In yoga class the instructor reminds us of something: your practice is not just a series of poses, one after the other. It’s a flow, a concentrated sequence of movement. Part of the practice is focusing on all movements between and en route to Downward Dog, Plank and so forth. Your breathing, your body and grace are part of the whole yoga concert. And what happens on the mat during that 90 minute class can definitely be carried over into “real life.”
Just like in music how the pauses between the beats are equally important.
So taking this idea into your world means moving in a similar flow, even while doing mundane tasks. Getting out of bed is not just a jump from horizontal to vertical⎯it’s full-body stretch into the day. Putting the dishes away? Boring. Instead: inhale and it’s arm-flow-yoga time, with you stretching up to place that plate on a high shelf, then exhaling and gliding across the room to tuck that glass serving dish back into the cabinet beneath the counter.
Physically flowing through your tasks is actually very hard-nosed productive and efficient because it gets them done better and faster.
I chalk this up to being more focused and peaceful while doing said tasks. For you: Turn one loathed, everyday task into something different, movement wise. Vacuuming, mopping, making your bed⎯there’s a panopoly of fun out there to choose from! Engage your whole body and connect to your breath while you move.
There is such a need among guys for practical male grooming and presentation advice, so when I heard about the online men’s magazine Male Standard I got in touch with Victor Macias, its founder, to talk….
Constance: What was the personal spark that made you realize that Male Standard had to happen?
Victor Macias:Male Standard actually started while I was in college. I was passionate about business, but I also loved fashion and style. I tend to be an over dresser.
One day, I was searching online, trying to come up with a business idea. I decided to read some male discussion forums. What I saw really surprised me. Guys were asking questions about grooming. These were taboo-type questions that they wouldn’t dare ask each other face to face or to a woman.
They were asking questions like:
– Do women prefer men who are “fully” trimmed?
– Does this hairstyle look good on me?
– What skin care products do you use?
At that point, I decided to tackle these taboo topics in an edgy and humorous way. with the launch of Male Standard. As time passed, our website grew and we continued to expand. The underlying theme of all of our advice is to help men Aspire to Greatness.
Victor Macias, Founder of Male Standard
Constance: Grooming is such a crucial pillar of a guy’s presentation. A man can wear a potato sack, but as long as his grooming is impeccable, he’s in good shape. A man can wear an exquisite suit, on the other hand, perfectly cut to his frame, but if his grooming is poor the whole effect is lost.
What is one of your most reliable, time-tested grooming rituals…and where did you learn it?
Victor Macias: My most reliable, time-testers grooming ritual is to always shave with the grain. Never, ever, shave against the grain. Doing so causes all sorts of issues like: acne, shave bumps and irritation.
I learned this tip from a master barber who sat me down and showed me the right way to shave.
Guys, excellent grooming will get you everywhere…
Constance:Your favorite grooming product right now is…
Victor Macias: My favorite product hands-down is the Gillette Proglide Styler. It’s super compact, portable and very affordable. It also trims very well. It’s comparable to many high-end trimmers I’ve tried and is 1/3 the price.
Gillette Proglide Slider: Comparable to a high-end trimmer, costs about $20
Constance:What man, living or not, embodies the concept of the Gentleman the most?
Victor Macias: George Clooney embodies the concept of ‘gentleman’ to me the most. He’s classic, but always has a modern twist to his style. I also think that his personality embodies this concept. He’s suave but also likes to play practical jokes and have a good time. He doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not.
Have to wear glasses? Congratulations, you have yet another communication tool to help you present your most attractive and authentic self to the world.
There is an art to finding the best glasses for your face, though. Here are the steps to consider when shopping for new glasses. Note that these principles work when you’re buying sunglasses, too.
1. Zero in on shape and size first.
Once you determine the best shape(s) for your face–and the right size of each shape–your eyeglass world will get a lot smaller. Sure, there are a lot of great and groovy frames out there, but only a handful will be really right for you.
Experiment like heck, starting with basic shapes—round, square, oval. From there, experiment with variants of your best shape. Your glasses will either complement (match what already exists) or contrast (offer a contrary note to create visual harmony) with your overall face shape.
Keep in Mind: The best frames will draw others into your face, not obscure or overpower it.
For example, oval frames with a bit of an edge work best for my round-ish face. The big, owl-type of round frame are out, because they exaggerate the roundness of my face. Adding a hint of a cat’s eye, for instance, to an oval frame, breaks up the roundness of my face without looking too incongruous, or unmatched. You dig?
Warby Parker Glasses: Greenleaf Whisky Tortoise
Side Note: All of these eyeglasses are by Warby Parker (they retail for about $95 and up). They use premium Japanese titanium and other impressive materials in their construction. And I am most impressed by the excellent colors they offer, which are nuanced, distinctive and flattering to real people.
2. Next, know your colors.
Yeah, you might know that grey is great against your skin, or that tortoise is a personal favorite. Great. But know there are many variants of these colors, so understand which shades and intensities are best for you.
In the photo below, there are variants of tortoise to suit nearly every skin and hair combo. I happen to be very keen on the Annette Petal Tortoise (upper right) because I cannot believe someone has figured out how to finally marry pink and brown so prettily in a lens.
Warby Parker Glasses
To start, you must determine whether your coloring is cool or warm. From there, experiment to learn which shades of warm or cool work best for you. Intense or mild, or somewhere in between?
Learn by training your eye. Each time you try on a pair that are dead wrong, take a moment to determine what it is that is so off about them. Shape? Shade? Some characteristic they project? A very kindly salesgirl tried like the Dickens to talk me into a pair of groovy oversized glasses that made me look like an insane bug. Another pair made me look like my name should be Madge and I should be wearing a beehive hairdo.
Alternately, when you try on a pair of glasses that look fairly good, but don’t truly nail it, do a drill-down to determine what does work fairly well about them.
Back to color. Knowing your best colors will further cut out many eyeglass contenders. The shape might be perfect but alas, the color is not. That means Pass Go.
Color Tip: Pick out the lightest strands in your hair. Look at them. Visually remember what the color looks like. Match this color to the lightest shades in your frames.
Exception: Let’s say you’re sporting ombre hair, or there is a huge color differential between the lightest and darkest tones in your hair. An extreme example is having blonde at the tips, black at the roots. Pinpoint the mid-range between the lightest and darkest strands, and use it to match the lightest color in the frames.
The idea behind this tip is to creates balance—which is to say, a pleasant visual cohesion between your glasses, face and hair. One big happy family.
Warby Parker Glasses: Hardy Striped Pacific
Color Tip: There are many black frame glasses out there, yet black is ideal for so few people. Sure, it works if you are going for a stark or avant-garde look, but for the majority of people, it’s too harsh a color and puts the emphasis on your glasses—not your fine face, where it bloody well should be.
The model below has dark brown hair and light brown skin that appears to have warm undertones. The tortoise frames, with specks of warm amber, are a nice visual bridge between her hair, skin and eyes. She would also look great in frames that have more amber or other warm tones in them.
Warby Parker Glasses: Durand Whisky Tortoise
You have many beautiful eyeglass colors at your disposal to enhance your unique hair, skin and eye combination. These days, eyeglass designers know they must give consumers more than just black or brown, or something zany like cherry red or school bus yellow, to choose from.
But you must independently discover which colors and shades are best for you, and stick to them.
So what have we learned? Your best glasses must ace the shape and color/shade test.
There is one final hurdle: Quality.
It is important that you invest in the best quality glasses you can afford. The fit will be better, the feel will be less obtrusive and the depth of color in the frames will be finer, more nuanced and elegant. This does not always mean that you must shell out for expensive glasses, just quality ones.
Look, look and look some more, and you will find them. Happy hunting!
That sultry voice, that steady gaze and that confidence. These are photos of Betty Perske, a just-out-of-her-teens cover girl who had been plucked from Brooklyn just a few months earlier and brought to Hollywood to star alongside Humphrey Bogart in her first film, To Have and Have Not (1944).
I have seen all of her early films, and can see why she was such a revelation when she hit the theaters. Lauren Bacall was nearly always shot in close up, and you never get tired to that face. Those saucy, wide-set eyes and downturned mouth set against a voluminous head of hair, with just a touch of wave cascading down those cheekbones.
Of her famous voice, well it didn’t start out that way. Howard Hawks, who discovered her and cast her in To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep, was initially nonplussed by her ‘natural’ voice, which was high-pitched and nasally and very New York. Bette went to work on it and within a short time transformed it, substantially lowering it in pitch and stripping out any regional twang. I always liked how she seemed to melodically stretch out each word of dialogue she spoke in her films, and never came off as stagey or affected. Side note: Here are some tips for optimizing your speaking voice.
Of her famed look Lauren Bacall once said: “I mean, that was what started the look — was nerves — just trying to keep my head steady.”
Here she is on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in 1943, the photo that brought her to the attention of director Howard Hawks,
RIP, Lauren Bacall, who passed away on August 12, 2014 at age 89.
Air Optix Colors Event. This very nice man’s eyes matched his shirt…
I got to test drive a pair of Air Optix Colors recently, and might I say I am very impressed. I am a wearer of color contacts from way back, when I had a pair of Fresh Look color contacts that I saved up for and stored lovingly in my medicine cabinet like they were the Crown Jewels.
I wore my precious color contacts faithfully to clubs and parties; they could magically turn the color of my quite-brown eyes to a curious cross between a caramel and a tiger’s. Side Note: The power to transform oneself visually, even subtly, is powerful. Fun, too.
However, after a few hours I found these color contacts not so comfortable, and they never looked quite natural anyway.
During sunlight hours I never wore them. The other-worldly color and fit created a barrier to connecting with others. And, of course, if you took one long look into my eyes…the gig was pretty much up, color wise.
Air Optix Colors are the next generation of color contacts, and they’ve improved significantly, massively, on wearability and believability. Having tried them, I see where they are different:
Comfort: These color contacts are breathable, so you can wear then for a good long while without feeling them.
Virtual Reality: The color design is more nuanced, more intricate, so they look like your real eyes.
Fit: They seem to be engineered more sleekly, so there is no perceptible look of contacts sitting on your eyes. In other words, the communication-barrier thing I spoke about above is gone.
As I walked around the event, held in a room brightly lit by California sunlight, and met other people wearing them, I think I said, “Sooo, your eyes are really brown?” to about a half-dozen people sporting either bright blue or light green eyes. I had to ask because their eye color looked so unmistakably theirs—and I was staring, too. There were no Hulk eyes anywhere.
I tried on a pair of green Air Optix Colors, and they looked very natural. (Note: There is a “Subtle” line of colors and a “Vibrant” line.) After a couple of hours, the contacts came out and my eyes felt great.
You can see for yourself at the Air Optix Colors Studio, where you can upload a photo of yourself and mess around with a pair of these presentation game changers.
Your buddy, the aloe plant. Get one. Tomorrow. Yesterday.
Aloe Vera plants are only about $10 and need zero maintenance. They are a lifesaver for repairing sun-busted skin, as seen above. Plus, they make excellent face masks. Tip: If you have sunburn, apply and re-apply fresh aloe as often as you can. Your skin will literally suck up the aloe goodness. Results seen after approximately 36 hours… and the burn was fairly bad.
Like a beach or resort weekend, when you’ll be wearing a bathing suit from the moment you wake up until dinnertime, and maybe even then. Or on a hiking or surfing trip when the last thing you want to be sporting is a full face of makeup–or even a half- or quarter-face of the stuff. Just a spot of color here and there.
If you have a pot of loose minerals, mix your favorite shade with a bit of moisturizer or sunblock, and apply strategically. Curl your lashes and brush your brows.
Or buy pre-made color, like Pacifica’s Radiant Shimmer Coconut Multiples (approximately $15). I came across this product in a health-food grocery store, and have toted it with me on no-makeup-not-really trips to great effect and satisfaction. It’s essentially natural minerals (mica) in a sunflower seed oil base.
When you feel like sporting a lighter look, makeup wise…
If you’re not completely comfortable with a barefaced, zero-zilch-makeup look, consider this trio of creamy natural minerals to be something along the lines of a training bra, makeup wise. You’ll get the confidence that comes with having a little something on, even if it’s not your usual full-blown repertoire.
The are three shades in this slim compact. Bronzed, the darkest; Island Rose, a medium pink and Moonlit, a pink-tinted shimmer that doesn’t look quite obvious.
The wear is subtle and pretty, and you can mix and match colors to enhance specific points of your face. The feel is nonexistent, with no bumps, icks or bad byproducts to report, even when worn all day on a face full of sunblock. One that’s been from pool to indoors, and spent time lolling in a beach chair, too.
Pacifica’s Radiant Shimmer Coconut Multiples is very portable, and helps to keep your cosmetics bag on the slender side.
A small, strategic cosmetics bag is a nice thing to bring on vacation.
Apply softly, and with clean fingers. There’s something about the warmth of your hands that makes the formulation soft and pliable. Plus, your fingers make the deftest blenders ever.
Cover your bare lips with a high SPF, waterproof sunblock. When it’s dried, look at the natural color of your lips. Touch a bit of color, you choose, to enhance your natural lip silhouette at specific points. A darker shade at the corners creates a full-lip look, so does a dab of shiny Moonlit at the center of the lower lip.
Dab a hint of Bronzed at the top curve of your cheekbones for overall face definition. Blend.
A light wash of Moonlit, the lightest, underneath the brow bone or at the inner corner of your eye to open the eyes.
Here is the list of ingredients for Pacifica’s Radiant Shimmer Coconut Multiples.
Here are some excellent, down-to-earth tips to help you lose weight, shape up and otherwise keep that fine booty of yours looking nice. They come courtesy of Michael Volkin, or shall I say Sergeant Volkin. An Army veteran and entrepreneur who has authored 3 military books to help recruits prepare for basic training, the man clearly knows of what he speaks.
Michael Volkin, author of 3 fitness books, Army veteran and creator of Weightloss Stack 52
Michael Volkin: Below I explain several myths that you might be doing right now to try and lose weight. If you are, then stop wasting your time and money.
MYTH # 1 – LOSING WEIGHT REQUIRES HUNGER PAINS
The fact is, what you eat is more important than how much you eat.
If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow down, making your body want to store fat. As a result, your initial weight loss will come from water and muscle, instead of fat. You should try to consume healthy food choices and save those foods (and beverages) that are high in fat, sugar and calories for special occasions.
