Off the Shoulder

The off the shoulder look, thankfully is here to stay as one of fall’s biggest fashion trends. It is such a flattering, fun, chic way to add a little flair to a plain look. Whether it is a top or a classic lbd, the shoulder detail is sweet and sexy.

I purchased this entire look well within budget, which is always an exciting feat. I paired this Nicole Miller dress with a black and white vegan clutch from Target. I kept the the look simple and added a pair of silver cascade earrings from Charming Charlie.

Since dying my hair red I have avoided the sun like the plague to prevent unnecessary fading. As a result, I am paler than ever. To add a little color to my face, I applied the gorgeous and shimmering eyeshadow, blush, and bronzer from the Bronze Goddess palette by Laini Cosmetics. I added the Liquid Shimmer to the center of my lips to add depth and fullness.

Laini Cosmetics makeup

Wendy Buiter

Fabulous illustration by International Artist, Wendy Buiter

Ashley

New Abstract Art By Wendy Buiter

Wendy Buiter, abstract

Abstract no. II using acrylics, charcoal and ink on 200grs 100x70cm paper.

Wendy Buiter is one of my favorite artists- her artwork is unique, vibrant, and full of life. The most fascinating part of Wendy is she is constantly evolving, expressing herself differently through her art. I do not believe she has even scratched the surface of her capabilities.

Recently, Wendy is creating abstract art, which is exceptional. I asked Wendy to tell me which artists inspire her and her current creative process. Wendy is of course inspired by some of the masters including Willem de Kooning and Matisse. As for contemporary artists, she regards Sander Steins, Lola Donaghue, Bobbie Burgers, and Conn Ryder among her favorites.

As for the process, I will let Wendy explain in her own words…

“I have been working on portraits for the last two years now. My current signature style includes capturing the eyes, focusing on lashes, pouty lips and little noses. The figure appears naïve, with a face inspired by fashion photography and haute couture fashion designer runway shows. But somewhere a long the way I felt stuck. To me, making art means being free, to do whatever feels right in the moment. Making art has to come from your gut intuition.

Recently, I had a nice chat with one of my former fellow students from the Rietveld Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. We spoke about my works and what I could do to feel free again. After the conversation, I noticed I was trying to push too hard. I said to myself, I have to let go of all the rules I gave myself, just let everything go, no portraits, no goals, just play, experiment and let it come from my inner self. Let the colors come to me, make something, destroy it, and build something new again, without having to think of a specific outcome.

In the case of the referential abstractions to portraits, there is still an impulse-driven exploration to break through the boundaries of and reinterpret the obvious, but I think the original concept may nevertheless function to maintain some representational familiarity. Letting it go is the key to feeling free and autonomous.

So my latest works are from my deeper soul that had to break free from making works that I thought I HAD to create. My latest abstract works feels so liberating. All this time, I have never felt so happy as I am now. An artist to me means freedom to express myself, letting my spirit flow onto the canvas without any expectations or responsibilities- this is how to achieve the best results.” Wendy Buiter, International Artist 

What is your interpretation of Wendy’s abstract piece?

Upcoming Event- Featuring Laini Cosmetics and Paula Hian

I am so excited for this upcoming event! Laini Cosmetics and Paula Hian are collaborating for a special beauty meets fashion event.

Laini Bianculli will be demonstrating how to properly apply bronzer and let’s be honest that is quite the skill! It can feel intimidating to apply bronzer if you are not sure where or how to do so. Laini’s gorgeous collection of brand new bronzing products are perfect for creating that sun kissed glow without any streaking. Laini offers a special curated collection, Beaches & Cream that has all of the bronzing products you will need for this summer and all year round- a must have to add to your makeup collection!

In the past, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paula Hian on her process, inspiration, and collections. She continues to create classic, timeless pieces with a unique and deft hand. Her new collection integrates geometric shapes and utilizes black and white color schemes.

Laini Cosmetics Brand Beauty

Thank you to the very talented International Artist, Wendy Buiter for this gorgeous custom art piece! Laini Cosmetics “Brand Beauty” featured wearing Paula Hian design.

Both women will be offering a giveaway that you do not want to miss. Join us for an evening out filled with laughter, drinks, and of course fashion and beauty!

PaulaHianandLainiCosmetics

Fabulous Limited Edition T-Shirt

International Illustrator, Wendy Buiter has partnered with fashion brand Mamme-Alla-Moda and created a limited edition t-shirt! This fabulous tee showcases Wendy’s original “Ballerina Arms” artwork.

Wendy’s art is so wearable as it is able to transcend from paper to clothing bringing life to the illustrations. “I want to fascinate people with my art and trigger their own creative side. I believe my signature style- fashionart, combines fine art with fashion in a seamless way” Wendy Buiter.

Make sure to purchase this shirt for the summer. It would be perfect to wear casually with jeans and sandals or dress up with a pencil skirt and heels.

This “Dancing Mom” tee is available in two styles, cap sleeves and short sleeve in 100% cotton.

