Wearing Winter Well

Attention Belles,
The world’s temperature gauge seems to be on the fritz–snow in Houston? Australia has the hottest day on Earth?
Dallas has been moodier than usual, with 30-degree temperature drops in just under 8 hours. How’s a girl to dress for such volatility without feeling like a woman in menopause? With several years experience in the dry, cold state of Wisconsin–where winter stays for 7 months out of the year–I’ve got the Holy Grail you’re looking for, so keep reading!

1. Hydrate

I bet you didn’t expect this to be the first thing on our list but it is THE MOST IMPORTANT. Beauty stems from the inside out and the best way to look amazing is if your body feels amazing. In case you didn’t know, winter is dry, ladies! Up the amount of water you drink in the day by at least half to compensate for it. A happy, hydrated body shows its gratefulness in your hair by giving you plump, strong roots, and in your skin by keeping it bright and wrinkle-free. My recommendation: Opt for water when you go out for lunch or dinner, and make a transparent water bottle a permanent fixture on your desk at the office. That way, you always know how much water you’ve drunk throughout the day. Check out this sleek bottle from Urban Outfitters or this floral one from JCPenney.

2. Moisturize

Ever look down at your hands and think they look like your grandmother’s? Get yourself some lotion, missy, because your hands are dry! Dry skin doesn’t have the suppleness and elasticity of well-hydrated skin and, left unattended too long, can have painful consequences. Dry skin tends to wrinkle and crack much more easily, leaving scars. The only thing that has proven to effectively prevent signs of aging is moisturizing, so whether it’s your face, hands, back or feet, keep them youthful by applying lotion any time you feel them drying up. I keep a bottle in my car and several in my office so I’m never caught without! An added bonus of this: your makeup will glide on more smoothly and stay on longer without creasing. God-send, am I right? My favorites are the Chloe Love Story, this Stress Relief lotion from Bath & Body Works, and this delightful Lavender and Honey lotion.


Don’t have time for a daily full-body moisturizing session? Try this in-shower moisturizer that I’ve been loving!
Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

3. Tie up your hair

Summer isn’t the only time to wear braids and cute updos. Winter can really suck the life out of our locks, leaving them limp and staticky, so keep them safe from all the static, knots, and split-ends by tying them up. Get creative! Add sparkle and fun with winter-themed hairpins and Elsa-inspired hairdos. Or let subtle metals enhance the elegance of an all-black outfit you’re rocking.
Need ideas? Check out this Youtube channel:
Kayley Melissa

4. Leave-in Conditioner/Hair Masks

Cold winter winds can be harsh and drying on your strands, so do yourself a favor and increase the frequency of your deep-moisturizing hair treatments. You’ll see your hair can look full and fabulous all winter long if you give it the care and love it needs.
The Macademia Nourishing Moisture Masque and the It’s a Ten Miracle Leave-In product leave my hair silky, full, and shiny every time.

5. Think Layers!

Staying warm and cozy is key in the winter, right? But how do we dress in layers without looking like a bulky marshmallow? One word: Cashmere. I highly recommend investing in a few cashmere sweaters of varying length to be worn over tanks, shirts, or even other sweaters! Stylish warmth isn’t an oxymoron when you’ve got these great pieces in your closet to mix and match.
Try this, this, or this beautiful design.

6. The Right Jacket for the Temperature

Frozen may be a great movie, but it’s not a cute look. What most people don’t realize is that jackets come with a temperature range. You wouldn’t wear a puffer jacket in the sweltering summer heat, would you? You shouldn’t wear a peacoat on windy, 30-degree days either.
– Temperatures in the 50s call for shorts! Psych! But I’ve seen that happen in Wisconsin, so don’t laugh too hard. But most light jackets like this faux fur leopard print coat or this chic, army green moto jacket work well in this weather.


– If you’re dealing with temps in the 40s or even upper 30s, a quality, wool peacoat like this one, a scarf and some gloves will get you through, nice and toasty–just remember to layer inside too! Check out this Burberry duffle coat, this Alpaca number, or this beautiful woolen parka.

– Temperatures in the 30s or lower call for some kind of feather down material. That doesn’t mean it needs to be puffy. Check out this sleek, quilted coat from Eddie Bauer! They’ve got many more, but this was my favorite.

Quilted Parka.PNG

 

Stay Warm, Belles.

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Wedding withdrawals

Hey readers,

Some of you may know from my Instagram feed that my sister got married last August. The bride and beau looked amazing, the food was divine (so I heard–didn’t get to eat any of it), and the bridal shower was a hit. Naturally, being the sister without kids or law school responsibilities, I took on the brunt of the pre-wedding festivity planning and execution.

I couldn’t have done it without my best friends, to whom I am forever grateful. Especially because I was also a bridesmaid in one of my close friends’ bridal party and she was getting married the week before! I have to give a shout out to Pinterest, too. I would have been completely lost if it weren’t for that blessed site. The bridal shower wouldn’t have turned out as beautiful as it did.

Best part of this whole post? The photographer’s album has arrived! Feast your eyes on an American-Desi wedding, readers. Enjoy!

All photos courtesy of Texpertz Photography

An Exercise in Directing

Last weekend, I held a photo shoot with a new, up-and-coming line of elegant evening wear, Soiree. Knowing that this was their first time investing in a model and photo shoot, I brought a ton of fun accessories that I thought might come in handy. We were all beyond excited at how well they worked with the outfits.

In fact, I was given a lot of leeway on what we did with the shoot. I got a chance to really let my creative juices flow. I played with color contrast, shapes and got more into character for each article of clothing I put on. The geometric shapes on one dress felt like something a confident woman with places to go would wear. I felt like Serena Van der Woodsen in the more flowy gowns, a slightly detached “It Girl”. I hope I communicated that feeling in my modeling.

I love being spontaneous and think pictures come out best when they capture those moments, so I tried that. However, I took my spontaneity down a notch, letting the photographer know what I planned to do before I did it so she could find the best angle for the picture I was imagining. We had a lot of fun; like in my shoot with Miss Lavaliere, I was again scaring away cute little animals… Seems to be a trend. This time it was a group of little pigeons that had taken refuge in the fountain near us. lol.

Hair & Makeup by Me
Clothing courtesy of Soiree.

What do you guys think? Yay or nay?

 

The Benefits of #FancyFriday

You all know how much I despise the term “Casual Friday”. I like to think of Fridays as a day to dress your best, since it’s the start of the weekend, and we all know trekking through the last day before the weekend can be a struggle. I like to kick off the weekend in style, hence Fancy Fridays was born. Plus, it’s Jummah, so, we’re kind of expected to do that… 🙂

Well, a couple Fridays ago, I was doing just that. I had found my latest Pinterest inspo and took the time to wake up early, do my hair and my makeup, iron my clothes (I know, I’m proud of myself when I do that too 😉 lol) and I set off to work. I was dressed in black, head to toe in a fancy little jumpsuit ❤ and I walk in to find that my teammates are dressed the same! We looked fantastic, let me tell you.

blogger-image-1294450127

My Pinterest Inspiration

People kept asking if we’d planned out our looks together and one of my co-workers said, “No, we’re dressed like this because we’re going to a client meeting. But Zahra looks like she could be going too…” And then it happened. It was like a light bulb went off in her head. “Actually, Zahra, I think it would be good if you did come!”

Before she’d even posed the question, I had confirmed that yes, I would most certainly love to come. 😀 And just like that, I was part of an intimate, face-to-face meeting with the client. I was learning new things and getting insight into strategies that would affect multiple campaigns to come! So, ladies and gentlemen, THAT is how Fancy Friday got me into my first client meeting.

The End.