All posts by Amy Scalia

The Mane Event

hair trendsFive short years ago, I was one hot mess. I had just graduated from college, so I was still used to $1 beers, all you can eat Skyline on Tuesday and $5 haircuts. Luckily, at the time, I was dating a guy who had a great sense of fashion and a talented hair stylist as a sister.

He took me shopping and she took me to her salon. Well, my first hair cut/color with her was actually in a basement – like some covert mission to change my identity – but I emerged from that basement a new woman.

I went to work the next day and got so many compliments. Friends and family raved. I would even get stopped by strangers asking me who cut my hair – some would even take pictures to give to their stylists. I’m not gonna lie. That felt really good.

So, I abandoned my old salon (Sassy’s in Harrison… and the tragic cuts I got from there we’ve since coined as “Sassy ‘Dos.”) And now, I truly appreciate the power of a dynamic ‘do.

With 2010 now upon us, I’ve been doing some research on new hair trends (I’m getting an itch for a new look soon), and I am noticing a resurgence of long hair. Long manes in the bouffant, braids or 20s-inspired barrel curls. As a short bob girl now, I’m starting to long for the long hair, but I don’t want to deal with the ugly “in between” phase. Plus, it can take a year or more to grow to long hair, so by then, the trend might already be on its way out.

What’s a girl to do? My sister-in-law (a former Ben-Gal cheerleader) said a lot of the girls on the squad get extensions to have lots of locks to toss around on the field. I looked into it, and the salon that does all of the Ben-Gal’s hair and hair extensions, Perfections Salon, is having an event tonight from 6-8pm about hair extensions! It’s called “Dames, Drinks and DreamCatchers” (DreamCatchers are the brand of extensions they carry).

A friend of mine and I are going! I’m really excited! They will have complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and are doing demonstrations on installation and care of the extensions. In the invite, it says they’ll install two free DreamCatcher extensions on all RSVPs (they can be expensive, so that’s a good deal!) You can still RSVP. Just call Jill at (513) 984-2555.

Who knows… the next time I post… it might be with a whole new head of hair!

*Images courtesy of The Skinny

Let’s SALEabrate!

Christmas gifts have all been unwrapped, holiday parties are all out of egg nog and J-Lo’s tragic cat suit rang in the new year. But there’s still lots of merchandise on the racks at local boutiques that didn’t end up under a tree, mistletoe or dropping ball.

So, all the local shops are getting together and cutting prices to move this merchandise while it’s hot and on-trend! It’s a rare opportunity to get decked out in designer wear at a fraction of the cost.

Last year at the sale, I got this red dress that I wore to our first annual Lady in Red party (the second annual one is coming up on Feb. 5 FYI), this brown dress,  and these boots at the sale! (red dress from Sara Benjamins, brown dress from Suki, and boots from Morrison & Me)

Mark your calendars! It’s Jan. 29-31. They’re keeping the location under wraps until right before the event. So, stay tuned to their Web site where you can learn more about the times, the special happy hour they’re doing this year, and all the boutiques involved!

Location
In the old Circuit City space, next to Target on Ridge Ave

Cincinnati Boutique Sale

Click here to check out a sneak peek video of the fashions to be featured at the sale!

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JEANious Jeggings

jeggings
Jeggings

The English language is about to get a lot more fashionable. Apparently “jeggings” (jeans + leggings) are waiting to be introduced to the Oxford English Dictionary.

I first heard this term in an e-mail I got from obsess boutique a couple months ago. I asked some friends if they had ever heard of  jeggings before. I found out that one of my friends had just purchased some in Chicago and said “I know it sounds dramatic, but they’ve changed my life.”

I knew I needed to come in contact with these creatures of fabulosity if they were changing my friends’ lives and becoming a staple in the English language. Obsess is the only place I knew of in town with them, so, I waited until a skinny day to try them on. Thanks to my new Wii Fit (love the hula hoop game!) that day came and I made the visit.

