Just One Thing: Andrelle’s Natural Skin Care

By Erika, Fashion Expert

As you can see, we’re bringing back “Just One Thing!” It’s been a while, but I am super excited because there are tons of great products and brands that I can’t WAIT to share with you guys.  A quick note about my “Just One Thing” posts – these are NEVER sponsored content.  When the content is sponsored I will, as I have in the past, always let you know.  “Just One Thing” posts are all about just one thing I’m completely in love with.

Now that that is out of the way, I want to tell you guys all about Andrelle’s Natural Skin Care. I got hip to Andrelle’s in 2016 when I was lamenting to a close friend of mine about how my skin completely revolted against me once I hit my 30s. I was having breakouts worse than I did as a teenager and my dermatitis was active and worse than ever.  When combined with my naturally oily skin it was essentially a recipe for disaster.  My friend walked me into her bathroom, showed me a plethora of Andrelle’s products, and suggested that I reach out directly to the owner, Krystal, to explain my issues and get her recommendation for what would work best on my skin.

Oily Skin Package

Fed up with the fact that I was spending loads of money on stuff that wasn’t working, I emailed Krystal and asked for her recommendation.  Within a day she had written me back and recommended I try her oily skin package and pair it with a coffee and sugar scrub.  If I’m honest, I was a little skeptical at first because the products aren’t cheap.  But my friend had given it such rave reviews and I was so through with everything else in my bathroom I gave it a shot.  A couple of weeks later my package arrive and that was the day a believer was born.

About Andrelle’s

You can visit the Andrelle’s website to learn the full story behind the brand, which was founded in 2007 (long before natural lifestyles were a THING) by Krystal Burrell Armstrong who wanted to develop a line of skin care products that worked naturally.  Seven years later – after studying essential oils, flower waters, carrier oils, etc. – the first sample bottle of cleanser was sold. Since that time, Krystal has not looked back and has now grown the business to line of cleansers, moisturizers, toners, scrubs, serums, masks, facial oils, butters, and even a subscription service!

3 Reasons I Love Andrelle’s

1. The customer service.  Listen, there are some big, primetime brands that I love (Clarins and Kiehl’s being chief among them) but I’m almost positive that if I email them for recommendations they aren’t writing me back with specifics based on my skin ailments.  And yes, I can pop into Nordstrom or one of their stores and ask for help – but it’s not coming from the founder/owner.

Coffee + Sugar Scrub

2. Minimal ingredients. Maximum Results.  When they say minimal ingredients they mean it.  Most of the products only include ingredients that can be counted on one hand. One hand.  And it is all stuff that you can read and pronounce.  I can get behind that!

3. It’s a small, woman, black-owned business.  Talk about the trifecta.  As an entrepreneur myself, I love when I have the opportunity to support and promote other entrepreneurs.  Krystal does so many things right that it is easy to throw my support behind her, her business and, most importantly, her products. The team at Andrelle’s didn’t ask for this post – they’re getting props in tons of magazines and large publications (ummm hello, British Vogue!) – but, I love the product so much I had to post about it in 2018’s first “Just One Thing” feature.

Andrelle's

So ladies, and gentlemen, I definitely recommend checking out andrellesbykcj.com and getting your hands on skin care products that are worth their weight in gold! I’ll be back next month with a new “Just One Thing” post.  Wonder what it will be?!

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XOXO, Erika

Just One Thing: Leather and Lace

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

If you follow the YCS Instagram account you will have noticed an influx of leather and lace details in the #ootd and #ootw photos.  Leather and lace details were all over last year’s runways (hence, their appearance in this year’s store inventories).  I, for one, am loving the fact that a) leather isn’t just for motorcycle jackets, shoes, and handbags, and b) lace isn’t just for curtains, doilies, and wedding dresses.  When done right, leather and lace can add a pretty or edgy touch to any outfit.

Lately, I’ve been drawn to clothing with delicate lace touches, like the pretty summer dress (a complete steal I scooped up at Ross) and the black and white striped shirt (from Dress Barn) both pictured below.

A close-up of the pretty lace detail on the side of this shirt.

A close-up of the pretty lace detail on the side of this shirt.

I love how the lace on the shirt is completely unexpected on the side of the top.  Plus, it also does some slimming work for you by working as paneling on the sides.  Even with horizontal stripes it has a slimming effect because it draws the eyes up and down.

Top & Skirt: Dress Barn

Instagram #ootd: June 26, 2013
Top & Skirt: Dress Barn I Shoes: Madeline

And, I love everything about this dress.  But, because it is short and flirty it is reminiscent of summer days beach-side and not your cousin’s wedding or grandma’s curtains.

