Everyone needs one sturdy, statement, stand out bag that speaks for itself in their closet. Even though bigger totes appeal to me more, a reasonably mini-sized tote will do just fine. Getting a really good quality statement leather bag is admittedly very pricey but here a few reasons why you will not regret your purchase:

-A good buy will go a long way. If it is original leather, it will last you for years. So choose the right one in a colour that you’re sure you won’t tire of in the near future. 

-Leather bags are an investment piece. Even if you do get tired of your one or you’re the kind of person who loves to update their closet every month, you can always resell them for a good bargain and replace them with yet another.

-We will forgive you if you rock them over and over again. Even celebs carry their statement bags EVERYDAY. think Rihanna and Kim Kardashian with their Celine totes. 

-They complement and add taste to even the simplest of looks. 

If you don’t have a statement bag, don’t kill yourself. It takes time. Hell, I don’t even have my dream one yet. (Alexander Wang rockie bag I’m looking at you). But if at all you’re looking to get one, these are some of the most popular ones right now.

I’m showing off my sturdy leather bag from Autograph at Marks & Spencer here.
Autograph, Edina Ronay and Ebay.

A picture of three totes on my Instagram which I got for a bargain:) 

Henar of www.ohmyvogue.com with a Prada bag
Stella of www.jadore-fashion.com with a Michael Kors bag.
Soraya of www.styleismything.blogspot.co.uk, Mulberry bag
Shirley of www.meek-n-mild.com rocking a Topshop satchel.
Nifesimi of www.skinnyhipster.com with a Zara bag
Folake of www.stylepantry.com rocking a Celine bag
Celine totes:)




Crocodile Doctors bag, £48, URBAN OUTFITTERS (BUY)
Hudson tan tote, £49, MARC B (buy)
Trapezoid city bag, £89.99, ZARA (buy)
Leather Multiway Satchel Bag, £59.99, EDINA RONAY via TKMAXX (buy)

Studded bag, £29.99, H&M (buy)


‘Rockie’ bag, £569, Alexander Wang, (buy)
Bayswater textured-leather bag, £795, MULBERRY (Buy)
Saffiano Lux Tote Bag, £1153, PRADA (buy)
Shoulder Bag Trapeze Calfskin and Stamped Crocodile Bag, £1232, CELINE
Are you a saver or a big spender? Which bags are speaking to you right now? Please share!
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Think sharp, stay sharp!

My blog has been suffering from a serious unplanned hiatus. i apologize to all my readers. the only gift I can remunerate myself with is this Style Diary from the stunning Nia Groce. She is two words: simple and beautiful. Enjoy her diary.

My name is Nia Groce and I have lived all over the world but mostly grew up in Alabama. I’ve also lived in Germany, London, Qatar, NYC and other cities which all have influenced my fashion style and various passions. Some of the things that I enjoy doing are photography, learning about new cultures and travelling in order to experience new things and learn about all parts of the world. I recently graduated from Howard University with a degree in fashion merchandising and have since moved to Cali to begin a career at Gap’s headquarters in the fall.

My style is quite eclectic but always has a classy sophistication to it. I often add a unique or quirky piece for fun along with splashes of color. I think it’s fashionably smart to stick with classic pieces that are timeless while adding your own flair.

My fashion influence comes from other cultures that I’ve encountered while travelling and living in various cities. I also love vintage and thrift store finds because they are always unique.

Which brands or designers ‘speak to you’ the most? Zara is a brand that “speaks to me” the most and Chloe and Celine are definitely two design houses I identify with for their aesthetic and classic pieces.

-Any beauty secrets? I’m not big on make-up. less is more for me. But I do love a bright lip to help pop up any outfit and always smile (it’s the greatest accessory) 😉

-Favourite make-up brands. NARS has great lipstick colors.

-What is the most beautiful thing about you and how do you accentuate it? I would say my smile because I can often be very serious and business oriented. But when I smile I think it shows a different side of me and I often get complimented on it so I try to always wear one. =)

-If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be and why? Queen Nefertiti to experience life in ancient Egypt as a beautiful and elegant queen that is a fashion icon to this day.

-Your favourite music track would be…? Drawn 2 U by Jaffrosax featuring Yukimi Nagano

-What is your favourite trend right now? Peplum!

-If your life was a movie, what would be its title and who would play you? Eclectic Culture – and me?

-Your top 5 must-haves:
-My Nikon
-Lip gloss

-Maxi dress
-Black dress
-Cute wedges
-Lots of rings
-Sporty Jacket

-Your house is in flames, what one item would you save out of your closet and why? My Nikon. It’s my baby.