Yes, you can have those unhealthy food choices from time to time, in fact, it’s encouraged. Without a cheat meal or snack every now and then, you will get frustrated and lose sight of your goal. Please note, I said a cheat meal, not a cheat day. I see too many people doing cheat days, which is way too much for your body to overcome on a weight loss plan.
Not all fats are bad, says Michael Volkin
MYTH # 2 – EAT NO FAT WHATSOEVER
This is a very old and popular myth. Your fat intake should be limited to around 15% of your overall daily calorie intake.
Fat is needed in any diet to lubricate your joints, keeps your skin smooth and elastic, provide a source of energy, help your nervous system function properly and more. Olive, flaxseed and fish oils are good sources of fats. Fats to avoid include saturated fats and hydrogenated fats (also known as trans fats).
Clearly, not all carbohydrates are bad. The key, says Michael Volkin, is portion control. Hubba, hubba.
MYTH # 3 – AVOID CARBS
You’ve certainly heard this before, “Carbohydrates are bad for you and should be avoided”. This myth has been trending lately as fad diets like Atkins and its copycats become more and more popular.
The truth is carbohydrates have a moderate amount of calories (about half as many as fat). Simple carbohydrates (sugar) should be limited, but complex carbohydrates: whole grain and starches are high in nutrients.
The problem with carbohydrates is portion control. Too many people eat at restaurants with huge portion sizes loaded with 5 times the amount of carbs needed for a given meal. The best way to control your carb portions is to cook for yourself.
I love a tasty rib from time to time, but meat moderation is a good thing. Michael Volkin says there are other ways to get your protein on.
MYTH # 4 – MEAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET ENOUGH PROTEIN
Meat is a great source of protein, but it certainly is not the only source. Meat can also be high in fat and sodium so many people look for alternative sources of protein.
Egg whites are a prime source of protein and so are various vegetables and legumes like peas, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
30 minutes of exercise, at least 4 days a week, says Michael Volkin. And you can break up your daily regimen. Tackling tasty waves most definitely counts.
MYTH #5 – EXERCISE AT LEAST 30 CONSECUTIVE MINUTES TO GET AN EFFECTIVE CALORIE BURNING WORKOUT
Adults should engage in a workout regimen for at least 30 minutes a day at least 4 days a week.
Research has shown that the activity does not need to be done all at once. The 30 minute routine can be split into two 15 minute intervals and provide the same health benefits.
Michael Volkin reminds us that sexy and smart vegetarian options abound to keep you looking fine…Yes, this is really a photo of my refrigerator.
MYTH #6 – VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS ARE HEALTHIER EATERS THAN CARNIVORES
Vegetarians on average eat fewer calories and less fat than carnivores (non-vegetarians). However, vegetarians can make eating choices that contribute to weight gain by eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods as well as food with little nutritional value.
The term vegetarian is not synonymous with health.
The best way to be sure you are getting a well balanced, nutrient rich diet is to eat more whole foods and less processed, pre-packaged foods and to avoid eating out as much as possible. Make eating out an occasional treat, but try to prepare most of your meals yourself and you will be on your way to living a healthier, leaner lifestyle.
With your new found knowledge of weight loss, grab yourself a deck of my new invention, Weight Loss Stack 52, weight loss cards.
Don’t skip breakfast and work out daily…two habits of successful permanent weight loss
Bonus Round. Question:3,000 people who lost more than 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year were surveyed. Which of the following was not one of the commonly shared behaviors of these participants?
A) Kept a food journal
B) Drank green tea daily
C) Never skipped breakfast
D) Exercised daily
E) Ate a balanced diet of fat, carbs and protein
The National Weight Control Registry tracked these 3,000 participants and found the following four commonly shared traits: Kept a food journal, never skipped breakfast, exercised daily and at a balanced diet of fat, carbs and protein. Drinking green tea daily was not one of the commonly shared behaviors of the participants.
If you are also interested in this concept, here are two products I’ve tried that will help you in this quest.
Soft & Dri Aerosol Antiperspirant DeodorantLong name, no? I’ve never used an aerosol antiperspirant in my life, and clearly didn’t know what I was missing. This product is for big-gun days, where you’ll be sweating up a storm but don’t want to have it show in any way, shape or form.
The mist is light, so you can dress then spray it on without any chalky whiteness happening on your fabric. That is nice. It’s also fast and convenient. The scent is Soft Scent which is something like a light baby powder aroma. Unobtrusive. It’s a 24-hour formula. The longest I tested it for was 16 hours and it passed with flying colors.
Price: approximately $4 for a 6-ounce can
New products in the Practical Glamour Testing Lab, aka my office. Left, Soft & Dri Aluminum Free Deodorant ($2.50) | Right, Soft & Dri Aerosol Antiperspirant Deodorant ($4.00)
Soft & Dri Aluminum Free Deodorant. I was instructed once to never bury the headline, but apparently I haven’t learned very well in that regard. This is the real “Holla” of the two products: A no-aluminum deodorant that does a wonderful job of keeping the underarm area very nice.
Many, nearly all, antiperspirants are so damn effective at fight wetness because they essentially block the sweat pores under the arm with aluminum-based chemicals. This is a problem for those who react unpleasantly to aluminum or don’t want to plug up their pores.
Soft & Dri Aluminum Free Deodorant claims to offer odor protection only, since it does not have any aluminum in it. However, I found that it oddly seemed to diminish any wetness, and worked as effectively as a standard antiperspirant. It’s clear, leaving no trace on clothes, and the Sweet Bliss is light and clean in scent.
Bottom Line: This is a great product if you do not like chemical-laden antiperspirants, but find natural alternatives like crystal rock deodorants, fresh lemon or vinegar (two of my favorites) to have their limits on intense days.
Have you ever had to leave a nail salon with those flimsy flip flops from the salon attached to your feet? Yeah, me too. Once I went running out onto little Santa Monica Boulevard wearing a hot-pink pair, trying to beat the meter maid to my car. Funny sight it must have been; the flip flops almost dissolved on my feet while I did a queer two-step down the sidewalk.
Nowadays I mostly do my pedicures at home (a bit of practice-what-you-preach). And a very resourceful pedicure tool is Pedi Princess flip flops, (approximately $15-$19), great whether you engage in salon pedicures or the DIY kind. They are your standard cute pair of flip flops with stylish little toe separators built-in.
Here are the Pros:
The design is cute and sturdy; and they come in a handy bag. You can bring Pedi Princess flip flops to the salon and put them on before the manicurist applies polish. Instead of waiting around forever for polish to become bone dry, you can leave the salon minutes after application and do your running around in them them.
Also, they’re a good footwear choice for visits to a day spa where a pedicure is involved.
For at-home pedicures, or if need to touch up polish: Put these flip flops on your feet, slide on a fresh coat of polish and keep doing whatever it is that you were doing. No more sitting around for an hour waiting for polish to dry, or doing the toe-separator hobble around the house.
Need to brighten up your polish before a night out? Apply polish, then go ahead and do your hair and makeup. Heck, you can even drive to the event wearing them, then slip into your real shoes before heading into the restaurant or event.
Unexpected nice touch. The design allows the toes to spread out. After a day spent mincing around in heels, wearing the Pedi Princess flip flops feels good.
Gift idea: If you’re planning a spa day, or a night of champagne and grooming, these make a nice gift for the group. Have fun selecting from the different flip flop designs, guessing which style will suit each of your friends the best.
Read some of my on-the-go nail tips here. And here are some guidelines you may not have thought of when it comes to selecting the best flip flops for you.
I’ve been on something of a new-product tear lately. Why? Maybe because spring is in the air. Maybe because there is just so much great stuff out there. Maybe because it’s my quasi-job.
I have found a new favorite mineral foundation: Priori.
I was introduced to the Priori brand at evolue, an eco-beauty boutique in Beverly Hills. Owner Jean Seo could stock a ton of products at her pretty store on Robertson Boulevard, yet it’s a minimalist space because she is very selective about the items she carries.
So if I see a product at her store, I know there must be something special about it.
I was talking to a girl in the store one evening. Her skin was so damn pretty that I had to ask what she was wearing on it. It happened to be Priori, which is the only loose mineral makeup they carry.
Priori’s mineral makeup is like a siren’s call if you love the ease of application, coverage and no-feel of mineral makeup, but want to venture beyond bareMinerals. That is a brand I wore faithfully for a while, and still like, but over time found that the coverage could make my face look somewhat dry and not quite radiant. You too?
Priori’s Perfecting Foundation comes in Shades 1-6. I chose Shade 2, which works perfectly on my light skin.
If you have used other mineral foundations, you’ll find that application of Priori Foundation is identical. As in, tap some minerals onto the lid, swirl your kabuki brush in it. Tap to remove excess, and apply lightly.
Layer more product in areas where you want extra coverage.
Before + After photos taken in natural sunlight to give you an idea of Priori’s coverage. I applied a small amount of product, just enough to even the skin tone.
The wear is excellent. It’s matte, yes, and the look only seems to get better, meaning more radiant and like real skin, as the hours pass. No blotchiness or patches.
It is comfortable for long-wear. I have applied it early early in the day (like 6 am), and when I’ve gone to wash my face, say, 14 hours later, I have forgotten that I am wearing foundation. It just doesn’t feel like there’s anything on your face, even though your skin will look even and clear.
Not clingy. Washes off easily. And no clogging of colored “stuff” in the pores.
Priori has CoffeeBerry extract, which is apparently an anti-aging botanical that improves your skin. I can’t speak to this because I haven’t worn it regularly (as in every day) or for long enough to notice a significant, “Wow” type of improvement. However, there has been no drawbacks to wearing this makeup. That is high praise for a product that supplies a full day’s coverage, yet leaves nothing behind in the form of bumps, residue or clogged pores. And like other loose mineral makeup, it provides a natural sunscreen, in this case 25 SPF.
Bottom line: Priori Foundation is an ideal product for achieving natural-looking, everyday coverage.
The price is approximately $40 for a 14 gram container. bareMinerals Original Foundation is approximately $30 for an 8 gram container, so Priori is a rather good deal comparatively for what I feel is a better-quality product. Learn more at the Priori site.
Photographer Critsey Rowe has a way with women, making them look beautiful and sensual while wearing little. A boudoir photographer who has a ton of experience helping women present their most sensual, authentic selves to the camera—and has written a book about it, also—Critsey Rowe agreed to share some very Practical Glamour tips on how to prepare for your boudoir photo session, along with DIY tips on lighting and how a boudoir photo session can be the gift that keeps on giving—to you!
Boudoir Photography by Critsey Rowe. Isn’t the cover beautiful?
Constance: What is an effective way(s) for a non-model to feel at ease in front of the camera, particularly when the photographs are of a boudoir variety?
Critsey Rowe: Every woman is usually nervous before their boudoir session. And honestly who wouldn’t be nervous posing in their skivvies. Even as a seasoned boudoir photographer when I had my very own session taken I was super nervous. Luckily for me I had a close friend snapping my pictures so I quickly became at ease.
My best advice would be to hire a photographer you feel comfortable with. Someone you feel you can chat with easily. Wear items you are confident in. There is nothing sexier then confidence. If you are a little unsure about a piece of lingerie you may not feel as confident so be sure to try on outfits prior to your session and be sure you love all the pieces you plan to take to your shoot.
Some clients like to have a glass of champagne or wine before their session, this is perfectly okay. Just be sure to limit to one glass. Bringing a close friend you feel comfy with can also ease your nerves. Your photographer will be there for encouragement and to cheer you on.
Constance: I like your lighting style, which illuminates your subjects while simultaneously making them look natural and real. Do you have an indoor or outdoor lighting tip that is gold, and might be something the non-pro can use to lend a natural luster to her or his subjects?
Critsey Rowe: I love all kinds of lighting so choosing one tip is so hard.
For someone that is just starting out or a non-pro photographer I would recommend shooting early in the day when you have the best natural light. Choose a location with big open windows that allow a lot of natural light to shine through.
Later in the afternoon could be great for dramatic lighting as the sun is lower and is more direct.
The biggest tip I can give however is to experiment with all kinds of light. So many photographers are afraid of trying off camera flash (OCF) or using stones but this is such a great way to control the light on your subject. You can make a setting that has very little available light look warm and inviting by using off camera lighting. If using OCF is still scary then using a constant light source such as a modeling lamp or a video light.
Bonus tip for anyone wanting to do great selfies: again this is best in the early morning light.
Find a nice spot where you are directly facing a window stand or sit two-three feet away and take your photo from there. Using alternate light sources in your home work well too. That lamp in the corner will do nicely too, take the shade off or direct it toward you.
Just be sure not to hold your camera in front of the direction of the light or it will cause a shadow on your face. Take a few practice shots until you find the light you love the most.
Constance: I think we live in rather homogenous times, with much of the mass-produced images of “sexiness” all kind of looking the same.
Yet, every woman (man, too) has their own sensuality, and that is what makes them exciting and unique to others. How do you suss out a client’s personal sexy, then bring it alive on film?
Critsey Rowe: Ah! Good question because I love the uniqueness of every woman (and man too) and I truly wish for each person to discover and see their very own distinctive sensuality. I give my clients the freedom to be uninhibited and share a very intimate and personal side of themselves that is normally only shown to their partner.
This is why I think having a boudoir session can be a empowering experience for a woman. They see a side of themselves outside of their everyday setting and really get to see just how amazing they truly are. I say this a lot and it really is true: most women come to me for a boudoir shoot as a gift for their significant other, only to discover that in the end it was the biggest gift they could have given to themselves.
I am sure there are many ways to discover your own sensuality but I highly recommend having photos taken even if you just do a beauty session which is similar to boudoir but fully clothed. You are still posing in sexy sensual ways but you are showing less skin. This is for the shy or timid girl that just isn’t ready to bare it all. ♣
Critsey teaches boudoir workshops and seminars across the nation and abroad. She has been a guest speaker about her Couture Boudoir® brand on The Wedding Planning Audiocast on iTunes, Guest speaker on MimikaTV, Convention speaker for DWF at Imaging USA, Convention speaker for WPPI’s Road Trip, speaker for Pictage Users Group and has been featured on The Perfect Pose and many other online resources.