It was like I stepped into some magical wonderland. My butt miraculously lifted, my thighs slimmed, my silhouette streamlined. They looked good with stilettos. They slid perfectly into boots. They looked amazingly chic with a blouse, belt and pumps. They made a sweater and killer ankle boots look beautiful and less bulky.

Especially after a huge snowstorm like we had this week, I was worried about not having the warmth that “real” pants offer. But what I discovered is that the jeggings are actually made out of real denim material. They have an extra dose of lycra, thus much more elasticity, built into the material than usual. So you get the form fitting perks of leggings, and the warmth and coverage of jeans. Quite the stylish combo, if you ask me.

obsess boutique jeans
Jeggings from obsess boutique (regularly $125, 20% off right now)

Now, I must warn you, not all jeggings are created equal. Some, like these bebe jeggings,  just have the zipper and pockets screenprinted on. Not a big fan of that. Others are following new floral trend (looks too Grandma-ish for my taste). And still others claim to be jeggings, but they’re just skinny jeans. To be jeggings, they must be made of denim but look and feel like leggings (aka tapered) which is important if you’re looking to stuff them into boots.

Although they are versatile, there are ways you shouldn’t wear them. Treat these jean hybrids like leggings: Avoid tucking anything into them or wearing cropped tops. And wearing sneakers with them is a huge fashion no-no.

These black beauties (left) are originally $125 at obsess, but they’re 20% off right now. Not sure when the sale ends, so don’t worry about waiting for a skinny day. Every day in jeggings is a skinny day! Try some on for yourself today!

*First photo courtesy of FashionPolice.net
*Second photo courtesy of obsess boutique

This Week on Cincy Chic: Revamp, Renew, Revitalize

Revamp, Renew, Revitalize

Revamp, Renew, Revitalize

Turn your life and look around

In 2009, Cincinnati voted in a casino, Tiger “transgressed” and your denim went from skinny to boyfriend. Lots can change in just one year, but one thing that usually doesn’t is you falling to the bottom of your priority list. Resolve to change that with these six simple ways to find a new you in the New Year.
>>READ MORE

Smitten with a Mitten
Indulge in Turkey (the country, not the bird). Learn how you can renew your skin – and career – from dull to decadent with a local company based on an ancient Turkish spa service.

Achieving Localization with Revitalization
As trends change, even restaurants need to keep focus on modern mentality. This Cincinnati restaurant kept local desires in mind with its city-centered concepts and farm-fresh ingredients.

A Phoenix in Glendale
When you hit rock bottom, you only can go up from there. Read on to see how the owner of the recently restored Century House did just that and found triumph through tragedy.

Invigorate Your Workout
Boring shouldn’t be the way to describe your workout routine, so if that fits your fitness right now, learn how you can revitalize your routine to add “adventurous” to its description.

Revitalize Your Skin
It’s a new year, but you still have 2009’s blemishes and lines on your face. Let this local esthetician save your skin so that you can start off the new decade with a fresh face.

Chic Spotlight: Merchants of That Shop in Milford
By transforming your grandma’s furniture into conversation pieces, two local ladies offer a way to add a unique touch to your space without breaking the bank. Woah, watch out Pottery Barn!

Sensible Fitness: Renew Outlook to Reach Resolution
Get in the driver’s seat and buckle up because you are in for a wild ride! Our fitness guru shares a new perspective on how you can drive yourself to your desired fitness destination.

Cents & Sensibility: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
Revamping your life doesn’t have to mean an immediate and drastic change. Our financialista reviews how slight modifications with Life Success Seminars led her to a new career.

Ask Patty: New Priorities for the New Year
Patty has some advice for a local couple who seems to have put their love life on hold for the holidays. She offers some helpful tips to set sparks for the New Year.

