Hair Transformations for Fall

The changing over of the seasons is an excellent opportunity to refresh your overall look. As the weather changes, you’re often forced to alter your wardrobe due to climbing or plummeting temperatures, so it really does make the perfect time to change things up by changing more than just the length of your sleeves and the weight of the fabric you wear.

Fall in particular is a fun opportunity for style makeovers; with the crisp and cool—but not bitter cold—air prevalent in fall, you’ll find many options at your disposal, since a wider range of clothing choices, owing to the fact that the intermediate temperatures mean both somewhat warm and somewhat cool clothing options will feel comfortable in this season.

But changing your wardrobe isn’t all you can do this fall! Think about it; if you’re going to go to the effort to change your look for the changing seasons, why stop at just clothes? Use it as an excuse to give your hair a massive transformation that will have strangers turning heads in awe and friends doing a double take when they see you. When combined with a wardrobe overhaul, a hair transformation can really cement your new look, and Vine Vera, of course, has a few ideas on how to make it happen.

Haircut

Cut It!
Nothing says “daring” or “transformative” like getting a brand new haircut, especially in a style you’ve never tried. Tired of the hassles of long hair and all the work that goes into it? Try a cute bob, a bold pixie cut, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Alternately, get a weave—or extensions—and make it longer! If you tried short hair and it didn’t work out for you (or maybe it did, but you’re just ready to go back), don’t wait forever for it to grow! Get a weave or extensions to get the long, gorgeous hair you desire.

Hair coloring

Color It!
Do you want to elicit that double-take reaction we mentioned in spades? Go for a really dramatic change and dye your hair. If you want it to be especially appropriate for the fall season, think blonde, red, or red-orange, to mimic the yellows, red, and oranges you’re likely to see on all the trees around this time.

Want to be even more dramatic? Go for a non-natural color like blue, purple, green, etc. You’re never too old to have fun with your hair! That said, do think carefully before going this route; it’s definitely a bold choice, so be sure you really want it and don’t do it on a whim.

Curling hair.

Re-Texture It!
Tired of your plain, flat, straight hair? Get a perm and go curly! Tired of the hassles of dealing with curly or wavy hair? Think about getting it permanently straightened. In this day and age, we’re not necessarily stuck with what we’re born with, and lots of techniques exist to alter the texture of your hair, which can be a fun change. Do keep in mind, though, that while texture changes can be permanent on your existing hair, your roots will grow back as whatever you have naturally.

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Easy Date Night Outfits

When done well, date night can be quite the exciting endeavor. But there’s one particular moment many of us know all too well that’s inevitably a part of every date night, and inevitably the part that’s the most difficult and strenuous for many of us. That moment is when you find yourself standing in front of the closet wondering what on earth you’re going to wear.

For some, that moment might come well in advance, as you leisurely browse your options with plenty of time to spare, and for others, it will be a rushed last-minute affair. But invariably, even if you don’t have the looming threat of being late nipping at your heels, it’s going to be a tough choice, which is why Vine Vera is here with a list of cute, fun, pretty, yet conveniently quick-and-easy date night outfit ideas.

Maxi dress and bracelet.

Maxi Dress and Statement Bracelet
An attractive, well-fitting maxi dress is always an excellent choice for when you need convenience and gorgeousness in the same package. No need to coordinate when your outfit’s all one piece; just slip it on and be done. Maxi dresses come in incredible amounts of variety, colors, and patterns, so you’re not likely to run out of options any time soon. To keep your jewelry hassle-free and equally gorgeous, go with a statement piece; we recommend a chunky or art deco inspired statement bracelet, but you can also go for a statement necklace or even a statement ring; the whole point of statement pieces is that they can be worn on their own because they’re noticeable and catch the eye, so you won’t spend ages coordinating your jewelry.

Sweater and skirt.

Sweater and Skirt
There are so many different ways to pull off a sweater and skirt combo, we wrote a whole separate article about it. This one does require a bit of coordination, but it’s really as simple as matching a single sweater with a single skirt. There are a few ways to go about this, but for the easiest option that’s still stunning as ever, get the skirt and sweater in matching colors and throw a contrasting color belt around your waist. Complete the look with a crossbody bag in the same color of the belt, and you’re good to go.

Jeans and t-shirt.