Bracelet & Rings: Bauble Bar

Bracelet & Rings: Bauble Bar

Instagram #ootd: June 9, 2013 Dress: Ross I Hat: J Crew

Instagram #ootd: June 9, 2013
Dress: Ross I Hat: J Crew

You can also see that I’ve been loving partnering leather details with pretty pieces for a while.  My obsession started with a top with leather bodice detailing that I got last year at BellaNor Boutique.  I love wearing it with a brocade skirt in the winter.  It also looks super fierce with a pair of shorts and a cute blazer for a night out.

#ootd October 16, 2012 Top: BellaNor Boutique I Skirt: Lane Bryant

#ootd October 16, 2012
Top: BellaNor Boutique I Skirt: Lane Bryant

After that, I couldn’t stop myself from buying leather (or faux leather)!  I love the way the leather waistband totally contradicts the delicate dusty rose pleating of the skirt pictured below.  The rose hue and pleats make this skirt feel ultra feminine, but he leather is an unexpected tough touch.  And, lucky for you, this is another super steal now on super sale at Target.

Instagram #ootd: June 4, 2013 Skirt: Mossimo for Target I Shirt: Avenue I Necklace: J Crew

Instagram #ootd: June 4, 2013
Skirt: Mossimo for Target I Shirt & Necklace: Avenue

My faux-leather peplum top has made an appearance or two on instagram and, more recently, over at my blogger-sistergirlfriend Karima’s blog, Skinny Minority.

This outfit is the ultimate exercise in mixing high and low. The top was a STEAL at $20! On Erika (Left):  Top: Fashion to Figure I Pants: Ralph Lauren I Bag: Dress Barn I Shoes: Nine West

This outfit is the ultimate exercise in mixing high and low. The top was a STEAL at $20!
On Erika (Left): Top: Fashion to Figure I Pants: Ralph Lauren I Bag: Dress Barn I Shoes: Nine West I Necklaces: J Crew

And now, I’m totally obsessed with the black sheath dress I debuted at last week’s Philly Fashion Expo launch party.  You can never go wrong with a little black dress.  And, the faux-leather detailing and bright gold zippers mean that you need to pair minimal accessories with the ensemble.  People were stopping me all day and night to compliment the dress.  Bonus: the “scuba” material the dress is made of is super flattering and super comfy!

Dress: Dress Barn

Instagram #ootd: June 27, 2013
Dress: Dress Barn

Whether leather or lace, you can’t go wrong by adding a little bit of either – or both – to your outfit!  How are you guys rocking leather?  Lace?  Love it?  Hate it?  You know the drill!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

A Chic Peek

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Hey guys and dolls! I know we’ve been quiet on the YCS front this week. My apologies. I’ve learned that there is a balance in life and sometimes taking a night to yourself or spending time talking to your besties trumps blogging. I did both of those things this week – and I’m feeling better for it! But now, we’re back to our regularly scheduled program with “A Chic Peek!”

Basically, “A Chic Peek” is a quick peek at all of the things, old and new, I’m currently obsessed with – clothes, music, TV shoes, designers, gadgets – anything really. It’s pretty much a truncated version of “Just One Thing” times 10 “things.” The list will be updated “sort of, kind of” regularly – basically whenever I feel like it. And, of course, I want you guys to add those things you’re currently obsessing over in the comments section below. We want to be up on all of the latest and/or greatest EVERYTHING! Like I’ve said so many times before, “chic isn’t an adjective; it’s a way of life.”

Happy Friday Ya’ll!

Your Chic is Showing,

With Love, Erika

 A Chic Peek

Looks like the DWTS enjoys "The Cosby Show" as much as I do!  Photo: EW Popwatch Blog (www.ew.com/ew)

Looks like the DWTS enjoys “The Cosby Show” as much as I do! Photo: EW Popwatch Blog (www.ew.com/ew)

1. DWTS Hidden Gem of the Week – I’m pretty obsessed with DWTS anyway, but the Hidden Gem of the Week post on the EW PopWatch blog MAKES my Tuesday each week. Readers catch all of the crazy, zany and hilarious moments on the show and provide their own captions and commentary. It’s funny stuff. Especially if you DWTS (and Gordon Gartrell) like I do.

Photo: The Tailored Gentleman (www.thetailoredgentleman.wordpress.com)

2. The Tailored Gentleman – I’m pretty much obsessed with this men’s guide to style. The layout is sleek and clean just like the men and fashions featured on this site. On The Tailored Gentleman, you learn everything from how to sew in a button to how to dress your body type. This site needs to be in every man (and woman’s) favorite bar.

