YOUR STYLE, YOUR SUPERPOWER
Almost everyone has a pair of comfy leggings in their closet; they’re easy to throw on, and don’t require a lot of effort when you need to use...you know….the little girls’ room. But stretchy pants aren’t always the most stylish looking as opposed to ripped jeans or a suede skirt (can you say “cameltoe?”). I put together five solutions for how you can rock your favorite pair of leggings in the chicest ways possible.
1. Find a solid colored pair with mesh cutouts. This can create a super sporty look; take Hailey Baldwin for example, who paired her leggings with an on-trend bomber jacket from Saint Laurent. Bombers are a super easy way to take your look from gym to high fashion street style in just seconds.
2. Pick a bomb pair of sneakers. If black leggings seem boring to you, a bold statement sneaker can totally draw all of the attention. Check out this awesome pair from Lola Cruz Shoes.
3. Pair your leggings with a long button down tee and a buckled belt for more of an androgynous look. Another plus: no camel toe will be showing! Take inspo from these two pieces I picked out:
4. Go for more of an edgy vibe by wearing pleather or leather leggings. Want to go full out rocker chic? Add a leather jacket like Bella Hadid. Just make sure to break up the pieces with a lighter colored t-shirt so your look isn’t completely black.
5. Tie a flannel around your waist for an-ultra chic vibe. If Hilary Duff can pull it off, so can you. Now go take on the fashion world in your fabulous leggings, style star!
the ultimate leggings shopping guide:
Carrie: Hi, Hawwaa! I’m so glad that we were able to talk about your blog! I absolutely loved the profile you did on my blog launch bash. I’m so glad that you were able to be a part of my special night.
Hawwaa: I'm really enjoying reading your blog and I see it's coming along very well, so congratulations!
Carrie: Thank you, that’s so sweet! So, when did you start your blog and why did you decide to start it?
Hawwaa: I started my blog back in January of 2014 in order to share my thoughts about fashion and the DIYs I used to do.
Carrie: Wow, that’s amazing that you have been able to maintain such an incredible platform for four years! What kind of message are you trying to convey to your blog’s subscribers?
Hawwaa: I’m trying to push creativity and originality to my viewers along with a realization that sometimes life doesn't always go your way, but you have to persevere and eventually good things will come.
Carrie: I love that. Now, I know from watching Project Runway Junior that you love vibrant designs but I want to hear in your own words how you would describe your own personal style.
Hawwaa: My personal style is inspired by the 1950s, but in order to add my own flare to it, I spice it us with bright colors and whimsical patterns.
Carrie: Oooh! I had no idea...now it makes so much sense! Okay, next question. What is a current style staple piece or trend that people should embrace?
Hawwaa: No eyebrows! I made the decision to shave my eyebrows off back in September 2017, and, for me personally, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I just think people who step out of their comfort zone and try do things. Embrace your weirdness.
Carrie: Someone write that down because that is the perfect motto for this month. I also wanted to ask you about beauty. Is there a favorite beauty product of yours that you would recommend?
Hawwaa: Maybelline FIT ME! Matte + Poreless Foundation.
Carrie: Maybelline is great--their makeup is very good quality and the prices of the products are not too high.
Hawwaa: Yeah, I’ve been using the shade “Coconut” for the past 2 years and it never seems to fail me.
Carrie: So, are there any future plans in mind for your blog?
Hawwaa: My future plans are to be more open with my personal life and to try to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to talking about social issues. I would also love to feature more artists and lookbooks on my blog for the new year!
Carrie: That sounds incredible. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview!
Hawwaa: Thank you, Carrie!
Follow Hawwaa on Instagram and Twitter @hellohawwaa, and check out her blog at www.hellohawwaaa.com.
shop my blog:
What advice do you have for girls who want to wear makeup but are just starting to use it?
Wear whatever you feel most confident in...whatever fun thing you like. Whether you just like wearing just mascara, wanna try playing around with your brow, or feel like adding a little blush or cheek powder, wear whatever makes you feel most confident before you leave. Sometimes throwing on a bright red lipstick can make you feel like you’re on fire when life gets hard. I feel most like me when my makeup is a little more extra. Whatever makes you feel good should be your signature look for the day.
What is your go-to makeup product?
