Archive for August, 2013
It’s mid-August and we’re well on our way to slightly cooler evenings and shorter days. We’ll be sad to see the warm sunshine go, but we are pretty excited for the arrival of the biggest season for fashion of the year. For this reason, we’ve collected 7 early fall outfit ideas to inspire you. Click through the links to take a look. Pay close attention, because you’ll see most of them are actually reusing pieces from summer!
This summer, the trend has been loose-fitting blouses with khaki or denim short. Why not swap out the shorts for full-length jeans in the fall? A long sleeved silk blouse keeps the outfit feminine and polished – perfect for late August and early September. Add an oversized statement bag, and you’re set!
Leave it to Chiara of the Blonde Salad to appear on just about every one of our lists! Take a peek at this incredible fall look. We love how she’s paired a hot coral-orange suede moto jacket with a soft, embellished sweater and zippered pocket pants. To cap off the look and keep her hair smoothed while riding her scooter, she’s chosen a chunky knit black hat. Have you guessed how much we love layering yet? We are based in Canada, after all!
Nina Dobrev knows about changing climates – from living in Atlanta during filming and her regular visits to LA to her frequent stops in NYC and trips home to Canada. In this photo she’s matched a peacock print maxi dress with a braided leather belt and cropped, loose sweater.
Although our focus is almost always on Cara Loren’s perfect hair, this outfit puts up quite a fight to be the main attraction. She’s paired silk palazzo pants with a loose white t-shirt, black zip-up jacket, and oversize Michael Kors bag. While she’s opted for sandals, we’d recommend throwing on some point toe closed-heel booties or heels to make this autumn appropriate.
There are a few things going on in this outfit that catch our eye. Firstly, she’s reused a summer short/jacket set by pairing it with opaque black tights. To avoid creating a too-dark look, she’s put on a light heathered grey t-shirt and bright gold necklace. Whether you choose to finish off the outfit with heels, booties or half-high flat boots – the choice is up to you and you’ll look equally put-together.
The easiest way to get fall-ready? Swap out your favorite summer blouse for a 3/4 length chunky knit sweater. The destroyed denim jeans in a light wash in this outfit keep it fit for August, the statement necklace and bag add color, but the sweater will keep you toasty warm when a breeze heads your way.
As we mentioned in one of our previous posts, a maxi skirt is one incredibly versatile item. Pair your favorite maxi skirt with closed-toe shoes and a leather jacket and you’ll be ready for chilly temperatures. You’ll look polished, but most importantly comfortable!
Which early fall outfit idea is your favorite? Let us know in a comment or tweet us at @QCStyleAcademy!
Rejection – it’s a necessary evil that every writer must experience. Whether you’re an aspiring writer or a seasoned veteran, the truth is that in your lifetime you’ll receive miles more rejection letters than you will acceptance letters. I’ve heard it said that for every manuscript that gets accepted, a good twenty get tossed. Some rejection letters are constructive. The odd few can be just downright hurtful. Regardless of how many times, or why, your manuscript gets rejected, here are some tips to help you get through it.
1. Be persistent
Did you know that the first Harry Potter book was rejected 14 times before finally being published? In fact, many now famous authors went through years of rejection, but aren’t we all glad they kept at it? What eventually set them apart was that they didn’t give up. One rejection letter is not a reason to give up on a manuscript, and it’s certainly no reason to give up on being a writer! Get yourself into a cycle where as soon as you get a rejection letter, you send the manuscript back out to a different publisher.
2. Don’t take it personally
It’s very difficult not to take it personally, but you have to believe that it is not about you. Most editors are looking through dozens of manuscripts a day, but only have the space or budget to publish a very small percentage of what they receive. Because of this, they’re looking for reasons not to publish your story – they’ve got to whittle down that pile somehow! This means that most of the time, your story is being rejected for very insignificant reasons, not because of the quality of your writing.
3. Learn from your mistakes
Sometimes an editor will give you specific instructions on how you can improve your manuscript. Take these into consideration before putting your story back into circulation, and make the changes if you agree with them. Be open to their suggestions, and don’t let your pride get in the way. At the end of the day, editors are looking for work they know they can sell – they’re the best people to be critiquing your work.