Critsey’s work has been published in many popular magazines, including Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Today’s Bride, Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, You and Your Wedding London, The Bride’s Book, Weddings Unveiled, The Knot, Carolina Bride and Queen City Weddings. She has been a featured photographer on Platinum Weddings and several times on My Fair Wedding with David Tutera on the WE Channel, and featured in Popular Photography Magazine about her Couture Boudoir® brand.
The weather’s warming up, which means no hiding underneath long pants and boots. Here’s a simple recipe for a DIY body scrub that you can whip up and use any time of the year. It smells great, works like a charm and is kind to your skin. It comes courtesy of Josie Feria, who is the Director of Operations at Lapis, The Spa at Fontainebleau.
• ½ cup mineral salts (I use plain Epsom salt, which is essentially magnesium sulfate in crystal form)
• 2 tbsp of any carrier oil such as avocado, jojoba or grapeseed (look for in a health food store)
• 5 drops lemongrass oil (lemongrass has clean, energetic notes, but you can substitute it with any oil that makes you happy)
• In bowl using a metal spoon blend mineral salt with carrier oil – thoroughly mix until it becomes a paste
• Gradually add in lemongrass oil, blending after each drop
• If scrub is too thick, add a few drops of water and remix
• Moisten the body in a warm bath or shower
•Apply scrub to body by hand or using a moist loofah pad in circular motions. Using a loofah pad or other textured body sponge or brush will increase the effects of the exfoliation. Beware of being too energetic as you may scratch the skin.
• Thoroughly rinse skin and apply body lotion
On a related note, if you happen to be swinging through Miami, I recommend stopping into the Fontainebleau for a visit. The place has oodles of history spanning back to the 1950’s and was voted Top Building in Florida by the American Institute of Architects. One of my favorite spots is on the second floor of La Côte: they serve a fine lunch over views of the Atlantic. Go during the week when it’s mellow. Pure Miami.
My month long vegetarian-fest was a success, I’m happy to report
For each month of this year, and maybe for years after this one, I am engaging in a Something New Everyday. This means that for a month I adhere to a new habit. Last month it was Vegetarianism.
I’m glad I did. Here’s what I found to be the top rewards of going meat-free for the month:
1. Fewer Choices is Sometimes a Good Thing. When shopping or cooking, a few staples are off the table. When eating out, it simplifies ordering, since anything with the headline Steak, Chicken, Carne and so forth, is out.
It forces you to forage in places you might not usually go. This can result in new and unexpected delights. Scrumptious avocado sandwiches. Vegetable bisque. Tofu pad thai, don’t you know, rocks.
2. Culinary Creativity Increased Immediately. On more than one occasion during Vegetarian month I had to hit the books and cooking sites to figure out what I could pull together with a brick of tofu, a bag of brown rice and a heap of vegetables. (You know you want to come over for dinner.)
Who knew that vegan chickpea soup could be so damn creamy and luscious? And Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers? Very nice. Meat is an easy standby, but without it you have to get creative and try unexpected things for flavor and density.
A quite nice Bloody Mary. Even my cocktails were vegetarian!
3. Significant Weight Loss. Confession: I have been horrid at working out lately. But the no-meat diet alone trimmed 7 pounds off my frame. That’s a lot in my book. A big reason for this has to do with the fact that not eating meat means no more late-night visits to the drive-through for a burger and french fries. Vegetarian month is over but I don’t miss them.
4. Oily Skin, Begone. I find meat to be dense. It tastes dense. It seems oily, too. Eating as a vegetarian for the month resulted in the feeling that my skin was more balanced. It looked better and pores seemed nicer, less likely to be clogged. After eating, I never felt bogged down or stuffed in body or mind. It was nice.
A satisfying meat-free lunch. Ignore my tablemate’s Eggs Benedict.
5. That Clean Kitchen Feeling. With the exception of ordering a cup of soup with a chicken-stock base, I have not resumed a full-time carnivore diet. I’m not sure I will. I don’t miss anything about it. On the cooking front, there is something about handling and cutting up meat that doesn’t seem quite appealing, either. Handling vegetables, boiling noodles and dicing up stir-frys feels more pleasant overall.
Designer: The Bohemian Society (Spring/Summer 2014)
Now that’s an outfit to keep the sweat away
For many, daily life consists of waking up, running out the door and doing about 500 things before returning home in the evening, or even later. This means your body temperature must rise and fall to accommodate treks up the sidewalk, getting in and out of your car or moving from the warmth of sunlight into the crisp of air conditioning. And so on.
Since you’re made of flesh and blood, you sweat. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Your sweat glands are like a highly sophisticated internal shower. When your body temperature rises, they kick in to regulate that heat. When you’re under stress, they also get involved.
Two Types of Sweat
There are two types of sweat. The type produced by eccrine glands (aka exertion sweat); and the type produced by apocrine glands (aka stress sweat).
Exertion Sweat. Eccrine glands exist over much of your body and open directly onto the skin’s surface. When your body temperature rises from exertion, your eccrine glands secrete an essentially odorless fluid (made mostly of water and salt) onto your skin.
The sweat evaporates on the skin, and your body is cooled as a result. Side note: If you’ve ever wondered why you sweat more in humid weather, it’s because sweat doesn’t evaporate well in humidity. The evaporation process is crucial to the cooling of your body temperature.
Stress sweat can beat up white clothes!
Stress Sweat. Apocrine glands, on the other hand, start firing when you’re dealing with emotional stress. You feel the feelings, and your nervous system directs the apocrine glands to start releasing fluids.
These glands are located on areas of your body where a lot of hair follicles exist: the underarm area, pelvis and scalp. Unlike those mild little eccrine glands, apocrine glands pump fluid along the hair follicle and, this is key, the composition is different. There’s more than just water and salt coming out; there are proteins and fatty acids in the mix, as well. (This explains why sweat stains on clothes are typically yellowish in color.)
In short, bacteria love it. Plus, stress sweat occurs on balmy and hidden-away areas where it’s less able to evaporate. It simply sits there, where it’s quickly broken down by bacteria.
Our typical response is to tame sweat with deodorant or anti-perspirant. Side note: The difference between the two is this. Deodorants remove the body odor but not the perspiration. You’ll still have moisture, but it will smell like desert rain or new car or whichever variation you selected from the drugstore shelf. Antiperspirants temporarily block the sweat pore, enabling perhaps only a smidgeon of sweat to reach the skin’s surface.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that I’m partial to at-home and natural beauty solutions because, “Hey, why heap on chemicals if you don’t need to?”
Here are two natural deodorant alternatives:
•Plain White Vinegar. Place white vinegar in a spray bottle and dilute with 2-3 parts water. This means that for every 1 ounce of vinegar, you’ll add 2-3 ounces of water; distilled if it’s handy. Spray it under the arms and use a cotton swab to clean the area. Some like to follow up by applying more of the mixture, undiluted, and allowing it to dry.
•Fresh Lemon. Cut into small slices. Squeeze a slice softly to get the juice to the surface. Apply generously to the underarm area. Do not apply on broken irritated or just-shaven skin.
Both of these are good alternatives if you’re avoiding aluminum or if ingredients in traditional deodorants cause irritation.
Lights, camera…being flesh and blood, we sweat
I hardly expect for you to squeeze a lemon on your underarm area and skip off to confidently handle some mind-boggling stressful situation, like arguing a case in front of the Supreme Court or auditioning for a part in a major motion picture.
But these alternatives might be swell for you on a day when you don’t need to call in the big guns, sweat-wise, or don’t feel like plugging up your pores with stuff.
On-the-go Sweat Solutions
You may want to run errands after yoga class, and don’t necessarily feel like swinging by home first for a shower and costume change. Or have just gotten off an endless red-eye flight and feel like a bit of freshening-up is in order before you face humanity.
•Antibacterial cleaning wipes are everywhere, but they tend to be hardcore in terms of chemicals. And we are dealing with porous, delicate areas. A kinder, gentle wipe that I’ve used is Swipe. They are made from tea tree oil, and are neatly and cheerfully packaged, too. You can buy them here.
Another plus: The material of the wipe itself is soft and biodegradable. The formulation is gentle and the scent is fresh and unobtrusive. They are a two-in-one situation, removing any existing issue and imparting deodorant on the area. I was running late to a luncheon and grabbed one off my desk and used it before leaving.
I ran around all day–through fun LA traffic too!–doing a bunch of stuff and by the time I hit the shower that night, things were still alright, if you get my drift.
•Hand sanitizer. If you don’t have any wipes handy, hunt down a bottle of hand sanitizer and as Tim Gunn famously says, “Make it work.” The alcohol in the sanitizer will kill the bacteria that causes odor.
3 More Tips
•Secret Clinical Strength. I don’t go here unless I have to, but this stuff works. It pretty much seals the pores under the arms for the entire day. Go ahead, wear a filmy white silk shirt and deal with supersonic levels of stress. Your underarms will be as dry as the Sahara at the end of of it all.
It’s 20% aluminum, though, so it’s off the table if you’re avoiding such products. I’m sure there are other super-duper strength antiperspirants out there, but this is the one I’m most familiar with and have used to good effect.
•Dress Shields. A good solution if underarm wetness is an issue. Pick up a pair or two at a fabric store. They are usually in-stock at Jo-Ann. Guys, you can use them too.
You can buy the type that are stitched into the seam of the garment, or disposable dress shields that affix to fabric via an adhesive strip. These are ideal for situations where you want to be 100% sure there will be no sign of sweat on your garments.
•Emerging Shapewear. Hit the shapewear section of your local department store to see what’s cooking in terms of sweat management. The photo below shows an under-shirt smoother with cushy underarm pads built in, perfect for capturing stray moisture. There is no end to the creative fixes those designers are coming up with.
You may love going to the stadium or arena to watch a game or match, or you might find it an activity bordering on torture. Whichever is the case, you should aim to look and feel as optimal as possible. Cute and comfortable is the best way to maximize your enjoyment of any sports event.
To that end, here are some style and beauty tips for watching live sports.
• Stay away from high heels. I can’t believe I just wrote that. But yes, flat shoes are a must. That has to do with the tricky terrain of stadiums, which includes possibly having to navigate steep and windy stairs, tiny bleachers and long walks from the car to your seats.
I like cool motorcycle boots, weather permitting, because they are sturdy and keep you balanced. But in the summer flats work nicely. Avoid open toe anything.
I was at a hockey game where a Lilliputian blond in precipitously high heels had to be practically carried by her date whenever she tried to get up from her seat. Gallant guy that he was, by the third period the whole thing seemed to be getting kind of tedious for both of them.
The strangest sports event I’ve ever been to. Ice hockey in open-air Dodgers Stadium; the LA Kings played the Anaheim Ducks. Kings lost, 3-0. (Hey, the warm weather makes the puck hard to handle!) But there was beach volleyball going on between periods (upper, left), along with yoga (upper, right) and, oh yeah, a KISS performance too.
• Showcase up top. Dress your lower half thoroughly, and in rugged materials. That is because stadium seats, even the good ones, are not the most dainty places on the planet.
Also, you should expect to be reasonably squished together with lots of other people. Mostly men. Crouching your way across a row of oversized dudes to get to your seat, all the while wearing a miniskirt or show-em-all-you’ve-got tight leggings, is not my idea of a good time. Probably not yours, either.
This makes denim or cargo pants a no-brainer, or even thick-ish tights and a cute skirt.
Upper body is for style. Since you might be wearing denims (nice-fitting ones in good condition, lady!) and boots, you might find that the upper half of your body is where you can show some individual style and polish. Wear a cute, fitted top and bring along a smart jacket or sweater to cover up.
Why does beer taste better during a game?
• Some accessory ideas.
A good looking scarf made from nice fabric, and in a beautiful color that flatters your skin, hair and eyes. An instant cleavage-cover, too, if you’re not feeling quite comfortable.
I usually go for a drink and something to eat with friends prior to hitting the stadium. I’ll wear earrings and a bracelet to polish things up. While walking to the sports venue I’ll typically cover up with the jacket or sweater and stow the jewelry in my pocket.
Ah, makeup. Here’s another area where you can bust out the glamour. Makeup your face nicely and use some bright colors.
A red lip expertly applied adds a look of visual polish, as do nicely flushed (ahem, blushed) cheeks.
Since you’ll be up close and personal with your date, seating being closely knit and all, keep your hand light and blend, blend and blend to achieve a look of natural beauty.
Related point: Bring some nice peppermint breath freshener with you; a nice touch for when the kissing camera comes your way. Or when the spirit moves you.
The speed and deftness of players makes ice hockey seem like a ballet on ice…
Until they start beating each other’s heads in
I really like ice hockey, so this post is biased towards matches in nicely chilled indoor stadiums. But it’s entirely possible that you’re getting ready to go to an outdoor arena on a sunbaked summer day.
Some tips for summer sports events:
Tons of sunblock. Everywhere. The backs of your hands included.
A hat is not just a handy style note; it’s an awesome sun-buster. I avoid anything with a brim unless it’s a polo match. (It’s the close seating thing again that makes big brims unwieldy.) For baseball, soccer and football, select a baseball hat that flatters your head (a brim that’s not too small or large) and face shape also.
Remember the covered flesh points above? If the idea of wearing jeans doesn’t feel alluring in 90-degree heat, consider some cute gauzy pants paired with a fitted tank top.
Attitude isn’t everything, it’s the only thing, said famed coach Vince Lombardi. This was meant for his players and it most definitely applies to you, Miss Fetching Spectator. No matter how cute and put-together you look, going to a game is ultimately about having fun with your friends or your guy (hopefully, he’s both!) Parking delays? Lines? Tons of people everywhere? Be flexible and go with the flow. Smile, cheer, laugh. Sing along to the cheesy fun songs blaring out of the speakers.
If you’re a makeup artist you already know of Eugenia Weston. And if you’re a makeup fanatic you might also. She is a high-profile makeup artist for print, film and TV who has been in the business for four decades and counting.
Eugenia has worked and trained alongside some of the best of the pioneer-class of makeup artists, such as Bob Schiffer, a legendary Hollywood makeup artist who sculpted the on-screen faces of Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth, for whom he was the exclusive makeup artist at Columbia.
You didn’t think I’d pass up a chance to post a photo of Rita Hayworth, did you?
I had the opportunity to attend her contouring lecture at the IMATS and of course, picked up some tips to share with the class. Here goes:
-Contouring is back. Hallelujah!
