Structural Integrity

High heels and architecture, two seemingly unrelated things that seem to share a lot of common characteristics; design orientated, functionality defined and the higher it is the better, it seems.  Whether you prefer chunky, kitten or wedge heels, there is a plethora of different styles to suit each unique woman.

Here are our new season’s picks to tribute the fusion of architecture, in heels

1. Giuseppe Zanotti Sculptural High Wedge Boots

Not for the faint hearted, this pair of ankle boots comes in two daredevil colors Jet black and firey red, and will definitely turn a few heads – if you have the courage, and balance to wear them.  The beautiful silhouette emphasis the feminine arch or a woman’s feet while the gravity-defying heel epitomizes the fusion of style and design.

Price: $995. Buy Giuseppe Zanotti Sculptural High Wedge Boots here

2.  Jeffrey Campbell Rockette Platform Leopard Suede

Who would have thought leopard print and wooden wedge go so well together? This pair of platform wedge with its cut out heel in the middle is a perfect combination of cute and cool.  The ankle strap makes the sky-high heels look more wearable while the round toe adds to the sex kitten look.  These shoes were made for showing off, so match with a pair of denim shorts and wait for the compliments to flow in.

Price 148. Buy Jeffrey Campbell Rockette Platform Leopard Suede here

3. Miu Miu Bow Embellished Suede Peep Toe Pumps

If you prefer a classic heel with a twist, then these seductive plum suede heels from Miu Miu will not disappoint.  Exceptionally feminine with peep toe embellished with a tie-up bow in soft suede, the beautifully arched heel is a modern tribute to the designer signature style.  Show off your classic taste in a knee length pencil skirt and a soft blouse with kitten bow, et voila! Chic!

Price $690. Buy Miu Miu Bow Embellished Suede Peep Toe Pumps here

- Favluv Kristy

Gift Ideas for Him – Man Bags

Are you looking for a gift idea for your man?  Is he in the market for a stylish man bag? If your man favors the authentic or the original, here are some bag choices for men.

1. Chrome Citizen Bag. If your man has a streak of rock star or likes to bike around town, this bag is for him.  It sports a stainless quick release buckle with bottle opener, waterproof canvas, reflective strapping, comfortable EVA foam straps.  It’s big enough to fit a six pack or a 17 inch Macbook Pro. Started in San Francisco, Chrome has captured the hearts of the trendy in the trendiest cities.

Price: $140.  Buy Chrome Citizen Bag here, or here.

2. Little America by Herschel.  If your man likes the great outdoors, but is forced to live an urban life, this is where the two worlds connect.  Herschel takes the design of an mountaineering bag, and infuses it into a functional urban bag.  The leather straps are fastened by easy-to-use magnetic clasps.  Little America has nicely padded and contoured shoulder straps, and a fully padded/fleece lined 15″ computer sleeve pocket.

Price: $84.  Buy Little America by Herschel.

3. Filson Field Bag.  If your man is an aviator at heart, or aspires to follow the steps of Hemingway on an African safari, this is his bag.  The fabric is rugged twill, 22 oz. 100 cotton twill, 2 ply by 3 ply, paraffin treated for maximum water repellency.  Genuine bridle leather, cowhide, vegetable tanned.  Simple, useful, and stylish.

Price: $225.00.  Buy Filson Medium Field Bag.

- Favluv Max

BB Crème: The Ultimate Top 3 (July 2012)

Here comes the result of Top 3 Bestselling BB Crème surveyed in July 2012, out of 28 products in 7 retail websites:

Ranked #1. Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30   $37 (1.4oz)

2011 Gold Star Award Winner. 2012 CEW Beauty Insider’s Choice Finalist.

Natural, lightweight coverage.

Ranked #2. Dior Diorsnow White Reveal BB Crème SPF 50   $50 (1.0oz)

Highest sunscreen level among BB creme products.

Ranked #3. 3LAB Perfect BB Cream SPF 40 PA+++   $95 (1.5oz)

Sold out, back-ordered item. High-end product with impressive antioxidants.

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Baby Carrier: The Ultimate Top 3 (July 2012)

There are a number of advantages of baby carrying, not only does it create a great bonding experience for the newborn and mother (or father), it also lets the mum have her hands free whether she is at home doing housework or out buying groceries.  It is important when selecting a baby carrier to find one that is both comfortable, and safe, for the baby and the wearer, while stylishness and longevity of the product also goes into consideration.

1. Ergo Organic Baby Carrier  $109.95

Made in India

This award winning baby carrier from Ergo Baby is one of the most comfortable carriers out there for both you and your baby.  The design of the Ergo Baby ensures that the weight of the baby is dispersed to his hips and thighs and not on his crutch, which some research have advocated its affect on spinal growth.  Meanwhile the thick shoulder bands and waistband allows the weight of the baby to be distributed evenly and comfortably for the carrier.

