Sunday, May 26, 2013

Just nail it!

For the longest time, in my teens, I was (yes, here I make a true confession.....) a nail biter.  I was ashamed of how bad they looked but in my moments of not paying attention, I would chew off my finger nails (and once, my toes!).  Getting engaged ended that -- vanity did make me want to show off my ring in the best way.  And I'm so glad I did because I love getting my nails and toes pretty now.

In every single magazine I subscribe to, there are articles, ads and tips on manicures, pedicures and trends.  It is always fun to read about the latest trends in nail polish, nail shapes, finishes, designs and types.  But it can be a bit overwhelming.

I am not going to tell you what a "woman of a certain age" should do or not do about her nails. That's waaaay too personal.

I am, however, going to pull much of it together in this post, for your consideration.

The basic colors are amazing.  From natural, to French, to white, to reds, to blacks -- the choices are HUGE.  I can tell you the matching-of-your-fingers-to-your-toes isn't really on trend anymore.  In fact, your manicure can be of different colors per finger! Same with your toes.  Now that it's summer, give it a shot!


And applying glittery polish, rhinestones, pearls, polka dots, bows, stripes and an assortment of designs is de rigour.  Why not?


Gel versus polish?  Try them each, as those are options, as are acrylics, nail tape and press ons.  I tried acrylics but they made me uncomfortable and looked funny on my short fingers.  And I took them off myself -- I do NOT recommend doing that; I could feel the wind through my nails for a long time. 

Keep in mind what your plans are before you invest in some fancy nails.  You don't want to get a great beautiful manicure or applications to your nails and then go garden.  But a special occasion can be a great reason to go all out on the fancy fingers and toes.


And the nail polish brands?  Everyone should have a variety of colors, which makes investing in Dior or Chanel polish for each color an expensive hobby.  Buy some drugstore brands and buy the high end for your staple colors.  Is there really a difference?  I had a bottle of Chanel's Vamp and took it to the nail salon. The manicurist was in awe at the quality of the brush, the way the polish flowed on and its resilience.  So, based on that, I'd say yes.  But I also have 99 cent polish that is good, fun colored and easy to remove.

As we get older, our nails get softer and bendy.  I recommend Biotin.  It is great for your nails, your hair and your skin.  You can buy it anywhere (Wal-Mart, Target, drugstores, GNC) and it really works!  My nails are harder, grow faster as does my hair.  Haven't noticed if it has improved my skin but nothing bad has happened, so I'm good!

If you want design ideas, I strongly encourage you to visit Pinterest's board on "Hair and Beauty" - it is chock full of cute ideas.  If you can't do it, pin it and show it to your manicurist (you will pay extra but if it makes you happy, it is so worth it).

Take care of your nails, they are a symptom of your health, your well being and how you feel about yourself. Here is a quote from a book that "nails it":

“You can tell a lot from a person's nails. When a life starts to unravel, they're among the first to go.”
Ian McEwan, Saturday

Until next Sunday,

Stylistically yours,


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bing, bong, bangles!

Wearing bangle bracelets are never a risk to dress up and accessorize any outfit. In fact, if you look in fashion magazines, women are even wearing bangles with their swimsuits. Again, I have gleaned some great photos of "women of a certain age" from "Advanced Style" who stack their bracelets and mix textures, colors, sizes and pull it off with great charisma and style.

It is worth trying this look to create a fun look and maybe even a signature look you can wear often.

You must admit these women wear their accessories beautifully.   So try it: accessorize with a bunch of bangles.  You'll cover your arms and make a joyful noise every time you wave at anyone.

Again, the rule of not mixing gold with silver, or with cloisonne, or wood or plastic....well, the rule is broken. Now you can wear it all - especially at the same time.

And rings of various sizes and composition. And necklaces with brooches.  It's madness out there and you definitely don't want to be left out.  Start simple and work your way up.  Or go for broke! What are you saving them for? 

We "women of a certain age" probably remember when my favorite Beatle said this -- and boy, does it apply!   “For those of you in the cheap seats I'd like ya to clap your hands to this one; the rest of you can just rattle your jewelry!”
John Lennon

Until next Sunday,

Stylistically yours,


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Skirting the issue of skirts

Recently I purchased two skirts at Target (as you might have noticed in my posts).  The great thing about skirts is how versatile they can be. And even more:
  1. They can be inexpensive and make your wardrobe larger.
  2. They are always appropriate to wear any place you go.
  3. A skirt looks good if you pick one that looks great on you.

