Talking Shoes with Kristen Brooker

After a successful career in the Human Resources industry, Kristin Booker left the corporate world behind to focus on her true passions: writing about fashion, style, and beauty. Now with a blog of that name, Kristin shares her advice with thousands of readers each day who are looking for a little taste of the good life. Here, Kristin talks to us about shoes and shopping—and reveals a few of her best tips for fall.

Your blog Fashion.Style.Beauty is focused on the idea of living your best life. How do shoes fit into that mission?

I think shoes impact your life beautifully in two ways. First of all, the woman who reads my site is going places, so she’s going to need shoes that are not only stylish, but able to get her from Point A to Point B without compromising taste. The second point is that, let’s face it, life is too short to wear bad shoes. When living well, dress accordingly and that includes shoes that make you smile every time you see them on your feet.

Do you have a favourite shoe designer for every budget?

I do, indeed, but I should preface this by saying that if you invest in good shoes, the dividends will pay for years to come in podiatrist bills, pain and repairs. That being said, I do think that Payless has some amazing basics (my black flats are from there) and their designer collaborations are lovely, especially the Isabel Toledo designs. I think two good mid-priced designers that consistently deliver good shoes are Sam Edelman and Rebecca Minkoff. When it comes to the designer category, Prada shoes are hard to kill, and I live for Brian Atwood and Charlotte Olympia.

What is your personal style when it comes to shoes?

My personal style is very rocker influenced so I have a tendency to go between hardcore rocker staples or bohemian effortlessness. I own a lot of boots, shoes with studs and a LOT of crystal embellishments. Pretty much anything goes except I don’t buy a heel without a platform anymore; it’s not worth the agony when there are SO many amazing options out there with that cushion built in!

Do you have any tips for finding the perfect shoes for fall?

I’m in love with the oxblood/wine hues this season, which is a gorgeous neutral that can go with pretty much everything. I’d suggest picking up a shoe in this colour palette, especially in a heel or a riding boot. As far as The Shoe Quest goes, shop at the end of the day so your feet are at their largest size and bring the tights or heavy socks you’ll be wearing with your intended purchase. You need to try shoes on with the appropriate hosiery. Nothing is more disappointing than getting home and finding your shoes are too tight.

You also blog about style and beauty…what are a few of your best tips for the coming season?

Every season, I stress the importance of good skin care. If your skin is glowing and healthy, any makeup look will work on you. When it comes to makeup this season, look for a return of the vampy wine-coloured lip and the metallic smoky eye. Some beauty gurus are showing the two together in a very 80’s fashion, so go as bold as you dare! Nails will look great with the same wine hue or try some one of this season’s gorgeous gemstone metallic, like Chanel’s Peridot. As far as lifestyle, if you’re entertaining, try serving cocktails with spice and unexpected kick and bring back homemade goodies in a chic way, like serving individual apple pies with candied flowers on top of the ice cream. If you’re heading out, consider ordering a classic cocktail like a Gin Rickey or a Sidecar. Very Mad Men-esque and quite classy.

In one sentence, what’s your best advice to our readers on how to live well?

Find your bliss, follow your heart and never accept anything less than the best – you’re worth it!

RWH 2011

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