Archive for February, 2014

Brand Spotlight: Londono Bags by Mauricio Londoño


I have Twitter to thank for discovering Londono Bags and the extraordinary talented Mauricio Londoño. It’s always exciting to connect with designers to learn firsthand what inspires them to create and how it all started.

HR:  When did you first begin designing bags? Did you always want to become an accessories designer or was it a gradual transition from a different career path?

ML:  I started designing watches for a high end watchmaker company in London, and I always got amazed by the technology and exotic materials this industry was using, specially carbon fibre; a material five times stronger than steel and very light, with an amazing finish.  When I returned to my country (Colombia), I got the idea of combining this material with leather in order to create bags and accessories.  Thus the Londono brand was born.

 I never thought I was going to be working as an accessories designer or as a watch designer.  Actually, if you asked me that question 7 years ago, my answer would be working with plastics or engineering.  The opportunity I had working with watches gave me a different view of how to create products which can have the integration of engineering and beauty, and that is what I am trying to achieve with the bags and accessories.

HR:  What is the most challenging/rewarding aspect(s) of designing and being in business for yourself?

ML:  Designing products is something I really enjoy doing, and start a company from scratch is very challenging but very exciting, has not been easy at all, but I consider myself very lucky because in less than two years I have been able to start from a concept to a running business with a very good acceptance of the products, then you realized that all the hard work is paying off.

HR:  What is your design philosophy?

ML:  I try to create a new concept of products with the combination of engineering materials and innovation, with the traditional techniques of handcrafted products.  That is why I chose the slogan “handcrafted innovation”.

Londono bag

HR:  Where did you find inspiration when creating each Londono bag?

ML:  The inspiration comes from the beautiful things that are made from engineering.  For instance, with the bag Scuderia (pictured at the top of the post), my inspiration came from the fighter jet F-22 Raptor and the Lamborghini Aventador.  These machines have sharp edges and very futuristic design so I tried to integrate these features into a bag.  I think the result is quite nice.

HR:  Describe the man who you design for.

ML:  I design the products for business men that want something different and also have to travel quite a lot; they may like products such as exotic cars and fans of motor sports.

HR:  Name five celebrities you would like to see carrying a Londono bag.

ML:  Because the concept of the brand, I think the best celebrities may be f1 drivers or motor sports personalities such as Fernando Alonzo, David Coultard or Bernie Eccleston, and actors such as Daniel Craig or Clive Owen.

HR:  What five accessories should every man invest in?


  1. a sports watch
  2. a dress watch
  3. a business bag
  4. travel bag
  5. cufflinks

HR:  What are your personal favorite accessories?

ML:  Even though I am working with leather goods, I think watches are and will be the only piece of jewelry men should wear all the time, also watches reflects the personality of the person who is wearing it, and I think no others accessories can do so.


HR:  What’s next for Londono Bags? Any plans for expanding the brand?

ML:  The next step of Londono is to start developing products with carbon fibre using molds in order to create products such as The Doctor (pictured above).  I also hope in less than 2 years to have the tools and machinery to develop my own hardware, and of course, expand the brand but always keeping very limited production and keeping the best quality possible.

Visit to view the entire collection, and follow Londono Bags on Facebook and Twitter.

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Walk down The Aisle in Color

For special occasions such as weddings, a brides wedding dress is said to be the center of focus. The look, style and even the color can make or break an entire event. A brides wedding dress can be of any design and made from the finest materials. However what remains constant is the color. Traditionally, brides would go for the color white, that which symbolizes the pureness of love and devotion for the couples, as well as divinity and solemnity of the said event. This is definitely a once in a lifetime memory that people would remember for the rest of their lives.

wedding dresses

Yet, for the hip and stylish woman, a splash of color would be a breath of fresh air to her wedding. An expression of character of the bride’s personality and how she feels about marriage is said to exude in the choice of color. There are a lot of color wedding dresses that can be found on shops and online stores. But none is as uniquely gorgeous as well as easy on the budget as the one you may be able to find at They have a wide range of collection that would suit your individual taste, as you would be able to check out from their website

My personal favorite would be this Vintage Cream Color V Neck Embroidery Bodice Taline s Wedding Dress. It is simple yet elegant. Not overly decorated, chic and fits just perfectly. It is cream in color, a safe way to go for me I suppose, as far as matching your gown with the rest of the weddings motif. So for the bride who knows what she wants and gets it, go for a color wedding dress. Be the bride you have always envisioned yourself to be.