-Your all time fashion icon is… My sister =)

-Your favourite quote/saying “Fail Harder” -Dan Weiden

-Do you have any blog, video links or website we can catch you at?

Yes! Please check me out on niafashionista.blogspot.co.uk and

I also love to upload pics on instagram, via @niag

Thanks! =)

I am in love with your black and white long dress with the stunning V-back dip. Simply show-stopping. What did you make of  Nia’s style? Vote here:
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Hiya fashion lovers, been putting off my blog posts for a while now. Way too many things going on. It’s been a busy few last weeks and I feel exhausted. Check my Instagram for more regular updates when I’m too lay to post:((  @msaidyl1.  But I’ve been so wanting to put up this OOTD that I just can’t wait any longer. Coloured suits have been trending like crazy lately. I love bright colours especially yellow so my look is inspired by Solange Knowles and Leigh Lezark who all effortlessly rocked the yellow suit.

*One thing you have to remember when going shopping for a coloured suit is you absolutely should not expect to find a pre-matched pair sitting in the shop and waiting for you. be more open-minded. Buy separates and match them. This option is usually cheaper as it turns out and the chances that you’ll see someone rocking your exact same suit is very low.  For this OOTD, both my blazer and trousers come from different stores but when paired, they seemed made for each other.

It baffles me how I fell in love with the colour yellow. I think it’s as inexplicable as the mystery behind why I have been watching endless videos of the totally amazing (totesamaze) P’Trique on YouTube. I guess because they keep me laughing. I wish I was as chic, lol.

Now back to why I’m in love with yellow. Maybe because it has been a predominant colour for the most part of my life.

Yellow is colour of the taxis that parade of streets of Cameroon huffing and coughing and occasionally stopping in need for a push or two from its passengers. 

Yellow (more like golden tone though)  is the first colour I dyed my hair despite the snide remarks you could hear from my parents each time they spotted someone with outrageous hair. “So you have now replaced Sisqo,” was the first comment my Dad greeted me with when he first saw the results. To be honest in retrospect my hair was so loud I looked like a scared mongoose. But I loved and lived every minute of the craziness.

Yellow is the colour of  all my favourite drinks. Orange juice, pineapple, tango, and fizzy drinks. Wine with a touch of sparkle here and there.

Yellow is also the colour of the sun. And I am such a summery person. I was born in May. And May is gay (as in happy). Am all about good spring flowers and sunshine. Golden sunshine. Gold shines yellow. Who doesn’t love gold? 

Yellow is also the colour of teeth. My Grandpa’s teeth. Smiling back at me from the last and most recent photo (September 2010) I have of him. He’s passed on since a few months ago but his memory definitely remains. I’ll miss that smile.

These and more are all the things that inspire me to wear yellow. What is the colour of your life? how does it inspire you to shine through it?



Palazzo trousers-Mango

White Vest-Marks & Spencer







These are the looks that inspired my ‘Colour Me Yellow’ look.

Leigh Lezark
Solange Knowles

Did you love them? Rate, subscribe, comment and share!

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There is no question that when it comes to putting outfits together, women of colour are embracing colour. I mean serious colour. I am living proof. But the question remains that when it comes to their makeup, are women of colour or dark-skinned women that experimental? Yes it is true that dark-skinned women love to stick to the basic red, glossy or pink lip colours.  The bolder bunch would experiment with ‘loud’ ‘garish’ or ‘shouty’ tones. But are any many going out of their comfort zones to try new shades?

I’d say, to certain degree, yes. Social media has become very influential in the past few years. Many girls nowadays, use these outlets (Tumblr, Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, Twitter, Lookbook, YouTube etc) as a source of inspiration or even consultation if  can call it that and because of this are becoming quite more confident with trying out new trends and styles.

So what’s trending at the mo’? My social reader indicates plum lips for Autumn. 

Autumn is just around the corner, and we are restocking our wardrobes with Autumn essentials. But do our dressing tables  and makeup drawers need to be updated as well?  Well, if you are one for keeping in trend, then the answer is yes.

How dark-skinned women wear plum lipstick? That question is as tricky to answer as this one, should dark-skinned girls wear blush?

Truth be told, the good thing about Autumn makeup is that it complements most skin tones and because there are many shades of purple to choose from, you can play around with the different palettes. 

It’s hard to say which palettes suit which skin tone more. I’ve seen very dark girl rock anything from a very pinkish-purple lip, to berry, to burgundy and still look good.

So instead of going by skin tone I’ll split the lip colour into two groups: the brighter shade and the darker shade. You’ll have to decide then from the sample pictures if you’d rather wear a brighter or darker purple shade.

