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Makeover Candidate through Catherine Schuller’s Y.E.S.S.

Posted by on June 2, 2015

Makeover Candidate: Nicole Flores

Profession: Blogger, Writer, Spokesperson, Social Media and PR

Interests: Art, Hip Hop, Music and Entertainment

Photographer: Jose Pagan

Makeup Artist: Nicole Flores

Styling and Accessories: Shelia Gay Robbins of She She’s Closet

Nicole Flores lives in New York City and the backdrop of the arts scene is exactly what feeds her creative soul. She is passionate about everything to do with artists who perform, write, paint, draw, sing, dance, or express themselves through their art. She is a dedicated supporter and liaison of the art, music, fashion, business and beauty scenes in New York. Being a curvy woman, she has the same challenges in finding great outfits to wear to various art events in an about town. She is aware of her persona and how she presents herself in public. She is often dashing around the city, from morning to night, flitting among the art openings, gallery exhibitions, music and dance performances, and fashion shows. It’s this adrenaline rush that fuels her desires and motivates her on a daily basis. This is a high energy city and she is as dynamic a creature as you’ll find, curvy or straight.

Nicole is a beautiful Latina woman with a curly mane of hair and a smile as wide as her arms. She is one heck of a cook and a fabulous single mother. She works tirelessly and is all about empowerment, so she seemed like a great first candidate for my Y.E.S.S. blog post. We met when Nicole just started her Xponential Curve blog, which has grown in popularity over the past three years. She now has many followers and has become a writer, speaker and a heavy influence in social media. I have grown quite fond of this downtown diva with her Bronx roots and heart of gold. We became quite close over the past two years of my doing Runway the Real Way at the Yotel Hotel. With our having done over sixty shows at that venue, she has become a contributing member of the family, helping in a myriad of ways that make her indispensable to me each weekend. She assists with makeup application backstage and keeping the social media buzz going, not to mention rockin’ the runway with many of the plus-size designers who present in our show.

She has become my curvy confidante and I seek her advice, counsel and wisdom every week. You know you have a lot to say when a phone call goes on for an hour and you’ve barely scratched the surface. She is a wonderful mother, too, and in that regard I was honored to help her bump up her image and “IGIGI-ify” her current style. I chose Nicole for my first Y.E.S.S. candidate and am proud to make her my lovely lady of this first launch. I believe she personifies the very reason why I created this blog with IGIGI. I’m going to choose curvy women who have their own established style (although they may not know exactly what that is but as long as they know “what they like” and why). With Y.E.S.S., I’m going to help her pinpoint their style type, define what comprises that look and then have her choose an Igigi dress that best reflects who she is and more importantly, where she’s going.

After tallying the results from the Style Assessment Quiz [take yours here], we determined that Nicole has a Natural/Sporty core style but also has secondary characteristics (because no one is one dimensional, after all) in Dramatic/Alluring and Romantic/Feminine. For the most part, her style is casual, comfortable but creative. She wears a lot of pants and jeans because she “doesn’t like her legs” and has a hard time finding flattering dresses. IGIGI is known for its stunning array of dresses, so when I mentioned she’d be wearing a dress, she was a little hesitant at first, but I wanted her to try something that would reflect her appearing mores sophisticated and mature but not sacrificing her need for comfort; I certainly did not want her to feel self-conscious about her legs. “Style is being yourself on purpose,” I always say. We definitely discovered and tweaked her style; we used a few more flavors to complement and reflect her former style restraints, freeing her up to move into her more romantic and flirty side.

BEFORE: Here she is in some looks which she wore over the last few years…

nicole flores 3 beforenicole flores 4 beforenicole flores in ADIR BELT WAVENicole Flores 2 beforeNICOLE FLORES 1 BEFORE PIC

Her past looks were only a mere fraction of her style capability in my estimation. I chose the Kelly Dress in Noir Rose dress and the Francesca Dress in Tuberose because they are easy, breezy comfortable, but the message being communicated is Dramatic/Alluring with a touch of Romantic/Feminine. Something that was lacking in her wardrobe of yore. We have to examine how our style choices can show the world what we are moving away from and moving towards. She loves her new IGIGI-fied persona. We did her makeup and hair and added some fabulous jewelry which IGIGI dresses are MADE for fabulous accessories from She She’s Closet to coordinate with the colors in each dress and voila – instant glam!!

Then, with the spring weather in all its glory, we had the very talented Jose Pagan capture the new Nicole. How ironic that it was in the courtyard of The X Collective art studio where she was holding a gallery viewing during a Sunday afternoon. When I got her look all together and we were walking outside to start shooting the final result she put on the dress, spun around and said gleefully, “I feel so PRETTY!” Now isn’t that saying YESS to the DRESS???