4. Rejection-proof your manuscript
Before you send in your manuscript, make sure you are giving the editors as few reasons as possible to reject it. If you’re submitting to a magazine or journal, read back-issues to make sure you’re bringing something new and fresh – most magazines won’t print more than one story about the same topic within a couple of years. While you’re flipping through old issues, you’ll also get to know its tone. This will help you better determine whether your writing will be a good fit. Don’t send in a romance story to a publisher that mostly prints horror!
Another way to rejection-proof your manuscript is to read the submission guidelines very carefully. They will specify how many pages they’ll accept, the proper way to format (font size, margins, etc), and any other particulars that might seem insignificant to you, but are a really great way to whittle down that pile of hopeful manuscripts we were discussing earlier.
We’d love to hear your stories about bad rejection letters. Share them in a comment below!
Today, we’d like to share yet another story of student success. Meet wedding planner Athena DeVonne. She took a chance on a career change that would give her more time with her young children, as well as more financial freedom. She chose QC’s Wedding Planning course to help take her there, and it paid off. Read her inspiring story below.
Company Name: Coalesce Creations Wedding Designs
Description: “Making your memories grand on a modest plan.” Coalesce Creations Wedding Designs understands that your day should be a reflection of you. Your goals paired with our experience will create an endless memory. Through listening, executed detail and unique custom design … your wedding will always be remembered as the coalesced expression of two hearts into one love.
Region: Dallas, Texas
What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner?
I didn’t start the way most wedding planners started. I didn’t catch the planning bug after helping a friend or family member or from planning of my own wedding. It literally started with a simple conversation. I needed change.
I am a single mother of two precious daughters, Alaithia (5) and Aarionna (4). Alaithia has a condition called Bilateral Perisylvian Polymicrogyria. In short it means she is totally dependent on me. She currently cannot speak, crawl, or walk. As you can imagine, a special needs child grows such a love in you as a parent. I grew tired of missing her therapies, school functions and opportunities for special programs due to having to clock into a full-time job. I was also tired of trying to balance my younger daughter Aarionna’s activities, which were often held back because of her sister’s condition.
One afternoon I expressed these feelings to my significant other and stated I need more time, flexibility and financial freedom to be there for my daughters. We discussed my talents, skills and abilities and narrowed it down to something in social networking, design, events or public speaking. We somehow brought up weddings, and I was smiling the whole time we were talking about it. It was he who suggested I research being a wedding planner. It would allow me the chance to work from home, schedule my own hours and expand my passion for design. It entails lots of networking, sales, negotiating, talking, creativity and social media to stay on top of trends. So I jumped on the internet, found QC Event School and … well here I am now.
I find joy in the challenge of turning a client’s ideas or dreams into a visual reality. The celebration of love is special and delicate. I want to enhance and tell the stories of couples everywhere. I have a strong passion for creating more then one function out of anything, pushing my creativity outside the box and making a new blueprint. My goal is to be sure every bride who wants a wedding has one, no matter the size of the budget. Creativity and strong resources solve all obstacles.
What are some highlights of your career so far?
Wow, I have been blessed! I just launched Coalesce Creations Wedding Designs January 15, 2013. Since that date we have:
– Contracted seven brides (all who signed during the initial consultation)
– Become the preferred wedding planner to two local wedding venues (Frisco Heritage Center & Aristide Event and Conference Center)
– Become the exclusive wedding coordinator and designer to The Gallery Event Room
– Built a partnership with esthetician Lorina Coleman of More Than Makeup. Together, we created a bridal package for my clients including skin care, body massage and the wedding day look
– Built a partnership with Kevin Gaddis Jr. of Epic Event Photo Booths. He provides unlimited photo booth shots for my wedding couples at an awesome special price
– Been interviewed by wedding planner trainer Debbie Quain of Weddings for A Living. I am one of her Wedding Business Guide members. It was great to be asked to share our story. This was our first press release (in just 6 months of launching)
– Been invited to be the first guest speaker on Sophisticated Events by Shatasha’s blog, The Trendy Bride’s Lounge
Most currently I am working with another wedding planner to create a bridal magazine. (Visit my website for the launch details) I am also publishing a how-to book for D.I.Y brides to help with the process of planning your own wedding. Wish me luck!
