By Marina MonroeMACMAC’s limited edition A Novel Romance collection aims to feign that falling in love flush.

MAC’s latest creative collection concoction tempts you to fall in love with luscious shades. Particular standouts include sensual yet sophisticated eyeshadow quads composed of doe-eyed damsel in distress neutrals (especially Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Pure Flash), metallic blues, intense greens (Sex & The Oyster is stunning)), and cool, blackened purples that lend your lids that siren smolder. Powder Blush in Animal Instincts is a cheery cinnamon bronze blush that manages to be both rosy and warm without overpowering your cheekbones. My ultimate favorites of the A Novel Romance Collection would have to be the lip colors, specifically lipstick in shades of rich pink and purple that exude romantic vibes to any prince who might be walking by.

Source: MAC A Novel Romance Collection, all via MAC.com


American Girl launched their BeForever collection today at American Girl Place at The Grove! This new collection features dolls that are back from the archives with new coordinating styles, accessories and designs inspired by their historical eras and stories.

Each character features a story series that explores the doll’s era so your girl can discover how all girls share the same hopes and dreams.

We got a sneak peek at the collection this morning. Check out our photos below.

AmericanGirl_BeForever_Clothes_1 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Cupcakes_1 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Display_1 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Display_2 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Display_3 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Display_4 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Display_5 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Dolls_1 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Dolls_2 AmericanGirl_BeForever_Dolls_animate

For more information about the BeForever collection visit www.americangirl.com or American Girl Place at The Grove.


By Marina MonroeLEATHERMIDIA ladylike and lightweight way to wear leather.

Lightweight leather can be found everywhere from the runways of Elie Tahari and Yigal Azrouël, to the sidewalk you’re strutting on. This kind leather is perfect to keep your favorite fabric on your body without dying of a heat stroke. Leather doesn’t just have to be on a jacket, it can be worn in all types of ways now. Some of the most popular is in a mid length skirt. This feminine style paired with the edginess of leather is what makes this one of the hot items of the season. Paired with an equally hot leather crop top and you’re prepared and to walk down you’re own runway.

Source: Tildon Faux Leather Flared Midi Skirt via Nordstrom; Zara Leather Skirt via Zara; Coach Leather Midi skirt via Coach.


By Marina MonroeEYESSee no evil in optical apparel.

The seemingly endless ascent of Street Style Iconography and our subsequent personal need to dress like STREET STYLE stars has led to an added emphasis on statement pieces. Statement pieces are items no one you know has, and spark praise by strangers and friends alike whenever worn in public. Standard statement pieces feature slogans, pops of ultra bright color, studs, spikes, or a distinctive pattern or print. So what’s the next statement piece to snap up before everyone else? EYES. Evil eyes have been cool since The Odyssey, but never trendier than this upcoming Fall of 2014. Fom winking eyes to neon-colored eyes to Egyptian-inspired eyes, eye prints of every kind are popping up on everything from dresses to purses. Designers like Pierre Hardy, Charlotte Olympia, and Kenzo are slapping statement eyes on their upcoming RTW Collections.

Source: Printed eye dress with back zip via Zara.com; Wendy Nichol embroidered “Eye of Horus” bullet bag via Barneys; Nila Anthony beaded eye clutch via Nordstrom; Flirting Slipper via ChiaraFerragniCollection.com


By Matt Vega, Bar Verde at The Grove


Sitting in the dimly lit lounge at Warren’s Blackboard in Studio City, my eyes are immediately drawn to a Sticky Toffee Pudding on the dessert menu.  When executed correctly, there aren’t many desserts that make me a happier person.  While waiting for the dessert to arrive, I glance over their beverage selection to find something that might just make the experience I’m about to have even better.  I decide on one of my favorites, North Coast Brewing’s “Old Rasputin”.

Words cannot describe when both a beer and a culinary creation come together in just perfect harmony.  The sweet moist caramel and spice flavors of that Sticky Toffee Pudding and the slightly bitter coffee and nutty notes in the Old Rasputin created the Holy Grail of beer pairing.

There are an infinite amount of these life changing experiences that can be had if you are up for the adventure.  Here are three tips to get you on the right track.

1.Drink Beer
With the number of quality craft beers on the market right now, this should be an enjoyable process.  What you are looking for is to expand and increase the sensitivity of your palate.  There is a world of subtle nuances in craft beer that you will only begin to appreciate once you have tasted enough beers to recognize them

2. To Compliment or Contrast?
There are two basic ways I like to go about pairing beer.  If you have a dish that has some notes in it that are subtle, you can look to enhance these notes by choosing a beer that has similar or complimentary flavors.  On the other hand, much like in the case of the Sticky Toffee Pudding, if you have a dish that is dominantly a particular flavor palate, you should go with something that will add contrast and balance.  Think preparing a dish.  If you accidentally made something to acidic, you can add sugar to balance it out and create an amazing final product.

3. Slow Your Roll
With the way our society influences us, we are so accustomed to constantly being on the go.  Rushing from one task to the next has become second nature and an almost unavoidable practice.  When you sit down to enjoy a meal, take your time.  Chances are the chef and the brewer poured their heart and soul into what you are planning to devour in 35 seconds. Give it the time and respect to really savor and appreciate what is going on.  You might just fall in love with every bite and sip.

