Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Sucker Born Every Minute!

Do you, like me, think that if you buy something that looks really great on the magazine model/store mannequin, it will transform you?

Do you, like me, want to have that name brand item so others will know that's what you are due?

Do you, like me, love compliments from people...even strangers?
this is so me!

Do you, like me, find validation through the status's symbols, compliments, and covetness displayed by your purchase?

Notice that I stated each me?

Because I am a sucker when it comes down to it.  I still believe in makeup's ability to transform; perfume's ability to transcend; clothes' ability to create and shoes' ability to state.

That is why we need guidelines to keep us in check; to ensure that we are realistic about what we actually look like and how to enhance the way we look.

And I don't know why but I look at myself when I'm out and about, in window reflections, mirrors in dressing rooms or ladies' rooms and I never look quite as good as I do in my home mirrors. Perhaps it is lighting, perhaps it is more relaxing to be home and it shows in my reflection. But when I look at the full length mirror, Oh. My. Gawd!
So wearing the right clothes, in the best combinations with the appropriate shoes helps a lot.

Another trick is to take your picture and look at that. Because we are used to how we look reflected back to ourselves, a photograph shows you in a different-than-you-are-used-to appearance. And often, we don't like what we see.

Color, fit, length, and style make up the best you.  If you don't have a good full length mirror, go buy one right away.  And look at it before you bring it home - some of them are not flattering and others make you look thinner than you are (I LOVE those mirrors but I need reality).

And now that Spring has sprung, it is the perfect time to clean out your closet(s).  If you haven't worn a piece in over two years, give it to someone who will. If you are saving it until you lose weight, give it to someone who can wear it now and when you do lose the weight, buy something current and stylish. If you've saved some "fat" clothes for those just-in-case times, get rid of them - you're only setting yourself up to fail.

And, if you're like me, you need to lose a few pounds before swimsuit season (I need to lose more than a few!!!), do what you need to do to get back to your fighting weight. Although there are tons of pills, creams, capsules and foods that are supposed to help you lose weight fast, you need to remember, you didn't gain it over night so you won't lose it over night.

If you're like me, these are issues for weight loss that we all know work:

  • Portion control. Eat enough to feel full but not stuffed. Remember that there are people who don't ever get a big meal, so you should eat appropriately to honor them.
  • Vegetables and fruit (not all fruit, however) should be three parts of your meal, a very small carb is fourth and a protein is the fifth. It is a challenge if you're "on the run," so plan accordingly.
  • MOVE IT! If you don't belong to a gym or fitness program, take a hike. I just read that women "of a certain age" should walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day to stave off a stroke.  I also read that we should stomp the ground four times per leg, per day, to strengthen hip bones, thigh bones and knees (stomp like you're crushing a can).  Lift weights to keep your bones strong. 
  • Drink your water. As women get older, they tend to get UTIs. That is our own fault; we don't drink enough water (coffee and/or tea do not count) AND we "hold it" to get through some errand, task or TV show. Don't hold it! GO!
These are reminders...we already know these things. We just have to corral our discipline and do them. 

It is said that if you tell others that you are committing to something, they will help hold you accountable. So I am telling you that I am going to lose 35 pounds. That is no small task because I LOVE Nutella, brie, Real Coke and ice cream. But I am doing this and I'm committing it to you, my friends. Help keep me on track!
Indeed.          And we don't --

so here we go!

Until next week, I remain,

Stylistically yours,


Sunday, March 23, 2014

On The Face Of It!

I have to admit to working hard to protect the youth of my face. I have had plastic surgery (chubby cheeks on children, over time become saggy jowls on women and gravity takes its toll on eyelids and necks). I'm done with plastic surgery, though I can attest to it being addictive - there's always something else that could be "fixed."

I just don't want to end up like Joan Rivers, Dolly Parton, Cher, Meg Ryan, Joan Van Ark or Donatella Versace.

  Funny that most are blondes, huh?

What I can do, however, is research and buy moisturizers, anti-aging serums, foundations and other treatments to protect my skin from pollutants, sun rays and dryness - all causes of aging skin and wrinkles. (Smoking is one of the biggest destroyers of your skin, so if you want young looking skin, STOP smoking now!)

You can do your own research by simply Googling whatever you want to protect or improve. And if you are fortunate enough, you have an Ulta or Sephora nearby. If you don't, open your own account online. These are "toy" stores for women...make up, perfumes, hair products, nail polishes and tools, hair accessories...even hair extensions made from human hair!

I'm going to tell you about some of my favorite items, not that they will necessarily work for you but they might inspire you to consider looking into similar products for similar issues.