How did your course prepare you for working in the field?
Oh my goodness, how could I have my career or success without this course? The course has enabled me to go into a consultation with a prospective bride, speak confidently and express knowledge. With the experience I gained from the assignments and conversations with my tutors I can currently say I have signed with every bride I have met with. The course has prepared me to be highly organized, aware, and helped me find my own identity in this industry.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?
My advice would be start and don’t wait to have it all together. Remember, the word “impossible” spells out “I’m possible!” Go into your business with a business mindset. My mother always says, “Treat a business as a hobby and you will receive hobby results. Treat a business as a business and you will receive business results.” Don’t miss the opportunities presented to you just because you don’t have everything. Confidence and self-trust are vital, so get going! Experience is just as powerful as knowledge … so grow both!
Athena’s portrait by Kevin Gaddis Jr. Photography
Photos 1-3 by Dee Portilla Photography
Photos 4-5 by Ezell Photography
Summer is a time for lighter clothes, sunglasses, long days under the sun and – of course – a change of fragrance. It’s time to tuck away your spicy, woodsy winter perfume and reach for something a little lighter and playful. That’s why we’re sharing our picks for the perfect summer perfume. We’ve polled the beauty gurus of our head office and have narrowed it down to the following five picks. Take a look and see if yours is on it!
1. Marc Jacobs DOT
Marc Jacobs DOT is as energetic-smelling as its packaging. It looks like a lady bug and smells upbeat, lively, and full of fun. With notes of red berries, dragonfruit, honeysuckle, jasmine, coconut water, orange blossom, vanilla, driftwood and musk – this perfume is a fabulous choice for anyone seeking a chic, energetic and upbeat mood.
2. Stella Summer
Stella McCartney brings you Stella Summer, a simple perfume that’s fresh and warm. Inspired by warm, summery days, Stella Summer offers up notes of frosted lemon, green apple, dades rose, Bulgarian rose, peony, and amber accord. It’s the perfect choice for anyone looking to smell like a summer-fresh bouquet of roses.
Poppy by Coach is a youthful and flirty fragrance. It’s full of cucumber flower petals, mandarin, baby freesia buds, jasmine, pink water lily, southern gardenia, rose petals, creme brulee accord, cedarwood, bleached sandalwood, vanilla, and whipper marshmallow. It’s a light, fruity-meets-floral perfume for both the young and young at heart.
Prada Candy is a sophisticated yet carefree perfume. We love its simple notes of caramel, musk, vanilla and benjoin and think it’s the perfect fragrance for both at-work and on a night out. Plus, the hot pink and gold bottle makes for a nice addition to any vanity or dresser!
5. La Vie Est Belle
La Vie Est Belle by Lancome is described as a free, happy and deep fragrance. The description, to us, sounds a little contradictory – but once you smell it, you get it. The fragrance is simple with 3 main notes – iris, patchouli and gourmand. It’s juicy and fruity without being too sweet, and great for women of all ages.
So, was your summer perfume on our list? If not, what is it? Let us know in a comment!
Sure, Pinterest and Google can be incredibly helpful in finding decorating inspiration – but for us, nothing quite beats a good old fashioned magazine. In this post, we’ll list off our top picks for best decorating magazines for the home. Know of one that’s missing? Please leave it in a comment so we can add it to our list. We hope this helps out both the professional decorator and the DIYer out there!
1. Better Homes and Gardens
Better Homes and Gardens doesn’t stop at just homes and gardens. Rather, it covers everything from decorating and hosting to crafts, cooking and remodeling. With some of the most beautiful rooms we’ve ever seen, Better Homes and Gardens is a favorite among the office staff here at QC.
2. Traditional Home
Traditional Home magazine’s contents are just what its name promises – pages full of traditional and traditional-meets-contemporary design inspiration. The magazine also offers fresh entertaining, hosting, collecting, and travel ideas.
