Jill will be posting regularly as the resident Rakuten.com fashion expert. She'll be highlighting our newest and coolest products as well as some tips and tricks straight from the catwalk!

July 10, 2013

I love summer because it is a time to let your hair down and express the inner beauty goddess inside us all. When it comes to my summer beauty regimen, the less effort, the better. During the winter months we constantly find ourselves throwing on the layers, not just with our clothing but with our makeup and creams. Summer is a perfect time to give ourselves a break and reenergize.

"Summer is a perfect time to give ourselves a break and reenergize"

Very rarely does anyone want to stand in front of the mirror for an hour blow-drying their hair in the middle of July. I literally cringe at the thought of hot hair blowing at me in the heat of summer. To avoid this, my favorite little beauty trick is a high ponytail. Not only does it give you an instant facelift by pulling your skin up and tight, but it is also effortless. Throw a little of your favorite gel in your hair, slick it back into a high ponytail, and you instantly look fresh, polished, and don’t have to go through the agony of standing in the heat of your blowdryer. This look is also great for those hot and sticky humid days because it gets your hair up and off of your back and face, leaving you much cooler.

If you’re not a ponytail kind of girl, then there is nothing like letting your hair naturally dry in the summer breeze. Frizz is never in, so make sure you use a mousse or gel that has anti-frizz. All you have to do is spray a little product in your wet hair, let it air dry, and you are good to go!

As much as I love to sit in the sun, it is extremely important that I always lather on the sunscreen. My favorite sunscreen of all time is Bain De Soleil. The smell reminds me of my childhood. I literally go crazy for it! It’s important to really layer it on because we all know looking like a lobster is never in.  I have also always been a huge fan of sunless tanner. It is an easy way to get a summer glow without damaging your skin from the sun. A little sunless tan also makes your look healthy and thinner. I know a lot of people are worried about a “faux glow” because they are afraid it will streak, but you have to use the right ones—and you have to use them properly.

One product that I am obsessed with is Tan Towels sunless tanner.

When it comes to a makeup routine, keep it simple for the summer. Use a little tinted moister like Laura Mercier, bronzer powder (Chanel), blush (Nars), and mascara (Rimmel). There is nothing worse than caked on makeup in the summer. Let your skin breath and flaunt your inner natural beauty!

 

July 1, 2013

"Nothing is more fun than our Annual Zarin July 4th Bash!"

In case you didn’t know yet, one of my favorite things to do is throw a fun party, and nothing is more fun than our Annual Zarin July 4th Bash! We took a break last summer, but this summer we are back on schedule, and are hosting our family and a few friends in our new home.

I can't tell you how much fun I have had shopping for all my party supplies on Rakuten.com. Let’s begin with the invitation. I am still old fashioned and love to do a paper invite, but if you are feeling lazy, busy, or just want to save some money… an online invitation from evite.com or paperlesspost.com works great, too! There are so many fun red, white, and blue invites it makes it hard to pick sometimes! 


July 4th is usually the longest (and most fun!) party because everyone has the day off, and it’s usually on a weekend. Families come with their children, friends bring more friends, and there is an endless amount of fun to be had! I usually like to set up lawn games to entertain all of my guests before dinner time, and this year is NO exception! I searched the internet for the best lawn games, party favors, and decorations. This year, my set-up will include an outdoor ping pong table, potato sack race, Bocci court, and theme-colored plastic pool balls to put you in the mood! I bought American Flags to decorate the driveway, and red, white and blue LED balls that light up in the grass and can even blink on and off! How Patriotic we will look!

 


Of course decorating the party is the most fun for me, but Bobby always says I can get a bit out of hand so this year I’m trying to stay on a more modest budget. So, if you are on a tight budget, remember that you don’t have to buy anything big or fancy. Just make sure that the necessities you do buy are ones that are themed. You have to use napkins so buy red, white and blue ones!  You’ll also need plastic cups, so get those in American colors too! Everyone has some kind of family games in the house so this is the day to take them out, put them by the area everyone congregates and hope for the best! If you are anal like me and really want to go nuts...how about buying some inexpensive ribbons or plastic trophies for the winners! Everyone likes to win, and this way more people will jump in the nap-sack race! 