The post Walk down The Aisle in Color appeared first on Live Stylish And Fashionable.

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Fab Finds on Etsy: Nana by Sally Spring Modern Geometrics Collection


We first featured Nana by Sally bags {here} and keep up with the incredibly talented Sally Peek via Facebook (go like the page!) where she posts all of her beautiful, colorful creations.  Each statement piece is handmade with love and truly an original – no two Nana bags are the same, and most are priced under $100!  Shop the entire Nana by Sally collection on Etsy.

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Planet Automattic: February 2014

No matter where you are in the world, you’ll find people working on Developers deploying lines of code. Designers tinkering with themes. Engineers working one-on-one with users to help make their websites just so. (Want to join in? We’re hiring.)

One cool thing about Automatticians? We care about so much that we’re always thinking about ways to make it better, online and off. Here’s a glimpse at the 230 Automatticians around the globe — and things we’re working on and thinking about right now.

We blog about WordPress (naturally!)

At Automattic, we’re constantly communicating, breaking and fixing, and iterating and improving. Communication tools like the P2 theme, Skype, and IRC channels allow ideas and conversations to flow at all times, while our own blogs are spaces to reflect on and share the things we’ve learned.

In Moscow, Code Wrangler Konstantin Kovshenin works on the Dot Org Team, writing themes and plugins and contributing to WordPress Core. On his personal blog, he shares tips, code snippets, and even videos of his talks at WordCamps, like WordCamp Sofia 2013 in Bulgaria.

Meta engineer Nikolay Bachiyski, from Sofia, Bulgaria, chatting with others. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Meta Engineer Nikolay Bachiyski chatting with others. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Colorado-based Automattician Greg Brown works on search, natural language processing, and machine learning; his team wrangles data (and launched the Related Posts feature last November). On Greg’s blog, you can follow his recent posts on Elasticsearchindexing, and the future:

Humans express their dreams, opinions, and ideas in hundreds of languages. Bridging that gap between humans and computers — and ultimately between humans — is a noble endeavor that will subtly shape the next century. I’d like to see Elasticsearch be a force in democratizing the use of natural language processing and machine learning.

We blog about the web and technology

At Unencumbered By Facts, Code Wrangler (and Linux Geek) Jason Munro muses on a mix of topics, from programming to data, and even on moving from Wall Street to WordPress.

Over in Taipei, Taiwan, Growth Engineer Ben Thompson focuses on attracting new users to, and improving their experience, on Team Triton. Ben actively writes about technology from a strategic perspective at Stratecherylike his recent thoughts on messaging on mobile, and his follow-up piece on this week’s Facebook and WhatsApp deal.

On ebeab (or eight beats equals a byte), Marcus Kazmierczak publishes newsletters about trends around open source, web development, Linux, and more. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Marcus works on Team Tinker — a team focused on creating new products — and covers more than just your usual technology news: his latest edition dives into the world of crypto-currency and Dogecoin, and past editions focus on productivity and hacking and security.

Over on the east coast of the US, Sheri Bigelow (who snapped the images you see in this post) is a New York-based photographer and designer who strives to make the theme and customization experience the best it can be, and shares techniques and ideas on her site, Design SimplyWe especially like her tips on photography workflows and themes.

Theme Team lead Ian Stewart. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Theme Team Lead Ian Stewart. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Likewise, it’s cool to read design ideas from Theme Team Lead Ian Stewart from Winnipeg, Manitoba, whose crew of wranglers launches the new themes you see in the Theme Showcase.

This week, Ian ponders the principles of good design, but he also writes on general best practices and other interests, like writing. If you’ve not seen it, Ian’s talk at WordCamp San Francisco 2013 resonates as an inspiring, big-picture, yet personal talk on themes and web design.

We blog about other stuff, too

Automatticians write about all sorts of topics — from tread desking to fatherhood to musings on love and life to gaming to reading and writing. And even if we’re not working on, we bring the same curiosity and motivation to our other passions — and find that much of what we do and enjoy here overlaps in side projects.

