Style

Throwback Thursday: My Fashion Week Challenge of Six Things, Seven Days

When the Today show challenged financial editor Jean Chatzky to wear only six items for 30 days, my heart sank. If I was asked to do the same, there’s no way I would survive. (Confession: I don’t think I’ve even worn a single item in my wardrobe six times!)

As it turns out, this is a thing. Just like that couple who decided to get rid of all of their stuff but 100 items, now people — in an effort to save money, curb their carbon footprint, control their fashion addiction or simply prove a point — are challenging themselves to spend less and wear less. Conscious shoppers are joining communities like The Great American Apparel Diet and Six Items or Less, supporting each other, sharing their adventures and encouraging others to sacrifice stuff and (gulp) style.

I don’t know if I can follow in their footsteps exactly. One month is a long time, not to mention, a lot of small loads of laundry. But, I’ve decided on a style challenge of my own: I’m going to wear only six (interchangeable) items during New York Fashion Week. It’s the time of year when I plan, plan, plan my outfits days (sometimes weeks) in advance. It’s when I wear my prized possessions, pull together my favorite outfits and glam it up like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve already RSVP’d to a handful of shows (and the list is still growing). Can I really do this? Ack! Starting September 9, I will be out and about in New York City in a combination of the following:

• a little black dress
• a navy blue boyfriend cardigan
• a white A-line skirt
• a striped button-down shirt
• a pair of blue jeans
• a plain white tee

Day 1: Menswear with a Twist

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For day 1, I went with a vintage Ralph Lauren button-down, no-name skinny jeans, and a navy blue boyfriend cardigan from Forever 21 — pieces I chose for my six because I knew they’d be versatile enough to mix and match. It’s simple, not to mention a little androgynous, so it requires very little accessorizing. Menswear is so hot right now, it works. I chose a pair of sky-high gray maryjanes by Steven, my black Charles David satchel, and my hair tied back to go with the look.

Day 2: Yes! Casual Friday!

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Hooray, it’s casual Friday, and for my second Fashion Week ensemble, I decided to go super-casual with my plain white tee and skinny jeans. I only have one runway presentation to go to today, and I’m hoping no one will notice I look like I’m going to loiter at a coffee shop. To distract, I overdosed on accessories: one bib necklace from Kohl’s, an Old Navy scarf, gold tone cuffs and bangles, flat gray booties, a cocktail ring, an owl necklace, a drawstring hobo by Simply Vera Vera Wang, and a trendy fedora.

Day 3: White Weekend Wear

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On day three, I decided to go ultra-feminine to the Fashion Week festivities. Luckily, wearing all white is in, so I was able to make good use out of two of my six things — a plain white tee (from Forever 21) and white linen A-line skirt (a vintage find). I used a thick, elastic earth-tone belt (from JC Penney) to break up the twosome. (I’ll let you in on a little secret, the whites didn’t exactly match in color, but I wanted to create the illusion of a dress.) For an ultra-feminine touch, I added a floral necklace from Anthropologie.

Day 4: Go for the Gold

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On day four, I took my LBD and cardigan (two of my six things), and cinched it with a brown belt from Target, embellished with layered gold necklaces of varying lengths, lugged my belongings in a gold clutch, and rocked no-name gray booties with a platform heel.

Day 5: Dresses Can Be Shirts!

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On day five, like magic, I realized — duh! — I can wear my LBD as a top. I layered my linen A-line skirt over it, and accessorized with a black and white leather belt, a strand of pearls, a white flower ring from Forever 21, a fabulous oversized clutch and peep-toe wedge sandals from Target.

Day 6: Stilettos, Studs and Stripes

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On day 6, my combination comprised of my LBD (which yes, I wore the day before and the day before that — yikes!) and my button-down dress shirt, which I wore on day one. I added a studded black leather belt, black opaque tights and a pair of Jessica Simpson oxford stilettos to the mix.

Day 7: Yay! I Did It!

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I really didn’t think I’d make it. I thought I’d give up mid-week after seeing all of the major fashionistas strutting their stuff up and down the streets of New York City during Fashion Week, but I stayed strong, wearing only my six things and learning to get really creative with my accessories. On day seven, I opted for my LBD (again, worn as a top), my skinny jeans cuffed, and BCBG mid-calf boots, a floral bib necklace, almost every gold cuff I have in my accessory bin and a fabulous mosaic-beaded clutch.

six-things-challengeThe Conclusion of My Fashion Week Challenge

I set out on My Fashion Week Challenge with very little expectations. I had hoped that I would come up with cool ways to wear my six things — a pair of skinny jeans, a white linen A-line skirt, a striped button-down dress shirt, a navy blue cardigan and a little black dress. I crossed my fingers that I would look decent enough to hit Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week free of judgment from other fashion editors who were dressed to the nines. But never in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy the challenge enough to do it again every season. (Yes, stay tuned for a new “six challenge” out of my fall staples.) And since posting my outfit choices, never did I think that I would inspire iVillage readers to do the same! (Thanks for all of your e-mails and support, guys and gals! And yes, stay tuned for a “six challenge” contest in the near future.)

This morning, I stepped into my walk-in closet filled with 100+ dresses, skirts, pants, blouses, sweaters, rompers, jumpsuits, shoes, bags… to find an outfit to wear to work. You’d think I’d know exactly what to reach for — I had been fashion-starved for a week, after all. But instead, I stood there, frozen, uninspired and overwhelmed.

Was Brian Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, right? Can having too many options affect a person in a negative way? We assume that more options mean better decisions and more satisfaction, but is that even true?

After 30 minutes, I eventually decided on a sleeveless button-down bodysuit from Forever 21 worn under a vintage navy blue and white polka dot, mid-length skirt with gray suede Nine West booties. It’s a cute outfit, but I wasted a lot of time to put it together. Whereas on the previous days during my challenge, it would take me all of five minutes to get myself dressed and accessorized. I could’ve used the extra time eating breakfast or enjoying a cup of coffee while watching today’s morning news, but instead, I ran out the door with little time to spare, irrate about traffic because I needed to beat the clock.

So were six things better than a hundred? This morning, I’d have to say yes. In the longrun, I might be whistling a different tune because there’s also that theory that sometimes change (not to mention, washing clothes) are good ideas.

This story was originally published on iVillage.com.

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Beauty, Love

What the Men in My Life Have Smelled Like

Scent is a powerful thing. From time to time, as I walk the streets of New York City, I smell familiar fragrances on strangers that instantly remind me of men who have graced my life. Here, I recount…

The Man I Married: Givenchy Play

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There’s no doubt about it — my husband was drawn to this fragrance by its tech-y facade. (Jesse likes gadgets.) Luckily, it smells sweet, hot and fresh — just like him! I was instantly attracted.

Rebound Guys: Just Soap

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I encountered two guys out there in the dating field who refused to wear cologne — but for very different reasons. One was allergic to smells (so he says, though this was never backed by a medical professional) and the other was just too frugal to buy things. No wonder neither lasted.

Guy I (Oddly) Thought I Was Going to Marry: Curve for Men

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This fragrance has been long discontinued, but for some reason, I managed to find a guy who was (and probably is) still using this antiquated smell. It was like his dirty little secret. He used to buy it in bulk from defunct perfumeries on eBay to support his habit. Needless to say, we stopped dating because he was allergic to change.

My College Boyfriend: Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme

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This fragrance came out in the mid-’90s and quickly became the signature scent of all the guidos boys I met in college. (Note: I did my undergrad in New Jersey.)

My High School Crush: Drakkar Noirdrakar

Don’t judge — back in the day, if it wasn’t Old Spice, all of the 16-year-old boys rocked this scent with pride. Launched in 1982, this iconic men’s cologne is spicy (just like the guy I was crushing on). Let’s just hope he’s not still spraying this on himself.

