Tag Archives: winter

Sassy’s Skin Savers (Part One)

3 Apr

Hello Sassinistas!
Remember me?

If you don’t, I’d understand. My blog has been slacking for WAY too long now and since I finally have a break in the action today, it’s time to sit down, break out the iPad and write! There are so many things changing, growing, building, etc. My time is a whirlwind right now. In addition to writing my blog, I have also found myself doing some writing for new magazines, going on new adventures to learn about different genres to write about, traveling a bit, hiding in my loft because winter sucks, and stuff like that. Oh…. and I’m modeling! Yeah, this “32 and holding” blogger has had the opportunity to do some photo shoots, be featured in a few magazines, and I am loving every second of it! (I’ll show you all a picture or two at the end.)

So I am hanging out here in the Northeast, coming out of a horrible winter of weird snow storms, cold temperatures and unusually wicked winds. I’ve been near ice jams and flooding, had a tree limb fall on my brand new car after a very heavy 15” snowfall, and winds that have knocked down trees and power lines. The calendar says spring, but we are still working on getting there weather-wise. This means the sweaters are still out, boots aren’t tucked away yet, face moisturizers have gotten a little more intense, hand creams are a necessity in every room, and eye creams are being used constantly. During this nasty winter season, I had to reevaluate my skin care routine just a bit to make it a bit more hydrating since the cold temperatures, slapping winds and dry indoor heat really took a toll on my face. I actually signed up for a continuing ed course that helped me organize my skin care routine to make sure I got exactly what I needed to prevent dry skin and wrinkles and keep my skin hydrated. It was such a help!

I learned that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:

• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

My evening skin care routine should be:

• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)/ Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Sounds simple, right?? Well, it is if you are in the skin care/beauty industry because you know what you are looking for. You know your skin and you can tell from the ingredients on the products if it is right for you. I will say, for the record, that I have what the experts call “normal” skin. I seldom have dry skin on my face (or body) with just the occasional dry patch. There is no oil in the T-Zone and blemishes are few and far between. The only thing I do have is sensitive skin. And that is common for most redheads. I think that ingredients in some products can do more harm to sensitive skin than using the wrong products for a special skin type.

After going through my entire routine today, I thought I would give you a list of the products in my skin care line for my face so you can see what I use. Every item in my program can be used by ANY skin type. There are no harsh chemicals, heavy ingredients, drying agents or dyes. Fragrances in the products are either naturally subtle or non-existent. So if you are looking for some great products to get your skin ready for spring, you may want to consider some of the ones I have on my vanity.

Because the list I have is kind of long–explaining each product and why I use it–I’ll post my MORNING routine first, and next week I will post Part Two which will be the evening routine.

Let’s start with the A.M.:

Cleansing: Derma E Essentials Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil
Just because the name of this products says “oil” doesn’t mean you will feel greasy instead of clean after its use. This cleanser literally dissolves any type of makeup (even long wearing and waterproof) and impurities while nourishing it with skin conditioning organic oils and subtle rose water. Just apply a dime size amount of the Cleansing Oil onto your fingertips, and massage into your face and neck. Rinse with a cloth and warm water. You can also use a pre-moistened facial cloth like Simple’s Sensitive Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes. This can also be used to loosen hard-to-remove eye makeup by massaging a bit onto your eyelids and lashes before wiping clean. Both products can be found at Ulta stores and Ulta online.

Tone: Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner
Bring your skin to a healthy balance by using a toner before you start to fight the hands of time. This toner contains Vitamin C, Fruit Stem Cell Complex (to increase cell turnover) and super fruit antioxidants to help with improving the skin’s tone and texture. The added boost of Aloe Vera helps to hydrate and calm skin sensitivity. Just a few spritzers on a cotton ball, wiped all over the face (avoiding the eye area) will balance your skin’s pH factor. Available online at Ulta.

Vitamin C/Antioxidant Serums: Twin Medix Pro/Essentials C10 & E5
There is a reason why I am a brand ambassador for this fabulous company….the products are AMAZING! I discovered them at my first Makeup Show in NYC three years ago. I explained to Michelle Shaffer, one of TwinMedix’s founders, that I was looking for a good skin care line that worked together but had formulas with ingredients that could keep myself looking young (even younger if possible) but wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I was given a set of the TwinMedix line and headed home to try it. Wow, the way my skin looked and felt was noticeable right away. The C10 serum is formulated with 10% ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) to counteract the look of hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of wrinkles for brighter, more even toned skin. The E5 serum is filled with 5% Tocopherol (pure Vitamin E), a powerful antioxidant to protect your skin from oxidation and free-radical damage by locking in moisture and soothing skin exposed to harsh weather and environmental pollution. This is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin because it puts up a “barrier” locking in the skin’s natural moisture and locking out the damaging elements. Paraben-Free, Fragrance-Free and Cruelty-Free, these little gems can be used alternatively from day to day or worn together for extra protection. Available at TwinMedix.com