-Always remember these two basic principles of contouring:
Darker colors will recede an area, and are used to visually ‘push back’ an area of the face
Lighter colors highlight an area, and are used to bring forth or visually enlarge an area of the face
-The point of contouring? Balance.
The Golden Ratio
Before you put a brush or sponge to the skin, take a moment to examine the face. Consider the rule of thirds, which is the idea that ideal facial symmetry resides in the face being distributed in a 1:3 ratio.
This means it is distributed in 3 sections of equal length both vertically (from top to bottom) and horizontally (from side to side).
Test this for fun by taking a ruler and measuring from the top of forehead to brow. Brow to tip of nose. Nose to tip of chin. These three areas should be of equal approximate length. If they are not, some contouring can be done to visually create symmetry.
Contouring under the chin and jaw defines, visually shortens the bottom third of the face
Example. Weston, on measuring a model’s face, found that the top one-third of her face was somewhat shorter in length relative to the bottom third (from nose to tip of chin), which was longer.
To create balance she did the following: visually lengthened the model’s forehead by adding light color at the crown to highlight the area. Next, she added dark color to the chin and below the jaw to visually shorten it. The balancing effect was instant and striking.
The model’s face, beautiful to begin with, just looked better, more visually appealing and somehow right.
Face Contour Kit by SENNA Cosmetics
Eugenia Weston has a contouring kit, a trio of cream to powder colors to highlight and contour, that she created for the artists on TV show Desperate Housewives. The SENNA Face Contour Kit includes a brush and placement instructions.
Whether you use this kit or a different product, consider the following:
The dark color you use contouring should be a grey brown. This will approximate the look of a real shadow best.
Weston recommends using creams for contour work because they blend better than powder. Also, cream formulations are easier to touch up and make for a more real-life look on film.
Shading will give the face a more sophisticated (read: mature) look.
Utilize reverse contouring on dark skin tones. Instead of adding more dark color to push back an area on a dark complexion, add light color immediately next to the area. This light color will automatically create a dark contour by contrast.
The Triangle of Light
The area within the triangle below is where you want to focus your highlighting efforts. Eugenia’s kit has a pink tone that can be used to add low lights, which are softer than the starker, yellow-ish color that is used for straight contouring and shading work.
The Triangle of Light
Perk up your Triangle of Light by adding high or low-light to the following areas
around the eye (browbone area and inner corners)
above the top lip
below the bottom lip
Contouring VIPs, or Very Important Places
Eugenia Weston and model
Weston worked on a model during the class, demonstrating contouring and highlighting on a model whose skin had moisturizer, primer and foundation applied first, and in that order.
Weston went heavy with the contour (above) to demonstrate key areas to contour: Forehead and cheekbone (left); nose and under the bottom lip (right)
The first step in contouring for many is to hit the cheeks. Weston recommends to place the grey brown contour to hug the cheek, extending only to the outer edge of the eye. Another common area to contour is under the jaw.
If you wish to contour the nose do the following: apply two vertical nose “stripes” that line up with the two natural lines above the top lip.
When contouring, remember to blend, blend and blend.
After placing contour and highlighting, blend to perfection
The finished look, definitely subtle enough for everyday
Here’s the thing about contouring. Many everyday ladies stay the heck away from it, because it seems technical or complicated. When it’s done for print or screen by professionals, it often is. However, you can engage in some simple visual trickery of your own by experimenting with one or two contouring moves of your own.
As your confidence and sleight of hand improves, you may be tempted to create even more beautiful illusions. I’ve been contouring, amateur style, for a while and I really enjoy it. I’ve shared some ideas with friends who have also picked up on and are enjoying it with great satisfaction and effect.
It’s entirely possible you don’t have time for weekly facials, yet your pores cry out for de-plugging every few days. Here is a quick ritual for your keeping your pores clear. Whether you’re a man or woman, clear pores = a fresher-looking face. And that’s never a bad thing.
Step 1: Get one of these. It’s called a blackhead remover and Revlon makes a good one that you can find in almost every drugstore in the U.S.
Step 2: Soften sebum.
Sexy, isn’t it? Bring a pot of water to boil, then reduce heat until you have a consistent pillow of rising steam. Ideally, it’s nice to have and use a dedicated face-steaming pot that is not also used to prepare food.
Drape a clean towel over your head and lean into the steam, about a foot from the water. Your skin should be cleansed prior to steaming. The point is to soften the sebum and other cellular debris that’s embedded in your pores. This way, it should glide out once you get down to business.
Steam for 10-12 minutes.
Side Note: This is a great time to meditate. Breath in deeply, then exhale; over and again. Nice.
Another Side Note: If there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell of you actually doing Step 2, then take a long, hot shower and proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Liberate Your Pores.
The blackhead remover is a flat, handheld device with a small loop at each end. Place the hole on the loop of the extraction tool over a blocked pore. Apply gentle pressure until it releases the plugged debris.
If the extraction is not successful, attempt to do it twice more, exerting pressure on different sides of the pore. Still no luck? Move to another area.
A magnified mirror will help you spot blocked pores and fit your blackhead remover more precisely over them.
You’ll need to get up close and personal to unplug your pores. Hello!
If you do not have a blackhead remover, or do not feel comfortable using it, you can use your fingers—provided you do the following: cut your nails and wrap your fingertips with facial tissue to keep from gouging delicate facial skin. Press the pads of your fingertips (never the nails) on the sides of the pore, with one finger on each side. Be gentle.
Step 4: Clean it up.
Dip a pure cotton ball in toner and apply to the areas where you extracted. This is most likely the T-zone (chin, nose and forehead). Change cottons until the ball’s surface is still clean after being passed over your skin.
Avoid alcohol-based astringents that strip skin. Indeed, the oiliest skin requires nothing stronger than witch hazel. I also like to mix up a batch of apple cider vinegar toner; 1 part apple cider vinegar (well-shaken) to 1 or 2 parts distilled water. No need to rinse off the toner; simply let it dry on your skin.
Now smile. You’ve just made your skin very happy.
The key to making this habit is by doing it regularly. Your skin will look much better for it.
Side Note: This is a very abbreviated, quickie way to de-clog your pores in between visits to your aesthetician for a deep-cleansing facial. Alternately, a step by step at-home facial is detailed in the first chapter of my book, Practical Glamour.
Going short, this short, after eons with big, bouncy golden hair must have been hard. As in, a brand new identity hard. We are often described, at least superficially, by their hair. The girl with the really long, black straight hair. The chick with the frizzy blond hair. The curly redhead. And so on.
And we get used to our hair. It’s personal. The feel of its weight on our head, brushing through it at night and seeing it in our reflection a gazillion times a day. Getting rid of a few inches is fine. But many, many inches? Now that is an adjustment. I remember waking up the day after getting something of a serious buzz cut, putting my head to my barely there hair and thinking for a full minute that I was still dreaming.
Given that Pamela Anderson’s public brand has been that of the sexpot with the big blond hair for a couple of decades now, this pixie cut move represents a smart re-working of her image. Losing the hair gives her a sharper, more au courant look. Personally, I love it.
Here’s what makes super-short hair work beautifully:
●Like wearing a certain type of hat, super-short hair draws you into a woman’s face. So it helps to have strong, symmetrical features. Pamela Anderson has them in spades, and the spiky element of the cut acts works as a visual contrast that adds angularity and a certain perkiness to her face.
●Short hair can offset super-sexy dressing. You can get away with showing a lot more skin when you sport super-short hair. Long, swirling locks atop a sexy outfit can lead to overkill, since they’re such a strong signifier of the feminine. Halle Berry’s groovy pixie cut atop her fabulous figure has much to do with her brand of modern, respectable sexiness.
●The face again. With super-short hair, makeup becomes a different matter. Long hair, in some ways, is like a beauty crutch. Cutting it off is like removing the thick, decorative frame that surrounds a picture. What do you have left? Mainly the picture.
●I had that buzz-cut short style for a few years, and rarely went without at least a smidgen of makeup. Otherwise, the look was too stark for my liking and I kind of looked like a little dude. Though a bottle of shampoo did last forever and I could stick my tongue out while skipping past the bottles of conditioner that I now worship. Makeup wise, short-hair means you have to be more precise, blend like the Devil, soften up colors for day and also, you can have more fun. A blazing red lip looks chic, never tarty. And big, fabulous cat eyes? Meow. I mean, Yes.
Final note: Pamela Anderson’s pixie cut gives her a look that reminds me of Jean Seberg in Breathless. This is a film from 1960, directed by Jean-Luc Godard, written by François Truffaut and shot in the streets of Paris with a handheld camera. Which means that if you went to film school for even two days, you absolutely saw this film a bunch of times.
My eye caught the images, Before and After. It was Stacy Morris, a woman who battled a demon that had been hanging on her for many years. In 2009, she weighed 345 pounds (25 stone). Now, she doesn’t. She credits a mix of intensive inner work and a fitness system by Diamond Dallas Page as the two major factors that changed everything.
Her story is fascinating—optimistic and motivating, too.
As a woman who has experienced life “from both sides now” in terms of size, Stacy Morris was someone I wanted to talk to. She graciously agreed to a Practical Glamour Q&A. Read on…
Q. I understand that you dropped 180 pounds in just under 2 years, and continue to keep the weight off. What is your top tip for handling cravings?
Stacey Morris: From all my years of dieting and falling off the wagon, I realized that it’s just not realistic to ignore cravings and hope they will go away.
I can usually tell when a craving is biological and my body’s asking for something specific or if it’s a psychological craving and I just want to eat something for a little enjoyment. I’ve learned that it’s not only OK to give myself enjoyment, it’s crucial for long-term success.
Being too strict and denying myself only backfires. So the trick is to make sure I really want a treat, then eat it with awareness and not rush through the experience. This is an entirely different experience from eating as a reaction to stress or boredom. I tell clients it’s a learning curve but if you’re patient, you can teach yourself the difference.
Out & About Glamour
Q. How can a person understand when they are engaging in emotional eating?
Stacey Morris:The best way to describe it is a feeling of non-peacefulness.
A sudden, imperative urge to eat, especially an old binge-food that’s not very nutritious, is my first clue. I’m actually grateful when this happens because it’s important information. It means there’s stress to deal with constructively, or an emotion that needs tending to. That is my first course of action.
It’s part of how I live a more aware and honest life now. It took me decades to finally make the connection, but eating over a problem will not solve it. The distraction emotional eating provides is fleeting. And the problem only gets compounded with the excess weight and feeling of ‘yuck’ from being overstuffed. I’d much rather wade through the uncomfortable emotions and face the issue.
I’m hardly a monk, though, when it comes to emotional eating. Sometimes I allow myself an emotional release through food…but with a makeover of a former binge food, i.e., a gluten-free cupcake, rice crackers and a favorite dip, etc. But, I make sure to eat this with awareness, reminding myself it’s a treat, and quantity indeed matters. I eat till I feel satisfied, not stuffed. That’s key.
“Because all the skinny in the world won’t help if you’re not feeling good about yourself from the inside out.”~Stacey Morris
Q. Going out, engaging in the world and meeting new people. How are these things different for you now?
Stacey Morris: Oh, it’s SO different! Not having to worry about fitting into chairs has been a tremendous burden lifted. My size actually curtailed me from going to movies and plays, as well as traveling on trains and airplanes…it became too embarrassing.
I also love getting dressed in the morning, though it now takes me a little longer because I have a bigger wardrobe to choose from! And I wear colors and patterns of all kind now. Before it was black head-to-toe every single day. Kind of a drag.
Also, in general, people notice me more and make direct eye contact. It’s not really right or fair, but people of size tend to be treated as non-entities. Overall, life is more fun because I have the physical litheness and freedom that I always wanted but thought was forever out of my reach. I’m dedicating the rest of my life to letting others in my situation know there are indeed solutions. There is no magic, only an honest commitment to yourself. ☼
Terrence Davidson, aka The Wig Master, is a famed wig and celebrity hairstylist whose client roster includes glamour girls such as Jennifer Hudson, Tyra Banks, Nicki Minaj, Mary J Blige and Iman.
What strikes me as very Practical Glamour about his work is how he creates these edgy and eye-popping looks fit for the stage, then goes ahead and creates very feminine, sensual looks that any woman would feel comfortable sporting in everyday life.
I had the opportunity to ask Terrence for tips on keeping that weave real and selecting your best hair shade:
Q. What is the biggest mistake a gal can make when it comes to maintaining her weave?
Terrence Davidson: The biggest mistake a girl can make when maintaining her weave would be to put too much product in the weave as far as oil or hair sprays!
It makes the hair very very heavy and oily which will cause curls to not hold and look greasy.
Speaking of the importance of color, what tip do you have for a lady when it comes to selecting the best shade for her unique eye and skin color?
Terrence Davidson:My idea on a lady chosing the right color for her skin and eyes would be to first make sure the color they chose will always soften them up and still bring out the natural undertone in the skin.
Most people have a yellow and or red undertone to their complexion, so I identity either (black, browns and reds or blondes, auburns and strawberry reds). Most people with a yellow undertone look best with black and or deep brown colors, and people with red undertones look best with blondes and reds.
Terrence Davidson, The Wig Master, Specializes in Melding Edge with Ease. Very Practical Glamour!
Q. Stylistically, I think it can be hard to meld natural allure and edge, but you do an excellent job of it. Your beauty gallery is filled with images of hair styles that are dramatic yet Earth-bound and feminine at the same time. What inspires your vision when it comes to styling a woman?
Terrence Davidson:Usually what inspires my vision when working with a woman would be to look at their skin tone and also their day-to-day life because that too will help me decide on the hair creation and color fit for their lifestyle! But I do try to make my clients stand out but still maintain a soft femininity in the hair.
So a very nice Practical Glamour Facebook follower sent me a nice gift recently. I had been posting about the feminine handiness of the headscarf for a while, so a nice lad took it upon himself to mail me 3 color versions of this vintage headscarf. Thank you to Mr. Bernie Hanssen!
His timing was great. I’ve been wanting to integrate more color and patterns into my attire, and these scarfs fit the bill. So I had a scarf weekend—and have some photos that might inspire some scarf-wearing looks of your own…
Checking the Saturday morning surf…Since I have not yet had coffee, hair is best dealt with via a quick comb-through and, of course, a scarf!
