In honor of this past weekend’s wedding of Zara Phillips & Mike Tindall, I thought it would be fun to do a post on the latest in Royal Wedding manicures. Although technically Zara & Mike’s wedding was not considered to be a Royal Wedding, she still comes from a royal bloodline and so we’re going to pretend that it was :)
Duchess Kate’s manicure on her big day sent Essie’s Allure and – in the UK (luckies!) – Bourjois’ No. 28 Rose Lounge flying off the shelves! According to our friends at Fashionetc.com, Kate was treated to a “Signature Manicure” by the Duchess of Cornwall’s favorite nail stylist, Marina Sandoval at Jo Hansford Salon. Marina collaborated with Kate for an “off-white and bridal” look in a combination of these two nail colors:
Surprisingly, it was a little difficult to find a really great image of Kate’s wedding manicure, but here’s our best effort courtesy of Flare.com:
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research on how Kate’s style has evolved over the past several years. She’s gone from a college girl to career woman to the upper echlon of class, style and decorum.
Me? I’m still suck in the career woman phase. Sigh. In the States — particularly Austin, Texas — you can pretty much get away with any type of dress unless you work for the government or finance. For those guys, that means men must have their Good ‘ol Boys cowboy boots to go with their suits and women must have conservative powersuits, pantyhose and close-toed heels. No peep-toe action for these ladies!
But for everyone else, your work style is an extension of your professional brand. And using Kate as my fashion muse gives off the feeling of, “I come up with awesome ideas and concepts for work that are fit for royalty. RESPECT.” So here’s a look at what inspired me this week:
It’s official! The infamous wedding gown Catherine wore on April 29th is to be displayed publicly. The dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen is to be the main draw for the annual summer opening of Buckingham Palace for public tours. The Cartier tiara borrowed from the Queen for the occasion will also be on display, along with the size 8 custom made Sarah Burton satin shoes Kate wore to become the Duchess of Cambridge.
If only I was going to be in London before October 3rd when the palace closes for the season! My inner designer heart would melt to see the intricacy of the gown in person and watch the video about the creation of the gown featuring Sarah Burton herself. *Sigh*
Remember that fab Reiss dress the Duchess wore to meet with the Obamas back in May? Well I was recently walking around in my new Upper West Side hood and came across none other than a Reiss store! Imagine my excitement when I saw a $300 look alike to the dress Kate wore in the window (see dress to the far left). Sorry my picture phone and the natural light bleached out the pic a bit, but trust me the dress is just as chic.
I looked online and it appears that the dress is sold out on the website, but at least this gives you another option. Man I love living in NYC! It’s beyond awesome to have all of these designers/stores at my fingertips! (Not to mention dangerous for my bank account.)
If by any chance you fell in love with Catherine’s dress, call the Reiss store off of West 69th and Columbus. As of today they have the dress in stock.
I think it’s safe to say that Kate has hit the jack pot (as it were) when it comes to inheriting family jewels. As evidenced by the gorgeous Canadian maple leaf brooch she wore throughout the Royal Tour, as well as the BAFTA earrings I wrote about in an earlier post, I am personally finding it fascinating to see royal heirloom jewelry on the new generation of British Royals. Not only does she carry them off incredibly well, but her natural style and glamour breath new life into each piece. (Side note: I’m of the opinion that the Duchess could wear a potato sack and her hair in a top knot bun, and still knock your socks off.) Below are pictures of both Queen Elizabeth and Duchess Kate wearing the brooch (and RED!) – lovely!
The truly special thing about heirloom jewelry is that it is usually passed (or borrowed) amongst female family members. I have several friends whose engagement or wedding ring – or even the jewelry they wear on their wedding day – is a gift from their grandmother, mother or mother-in-law, etc. Right before I was about to get married, my grandmother gifted me with my great-grandmother’s wedding ring (those diamonds are closing in on a century!). For our two-year anniversary, my husband took the diamonds from that band along with tiny diamonds from a ring my parents gave me created a new ring that is not only beautiful, but also just plain priceless!
So what is it about the Duchess of Cambridge that inspires us so? It’s not like Kate’s a former Hollywood actress like Grace Kelly or of royal descent like her late mother-in-law Princess Diana. She’s an athletic, college educated girl that comes from a working class family that earned their way up. (Okay, so Kate is related to Jane Austen, but still…)
But maybe that’s what makes us love her. She’s, well, normal.
From the moment Kate Middleton stepped into the limelight she has drawn the attention of women of all ages because we can identify with her. She was seen being hounded by the paparazzi in cute sundresses and flats while getting into her Volkswagen Golf. This easily could have been me. I wear sundresses and flats and I certainly didn’t have a fancy car while I was in college (1995 Mercury Sable with blue interior, holler!). Her hair is even straight and brown like mine. I mean, we could be twins, except for that I would starve to death before I could ever be a size 2!
Over in the Twittersphere, when we’re not talking with boys about why wearing pantyhose is a miserable experience (that was an interesting debate, which continued on in the comments section of our pantyhose blog post), we’re also chatting with our fellow Kate bloggers about a variety of topics. This week, it was on what type of makeup we prefer.
I’ve actually had a few people ask me about what eyeshadow I use on the blog and on Facebook, so I figure I might as well do a post on it, because like Kate, I prefer a more natural look.
On the few occasions I do wear makeup (my eyelashes are pretty dark and my complexion pretty even, so when I’m at work, I usually go without unless I have an important meeting), I prefer Bare Minerals for my foundation and eye shadow. The stuff lasts forever, and as long as you are washing your brushes once a week, the powder goes on smooth and flawless without looking caked on. I think where people get frustrated and stop using the stuff is when it starts to look too thick and not natural (that’s probably happening because you’re using too much AND not regularly washing the brushes). Simply washing your brushes with shampoo and letting them dry does the trick and will actually help your complexion. (Here is a great post from About.com on how to wash your brushes and why washing your brushes is important.)
But I’m an equal opportunity makeup brand person. When I was in high school and college, I almost exclusively wore Clinique (then MAC) because that’s what everyone else was using at the time. But over the years, I’ve learned to wear what looks best on my skin and not what brand is the most popular at the time. Hundreds of dollars later, I think I’ve finally figured out the perfect mix (for me) to achieve a natural look: