22 April 2014

Shout Out to LC Beauty Extensions

Last month LCBeauty Extensions generously sent me 3 bundles of their LCBE Loose Wave extensions to try out.  I've been happily sporting the hair now for about a month and can finally share my review of the extensions with you all!


I was sent 3 bundles of the following lengths: 18", 20", 22.  The curl pattern photographed above was achieved by using a curling wand, however, when wet, the extensions revert back to the original loose curl pattern.  The extensions are low luster so I oftentimes use Pantene Pro V's Heat Potion Serum for shine and protection as I apply heat to my hair on a regular basis.  That been said, the extensions react well to heat and hold curls very well.


I have experienced moderate tangling and shedding particularly with the longest length installed right above the nape of my neck.  The extensions can be straightened, but I haven't been able to achieve a bone straight look, which isn't uncommon for naturally curly extensions.  In my opinion, the beauty of these extensions shines through when curled.


In summary, I am happy with the LCBE extensions.  I am not a huge fan of how low the luster is, but it makes for a more natural look.  I have received tons of compliments since installing the extensions and I believe that these extensions are a good option if you are looking for affordable, unprocessed extensions.


I had the chance to ask the CEO of LC Beauty Extensions, LaPorchia Chantell, a couple of questions about her company.  Here's what she had to say:

VD:  What inspired the creation of LC Beauty Extensions?

LC:  I was inspired to create LC Beauty Extensions because I saw a need to cater affordable quality hair extensions for African American women here in Iowa.  Also, ever since I was a child, creating a brand and a brand image was something I always envisioned myself doing. I've always had a passion for all things beauty, and with a strong support system I decided to put my thoughts into action. LC Beauty Extensions is all about women looking fabulous and letting their hair make a statement!

VD: How old is the company?

LC: LC Beauty Extensions has been running strong for 1 year and 9 months! I nurtured my entrepreneurial ambition while obtaining a Masters degree at Iowa State University. I’m over the moon excited about my brand. I have so much time to build a wider social network and increase brand awareness. Even though my brand has been going strong for 1 year, it’s not easy running a business. I do have good days and bad days, but my customers keep me excited to do more for my brand and provide quality products that will enhance their look.

VD:  Can you explain your relationship with vendors?

LC: Yes, I cannot express enough how important the relationship between the vendor and the owner is. Having a good connection with your vendor will keep your business running. If the communication is off it will reflect in your products, which may cause negative feedback from consumers, and can lead to a bad brand image. I highly suggest to anyone that’s looking to start an online hair business to connect with a great vendor. Also, do not be afraid to express what you want as the owner.

VD: Where do you see your business headed in the next 5 years?

LC: I’m so glad you asked this question. I see LC Beauty Extensions growing as an online store, but also as a retail store as I have a brick and mortar store where local customers can visit to pick up their products and customize their orders.  Creating a hedonic experience for my customers when purchasing their products and wearing LC Beauty Extensions will keep my loyal customers coming back.  

VD: Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?

LC: Follow your dreams because you will be amazed to see how far you can really go! If you have the vision, work hard, stay focused, don’t doubt yourself, and no one can stop you.  

VD: Thank you LCBE!

*my personal hair stylist and younger sister is responsible for all of my installs and hairstyles*
Check out my last post, Borrowed From the Boys or my Instagram for more photos of the extensions

Photo Credit: Shannon Hasenfratz

15 April 2014

Borrowed From The Boys



ZARA Blazer, J.Crew Necklace, H&M Pants, Just Fab Sandals, Just Fab Bag
I'm obsessed with these H&M pants.  They're comfortable, effortless, and flattering if you're working with a little bit more in the hips department.
photo credit: Shannon Hasenfratz

16 March 2014

Let's Talk Swimwear

With spring break on the horizon and summer creeping up on us, it's time to think about swimwear! 
For women with curves, swimsuit shopping can be a very rigorous process.  In my experience, showing off my figure has always been liberating, but I also have to be conscientious of my swimsuit choices as I walk a very fine line between looking appropriate, and looking like I'm trying out to be in a 2 Chainz video.  I'm sure many of you face the same dilemma, so I've taken the liberty to share some Voluptuoussdoll-approved bikinis, one pieces, and skirted suits that are ultra chic and classy!
Dedicated to creating "unique and comfortable bathing suits that celebrate the modern curvy woman", luxury swimwear company Josephine Swim does not disappoint when it comes to design or coverage.  Based in NYC, the company's fully lined suits are built to last complete with "padding, underwire, and luxurious hardware", which makes the $100 - $200 investment worth it.  
These retro inspired suits are super on trend, and they also provide awesome tummy-control lining.  They also come with straps for added support and style versatility.
The Madagascar Bikini set to the left retails for $198 & the Kenya Bikini set retails for $166.



Here we see the non removable straps on the Madagascar Bikini completely transform its look from the previous photo -- so cool!  I also really love the whimsical ruffled top in the South African Bikini Set.