To wear: Comb through your hair and gather it in a loose, low ponytail if it’s long. Place scarf at the crown of the head, letting some hair peek through if it suits you, and tie firmly at the nape of the neck. Release the ponytail. If baby hairs around the face annoy you, spray a dab of hairspray on a spare toothbrush and brush them back.
Below. A vintage scarf like this is a good way to add not only color, but some character and flair to your everyday runaround wear. The only embellishment here is a pair of sunglasses, but you can definitely gypsy up your look by adding some big ole’ hoop earrings and a chain or two.
Shopping can sometimes be boring, so a way I make things a tad more interesting is to dress up a bit. Here, my scarf helps add some practical glamour to a Saturday afternoon Target run.
Tip: The key to making this habit, and not feel like you’re “dressed up” is to feel comfortable. So stock up on those easy clothes that are easy to care for, look nice and feel like nothing at all. This James Perse dress feels as soft as an undershirt and is easy to pull on and off—no zippers or buttons. It’s uncomplicated, and the silhouette of this Malibu designer’s dresses seem to flatter every size.
Below. Let’s hear it for pho! I am a certified noodle maniac and my current fixation has to do with this incredibly scrumptious, popular Vietnamese soup. My favorite local spot is one of those little stripmall joints that’s nondescript, excellent and plays old big band tunes over the speakers. Pho and Glenn Miller, does it get any better?
I flipped up the scarf for a change of pace on a Sunday afternoon noodle date. This is an incredibly easy look to be had, no matter your hair length…
twist your hair and pull it into a low bun at the nape of the neck
center the scarf also at the name of the neck, under the bun
pull the long ends of the scarf up along the sides of the head, and knot at the crown
the loose fabric on either side of the head is also pulled up, then flattened to the head with hair pins or tucked into the knot at the crown
To get a freshen-up on what hair shades suit you best, here is a helpful infographic by online beauty retailers Beauty Bridge.
Guy or girl, before you buy another tie, another lip shade or even a T-shirt, take a moment and reflect on what colors work best for your unique hair, skin and eye combination. There are specific colors that will always suit you best, and others that you should pass on by, even if you like them on an aesthetic level.
I love a strong turquoise blue, for instance. There is something about the color that I find uplifting, but I wouldn’t buy personal items in turquoise, because the color is too intense, too yellow-based for my overall coloring.
Note that the infographic above begins by asking whether your skin tone is warm or cool. This is key. If you’ve never been sure, this is fairly easy to do with the following:
One sheet of plain gold wrapping or wallpaper, and one sheet of plain silver wrapping or wallpaper
Two towels: One in pure white with no yellow undertones; one in ivory, which is a yellowish-white
Place the paper or towels directly around your face—one first, then the other—and gauge the overall effect of each shade.
Extreme in contrast: (Left) A deep ivory. (Right) Pure white. Which is best for you?
Determine which is most flattering to your unique hair, skin and eye combo. Pure white looks best? This indicates that your skin tone is on the cooler end of the spectrum. If ivory looks best, this indicates that your skin tone is on the warmer end of the spectrum.
Over time, as you pay close attention to colors, shades and intensities, you will begin to instantly recognize those which flatter you most. This means you’ll make quicker decisions while shopping, and better decisions, with no costly closet mistakes.
Oh, and if you thought you could never wear red, read this.
Did you know? Schedule your waxing appointments, the salon or at-home kind, every 3-4 weeks. Many people think that they should wait 5-6 weeks, until re-growth is complete for the best hair removal.
Tip. The problem is that it hurts more to remove hair when it’s longer, thicker. All the waxer, or you (if you’re a self-waxer) needs is enough length for the wax to adhere to, which is 1/8 inch long. No more.
A few more waxing tricks:
• If you regularly wax, the new batch of follicles will be slighter in density. This is a good thing, because lightweight hair is easier to remove, and less painful to wax away.
• Exfoliate the area faithfully in between waxes. Not just with a washcloth or loofah, either. You need detailing, so employ a granulated scrub and get down to business.
• Exfoliate a day before you wax. This will remove surface skin cells and prime the area for hair removal.
• Ingrown hair: another reason to exfoliate regularly. As your hair gets thinner, it becomes less able to grow clear of the hair line, particularly if dead skin cells have built up to squash it. This forces hair to bend under the surface of the skin, resulting in ingrown hairs.
• A note on pain. Breathe deeply and evenly while being waxed. Some people hold their breath because the pain can be stunning. But if you focus on your breath, it will keep you body calm and focus your mind as well.
• You can also think about how righteously smooth, hair-free and beautiful your skin is going to be in a matter of minutes. Now that should make you smile.
I typically keep a few on the fly waxing products on hand to deal with rogue hair that pops up in between waxing sessions, and recommend Nad’s Facial Wand and Nad’s Body Wax Strips for very hassle-free defuzzing. I also deal with hair removal pretty thoroughly in my book Practical Glamour.
Being an evangelist for easy glamour means that whenever I find a quick way to get out of the front door while looking reasonably pulled together, I like to pass it along. I like wearing scarves because they are a simple way to contain hair and show some individuality while doing so. They are also eternally feminine and always available at better consignment shops and flea markets, no matter if you are in Rome or Rochester, New York.
It usually takes some experimenting to find your best scarf style, meaning the way to arrange a scarf in your hair so it’s not annoying and looks quite nice.
The steps to a Simple Saturday Scarf Updo, as seen in the photo above:
pull hair back in a high ponytail
smooth back stray hairs around the face
place a non-slip hairband around head; what you want is a band with nubs or sticky material to grip the scarf material and keep it from slipping oh-so annoyingly off your head
cover with a fabulous scarf; bet on a silk vintage scarf
knot firmly, arrange tail of scarf attractively on neck
Hey! Just because you’ve got a grown-up job doesn’t mean you have to give up glamour, individuality and all of those things that give you the pleasure of projecting your most attractive and authentic self to the world. A week or so ago I walked out on the sidewalk and there was this gal there. She looked great and so out I tumbled with: “Well, don’t you look great!”
I asked for a photo so I could share with the class on how to meld your individuality with even the most straight-laced jobs. She mentioned she worked for a local cable and phone company and her job had to do with checking in with new residential customers to find out how their service was going. So, it’s hardly the most jet-set type, wild and crazy gig.
But I loved how she looked so polished and comfortable and distinctive while doing it. If you’ve checked in here before, you know that I can go on endlessly how when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you perform even better. If you’ve never tested the concept, I urge you to deck yourself out in something that you love and go traipsing down the street, or to the office or a party or wherever you’d like. And feel the wonderful difference. Hallelujah!
A few parting tips on selecting your professional wardrobe:
Quality. Cheaply made clothes give themselves away with a poor fit. Only buy items that fit you well. If an item needs a nip or tuck, enlist a competent tailor whose work you trust. If it needs more than that, bypass the item entirely.
Color. Opt for solids, which are versatile and often a safe bet for traditional workplaces. Also, solids are a great backdrop for going off the grid in terms of unique or distinctive looks. In the photo above, for instance, cool sunglasses, an arm tattoo and print flats look not at all jarring when nestled next to traditional professional clothes worn in the most solid color of them all—black.
Fit. A well-fitting jacket is the professional attire touchstone to end all others. That said, invest in 2-3 quality ones as the backbone of your work wardrobe. The nice thing about a great jacket is that you can wear more comfortable, relaxed pieces beneath it, and no one will notice. In the photo above, for instance, the gal could lose the jacket after work and be completely comfortable going for a walk with a friend or hitting a cafe.
This is a scared-straight sample of what happens when you leave your wares out in the sun for too long, unprotected. Mottled, thickened and uneven skin tone. This is damage that no amount of self care, salon or plastic surgery office visits can completely undo.
Angela Bassett and Bernadette Peters, on the other hand are shining, A+ examples of what happens when you preserve your assets.
Look at the near-pristine condition of their complexions, their unlined neck and soft décolletage. Gorgeous. And they are also both 50+ in years.
Tamara Ecclestone (top photo) has considerably fewer candles on her birthday cake, but is sporting some overly sun-seasoned skin forecasting that her skin is headed for Leathered Damageville unless she shapes up, sunwise, and stat.
I’ve said it before, save your body baring, fresh-faced grooming and dress habits looks for the sunset hours and beyond. Employ massive doses of sunblock, umbrellas and big glamorous hats during the daylight hours. Do this consistently and you will be a happy camper when you look into the mirror for years to come.
My verdict? Excellent, excellent and excellent. Okay, where to start. If you find random hair patches on your body as non-sexy as I do, then you know how compelling and satisfying it is to hunt them down and delete them from your sight. I am a hair vanquisher in the first degree, and use everything from laser hair removal, waxes and tweezers to capture and dispose of my prey.
Sometimes, however, a patch crops up unexpectantly, and when you don’t have the time or will to launch a full frontal assault on it. I’m thinking of last Saturday night, when I was running kind of short on time during the put-on-makeup-and-get -out-of-the-door-five-minutes-ago period before an event where, incidentally, I was scheduled to speak and even lead the audience in a rendition of America the Beautiful. Okay, I had not practiced the song at all and was fuzzy on the verses after the part about for spacious skies and amber waves of grain.
What Nad’s Body Wax Strips has to do with any of this is that I happened to catch sight of some hair along my jawline. And there was no way I had time to whip out the old beeswax, heat it up and slather it along my face before ripping it off with a muslin strip. No time. I was also dressed, and wearing a white dress that would not look so great with drops of wax dotted on it.
I did, however, happen to have a fresh box of Nad’s Body Wax Strips in ye olde cupboard, and this seemed like the perfect time to test them. And they passed with flying colors.
Nad’s Body Wax Strips
Each strip is about 5.5 inches long by 2 inches wide, so it can tackle a pretty good-sized area of the body. However, you can also cut them if you’d like to use them on smaller areas. (Indeed!)
To use, you can use one of the pre-wax Kava wipes to remove oil from the skin.
Then, rub the strip between your palm to warm it up and separate, as there are two strips connected as one.
Place the strip firmly over the area to be waxed, smoothing your hand 3-4 times over the area in the direction that your hair grows.
Hold skin taut and pull the strip away quickly.
I was initially hesitant about how much hair would be removed since no heat was involved, but was pleased as punch to see that with the first pass, the Nad’s Body Wax Strip removed almost every single hair from the area.
A quick second pass picked up the strays. So fast, so effective and so easy! And no cleanup. Ooh, another plus: These are very ideal for packing in your luggage and using for on-the-road touchups, particularly if you’re in between waxing visits…I’m thinking bikini area and legs.
Follow your waxing with the calming oil wipes that are included, if you like. I found the wipe to be quite oily, so it was not ideal for the face, but it did have calming property that reduced redness and sting quite quickly, so I could blaze off to my event without looking like I was sporting a red beard.
Bottom line: This is just a fantastic product to have on-hand for quickie waxing sessions. It retails for about $6 and the box includes 24 strips.
I have also reviewed Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper; another great and portable hair removal product from this company that seems to have really nailed easy hair removal for women and men. Yes, they have men’s products, too.
Have you ever been on the road and realized that your toiletries decided not to come with you? Yeah, that has been happening a lot to me lately. But on the bright side I’ve been able to road-test some good products from random drugstores along the highway.
A bright spot in my curation is Yes To Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15, which I found at a Walmart somewhere in South Carolina. I realized that I could not go another day barefaced in the sun, so I detoured off the highway looking for a kindly CVS or Walgreen’s. After landing in a Walmart parking lot I figured I’d make it an expedition and roamed the massive store until I stumbled across the beauty and personal care section, and in it, a small section devoted to natural products.
The Yes To Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 costs around $15, comes in a nicely shaped small tubular bottle and has an impressive ingredient list, with carrot extract, aloe vera, pumpkin seed oil, vitamin E and melon extract in a base that includes sea water and shea butter. The sunscreen is suppled by a 5% concentration of zinc oxide, which is a mineral that provides broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection.
Okay, so the texture of Yes To Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 is that of a thick lotion. It feels clean and light, absorbs quickly and has an herbal scent that is slight. I have been using it as my daily moisturizer for about one week and have not experienced clogged pores or other irritation as a result.
Bottom Line: Thumbs up for quality, value and overall practical glamour. A great roadside beauty product that you can find in many mainstream drugstores.
Helena Bergström sporting a sassy summer scarf in the film, Under the Sun
I have been getting summer scarf inspiration from a few corners. The first from the fine Swedish film Under the Sun (Under Solen), a beautiful love tale that features an actor I really like, Rolf Lassgård, and the stunning Helena Bergström. A solid actress, her strong, exotic face is more than capable of handling the long closeups the director has her filmed in, and she can project these small emotional turns and nuances so perfectly I felt like I was watching an actress from another time.
Okay, which eventually brings me to scarves, and how extra-gorgeous Helena Bergström looks wearing them in the film, particularly in those scenes set against the golden Swedish countryside, like Exhibit A.
To emulate the look above, do the following:
Gather your hair in a high bun. To determine the optimum height, check your profile. Some ladies look better with their bun affixed close to the top of their head, as it can accentuate or lend you a sort of regal, Nefertiti look. Experiment raising or lowering yours until you find the spot that optimizes your profile.
Check your profile to find your ideal scarf silhouette
Place a no-slide headband, such as the Goody StayPut, towards the crown of your hair. This item has a and will help keep your scarf in place nicely.
Wrap the scarf around your head and knot firmly at the base of your neck. You can also pile the knot at the top of your head, to get this vintage-ish look. This will usually result a wider band of fabric across the head, which can also be a nice hair rescue if you’re roots are looking slick, let’s say.
Arrange the tail of the scarf over your shoulder or wrap it around the knot, tucking it out of sight. Experiment with how the scarf looks when placed very close to your forehead versus an inch or two back in your hair. Each head is different, and variables such as forehead span, overall face shape and so forth will help determine the best placement.
Lastly, keep your bun sleek or pull out select strands to give it that strategically mussed look. Employ some bobby pins to help you secure strands around your head.
Hair Tip: Make a mental note of what works for you when it comes to tying and otherwise arranging a scarf in your hair. It will make it much faster to realize your scarf do’ when you have a clear idea of what look you ultimately want to achieve, and the steps to go about making it happen.
Lastly, I couldn’t let you go without seeing a photo of the lovely Concha Buika, a Spanish singer of beautiful songs who also happens to wear a scarf very well.
