The Handbag Switch Up

Since switching handbags is an inevitable part of every season (or month!), it is easy to leave behind contents that may be hidden in a forgotten pocket or in the depths of your current bag. Follow these helpful tips to avoid forgetting any essential belongings:

Switch the night before: If possible, make the switch the night before to ensure that you have plenty of time to move all of the contents you will need into the new bag.

Clear everything out at once: Take everything out of your first bag and go through it to decide which items you’ll need in the new one and which items you won’t. This will also help prevent clutter in the new bag.

Make a checklist of must-haves: Keep a checklist hanging somewhere convenient so that you can mentally check off the items you need when you’re leaving the house.

Use the small pockets: Keep the essentials -- keys, wallet, ID cards -- in the small pockets of your bags so when you have to make a quick switch, you can just be sure to transfer the contents from one small pocket to another. 

Embrace Latin Color

Spring is bursting on the scene in styles that look like they were taken from the most fashionable Latina’s closet. We spoke to Davis Carrasquillo, the New York City-based creative director and fashion editor of 1fashionproductions  to get our top picks of the bold, the ultra-feminine and the sexy staples that came from the runway.

Citrus colors are the powerhouse trend, a favorite of ours because it makes bronzed skin look even more beautiful. The purest way to wear this trend is with a dress, like Selena Gomez does. For a budget-conscious option, try a blouse or simple tank in a saturated hue to put a pop of color in your look.

Bracelets are accessory must-haves for lots of Latinas, and as Eva Longoria shows, bangles are back in a big way. “Use lots of different tones and textures -- they don’t have to match,” advises Carrasquillo.

No need to go over-the-top with frosty eyeshadow and frizzy hair. But if you are in the mood to really embrace a spring trend, then get yourself into some ’70s-inspired clothes, like one-sleeved tops and dresses. Jennifer Lopez gives us a great update with this beautiful dress that also brings in an additional seasonal trend: animal prints.


Ruffles are back on the scene, not just because of the flirty, youthful flare, but because now they are being styled in a grown, sexy way. You can go all-out like America Ferrara with her cape sleeves, or select a key piece, such as a skirt, to experiment with this look. Soft ruffles are more forgiving and flattering.


Break out the heels and platform sandals if you are brave enough to try the shorts trend. The styles can range from super-short and casual, a lá Cameron Diaz, or longer and tailored for a work-appropriate look.


These were also reigning the runway, but in softer chiffon fabrics that are easier to wear. Chiffon dresses are one option, says Carrasquillo, but even using a scarf can update your look.

Get It: El Look de Las Celebridades

You don’t need to spend a fortune or hire a team of professionals to get your favorite celeb’s signature style. Looking like a star is all about confidence and attitude ... and of course, great hair and makeup. Here are some tips to make your skin glow like JLo’s as you arch a perfectly sculpted brow à la Camilla Belle.

JLo’s Glow
No matter what’s going on in her personal life, Jennifer Lopez always looks effortlessly radiant. The key to achieving her fabulous glow is a pared-down makeup palette and lots of shimmery highlights. Think luminous drama and lots of metallics. Go for gold, silver or neutral eye shadows and a soft nude lip color. Complete your look with an all-over luminizer to infuse your skin with a golden sheen.

Nicole’s Boho Glam
With her House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate fashion and accessory lines, we all have a backstage pass to Nicole Richie’s luxurious -- but easygoing and incredibly wearable -- style. Her cool boho look is all about mastering the art of done/undone. Start with a romantic ’do with face-framing tendrils and create foolproof smoldering eyes. Look for a 2-in-1 smoky eye stick that can shade and line, and is smudge proof.

Sofia’s Sexy Cat Eye
Sofia Vergara oozes flirty sex-kitten appeal. You can bring out your inner vixen by using a liquid liner to create a subtle cat-eye. Add a few extra coats of volumizing mascara so everyone takes note when you bat your lashes. Choose a soft pink, glossy lip color if you’re feeling coquettish, or vamp it up with a rich crimson.

Eva’s Ladylike Sophistication
With strong features, a put-together ladylike style and sleek retro waves, Eva Mendes always exudes old-school Hollywood glamour with a thoroughly modern edge. To achieve Eva’s polished perfection, keep your hair in top condition with a deep-moisturizing treatment. Tame the flyaways and get great shine with a smoothing cream.

Camilla’s Killer Brows
Camilla Belle’s fresh, modern style -- bold, perfectly sculpted brows and red lips -- makes her a standout on any red carpet. With careful tweezing and a little strategic eyebrow pencil, you’ll be a standout too. Look for a brow-shaping kit that makes this a snap, even for the tweezing-challenged.

Photo: Getty Images

Daisy Fuentes: Cuban Heat

When we first knew her, she was MTV’s first Latina VJ: tough, fun and trendsetting. Her chunky blond highlights became the beach-blown look of the ’90s, and New Jersey sounded cooler through her pink-frosted lips. As the blond strips gave way to subdued sun-kissed tresses, Fuentes became an international fashion icon. Here, her secret of how her bright, sassy style became an $800 million clothing, perfume and accessory line.

You started your business when celebrities shunned the idea of licensing their names to retailers because it was considered “selling out.” Why did you see it differently?
I don’t turn down an opportunity just because it’s not what everybody else is doing. I’m not an actress. I’ve hosted many shows about fashion, so it made sense to me. I just do what feels authentic.

What gives a brand staying power?
I started with sportswear and added categories one by one. You have to take the time to establish identity. In my line, the looks go from day to night and work to weekend. It’s classy and affordable, which is exactly what I would want!

What category would you love to develop next?
I love beauty, skin care and hair. I study the latest news, ingredients and formulas. I love new challenges. I would also love to develop my own wine!

Photo: Getty Images

Julia Alarcon: In Front of Fashion

Julia Alarcon quit her lucrative sales job at 39 and dove headfirst in the cutthroat world of fashion design. As the legend goes, Alarcon was pulled into her boss’s office and offered a promotion, a plum job that would’ve made her the envy of all her peers. Rather than jump for joy, Alarcon felt trepidations. “It came out of nowhere,” she says. “I realized I didn’t want the promotion and really wanted to be a fashion designer.”

Alarcon’s Spanish parents frowned upon her desire to study fashion in college, so she instead studied international business and Spanish, later earning her master’s degree in international affairs. But it was her love for the big fashion houses, like Yves Saint Laurent, that truly quenched her thirst. She quit her job, enrolled in Parsons the News School for Design and outlined a 6-month business plan with her sister Natalia (who has since left the business).

Lialia was born in 2005 and has turned into a down-to-earth but lovely women’s wear line for a lady who Alarcon says, “has a little more life experience.” You could easily picture Michelle Obama or Carla Bruni attending a high-profile luncheon in one of Alarcon’s smartly cut and sophisticated dresses, often in interesting prints or soft grays and whites. After a successful stint on Sundance’s “All On The Line,” Alarcon is in negotiations to sell her wares in Nordstrom. Fingers crossed.