"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous." - Coco Chanel
You may have heard the saying that everything old is new again, but there are some things that just never go out of style. But what is "classic style" - and how can you incorporate those special touches into your every day?
Jane Lilly Warren, Katie Armour and Fallon Hogerty are the creative forces behind www.MatchbookMag.com, an online magazine that serves as a "guide to a charmed life." The women of Matchbook delight in a variety of classic styles and icons - from Chanel and Jackie O to contemporary style - makers such as John Derian and Jemma Kidd. Here, they share the basics about classic style for home decor as well as for the wardrobe.
What defines classic style?
"A classic is something that has stood the test of time and proven to be the best in its class," said Warren. "It's of high quality and is meant to last to be passed on through the generations." Warren says that while you might invest in an H & M shirt that will last a couple of seasons, a Lacoste polo will be around - and in style - long enough to hand down to your kids.
"There's definitely a timelessness to these things," said Hogerty, "they have an ability to transcend eras."
Modern takes on vintage designs are cropping up all over the place. From the clothes modeled on fashion runways to the paint colors in your local hardware store, there seems to be a bit of a retro revival going on. Armour isn't surprised.
"The world is changing faster than ever," she said, "and we have seen such instability over the past few years in a vast array of sectors, that I think people are embracing the classics, in part, out of the stability and comfort that they provide."
The women also noted that as budgets have tightened, people want to shop smarter. This means investing in items that won't go out of style and won't break the bank.
How to incorporate classic style into your life
If you'd like to bring some freshly vintage style to your home or wardrobe, the Matchbook mavens have these tips:
- Study the classic tastemakers, such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis. By studying, one can get an idea of what classic pieces will stand the test of time.
- When buying that new coat or pair of shoes, think about what is well made and will last through the years - those will invariably be the classics in your wardrobe.
- When it comes to color, black is always in style and can complement any outfit. Black slacks, ballet flats, cardigan or coat - you can't go wrong.
- Short red nails, black mascara - sometimes it's the simple things that add a classic pep to your step.
To get some classic style on a budget:
- Rummage through flea markets for under-appreciated, timeless gems at a steal.
- Visit consignment shops for wardrobe bargains.
- Spruce up what you have - a coat of paint on a piece of furniture can do wonders.
- A little pizzazz goes a long way. Maybe you can't afford the yards of lavish fabric you want for curtains or a sofa - but try using some for a throw pillow.
Top 5 classic pieces for your home:
1. Monogrammed towels
2. Good china (Finish your set with pieces from www.replacements.com or www.chinaandcrystal.com.)
3. Fine art that speaks to you (Some resources for inexpensive art: www.art.com, www.20x200.com, www.ugallery.com.)
4. Fresh blooms - they'll brighten up any room
5. Unique, over-sized coffee table books (about your favorite artists, vacation destinations, fashion designers, etc.) can take a coffee table from boring to spectacular
Top 10 classic musts for every wardrobe:
1. A crisp, well-fitted white oxford
2. Black cigarette pants
3. A trench coat
4. A cashmere sweater (Land's End is a great resource for cashmere, both inexpensive and high-quality.)
5. Black ballet flats
6. Little black dress
7. Flattering pair of dark wash denim jeans
8. A black pencil skirt
9. A wrap dress (they're flattering on nearly every figure)
10. Invest in one trendy piece per season which you can add to your classic wardrobe.
Classic jewelry and accessories:
1. Pearl studs (high quality replicas are just as good as the real thing)
2. A pearl necklace
3. Yellow-gold charm bracelet
4. Dark sunglasses
5. A silk square scarf (to tie around your hair or your handbag)
Living a Stylish Life
Embracing the spirit of classic style is about more than what you wear or how you decorate your home. The creators of www.MatchbookMag.com say it's about approaching life with certain joie de vivre that celebrates even the little things that make life a bit more stylish. In their eyes, that Matchbook-type girl:
- Views the world through rose-colored glasses.
- Loves to throw dinner parties, but has been known to burn the roast.
- Is the first to laugh at her own bad jokes.
- Paints her nails bright coral when she's feeling blue.
- Is infinitely curious and always up for a grand adventure.
