Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Roundup Vol. 5


I love your blog, and I trust you in all things fashion and beauty. This summer I am both getting married and bridesmaid in outdoor, daytime ceremonies. I would greatly appreciate any advice on how to look good without melting in 5 minutes, especially for eye makeup. DC can be brutal!


Surviving the hot and humid summer weather is definitely a challenge.  By mid-afternoon, your face can look like a oil slick, but what if it didn’t have to?

To keep your makeup in place you need three things: face primer, eye primer and post-makeup spray.

For the face, I like Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer ($30).  Unlike other products that I’ve tried, it isn’t drying and it doesn’t make your skin feel tight or itchy.  Definitely, my favorite primer.

On the eyes, you need more help.  First off, do not, I repeat, do not apply foundation or concealer to the eyelid.  Just apply an eye primer.  This will help the shadow and eyeliner adhere and prevent creasing.  I like Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($18).

Lastly, you need to make sure that your makeup is locked in place.  To freeze your makeup on your face, you need a setting agent like Model in a Bottle ($14).  Simply spray it on, and it will help keep your face from melting away as the day progresses.

If you want to touch up as the day wears on, you need to invest in some oil absorbing sheets ($5).  Use them to lightly blot away any oil or moisture on your face.  However, do not press too hard, and for God’s sake, don’t rub.  You want to remove oil, not makeup.


Dear Belle,

I’m hoping I can tap into your good fashion sense for an upcoming trip. The Husband has work meetings in Berlin and London in May (I know, rough life) and I get to tag along – which I am super excited about.

What I am not super excited about is looking too frumpy or touristy. You know what I mean, since we see them here all the time. And while I could certainly hit the stores with the idea of “just don’t look like THAT in mind” I would prefer to have a little more direction!

Any thoughts on being comfortable (Berlin is a huge walking city) but chic?


Michael Stars Sleeveless Halter Dress (Bloomingdale’s, $158)

When I travel in the summer months, I only pack dresses and flat sandals.  I like to be comfortable, but I find that packing dresses ensures that you’ll look nice wherever you go.  If I were taking off overseas, I would pack a good selection of knee-length and maxi-length dresses.  

I’d also invest in a good pair of flat sandals in a neutral color.  These metallic, t-strap sandals (Anthropologie, $90) won’t slide on your feet when you walk.  They also have a rubber sole to cushion the feet on long, touristy strolls.  


I don’t wear jewelry, never have, but I’ve seen some of your posts and I think it’s time that I start.  If you were going to spend around a $100 on a few pieces, what would you buy?


I don’t buy earrings.  I find that a pair of white metal studs, gold studs and pearls will get you through just about anything.  Instead, I like to spend my coin on necklaces, bracelets and rings.  And when starting a jewelry collection, I’d buy a few larger pieces for maximum effect.

Polyvore set found here.

The stack bangles are a nice choice because you can wear one, two or twenty.  Buy these and a set of plain gold and you’re probably set for life.  

As for the rings, I like a nice, big statement ring and I find that the cheap stuff suits me fine.  If you’re looking for some trendy pieces at a reasonable price, I would try Banana Republic.  They’re by no means heirloom quality pieces, but they last long enough for the price.

If you don’t have many necklaces lying around, I’d start with something simple.  This large, gold chain is a great place to start.  It’ll look great with sheath dresses and button up blouses.


Leave a Reply to Dakota · cancel comment

    leave a comment

  1. AGinDC says:

    Oh thank you so much for this post! I have been dreading the coming humidity, I never know how to stop myself from becoming a sweaty mess then feet out of the metro! If you have any other tips on how to stay dry in the office in the summer months I'd love to know!

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  2. Dakota says:

    I don't think the makeup-in-humidity post could have been any more timely… I will be co-opting these tips for my law school graduation!

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  3. Meg says:

    Thanks for this post! Does the “Model in a Bottle” make you break out?

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  4. K says:

    If you are in DC you should definitely check out Filenes Basement at Farragut North for statement bracelets, necklaces, and rings. They don't have an exhaustive jewelry section, but what they do have is always nice and most pieces are discounted into the $15-30 price range. I always get compliments on the pieces I've purchased there.

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  5. JD says:

    While everything in this post is on point – I have to point out that Berlin and London in May may not be summer dress weather quite yet. Pants will probably still be a must…

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  6. prosecutordc says:

    For London you will definitely want a stylish raincoat or umbrella…and probably not sandals.

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  7. Nina says:

    For events will you will be photographed always always always photo check your makeup. Some primers and makeup (mineral makeup is a big culprit) have reflective elements like mica that look nice in person but with a flash make you look totally crazy on film. It can be either weirdly shinny or a full on ghost face effect. The people at the makeup counters and Sephora have encountered this issue before so tell them you're shopping for a wedding.

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  8. ~M says:

    I second JD, I was on a study abroad in Berlin in mid-May and I was so wet and cold! Make sure you bring cute sweaters to go over the skirts/dresses.

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  9. Espie says:

    I agree with the posts about Berlin and London in May-be prepared for wet and cold! I would recommend a pair of GOOD walking shoes-London can be cobblestoney and it can make sandal walking difficult even without the wet. I got a pair of Clarks flats and they held me through London, Oxford, Rome, Florence and Salzburg.
    Happy Travels!
    (I would also recommend packing a reusable water bottle!)

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  10. gingerr says:

    The average temperature in Berlin in May is 66 F. It might be warm enough for a summer dress if the sun comes out, but I think I'd take my raincoat with me. Probably if you take what you'd wear in DC in April you'll be fine.

    It is supposed to be a youthful and arty place, check ou the New York Times 36 hours in Berlin article for an idea about what's off the beaten path.

    April 4, 2011/Reply
  11. love it says:

    Excellent advice about long dresses and flat sandals – thank you!

    April 5, 2011/Reply
  12. love it says:

    (…for summer travel in general, I mean. Not to disregard the weather wisdom of the other commenters. 🙂 )

    April 5, 2011/Reply
  13. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for the beauty tips! I have been looking for a good primer and I ordered your suggestion! Thanks! 🙂

    April 5, 2011/Reply
  14. southernerinlondon says:

    I'm living in London and second what the other ladies are saying–cardigans or multi-tasking layers, a raincoat/light weight parka and shoes with some arch support. ASOS is golden for London street style.

    April 5, 2011/Reply