Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hope for women size 10 and beyond

I went to see Tim Gunn speak at the Corcoran School of Art a few days ago. I assumed he was going to be staid and pompous.
I was pleasently surprised that he was not only modest and self depricating, but also shared his great sense of humor.
Now that he has a makeover style show and Project Runway and works for Liz Claiborne, his take on fashion is more realistic and practical then when he was a dean at Parsons School of Design.
There is now hope that, with Tim's influence, we may have a company that will develope clothing flattering for women size 10 and beyond.

With 42million women over 40 wouldn't you think someone would realize that this is a market segment that needs help?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Women say the worst things about the image they see in the mirror

“Sticks and stones can hurt my bones but words can never hurt me”

How bogus is that? As a child I believed this, but as I grew up I realized how untrue that little ditty really is. Words have power. Power to wound, power to inspire, power to pass on wisdom, power to proclaim the truth.

The words that those we love and respect speak carry tremendous power, but none have the impact on our psyche as much as our own “inner speak”. The words we say, moment to moment to ourselves, will strongly influence our fears, actions and attitudes but also how we view ourselves. If your inner voice is constantly telling you that you are old, fat or unattractive, then that becomes your self-fulfilling prophecy. Until you understand that becoming more beautiful is less about the lipstick you choose and more about feeling good about who you see in the mirror; then you will never be satisfied with who you see staring back at you.
The truth is: if you change your inner speak, you change your life.

That is the power of words.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What is the most important item in your makeup bag?

My concealer is definitely the most important item in my makeup bag. Yes, I do need blush and mascara, but nothing makes more of an impact as the use of my concealer.

With the swipe of the brush I can wipe out dark circles, a sun- spot or two and a blemish on my chin. There are three tricks to finding the right concealer: consistency, coverage and color. I want a concealer that doesn’t settle into the fine lines yet one that has enough opaqueness to “conceal” what I am trying to camouflage.

When purchasing a concealer avoid products with light- reflecting qualities if you also plan to use it to hide anything other than dark circles. Light reflecting properties are great for under eyes but there is no point in drawing attention to blemishes, broken capillaries or redness you are trying to cover.
Color is also important. The shade you choose should be slightly lighter than the skin tone on your face.

My beloved concealer is so critical to me that I keep one at home, one in my purse and I even stash a spare. I’ve spent a small fortune trying dozens of concealers so now I’m hoping they never discontinue the one that finally works perfectly for me.
There are lots of good products to choose from. Some of my favorites are from Lancome, Origin, Neutrogena and Glo Minerals. I use Glo Mineral (color: golden).

My advice: when you find the one you really like, buy three!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Are manicures a "must"?

I get this question often. Absolutely not, but clean, evenly filed nails are a must. If you do not have the time or money, take the time to clean and shape your nails.
Here are some rules of thumb (excuse the pun):

All the nails should be the same length. If a nail breaks off, shorten all the nails to create continuity.
Never wear chipped polish
Always apply polish even if it is just a clear topcoat.
Avoid loud colors or frosted shades, designs and paintings on nails
Consider a french manicure so that your nail color will not conflict with your ensembles

if you do not like the look of a french manicure, consider an American manicure which is similar but less stark and more natural in appearance.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

5 Reasons women slip into frumpdom

1. I have children- It is easy to rationalize wearing loose-fitting, washable clothing when you are raising kids. Sticky fingers and mud pies are part of the package. Instead of athletic wear, get some washable trousers and tops that can be dressed up or down. No need to wear jewelry when you are playing with the kids, but comfortable, fashionable shoes and well tended hair and makeup suddenly take that casual “play” outfit and to a more polished appearance.

2. It is too late, I am too old- Nonsense! I have clients in their 70’s and 80’s.
Never give up. It is never too late to revamp your image. Need help? Email me, I will make sure you get to where you want to go when it comes to image.

3. I don’t know how to do anything else- We all get stuck in rut sometimes and need an objective person to pull us out! I can help you look current and fashionable without “crossing the line.” No one wants to look foolish. Don’t worry frumpdom isn’t about age, it’s a state of mind. If you are realy stuck, email me. We can set up an appointment with Skype and get you back on track.

4. It doesn’t matter- Of course it matters! If you are constantly interrupted by others or not being taken seriously or if you feel “all washed up” then it matters.
It matters that you like what you see in the mirror each day and it matters how the world perceives you. I don’t know about you, but I want to be seen as a vibrant, capable woman who is aging gracefully.

5. I don’t have time- Few of us have time, we must make time and take time.
Give up an hour of sleep (or go to bed earlier) so you can walk or exercise each morning. Add 5 minutes more to your daily routine so you can apply makeup and style your hair. If I can work 10 hour days and make time to exercise, dress up, and cook dinner each night, so can you! Carpe Diem!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Six ways to look younger instantly!

Today on the set, one of the actresses asked me how she could “instantly” look younger.
Instantly being the key word. Since I have spent most of my life making people look younger, taller and thinner, this was right up my alley.

1. Show some skin- Long skirts and turtlenecks can add pounds and look matronly on women over 40. Wear v-necks and 3/4 length sleeves and you will instantly look younger.