Constance Dunn: I enjoy your site, GoodLooknOut, because it’s filled with a lot of smart content on the 360 of looking and feeling fine. You put out information that a woman can read and immediately put to good – and glamorous – use.
I think, these days, when people say they are “keeping it real” or “just being honest” they use it as a crutch or justification to be crude, coarse or just mean. The increasing number of women and girls who do things like post porno-like snaps of themselves online, or attack other women, is a sign that not all is well with the sisterhood.
Q. What advice do you have for young ladies who want to be themselves, and don’t want to swim with the status quo that increasingly equates personal authenticity with being undignified?
Marie Young: My advice would be to get to really know yourself as thoroughly as possible.
I equate doing so to the intense personal relationship you would share with your supreme higher being. You get into that deeply quiet space where you can be intimate and connect with this higher power to build on the personal relationship you share with this higher being. Well, you have to do the exact same thing with yourself. Be intimate with your self, connect and learn who you really are and what image you want to portray to the world.
Q. Okay, some practical glamour questions. You’ve been sporting natural hair for over one year. What is your top natural hair tip?
Marie Young: My top natural hair tip would be treat your hair as good as you want it to look. This means getting your trims, proper moisture and choosing wisely what products you put in your hair.
Q. And a dressing tip for glamorous and curvy ladies everywhere?
Marie Young: Get to know your body and learn what works best for your shape. If you have a big ‘booty’, own it, yet style appropriately. Meaning not too tight and try to create balance by taking away from your gluteus asset.
I steer clear of buying any jeans with embellishments and every now and then I throw on some heels to accentuate my curves!
Montgomery Clift and Liz Taylor from the very beautiful film, “A Place in the Sun” (1951)
So much pre-prom hype floats around that by the time the big night arrives, it can be swallowed in a blur of overdone ensembles, corsages, overzealous makeup and serpentine hair. The natural enjoyment of the event can get obliterated by an emphasis on prom details and decorations – plus the fact that you may be as nervous as a cat at the prospect of the whole thing. Note for your future: The same thing often happens with weddings.
Maybe you’re not feeling up to the brim with confidence in the area of looks or your figure or dress clothes or dancing or whatever else might be fixed in your mind when it comes to prom. Perhaps the idea of dancing in heels makes you feel seasick, or you’re dealing with a monster zit problem that no triple-coating of foundation is going to camouflage. Or you’re insanely and squeamishly in love with your prom date – or the person who is not your date but somebody else’s.
So here are some across-the-board prom tips to keep the main points of the night – happiness, beauty and laughter – in main view, and keep the other stuff, like crippling self-consciousness, back in the shadows, where it belongs.
You’ve heard it before: Your prom is a once in a lifetime event. No doubt, you’ll want the experience and memories of prom to be wonderful, so here are a few keep in minds:
Bust your fears. Write down your top 5 prom plagues. Sort them from most atrocious to least. Then do something about them. Example: If you are scared of dancing, dedicate 10 minutes a day to building your confidence in this area. Rhythmically challenged? Close your bedroom door, put on your favorite tunes and sway to the music, your eyes closed. (No one is watching.) Gradually add more complex moves using your arms and some footwork. Find some videos and copy what you like – just leave out the sleaze moves, ladies; they’re beneath you.
What’s the look? Before you spend a sou on anything related to prom, spend some time thinking about the big picture: What do you want to look like, overall? Summon a few characteristics that appeal to you and don’t censor yourself while brainstorming: Goddess. Sleek. Regal. Exotic. Firm up a picture in your mind and stick with it. Say it out loud. Your styling ideas, purchases and the like should all conform to this vision. This will save you time and money, and give you clarity and confidence.
A side note on your prom vision. You are a teenager, and no doubt a bee-a-utiful one! So celebrate your natural allure and find ways to project your favorite features and characteristics on prom night. A gorgeous smile…swan-like neck…amazing hair – find your favorite feature(s) and put them in the spotlight. There will be plenty of time in your adult life to play sex kitten or brazen bombshell, so tuck away modern music and film images of soul-less showgirls (that’s saying it nicely) and embrace you as you are right now. It feels wonderful.
Left: Savoy Dress Right: Indigo Mist Dress | Find Both at Urban Outfitters’ online wedding shop, BHLDN.
Comfort=Ease. Remember this rule before you even think about buying those 6-inch platforms. Or that stiff, complicated dress that makes your most ambitious Halloween costume feel like a plushy track suit. There are plenty of options out there that will satisfy the formality of the night without making you feel and look as carefree as a hyperventilating mummy. Think ease and elegance for prom.
Prom shoe style tip: Those huge platform disasters that everyone has been sporting for the last few years? Ditch them. They are a horror to wear for longer than a few minutes and they don’t look all that jazzy. They almost always give the wearer a Herman Muenster-ish walk, and I don’t think that’s the look you are yearning for on prom night. If you hate all heels and consider them supreme torture devices, consider getting a pair of fabulous, dressy flats for prom. Flats have been hot for a while now, so there are plenty of great designs out there.
Herman Muenster style shoes give one a Herman Muenster walk
There are some fabulous flats out there!
Tip: Tuck a pair of fold-up flats in your bag if you want to wear heels but don’t think you’ll last all night in them. Running around a dance hall barefoot in a formal gown is not a cool look, unless the dance hall is some fabulous lawn party and you can pull it off in style.
Be a great date. Brush up on formal event and prom etiquette and put it into practice. Stand, move and speak like a lady. Be courteous and kind to your date. Don’t spend the night ignoring him while you’re huddled with your girlfriends, or worse, dancing with other guys.
Keep it simple. You will not need an industrial sized purse on prom night. Girl must-haves should be whittled to the essentials, usually a small comb to tame stray hairs, some lip color, money and a phone. And use makeup finishing spray to keep your prom makeup intact for many, many hours. Pack your essentials in the slenderest clutch or bag that you can muster. You will find the lack of baggage liberating on prom night and that you have all you need.
Randoms but important. If fresh breath is a concern, tote a small breath freshener with you. Health food stores have the best. In a pinch, grab a piece of lemon or lime and squeeze the juice on your tongue.
It starts with you. Prom night is not about making sure your hair and makeup are picture-perfect each second. Sure, those details are nice to have dialed in, but the best prom night look for you is to be yourself, feel relaxed and have fun. Whenever you are feel tense on prom night, just smile and breathe. And repeat.
Here’s to you. You will have an amazing time at prom.
I had the opportunity to meet Jessa Blades, who brought her Brooklyn goodness out to Venice for a showcase of her knowledge of natural beauty and an introduction to some of her top products.
Jessa is a natural beauty expert, makeup artist and founder of Blades Natural Beauty, which is a curated collection of her top picks in natural beauty – spanning skincare, wellness and makeup.
Jessa Blades, left, of Blades Natural Beauty
What I like about her approach is the idea that health and beauty are inseparable. In other words, how great do you look, how much do you glow, when you feel terrible – are stressed, out of balance or are giving your body a beating with not-great lifestyle habits?
So it made sense that at the event, in addition to being introduced to a fantastic organic color that adds a soft veil of blush to the lips or cheeks (RMS’s Sacred), I was also given a sample of Mountain Woman Tea, “blended to help soothe and calm your delicate nervous system, this tea brings your shoulders down from up high around your ears, to their proper resting place, down below your chin.” These and some of her own formulations are found at her Blades Natural Beauty Shop.
Never forgetting the Practical part of the Glamour equation, I have to add that I like that her line of seriously pure skin products is very accessible in terms of price…a Peppermint Clay Skin Mask for $15 and Calendula Cleansing Grains for $20.
I was filing away my Blades Natural Beauty card in the Do Not Lose file when I spotted some of Jessa’s fine natural beauty tips printed across it.
Here are three that I should probably have tattooed somewhere:
–Wash your makeup brushes every one to two weeks.
–Go easy with the soap – it removes dirt and grease from the surface of your skin, but also strips away your body’s natural oils.
–Use a non-petroleum based lip balm with an SPF factor.
Find other great natural beauty tips at Jessa’s blog, as well.
When I landed in Las Vegas I headed to the ladies room to freshen up. I had plenty of time; I was meeting a couple of girlfriends who were arriving in an hour or so. So I did a bit of observing and noticed a thing or two: Folks arriving in Las Vegas look just fine, and those leaving Las Vegas – not so much.
It wasn’t just the eyes, red and blurry, and the faces that were bloated, with dry, blotchy or pimply skin. It was the overall energy of the people who were dragging themselves on planes to head back to wherever that did it; weary and not so bright.
About three days later I had pretty much joined them. On the Vegas scale of carousing, I had barely left the suite. I had even worked out a couple of times in the hotel gym. But I had drank, in three days, what I would normally consume in a month or maybe even two. Eating? Sleeping? Not so much. If you’ve read Practical Glamour, even a page, you know that I’m all about maintaining, guarding your natural assets – skin, figure, hair, nails – so they stay lovely for the long haul.
That said, here are 5 vital beauty tips to keep the party monster from having its way with you when you’re visiting Las Vegas.
Packets of C, and B too
Vitamin C is the queen of all antioxidants, and B is a superb Vegas supplement because alcohol zaps your body’s stores of it, particularly Vitamin B-12. I found that while I might bring along a few multivitamins, it’s rare that I’ll actually take them, and they end up in the trash like discarded M&Ms when I’m packing to leave.
I like Emergen-C mostly because you can find it everywhere, they work and it’s hard to miss the little envelopes, which are easy to pack in your luggage or stow in your purse. They are loaded with C and B, and you can quickly add one to a beverage when you’re sitting on the plane or having lunch. Plus, they taste quite good; fresh and kind of fizzy.
See, this is very basic, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get a drinkable glass of water, or 20, while in a hotel room in Vegas. Little plastic room service bottles just don’t do the trick to counteract the dehydration that comes with drinking a couple of buckets of vodka.
So make it a point to hit your nearest drugstore and buy an endless supply of water before getting the party started. Your liver will thank you. Your eyes will thank you when they look at your skin in the mirror the morning after. And FYI, there’s a rad, newish Walgreens drugstore, open 24 hours, towards the north end of the Strip, outside the Palazzo and the Venetian.
Get in the habit of ordering a glass of water with every drink. Drink a cocktail, drink a glass of water. Repeat. And if you can find a spare lime in the place, squeeze its juice into your water glass and drink, drink, drink. Limes are fierce little Vitamin C carriers, and they are a naturally potent way to banish booze breath, which is notoriously unglamorous.
Know Your Number
You should have oodles of fun while in Vegas, but you can’t really have an optimal trip if your days are spent puking and sleeping. Or dragging your fading self down the Strip because you’re super-fatigued. Everyone know there’s a line between being buzzed and happy, and being too fogged to function – or care.
Think about your number, the one where, after drinking, you go from category A to category B. Memorize your number and promise yourself that you will not step a foot or take a sip over it. Emblazon that number (3, 8?) in your mind, your soul and scratch it on your drinking-hand wrist with a Sharpie if you think it will keep you from crossing over to the dark side while dancing on a table top at Tao around 2 in the morning. Or 3, who’s counting?
Save Your Skin
No matter how trashed you get, do not – do not – forget to remove your makeup before hitting the hay. It is beauty tip 101, but forgetting to do so does damage too terrible and scientific to get into here, so just trust me on this one. To avoid this sin, leave your face-cleansing stuff near the sink before you go out, and don’t forget to have a ton of cotton swabs on hand to thoroughly remove your eye makeup.
If you know in advance that your usual 20-minute nightly face ritual, complete with toners and serums and eye cream, is not going to happen, invest in some quality makeup removing cloths to at least remove the shellac before going to sleep. PS. Brush your hair, too. This is more of a cosmic tip, but you’ll want to release all that energy and smoke from your follicles so they don’t interfere with your dreamtime.
Preview Your Shoes
If the idea of being caught in flats after the sun sets in Vegas is horrifying, read on. High heel fans note: You’ll be walking a-plenty even if you travel by car, because casino and hotel complexes are huge. Don’t make Vegas your first out-of-town trial for a new pair of fabulous heels unless suffering is your game.
Before leaving on your trip, wear your new heels around the house or promenade around town wearing them to make sure you’ll be able to stand them while carousing in Las Vegas. And not just stand them, but walk and dance and flirt and have an excellent, all-around time in them.
If there is a pair of heels you love but they hurt in spots, identify the issue. Dr. Scholl’s has a good variety of shoe fixits, and their high heel insoles make heel-wearing more comfortable by moving the pressure strictly from the ball of your feet. If these insoles work for you, think about making them standard for all of your high heels over 2″. The insoles cost about $12, which you can figure into the price of any new pair of heels you’re thinking about adding to your collection.
A lost-luggage ensemble, purchased mostly at a drugstore
Arriving in Philadelphia airport a day or so ahead of the storm was a good idea. What was not a good idea on the part of the airline was not having my luggage arrive.
For the last three days I have been sans luggage, cobbling together ensembles fit for a storm and one of my favorite hotels in Center City. A landmark property with beautiful detailing everywhere—a rotunda ceiling with ornate carving, window panes with that delicate and rugged look to them, and dinner by a fireplace with big, soaring windows of a storming city.
I arrived wearing a standard airplane get-up: jeans, a pair of suede slip on flats, a fairly sassy shirt and leather jacket. One of the best things about arriving at a destination after a long flight is immediately changing your clothes, which of course I couldn’t do unless I wanted to wear a bed-sheet.
I managed to find an open drugstore where I bought a pair of black leggings and a stretchy shirt. A friend gave me a gift, a beautiful ivory scarf with fluttery trim.
And I purchased a heap of toiletries and makeup. Having no cosmetics on hand, by the way, helps you determine your face and hair essentials pretty quickly. I discovered mine have to do with lip stuff and eyebrows, and that drugstore brand Milani makes a pretty good eyebrow pencil. And the Milani Brow Fix brow kit is compact and smart. A mini tweezer, brow brush and applicator; a powder highlighter and two brow colors. Pretty nifty.
Other new drugstore finds: L’Oreal EverCreme Nourishing Leave-in Spray for hair, about $8; and Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Gloss #952 in Sand Glow, a light neutral pinkish shade with a smidgeon o’ shimmer.
Tomorrow’s another day, which means another ensemble. Which means I’ll be looking for an open gift shop or drugstore for some fine lost-luggage fashion.
