How do Dress from Work to Party

Recently I had a chance to style a segment for the zulily blog on how to take your daytime look to evening in a pinch by Claire Magruder, zulily’s in-house style expert. Here it is!

Ok ladies, November has arrived, and we all know what that means: Holiday parties, gift giving extravaganzas, piles and piles of cookies to bake, and all of this on top of your everyday workload!  All of the social events that come along with the holidays are such fun, but can seem a bit daunting when you think about your daily routine, and how to possibly fit it all in.  To make life a breeze from the office to a night out on the town, here are a few ways I stay organized day to night.

But first, the bag…

work to party bag

Make sure you have a designated tote bag with a simple makeup/hair kit, room for a great pair of heels, jewelry, dry shampoo, and a sparkly layer.  Carry this to work with you, or leave some of these little extras stashed in your desk.  You never know what events might pop up on the agenda at the last minute, and being able to do a simple prep to get party ready at the end of the work day makes life so much easier.

Rouge the night away

cherry red lip for going out

Cherry Red is the color of the season.  I’ve seen it all over the runways and in the pages of every magazine, and what I love about the color is that it’s easy to incorporate into your everyday routine. It can be as simple an addition to your work attire as a glossy red lip and red suede pumps.  Or,  try wearing a pretty red dress and blazer to work, then remove the jacket for night, add metallic heels and a clutch, throw your hair up in a casual French twist and you’re ready to hit the town!

It’s all in the details

work to party black pencil skirt

Most of us need to look polished, serious, and professional on the job, which often means basic black pencil skirts or A-line dresses and blazers.  If you don’t have much time to get ready for an after-work function, try something as simple as packing a pair of stockings that have some flair and detail to them.  My favorites right now are sheer black with a lace pattern, or anything with embellishments like little pearls or rhinestones.  I love how easy this makes dressing up… sometimes it’s just a little touch that really makes the outfit!

Smaller is better!

maroon skirt party outfit

Always pack a smaller purse to bring out at night.  I suggest a cross body bag that you can fit the essentials in… house keys, credit cards, phone, lipstick of course, and leave your work items at the office.  That way you’re not lugging a big bag around all night, and you can bring everything else home the next day.

Don’t forget to add eyeliner!

eyeliner for after work event

Nothing says party like a smoky eye, and what an easy update this is.  I don’t go overboard here, just a little extra liner to define the eyes do the trick.  Smudge it in a bit, add a shimmery highlight right below the brows, and you’re all set.

Add a little sparkle

sequined skirt party outfit

Sequins are my major holiday go-to because they’re such a seasonal fashion item.  I love sequined pencil skirts paired with a flowy blouse, or cozy lightweight crew neck sweater.  Again, stay simple with this trend and wear just one piece that incorporates sparkle.  I always try to balance the whole look, so that I’m on trend and look festive, but still approachable.

Channel your inner rocker with a moto jacket

moto jacket party look

Office holiday parties are always the hardest to dress for.  You want to look festive and pretty, but it’s important that you maintain a sense of professionalism… maybe save the mini skirt for girl’s night out?  My go-to are always black pants, with a bunch of sparkly bling.  Statement necklaces or chandelier earrings brighten up that basic, and a leather moto jacket is the perfect topper to stay warm while out and about.

Remember to have fun with it all and that the holidays only come once a year.  I try to revel in the business, and enjoy the hustle and bustle while it lasts… soon the festivities will die down, and we’ll all be back to our regular routine in the New Year.  Celebrate now with a little extra festive fashion thrown in for good measure and check out our work to party event from 11/10/2015 to 11/12/2015.

zulily Trend Expert- Claire Magruder

claire magruder

As zulily’s trend and fashion expert, Claire constantly has her eye on what’s next. Whether it’s the best new look for an upcoming event, that necklace you just have to have, or a bigger picture look at this season’s trends, Claire is our go-to for fashion and style advice.

Claire has a background in styling and design, with published work in the likes of Martha Stewart Living, Good Housekeeping, OK Magazine, Seattle Magazine, and more.  She has worked on such television series and feature films as Boardwalk Empire, The Big C, The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Winter’s Tale, and more. Claire is the founder and author of the blog, That Pleasant Surprise, which focuses on finding the beauty in our everyday lives.

Claire lives in Seattle with her husband and Black Lab, “Scout”, and loves exploring the beautiful Northwest with weekend hikes, ski trips in the mountains, and boat rides on the Puget Sound.  Traveling to new places is a passion, and her favorite way to discover the newest and greatest next thing.  Sharing all of this, and life’s great experiences with friends and family is the icing on the cake!


