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Archive for December, 2019|Monthly archive page

Just Say Thank You: ¬†How To Receive A Compliment With Confidence

In etiquette, lifestyle on December 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm

The other day I was with a friend who complimented someone on her beautiful silver gray hair and, in agreement, I co-signed on the sentiment.  Without hesitation, this person turned the compliment into a self bashing session then proceeded to tell us in so many words that we didn’t know what we were talking about because of our perceived youth and that clearly we were clueless.  Standing there listening to this back and forth, I felt insulted and uncomfortable and walked away, leaving the ladies to continue their fruitless exchange.  

To be on the receiving end of a compliment can be an uncomfortable experience.  And although you may desire the affirmation of others, it can be very easy to downplay, deflect or reject the nice things people say to you.  This behavior can be attributed to various reasons.  For instance, you may have been raised to not bask in the glow of a compliment because doing so can be seen as conceited.  Other reasons can be directly related to one’s level of self esteem. Those with lower self-esteem may struggle with feelings of unworthiness and don’t believe there is good in them for others to see.  For some, they think it makes them look humble if they deflect a compliment.  Fear can also be a factor.  For example, if someone compliments you, perhaps in a work setting, you might feel like you’ve been exposed and are now expected to perform on a level higher than you feel you are able to perform.  In addition, (some) women in particular are conditioned to be apologists, to cower and self depreciate so when we do receive praise, we can sometimes be quick to point out self-perceived flaws. 

Whatever the case, when you downplay, deflect or reject a compliment, you may think doing so is noble, that it makes you look good in others eyes, or that your reaction is no big deal.  This isn’t necessarily the case and in fact can have a negative effect (on the giver).  Rejecting a compliment can do several things:

  • It can be insulting and show that you don’t respect the opinion of the giver.  For example, if Nicole says, “Janet, your photo selection for the team’s latest project is excellent” and Janet responds with “Actually the photos aren’t that great” what Janet is saying is that Nicole is not a good judge of quality or that she lacks the ability to decide what she likes for herself.
  • It can make the giver feel uncomfortable. For instance, if Nicole says to Janet “I love that dress on you” and Janet responds with “I think it makes me look like a beached whale with stumpy limbs and the color accentuates my breakouts” Nicole might feel like Janet’s negative comments about her looks is weird and makes her want to run away.  Besides, why wear something you feel makes you look bad anyway?
  • It can lessen your chances of ever being complimented again by the giver.
  • It can make you appear weak or ungrateful. Compliments show that the giver sees something in you and values you. Downplaying, deflecting or rejecting compliments and praise can lessen your value in the giver’s eyes.
  • It can make you appear fake humble when you might actually be quite self absorbed. 

Instead, here are four things you can learn to do to accept compliments with grace and ease:

  • Just say “Thank You”.  It’s simple and acknowledges the good taste of the person offering the praise.  It may feel uncomfortable but say thank you and leave it at that.
  • Don’t feel obligated to return a compliment especially if it’s not sincere.  You don’t owe a compliment to anyone and please refrain from engaging in a compliment war to ease your personal discomfort.
  • Dont delflect or dilute the compliment with self insults.  Remember it can create a tense and weird interaction.  It’s also unfair to the giver because they don’t need you to unload your insecurities on them.
  • Give credit where credit is due in collaborative situations but still accept and appreciate the positive feedback for your input and participation.

Might there be an ulterior motive when some people compliment you?  Absolutely.  In situations like that, you can still accept the compliment and remain aware, trusting your gut.  There are also times when someone compliments you and you really aren’t sure about what was said.  Try to just “say thank” you and move on.

Are you someone who is comfortable with receiving praise or do you struggle with receiving compliments and praise with grace and ease?  Share your comments below.

14 Shoe and Bag Trends To Add To Your Fall/Winter Wardrobe

In style on December 9, 2019 at 7:31 pm

Sure it’s the end of 2019 but the cold weather is still in full effect and you may still need to shop for the perfect accessories for your fall/winter wardrobe.

We stil have a few months left in the fall and winter season and there are still items you may still be looking to complete some of your winter looks or to fill in your wardrobe in general. This season’s accessories (shoes, bags, and jewelry) are not only reminicent of decades passed (hello 90’s) but are bold in shape, color and texture.  Shapes exhibit geometric and architectural elements.  Colors are vibrant. Textures are rich, fuzzy, furry and smooth. You can get the season’s hottest trends anywhere- from your favorite online retailers, brick and mortar stores and even the thrift and consignment stores.

Footwear.  This season’s footwear can be worn with pretty much anything.  All you need is a little imagination and inspiration.

Chunky Heels and Square Toe Shoes.  Chunky heels and square toe shoes were the dominating look for footwear in the 90’s. Regardless of how you feel about this particular look, style elements of the 90’s and have made their way back into our lives and onto the timelines of 2019.  Although I have an affinity for pointy heels and toes, chunky heels (square toes) look great paired with cozy sweaters,  wide leg pants and full skirts.