1. Bright purple, berry lips, fuchsia or violet (With pink undertones)

This covers most of the purple shades that are on the brighter side and have a visible pink undertone. This is appropriate if you want to rock the Autumn look but still keep your summery colours alive.

Danielle @ msdanti is wearing Mac’s Ruby Woo with NYX Fuschia liner here
Keri Hilson
Jennie Jenkins @beautybyjj
Jennifer Hudson
Keke Palmer

Best buys for this shade would be:

All shades by MAC.
Estee Lauder sensuous lip colour, £18.43

2. Burgundy, dark purple, vampy, and plum shades. (Brown or black undertones)

This category is a clear favourite of sassy rapper Azealia Banks. She has has even collaborated wth MAC to create her very own shade called the ‘Yung Rapunxel.’ The darker plum makeup is quite vampy and bold.

Yung Rapunxel by Azealia Banks for MAC.
Azealia Banks
Angela Simmons
Msdanti wearing MAC Cyber lipstick with Velvetella and OCC liptar.
Kelly Rowland
Eva Marcille
Tika Sumpter

Kat Graham

Best buys:

Approaching storm, MAC, £16.50
Fresh Moroccan, MAC, £14


Here’s a short video tutorial courtesy of Beauty By JJ for a full Autumn Makeup look with a berry lip. Enjoy!


So we’ve seen what the plummed-up Autumn lips look like. Did you love it? Are you convinced? Which shade do you think you’ll try? 

Rate, subscribe, share and sound off!

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Style Diary opens this week with a fierce modelesque fashionista all the way from Cali. Here’s what she has to say about her style.

My name is Shakira and I’m an aspiring model and student from California. I love to hangout with friends and take lots of pictures. Right now I’m working at Macy’s(horrible place to work at) and trying to accomplish my goals to get my bacholar degree is Psychology and some how break into modeling

My style is mostly is a combination of being a tomboy but also girly at the same time. I used to be a tshirt and jeans kind of girl but now I’m experimenting with skirts and dresses. I’m mostly influenced by street style. In today’s modern age, I’ve noticed it’s okay to dress with random sorts of patterns and colors. People just put together what they like and wear it. It sounds awesome but I’ve tried it and it doesn’t look all that great. So I try to do an extreme tamer version of it. 
-Which brands or designers ‘speak to you’ the most? I’m really starting to get into Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s line the row. I’ve always admired their style and their views on fashion. Everything is so soft and feminine. I also like Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs and Pucci. But since I cannot afford items such as those, I’m a H&M and Forever21 kind of girl. I also shop online with Asos and Nasty Gal. I also sometimes shop at Macys for their impulse demin only if they have it in my size(I’m a tall girl). 

– Any beauty secrets? I don’t really have any beauty secrets because I barely wear makeup. I wash my face everyday and I try to drink lots of water. If I do wear makeup, its usually a tad bit. I don’t see why women have to cake on the makeup. You should use minimal amount to make it look like your not wearing much. 
-Favourite make-up brands.When I do use make up, I use the following products: 
Iredale Mineral Makeup(autum) – it matches my skin tone extremely well. It just makes my face look extremely clean with no blemishes. 
Mac eyeshadow(tan and light pink)- I use both of these on my eyelids because it doesn’t show up much. I’m not really big on eyeshadow but it gives my eyes this type of sparkle 
Mac blush(plum Foolery)- Its perfect for my skin tone. i don’t use too much because I don’t want my cheeks too pink. 
Sephora Liquid Eyeliner– It is seriously the best and it stays on all day long! 
Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Mascara– it really does work. It makes my eyelashes fuller and it also made my eyelashes grow. 
Sugar lips(Sephora)– It is an expensive lip tinting balm but it does wonders. It makes my lip really soft and its a great alternative if you do not wear lipstick. 

-What is the most beautiful thing about you? I’ve been very self- conscious since high school because everyone would make fun of me. I can’t say what my most beautiful feature is because after learning to love yourself, I truly think everything about me is beautiful. I have flaws. I have a hole in my tooth because a dentist messed up my teeth while cleaning it and I realize that the hole bulids character. I’m not ashamed to smile. I love my eyes even though they like to be mean when my eyelashes try to stick me in my eye or go straight after i’m done curling them. I also truly love my hair. My hair is sometimes difficult but I’ve leaned to love my curls and to love having curled hair after its flat ironed out. It makes my hair have more volume and it brings out the random highlights that I was born with. 
-If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be and why? I would trade places with someone from lookbook because I find it amazing that someone could wear a tshirt and shorts, have over 2000 hypes on that picture and then get a modeling contract. I would want to pick their brain or have some type of knowledge of what I’m doing wrong and how I could possibly get noticed. But, besides that individual, I probably wouldn’t want to change places with anyone famous or what not because fame welcomes tradgedy and baggage we all have our own baggage. 
-Your favourite music track would be…? oldies and 90’s music. There is no good music out right now. It’s nothing but garbage. 
-What is your favourite trend right now? I love the fact that their making corsets a fashion statement. I’m small myself but I found myself an awesome corset from forever 21 and it fits me so well. Other than that, there is no fashion trand that screams “I gotta have that” or “I gotta rock that right now!” 