My Dad: Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio

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It reminds of the sea, the earth, the breeze on an island… and my daddy. So in my years of singledom, I tried very very very hard not to date a guy who used this fragrance.

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Career

Is Your Office Making You Ugly?

is-your-office-making-you-uTo answer this simply: yes, your office is making you ugly. Now before you go and freak out about how horrid you’re becoming or complain to HR, keep reading. There’s something you can do about it.

Terrible Temps

Offices tend to be too hot or too cold — it seems that there’s never a good temperature, right? Operations managers lower the thermostat because you’re working around all of this equipment — computers, servers, lights, etc. — that can make your surroundings hot. But then again, some offices don’t have the ability to cool an office for reasons like, it’s too big of a space or we’re trying to conserve energy, that the surroundings become sweltering hot (again, because of all of those computers). At the end of the day, no one wins, especially your skin.

“I try to always carry with me a refreshing spritzer to rehydrate my skin,” says Jasmina Aganovic, beauty guru and creator of skincare brand Stages of Beauty. “If you’re feeling flushed, the spray helps cool and relieve splotches. If the cold air has left skin feeling tight, using a spritzer adds much needed moisture to thirsty skin.”

Gross Germs

Your office is a germ-y place. There lies bacteria at every corner, on every surface! Don’t be so surprised — you’re working with a number of individuals (some with poor hand-washing techniques and others who don’t wash at all). Fear. As your face encounters sinister microorganisms, zits and other blemishes can form.

To keep your face out of harm’s way, just don’t touch it. “You probably spend most of your day picking up various germ-infested devices at the office (phones, keyboards, newspapers, etc.), and then transferring those germs to your face,” explains Aganovic. Be sure to wash your hands throughout the day and wash your face before bed.”

Lame Lights

And those lights, my goodness, those lights! Not only are the fluorescent lights in your office not doing your reflection (in the mirror) any favors (yes, there’s a reason you look hotter under the sun or yellowish lighting), if you’re not using a daily SPF, those fluorescent lights can cause irritation and redness. Plus, if there are a lot of windows in your office, the sun’s UV rays reflecting off metal surfaces can also affect your beauty factor.

Aganovic suggests you wear a minimum SPF 30 every day.

Deviant Drinks

In addition to your office, you might be making you ugly. Throughout the day, consider what you’re putting and not putting in your body. That cup of coffee or bottle of soda you drank (offices are notorious for stocking these sugary vices), it’s keeping you from wonderful water. Instead of hitting the vending machine for caffeine, make multiple trips to the water cooler. It does wonders for skin.

“If you’re not a huge water fan, feel free to put a slice of cucumber or lemon to make it more delicious,” Aganovic suggests.

Squinting at Screens

It’s true, if you make a “face” long enough, it will stick. At least this is the case with squinting at computer screens. Doing so can sometimes cause premature aging and wrinkles. Yikes! The best advice here: make sure you’re wearing glasses if you need them or the right prescription if you’re already using a pair. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to dab a little eye cream throughout the day to maintain your skin’s elasticity.

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Style

No One Likes a Cheapskate! How to Tip Your Hairdresser

tb_tiphairdresser1No one likes a cheapskate. And even though many of us don’t do it on purpose, sometimes we tip too little, which can result in a so-so haircut on your next visit or worse. Get in good with your hairdresser by knowing exactly how much to give and when.

So how much is appropriate and what amount will get you inducted into hair-salon haterville? We turned to hairdressers and etiquette experts to get to the bottom of what to slip ‘em at the end of your salon appointments.

Don’t gyp your stylist to get the best service for your next visit — use this as your guide:

Good General Rules

Grooming guru Pirooz Sarshar says, “It’s just like anything else — the higher the ticket price, the more time and quality hopefully spent on your head, the more you should tip.” For haircuts that cost $45, you should tip $10, he suggests. For hair highlights that are about $175 per session, you should give the hairdresser $25.

When in doubt, do 20 to 25 percent. “The editors at Fit&Fab and Running with Mascara always pay 20 percent for all services as a tip, but when I indulge and get a blowout (which costs less than a cut or color), I give 25 percent,” says Emilie Yount, editor of Silver Carrot and Ampere Media.

For Salon Owners

If you’re getting your hair done by the owner of a salon, the usual tip is nothing. “Tipping is meant for low-wage earners,” says Melissa Picoli, esthetician and founder of BijaBody. Picoli doesn’t accept tips from her clients, but they don’t leave her out in the cold either. “They bring me gifts — lotto tickets, bottles of wines, strawberries in season…” Picoli’s clients also show their love by referring friends and re-booking.

“I know I may get a lot of slack from other [hairdressers] for this, but the most professional salons and spas no longer encourage tipping,” she adds. “Save your tips for the baristas and waitresses of the world.”

Holiday Tipping

Yount stresses, “Treat your hairdresser well — especially around the holidays! Times are hard and beauty isn’t always free.”

“If you go to this person regularly, at the end of the year, you should tip the cost of one session,” says etiquette consultant Jodi R. R. Smith. “If you’ve been going to this person for years, then you will tip a bit more and possibly even give a gift.”

Up the Ante

Whether you are going in for a trim, cut, or blow out, chances are you are going back to the same person — especially if you love the work he or she is doing. Certainly follow the guidelines mentioned above, but Sarshar suggests to increase the tip amount slightly over time. “Continue to do this every year,” he adds. “It’s a nice way to show that you are growing together.”

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Style

The Ins & Outs of Navigating the Outlet Mall

outlet-mallOutlet shopping during summer vacations is a given. As you and your family traverse hotspots, when you come across an outlet center, you’ve gotta stop. There’s plenty to take advantage of. “Outlet malls give consumers the opportunity to purchase quality and name-brand clothes at affordable prices,” explains Andrea Woroch, consumer saving expert. “With the recession, many consumers who perhaps once enjoyed wearing luxury or name-brand clothing had to change their spending habits but still wanted the quality goods. Therefore, they turned to outlet centers that gave them the chance to buy them for less.”

Aly Walansky, shopping expert and beauty and style editor, is no stranger to the bonafide outlet center. “When I was a little girl, my mom taught me shopping was to be considered a sport — one we could do without getting sweaty,” says Walansky who has once scored a green suede jacket for $15 on a clearance rack at Neiman Marcus Last Call. “I love the concept of going to an outlet center and knowing I have the same dress/shoes/bag/whatever I saw in the department stores — or on my friends — but know I paid a fraction of the price.” Walansky also brags about a gorgeous pair of tall Kenneth Cole leather boots for only $50. “I was so excited, I kept re-reading the tag to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake!”

Ready to shop the outlet center like a pro? We turn to Woroch and Walansky for some helpful strategies for you and your as you hunt for the best deals and steals!

Prepare

Before you even step foot out the door to visit the outlet center, come up with a plan. “I think that the key to outlet shopping is much like going through your Christmas list. Go prepared — if you know you are going to Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, NJ, for instance, take a second to look online at their store directory and sign up for any coupons or deals they have going on,” advises Walansky. “Never be afraid to search for coupons before you go! I’ve seen stores like Gap, Banana Republic, White House/Black Market, and many others issue outlet-specific coupons. You may find them with your credit card bill or by searching the internet. They are out there — and they sometimes spell BIG savings!”

Get Social

Hey, it’s 2012 — not only are your favorite stores tweeting, outlet malls are on social networks, too. “Follow the outlet center on Twitter,” Walansky suggests. “Tanger outlet centers has a very active Twitter stream… Many others do, as well. It’s a great way of you knowing if, say, the Victoria’s Secret outlet is having 10 pairs of panties for $25 this week. (Don’t jest, it’s happened. I had to buy a second storage ottoman to deal with the fall-out.)”