This Thursday, join Bar Verde for Craft Beer Tasting. Enjoy California craft beers paired with a special menu created by Chefs Travis Chase and Rhian Peterman.  Four courses, small plates and 4 oz craft beer paired with each course. For more information and to view the menu online, click here.


By Marina MonroeBOOTIEThe shoe trend that takes you from Summer to Fall.

I’m sorry to say that your sandals days are numbered. Don’t delve into denial: August is LA’s last super Summer month, and those lazy warm days will soon fade into crisp Fall. Smooth transition from Season to Season is all about preparation, and one sure fire way to face Fall fashionably is acquiring a gorgeous pair of open toe booties. The open toes allow you to show off that fresh pedicure and save your feet from stifling heat, while still fitting in with Autumn’s layered and long wardrobe. Plus, open toe booties are available in a myriad of prices points, colors, materials, and patterns, so there’s sure to be one that will make you swoon!

Source: Proenza Schouler Ankle Bootie via Nordstrom; Vince Open-Toe Booties via Nordstrom; Barneys Open-Toe Bootie via Barneys.


By Marina MonroeMAILLOTSFrom Marilyn Monroe to Sophia Loren, the most elegant women of past and present favor one-piece swimwear.

No one loves a bikini quite like a California girl, but honor and credit must be given to the eternal one piece. It has never gone out of fashion. It will never go out of fashion. Maillots are immune to Fashion’s flighty tastes because they elongate and silhouette a woman’s body in a way bikinis never will. Fashionistas know this. Socialites know this. And celebrities definitely know about the maillot’s marvelous virtues. Even Rihanna, notorious for skimpy attire and provocative style, was spotted just last month in a maillot. And you know what? She never looked sexier. Maillots might be the one style secret shared by Farrah Fawcett AND Elizabeth Taylor AND my mother. So snatch yours now, before Summer ends and you’re left without that majestic and deeply sexy instapic of you claud with effortless sophistication in a majestic maillot.

Source: Aloha Deep Frill Swimsuit via TopShop; Seafolly Coastline Boyleg Maillot via Anthropologie; Oh My Love Exclusive to ASOS High Neck Swimsuit via Asos.com.


By Marina MonroeGOLDDouble the impact of your classic cat eye with a color saturated lid lining.

Here’s some makeup math: what does a thick black cat eye plus striking streak of metallic eyeshadow equal? A powerful pop of glamour. I was inspired by makeup models at Badgley Mischka wore for Fall 2014, who rocking the almost-optical makeup illusion. When the models eyes were open, it seemed like a standard black cat eye. But as soon as a model blinked, they deliver a powerful flash of gold. This combination is more than flattering, it’s traffic (or at least man) stopping. Let’s give our trusty smoky eye a break and gilding my eyes in gold and ebony.

Source: MAC Cosmetics Fluidline in Blacktrack & MAC Cosmetics A Novel Romance Fluidline Pencil in Atomic Ore via Style.com; MAC Eyeshadow in Goldmine via Mac.


By Marina MonroeBLUERoyal blue is raging on.

When the colors of next season’s collections became clear, it was obvious that blue had a strong runway presence. From cerulean, cyan and cobalt to navy, sapphire and periwinkle, blue is undisputedly about to blow up and all over our collective wardrobes. Yet my favorite shade of blue for the upcoming months has a majestic effect: royal blue. Bolder than navy but less flashy than sapphire, royal blue occupies the gorgeous territory between bright and neutral. In particular, my inspiration came from Tibi’s Fall Campaign in which deep but bright shades of royal blue popped from the page and into my imagination. Stand out and stand tall in royal blue coating on crepe dresses, button-down tops, pointed-toe pumps, and of course a fabulous coat.

Source: Vince Women’s Pleated Zipper-Cuff Harem Pants via Vince; Zara Stiletto Court Shoes via Zara; Kenzo “K” Jacquard Ribbed Sweater via Barneys.


By Marina MonroeHATPanama Hats and Fedoras in dusky neutral hues are 2014’s must have headwear.

Panama Hats and Fedoras continue to dominate street style and editorial spreads for a reason: they’re modern, flexible, flattering, and add a juicy dose of boho rock and roll to any ensemble. While the traditional iterations of both style involve straw, this Season woven headwear is being eschewing for fierce fabrics in deep, almost somber tones such as chocolate and ebony. The best versions are made distinct by a touch of metal work or sophisticated applique, like a gunmetal buckle or grosgrain band. Effortless is attitude is what these pieces are all about, with a structured base lending maturity and broad (but never floppy) edges whispering “I woke up cool”. If you’re just getting started on this trend, make your life easier by veering towards classic black. It’s not only the easiest, it’s the trendiest; Yang Li, Kenneth Cole Collection, Alexis Mabille, Tibi and Dion Lee sent models strutting in broad black hats for their Fall 2014 shows. You can scoop one up at many Grove boutiques and fantastic hat carts.

Source: Rag & Bone Floppy-Brim Fedora via Barneys.com; BP. Wool Panama Hat via Nordstrom.com; Yang Li, Kenneth Cole Collection, Alexis Mabille, via Fashionista.com.