Animal Prints and Skins.  Although these prints never go out of style, have definitely taken center stage this season.  Level up your footwear game of various prints and textures with varying animal prints and skins found on shoes, boots, sneakers and sandals.

Unconventional Heels.  More than ever, shoes are getting an upgrade with unconventional heels that mimic art sculptures like circles and dollar signs.  While this look may not be for everyone, it is definitely a look to consider when shopping for what innovative and different in footwear.

Over The Knee Boots/Slouchy Boots.  Definitely a sexy option for the season.  These boots can be worn with anything, including an oversized belted Blazers a dress or a sweater and leggings.

Mules. When you literally need to slip on a shoe and go and still be stylish, mules are definitely a stylish option.  This seasons options come in different colors, textures, embellishments and heel height and be worn right into the cooler months with fun socks and hoisery.

Purses and Bags.  This seasons’ it bags will do more than hold your stuff.  Ranging in price, style and size, these bags can take take center stage as the focal point of any outfit.

Furry Bags And Purses.  The furry bags of the season will make you want to get cozy and snuggle up.  Talk about having all the feels. Like footwear, the colors and textures are rich and vibrant and will complement many of your favorite looks of th  e season from casual to dressy.

Croc And Embossed Elements.  These textures are super luxe and glossy and have all the sophistication one can take.  croc and embossed elements show up on purses, clutches, totes and even wallets.

Jewelry-Like Details.  Keep it cute and fancy with chains and embellishments that look like jewelry.

Waist Bags.  Do double duty with waist bags that do double duty as your purse.  They are not only good for storing your belongings while you are out and about but can also cinch the waist of any outfit that you are wearing.

Oversized Clutches And Purses.  First off, who said a clutch has to be small?  Not I.  Pillow sized clutches not only hold all of your things but look great tucked under your arm while wearing a casual or sporty outfit.  Sure it may look like you are literally carrying your luggage but that’s your business.

Micro Sized Purses.  If you aren’t one to carry much at all this particular trend might be just right for you.

Bucket Bags.  This style of bag has been around for some time but they continue to make their mark as necessity in many purse collections and this season is no different.

Double Bagged.  Are two purses better than one?  Many designers seem to think so.  Great thing about this trend is that for some you can wear opt to wear just one or both.  

Geometric and Architectural.  These elements show up in the handles and or the bag itself. Juxtapose against complementary colors or as a bold pop against a monochromatic color scheme these bags are sure to up the ante of any look.

8 Fall and Winter Fashion Trends You Need ASAP

In style on December 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm

The fall/winter season is here and you may still need to add some important items to your wardrobe.  In addition to the staples you should already have in your wardrobe consider adding these 9 hot trends seen all over the runways to your wardrobe.

Belted Blazers.  Blazers, especially oversized blazers, are some of the best finishing pieces or toppers to any outfit.  Although blazers are always going to be an essential piece to any wardrobe, adding a belt to a blazer can really make your look pop.  The good thing about this trend is that you most likely already have a few blazers and belts in your wardrobe to get started.  And depending on the length or how bold you are, belted blazers make great dress, especially with an over the knee boot.

Animal Attraction.  Not sure about you but I will never NOT wear leopard print in some way shape or form.  Although this particular print never really goes out of style, we leopard print lovers can take a more frequent walk on the wild side since it has made a resurgence as one of the biggest patterns of the season.  Be bold and wear a leopard jumpsuit with minimal accessories or use this pattern to mix with other prints since it is actually considered a neutral.  If you like to keep your clothing solid, you can always add accessories like purses and footwear in this pattern.

Checks and Plaids.  There has been a resurgence of plaid, especially in suiting and is the  perfect pattern to incorporate into an existing wardrobe.  Purchase various plaid pieces, including flannels, to incorporate into your wardrobe and even if an entire suit is not your thing, consider purchasing one to maximize your wardrobe:  wear the pieces separately or together.  Like leopard print, plaid is good for mixing with other prints.

Bows and Shoulder Pads.  Travel back in time to the 80’s with these two elements.  I love how large bows can add a feminine flair to a look whereas shoulder pads add a structural/architectural appeal to an outfit for a bit more edge.

Capes.  Capes are great alternatives to traditional coats and jackets as the weather starts to get cooler.  More importantly, they make a number of looks in your wardrobe look more glamorous and can work any body type.

Knitwear.  Knitwear trends are showing up everywher, not only in sweaters but in pants, dresses and skirt so.  The options are endless as this seasons knitwear is not only lightweight but comes in a range of tones and can be worn in many ways: draped over the shoulders in the form of a sweater or worn from head to toe.