Halloween Makeup: Day of the Dead | Sugar Skull

Photo by Steve McCumber, makeup by Ashlee Bullinger-Nabua

Last fall I had the pleasure of modeling a Day of the Dead costume and teamed up with stylist Erick Skarownski and makeup artist Ashlee Bullinger-Nabua to create the look.


Ashlee and I researched different sugar skull designs on Pinterest that we liked and then printed out our favorites to reference. We took different aspects of each sugar skull to create our very own design, integrating sparkles and press-on gems into the final product.

Photo by Sean Gumm

My friend Patrick Vong was my vampire cohort for the photo shoot.



sugar skull bw
Photo by Sean Gumm

Fall Fashion Showcase: Tuesday 9/29 at New Tomorrow


Fall has arrived in Seattle and we couldn’t be more thrilled. If you’re itching to incorporate some fresh flavor into your fall ensemble, have we got the event for you!

Wardrobe Stylist Sarah Ward​ and Makeup Artist Mimi Banasik​ have teamed up to bring you an evening of fall style where you’ll get actionable tips on how to wear the latest looks from the runway. See Sarah’s top trends for fall and watch Mimi demonstrate the latest makeup looks! Plus, you’ll receive a goodie bag to take home with makeup samples to try. What’s not to love?

Grab your girlfriends and join us for champagne and style!

  • Tuesday, September 29th @ 7-9pm
  • New Tomorrow @ 10th Ave. S. &  E. Pike in Seattle
  • Tickets are free, bring a friend! Register at Eventbrite

The Hunger Games’ Effie Trinket Halloween Costume Makeup Tutorial

A critical part of becoming Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games for Halloween is the makeup. For my Effie Trinket Halloween costume, I enlisted the help of celebrity makeup artist DorothyInez to recreate the look from the movie. DorothyInez used all MAC and Motives makeup and recreated the look perfectly! Throughout the process we found ourselves literally laughing out loud for how ridiculous I looked. It’s comical — prepare yourself!

Here is a step by step tutorial by professional makeup artist DorothyInez with photos demonstrating how to recreate Effie Trinket makeup for Halloween.

  1. Before applying makeup, exfoliate your face to remove dead skin cells which will make the makeup apply more smoothly. Then moisturize your face generously.
  2. If you are wearing a wig, put on your wig cap to pull you hair back.
  3. Choose a foundation a few shades lighter than your natural skin color, then apply all over your face, including your lips. Go as light as you want to.
  4. Apply concealer as needed.
  5. To set the foundation, choose a matching light powder. Translucent powder will do in a pinch.
  6. If you have dark eyebrows like I do, cover them with concealer.
  7. Choose a bright shade of yellow and apply all over the eyelid, up to the eyebrow. Apply this shade of yellow on your eyebrows as well.
  8. Choose a bright shade of teal and apply it in the middle of your eyelid from the line of your lashes up to the brow, tapering inwards slightly.
  9. Apply a dark blue or teal eyeliner underneath the lower lashes, including the waterline, the inner rim of your eye.
  10. Apply a thin line of black eyeliner to your upper eyelid.
  11. Apply a pink blush to your cheekbones. Carry a bit up in a “C” shape around your eyebrows and onto your forehead.
  12. Using a pink lip liner, draw an exaggerated lip shape. Keep in mind this will not follow your natural lip shape.
  13. Fill it in with a matching pink or fuschia lip color.
  14. Apply mascara.
  15. Put on your wig.


Don’t forget to check out our Effie Trinket Halloween Costume tutorial for more tips on how to pull together your costume!

May the odds be ever in your favor!

10 Glam Makeup Tips from Makeup Artist DorothyInez

For the last ten years I’ve pretty much been doing the same eye makeup and recently I have really wanted to mix things up. So when my good friend and makeup artist DorothyInez invited me to her Simply Gorgeous Eyes class, I was excited to access her genius and learn more. (You may remember DorothyInez as the makeup artist from the recent Sell Your Sole Consignment Boutique photo shoot.)

With six of us in the class, DorothyInez demonstrated makeup techniques on a model, then gave us a chance to practice the new techniques on our own faces while giving feedback on our application. Her teaching style is really playful, informative, and encouraging which made for an enjoyable class.