Moisturizer: Freedom Naturals Calming Moisturizer
Finding the perfect moisturizer isn’t always easy. It’s even more difficult if you have sensitive skin. Sometimes the weather or environment can give your face a tingling or burning sensation… even after just a calming wash. When I opened my “How To Be A Redhead” subscription box in October, I discovered the best moisturizer for when my skin needs hydration but no irritants. This non-greasy formula gets absorbed into the skin so quickly that there is no time to even say the word “oily”. Containing only natural ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera, Allentown, Arnica and Beeswax (but free from cortisone, parabens and steroids), your skin is sure to thank you. If you are looking for something a little lighter, give Clinique’s Moisture Surge a try. This extremely lightweight gel-cream is infused with aloe water which actually helps skin create its own moisture to give you a plump, dewy, healthy-looking glow. This oil-free moisture magnet continues to generate hydrated skin for up to 72 hours, even after you wash your face. Allergy tested, 100% fragrance free and Paraben free for all skin types. Freedom Naturals Moisturizer can be found at FreedomNaturals.com and Clinique’s Moisture Surge can be found at most cosmetic counters as well as Ulta and Sephora.

Your eyes are a different entity altogether. The skin around your eyes is very, very thin. It’s often referred to as crepe-ish. Because of this, it’s easy for the eye area to get dry which causes wrinkles. Squinting, tugging and aggressive washing can all contribute to wrinkles occurring. Eye creams are specially formulated for that area to give it the hydration it desperately needs. Like other skin products, formula is everything, so test some if you can. If you can’t, check it’s the store to see about their sample or return policy. I have found two eye creams that don’t irritate my skin or eyes and give me noticeable results. Ole Henriksen’s Uplifting Transformation Eye Gel and Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream. I find that the Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel is PERFECT for mornings–it helps to reduce the puffiness with its cool gel formula. I like to use Benefit’s Potent Eye Cream since it helps to fade dark circles and restore elasticity and firmness around the eyes while providing much needed moisture. Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel can be found at Sephora stores and online; Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream can be found in Ulta stores as well as Ulta.com

Sunscreen: A MUST-HAVE!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to apply sunscreen to your face EVERY SINGLE DAY. Your face is exposed to the sun’s damaging rays even if you aren’t going to the beach for some tanning (which isn’t great either!) The sun’s rays will find you just about anywhere—through your car windshield, through your living room window, coming into your office windows, walking out to get the mail. Face it… even when the sun isn’t out? It’s rays still get through. Some people find that adding this step to your beauty routine just adds another step which can become tedious. That is when it would be better to make sure you can find some SPF in another beauty product that you would normally use every day anyways. I find it easiest to get a healthy dose of facial sunscreen in a product I already have to use. Skincancer.org recommends a broad spectrum (protecting you from harmful UVA & UVB rays) of at least SPF 15 or higher. Some ways you can get this important protection without adding another step to your routine is to find it in a moisturizer, a primer or even a foundation.

Primer: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50
Although this product can be optional for some people, I find that a primer is a great way to prep my skin for foundation and makeup, giving me a soft, smooth canvas to “paint” on. Not only do I love this primer for how it makes my skin look and feel, but it also has that high SPF to give my skin the protection it needs. This skin-smoothing formula blurs my skin’s imperfections, prolongs and enhances the look of my makeup, and fights against the sun’s cancer-causing rays. In addition, it contains antioxidants to fight off pollution and environmental aggressors to support healthy skin. Available at Ulta and Sephora, in store and online.

Foundation: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
I have to thank my Makeup Show guru, James Vincent for this fabulous recommendation years ago. Yes, I will admit this is an odd name for a foundation, but it does just that—it provides a sheer yet buildable coverage with a natural-looking, dewy glow and flawless finish. Formulated with 80% water and enriched with pro-vitamin B5, this foundation actually hydrates and improves your skin’s elasticity. With an array of 20 different shades to match all skin tones, this foundation can be used not just on the face but anywhere you want to hide “imperfections”. The formula has a water-gel texture and applies easily, then sets quickly to ensure a transfer-resistant look that will last all day. You may think the cost is a little pricey, but I can tell you that I bought my first bottle—that was not tiny—over two years ago and I JUST ran out. A little goes a long way for a perfect finish.