Split Up

Many who take outlet shopping seriously, like Walansky, will go solo. It’s the best way to find deals — because you will be focused and dig like there’s no tomorrow. Plus, you won’t duke it out with a family member or friend who wears the same size as you if you’re shopping together and discover the same hot item. But if you’re going with a group, Woroch says it’s best to split up. “Everyone has different styles and brand favorites and you will lose a lot of time if you stick together for every store on each other’s must-visit list,” Woroch says.

But if you have little ones and have no choice but to stick together, strategize. “Determine which stores and brands are important to each individual and make a shopping plan based on everyone’s needs and desires,” Woroch advises.

Bring Snacks

It’s a fact — when people (grownups and kids) are hungry or bored, they get cranky. “Outlet center shopping is a long day and kids will likely grow bored or frustrated. Bring games and snacks to keep them entertained and let them take breaks when trying on clothes,” suggests Woroch.

And stay hydrated! “Bring a few reusable water bottles and fill up at a water fountain to stay hydrated,” Woroch adds.

Inspect

Keep in mind, once your shopping day is over, it’s not likely you will have an opportunity to come back. “If you are traveling and stumble upon an outlet center that you just have to shop at, remember that returning merchandise won’t be easy so make sure it’s the right fit and what you need,” says Woroch. “Review clothing and other merchandise for any defects. Though not all outlet merchandise is defective, there are items that are sold for less because the manufacturer messed up. For instance, interesting seams and unfinished hems.” Try things on, inspect and you should be okay.

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Career, Style

What to Wear to an Interview

tb_interview1It’s hard to get to know someone in a one- or two-hour window during an interview, but potential employers sure can judge you and make assumptions about you based on what he or she sees. That begins with your eye contact, the way you hold your body, your hand shake, your ability to smile and whether or not you’re engaging. So yes, first impressions matter. And while you might relax your office ensembles once you’re hired just a tad, when you go to your interview, your totally clothes matter. Human resources professionals tell us, the best rule to follow is: dress for success to impress. Follow these guidelines for your next interview…

Dress for Success

Experts tell us, if you seek a high-paying job, then dress and look like you deserve it. “You want to communicate intelligence and competence via what you wear,” says Marc Mencher, CEO of GameRecruiter. “Even in the game industry, I tell folks to dress it up! A suit is always advisable for mainstream careers like lawyers or most business jobs.” Mencher once had a guy show up for an interview wearing a T-shirt and ripped shorts. Another time, there was an interviewee wearing sweatpants. These applicants didn’t get the jobs they were seeking — obviously. They were totally inappropriate. “An interview is a process that desires respect and attention to details,” explains Mencher.

For less formal industries, a dress shirt with a nice pair of dress pants or a skirt is ideal. “Button it up,” Mencher adds. “Sticking with a conservative look is always safe. Sloppy clothes means sloppy work, a sloppy mind and most likely a sloppy office work area. It simply creates the wrong message.”

Subtle Add-Ons

Don’t forget about branding — the company you’re trying to work at and yourself. “If you’re interviewing for Target where they integrate their company color, red-orange, into everything, then find a way to get that color into your outfit,” says Adriana Llames, chief engagement officer and master coach at Adrianna Llames Career Services. “The same goes for Sears (blue), Abbott (blue) or Wells Fargo (red and yellow)… The hiring manager’s mind sees the company colors and it connects that you ‘fit’ with the company and belong there.”

Exceptions to the Rule

One of the exceptions to the typical interview dress code may be the fashion industry. “Here’s where you can get away with some flair, but I would not stray too far from the norm,” says Mencher. “It’s okay to show some originality with accessories or clever matching, but the basic business attire or at least casual business look is a must.”

Work It, Own It

Just because you have the right elements for your interview attire, doesn’t mean impressing ends there. Mencher recommends to bring your interview clothes to a tailor for alterations so they fit your perfectly. “It doesn’t matter if you bought the clothing at Kmart. If the clothes are properly tailored, you will look like a million bucks,” he says.

And ladies, don’t forget who you’re dressing for. “Tight outfits and plunging necklines may work when you’re trying to pick someone up at a bar, but they sure don’t communicate professionalism nor that you have a brain,” Mencher adds. “You are not being hired to create a distraction.”

All the Little Details

Don’t forget to keep your use of cologne or perfume to a minimum. “It’s okay to wear some, but don’t wear it too heavily as these days in an office many folks are allergic or worse, yet may hate the scent you think is great,” Mencher points out. “If your smell is off-putting in any way, you will be shown the door before you know it.” Sometimes these decisions can also be subconscious. If someone hates how you smell but can’t quite put their finger on it, he or she may rule you out based on that alone.

Llames reminds to rock polished shoes and a watch. “We’re competing against men and it helps to beat them at their own game, ladies,” she explains. “Visit Nordstrom’s men’s department to polish your shoes and pick up a nice, big, slightly feminine watch and you’ll look like a million dollars.” You’ll also boost your confidence in the process, wowing the hiring manager, and landing the job.

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Career

Live in the Grey: New Website Inspires

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A poster came in the mail the other day from a new website (and philosophy), LiveintheGrey.com, which pretty much sums up exactly how I have to, want to and strive to live my life: with balance.

I instagrammed a portion of the poster and tacked it right up onto the most prominent wall in my office. I plan to look at it when I’m feeling down, overwhelmed, confused, enraged, bored, empty and uninspired. When I feel these emotions — down, overwhelmed, confused, enraged, bored, empty and uninspired — my first instinct is to reach for the highest of the highs, the polar opposite of my state of mind, the other end of the spectrum… But I’m realizing that’s not always the best approach.

I’m so excited someone created this site, which is a compilation and curation of inspiring ideas and stories — both original and from around the web — though I kind of wish I was thought of it. It’s definitely what the Buzzfeed-obsessed internet needs right now.

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Style

My I-Hope-They-Last-Forever Flats from Forever 21

forever21-flatsWhen you find a pair of shoes that are equal parts cute, comfy and versatile, you buy double. And the best part is, these City-Girl Colorblocked D’Orsay Flats were only $22.80 at Forever 21. I have been wearing pair #1 for practically three weeks straight now. The only days I didn’t wear them were on my wedding day (obvi!) and while on vacation because I had no choice but to wear flip flops poolside. When (if?) pair #1 fall apart, I’ll break out pair #2.

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Style

10 Dream Closets from TV Shows and Movies I Wish Were Mine

Whether you’re in the throes of a closet reorganization or merely like to indulge in closet envy, I’ve rounded up my dream closets from my favorite TV shows and movies.

Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and the City

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This TV closet will forever be engrained in our minds. Carrie has pondered outfit selections, and strutted in and out of her bathroom on numerous episodes.

Carrie and Big’s His-and-Her Closet in Sex and the City 2

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We rejoiced when Carrie finally got the closet of her dreams, not to mention a commitment from Big in the second installment of our beloved TV show’s movie incarnation.

Blair Waldorf’s Gossip Girl

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The privileged Blair Waldorf keeps her Miu Miu pumps, Zac Posen dresses and Henri Bendel headbands in this fabulous walk-in.

The Fashion Closet in Devil Wears Prada

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It’s not so much what the closet itself looked like in this movie, it’s more about the choices inside.

Cher’s in Clueless

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Although it’s not a walk-in, what we love about this heavenly movie closet are its features. It rotated and was connected to Cher’s computer, so she can plan her outfits before she went hunting for the pieces. Keep in mind, it was 1995.

Mrs. X’s in The Nanny Diaries

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Although we’d never ever want to trade places with the detestable Mrs. X, we love her closet and vanity.

