My friend Estella shared with me the new book by Glamour beauty editor Andrea Pomerantz Lustig, “How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank,”and it’s not only a fun read, but you’re bound to learn a thing or two as well.
(I especially like that Lustig provides both high-end and drugstore options in her product recommendations.)
Here are the 3 changes I’m already making based on the advice in the book:
- Rinsing with water in the morning instead of washing my face. Lustig does it and says several female dermatologists she knows do, too. Anything that speeds up the morning routine sounds good to me!
- Cutting down on hair product. This is probably more relevant for long hair, but now that mine has grown out more, I was surprised to discover how well this works.
- Greek yogurt for breakfast. She claims it will make your skin glow. I’m willing to give it a shot, so my new breakfast menu is Chobani blueberry yogurt with a couple of teaspoons of granola mixed in. Yum.
Of course, the advice that works for you will vary by skin type, hair type and personal preference, but if you’re looking for new, fun beauty tips “How to Look Expensive” is worth a read.
And if you’re keeping track at home, we now have 3 titles in our (virtual) book club
Fab mamas: What’s your favorite piece of beauty advice?
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I confess I’m a bit of a fashion book junkie. There are more than a few titles on my bookshelves and I’m always adding more.
My most recent additions are from 2 of TV’s ultimate style gurus.
- Stacy London, The Truth About Style. I was lucky enough to see Stacy London read from her new book, and get a copy signed, too. She was a touching and inspiring speaker, and her book is, too. It tells the story of style discovery, both London’s own and that of several other women she restyles in the book.
- Tim Gunn, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet. I adore Tim Gunn (who doesn’t?), so I adore his books because they shine with his warm, witty voice. I love the concept of his latest because it teaches about fashion through the ages, putting what we wear today into a historical context.
Try this today: Pick up your own copies of The Truth About Style and Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, or find them at your local library. Find 1 new inspiration in each. Then come back here and share–it’s like our own little book club.
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[Looking to break out of your style rut? You can get your style mojo back. My new self-guided course will show you how. Sign up for my email newsletter to be the first to hear when it launches and get special access to the sneak preview.]
Over the years, I’ve collected a small library of style and fashion books.
They range from the whimsical to the practical, with a bit of memoir in between.
Two that have been sitting on the shelf since said shelf was made from milk crates and plywood in the corner of an apartment were by Real Simple: “Chic Simple Women’s Wardrobe” and “Chic Simple What Should I Wear?”
I’ve had them so long they were published when Bill Clinton was president.
I’ve had them so long, in fact, I’d forgotten I owned them.
So it was a bit of a revelation to look through them again after a decade or more.
One of them held up remarkably well, and the other was clearly dated.
“Chic Simple Women’s Wardrobe” focused on the concepts behind dressing well: silhouette, proportion, quality, cut, fit. Sure, many of the specific garments photographed as examples were clearly from the ‘90s, but the content was still right on target.
“Chic Simple What Should I Wear?” focused on the clothes themselves, giving specific examples of what you should buy and wear. From the copy to the photos, it was all a mid-’90s time capsule.
So how do you avoid having a wardrobe that looks like something from a time capsule in 5, 10, 15 years?
- Go back to the timeless classics.
- Look for flattering silhouettes and proportions.
- Choose the best cut and quality you can afford.
- Make sure it fits (and get it tailored if it doesn’t).
You won’t be able to help buying a trend or two along the way, but when those trends return (and they almost always do), your previously purchased clothes won’t be dated. They’ll be vintage.
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Tim Gunn: An inspiration for many fashion bloggers!
This week for Fashion Beauty Friend Friday we’re talking about outside influences, the things that inspire us as fashion bloggers, from other fashion bloggers to magazines, ads, TV, books and more.