2. Color your hair- Some people look great in silver hair but keep in mind that most people will look 10-15 years younger with color in their hair.

3. Get some Spanx- There is no question that we look older when we are over-weight. Power panties are not your mother’s girdle. These little babies comfortably take you down a size. Hooray!

4. Dump the frumpy shoes- Do not wear worn-out shoes in public. Find shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. It can be done! Email me for specifics.

5. Conceal those dark circles- Makeup is incredibly helpful in softening the signs of aging: uneven skin tone, dark circles, fading eye and lip color and thinning eyelashes and eyebrows. Which concealer is my personal favorite? Glo Minerals (color: golden).

6. Get my DVD, “ Ten Pounds Thinner, Ten Years Younger”
I’ll show you dozens of ways to look younger and thinner.
It’s a fun way to learn because you see the results right before your eyes!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fashion I care?

I love the act of dressing each morning. I see it as an opportunity to tell the world what I have to offer. I always consider style, drape and color when choosing what goes on my body, but in the end, clothing for me is primarily functional. The goal is to get my message across while feeling attractive and comfortable. Then fashion week comes along. Fashion week has always intrigued and frustrated me. I am fascinated by the idea that some think of clothing as an ART form. Clothing designs are stitched into ensembles that rarely resemble anything that a less than 6 foot, 110lb. women would consider wearing. Let's face it, it's a challenge to make these women look bad in anything. Soon we will see the trickle down of these designs in our very own stores and we will go shopping and say, once again, "I just can't find something that really looks good on me."

I resent the fact that what I am wearing is decided by people who seem to have forgotten average sized women. When are we going to turn the tables and let the designers know what we want? We need to give the designers and the buyers a reality check. Our collective voices can now be heard by emailing designers, manufacturers and retail stores. Let them know that we want clothing flattering to women with less than perfect bodies. We want colors that flatter our skin tones. We want stylish casual wear as well as powerful designs that scream crediblity for business-wear.

Fashion week do I care? Yes, in the end I do.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Why settle? Go for comfort and style!

For those of us who want to look vibrant and memorable, without breaking the bank. We crave items that combine comfort and style. The huge success of Chico’s is a call to action by women who want upscale, casual attire with individuality and comfort.
The artistic looks are fun and the textures are luscious.

But, where are the choices for women who want a fitted look opposed to the short boxy jackets at Chico’s? Where are the pieces for women that are long-waisted? What about those who want to camouflage their expanding girth?
Where are the business suits or separates that have texture, colors and fabrics that separate them from their boring counterparts?
Wake up designers! We need something besides art and boring functionality.
Repeat after me:
“I will no longer stand for looking mediocre. I want my clothing, hairstyle and makeup to be current and fresh, but complimentary on me.”

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Do you need to rethink your image?

I usually get the call right about the time a woman hits 50. They call me desperate for help - frustrated with how they look with those extra few pounds, the emerging gray hairs or the new found changes in her slightly aging face. Just when they had “ageing gracefully” down pat, along comes a reunion, Bar Mitzvah or an insensitive comment by a friend which sends them into a private pity party about their appearance. Some are terrified of “getting old” while others feel hopeless and sad about the encroaching sand of time, knocking on their door. Suddenly they notice they have stained teeth, poor eyesight, thinning, graying hair and a little extra thickness around the middle.

It’s no wonder women are sometimes overwhelmed with all the changes of moving into midlife.

After working as a stylist for more than 25 years, I can help you take 3 steps to make this moment easier:

1. Get a gynecologist that is experienced with menopausal women. This is going to help you with all the physical issues that make this time of life challenging.

2. Get moving. Dance, walk, swim…do anything to get moving. Your youthfulness and longevity are more affected by this than anything else you can do. Not only will you get those extra pounds off your waist, you will feel so much better, too. Never underestimate all the benefits of making your body move. At a minimum you will just be happier. Just remember the old adage: use it or lose it.

3. Reassess and update your appearance.
What is driving your look? Is it comfort, style, credibility, or are you in a rut and just grab whatever is clean? Women tell me they begin to feel invisible as they age and that’s not surprising. As we age we lose pigment in our lips, iris and hair color. Skin tone and hair texture changes. What worked for us at 30 no longer looks right anymore. We sometimes focus on comfort at the expense of style. No one wants to be thought of as old and washed up. So why do so many women send that exact message? Time to update your hairstyle, reassess your wardrobe and lose a few pounds. Need help? Check out my DVD series on or order from

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Clothing buyers need to know their demographics

While shopping for an outfit for an afternoon wedding I became painfully aware that the majority of styles available would only look good on someone under size 6. Common sense tells you that fullness adds volume. I do not need or want volume. I want slimming, I want optical illusions, and I want something that actually flatters my curvy body! Just who was it that decided that gathered skirts and babydoll dresses are what women get to wear this year? Don’t the designers know that the average size of women in this country is size 14? It is time that the manufactures take note that those of us over size 6 want the option to dress with power and credibility for work and look current, hip and sometimes even sexy for evenings.
Lets face it, most styles this year look flattering on young, slim 20 somethings. But if you’ve got a few extra pounds or you are over 35 you are out of luck.
Buyers take note: We want flattering lines that flatter our not-so-perfect shape.