My go-to makeup product...oh boy. I mean, it's tough, because I really like me a good brow. I love to use Anastasia’s mineral brow powder--a brow can shape your whole face! That and concealer and you’re like “Woah!” You’re a new person!
What advice do you have for people who don’t necessarily have the technical knowledge when it comes to makeup?
Learn as much as you can. I went to beauty school, and then I apprenticed as a makeup artist, so I've written down every technique application I learned from watching that artist. But there’s a lot of good books you can read! Learning how to do makeup doesn’t just come from watching YouTube or Instagram videos. It comes from seeing how true artists melt makeup on their skin or how they apply color. Good makeup is when you look at someone’s face and they look like they’re just naturally amazing. That’s harder to do than a cut crease! I know that sounds crazy but giving someone that natural skin look is the hardest thing. How you apply the makeup is where the magic lies: how you’re pressing it into the pores, how you’re applying each layer...it's an artistry. But that's the part I love the most.
Who was your inspiration on Youtube when you first started out?
My inspiration is Lauren Luke. I’d never seen makeup videos on YouTube that I actually liked, and when I saw her, I was like, "I love her." You could hear her dogs howling in the background, she dropped things...I felt like she was just a friend. To this day I've never met her, but she's the entire reason that I started YouTube. I’m sad that I don’t know her in real life.
How do you dig deep and find your inner girl power when times get tough?
Have self-love, be empowered, and think positive every day. You really should just start with what your thoughts are in the morning, and no matter what hardship you’re going through, like my dad always taught me, you should "never say never." If you have problems, tell yourself that you have challenges instead, because challenges can be overcome. If your day is crazy hard, I want you to say “I’m gonna be a warrior. I’m gonna get through this day no matter what.” Turn on your favorite happy music and dance around instead of playing a song that makes you feel all the feels. Always make sure you have good feelings in the morning. I work out for ten minutes to get my body pumped up and it makes me feel like I can take on the world. Tell yourself, “there’s only one of me in this world,” and you have the power to make people happy everywhere you go. Your smile can change someone’s day.
Yeah! Kandee for President!
What advice do you have for aspiring beauty bloggers?
Always be yourself because that's what your magic is at. Your magic is in you being unique and different. Whether you're quirky or weird...whatever it is. When you’re making a video, you should always look like you’re talking to the person you’re most comfortable with. It could be your best friend, your teacher...whoever. That is what will make your magic shine through
shop my blog (InSPIRED BY DAVID):
When people ask Manhattan natives what their favorite meal of the day is--breakfast, lunch, or dinner--you may be surprised to learn that the answer is often none of the above. New Yorkers favor brunch, also known as the in-between period after breakfast and before lunch. This late morning meal often occurs around 11 am or 12 pm, where the sunlight is perfect for taking pics. Now, what makes the following places “the best” for brunching, you may ask? They have the perfect combination of both an Instagrammable ambiance and almost too-pretty-to-eat food that you won’t be able to resist. Trust me on this one…
1. Robert: with stunning views of Columbus Circle and NYC skyscrapers that seemingly go on forever, this restaurant had to be on my list. And while you’re there, make sure to try the smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and the challah french toast. Both are totally worth it.
2. By Chloe Rockefeller Center: go ahead and take your pics of the adorable LED “Here to Rock” sign. Finished? Great. Time to devour your smoothie bowl. (Fun fact: the restaurant is Vegan-based!)
3. Seamore’s: after digging into their avocado toast or stacks of pancakes, you may even forget that there's stunning rainbow heart graffiti outside!
4. Beauty and Essex: besides the fact that there’s a gorgeous mural of rainbow wings across the street, the restaurant serves an array of creative brunch dishes including red velvet waffles, a bagels and lox board, and heavenly pumpkin walnut bread.
5. Hotel Chantelle: after taking pics in front of the black and white doodle mural upstairs, enjoy listening to New Orleans-inspired jazz while feasting on tuna nicoise, breakfast sausage "lollipops," or bananas foster waffles.
6. Pietro Nolita: this cozy pink restaurant is an instant mood booster, especially after tasting their eggs benedict with smoked salmon or "Italian Style" french toast.