Inexpensive? Absolutely. You can find skirts at H&M for very little money, Old Navy for cheap or at stores like Bloomingdale's for a lot more money. They are such a fashion staple, so you get to decide how much you want to spend.

Appropriate for all occasions? Heck, yeah. From dinner out, to the theater, to work, to a wedding. You cannot go wrong with a simple skirt. 

Looks good on you? Here's where you need a good mirror or an honest friend or both.  No matter how good your legs are or how small your bum is, a too-short hem line is not appropriate for "women of a certain age." And short pleated skirts are best suited for school girls, not us.

That doesn't mean all your skirts need to be close to your ankles, but close to the knee is totally appropriate and much more flattering.
   Just say NOOOOOO! 

Great skirt styles are so varied:


Mix and matching is fun.  There are many colors, textures, and patterns available for us to wear today.  Aren't we lucky?

Remember some wise advice I learned from a friend many years ago:  When you try on an outfit (skirt, top, whatever you are trying on), if the first five seconds don't make you say "YES!" - don't buy it. It never gets better than the first five seconds.  Don't twist it, adjust it, think that you can maybe do something to make it look better.  Just don't buy it.  It's that simple.  And you will find the right piece with time, energy and patience. 

Since today is May 12, Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are moms.  Until next Sunday, show some leg and have a wonderful week.

Stylistically yours,


Thursday, May 9, 2013

An antique print -- the Blue Onion

I have been "stalking" this skirt since I saw it on another fashion blog.  So yesterday I went to Target to drop off a prescription and had to wait 20 minutes - in a Super Target.  I immediately headed down to the women's clothing section and found the skirt in a size I haven't been able to get into for several years.

Hip hip hooray!  It fit and I bought it for $29!   It's an old pattern print, usually found in china, called Blue Onion. And it is lined!  And it makes me nostalgic every time I look at it.

My cobalt blue peplum top will look great with it, as well as a cobalt blue silk blend shirt I've had for several years. 

Where will I wear it?  Anywhere I choose, all year round.  Did you have dishes in this pattern?  Does it make you smile too? 

Until Sunday,

Stylistically yours,


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hair's to you!

There used to be a common belief that "women of a certain age" had to wear short hair because long hair was for the young.  Happily, that belief has been overruled by many women who love to have some length and the options that longer hair provides.

Andi McDowell
Susan Sarandon

Goldie Hawn

I do love short pixie styles and wore one for many years but have decided to let my hair grow out while it is healthy and I have the time and energy to mess with styling it.  So for now, I have a bob.

 Halle Berry

Sharon Stone

Dame Judy Dench

The only very important guideline is NO HELMET HAIR!  Hair styles need to be free to move, be touchable, fun and modern.  I must admit that I have used hair spray since I learned to tease my hair when I was fourteen and sprayed it with Adorn Hairspray (it even came with a little tease brush).  And, pathetically, I still use hairspray - but I'm trying to wean myself from it.  I think it is just habit now because wearing a bob-style should be swingy and fun.

 Once upon a time, women "of a certain age" used to wear their hair up or short, permed tightly and sprayed solid (hence the phrase, "Helmet Hair").

Betty White when she was "a certain age" - now she's a goddess with movable hair.

Frances Bavier (whose hairstyle helped her to look much older than she really was).

But thankfully, hair "rules" have changed and we are no longer limited -we have so many stylish options and can wear our hair whichever way we choose.  So go ahead and change your "do" -- try something new.  Let a salon you trust take you where you have been afraid to go.  And remember that hair products can make or break a good style.  I must admit I have nine different shampoos in my shower and six different conditioners, four different mousses, three different styling pastes, two dry shampoos and two bottles of spray-on oils.  That's because I like to try new hair products, see which works best and can never really bring myself to throw out what I don't like...just in case!

I encourage you to take the leap.  Whether you color, cut, perm, or blow dry, your hair is another accessory to your fashionable look.  And as long as it keeps growing, you can try and try again!

I love this quote and feel that it reflects what I'm trying to say even better....
“She was the most beautiful creature on Earth - her hair said so in that language only hair can speak.”
Gabriel Bá, Daytripper

Until next Sunday,

Stylistically yours,