Isaac Keyet, a Product Designer living in Sweden and working on the Data Team, writes on a variety of subjects. In his recent post on light, color, work, and sleep, he talks about the types of light that affect our sleep/wake patterns (and recommends f.lux, an app that changes your screen temperature to best fit your location).

Tokyo-based Automattician Naoko Takano, from Team Global.

Tokyo-based Automattician Naoko Takano, from Team Global, engineering happiness. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Karen Arnold, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and works on the Happiness Team, started a blogging class as an experiment for a homeschooling group. (Karen also led a workshop last fall at the Digital Family Summit to teach kids and their families how to get started blogging on

Further north in Quebec, Canada, Kathryn Presner, a member of the Theme Team, recaps her experience mentoring students at Ladies Learning Code. Being a Happiness Engineer and WordCamp speaker, educating others is nothing new to Kathryn — it’s a perfect example of open source education in action, and how the skills and passions of Automatticians aren’t restricted to “the workplace.”

Are you interested in working alongside these and many other talented folks? We’re hiring for numerous positions — consider applying!

Filed under: behind the scenes, Community,
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Traveling In Style: Rule Of Thumb

Presented By Peter Millar

The post Traveling In Style: Rule Of Thumb appeared first on Live Stylish And Fashionable.

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5 Heels You’ll Want to Wear to Add Sex Appeal This Spring

With spring approaching and Fashion Week NY recently over, it’s no surprise that new trends are flooding stores, magazines and online blogs. It’s also a known fact, survey results or not, that stiletto heels are the best way to add sex appeal to any outfit. Both men and women alike will agree. Hence, I’ve rummaged through several heels, and chosen out 5 of the sexiest heels you can be wearing this spring. They’ll most definitely make you feel sexier – not that you need it anyway!

  • Penny Loves Kenny ‘Confetti’ Sandal
  • Penny Loves Kenny Sandal

    Studs have been a trend in recent times, and they continue to be. This Penny Loves Kenny ‘Confetti’ Sandal has large chunky studs that look killer on the thick straps. You can wear them with black skinny jeans and a flowy salmon colored top. Another idea would be to wear them with a minty green A-line dress that has a full skirt bottom. Adding a brighter color will soften the look and add a little fun spring flavor.

  • Aldo Rosapineta Sandal
  • Aldo Rosapineta Sandal

    If you’re sick of the dark winter colors, then you might want to go for a brighter color like the peach of this Aldo Rosapineta Sandal. Just pair it with a white/floral printed body-con dress, and you’ll have total sex appeal. If you want something on the cuter side (because it can be just as sexy) you can pair it with a white high-waisted skirt and floral crop top.

  • Giuseppe Zanotti Snake Cuff Sandal
  • Giuseppe Zanotti Snake Cuff Sandal

    The Giuseppe Zanotti Snake Cuff Sandal is H-O-T-hot! Animals, from prints to graphics, on fashion pieces have been a huge trend. So when you have a snake cuffed around your ankle, it can be a very sexy look. Red dress anyone? It would be the perfect combo with this sandal, but if red isn’t working for you, you could even go for a sapphire blue (like in the shoe below) dress and some gold accessories.

  • Steve Madden Stepout Sandal 
  • Steve Madden Stepout Sandal

    The sapphire blue in this Steve Madden Stepout Sandal is absolutely stunning. It’s the perfect color to step into a warm sunny spring day. You can wear them with a black A-line pleated dress and a blazer over it. Trying out a different colored blazer such as a nude color could give it more liveliness.

  • Steve Madden Marnee  Sandal 
    Steve Madden Marnee  Sandal 

    The caged sandal is a favorite trend this coming spring so you definitely want to have a pair like the Steve Madden Marnee Sandal in your wardrobe. The gold color will be great for spring and even for the summer months. You can really combine it with several outfits and several colors as well, whether it’s a body-con dress or shift dress, or a navy colored dress or printed dress.

    Spring is really about the warm weather and bright colors so have fun experimenting with these choices and outfit combinations. If you want some outfit ideas check some out here!

