beautygrind

Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Needs In Her Closet

In fashion, style on July 18, 2019 at 7:40 am


Have you ever looked in your closet and felt like you had a closet full of nothing to wear?  Perhaps you had an interview or dinner to attend and an in a panic went shopping for the “right” outfit.  We have all been there.

Every season we are inundated with the hottest and newest trends off the runway that we are convinced we must have.  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in said hot trends, it is important to have key or staple items in your closet.  Doing so will be be the difference between feeling like you have nothing to wear and feeling (and being) ready for almost anything.  This concept is also helpful when building or updating your wardrobe and although staples items (and colors) will vary from person to person, the right pieces increase wardrobe functionality as well as creativity when planning outfits.  

Below are 19 essential pieces to add to your wardrobe if you don’t already own them:

  • Jumpsuit.  This one piece can be styled multiple ways, and, depending on the material, can be worn year round.  Pair it with a blazer and pumps/loafer for work or strappy sandals and a clutch for a night out on the town.
  • Lightweight Neutral Blazer.  A blazer can be worn with anything at anytime.  Great for layering over a sheath dress or for wearing with a t-shirt and jeans/skirt.  A tuxedo styled blazer adds instant elegance if you are heading out after work or if you prefer to wear something that is edgy yet professional.  If suits are not your thing, it can still be a good idea to invest in one because you don’t have to wear it together but you can instead take the pieces and incorporate them into other parts of your wardrobe to create other looks.
  • Denim Jacket.  Denim jackets are great for in between temperatures or for when you want an outfit to take on a more casual vibe.
  • Leather Jacket. There is nothing like a leather jacket to add a nice edge to your wardrobe. Leather jackets are great for fall weather and look great with a scarf and of course a great pair of sunglasses.
  • The LBD (Little Black Dress).  It goes without saying that having an LBD (or two) in your closet will keep you ready for a multitude of occasions.  Know your shape for the perfect silhouette.  Keep in mind that styles such as the wrap dress is simple yet elegant and is flattering on most body types.
  • Dark Wash Jeans.  Creates a look that is polished and can take you from casual to elegant depending on what you pair them with.  Keep it simple by avoiding distressed styles which can distract from a clean, polished look especially if you are in a casual “professional” setting.  Pair with a chic blazer or blouse for work and a sequinned top and stilettos for a night out on the town.  If you want an option that is more dressy, consider a high rise, flare leg silhouette in a more flowy denim material.
  • Basic White T-Shirt/Tank top/button down.  These are great foundation pieces that create endless options for anytime and anywhere.  In addition to your basic round or v-neck t shirts, add one in a silky material or with embellishment for a dressy look.  Other basic colors to include in your wardrobe:  black, grey, and cream.
  • Black trousers and black pencil skirt.  Both are great pieces to take you from work to play and can be paired with various tops and accessories.  Again it is important to know your shape to find your perfect silhouette.
  • Hats and Head Wraps.  These items aren’t only for not so perfect hair days but can be that one piece that takes your outfit to the next level.  Include styles such as a classic straw hat and fedora as well as head wraps in black, leopard and pops of color.
  • Kimonos.  Nothing takes a simple outfit like jeans/shorts and tank top to the next level like a kimono.  Explore a variety of textures, colors, and prints to include in your wardrobe.  Want to level up your look, add a belt, head wrap and a nice pair of shoes/sandals to make your look top notch.
  • Pump.  A simple pump can take you from work to play and can be paired with almost anything. A platform pump is a great middle ground and creates great structure for many looks, including wide leg pants.  Pointy toe pumps make the legs look longer and leaner.
  • Loafer. An excellent alternative if heels are not your thing or for when you cant take another step in those pumps.  Opt for loafers in various skins (alligator), colors such as oxblood or even leopard print which can add a little pizzazz to an otherwise neutral outfit.
  • Sneaker/Slip on.  This footwear choice can be a more casual or sporty/athletic alternative to the above mentioned loafer or an addition to your shoe wardrobe.
  • Tote Bag and Clutch.  A roomy, well constructed tote bag is essential for carrying your belongings while on the go.  A basic clutch is the perfect add on for when you don’t want to carry everything you normally carry in your tote or for when you need to make that quick transition from work to play.

What are some of your favorite wardrobe staples?  Do you have go to pieces to keep you looking stylish or do you find that you have some opportunities in your wardrobe?  Please share your thoughts below.

Elevate Your Skincare Game With The Power Of Retinoids

In beauty, skincare on May 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm

Retinols, which are a form of retinoids, have long been the go to when it comes to skincare multi-tasking and anti-aging.  Considered to be the gold standard in skincare, retinoids are like your big sister who can do it all.  Retinoids have been around since the 70’s and were originally prescribed for acne concerns because they help to slough off dead skin and clear pores. Dermatologists and patients began to see that with regular use skin was more clear and smooth, with fewer pimples and less discoloration.  Skin looked better overall.

