beauty · hollywood glamour · style

Kibbe Soft Classic Chat – Marion Cotillard

Here’s the post that went up prematurely a few weeks ago: it’s all fleshed out and full of pics. Enjoy!

A couple of months ago, I discussed Grace Kelly’s impeccably elegant style, and I found it extremely helpful for my own style journey to apply an analytical lens to her style choices. It’s been a while since I did a Kibbe style chat, and this particular star’s style has been a favorite of mine for years. I figure that there is no time like the present to discuss another Soft Classic (SC) beauty, Marion Cotillard.

(Image courtesy of Archive.org)

The effect: Old Hollywood Revisited

Marion is an established actress, winning numerous awards for her portrayals. I find her fascinating, as she is often on what I consider the “outskirts” of pop culture. She is undoubtedly talented and popular, but she doesn’t appear on the gossip sites or other media outlets focusing on the shenanigans involving some A-listers. She’s “in the world [of Hollywood] but not of it”, for lack of better expressions. Marion has all of the perks of the A list but none of the embarrassing trappings. Clearly, she prefers remaining as discreet as her level of fame will allow. I admire her for this!

Marion’s philosophy of discretion over being outrageous for the public’s consumption is seen in her sartorial selections. She often keeps a simple silhouette with her hair, makeup, and clothing, though she occasionally takes chances with her appearances. Starting with her hair, it’s clear to see that Marion enjoys wearing her natural dark hair color. Her brunette locks perfectly complement her coloring, so she looks tremendously harmonious when wearing dark hair. Her hair is always quite glossy (which makes the color appear even more luscious) and is usually in a medium- to slightly-long length bob with a bit of curve. Her hair usually doesn’t have stiff curls, just a lovely curvature of the ends.

Marion with a slightly shorter crop but still very clean and classic lines (screenshot from video on Archive.org)

Sometimes she’ll do much longer lengths, which can give her an even more glamorous appearance. Her best looks are always very tidy, or, if slightly tousled, it’s a very calculated effortless look that doesn’t appear messy at all. What’s really fascinating is how “older” (more vintage inspired) hairstyles look tremendously modern on Marion. As a SC, she has a very balanced face that looks quite timeless, and the same hairstyles that looked marvelous on the SCs of yesteryear (like Grace Kelly, Merle Oberon and Donna Reed) look just as fresh and beautiful on Marion. In my humble opinion, the prettiest looks worn by Marion are the hairstyles that look like they are right off of the pages of a 1940s styling guide.

Marion as photographed by Studio Harcourt Paris, 1999 (edited by MaterialScientist)

Marion’s makeup tends to be quite soft and simple. She will occasionally experiment with more intense looks, but she looks effortlessly and polished when she works within the makeup recommendations as outlined by Kibbe. Marion’s most incredible looks use gently defined features, with eyes and lips matching in intensity. The “watercolor” makeup approach (as advised by Kibbe) looks marvelous on her, giving her features some distinction but doesn’t overwhelm her balanced overall effect.

Marion in her signature cosmetic colors (photo by Georges Biard)

Finally, let’s discuss clothing. Marion looks heavenly in symmetrical ensembles with soft touches here adn there (the best look for SC). What’s really cool is that she will experiment with looks that are better suited for other style IDs, presumably because SC clothing is often “boring” to the SCs that wear them. (Sidebar: as a SC, I understand how “boring” it can be to stay within the style recs for this ID. The trick is to add one element of different IDs while keeping the rest true to our ID.)

While regularly wearing SC clothing can feel “boring”, it is really the best canvas for seeing the naturally balanced features within the face and body. When Marion sticks to her ID, she looks heavenly. She looks incredible when she wears clothing that looks like they are directly from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Symmetrical silhouettes that fall anywhere from the knee to the ankles are smashing on her, though she occasionally plays with a mini-skirt ensemble (these look cute on her when the mini-skirt is a bubble style). Sheaths, shirtwaist dresses, and A-line ensembles are perfect on her, so long as there are soft touches that honor the yin in her frame. High quality fabrics that are neither too heavy or too flimsy suit her well, and wearing colors that are consistent (no fading) and an appropriate level of saturation (she can handle a bit of color intensity) are best.