3. Martha Stewart Living
Martha Stewart Living is your one-stop-shop for all things decorating, entertaining, and food. If Martha Stewart does it, you’ll find it in this magazine. We especially like this one for around the holidays – no one quite does a party like Martha Stewart herself!
4. House Beautiful
House Beautiful is a fresh and modern take on decorating inspiration. With inspiration for just about any decor preference, there’s something for everyone in this magazine. We especially like this magazine for its inclusion of accessible DIY projects.
5. Elle Decor
From the same team that brings you the hottest in beauty and fashion, Elle Decor offers you countless ways to spread style all throughout your home. Elle Decor is an office favorite for its many celebrity home profiles. Who doesn’t love imagining what you’d do with an endless decorating budget?
6. Architectural Digest
While any decor enthusiast will likely love Architectural Digest‘s beautiful photos, it’s a more “expert” choice on our list. Warning: reading this magazine may cause you to increase your decor budget by about 1000% – possibly more!
7. Country Living
Country Living magazine is a modern take on country style. Whether you’re an urban dweller looking to bring a little country comfort into your home, or you live on a 5,000 sq ft ranch – there’s something for you in the pages of this one. It’s a top pick for us because of its inclusion of more affordable furniture options. Everyone enjoys a bargain now and again!
8. Country Sampler
Country Sampler is a little more casual and a little more true-country than Country Living (above). If you’re a true Southerner or wish you had grown up on a farm, this magazine will let you bring that fantasy into your home – with plenty of plaid, stripes, and rooster motifs to boot.
9. House & Home
House & Home magazine offers just as much DIY advice as it does decor inspiration. We particularly enjoy reading helpful tips from their many design insiders – from celebrity home stylists to HGTV greats.
10. Create & Decorate
Create & Decorate is a DIY crafter’s paradise – trust us. If you can’t pass up an opportunity to refinish, rewash, or repurpose a piece of furniture, we recommend you subscribe to this one.
What do you think of our list? What are we missing? Let us know in a comment or submit your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Just because the temperature will soon be dipping doesn’t mean you have to put away all your summer clothes just yet! Here at QC, we’re all about getting the most out of every purchase and creating the most versatile wardrobe possible. So, listen up! We’re about to give you some tips on how to wear your summer clothes into fall.
1. Wear it with Tights
If you have a favorite pair of shorts, a skirt, or a dress that you’re not quite ready to push to the back of the closet – wear it with tights. To avoid looking frumpy, opt for tights that aren’t too thick and stick to neutral black or dark grey. To make it fall-ready, grab your favorite pair of booties or calf-high boots. You’re ready to hit the autumn streets!
2. Bring On the Maxi Skirt!
The glorious thing about a maxi skirt? Well, it’s floor-length of course. This means your legs will remain sheltered from the wind and environment, even as the weather dips. Pair your favorite maxi skirt with a cropped chunky sweater or blazer to make it cool-weather appropriate. If it’s an extra chilly day, throw on a pair of tights. No one will know the difference anyways!
3. Slip on a Moto Jacket
There’s nearly nothing a motorcycle jacket can’t do. Pair a fall moto jacket in black leather with your go-to sundress or maxi dress to add warmth and dimension to your outfit. If you’ve got a chill, grab an infinity scarf and wrap it around your neck for a cozy yet polished outfit.
4. Scarves, Scarves and More Scarves
Even in the heat of summer, there’s at least one person in our office here at QC head quarters wearing a scarf. We love them, what can we say?! When the temperature starts to cool, stock up on interesting scarves – preferably a few you can wrap around a couple of times to create some bulk and drama. Suddenly, a sleeveless top becomes a cowl neck fit for fall. A long-sleeved t-shirt becomes just that much warmer.
What do you think of our style tips? Let us know what you’re not ready to part with – for us, it’s definitely our summer shorts!
The right smokey eye can take an outfit from 0 to 60 and make a woman feel like a million bucks. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite everyday smokey eye makeup applications into one post! Plus, check out Cinthia’s YouTube tutorial on how to get the perfect everyday smokey eye at the very end. Her easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions are sure to have you mastering the everyday smokey eye makeup in a pinch.