Erica Barry’s in Something’s Gotta Give

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OMG — how big is Erica Barry’s closet in the movie Something’s Gotta Give?! This photo only shows half of it.

Jenna Rink’s in 13 Going on 30

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This is every 13-year-old’s dream closet — and ours! If we woke up one day with this to house all of our gear, we’d break out in an ’80s dance number, too.

Rebecca Bloomwood’s in Confessions of a Shopaholic

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So Rebecca Bloomwood doesn’t actually just have a closet. In fact, the way she stores her designer garments and accessories are kind of appalling. Even still, we want her fabulous wardrobe — though not at the cost of our credit ratings.

Jane’s in 27 Dresses

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Okay, so this closet is every girl’s nightmare realized, but it has earned a spot on our list because it’s the best haven for a silly movie montage.

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Career, Love

My Reaction to Two Varying Opinions About Getting Married and a Woman’s Journey Through Adulthood (Plus, My Own Theory on the Matter)

r-LIFE-BEFORE-MARRIAGE-large570I first read this post: “Life Before Marriage: Why You’re Not an Adult Until You Tie the Knot.” (Full disclosure: I worked with Kristin Koch at the bridal magazine she speaks of.) Kristin writes about her blissful years with then-boyfriend (now-fiance) sans that itch most some women get whereby they are hopeful, hint, ask, pressure or force boyfriends to put a ring on it. She says her life was transformed the minute she became engaged, citing that co-workers respected her more, wives of her soon-to-be groom’s friends suddenly liked her, and she felt more like an adult. And that’s when the comments section on the Huffington Post piece exploded, with comments like:

• “My brain hurts…”

• “Make no mistake about it, you are just as bad as anyone who judged you for not being married…”

• “I don’t know if you sold out or not, but you sure make it sound like you did. It sounds like you chose to get engaged to get the hounds off your back, which, in my opinion, isn’t a good reason to do anything…”

Then, I read the rebuttal on Cosmopolitan.com by Rose Surnow, who must be a comedian because she had me on the floor laughing. She titled her piece, “Spoiler Alert: Everyone Thinks You Should Be Married” and theorized Kristin must live in a small town without a mall.

Well, she doesn’t. And neither do I. So, which team am I on? While I do agree with Rose that “it’s totally cavalier to say that marriage is the marker of adulthood” — because, hell, you’re an adult the minute you start to face adult problems and pay adult bills — (and if you don’t, f*ck you), I am on Kristin’s side about this overnight transition that happens the minute you become engaged. I was proposed to last summer by my two-year-strong boyfriend who I adore, and I felt the change too. I am not going to say that people respected or liked me more, but the tides turned.

Now, I have a theory that it’s not merely about the fact that you’re engaged — that’s not why people all of a sudden realize you’re an adult. I’d like to think that people around you, especially those who have hired you to do a job and trusted you with responsibilities, have always seen you as a grownup. Plain and simple, the reason your colleagues and acquaintances suddenly have a new interest in you has to do with familiarity, vulnerability and confidence.

The people that gravitate towards you after you announce your engagement are those who have been there, done that. Suddenly, they have something to talk to you about, from wedding vendors they used to wedding planning tricks they can pass along. Finally, there’s something you can discuss! People love to hear themselves talk; they love to give advice. Now they know something you didn’t and they can offer up their wisdom.

And by the same token, you’ve opened yourself up. When you were single, you weren’t going around telling people about your dating escapades, no. You weren’t announcing things like, “Oh, I am single and loving it, how about that…” Getting engaged, getting married, becoming parents — these are the most personal and yet very public announcements you can share with people. When you start revealing personal things about yourself to strangers, they tend to just gravitate towards you more and feel more comfortable to tell you things.

As for the notion that your co-workers and bosses start to take you more seriously when you get engaged or married, there might be something there. It might have to do with that ring on your finger, sure. But there is another factor at play — you. If you feel more like a grownup because you’re engaged, you likely are acting like it, too. If you start to take yourself seriously, others will also. It’s not a one-way street. You didn’t, all of a sudden, get more respect because a man asked you to marry him. A strong sense of self is really powerful, and for some women — not all — having a man who truly loves you gives you confidence.
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News

Today, I Was the Live Blogger on the Set of “Anderson Live”

Blogging from the “Anderson Live” audience was such a treat. Check out the live blog here on AllYou.com with the minute-by-minute updates, including a funny story about Anderson going ballistic on a woman in the street (she tried to discard a banana peel into a mailbox!).

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Career

Job Hunting? The Ingredients of a Perfect LinkedIn Profile

tb_linkedinSure, when you’re job hunting, you might still go the CareerBuilder and Monster route. But truth be told, there’s a new digitized version of job hunting and talent recruiting. Enter, LinkedIn, the professional social network which has garnered over 135 million registered users as of November 2011, is becoming a new avenue for both job seekers and human resources representatives. Are you “looking”? If so, consider these tips from top recruiters to make your LinkedIn profile shine…

What types of things do recruiters look for in someone’s LinkedIn profile? 

“Work history, details of positions, and the results of their work,” says Ryan Hotaling, a corporate recruiter from Alloy Media + Marketing. “With sales candidates it is great to see quotas and numbers that they produce.  For other positions, it is great to see campaigns they have worked on, work they have produced, clients or agencies they’ve dealt with.”

How specific should we be on our LinkedIn profiles?

“You should be 50 percent as specific as you are on your resume,” says Adriana Llames, chief engagement officer and master coach at AdrianaLlames Career Services. For example, include a brief summary and two bullets that highlight key, measurable results and accomplishments (such as “Consistently achieved 120 percent of quota YOY for three years” and “Delivered 50 percent cost savings by developing new project management processes”).

How thorough should we be on our LinkedIn profiles?
“Great question. You should list the most recent — 10 to 12 years — experience on LinkedIn,” advises Llames. “If you go back to 1979 on your profile you’re basically giving away your age and we all know ageism is alive and well (as wrong as it is).” When it comes to your resume, however, Llames recommends listing 15+ years to key in on your level of experience.

How do recruiters use LinkedIn when vying for potential candidates?

“Search, search, search. LinkedIn is great at making it easy to search for candidates — whether by skill, experience, company or connection,” Llames points out. “If you have a strong network and key skills listed on LinkedIn, you greatly increase your chances of being found by recruiters.”

What are some red flags that make you not want to contact a candidate based on their LinkedIn profile? 

For Hotaling, anyone who goes through multiple jobs in short periods of time (like six months at one, eight months at the next) is a cause for concern. If there’s no real length of stay at any one place, he avoids that potential candidate.

What do you think of those LinkedIn testimonials — how important are they?

“Very, they increase your chance of landing an interview,” says Llames. You should have a minimum of three testimonials, but four is better, Llames adds. And you can probably stop at 10 testimonials — sometimes too many will be too overwhelming to read. As for what recruiters are looking for? Authenticity, brevity and also who the testimonial is from.

Are there any LinkedIn profile fields that we should really take advantage of?

Llames says 41 percent of employers look at volunteer experience as equivalent with work experience. Don’t forget about LinkedIn’s new Volunteer Experience area, which makes it easy to boast about all your charitable work. Remember to also include a summary that highlights facts, figures, results and accomplishments, Llames explains. You can use LinkedIn’s Skills section to list those key things for optimal search results by recruiters and employers.

Have you actually called someone in to interview after seeing their LinkedIn profile?