Marion looks gorgeous in a simple dress that honors soft classic lines (screenshot from Archive.org)

For Marion, she would do well to ask WWGW: What Would Grace Wear? The most flattering looks I’ve seen on Marion look like they were plucked from the Princess of Monaco’s wardrobe. However, she should avoid using the same color palette of Princess Grace: Marion’s coloring looks divine with Soft/Cool Winter colors, while Grace is a Summer, which, funny enough, is the lighter side of Winter colors. Marion could literally replicate most of Grace’s ensembles, make sure the clothing is in the Winter coloring range, and it would look fresh and modern, while still giving a nod to classic roots.

Wearing muted colors that straddle the line of summer and winter palettes, but still looking beautiful. (Georges Biard)

The difficulty of modern celebrity wardrobes is that there are many stylists that don’t “curate” signature looks like the old Hollywood machine used to do for its stars. For that reason, I think Marion does a great job of creating a style profile that has way more “hits” than “misses”. I also appreciate that she enjoys having fun with her appearance and doesn’t stick strictly to the silhouettes that are recommended to SCs. Even if her style risks are occasional “misses” to the public eye, so long as she’s having fun, it really doesn’t matter if others disagree with her choices.

That’s all for my style analysis of Marion Cotillard. Do you like her ensembles? Let me know what you think!

beauty · life curation · luxury · style

Get Ready With Me – Trying Makeup From The Beem Box

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all have been doing well. I took a little blog break because my offline life was crazy for a few weeks. That being said, I decided to do a video putting on my makeup and discussing what’s been happening in my world. As a bonus, I used products from previous Beem Boxes. I’ve mentioned Beem Box in other posts (like this one and this one) and I was really excited to show how certain products looked on my skin.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back with more content tomorrow. Take care!

art · beauty · style

Three Easy Ways to Clarify and Confirm Your Kibbe Style ID

Last year, I posted about my Kibbe style ID and some of the revelations that I had related to that. After I published that post, I realized that some of my readers may find the Kibbe system confusing and even a bit overwhelming. I had some subsequent posts about the Kibbe system (like this one and this one) but these may not be clear enough for someone that is hearing about the system for the first time. Admittedly, I had no problem interpreting my original results from doing the self-typing test, but I can imagine how someone with no experience with analyzing their bone structure and flesh may not be able to come up with a conclusive answer.

I checked out a few videos that attempted to clarify how to get a good set of Kibbe results, but I found that there are a few other things that you can try to give you more clarity on what your true style ID is. Here are three things that you can try, to get a better “guess” of your Kibbe type.

Reface yourself with a celebrity that shares your Kibbe style ID. I stumbled across this method when I was curious about trying a new hairstyle. While playing around on the app, I refaced myself as Marion Cotillard, Teyonah Parris (an unconfirmed Kibbe SC), Grace Kelly, Veronica Lake and Dita Von Teese (another unconfirmed Kibbe SC). At the end, I noticed that I looked more seamless when I refaced as a SC. But, when I refaced myself as Dorothy Dandridge (Kibbe Theatrical Romantic), Halle Berry (Kibbe Soft Gamine) and Diahann Carroll (Kibbe Soft Dramatic). While the final videos were cute, none of them looked as “true to me” as the SC Refaced clips.

Get a friend to do the test for you. Sometimes, we cannot see ourselves accurately. In fact, one blogger than I came across recently couldn’t see her own type, though quite a few of her readers advised her of what they suspected her Kibbe ID was. After many months of experimenting, she finally determined that yes, her readers were correct and had typed her accurately. What you may want to do is get a friend (or two) to complete the Kibbe ID test for you. Though David Kibbe no longer recommends the test as a way to get an accurate interpretation of your body’s lines, the test is not completely inaccurate, and having your friends complete the test based on what they observe about your body can be tremendously helpful in getting a more objective understanding of your personal lines.

Try the “squint” method. Instead of looking at your physique head on, try squinting to give a less defined but more wholistic view of your body. Sometimes, zooming out and blurring the fine details can help you take in the overall silhouette. It may not be the surest method for determining your style ID, but it can help with getting a better sense of your shape.

Those are my three tips for finding your Kibbe style ID when you’re struggling with identifying your body type. I hope these tips can help! Take care, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

beauty · luxury · style

Trying New Makeup – LYS Beauty Haul

Happy Monday, lovelies! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. We had some great weather (a spring precursor, if you will) and today is even warmer (though we do have a bit of rain). I’m still smiling from this fantastic weekend!

Last week, I shared a new video reviewing some products that I got a few weeks ago. I bought some products from LYS (Love Your Self) Beauty after I tried one of of their products that was featured in the Beem Box (I’ll post a link to that video shortly).