- Could happily live off of red velvet cake.
- Has a signature shade of lipstick.
- Pens hand-written notes to her grandmother.
- Has a skip in her step and a twinkle in her eye.
By now, you've heard that a revamped legging is hitting the stores for fall. This season, the skinny jean has gotten even skinnier. And denim lovers will either rejoice or cringe when the revamped jeggings -- jeans that fit like leggings -- hit the stores. Gone are the faux back pockets and front zipper. And thick leggings with airbrushed denim "color" have been given a full makeover. Jump to full text of this article.
Natural Alternatives for a Wrinkle-free Complexion
by Kassie Kuehl
Think organically! Natural alternatives to anti-aging, wrinkles, toxins and modalities as we uniquely age.
One of the most difficult signs of aging to 'correct', wrinkles begin appearing on our faces in our 20s, and continue to deepen and multiply right through the rest of our lives. The fight against the innocent wrinkle has caused the rise of the Botox phenomenon ... but the insanity of injecting the world's most lethal disease into our body purposefully has given rise to the organic wrinkle-treatment ideology! If you like the idea of looking younger and healthier, but don't like the idea of paralyzing your face for it, read on. We examine the natural alternatives to Botox for a smooth, glowing, radiant complexion ... and for Beautiful Health.
What planet do wrinkles come from?
Unfortunately, we can't just send them back where they came from! Wrinkles are caused by several factors. Some of these are beyond our control, and some we can have an effect on. The following are the main causes of wrinkles:
Aging - The middle layer of skin, the dermis, begins to thin with age. The structural proteins that bind the dermis to the epidermis loosen and unravel, meaning that the epidermis sags away from the dermis. The extent to which your skin wrinkles as you age is determined genetically.
As you age, your skin also loses some of its ability to retain moisture, declines in elasticity, produces less oil, and takes longer to heal. All of these factors have an impact on how much your skin wrinkles.
Sun damage - Up to 80% of the wrinkles that appear on our faces have been shown to be caused by sun damage. UV light can damage collagen fibers in the skin, as well as causing excessive elastin production. Wrinkles from sun damage basically form when your skin has to heal the damage produced by the sun over and over again, resulting in minute scarring.
Contraction of the facial muscles - Habitual expressions, such as frowning, squinting, and even smiling, can cause your skin to droop and wrinkle
How the Sun Damages Skin
The skin gets its shape and firmness from a network of proteins outside our cells, made up of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans. Collagen gives the skin its basic structure, and elastin creates flexibility. The sun damages these proteins by triggering our skin's DNA to act in abnormal ways. The sun's rays degrade the collagen and elastin proteins that our skin cells produce in future . These degraded cells are less elastic and have a less-youthful appearance than cells which are not exposed to the sun .
What is Botox?
Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin, the most lethal naturally occurring substances in the world. It is used to correct wrinkles The popularity of injecting your face with a lethal disease seems to indicate some sort of mass insanity, but in 2007, Botox injections to smooth wrinkles were the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Botox will correct wrinkles such as:
• Forehead lines
• Crow's Feet
• Frown lines
Botox does not work on wrinkles caused by sun damage or by gravity. Its mechanism of action is to block the nerve signals from the brain to the muscle, causing it to relax and soften, rather than contract.
The side effects of Botox include:
• The inability to control the muscles which were injected. You won't be able to frown or raise your eyebrows.
• Having your eyelids uncontrollably dropping for up to three weeks after the procedure
• Temporary facial bruising
• Possible neurological or fetal effects in patients who are pregnant, or have a neurological disorder.
How to prevent wrinkles - Fighting off the invaders
Prevention is far more practical than a magic pill or 'quick cure'. In the case of creeping crows feet, in the early stages you should use nutrient rich skin care, sun care, and abundant hydration . These are the only ways to avoid these creepy invaders. Let's take a closer look at some things you can do to prevent wrinkles forming, and for beautiful health!
• Wear a sunscreen every day. Choose a physical block and chemical free brand, so that you minimize the amount of chemical you absorb through your skin.
• Don't take up smoking, or give it up as soon as possible. Smoking reduces the collagen production of your skin cells.
