Everyone wants to look younger and more pulled together. The challenge? Having the fashion know -how to visually defy FATHER TIME. To illustrate how easy it is to LOSE A DECADE IN FIVE MINUTES, I picked ELLEN COLLINS, a WINDY CITY LIVE audience member to work with me. Sixty year old Ellen was sporting a boxy blazer, baggy trousers, an oversized button down top and granny-looking loafers. My goal? To help her DUMP THE FRUMP and shave years from her appearance.
Ellen Collins, 60 years old—BEFORE picture
As you age, elegance is in simplicity.
Step one? Creating a streamlined, well-proportioned neutral silhouette that gave her verticality and showcased her lovely face and trim legs.Then, I layered these basics with on-trend accessories for a minimalistic. The result? A dramatically minimalistic look that is super easy to emulate.
On the beauty front, looking younger is all about grooming. De-fuzz caterpillar brows, even out skin tone and cover up gray or overgrown roots.
Ten easy style tips to help women dump the frump
- A “uniform” of flattering basics that accentuates your assets and camouflages your least favorite body parts. Black is the most slimming color. Use it as a base
Ellen and Amy during the fitting
- PROPORTION: baggy clothes=old looking and dumpy. A tailored, balanced outfit like this-breezy, drapey on the top and tighter/streamlined on the bottom showcases her trim figure and makes her look taller
- Use accessories as lengthening tools. The earrings elongate her slim neck. The scarf creates verticality/ elongates her silhouette.& Long necklaces lengthen the torso
- Assymetrical knit creates verticality and makes her look younger/sportier/taller
- God is in the details. Keep Clothes minimal. Trends are expressed through accessories
- Get rid of flats→add a heel. A to the knee boot in black elongates her silhouette
- Invest in garments with “compression” technology”
- Contrast is the lifeblood of fashion: A graphic, scarf inject a sporty, on-trend layer to the look
- Add polish with a layered bangles
- A simple gold youthifying statement earring brings light to the face and adds zip to the look.
Amy and the transformed Ellen looking fabulous for the Windy City Live segment
Amy’s “Quick Fix” Beauty Recommendations:
What you saw on Ellen:
Sequin NYC gold/black chain link bracelet, $48, www.Sequinnyc.com
Naturalizer motive wedge boot $149 www.macys.com
Vintage Gold Door knocker clip on earrings
Everyone wants to look younger and more pulled together. The challenge? Having the time and fashion know how to visually defy FATHER TIME. I’m dishing out how women can dump the frump and shave years from their appearance
(behind the scenes: getting ready, chatting with Hoda and Kris Jenner)
As you age, elegance is in simplicity.
Step one? Put down the too-trendy Gossip Girl ensembles and streamline your look with a minimal “uniform” that is layered with au courant accessories.
30s: ALYSSA VITRANO—ISSUE: finding a non-“dumpifying” silhouette for her petite frame that is sporty, business casual and polished w/ a side of sexy
LOOK: Easy dress it up, dress it down little black dress with asymmetrical knit, to the knee boots and groovy accessories.
- Looking younger is all about a flattering, neutral silhouette bumped up with pops of color
- PROPORTION: baggy clothes=old looking and dumpy. Tailored dress with an above –the knee hemline that showcases her trim legs and makes her look taller
- Long necklaces lengthen the torso and create a focal point
- Asymmetrical knit creates verticality and makes her look younger/sportier/taller
- A to the knee boot in black elongates her silhouette.
Sofia Vergara for Target ruched sweater dress $32.99 /// Topshop grey slit back jersey top $36 /// Piperlime, House of Harlow 1960 sunburst necklace $63 /// Sequin NYC riley earring $28 /// H&M bangle set $9.95 /// Asos resin bangle $13.97 each /// Boden purple suede bag $194
40’s: LINDA GAUNT—ISSUE: Mastering a long, lean, on trend look for her 5’4 , size 16 frame
LOOK: Classic with a twist: boldly colored cozy cardigan, scarf in print, leggings→slimming, streamlined, silhouettes with pops of color and contrasting accent pieces,
- Black is the most slimming color
- VOLUME CONTROL: volume on top/narrow on the bottom
- Reduce bulges with slimming shapewear under clothes (Invest in garments with “compression” technology”)
- Use accessories as lengthening tools. The earrings elongate a slim neck. The scarf creates verticality and elongates the silhouette.