This is a clean, vegan, Black woman owned brand, and I love the stuff that I got! I got introduced to the product through the LYS Beauty Matte Bronzer in Strength (Dark). After perusing their website, I realize there were a LOT more products that I wanted to try. So I splurged on some foundation samples (LYS Beauty Mini Triple Fix Serum Foundation in the shades DN5, DN6 and DP5). I was really impressed by the company’s color range: the foundation is available in 35 different shades! So I got the three shades that seemed closest to my complexion. In my video, I swatched the colors (no worries: the video will be posted below).

I also decided to try the LYS Beauty Higher Standard Satin Matte Cream Blush in Empower (a deep berry plum shade). The formulation is soft and buildable: I’ve used it twice and I love it! I’m excited to try Inspire (a vibrant terracotta hue) and Passion (a vivid fuchsia pink shade). For those that don’t know, blush is probably my favorite color cosmetic to apply: it adds life to your face and instantly gives you brightness and dimension. I pretty much always throw on blush, even when I don’t do a full face of makeup. So finding a cream blush that I love is a real treat!

I decided, on a whim, to try some of the skin care offered by LYS Beauty, too. The LYS Beauty Think Bright Glow + Hydrate Serum with Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid is a reasonably priced product that promises to “a succulent glow and long-lasting hydration”. I’m doing an in-depth video and write-up about this product separately, but I wanted to mention it, since it’s part of my purchase. I have . . . Thoughts! But again, that’ll be coming your way soon.

Finally, the company graciously threw in a freebie for purchasing over a certain dollar amount, namely, the LYS Beauty Mini Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil. This is such a great lip product that is perfect for adding moisture and shine without weighing your lips down or feeling sticky/tacky. I love it!

Below, you can see the video where I first learn about LYS Beauty, as well as the video showing you each of the products of this haul. Additionally, one of my favorite YTers, Cheryl over at Free Range Diva, reviewed the LYS blush. You can check out Cheryl’s review here.

That’s it for today! I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your day, and I’ll talk to you all soon. Take care!

beauty · culture · hollywood glamour · luxury · style

A Review of Emeraude (As Worn By Billie Holiday)

Recently, over on my YouTube, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of fragrances. I love the transformative power that can be experienced by changing the scent you wear: the right perfume can make you feel invincible!

I decided to research some of the fragrances worn by old Hollywood stars, and I was really excited to discover the fragrances worn by some of my favorites. I researched these scents and I found that some of them were extremely affordable. So I figured, “Why not?” and bought some bottles.

The first scent I purchased was Emeraude by Coty. This was the fragrance preferred by none other than Lady Day, Billie Holiday. The notes of the fragrance are as follows:

  • Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon and Orange
  • Middle notes: Brazilian Rosewood, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine and Rose
  • Base notes: Opoponax, Benzoin, Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood and Patchouli
Lady Day herself, Billie Holiday (as seen in the movie New Orleans)
Emeraude by Coty, Billie’s fragrance of choice

This fragrance is peculiar to me: not in a bad way, but in a good way. The perfume is citrusy before and immediately after spraying, then it quickly diffuses into a soft but earthy bouquet, and dries down to a warm and slightly sweet essence. The peculiar part is, throughout all of this, the perfume retains powdery notes, which I didn’t expect. When I first read the list of notes, I figured this would be bright, spicy, and then mellow. So to have the essence of baby powder lingering while wearing it was completely unexpected, but nice.

I have more information about the scent in the YouTube video, which I’ll insert below. But, you can always pick up a bottle to try it for yourself: it was less than $12 USD (I’ve seen it sold for as little as $9) so it is extremely accessible and, if you don’t like it, you can probably easily resell it or give it away. Full disclosure: while this is powdery and rather soft, I find it does smell a bit . . . dated (the formulation is over 100 years old!). This is definitely for someone that wants a unique scent that isn’t syrupy sweet or overwhelmingly floral. Also, this is a cologne spray, so it won’t have the same longevity as, say, an eau de parfum. So if you love it, prepare to refresh your fragrance at least once during the day. But at $9-12 per bottle, using the product more frequently probably won’t be a huge issue.

That’s it for today! I hope you all are having a great week, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

  • This post contains affiliate links.
beauty · culture · hollywood glamour · international · luxury · style

Kibbe Soft Classic Chat – Grace Kelly

As promised in a previous post, I want to start exploring some of deeper aspects of the concepts that interest me, and that I’ve previously discussed on the blog. In particular, I’m very interested in understanding the intersection between art, design and life, as well as the ways we can use the arts to support us in living our best lives.