    Author Blurb:

    Selene Sorto is the lead editor at Miss Millennia Magazine. She has a passion for writing, fashion, literature, photography and music. On her spare time you can find her chasing adventures in her current home state of California. If you want to read even more about what she has to say and create, check out her fashion and creative blog Rusty heArts & Denim.

    The post 5 Heels You’ll Want to Wear to Add Sex Appeal This Spring appeared first on Live Stylish And Fashionable.

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  • The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie Experience

    Haute Maroquinerie, high leathergoods… objects of desire, the pinnacle of Louis Vuitton’s craftsmanship and the ultimate shopping experience. This exclusive service allows every woman to create a unique bag of her own, by choosing the style, the leather and the color according to her preference. Understated elegance. Perfect for the most discerning, for the leather connoisseurs.

    Only a handful of Louis Vuitton stores offer this service. But luckily, the Haute Maroquinerie is touring around the world giving women a chance to experience the service without having to travel abroad to the Haute Maroquinerie salons. The Haute Maroquinerie caravan is currently in Manila at the Louis Vuitton Greenbelt 4 store in Makati City.

    I was invited by Louis Vuitton Philippines to see and experience the Haute Maroquinerie service. And here’s what happened.

    Step 1: The Shapes

    Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie The Shapes The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie Experience

    The Haute Maroquinerie private customization session takes place at the VIP Salon. Upon entering, clients are offered a gorgeous Louis Vuitton canapé and dessert set prepared by Chef Colin Mackay of Sala Restaurant. The customization session begins with the client choosing from five different shapes inspired by the Maison’s most iconic pieces; Lockit, Triangle, Noé, Néo-Steamer (Trapèze) and Milaris (Berlingot).

    Haute Maroquinerie 3 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie Experience

    Sac Lockit – Closed or even padlocked, yes, but nonetheless open to the winds of modernity. Created in 1958, the curved lines, like a taut architectural sketch, translated into instant success for this bag. Time has brought volume and suppleness to its impeccable appearance. Available in PM, MM and GM sizes.

    Sac Triangle – This “work bag” was designed in 1934 to accompany women involved with needlework wherever they went. Renamed the Triangle in the 1980s, its originality has brought it back to the forefront.

    Sac Noé – This chic bucket was named after the biblical character Noah. If ever there had been a flood, it would have been one of Champagne. Created in 1932 to transport five bottles of the “divine brew”, this drawstring bag worn over the shoulder brings a dash of classicism to today’s elegant woman. Available in PM and GM sizes.

    Sac Néo-Steamer (Trapèze) – Introduced in 2011, the bag’s mysterious shape hints at well-kept secrets. An exception to the rules of geometry, this bag shows off its originality with a casual elegance.

    Sac Milaris (Berlingot) – It’s a craving. Gourmand and desirable, round and square, supple and roomy. Carried in the hand or slipped into the crook of the elbow, it opens wide to more easily accommodate all that you need for a day, a week or forever. Available in PM and GM sizes.

    I chose the bi-color Milaris PM because of its supple and plump silhouette. It may look small on the outside but once opened, the interior space is very generous. Also, Milaris has a secret pocket, which adds a nice touch.

    Step 2: The Leathers and Color

    Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie The Leathers The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie Experience

    After deciding on the shape, Ms. Angela opened the Haute Maroquinerie trunk. Spread out in front of me were swatch books of the finest leathers I have ever seen, in a myriad of different colors ranging from neutrals to trendy brights.

    The colors are divided into three families: Traditional LV Colors which features the signature House colors like Blanc, Blanc Cassé, Gris Souris, Taupe, Noir, Moka, Brun, Tabac and Caramel. Next are the Timeless Colors, which is a classical palette composed of Cassis, Violet, Iris Noir, Rouge, Bleu Marine, Bleu Océan, Bleu Canard and Bleu Azur. And last, the bright Vibrant Colors which include Vert Forèt, Kiwi, Pomme, Pistache, Ocre, Mandarine, Capucine, Grenade and Aubergine. Cognac is also available as an exclusive color for the Nomade leather.

    Haute Maroquinerie 14 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie ExperienceThe Haute Maroquinerie trunk that houses the leather and hardware swatches.

