Grooming 101

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When you think about grooming you probably think of it in the most elaborate of ways. You imagine the hundreds of dollars spent on dying your hair, makeup, etcetera. This can be true, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, a red lip and sleek hair do is your iconic grooming, but elegance is also about simplicity.

Hair
You can dye it if that suits your fancy, but really it’s just about: getting it trimmed so you don’t have split ends, brushing or styling it, washing it. That’s it. In the shower, I use shampoo and conditioner, out of the shower I run a little bit of argan oil through the ends. Nothing crazy or time consuming about it. It looks great, it feels great and it takes no time at all to get ready.

Skin
Regardless of if you wear makeup or not, skin should be a priority. You can do something like the five step morning routine or more, but something must be done. People always are baffled by the morning face washing, do not skip this step! In your sleep you sweat and produce oil and if you leave all that on your face, you are going to look less than fresh. With amazing skin, less makeup is required anyway.

Nails
Polish is a great, affordable way to participate in the makeup trends. Its not as tricky as applying liquid liner and even if you work at a conservative job like a bank teller, you can wear fun colors. A fresh coat of lacquer isn’t required to be elegant though, just clean, maintained finger nails. They must be all the same length. If you have long nails and one breaks, they all go. Keep your hands moisturized. Trim hang nails and dry cuticles.

Fragrance
This doesn’t have to mean perfume. It could be a perfume oil, a body mist, or just your shower gel. The key is not to stink. If you suffer from body odor, you need to know this about yourself and correct the problem. If people can smell you, they will not want to be around you. Even worse, you do not want to be known as the woman who stinks.

Hair removal
This is non negotiable. A lot of the things on this list are up for interpretation, this isn’t. If you’re wearing a sleeveless top, shave under the arms. Skirts and shorts – shave the legs. There are lots of ways to achieve the goal of hair removal. If you are less likely to want to do it, go for something like electrolysis.

Pardon My French

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 9.50.15 PM.pngHere’s the thing, I love to swear. I use it for inflection and I feel the need to inflect pretty much anything I am saying. This only applies to when I am actually speaking. When I am writing something like an e-mail, I see how much I swear and I don’t like it. I end up deleting all of them. It isn’t ladylike to swear. I have quite an inner battle on this matter because I really enjoy it. If you remember the three P’s, presentation has been thrown out the window in this regard. So the next time you want to swear, try using a different word instead. (As a side note, if your substitute word is so obvious which word you’d rather be using, it is just like swearing.)

The Emergency Kit

DSCN0456.JPGThe modern woman is out and about. She needs to be able to turn her look around at the drop of a hat without making her bag unfit for carrying. Whether it’s a skirt that needs hemming or a two minute turn around for an impromptu date. This bag of tricks is sure to save you from a numerous amount of unsightly scenarios.

Hair thing: Make it something eye catching. I am partial to brass hair combs, which you don’t see too often, but a tortoise shell alligator clip is another great option.

Lipstick: Something that can double as blush make’s it more utilitarian. (Creme color also works great for this).

Mascara: The mini versions you get as promotions from department stores is the perfect size to toss in your bag and not break the bank when you need to replace it (Every three months).

Concealer: This could be a foundation stick, compact foundation, whatever it is you use to touch up. I was once in a bathroom and pondered the question, ‘is it still concealer if you use it all over my face?’ The answer, is yes.

Meds: Hidden in a mint container, whatever your ailment, it can be housed in something bit more discreet than the container it came in (extra points for chic pill boxes).

Mirror: Because you never know.

Floss: See above. The mini pictured above is what I get from the dentist when I go for my cleaning.

Jewelry: For when you are feeling a bit blah and need jazzing up. I find rings or bracelets travel the best.

Sewing kit and safety pins: Hotels often give simple kits when you stay there. You don’t need more than a dark and light thread and one needle, you aren’t making a dress after all.

The Coffee Table Book

DSCN0427.JPGYou’ve heard it before, it’s not broken, so I’m not fixing it. Odd numbers are the key in decorating. I think a stack of three is your best bet. Regarding your selection you have two options – color or subject. Maybe you get lucky and the two go hand in hand, For me,  I selected three books on topics I love and as luck would have it, the colors worked out. (Personally I detest dust jackets, so it can be a surprise what color that actual book is). When going the route of decorating with a coffee table book remember one thing – less is more.

The Sweatshirt

DSCN0455.JPGCan a sweatshirt be stylish? Absolutely. The options of how to wear this piece are endless. Wear it to work with a pair of tailored slacks and pumps, wear it on the weekend with cut off shorts and strappy sandals. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want this comfy classic to come off classy instead of trashy.

It’s got to fit
You can wear it slightly over sized, but not much, as soon as it starts looking too oversized you start looking sloppy.

Keep it simple
No hood, no logos, no zipper, nothing. Just a simple pull over sweatshirt.

Color
Black is your best bet. If that isn’t your thing, just keep it neutral.

The Monochromatic Palette

DSCN0380.JPGOnce you’ve figured out your style, apply these same traits to your home. Surrounding yourself with colors and materials you love will make your home extra chic. (And who doesn’t want that?)

A monochromatic look is a great trick to making whatever it is look more expensive, even if you got everything at a bargain store. There are no rules for what color to choose, but for a more luxe look, lean towards neutrals.

The Five Step Morning Skincare Routine

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Everyone loves a morning routine. Coffee. Check your email. Blast the music and dance in your underwear. Skincare. As the years pass it becomes increasingly more important to pay attention to what you are doing and putting on your face. The steps listed below are the bare minimum, but feel free to add whatever bells and whistles tickle your fancy.

1. Cleanse: A gentle cleanser is best. You need to be kind to your skin. There is no need to strip everything from your skin every time you cleanse. You risk over producing oil since your skin thinks it’s dry.

2. Tone: An essential step. Designed to balance the ph of the skin and remove any lasting traces of impurities. Always use a non-alcohol version, the goal here is not to dry out the skin.

3. Treat: Depending on your skin needs there are serums and oils to target everything from dryness to dullness. Unsure what to go with? An antioxidant serum is a great choice.

4. Moisturize: Never skip this step, even if you’re oily. If you have problems with oily skin, a lightweight gel cream will do wonders for you.

5. Protect: Sunscreen, never leave home without it. An SPF of 30 with zinc protection is the powerhouse of all sunscreens and is even great for sensitive skin (Bonus: It’s a dream team when paired with antioxidant serum).

Sophisticated Polish

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Any nail polish can be sophisticated. All you need are clean nails – filed down short, moisturized hands and a color that flatters your skin tone. That being said, there are some colors that just ooze sophistication. I have listed them down below if you want a nice starter kit.

  1. Zoya – Olivera When you think of classy nail colors you think reds, pinks, nudes, but it doesn’t have to stop there. This blue/purple/green combination shines differently depending on the light. A real unexpected stunner.
  2. Deborah Lippmann – Naked A sheer jelly cream nude. The perfect polish to complete any outfit.
  3. NARS – Nightbreed  A spin on classic black think more along the lines of black diamonds. This is glitter all grown up
  4. Essie – Wicked The most beautiful red/purple blend. And the name is to die for.
  5. China Glaze – My Lodge or Yours This mauve screams sophistication
  6. Butter London – Fash Pack Everyone needs a taupe in her arsenal. This one is a must have.