“I have, in fact, through searching through LinkedIn,” Hotaling explains.  “If I am looking for a VP of sales, I can put a job listing on a job board but that is going to provide me with a lot of resumes, and many times it is hit or miss if they will be qualified or not.  With the economy where it is, there are a lot of people looking and will look to apply for anything and everything even if it isn’t in the realm of their experience or current industry.”  The volume of applicants can get a little daunting, so Hotaling and many other recruiters simply do a search for potential applicants they really like. “With the search we can come up with a good volume of qualified people, and are able to hire out of that pool,” he says. “An added benefit to this is that if the people that were targeted in the search are not looking to leave their current employment, they usually are more than happy to recommend others who they know of that would be a fit.”

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News, Style

Breaking News: “Tan Mom” Stops Tanning

tanning-mom-stops-tanningNewsflash, everyone!!! Patricia Krentcil, who many have dubbed the “crazy tanning mom” — not only because she may have let her 5-year-old daughter go tanning but also because she looked like a football — has stopped tanning.

Back in May, ABC News described her as an “avid tanner,” and NJ.com said she has her “own deep tan.” (Jesus Christ — “ridiculously out-of-control tanner” is more like it.) Even Snooki slammed her, so you know, it was bad. We’re so happy to report she is foregoing the booth for a more natural look — at least for now. (The 44-year-old says she might “squeeze in a tan here and there.”)

In the latest issue of In Touch, she showed off her still-somewhat-tan (though tastefully) skin. The magazine challenged Krentcil to stop completely, but she cheated (sort of) with some Jergens self-tanner. “I’m not going to go dry,” she told the reporter.

Krentcil pleaded not guilty to the child endangerment charge in May following her April arrest, reports CBS. The case has been sent to grand jury in June, the family is being monitored by New Jersey’s child welfare agency, and Krentcil has since been banned from over 60 tanning salons.

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Love, News

How to Spot a Psychopath on a Dating Site

womanlaptop_thinkstock_652During an attack early Friday at a midnight showing of The Dark Night Rises, 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly set off gas canisters and used a semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol to open fire on theater-goers, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told news outlets Sunday. Holmes supposedly bought the weapons at local gun stores and 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, Oates said. The Aurora theater massacre left 12 dead and 58 wounded, some critically. I, like the rest of the world, am horrified.

“Authorities disclosed that he is refusing to cooperate and that it could take months to learn what prompted the mass shooting,” reports CBSNews.com.

Although James Holmes’ motive for his alleged shooting rampage has yet to be determined, another aspect of the case that has everyone talking is his relationships prior to the incident. What was James Holmes’ personal life like? Those who knew Holmes prior to the attack describe him as quiet and smart, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing that could conclude he had violent tendencies.

Sources are now reporting that Holmes was an online dater. “Most mainstream outlets are either ignoring or downplaying alleged photos of the suspect with dyed-red hair and accompanying reports about dating-site profiles,” says Denver’s Westword Blog. However, TMZ reports that Holmes had profiles on AdultFriendFinder and Match.com, and finds its sources credible, even having checked to make sure IP addresses match up.

If troubled men like James Holmes lurk dating sites like AdultFriendFinder.com and Match.com, daters beware. We all know that online dating could lead to dangerous encounters if you’re not careful, so how do you spot the warning signs before it’s too late and you’re left in a compromising position?

According to TMZ, James Holmes’ dating profiles stated that among his favorite things: Star Wars and the book, “Where’s Waldo?” He also stated, “I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. Mind = blown.” (Screenshot here.) Just a regular guy, you’d think… “It can be very tough to tell because you get limited information on a dating site,” says Elizabeth R. Lombardo, psychologist and author of “A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness.”

Lombardo says, you can spot a psychopath like so:

- A true psychopath has a superficial charm that, at first, may be seen as attractive.

- Someone who is a psychopath gets bored easily, is often fired because they do not follow the rules and because of poor insight.

- They have unrealistic and often grandiose goals.

- They life off others, not taking responsibility for themselves.

- They are impulsive.

- They are very skilled at playing a certain role. They can put on a charming mask for awhile, but psychopaths are egocentric — only think about themselves.

- Act coldheartedly. Example: When they hear what others would view as upsetting to others, they have no real reaction.

- Blame others. Things that go wrong are NEVER their fault.

- Don’t follow through with plans.

- Are dominant and “require” you do what they want you to do.

And as far as online dating goes in general, Lombardo says you can protect yourself by:

- Going with your gut. If something feels strange, trust your intuition and stay clear of that person.

- Keep personal info to a minimum.

- Remember, these individuals are irrational; they do not think the same way you do. So take smart steps to being safe AND keep your guard up for any clues that something is not right.

I don’t want to completely discourage online dating. I’ve heard of many success stories of couples who fall in love after having met on a dating site (me included). Just be careful out there!

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Style

The Science of Shapewear (And Where All the Fat Goes)

tb_shapwearNo question, we have a love/hate relationship with our body shapers and waist cinchers. On the one hand, we are grateful they give us the seamless, streamlined look we desire — no muffin tops and rolls here, woo! But let’s be honest, in their effort to restrict and confine our, well, fat, they leave us a little uncomfy. And some, depending on the slimming technology (no, that’s not what they call it), keep us from feeling quite like normal, happy selves. (Yeah, I get cranky when I can’t breathe!!!)

We’re not alone on the sentiment, I’m sure. Celebrities and regular people alike admit to shapewear use. And for those who don’t disclose how they look so slim in their body-hugging ensembles, they’re sometimes “outted” via revealing paparazzi pics. Yikes!

But perhaps if we understood how they work, it’ll help us pick the best minimizer for us, not to mention, appreciate them more for what they do so well. So we turned to experts to get the skinny on shapewear…

How does shapewear make us so skinny?

“Shapewear makes us skinny by sewing or knitting together elastic or rigid fabrics that are cut into such a pattern that when worn, the finished garment nips and tucks the body, says intimate apparel brand Va Bien co-founder and fit expert, Marianne Gimble. “Especially when cut and sewn together — as opposed to knitted seamlessly, like hosiery, designers are able to use pinpoint accuracy to ‘catch’ curves in the perfect places and enhance them. Hosiery-style seamless knitting, by contrast, tends to flatten curves. Both techniques slim the body, just in different ways.”

But Amy Sparano, senior vice president of sales and merchandising of It Figures!, cautions that with skimpy shapewear (as in the cheap, not-effective kind), excess fat can be pushed up over the waistband of a bikini pant, for example, creating the “muffin top” look. (Oh, the horror!) “With appropriate coverage of the torso, the control fabric holds the body in a smaller area, making the body appear thinner and smoother,” Sparano explains. So if you’re going to take advantage of the minimizer, choose the kind that works!

Reports have surfaced that we could develop blood clots, acid reflux and breathing problems for using ‘em. Are we in danger for wearing shapewear?

“Shapewear can actually have health benefits,” explains Gimble. “It can stimulate circulation and provide support to muscles.”

ResultWear shapewear designer Kiana Anvaripour reminds us of Scarlett O’Hara being laced up into her corset in Gone with the Wind. Women have been in shapewear for decades! “Sometimes, beauty is pain, but our generation is lucky,” she says. “With technology, fabric, stitching, and high-quality design, you can achieve that hourglass look without pain. No boning, no horse hair. Our lifestyles as modern women don’t afford us the ability to be in pain.”

We’re perplexed. Where does all of the fat go?

“Fat can move into spaces where muscle is compressed, such as the abs. It can also be moved directionally, towards more desirable places,” says Gimble.

Jason Scarlatti, creative director of men’s brand 2(x)ist Underwear, adds that the flab is just made more compact. “Shapewear is engineered to funnel excess weight to help you appear to be more slim; it can slim you up to 1 to 2 inches,” he says. “The excess flab is condensed, the same way as when you push your hands on your belly to push in the fat.”

Anvaripour adds that the fat is still there. It’s just presented in a sexier way, like in your breasts, cleavage and butt. (So it goes all the way up there and down there?! Nice.)