Photo: Scarecrow Boutique (www.scarecrowboutique.com)

3. Faux Leather Be Skater Skirt – I’ve been on mission for a cute leather (real or faux) skirt of a while. I had a very specific vision in my head but didn’t want to pay a ton of money for one – look, I have no idea how long one of these will be cool. How glad was I to find this gem at Fit to Figure for $20?! I’m currently planning about five different outfits around it. And, I plan to do a post about how to wear one!

don't walk

Photo: Instagram – @factsofhealth

4. Dancing it Out Grey’s Anatomy Style – Look, I was dancing it out long before Grey’s Anatomy made it a thing. Ask my Dad. We’ve got home vids for days. In fact, I probably dance it out on a weekly basis. My real obsession is my current Dance it Out Playlist (judge if you must):

  • “Express Yourself” by Labrinth
  • “Not Looking” by Marcus Canty
  • “Are You Gonna be my Girl?” by Jet
  • “Got to Give it Up” by Marvin Gaye
  • “Who Says” by Selena Gomez and The Scene
  • “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters
  • “How You Like me Now?” by The Heavy
  • “Can We Chill?” by NeYo
  • “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven
  • “It’s Gonna Be Me” by N’Sync

Photo: Billboard (www.billboard.com)

5. The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake – Speaking of N’Sync, I am seriously LOVING JT’s latest album. I think I probably listen to it five or six times a week (overkill, I know). I’m especially feeling “Pusher Love Girl,” “That Girl,” and the breakdown at the end of “Strawberry Bubblegum.” If you haven’t copped this album, please do. Now. I’ll wait.

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6. #SaladJam – If you follow YCS on Instagram you will see that I post pics of my salad with the hashtag #saladjam. To be brief, the Salad Jam Challenge, is a commitment to eat a salad every single day. It was started by my dear college friend Nicole and there are HUNDREDS of us out here Salad Jamming. So take the time to make sure your insides are as chic as your outsides and join the jam! (Website: www.beautybreakthrough.org I Instagram: @saladjam)

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Photo: Essie (www.essie.com)

7. “Boom Boom Room” by Essie – No, this is not name of some naughty bar I frequent. It is the seriously fun, spring/summer color I’m rocking on my nails this week! It’s like a party on my fingertips!

Photo: Nneka Saran (http://nnekasaran.com)

8. Nneka Saran Bags – You’ve seen me post pics of the cute Nneka Saran handbags that live in my closet on Instagram and here on the blog. It’s no secret I love her bags! However, the newly introduced Cali Bag (pictured above) is the new love of my life. It’s everything I love right now – bright colors, sequins, and tribal patterns – all rolled up into one chic little package. Between this bag and my Boom Boom Room mani I’d have a “party in my [hands] and I ain’t afraid to show it!” And yes, I totally just sang that in my “I’m Sexy and I Know It” voice. (Website: http://nnekasaran.com I Instagram: @nnekasaran)

epic hotel

Photo: Kimpton Epic Hotel (www.epichotel.com)

9. Chic Hotels like the Kimpton Properties, Surfcomber and Epic, in Miami – My girls and I are planning a getaway to Miami and looking at various hotel properties. Can you blame me for drooling over these seriously luxe accommodations? I didn’t think you could.

soiree

10. Planning my 5th Annual Summer Soiree – For the past five years I have hosted a summer party, the Summer Soiree. Each year I invite friends over for food and drinks centered around a theme (“Latin Nights,” “Dives, Diners and Drive-Ins,” “La Dolce Vita,” etc.). In lieu of food and drinks I ask everyone to bring a donation to support that year’s cause. I’m starting to obsess a bit about what this year’s theme should be and where the donations should go. It’s the fifth year so it has to be good! I think I’ll take it back to the beginning this year and donate the proceeds to the Tripod Foundation Inc. which was also the very first beneficiary of the Summer Soiree!
(Website: www.tripodfoundation.org I Instagram/Twitter: @tripodinc)

Just One Thing: Personal Touches

As you might expect, the older I get the more I care about my home and reflecting my personal style in my house.  Just like my clothing, I like clean lines, simple, elegant touches and a little something that is “me” in each room in my house.  I think that it’s important for anyone’s home to reflect their personality – whether it’s edgy, comfy, sophisticated, eclectic or somewhere in between.  Here are just a few examples of how I’ve added my own personal touches to take make a house a home.

Living Room

I’m not going to lie, one of the first things I did when my niece and nephew moved away (extremely sad face) was trade in the more kid-friendly coffee table books for some breakable vases, pretty orbs and candles (the real kind).  I don’t like my clothes or my home accessories to be too busy.  I find that a little can go a long way in home decor.