You are now off to a perfect start for your day–keeping your skin smoother, softer, hydrated and looking younger with a good skin care routine. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask for samples, write down product ingredients, keep track of your favorite products then begin to assemble your daytime skin routine. You may have a few items already that work perfectly for you. That’s awesome! Find where your favorites fit into your routine then go from there. Before you know it, you will have a skin care regimen to help stop the signs of aging, and even reverse some of those tell-tale signs of time.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2–Sassy’s PM routine!!

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Yeay!….Spring?

24 Mar

According to the calendar, spring came on Monday this week. As I sit here at my desk, you might not believe that. There is a still a coating of snow on the ground from a two foot storm we got LAST week. Some of it has melted but today the temperature is bordering on freezing so the rain that is falling right now is a combination of rain, freezing rain and sleet. Fun, fun. Let your inner self feel my excitement. Can you? Yeah… I can’t either.

With the date saying one thing but the skies saying something else, what are glamour and fashionistas to do when they want to add a few new things to their fashion/glamour collection but don’t know how to integrate them into this fickle weather? I have been looking carefully for things that I can use now but can also transfer into my regular spring routine (or even summer!) when the temps balance out to where they should be. It can be frustrating, but if you do your research there are a few things you can grab now that will be great for this time of year AND continue to be a plus as the weather continues to brighten up.

So what has Sassy been using lately? Here are a few things you may want to check out:

**Victoria Secret PINK Hoodie** – A hoodie of any sorts is a great seasonal transitioning piece. If it’s cold, wear it under a warm jacket. If it’s warmer, wear it under something lighter like a leather coat. If it is getting “warm”, wear a jazzy tee and leave the hoodie opened up. The thing that is nice about a hoodie is that they are so versatile that you really can wear any type and any color in ANY season. Since spring is here, I thought I would add a really nice pastel pink hoodie to my collection. I own no pink clothes. No really…nothing. I never thought it looked good with my auburn hair. But the shade I recently got looks really awesome. The color is flattering, the hoodie fits well, it is warm…. oh! And it was on sale! Cha-Ching! This is a great item to find on sale now so keep your eyes open for one you like.
Victoria’s Secret, prices vary by style.

**DSW’s Black Ballet Flat** – A few days ago, it was nice enough out for me to put aside boots and high-top sneakers and actually pull out a pair of flats to wear with my skinny jeans. Woo Hoo! Well, that was until I tried on the pair I wanted to wear. I couldn’t even get my toes into them! I have put on a couple of WANTED and NEEDED pounds over the winter and it seems some of it went to my feet. Maybe? It could also be from the foot surgery I had almost two years ago. I went through and tried on all my flats and realized I need about three different styles of black flats. I ordered a pair of ankle lace ups, a pair of fancy small wedges and a cool pair of flats with “studs”. Thankfully, all the other flats I have fit just fine. Flats are a must-have shoe style when the temperatures start to rise. It may be too warm for boots, but it may be way too cool for sandals. Flats come in all styles now so don’t be afraid to add a couple of pairs you like.
DSW.com, $39.95

**Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème** – I haven’t been one to use concealer much over the years. I’ve been lucky—the eye creams I have used have treated my eye area nicely, kept away dryness, and have prevented dark circles and fine lines. In my last Sephora order, I got a nice little sample of the KVD Concealer Crème and I put it on my vanity to try. This winter took its toll on my eyes a little bit. Over tired, stress, eye strain, even the sun. But after I tried the sample, I was VERY impressed. I will be honest…my face brightened right up! Not only does it do a great job at hiding little imperfections in the eye area (especially underneath) but it does an amazing job at illuminating my eye area AND face! This is great for this time of year because we often find that we need to moisturize our eyes more during the colder weather, but forget to use a product to brighten the skin around them. As it gets warmer, we can protect them from the sun to keep the eye area bright but often forget to use a gentle moisturizer. While we find the right product(s) that will help keep our eye area from aging, a good concealer can hide little tell-tale signs during the process. Kat Von D’s Concealer Crème does just that! The formula is gentle and the coverage is fabulous!
Katvondbeauty.com or Sephora, $26.00