Upcoming Cincy Chic Events:
Jan. 13 – Work Smart, Not Hard Workshop
Jan. 19 – Business at Breakfast
Jan. 20 – Martinis and Mentors
Jan. 21 – New Year, New You!
Jan. 22-Jun. 18 – Chic Chef Cooking Series
Jan. 26 – eWomenNetwork “Accelerated Networking” Event
Jan. 27 – InnerCircles for Women Networking Lunch
Jan. 27 – Free Lunch ‘n’ Learn: Women and Heart Disease
Jan. 29-31 – Cincinnati Boutique Sale
Jan. 29 – Wine Down at the Wise Owl
Feb. 3 – Fashion and Fun
Feb. 16 – Business at Breakfast: Business Partnerships

LA Looks

My last two blog posts have been about my trip to LA, so let’s just make it an even three. : )

teal tights
My outfit today, yay teal tights!

I just had so much fun out there people watching. Granted, we were staying right next to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, so there were literally a lot of characters (Star Trek, Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe impersonators to name a few) slinking about. But I really just loved people watching. I loved the fashion forward style mixed with a special blend of Cali’s “anything goes” attitude.

I thought I’d share with you a few things I noticed and loved about the looks and styling I saw in LA. First and foremost (not that I like it or condone it) but spandex is the new black out there. We’re talking black, skin tight, what I wore with my cheerleading uniform 15 years ago spandex. Lots of women were wearing spandex with a tank and off the shoulder tee (hello, Flash Dance). I also saw spandex paired with a sweater and uggs (yes, some thought 70 degrees was freezing). And at night, I saw lots of spandex-stiletto combos with girls heading to the club.

Forever 21 Cross Strap Bootie, $26.80
Forever 21 Cross Strap Bootie, $26.80

Spandex’s cousin, tights, were also popular. I am much more comfortable with this craze and am happily jumping on this bandwagon. In fact, I purchased 10 pairs of tights in a variety of colors and I’m having lots of fun with them! Today, I was in a teal mood (check out the pic!). I belted (Forever 21) a cozy sweater (Nordstrom) I got for Christmas, with a brown dress (Gap), brown boots (Morrison & Me) and a fab bag (Stop Traffick Fashion) I bought myself for Christmas. The tights add a fun pop of color to an otherwise boring outfit. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any leggings that could be worn like pants, because that was something I saw a lot of. Not sure I feel comfortable going there, but I will certainly give it a valiant try should I find any thick leggings (suggestions on where to buy them are welcome!)

Last but not least, booties are big. I love them! I am a runner, so I tend to have larger leg muscles than most. I usually cant fit into boots that come to the knee, so the second I saw booties I knew I was in love! You get the look of a boot without worrying if the made-for-a- Kate-Moss-leg shoe would fit your leg! I found several booties at the Forever 21 out there, so I’m assuming they’re available at local Forever 21 stores. I’m including a picture of the pair of booties I purchased out there.

I hope you enjoy the insight into the LA street style I picked up during our short trip there. We’re now off to Gatlinburg where we’ll be ringing in the new year. Somehow I don’t think I’ll have as much to report on the Applicachian style I’ll be seeing! : )

Happy New Year! Here’s to a fabulous 2010!

These Boots Were Made for Saving

LA boots
My FREE Nordstrom boots!

As you learned in my last blog, my husband and I were in LA last week so he could do a performance with Nancy Cartwright of Bart Simpson fame.

Sure, I could talk about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it was to be a dinner guest at Nancy’s home and to see my husband perform up on stage with Hollywood’s finest. But on the other hand, I could talk about the $500 boots I got for FREE at Nordstrom in LA.

I will talk about Nancy in a future blog (and share pics!), but I need to give my fellow shop-o-holics the excuse you need to go to LA and shop.

So, as you can imagine, it’s warm in LA right now. Actually, it was borderline hot a couple of the days we were out there. The day Cincinnati got several inches of snow? Yeah, I was lounging by a pool.

