BREAKING NEWS :

I started blogging two years ago on a whim, and really had no idea what I would blog about.  I have always been passionate about both fashion (voted best dressed in my graduating high school class) and interior design (as a young girl always re-arranging my family’s apartment’s furniture to my fathers dismay) so it has become natural for me to write about what I know and love.  To commemorate my two year blogging anniversary I have taken another leap of FAITH and decided to launch a home decor shop, yet another idea which has always been close to my heart.                   Esther’s Home Essentials. 

I have revamped my web site www.estherbrook.com where you will
find my newly launched Home Decor shop (offering items which 
complete a space, give a room just that bit of polish, a finishing touch
if you will) in conjunction with interior design services, my booklet 
'Essential waRdrobe Basics', wardrobe styling services and also 
features my monthly Fashion and Interior Design blog.
 
I hope you will enjoy browsing through these home decor items, 
as much as I have enjoyed hand selecting and sourcing them especially
for you. Hoping that you will find just that little something which you 
absolutely must have!


FASHION:

Over the past few years fashions inspired by beautiful traditional African printed fabrics, especially for women have made its way into the mainstream, taking center stage as well as increasing trade with African countries. Just to name a few of the designers/fashion figures associated with this trending philosophy are ‘Rocker’ Bono and his wife whose collection ‘Edun’ *(“is building long term, sustainable opportunities by supporting manufactures, infrastructure and community building initiatives) currently in four African countries. Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jeans’ playful use of African fabrics in her modern day collections are on the wish list of every fashion savvy girl, and talk of the town Duro Olowu for JCP, bringing a taste of African influence to the masses.

I came across a UK designer Phyllis Taylor born to Ghanaian parents designs recently. Her company SIKA DESIGNS is fresh and novel with it’s wearable styles and fabric/production direct from Ghana. I immediately fell in love with the regal purple medallion printed dress with it’s 1950’s influence and placed an order. I waited about one month to receive my dress (I suppose ‘Customs’ had something to do with that) but it was worth the wait. It was like having a dress made to order! It fit perfectly, and the addition of the petticoat is quite dramatic (for special occasions though). Here is a look at some of my fave looks from the design house.


*Edun website



         
SUMMER HAIR & MAKEUP:

It’s JULY and that can only mean three things in New York City…it’s Hazy, Hot and Humid.
We are in the thrust of the summer season, where the living is easy and it’s all about having fun, fun, fun!
So how does one get through the steamy days and nights looking absolutely pulled together and ready for all that’s on your social calender?

With the seasons easy hair do the ‘TOPKNOT’ seen here on several ladies on the city streets!
It’s quick and easy to do and requires absolutely no upkeep during the day! Let the fly aways fall where they may 🙂 after all that just ads to the nonchalant chicness of the look!

In keeping with this look, is the “BARE” face….no need for makeup if you have been graced with beautiful bone structure as the ladies above; and if you believe you’re not as blessed…well a little make-up can go a long way. To achieve the trending look of a “NEUTRAL” face, which does require some make-up try these quick and easy steps. 
-Prep your face with your usual routine, then apply your foundation/base sparingly to primarily the center of    your face working it’s way out.
-Contour under your cheeks to make them appear hollowed with a shade or two darker than your  foundation/base…just remember to blend!
-Apply a light swoosh of setting powder over your face.
-Above the contoured area, add a touch of  highlighter by placing a dab or so on your cheekbone, bridge of   nose and forehead.
-Define eyes by filling in brows with an eyebrow pencil, then brushing them into shape.Add a few defining      coats of mascara.
-Finally complete the look with a neutral yet enhancing creamy matte lipstick.
                                           Makeup Artist Pat McGrath                              photo credit Sean Cunningham/Makeup Artist Pat McGrath  
                                               

 Makeup Artist Pat McGrath  
                                           


                             My own BEFORE & AFTER of the ‘BARE’ vs.’NEUTRAL’ face
                
                                                                                     
                                                                                                                Makeover by: 
                                                                      Cecily at Sephora 100st. & Columbus Avenue, New York, New York
                                                                          


INTERIOR DESIGN Africa Inspired…


                                                                                                     John Vogel
                                                                                                  Charlie Schuck



furniturefashion.com/african_inspired_furniture_and_chairs/

Homezdeco.blogspot.com
                                                                                                          Denoxa.com
                                                                                                           Houzz.com
Westelm

Image: Angus Fergusson / afroglamchic.wordpress.com 
                                                                                                            Axsoris
Kootation.com
UNTIL NEXT TIME “WORK IT” ERB

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