I think white teeth are a glamorous thing to possess, but don’t think it’s a great idea to douse teeth too often with high-powered whiteners in order to maintain this state. Compounding the matter is the fact that I consider iced coffee to be a special brand of life force, I laugh a lot and have a smile that one might describe as broad.
So, to keep a satisfying bright tooth landscape I have adopted a bare-minimum bleaching routine, pulling out the overnight trays and 20% formulas only when needed. And the rest of the time, relying on tricks and milder formulas:
For touch ups, I use on-the-go formulas; the easier to apply and not think about, the better. My current favorite is Smile Sciences Teeth Whitening Pen, which I recently tested and liked on many Practical Glamour levels. About the size of a slender Sharpie or a fat lip pencil, the whitening pen is a sassy looking silver item loaded with an effective teeth whitener.
Very likable is the fact that it’s very easy to apply, convenient and is a sensitive tooth formulation, so it doesn’t hurt, burn or even tingle teeth or gums. It’s also very totable, and can be stored in a purse or bag and applied on the down-low while en route to an event or even on a plane.
Hey, I just whitened my teeth!
Before applying, make sure the surface of teeth are clean and reasonable dry. Turn the dial at the base of the Smile Sciences Teeth Whitening Pen until you see a bit of the whitening gel on the brush.
The application brush has the look and size of a lip brush. It also gives a lot of control, so the gel doesn’t end up lodged in the sensitive gum area. Brush the product on your teeth vertically, then let it air dry on the surface of the teeth. Inhaling and exhaling a few times through the mouth, slightly parted, will makes this happen quickly. Or if you’re in a car, smile and lean your head out the window to air dry!
The brightening of the teeth is noticeable, without the feeling of increasing sensitivity or porousness of the teeth and gum area. Developed by dentists and seen on CBS’ “The Doctors,” the pen can be used twice daily to whiten teeth by several shades in a week.
The fine Smile Sciences people have given me a 50% off coupon code for the Smile Sciences Teeth Whitening Pen, which is: pglamour. The product is $78 ($39 with discount) and can be ordered here. Input the code on the checkout page, and calculate shipping price to see discount.
While we’re at it, here are some other tips for a brighter smile:
After brushing your teeth pass an extra soft toothbrush along your gums, gently. Brushing the gums promotes blood circulation to the area, often making the area appear more red and, by contrast, making teeth appear more bright. Being a devout tooth flosser will also keep teeth looking clean and healthy.
Blue-based lipsticks. This is a well-known trick whereby blue enhances the white tint of one’s teeth, whereas yellow-based lipsticks (think warm corals, rusts or straight-up orange-looking lip colors) will highlight any yellow tones in teeth.
Experiment with your smile. Smile while looking in the mirror. Do you like the look of your mouth and teeth? If yes, good for you. Keep in mind that a smile is projected primarily by the eyes. I used to smile mostly by scrunching up around the eye area, which really wasn’t effective since it reduced my eyes to slits. If you don’t love the look of your smile, experiment with different lip and mouth poses; arrange your lips to cover more of your teeth, for instance, if you wish to have a less ‘toothy’ smile, and vice versa. Drop your chin higher and lower to see the effect. The goal is to have a smile that pleases and represents you beautifully.
I like Raquel Welch for many reasons…her smarts, wit and the way she’s maintained that face and figure. Here’s a jewel of a Raquel Welch quote from some lad mag interview:
“Sex appeal is such a subjective thing. When you meet somebody that you know mostly from photos or movies, it’s not really the same as meeting them in person, when you can connect with them as a human being. In my career I’ve met so many men who were supposed to be the sexiest men on the planet, and I’m standing right next to them, thinking, “Hmm. Really?” And then there’s just the opposite. You meet people who are super- attractive in real life but it’s never translated to the big screen. It’s just such a weird, subjective thing.”
Her observation is a very female one. Men seem to be more lured by looks alone, at least initially. Women factor in a lot more variables, different variables, than just the physical.
Research: Ask a conventionally handsome guy how many not-hot women he’s dated. Yeah, zero. Ask a hot chick how many so-so looking guys she’s dated. Yeah, way more than zero.
Kimberly Fisher is an entrepreneur and writer whose ventures, like Jetsetera, tend to have two things in common: travel and glamour. Since, more and more, these concepts seem hard to reconcile (I’m thinking of air travel, for instance, which often feels like the glamour level of journeying on a packed city bus in the middle of July) I asked Ms. Fisher for some tips on looking and feeling calm and attractive while traveling.
You’re a woman who wears many hats and often travels to stylish and luxurious places. There are many rewards that come with looking good, or reasonably put together while traveling. What is the top reason that you like to look lovely while on the road?
The glamorous Kimberly Fisher on traveling beautifully
I think if you look good, you also feel good. If you feel good, others around you tend to feel good also. I try to keep things classic and simplistic. You will usually find me in neutral colors, classic bags and with articles that travel well.
Can you give us your most MacGyver Moment in terms of having to pull together some seriously practical glamour while traveling?
I tend to stick to the basics of my beauty routine and once in awhile I tend to forget to pack…a lot of things. While we were in the Philippines we had to attend a black-tie function and actually sent the hotel concierge out to buy us dresses. Needless to say, we looked like the hired wait staff.
You have great skin, which can be hard to maintain while traveling, particularly to a sunny or tropical locale. Do you have a non-sunscreen tip on how to save your skin and still enjoy the outdoors?
I love the sun and getting doses of Vitamin D. I tend to get a facial once a month to do away with the stress of traveling and different environments.
What is the one item (clothing or accessory) that you currently find indispensable to your personal glamour quotient–but is also totally practical?
A Bvlgari pink scarf. It does a lot of double duty as a scarf, shawl, pillow, blanket, etc. and adds just the right amount of color.
There are women and men who wouldn’t dream of traveling, or even going out to dinner, by themselves. I have the feeling that this is not a problem for you. What tip do you have that might increase the ease and public comfort of a person who is unaccustomed to traveling or going out alone in public?
I spend all of my time in the presence of others- at work, events, trade shows,etc. I absolutely welcome alone time. Sometimes I do end up traveling alone and love exploring new places by myself. The easiest thing to do to increase your own comfort level if you are unaccustomed to traveling alone is have dinner at the bar. The bartender is usually friendly and nearby, plus it opens you up to meeting other people.
I get a little bit of anxiety when I go away for vacation due to a little grooming issue having to do with hair. I’m an avid multi-method body hair slayer. I do laser, I pluck and wax. Despite my multi-pronged approach to dealing with hair removal, there is still the issue of those stray hairs that come back in full form overnight.
I loathe stray hairs for the usual reasons. I also loathe stray hairs for their notorious element of surprise. One day you look in the mirror and there’s not a follicle in sight. The next hour it could be a completely different scene, with one–or two or a whole army–fully developed black hairs resting against the pale of your upper lip or browbone. Or chin. Or jawline. Nice.
There is a question that is sometimes asked in beauty newsstand magazines, something about being stranded on a desert island and what beauty item you would not be able to live without. My answer is always tweezers. Two little pieces of metal fashioned into a point at one end. Beyond the combustable engine or the microprocessor or air, if a more genius piece of machinery has been created I’d like to know about it.
Playing Whac-A-Mole, hairwise, with tweezers can be annoying though, and painful in a way that guarantees a wave of mild annoyance. Plus, re-growth tends to be quick.
Shaving is also out of the question, though it’s quick. I’m not interested in having a five o’clock shadow to deal with each day.
I have in the past succumbed to a few of the late-night scams: a straight-edge blade tucked into a plastic pink handle. (It’s called a razor.) A little mechanism that ran on batteries, which featured a rotating head that would grab hairs and pull them out. (Essentially a pair of motorized tweezers that were even more annoying than the regular kind.) And, since cream depilatories basically dissolve hair at the skin level, not the root, you are basically coating chemicals on your face, waiting for a few minutes and rinsing for a day or two of hair removal.
If you have not self-waxed before, might I recommend it for a few reasons. I cover it step by step in Practical Glamour, but the idea is that it’s in your interest to be able to whip out a relatively lasting method of removing hair at home. It’s a nice option to have if you’re not up for going to a salon for waxing. A particularly nice option if the bikini area is involved and you are not feeling up for the equivalent of a gynecologist visit.
This do-it-yourself hair slaying is pretty empowering, as well. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the better the results. I’ve been doing it so long that the only reason I’ll go in for a salon wax is if I’m doing the entire leg and I am short on time. Then it’s no sacrifice to waltz in with Wildebeest limbs, chat about something inane with the practitioner while sucking down an iced coffee—then walk about 20 minutes later with gleaming smooth legs.
As for vanquishing stray hairs, or small patches of them, and doing so in a highly portable way, I highly recommend a little item from Nad’s which is the best way that I’ve ever come across to quickly and cleanly remove hair from the face: the Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper. It costs approximately $8-10. The wand is about 4.5 inches long, so a bit smaller than a Sharpie marker. It comes with a few packaged wipes to clean the skin prior to waxing, and some small strips.
Tiny and portable
The beauty of the Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper is that it does not require heating up anything. The shaper is incredibly easy to manage. You essentially dial up a small amount of the product, apply slowly in the direction of hair growth, then cover the area with one of the strips. Apply some pressure to the area then rip off the strip.
In each area the hair came off in one swoop. See the oh-so sexy before and after photos. Less painful than tweezing or even traditional heat waxing. There were no remaining clumps of product on my face and the pen application was incredibly neat, with no stray drops falling anywhere. When finished, I re-capped and dropped it in a drawer. The look of the skin afterwards was kosher, with only a bit of redness and no feel of sting whatsoever.
The Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper package says the item can be used for up to 24 treatments and is for the eyebrows. I used it elsewhere and it worked just as well. Also, you are not bound to use the strips that come with the product, as I experimented with muslin and fabric strips which worked just as well. In the end, this is a stellar product that will be accompanying me everywhere I go away for more than a couple days, and I am more than stoked to try other Nad’s products based on the sheer Practical Glamour of this item.
Every year the IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) swings through town. Not just mine, a lot of them, as seen here. I go religiously to check out what is new and exciting and to check in with the fine people at some of my favorite lines, like Youngblood, Napoleon Perdis, MUD and Jane Iredale.
But the biggest draw is always the lineup of makeup artists who do seminars and talks on specialized topics. Men and women from all over the world who have been doing makeup professionally forever, and know of every tip, trick and process when it comes to using makeup to enhance that beautiful and unique face of yours.
And, since my focus is how to use any and all of your assets — skin, hair, figure, manner and movement — to present the most authentic, attractive and optimistic version of yourself to the world — and reap all the benefits that come with this proposition — I am always on the lookout for super-strategic tips to help make this happen.
Here are 5 new tricks picked up at the IMATS that I’d like to share:
Mascara First. Napoleon Perdis was the first one to school me on this, and makeup artist Rae Morris seconded it, and for the following reasons: it defines your eyes, giving you an easier visual blueprint of strategy for applying the rest of your eye makeup. It is an application process that’s best done meticulously, not in a scramble at the end of your makeup regime when you’re thinking about how you have exactly two minutes to get out the door. And, putting on mascara first will make it easier to clean up any stray flakes from your cheeks — easier to do on bare skin versus having to corral them from a freshly made-up face, foundation and powder and all.
Visualize an invisible, parallel between your eyebrows and nostrils–to create the look of a wider nostril span, use your tools to create more open space between your eyebrows, as seen on Ms. Talisa Soto, easily one of the most beautiful women in the history of mankind…
Your Eyebrows, Your Nose. If you desire, visually “cut” the span of your nostrils by using your brow pencil and/or powder to move the your eyebrows closer. In other words, if you feel that you would like the width of your nostrils to appear more slender, move your eyebrows closer together. No unibrows, though! And vice versa. If you would like to give your nostrils a more expansive look, tweeze to create a greater distance between them.
Match your foundation to your shoulder, not your neck. As sort of seen here in this pose…the skyline of that awesome city Dallas seen behind me
Foundation Match Point. Rae Morris recommends matching the color of your foundation to your shoulders — not your neck. One’s neck is usually much paler than the rest of the body, making it a bad proxy for determining one’s perfect foundation shade. This is easy to check in the mirror: Turn to face your side, and dip your chin to meet your bare shoulder. Your face, with foundation, should match the skin tone of your shoulder.
Give Yourself Some Glow. Mix yourself up some fine face glow by mixing Vaseline (or a favorite balm) with pigment to create a custom cheek, eyelid or lip color, says Ms. Sarah Lucero from Stila, which is a true makeup artist’s brand. Don’t limit yourself to pigment designated for ‘cheeks’ or ‘lips’ either. A lot of boundaries have been coming down in makeup in recent years, as women find that some products work fantastically beyond that which they were initially created and marketed.
Wrong, wrong, says makeup artist Rae Morris. The back of your hand is no place to check out a new lipcolor.
A Fingertip Trick. Why do we test lipstick by swiping it on the backs of our hands? Does that area in any way resemble our lips? If your lips are as the same shade as the back of your hand, then you need to increase your iron intake and see a specialist, and stat, young lady. Much better, says Rae Morris, to test a prospective lipstick color is the tip of your finger, which approximates the color and texture of your lips.
So that’s it, folks. In the future I’ll be posting some errant tips and tricks that I pick up from….everywhere. In the meantime, stay authentic and attractive. In other words, Stay Glamorous!
A few years ago, Hayden was doing what millions of other twenty-something Millennials are doing: Scraping by on a series of minimum wage jobs and wanting more.
With no shop or office space, he learned how to fix iPhones and started making house calls, ending up at construction sites and doctors’ offices where he’d fix customers’ phones on the fly while they kept working.
With an innate entrepreneurial fire stoked, Hayden continued to grow his business (myibroke.com), which led him to start another business centered on websites and online marketing.
The confidence of achievement, particularly one that’s on your own terms, has a certain affect on a man or woman. A good one.
Dawes, who previously felt the nerves while in plush, traditional office quarters, has altered little of his personal style in the face of his growing success. It’s a brand of uncontrived hipness telegraphed with a steady gaze, polished, mostly denim ensembles, and unhurried speaking style tinged with pure Virginian, despite his time in South Florida.
So I grilled him for some tips on how to keep one’s personal presentation its most authentic and attractive no matter what rung you might be on your personal success ladder.
