Today, is my birthday, it marks the start of a new year, a new set of goals and renewed sense of purpose. As a stylist, writer and artist, my emotional center drives me. Same with many other women, we turn to fashion and style to either feel good or inspire the crowd.

Personally, I want to inspire through action and creation. The Stylist Handbook began five years ago and I feel I'm finally just getting started with what I really want to see happen for this project. My goal has always been to uplift and inspire. However, I wish to do it on a immense premise, that truly has a positive impact for the holistic whole of humanity.

With all that said, her are my picks for the best birthday gifts that inspire change, create confidence and impact sustainability. My first pick is in support of small (local) artist, such as Jessica Durrant, a fashion artist from Atlanta who sells her work on Etsy.

2. Mila Sleeve Double Slitted Maxi Dress by Frock Los Angeles Sustainable Designs made with 95% Bamboo, 100% Eco-Friendly vegetable dye

3. Notch Stitch Poncho from Indigenous, made from Alpaca with low-impact dye, by Fair Trade Artisans in Peru. 

5. Soy Candles with Essential Oils of Lemongrass & Ylang Ylang, that are vegan, chemical free and no fragrance.

Lastly, please made donations on the Birthday girls behalf for Nepal earthquake relief at either SAVE the CHILDREN here or you can participate in a really fun auction that has tickets to great events in the Fashion Industry called Fashion for Nepal
Cate Blanchett wore a gown from the Giles autumn/winter 2015 collection.

This years Cannes best dress was slim pickin' as it seemed many of the beautiful ladies where essayé de disque  (google translate that.) The ladies who were classic and bold are selected in this haut niveau red carpet walk off.

Emily Blunt In Stella McCartney
Cate Blanchett wore a gown from the Giles autumn/winter 2015 collection.
Rooney Mara wore an Olivier Theyskens for Rochas autumn/winter 2005 gown.
Poppy Delevingne wore a Burberry gown with Chopard jewels
Salma Hayek wore a gown by Gucci.
Li Bingbing wore a Zuhair Murad Couture spring/summer 2015 gown and carried a clutch by Jimmy Choo.
Léa Seydoux wore a gown by Miu Miu with Chopard jewels.
PETRA NEMCOVA in a Elie Saab gown with Chopard jewelry.
Emily Blunt in a Calvin Klein Collection gown.
Emma Stone wore an Oscar de la Renta dress with jewellery by Repossi.
Alba Rohrwacher.
Emily Blunt wore a Peter Pilotto autumn/winter 2015 dress
Rooney Mara teamed an Alexander McQueen pre-autumn/winter 2015 dress with Stuart Weitzman sandals.

Don't forget the GUYS! 
Colin Farrell.
Jake Gyllenhaal
Tide Sequins $69.95, Tide Rhinestone $69.95, Tide II $64.95, Tide Floral $64.95

*additional styles and colors available on www.vionicshoes.com

How many people talk about or complain about back problems - issues with their feet, ankles, heals, the list goes on... I know I have a couple of these issues. The last time I wore my insanely HIGH high-heels, I got cramps in my feet in just 5 minutes of walking in them. Ouch! 

I played soccer for 12 years when I was a kid, and had a major foot injury one year that changed my feet forever. To top it off I have a slight curve in my spine. Like the millions of other people in the world I have back pain, also associated with foot pronation and other issues as well. 

I'm a Californian and we live in flip flops, wear then everywhere, at the gym in the shower, to the park, the beach, you get the point. I've tried many brands that are notorious in California, however I've still never worn a flip flop like Vionic. It's support and comfort where impressive, I believe I've noticed a difference since I began wearing them.

Plus the comfort, Vionic flip flops are stylish with select styles in your basic staple colors or straps with your preference of bling. I personal opted for the navy blue with rhinestone in honor of memorial day and I plan to wear them for the big Family 4th of July party too!  


Most flip-flops are notoriously bad for your feet, but Vionic offers this go-to summer staple in a form that is actually good for you. Vionic's flip flops give a whole new meaning to comfort and are the ONLY flip flops endorsed by both the American Pediatric Medical Association (APMA) and renowned integrative medicine doctor, Andrew Weil, MD. 

Unlike traditional flip flops which cause feet to flatten against their natural form, Vionic toe-post sandals hug the arch of your foot so that feet stay in proper alignment. With Vionic's podiatrist-designed, supportive Orthaheel Technology, the gravitational forces that cause the arch of the feet to collapse can be reversed, raising them back into their neutral position helping to re-align the entire leg and preventing plantar fasciitis, so wearers can move dynamically in complete comfort as intended.