What Is A Retinoid And Where Does It Come From?
To first understand what a retinoid is and what it does, it is important to understand where retinoids come from.  Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A which occurs naturally in the body and can also be found in animal or plant sources.  Vitamin A is important because it is responsible for things like good vision and healthy bones as well as healthy cell turnover and collagen production.  

The term retinoid is the category name or umbrella under which the terms retin-a and retinol fall under.  Retin-A (aka tretinoin) is available with a prescription.  Retinol, the more common form of retinoid, is known by more familiar terms such as retinol palmitate, retinol acetate and retinol linoleate.  These forms tend to be more gentle and are a perfect introduction into the world of retinoids.   Retinols don’t need a prescription and can be found over the counter – in your favorite beauty stores.

How Do Retinoids Work And How Are They Different Than AHA’s And BHA’s? 

Retinoids, which work in the deeper layers of the skin, help to reduce the appearance of fine line, wrinkles, discoloration and enlarged pores.  They also help with cell renewal and collagen production.  The later two functions are important to note as they relate to anti-aging concerns because when you reach the age of 30, cell renewal begins to slow down, occurring evey 60 days or so as opposed to every 28-30 days when in your twenties. Slower cell turnover leads to dull, lackluster, congested skin.   In addition, collagen production, which is responsible for giving our skin, bones and connective tissues the structure they need, also begins to decline as well when we age.  This reduction in collagen production is responsible for fine lines, deep wrinkles and sagging, less plump skin. Retinoids work to increase skin thickness and elasticity in the deeper layers where wrinkles begin.  They also slow down the breakdown of collagen and curb the production of melanin (brown spots).

So what is the difference between retinoids, AHA’s and BHA’s?  AHA’s work on the surface of the skin to improve what we see while BHA’s work just below the skin’s surface.  Retinoids affect the deeper layers of the skin to push out permanently better skin and are more effective in the long run. 

How Does One Incorporate Retinoids Into Their Skincare Routine?

Start slowly and follow the directions of the brand you choose.  Directions usually instruct to use every other evening or 1-2x weekly, eventually working your way up to every evening.  Always use a sunscreen and keep in mind that results can take anywhere from 3-6 months of regular use to really see results.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Retinol Use?  What Precautions Should One Take When First Using Retinol?

Possible drying, peeling, or redness.  However, the new generation of retinoids deliver the same results with less irritation because these formulations include ingredients such as honey and jojoba to help soothe and calm irritation.   If you do experience any side effects, you can reduce dosage/usage but don’t stop completely because you won’t see the benefits.  Make sure you are using a moisturizer/oil to keep the skin hydrated and to counteract any possible irritation associated with retinol use.  Don’t use if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. 

Differin Gel.  Once available only with a prescription, Differin gel is the first FDA approved retinoid gel approved for over the counter use for the treatment of acne.  Differin gel contains adapalene, a form of retinoid that treats/clears acne.  Available in a 30 day and 90 day supply and has an accompanying cleanser and moisturizer. The highest dose still requires a prescription (.3% adapalene)

Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength 3% Retinoid Plus.  Perfect for normal, oily, combination and dry skin, this lightweight serum helps to get rid of the signs of aging.  A key ingredients include caffeine which helps with penetration and the buffering complex of symitive 1609 and symcalmin to calm irritation.

Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex.   This vegan, gluten-free eye cream is microencapsulated, ensuring potency of the retinol as well as better absorption into the skin.  Niacinimide, vitamin C and peptides help to ensure hydration, reduction of dark circles and plumping of fine lines.

Darphin Ideal Resource Youth Retinol Concentrate.  Infused with nourishing botanicals, this retinol encourages cell turnover, moisturizes and is perfect for face and eye.  To preserve potency and protect from light damage, this retinol concentrate is housed in individual opaque capsules.

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.  This cream has the highest strength of retinol available without a prescription and works overnight to help reduce the signs of aging with pure RoC Retinol and an essential mineral complex.

Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Booster. This lightweight fluid is a slow release retinol that actually boosts the efficacy of your other skincare products such as serums and moisturizers.  It also helps to even skin tone and improve radiance.  Can also be used alone.

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum.   This serum which is perfect for normal, dry, combination and oily skin contains a 6.5% blend of retinoid ingredients to fight the signs of aging as well as Hawaiian white honey, bisabolol and ginger to help balance and soothe the skin.

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream.  The key ingredients of Vitamin F, triple peptide blend and Retinol 1% work together to help target UV damage and other signs of aging while helping to firm and smooth the skin.

Are you a retinol user or is it something you have considered adding to your skin care routine but haven’t done so yet? Leave your comments below.

The Interview. Karin Rodney-Haapala

In the interview on May 15, 2019 at 4:33 pm

What happens when the ladies get together for a day of makeup-art and conversation?  A wonderful time spent talking about life: careers, relationships, life lessons and of course beauty.  Ideas and laughter permeated the creative space and was the perfect backdrop for encouragement and pushing each other toward greatness.