**TwinMedix Pro: Essentials E5** – About a year ago, I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. It truly was a life changing adventure, both personally and professionally. I had the opportunity to meet with world-renowned makeup artist James Vincent who was a plethora of knowledge for me. When I mentioned I was frustrated with my sensitive skin and not being able to get my hands on good skin care near me, he told me to talk to Michelle Shaffer with TwinMedix. She was a doll. I explained to her that my skin gets irritated easily and I had to switch out brands and products depending on the season. She introduced me to the TwinMedix Pro line, explaining what each product did. Five simple products was the entire routine for day and night. Easy peasy. I have been using it faithfully ever since that day and my skin has never looked better! The one item, however, that I did not know how to put into the routine was the Essentials E5 product. Come to find out, this product is actually a MUST HAVE especially when seasons are changing. It contains pure Vitamin E which protects the skin from environmental damage while hydrating and soothing skin especially when it is exposed to harsh and changing weather conditions. It also calms sensitive skin like mine. I began to use it like a primer and I have noticed that no matter what it is doing outside, my skin feels soft and protected. I use it daily, along with my other TwinMedix products. It’s nice to have a great base to my look that doesn’t just smooth my skin but nourishes it as well!
TwinMedix.com, $90.00

**Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum** – Winter can do job on our hair. The heat, the cold, the wind, the dry air, you name it. I have a shelf… okay two… of products to use depending on what is up with my hair. Right now? I’ve got some dry ends to deal with. But earlier in the week, my hair felt oily and gummy. Ugh! I can’t keep a ton of things in the shower, so what do I do? Not to mention, my hair is color treated which doesn’t help me try to find products that won’t hurt my “enhanced” auburn tresses either. I try to find the best shampoos and conditioners for what my hair is going through and help it get healthy with those. What’s a challenge is, without extensive research, those two items can either help a lot or do even more damage if it contains chemicals that aren’t good for my hair. But when I get out of the shower, that is when I need a good product to keep my red hair in check. I need something that will smooth without leaving it feeling greasy. I need something that will give it shine without drying it out. I need something that will keep it soft without making it fly everywhere. I need something that will protect it without weighing it down. I need something that can gently “coat” each strand to keep it healthy. Oh…and I need something that can do ALL of that no matter what the weather or temperature is outside. It needs to give me what I need without checking a forecast first. PM’s Super Skinny Serum does just that. No matter what is going on outside, a small dollop of the Serum will smooth fly-away hair on dry & windy days, it will lightly condition and seal your hair strands keeping them healthy, and it will control your hair with a formula that keeps your hair shiny, silky and frizz-free in any weather. It is also an added bonus that the Serum will speed up your drying time so you hair is not wet in unhealthy elements, giving you the results you want in less time. The Super Skinny Serum is perfect for ALL hair types so it allows you to not just get the look you want but will also allow you to add it to your haircare routine without any interference. So no matter what the weather is outside, your hair doesn’t have to become damaged from it–just a bit of Paul Mitchell’s Skinny Serum will lock in the results you want.
Paul Mitchell Salons (see their website for locations), prices may vary.

So, are you ready to say goodbye to winter and welcome in the sunny days of spring? I know I am! Gently convert your wardrobe, skin care and hair care with these items and you can cut out some of the frustration of flip-flop weather and keep your routine on the straight and narrow!!

Please share!—Sassy wants to know what YOU have that helps you transition your fashion and beauty routine between seasons. Do you have any products that helps make these changes easier? Let me know!!

Loving This December…

13 Dec

imageOkay I know. I’m a slug. I haven’t written anything in forever. Sure I could give you the runaround story about being too busy to do this or that but the fact of the matter is with the holidays quickly approaching I’m just beat. It takes effort for me to even get the mail lately. I can’t blog about things that I experience on a daily basis because nobody wants to hear about road rage, packed parking lots, or long doctor visits. You want to read about fashion and glamour, and it is my job to deliver that to you. So let’s work with that.

It’s the beginning of December, and I found a few things last month that I really fell in love with. I try and try to tell myself I have more than enough makeup, skincare, shoes and clothes and don’t need anything else. I don’t even need to try or test anything. I like what I have. Yet without fail, something new makes it into my shopping cart every time I go to the store.