• Drink your daily allowance of water. Water is necessary to help the skin stay 'plumped'. Dehydrated skin sags noticeably more than well-hydrated skin.
• Try to include polyunsaturated fats, plenty of omega-3 and omega-6, and a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables in your diet. The free radical theory of aging is one of the most widely accepted (although it does have its detractors!). The theory states that oxidative stress is one of the main causes of aging and related conditions - such as wrinkles. Oxidative stress is thought to be caused by free radicals, which can be reduced in your body by eating foods rich in antioxidants. Blueberries, papaya and whole grains are good examples.
• Exercise regularly, to help ensure maximum vitamin and mineral flow to your skin as well as increase oxygen content.
Lifestyle choices to help reduce wrinkles
The preventive measures above are all lifestyle factors that can help reduce the number and intensity of your wrinkles, as well as helping prevent new ones forming. Here are some other choices you can make that will reduce the appearance of current wrinkles, and prevent new ones forming.
• Don't wash your face with tap water more than twice a day. Your skin needs its natural oils to prevent wrinkling, and washing (especially with soaps), strips them away.
• Avoid alkaline soaps and deodorants. Ask your beauty therapist about which organic soaps will clean your skin, while allowing it to retain moisture.
• Even if you will only be outside for short periods of time, apply sunscreen every day. Use moisturizers and cosmetic products such as minerals with sunscreen included.
• Don't drink alcohol before you go to bed. Alcohol increase capillary leakage, which ultimately makes your skin look saggy and puffy. This leakage is also exacerbated when you lie down.
Get results with natural products and procedures for wrinkle reduction
Antioxidant products - So popular it has almost become a meaningless buzzword, 'antioxidants' are a critical component of an anti-wrinkle skincare regimen. However, to reverse the affects of oxidation organic or all-natural products are recommended - many antioxidant products contain a wealth of additional chemicals that actually destroy your skin's health, rather than promote it.
Glycolic peels - These can be very effective at removing fine lines, scarring and discoloration from skin. Seek salon and spas that use a natural system of an 8% exfoliate formulation of the facial peel, which basically strips away dead skin cells and the outermost layer of skin, taking away lines to reveal new, fresh cells beneath. You can expect improvement in:
• Elasticity and firmness
• Tone, color and texture
• Moisture balance
• Fine line and wrinkle appearance
• Acne scarring and reduction of future acne
Moisture serums - Top organic salons recommend using a nightly treatment that combines highly effective fruit acids, also known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) made from organic sources.
Heal your skin while you slumber by using products formulated with natural fruit acids and light moisturizing to minimize wrinkles, acne, and age spots, and help improve many other skin conditions. Enzyme enhanced products also strengthens the skin's barrier against outside chemicals. You will notice much smoother skin after using this product.
A Beautiful Health Lifestyle: What to remember
Remember to focus on the prevention end of the wrinkle reduction scale, by stopping smoking, applying sunscreen every day, eating a healthy, varied diet, and exercising daily, even if it is only for a short period. When looking for wrinkle-reduction and skin improvement products, seek ingredients, think "long term", and go natural! Nature has provided all of the solutions you need to stay looking like your kids (or kid cousins!) ... ask your skin care professional for solutions unique to you!
1] Uitto J, Olsen DR, Fazio MJ. Extracellular matrix of the skin: 50 years of progress, J Invest Dermatol 1989; 92:61S-77S.
 Uitto J, Fazio MJ, Olsen DR. Molecular mechanisms of cutaneous aging: age-associated connective tissue alterations in the dermis. J Am Acad Dermatol 1989; 21:614-622.
 Timpl R. Structure and biological activity of basement membrane proteins. Eur J Biochem 1989; 180:487-502.
 Ryynanen M, Knowlton RG, Parente MG, et al. Human type VII collagen: genetic linkage of the gene (COL7A1) on chromosome 3 to dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Am J Hum Genet 1991; 49:797-803.
Kassie Kuehl is a professional stylist, specializing in ammonia free hair color, in addition to being a health and nutrition coach. Kassie opened Kasia Organic Salon, a chemical-free, natural and euphoric experience, located in Minneapolis, MN. Kasia Salon "gk: pure," believes that our hair and skin reflects the state of the body's health and looks its best when properly nourished and hydrated, naturally. Learn more about Kasia Organic Salon and Kasia Beautiful Health Skin Care at: www.kasiaorganicsalon.com.