The carrier can be worn in three positions, front carrier with baby facing mother (or father), back carrier, like a backpack or side carrier, you can also breastfeed while carrying the baby in the front position (with a bit of practice). There is also an attachable hood that can be used to cover the infant when they are asleep and the carrier also comes with a zip up pocket to put pacifiers or wash clothes.  The fact that it is made with organic cotton is also a plus for environmentally conscious parents.  The Ergo Baby is suitable for babies 4 months plus or with some neck control (alternatively purchase the heart to heart insert ($24.95), which allows newborns to be carried safely in the carrier) until toddler age)

I personally have this carrier for my 7-month-old son, and I find this a godsend.  Being a bigger baby, this carrier allows me to carry Riley around without any back pains, the organic cotton is very soft against his skin – I also bought the original carrier and found it very rough.  The organic cotton is also great for hot summer days too, being a natural breathable fabric.  I have only used it in the front carrier position so far but I cant wait to try the back position when Riley is a bit older.  I also like how there are a few nice colors to choose from.  My only qualm with the Ergo Baby is the inability to carry a handbag when wearing the carrier as the shoulder pad is so thick, luckily as there is a zip pocket on the carrier, I can fit my key, some cash and my cell in, but there is not much space for any more than that.

2. Beco Baby Carrier Gemini  $129

Made in USA

This is also a fantastic baby carrier made responsibly with organic cotton.  It has the same baby positioning options as the Ergo Baby but also with the added possibility of front carrier with baby facing out.  This is definitely a huge advantage over the Ergo, especially when the child is older, their interest in the world already them increases, this allows them to see everything with so much more ease (as opposed to having to turn their head left and right).  The Beco carrier also has extended straps that are suitable for larger or taller mums and dads as the straps.  Breastfeeding is also possible in the front carrying position and there is a hood attached to help a baby sleep better.

A lot of people have told me the Beco is in fact more comfortable than the Ergo Baby, but as I have not tried it out myself I cannot say whether this is true for me or not, but if it is true then I think this is definitely a carrier I would consider purchasing. The Beco carrier is also said to be able to hold newborns, without the need to purchase an additional insert (like the Ergo Baby) but some reviewers have mentioned that baby will need to be at least 12 lbs. to be comfortably and safely carried, otherwise there needs to be at least a baby blanket in there to ‘hold’ the baby in.  Once the baby is big enough, the Beco will last a long time, until the child becomes a toddler and it will still remain a comfortable carrier for both the mother and child. However, a disadvantage of the Beco is that it does not have a pocket like the Ergo baby to put all your knick-knacks in, which may be a nuisance when going out.

I love how the Beco comes in such a variety of cute colors and patterns to suit every mother or father.  It is important however to make sure that the Beco carrier washed according to factory specifications, or is spot washed, as there has been instances where the colors of the carrier were faded in the washing machine due to the natural dyes of the Beco.

Overall, I think this is a well-made, comfortable and versatile carrier, suitable for taller/bigger mums.

3. Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier  $38.73

Made in Thailand

I Love the idea of this baby carrier – it reminds me of a mother kangaroo carrying her joey in her pouch!  The Moby baby wrap is ideally suitable for mother with smaller babies (from 8 lbs. +) and would like to have their loved ones snuggled closely to them.  The wrap can be used in a number of differently positions and the straps go evenly across the mother or fathers shoulders and back so it is relatively comfortable for the wearer.

The wrap does take some practice to get used to, especially in the beginning when your baby is still tiny and trying to put her in a wrap can seem like a daunting task.  However once you get the hang of it, mothers have commented on how easy it is to use, comfortable to wear around the house and great for bonding with your newborn.  The down side to the wrap is that as it is very long it is not recommended put on when outdoor, as the straps will most definitely fall onto the ground and get dirty.

I would recommend this carrier for younger and or smaller babies, but I see this wrap not lasting more than perhaps 6 months (where as the other carriers can potentially be used until toddler ages).  Once the baby gets older and bigger it would be a struggle to physically maneuver them into the wrap and I would imagine it would be a burden on your back also.  However, I personally would not mind trying it because although this product does not last very long, the bonding time created in this wrap is invaluable.

Eye Cream: The Ultimate Top 3 (July 2012)

1. La Mer The Eye Balm Intense  $165 (0.5oz)

Neiman Marcus Beauty Award Finalist 2012. Erases puffiness, hydrates without being too greasy, gentle enough for sensitive skin

2. Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado  $28.50 (0.5oz)

Thick and creamy, it smells and feels like an avocado milkshake! Full of avocado, beta carotene and shea butter.

3. Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Eyes  $48.88 (0.5oz)

Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough 2011. Orchid scented rich eye cream promises to stimulate collagen and elastin growth, hydrates with hyaluronic acid, fights free-radicals and protects from sun damages.

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Bohemian Rhapsody (July 2012)

Careless and free, the modern Bohemian lifestyle is one that seduced even the most modest of thinkers. Days filled laying about in a meadow under the sun, singing songs of far away lands with flowers in our hair, followed by nights chasing fireflies guided by nothing more than the glistening moon. While we might all yearn for such days, not many of us actually have the luxury to pursue such free spirit living; instead we might find our own little modern boho chic in these following items.

