What’s outside counts too

July 9th, 2014

It’s what’s inside that counts.

That’s true, and what’s outside counts too.  In fact, your image is the only way strangers can make decisions about you.  And when you consistently present a certain image, the people around you will take that as part of your personality.

Is your style a little rusty? Remember, image counts too.

For instance, if you dress professionally, the people around you, including your colleagues, clients, and supervisor, will view you as a professional person.

And if you dress like a slob, the people around you will view you as a lazy, messy, or careless person.

That means people extend how you look to who you are.

The good news is that you have complete control over how you present yourself – so you have control over who people think you are.

Dress for the job you want

Especially when you’re looking to make a move, it’s critical to examine and optimize your image.  When you start dressing and grooming yourself to the next level, those around you see that you’re ready to move to the next level.

Show them what you’re made of

When you dress professionally, neatly, and with some interest, you show those around you that you respect yourself, you respect them, and you respect what you’re doing.  By showing that you care about your appearance, you show that what you do and the people you do it with are important to you.

A book cover can tell you a lot.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”

Yes, well, people do.  Regardless of what your mom told you about the way things should be, people will judge you based on your presentation.  The fact is, it’s human nature.  The brain cannot process every single piece of information it receives.  It therefore must take shortcuts by making assumptions based on a few salient pieces of evidence, otherwise it would be overwhelmed.  That means making assumptions and jumping to conclusions.

“It’s not who I am”

We all wear different hats.  Knowing that your presentation matters means realizing that you can be different at home and at work.  You can be different in your big meeting and a more everyday work situation.  If you want something, you have the capacity to dress for it.

Put appropriateness first, then supplement appropriate attire with interesting pieces that are more uniquely you.

Remember, you have the power!


Buckle Down

July 1st, 2014

Totally Wearable Trend: buckles

It’s sandal season!  Every summer, the sandals come out.  And every year, there are new trends for embellishment on a sandal.

This year, the big trend is strappy sandals embellished with buckles.  These buckles can be functional or strictly ornamental.

Totally Wearable Trends: buckles

The look: Pair these buckled sandals with a fresh, light sundress or with your favorite shorts and a bright, fun shirt.

Shopping: The key with any shoe is always try them on.  Don’t settle for ‘good enough,’ because it never is.  Only purchase if you’re sure you’ll wear them.  That being said, leather will stretch with you.  It’s okay to buy leather that fits a little snugly, just give it time and a few wears for it to stretch with you.

Remember to rock it your style!


Jewelry on vacation

June 23rd, 2014

If you’re lucky, you have a vacation planned this summer.  One question that need to be considered, regardless of the type of vacation you’re taking, is what jewelry to take with you.

Vacation Jewelry

When you’re planning your jewelry, keep these things in mind:

  1. Consider the event(s) you’re attending. If you’re traveling for a wedding or plan to attend the captain’s dinner on your cruise, you will want some nice jewelry.  Plan to bring one or two nice things along with some everyday items. 
  2. Be careful packing. Pack your fine jewelry in the boxes it came in, if you still have them.  If you’re flying or going on a cruise, pack your fine jewelry in a carry-on or your personal item.  This will both prevent your jewelry from being knocked around and prevent it from being stolen.
  3. Consider the location(s) you’ll visit. Keep the type of place you’re visiting in mind when you pack jewelry.  For example, I have specific jewelry I love to bring to a beach vacation.  For daytime, I wear colorful cloth bracelets and a beaded anklet.  These are inexpensive and aren’t damaged by water, so I can wear them in the pool, playing volleyball, and on the beach. 
  4. DON’T bring your whole jewelry wardrobe. There are times when you want some choices, but only bring the items you will use most.  Don’t overload on jewelry.  Just imagine – what if your luggage gets lost?  You don’t want to lose your entire jewelry wardrobe.
  5. DO bring your favorite items. If there is one or two things in your jewelry collection that makes you feel amazing, bring it.  You want those pieces with you when you’re taking pictures, going to dinner, and enjoying your time. 

When possible, bring jewelry that is customizable.  That way, you can bring just a few pieces with several sets of accent pieces.  You can change your accents to suit your outfit and the occasion.

For example, the Whimsy interchangeable bead necklace is a sterling silver piece with 5 spaces for beads.  You can put any of the Whimsy Glimmer beads in, or substitute any standard sized bead from the major bead brands or from glass artisans.  Whimsy is as versatile as you are creative!


Way to Glow

June 16th, 2014

what’s HOT this summer: Beautiful, glowing skin

There is something unmistakably summer about beautifully glowing skin.  What’s not hot is looking fake, overdone, or like you’ve burned yourself to a crisp.  Luckily, there are many different ways to achieve a beautiful, glowing complexion!

