Category Archives: Tidbits

Go buy #TS1989. That's all.

1989: The Taylor Swift Album for People Who Aren’t Taylor Swift Fans

Go buy #TS1989. That's all.
Go buy #TS1989. That’s all.

Taylor Swift’s latest album, 1989, is the Taylor Swift album for people who aren’t fans of Taylor Swift.

Effortlessly innovative, it’s the perfect piece of retro hipster pop that will delight even the most discerning sensibilities. Nary a country twang in sight, Swift still leaves her mark with signature imprints that only she can get away with. But it truly is a good album — a piece of art, if you will. Swift has often been ridiculed for a less-than-stellar singing voice, but, in my mind, she’s pretty decent and has definitely paid her dues in the industry, writing her own lyrics and music, and playing multiple instruments, too. She doesn’t have to resort to the gimmicks of other pop stars and has had the most successful crossover career, well … ever.

A force to be reckoned with, Swift has come into her own with grace, maturity, and humility, on this moody, stylish album complete with faded Polaroid nostalgia that is capped off with a kittycat hug and Swift’s signature red smooch. This album has a distinctive sound and a current but grown-up feel to it that some of her other records — and albums of some of her contemporaries — have lacked. Country no more, Taylor Swift proves that genre rules are made to be broken. Hey — even Rolling Stone had nice things to say about 1989 … and that, my friends, speaks volumes.

Communicating With Your Stylist for Fabulous Hair! by Kristen Varoli of Contempo Artistries Salon

Communicating with your stylist

It’s happened to all of us…  You sit down in your stylists’ chair and proceed to explain what you are looking for in a hairstyle. For example,  you have long hair to the middle of your back and mention that you would like about an inch or so off the bottom and long layers.  What you actually get…a new shoulder length crop with tons of layering only to begin the lengthy and frustrating process of growing your hair back out.

As a stylist, I see this scenario along with so many others that leave clients feeling helpless when it comes to achieving the style they are looking for.  For me, the most important part of a flawless and fashion forward style is communicating with my guest.  Here are some tips about how to successfully communicate with your stylist:
1) CONSULTATION:  This is the first (and most important) part of your haircut.  If you are taken directly to the shampoo bowl…be leery.  Your stylist should see the condition and style of your hair before it is soaked down.  This also gives us the opportunity to discuss what you DO and  DO NOT like about your hair presently.  Be sure that you make a mental list of these things you would like to discuss with your stylist before your visit.
2) PICTURES:  Hairstylists are creative individuals that have their own ideas of what looks great!  I would suggest keeping an open mind as you consult with your stylist, blending ideas from both parties.  You can’t go wrong with bringing clippings from a magazine or a picture from Pintrest, or even an old license picture of a style that you loved.  Again, most stylists are visual.  If you point out what you like and dislike about the pictures it will greatly help determine what exactly you are looking for.  Keep in mind that ‘long layers’ to you may mean something totally different to someone else so pictures are a fool proof way of making sure you are both no the same page.
3) HONESTY:  After your haircut is finished and blown out honesty is the best policy.  Tell your stylist what you think.  Do you love it, hate it, maybe not as short next time, more layers?  Keep the line of communication open.  If you have a professional hairstylist, they will not be offended but instead will keep note of the things that you are looking for so that next time you have exactly what you want.
Keep in mind that it may take a few times for your stylist to get to know your hair.  If you are happy with your overall experience, setup a 6 week appointment to maintain your new style.  Keeping a chic and stylish YOU should be fun!  So, for a successful second and third visit…follow steps one through three again!
- by Kristen Varoli

Owner & Stylist at Contempo Artistries Salon in Greensburg, PA
Follow Contempo on Twitter @ContempoSalon
Find them on Facebook, here.
Visit the Contempo website by clicking here.

Are You Pittsburgh’s Next Reality TV Star?

Do your friends tell you that you should be on television? Is your life just too crazy NOT to be on TV? Do you strive to be the next Snooki, Kardashian, Survivor, or Housewife?

Well…here’s your chance.

According to CBS,

“The Next Reality Star Pittsburgh contest is looking for colorful Pittsburghers to create a reality show around.

From Amber Brkich on “Survivor” to “Dance Moms” set in Penn Hills to the family in Butler County who star in “Farm Kings,” our area has already seen its share of reality stars.

But the people behind this contest think there’s a star out there yet to be found.

“Pittsburgh is a treasure trove of reality stars that don’t know they’re reality stars,” said Carl Kurlander from Steeltown Entertainment.

“We want to find a real, true Pittsburgher or a group of Pittsburghers,” said Ellen Berkman Davis. “We know that people can relate to a Pittsburgher because they’re really just good-hearted people.”