Tide Flip Flop (floral, sequin, original, rhinestone) $64.95+

Photo Courtesy Discovery Communications

May is PROM month - a time where almost every high school girl is searching for the "perfect" outfit and look. The biggest night of the year its where all the details take weeks of planning and thought. Its a girls only big fancy night before she'll have a big fancy special day. She wants to look perfect and most important feel confident. From pictures with dates, to arriving in a stylish car, a special dinner and a ballroom filled with decorations, her only concern should be having the time of her life! 

Unfortunately, not every girl has the budget or the confidence to go through all the fuss for just one night. However, for one group of very special Los Angeles high school student their Prom dreams were fulfilled with an amazing opportunity to select from nearly 300 BCBGeneration dresses specifically provided by Creative Director, Joyce Azria. The event was held at the BCBG Corporate Headquarters in Vernon, Los Angeles, CA.

Student picking out a dress with her mentor.

Joining forces with TLC, part of the Discovery Communications family, together with BCBGeneration, they celebrated the 4th annual SAY YES TO THE PROM initiative. The Los Angeles event marks the final stop on the 2015 SAY YES TO THE PROM tour, which this year has more than doubled the impact of previous years by touching the lives of deserving girls from coast to coast. The tour kicked off in NYC on March 16th and continued with additional events in Denver, Washington, D.C. and Miami before making its way to Los Angeles.

Student on the runway

The program is designed to build courage and self-confidence among young women. A selected group of deserving high school girls from Los Angeles School of Global Studies and Manual Arts Senior High School were chosen by their school to participate in the event. The day included mentoring, prom dress shopping and makeovers. Joyce Azria, Creative Director for BCBGeneration, and Edwina Findley Dickerson, star of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG, also joined as mentors and participated in the fashion show presentation.

Joyce Azia, Student and Monte Durham

Monte Durham, fashion director and star of TLC’s SAY YES TO THE DRESS: ATLANTA, hosted the big show event, while mentoring the girls whom were each paired with a style assistant throughout the day. Actress Lexi Ainsworth came to promote her new movie "A Like Girl Her" that addresses the topic of High School bullying. Lexi was also cover girl for the Stylist Handbook, Volume 4.

Monte Durham with actress Lexi Ainsworth

After selecting their accessories and receiving hair styles and makeovers courtesy of JCPenney salon. Beauty guru Cris Ordaz of Discovery Familia’s GURUS DE BELLEZA, Ruby Makeup Academy and StyleSeat, where also taking part in getting the girls ready to show off their new prom-ready looks during a red carpet runway reveal show.

Nick Stenson, Artistic Director for JCPenney Salon

JCPenney Salon Artistic Director, Nick Stenson, provided styling direction and advice for these deserving students. Nick is a extremely established mentor currently directing, training, and advising over 14,000 JCP stylists and managers at over 900 salons across the country. 

In addition to the day’s style sessions, mentoring events and a red carpet finale, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the students with a special video message.

Editor In Chief, Devon Poer with Volume 4 cover girl Lexi Ainsworth made an appearance in support of the event. Baby Dylan Ray also came with!
perfect summer glow

How to Get the Perfect Summer Glow
Written By: Lupita Woo

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder 4. NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna 5. Urban Decay Naked2 6. NARS Highlighting Blush 7.  Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara 8. LIME CRIME in Cosmopop 9. Revlon Matte Lipstick- Nude Attitude

Summer is fast approaching and looking good has never been more of a goal for women around the globe. Having the perfect summer glow is what we all aim for. While we envy celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez for always having that perfect glow to Liv Tyler in the Givenchy beauty ad.

Here is a quick easy way so you too can achieve a flawless glow for the season.

1. First we start with a clean face. Then apply BB cream all over using your finger tips. BB creams were made popular in Asia and have landed in the US. A personal favorite is Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay BB Cream. This creams adds the right amount of coverage without looking like caked on foundation. The creams' reflective particles add to your look.

2. After you have applied the BB cream all over your face, apply MAC Cosmetics Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel. This is a liquid highlighter. Add a few drops of this on the top of your hand and blend with a small flat brush. Now take your brush and highlight the areas you want to stand out such as: the top of your cheekbones, cupids bow, chin, brow bone, and the top of your nose. The liquid highlighter will intensify the glow.