    Haute Maroquinerie 15 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie ExperienceThe leathers divided into three groups of colors.

    Haute Maroquinerie 16 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie ExperienceVeau Ecorce swatch book.

    The exceptional leathers are broken down into three distinct groups. Supple Calf Leathers, Firm Leathers, and Exotic Leathers.

    The Supple calf leathers were unbelievably soft with varying differences in thickness and the size of the grain. Veau Ecorce has this very prominent grain which I adore. It’s the thickest of the 3 supple leathers and is suitable for both supple and structured bag shapes. Veau Bougie had a very fine full grain as the skins came from young calves and feature a waxed finish. It’s the supplest one out of the 3 Supple leathers and is suitable for supple bag shapes. And the Veau Soie, smooth as silk. It has very fine and elegant texture, underlining the transparency of the skin and the natural slight grain of the calf. It’s the smoothest of the 3 supple leathers, but it’s more prone to surface scratches.

    The Firm leathers. Chèvre Frisson, a goatskin, sourced from India has an outstanding strong grain as a result of a hand massage graining process, wrinkle is regular. It’s the only goat leather at Louis Vuitton and is both structured and relaxed for a very elegant frequent use. Chèvre Frisson comes in 8 colors: Blanc, Gris Souris, Noir, Moka, Kiwi, Grenade, Rouge and Bleu Marine.

    Another Firm leather is the Nomade cowhide leather. It has a natural, even and delicate grain. Vegetal tanning was used to keep the total transparency of the skin. No additional coating was applied. Even in the darkest colors, all the natural characteristics of the leather are visible, each bag being unique. Some wrinkles may be visible on the surface of the skin as proof of authenticity. It only comes in dark earthy colors due to its vegetal tanning: Noir, Moka, Tabac, Iris Noir and Cognac.

    The last of the Firm leathers is the Veau Box, made from young calf. It has a fine grain, with natural and very regular wrinkles. This leather has a brilliant sheen that gives it sophistication. It comes in 5 colors. Unfortunately, Box is not available in the collection at the moment.

    Haute Maroquinerie 17 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie ExperienceExotic crocodiliens swatch book.

    The final leather group: the Exotics. The crocodiliens swatch book carries the most beautiful samples of crocodile leather in matte and brilliant finishes – both available in 16 colors.

    For my bi-color Milaris, I chose the Veau Ecorce leather because I’m a big fan of textures. I wanted the bag to be light, calm and easy on the eyes so I chose Taupe for the front and back parts of the bag and Bleu Azur for the side gussets. The combination was so beautiful.

    Haute Maroquinerie 19 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie ExperienceDoublures / lining swatch book.

    After picking the exterior leather and colors, I was given a swatch book for the doublures or the lining. Haute Maroquinerie offers two interior leather options: goatskin or lambskin. Goatskin is a grained leather that is both supple and resistant; it is thicker than the lambskin lining and is recommended for a bag with character inside. Lambskin, on the other hand, is totally smooth, without marked grain. It’s as soft as silk, very buttery with a sensual and intimate feel. However, lambskin is extremely sensitive to scratches.

    After touching and comparing the swatches, I had no second thought of choosing the lambskin. As for the interior leather color, I can only choose between the two exterior leather colors I picked earlier. I chose Bleu Azur. It made the interior look fresh and spacious.

    Step 3: The Hardware

    Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie The Hardware The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie Experience

    Next up is the hardware. There are two options available: gold and palladium. Discreetness is a key word for the Haute Maroquinerie collection. The hardware showcases a simple Louis Vuitton Paris engraved on the padlock. The LV Monogram is nowhere to be seen. I picked palladium hardware for my cool-colored Milaris.

    Haute Maroquinerie 22 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie ExperienceHardware.

    Step 4: The Personalization

    Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie The Construction The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie Experience

    To make the bag truly yours, you will be given the option to add a personalization patch with your name (or name of your loved ones) that is heat-stamped on a piece of leather and will be sewn into the interior leather lining.

    Haute Maroquinerie 20 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie Experience

    Haute Maroquinerie 23 The Louis Vuitton Haute Maroquinerie ExperienceMy very own Haute Maroquinerie handbag.