WendyBuiterTee

WendyBuiterTshirt

Congrats to Wendy Buiter

Wendy Buiter

I am proud to announce that my friend and talented International Illustrator will be showcasing her fabulous work at the famous Art Exhibition, Art In Tent Kaiserslautern! Her gorgeous artwork pieces will be exhibited for all to see- free admission from April 26-30 10am to 8pm.

Wendy is an exceptional and versatile artist, working with mixed media. Wendy is available for commissions and brand licensing opportunities. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in collaborating. For reference, review her extensive client portfolio here.

Congratulations, Wendy on a truly wonderful achievement! If you are traveling to Europe make sure to visit Kaiserslautern, Germany to see this exciting exhibit!

 

Wendy Buiter- How-to Create the perfect Spring Beauty Look

As you have seen on previous articles, Wendy Buiter is an extraordinary artist, a talented International Illustrator who has created several custom pieces specifically for Sugarpeel. Wendy is also a Makeup Artist and today she shows us how-to create a beautiful Spring makeup look using Laini Cosmetics!
For this Spring Make-up Look I used Laini Cosmetics Camera Ready primer followed by the Like Magic corrector quad foundation primer under my eyes and covering the darks around my nose. Then I used the BB Cream in light, which has a really nice texture. It feels so soft and spreads out very evenly.
I shaped my face with the Cream Contour Palette using the lightest (first from the left from the upper row) on my forehead and chin and the lightest-dark (first from the left lower row) right under my cheekbones.
The second color from the left from the upper row for my eyelid and the third from the left, middle row I made the crease shade using the Nude Ambition palette.
I curled my lashes. I believe this is an absolute must before applying mascara! *For an evening look I recommend using Laini Cosmetics false lashes, which are just perfect. They look natural, but also make the eyes pop. Followed by the Inkjet Eyeliner pen.
Wendy Buiter

I used the Black Intense Lash Mascara. It has a very small brush so I could easily reach all lashes. I applied the ballerina pink color from the Bronzer Duet for blushing my cheeks. I applied the lipliner Cherish from the Classic Lip Collection (coming soon) to totally color in my lips, not just the lines, but the complete lips. This makes the color very long lasting. On top of that I used the Hot Lips (coming soon) lipgloss.

I loved all of my Laini Cosmetics make-up! It stayed perfectly during the whole day AND evening. My favorite product is the eyeshadow I used on my eyelids, it has a beautiful shimmer. The BBCream is just perfect as well!

Wendy Buiter

Wendy Buiter

Charlie’s Jeans Philadelphia

Charlie's Jeans

Beautiful illustration by the talented Wendy Buiter

Over the weekend, I visited Charlie’s Jeans in Old City Philadelphia for the very first time. I am embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered this company that has been around for over 18 years! Charlie’s sells beautiful quality, made in the U.S.A. Sebastian McCall jeans in a variety of washes and styles. Sebastian believes that the perfect fitting jeans on men and women instantly boosts confidence. I have to agree. Jean shopping can be tortuous for me. Some shopping experiences are better than others, but some can be extremely tedious- trying on dozens of pairs only to leave with a semi decent fit.

As I walked into Charlie’s I was immediately greeted by friendly store manager, Heather. The store itself is immaculately clean and organized with inviting orange as the brand color. Heather spoke to me at length about the jeans and their claim to fame- finding the perfect fitting jeans for each and every person. I needed to see it to believe it. Heather walked right over to a neatly folded stack of jeans and found my size, which fit like a glove. Truly, it was as though they were made for me. I could barely look away from the full length mirror, in awe that the waist was not gapping and there were no creases in the legs. As a small, but curvy person, I find that my biggest dilemma is going up a size to accommodate my thighs and butt, which only increases the waist size forcing me to wear a belt. What a relief.

Charlie's Jeans

Charlie's Jeans fitting room

Charlie's Jeans

Charlie’s extensive training to all employees is impressive. Heather’s knowledge really created an enjoyable jean shopping experience, one that is typically unfamiliar to me. Next day alterations are also available if you want to customize your jeans even further. If you are in the market for denim- make sure to stop by Charlie’s. These jeans are an investment piece that you will not regret.

Charlie's Jeans

Charlie's Jeans

Charlie's Jeans

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Recently, I watched a Hallmark movie (obviously), which was call All Things ValentineIn a nutshell, the movie centered around a jilted women who loathed Valentine’s Day and in true Hallmark form it was a happily ever after scenario for our leading lady, but not before the third act twist. Towards the end, she realized that she was surrounded by love in her life. She had a loving family and supportive friends. She already had many “Valentines” in her life with or without a relationship. I found this to be touching and just in time for the holiday. If I am being honest, I was feeling a little sarcastic towards the supposed most romantic day of the year. I needed some perspective.

The original Valentine’s Day had absolutely nothing in common with today’s version. The tradition of chocolates, flowers, and heart shaped cards have taken on a life of their own. The original story is actually tragic, beautiful, and inspiring.

