Monday, September 12, 2011

Wardrobe Essentials - Must Have Staples for your Closet

Do you feel like you have nothing to wear even though your closet is full? I know how overwhelming it can be so I have some tips to help you navigate through the fashion glut this season.

First of all get rid of everything that makes you feel frumpy that is unflattering like big sweatshirts and saggy jeans. If it bunches or pulls or sags, toss it into a pile for donation or get it tailored. DO NOT set aside a section for skinny or fat clothes.

Also, make a list of what you need to complete a look for that shirt or pant you love but can’t find anything equally as great to pair it with in your closet. If you have a great base wardrobe, think accessories or accent colors - brights are huge this season.

My personal top 10:

1. LBD – a little black dress that makes you feel sexy. (This year it might be a little red dress instead)

2. Dark wash jeans. Most of us own 20 pairs of jeans but still struggle when choosing one to wear since some are too short, too tight, too long, or too small. Colored denim, skinny and flared are all in this season, but make sure you have a dark wash, boot-cut jean in your wardrobe that fits perfectly – it is universally flattering, goes with everything and will never go out of style.

3. Tall pair of  boots with a comfortable heel to wear with skirts and jeans in black or brown. If you're daring go thigh high!

4. Cardigans – belted, buttoned, opened, long or cropped, worn with a t-shirt, blouses, jeans, skirts and pants. 

5. Color blocking - Pick a hue that works on you and go head to toe. The easiest way to really color block is to pair a colored piece with a neutral, but your neutral isn't necessarily beige, it can be white, black, or brown. Or be bold and color block with another bold color ... or two.

6. Leather jacket. Duh.

7. Shapewear – makes your clothes fit better and makes you look thinner. Get the perfect bra and be  sure to adjust the bra straps up!

8. Statement jewelry - Add a cuff bracelet or bold necklace to make anything seem stylish. Or layer smaller bracelets on your wrists like arm candy.

9. VINTAGE - mixing old and new together is chic' - Look for lace pieces, pleated midi skirts, polka dots, yellows – bright or mustard, florals and dresses of all sorts that you can layer up. Vintage stores are a great place to get cool statement jewelry also.

10. NUDE pumps - they go with everything and give you a "legs for days" look. Check out my post about How To make your legs look Longer {HERE} And you should also have a pair of Black high heels for a girl’s night out ... the highest you can walk in. And by the way, we all need a girls night once in awhile to celebrate our fellow goddesses! 

If you're packing for a trip you might like to read How to Pack and Travel in Style like Model's do (HERE) After all, models are constantly on the go jetting off last minute for a shoot and experts at on the go fashion.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Things You Should Know by Now

There are a few things that we learn growing up. Some of us find out early that mom didn't always know best.  We must constantly navigate the waters and make decisions based on what we think is correct, most often using common sense. Remember that rules, especially when it comes to aging, were meant to be broken sometimes ... trust your gut, it never lies.  And according to Dave Barry

"Never, under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night."

1. A stripe of color on your cheeks is not “blush” and making a fish face to apply it under your cheekbones is the wrong place for it. The best way to put on blush on? Reverse the way you were taught. Instead you should start near your temples and blend toward the apple of your cheek, where your skin naturally flushes.

2. Gray hair will make you look older. If your job has been eliminated or you’re looking for a promotion this could hurt you.

3. If your face and neck are different colors, you will look like a bobble head. Make sure all of you blends! Brush a darker powder or bronzer under your chin and jaw. This will do two things: eliminate a double chin and even out your skin tone because the neck is often a lighter color than our face.

4. Listening to your mom tell you not to remove your facial hair because it will grow back thicker like a man’s, is a myth and just plain bad advice. For more about this read Chapter 3 in my book Face This, about how to get flawless looking skin for your close up.

5. Makeup comes with an expiration date and putting your finger into a product can introduce bacteria into it. Be sure to be paying attention to both.

6. Spot reduction is an urban legend. If you like your booty but want better abs, you cannot lose weight in only one area. Even doing tons of tummy and core exercises won't help much if there is a layer of fat on top over the muscle. Sorry, but fat gets lost at the same rate over your entire body and only genes or hormones can dictate otherwise.

7. The mirror doesn’t lie ... check yourself twice before leaving the house. If you have to ask, chances are it doesn’t look so good.

8. Putting scotch tape on your nose is not the same as a Biore strip to clean out your pores.

9. Wear sunscreen even when it’s not sunny out. Many dermatologists say you should wear nothing less than 30 SPF. Although you will get less UVB exposure in the non-summer months, UVA rays are year round and will cause wrinkles and stubborn brown spots on your skin.

10. You should not go to bed with your makeup on, not only will it cause break outs but you will be missing out on giving your skin a chance to renew while you sleep.

What bad beauty advice have you been given? I am sure there are a few laughs out there to share. Feel free to comment below!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lesson #1: Soft Lighting is a Girl's Best Friend!

Let's face it ... everyone looks better in the right light. The secret to looking Ahh-MAZING in your photographs is knowing and getting into the right lighting. One of the biggest challenges in learning how to take beautiful pictures is learning how to determine where to shoot your photo and from what direction.

Shooting in direct sunlight at 12 o'clock noon is the harshest lighting on any face, but especially as we age.  Bright, direct overhead sun is unforgiving as we get older casting defined shadows under eyes, illuminating fine lines in our skin and showing deep contrast in our faces. Remember too much sun is always too much sun for our skin, whether we are at the beach or taking a photograph directly underneath it.

Soft light has no direction to it and does not cast shadows. This is the kind of light you see in a cloudy day or in wide open shade. It is also the light we want to photograph ourselves in. How to tell if your light is hard or soft? One of the easiest techniques is to simply hold out a finger across your hand, slightly in front of you, to see if there is shadowing. If your shadow is dark then you have a hard lighting situation and should look for a softer shadow or no shadow at all to shoot in.

Here is a photo I took in my backyard this morning under cloudy skies. You can see that there is no shadowing under my finger and you cannot tell where the light is coming from. My lower hand is perfectly lit under the cloudy conditions which filters the sun naturally.
A few hours later when the sun came out I took the second photo in the same place. This time you can see how the sun overhead casts a dark shadow on my hand along with a shadow on my arm from the camera lens.

Soft light, moonlight, candlelight, sunlight, incandescent light, whatever your light, the quality and direction will make the difference between an OK photo and the one that you love. The characteristics of light are far reaching so get it right!

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within." ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~Edith Wharton