    My bag was a Taupe and Bleu Azur bi-color Milaris PM in Veau Ecorce, with a Bleu Azur lambskin lining and Palladium hardware. I looked at my Milaris on the flat screen, admiring every angle. I was very happy with it!

    After a 50% down payment, the order will then be sent to the Louis Vuitton workshops in Asnières, France. It will take between six months (for the Supple and Firm leather bags) and a year (for the Exotic bags) to be completed.

    Haute Maroquinerie Caravan at Louis Vuitton Philippines

    Haute Maroquinerie is by appointment only and the caravan is set to leave the country on the last week of February 2014. So if every you’re interested with the Haute Maroquinerie, call Louis Vuitton Philippines at (02) 756-0637 for inquiries on booking an appointment slot.

    Thanks so much to Louis Vuitton Philippines PR Manager Daniela Fénix San Agustin, Louis Vuitton Philippines PR Assistant Mary Reyes, and Louis Vuitton Assistant Store Manager Angela Poblador-Antonio for this fun and memorable experience!

    Louis Vuitton
    G/F Greenbelt 4
    Ayala Center
    Makati City

    Tel.: (02) 756-0637

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    Unique Prom Dress Ideas

    While prom is rarely the magical evening it sometimes seems to be in the movies, it is a great opportunity to dress up and have fun with your friends. Choosing the right prom dress is often one of the most fun parts of the event. Prom dresses are a great chance to dress to the nines and really express your personal style. However, whether your tastes run towards chic short prom dresses or flowing princess-style gowns, chances are that you want to make sure that your dress stands out from the crowd. Here are some tips for finding a unique dress for prom.

    prom dresses 2014Shop Vintage Looks

    One of the easiest and most surefire ways to get a prom dress that is not like anyone else’s is to buy it secondhand from a vintage shop. With a little luck, you may be able to find a gorgeous prom dress from the 1930s, 40s, or 50s. There is a wide variety of old clothing that has held up remarkably well and only needs the right accessories to be brought into the modern age. Vintage shopping is undoubtedly easier in large cities, but even small towns tend to have antique stores or similar places for you to test your luck.

    Get Crafty

    Another easy way to make a prom dress unique yours is to make a few simple alterations. Are you drowning in long purple dresses and can’t find the short purple mini of your dreams? Don’t be afraid to cut off the extra fabric to make the dress of your dreams. Other simple alterations include giving your dress new sleeves, adding an applique, or sewing on a sash.

    Stretch the Definition

    Don’t feel restricted to bright colored, floor-length, beaded gowns when shopping for prom dresses. Dresses of this type are popular, but they are far from the only type of clothing that is appropriate to wear. Cocktail or tea-length dresses are perfectly acceptable alternatives. If you don’t like to wear skirts and much prefer pants, women’s tuxedos, jumpsuits, and formal shorts are all acceptable alternatives to traditional gowns.

    Try Separates

    One way to tweak your prom look to perfection is to mix and match separates. Don’t settle for a gown that is only just right on the top or bottom when you can get a skirt and blouse for a more customized look. With a little shopping around, you can get separates to create any kind of look you want, from romantic to rocker girl.

    Get One on Loan

    If you’re craving a designer dress but you just can’t afford it, consider using a dress loan service. These services rent high-end designer clothing for a night at a fairly reasonable rate. Bags, shoes, and other accessories are also available for rent. These are a great way to get the perfect dress you saw on the runway without paying thousands of dollars

    The most important thing to remember when prom dress shopping is to get an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and that you know you can wear with confidence all night long.

    The post Unique Prom Dress Ideas appeared first on Live Stylish And Fashionable.

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    Diamond Certificates, Appraisals and Authenticity Clues: How to Tell a Real Diamond from a Fake

    When you are shopping for a diamond, beware of the deal. If the price is too good to be true, or too low, it probably is.

    Some unscrupulous jewelers use price schemes, altered or counterfeit certificates and offer man-made stone to first-time diamond buyers.

    Before buying a diamond, you should review its certificate and have it appraised to determine its authenticity.

    Certified Diamonds

    A diamond certificate, issued by an independent and accredited gemological laboratory, includes grades for diamond’s clarity, cut and color. The certificate, known as a diamond quality document or a diamond grading report, also includes other critical information about the diamond’s fluorescence, symmetry and polish.

    Laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America, the American Gem Society or the International Gemological Institute determine the diamond’s authenticity by using a team of gemologists to evaluate the diamond’s dimensions, polish and cut grade.

    However, many diamond retailers use several of the world’s leading independent diamond grading laboratories. Shane Company diamonds for example and other reputable dealers will use these differing labs to reflect a balance of the prevailing global standards. 

    Appraisal Tips

    The most reliable and quickest method to determine a diamond’s authenticity is to have the diamond evaluated by an appraiser.

    The appraiser should have a G.G. degree from the Gemological Institute of America or have an F.G.A as a Fellow of the Gemological Association of Great Britain.

    Whether the fee for the appraisal is determined by the carat weight or an hourly rate, you should expect to pay no more than $35 to $75 per session. The appraisal should evaluate the gem in your presence and provide the following information:

    • Clarity, cut, color and carat weight of the diamond.
    • The hue, intensity, clarity and transparency of any colored stones.
    • The quality, weight and millimeter dimensions of each stone.
    • Assessment and identification of the materials used in mounting the gem.
    • A photograph and thorough description of the item.
    • An estimated value of the piece of jewelry.

    Top At-home Diamond Authenticity Tests

    If all else fails, you can use a few less reliable and unconventional methods to determine the real deal from the fabulous fake.

    1. The transparency test. Flip the diamond upside down and place it over a piece of newspaper. If you can clearly read the newsprint through the stone, the diamond may be fake.
    2. The fog test. Put the stone in front of your mouth and blow your breath into it for a few seconds. If the stone remains cloudy and fogged up for 2 to 4 seconds, it is fake. A real diamond disperses the heat instantly, so it will not trap the fog into the stone.
    3. The do-it-yourself clarity test. When you look at your stone under a magnification glass, check to see if you detect any small cracks, pinpoints or carbon flakes. If you see any flaws, this is an indicator that the diamond is real, because it is very difficult to place inclusions into a fake or simulated stone.
    4. The setting test. An authentic diamond will never be set in silver. Check inside the band to view the stamp located inside the setting. See if the ring has small markings that show the carat weight or have the letters Plat or PT for platinum. If you see the letters, “C.Z.” stamped inside the band, the stone is fake.

    Presented by Shane Co.

    The post Diamond Certificates, Appraisals and Authenticity Clues: How to Tell a Real Diamond from a Fake appeared first on Live Stylish And Fashionable.

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    Three Ebooks to Spark Creativity and Grow Traffic

    At our raison d’être is to do everything we can to help you make your blog the very best it can be. Over at The Daily Post we’ve got daily writing prompts to give your muse a friendly nudge, we publish articles on how to grow your traffic and community, as well as tips and advice on how to take great photos, no matter which gear you choose.

    We’ve compiled a ton of great material into three new ebooks, made with love, for you. And, they’re free. They come in three fetching formats so we’ve got you covered no matter whether .pdf, .epub (iBooks), or .mobi (Kindle) is your jam.

    365 Writing Prompts


    So you want to write but you have trouble getting started? Writers’ block a perpetual, unwelcome guest? With 365 Writing Prompts we’ve got a different writing prompt to jumpstart your muse each and every day of the year. Looking for more writing inspiration and practice? Be sure to check out our weekly writing challenges.

    Photography 101


    Chock-full of inspiration, technical tips, and practical ideas you can apply right away, Photography 101: The basics of photography and the power of visual storytelling will help you take and make beautiful photographs and school you on post-processing so that your work can shine, no matter whether you’ve got a monster-sized DSLR or a trusty cameraphone in your pocket. If you’d like more practice with your camera, c’mon over to The Daily Post and participate in our weekly photo challenges. We provide the theme each week, you interpret it with your camera as you see fit.

    Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog


    Most of us write, shoot, and blog for the love of it, though it’s always a great feeling to get a Like or a comment, or participate in a great conversation with someone who shares your interests. If you’d like to attract more traffic and nurture a community around your site, take Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog: Tips and Tricks for the Tenacious Blogger for a spin.

    Filed under: Better Blogging, Community
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