Berkman Davis came back to Pittsburgh after managing casting departments for “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.”

Bob Kusbit has created reality shows for MTV and CMT.

They’re already getting video auditions: one from a body builder who now impersonates Elvis, and another from a law student who has a collection of tank tops.

They’ll hold an open casting call at WQED studios in Oakland on Nov. 17.

Once they pick a winner, they’ll make a video showcasing the winner’s life, and then they’ll shop it around to various networks to see if it becomes a series.”

 

Casting information is below:

 

OPEN CALL DATE:

Saturday, November 17th, 10am-4pm at WQED Studios, 4802 Fifth Ave, from 10am-4pm. Please come early!

If you cannot make it on Saturday, you can submit an audition tape online, here.

Gretchen Rossi and Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Gretchen Rossi Comes to Pittsburgh to Knock Out Cancer!

On Sunday, November 11th, 2012, Real Housewives of Orange County star, singer, and entrepreneur Gretchen Rossi was in Pittsburgh to help the region “Knock Out Cancer.”

The fundraiser event, put together by Clear Channel stations such as 96.1 KISS, WDVE, and 94.5 3WS, was held at the Galleria mall in Mt. Lebanon, and featured many fabulous auction items and informational vendor booths.

Rossi herself has had her life affected by cancer: her ex-fiance Jeff passed away from bone cancer, and her current boyfriend’s 10-year-old son Grayson has a form of brain cancer. Gretchen Rossi, like your very own Glitzburgh gal Ashley Boynes-Shuck, was a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year last year, raising fund for cancer research and patient services.

As for Pittsburgh, both Gretchen and her beau Slade Smiley had nothing but good things to say!  Both were absolutely lovely!

We hope they’ll be back soon, and in the meantime, let’s Knock Out Cancer!

Enjoy photos from the event, below.

PS: Take a look back: Gretchen was also named one of Glitzburgh’s hottest beach bodies of 2012! 

PSS: To buy her song Unbreakable, inspired by little “unbreakable” Grayson and his inspiring ongoing battle with cancer, click here or find it on iTunes today!

Welcoming The Limited to the Mall at Robinson: Fierce, Fresh & Fabulous!

The Mall at Robinson has recently welcomed The Limited to their fantastic shopping experience.

The Limited is an iconic fashion retailer designed for the modern woman, and the new Robinson location features a suit gallery, a built-in runway, fabulous accessories, fierce fashions, and trendy, modern décor that is perfect for comfortable, easy shopping.

The Limited has been celebrating its Grand Opening in Robinson with giveaway opportunities, major sales, and a VIP Grand Opening event for bloggers like your very own Glitzburgh gal!

The Limited was kind enough to gift us with an über-chic Mixed Stone Drop Bib Necklace that can be dressed up, paired with a cocktail dress or swanky gown, or, as I rocked it, dressed-down, as a statement piece to complete an otherwise-casual outfit.

The Limited’s Mixed Stone Drop Bib Necklace, like much of their awesome jewelry, would also be amazing with any of the fabulous winter looks now showcased in their stores and on their website, and would be a great add-on for a party dress, or, a great gift for the holidays! The clothing and accessories at The Limited are great stand-alone pieces, but also perfect for mix-and-matching and pairing them any way you want….like a stylist’s dream!

The staff at the new Limited location in Robinson are amazingly friendly, helpful, and have a great eye for style. So go on and check it out – there are great clothes out right now, and awesome sales going on!

Join Glitzburgh in welcoming The Limited to the Mall at Robinson, and check out photos below including: my take on the bib necklace, some favorite looks from the Limited website, and, photos from the grand opening event.

Enjoy! And check out our GLITZBURGH GIVEAWAY after the photos!

[Photos courtesy of B. Hammonds on behalf of the Limited; the Limited website; and Ashley Boynes-Shuck of Glitzburgh.]

 

 

PS: Want to WIN a gift card for the Limited?  Leave a comment letting us know what Limited look is your favorite, and why! For extra entries, “like” Glitzburgh on Facebook, or tweet a link to this blog post to your friends on Twitter!  Winner will be selected at random on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9th, 2012, at 5pm EST. 

 

 

Taylor Swift is Making & Breaking Records…and in a Polka Dot Frenzy!

Singer Taylor Swift is already on track to break records with her new album, Red, that is on track to sell more than one million units in its first week, which would make her the first woman in the Nielsen SoundScan era (which began in 1991) to have two albums cross the million unit mark in a single week.

She’s been doing a whirlwind of publicity to promote the latest record, and seems to be in a polka dot frenzy!

What do you think of her look – cute or kitschy? Do you like the polka dot trend?

Mrs. Timberlake’s Wedding Gown: Love it or Loathe it?

