Sunday, August 25, 2013

Giving A Little Lip Service

The big trend is to wear less eye makeup and a bright red lipstick to show you're stylish and care about how you look, even casually.

So I must admit that I've tried that look. And my dilemma is which red is the right red for me.

Unless you go to a boutique makeup store or the name brand departments in the high end malls, you don't get to try on the lipstick before you buy it.

Many celebrities are doing this look successfully.


But most (except for Sharon Stone) of them are younger than I.  I have noted that many older celebrity women know their signature look and stay with nudes or neutrals.


Reds do brighten your face, especially when you are not wearing makeup and running errands. But the right red is still a challenge. If you, like me, buy them in the drugstore, you'll end up with a large supply of red lipsticks - most of which you will never wear because they just don't suit you.

Here's some good advice that I will use from now on and maybe you, as well.

Finding the "right" red lipstick:
  • First things first. You need to figure out what tone range you fall into. Are you a cool blue red or a warm orange red? To figure this out, just look in the mirror at your complexion.
  • If you’re fair, then you would benefit from colors in the cool blue red range, which helps brightened up skin and balances out tonality, while creating a “depth of lip,” with the rich, deep red that will be beautiful against fair skin. Colors in the warm orange red range would be too glaringly bright for fairer complexions.
  • For medium to darker skin tones, a red from the orange red family will work best on this skin color. Orange-based reds are punchier and are for people who can handle attention--because of the intensity of the color. Warmer/darker complexions have an innate brightness to their skin. An orange red lipstick would create more light and depth to darker skin, which helps balances out its own tonality. If a dark complexion were to wear a blue red color, it would be too cool in tone and sallow out the skin.
  • Once you figure out which color range you fall into (cool or warm), then it’s time to play and experiment with different hues of red. Since red is such a strong pigment, you just need to dab a little on your finger and apply it to the lip.
  • Lightly blot your lips to remove excess color. This will ensure that you see the true color on your lips.
  • You can apply strips of color onto your hand to compare all the different shades, but it won’t be as accurate on the skin of your hands as it would be if you apply it directly to your lips.
  • After you've sampled one red on your lips, remove it with some makeup remover poured onto a tissue and rub it off or simply use a disposable makeup remover cloth.
  • Repeat the above steps in trying out another red and wiping it fully off before you start again with yet another shade of red.
  • Continue playing around with the different shades until you find one that perfectly suits your face and complexion.
This means buying a few lipsticks that could end up in a drawer, but you might just find the perfect one to brighten your smile.

Or you can go the way of nude or neutrals.  Mauves are a safe bet as they are darker than nudes and still provide color.  And berries are a nice color palette for most skin tones. Dark wines are a fun way to experiment (although they are better in cooler weather or evenings out). There's even a black lipstick but I can't imagine ever wearing that color!

As we age, our lip line changes. And our lips get thinner and our smiles look overly "soft." This causes our lip lines to wrinkle, and lipstick can move around or run.  I don't recommend that you use a lip liner that matches your lipstick. Instead get one that is the same color as your natural lip. You won't look so severe or odd.

And be sure to check your teeth. Not a pretty look on anyone.

        I recommend that you exfoliate your lips weekly. You can use a little baking soda mixed with water and gently scrub your lips or a face loofah. I've even heard that using your toothbrush on your lips works well.

        I'm sure you want to put your best face out there. It's what people see when they're doing business with you, talking with you, encountering you anywhere you go, gazing at you adoringly.

        A little tinted gloss, bright lipstick and white teeth show you off beautifully. As that little red-headed moppet sings in her show:  "You're never fully dressed without a smile."  Annie

        So dress up your smile.... and smile a lot! You're alive, you're attractive and you have much to be grateful for.  Smile and show it!

        Until next week, I remain,

        Stylistically yours,


        Sunday, August 18, 2013

        The power of pretty clothes!

        Why in heaven's name do women buy these horrible dresses?  I have seen dresses like these, some with matching shrugs, much too frequently this week.  There are many more stylish dresses that cost the same as these but flatter a woman - which these do not. And I'm sure you agree.

        If it were possible, I'd burn them all.  They're just wrong on any body shape and height. And so very ugly.
        Now for example.....

        Asos Green Patern shift dress  This 50s style full skirted dress has an all over vintage scenic print and is sleeveless in style. With a high neckline to the front and a v back, this piece simply zips up the back and is finished with a fluro bright belt.

        Notice that the two I've posted above are shorter, more fitted and pretty.  No matter what size you are, either of these would look great on you.  And make you feel so much better than those earlier ugly things.

        As if the top dresses aren't ugly enough, the shoes that are worn with them make me want to cry.

        Even if you need to wear sensible shoes, that is not a euphemism for ugly.

        Yes, it is hot and we all want to be comfortable.  But look at these ideas!


        Tan blazer, skinny black cigarette slacks, chambray button-up shirt, neutral heels, and a giant tote bag - a simple recipe for an effortlessly sophisticated outfit.
        Love the full skirt with belt. Adorable.

        It isn't hard to look polished and pretty - it takes shopping coordination, editing your closet and buying the pieces that can match many others.  It doesn't hurt to have the hemline altered, waist lines pulled in and buying pretty and comfortable shoes.  Then add a few pretty accessories.

        Kate Spade ''on the town'' crystal necklace  white blouse, jeans, and a chunky necklace are  great combo

        So pretty and classic

        Okay, maybe the pearls are a bit much.  But you get my point, right?
        Theodora & Callum Bodrum Necklace

        Make the world a beautiful place by being even more beautiful.  You'll have people asking you where you got "that."