AFTER: Natural/Sport, Dramatic/Alluring, Romantic/Feminine

Igigi Edited Igigi Edit2

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Beach Getaways

Posted by on May 28, 2015

Who doesn’t love summer fun? Research shows that traveling is better when people prepare for their getaways rather than whipping up an itinerary last-minute. Are you an itinerant type of traveler or the kind who likes to lounge, beachside? In the hustle of the daily modern world, it’s sometime’s nice to do nothing and have a day to ourselves. Here are some key beach spots we’ve been eyeing:

1. Florida Keys, Miami

Someone I met told me he’s from Miami and I wrinkled my nose since I can’t stand sweltering heat. He told me that’s the reason he moved to San Francisco (where the weather’s hardly ever extreme) but he told me the Florida Keys are a destination, so I had to go look this up.

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2. Uluwatu, Bali

The title, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert isn’t exactly the most creative, nor is the movie more redeeming than the book, but I must admit that I couldn’t help watching it simply to get a glimpse of gorgeous Bali.


3. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

My friend one time sent me photos of the water when she was on a remote island in the Philippines. I’m not sure if it was this one but when I came across this picture I was a bit speechless.


4. Roatan, Honduras

Our graphic designer, a beach connoisseur, says the water here is like crystal blue bathwater. The snorkeling there is supposed amazing because you get to see untouched wildlife. Most of it is preserved land so wouldn’t it be lovely to explore under and see all that sways beneath?


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Memorial Day Picnic Recipes

Posted by on May 20, 2015

Kick off summer with some awesome Memorial Day picnic recipes! It doesn’t matter whether you’re throwing a barbecue in your backyard or cloistering in a green park with your friends. Memorial Day is that truly all-American holiday that’s about snacking, hanging out with friends, and more snacking.

1. Sweet potato cumin and flatbread chips
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2. Fruit in waffle cones
This recipe is so easy that it doesn’t even need a recipe. All you need to do is stuff waffle cones with fruits of your choice. Maybe throw in nutella or yogurt if you want some smear, but this is delicious and healthier, sort of like a faux-crepe with fruit.
3. Easiest baked mac and cheese
4. Guacamole quinoa with mango
Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.56.47 PM


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In Living Color: Makeup Tricks for the Summer

Posted by on May 15, 2015

Ah, when summer comes along it’s hard to beat the urge to go vibrant. Comb your hair back, bare your legs, and let the sun kiss your face (but not for too long; don’t forget that SPF!). Having a mini-arsenal of the right makeup items is a brilliant life hack every woman needs. So without any further ado, here are makeup tricks to keep you bright and starry-eyed for morning glory and midnight glow.

1. Blotting paper: There’s a difference between glowing and oily. Make sure you stock up on the blotting sheets to matte your shiny T-zone.
2. Colorful eyeliner: Why not try brightening up your eyes with a dash of green? Cleopatra just might have worn it this way, and the Egyptians knew how to handle heat.
3. Sheer gloss: Just as you’re ready to bring out the bold colors, opt for the sheer hues to add softness to your overall aesthetic. You don’t want to overkill with rich, dark colors that can look too heavy during the summer.
4. Waterproof mascara: It’s best to stayproof your make-up, especially where mascara is involved. If you don’t feel like going for it, you can always brush the tips of your lashes for extra precaution.
5. Lip balm: Just as winter can bring about chapped lips, so can summer. Be sure to coat your lips with lip balms that have SPF in them to protect you from those rays.

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Mother’s Day: Ways To Demonstrate Your Love

Posted by on May 6, 2015

Mother’s Day is a special day that celebrates the incredible bond between mother and child. The unconditional love, the steadfast presence, and the devotion beyond words. Even for those in an unconventional situation (perhaps your “mother figure” was your aunt or your father), there is no denying the importance and need for mothers. Here’s a toast to everyone who has given maternal love.

You can still give your mom a bouquet of flowers, but below are some other ways to show her how much you appreciate her:

1. Compile an album (photos, videos, music–whatever) of those special moments:

mother and daughter

2. Just spend the actual day with her doing what she wants to do. Your mom appreciates your presence more than anything.


3. Cook her a meal or bake her a dessert. The one who feeds is often touched when it’s the other way around.

Pavloa with Plums (inspired by Portrait of Lunia Czecksovska)

4. Take care of the cleaning and other chores she feels she “needs” to do so she can do what she wants.


5. Treat her to a meal outside the home. What mother doesn’t like being pampered with a nice brunch?



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