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake finally tied the knot this weekend, in a super-romantic wedding ceremony in Italy.

Of course, everyone was abuzz about what the fashionable bride would be wearing to walk down the aisle.

People magazine released photos of its upcoming cover, with pictures from the couple’s nuptials, and we have to ask:

What do you think of Jessica’s unique Giambattista Valli wedding gown?

Britney Spears is Looking Hot this Fall!

So, Britney Spears has had a style transformation in recent months, but, many noted that she wasn’t looking so fresh-faced on the X-Factors auditions.

She may have took some advice and hired a new makeup artist, or, is it something more?

Has Brit Brit had some work done? Or just lost some weight in her face? Or is it just simply the wonders of makeup?

We’ll likely never know, but check out these stunning recent photos of Ms. Spears out & about in October 2012, particularly at the City of Hope Gala and a Whitney Houston tribute.

She looks fabulous!!! Dare I say better than ever?

What do you think?

 

Q & A: An Interview With Glitzburgh Creator, Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Who’s the girl behind Glitzburgh?

Get to know Glitzburgh creator and executive blogger, Ashley Boynes-Shuck.

Ashley Boynes-Shuck | Glitzburgh
Ashley Boynes-Shuck | Glitzburgh

 

Location & Hometown:  Green Tree, PA. Originally from South Fayette, went to college at PITT!

Age: 28

Status: Married

Other Projects:   FemCity Pittsburgh (Femfessionals, LLC.), Social Media Butterfly, Empowered in Pittsburgh, and Skinnyburgh!  

I am also a freelance writer and a social media consultant for various clients, as well as an avid fundraiser and philanthropist. I was previously involved with Maniac Magazine, and write/blog for a number of other websites and publications.  You can learn more at abshuck.com, including how to order Empowered in Pittsburgh, and where to catch me on TV.

Causes:  the Arthritis Foundation, Save the Children, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society, and basically all animal causes.

Passions:   Fashion, writing, pop culture & the entertainment industry, music, family, friends, animals, health & wellness.

Inspiration behind Glitzburgh:  All the fashion and entertainment blogs on the web with a dash of Perez Hilton — the nice version! — with a Pittsburgh-centric twist.

Background:  I took fashion design classes in high school, music business in college, and have been a writer since the 2nd grade. I have PR experience and I started freelancing at the age of 18 and have been published in many magazines, as well as on many websites. I recently had involvement in a newly published book entitled Empowered in Pittsburgh. Additionally, I have some experience with modeling and the movie industry. I have won various awards including Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40, Best Blogger in Pittsburgh, Who to Follow on Twitter, Top 10 Online Expert, and many health and advocacy awards. I also do public speaking in the health advocacy field, have made various television appearances, and teach social media seminars.

Team: Glitzburgh started off as a one-woman show. I’ve now welcomed interns Caitlin R. Banas and Matthew Taylor to the team, as well as guest beauty blogger, Kristen Varoli of Contempo Artistries Salon.

Favorite Designers:  I love Michael Kors — he’s at the top of my list. I like Balmain, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, and all of the Olsen twins’ lines. Do I wear most of that? No. I would if I could, and I surely appreciate it all! I also love seeing all of the up-and-coming designers on Project Runway. For accessories, I’m pretty easily pleased with Coach and Tiffany – nothing too extravagant. I like to support local designers and brands — Shop 412, Pittsburgh Fashion Week, all of it. As far as more mainstream mall stores go, I will shop at the Gap, Express, NY & Co, White House Black Market, Urban Outfitters, Loft, H&M, etc. I’m also a Target girl, and really enjoy the capsule collections from all of the designers so far. There’s no shame in my game – I’ll shop secondhand and vintage stores, mall stores, and the like, but also add on more luxe and upscale designer accessories to top off the look. I’d consider myself a bargain fashionista….and like fellow Pittsburgh fashion blogger, Aire Plichta of ModCloth & Athletichic, if it has sparkles, sequins, glitter, or bling — I’m all in!!

Favorite  music artists:  I’m not going to lie: I like pop music and top 40. I always have. Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Usher, even the Biebs — I love all of that stuff. If they play it on KISS, I’m usually a fan.  I also am a huge fan of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, the Fray, One Republic, Sleeperstar, Frank Ocean, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Adele, and more. I even listen to some country — Tim McGraw, Gary Allan, Carrie Underwood. Basically, I love music — all of it. In my iTunes, you will find Katy Perry but also Frank Sinatra. Britney and Sting. Michael Jackson and Five Finger Death Punch. Three Days Grace and Beyonce. Muse, Modest Mouse, Neon Trees, and Aerosmith. The Black Keys and Alicia Keys. Bush. No Doubt. NSync.  There’s not much that I don’t like. I really hope to do more Glitzburgh features on local bands and artists. I recently posted on my personal Twitter and Facebook accounts how while I love current and popular music that I want to expand my horizons — find some bands that aren’t “played out” yet; some up-and-comers who are fresh, unique, not too mainstream just yet but who are potentially on their way to superstardom. I love watching a star’s career be born and go through the whole metamorphosis until they reach their personal best level of success — whether that’s getting a regular gig at a local bar, or reaching the level of, say, Lady Gaga.

