How to Layer for the Holidays

layering guide pics Amy Tara Koch with Darlene Hill

layering pic 2Perfectly layered bangles

 

The Holidays are all about drama, yes. But does that mean women need to run out and invest in a new wardrobe? Good Day Chicago’s style expert Amy Tara Koch says NO WAY! You can create a big style statement by mixing and matching what you already own (or filling in your accessory blanks with some new holiday baubles). Translation? Toss the matchy-matchy mindset and pair your accessories in unconventional ways to create texture, add contrast and introduce color.

 

LAYERING TIPS

    1. Mix vintage + new
    2. Pair opposites for high drama
    3. High/low is a recipe for high style. Think: H&M and Hermes!

 

    Watch video here!

    FOX 32 News Chicago

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    BYE BYE (UNDER EYE ) BAGS

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    Years of early morning TV appearances have taught me tried and true tricks to reduce under eye luggage. Whether you have allergies, poor circulation or are plain exhausted, Samsonite luggage sized under eye bags are often a concern for busy women.  First step?? treat the puffiness and dark circles with an anti-inflammatory agent like ice. Then, in the same way a cup of Joe gets you going in the morning, soak the eye with a green tea bag compress. The caffeine boost circulation and draws out excessive fluid which causes swelling and dark circles. Witch hazel soaked cotton pads also reduce swelling and irritation. Follow with cold spoons to decrease swelling. Sounds gross but a thin layer of Preparation H hemorrhoid cream under the eyes will shrink swelling within five minutes.  Then, apply an eye cream or serum with ingredients like elastin, oxygen, collagen and vitamin E to hydrate and reduce swelling. Of course, reducing the amount of salt intake will dramatically reduce puffiness around the eyes.

    HOW TO PACK YOUR BAGS:

    TEA BAGS The tannins in cool tea bags—especially green tea—compressed on the eyes for five minutes stimulates circulation and de-puffs the eyes.

    COLD SOUP SPOONS I always keep two soup spoons in the freezer to press on my morning eyes for two minutes before putting on makeup.

    CUCUMBER A homemade Crushed cucumber eye pack (grind ¼ cucumber, roll it into a compress between two pieces of paper towel) also soothes and reduces swelling around the eye area.

    PREPARATION H Shrinks swelling!

    EYE CREAM Another product created by a bold faced dermatologist is Dr. Murad’s Lighten and Brighten Treatment. A 1.5% hydroquinone lightens the under eye pigment and peptides which mimic human collagen helps to kick start circulation and reduce puffiness.


    Dr. Patricia Wexler de-puff eye gel contains yeast and caffeine which deflates under eye bags and fruit extracts to soothe.

    Sonya Dakar–dubbed Hollywood’s fairy skin mother has many a product to battle bags. Oxygen eye cream delivers oxygen, pro vitamin B and soy proteins to tired eyes which plumps the skin and improves elasticity.

    CREAMY CONCEALERRevlon Photo Ready Concealer, Bobbi Brown Concealer and Laura Mercier “Undercover Pot” concealer

    LENGTHENING MASCARA Opens the eyes, Maybelline Falsies Mascara

    REDUCING SALT INTAKE

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    J’ADORE CHRISTOPHER BAILEY & HIS BURBERRY PRORSUM ACCESSORIES!

    Add some fierce fabulosity to your look with BURBERRY studded bracelets.

    I am hosting a holiday soiree for Vogue at Burbery Dec 7 in Chicago and had the pleasure of shopping for MOI (versus everyone else on my list) for two hours. An accessories lover, I fell hard for the fantabulous studded bracelets and PLISSE leather bags. This, ladies, is what I call INVESTMENT PIECE

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    AN ODE TO THANKSGIVING: GRACIAS ACQUALINA, FOR GIVING ME THE GIFT OF PEACE

    Thankfulness comes in many forms: Good health, Prosperity, Great family life. Love. But, on a recent trip to Miami, my gratitude quotient skyrocketed to a dazzling new dimension. For years, I took the term “family vacation” to be a cruel play on words. In my pre-mom life, Vacation→relaxation. Being with my children is hard core work. Therefore, going to a resort with my family was like a juicy carrot dangled before my frazzled face. My fantasy? A hybrid scenario where I—a working mama with maximum responsibilities and minimal downtime- could log in family time with a few hours to read, work out and nap. This meant that I had to unearth a property proffering the crème de la crème of kids programs.

    So, with an event in S. Florida looming on the horizon, I tried something new. Instead of parking myself in hedonistic South Beach where children are treated as an unfortunate fashion “don’ts” and the expectation of “service” yields haughty glares, I booked a room at Acqualina in Sunny Isles, FL just north of Bal Harbor. This resort -the only 5 star on Miami Beach-boasted generous rooms, an Espa spa and Il Mulino restaurant. But, it was the Marine Biology based program that held the most cache. Would my daughter willingly oblige me with three hours of free time each day?

    The answer was a resounding yes. After swimming for 2 hours and collecting shells, we approached Acquamarine. Every mom knows the rules of engagement. The first five minutes are crucial. Obviously trained in the high art of sharpie’s, glitter and paper plate self expressionism, Brette was immediately sucked into the world of whales .Art projects. Shell hunting. Swimming .Lunch. I scooted out and ran-literally-to the spa. After a massage, I took a nap. I read. And, at 1pm, refreshed, I picked her (and mountains of artwork) up so we could spend the rest of the day together. I was on cloud nine. This divine schedule persisted for the entire four day trip. By 8:30 each night, we retired to our cozy room, juices in hand. She of the Macintosh apple variety. Me, some heady “mommy juice”, a Pinot Noir. Needless to say, I will be returning soon.!