- Get rid of flats→add a heel to lengthen and lean out the silhouette
- Use color and accessories to draw attention to your assets ( and camouflage your bulges)
- Contrast is the lifeblood of fashion: the print is young and au courant
Spanx Look-at-me leggings $62 /// DKNY cashmere cozy $195 /// Macy’s black tunic $39 /// Theodora and Callum aztec scarf $175 /// Piperlime Hive & Honey bracelet $28 /// Sequin NYC gold bamboo bracelets $28 each
50s: LINDA KEARNS—ISSUE: Fashion rut! Has no sense of how to layer or what “works” for her body type
LOOK: Dramatic minimalism, simple lines and sharp accessories that spotlight her face and legs.
- Simple, neutral “uniform” with above the knee hem is streamlined and youthful
- A graphic, flowy knit and bold scarf inject a sporty, on-trend layer to the look
- Studs are old looking- Wear a youthifying statement earring. Neck grazing earring makes neck look longer and leans out the whole look.
- Add polish with a sculptured, high gloss cuff
Piperlime dex cardigan $95 /// DKNY racerback easy tank $75 /// Ann Taylor solid luxe scarf $48 /// H&M gold cuff $5.95 /// Kenneth Jay Lane satin gold coin button earring $40 /// J.crew Macalister wedge bootie $198
I hate clutter. I can’t function with piles of stuff in my office or my home. Ditto on my closets (yes, plural)! It has taken years of meticulous closet cleansing to arrive at a place of wardrobe nirvana. But, my efficient closet, having a go-to “uniform” and understanding the high art of super-accessorizing, allows me to get dressed in a snap each morning. This hyper organization mystifies my friends and colleagues. How can a fashion type exhibit such an anti-hoarder mentality? In my estimation, disorganization yields poor fashion decisions. So, when my friend ,stylist Dana Ravich told me about I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!, a how-to-de-clutter- your life book that she penned with TODAY show fashion gal Jill Martin, I felt vindicated. Looking through the book, I thoroughly agree with advice on how to create a uniform for your personal body type, situational dressing and how to “shop smart”. Of the utmost importance is the following advice “Look your best for you! the way you put yourself together affects your mood. Self esteem and attitude. So, make it good!”
Here, Jill and Dana share their top 5 tips on how to de-clutter and maintain a highly efficient wardrobe.
1. PARE DOWN. THE LESS YOU HAVE IN YOUR CLOSET, THE EASIER IT IS TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH. GET RID OF 75% OF WHAT’S IN YOUR CLOSET AND JUST KEEP THE 25% YOU ACTUALLY WEAR.
2. GROUP YOUR CLOTHING TOGETHER ACCORDING TO CATEGORY – ALL DRESSES TOGETHER, SKIRTS, BLOUSES, PANTS. THIS WAY YOU WILL KNOW EXACTLY WHERE EVERY PIECE IS WHEN YOU WANT TO WEAR IT.
3. GIVE YOUR SHOES, BAGS, AND JEWELRY A HOME. STORE YOUR SHOES IN CLEAR BOXES (PAIRED OFF, OF COURSE), BAGS LINED UP ON A SHELF, AND KEEP YOUR JEWELRY IN A HANGING ORGANIZER OR CAREFULLY ORGANIZED IN A JEWELRY BOX OR DRAWER. ACCESSORIZING IS THE KEY TO ANY OUTFIT, SO HAVE THESE PIECES VISIBLE AND AT THE READY.