Everyone knows about 'mom jeans,' but 'mom hair' is just as prevalent on most blocks. The permanent ponytail that is so easy and convenient, the outdated, frayed scrunchie pulling back unwashed locks or the baseball cap pulled down low to hide another bad hair day.
If you've jettisoned your mom jeans to Goodwill, it's time to show your hair some good will, too, by updating your look. Great hair doesn't have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money - the following tips can help you turn mom hair into a hot hairstyle!
• If you've had the same style, the same color and the same length for as long as you can remember, it's probably time for a change. Ask your stylist for a free consultation and consider trying a conditioning treatment to moisturize, strengthen, add shine and help protect your hair color from the sun.
• To switch up your look, consider a new all-over color or highlights to brighten you up, or try one of the biggest hair trends of the year--bangs.
• Pulling your hair back is not forbidden, but if you always do the same ponytail or the same braid, try a different twist. Pull hair to one side for a side pony or consider a messy bun with some decorative hair pins or combs, a simple French twist or even pig tails. Any of these options are fun ways to uplift your do. Your hair will say thank you, because when hair is frequently pulled back in the same spot, it tends to cause breakage. By moving the position of your ponytail and using fabric-coated binders this will promote healthier hair.
• If you find yourself reaching for a hat to cover up unwashed bed head, instead try lightweight scarf or a stylish headband. There are a number of headband options--leather, fabric, metal--that never go out of style and also help to pull hair back in an updated trendy way.
• Consider adding texture, the newest term for perms, to update your look in a way that requires little maintenance and styling. We are not talking about the perms of yesterday that leave your hair fried. Today's texture treatments actually nourish your hair to make it easier to manage and some are temporary so you don't have to worry about growing it out.
Ultimately, your life as a mom matters more than your hairstyle, but even simple strategies can make your hair look healthy and stylish.
Mary Jo McGinnity is the regional director of education for Fantastic Sams of Minnesota. With more than 100 salons in Minnesota, Fantastic Sams offers affordable hair care for the entire family including cuts, color and texturizing services.
Plus Tips to Keep Your Colored Locks Looking Their Best
By Mary Jo McGinnity, Fantastic Sams
Colored or natural, long or short, curly or straight - your hair has a personality of its own. As a matter of fact, the color of your hair can color how others see you. Following are some traits associated with different hair color types as well as some general advice to maintain different shades and keep your colored locks looking their best.
If your hair is blonde...
You've probably been asked if you have more fun and heard your share of dumb-blonde jokes. Others might see you as warm and cheerful. Since kids generally have lighter hair than adults, blonde is sometimes perceived as youthful.
Natural blonde hair is often thinner and requires deep conditioning and overall maintenance. However, blonde hair does not necessarily mean high maintenance. Those who color their hair blonde can keep it looking beautiful by alternating full color appointments with shorter salon visits to freshen up "new growth" areas by applying partial foils to the roots or directly around the face.
If your hair is brunette...
People often view you as someone who is reliable, intelligent, and serious. The length of your brown hair also makes a difference - longer hair is sometimes seen as more fun-loving.
As a general rule, brown hair is the easiest to maintain, particularly if it does not entail covering up gray. One way brunettes can save time and money to maintain their luxurious brown locks is to get "demi-permanent" color in between permanent color treatments. Demi-permanent color, which is not permanent yet won't wash out, provides a quick way to freshen up color and keep hair healthy.
If your hair is red...
It's probably colored - less than 5 percent of the population has natural red hair. Redheads are often portrayed as opinionated, fiery, independent, and passionate. Today, red hair color is more popular than ever, as an all-over color or as a way to add dimension to other hair colors. When you think of red, don't think of merely Lucille Ball or Marcia Cross. Red can equate to a multitude of shades from strawberry blonde to brunettes with papaya or apricot shades that exude warmth.
Hair that is colored red can be more difficult to maintain. Like all hair that has been colored, reds should be protected from the sun or tanning beds. Like brunettes, maintenance of red hair can be eased by using demi-permanent hair color in between permanent applications.