St. Valentine was a Roman Catholic priest during the reign of the emperor Claudius the second, a fierce persecutor of the Christians. He prohibited marriage in an official edict under the impression that unmarried soldiers fought better than those that were married. Valentine did not heed his word and continued to administer marriage licenses. He secretly performed marriages as he truly believed in the sacred sacrament. Sadly, Valentine was imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded for his commitment to love.

While in prison, a jailer named Asterius brought his blind daughter to Valentine for lessons in history, mathematics, nature, and religion. Through their prayers Asterius’ daughter could see. A miracle occurred, which converted Asterius to christianity. On his final day, he wrote to Asterius’ daughter and signed the note, “from your Valentine.”

This past weekend my grandparents had their marriage blessed by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham. They will be married 58 years this May. My parents will be married 34 years this August. This Valentine’s Day, I am thankful for all of my little Valentines from my family to my friends. I love you all. I am inspired by Valentine’s story- his love, selflessness, and dedication to commitment. Even in the face of pain and persecution, he continued to instill love and faith to young lovers.

Have a special Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day from Wendy Buiter

Gorgeous illustration by the exceptionally talented, Wendy Buiter

C.O. Bigelow lip shines

HONEST GENUINE TRUSTWORTHY

As you may remember, I am a former employee of C.O. Bigelow. I was the Beauty Manager at the King of Prussia Mall location and loved every minute, the products, my customers, the philosophy. The original C.O. Bigelow apothecary in NYC still functions as a pharmacy as well as a beauty store. Established in 1838, this remarkable store offers products and brands with effective and quality ingredients. From the top down, corporate to retail, employees relish in finding the exact product for every concern. Customers are viewed as family and thus treated with respect. I enjoyed my time working with this fabulous company, taking pride in my job and helping each person that walked inside. Sadly, the mall location was not conducive for C.O. Bigelow and the location closed. It belongs in a neighborhood setting, encouraging a community atmosphere and unity, especially in Philadelphia; a city rich with history. The perfect place to have such an American landmark. Fingers crossed that L Brands gives it another try.

Personal care products are sold at C.O. Bigelow, including many luxury brands such as Kate Somerville, Rene Furterer, Acqua di Parma, and Lipstick Queen. Skincare, haircare, bodycare, and makeup are all under one roof, making the shopping experience enjoyable and convenient. C.O. Bigelow offers a full range of their own products as well. Each one has a number written on it representing the order in which is was produced. For instance, the Mentha Lip Shine/Breath Freshener is No. 502 and is a classic must-have item. This brings me to the Bigelow lip shines. Each one provides an ultra shine finish that can be worn alone or on top of your favorite matte lip product. They contain peppermint oil for a natural and on-the-go breath freshener. These lip shines are moisturizing and cooling on the lips.

They flew off the shelf at the store when I worked. I have one in every purse. Wendy Buiter and I decided to collaborate on featuring these lip shines. I felt as if it was important to do them justice as the company holds a special place in my heart. I am a fan of photography, but I truly believe that illustrations are a wonderful way of capturing something a little extra. A photo of these products may appear flat and one note. An illustration, however breathes life into the image, in this case a beauty product. I am certain that this will be a growing trend and will provide an alternative to traditional marketing within this industry.

Thank you Wendy for your interpretation and beautiful artwork!

Lemon Lip Cream

Cinnamon Lip Shine

Vanilla Lip Shine

C.O. Bigelow lip shines

Vera Wang

I have been wearing Vera Wang perfume (the original fragrance) since I was 16 years old. On a leadership conference to NYC my junior year of high school, we took a break to do a little shopping. What better NYC landmark to shop than Saks Fifth Avenue? Walking through the first floor to all of the exquisite beauty counters was quite the experience for such a makeup addict as myself. A bottle of Vera Wang caught my eye. I am a fan of the stunning Vera Wang ready to wear and bridal collection, but at the time did not know that she created perfume. I had to smell it. Her signature perfume, Vera Wang was designed to capture all of the emotion on your special wedding day. This spicy floral intoxicating perfume contains notes of lily, mandarin blossom, rose, gardenia, iris, lotus flower, stephanotis, floral accord, woods, and musk. This may have originally been developed for the blushing bride, but everyone can enjoy this complex and lovely fragrance. For 14 years, this has been my signature scent. I feel absolutely naked without it and positively confident wearing it. This is the true testament of a signature scent. One that is simply an extension of you, one that when others smell it they think of you.

I needed an image that truly represents the special place in my heart for this fabulous fragrance. That may sound a little strange, but scent is such a powerful sense and I have worn this perfume through many occasions. It has become a part of me and I wanted to do it justice. Instead of taking a flat photo of the bottle or using the traditional over sexualized image of a scantily clad model spritzing herself, I decided to have my friend, the very talented Wendy Buiter, create an image that fully encompasses and expresses the essence of Vera Wang perfume. We designed this beautiful illustration depicting a woman in ecstasy with the fragrance, smelling from the bottle all of the complex notes. This image captures the emotion behind the product. 

VeraWangPerfume