style fuss

Date Night Look: Bright + Bold Lip and Bettie Page Hair

Posted in Beauty by Ciara on May 2, 2010

This is my first YouTube video!  In this video I show you how to do a bit of a retro-pin up look, inspired by one of my heroines, Bettie Page, and also Beyonce’s look in Lady Gaga’s Telephone video.  To view the mark. products I used in this video please visit my mark eBoutique. Hope you like it! Let me know what you think!


Lady Gaga: Bad Romance = Great Fashion

Posted in Obsession du Jour by Ciara on November 12, 2009

While my bestie was up our anthem was definitely Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.  We seriously danced around to it at least once a day during the week-long visit!  (I’m a bit of a fangirl and I don’t care.)  Now that the video is out I am thrilled!  (side note:  That last shot in the video?!  Seriously, I die.)

Bad Romance screenshot

Lady Gaga in Agent Provocateur

I am IN LOVE with the Agent Provocateur black Love Demi Bra and Briefs she rocks in the video.

Agent Provocateur Love Demi Bra

Not to mention pieces from Alexander McQueen’s amazing Spring 2010 collection.

I was also interested to find out that the over-the-top polar bear coat she dons later in the video is by New York-based designer Benjamin Cho. Originally created for his Spring 2004 runway show with the Human Society, the completely faux-fur coat was “reworked” just for Gaga’s video…  Gorgeous!

Bad Romance - Lady Gaga

photo from The Cut


Halloween Tips & Tricks

Posted in Uncategorized by Ciara on October 27, 2009


kitty cat costume

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Halloween Week has officially begun!  … and yes, because of my love of the holiday, I am in full support of extending the celebration all week long!  I have been planning a fun costume for myself for a few weeks now.  Of course, I don’t really need an excuse to play dress up!  This week I will share with you some of my favorite Halloween pictures from when I was a little kid.  The above photograph taken when I was about three during my cat phase – I was a cat for three years in a row at least. 🙂

There are some fabulous costumes out there, ready to buy and wear but personally I find it a lot more fun to get creative and see what happens!  Funds are tight for a lot of people this year but don’t let that dampen your Halloween spirit!

  • Thrift-store finds are begging to be transformed into your holiday finery!  Any  character you might be inspired by can easily be outfitted with a simple trip to Goodwill.  Not to mention many thrift stores’ proceeds go to benefit the less fortunate and with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming just around the corner the small amount of money you spend can definitely do some good.  Better than picking up a costume-in-a-bag and cheaper, too!  And if you decide to go gore-y this Halloween you won’t feel too bad about mucking up something you acquired with pocket change.
  • You’d be amazed at what a pair of cheap panty hose, some corn syrup, and food coloring can get you!  I’ve found some remarkable tutorials on YouTube for making all sorts of ghoulish delights for under $20…


  • Okay, so maybe blood and gore isn’t your ticket.  I found myself searching for inspiration photographs and making a style board.  The more images I collected the more inspired I got and the more my idea has progressed.  See something you like – rip it off!  There’s no need to shell out big bucks for a costume a bunch of other people will be wearing!  Instead, get a picture of it (or 50!) and figure out what key pieces you will need.  Usually there are distinct elements you have to nail – with my Margot Tenenbaum costume I knew I needed the fur coat, wooden finger, heavy eyeliner and blonde wig.  Sure I would’ve loved the Lacoste polo dress but I  knew if the other elements were right the costume would be a success.  Got the wig for $10, fur coat was my great-grandmothers’, and I made the wooden finger with papier-mâché and wood-look contact paper.  Total spent?  $15  Fun had?  Immeasurable.
  • This brings me to my next point:  Use what you’ve got!  Get inspired by your own wardrobe or that of a close friend or relative.  We all have things in our closets that we rarely wear.  What better time to utilize these unique pieces?  Take a shopping trip through your own closet or host a clothes swap with friends and come up with ideas together.
  • For my costume (which I will reveal in good time…) I took inspiration from the runways!  (Particularly Rodarte with their sometimes spooky, goth edge.)  Some trends really lend themselves well to being reinterpreted as costumes.  There is no need to make Halloween too oh-my-gawdy and sacrifice being chic…  unless of course that’s your goal! 🙂
  • Finally, if you’re having trouble cementing a killer-costume (okay, pun intended) then find a buddy to make your Halloween statement with!  Dressing up as a pair or in a group is always fun and it is much easier to get into character when you create an atmosphere with others.

With all of this said, I would LOVE to hear some of your ideas for Halloween!  Costume ideas, tips and tricks of your own, memorable Halloweens past…  all of it!  Spooky or otherwise, what are you going to be for Halloween?



Press Play: Video Treasures

Posted in Press Play by Ciara on October 23, 2009

I have made some really great discoveries on YouTube today!  First, Lady Gaga in a fashion short!  Got to say I love the asymmetrical bangs she is rocking in this and the editing is pretty great as well.

[edit] Video has been removed from YouTube because of copyright issues – Bummer. [/edit]

Secondly, may I introduce you to the fabulous Kandee Johnson!  I only recently found out about Kandee’s amazing makeup tutorials and, I must say, I am in love!  She is hilarious, beautiful, and beyond talented!  Here are a few of my favorites.

It is UNCANNY how much this lady can make herself look like Johnny Depp as… Edward Scissorhands!

As the Iconic Barbie…

… and Michael Jackson!

This is just a sampling of Kandee’s amazing work!  Check out her blog, Kandee The Makeup Artist and her YouTube Channel!


Bookmark: The Teen Vogue Handbook

Posted in Bookmark by Ciara on October 13, 2009
© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

This afternoon I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a package in the manager’s office at my apartment complex and what could it be?!  My deeply anticipated copy of The Teen Vogue Handbook!!!

I must confess I am a devourer of books (and magazines) – a monster to be appeased only by print on page and the occasional glossy, gorgeous cover.  I was delighted when I got this fabulous book in the mail today and so far it is surpassing my expectations!  Not only is the layout wonderful and the colors vivid (as a graphic designer I can’t ignore these great details) but the interviews I’ve read so far with such fashion industry superstars as Marc Jacobs, Thakoon, and the lovely ladies behind Rodarte have been both amazing and inspiring.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in fashion and its seemingly impenetrable gates!  I plan to keep my nose buried in it for the next few days!