Jeans and T-Shirt…Taken to the Next Level
At first thought, the simple jeans and shirt combo probably sounds more fitting for a casual walk around the neighborhood or a grocery run than a date night. However, this combo can be taken to the next level and be made into the perfect date night ensemble. Just replace the simple tee with a fun, flirty, casual but refined flowy blouse, and pair with some sleek, stylish skinny jeans and leather ballerina flats or platform heels.

Floral dress

Floral Dress
You can get a floral-print dress to match just about any color preference, personality, or personal sense of style these days. Pick one in a flattering cut, and keep the jewelry minimalistic here; some hoops or oval earrings and a few bangles on one arm should do the trick.

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Makeup Ideas for a Night Out

Having a night out with friends can be a lot of fun, and half the fun is often comparing how gorgeous everyone looks after you’ve all prepped. It’s no trivial task to get to that state of gorgeousness you try to achieve before heading out, though, and besides, don’t you get bored of the same old looks for every single outing? If you’re itching to mix things up for your next big outing and sport a bold new look you’ve never done before, you’re in luck. Vine Vera’s got a neat little list here of a handful of fun and flirty makeup ideas you’re sure to love. Try them on yourself, or even better, pick one to do to a friend, and let them make you up in return!

Reflective eyelids.

Reflective Eyelids
You can do this trick on bare eyelids for a simple look that’s as no-fuss as it is surprisingly glamorous, or—even better—you can do it on top of eyeshadow to give your eyes a stunning gleam; everyone will be sure to actually notice and comment on your lovingly applied eyeshadow now!

To get reflective eyelids, you can find actual eye gloss for the purpose, but you can also just use some clear, nonstick lip balm, and it should work just as well. Pair this look with some lip balm that matches your eyeshadow for a really bold, slick look that’s sure to turn heads.

Faux lashes.

Faux Lashes to Die For
Who says faux lashes have to be tacky? When done properly, they can be as undetectable as they are gorgeous. The trick here—and where most people slip up—is to trim the faux lashes to line up perfectly with your eyelid. If this is challenging, you can cut them in half and line up each half separately, or—even better, get a pack of individual faux eyelash clusters to make it easier on yourself. Finally, avoid way too dramatic and obviously fake lashes; stay away from way too long or way too spiky ones.

Glitter shadow.

Careful Use of Glitter Shadow
You might be used to thinking of glitter makeup as over-the-top and tacky, but it can be done well, when applied strategically and in moderation. Just pick a glitter color that coordinates well with your overall look, and fall back to a pale silver if you’re unsure. Once you have your glitter, gingerly get some on your pinky and rub a small amount onto the center of your eyelid. Done right, you’ll have just enough glitter to dazzle and catch interest, but not so much that it looks tacky.

Classic winged eyeliner.

Classic Wings
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include the classic winged eyeliner look. To make a wing, you simply trace over your upper lash line, but don’t stop when you get to the outside corner. Instead, keep going, and carefully flare the line upward and fill it in a little to make a “wing,” and repeat on the other side, trying to get they symmetrical. This one can be rather tricky to get right, but we recommend using a broad-point felt-tipped eyeliner pen over liquid eyeliner. Alternately, you can use liquid eyeliner, but correct mistakes with a Q-tip dabbed in makeup remover, rather than erasing everything and starting over every time you mess up.

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Girls’ Night Out Ideas

Friends are an important part of life, and spending quality time with friends is an important part of having friends. It’s through shared activities and time together that people grow close and deepen bonds with each other in meaningful ways.

With that in mind, what’s the perfect way to spend quality time with all your favorite friends? If you answered “girls’ night out,” this article’s for you. Read on for some of Vine Vera’s best tips on what to do for your next girls’ night out.

Friends having dinner

Go Out for a Nice Dinner
Who says nice dinners have to be reserved for dates? And for that matter, who says a girls’ night out has to mean clubbing all night? There’s nothing wrong with going to a club, of course, but if you’re looking to try something different, and maybe a little more refined, hitting up a fancy restaurant and ordering whatever sounds the tastiest. Sip some nice wine and enjoy a delicious meal in the company of friends. We think you’ll enjoy the ability to, you know, actually talk to each other and not have your voices completely drowned out by loudly pulsing music.

Feeling adventurous? Intentionally order something that you’ve never had before and have no idea what it even is and savor the anticipation and the surprise.

Woman applying makeup.