3. Now, lets set all these liquid products. With Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in your shade or translucent, which is what I prefer, take a big fluffy powder brush and lightly sweep all over the face to set the BB and the lustre drops.

4. Moving on to contouring. Take a bronzer brush that is slighty smaller than a regular blush brush and apply some Nars Bronzer in Laguna to the hollows of your cheekbones, the temples, and the sides of your nose as well as the jaw bones.  Once you have done that take a clean fluffy powder brush and blend out the product on your cheek bones.

Basic Makeup Contouring

5. After you have completely contoured your face and set your foundations, you can now focus on making your eyes pop.  With the Urban Decay Naked2 palette, take a shimmery shadow like Half Baked and apply all over your eye lid. To build a smokey look take Snake Bite and apply to the outer corners of your eyes and under eye as well. Add more drama by applying a bit of Blackout to the bottom corner of your eyes as well as the top corner. To highlight and make your eyes pop even more, add Booty Call to your brow bone and inner corners of your eye. After your smokey sunkissed eye shadow is completed, apply Benefit's BADgal Lash Mascara.

6. You're almost done! To the apples of your cheeks, you're going to want to apply Nars highlighting blush or any pink tone blush with a bit of sparkle. I prefer to use this one as I can double it as a powder based highlight to the top of my cheek bones.

7. For the lips. I am obsessed with (as most makeup gurus are) Lime Crime's Cosmopop. It really add a little color to this look and Cosmopop is one of their best sellers in a peach tone matte lipstick. If you prefer a more subtle look try using Revlon's Nude Attitude, this is a creamy nude color that I found on one of my many trips to Target.

Now that your look is finally completed, you can take a second look at your summer glow creation. If you feel the eye color is a little too intense, take your ring finger and lightly blend out your eye makeup. This gives it a more effortless look which I love.

If there are any other looks and or celebrity makeup looks you would like me to recreate, don't hesitate to comment down below. Hope you have a wonderful start to your summer and don't forget your sunscreen, it's a must-have. 

DIY Beauty Recipe: A Lavender-Infused Coconut Oil Hair Treatment

"Applied topically, coconut oil actually does a few things for your hair. First, it nourishes the hair shaft to create a vibrant sheen. It also conditions the hair to restore moisture and repair damage," explains Wendy Rose Gould beauty expert for hair tutorial and advice site Latest-Hairstyles.com. "Also, when applied at the scalp, it can help reduce dandruff and soothe sensitive or itchy skin." Tip: For beauty uses, choose extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil.

"Let's move onto the lavender portion of this two-ingredient DIY hair treatment. Lavender also has numerous benefits. It's no secret that it smells amazing, and many simply use aromatic lavender for its calming effects. Topically, lavender, like coconut oil, is antibacterial and therefore helps with dandruff. It also helps to soften the hair."

What You Need For This Recipe:
  • Small Bowl 
  • 2 Tablespoons of Unrefined, Virgin Coconut Oil 
  • Fresh or Dried Lavender Springs (or 2 drops essential oil) 
  • Measuring Spoons 

Step 1: Place Oil Into Your Bowl
Measure out 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and add it to your bowl. Depending on your hair length, you may want to add more or less oil to the bowl. For medium-to-long hair, two tablespoons should suffice. If your coconut oil has turned to liquid, just measure it out like normal.

Step 2: Add Lavender
Remove the greens and/or buds from your lavender and place it in the bowl with your coconut oil. If you want to add a little more for fragrance, that's okay. A few pinches is plenty.

Step 3: Infuse Your Lavender
Next, we're going to infuse the lavender into the coconut oil. To do this, create a bain-marie by placing your bowl over a sauce pan filled with water. Turn your heat to low-medium and allow the coconut oil to melt down, stirring periodically. If your coconut oil is already liquid, you still want to do this, as the warmth from the water bath will expedite the lavender oil extraction. Keep your bain-marie going for 45 minutes to one hour, then remove from the heat.

Step 4: Cool and Strain
Allow your infused coconut oil to set for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is slightly warm (not hot). Remove the lavender pieces if desired.

Step 5: Apply to Hair
Work the oil through your hair, focusing on the ends where hair gets dry. You can also focus on the scalp if you're dealing with itchy, dry skin or dandruff. Let the oil set for 15 to 45 minutes. The longer it sets, the better. Shampoo and style as normal.

Step 6: Revel in Softer, Prettier Hair
Beautiful Hair!!!

Want to improve your hair even more? Check out Latest-Hairstyles.com's Product + Hair Advice section.