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Bathroom

A few years ago, during a snow storm, I decided to repaint my bathroom bright red (Red Hot, to be exact) and redo the palette with black and white accents.  I was thrilled to find these cute monogrammed wash cloths and I chose to accent them with some big red ribbons on my hand towels (not actually for drying your hands!).  I also hung up some calming black and white photography to add to the vibrant, yet sophisticated, atmosphere.

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Bedroom

In my bedroom I wanted to a) feel relaxed, b) see my favorite and most pretty things and c) have easy access to items like books, magazines and notebooks.  I chose a neutral color palette to achieve that relaxed feeling.  To display my favorite and most pretty jewelry I have a jewelry box and jewelry tree on prominent display on my dresser.  And the organized chaos on one of my two night-stands provides me with easy access to the plethora of books I’m reading or one of the many notebooks you can always find me carrying.

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Dining Room, Second Bedroom and Kitchen

If you happen to follow YCS on Instagram or Facebook you know I’m currently in the middle of redoing my dining room.  I’ve added some cool stripes and I’m about 100% sure I’ll be adding chalk paint to one of the walls.  I’ve also got some very cool photos of my family.  The kitchen is TBD and my 2nd bedroom is currently on my list of thirteen in ’13. . . but, I’ll be sure to share pics of all three rooms when they’re complete!

So, what personal touches have you added to make your house feel more like a home?  Are there any items that are completely “you?”  Which room is your favorite?  And what room are you dying to make-over?  And do you have any cool suggestions I can use in my house?  You know what to do!

Your Chic is Showing,

                                 With Love, Erika

Just One Thing: Elie Tahari Shoes

Hey Dolls (and Guys)!! It’s been AGES, I know.  I’m not making excuses, but I will totally clue you in on what’s going on . . .

Since we were last together I’ve scoped the runways of couture fashion week, interviewed, landed and started a new job AND packed up one third of my house in preparation for massive upgrades (and other big changes!).  It’s no reason not to write, I know. But, let’s not focus on what I didn’t do – let’s focus on the fact that I’m BACK (allow me to reintroduce myself)!

It’s no secret that shoes are one of my most favorite things.  I couldn’t even begin to count all the pairs in my closet, but let’s just say the number is embarrassing.  My closet boasts everything from sneaks (mostly to work out in) to pumps, sandals to sling backs (OK, not really, I hate sling backs, but it sounded good), boots to booties.  I’ve got it all.  And, in general, I’m not partial to any one designer.  You’ll find everything from Christian Siriano for Payless to Aldo to Vince Camuto.

However, there is one designer you’ll see over and over in my closet – Elie Tahari.  Tahari’s are the perfect mix of classic and chic, elegant and comfortable.  You will find me in a Tahari heel from sun-up to sun-down (literally, I’ve gone 18 hours in them before!).  You can take them from the office to the bar or out for a night on the town.  They are versatile, sophisticated and fashionable.  Really, they’re about as perfect as a shoe can get.  And don’t worry, if you don’t want to spend Elie Tahari prices check out Tahari by ASL, which licenses the Tahari name, gives the same sleek elegant lines (for clothing and shoes) and costs a fraction of the price.  And yes, I’ve got some Tahari by ASL shoes in my closet as well.

With that said, below are three of my favorite pairs: a red t-strap open-toe sandal with jewel detail, black sequined pumps and tan/black color block round-toe pumps.

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Bloom II

Just One Thing: Illustrations by Veronica Marche

“It’s just one thing that’s got me trippin’!” – Amerie, “One Thing”

You all know, I am a FAN of a cute notecard, hand-written thank you note and beautiful stationary. I am also a fan of customized, unique and personal artwork. Which is why, last year, when I walked in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, I tapped miss Veronica Marche to create customized artwork for my thank-you cards. The illustrations, shown below, perfectly captured my gratitude and the sense of celebration and accomplishment one feels after a) hoofing it 60 miles and b) helping raise money to find a cure for such an awful disease.

3 Day Thank-You Cards

Artwork: VeronicaMarche

3 Day Thank-You Note 2

Artwork: VeronicaMarche

Over on her Red Bubble website, Veronica has a variety of artwork and illustrations for sale. These items can be purchased as notecards, posters, and prints. And, there is something for everyone. From beautiful and unique illustrations, like a personal fave of mine, “Bloom II,” (shown below) to chic and elegant holiday and bridal collections.

Bloom II

“Bloom II” by Veronica Marche

Not much needs to be said about the illustrations because the artwork speaks for itself. Head over to Red Bubble to browse the collection and order your illustrations, prints and notecards today!