1. What magazines do you subscribe to?
I like to read a lot of different fashion and beauty magazines; I was a subscriber to Elle for years and years. Currently I have two subscriptions, both purchased with points (yay, points programs!): Allure and Lucky. I was a charter subscriber to Lucky, then let it lapse after I had my daughter, but now we’re reunited and it feels so good. Although it’s a dangerous magazine for the shopping budget
2. Do you watch any fashion TV shows?
I used to be a religious watcher of “Project Runway” but I broke up with it after the weird L.A. season and the switch to Lifetime. They had tinkered with it too much and lost some of what I loved about it. You don’t go cutting my Tim’s airtime down, dammit! The show I still watch is “What Not To Wear.” Love me some Stacey and Clinton!
3. Beyond blogs, what websites do you frequent for fashion inspiration?
I’m not really a huge visitor to the mainstream fashion sites; it’s enough just keeping up with blogs I subscribe to, magazines I subscribe to and writing/researching my own blog posts.
4. Advertisements play a huge role in forming public opinion about a product or brand; what ads do you like and why?
I only give ads a cursory glance most of the time so I honestly couldn’t name a single ad I’ve seen that made a particular impact. I’m more likely to try a new product because I read about it online or in a magazine.
As you can see, I’m a bit of a fashion and style book addict. But I think you can never have too much inspiration or too many ideas!
Here are a few recent acquisitions, each of which offers its own spin on the topic of creating a look of one’s own.
There is a wealth of books available to coach you on identifying a style that suits you, determining your body type, editing your closet and more.
And there are as many blogs that will teach you the same. (But of course, this one is your favorite, isn’t it!)
All of these are helpful.
Yet the best books go beyond simple tips on selecting clothing and teach you how to truly be elegant and stylish.
If I could own only one book on style, it would be Genevieve Antoine Dariaux’s A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions. Originally written in 1964 by the former directrice for Nina Ricci, this charming little tome dispenses timeless advice in witty doses from A (accessories) to Z (zoology).
Though some tips are indicative of the time in which it was written (concerning gloves in the daytime, for example), more often you’ll be surprised to discover how the tips of four decades past are still relevant today. Some advice was prescient, and some was simply classic. All of it is a joy to read.
An excerpt from the entry on “Negligees”:
“One of the most baffling points of inconsistency in many otherwise elegant women is the way they completely neglect their own appearance during the hours of intimacy in their own homes — which is the very time and place they ought to be the most attractive. Almost every woman owns one or two really lovely nightgown and negligee ensembles, which she carefully saves for travelling. The hotel room-service waiters don’t know how lucky they are!”
(And if you are as charmed by this book as I am, be sure to add its follow-up volume on men and relationships, The Men in Your Life: Timeless Advice and Wisdom on Managing the Opposite Sex.)
Ah, French girls! Are there any women on the planet more effortlessly stylish, more innately elegant? Where else but the world capital of couture should we turn for examples to admire, to emulate?
Quintessential French girl Audrey Tautou
From Brigitte Bardot to Catherine Deneuve to Audrey Tautou, every decade brings a fresh model of beauty that is sexy without being overly made up, fashionable without being overly styled. How do they do it, these French girls?
Only the most lucky among us can pick up, pack up and set up a pied a terre in Paris. (Oh, but we daydream sometimes, don’t we?)
Luckily for us, a passport isn’t required to learn to channel our inner French girl.
Debra Ollivier’s engaging book, Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl, gives us a wonderful introduction. As an American who married a Frenchman and lived for many years in Paris, she’s uniquely positioned to compare and contrast our worlds and give us insights into the French girl lurking in all of us. Fashion aside, we’d do well to adopt the French attitude of slowing down, reveling in our own particular beauty, and eating and enjoying delicious food in moderation.
To make friends with a fashionable French girl on an everyday basis, visit the blog of Parisian and fashion illustrator Garance Doré (who has an English translation available for those of us whose college French has gotten a bit rusty!). She writes in a friendly, breezy style and always features luscious drawings or photographs of to-die-for ensembles.
And if all you need for inspiration is to simply picture yourself in Paris, then look no further than Paris Daily Photo, a photo blog of snapshots around and throughout the City of Light.
Now I’m feeling very French myself … pardonnez-moi, I must go eat a baguette and drink some café au lait. Au bientot!