Karin Rodney-Haapala

Social: @krhaapala, @damesativa

Hometown: Washington, D.C. (Currently residing in Silver Spring, MD)

Occupation:

  1. A/R/Tographer (artist/researcher/teacher) owner of KRH Arts & Academics and Part Time College Professor of Fine Arts at Montgomery College
  2. Depth Psychologist
  3. Cannabis Health and Wellness Educator and Co owner/Chief Creative Consultant of Greener Living Experience

Describe your style in 3 words. Androgynous. Comfortable. Minimalistic.

Where does your style inspiration come from?   Playing in an orchestra from 10-19 years old, I had to wear black all the time.  I am also drawn to the style of the abstract expressionist.

You have amazing skin.  Tell us about your skincare routine and some of your favorite products.  A fragrance free skin care routine is key.  As an aesthetician, I find that people use products with copious amounts of fragrance in their skin care products.  Though they may not develop an allergy from their products at that moment, it is highly possible that they will develop one in the future.

I have very hormonal reactive skin.  To counteract this, I do the following – in the morning, I use Ceravae Face Wash.  Then I follow up with a sulfur wash.  To finish up, I use an acne cream called Aczone,  followed by a Neutrogna Gel Cream and a sunscreen.  In the evening, I oil cleanse with grape seed oil and Ceravae Face Wash.  I then use Ceravae Night Cream followed up with Retin A.  I also get monthly facials.

You mentioned that you wear a sunscreen.   It can be difficult for those of us with deeper skin tones to find the right sunscreen that doesn’t leave that horrible gray or lavender cast on our skin.  What are some of your favorite brands to use?  For sunscreens there are some unsung choices.  Neutrogna Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen is a delightful treat. I believe it comes in SPF 30 and 50.   It’s light and perfect for oily skin.  Black Girl Sunscreen says it all.  It is made for us brown girls by brown girls.  It fits along my “clean” skincare regimen.  It has no fragrance, parabens, oxybenzone or octinoxate. SuperGoop! Unseen Sunscreen is a treat.  It is gluten free and an affordable daily staple. 

I love your haircut/style.  What hair care items do you use and what does your daily/weekly routine look like?  Well thank you!  I use hemp oil to moisturize my hair and scalp daily.  I also use Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl And Shine shampoo and conditioner.  I follow up with the Ouai leave in conditioner.  I often wear protective styles like braids and twists.  After six years of growing my hair, I decided to get it trimmed.  I know…I know…Also, I shave my head every two weeks.

You are truly a multi-hyphenate. Tell us a little bit more about your career and what advice would you give to someone who might want to follow a similar path?  I guess you can say that I am an entrepreneur in many ways.  I do not have one set career field. I have many interests and skills, so I decided to create my own lane.  After ten years of service in the military and 6 degrees under my belt, I decided to never work in a cubicle or work a 9 to 5.  I encourage others to do the same.  It is scary to do but just create a lane and ride!

Tell us more about your work as a depth psychologist and as a cannabis health and wellness educator.   Depth psychology, which studies the unconscious, investigates the inner systems of the psyche and how these processes, such as dreams and/or complexes affect our life or vice versa.  Most of this exploration is visible in mythology, fairy tales, ethogenic experience (the use of psychedelics) and theology.  This work affords me to study the creative process and facilitates my students’ inner processes and, at times, reveals gems that heightens and expands their creative work.

Navigating the realm of cannabis can be overwhelming.  My initiation into using cannabis as medicine and lifestyle lacked when it came to open resources to study so I took it upon myself to do the research.  I now share that journey and knowledge with patients to teach plant based self care management.  As a cannabis health and wellness educator, I facilitate a learning environment that engages patients and helps them see the healing properties of the beautiful Cannabis sativa plant.  My business partner and I assist in the crossing of the threshold of medical marijuana patients who initially have a warped perspective of using plant based medicine (cannabis) in their times of need.  We focus on the science and individual experiences to suggest strains that may benefit the patient. We emphasize and promote a responsible healing culture for all.  Deconstructing and destigmatizing the ugly myth of exploring and consuming cannabis yields a whole new way of exploration and consumption of cannabis and thus the use of some harmful and addictive pharmaceuticals such as opioids.

If you could be any character from a movie, who would it be and why?  Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden from the film “Fight Club” or Tilda Swinton’s character Madame Markos in the remake of Dario Agento’s “Suspiria”.  Practically any villain or anti-hero would be my choice.  Both are flawed and exude a depth of authenticity even in their non-heroic ways.

What advice would you give to your younger self?  “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

Are you currently working on any projects?   Yes, I am working on a thousand things.  My photographic work, Incidents, is part of the National Veterans Art Museum’s triennial.  I also just came back from Chicago for the opening and gave an artist talk.

I am the curatorial Consultant for the upcoming exhibition in the Fall called “Service, Art and Passion. Six Veteran Artist.”

As Cannabis Health and Wellness educator and Co owner/Chief Creative Consultant of Greener Living, we are preparing to launch our YouTube channel and Podcast.

Photography by @rozzienecole

Makeup by @khalilahneals

Styling by @krhaapala