-Comment: ‘If you got it, flaunt it’…I believe if you have curves, flaunt your curves. If you have breasts, flaunt your breasts. But just don’t flaunt it in a slutty way. Be modest and sexy at the same time. 
-If your life was a movie, what would be its title and who would play you? I’m not sure on the title but the perfect person to portray me is Tyra Banks. My mom thinks its scary they we’re so much alike. Just how we act and how we talk. We’re just goofballs but also intelligent at the same time. 

-Your top 5 must-haves. 
1. Jeans– every girl must have a pair of jeans in every style and a couple different colors. 
2. sweaters– I love chunky sweaters in different colors. 
3. boots– a flat pair of boots goes along way 
4. simple black dress– whether is is skin tight or not, you can always layer it with sweaters or even tshirts to make it look like its a different outfit and that the dress is actually a skirt. 
5. bags– trying to not only have black purses is hard. trying to mix it up with different colors is a must. 
-Your house is in flames, what one item would you save out of your closet and why? I’ve thought about this alot and I still don’t know. I think probably my wallet because everything else is replaceable. it would be kind of hard proving yourself to someone who you really are with out identification and police involvement. 
-Your all time fashion icon is… AHH!! this is hard. um.. I’m going to have to say the Olsen twins. They’re clothes are very effortless. They might be expensive but they’re style is something I can relate to. I don’t want to be someone I’m not by wearing glamourous name brand items 24/7 just to say I have money. They don’t advertise what they are wearing. They put together their outfits whether it is jeans, top and a chunky jumper. 
-Your favourite quote/saying  “Let go of worry, Let go of anger, live with your heart and side-step the dangers.” I have no idea who said it but it is soo true. In order to succeed in life, you have to let go all of the hate and anger and just worry about yourself and your happiness. 
-Do you have any blog, video links or website we can catch you at? 
blog- twitchysgirl.blogspot.com 
tumblr- twitchysgirl.tumblr.com 
instagram @lovewithanaccent 



Damn girl, you got some serious poses there. Loving the effortless chic airs about you.

What do you make of Shakira’s Style?

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Think sharp, stay sharp!

Hey dolls. I must apologize for the silence and absence of my OOTD posts thereof. I guess the last few days of the summer are taking a toll on me. I have been down with the flu and have not been able to compose a proper post. To add fuel to the fire, my laptop is still not working. I swear you never know how much your life rotates around that piece of equipment until it tires and shuts down (hope not for good in my case).  I have been through several stages since then. At first I was relaxed and sure that it was only a little hiatus. Then I got worried. And angry. After a couple of days I was panicking. I am finally calm and have accepted that sometimes in life, we are too caught up in something so much that the only way we can ‘snap out of a routine’ and spend time to enjoy the different pleasures of life is if that distraction takes a break. I love writing, trust me, and would not give it up for anything. After reading this post on Miranda’s blog, I’ve realized this short break has giving me a chance to regroup and organize.

Regroup with friends and family and God.

Organize ALL those things that I start but never finish. I have been handpicked by my Maker to accomplish my fair share of tasks. In order for me to go down in history,  must complete.

For my outfit of the day I am going casual. Even though a pair of heels will always switch up a casual outfit in a second. I spotted and handpicked this colourful top at a thrift store and was immediately drawn to it. I was shocked to find out it was originally from Primark. Which only goes to prove, NEVER rule out any shops. A lot of times, am in for a surprise. Look at all that beautiful detailing in the back!  As for the washed look denim, I ordered them from Zara and couldn’t wait for them to be delivered. Once again, good ol’ Zara did not disappoint. The fit is impeccable. The jeans are well-fitted yet comfortable. I picked the out because of the zip detail at the ankle which I still have to experiment with. Details on full outfit below:


Jeans- Zara

Top – Thrifted (originally Primark).


Black tote bag- Unbranded (Ebay)

Thanks a lot for stopping by my blog and taking the time to drop a comment.