To start these discussions, I want to begin with one of my favorite topics: the Kibbe Style ID system. The Kibbe system has been updated by David Kibbe in recent years but the overall concept is the same: there are certain style “IDs” that people fit in, and these style IDs can give us insight into the kind of clothing, accessories and hairstyling we can utilize to best present our physical selves. The style ID category that I fall into is Soft Classic (SC).

I’m in good company with the SC category: quite a few famous beauties share this ID (if you are interested in some of the women that are in other Kibbe categories, check out this post). The most famous of the SCs is probably Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.

Kibbe previously classified Grace as a Classic, but, after further consideration, he decided that a pure Classic category was too rare in nature to warrant its own group. Thus, Grace was reclassified as a SC. I won’t go into all of the features that make her a SC (you can undoubtedly find this information on numerous websites and YouTube). But I will discuss how her style and energy influenced her persona, and how she used fashion to mold her public perception.

A collection worth checking out: Grace Kelly: A Life In Pictures

The effect: The Eternal Princess

Even before she official became a princess, Grace had a royal look. This was, in part, due to her incredible bone structure and slim physique, but her styling played a heavy role in looking the part of a princess. The clothing she wore onscreen often featured fitted bodices in flattering colors, and these were often short sleeved or sleeveless (a perfect way to display perfectly toned arms). She didn’t often wear shorts or skirts with calves or knees exposed. This was partly due to the fashion trends of the time, but these also perpetuated the reserved image that is often seen in royal families.

SCs often look better in the structured and symmetrical garments favored during the 1950s/early 1960s (think Dior’s New Look era). Generally speaking, these items are feminine in silhouette but not overly embellished. Considering that Grace’s Hollywood career occurred during the New Look period, she was literally the right woman at the right time to wear these clothes. She has the perfect look for the clothing that was most popular during this time.

In addition to the clothes she wore, Grace also wore perfect SC hair and makeup. Her blond coiffure was always immaculately styled, with hair having rounded shapes but remaining sleek overall. She wore defined lips, flawless foundation, and gently enhanced eyes, allowing her facial balance to shine. This period was perfect for her look, as it occurred after the dramatically tweezed and redrawn brows and beestung lips of the 1920s and 30s, but before the heavily enhanced eye makeup and exaggerated hair of the 1960s.

The look of this period – reserved, elegant, structured but soft where it counts – are all traits that are often associated with elite women, specifically, royals. So Grace’s leveraging of these trends helped form the public opinion of her being queenly (indeed, she was considered an “ice princess” or “ice queen”, though her costars all agreed that she was quite the opposite [warm and friendly, by all accounts]). In many ways, Grace “dressed the part” of royal before she and Prince Rainier III ever crossed paths. Her sartorial assimilation into royal life in Monaco must have been fairly easy for her.

Book discussing Grace Kelly’s fashion: Grace Kelly Style by Kristina Haugland

My takeaways from Grace’s style aren’t new information, but I’ll still state them briefly: dress for the life that you want, and wear the designs that work for your unique style ID. We’ve heard that we have to “dress for success”, and success can be whatever you define it as. So, if you want the life of a royal, dress like one (within reason and your budget, of course). And if you know your style ID, experiment with the recommended silhouettes to find a look that works for you. After all, this whole journey is about figuring out what works, and discarding what doesn’t.

That’s it for this style ID/SC chat. I hope you all are having a fabulous February! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

(This post includes affiliate links)

style · writing

Writers Wednesday – Welcome to the Creator’s Chamber

Happy Writers Wednesday! As promised last week, I’m here to show you all some of the touches I incorporated into my office to turn it into my creative chamber of sorts.

I finally cleared out some boxed items, putting them into their proper places. I began sorting out my desk and improved the lighting situation (there is no overhead lighting in this room, so I have to incorporate floor and desk lamps). There are some more minor aesthetic changes I want to make, but for now, I’m satisfied. I finally have a space I can work and create in.

I decided to add some inspiring decorative touches, like these pretty inscribed rocks I purchased for my garden (that I didn’t work on as much as I wanted last year . . . ). I put them on a few of my bookshelves fora little color and whimsy.

I also put some of my lovely thrifted pieces on a few of my bookshelves.

There’s more to do, but I’m pacing myself because I don’t want to get overwhelmed during the process of getting everything “in order”. Nothing sabotages progress like overwhelm, which is why taking my time has been crucial to arranging my creative chamber.