So let me give you a quick rundown of the things that I’ve discovered lately that I quite possibly cannot live without now. Of course, this may change. But hey… I’m fickle… I admit it.

image1. Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford Serum – Okay, I lucked out on this one. I actually got this as a trial sample in the mail, and I’m very glad I did. We all know that serums are the wave of the future for skincare, and this one does everything you could possibly want or need. I admit, it gets confusing and cluttered having a serum around for every problem your skin might have. Fine lines, deep wrinkles, uneven skin tone, large pores, sagging eyes, the list goes on and on. And, of course, I needed something to fight every single one of those problems. Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty serum does it all. No lie. I use a little at night just before bed, and I’m done. If my skin is feeling really dry, I might add an extra moisturizer over it. But if not, it’s one product and that’s it. I love simple. I noticed a difference in my skin in less than a week after I started using this product. My skin’s tone was more even, my pores smaller, less fine lines and wrinkles. I mean a NOTICEABLE difference. If I didn’t have so many other products in my bathroom right now, I’d buy the Meaning Beauty skincare set today. But as soon as my inventory goes down, I’ll be buying this right away.

image2. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish in “Hi Ho Silver” – I like metallic nail polishes just as much as the next person. But the fact is they just look like fake colored paint to me. Or my nails got hit by a glitter blizzard. If I want a metallic polish, I want shine… not frost. I began to look for a nice metallic polish for the holidays several weeks ago. I was finding nothing. The selection was so bad that I almost bought spray paint to do my nails. Although I was primarily looking for gold, silver was still an option. I’m glad it was because “Hi Ho Silver” is a fabulous color. There is no glitter or sparkles. There is no dull color. It’s a flat out super shiny silver like you would see on a brand-new car. It catches the light and shines dramatically. I’m really excited to try it with some nail art pens–I think it would be a great base for some nice designs. Not to mention?… Sally Hansen’s formula is great. It lasts really long without chipping or peeling. This was a great add to my manicure collection.

image3. e.l.f. Studio Blush in “Fuchsia Fusion” – It’s gospel that redheads and most pinks don’t like each other in makeup or fashion. But the fact is, I saw this blush in a glam mag on a redhead and knew right then I had to have it. It was flashy, it was sparkly, and it screamed sassy! I had often seen e.l.f. products at my local Target store, and had heard positive things about the items and their fabulous prices, but had never tried any myself. I started getting a few brushes which are great and affordable, but never got any makeup items. Until now. The blush was in stock at my store, so I was excited to be able to start trying it immediately. And at that price? It’s was a no-brainer decision. I love it! It doesn’t clash with my red hair and gives my pasty winter white skin a nice cool glow with a shimmery pop. Gorg!

image4. Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner – I wish I could take the credit for this one but I actually have to give big props to my daughter. She picked out this set after reading that Moroccan Argan Oil is great for helping hair grow to strong and healthy….and fast! She liked it and yes, her hair grew faster, but she felt her scalp was itchy and was afraid it was this new shampoo that was causing it. So she put it off to the side. One day, I decided to read up on it a bit more. With my color-treated wavy hair, these products seemed perfect! “Organix Moraccan Aragn Oil shampoo and conditioner penetrate into the hair shaft to help mend your hair and give it strength and shine.” I like the fact the formula is free of parabens and sulfates making it safe for color-treated hair. Plus now with my wavy 80’s perm, it keeps my hair soft and silky, while protecting it against styling heat and UV damage. No frizzies here. I love how my hair looks and feels with these products. Finally, my hair is strong and healthy, without it feeling like hay in a wind tunnel. I guess one person’s loss is another person’s gain…at least it was in this house with hair products! Thanks to my daughter for my new hair goodies.

image5. Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Super Skinny Denim Jeans in Denim Blue – I will admit, my jeans collection is extensive. I do NOT need any more jeans. BUT, when I saw these I fell in love. The color is slightly washed out which makes them look more casual. But sharp! The fit is perfect without being too tight or too bunchy. And on one front pocket, there are cool little brass studs. They are über cute. I got them on a steal of a deal and were barely $10 by the time the discounts were taken. With winter weather upon us, it’s nice to have good fitting jeans that you can still tuck in your boots and not have be uncomfortable or look slouchy messy. These jeans are stylish! I’m glad I took the chance with them–even more glad I got more than one (or two!) pair.

Okay, Sassinistas… that’s my December list of new fashion and glamour items that I’ve fallen in love with. How about you? Do YOU have any new finds that you are loving on? If so, share away! I like to know what YOU have discovered…so maybe I can try it too!

Sassy Redheads Love Denim!

19 Jun

imageBeing a redhead, I am pre-programmed to know what colors look good on me. I can wear green, I cannot wear reds (or so I think). I can wear browns, I cannot wear pastel pink. I can wear purple, I cannot wear lilac. I try sometimes to sneak taboo colors into my closet, but their time there is often short lived because I’m afraid to wear it.