4. KNOW YOUR “UNIFORM” – THE OUTFIT THAT MOST EXPRESSES YOU, FLATTERS YOU, AND MAKES YOU LOOK AND FEEL SEXY AND CONFIDENT. THESE ARE THE ITEMS THAT YOU WILL WEAR DAILY AND SIGNIFY YOUR STYLE. ONCE YOU KNOW THIS, GETTING DRESSED IS A NO-BRAINER.
Jackie Kennedy, a fashion icon known for her signature “uniform”
5. DON’T BE SWAYED BY EVERY PASSING TREND. BUY AND KEEP ONLY THE ITEMS THAT WORK FOR YOU. TRYING TO INCORPORATE “IN” PIECES THAT DON’T FLATTER OR EXPRESS YOU WILL JUST DISTRACT AND FRUSTRATE YOU. STAY TRUE TO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.
Trendy piece: Lanvin for H&M Necklace VERSUS Investment: Strappy Jimmy Choos
Life is chaotic. With work, kids and running a house, it is easy for busy women to forget about fine tuning their look. The result? A confluence of style mishaps which lead directly to Frumpville. Here, Ten easy style “prescriptions” to help women dump the frump and shave years from their appearances:
1. Update makeup-→add radiance with bronzer and shimmer
2. Learn how to use accessories as lengthening tool
3. Wear a silhouette/hemline that flatters your body type
From bodacious Christina Hendricks to very petite Natalie Portman
4. Wear a youthifying statement earring, not studs
5. Groom caterpillar brows
6. Modernize hair color and style
7. Invest in the new cadre of “slimming apparel”
10. Get rid of flats→add a heel
Goodbye summer. Hello, Chaos.
Busy moms are anxiously staring at the fall magazines and catalogues arriving in the mail and wondering, “How do I update my look with minimal effort?” Giving your existing wardrobe a facelift is easy. Simply introduce a handful of easy-to-wear trends into the mix. No, not the studded leather and to-the-thigh slit maxi skirts. My picks must pass the Five Minute Fix wear-ability test.
Pre-requisites? Comfort, versatility and the ability to bump up basics into of-the-moment look.
1. Boyfriend Cardigan Old Navy, Military Style Cardigan $42.50
2. Chunky Knits! Vince, Cocoon Cable Knit Sweater $345
3. DKNY, V-Neck Cardi Cozy $595
4. 70s Inspired Top Bailey 44, Tie-Front Polka Dot Top $211
5. Graphic Tee Topin, Sammy Striped Top $79
6. Pop of Color Theodora & Callum, Aztec Blanket Scarf $175
7. Stacked Arm Candy Asos, Gold Bangle Set $18.30
8. Shrunken Blazer J.Crew, Schoolboy Blazer $188
9. Low Cut Boot J.Crew, Ryder Short Buckle Boot $248
10. Versatile statement necklace Madewell, Deco Burst Pendant Necklace $32
11. Rubber soled wedge Urban Outfitters, Suede Oxford Wedge $59
12. Wide-leg Denim Trouser Scoop, MiH Marrakesh Jeans $198
HOLY TRINITY of INSTA-RADIANCE : EYE CREAM, COLOR CORRECTOR, CONCEALER
In my twenties, friends began to greet me and immediately ask, “wild night last night?” No, I did not reek of Schlitz. Nor had I stayed out partying all night. What I had were swollen, dark circles under my eyes; a not-so-welcome gift from my mom. Whether I slept nine hours or three, each morning my eyes resembled a dark Samsonite carry-on piece of luggage. I began experimenting with treatments and products to reduce the swelling and camouflage my ringed peepers. Now, an author, journalist and style expert, I continue to research the crème de la crème of the crème to remedy this malady that afflicts so many women. Here are my tried and true strategies for assuaging swollen and discolored under eye bags.