    AAA Five Diamond Award 2010; Spa Finder Readers’ Choice Award 2009, Allure Magazine ‘Best Day Spa in Miami’ 2009, Conde Nast Traveller Top Spas in The Americas and Caribbean 2008, Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2008, Sun Post Best Resort in Miami 2008, Robb Report’s Top 100 Exclusive Luxury Resorts 2007

    http://www.acqualinaresort.com/

    17875 collins avenue, sunny isles beach, fl 33160

    305 918 8100 Reservations

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    TUNE IN FOR MY ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE FOR MOMS & MOMS TO BE

    HINT: We don’t want a vacuum cleaner. Bakewear is a bust. The monogrammed coffee holder for the car (to energize us for schlepping the kids) is not our idea of good gift. Oh, we always smile and muster a joyful expression. But, the truth is that these gifts are for YOU, not us. What do we really want? I will spill the beans on fantabulous gifts that will really help mom grin as large as her to do list!

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    Amy helps style Heather Nauert of Good Day New York

    Click Here to watch the video of me styling Good Day New York’s Heather Nauert

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    Pack Like A Pro This Holiday Season

    Everything about travelling is stressful; especially packing. I am headed down to Miami today and thought I’d share a few expert packing tips.
     F1 SPACEPAK REVERSE TOILETRY

    –  Compress everything with Flight. 001 space packs.

    –  Pack anything that can wrinkle with tissue paper. Stick it in each fold.

    –  Pack black, black and more black. If you stick with multi-tasking neutrals you can easily dress them up wth a scarf and necklace.

    –   Layer anything that can wrinkle with bags from dry cleaner. They keep things crisp.

    –  Fedex the heavier things and fluids.

     

    –  To avoid spending $50 on a breakfast at hotel, pack instant oatmeal and plastic spoons.

    –  Collect sample toiletries at all times to avoid bringing fulll sized products on the plane.

    –  Prepare for delays with snacks in your purse.

    –  Bring a giant cashmere shawl that can double as blanket on the plane.

     

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    OBSESSION: HOT MILK LINGERIE

    As most of  you know, I encourage women to look and feel great during pregnancy by maintaining their fashion identity. A huge box just arrived at my office filled with gorgeous maternity lingerie that is at once sexy AND functional. The collection boasts lacey nighties, silky Boy shorts and ooh-la-la G strings. The bras feature a secret breastfeeding panel. Where was this while I was skulking about in tattered Jockey undies. Ladies: this luxuriously decadent innerwear will put a spring in your step. And…your partner’s!!!

             

    www.hotmilklingerie.com

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    WHAT A FEELING!!! BIDDING ADIEU TO CONSTIPATION = BETTER COMPLEXION

    What you eat impacts your complexion. Though it seems obvious, derms emphasize that great skin is contingent upon a nutritious diet and downing eight 8oz glasses of water per day. You don’t need to axe them from your diet but know that dehydrating coffee, fried foods and salt incite toxicity (which dulls skin), zits and under eye swelling.

    All through college, as I subsisted on a steady diet of popcorn, yogurt and cinnamon raisin bagels, I wondered…why oh why am I permanently constipated? My mom, a reasonably healthy eater, did not divulge the wisdom that is pooping protocol: starches +veggies + fruit= a satisfying trip to the bathroom. OK, you are wondering, where is this going? Here’s the point: For me, the carb heavy diet of pregnancy recalled those painful bouts of constipation. And, constipation factors into the condition of your skin causing breakouts and blotchiness.

    KEEP IT MOVING: THREE TIPS FOR CONSTIPATION RELIEF-

    1. A fiber filled, Anti-oxidant (Sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, almonds, carrots, berries, whole grain cereals and grains) rich diet will boost the immunity system, increase cellular turnover and make you poop.

       

    2. If tropical fruits like kiwi, mango, papaya and melon are nature’s broom, spinach and broccoli are its dust buster.

    3. Sprinkle flaxseed into salads and cereal. Ground up, this nutty flavored essential fatty acid (which may be very well be the tenth wonder of the world) gives reticent bowel movements a hard- to- resist come hither.

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    Tap into holiday glam with me in Chicago

    Chicagoans: I will be out and about offering up sage advice on easy, breezy ways to glam up your holiday look. Please join me at one of these fab events. RSVP required

     

    PREGGERS & BUMP CLUB CHICAGO

    GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT: HOLIDAY SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA! 

    With Special Guest, journalist, television personality and

    author of Bump It Up, Amy Tara Koch

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Preggers

    900 North Michigan Avenue, 5th floor  Chicago, IL 60611

    6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

    $15 in advance/$20 at the door

    Fabulous giveaways include:

                        Medela Swing Pump                          Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover Gift Set

    MD Moms Silky Smooth Baby gift set                  BabyBjorn Little Potty

    http://www.bumpclubchicago.com/The_Bump_Club_Chicago/Preggers_Event.html

     

     

    Neighborhood Parent’s Network

    BUMP IT UP for the Holidays

    Featuring Style Expert and Author, Amy Tara Koch

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Bubbles Academy

    1504 N Fremont St, Chicago, IL 60642-2526

    6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

    Raffle includes a Britax B Nimble stroller and more!

    www.npnparents.org

    http://npnparents.org/expectantMomsGrp.asp

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