That’s it for now! I’ll add more photos as I finish decorating in the weeks to come. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

art · hollywood glamour · life curation · luxury · relaxation · style

An Inspired Environment – Vintage Home Decor Inspiration

I mentioned last year that I wanted to start decorating my house in a style that reflected my personal tastes. For reference, I love old-fashioned decor, especially anything pre-1940s. The occasional mid-century modern touches are charming (my home was built during the mid-century period, so some of these features show up in its architecture) but I have a soft spot for Victorian, Art Deco and Art Nouveau interiors. There’s something so indisputably glamorous about the fabrics, textures, colors, and furniture used during these periods.

On a recent trip to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (one of my favorite places to go for creative inspiration) I saw a recreation of the bedroom of Arabella Worsham Rockefeller (yes, those Rockefellers). No expense was spared in creating a decadent room for Mrs. Worsham Rockefeller to retire. The room was originally set up in the Rockefellers’ New York brownstone, but was gifted to VMFA in 2009. The experts at VMFA painstakingly replicated the room, using as many of the original artifacts as available. The end result is a stunningly luxurious, elegant, and warm bedroom: just what I want to recreate.

Here are some pictures from the Worsham Rockefeller bedroom:

I was captivated by all of the fine details of this room: the ornate ceiling, the embellished door, the tasteful sitting area (I’d venture to call this a proper boudoir area, but it retains a certain formality that I wouldn’t expect in a French-inspired boudoir), the harmonious color palette of burgundy, brown, and gold . . . Everything about this room is so carefully selected and perfectly appointed.

life curation · luxury · style

Major Home Changes Ahead . . .

Hey friends! I hope you all are staying safe, warm, and happy. As you all know, this blog is more than just art, beauty, food, and creativity. I’m also committed to sharing other aspects of my life that matters to me and that I hope can help you all.

Recently, I came to the realization that some of the stagnation I’d experienced in certain areas of my life are a reflection of my physical space. Back in 2019, I purchased my dream home. I spent the majority of 2020, and a good portion of 2021, sharing my most sacred space with my grandmother and her sister which was a beautiful experience but also stressful for a multitude of reasons. After my beloved relatives returned to their home, I had to restore the sanctity of my space. The presence of other people, who have drastically different perspectives, opinions, and needs, can “contaminate” the energy of a home. So, I’ve been committed to bringing the energy back to what I prefer.

I thought this could be done with small, cosmetic things, like new furniture, or adding some wreaths to the doors. But a recent clogged pipe, significant water damage, and a denied insurance claim, clarified for me that my floor needed to be replaced and I’ll be responsible for paying for it myself. I looked at my once beautiful hardwood floor, and made peace with the fact that it would be different, but still beautiful, once the repairs are done.

This isn’t the way that I wanted it to happen, but I can see that this is leading me in the direction that I need to go. I started looking at the other things that need to be repaired, tweaked or changed completely. My home doesn’t feel sacred anymore, but I can change things to make sure that I have a sanctified space that reflects all of my aesthetic desires. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m up for the challenge. I’ll keep you all posted as I make changes.

That’s it for today. I’ve interspersed some pictures of inspirational home decor that I’ve collected from here and there. Who knows: maybe I’ll recreate some of these looks in the months to come!

beauty · style

A Tale of Three Reds

As we transition from cool to cold weather, I’m often faced with decisions about how to bring liveliness back into my personal appearance. I find that the chilly gray days give the entire landscape a dull cast that I feel is inadvertently absorbed into my aura. So, I do a lot of things to try to make sure that I’m not visually dull or boring.

The best way for me to do this is through my clothing and makeup. One of my goals for this year was to find an inexpensive, wearable red that would be very appropriate for a variety of occasions. I knew that I was getting close to reaching this goal when I stumbled upon 3 Revlon lipsticks at the Dollar Tree.

As a woman of color/Black American woman (particularly one with dark skin), we’re often encouraged to avoid colors that are too bright: red definitely falls into that category. However, I wholeheartedly believe that there is a shade of red for everyone. I also believe in a little act of rebellion here and there, and defining beauty for myself is a big part of that. I tested my “red is for everyone” theory by trying the three following shades of red: Rosewine (shade 225), Wine with Everything (shade 525), and Revlon Red (shade 730). You may be able to find the colors at your local Dollar Tree or drugstore; alternatively, you can pick them up on Amazon (I’ve already inserted hyperlinks for your convenience).

But I went a step further and filmed the lipstick try-on for you all. I hope you enjoy!

***This post contains affiliate links.