DIY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY STRATEGIES
GOAL: Restrict capillaries, reduce swelling and increase circulation
- Witch hazel soaked cotton pads
- Green tea-tannins and caffeine draws out fluids/speeds circulation
- Cucumber compress (grind ¼ cucumber rolled into paper towel) reduces swelling
- Cold soup spoons-decreases swelling
- Reducing salt intake to decrease water retention
UNDER EYE SERUMS/ CREAMS
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
- antioxidants like green tea and pomegranate
- Caffeine to speed up circulation
- Retinol (retinoid) and peptides to stimulate collagen production
- Hydrating ingredients like Vitamin E, K, grapeseed extract, rose extract, chamomile
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
- Pink, green or peach-based product (depends on your skin tone) which neutralizes the purple skin with a yellow when layered under concealer
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
- Creamy, smooth and super blendable product with nourishing ingredients to tame puffiness
- Decongestant eye drops relieve redness and irritation
- Lengthening mascara opens the eye
- Apply white line to the inside of eyelid to brighten eyes
- Curl your lashes to make the eyes pop!
1. Alba Bontanica Green Tea Eye Gel, $17.95 \\ 2. Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Eye Cream $38 \\ 3. Bobbi Brown EXTRA Eye Repair Cream, $65 \\ 4. Korres Anti-aging & Anti-wrinkle Concealer, $22 \\ 5. Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener, $38 \\ 6.Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pen, $18 \\ 7. L’Oreal Studio Secrets Color Correcting Primers, $12.99 \\ 8. Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Concealer and Highlighter, 5.99 \\ 9. Armani High Precision ReTouch Concealer, $36 \\ 10.L’oreal double extend eye illuminator, $8.99 \\ 11. Urban Decay High Performance Lash Curler, $20 \\ 12.Visine allergy relief, $7.50 \\ 13. L’oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara, $8.99
I am one of those people who finds hunger annoying. I try and anticipate the day and bring food to the office. But, a busy mom, I often forget and set myself up for disaster. The result? I drink 4 cups of coffee and suddenly find myself famished. My blood sugar drops. I am cranky. I end up eating crackers and other scraps that are on hand.
I spoke with nutritionist ( and mom of two) Lauren Slayton about breaking this odious (non) eating cycle by eating with intention.
Translation? Preparing the foods throughout the day to keep me sated, healthy and energized.
“Most of us know what we ‘should’ be doing when it come to eating and exercise. The problem is between work or kids or whatever it is that takes up our time, there is often a gap (ok, crater) between what we “should” do and what we end up doing. I work one-on-one with clients to help close that gap. Here are my five tips on how to maximize energy and keep your metabolism firing all day”
1. Breakfast-The purpose of breakfast is to raise your blood sugar (it drops overnight) and to keep your cravings at bay for the rest of the day. Eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking up and include protein. If you’re up at 6 as I am, breakfast should be no later than 8am. It doesn’t have to be first thing.
I am a huge fan of smoothies, omega 3 eggs and quinoa (who said oats are the only grain to eat in the morning).
2. My 2 favorite energy boosters I call M and M. Matcha (a powdered green tea) and Maca (a ground root vegetable from South America) can be added to smoothies and matcha can of course be consumed like any tea.
3. Tush to chair all day doesn’t work. Make sure you spend time outside during the day. This is a stress reliever and energy booster. It’s also, as spring approaches, a good way to get vitamin D.
4. When you’re feeling low in the afternoon try Mulberries.
Mulberries are high in vitamin C and reservatrol (same antioxidant in red wine). They are also a good source of fiber and protein.
5. And at dinner, think of “salad plate dinners”. A large dinner interferes with your sleep and can leave you groggy the next day. Lunch should be larger than dinner. Think of 1/2 of a restaurant portion or an appetizer and a side of vegetables.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Giselle Bundchen is my hair icon. Her long, luscious, messy-chic mane is sexy, sophisticated and simple. But most of us are not born with a super model gene code. Whether your hair is thin, thick, naturally straight or already wavy, you can create just- been-to-the beach hair with the right tips and toolbox.
Step one? Add texture with a product containing salt.
