23 April 2014 / By Rita Milton
Let’s face it, winter was BRUTAL, Chicago. I know it’s hard to believe (hello, 40 degrees in April), but spring is around the corner. The harsh weather of months past can have such a negative effect on our skin and it’s about time we give it a boost.
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Clarins Spring 2014 Collection preview at the Clarins counter in Macy’s Water Tower. With new skin care, sun care and of course, makeup products, it’s time to get radiant!
21 April 2014 / By Nikia Jefferson
If you live in or around Chicago, you know that winter and spring have been playing an intense game of tug of war for the past few weeks. To say that we’ve all been waiting with bated breath to break out our warm weather gear (for longer than a day or two) is an understatement.
At the very first sign of 60-degree weather, I was determined to let my feet feel the sun – because I’m sure they forgot what it feels like, having been cooped up in tights and boots for almost six months.
02 April 2014 / By Rita Milton
With so many products available, finding a skin care routine that fits your needs can seem daunting. Not to mention the effect the allure of new products, promising the world, has on your wallet. As frustrating as it may be, finding a routine that works for you takes time and patience. The truth is, we don’t allow the amount of time it takes for the lotions and potions to work their magic. If we don’t see quick results, it’s on to the next one.
Though I’m aware that everyone’s skin is different, I am happy to say I have nailed down the perfect routine. There is something to be said for the girl who’s tried everything to finally have a routine, 6 months strong!
1. Cleanser*: Mario Badescu Acne Cleanser & a Clarisonic cleansing brush. This acne cleanser is very gentle and does not dry out my skin. Deep cleaning your pores prevents excess oil from becoming trapped under your skin, which equals fewer breakouts. This combination has helped with just that.
Sidenote-You can achieve similar results using a washcloth or facial brush. I believe daily use of my Clarisonic is the reason the texture of my skin has improved, dramatically.
26 March 2014 / By Nikia Jefferson
When it comes to sunglasses, I’ve learned a few lessons. Buy them too cheap, and they break for no apparent reason. Pay too much for them, and you end up losing them or later find out that if you had just waited a few months, you could have bought them on eBay for a third of the price. Luckily, there is a brand providing a happy medium (or what I’d like to call the sweet spot of retail) – affordability without a compromise of quality.
20 March 2014 / By Dana Nostro
Three words that immediately made me fall even more in love with Neiman Marcus last week: Couture Crane Machine.
The Neiman Marcus Shoe Bash event, at their downtown Chicago location, took the most frustrating arcade game of all time to a new height: if you were able to successfully grab a pink teddy bear, you could win the pair of designer shoes listed on the card attached to the beat. Unfortunately, I lost. But don’t worry, my night wasn’t ruined.
The store’s newly remodeled shoe salon was filled with summer trunk show collections from Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Valentino. For Blahnik, it was all about the bestselling BB Pump, which is available in 20 different colors and 5 different heel heights (the floral version is a ChiTown Fashionista favorite). The king of the red sole offered up studded platform sandals, while Valentino decided to put its own spin on the casual shoe trend with the Rockstud Camo-Print Sneaker and the Neon Camo Espadrille.
18 March 2014 / By Nikia Jefferson
With over 1 million mobile apps at our disposal, it’s hard to determine which ones will actually become useful in our everyday lives (and will not crash every 5 minutes). In terms of shopping apps, I’ve tried and beta-tested a few. Developers have even contacted me directly for honest feedback - I guess you can say my incessant shopping has become quite useful to some.
When it comes to shopping apps, there are a few key components that make certain ones float to the top of my list: clean design, a user-friendly interface, extensive search and filter capabilities, ability to save favorites or create a wishlist, and direct access to the retailer’s site for purchase.
Three specific apps are winning the battle for most utilized, at least on my phone. I fire them up at least 2-3 times a week. And here’s why.
iOs and Android
Any time I’m on the hunt for something specific (or not so specific), I refer to the ShopStyle app. The ability to search a multitude of retailers from one central location is a godsend, especially for those of us who like to comparison shop. From the most detailed (“DvF Bianca Pump”) to the most vague (“leather satchel”), this app provides relevant search results that can be drilled down to an exact size, color, and price range. It’s easy to keep track of your finds (a simple click on the heart icon to adds the item to your favorites) and also when they go on sale (select the Sale Alert button to be notified of any price drops).
Consider ShopStyle the Google of retail. I certainly do.
11 March 2014 / By Rita Milton
I recently had the pleasure of taking in a full spa day in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. I’m talking the works! Needless to say, I was looking forward to a day of pampering and relaxation. But I received so much more! Eco-friendly, vintage-inspired décor and five-star customer service; this hidden gem warrants a visit!
Here are the deets on my spa day at Studio Within Salon and Spa:
10:50 a.m. With promise of snow (thanks Tom Skilling), I head to the window to find a snow-covered car and the snow is STILL falling. Great. *eye roll*
11:00 a.m. The car is cleared and I am on the move, leaving myself plenty of time to get through this snow and find parking.
11:44 a.m. So about that extra time… I am now trudging through the snow, attempting a power walk since I’ve parked a million miles from my destination (OK, it’s five city blocks. Still). I am going to be late. UGH. Thanks, Chicago.
11:49 a.m. I just walked in four minutes late, apologizing to the receptionist. After introducing myself, she greets me with such a bright smile, I instantly feel welcome. I take a seat in the nearest repurposed, vintage barber chair (how cool is that?!) and take it all in.
06 March 2014 / By Gabriel Charles Tyler
Katrin Schnabl [pronounced Kaht-treen SHNAH-buhl], the eponymous women’s designer brand by Katrin Schnabl, combines comfort and movement in the creation of sophisticated pieces that accentuate the nuances of women’s bodies in motion. For her Fall/Winter 2014-2015 collection, the German born educator and dancer-turned-fashion-designer uses luxurious fabrications, artisanal handicraft and ornate yet subtle detailing in the construction of a line that boasts couture with ease.
The designer’s F/W 2013 collection featured vibrant colors, architectural draping and feminine silhouettes. Like last year’s collection, each piece in the brand’s latest effort seems to dance around the body.
05 March 2014 / By Antaash Umar
The newly redesigned Swaby Showroom in Humboldt Park makes quite the statement. The original look of the showroom was always beautiful, just understated. Now, the all-white interior, cascading chandeliers and seating area ooze modern luxe and opulence without being unwelcoming. Upon entering, clients are greeted by gorgeously clad mannequins displaying the design genius of the stores proprietor: Shernett Swaby, the woman behind the designs and production of every single piece purchased. The space truly features a complimentary aesthetic for the bold designs characteristic of Shernett Swaby’s couture collection titled SWABY.
04 March 2014 / By Nikia Jefferson
As I revealed last week on social media, the ChiTown Fashionista team is expanding! As this blog enters into its sixth year, it goes without saying that it is my baby. I also feel it is time to shake things up a bit, with unique voices and fresh perspectives on local and global fashion, shopping and beauty.
I’m excited to announce that we are bringing back both new and familiar faces. Our list of contributors now include two journalism students who are extremely serious about fashion (Gabriel and Dana), a beauty guru who will tackle everything from cosmetics to spa reviews (Rita) and a serious shopper who has a knack for writing the most in-depth and informative store reviews and designer spotlights (Antaash).
To learn more about each of them, visit the About page. Then join me in welcoming them to the team!