Makeup Spring Cleaning

Posted on April 28, 2010 by admin 

With the arrival of spring, at long last, we plunge into our tradition purge of elements of winter and welcome the new, freshness of spring.  Along with the seasonal cleaning, changing from winter to spring/summer clothes and accessories  this is the time to purge those old cosmetics.

Until I started using Arbonne, I had items lurking in a drawer dating back to some unknown year.  And my rational was, “This was expensive and is only half gone so I hate to throw it away.”  I imagine many of you have the same dilemma so I wanted to share a recent interview with Jaklin Adris, North American director of education for the Darphin label, owned by Estee Lauder.    As you can imagine, she acquires a lot of different products so her guidelines were especially meaningful for me.

If a product has not been opened, three years is a good guideline.  Most all cosmetics are formulated to last that long.  If the product has been opened, it should be used within 24 months.  Products for the eyes have a more gentle preservative so that the sensitive area around the eye is not irritated but they do not last as long.  She recommends using eye products within six months or discarding them but I have heard people in the cosmetic field recommend discarding eye products , especially mascara, within three months as it is more prone to pick up bacteria on the wand.  I recommend using a spatula rather than dipping your fingers into any cream to avoid bacterial contamination.

It is a myth about storing cosmetics in the refrigerator to extend their life, however, keeping them in a cool space is a good idea.  Being kept in a cupboard in the bathroom is better than keeping them exposed to the heat and moisture of the shower.  Closing the caps tightly after use will help prevent the products from drying out and forming a crust on top.  If you have a cream that has formed such a crust, Ms. Jaklin says she scrapes it off and stirs the remaining cream. Then she uses it on her feet or other areas of the body but not on the face.  Exposure to extreme temperature changes can damage products so be aware of any change in texture or odor.   If you have ever left your purse in the car on a hot day, you have experienced what intense heat will do to lipstick and other similar products!

I found most of these suggestions match the routine that I use.  It helps to have a product that you like and that works for your skin.  Then you will have far fewer mistakes that might sit in your drawer unused.  By choosing only those items that you know you will use and avoiding  impulse purchases of an untried product,  you will save money and lots of guilt by not having an expensive, unused bottle “of” in your drawer.

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Let’s talk about a professional photo.

Posted on April 23, 2010 by admin 

I’m in the process of updating my web site so decided to have a new headshot done along with some other shots needed for another project.  It occurred to me that many of you might be doing the same thing what with people looking for new positions, choosing a gift for that special someone or, like me, updating your web site.  Since we don’t have professional photos taken often, great attention should be given to how you are projected – perhaps for several years to come.

Of course, choosing a great photographer is key.  I called Teryl Jackson, a member of my mastermind group whose photos had really impressed me.

She suggested bringing several different outfits to see which one photographed best.  Also, she recommended a “V” neck and wearing something with sleeves.   For men, the shirt collar needs to fit the neck exactly and the coat or blazer should lie perfectly against the shirt collar, exposing a bit of collar.  A headshot is very revealing if a shirt is either too tight or has a gap at the back.  Blue is a great color for both men and women, especially if they have blue eyes.  Blue portrays a sense of trust.

Other considerations are having your hair and makeup or beard perfect.   I am a strong believer in having a top stylist give you a good cut and style.  This is not where you should default to the $10 cut.  Since hair is a person’s crowning glory, I believe it is worth the expenditure to get a great cut that works for you.  A good stylist will know what is going to work best with your facial features as well as your hair.  Having very fine straight hair, I learned the hard way that a good cut that works with my hair is the only way to go.   An accomplished hairdresser will also want to know about your lifestyle so your style is something that you will be able to maintain.   A great style does no good if you cannot keep it up at home.  A top stylist will also be able to create a hairstyle that suits your personality so your hair becomes a part of your brand.

Makeup for a normal headshot (not the glamour shot) should be moderate.  Choose whether your eyes or lips should be accentuated and make one or the other the main focus.  Most people choose the eyes as ones attention is drawn up on the face away from a double chin, wrinkles or neck lines that you don’t wish to have attention focused on.   Guys need to take care that they are properly shaved or trimmed if they have facial hair.  For job interviews, it is best not to have facial hair unless you are in a more artsy field like an ad agency.  Once you are hired, you can get more a feel for the organization and determine if facial hair is appropriate.