Every year, the hardest part of the party for me is deciding what everyone is going to eat. Do you just offer classic burgers and hot dogs with potato salad—the 4th of July staple? ABSOLUTELY! But, chicken and ribs are also fun. There are endless possibilities of things you can throw on the grill! If you aren't exactly the grilling type, though, and want to host the party but scared of the "food" situation…consider offering fried chicken with side salads. This is easy to make in an at-home deep fryer or to sauté in a pan! For easy side dishes, corn on the cob and a big green salad go with everything! We all know the best part of every meal, though, is the desert! You can get so creative with summer deserts, I just love it! One of my favorites for the kids (and the adults, too!) are s’mores! You take 2 graham crackers and put 2 pieces of Hershey's chocolate and one big toasted marshmallow in the middle and eat the most delicious dessert. It’s an old campfire specialty! Strawberry-rhubarb pie and vanilla ice cream is another great addition to the Fourth of July table. But for the simple chef? Chocolate Chip Cookies are simply the best!

From my family to yours...Happy 4th of July 2013!


 

June 21, 2013

In simple terms "I live for Jewelry”

Summer officially arrived on June 21st … were you ready? I was! The weather has been so insane this year...worse than I can ever remember. Usually, we start boating in May when the flowers start to bloom and never look back! This year, I keep seeing numbers like 45, 50, and 60 on my thermostat outside. This makes it so hard to shop and get excited about dressing for summer when I am still forced to grab a cashmere "sbanklet" (sweater + blanket) when I walk out of the house. But the best way to keep in the summer fashion spirit, and also stay warm, is to spice things up with my favorite part of an outfit…

ACCESSORIES! In the summer, it is so easy to wear a dress or a caftan with flats as a blank canvas, and then put some color into your look with bright and happy statement pieces to add some seasonal flair! 
In simple terms "I live for Jewelry,” much like Rachel Zoe "Die's for clothes.” Part of being a designer is to be constantly evolving and trying out new ideas. It is important for me to know what is going on in the accessories world and for me to keep up with current trends. There are so many different trends going on with fashion jewelry this summer… I can't stand it! I want to try them all and I am dying to get my hands in every trend. What’s my approach to all the summer trends? “If it looks good on you, go with it!” No trend should make you feel insecure that you are too young or too old for it...that’s silly! There are enough trends for everyone, and of course, everything that is trending now…was probably a trend in the past. In fact…my Skweez couture hosiery line is bringing back the BOOT SOCK! That’s a throwback, right?! Does anyone remember them? They are so colorful, comfortable and fun to wear…I even signed them on the foot!

One of the biggest trends I see for the summer is anything animal. Jewelry that is inspired from animals and sea creatures seems to be everywhere this summer. From star fish earrings to spider rings, animals are where it’s at. There is nothing like a little wildlife in your outfit to bring out the animal in you. I cannot tell you how many times the jewelry that I am wearing has become a topic of conversation for me at a party.

People like to say that I'm a person of many layers. Well, it’s quite literally true when I am wearing my wrap bracelets! I've been wearing them since last summer, but they are still one of my favorite trends that are current this summer as well. I like them because they are fun and easy to wear. I am a woman who likes convenience, and leather wrap bracelets are a must-have simple accessory for me. I can wear them by themselves or layer them with other pieces for a more Boho feel. I tend to wear my wrap bracelets with a watch and bangles to layer on up!

I’ve been noticing another new trend in jewelry, especially since House of Harlow launched a few years ago. Their geometric shapes seem to be making another huge hit this summer. I find some of the best ways to wear this trend is with a statement necklace and a solid color bright dress. Another trend that you cannot go wrong with this summer is by adding a hint of electric color to your accessories. I like to do this by wearing bright color shoes or jewelry. A great way to add neon to your accessories is with a ring, bracelet, or earrings. These can be little pops of color that bring any casual summer look to life!

Summer is a great time to try new trends and get adventurous, so spice it up with some statement jewelry at your next dinner party or any other fabulous affair you have coming up this season!