True to form, ASOS has a wonderful assortment of fashionable swim suits at reasonable price points.  Photo'd above is their Cupped Mesh Insert Bandeau Swimsuit $53 complete with a tastefully sultry sheer mesh panel design.


For those of you interested in showing a little more skin, but not completely thrilled at the idea of sporting a bikini, the Mirror Floral Lattice Cut Out is a playful option worth exploring!  The halterneck provides adequate upper body support and the design is to die for.  


I am in LOVE with this glamorous Gottex Nouvelle Bandeau One Piece!  This suit provides full coverage and the exposed gold underwire detailing along with the waist cinching belt truly elevate the look.  I can't wait to get my hands on this suit.  You can purchase the Gottex Nouvelle Bandeau One Piece at Bloomingdales.


When it comes to prints, Nanette Lepore is it!  Available at Bloomingdales, the Fleur De La Mer Lover one piece features ultra feminine contrast color piping.  The suit also comes with removable straps for those of you that like having a little extra support.  Win Win!


Clover Canyon has some truly amazing sporty swim suits out this season.  The prints are vibrant, fresh, and sure to turn heads!  You can check out these Neoprene Swim Sets at Bloomingdales


Robin Piccone hit the nail on the head with this retro Karina bikini.  Again, the stylish high waisted bottom provides extra coverage and is on trend right now.  The sheer trim and braiding detail around the cutouts in the Profile by Gottex Martini one piece proves that one pieces can be sexy too.  It's also symmetrically pleasing to the eye -- extra points!


Okay.  This suit provides minimal coverage but it was way too beautiful for me not to include!  While wearing this you actually may look like you're trying out to be in a 2 Chainz video, but who cares?  Hi mom!  Haha, but really, if you're looking to show out, this Catch Me If You Can Bikini is as sultry as it gets.  Check it out at Bloomingdales.


This Milly Neon Aztec Antiqua Underwire Bustier Bikini is probably one of the most beautiful bikinis that I have ever laid eyes on.  The print is super glamorous and the Underwire Bustier Top provides a fair amount of coverage.  Again, too beautiful not to include.


This Juicy Couture Sport Pro Mesh Spliced Racerback Maillot One Piece is simple, sleek, and sexy thanks to those mesh inserts on the sides and back of the suit. 


Whoever said skirted bathing suits are out was mistaken.  Don't get me wrong, they aren't my first choice by any means, but if executed correctly, as shown above, they can be extremely flattering.  The sweetheart neckline and ruffled peplum at the bottom hem of the Peplum Princess Skirted One Piece makes for a youthful, stylish look.  If you're looking for something a little sexier, the Robin Piccone Skirted One Piece complete with semi-revealing crotchet overlay is for you.

Happy Shopping Ladies!

06 March 2014

Fashion Killers Lupita & Rihanna Crush Paris Fashion Week

Talented style mavens Lupita and Rihanna were spotted seated next to each other at Miu Miu's Fall/Winter 2014 presentation at Paris Fashion Week.  Can somebody say SWOON!?!?!  Rihanna was sporting a colorblock Prada shearling coat, the same designer behind the gorgeous custom gown Lupita wore to the Oscars earlier this week.  Both women looked lovely.  
The ladies were seated front row next to "Wolf of Wall Street" star Margot Robbie.  Oscars reunion much?
Flawless!

Rih Rih and Lupita probably basking in their hard earned success and rightfully so


Click here for more details from Mail Online

16 February 2014

VD's Picks: Peter Pilotto for Target

Back in 2009, designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos of the Peter Pilotto label were awarded "Best Emerging Talent" at the British Fashion Awards.  Fast forward 5 years and they've taken the fashion world by storm with their notoriously dazzling prints dominating both London and New York Fashion week.  As if their stunning ready to wear collection wasn't enough, (check out a few of my favorites below), the duo teamed up with Target to create an affordable beach to high street collection. 

Peter Pilotto RTW

The Peter Pilotto line for Target features vibrant futuristic kaleidoscopic prints that align with their converging new and classic perspectives on elegance.  The line includes an array of ready to wear dresses, separates, swimwear, and accessories.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collaboration.  

True to form, Pilotto pushes limits through a diverse combination of textiles, prints, silhouettes, and drapes.  The moto jacket and short ensemble pictured above is a perfect look for spring and the side panel detailing on the bikini top is to die for - spring break anyone?

These two looks are by far my favorite!  Talk about making a statement!  The ultra feminine strapless jacquard dress pairs a classic silhouette with an innovative iris print -- perfect for semi formal events.  The rash guard and pencil skirt come together to create a sleeker body conscious look complete with a sexy open back design that's sure to turn heads -- I can't wait to get my hands on it!

You can shop the collection here at Target or here at Net-A-Porter!

