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May 31, 2011

31 Days Closer to a Cuter You! "Do's and Don'ts of Beauty"

I did the online research for you and have compiled a list of what the "experts" of fashion and beauty generally agree on how not to look old.

First the do nots ~

Do Not: 

1. Wear "mom jeans" 

    2. Wear your reading glasses on a chain around your neck. 

    3. Wear holiday themed clothing. 
    (Check this list for 25 "Clothes That Gotta Go." Click HERE.)

    4. Wear dark lipstick. 
    A pink tone with gloss is much better. For more, click HERE.
    Try this yourself. The next time you are putting on your makeup, try a darker lipstick first. Then wipe it off and go with a pinker tone or a rosy lip gloss. See what YOU think.

    5. Wear too much make-up. 
    Emphasize either your eyes or your lips but not both at the same time. (personal experience: When I was in my early 20's I wore heavy, full make-up. Looking at the photos, I looked a bit "clownish.")

    6. Wear heavy perfume. (This tip from my 21 yr. old daughter.) We both agree that you do not need to wear perfume 100% of the time. Lighten up sometimes with a perfumed body creme. 

    7. Ignore a "lady-stache." 
    Wax it. Bleach it. Remove it with a depilatory. Go out in your backyard with a mirror and see what everyone else sees. (I know this is scary. Pretend I am holding your hand.) 

    8. Neglect your eyebrows. 
    Click HERE for dramatic brow makeovers and find out what your eyebrows say about you.

    9. Be afraid to make some changes. 
    Find a friend whose updated and modern look you admire and ask her for advice. Check out these makeovers. My jaw dropped! Click HERE.

    10. Shop for the majority of your clothing in the juniors section! You will look like you are desperately trying to hang on to your youth. We all age. Let's do it gracefully and with style.

    Now for the Do's~ 

    1. Wear trends. 
    Save money by enjoying a trendy look in accessories. No matter your style personality, you can incorporate a trend in small doses. Click HERE for a video on the 2011 trends and how to wear them.

    2. Wear a wide brimmed hat in the sun. 
    I like a tan and I have a tan but I protect my face! 

     3. Use a facial moisturizer that contains retinoic acid to smooth lines. It really works. 
    My friend, Laurie, uses Boots No. 7 Serum which is available at Target. Since her recommendation, I've recently started using it too. Here's a link to learn more about it. Click HERE.

    4. Get some sun every day on your body WITHOUT sunscreen. I  know. I know. You've heard to avoid the sun and if you are in it, to wear sunscreen. But there are also benefits to a little sun exposure w/o covering your skin with sunscreen. It's the best source of Vitamin D and a lot of us are Vitamin D deficient. Click HERE for more info on the sun and vitamin D (#4 and #8).

    5. Sweat everyday. 
    Your skin is your largest organ. Sweating for 10 minutes a day releases toxins and improves the clarity of your skin. If you are exercising and not working up a sweat, your workout may be too easy.

     6. Aim for 25 grams of fiber per day. It does your body"all kinds of good." Great sources: Uncle Sam's cereal, organic apples w/skin, oatmeal, high fiber English muffins, (even a cup of coffee has 2 grams)

    7.Get your beauty sleep!
    Click HERE.

    8. Use a foot scrub with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and get rid of those calluses. 
    It's sandal season. I like THIS ONE.

    9. Get a professional bra fitting. 
    Check out your profile. "They" should be resting, sitting...you know what I mean, halfway between the top of your shoulder and your elbow. Click HERE.

    10. Order your day and find the joy!
    There are certain things that I like to do each day and when I miss even one of them, I feel out of sorts. Although I don't always hit the mark each day, I've learned that if I don't "order" my day, my day wants to "order" me. Of course, some days "life happens." But on most days if I start my morning right, my day goes much smoother. 

    This concludes my series 31 Days to a Cuter You! Thanks for reading.

    Visit the other "31 Days Closer to..." bloggers.

    31 Days Closer to Your Kids

    Check out Lisa's end of series give-A-way!

    31 Days Closer to a New Home

    May 30, 2011

    31 Days Closer to a Cuter You! "Hair Color Me Beautiful"

    My boy, Andrew, and me ~ same color
     (I want this day back!)

    Brown w/highlights

    My "natural" color at 5 - 6 yrs. old ~

    My beautiful friend & hair stylist, Michelle w/her lovely daughter, Mia ~

     Hair color ~ whaddya gonna do? 

    I've had lots of colors: ranging from my natural medium blonde as a child to natural light brown as I got older, strawberry blonde (bad, very bad), dark brown (darker than natural and another bad color on me), light brown with highlights (very good), dark blonde with low lights and highlights (again very good) and saving money and doing it myself blonde that gets too brassy (not so good).

    My opinion on hair color if you are in your 40's and beyond:

    1. As you get older (40's and on), you NEED some! (My PERSONAL opinion. Feel free to disagree.)
    2. Many celebrities who are in the business of looking good go lighter as they get older.
    3. Even naturally dark (dark brown/black) hair benefits from some highlights in a color appropriate to hair and skin tone. Michelle (above pic) has naturally very dark brown hair but still likes to add a few highlights to keep her hair from looking like "a blanket on my head."
    4. Some women look great with gray hair. I'm not ready to see if I'll be one of them! Check out this link if you are considering going gray. Click HERE.
    5. I think that since skin tone (even w/a tan) and eye color do not change, if you stick with a hair color you had as a child (or within a shade or two), you should be able to pull that off. If it looked good then, why not now? 
    6. Hair color from a box even if it's as close as possible to your "natural" hair color is still going to be flatter than your natural color before any gray appeared. So, you might look "more natural" with your base close to "natural" and a few highlights for dimension. 
    7. When I have gone with dark hair, I never get complimented on my hair but as soon as I lighten the base and/or add some highlights, I get great feedback. Even my dad will ask me when I'm going to add some blonde back in. Of course your opinion is the most important but pay attention to feedback from people who love you! My husband prefers some highlights in my hair. Maybe this is because when we first met, I had blonde hair.
    8. Once you get some gray in there, your "natural" hair color gets a little muddied up. Did I mention that I am not a hair color professional? These are my opinions after years of experimentation! And I say, experience counts!