Try Some Fun Makeup Tutorials
More of a tip on how to prepare for a girls’ night out, but if you want to make the night out more fun and interesting (and simultaneously have some good fun while getting ready) take turns trying out makeup tutorials from the Internet which you’ve never done before. Don’t leave the house until you all look gorgeous!

Snorkeling

Try Something New
Drinking too much and dancing at clubs is all well and good, but if you ever get tired of doing the same old thing every time you go out with friends, consider this: make a list of a bunch of out-there, uncommon activities (think things like indoor skydiving, snorkeling, checking out one of those giant indoor trampoline places, etc.) and then cross everything off the list if at least one of you has done it before. Now pick from the remaining list, and you’ll be in for a (hopefully fun) mutual surprise!

Wine tasting.

Wine Tasting Party
Who says it has to be a girls’ night out every time? Going out is great, and we highly encourage it, but sometimes it’s just as much fun—if not more—to stay in for a change. One particular fun thing to do while staying in is to get a collection of quality wines and taste them all with your friends! Be sure to make some yummy snacks to pair with the wines.

Two women watching a movie.

Movie Night
Finally, one more idea for if you decide to stay in. Have a old fashioned movie night! Decide on a collection of movies you’ll all enjoy (do get several; you’ll doubtless be having so much fun after the first you’ll want to do a marathon). Pop some popcorn and pour some wine, and have a great time chatting and watching.

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Our Favorite Merlots

One of the best things about Merlot, besides its combination of robustness and approachability, and its ability to be paired with almost any food, is its incredible amount of variety that exists within the scope of various Merlot wines. Different climates and regions can produce very different tastes in this particular varietal—Merlot often referred to as a “chameleon” among wines because of this, since Merlot grown in various climates can mimic other varietals’ flavor profiles—meaning it’s quite versatile, and just because you’ve had a couple Merlots doesn’t mean you’ve anywhere near experienced all the wine has to offer.

On that note, Vine Vera has elected to, today, share with you some of our own favorite Merlots with you, so you yourself can experience everything the varietal has to offer.

Wine bottles in a row

From California
Beringer Vineyards: Beringer’s Napa Valley is above average in quality, giving you the usual taste profile of a rich Merlot with character. They also make a Merlot called Founders Estate that’s much simpler and more approachable, but still quite tasty.

Chateau St. Jean: This winery’s Merlot Sonoma County is very bold and well-rounded, with cherry notes being prominent, in addition to hints of more unusual flavors including herbs and even leather.

Rodney Strong Vineyards: Rodney Strong is world-class, and spans a great number of vineyards. Their Sonoma County Merlot boasts rather soft tannins, easy drinkability, and a very fruity profile.

From Washington
Chateau Ste. Michelle: Considered one of the top wineries in the stat of Washington, their Columbia Valley Merlot is produced from a blend of grapes from vineyards all over the valley. It’s light and fruity, making it very easy to drink, while still having the richness of any good Merlot.

Hogue Cellars: Incredibly inexpensive while maintaining quality, and managing to be above-average, Hogue’s Merlot is supple, well-defined, fruity, and a deep, balanced character overall.

From Toscana, Italy
Masseto: This 17-acre vineyard produces a merlot that has especially powerful fruit flavors, with blackberry and cherry featuring quite prominently. You’re also likely to pick up strong notes of chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Tannins are quite soft and smooth, and the finish is smooth yet powerful and satisfying.

Messorio: This Merlot is very much characteristic of the varietal, and boasts all the hallmarks in strong, robust capacity. Soft but rich with a hugely complex flavor profile, this Merlot is not a wine you’re likely to soon forget.

From Bordeaux, France
92 Chateau Nenin Pomerol: Light in Character, yet still retains the opulence associated with a quality Merlot. Very fresh, with blackberry notes being the strongest here by far, with an overall very powerful, yet smooth flavor.

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Wine Faux Pas to Avoid

Drinking wine is usually a pretty enjoyable affair if you like the stuff (as many people do). Wine has a rich variety of flavor profiles available with the many varietals that exist. It goes great with food, a glass or two can give you a nice mild alcohol buzz, and hey, a glass a day of red wine is actually good for you! Not only good for your general health, but good for your skin, and good for aging well. It’s the reason Vine Vera uses resveratrol—one of the main ingredients that makes red wine good for you and your skin—in our own skincare collections, and themes many of those collections after various wine varietals, after all.