Favorite television shows:  I watch all of the Real Housewives shows, as well as Project Runway, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I love that kind of stuff. I recently got into X-Factor and Married to Jonas, and I love Glee. My favorite show right now is probably Breaking Bad. I also like Newsroom, True Blood, the Big C, Pretty Little Liars, and Revenge. I think that Glee, Breaking Bad, Newsroom, and Revenge are the best shows on TV right now, and I also encourage anyone who hasn’t seen Pretty Little Liars to tune in to that, also…you’ll get hooked! I recently watched United States of Tara on Netflix, and thought it was brilliant. I will say, I can’t stand the Honey Boo Boo show, or the Toddlers and Tiaras type stuff, and I really think Jersey Shore needs to end, though I used to tune in. Also — if there’s some kind of supernatural/paranormal/UFO show on TV, or anything about a conspiracy theory of any sort, I’m probably going to tune in to that, as well. I dig talk shows, too — not the Maury Povich/Jerry Springer type, but the View, the Today show, Anderson, Ellen. I hope Bethenny Frankel’s show will air in the Pittsburgh market when it comes back on air.

Favorite movies:  I like too many movies, to name. As with music, I’m not really a specific-genre kind of girl. Amongst my favorite movies are Anchorman, Stepbrothers, Horrible Bosses, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, the Devil Wears Prada, Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Avatar, the Notebook, Mean Girls, Crash, and basically all of Christopher Nolan’s films, particularly the Dark Knight trilogy.  I know there’s some movies that I have to be forgetting — I like “chick flicks” and comedies but also love a good, suspenseful drama, for sure, and usually like most of the comic book/superhero movies, as well. I also LOVE documentaries — our Netflix instant queue is filled with them! Also: if the movie has Justin Timberlake or Jennifer Aniston in it, I’ll probably be seeing it!

Favorite things about Pittsburgh:  Steeler Nation, of course!  Actually, going to all of the Pittsburgh sporting events. The general sense of pride in our city – sports-related or otherwise. I love that Pittsburgh is becoming a hotspot for the film industry — it’s about time that Hollywood REALLY took notice!  I think that the best part of Pittsburgh — aside from our amazingly beautiful city and skyline — is the people. Pittsburghers are friendly by nature. I also love the views from Mt. Washington, biking through the city, visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo and all of the museums. I love Sally Wiggin. I love 96.1 KISS and Mikey & Bob from the Morning Freak Show. I love organizations like Baker Leadership/Get Involved, like Global Pittsburgh, and all of the animal rescue organizations. I love that we’ve been named Best City to Live In, Most Generous City, etc. I love all of the rich history of and trivia about Pittsburgh. I love our Cultural District, all of the unique neighborhoods with their individual quirks, and, of course, I love that there’s a mall within, like, 15 minutes in any direction, where ever you are in the city! :)

Role Models/Inspirations:  Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Bethenny Frankel, Giuliana Rancic, JK Rowling, Loren Ridinger, and my parents/grandparents!

 

The Halfway Head Shave and Undercut Hair Styles: Yay or Nay?

Celebrities and models everywhere are showing up with this unique hair trend: women rocking half-shaved heads and/or “undercut” hairstyles — a look that was in fashion in the mid-to-late ’90s punk and grunge eras.

So, what do you think of this “buzzworthy” style? Would you ever be so bold, or try something this daring with your hair? Have you tried a half-shave, or an under cut?

Do you think any celebrities – or anyone for that matter – can pull off the halfway head shave or undercut hairstyles? Celebrities such as Carmen Electra, Alice Dellal, Ke$ha, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Osbourne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, Lourdes Leon, and more, have dabbled in this look. It’s popped up in editorials, and on runways, and was made highly popular for women by singers Rihanna and Cassie, along with Project Runway superstar designer, Anya Ayoung-Chee, who all pull off the look relatively nicely. Skrillex also has a similar hairstyle that has likely inspired men to try out this look once again. As with everything she does, Lady Gaga put her own twist on the peekaboo-shaved-head trend by choosing to shave the underneath where she got a tattoo in honor of a friend’s late mother.

Take a look — and leave a comment to let us know your thoughts on this current trend.