 

June 6, 2013

Jill Zarin: On Wearing Whites and Summer Brights, PLUS: A bonus look into Jill’s personal “Weekend Getaway” Packing List

Every year when the weather starts turning to spring in NYC, I ask myself… “When is it okay for me to start wearing my favorite pair of white jeans?” Well Memorial Day has finally passed, and the time has come for me to start wearing what might be my favorite pair of pants. However, this year I still couldn’t help but question where this rule even came from. Who’s to say that wearing white jeans before Memorial Day or after Labor Day is a crime of fashion? Who made up this silly fashion rule? Well, after doing some digging, I finally found that the myth originated hundreds of years ago from the idea that summer fabrics tend to be
" Think savvy when deciding to wear white."
lighter with softer colors, and that this was a custom of dress accepted by high society. In the 20th century, particularly during the  1950’s, as more people were entering into the middle class and were unaware of fashion trends that they were expected to follow in their newly heightened social status, they were given specific guidelines to follow. These “rules” were mostly derived from the Southern way of living during this period of time. For girls raised in the south, it was considered poor manners to wear white before Easter and after Labor Day. In addition, Southern women would never be seen wearing white, even in the winter with heavier fabrics, unless they were getting married. Now, they’ve just become part of our societal dress code! Who knew?!

So, what is my advice? My advice is to think savvy when deciding to wear white. Being stylish and dressing smart is possible in any color!

With that said, many of you are curious about what I like to pack and wear for a summer weekend, and although white jeans are definitely a staple, there are a few other items that I consider “must-haves” for all my Hamptons weekends coming up this season! So here are my quick tips, whether you’re heading out to the Hamptons or another sunny locale this season:

  • A good weekend trip deserves good weekend luggage. Something that is appropriately sized and easily maneuverable is so important! Also ,make sure to lock or zip up your bags so that nothing spills!
  • I always like to have a pair of jeans in my suitcase. I tend to go with a lighterfeeling fabric that has some stretch (especially if you are going to a summer barbeque!) and I am all about packing clothes that can be layered.
  • Always bring a tank top and light sweater; you can never go wrong with these items. You can wear a tank top with your jeans and then throw a light sweater or jacket over it if it gets chilly out at night.
  • Bring at least one pair of shorts: I always bring a solid color like white or a bright color like fuchsia that pops. 
  • Accessories are always part of my packing list. A cute straw clutch can do wonders for a simple summer look. And don’t forget a belt! I forget mine all the time (oy!), but it can really add to your wardrobe.
  • For shoes I bring a pair of sandals and a neutral pair of wedges. You can never go wrong with a wedge instead of a heel. There are a lot of parties during the summer that are on grass or decks and wedges will give you a bit more stability on those uneasy surfaces in comparison to a spiked Louboutin heel! (Though I know it’s tough to give those up!)
  • Make sure you bring a swimsuit and a cover up,  it gets hot out there during those summer days!
  • Lastly, beach essentials like sunscreen, a fashionable summer tote, a cozy beach chair, and a sun hat are all necessities that should not be forgotten before packing up for your beach weekend.

I hope this helps all of my “Rakuten-ista” readers to have a better idea of what to pack for those weekend summer trips. Good luck and don’t forget to officially break out your summer whites with confidence and poise! 
Until next time,
Jill

 

 

May 9, 2013

"I am so fortunate to have one of the best mother’s in the world"

I love the month of May because my favorite Dogwood Trees bloom and tell me spring is here, and that means Mother’s Day! As some of you may know, I am so fortunate to have one of the best mother’s in the world, Gloria. Gloria, my sister Lisa, and I are extremely close— so close that we even wrote a book together called “Secret’s Of A Jewish Mother.” The guidance and inspiration for our novel, in case you can’t tell by the title, comes straight from Gloria and her love of motherhood and life.

The first thing I have to say about my mother is that she’s always had style, and this mother’s day post is for all those stylish moms out there who taught their daughters how to be fabulous! I remember growing up and watching my mother design and custom make clothes for herself with her seamstress. Perhaps it is from her that I get my passion for fashion and design. But it’s not all pretty dresses and sweet perfume with Gloria, she has taught me so many important lessons about love, life, and spirituality that I do my best to pass on to my daughter every day.

In fact, over the past few weeks I’ve been on a real spiritual journey. Whether I am doing yoga, pilates, raeki or massage, I’ve been trying to find my balance. I’ve of course been sharing my discoveries of self while along this journey with my mother, and for Mother’s Day I am sending her to my Osteopath! Even while finding my inner peace, however, I still always want to look stylish and feel comfortable—just like my mother taught me. I’ve recently discovered Tilly’s yoga pants. I can wear them to the gym, to the store, around the house, and to bed. Throw them on with a nice t-shirt and a cool zip-up hoodie, and you’re good to go for the day. Maybe I’ll even get Gloria a pair so she’ll feel relaxed at her first appointment!