What's hot this summer: beautiful glowing skin

Try these methods for developing and accenting a beautiful glow:

  1. Sun Worship – You can, of course, do it the natural way.  If you want a lovely glow caused by exposure to the sun, always go the slow and steady route.  Think roasting a marshmallow: try to do it all at once and you get a black, crispy mess.  Go slow and steady, and you get a golden, gooey treat.  Always wear sunscreen (SPF 30 on your face, at least), prevent burns, and keep your skin looking great for years to come.
  2. Self-Tanner – Create the look of gradual sun exposure with self-tanning lotion.  Again, take the gradual approach.  Check out a lotion that adds shades little by little so you don’t end up looking orange.  Choose a color that is only a few shades darker than your skin currently is – don’t go all the way to Tahitian level tan.  Also, be very careful to read and follow the directions carefully.  Some things, like washing your hands right away after using lotions like these, are critical to your results.
  3. Makeup – As always, cosmetics come to the rescue.  If you don’t have time to sit in the sun and you don’t want to go the chemical route, you can always choose cosmetics.  They can provide instant color, life, and brightness to your face.

The first product to look at is bronzer.  Applied incorrectly (all-over coverage like a foundation), bronzer can be a disaster.  But applied in places the sun would naturally hit you, bronzer can look amazing.  Apply bronzer with a big, fluffy brush.  Sweep the bronzer in a “C” motion from your brow to the lower edge of your cheek bone on each side of your face.  This adds color and dimension to your face.

The second product to look at is highlighter.  For this, you can use any light and light-reflecting powder, from something with a light golden or bronze hue to a simple shimmering ivory.  Highlighter picks up the planes of your face, bounces light, and attracts the eye.  Apply highlighter with a fan brush underneath your eyebrows and the corners of your eye, then to the sides of your brow and upper edge of your cheek bones.

Get a beautiful glow this summer and remember to take care of your skin, so you can stay beautiful through the years.


Sexy Beach Hair

June 7th, 2014

what’s HOT this summer: Sexy Beach Hair with dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is not new to the market.  It’s a handy, powdery product that allows you to extend your time between washing your hair.  It’s a lifesaver to people whose hair looks greasy too quickly.

But its use in styling is getting significant buzz this summer.

If your hair is fine or flat, you probably have trouble getting the volume and texture of a day at the beach, especially if you’re spending your time land-locked.  The good news is, you don’t have to just accept it.  You can create a beachy, tousled look just with the help of dry shampoo, hair spray, and a hair dryer.

You can pick up spray shampoo at most drug stores, super markets, beauty supplies, and salons.  Start with your favorite brand.  They probably have a dry shampoo you can try.

What's hot this summer: sexy beach hair with dry shampoo

How to create the look:

  1. Spray your hair with dry shampoo.  Concentrate it at the roots and give the shafts a light coat.  This will give your hair some uplift and texture and separate the individual hairs.
  2. Spray your hair lightly with hairspray.  This will take some of the powderiness out of the spray shampoo and help your hair hold its shape.
  3. Hit your hair with some heat from your blow dryer.  Blow in some body, and don’t be afraid to make it a little big.

The end result?  Big, wavy, hair that looks like you’ve been at the beach all day – beautiful.


Shhh… listen

June 5th, 2014

Listening is the #1 most valuable skill in relationships.  Listening to yourself is the #1 most valuable skill in self-improvement and in style.

When you listen to anyone, first don’t judge.  Just hear and understand the message.  Then, you can respond in a way that is much more thoughtful and geared toward the truth.

One way to respond to your inner voice is through your style. Wear things that flatter your body (rational) and give you joy (subconscious). Put things together your way and be brave enough to try things that tickle you. It’s true, it might not work, but it just may end up being your favorite outfit!

I know far too many people who say things like “I love that but I could never pull it off” or who try something on, love it, but don’t get it because they don’t think they could wear it.  Or worse, they do get it, but then it stays in their closet forever.

When you’re shopping, buy things that either

  1. You know you’ll use (useful)
  2. You adore (joyful)

If it’s both, no question, get it.  And if it’s one or the other and you’re not sure, see if you can modify it some (add a cardigan or belt, add jewelry, etc.) to make it both.

Be brave.

Try things on that you’re not sure about.  At worst, it won’t work and you’ll take it off.  At best, you may have a new signature item that everyone compliments.

Walk out the door with things you’re not sure about.  See how they go over.  If it doesn’t work, you can go with something else tomorrow.  Just give yourself a chance!

Be you.

Don’t just wear what you think someone else wants you to wear.  Experiment within the boundaries of what’s appropriate.  Play with color, pattern, texture, and shine until it feels like you.  When you get a wild idea, entertain it and nurture it.  Try it out, if only to run to the grocery store.  Be honest with yourself about the result and just do you!

Wear what makes you happy.  Style is an opportunity to show people at first glance who you are.  Take the opportunity to show them who you really are.