On the beach, there’s a lot of wind and salt in the air which creates the sexy, windswept hair. Hair products containing salt like Bumble and Bumble surf spray and Tigi offer the naturally undone texture of “beach-y” hair.
According to Harry Josh, International Creative Consultant for John Frieda and hair stylist to Giselle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker, strategically placed mousse and a curling iron are the key to fabulous beach waves, “John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease Take Charge Mousse is light, weightless and offers incredible ‘hold.’ Apply it to towel-dried hair, this will help create texture while you’re blow drying. Once dry, curl hair in sections using a curling iron, but make sure to hold the iron vertically and wrap hair around it. Finish by brushing hair out and spritzing with a lightweight hairspray, and you have the perfect summer wave!”
Other tricks? Apply a leave in conditioner. Then pull the hair back and leave it in a slick chignon or a long braid down the back. When the braid is removed, you can have a soft wavy texture that’s very sexy. I also love using large curlers on damp, salt-infused hair. Once the hair dries, there are beautiful, natural waves.
Here are my best bets for effortless, je-ne sais quo tress success
TIGI Catwalk Salt Spray $14.99 \\ Bumble and bumble Surf Spray $23 \\ John Frieda Take Charge Curl Mousse $5.39 \\ John Frieda Full Repair Sheer Mist $8.99 \\ John Frieda Luxurious Volume Refresher $5.99 \\ Bed Head Foxy Curls Defining Spray $15
Summer travel? Fabulous. The havoc that airline travel, sun and sea can have on your skin and hair? Not so fabulous. With the departure date for my family’s upcoming trip looming, I began hunting and gathering the usual suspects: the right clothes, the right shoes, the right accessories, bathing suits and cover-ups. Then, I started to ruminate upon beauty. Within moments, my “toiletries” basket runneth over. Did I really need my cranberry toner, ferulic acid and B5 masque for a 2.5 week stint to France? But, without my grooming arsenal, I feared that I would dry up like a grape in the Provencal sun.
I popped up to see beauty dynamo Jean Godfrey-June for her take on best bets for long-haul trips. As Beauty Director of Lucky Magazine and author of the must-read tome FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup, Jean is well versed in the language of hydration. And, can reel off a litany of high performance products faster than Jon Stewarts opening zingers on The Daily Show. Her sage advice?
“The air on the plane is so dry. Bring some products to use on the flight that lock in moisture like Korres lip butter and Intelligent Nutrients anti-aging serum (both contain no parabens, sulfates or pert chemicals). The oil literally ‘feeds’ the skin and wards off facial dehydration. For the trip, bring broad spectrum, chemical free sunscreens that both parents and kids can use (Say Yes to Carrots and Surf-Vival are her faves). Also, avoid over packing with multi-tasking products like Davines 3 -in-1 Replenishing Butter that moisturizes hair, face and body.”
Jean also recommends Lancome Flash Bronzer to (safely) score that just-been-to-the-beach glow.
1. Korres Lip Butter in mango, $12
2. Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Serum, $60
3. To boost energy, Jean gives herself a foot massage each night. According to Chinese medicine, the back is linked to meridians on the feet.
4. Yes-to-Carrots Hydrating Body Lotion with SPF 30, $14.99
5. Surf-Vival Sunscreen SPF 30, $14.99
6. Davines Authentic Replenishing Butter, $25
7. Lancome Flash Bronzer Body Gel, $34
1. Fab watch to track of time, Toywatch $195
2. Dramatic sunglasses to channel Audrey Hepburn, Cheap Monday Telekinesis Glasses $30
3. Fold-up-able flats (in my bag) for foot emergencies, Sue London Ballet Flats $179
4. Bribery material for the kids, Tasty Brand Organic Fruit Snacks $2.50
5. To block out excessive noise on the plane, Mack’s Earplugs $4.79
6. A loose cashmere wrap for the plane and cool evenings, DKNY Cozy Wrap $125
7. To ward off cooties, Wet Ones Wipes $1.50