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Love

Words to Live By: The Thing About Friends

inspirational-quoteWhen I spot friendship quotes on Facebook, Pinterest, etc., I usually glaze over them and go, “Eh, that’s not really accurate.” But today, I just had to share because this pin-worthy photo couldn’t be more true.

Someone once told me that friendships don’t just happen, they become.

The most significant ones in your life are those you’ve grown with. They’ve known you before you knew you, and although you’ve gone through all of these ups and downs, highs and lows, at the heart of it all, your friendship is still the same.

Shout-out to my BFFs, Vivienne, Hannah and Lauren, plus, my sister (the best in the world) and my favorite cousin Gladys — the chickies I’ve chosen for my bridal party, of course. When I get together with any of you, it’s like we haven’t aged a bit, time hasn’t lapsed at all and nothing has ever changed.

Love you, gals!

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Food, Travel

The New Haven Experience Through Fashion and Food

Jesse and I recently visited New Haven, CT for a much-needed weekend adventure, which was full of shopping and food. Go figure! Here’s what we discovered…

Rack Reveal

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I can rummage through the racks at YURWAY Boutique all day long. I especially loved the colorful dresses, tunics and skirts they had in stock — all very unique!

Preppy Pupils

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No surprise here… There were a handful of stores catering to the Ivy spirit, like Raggs.

So Cute

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I just had to get two of these. New Haven hosts many stores ideal for outfitting your home with a wink.

Accessory Rich

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Many boutiques in New Haven also offer up both earthy and fancy jewels. The choices were endless on Chapel Street, to be exact.

Mom Approved

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Although the fashions at Idiom were not quite my thing, perhaps your or my mom would be interested in shopping these looks?

Terrific Table Top

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Jesse and I fell in love with this table top display. Not quite our taste, but so adorable.

A Little Inspiration

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I’m constantly looking for new ways to inspire my style and beyond. This store window did just that for me.

new-haven-food-2An Earthy Pizza

Hailing from New York City, we know pizza. In fact, we are pizza snobs.

Even still, we gave the mushroom pizza from Kitchen Zinc a chance, and was pleasantly surprised. It’s not your typical pie. This one had portobello mushrooms, a balsamic marinade, caramelized onions, fontina cheese and arugula salad.

new-haven-food-3Miya’s Sushi

Upon walking in to Miya’s Sushi, we had no idea what to expect. The highly-recommended restaurant by both locals and travel fiends alike would prove to be the most interesting dining experience ever.

Pictured here is the seaweed miso soup… Chef Bun Lai (whose list of accolades are endless and yet he stays so humble) dove for and fetched the seaweed himself.

new-haven-food-7The Food’s Got Soul

Most will probably never be able to say this in their lifetime, but I’m honored to attest: I have reflected and been inspired by… a menu.

I share Chef Bun Lai’s childhood lunch experience. As a kid, I didn’t realize the impact that my culture and the food my mom would send me to school with, would have on my development as an adult. It shapes you.

new-haven-food-4Yes, Those Are Mini Crabs

This dish from Miya’s is called the Kanibaba. It comes with a five-piece roll of Asian shore crab (hand-caught and well-seasoned — you eat them like chips), dungeness crab and spinach, all stuffed in potato skin infused with Asian shore crab stock and topped with toasted havarti cheese and a lemon dill sauce.

Hands down, this is the most memorable dish we’ve eaten — ever. Not just because it was served on a locally collected volcanic ocean rock, but because it was delish!

new-haven-food-5The Ultimate Sake Tasting

We ordered the sake sampler at Miya’s for two (very close friends — you share the glasses)…

The “Chinese Firecracker” sake blew our socks off. It had been aged with locally-grown hot chili peppers. The “Water of Life” sake, a honey sweetened ginseng and jasmine concoction, provided a nice break from the heat.

new-haven-food-6Arctic Char Sushi

If you’ve never had arctic char sushi before, it’s a must try. And if you’re at Miya’s, even better!

It is a cold-water fish that kind of reminds me of a mix between salmon and lake trout.

new-haven-food-8Delightful Dipping

I adore a good dip. A trio of it — for me, that’s dip heaven!

You can’t go wrong with any of these from Heirloom, nestled inside The Study at Yale hotel. From right: cheddar, horseradish and pimento; walnut, thyme, honey and parmigiano (my fave of the three); and fava bean hummus with pistachio and pecorino.

new-haven-food-9Sweet Scallops

For my main course, I tried the Maine sea scallops that came with caramelized spaghetti squash, sage, capers, citrus and sultanas, which was so delectable, if someone had told me it was dessert, I’d believe them.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

new-haven-food-1At a Glance

All in all, it was quite an experience. Who knew? A mere two-hour train ride away would bring us an adventure full of great shopping and insightful eats.

I wonder where we’ll go next and the discoveries that await…

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Career

Make Your Facebook Profile Shine! It Can Land You a Job

tb_facebookCan social network Facebook cost you your job? The answer is simply, yes. We’ve seen it time and time again reported in the news. Disgruntled employee vents on Facebook, employers find out, and employers fire said employee. Don’t end up in this situation. If your job is less than perfect and you want to complain to your friends, do it another more private medium (texting, a phone call, even online chatting).

And by the same token, your profile can also help you land a job. Not sure how? As you might’ve already heard, recruiters search for candidates before they schedule an interview or make an offer. (You know, to make sure you’re not a liability.)

Here’s how to make sure your Facebook profile is in tip-top shape:

Watch Your Grammar

“Many job seekers think that [recruiters] use social media to see what they look like and to see what their friends look like. Personally, I could care less about what you look like, but I do care about what you sound like,” says top recruiter Abby Kohut. “Using poor language or speaking badly about people or constantly complaining will not win you any points with recruiters.”

Kohut adds, even when using abbreviations, check your grammar and spelling to make sure that it’s top notch.

Keep It Clean or Private

“Recruiters understand that people have social lives, so the occasional drinking picture is okay. What’s not okay is drug use or other illegal activities portrayed right on [job candidates’] public Facebook profiles,” says Rich DeMatteo, founder of Com On The Job, a career blog and community for job seekers. “For these reasons, it’s so incredibly important that everyone use privacy settings on Facebook.”

DeMatteo also warns that recruiters are widely known for having larger networks than most. “For this reason, it’s smart for job seekers to only allow direct connections to view their status updates and pictures,” he adds.

Look Active — In the Professional Sense

“I recruit very heavily from social media sites and I have placed three people in the last year from Facebook. What I look for is someone that has a profile that portrays them in a positive light,” explains John A. Fulcher, director of the healthcare division for Bauer Consulting Group. “Following companies that you want to work with is a very good way to stay in tune with the job market and stay visible to that employer.”

Sharing articles of interest will also get you noticed as someone the recruiter would want to work with. It means you have your finger on the pulse and you’re passionate about the industry.

Be Normal

For Jeremy Spring, vice president and senior search consultant for executive search firm Elever Professional, extreme religious or political expressions, including bigotry (even if it’s in jest), are red flags. Add to the list, unsavory or tactless humor. “These may seem obvious, but the Facebook environment lends to its users a false sense of privacy and a seemingly self-constructed ecosphere where true and embellished expression are acceptable,” Spring says. “On many occasions our consultants have had to re-consider the legitimacy of a candidate after finding the above issues on a Facebook page.”

His advice for job seekers? “If you use Facebook liberally, my suggestion is to set an innocent and decent image of yourself as your profile picture and ratchet up the privacy settings to the highest degree.”

Build Your Brand

Don’t forget that your Facebook profile can also help you build yourself up. By posting respectable photos of yourself where you are well-groomed and your status updates depict your enthusiasm and involvement in your career pursuits will be beneficial to you, says Spring. “My only caution regarding the above: make sure that what you list is truthful and consistent with what you’d present in an interview.”