The one tricky color for redheads is blue. I can say, without a doubt, it’s the most difficult color for me to feel comfortable in. Royal Blue? Oh no!…. That’s like arsenic to my fashion code. Powder blue? Eh….it’s okay but washes me out even more. (Really…can deathly pale look any worse? Ah, yeah.) Turquoise blue? That, I have to say, I do well with. Probably because it has yellow undertones which go with my auburn hair. Dark blue? Gag…. next.

These colors are out in the makeup and fashion world all year ’round so they are unavoidable. You just need to try, blend, mix, discover. Although there are many shades of blue, the one constant on the fashion pallet is not just a color but a material too–denim. Denim blue, no matter how varied in shades, it is a must in a redhead’s–or anyone’s for that matter–closet. I LOVE MY DENIM!!! And now with jeans being just as classy and dressy as they are casual, everyone with all hair colors need a varied collection of denim fashions.

Oh trust me…it took a long time for me to become a fan of denim jeans. Before? None of them seem to fit me right–too loose here, too tight there, too long, too short. Bah. I virtually gave up ever finding a nice, chic pair of jeans that looked and felt good all over. Then someone suggested I try to find a pair of jeans at a thrift store. Ummm… huh? They said they have been worn out in some places, shrunk to fit in others, have their color faded perfectly and…oh yeah…are cheap. So for a couple of weeks that’s what I did. I tried on all brands and sizes of jeans imaginable till I found what I loved. It didn’t take long to find certain brands and styles that fit me like a glove. And that enabled me to make jeans my number one priority in my wardrobe. Woot!

Now just because blue denim jeans are a must for my edgy, rocker-girl look, that doesn’t mean denim starts and end with jeans. There are so many other pieces (and accessories) where denim blue can play a fab role!! So how can this strong-spirited, must-have help take an avant-garde girl to the next fashion level? Let’s see what Sassy has:

Jeans (of course). I can easily say 1/3 of my closet is full of jeans. I have several pair of skinnies, boot cuts, jeggings and straight cuts in all types of washes (stone, whiskered, dark, acid, destroyed). Each cut and each color has a time and place. A nice date night may call for a pair of dark skinny denims with a sequined cami and a nice boyfriend jacket, finished with a pair of platform pumps. A day at a family birthday party screams faded stone-washed straight-legged jeans, maybe even with a few select worn holes. Top it with a graphic tee and a pair of contrasting gladiator sandals and you have a fun, comfortable look for the day. Always remember there is a pair of jeans for almost ANY occasion–you just need to find them. SASSY’S FAVORITES: dELiA’s Morgan Low-Rise Skinny Jean in Charlotte Wash, dELiA’s stores and delias.com, $46.50; Guess Starlet Leg Jeans in Noisy Wash, guess.com, $89.00
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A denim jacket. A denim jacket, no matter how old you are, is a must. This “Plain Jane” piece has been around for decades with only a few changes here and there depending on the latest fads. A standard denim jacket is a staple for both men and women. Women are the primarily the ones who enjoy jazzing them up to go with the current fashions. Me personally? I have a basic dark wash denim jacket — but I love to add accent pieces like pins, scarves, chains and rhinestones for a jazzier look. SASSY’S FAVORITE: Women’s Denim Jacket (also available in petite & tall) in Dark Worn; oldnavy.com, $34.94
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Jewelry. Yeah, that’s what I said…jewelry. Granted, there aren’t a ton of pieces out there that fall into this category, but what you find will probably look cool. Plus, when it comes to jewelry, it doesn’t have to be actual denim material. A denim-colored jeweled necklace can make a pair of boots, straight-legged jeans and a white classic top look stunning. And bracelets? Perfect! Find some denim blue rhinestone bracelets and stack them up with black leather cuffs, pearls, and links for a bold look that matches with its own style! SASSY’S FAVORITES: Napier Silver Tone Bead Multistrand Stretch Bracelet in blue, kohls.com, $18.00; 2028 Crystal Flower Pendant Necklace, macys.com, $38.00
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Purse. This gets a little squirrelly in my book. I think an all-denim handbag can look SO out of place with a pair of jeans if the wash and style aren’t the same. Some say it’s trendy, I personally say it’s match-y and gauche. If you want to integrate some denim with your bag, find a purse that has pieces of denim in it or has other materials and textures to break up the look. Your bag should compliment the outfit, not be a piece of it. This will be a challenge. I’d prefer to say phooey and just compliment your look with a nice black or metallic bag. But if you must… SASSY’S FAVORITE: Coach Poppy Pop C Denim (Groovy 15351), amazon.com, $228.00
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Eye Shadow. Ok, duh, I know you can’t glue pieces of denim to your lids, but there are some stunning shadows out there that are denim hued that will finish off your look with a pop of color that will look good on anyone. Stay true to the denim shade–don’t lean towards powder blues or midnight blues. You will know it when you see it. Use it as a crease accent with neutrals for a highlighter and lid shade. Use a fine liner brush to extend the crease color to the outer corner and along the bottom lash line. This will give you a soft smokey look for day and night wear. SASSY’S FAVORITES: Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Little Blue Dress, macys.com, $19.00; Maybelline Eye Studio Color Pearls Marbleized Eyeshadow Duo in Downtown Denim, CVS & cvs.com, $6.99
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With warm weather upon us, extend the denim look into some capris and shorts as well. Same rules apply with the colors and washes. What is great about summer denim is you can make your outfit look simply FAB by rocking some stunning sandals or footwear to really take those basic blues to another level. Denims can last a long, long time and will usually last longer than its style. To keep them looking as new as possible, wash them inside out, in cold water with a splash of color safe bleach. It’s also best to wash all your denims together without any other clothes. This will prevent any color from bleeding into other items and keep them soft, fresh and bright. With the right denims that fit you perfectly, you will have the one fashion that will ALWAYS be your best friend!