     And this advice from my friend, Michelle ~
    1. See a professional.
    ( I used to specialize in color correction) 

    2. Start out with a subtle approach, maybe a few highlights around the face.

    Now if you are going for a new all over color, the first thing to know is your NL- natural level. Then the DL - desired level.
    Always realize when lifting occurs -it will always produce warmth. At this point, your stylist will know from your CONSULTATION ( of utmost importance) if she should enhance the warmth and add to that or counterbalance that.
    It is my professional opinion that cool undertones in the skin call for cool neutral tones in the hair.

    Warm undertones in the skin can usually wear golds and warm hues very well.
    Eye color plays a part but not nearly as important as skin tones.
    The most important thing to note is this: Haircolor can ALWAYS be corrected.
    And very few people can go to the drugstore and know what they should get.
    Consider this: a salon professional is usually pretty confident of what the product used can or will produce.
    Find your personal haircare provider and be loyal. Let her learn your hair and your personality.

    Michelle "color corrected" my hair. I had gotten it too brassy. She added my "natural" darker color underneath and toned down some of the warm/golden highlights with a "sandy" tone.
    Color correction - mid April
    Current ~ May 29, 2011, per Michelle's instructions, I colored my roots myself.
    Jennifer Aniston (obviously years ago, looks like her "natural" color)
    See how highlights brighten her up?
    Even lighter
    (both pics from Spring '11 ~ See how much younger Julia Roberts looks with lighter hair?)

    Susan Lucci ~ Dark hair
    Susan Lucci ~ Dark but with a few highlights

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    31 Days Closer to Your Kids

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    May 26, 2011

    31 Days Closer to a Cuter You! "The X Factor"

    Last post of outfits from www.polyvore.com for the 5 basic body types ~
    I created these looks for the X/hourglass body type.

    Why "Moody Blues" works ~
    v-neck is great for this body type as it opens up the area (especially good if you have an ample bust line; it just creates some room to breathe)
    shape of the top mimics the X without being too form fitting
    dark wash, bootcut jeans (good on most figures, but especially this one)

     "Moody Blues"

    Plunge top
    $22 - tillys.com

    Naf Naf stretchy jeans
    35 EUR - naf-naf.placedestendances.com

    Banana Republic wedge heel shoes
    $79 - bananarepublic.gap.com

    Mar Y Sol raffia handbag
    $89 - endless.com

    Marc by marc jacobs jewelry
    $250 - net-a-porter.com

    D g jewelry
    145 GBP - debenhams.com

    Rebecca Norman stone jewelry
    $135 - calypsostbarth.com

    Why "Sandy Nights" works ~
    scoop neck is great for the same reasons as the v-neck above
    fitted through bodice w/o being too form fitting
    plain shorts, no side pockets (side pockets and bulk are best on apple and inverted triangle)

    Shoes ~ this style of shoe is great for elongating the leg b/c it doesn't cut off the ankle and the color blends in with skin tone

    "Sandy Nights"

    Proenza Schouler scoop neck top
    $625 - editnewyork.com

    Theory black short short
    150 EUR - my-wardrobe.com

    Opening Ceremony flat shoes
    $465 - lagarconne.com

    Rebecca Minkoff tote handbag
    $150 - rebeccaminkoff.com

    Gerard Darel watch

    I adore this dress for every reason you see ~ the color, the neckline, the sleeves, the attention at the waist, the hemline. I WANT THIS DRESS. It's pretty and feminine and doesn't shout, "I'm here. Look at me!" But it's just so feminine and pretty and I love the color and, ok, I'm repeating myself.

    "Natural Woman"
    Alberta Ferretti glamorous dress
    3.198 EUR - stylebop.com

    High heel sandal
    $1,095 - giuseppezanottidesign.com

    Kimberly McDonald diamond butterfly earring
    17,280 GBP - brownsfashion.com

    Cathy waterman ring
    $11,030 - barneys.com

    Juicy couture bracelet
    $70 - couture.zappos.com

    Why "Going Gray" works ~ This top would actually be great for lots of the other body types, too, as long as it's roomy enough through the bust line for the apple and inverted triangle. And, not too tight in the sleeve. You never want a sleeve to make your arms look like sausages!
    Pencil skirt is so good on an X body type unless you have a thigh issue. Then you will want an A-line skirt.
    Take a good look at those shoes! Do you not adore those sling-back, platforms? This is a fabulous style shoe for elongating the leg.

    "Going Gray"
    Tunic top
    18 GBP - bonprixsecure.com

    Pencil skirt
    105 GBP - karenmillen.com

    Giuseppe Zanotti high heels
    $750 - bergdorfgoodman.com

    Proenza Schouler shoulder strap bag
    $3,645 - lagarconne.com

    Marc by marc jacobs watch
    $250 - net-a-porter.com

    Carolee LUX cocktail ring
    $95 - bloomingdales.com