03 February 2014

9 to 5 Style

With my first week of senior spring semester classes coming to a close, preparing for graduation and starting my career has finally become reality.  Throughout my college career, spring semester has always been a time of self reflection and looking ahead.  Whether I was researching summer internship opportunities, scheduling phone interviews, or thinking about which major courses I had to complete in the upcoming year, I found myself constantly contemplating my future.  I also couldn't help but wonder how my style would be influenced as I shifted from life as a college student to life in the workforce.  I'm sure many of you envision the workplace as a dreadful black hole where style goes to die, but I'm here to tell you it is not!  So for those of you going through similar spring semester dilemmas, listen up.  Today we're going to focus on shoes!



Every woman should invest in a comfortable pair of black leather pointy toe pumps.  Whether you're interviewing for positions, entering the workforce for the first time, or about to retire, this will become a staple in your wardrobe. Black pointy toe heels are chic, appropriate for almost any occasion, and perfect for transitioning your look from day to night.  You can literally never go wrong with a nice pair of black pumps on your feet.  Here are a few options for those of you interested in purchasing a pair:
With Nike Air technology to ensure maximum comfort, this 3 inch pump will get you through the roughest of days.  I am a huge stickler when it comes to comfort and I can already hear this pump screaming my name.


This patent leather pump is divine -- I'm a huge fan of the low-cut topline.  You'd be sure to turn heads while wearing these heels.

J. Renee Bezel | OSP | $89.99
This eel skin leather pump exudes originality.  I'm also a huge fan of its feminine silhouette.

Similar to the Air Juliana pump, this sleek Flex pump is where comfort meets style.  


For those of you interested in a lower heel, this 2 3/4 inch patent pump is worth looking into.  It also has a 1/2 inch platform for added support.

11 January 2014

Mindy Style

Mindy Kaling is a woman after my own heart - she's intelligent, hilarious, unapologetically herself, and always dressed to kill.  We saw her impeccable sense of style slowly manifest in Kelly Kapoor, her character on The Office, and even more so now that she has her own show.  As a fashion freak and loyal fan of the Mindy Project, I literally foam at the mouth whenever I watch a new episode.  Between the show's genius storyline, comedy, and wardrobe, it usually takes me about an hour to get through one 30 minute episode.  I honestly think I've seen each episode at least 3 times, if not more.  Whether it be an Alice + Olivia sweater, Nanette Lepore dress, or DKNY skirt, there's always a hidden gem on screen when the Mindy Project's on!  Don't believe me?  Check out the short clip at the end of this post to see for yourself!

Mindy's well deserved February ELLE Magazine cover!

A sample of Mindy's fashion prowess.  I love her so much it hurts.
Click here for more juicy details on Mindy's outfits and where you can purchase them!
The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays 9:30/8:30c on FOX

16 December 2013

Yoncé



Unless you live under a rock somewhere on Mars, you've already seen or heard the game-changing visual album that Beyoncé released on Thursday.  The self-titled album is an impeccable work of art that promotes feminism and celebrates womanhood in every sense of the word (check out my favorite articles covering her new album here and here).  After spending my entire weekend soaking up the 17 tracks and personifying our voluptuous queen, I've come down from my high and can finally string a few thoughts together for a post.  My first order of business?  Digging into the Yoncé video!
Bey doing Bey!
At first glance, the Yoncé video appears to be nothing out of the ordinary--just Beyoncé romping around with a few of her insanely attractive gal pals.  But when you realize that those gal pals are Chanel Iman, Joan Smalls, and Jourdan Dunn, three of the world's biggest supermodels, things become a bit more interesting.  In an interview with The Cut, Yoncé director Ricky Saiz identifies George Michael's Freedom video, which features supermodels Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Patitz, as a source of inspiration.  However, Beyoncé's features an all black cast, which is what I found most compelling about the video. 

As displaced members of society in regard to race, black women do not fit the western standard of beauty and it is reflected in the absence of black bodies across the media landscape. However, Beyoncé uses her influence to combat this issue in Yoncé.  The video is tastefully provocative and the ladies exude control and sensuality throughout the piece. As the supermodels lip sync her lyrics, Beyoncé feeds off of their energy and sends positive vibes their way.

Yoncé projects an organic image of solidarity among black women who work in industries historically notorious for pinning women of color against each other (ie. Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, or Lil' Kim and Nicki Minaj).  Their style is to die for, but more importantly, the video celebrates the black female body and highlights successful black women in an industry where women of color are significantly marginalized. Calling attention to this social issue is undoubtedly one of the greatest features of Yoncé and her entire visual album.  All hail Queen B! 


04 December 2013

Crystal & Stone Row Necklace

I love statement jewelry, and J.Crew is always the first place I turn to when looking for a gorgeous piece.  Their jewelry is always fashion forward, beautifully crafted, and built to last.  However, they can be a bit pricey so I like to wait until they have sale promotions (like the 30% off promo they have going on right now for the holidays).  Today the Crystal & Stone Row Necklace that I ordered on Black Friday arrived in the mail and I am in all kinds of love.  Here are some pictures of the newest edition to my family!  
sparkly!
Shop J.Crew's sale here