This first smokey eye, from Kayla A’s Beautylish, is what comes to mind when we think bronze smokey eye. We like the defined brows, use of warm copper and gold, and the slight winged liner. Her eyes pop and she kept the rest of her makeup neutral to let that happen. We’re not sure if she’s wearing false lashes or not, but we’d say they’re a great idea for a night out but probably too much for daytime wear. Then again, it all depends on personal preference!
This plum and black smokey eye from Diana C’s Beautylish is absolutely stunning. We’d love to see this look on someone with green or blue eyes because we think it would “pop” just that much more! Our only recommendation would be to extend the outer corner color a little bit further so you can see a bit more of the makeup when the eye is fully open. We’d recommend pairing an eye like this with a natural peach-colored blush and a nude lipstick or gloss. Simply beautiful!
This darker smokey eye from Permiasorella’s Beautylish features a pop of turquoise blue in the center and a whole lot of dark, reddish brown. Normally we’re not a huge fan of the combination but in this case, it really works! Her hazel eyes glow against the shades she chose and her lashes are not overpowering. We’d love to see this eye paired with a shade like MAC Brave to really bring out the drama.
This glittery blue smokey eye from Maquillateconaurora G’s Beautylish is perfect for a night out. If you wanted to, you could probably get away with wearing the lighter blue shade during the day and then blending in the darker blue and under eye liner once you’ve left the office to catch up with friends for dinner or drinks. We always love a perfectly curled lash and think this look exemplifies that. The brow appears to be a little too filled in, but that’s easily fixed by taking a bit off with a cotton pad and just going a little lighter with a brow pencil or powder the next time around.
We think these are probably our favorite eyebrows of the bunch, from Ritz O’s Beautylish. They’re filled in, but lightly and look natural. The smokey eye uses a mix of minty cream and warm brown and would complement many different skin tones easily. We’d recommend keeping the lip simple with a pinkish nude and going easy on the blush. Let the eyes have all the attention!
Check out Cinthia’s tutorial for QC Makeup Academy’s YouTube channel below. If you decide to try your own smokey eye, please let us know! We’d love to know if we inspired you. 🙂
Please note the contest mentioned in the video is now closed.
Here’s a question I hear from my clients all the time: “I lead a busy life. Is there a trick that can have me looking great in just a few minutes?” Let’s face it – even the biggest stars do not have a makeup artist living in their house. They love what we do for them, but they want a fast way to feel great on the days we are not there. Below you will find quick steps for a natural-looking glow that I recommend to all my clients!
Step 1: Foundation
Immediately after applying moisturizer, work one pump of a liquid foundation into the skin. Use a brush or your fingers to blend it. This little touch will even out the skin in an effortless, natural way. (If you have oily skin, use powder instead.)
Step 2: Concealer
Using your pinky or a brush, apply a light touch of concealer under the eye. Apply it only where needed. To find that spot, tilt your head forward when you look into the mirror. A half-moon of darkness will leap right out. That is what you conceal. Done properly, this is the step that will give you the well-rested look.
Step 3: Powder
Set your foundation and concealer with a mica or silica based setting powder like the ones by Make Up For Ever or Cover FX. These look the most natural and will not change color through the day like talc based ones will. (If you used powder foundation, use this powder only on the concealer.)
Step 4: Eyeliner
Apply a dark brown liner to the upper lash line. Use a brush or cotton swab to smudge the color into the lash line for a really natural liner look. This small step makes the eyes pop!
Step 5: Highlight
It is the features that make this natural face so magical, so we need to make the right areas pop. With a brush, sweep a touch of highlighter across the high point of the cheek bones, along the brow bone and on the upper lid above the tear duct.
Step 6: Mascara
A touch of black mascara on the top lashes will make the eyes the focal point.
Step 7: Blush
For an effortless glow, add a little outdoorsy color to the face with a peachy-pink blush. When swept over the apples of the cheek, a fluffy brush will leave the perfect amount of color.
Step 8: Lips
A sheer, pink gloss adds freshness to the lips and face.
This natural look can be done in 2 to 5 minutes and will have any of your clients ready to face the world when you can’t be there!
Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.