Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer Work Layers


During one of the first warm spring days, I started thinking about good summer work outfits. Summer in DC can be really muggy. And when you're taking the metro to work (like I do) it takes everything not to walk into work drenching.

So dressing in layers is important for summers here because it's hot outside but then freezing in the office. For work I like sticking to neutrals - they're conservative just enough - and layering different shades of neutrals on top of each other gives a sophisticated look. I also like dressing in ways that make it easy to transition from day to night for after-work dinners in the city.

What are some of your tips for dressing in the summer?

Thanks for reading!

What I'm wearing
Dress: H&M
Blazer: Zara
Booties: Zara
Sunglasses: David Yurman 
Watch: Michael Kors 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Work Shoes

With spring finally here, I've been searching for the perfect work shoes to replace my winter flat boots. For work, I stick to flats because comfort is most important when I'm working long days! The difficult thing though was finding a flat shoe that was still stylish. Rounded toe just isn't me, so I opted for pointy-toe styles that go with midi-length skirts and tapered, ankle pants. I found a few pairs this weekend that I just loved - they're this season's popular D'Orsay style (with the cut-out sides) and come in a great versatile black and neutral. Which one is your favorite?

And what's your go-to footwear for work?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Style Matrix Everyday Makeup Routine

Hi there!

I was in desperate need of a makeup update. So I went on the hunt for the perfect powder illuminizer, a deep bronzer, a complementary blush, and the right eyeshadow palette.

The best powder illuminizer I found was hands-down MAC's Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle. I wanted that dewy, glowing look without the messiness of liquid highlighter or the stickiness of a cream one. I like how powder gives more even coverage, but I couldn't find a powder with a strong effect. Then I came across this MAC one and it was like the heavens parted.

After I picked up the illuminizer, I picked up a bronzer and blush from MAC to complete the look. The bronzer was a great shade, I just wish it was a little darker. The blush is a really pretty pink-violet - I wanted one that was the closes shade to my natural lip color. 


What I used: 

1. MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer - I don't like wearing foundation on normal days because I think it's too heavy. I usually just put concealer on underneath my eyes.

2. MAC Veluxe Brow Liner - A great brow liner for precision filling and a brush on the other end you can use to soften the lines.

3. MAC Bronzer - It was a toss-up between this and Nars Bronzer in Casino. I went with MAC because it was a little more subtle.

4. Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette - I love this palette for the matte shades and black shadow. On days I want a little more of an eyeliner look, I simply take a smudge brush and use the black shadow to create some smokey lines.

5. MAC Powder Blush in Breath of Plum - I once read that the best way to find the right shade of blush is to go with one that is the same color as your natural lips. It's mother nature's way of telling you what's your perfect color.

6. CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Clear Mascara - I actually can't stand mascara. I don't like how it makes my eyelashes feel stiff and it's even worse when it flakes all over the place. The worst is the pain of having to wash it off each night. So my alternative is this clear mascara. It doesn't give the same volume or length as regular mascara, but for everyday it gives a little definition.

7. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle - <insert trumpet sound here> This is it baby. The nicest illuminizer. I spent months looking for the perfect one! This one's great because not only can you use it to highlight your cheekbones, you can use it to brighten up the space beneath your brow bone, the inner corners of your eyes, and your cupid's bow (the space right above the center of your lips).

8. Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo - I don't wash my hair every day. It's too much hassle and I find washing it too often actually dries it out while styling damages my hair more. So on days I haven't washed and styled, I use this dry shampoo to freshen up my locks and add some volume to my roots.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I'd love to share my product experiences with you!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Look: The Versatile Camo Jacket


It's been a while since I posted a personal style feature... actually this is my first since our little one's arrival!

With spring finally here, I've been thinking about dressing in layers. One of my favorite pieces for in-between weather is a camo jacket. It goes with so much and the best part is you can wear it dressed up or down. I chose to wear it here slightly dressed up, with high-waisted black pencil pants and pointy-toed suede mules.  

I also recently picked up a few new accessories. I'm really excited about this purse I got from Reece Hudson. I love the geometric cut-out pattern and the awesome metallic bronze leather. It's a versatile neutral so it goes with practically everything, and the small size is perfect to carry when I have baby and her large diaper bag with me.

The sunglasses are from Dita - I just love the updated dramatic cat-eye shape.

I'm sure with this gorgeous weather you're also looking forward to breaking out some of those pieces that've been stashed away in your closet for too long! What are some of your favorite spring items?

Hope you're enjoying the weather and thanks for reading!


What I'm Wearing
Pants: Zara
T-Shirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Banana Republic
Jacket: Forever 21
Watch: Michael Kors
Purse: Reece Hudson (similar here)
Sunglasses: Dita (similar here)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Leather Jackets

With spring around the corner, it's just the time for light, stylish jackets. Leather jackets are a great choice because there's nothing that adds a bit of edge and style the way a leather jacket does. And I've been looking for the perfect leather jacket for ages!

This jacket from Roberto Cavalli is so great because of its textured, patterned details. Paired with a glamorous skirt or maxi dress, the result is that perfect edgy/soft look. 

And there's nothing cooler than a leather jacket worn over a slouchy white tee.

I finally settled on this double-zipper jacket from June, available (and on sale!) here:

I've already worn this jacket a few times (you might remember from past posts here and here.)

Stay tuned for more posts featuring this piece!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In Her Shoes Again

During pregnancy - and especially the last few weeks - my feet were SO swollen, the only shoes that fit were sneakers. I was joking with a friend about how big my feet had gotten and texted her a pic from The Nutty Professor. She didn't get it though and thought I needed to get to the hospital pronto.

NOT my feet:

But thank goodness my feet have (somewhat) come back to their normal size. I can wear my shoes again! Which ones do you think look better with this outfit?

Monday, February 24, 2014

New frames from Dita

Earlier I told you I was on the hunt for the perfect shades - something that would go with most outfits, casual or dressed up. I think I found them in this pair from Dita!

If you haven't already, you can follow The Style Matrix on Instagram @

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wallet Search

My wallet is a complete mess right now - I'm talking overstuffed with receipts, ripping at the seams mess. So I'm looking for a new one, and here are some styles I really like.

Clockwise from top: Alexander Wang, Hermes, Gareth Pugh

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mara Hoffman, Ethnic-Inspired Fashion Designer

One of the reasons I started this blog (a long, long time ago) was to follow modern fashions inspired by indigenous styles from around the globe.

Rajastani woman

A contemporary designer who's made this style her signature is Mara Hoffman. From Fall 2014:

These were my favorite looks from her last season that just showed at NYFW:

I'm not sure what it is I like so much about global indigenous styles. I love the vivid colors and the long, feminine silhouettes. I love the gold accents and geometric shapes. But most of all I think, I love the attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into all the hand-embroidery and embellishments. There's something about knowing someone's time and talent went into crafting a piece that makes it special. And I appreciate designers who are able to take those traditional styles and make them contemporary and accessible to everyone.


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