Entries Tagged as 'Tips and Tricks'
When the winter months comes around, you should re-stock your office emergency kit. You never know what mini-crises you might run into working 9-to-whenever-the-work-is-done. A professional lady should always be prepared.
The Laundry Room. Spill coffee on your blouse? Skirt clinging like a bad boyfriend? You can’t have your carefully chosen outfit ruined by an unfortunate incident.
I recommend keeping a Tide Pen for tiny spills, and Shout Wipes for bigger messes. A lint roller (I like the ones that smell like Bounce), some Static Guard, a bottle of Febreeze and a sewing kit wouldn’t hurt either. Also, I used to keep a thing of Pledge Wipes in my desk drawers. They’re give leather shoes a quick shine if they get soiled on your morning commute.
The Furnace Room. Every office that I ever worked in was freezing, populated by men who refused to turn up the heat for fear they might melt. And men are such whiners when they’re hot, that most women just take matters into their own hands. My desk was like a climate control command center.
You need a warm scarf/wrap to hang on the back of your chair. This gorgeous one from Forzieri comes in several stylish colors, I chose the taupe. If you need a similar scarf for under-$50, Uniqlo has a fantastic cashmere scarf in more colors than you can count.
In addition to the scarf, I recommend a heating pad over a space heater. Most offices ban heaters due to fire danger, and dry air isn’t great for the skin. Place the heating pad on your chair, adjust the setting accordingly and it’ll keep you toasty all day. Promise.
If you wear black tights all winter long, you need to keep an extra pair in your desk. I like these Gap Maximum Heat Tights because they’re not too expensive, they’re really thick and if I’m cold, I can layer them over my other tights. Doubling up never hurt anyone.
The Medicine Cabinet. Hand sanitizer is a must for professional women who shake hands all day. And, unless you want your hands to get drier than the Kalahari, you need to choose a product with aloe. I like this Burt’s Bees spray because it’s not too drying and it’s all natural. But I keep a tube of L’Occitane Shea Butter hand cream handy just in case.
You also need to keep your lips and skin in good shape. For the lips, I love this Kiehl’s Cranberry-scened Lip Balm or Smith’s Rose Balm. For seriousness dryness, however, I turn to Blistex Med-Ex. For the skin, I like Evian water in a spray can. It seems like a useless product, but after a walk outside in the wind, a little spritz keeps that dry, tight feeling at bay.
I’d also suggest keeping some cold medicine, pain relievers, antihistamine, etc. in your desk as well. I also kept an Epi-Pen because my Boss had a severe food allergy. And unless you like cheap tissue that feels like cardboard for your runny nose, a few boxes of Puffs may be in order.
Filling in the eyebrows is the step that most women leave out of their makeup routine. To many women, it seems unnecessary. But have a look at the photo below from Erin Ashley’s blog, and see for yourself what a difference filling in your brows can make.
Filling in your brows is like a facelift. It draws attention to your eyes, frames your face and emphasizes your bone structure. This is especially if your blonde or Asian or, like me, over-plucked in the days when Hillary Rhoda’s brows would have been considered overgrown instead of beautifully modern. And while some tutorials outline a multi-step process that involves powders, gels and stenciling straight lines, I don’t think that filling in your brows needs to be such a chore.
This tutorial from Oprah is pretty close to my own routine. Just three steps: fill in with a pencil (following your natural brow shape, using feather-like strokes), brush smooth and set in place with a clear gel.
My favorite pencil is the ybf Universal Taupe Eyebrow Pencil ($12). It has the brush built into the end, and comes in a taupe color that works on most hair and skin colors. If you prefer to use an angled brush and powder, Anastasia Beauty Express Kit ($32) contains everything you need. And if you prefer not to freehand your brows, the kit has a stencil kit that you can use.
Need to regrow thin brows? First off, stop waxing and switch to tweezing, removing only the outliers and leaving the hairs close to the brow. Second, apply Castor oil to your brows to strengthen the hair and nourish the follicles. If you can keep your hands off of your brows and apply the oil regularly, your brows should grow back in thicker over the course of six to eight weeks.
I was wondering if you could do a blog post on beauty and contouring your face. I want to do contour makeup myself for my engagement pics, but I’m at a loss on what products I need and how to apply. Do you have some favorite brushes, foundations, powders etc. that you would recommend?
Contrary to popular opinion, highlighting and contouring (H&C) is not just for special occasions. There are actually two levels of H&C: pageant makeup and every day application. Here’s how to achieve both.
Pageant makeup is something akin to face paint. It takes practice to learn how to apply it without looking like Bozo the Clown’s prettier cousin. Well, practice and the right tools. But the results can make all the difference when you’re having your photo taken or dressing up for a special event.