So yes, wine is pretty great, but ask yourself, do you know if you’re getting the most out of it? Are you being sure you actually savor and enjoy it, or are you falling into the trap of the various wine faux pas that can keep you from truly tasting your wine to its fullest? If you’re not sure, read on and find out, because we’re about to list some of the biggest wine faux pas, and how to avoid them.

Woman tasting red wine

Being Pretentious
It’s one thing to take your wine seriously and really savor it, but it’s quite another to put on unnecessary airs and scoff at people who don’t know all the right terms, or who don’t conform to arbitrary and snobbish rules (not to be confused with the rules on this list, which are intended to actually maximize your enjoyment of the wine). Being a snob towards someone who isn’t able to tell certain varietals apart, or uses their own descriptive language to describe the taste in a way that sounds “wrong” to you doesn’t actually help anyone. It just makes the other person feel bad and makes you look like a judgmental ass.

Red wine by the fire.

Heating Red Wine with A Radiator (or Any Other Fast Heating Method)
Unlike your average white, most red wines, with some exceptions, are better served at or just under room temperature, rather than excessively chilled. However, you will find that some methods of heating up red wine are better than others, and any method that changes the temperature too rapidly, like setting it on a radiator, is likely to damage the wine irreparably, taking away a lot of complexity and robustness from the flavor profile. It’s much better to just let the red wine gradually come closer to room temperature by setting it out on the counter an hour or so before you plan to open and drink it.

Woman holding a wine glass

Holding Wine Glasses by the Bowl
Now, to be clear, it would be very pretentious to “enforce” this rule on others, and it’s only a rule of thumb, which has exceptions. However, by and large, if you wine is served at a temperature that best suits that varietal, you want to do your best to make sure it stays at or around that temperature the whole time it’s in your glass, from the first sip to the last. Grasping the glass by the bowl will warm the wine over time, so don’t do it unless the wine was definitely served too cold.

Sangria pitcher

Putting Ice in Wine
This rule is not hard and fast, and you can break it if you feel the need. That said, especially if you paid a fair amount for the wine, icing it is just silly. It dilutes the carefully composed, balanced taste that comes with fine wine. If you want your wine cold, chill the bottle first; don’t add ice.

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Merlot Fun Facts

Merlot is well known as an approachable and incredibly food-friendly wine that can be paired with all kinds of things. This reputation makes it fairly popular as a table wine, and as an accompaniment to various snacks and meals.

Vine Vera also happens to have a collection inspired by and themed around Merlot. Well-balanced and excellent for multiple skin types, including combination skin, the luxurious Merlot collection, like all Vine Vera products, is sure to keep your skin looking and feeling great.

So, in honor of the tasty, versatile wine that is Merlot, we decided to put together a little list of fun and interesting facts about Merlot you probably didn’t know.

Server pouring red wine in a glass

Merlot Means “Young Blackbird” in French
There are a couple theories as to why this name was chosen. For one thing, it could simply be a reference to the grape’s color: deep, blackish-blue reminiscent of a blackbird’s plumage. The other theory is that the grape was named after blackbirds because of how much blackbirds enjoy eating grapes.

The Flavor Depends on Climate
Specifically, Merlot has a fluctuating flavor profile that’s dependent on the temperature in which it’s grown. If grown in the searing heat, Merlot tastes of cheesecake and chocolate. Colder-climate Merlot, on the other hand, tends to have prevailing notes of berries and plum, and sometimes even tobacco.

Friends having wine and food in a restaurant.

Food Friendly
What makes Merlot pair so well with so many foods? It’s high in sugar and not very acidic; this allows it to be incredibly versatile, and the range of flavor profiles available, depending on climate and aging process, mean that there’s probably a Merlot for just about every meal.

The Secret to Merlot’s Popularity
The main reason Merlot is so ridiculously popular is that the wine has a distinct ability to please a variety of palates, especially if you’re willing to hunt around for a particular Merlot that you especially like. Some Merlots are simple, fruity and on the sweet side, while others will be more robust and oaked.

Grapes in a vineyard

Origins
The Merlot varietal has been around and used in winemaking for quite some time. The earliest recorded mention of Merlot, in fact, was from 1784, in the Bordeaux region of France.

Widespread and Ridiculously Popular
Did you know that the Merlot grape is the most commonly planted wine grape in the entire world? It’s also the most commonly planted grape in Bordeaux, the French region it originated from. It’s used commonly in Italy, United States, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Long Island, Chile, Argentina, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, South Africa, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Montenegro.

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