1. Jen’s Pirate Booty Hot Summer Nights Shoulder Top  $92

This pretty lilac gauze top features a cut open shoulder design and a tie closure; it is the perfect flirty addition to your bohemian wardrobe. Finish with a pair of skinny jeans or a long maxi skirt, it will bring out the inner flower child in you.

2. Free People Calypso Fringe Maxi Skirt  $228

You can almost hear the tinkling and jingling of bells and trinkets that goes with this exotic bohemian inspired maxi skirt. The crochet insert gives the skirt a sexy upgrade, while the fringe accentuates the dress’s carefree gypsy feel.

3. Young Fabulous & Broke Maelle Tie Dye Maxi Dress  $176

This dress is so flattering with its gather on the hip to accentuate a feminine line, while the contrast color and tie-dye have a slimming effect on the figure. A very chic, hippie dress that will accommodate the needs of a modern woman.

- Favluv Kristy

Basic Moisturizers: The Ultimate Top 3 (July 2012)

1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15   $21 (2.5oz), $31 (4.2oz)

Allure Magazine: Rachel Weisz Reveals Her Secret to Gorgeous Skin

2. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief   $36 (1.7oz), $48.50 (2.5oz)

Fragrance-free, oil-free, long lasting hydration

3. Estee Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Moisturizer SPF 15   $45 (1.7oz)

CEW 2012 Moisturizer Prestige Finalist

Lightweight, heavenly scent, sunscreen and loaded with anti-oxidants


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Baby Activity Gyms: The Ultimate Top 3 (July 2012)

Baby Activity Gym (3m – 12m)

One of the most essential baby items and a piece of toy that can be enjoyed from around 3months until 1 year old is a baby activity gym.  There are a few things a new parent should look out for when purchasing this item, such as whether it is machine wash safe, whether the toys are detachable and also size is a factor for family living in smaller spaces.  Most importantly however is if it is interesting enough to keep your loved ones entertained while stimulating their mind at the same time!

1. Tiny Love Super Deluxe Lights and Music Gymini Activity Gym $42.09 (19.7” x 30.7” x 1.6”)

A great activity mat for babies to stare, touch, play and interact in, this play gym has colorful illustrations of floras and faunas in all kinds of fabrics and textures for babies to experience.  It also comes with detachable toys that can be place on strollers or chair and each toy is unique in its design, some with rattles and others with bells.  The toys are also not too high up like in some activity gyms that babies cannot reach or see well especially in the first few months when their sensors are not as acute.

2. Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym $76.95 (20″ x 32.5″ x 3″)

This activity gym offers a good variety of play modes for they baby and the large light in on in the center of the arms really attracts a young baby’s attention.  The added function of being able to change the volume on the music is also a plus while the large toys on the gym – the giraffe and monkey are a favorite of small and big kids alike!

3. Infantino Square Twist and Fold Activity Gym $39.99 (29” x 10.8” x 5.5”)

If you travel a lot, whether its across the globe, across the country or just next door, this fold up activity gym is perfect for both you and your baby.  It folds up neatly into a compact size for moving around while the colorful design excites a baby’s imagination.  Another great part of this gym is it has a unisex color scheme so both boys and girls will enjoy playing in it.

- Favluv Kristy

Brightening Products: The Ultimate Top 3 (July 2012)

1. Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector  $49.50 (1oz), $73 (1.7oz)

“Noticeably fading spots over time”- Allure Best of Beauty 2010 & 2011, Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards 2011: Best Beauty Breakthrough

2. Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator  $58 (1oz), $85 (1.7oz),  $135 (3.4oz)

“This serum is crazy good. Disguised by its gentle formula is cutting-edge technology that erases everything that bugs us about our skin.” – Marie Claire Prix d’Excellence Beauty Award 2012

3. La Mer The Radiant Serum  $260 (1oz)

Brightening ferment generated from three types of algae corrects discoloration, exfoliates, and refines pores.

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Neon Nights (July 2012)

Usually reserved for rave parties and beachwear, neon is making a fierce come back in almost all facets of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. Designers are pouring themselves over the latest lime greens, sunshine oranges and fluorescent pinks, updating their collections with these eye-catching colors and making these the season’s most wanted hues. Perfect for balmy summers, all you need to complete the look is a pair of oversized sunglasses and a nice tan.

1. Wildfox Gothic Cross Poolside Dress  $81.90

This is a perfect summer dress for a day out on the town or as a cover up on the poolside. The flirty frilly hem adds a cute touch while the cross graphic ensures that it is not sweetness overload. The ideal piece to turn heads in this season, and will not break the budget.

2. Proenza Schouler PS1 Large Leather Satchel  $1995

If wearing neon isn’t exactly your piece of cake, try a bright fluorescent bag in a classic design to update your wardrobe. This marshmallow neon pink is easy on the eye for first time neon worshippers while the stylish satchel itself is a must have for fashion lovers all around.

3. L.A.M.B. Hydra Heels  $260

Only one word can suitably describe these tantalizing stilettos and that is Chic! Beautifully shaped to elongate your legs with a painfully sexy heel conveniently contrasted in this year’s hottest neon yellow paired with dark wash denim for effortless cool or a body hugging dress for a hot date!

- Favluv Kristy