How does this relate to free boots at Nordstrom? Well, I discovered that the supply and demand for winter clothes and shoes in LA isn’t what it is in Cincinnati. Anything pseudo wintery was marked waaaay down. It was unbelievable. So, I dashed over to their boot rack and found some incredible over-the-knee black suede boots. Originally $500, marked down to $60-something dollars! I had a $100 gift card my co-workers got me for my birthday (I’ve been a good girl … I’ve waited since June to use it!). So, I got the boots, flip flops (which were ironically full price), and suede protectant spray with my gift card. Thus, free! : )

I have since worn them twice, and I’m wearing them today! They are so comfortable and practical! They keep my legs so warm! I took a page out of the Kasmira book of tricks and wore colorful leggings with the boots so just a little pop of color peeks through the top of the boot and the bottom of my dress.

So, a word to the frugal fashionitas out there, take a trip to LA in the dead of winter and stock up on all your winter wear. You’ll pay for the trip with all your savings. At least that’s how I rationalized it every time I swiped my credit card! : )

Bart-Worthy Theater Attire

My husband had me at “doh!”

That’s right, my husband wooed me with a Homer Simpson impersonation. When I met my now-husband, Pete Scalia, he was a traveling musician and voice-over artist. Today, he is the morning anchor at Fox 45/ABC 22 in Dayton, but he still does music and voice-overs on the side.

A few months ago, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson (who is originally from the Dayton area), came back to her hometown and Pete got to do an interview with her. They became fast friends, and before he knew it, she was asking him to do “theater of the mind” performances to raise money for charity. He did one recently in Dayton and he has one coming up this week in LA.

We are so excited! Pete has a performance this week in LA with a superstar (literally) cast mates, who include: Robert Towers (“Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Benjamin 1932-1934), Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson), Phil Proctor (Big Brother, Rugrats, Finding Nemo, and Princess and the Frog), Josh Robert Thompson (voice of “Fake” Arnold Schwarzenegger on “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson”) and narrated by R.F. Daley (Broadway actor “Cats” and “Sweeny Todd”).

The event will take place at the Golden Age Theater on Hollywood Blvd, which requires “theater attire.” And afterward, Nancy invited us to dinner at her house. Talk about a big night for us!

Cheering on my talented husband as he plays the LEAD character (!!!), rubbing elbows with a “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” cast member (aka one degree away from Brad Pitt), and eating dinner at Bart Simpson’s house. Who does that? And more importantly, what do you wear to that?

I peered into my closet and asked each piece if they could rise to this fine occasion. Each one sagged with unworthiness as they shook their cowl, turtle and v-necks in disappointment. I came to the conclusion that I need to splurge (I actually haven’t been shopping in a couple months!), and buy a special outfit for this star spangled night in the Hollywood hills.

I visited my favorite local experts, boutiques and stores, and came up with this ensemble that twinkles with gold, glitz and glamor. Most were splurge pieces, but my focal point dress was a steal of a deal. What do you think?
Theater Attire Collage

Dotted Lace Strapless Dress ($27.80, Forever 21)
shu uemura gold leaf shadow & lashes ($79, Sephora)
Stuart Weitzman black ruffle pumps ($179, Cincy Designer Shoes)
Gold BCBG Maxazria Sequined Evening Clutch Purse ($98, BCBG)

This Week on Cincy Chic: Making up is Hard to Do

Making up is hard to doMaking up is Hard to Do
Resolutioners reveal their progress
At the beginning of the year, three women won makeover packages through Cincy Chic, and they’re back to let you know how well they’ve stuck to their New Year’s resolutions. Check out the “before” and “after” of these local ladies.

New Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures
Going under the knife isn’t for everyone. One local doctor gives us the scoop on two new – even better – options for freshening up your face and beautifying your body for the holidays and New Year.

A Diamond in the Rough
Give yourself a new jewelry wardrobe with the one you already have. Learn how this local gem can turn your unused jewelry into chic pieces you won’t want to take off.