Listen to the voice inside your head pushing you to try new things.  Listen to yourself when discovering what you’re comfortable in and what your style really is.  Then listen to the compliments pouring in.

For more on how to listen to yourself and others, visit the blog at CharismaU.com.


Leave a comment: Have you ever tried on or bought something and then chickened out?

Sweet Tartan

June 2nd, 2014

Totally Wearable Trend (pattern): Plaid

No Scottish ancestry required.

It may call up images of lumberjacks, flannel, and crackling fires, but plaid is on the street for spring.  Look for unusual colors and styles and light, breathable fabrics.

Totally Wearable Trend: Spring 2014: plaid

The look: Pair plaid with a casual look.  Layer it over denim and a tank or a sundress, or wear the pattern on a skirt with a comfy t-shirt.  Avoid going too far towards formal here, or risk a school girl look.

Shopping: Look around for a plaid that includes colors you love, and think outside the box a bit.  Try on something that’s a little outside your comfort zone.  The whole point is to combine colors in an unexpected way.

Accessories: With a trend like this, keep the accessories casual and pretty basic.  Don’t overwhelm the look with too much pattern.  Do go with some rockin’ sunglasses or sweet sandals, or go with a tomboyish look with some boots.

Rock the plaid look for a casual, comfortable, cooler-in-the-evenings spring look.

Check out more trends, some totally wearable, some not so much, at Harper’s Bazaar.


Not so buttoned down

May 30th, 2014

Totally Wearable Trend (pattern): Re-imagined button down

A wardrobe basic, just not so basic.

This spring has brought new perspectives on the classic button-down shirt.  Designers have been including details like ties, layers, cut-outs, sheer panels, and fun silhouettes.

Totally Wearable Trend: Spring 2014: not so buttoned down

The look: Shirts like these can be your best friend.  They are absolutely flexible.  They can be worn with jeans on the weekend or they can be dressed up for work.  The shirt-dress is a pretty summer go-to.  It’s appropriate and covered, light and comfortable.

Shopping: Fit is key with an item like this.  When shopping, try on many options.  You may need to get some tailoring done, especially if you’re looking for something you can wear to work.  Remember, a beautiful white shirt is useful because you’ll wear it all the time, and you won’t wear it all the time if you’re uncomfortable, if it pulls the buttons apart, or if you always have to tug and pull at it to keep it in the right place.

Put a twist on traditional with these not-so-buttoned-down button downs!

Check out more trends, some totally wearable, some not so much, at Harper’s Bazaar.


In Bloom

May 9th, 2014

Totally Wearable Trend (color): Pink

It’s not just for princesses anymore.

Pink is in this season!  Keep an eye out when you’re shopping for a chic dress for work, a breezy top for the beach, or a pink patent shoe for a pop of color.

Don’t be afraid of pink.  Gone are the days when pink needs to look girlish and immature.

Totally Wearable Trend: Spring 2014: pink

Accessories: Pair your pink with soft neutrals like cream, tan, and brown.  Wear naturals like a cork wedge or straw tote to bring things down to Earth.

Shopping: When buying pink, pay attention to your coloration.  If your hair, skin, and eyes are on the warmer end (gold, yellow, or red tinted), choose a pink that’s a little orangey.  If your coloring is cooler (pale, blue, or green tinted), choose a pink that’s a bit blue.

The look: When basing an outfit around pink, stay away from stuffy or overly girly.  Instead, shoot for youthful, fresh, and sophisticated.

Beauty: If you’re not sure about wearing pink, start with beauty.  Choose a pretty pink blush to liven up your cheeks or a pink lip color in a glossy or matte finish.

You’ll be sure to charm in your fresh, pretty look.

Check out more trends, some totally wearable, some not so much, at Harper’s Bazaar.


Gratitude and natural beauty

April 15th, 2014

Gratitude. It’s one of those words that gets thrown around more than a baseball on the first nice day of spring.  But why?

It’s actually an extremely powerful tool that can be used to improve your relationships, your luck, and your mind.

When you use gratitude to improve your mind, your teaching your brain to find things that are wonderful and celebrate them.  You actually program your subconscious mind to find more good, instead of focusing on the stress of the day or what you want to change.

One of the easiest ways to learn this, especially now when everything outside is beginning to bloom, is to go out in nature.

Kick start your gratitude with nature

Take a walk around your neighborhood and take in the sights.  Turn on your awareness to the beauty all around you.  Notice the birds singing, the flowers popping up, the squirrels running around, the children playing.

Let the beauty of this world hit you, and celebrate it.  Breathe it in.  It’s awesome.

Plus, check out these nature-inspired Whimsy beads:

Nature inspired Whimsy glimmer beads

With these beads, you can take a little bit of nature with you.

You can remind yourself to keep that awed feeling and keep looking for the beauty in the world around you.

Tell Whimsy: What are you grateful for?


PS. For more on gratitude, check out the latest blog on CharismaU.