I spent about two hours with Teryl and was so impressed with her expertise and attention to detail.   My biggest problem was choosing which photos to select as there were so many good ones.  If you are thinking of a new photo, I encourage you to check out several photographers, but do include Teryl Jackson in the mix.  Her web site is or just Google Teryl Jackson.

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Which Shooze to Chooze?

Posted on April 14, 2010 by admin 

Life used to be simple when choosing the correct shoes for an outfit.  When I attended design classes at UCLA, the rule was: dark shoes with dark slacks or skirt, taupe shoes with red or green and white shoes only in the heat of summer with a light outfit but never wear white shoes in San Francisco.

Then came the advent of statement shoes – red, leopard, snake and other bright colors among many other options.  No wonder it is confusing and no wonder there are so many ladies putting together outfits that don’t work that well.

While studying with Carla Mathis, author of The Triumph of Individual Style, which is the textbook for the Art Institute of New York and the Design School at Cornell among other universities, I learned the overriding principle of hair color.   Listening to someone with those credentials seemed important!  The objective in good design is for the eye to first see your face and head then follow down your body, to your shoes.  If your shoes match your hair color, the eye is drawn back up to the face so your viewer’s total attention is focused on you.   Unfortunately, as in all good principles, there are exceptions so let’s try to make this practical so it is easy to incorporate in to your everyday dressing routine.

First of all, no matter what your hair color, black slacks should be grounded with black shoes.  I prefer dark shoes with a dark skirt as well, if worn with hose.  Dark hose, whether sheer or opaque, create the same continuum of color and need to be grounded with dark shoes.   So, my UCLA professor was right as far as it went.

Using a statement shoe will work with knee length or shorter skirts and a natural color hose.  Color me old fashioned, but I think hose for business look much more professional.   However, if you have nicely tanned legs, going without hose works fine for more casual occasions.  (If you have white legs, use a self-tanning cream.  I love Arbonne “Made In The Shade”.)  A brown tone skirt could be lovely with brown toned leopard or snake shoes.   These shoes could also work nicely with brown toned slacks if the tones are not drastically different.  A navy skirt could be accented with red shoes.  The whole point is not to shock the eye when visually following the leg, covered in a dark color and then, Wham! There is a much lighter colored shoe.   Brightly colored shoes can be adorable with a print or as an accent in a more casual setting.   If you choose a statement shoe, that should be the main punch in the outfit.  Remember, statement shoes are a fashion trend and will probably not be here to complicate our lives forever.

Now to look at the premise, matching the shoe color to the hair.  If you have very dark hair, you are always right by choosing black shoes.    This year, shoes are being shown in every shade of neutral color so it is easy to find shoes close to your hair-color. Redheads and all shades of brown or blonde can find options that will closely match their hair.   Even with navy or other darker shaded skirts, a neutral hose and shoes the color of your hair will be right every time.

One other point.   A pump is best with suits.   These pumps can be sling back or a peep toe for most work environments unless it is very conservative.   Sandals should never be worn with suits or business attire.  Save them for fun day or evening dresses and casual wear.  If a man were to wear sandals to the office with a suit, we would think he had lost his mind.  Even though many department stores catalogues show sandals with suits, it doesn’t mean that they work.  That may be the only pair of shoes the model had that day!

I hope these guidelines have not complicated the conundrum of choosing the right shoes.

Don’t forget that it is time to do that spring closet cleaning.  Style With Aplomb is offering a 20% hourly discount to help you in this process.  Just give us a call at 404.467.0288.

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Bib Necklace

Posted on April 7, 2010 by admin 

At a recent style show featuring one line of clothing, I was surprised to see the majority of models adorned with either bib or very large, chunky necklaces.  For the most part, they didn’t work.

Any dramatic or dominant piece of jewelry necessitates being the main focus in the look.  The garment with which it is worn must be understated and allow the necklace to take center stage.  Special details on the outfit fight for attention, thus neither the garment nor the dress is shown off to full advantage.

Scale of a necklace must relate to the scale of the wearer.  Since most of these necklaces are large and dramatic, they visually overpower any wearer who does not have equal dominance in her facial features and bone structure.  A woman with delicate bone structure and small features will be visually overpowered.

Lastly, each of us has a natural balance point – that is the point where a necklace or neckline most naturally balances with the face.  These larger necklaces often do not fall at that balance point, creating a visual disproportion.

Although the bib necklaces can be beautiful, one needs to be very selective in choosing the right one.

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