7. Bluestone Lane (the Greenwich Avenue location): this storefront has an adorable cafe vibe, not to mention, artsy “heart” cappuccinos, avocado "smash," scrumptious salmon toast and healthy breakfast bowls.
8. While We Were Young: the comfy pale pink booths make for the loveliest brunch--likewise the delicious chicken & waffles and strawberry salad.
9. Sarabeth’s (the Upper East Side location): this chic restaurant is a scene straight out of Gossip Girl. I wonder if Blair Waldorf would have enjoyed the Goldie Lox Omelet (made with scrambled eggs, cream cheese and lox) and homemade muffins with jam as much as I did…
10. Nomo Kitchen: seated beneath a glass ceiling and in front of a giant, multi-colored heart mural, I swear your lemon ricotta pancakes or breakfast pizza will taste ten times better.
Carrie: Hi Erin! I am so impressed with how you handled the competition on America’s Next Top Model with grace, dignity, and of course, limitless talent. How did you first get into modeling?
Erin: I was sought out to do runway, but I wasn’t too confident that I could make it. The beauty standards set for girls in the modeling industry had always been pale skin, an ultra-thin look, protruding hip bones, zero curves, and a youthful face. LOL...that didn’t represent me at all when I was in my early 20’s, but I didn’t let that take away my passion for the runway. Someone told me to take a risk and use my flaws as assets that make me unique. So I continued to pour my heart and soul into building my modeling foundation, despite all the odds, and go after my dream of becoming a supermodel.
Carrie: I’m so glad you did because look where it got you! You competed on America’s Next Top Model! What was that like?
Erin: When I went on the show, I was determined to prove that an older woman could be “next-level fierce” and defy the standards of beauty. “You’re too old to model” have been some of the sharpest words used to cut me down in the modeling industry. But if I continued to harbor those words, then I wouldn’t be embracing all the strength that God has given me to be great.
Carrie: Tyra was also a huge supporter of you competing alongside these younger girls.
Erin: Tyra wanted to demonstrate to the world that the more women accept themselves for what they were born with, the closer we are to changing the standard definition of beauty. Whether you’re short, older, tatted, a minority, have been through a traumatic experience, or have been diagnosed with a rare skin or hair disorder, there’s no need to hide. You’re beautiful just the way you are--beauty is being yourself and accepting all of your assets. Tyra is proving that with her show, and this cycle has chosen all walks of life to help people see and realize that. She is breaking down barriers and showing the world that when you walk in your truth, you are free and fearless...and that’s beauty.
Carrie: Did you feel a special connection with Tyra since you’re closer in age?
Erin: I truly felt a special connection with Tyra when she gave me the chance to be the 15th contestant during the 1st episode. She told me that I had to work just as hard, if not harder, to prove myself to girls half my age. I wish, though, that we had more moments to bond and share each other’s opinions about the industry. However, I’m so grateful that the #BossLady gave me the opportunity to be on her show, and the time we did spend together was time well spent. I learned a lot of important lessons from her that I will never forget.
Carrie: I bet. Now, how about the girls? Who were your closest friends in the house?
Erin: Shanice, Brendi K, Jeana, Rio, and Khrystyana. I was able to connect with those young ladies because they really own the truth to their stories. The ones that have gone through adversity had an emotional intelligence that was extremely genuine, which I was drawn to. I’m not saying that the other girls were fake or incapable of emotional intelligence, but it was easier for me to connect with those specific girls on a more mature level.
Carrie: Did you ever find it harder to connect with them because of the age gap?
Erin: Yes, it was harder because I was often seen as a mother figure and not as competition.
Carrie: Speaking of motherhood, what is it like simultaneously being a mom and a model? Is it challenging?
Erin: Motherhood prepared me to be a model. The modeling industry needs you to have tough skin, and because I am raising children that face social issues every day, like negative body images, bullying, etc., I had to show them that despite the negativity in the world, you always have to be the best version of yourself. As a model, I am defying the odds and pushing past the impossible. I am not limiting myself to believe what society has told me to be, but exceeding my potential of endless possibilities.
Carrie: Often it can be really difficult to push past society’s standards. What was the most challenging part about being on ANTM?