Tonic without the Twist
Put down that Red Bull and vodka, and pour out your “light” beer. It’s time for a spirited makeover, so grab your gals and become a part of the “cocktail cultural renaissance”!

Turning Beauty Inside Out
Home is where the heart is, and that’s where beauty should be too, so this local massage therapist brings the spa to you as you celebrate life with friends.

Fitness Flipping
Just after “The Biggest Loser” finale, you might be looking for a body transformation, and this local fitness facility has what it takes to help make that happen.

Upping the WOW Factor
Take your house’s curb appeal to new heights with this local mother and son who have made over their careers so that they can make over your house. Learn how this Tri-State team keeps the city blooming with possibilities.

Chic Spotlight: Minxanista Veniece Hughes
Make over your idea of a manicure with this new trend. A local nail artist fills you in on how your nails can keep their chic for a week or longer.

Sensible Fitness: Sprint to Fail or Take Time to Succeed

A drastic transformation doesn’t always come overnight. Our fitness expert provides insight into giving yourself the makeover you need, the way you need it.

Cents & Sensibility: Money Makeover
Getting out of debt sounds great. It’s just getting there that’s the problem. Learn how our financialista found financial freedom with her own money makeover and how you can too.

Chic Eats: Roasted Grape Tartines

Wow family and friends with a modern version of the tartine. Our new Chic Chef whips up these simple but elegant appetizers you can add to your culinary repertoire.

Media Maven: “Julie and Julia” Movie Review

Just released on DVD and Blu-ray Dec. 8, this movie might make a great holiday gift for the food lover on your list. Our Media Maven helps you decide.

Beat the Winter Beauty Woes

Well, it happened for the first time this year. I pulled on my favorite sweater and my whole head of hair started to magically levitate. ‘Tis the season’s static greetings!

Conveniently, I spent a good majority of my day at Tuscany Spa and Salon in Montgomery covering an upcoming makeover story we’re doing for Cincy Chic. So, while I was there, I asked the GM, Liz Reaney how to tame my tresses during the winter months.

Here’s what she said:

  • Always use a Leave-In conditioner during the winter months.  Choose a conditioner with a thermal protectant to help with static.
  • When you have trouble with fly-a-ways, take a very small amount of pomade, rub it in your hands thoroughly before putting in your hair.
  • Use a hydrating shampoo during the winter months to add moisture to your hair.
  • Try a hydrating hair masque once a week to keep your hair in great condition.
  • When you schedule your next hair appointment, add on a deep conditioning treatment to help prevent your hair from drying out.
  • For your hands and feet, paraffin treatments are perfect in the winter.  The oils in the paraffin help with cracked, dry nails and leave your skin soft and smooth.
  • Use a hydrating facial mask once a week in the winter to combat the harsh elements.

I thought these were great tips so I wanted to share! : ) Oh, and I go in for a haircut/color on Monday… wondering what to do. I feel like I need a change, but I’m not sure what to do. Suggestions are welcome!

UPDATE: Here’s the new (shorter) ‘do!
shorter hair

The Eyes Have It

I swear, a few minutes every week with a makeup artist can really open your eyes. Literally.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting in a weekly dose of Nancy at Brideface because I just love all the fun little pointers I pick up when I spend time with her.

I recently participated in her “Brows for a Cause” brow-shaping event she’s doing. Every Wednesday in December, she’ll shape your brows for $15 and 100% of the proceeds go to the American Heart Association.

I thought it was such a great idea that I blogged about it last week before I went. I knew I’d learn a ton, so I recorded it for you so you can see what “Brows for a Cause” is like and pick up all Nancy’s tips so you can DIY at home! (e-mail her at nancy@brideface.com if you want to sign up for a Brows for a Cause appointment)

Watch the video below to see how Nancy expertly shaped my brows, the tools she used and products she loves!

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