collections you don’t hear about until they’ve already passed, or you just forget to go while they’re there?

Rodarte for Target, courtesy of target.com. Will this be one of the featured dresses??

Many a fashionista has experienced this feeling: the loss of an affordable, chic piece by one of the Target designers. The retailer has boasted incredible collaborations, including Isaac Mizrahi, Anna Sui, Rodarte, and many more.

Lucky for you (and the rest of us who wish we had more of the renowned designer pieces), Target stores are offering a second chance for customers to own clothing from the Go! International Designer Collective lines. Beginning on Sunday, March 13th, Target locations nationwide will be selling dresses from 17 past designers they’ve featured collections from. According to their magazine advertisements, these designers will include Paul & Joe, Tucker, Libertine, Erin Fetherston, and other big names in the fashion world.

The best part? The dress prices start at $24.95, and the most expensive ones are just $44.99. At a steal like that, you don’t have to worry about breaking your bank account. And you don’t have to feel guilty about buying two…or three…

Want a sneak preview of the dresses they’ll be offering? Check out their site for some great images! The sale will run through April 10, but we’re betting they’ll go fast, so don’t wait!