In his earliest days: “It was nerve wracking. I had never worked in any kind of setting as a professional. I did not have nice dress clothes. I was showing up at big, baller executive suites. They would be standing over my shoulder watching me do something I had done for, maybe, the third time in my life.”
“I don’t feel uncomfortable around ‘professionals’ anymore. I don’t look like your typical business executive. I have a beard and a laidback wardrobe. In the past I felt uncomfortable but now I’m okay with this because it’s working for me.”
His ‘work uniform’: “A collared shirt and denims. A collared shirt projects professionalism.”
Dressing up: “I’ll add a seersucker suit jacket over a collared shirt if I feel like peacocking. I love seersucker.”
Favorite jeans: “Levi red tag, button-fly 501s. Original cut.”
Beard maintenance: “People think beards are this low-maintenance look. Actually, you have to take care of your beard. They are high-maintenance. I use Pantene Pro-V Brunette Expressions to shampoo it, and Herbal Essence conditioner.”
On cultivating individual style: “When people try to look hip they often end up looking weird. Don’t go out and buy jeans that look worn. Buy a pair of jeans and wear them.”
Shopping tips: “Flea markets, consignment and thrift shops. I like clothes that have a classic or older-era look to them, so these are good places for me. Even if you have the cash for it, a man doesn’t need to spend a ton of cash to have great clothes. I recently scored an Oscar de la Renta sport jacket at a thrift shop that fits me perfectly.”
Motivation tip: “Take $300 dollars out of your account, put it in your wallet–and leave it there. It will motivate you and you will carry yourself differently.”
The best part of success so far….“Not living for other people. Not living in fear.”
Who is AJ Colby? Why, he’s the on-air meteorologist for FOX 8 in Cleveland, Ohio, and someone who knows something about the weather and personal presentation. I recently got to ask Mr. Colby some questions about the sun, looking nice in the heat and staying cool when the cameras are a-rolling.
Meteorologist AJ Colby
The sun can be really detrimental to one’s skin, so I always advise men and women to be sunscreen addicts, and apply the stuff daily. Is there any truth to the rumor that you don’t need to wear sunscreen on overcast days or during the winter?
There is no such thing as a “sunless day”. UVA and UVB rays still penetrate clouds and can damage the skin. On cloudy days, although you may not burn as quickly per se, applying the sunscreen anyway would be a good idea if your aim is to prevent skin aging! The sun, not time, is our skin’s greatest adversary. While time causes chronological aging, the sun causes “photo-aging”.
In the winter, especially over a snow-packed surface, the high reflection properties of the snow (also know as “albedo”) can absolutely lead to a sunburn. Just ask any avid winter-weather enthusiast what happens if they “play outside” on a sunny day over a fresh snowpack. Sunscreen is essential anytime you’re outside during the day, especially between 10 am and 3 pm. This is when the sun’s energy is at its strongest here on earth.
What is a good weather style tip for men when it comes to looking collected and put-together in hot or humid weather?
There’s nothing more annoying than sweating like a pig on a hot, humid, sunny summer day, especially prevalent during the “Dog Days” of summer! That’s the period from July through early August where heat and humidity are at their peak across the United States. Honestly, I use a highly effective product called “Certain Dry” antiperspirant. I would start there, especially if you’re a sweat-aholic like me!
In terms of fashion, if you don’t want those “pit stains” which can be rather unattractive, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing! Cotton is usually the best, but ironing is no fun for many, so a cotton-poly blend of some kind would be a good runner-up. I like wearing shorts, but I have several friends who do not, so a good pair of Dockers always wears well in sizzling summer heat.
If you stick to light colors, it helps to REFLECT solar energy instead of dark colors, especially black, which actually ABSORB the energy…causing you to cook. That’s no fun.
You’re in front of television cameras daily, and your fans point to your down-to-earth delivery as something they really like about you. What is a good tip for staying relaxed and natural in front of the camera or when talking in front of an audience?
There’s little question that live TV can cause you to “tense up” a little. Frankly, I have a tougher time with live and in-person audiences because at least I can PRETEND that no one is watching and that takes some of the pressure off.
When I do public appearances, I usually like to bring a big bottle of cold water. That helps to hydrate the vocal chords, not to mention hydrating the body. I sweat so much when I get nervous, so I try to meditate and pray before the event if I have time. I noticed that helps.
Trying to keep my energy level fairly constant and trying to relax while speaking is a wonderful tip. Knowing your material certainly helps. I always try to ask the organizer about the “lay of the land” if I can, so that I can get a better idea of what to expect in the room. Also, I try to know my audience (with whom I’ll be speaking). Anything I can do to alleviate some of the pressure. In my experience, the very BEST thing to do when talking in front of an audience is try to BE MYSELF! There’s nothing more liberating than that. I strive for that everyday.
If you have read Practical Glamouror you read this tip log with any regularity, you know that I’m a booster for DIY, at-home and mostly natural grooming concoctions. However, there are some solid grooming and beauty products to be had at your local drugstore. Here is one: Vaseline Total Moisture Body Lotion (approximately $4 for a 10-ounce bottle).
First, a disclosure: I evaluated this product for the company and was paid to do so. However, I have not been paid or asked to promote the product. I tested it and happened to find it surprisingly good. A good pick for when you might be on the road or on vacation, away from your favorite hand or body moisturizer, and scouting for one in the aisles of a local supermarket or drugstore.
When I first tried the product, which was shipped to me in an unmarked bottle, its identity unknown, I thought that it was a health-food store brand because the scent had an essential-oil aroma about it. Light and pure. Also, the lotion absorbs quickly into the skin, which is another hallmark of a quality, natural-sourced, moisturizer. (Chemical-based lubricants tend to sit on the surface of the skin and feel greasy.)
Also, the consistency is nice; it’s a lotion but feels rich, almost like a cream without the attendant heaviness. Vaseline Total Moisture Body Lotion is a blend of glycerin along with HEU (Hydroxyethyl Urea) and oat extract.
Bottom line: This is an effective, drugstore body moisturizer that can be kept in the house as a go-to hand or body cream for anyone in the house. The aroma is light and gender-neutral so the lady and men-folk will find it pleasant. It’s an easy to find product and price-wise, a fair value.
This is Christy Roberts, an artist I recently met at a good friend’s MFA thesis show in Claremont, California. I was in a crowded gallery when I spotted her glancing over her shoulder, and I instantly thought of a movie still from the 1940’s or 1950’s. The angle of her face, and combination of rosy skin, Kewpie-ish red lips, and almond eyes has a sharpness and elegance that was commonly seen in film actresses of that time. And it didn’t hurt that such a look translated so seamlessly to the black and white film of the day.
We were introduced, so I had to launch into a discussion of glamour, the satisfaction of personal style and her cool red clutch, which happened to match her lipstick. Here are some takeaways:
Careful, bold touches of makeup on the face is visually softened by a bun with loose strands. Think about ways you can try out this yin-yang approach in your style, contrasting a neatly coiffed head of hair with a light, almost invisible, touch of makeup on the face. Or a bit of strategic tousle in the hair and wardrobe to relax an artfully made up face.
Good style is essentially the sum of a bunch of little details and notes, all balanced and blended. See above, the streak of mermaid green in her hair that gives a mod, au courant shot to other classic female details (red lipstick, neck-tie blouse, clutch, etc).
Translate everyday inspirations to your figure and personal style. Christy mentioned she had recently seen a German movie where the female lead wore a tie-neck blouse, and she liked the look. She said, however, that she would normally never wear a tie-neck blouse because it adds too much bulk at the neckline and by, extension, the upper body, for her liking. But this particular one works because the fabric is super thin, and the gauzy and sheer-ishnesh of the blouse creates a light look.
The clutch used to belong to her mother, and its nice color match with her lipstick was very much by design. (The style is in the details, remember.) The clutch is vintage, made by some fantastic 1970’s designer like Halston, though I had a glass or three of wine, so I can’t be certain. I do recall that the total cost of her ensemble, there was a leather jacket involved, was about $100, which makes it even more practical glamour.
I think being a trained artist gives one distinct style advantages, like an understanding of color and a tune-in to visual details. These are essentials when thinking about and constructing one’s presentation (which is clothes, yes—but also cosmetics, grooming, accessories and, of course, movement, manner and communication).
End note: Christy Roberts’ artwork can be found on Tumblr here. And there is ice involved.
The topic: Getting the 80/20 Rule out of Your Closet. Most of us wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. I share tips with WPLX’s Roxanne Stein on how to shop smarter, more strategically, for your wardrobe. The result: A leaner closet containing only those items that make you look and feel lovely–and no more money or time wasted lugging home bags of stuff you’ll never wear.
Ms. Tara Brooke recently penned Beautiful Ambition, a feel-good book of life shortcuts on topics like men, money and health culled from her life and work experiences, with input on using visualization and managing your moods and mindset.
Since self-knowledge, positivity and smart life management are the foundations, really, of person’s glamour, I thought I’d get Ms. Brooke’s input on a few things.
Your book, Beautiful Ambition, has a section dealing with decisions. What is one of your favorite “power tricks” to making a good one?
It sounds cliché but I have learned that usually my first instinct on something is correct. I always ask myself why do I want this and try to figure out if I am making a decision based on what’s best for me or am I making it on something I want.
There is a huge difference and learning what makes it different is critical. Once you begin to understand yourself more clearly you can trust your inner gut feelings and they normally are right on!
When sad, angry or depressed it’s not easy for a woman or man to exude their personal glamour–that unique “radiance of being” found in each person. As someone who specializes in positive advice for women, what is one of your favorite, on-the-spot strategies for turning around a rotten mood?
The first thing I always do when I am having a bad day or something is upsetting me is I try to change my feelings. First you have to allow yourself to be upset but keep it short, the best way to do that is to be thankful and start counting your blessings. We all will have challenging days, period, but we also have many things to be thankful for. I have found that when I decide to have a heart of gratitude then my feelings change very quickly!
Ah, the past year may not have been the thing that fairy tales are made.
Now at the top of a new year, many a show, blog, advice column and so forth are filled with talk of resolutions and end of year assessments and the like. How you should put your attention to what was good, not-so, what you would do differently and what you might want more of in the coming year.
Since the mind is expert at scrambling away from pain and running into the arms of pleasure, such thoughts may want to make you blanch, or feel faint, or want to get incredibly drunk in the middle of the day.
But when it comes to your life, introspection–consciously identifying what works and what doesn’t–is entirely valuable, and doesn’t have to be painful. It can be fun and quick, like this: Mentally comb through the past year hunting only for its sweet and bright, luminant spots, those big and small things that made you extra happy to be alive.
I’m thinking of Jackson Hole, jumping a sweet course on Steely the horse in Palos Verdes, a particularly luscious pair of new suede heels and khaki strapless dress,”Chopin the Patriot,” talking Practical Glamour with lads and ladies, and a host of other things that will make no sense to anyone but me.
Check your bright spots off in your head or write them down. It will make you smile. If you feel it, go further, and think about the details of your favorites, the parts that gave you the most pleasure and where you might find more of the same in the coming year.
How’s that for a painless recap?
To that end, Adieu to this Year and Aloha to the New One. May you have much passion and fortune in the coming year.
Trips away from home, cold weather and dry skin are mainstays of the cooler months. Hidden under layers of wool or corduroy or denim, winter skin makes its way through different climates and conditions, exposed to a fireside one moment, then snow and wind the next. The result is often less than swell skin, patched with dryness or discomfort.
Keeping your skin smooth and soft during cold-weather months comes down to keeping it consistently hydrated. Here are some ways to do so, particularly while traveling:
Stock up. I don’t know about you, but those dollop-size bottles of cream in hotel rooms don’t come anywhere near to cutting the mustard when it comes to de-winterizing my skin. Stock up on moisturizer in a consistency that meets your needs (lotion, cream, balm, butter or so on) and draw from your “master stock” to fill and refill your travel bottles as needed. There is something about a bathroom cabinet of creams, lotions and balms that is just reassuring. And a purse is not really a purse in my book unless it has at least one tiny tube of fragrant hand cream.
Weleda’s Skin Food. The 2.5 ounce tube (approximately $18 ) is dense and airport friendly, small enough to avoid the airport screener’s gloved grasp of anything over 3 ounces.
Think one product, multiple uses. Think of a single product that can perform many moisturizing duties, eliminating the need to pack a cluster of cosmetics when you travel. Look for one with natural ingredients and an agreeable aroma that you can use all over, absorbs quickly and is of a weight and consistency that meshes with other products you already have, like and use. For instance, you may prefer a light lotion over a heavier body butter or balm.
Weleda’s Skin Food is a superb all in one moisturizer that I use in lieu of several different products when traveling. On the face, as an undereye moisturizer, for hands or any area in need of an infiltration of moisture. Cuticles and nail bed, for instance. Lips. Elbows. Ankles.
The base of the formula contains sunflower oil, sweet almond oil and beeswax, and is very emollient, so a small amount goes a long way. It seems to melt in the fingers while being applied, so I can even work the remnants into dry or split ends. The aroma is wintertime festive, scented by rosemary, chamomile, calendula and other essential oils. The packaging and scent are marvelously unisex, which can be very handy if you’re packing for two, particularly since my extensive field research has concluded that “no dude wants to walk around smelling like a chick.”
Make custom skin oil. Alternately, if you’re the crafty sort, you can make a custom natural body oil at home by blending, in a clean saucepan, ideally one not used in food preparation, one or more pure natural oils at low temperature. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Store the blend in a pump bottle. After getting after the shower, while your skin is still moist and warm, apply the mixture sparingly to the skin.
Some excellent base oils: avocado, sesame, olive, jojoba, coconut. As for aromatics, fitting for this time of year are earthy aromas like eucalyptus, sandalwood, cedar wood, bergamot or cinnamon cut with a bit of citrus, such as orange, grapefruit or peppermint. Psst. A custom bottle of natural skin oil makes an excellent gift.
Mind your internal moisture. A doctor I know tells me that one of the tip-offs to knowing whether a patient is following a super low-fat diet is found by looking at their hair, skin and nails. Dry, dry and dry. If you imagine that your holiday or travel diet will be subpar in terms of your intake of natural fat, make a plan to regularly integrate more omega fatty acids (aka “beauty fat”) into your diet. You will see the difference in your skin, hair and nails.