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I am in love with the collection Tibi showed of at Mercedes-Benz fashion week. Digging the shapes, monochrome colours and the lengths.

It’s a menswear inspired yet sexy collection.


Did you love the Tibi Collection?

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One thing I love about blogging is the fact that you get to encounter and interact with some of the most creative people. There are more innovative people out there than we can ever imagine. One of them is the creative brain and magic hands behind Umba. Umba is an African textile jewelry and accessory line using only high quality african wax and ankara wax fabrics which I stumbled upon on Facebook. The handcrafted designs are unique, the fabric is out of this world, every piece is a stand out. There was no way I could resist doing a blog post on it.


About the brand.

Umba ~ Origin Swahili (V) to create, make, or mold. 
Umba is an African textile jewelry line that only uses high quality African Ankara wax fabric. Ankara African fabrics are expressed culturally through rich vibrant patterns and colorful designs. n the creator’s own words, “the world we live in often dictates what we should wear, we respond by crafting timeless pieces that evolve every generation. Umba ensures that each piece created is created using time, patience, and positive energy. Every piece of jewelry from Umba is handcrafted and custom made, NO two pieces are ever identical. Life is full of duplications; why not complement yourself with something unique and original? At Umba we embrace, individuality, comfort, and fun. Become your own trendsetter…..Dream. Embrace.Explore. Dare. “

The Brain behind the Brand.

Owner and designer Chelsie “Chloe” Hart, established Umba in the summer of 2012. Umba is a manifestation of visions, dreams, and inspirations. Early on, Chelsie took a deep interest in African culture and fashion. While attending VCU, her interest was sparked by being emerged in an extreme multicultural environment. On Chelsie’s 25th birthday, she recalls a vivid vision of an accessory line featuring a core of African fabric in every original piece. And from this vision, Umba slowly began to take form and is now blooming into a full jewelry/accessory line and much more. The basis of Umba is modernized African culture, tradition, and fashion. Chelsie is currently bringing this inspiring vision to life in her hometown, which is located in the beautiful state of Virginia.

For more information please contact her here:

Chelsie “Chloe” Hart
Umba Owner/ Designer
Twitter: LoveUmba
Instagram: NubianBombshell
Phone Contact:(336)473-8513
Alt Email: Hartcm08@gmail.com
The Best part.
I urge you to take a good look at these designs because they are all on special offer specifically for Art Becomes You readers. How cool s that ! Umba is offering 15% off marked prices when you purchase any of these beautiful pieces on their website. Visit the Art Becomes You Facebook page and click ‘Like’ to view the code. (Click here to visit page.)

Those necklaces are giving me life! Visit http://umba.storenvy.com/  to purchase these pieces. Remember to quote visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Becomes-You/241049802595919  for 15% discount code to shop at Umba!

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Like you, I was very impatient to see all the red carpet and after-party outfits at the VMAs. Here’s the full gallery you’ve been waiting for. Pick your faves!

My take:

Rihanna worked it in that white dress. The new cut is doing her all sorts of justice. Love it to bits. Make up is flawless.  Taylor Swift is brave enough to wear a suit to the VMAs,. And she pulls t off nicely. It’s what I’d do. I’ve been more into pairing pieces these days so I’d wear this in a heartbeat. Nicki Minaj am quite sure is at this point not trying to go down in history as a fashion icon. Her shoes are all am feeling on the whole get-up. Katy Perry is meh.  I fell asleep for a second there. Gabby Douglas just looks sublime. Alicia Keys, dear me, I do not like her dress. Nor the colour. Though that hair style s giving me life I must say. Zoe Saldana looks okay, nothing special. Kat Graham:  I commend the suit but it fits wrongly. And that make up is hmmm. Miley Cyrus’s hair needs a straightener. That mohawk is not working love. Rita Ora needs to crawl back into the Daft Punk video she walked out of. That one piece is not cool. Though I love her after party attire. Jessica Szohr must be dreaming f she thinks draping that leopard thing across her forehead looks fashionable. Amber Rose is glowing. Pregnancy suits her. Congratulations to the couple!

What’s your take?


Taylor Swift

Digging Taylor’s white on white suit. I’d definitely wear it.


Alicia Keys

Kat Graham

Rita Ora

Gabby Douglas

Miley Cyrus

Wiz Khalifa and his pregnant fiancee Amber Rose

Nicki Minaj

Demi Lovato


Jessica Szohr


Katy Perry

Ezra Miller and Emma Watson


Kevin Hart and guest


2 Chainz

After Party

Rita Ora donned a lacy revealing ensemble to the VMA after party. I kind of love it if I’m being honest.
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