The Midlife Crisis of a Sassinista….

14 Apr

MidlifeCrisis
Okay, so this post doesn’t have a whole lot to do with fashion and glamour. In a way it will, since my solutions include them. But it’s more about feelings. Oh, see? There goes all the male readers, shutting down their iPads and heading to the fridge the minute they read the word “feelings.” Most men will agree that women + feelings + emotions + conversation = MIGRAINE or DISASTER. Scotch or exercise. Or doing anything that hasn’t been done in months around the house that suddenly needs tending to, so they can avoid the topic like the plague. (“Yeah, umm, honey? I’m going to take care of that thing by the shed. You know, that thing!”) I truly believe emotional fashionistas are walking time bombs. We are one sad news story or spilling wine on a white bebe top away from just losing our shit. And it’s not pretty. OH, it’s not pretty at all.

I go through this stage–lasting from a day to a month–probably once a year or so. It happens more frequently than before so I kind of write it off to a midlife crisis…that happens frequently. So you see, this isn’t new to me. When it does happen, it tends to happen in winter. Medical professionals might diagnose it as having “SAD” which stands for “seasonal affective disorder”. Doctors are still perplexed about these winter-related shifts in mood. Blah blah Vitamin D deficient, blah blah seratonin decrease, blah blah lack of sun. WHAT-EV-AH! All I know is it makes me feel old and lifeless. This year, I have to say, it didn’t hit till now. A little late this year, according to Dr. Mood Disorders. I’ve been riding pretty steady the past few years, surfing the confident and contentment wave for a while. Happy with my work, happy at home, happy about life. But lately, kind of out of nowhere, I have hit a wall. And I’ve hit it HARD. I am blah about feeling BLAH! Oh, and I refuse to go the “Oh I hate my life. Nobody likes me. My work is so unfulfilling” bullshit route. I know I have good days, days I love! But right now, all I know, is I am having a midlife meltdown. I’m in a solid funk.

What does it feel like when a Sassinista gets in a funk? Anything and everything. (AKA: Be afraid!) To me, I feel “old”, I look “old”, I can’t remember what I said five minutes ago and I already forgot what I was going to say next. I have this pathetic feeling that I everyone I encounter will piss me off, and most times they usually do. Driving to the store gets radioed out to law officers ahead of time that a redhead in a four-wheeled weapon is on the road and all should proceed with caution. I sometimes think I could lock myself in my closet with my iPhone or iPad (of course), a bottle of Red Coke and a box of oatmeal cookies for a week or maybe two and I’d be thrilled. But the fact is, I need to make some changes. And it’s up to me to turn it around.

So how did it come to this? I don’t think I would be wrong in saying that the weather here HASN’T helped. One day it’s sunny, the next it’s cold and windy, sometimes we go for days without any sun. It rains, it snows, it sleets at any given time without warning. (That would be right now in fact.) I could spoil myself at the mall in a pair of leopard espadrilles (that’s a wedge-type sandal) with boyfriend jeans, feeling all primped and pumped, only to leave and see an inch of snow on my car. Like… WTF is up with that! Because of being cooped up through all this, I get stir crazy at home. I sleep a lot, I get restless a lot. I get grumpy a lot. I eat a lot. Or I eat nothing at all! Even if I treated myself to a little “retail therapy” or “food fixation”, I’d feel okay for a bit then I’d feel bad about it later. It’s a vicious circle that I’m just spinning around in, day after day.