Don’t Complain

“Candidates need to be very careful about what they post on Facebook or any social media site,” says Marc Mencher, CEO of GameRecruiter. On his list of reasons he’d reject a candidate: if you’re complaining about your boss or current company, if you often post about how bored you are at work and if you have partially filled out LinkedIn or Facebook profiles that reveal you’re not a detail-oriented person.

Stay Consistent

“Pictures are worth a thousand words,” says Adriana Llames, a career services expert and author of “Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game.” She says recruiters will ask themselves, does this candidate’s online and offline appearance match? “For instance, when you meet the candidate wearing a well-tailored navy blue business suit, polished shoes and tie, but see that 95 percent of their photos have them in cut-off shorts, tank tops and full-arm tattoos, it raises the question: who is the real person?” Llames points out. What else might that person be hiding?

Use Buzz Words

“Just like you have key words in your resume, make sure you have key words on your social networks,” says Wes Weiler, chief information officer of hiredMYway.com. “HR mangers and recruiters can search resumes with key words so it is very important to have the key targeted words in your resume match up on social networks so that you are searchable.” This is especially true if you have a LinkedIn profile.

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Style

This Is What Happens When One-Upping Hipster Girls Get Together


Don’t lie. Sometimes when you buy something really cute from Ross Dress for Less (or somewhere equally embarrassing) and someone asks you where you bought it from, you answer, “It’s vintage. I got it from a flea market.” Hey, we’re all guilty. (Or is it just me?) We’re proud of our cheap “vintage” finds. Plus, it’s really cool to say you’re retro. Not so cool when you got your underpants from a homeless person though.

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Style

Beauty Hacker: How to Trim Your Own Bangs

tb_bangs_vertical1Many will caution against bangs because they’re kind of annoying to maintain. Let’s be honest, they only look fabulous for the first week after the initial cut. Then, you end up spending the weeks, maybe months, to follow trying to grow them out or visiting your hairdresser every other week just to get them out of the way and off your eyes.

So yeah, if you don’t have the time to go to your local salon for frequent trims or you have no patience to wait for them to grow (especially since that in-between phase is not a good look), there’s another option you might’ve not considered. It’s an intimidating one, but if you can learn how to do it, it will change your life. We’re talking about, trimming your own bangs. Eek!

Don’t be scared. Celebrity hair guru Louis Licari offers up some tips that’ll make you a bangs-trimming expert in no time:

Work with Dry ‘Dos: Always wash and dry your hair first. Hair looks longer when its wet. Nothing is more frustrating than too-short bangs.

Have the Right Tool: Use baby scissors. This will allow you to only cut a small section of your hair at once. It will help prevent any “Oops” moments from happening. You can always trim more to make them a bit shorter as you go along.

Strategize Like So: Never cut your bangs straight across. Cut slowly and chip into bangs. This will keep the line soft and natural. And, always use your previous haircut as a guideline.

“Trimming your bangs is easy to do at home,” says Licari. “It’s an easy way to keep a haircut looking fresh longer and prevent frequent salon visits.” Happy cutting!

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Tech

Pinsanity: When Pinterest Goes Way Too Far


Pinsanity: (noun) When Pinterest becomes more than just an obsession.

If you’re pinning like crazy, you will be able to relate. Not that you’d ever thumbtack a real live person to your bedroom wall or anything like that… But just imagine — you know that cray-cray girl who’s planning her wedding and she’s all insanely-obsessed with it (sorry, Knotties!)? What if she went totally nuts? (And oh, we’re pin-crazy, too — follow us!)

BTW, you might recognize the cray-cray chick in this vid. She’s Deborah S. Craig from Hart of Dixie!

Are you currently experiencing pinsanity?

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News, Style

Wait… Can We Please Discuss the Crazy Tanning Mom’s Face?

crazy-tanning-momSeriously. I mean, seriously. Forget the sunburned kid (although yes, if she did — in fact — bring her daughter into the tanning booth, that’s super-awful), but I think we’re all thinking the same thing here.

Countless news outlets are reporting on Patricia Krentcil, who many have dubbed the “crazy tanning mom” — not only because she may have let her 5-year-old daughter go tanning but also because she looks like this. ABC News described her as an “avid tanner,” and NJ.com said she has her “own deep tan.” Jesus Christ — “ridiculously out-of-control tanner” is more like it. Even Snooki slammed her.

Krentcil is facing child endangerment charges, which could mean a prison sentence. Prosecutors should probably also add “tanning overload” to the list of crimes.

Just saying. What do you think?

Here’s what my friends said…

tanning-lady-comments

 

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Style

How Awesome Is It That Ginnifer Goodwin Wore a $299 H&M Dress to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?

ginnifer-goodwin-correspondentsThat’s really all we had to say.

It’s awesome.

The Once Upon a Time actress looked stunning on the red carpet at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in the tiered H&M dress that retails for only $299.

The number is from H&M’s eco-friendly Exclusive Glamour Conscious Collection.

“I wanted something that was very earth-friendly,” Goodwin told People magazine on her way into the event. “That was critical.”

Want to wear it to your next fancy shindig? Start hunting! Only 1,000 were made — and each is individually numbered.

By the way, the black belt was the star’s own addition to the ensemble; it didn’t come with the dress.

Do you think the dress was red-carpet worthy?

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Career, News

Reflecting on My 20-Something Self… Because, Obviously, I’m Watching HBO’s “Girls”

white-girls-big-city-what-hbo-s-new-show-misses-imgSorry I’m a little late on this, girls, but I finally had a moment to watch the first two episodes of HBO’s highly anticipated new girl drama. My thoughts?

In the opening scene — Girls heroine Hannah is at dinner with her parents. She eats like a pig, then her mom stops her to let her know that she and dad are no longer bank-rolling her 20-something New York City lifestyle. Mom says, “No more money,” then asks Hannah to hang again tomorrow.

Hannah responds, “I have work, and then I have a dinner thing, and then I am busy, trying to become who I am,” which reminded me of Felicity, only less weepy yet not at all endearing.

Hannah lives with her best friend, Marnie, who’s worshipped by her boyfriend. They take a bath together (Marnie and Hannah) as Marnie plots to break up with her meek boyfriend. (For a split second, I almost thought they were bi.) Hannah’s “love life,” on the other hand, consists of letting a not-even-remotely-attractive hipster use her for sex.

Then Jessa arrives. She’s the aloof British cousin (who you can say is like Samantha 20 years ago) of Shoshanna (who you can say is like the younger, more annoying Charlotte of the group). And oh, Jessa may be pregnant and Shoshanna is a virgin. What an eventful week!

And so now I get it… Girls follows the lives of four girlfriends straight out of college as they figure out life, love and everything in between — but with their parents’ bank accounts and lack of self-worth. Hmmm — original.

Its got the awkward sex scenes of Sex and the City, the banter of every coming-of-age movie and the dark humor of a Woody Allen flick. Critics are saying this show accurately depicts this new generation of 20-somethings. Shrug, if that’s the case the girls of today are in big trouble.

John Kubicek of BuddyTV.com said it best: “These characters have been raised believing that they’re special and that they can do anything they want. The problem is that none of them seem to want to do anything. There’s nothing particularly special about Hannah’s life, no reason that her memoirs would be remotely interesting.”

And our parents thought WE acted sooo entitled… But goddammit, I’m going to watch it every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on HBO because as irritating as these girls are, I’m compelled — as compelled as I was to watch Thirteen. Plus, all this “stuff that gets up around the sides” (of condoms) talk is pretty hilarious.

Coming soon: a list of what I’d tell my naive 20-something self as my now wiser 30-something self.