Gift Shopping

“Gift Shopping” by Veronica Marche

Your Chic is Showing,

                                 

Just One Thing: Dad’s Vintage(ish) T-Shirts

“It’s just one thing that’s got me trippin’!” – Amerie, “One Thing”

I’ve been a daddy’s girl since the very, very beginning. In fact, if you follow Your Chic is Showing on Instagram, you may have seen the pic I posted of my dad holding me on the day I was born. We’ve had a special bond since day one.

My dad and I are pretty much the same person, which means that it should be no surprise that when I look for the comfiest t-shirts I head straight to his closet to “borrow” them. There is something about a shirt made in the 70’s or 80’s that still feels right 20 or 30 years later. The two shirts below are two of my favorite vintage(ish) t-shirt that I “got” courtesy of my dad! Not only are the shirts super cute and super comfy, but I always feel a bit closer to my dad when I wear them.

Do you have a fave vintage(ish) shirt? Or an article of clothing you love to wear that belongs to one of your parentals? Or grandparentals? Or whomever? You know I want to see pics!!

Your Chic is Showing,

                                     

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Photo credits: CoraStar Productions

Just One Thing: A Statement Ring

“It’s just one thing that got me trippin’!” – Amerie, “Just One Thing”

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I am a firm believer that you don’t need much to make an outfit speak for itself. The old adage holds true; the devil is in the details. Which is why I believe that everyone woman should have a statement ring or two or ten in her jewelry box.

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A statement ring is a simple way to make a big statement about who you are. Features in this post are three of my favorites. The first, is a snake ring from Aldo Accessories (www.aldo.com) that I’ve had for almost five years!! Without fail, every time I wear it someone asks me about it or compliments it. That is a lot of compliments over five years.

The second ring is a newer purchase from H&M (www.hm.com) which I love. When I saw this ring, I immediately knew it was for me. The lady like color combined with the strong gold setting was the perfect statement about who I am: strong and delicate (but mostly strong) all at the same time.

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The final ring is a piece I picked up from H&M in London. It’s very simple and classic but makes a bold statement at the same time. When I wear this ring I find that I don’t need a ton of other jewelry. The ring carries the load all by itself.

So, do you have a favorite statement ring that you wear? You know I want to see it!!

Your Chic is Showing,

Just One Thing: Gartner Studios Invitations

“It’s just one thing that got me trippin’!” – Amerie, “Just One Thing”

Personally, I love sending (and receiving) printed invitations to parties and events. Yes, Evite is cool and Paperless Post is even better, but, there is something about opening up an envelope with an invitation that makes me (and hopefully others) feel special.

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I send my fair share of Evite and Paperless Post invitations. Let’s be real, it surely is fast and convenient. However, for my annual summer soirée I always send out printed invitations. People often believe that I have the invitations professionally printed. And while that would be nice, I’d rather spend that money on shoes. Each year, I purchase an invitation kit and print my invitations at home.

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One of my favorite brands for invitations is Gartner Studios. They offer a variety of sizes, counts and designs. They also offer online templates for layout and wording for your invitation. Using Gartner Studios’ templates is so simple it’s positively sinful. Gartner Studios provides quality paper stock and has yet to disappoint me. The best part? Complete invitation kits are reasonably priced ($19.99 and up)!

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The next time you throw an event consider taking a little extra time and mailing invitations. And make sure you add me to the guest list 😉

Your Chic is Showing,

Just One Thing: Hat Head

“It’s just one thing that got me trippin'” – Amerie, “Just One Thing”

I’ve been known to say that each day is like a game of dress-up and it is my most favorite game. And it’s true. Every morning when I wake I decide which version of myself I want to be. Not on some split personality type stuff. But just on some “am I serious, smart, fun-loving, chic, etc.” type stuff.

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I have found that one of the easiest ways to transform myself is by wearing hats. If you ever see my closets (yes, plural) you will find them filled with a multitude of hats – knit berets, fascinators, fedoras, Panamas, baseball caps, sun hats, etc. You get the picture (I’m feeling a little Bubba from Forrest Gump-ish).

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I’ve been told that I have the face an head for hats – which may or may not be true – however, I believe most, if not all, of us can rock a hat. It is a matter of finding the right shape for your face. Round face? Try a sun hat or something else with a wide brim. More narrow? Grab a fascinator or cute fedora. Heart shaped? Well, you’re like me and can rock it all.

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If you haven’t taken a minute to add a hat or two, or five, to your wardrobe now is the time to do so! And, between us, check the men’s section. They always have better hats at a more reasonable price.

What are you waiting for? Give hats a shot!

Your Chic is Showing,