Erin: Being able to clear my mind and ignore all distractions and fears. It was difficult to try and be free of all negative doubts. But being in a house filled with young adults in their 20’s helped me tap into my younger self, turn off the mother and wifey role, and just live in the moment. I sometimes lost myself a bit and forgot that I would have children watching me at home when the show airs! But letting go of distractions has definitely given me a new lease on life. I have learned to take risks and most importantly, to go after my dreams.
Carrie: And going after your dreams can be a blast! What was your favorite challenge on ANTM and why?
Erin: The throwback-comeback episode with the bubble runway challenge was my favorite. Not only did I get the opportunity to get back into the competition, but I proved that I know how to slay on a runway. Plus, it was my first time winning anything on the show!
Carrie: That’s amazing! Can you talk a bit about what it was like walking down that bubble runway?
Erin: We had to walk down a nine-inch runway in a bubble, just like the models did during cycle seven of ANTM. But it was kind of symbolic, in a way. In order to achieve your goals in life, you have to be focused, driven, and plant one foot in front of the other to get somewhere. You’re going to have distractions, whether they be yourself or naysayers. Being in that bubble surrounded by flashing lights was the distraction at that point in time. But I didn’t allow that to stop me!
Carrie: You go, girl! I was so impressed when I saw you kill that challenge. What do you think was the biggest lesson you learned as a contestant?
Erin: I have experienced many transitions along my journey that have helped shape my life and give it purpose. On the show, I allowed my mindset to believe that a 42-year-old like me could stomp out the competition if she works hard for what she wants.
Carrie: I also find it amazing how you find the greater purpose of modeling. How do you use it as a positive platform?
Erin: By empowering others to be the best version of themselves! I co-founded a non-profit organization with my twin sister called Twin of A Kind Foundation, dedicated to promoting youth empowerment and empowering young adults to see their true potential in life. We provide one-on-one or group experiences teaching others how to overcome some of life’s most difficult social issues.
Carrie: That’s incredible! What advice can you give to people who struggle with insecurities and fail to see their own beauty?
Erin: It starts with erasing the conversations with ourselves that push the idea that it’s all about how we look, rather than what we’re made of. Who you are enhances your beauty, and you need to own it. After all, beauty is confidence. I want to encourage individuals that beauty is more than looks and sizes. It is made up of your wit, your charm, your attitude. How you see life, how you see yourself, how you fight adversity, and how you overcome life’s challenges also contributes. So does the way you laugh, the way you carry yourself, and the way you embrace your flaws. Real beauty is measured in who you are in your entirety.
Carrie: For sure. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me, Erin. I’m sure that you have inspired a lot of people with your empowering words!
Carrie: Thank you so much for doing this interview, Diandra! After our talk at dinner, I knew that you would have some incredible wisdom to offer to my blog’s readers.
Diandra: Of course!
Carrie: But before we get into that, I have a few questions about you. How would you describe your own personal style?
Diandra: My personal style is classic and sexy. I love tailored, bodycon silhouettes that highlight my figure. I'm petite yet curvy, so I tend to stay away from anything too billowy. I will incorporate trendy pieces, but for the most part, I stick to the classics that work for me and for my body. Victoria Beckham, Carine Roitfeld, Kim Kardashian, and Karla Deras are my style icons.
Carrie: It seems like you definitely have great taste in style. What is a current style staple piece or trend that you think people should embrace?
Diandra: My current staple piece is a heeled thigh high boot. They go with everything and they keep my legs warm now that it’s freezing! I have ones with a block heel that are super comfortable and dress up any outfit. They are a must! As far as trends go, I'm loving that athletic wear is acceptable to wear outside of the gym. I've always been the girl who travels and spends weekends in athletic wear, so the fact that this trend has made a comeback makes me very happy. It’s also an easy way to be comfortable but still look put together.
Carrie: I totally agree. The whole “beauty hurts” thing is kind of dated. Comfortability is key. Besides that message, what else are you trying to convey through your platform?
Diandra: The most important messages to me are inclusivity, positivity, and the importance of giving back. I love the industry I work in but it’s an industry that values hierarchy, pedigree, and exclusivity. I've had all of those things used against me, so I hope to encourage young people to go forth in their aspirations despite any negative connotations brought about by an outdated style of thinking. I also try to exude positive energy in all that I do. I'm a strong believer in putting the energy into your work, your relationships, and your life that you want to receive in return. Life is too short to do anything other than find the good in all you do, and also see the good in people! Finally, giving back is probably the most important message. I go into everything I do with the intention to share the wealth, knowledge, or lesson with the people around me. Whether it’s mentoring other girls, giving time to my non-profits, or just taking the time to listen to someone in need, I try to do my part in empowering others! If I can help one person, then I've done my job.