        If you need inspiration for ideas, there's Pinterest, various fashion magazines (including their websites), Polyvore, Advanced Style, Pose and even more.  Again, you don't have to spend a lot of money.  That's what this blog is about...looking great for less at "our age."

        I certainly don't claim to be THE fashion maven but I do love clothes, shoes, handbags and jewelry and am constantly intrigued at ways to dress better and spend less money doing it.  And I'm sharing that with you.

        This quote says it perfectly:
        So until next week (and who knows what styles I'll encounter by then), I remain,

        Stylistically yours,


        Sunday, August 11, 2013

        On the road again. Just can't wait to get on the road again!

        Last weekend I went on a road trip with my sister. Being summer time, I wanted to dress comfortably for the almost ten hour car ride up and back, in addition to walking around in the hot, steamy South.

        Since I'm too old for tube tops and cut offs (I can't even imagine dressing that way anymore!), I looked at my wardrobe for appropriate hot weather, car riding, in-and-out bathroom breaking attire. Some pieces worked well, some...not so much.

        Here's what I came up with:
        I wore a white cotton long sleeved shirt with boyfriend jeans and my grey Skechers GoWalks.  I rolled up the sleeves to keep cool but had the option of rolling down the sleeves when the sun was on my side of the car and beating down on me.  That worked out well until we got stuck on I-95 as a parking lot - we turned off the a/c to not stress the engine and proceeded to crawl ten miles in one hour. Needless to say, I was melted. But not sunburned. And I discovered that my waterproof eyeliner is NOT sweat proof - I looked like Alice Cooper.

        The next day we went to breakfast, toured some family sites, stopped for dinner on the way back to our host's house and we stayed in our clothes the whole day. I stupidly wore a beautiful bright orange top that I learned didn't breath well, and my boyfriend jeans again. Walking around a hot Southern cemetery in a polyester blend top was flat out dumb. And soooo hot!

        For our departure home, I just could not wear those jeans anymore - I had already sweat a ton in them. So I wore a little black sleeveless dress and my new Anne Klein black and tan ballet flats. I kept a lightweight sweater on hand to cover my arms and/or legs if the sun was pouring in on me. That actually was comfy and cool.

        What I discovered is that I must keep in mind the blend of my clothes (no polyester blends, ever again), options for pants that are lighter weight than denim and no eyeliner on hot trips. 

        How about you?  Do you find it daunting to imagine what you will want to wear when you take a trip? Is packing lightly but efficiently stressful for you?  Does trying to decide what to pack something you do well? And how in the heck do you do that?

        Traveling is fun but as Dorothy states in "The Wizard of Oz," "There's no place like home."

        Here's a travel quote that made me laugh...I hope you do, too.
        "A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be photographed standing in front of his car."
        - Emile Ganest

        Until next week, I remain...

        Stylistically yours,


        Sunday, August 4, 2013

        Here come da judge!

        I had the honor and privilege of judging conceptual window designs for Pointe Orlando shopping center created by students from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Orlando.  There were three windows to be done by the teams:  Shopping, Entertainment and Dining.

        See full size image

        It was so impressive to meet these talented young people who obviously did research into the businesses in the center before creating their designs.  And one more important point:  the final products would be done in re-purposed cardboard.

        The first team (Entertainment) was comprised of a young man named Isaias, who did laser tag guns with film rolls to highlight the two businesses there which provide that sort of fun; a young lady named Melanie, who did cutouts of a film camera, reels of film, and popcorn, etc. promoting the movie theater; and another young lady named Eva, who did rectangular boxes with words promoting "fun" at the shopping center.  
        See full size image

        The second team (Shopping) was comprised of a young lady named Shantel, who did large cutout letters of LOVE and colorful shopping bags to promote the love of shopping there; another young lady named Vanity, who did a silhouette cutout of a woman at a table with shopping bags all around her on the ground while surrounded by garlands and a big palm tree; and another young lady named Sophea, who did a cutout of a car with the trunk open filled with shopping bags from the shopping center.

        See full size image

        The third team (Food) was comprised of a young lady named Aliana, who did a color filled "under the sea" with a giant lobster holding cutlery, while the coral was filled with tiny dishes and undersea life; another young lady named Megan, did a silhouette of stars, hanging strings of lights, a waiter holding a tray and a couple sitting at a formal table for two; a young man named Pedro did not have a presentation but was a part of the team.

        See full size image

        These talented young people were dressed professionally and provided a professional presence to their efforts.

        I got to work with Lisa (the Specialty Leasing Manager) from Pointe Orlando on selecting the presentations that best met the goals of what the Center wanted to achieve and give feedback to each presentation. It certainly was amazing to see what these young people came up with, their enthusiasm and willingness to do the work to make this project successful.

        Why me, you ask?  Well, I have a dear friend, Susan, who is the general manager who asked me, based upon this blog, my love for fashion and design and her faith that I would be helpful to these students.  And I really look forward to the finalized windows.
        See full size image

        So which concepts won?  I'm glad you asked.  Entertainment was the winning one that Eva designed with ideas from Melanie's concept.  Shopping was won by Shantel's design with ideas from Sophea's concept. And the Food winner was Megan's because it didn't highlight any particular type of restaurant but showcased the elegance of dining there at the many restaurants available.

        I'll let you know when the windows are finished so you can go out to Pointe Orlando, shop and dine and maybe take in a movie...or laser tag!  Go online to see the stores, restaurants and what's fun to do there. There's even valet parking if you want!

        I loved being around that much energy and talent and hope my input helped them. And this wonderful quote is something we can all benefit by:
        In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
        Bill Cosby

        Until next week, I remain,

        Stylistically yours,