Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Makeover Show Exploits Fear of Aging

Considering how I make my living, I am shocked that I got totally fascinated watching “Extreme Makeover!”
After all, transformations are what I do everyday. I have spent more than 25 years standing 8 or more hours a day in front of a mirror. Not to look at myself (although I do occasionally take a peek), but to help my clients find their absolute best “look” while they are being seen by millions of viewers. As a television stylist my job is to make people look capable, smart, trustworthy and healthy, and sometimes thinner, younger and more attractive.

Lets face it, (no pun intended) no matter how you feel about taking extreme measures to improve your appearance, it is painfully clear that some people got a set of genes that make it diffficult for them to feel comfortable with their appearance in this society which is obsessed with youth, slenderness and beauty.

Being in the beauty industry is sometimes difficult for me. I have a strong sense of what defines a persons value and this has little to do with appearance, yet ironically, I am sure my “life’s purpose” is to help people find joy in what they see every day when they look in the mirror. I have learned, however, that if you aren’t happy with who you are on the inside, you will never like who you see staring back at you in the mirror. (Hence the multiple rounds of plastic surgery some people go through never finding the satisfaction they seek.)

Since our society has bought into the notion that only youthful women are highly prized, women are flocking in droves to maintain a youthful appearance at all costs.
Where are the voices of reason? Where is the voice of moderation? Where is the message to our culture that what kind of person your are and what your values are is what determines your value to society?

No one wants to speak out against the status quo lest they be shunned by Madison Avenue, which has turned preying on the hopes and fears of women over 40 into an art. No one wants to speak up against this insanity because everyone wants to cash in on all the aging boomers who are desperate to stay young at any cost.
We all know there is no fountain of youth: yet otherwise intelligent women will buy the most expensive face creams they can afford…just in case it may do something to minimize the effects of aging. Crazy as it seems, they are not buying results. Billions of dollars are spent every year to purchase hope. One would think that most important issue to women must be “to be desired.” Why else do we want so desperately to erase all signs of the aging and hold on to youth? Is “old” synonymous with “worthless?”
What has caused this disdain of growing older? Whatever happened to growing older with dignity and grace? I firmly believe that how a person looks has the power to make or break careers, goals and dreams. But, I also believe it's time for us all to challenge the assumption that old equals unattractive and beauty requires youth.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

10 Ways to Update Your Style

1. Ditch the liner under the eye. As you age you don’t want to draw attention to the area under the eye (besides, a noticeable line under the eye is a very dated 80’s look) If you really need a little definition, use a brown powder with a brush to apply a very soft line at the base of the lashes with as slant brush.

2. Wear pants that are 1 – 3 inches below the navel (no low riders). Nothing says
“granny pants” more than pants that are too high in the waist area.

3. Re-evaluate your glasses. Are they THE most flattering frames for YOUR face? Go for the ones you love in spite of the costs. Remember, this is your face, the one part of you that everyone sees. Definitely get the non-glare coating. NO tint to the lenses–it just make the under eye area look darker. Consider taking a friend with you to try on frames, it is almost impossible to be objective with yourself.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Makeup Tips/ Product Reviews

As a makeup artist and stylist I am constantly trying new products. With the thousands of possible choices it is not surprising that women seem to have the most difficulty when it comes to finding a foundation. Finding the right foundation is tricky because it needs to have the right consistency and coverage for each individual
and it has to be the right color. The right foundation doesn’t look like you are wearing makeup but brightens and evens out your skin tone while diffusing fine lines.

First of all, realize that all foundations are hypoallergenic. No, they do not clog your pores or cause you to break out. If your skin tone is “even” (without blemishes, age spots or broken capillaries) you need minimal or light coverage (less pigment). Otherwise, a medium or more heavily pigmented product will be better for you. As we age we may also want a product doesn’t make our skin look dry, but reflects light, minimizing fine lines.
One that stands out as easy to find, economical and has beautiful skin tones, is Revlon’s Age defying Makeup (red cap). I have a summer and a winter shade and particularly like to use it in the winter when my skin is dryer. I also like using a mineral powder makeup April-November when my skin is not as dry. How do you find the correct shade? At these prices you can afford to buy a few shades. Apply a dab to your lower jaw or neck and blend. If you do not see the foundation, it is the correct shade. Some drug stores allow you to return what doesn’t match, with your receipt, to the store.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fashion Faux Pas No One Will Tell You About

Have you ever made a hasty judgement of someone and then discovered later that you were wrong? How many times a week do people meet you and make wrong assumptions about you? Most of the time, we reflect on the outside what is going on in the inside. Our appearance is chock-full of information for those around us. Research tells us that in seconds, people have made assumptions about your economic status, education level, health, social status and believability. We all know that body language can sabotage your message but are you aware that your appearance can do the same thing?

1. Showing your underwear at the waist when you bend over. Either your underpants are too high or your top is too short. Match the height of your pants to the undergarment for best results.

2. Having your slip show in the slit of a skirt while you are walking. Do you really need that slip? If so make sure you customize the slip or wear one that comes above the top of the slit.

3. Wearing reinforced-toe stockings with open - toed shoes. Open toed shoes look much better with no stockings but if you must then choose sheer to waist hoisery.

4. Visable panty line under clothing No excuse these days between thongs and power panties you never need to have a line. Also, your pants, skirt or dress may be hugging instead of skimming your backside. Wear a size up for that sophisticated “drape” effect.

5. Bra strap showing…. They tried to make this a fashion trend but it always looks cheap.
Get a strapless that feels comfortable and gives you a good silouette.

6. Body odor, too much perfume or bad breath. This is something that few people can really judge for themselves. If you are bathing daily and using deodorant you should be OK. If not talk to your doctor. Too much perfume is offensive too. Since we all have personal preferences for scents, avoid perfume or colognes for work and just go with clean. Just bushing your teeth will not get rid of bad breath. You may need to be more conscious of flossing. Your gums may be inflamed causing discomfort and odor. If this is the case, mouthwash, breath strips and mints will mask the problem without really solving the problem.

7. Too much fake tan. Fake tan is great if used modestly for creating a touch of color to tone down that chalky, winter white skin. But don’t get sucked into the thinking, ”if a little is good, a lot is better” mentality. Too much “fake tan” only looks orangey and contrived. It is much better to be lily white than having people do double takes wondering what you were thinking.

8. Lips that look “drawn on”. Yes, I know lip liners are great when you have lines around your mouth, but please match your lip color to your liner. It is true that our lips fade in color as we age, but don’t overcompensate by going really bright or dark with a hard line around your mouth. A youthful mouth is slightly deeper in color than the skin. Gloss is fine but frosted or iridescence products are aging.

9. Peg-leg pants are only flattering on emaciated runway models. Narrow at the ankles only make your hips look wider. Go with slightly flared.

10. Clothing that is too tight exposing rolls in your torso. Unsightly bulges can be disguised in a jiffy simply by wearing a non-stretchy silk-like cami under tops.
Also, pick styles and sizes that drape (hang without conforming to the body) instead of stretchy, body hugging blouses.