Colored, Textured and Printed Hoisery. Including socks, hoisery is one of the quickest ways to update an otherwise mundane look.  A far cry from your mothers boring hoisery for work, today’s look includes various pops of color and unique prints and textures to help you express your you style.

Lame, Metallic and Sequins.  Although these finishes (along with sequins) are usually reserved for holiday or special occasions, you really don’t have to wait until these times to get your shine on.  To get your fix, incorporate pieces into your look by mixing with fabrics such denim, knitwear or suede to balance the vibe.

Leather.  Nothing like leather (or the appearance of said material) to make one look and feel real bad ass.  Incorporate pieces such as leather jackets and pants into an existing wardrobe for day and night.  If genuine leather is not for you, you can also consider vegan alternatives.  

The Rise Of Single Ingredient Skin Care: Does your skin care have to be complex to be effective?

In skincare on December 9, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Simple, effective, and customizable describes the new trend disrupting the skin care industry.

As more people begin to understand the importance of taking care of their skin, many are starting to invest more time and money in pursuit of products to support their skincare goals.  For some that may mean actually putting a routine in place where there was none.  For others, that may mean an upgrade to a moisturizer they’ve used for years or adding a sunscreen or eye cream.  If you are a more advanced skincare user, you might also be one to use an essence, serum, peel, mask and an oil.  And, if you are really fancy pants, you might be a jade rolling, micro needling aficionado who has monthly appointments with your facialist.  All in the pursuit of beautiful skin.

That might seem like a of products (or steps) for someone to use on their face.  In some instances it is which is why it’s important to assess what your skin really needs.  Within the various product categories, most, if not all of the skin care products one uses on their skin has multiple benefits because of the many ingredients they are created with.  Nothing is wrong with that if you are getting the results you desire. Many of our favorite skincare brands spend years in research and development to create products that deliver first in class, highly efficacious products.

But then attached to this multi-step, muti-product routine is the all too familiar hefty price tag.  And the fact that you can still be confused about what may or not work best for your particular skin concerns – even after going to a skincare expert, reading multiple articles and reviews or watching YouTube videos.  To ease the pain of the sometimes exorbitant price tag, there is always the option of going to the local drug store to purchase your skin care.  But have you noticed that even drugstore brands are becoming more advanced, complex and expensive?

With that being said, many people are not opposed to using a $200 serum if it really works.  But what if there is a single ingredient product that gets right down to the heart of your skincare needs?  And what if that single (or fewer) ingredient item costs significantly less than its counterpart where a particular hero ingredient shares space with other active ingredients that your skin may not need at the moment?

Welcome to the trend of what has been considered fast skincare.  Fast skincare usually features a single or hero ingredient and a focus on customization without the hefty price tag.  With customization as one of the key components of this newer trend in skincare, customers know what they are purchasing, are able to target a specific concern and can use in addition to the products they are already using – thus allowing one to address their skin’s ever changing needs without the high price.  Why is this trend considered fast skincare?  Because there are shorter R & D times.  With shorter R & D times, the average product turnaround, from concept to production to market is about 18 weeks vs 18 months – a concept similar to fast fashion.  That, in addition to leveraging the power of social media and using simplistic packaging that’s still Instagram worthy allows brands to come to market faster and get in the hands of consumers ASAP.  Below are 4 brands that fall into the category of fast or less expensive targeted skincare with a single/hero ingredient.

The Ordinary.  Just a few years old, The Ordinary, which falls under the Deciem umbrella, focuses on “clinical formulations with integrity”.   This results driven skin care line is very affordable with prices starting at $6 and is free of parabens, sulfates and mineral oils.  It is still important to know your ingredients – the varying percentages and various ingredients can leave one confused.  It’s almost like staring at a chemistry exam.

Versed Skincare.  Versed Skincare is Who What Wear‘s sister brand and has 19 essential products under $20 that cleanse, seal, boost or treat.  There is a line up of serums, oils, cleansers and peels, all of which are vegan and cruelty free – products are only tested on humans.  The simplistic packaging features pastel colors with symbols that speak to the function or focus of the product:  hourglass – aging, bulls eye – target, sun-dullness and is definitely Instagram worthy.

Good Molecules.  Good Molecules is created by Beautylish as a budget friendly brand.  Products are fuss free and start at $6.  Rest assured that the ingredients are up to standard as this product line was created by beauty industry veterans.  They have worked directly with top labs to create products that address texture, acne, dryness and hyperpigmentation with easy to understand terms.

The Inkey List.  UK based brand The Inkey List focuses on 15 hero ingredients – all $15 and under.  Created by former Boots branding and product development team Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, their focus is on simplifying popular skin care terms.  The Inkey List includes skincare heavy hitters such as retinol, salicylic acid and vitamin C and is cruelty free.  They do not work with suppliers who animal test and they do not enter into any test market where there is no alternative to animal testing.  They also have an environmental and sustainability policy  and are making an effort to source ingredients from sustainable sources.