So the question becomes… how do I emotionally, physically, mentally and financially get out of this funk without losing a friend, cleaning out the shoe department of Macy’s, making Xanax my meal of choice for breakfast, or just grabbing a few necessities and moving into the shed? The “good” news is I’m not alone with this. (Oh my God, you mean there’s more of me?) Doctors see it all winter long. Some of my friends get in the rut. But I don’t think it’s just a “pop a pill” situation. I think a lot of the fixing has to be done slow, from the inside, and with a lot of help … by myself. Now granted, if I thought this was serious in any way, I’d be at an M.D. in a heartbeat. But since my funk has funked me before (that sounded funny!) it’s a case of just doing little things to slowly get out of this. And with the calendar on my side, there is hope. So I’ve listed some things I do or try to do when I need to do some “funk-busting”. These things are not for everyone. Lord KNOWS they aren’t for everyone, but if something tickles your fancy, smile and consider doing it:

Sassy’s Personal Funkbusters:

1). DO SOMETHING…ANYTHING! Laying in bed, shutting yourself away from society is not going to help your blah mood. Even if its just reading a magazine at the book store, hitting a coffee shop with a friend, doing work on the iPad, or taking photos…do SOMETHING out of the house. The fresh air–no matter how cold or wet–is better than being droopy in bed watching endless episodes of Law & Order SVU.

2). Get a haircut. If its been a while, take some time to revamp your hair. You don’t need to do anything drastic either. Your can always try playing with a new color, but I love my auburn and wouldn’t mess with it. But a nice trim, followed by a home warm coconut oil or yogurt masque will give you AND your hair a major boost.

3). Get a manicure. Just to have someone massage then hold my hands then paint my nails for an hour is well worth the small price. Pick out a color that will match the mood you want. Plus salon mani’s are good for you nail strength.

4). Go for a small walk. Yeah, I know… BORING! But go for a walk at the nearest mall. Hell, bring a coffee. Yes, it’s good exercise but take it in as a sight seeing tour. Look at everyone around you. Try to guess what they are thinking. Make up stories for different people. It’s almost like making your own movie in your head!

5). Watch your favorite sad movie. Watch it all alone with a box of tissues and cry your mother-loving eyes out. Sometimes a good cry is cleansing. Think that all these negatives you feel that you are surrounded with are being washed out. Then have an ice cream or a cupcake and depuff your eyes with cold cucumber slices. Shhh. I won’t tell.

6). Play beauty parlor. Put yourself in front of a mirror, drag out every hair styling tool and styling product. Take all your makeup brushes and your glamour selection and go to town. Grab a couple of magazines with new seasonal looks in them and practice. Take a pic or two of each look with your phone so you can see what you like and mistakes you can avoid in the future. Be daring, be adventurous!

7). Go shopping. Yes, retail therapy is costly and only temporary, but you don’t have to let it be. Research local consignment shops and thrift stores in your community. Do some second-hand browsing! It keeps your purchase costs down and local business thriving too.

8). Find a new fragrance. Go to your local high end store and sniff away. Don’t forget to cleanse your senses with coffee beans after every third sniff (just put a few in a zippy bag and bring it along with you.) Also bring two extra baggies with cotton balls in them. After trying as many as you can, spritz your two faves in each bag, zip it up and keep them. Take them home and try them again tomorrow. It sometimes takes a day or so for all the notes to come to the surface. Once you find one that lifts you up?–go for it.

9). Volunteer. Shelters, food banks, hospitals, nursing homes… they are always looking for people to put a smile on their residents faces. Maybe you can do your daughter’s nails or her friend’s nails! You’ll find yourself smiling in no time too!

….and lastly….

10). Get a tattoo or something pierced. Seriously, this is NOT for everyone, but patheticly it is for me. Does pain infliction cause me to feel younger? No, but I gotta say I feel high as a kite for months after I get some new ink. I dunno.

I hope none of you are in a “screw everybody” mood like me, but if you are, take some pleasure in knowing you’re not alone. Let’s hope these blues make way for some bright clear skies, warmer temps, pretty flowers and glamour and fashion galore! Don’t let your mood get the best of you. Chomp away at those blahs, one small bite at a time and soon you’ll be flying high again!