Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tasty Treat Thursday (Skinny version!)

As the week comes to a close, we're all looking forward to shutting down our computers, putting our work away, and letting a little bit loose. Sometimes, however, Friday can seem quite far away, so why not treat ourselves a day early with a delectable and guilt-free dessert? 

Dining out at a downtown Greek restaurant recently, I had the most incredibly simple dessert in the form of traditional Greek yogurt with honey and nuts. Since the restaurant version was sinfully decadent, I decided to create a healthier at-home version for a weekday treat! Here are some tips on making your own skinny version: 

1. Start with one serving (6 oz) of plain non-fat Greek yogurt. If your local supermarket offers the brand Greek Gods, I'd recommend trying it, since their plain, all natural yogurt has a smooth, creamy texture, and is less bitter than some others. Stick with natural, plain and unflavored options (not vanilla), otherwise you'll find your treat to be cloyingly sweet. 

2. Add one tablespoon of raw, natural honey found at either your local grocery store or farmer's market. 


3. Thoroughly mix in a handful of almonds, pecans, or walnuts. (If you're a pistachio or macadamia lover, go right ahead)! 

4. If you're like me, and you occasionally (okay, usually) need a bit of chocolate in your treat, sprinkle a hint of coco powder on top. This also makes quite a pretty finish if you're serving to guests.  




Photo credit:,,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Modify your Makeup: NARS Gluten Free Products

Ladies -- I have finally found The One. After years in a committed relationship with Laura Mercier skincare products and makeup, I have recently started a love affair with NARS. And this time, its for good. Here are some of the reasons why I am officially a NARS convert:

1. NARS is the only makeup company to offer a complete line of gluten free products. (Having a severe gluten allergy, I couldn't be happier). For those of you who are gluten-sensitive, you probably didn't realize that your makeup most likely includes derivatives of wheat, barley, or oats. This is especially concerning when it comes to lip-wear, as it is unavoidable to digest some of your lipstick or gloss. (Gross, I know, but true). *Note: some of the products are produced on machinery that MAY have traces of gluten. Talk to your makeup provider to make sure.

2. NARS products contain loads of Vitamin E, so they don't clog your pores but instead provide essential nutrients for keeping your skin glowing, soft, and even. Remember, the key to good makeup is starting with really great skin. Why not invest in a makeup line that works with you on creating that bright, even tone?

3. NARS does not test on animals, and is working to eliminate any animal by-products from their line.

4. Rather than being overly pricey, NARS products are comparable, or even cost less, than other department store brands.

5. Never has my skin felt or looked so dewey and soft since I started using NARS foundation and serum. Women have even come up and asked what brand of makeup I use, wanting to buy the products for themselves. (!)

When applying NARS makeup, begin with a fresh, clean face, and apply a thin layer of brightening serum, or any moisturizer of your choice. Women often forget that foundation or tinted moisturizers are not suitable substitutes for a daily facial moisturizer, so make sure to add this to your routine if you haven't already. 
Next, apply a layer of foundation using a wet sponge conveniently provided for you in the packaging. Make sure to dab a bit extra under the eyes and around any red spots. Finally, apply a bit of settling powder to your skin to keep your makeup lasting longer. (Our skin eats about 30% of our makeup throughout the day, so this powder is essential in keeping your look fresh from day to night). 

Simply swab on a bit of lipstick, mascara, and eyeshadow if desired, and you're ready! 
**Bonus: NARS has done the makeup for designer shows including Rodarte, Erdem, Phillip Lim, and Christopher Kane. Turn the street into your personal catwalk with this amazing brand!  

Photo Credit:,,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fantastic Finds: Shoes under Fifteen Dollars

Don't you wish you had a closet full of fun, flirty designer shoes? I definitely do. Wearing the right pair of pumps can not only alter your outfit, but your outlook as well. There's just something about strolling down the street or sashaying into a soiree wearing eye-catching soles. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford a new pair of Louboutins or Blahnik's every few months a la Hollywood celebrities. Luckily, over the past year I've discovered that it's not as hard to fake as you'd think. The next time you're on the hunt, why not try venturing into your local discount shoe store -- you'll be surprised at what you find. Here are some of the gems I picked up recently, all for under $15:

Now, I personally adore each pair shown above, and am constantly getting compliments on my shoe style from fashionable friends working in the industry. Until I can realize my dream-closet of Prada and Jimmy Choo, fashionable local finds are great supplements. Plus, at $10-15 a pair its easy to stock up on different styles, as well as replace those that get scuffed or worn. Here are some tips on finding flats and heels that look like they came straight from Barney's: 

1. Stick to solid colors. This will also help you pair your shoes with multiple outfits.          
2. Avoid embellishments. These often look quite tacky, and more often than not fall off anyways.
3. Avoid toe cleavage. Let's keep them covered, ladies. 

Note: Find any great pairs you want to share? Tweet a photo @Bigredscarfblog! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wardrobe Essentials: A Splash of Wine

While a glass of burgundy with your girlfriends is great, a taste of red in your wardrobe might be even better. With fall fast approaching, magazines and store-fronts alike are showcasing the color of the season, featuring wine colored apparel, bags, shoes, and accessories. However, just as with your hearty Syrahs, you don't want to go overboard, so here are my tips on incorporating maroon hues into your closet:

1. Find a couple of pieces that will easily blend into your work or casual outfits. Try a burgundy blouse,  jeans, sweater, or scarf.
2. Stick to solid colors. Maroon looks gorgeous on most skin-tones, so any clothing you invest in will carry you through fall and winter year after year. Loud patterns, like the now ubiquitous Alexander McQueen skulls, however, will eventually fade out of fashion and you'll wind up retiring your pieces earlier than needed.
3. Keep it basic. Experimenting with colors can be a lot of fun, but too many different hues can take away from your overall look. Stick to one or two bold colors per outfit. For example, if you opt for a maroon sweater, try pairing it with dark jeans, a black bag, black scarf, simple jewelry, and perhaps a pair of hunter green flats to compliment the top.

Below are some great examples of the type of items to look out for:

Another advantage of burgundy is that it blends well with neutral pieces you most likely already have. Try matching with black, gray, brown, and dark greens for a colorful, coordinated look.       

Happy Shopping!  

Photo credit:,, 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Beneficial Breakfast: Eggs

I don't know about you, but breakfast has never been one of my favorites. The only thing I want to think about that early in the morning is grabbing my favorite mug and turning on the espresso machine. Is there anything truly appealing about soggy whole grain cereal day after day anyways? Plus, it always seemed to me that no matter what I ate, whether it be a berry smoothie, greek yogurt with granola, or a plate of toast, I was never truly satisfied and wound up running to the fridge for a snack a few hours later. That's when I discovered the benefits of eating eggs for breakfast.

Now, I know what you're thinking -- What about the cholesterol? Don't eggs have a lot of calories? And what about all that GREASE?? Like you, I had the same concerns at first, but the more I looked into it, the more I learned that eggs actually have a lot of beneficial qualities, (ehem, protein!), and are much better for you than you'd think. So, despite my reservations, I quite literally swallowed my concerns and embarked on a three-week experiment making eggs the star attraction of my morning meals. Four weeks later, I'm still going strong and am loving every minute. Among the benefits I've experienced include:

1. feeling pleasantly full after breakfast - which lasts me until lunch
2. glowing skin
3. stronger nails
4. a slim stomach after eating (Take that, English Muffins and jam)!

And if all of that's not enough to convince you, I have to add that rather than being monotonous, making eggs for breakfast each morning has been quite a joy! Rather than endlessly pouring the same cereal into a bowl and dousing it with skim milk, instead, I'm enjoying warm omelets filled with roasted vegetables, gorgeous poached eggs with a side of salmon, or, my new favorite, scamblers made with basil olive oil. Also, for those of us who have trouble bouncing out of bed in the morning, grabbing a couple hard-boiled eggs before you run out the door is quick, easy, and has virtually no clean up! (Just remember to pop in a mint before you head out for the day). What could be easier?  So, let's get cracking and enjoy all the benefits of a bountiful egg breakfast.

Happy eating!  xx

**Photo credit:,,,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wardrobe Essentials: Jeans

Shopping for jeans can get very frustrating. Who hasn't experienced that sense of disappointment after walking jubilantly into a store, determined to find the perfect pair of denim, only to discover that every brand looks worse and worse? We've all been plagued with similar uncertainty, wondering, do these fit right? How does my butt look? What about that annoying bagging at the knees? After spending months at work trying on copious amounts of denim and meticulously studying different styles and fits, I'm here to tell you what I've learned.

Let's start with the don'ts.

1. Most importantly, DO NOT try to fit into a pair of jeans that are just too small. Squeezing into a size 27 is not going to make you look like a 27. Even if its a stretchy pair, too-tight jeans will only make you look bulgy and uncomfortable. Also, no one is going to see the size listed on inside tag, so really, don't worry about the number, just concentrate on looking good!
2. Don't try to glam up your look with sequined or overly pattered jeans. We all want to feel sparkly and fun, especially on a night out, but I promise you that a multitude of swirling rhinestones detailing your pockets are not going to do the trick. Instead, stick to solid colored simple denim, and accessorize with a glittery top or jewelry.

Now let's find the perfect fit:

The designer who undoubtedly worked best for most women was J Brand. This label offers a plethora of solid colored jeans in straight leg, bootcut, and stretchy leggings. Because of their simple and understated look, many of J Brand's jeans can be worn to work (if your workplace allows that kind of thing), to a casual coffee with friends, or can be dressed up for a night out on the town. I found that the leggings offered that extra bit of stretch that flattered most women of any size or shape, and (bonus) made them as comfortable as wearing a pair of sweats. Other designers that offer similar cuts are Citizens of Humanity and Paper Denim and Cloth. 

For the More Conservative Woman:

At the store, we had many women come in who were uncomfortable with the idea of wearing slim-fitting designer jeans, desperate not to dress like their sixteen-year-old daughters. For those of you who share that fear, don't worry! Paige Denim became a go-to for more conservative mothers, athletes who wanted a bit of a looser fit, and women who wanted to slowly break into the whole skin-tight-jeans phenomenon. If you're looking for an easy, every-day jean, this could be the brand for you.

Labels to Avoid:

Denim is meant to be both comfortable and versatile, but also flattering. Jeans should subtly enhance a woman's outfit, not grab all the attention, and as such, there are a few brands that I tend to stay away from. True Religion jeans often have loud, obtrusive back pockets, and fit too tightly to look sophisticated. AG Jeans, on the other hand, often fit very well, but, in my experience, wear down quite quickly. If you're in the market for a fun pair to wear every once in a while, and they fit you well, then go for it! Rock and Republic I view in much the same way as True Religion - you'll find that many of their styles are a tad too tight, and are often covered in rhinestones/embroidery. Let your personality sparkle, rather than your jeans!


This may sound crazy, but it really is essential to take proper care of your denim. The first rule of thumb is to NEVER put your jeans in the dryer. Not only will a constant drying cycle add to the natural wear and tear of the fabric, it will also shrink your precious pants to the point of looking quite different than they did in the store. (Don't you hate when that happens)? Secondly, if you buy a pair of jeans that are too long, make sure to get them hemmed. You can either do this in store, or, if that isn't offered, go to your favorite local dry cleaner. The last thing you want is to invest in a great pair of jeans only to step on the hem constantly, creating grungy holes. Let's keep it classy. Lastly, avoid washing as much as possible. Of course you should throw your pants in the wash when needed, but try to limit it to whenever truly necessary - and keep them on the gentle cycle. The dye tends to bleed quite quickly, and you don't want to lose the color.

Hope this helps you on your quest!



Monday, September 2, 2013

So here's the story...

I recently worked as both an assistant for a fashion correspondent at a major news network and as a stylist for a luxury boutique. Working for the news was an absolute dream - picking gorgeous designer clothes to feature, dressing models, writing fashion articles, and even waking up at 5:00 am to be on set by 6:00 was thrilling. Working as a stylist (a glorified term for a salesgirl), however, was a different story. Let's be honest, when a customer walks into a store, the girls helping her are going to do their absolute best to sell her some clothing. And the thing is, you can't really blame them for trying. However, after months of watching the girls I worked with encourage trusting women to buy, say, a too-tight pair of Hudson jeans, or an ill-fitting silk Joie jersey top in an effort to get a bigger commission, I decided to create a space where women could come to get style advice without worrying about being misguided. That's where The Big Red Scarf comes in. I'm here to give you all of my styling tips, which you can be confident are my true and honest opinions.

But you'll also find....

Information about nutrition, fitness, cultural events, and the occasional miscellaneous tidbit. After all, this blog is called The Big Red Scarf  (as opposed to The Little Black Dress) for a reason - every woman should be vibrant and unique in her own right, not an imprint of those around her. A fantastic wardrobe, (although fun), is not enough to make a woman stand out as she should. A happy, healthy, and educated lifestyle are key additions, and this blog is intended to help you on your way. If you have other suggestions for fellow readers, feel free to sound off in the comments section!

Happy reading