Here are some great takeaways I walked away with:

  1. Makeup can help you create the perfect face. Using the right makeup placement, you can draw attention to certain areas of your face and give the illusion of a perfect face.
  2. When applying eye shadow, look down rather than closing your eyes. When we close our eyes, it can cause our eyelid to scrunch. It may help to tilt your head back.
  3. When holding a makeup brush, hold it from the end for feather-light application. When you hold from the middle of the brush, you obscure your line of vision, blocking you from seeing your progress, and your application is too heavy.
  4. When you’re applying your makeup, relax! Do you have the tendency of opening your eyes really wide when applying your eye makeup? I do! Don’t forget to relax your facial muscles!
  5. When you clean your makeup brushes, squeeze them dry, then lightly reshape. No wringing out the water! Be kind to your brushes and they will last for a long time.
  6. Dark colors close down the eye while light colors open it up. For example, if you have small eyes, lining the waterline on the lower part of your eye with a white pencil will make them look larger.
  7. Before applying fake lashes, draw a thin line on the base of the lashes so there isn’t a gap between your natural lashes and the falsies.
  8. When applying the glue to the false lashes, let the glue dry for 30-60 seconds before application, rather than right away when the glue is still wet.
  9. Start applying the falsies from the outside of the eye in at the base of your lashes. Use closed tweezers to press down the lashes against your skin.
  10. Every woman is beautiful.
My before and after -- I'm amazed at the difference the falsies made!

At the end of the class I was feeling so glamorous! I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn false eyelashes so it was a real treat to play around with this medium.

Even DorothyInez who swears by MAC and Motives will use the $4 lashes from Target. One of the gals brought lashes from e.l.f. and they were really long and lovely.

Viva glam!

If you want to tap into DorothyInez’s genius, she is hosting another Simply Glamorous Eyes Workshop on Friday, August 3rd in Tacoma specifically for evening eyes. If you can’t attend, she also offers Online Makeup Classes via Skype. Check it out!

What is your best makeup tip?

(Disclosure: I received free tuition for Simply Beautiful Eyes in exchange for a blog post.)

Show Your True Colors: Fourth of July Nails

As we gear up to celebrate the Fourth of July this week, wear your true colors on your fingernails with a fabulous set of patriotic red, white, and blue nails! Here are some fab July 4th inspired manicures for your viewing pleasure:

Photos, clockwise from top left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

And if you have dual citizenship, don’t forget to check out our Canada Day nails!

Pin it to Win it: JamBerry Nail Shields

Recently I have become totally obsessed with having my nails done. But there’s only so many creative things I can do with my own two hands, so I was excited to discover Jamberry Nails, a nail shield company based out of Utah that opens up fabulous opportunities for your nails!

One of my favorites is the multi-colored chevron nail seen here. Whenever I wear Jamberry Nails, I get compliments practically everywhere I go and from the most stylish people I know. They’re such a fun nail accessory!

Giveaway Details

We’re doing a giveaway for 3 sets of Jamberry Nails shields! To enter is easy. Simply repin the “pin it to win it” photo at the top and we’ll draw a winner on June 15, 2012. To simplify tracking, please leave a comment here after pinning.

In the meantime, check out Jamberry Nails online at to decide which ones you’ll be taking home with you. These babies go for $15/each.

Here are the blue paisley nail shields

Wearing these chevron nails made me go out of my way to integrate fun, bold colors like these!

Have you tried nail shields before?

Dazzled by Sally Hansen Nail Strips: Glitz Blitz

Last week, I attended the Seattle Blogger Meetup and one of the panelists, Megan from Not Martha, had the cutest gold glitter mani that I could not stop staring at. (If I were a fish, I would be in big trouble.)

I chatted with Megan afterwards and it turns out this gold glitter polish wasn’t a polish at all, but Sally Hansen nail strips! I may need to give these babies a try…

Sally Hansen Glitz Blitz $8.54

I also couldn’t help but notice how Megan bore an amazing resemblance to Sara from White Collar. (By the way, that would be a really challenging job to get all dolled up and play opposite of Matt Bomer’s Neal Caffrey, decked out in his delicious suits.)


Aaaaand we’re off track.

Have you tried Sally Hansen’s nail strips?

Trend Alert: Orange Lipstick

With Tangerine Tango as the color of the year, orange lipstick is all the rage right now.

Orange lipstick has been on my beauty bucket list for weeks. After browsing the counters of Sephora and Clinique but with no luck in finding the right vibrant shade of orange, I definitely wasn’t expecting it to come from Cover Girl. But that’s exactly what happened. The perfect lipstick of the season… at the drug store!

Cover Girl Temptation Lipstick

Will you be wearing orange lipstick this season?