1.  I don't want to spend a fortune on wrinkle inhibitors (mostly because I want to make sure that whatever I buy really works, without spending a lot!).  I Googled drugstore wrinkle fighters and found Neutrogena
Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum is highly regarded and the price is right (approx. $20 unless it goes on sale). You are to use it twice daily (a.m. after bathing but before make up and p.m. in bed under moisturizer). It has hyaluronic acid and a glucose complex, as well as having retinol—every dermatologist's favorite wrinkle smoother— and promises to reduce lines in as little as a month.  I am using it for two weeks and I have noticed my eyes' smile wrinkles are softer and/or diminished.

2.  I use a toner every single evening. There are inexpensive ones such as plain old Witch Hazel (but I don't like the smell) and mine is an oldie but a goodie -- Seabreeze ($4 a bottle).  It is a great astringent and really keeps my pores clean and opened. I credit this item, more than any, for my bright clear sparkling skin.
Sea Breeze Deep-Clean Astringent, Actives

3.  Loreal Miracle Blur is a blessing for women "of a certain age" because it does exactly what it says it will do -- blur your makeup, wrinkles and lines.You can buy it anywhere for approx $24 (unless you get a coupon or it goes on sale).

4. I keep buying liquid foundations to find the perfect one. So far, my favorite is Calvin Klein's One. It covers nicely, spreads beautifully and smells clean. $29.

5. Although I've already shared this in an earlier post, you absolutely MUST buy a good foundation brush.

And use it this'll thank me!

Use the foundation brush to spread on your facial moisturizer (I like Aveeno Ultra Calming Cream with sunscreen approx. $11 unless on sale).

Then use that same brush to spread your liquid foundation. You will be AMAZED at how beautifully it covers your face, jawline, and looks photographically perfect.

6. Yeah, yeah, yeah - everyone says not to use powder. But I do -- a little. I like Cover Girl's loose powder across my nose, chin and forehead BUT NOT around my eyes or cheeks. Just to control the shine. A little goes a long way and I usually buy it when it is buy-one, get 2nd at half price.

7. I use a blush stick to give me a slight tinge of color and shine on my cheekbones. My favorite is ELF's All Over Color Stick in Persimmon ($1 at Target). Use a light hand so you don't have stripes like below.

8. Eye shadows are such fun. Just be careful with metallics or too bright colors. I love Urban Decay's Naked Basics ($25). Just be sure to buy a couple of great shadow brushes (Target's Sonia Kashuk's are not expensive $1.50 and pretty wonderful).

9. Eyeliner is important to make your thinning lashes look lush and full. I love Maybelline's Liquid Liner - it's forgiving, easy to apply and you can play with it to try cat's eyes, thicker or thinner. It comes off simply and is inexpensive. I don't recommend wearing it under your eyes -- it makes your eyes look small and can look severe like below.

10. Mascaras are almost as hard to satisfy as lipsticks are  Currently I'm using Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes and like it very much. I got it using my Ulta bonus points ($9 worth) and it was on a one-day sale special, so I paid $1 and tax. Just don't let it get spiky or gloppy on your lashes like below.

11. Brows are critical. As we get older, they get thin or wiry or grey (no one told me these things happen to us!). Pencils help a bit but you should also use powders -- both -- to make your brows stand out but not too much. Your brow is the ceiling of your face -- don't forget that people start there and work down when they look at your face. Experiment with what works for you. Being a blonde, I use Fawn shadow from MAC ($15) and Maybelline brow pencil ($2.39 for two).

12. Lipstick is my kryptonite. I can't even begin to count how many different tubes I have and the variety of colors. But you don't want to buy metallics or too dark colors because they'll run into the lines and seams around your lips. Lighter pigments, sheer shiny colors and mattes work well for women "of a certain age" and using a nude lip liner will ensure your lipstick doesn't travel around your face. DO NOT use a lip liner in the color of your lipstick! The lipstick wears away and you've got lip-liner-face (below) --- the stuff of jokes about older women.

There's a great quote about what make up does for us:
I love the confidence that makeup gives me.
I agree with Tyra, it makes me feel that I tried the best I could to look the best I can.  How about you?

So have a great week, give the tips you like and try them out. Until next week, I remain,

Stylistically yours,


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy belated birthday to me!

My husband and I have had a deal regarding gift giving for many years...

I don't buy him anything because he hates surprises and wants to get what he wants when he wants it - usually at a thrift store.

And I buy myself my own gift and he gets the credit for being thoughtful.

Today, I found this year's birthday gift at TJ Maxx in Casselberry. Yes, it was two weeks ago but sometimes it takes that long to find the right gift.

If you know me, you know I LOVE Michael Kors and everything he designs.  I bought this beautiful red canvas bucket tote for $185 cheaper than market price. And it has feet (I love feet under handbags because they protect the bag from dirt when you sit it on the floor or table tops)!

This bag also comes in solid leather:

and fabrics:

even black watch plaid print, zebra print and leopard prints:

I'm going to Scotch Guard the canvas to ensure it is water repellent and dirt protected, then plan to carry it for quite some time.  I love my birthday gift -- thanks, Jon!

Stylistically yours,