Carrie: Your mentoring has surely helped and empowered me. Wow, this talk got really deep really fast. I’m going to reel it back in a little and ask you what you see in the future of fashion and beauty.
Diandra: I see the industry becoming more diverse. There is still so much work to be done, but I feel like there are influencers and tastemakers using their platforms as a way to change standards and status quos. I love witnessing the change and I hope to contribute to it.
Carrie: 100% with you on that. People these days are not just promoting products on their platforms but emphasizing the importance of giving back in the world. Although, I do love a good beauty product review...what’s your #1 recommendation when it comes to beauty?
Diandra: My number one beauty suggestion will always be sunscreen! I'm diligent about applying it, and even if I'm not going to be in the sun or even outdoors, I still wear sunscreen! That and a good lipstick--in a pinch you can use it as blush and eyeshadow. My Mamma taught me that one.
Carrie: Mamma knows best! Now, as we wrap up this interview, are there any future plans you can inform us of?
Diandra: Lots of future plans. More TV for sure. I have a huge project in the pipelines that I'm thrilled about. It's going to be a game changer and I can't wait for people to see it! I'm launching a lifestyle website, taking my YouTube channel to the next level, working on meaningful projects with my non-profits, accumulating more brand ambassadorships, and making the Diandra Barnwell brand a household name. Just to name a few!
Carrie: It looks like Diandra Barnwell will taking over the world pretty soon! Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me! I learned a lot and I’m sure that your words will continually inspire teenagers like me.
Make sure to follow Diandra on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also add her as MsDiandrab on Snapchat!
Go to www.glossier.com to shop their variety of products!
6 Things You Don’t Know About Khrystyana (I asked for 5 but she has so much to say, so I gave her 6!):
Carrie: Hi, Matthew! I heard that you are the youngest person ever to have been accepted into your beauty school, Michael Vincent Academy in Los Angeles. That’s absolutely incredible! How does it feel?
Matthew: I’m so thankful for the opportunity! Now I can really develop my makeup skills and think about how I can use them in the future.
Carrie: That’s amazing! What’s one thing you’ve learned so far in beauty school that you find very valuable?
Matthew: Right now, we are learning how to cover the brows, which is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my makeup career!
Carrie: It sounds difficult! Do you have an easy makeup tip to give to my subscribers?
Matthew: Skin prep, skin prep, skin prep!
Carrie: And how about an easy skincare tip?
Matthew: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Carrie: Simple enough! That’s the thing I really love about the tutorials that you post on social media--they’re very clear and easy to understand. Is your social media presence extremely important to you?
Matthew: Social media is very important to me because it is an amazing outlet that really helped me find my love for makeup! Also, you can’t deny that social media is the future. If you aren't started on it now, what are you doing?!
Carrie: I agree 100%. Do you have any makeup artists that you found on social media that particularly inspire you?
Matthew: I really adore Nikkie Tutorials because not only is her talent amazing, but the quality and effort that she puts into her work are mind-blowing. She inspires me to work even harder at my craft.
Carrie: I love her videos as well. Now, I'm eager to know...where do you see yourself in ten years?
Matthew: I see myself owning my own successful cosmetics company!
Carrie: And I see myself blowing my budget on your makeup! Haha. Lastly, do you have any advice to teens who are aspiring makeup artists?
Matthew: Practice, practice, practice. You need to stay consistent with your effort and don’t be afraid to take risks. That’s how you learn. Also, take pictures for a portfolio. That way, you can see the the progression of your improvement.
Carrie: Those are great tips! Thank you so much for doing this interview, Matthew! Where can readers find you on social media?
Matthew: My Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Musical.ly, and Snapchat are all @matthewrctaylor. You can also check out my website, www.matthewrctaylor.com.
Carrie: Awesome, thanks again! I'm sure that my subscribers learned a lot from your words of wisdom.
"this or that" with matthew taylor: