Category Archives: How To

How To Care For A Wedding Dress


wedding gown: Reem Acra

Dear Andi: Have a bride that bought a sample gown that has a little make up on it (foundation on satin-y corset loops). Any styling secrets to get that out???

Oh no! That actually sounds familiar to me—I had similar wedding dress woes when I purchased a sample gown from a bridal boutique and it had someone’s foundation and red lipstick all over it. Normally, I pride myself in being a master at getting out stains, but this was something I couldn’t mess around with, especially working with vintage lace. I had to leave this one to a wedding professional.

The owner of my bridal shop miraculously removed every trace of the stains to the point where it looked brand new. Of course, being a stylist, I had to ask what the miracle was to get that out without harming my vintage lace gown and she replied it was just Professional Grade Oxi Clean that did the trick!

Otherwise, for smaller or less risky stains, I swear by this product called Gonzo that I keep in my styling kit and even bring along in my clutch to weddings, which has even gotten red wine out.
She may want to try that first, or if anything, she should keep it on hand for her big day. Whatever she does, make sure to apply with water so it doesn’t leave a ring around the stain from the product.


How To Make Faux Silhouette Paintings

With Chanukah arriving earlier this year (December 8th to be exact), I planned out all of my gifts by Thanksgiving!

This portrait DIY that I made for my nephews was one of the most fun I’ve ever gifted and I think it will be something they will enjoy for the rest of their lives—not to mention, their parents too.

I saw these custom gifts being sold in a magazine for a “discounted” price of $125 and thought, what a brilliant idea…and I can do it for much less.

Holiday Silhouette Portrait Gift DIY

Materials: camera (camera on phone is OK), computer, printer, mat, frame

optional: pencil/ink/paint/brushes/high quality paper

my cost: $12/mat and frame 

STEP 1: Take a picture in profile against a white wall with no flash. Make sure you get the entire head in, unlike what I did here. 

STEP 2: For an accurate and advanced technique, upload into Photoshop and trace the outline of the profile by creating a path and using the pen tool. Then fill in the outline with the paint tool.

You can skip the rest of the steps and print this on high quality paper or you can do it the hand-made way like I did in the next step…

STEP 3: Flop the image in the computer for an accurate profile and print out the portrait (whether just the photo or the one you may have created in Photoshop). Then trace the outline with a thick line in pencil. 

STEP 4: Turn over the print out and place on top of a good quality drawing paper or canvas. Then trace the contrasting outline on the back, resulting in a transfer of the first pencil outline you created. 

STEP 5: Trace the pencil outline with ink and carefully fill in with either a wash of ink, gauche, marker, or as I used, a light wash of acrylic paint.

STEP 6: Make sure to label the name and date of the image, so they can look back on what they looked like in years from now. 

STEP 7: Mat and frame the paintings or printouts (these mats and frames were only $12/each at Michaels). Then gift and watch them guess who each portrait is of!

How To DIY A Mask For A Masquerade

earrings: Beth Lauren, photos by Paul Sirisalee 

 While traveling for work last week, I received a last minute invitation to a benefit for hurricane Sandy at the Green Building in Brooklyn. It was a great cause with the proceeds going to Occupy Sandy and the Red Hook Initiative, but I was hesitant to go. The theme of the soiree was “Bourbon and Masques” and I didn’t have a mask, let alone time to make one.

My fabulous friend, Kimberley, came to the rescue and found this gorgeous and easy D.I.Y. to make these fun masks for all of us with just some printable templates, tulle, puffy paint and ribbon.

It was a shame to let these go to waste and I’m hoping to convince Kimberley to reuse them. With all of the holidays coming up, these are a perfect excuse for a masquerade!

How To Wear Flats + Tights / stylist picks / Ask Andi

@ALabonne on Twitter asked ANDI: 
Fashion question! Debating new shoe purchases, so can I pair cobalt suede flats with black tights for the winter?

Definitely! I love pairing bright colors like cobalt with black for a dramatic pop of color, as well as anything that can be worn from one season to the next. If you can get more for your money on an item in your wardrobe, then it’s more worth investing in.

STYLIST TIP #1: When styling your flats with tights, make sure you style it right. An a-line, above-the-knee skirt or a shift dress would work best. A fuller skirt could make you look younger and cutesy with flats (if you’re a “Gleek” like me, think Rachel Berry). 

STYLIST TIP #2: If you’re going to go with a bright color on your feet, keep the rest of your bottom-half monochromatic. Black opaque tights with a dark colored skirt will elongate your legs and make you appear slimmer. Same goes if you wear a bright skirt; then keep your tights and shoes in the same tones. 

STYLIST TIP #3: If you do end up wearing suede flats in the winter months, then make sure you protect them! With a weatherproof spray, you can prevent your shoe purchase from getting damaged by the elements.



How To Look Cute For College

Samantha, as student at Barnard in NYC, asked ANDI: 
Could you give me tips on how to look cute when I’m rushing to class? Or also when I want to be comfortable studying in the library?

Dressing comfortably without looking like you just rolled out of bed is always a challenge. When you are only going to class or to study, it’s tough to resist the ease of sweatpants. My rule is just say “no” unless you’re headed to the gym!

To me, jeans or leggings are just as easy and can be as comfy, especially a pair with a lot of stretch in them, but you can still look polished. A dark denim pair like these stretchy leggings-style jeans by J.Brand are easy enough for class and have double duty for nights out too. These Current/Elliott ankle length skinny jeans are casually cute and won’t actually break your student budget.

Try a tissue thin tee or even one with a subtle print with a cotton or cashmere blend easy cardigan, like this hoody/cardigan hybrid by All Saints. It can make you feel as cozy as if you threw on your school’s hoody, but you’ll look more mature than an underclassman.

It’s really all in the accessories. You can jazz up a plain tee and jeans by adding some cute shoes and a statement piece of jewelry like this affordable collar from ModCloth or this BaubleBar bold necklace.

I also find that a cotton sweatshirt-style dress like this French Connection frock can be the most comfortable and easy item in your wardrobe. It’s sometimes easier than putting together an “outfit” and can take you from your study session to dinner with friends. In the warmer months, trade in your flip flops for chic flats or a classic kick like Converse. For fall, add opaque tights and booties and throw over a tailored blazer for an easy, put together look.

You never know who you may run into, so I always opt for being over-dressed—you may just have somewhere better to go after.



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