You? What do you think of Girls?

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Style, Tech

Twitter to Follow: Pretty Girl Problems (Even Ugly People Can Relate Though)

pretty-girl-problems-twitteBy now, you’ve started to follow @WhiteGrlProblem (White Girl Problems) and @FiWoProblems (First World Problems).

I love a good laugh so I follow these not-so-real-but-totally-right-on Twitter accounts. They say all the things people would never say because if they did they’d sound like jerks.

My latest obsession: @PrettyGrlProb (Pretty Girl Problems) which has over 70,000 followers — and growing. Her tagline: “Being beautiful isn’t always easy.” But if you’re ugly, you can still relate — because she’s just so darn funny. Some of our favorite tweets include:

“I have the patience of a toddler when it comes to waiting for my nails to dry. #pgp”

“If he misspells in a text message I’m going to assume he doesn’t have a smartphone or lacks intelligence. Both are deal breakers #pgp”

“My life could be summed up with 2 major issues: the wine bottle’s empty and I packed too much #pgp”

“No woman puts on flats and goes “wow these make my legs look fabulous” #HighHeelsAlways#pgp”

“Crocs go with everything. #WordsYouWillNeverHearMeSay #pgp”

Ha! Again I say — at the risk of sounding Samantha Brick-like — we agree with @PrettyGrlProb’s every statement.

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Hair Crime Alert: Instead of Cash, Thieves Are Stealing Weaves!

hair-weaveReally, criminals? Really?

Indeed! Instead of cash, thieves are stealing weaves. They’re pricy, so this checks out.

“For the second time in less than a week, a weave thief targeting high-dollar hair extensions used a stolen vehicle to ram through the front of an Atlanta beauty supply store,” reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The criminal (a man, mind you) drove a U-Haul truck through a J&J Beauty Supply store and somehow got away with a box of hair weaves worth about $2,000.

Although this was the first time this particular J&J Beauty Supply store had been burglarized, hair thieves are everywhere. Other reports have surfaced of burglars stealing weaves — yes, more weaves! — from a Beauty Depot, a CVS store and an SJ Beauty and Salon (all in Georgia).

Surprised? I’m not — hair is a hot commodity!

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Style

Beauty Hacker: How to Pop a Zit (Yes, There’s a Right Way)

pop-a-zitI hate myself right now. I popped a zit on my chin way too soon. As a result, I bled, it got all gross, then I picked the scab, then it got all gross again and the cycle continues.

I knew all along that there was a proper way to pop a zit, but I just couldn’t help myself. I didn’t follow my own rules, but you should — so you don’t hate yourself.

Rule 1: Try not to pop your zits.

Rule 2: If you must pop a zit, only do so when it’s ready. That means, wait until the tip looks white — a white head!

Rule 3: If you’ve got a white head zit, it’s ready. But first, wash your hands. You don’t want your face to get all irritated with whatever germs might be living on or around your fingertips.

Rule 4: Use tissues or thin cotton rounds around your fingertips to have better control. Then, squeeze. Wait for puss to come out. Then, switch fingertip positions and squeeze again. Wait for more puss to come out.

Rule 5: Once the puss is all out, then apply a spot treatment to help heal and dry out the remaining infection.

Rule 6: No matter what, don’t pick at it or the blemish will look darker or scar. Once your pimple area has dried out, you can use some kind of skin brightener or exfoliator to make the skin look like new again. Until then, just don’t touch it!

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News, Style

Every Person Has a “Side” — And As It Turns Out, It’s Your Left Side

ysolt-left-sideConfession, whenever I pose for photos, I almost always turn to my left side — meaning, I turn my head towards the right side to show off my left side, and I even go as far as running to stand on the left side of the shot in a group photo. I’ve always done this because from being photographed previously on both right and left sides, I’ve deemed I look better left. (This all sounds really ridiculous, I know.)

I’ve never had another explanation for it before other than that, but now a new study adds to my speculation. As it turns out, everyone looks better from the left! (As you can imagine, this could pose a problem for group photos.) “Research suggests that the left side of the face is more intense and active during emotional expression,” reports Springer. “It is also noteworthy that Western artists’ portraits predominantly present subjects’ left profile.”

So if this is the case, wouldn’t this mean that for every person to look their best in every photo, everyone has to show off only their left sides? And hmmm, wouldn’t that make for an awkward group photo?

“Your best side may be your left cheek, according to a new study by Kelsey Blackburn and James Schirillo from Wake Forest University in the US. Their work shows that images of the left side of the face are perceived and rated as more pleasant than pictures of the right side of the face, possibly due to the fact that we present a greater intensity of emotion on the left side of our face. Their work is published online in Springer’s journal Experimental Brain Research.”

Well there you go — I guess next time you’re on a date, interview, posing for a photo, show off your left cheek. Just don’t tell your girlfriends, so you don’t all fight for the left side when cameras are in the room.

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Saved by Beauty — Drug Addict Cat Marnell, Acne-Prone Cassandra Bankson and Me

ysolt-with-makeupI’ve been following (in the digital sense) blogger Cat Marnell for awhile now. She writes about beauty, health (sort of) and her drug use at Jane Pratt’s site xoJane.

A recent article in New York magazine gave us more insight into Marnell’s supposed madness.

“She feels a debt not just to her readers but to her subject. She loves being a beauty editor. ‘I’m bad all of the time, and beauty products are fixing me,’ she says. ‘Without beauty products, I would have never gotten through my life. I owe everything to them. They’ve afforded me unlimited debauchery. It’s been beyond.’ She takes another pill.”

Marnell’s not the only one being saved by makeup. Acne-prone Cassandra Bankson used to hate to leave her house because of her face. She was laughed at in school for her pimples, but finally overcame the embarrassment by using foundation and concealer. She made a Youtube video, which has now received over 6 million views to date, on how she gets ready everyday in hopes she would help others who befall the same acne fate learn how to hide their zits, too.

“Confidence is beauty, essentially,” she told the Today show. “You can’t have one without the other. And I think that makeup is a way for women to feel confident until they overcome whatever insecurities they have so they can be beautiful with or without.”

Marnell, Bankson and I — we’re not so different, you see.

On my very first (now defunct) blog ever, this is how I introduced myself to the world:

“When I was little, I used to write in a diary, only eat the chicken skin, cut pages out of magazines, get bashful when in the spotlight, buy junk food, play records, cry for no reason, and ask my parents for things. Not much has changed. I do, however, have a bank account now — and the constant desire to shop.”

I get bashful when in the spotlight… This is a statement that will follow me everywhere, forever. I am painfully shy. I don’t like people to stare at me. I sweat at the thought of making a speech of any kind. I hate being video’d and have considered being medicated just to be able to cope with attention. (Hello, Xanax — suddenly Marnell makes a whole lot of sense!)

As a child, my mom forced encouraged me to dance at recitals, wear gowns at pageanty-like events and — well — just be pretty in general. The pressure was terrifying. (Maybe it scarred me for life?) For whatever reason, I still manage to find myself in the spotlight. Heck, I’ve even landed myself on a Match.com commercial. As a fashion and beauty editor, attention sort of comes with the territory. But even with my confidence shortcomings, I make it work. I won’t turn to drugs though. The only tool at my disposal: beauty — my long, wavy hair; my beloved eyeliner; the concealer that hides the bags under my eyes; lipgloss. Naked, I’m nothing.

Judge Marnell all you want, but the girl is onto something. I will never support drug use of any kind. I refuse to glorify it, but Marnell’s thoughts on beauty — that it could save lives — is fact. Without beauty products, who knows how I (and many other girls out there with self-esteem issues) would survive?!

Now it’s your turn to share… How’s beauty saving you?

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