As for my mother’s day gift, I was hoping for a new pair of sunglasses after my daughter stole my favorites a few weeks ago! I have always been a fan of Kate Spade’s fun patterns and flirty designs, and although I have more sunglasses than one could imagine, my “go to” frames are the Kate Spade Shawna glasses. My daughter Allyson loved them so much that she stole mine, but I couldn’t wait for Mother’s Day to get new ones, so I bought a second pair myself! Maybe Ally will get me a watch or some jewelry instead!

One of my other favorite mother’s day gifts to give or receive is a vacation. St. Barth’s never disappoints a hard-working mom like myself! When I travel, I like to strike that perfect balance between being practical and staying fabulous, and I really like to travel light. (Even though my husband Bobby says I never do!) One of my favorite things to bring along with me that is both decadent and compact is the Clinique 7 piece set. It’s great to have this on an over night flight, or to pamper yourself up when your plane lands, and it fits right in your purse for easy carrying! I also always bring an extra set of makeup brushes when I travel. Somehow, an angled eyeliner or bronzer brush seems to slip out of its makeup bag on every trip I take!

But no matter what I get for Mother’s Day, this year I want to do my best to show my appreciation for my mother. I usually stress about what to get her, as I know some of you stress about what to buy for your mothers. But, as she likes to say, “It is the thought that counts!” So this year—whether it is a candle, a bouquet of flowers, or a home-cooked meal; just make sure you gift with thoughtfulness and love!

 
 

And as a special thank you to my readers for following along with me on this new experience blogging for Rakuten.com Shopping, you can enter “JillZarin15” at checkout to get
$15 off of your purchase of $50 or more
on Health and Beauty, Apparel, Jewelry and Watches! (Valid 5/9-5/11)
Happy Mother’s Day!

 

May 1, 2013

I recently returned from a business trip to Europe and couldn't help but notice how London has emerged as quite a fashionable city on the cutting edge of new trends. With fashion moguls such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham leading the way for Londoners, it's no wonder that many have turned to the streets of London to gain wardrobe inspiration simply by people-watching.

With summer right around the corner and spring in full bloom everyone is feeling the urge to shed the layers and start bringing out the colors. The sun is beginning to stay out longer and the days are beginning to get warmer. What better way to bump up your spring wardrobe than adding some elements from our allied fashionistas across the pond.

"The biggest fashion inspiration I have taken away from London is to accessorize."

Florals couldn't be hotter this season. Everywhere I turned there were blossoming flowers on tights, dresses, skirts, jackets, and purses. Embrace the spring fever inside of you and incorporate a little blossoming into your wardrobe. Whether it is a graphic or romantic floral print there is something out there for everyone.

Everyone needs a jacket for those spring and summer chilly nights. The bomber jacket took center stage for fall and it looks like the biker jacket is the hot item for spring. A biker jacket is the perfect way to effortlessly add a little edge to your outfit. Who doesn’t love a leather or denim jacket? I know I will be rocking my denim bomber jacket in the Hamptons this summer!

I used to be weary of wearing stripes. Recently I have learned to incorporate them into my wardrobe. I realized that stripes, if worn properly, can actually give the illusion of one being thinner than she really is. Whether they are horizontal, vertical, or diagonal stripes are a way to add another element to your wardrobe.

Neon is one of my favorite trends for spring. I love everything neon! I could not help but think of the 80’s whenever I saw someone in London walking down the street in a bright hue. If you want to get noticed, there is nothing like a bright color to make you stand out and give you that extra little flair. I love wearing neon because I think it exudes confidence and gives your outfit a little spice.


Shop Floral Apparel
 

Shop Bomber Jackets
 

Shop Stripes

Bare midriff is a trend I wouldn’t dare try to do, but for those of you who want to rock it I say go for it! The crop top is hot this year. There are several ways to sport the look. You could wear the crop top with baggier pants to give it a more edgy and boho look as well as pair it with a leather bomber jacket. Another popular way is to layer up. Throw on a blazer with some skinny pants. If you get uncomfortable just button up the jacket! You can also wear this look with high-waisted pants so you’re not baring too much skin.

The biggest fashion inspiration I have taken away from London is to accessorize. Whether it be a hat, scarf, headpiece, bangles, or layering on the jewelry it is always the accessories that make the outfit!

   
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