First, start with this tutorial from Once Wed (photo seen above). It’s the best step-by-step guide to special occasion makeup that I’ve ever seen. Then, compile your arsenal of products (drugstore brands work well for occasion makeup).
For the base, you’ll use your regular foundation or BB cream. However, you’ll need to buy a “cream concealer 2-to-3 shades lighter than your skin tone” that you will use as a highlighter. I like NYX Full Coverage Concealer. You’ll also need a flat brush to apply it. I use my Laura Mercier concealer brush.
For the contour, Once Wed recommends that you buy foundation “2-to-3 shades darker” than your skin. I use a stick foundation because I can just draw it on and blend it in later, no brush required. Iman makes a stick foundation in every shade imaginable, so whatever your skin tone, you should be able to find a complementary shade.
Once you’ve drawn on your highlighter and contour, you should be able to see the lines clearly or else you didn’t apply enough. To turn this paint-by-numbers into a gorgeous work of art, you’re going to need to blend. Once Wed suggests an egg-shaped sponge like a BeautyBlender or the cheaper version from Sephora.
Blending is the most important part of this exercise. You must rub-a-dub-dub until the lines disappear completely. Take extra care around the jaw and hairline, those are the areas women usually miss.
To complete the look, you need so set the makeup. Most tutorials suggest setting with translucent powder, but I prefer to use Mally Poreless Face Defender to lock the makeup in place and avoid the over-powdered look.
Want to learn how to contour and highlight for every day? Read the rest of the post after the jump.
A few years ago, I mounted a crusade against visible panty line. Working women don’t always think about the smoothness of their rearview, and many types of full-seat underwear cause this unsightly fashion faux pas. I was once afflicted with this terrible disease, but I never thought that I would be the kind of women who wore thong underwear (I was young and stupid enough to think that there was a “kind” then.) until I found Hanky Panky thongs.
Hanky Pankys are super comfortable. I know…thong and comfortable are not two words that you would think go together, but in this case, they do. I rarely even know that I’m wearing them, which was not my experience with other types of thongs (not only was I sure I was wearing them, I desperately wanted to remove them for most of the day).
Like most Hanky Panky wearers, I started out with the traditional one-size-fits most, low-rise, lace thong. This classic also comes in petite and plus-size. They also make a mid-rise and a higher rise. And I thought they were eliminating VPL 100-percent of the time, until I wore a crepe dress.
Under the thin crepe, the outline of the flowers was visible. Ironic that in my quest to prevent VPL, I had actually caused VPL. *facepalm*
Luckily, our friends at Hanky Panky are now making a thong in smooth, microfiber jersey. The thongs come in a “natural rise” that I was initially skeptical about, but it turned out to be a little higher the low-rise, but not too high. And like its lace counterpart, Hanky Panky Bare thong is very comfortable.
As for sizing, this thong does not come in one-size-fits-most, so you’ll have to pick your size. I am a size 6 hip and was a small. So it seemed to run fairly close to the size guide suggestion. They’re not yet making these thongs in petite or plus-size, but hopefully, they will soon.
I love this product. It’s the perfect thing for thinner materials. No more rumply flower pattern on my tush, thank goodness.
Last week, I wrote about how much I disliked the Dr. Jart Detoxifying Primer that I tried. But even though the product may have been an epic fail, switching makeup, even if only for two weeks, caused me to take another look at my current routine.
A couple of days after switching back to my NARS Pro-Prime Oil-Free Primer ($32) and Clinique BB Cream ($37), I started to notice that my makeup was looking a bit cakey. By the end of the day, whiskering formed on my cheeks and between my eyebrows. How had I never noticed this before?
I mentioned my predicament to a friend and she suggested that I try mixing my primer and foundation together, instead of applying them separately.
Mixing the foundation with the primer can create a bit of a mess, but it’s not too bad. You simple dot a pea sized amount of primer onto the back of your hand and then, a slightly larger amount of foundation next to it. Using a makeup sponge, give them a little swirl until they are mostly mixed. (When I tried to mix them completely, I ended up with more makeup on the sponge and covering my hand than was available to apply, not what I wanted.)
Since I started blending the two products together, I’ve noticed that my makeup feels lighter and looks smoother. It also seems to look fresher longer.
Blending primer with foundation works best with liquids, but can also be done with creams or loose powders. However, I recommend using a stippling brush ($10) instead of a sponge if you want to apply the powder/primer mix. And it allows you to water down a heavier cream foundation for great coverage.
I think this mixing trick is a keeper. I only wish I’d learned it years ago.
P.S.: If you like the BeautyBlender sponge, it works well with this technique.