If your hair is gray or white...
You give off an image of wisdom and maturity, regardless of your age. Sooner or later, almost everyone gets gray hair, whether you keep it or not is up to you and your stylist.
Camouflaging entails adding some color to better blend the gray and reduce the new growth line. Others who embrace their gray can lighten and brighten their hair with a regular treatment to bring out the best in their silver locks.
Mary Jo McGinnity is the regional director of education for Fantastic Sams of Minnesota. With more than 100 salons in Minnesota, Fantastic Sams offers affordable hair care for the entire family including cuts, color and texturizing services.
If you are dreading taking off your socks and bearing your feet, or can't stand how your hair feels after you style it, you're suffering from the end-of-winter challenges that face women every year. Winter is tough on the skin, the nails and the hair, and recovering from that can be hard.
Here, then, are some tips to giving your hair, skin and feet a little respite from the ravages of winter.
First, remember that much of how your how behaves has to do with how you treat it. You can do much during the winter to keep hair healthy, like conditioning regularly and giving it a break from harsh treatments whenever possible.
But this isn't about being regretful for things not done in the past. We're trying to make things better in the sunny (read: summer) future. Consider these options:
♣ Go to the salon and pay for a deep conditioning treatment. Yes, times are tough, and this might seem like a luxury, but for the cost of a few coffees, you can have soft, shiny and silky hair again. Seems like a bargain, doesn't it?
♣ If you don't want to go the salon route, you can do a deep conditioning treatment at home, or you can try a serum that is of good quality. Use a small amount each day and apply strand by strand for best results.
♣ Finally, in the summer, your hair will dry quickly. See if you can lay off the blow dryer for a few weeks (or even take a break every couple of days). Even better? Lay off the curling iron and flat iron. Give your hair a break from the heat damage, because applying heat like that to already damaged hair is a recipe for hair distress.
Your skin takes a beating in the winter. Particularly if you live in a cold, harsh climate, skin is battered and often dry at the end of winter. But restoring its youthful and supple luster isn't impossible.
To get your skin into summer shape quickly, consider these tips:
♣ Skip the hot baths, which are harsh on your skin. Instead, opt for a quick shower under warm (not hot) water.
♣ Use a good quality lotion all the time, not just when your skin feels dry. Even in the summer, when you think your skin has been restored somewhat to its natural condition, use the lotion with consistency. This will help your skin stay moist when winter rolls around again.
♣ Find a few extra pennies in the budget and buy a good quality gentle soap, not the cheap and drying soaps that are inexpensive and plentiful. The difference in cost is really just a few cents but the impact to your skin is significant.
♣ Finally, use a cortisone cream on any red, dry patches of skin you have. For those little itchy annoyances, the plain lotion won't be enough. You need the cortisone to really make a difference.
Nails and feet
Your cuticles are dry and cracked and, unfortunately, so are your heels. Fixing the feet and hands becomes high priority when summer rolls around.
♣ Get a manicure and a pedicure. Many women find that they can get just one or two pedicures a summer and keep their feet looking great in between. But nothing will replace having that professional treatment on your feet at the beginning of summer. When you also come away with a new manicure, your hands will be refreshed, moisturized and your cuticles will look healthy.
♣ Use lotion regularly on your nails and hands and find one that's for the nails specifically. These often have a proprietary mix of ingredients that are designed to moisturize and protect nails as well as skin.
♣ Buy a product (like a Ped Egg) that will slough the rough patches from your feet and make them sandal ready. If you use the Ped Egg regularly during the summer, you will dispel the idea that summer must come with rough heels. Your heels can stay smooth and attractive instead.
With a little planning, and some investment of time and money, you can restore your skin and hair to healthfulness after a dreary and harsh winter.
"I Have a Closet Full of Clothes But Nothing to Wear!"
The Benefits of Wardrobe Consulting
By Julie Burton
How often do you look at your clothes hanging in your closet and recite the words, "I have nothing to wear!"? Or, "I can't believe I spent $200 on THAT!" Well, according to wardrobe consultant Lisa Rubin it really does not have to be like that.
For more than 24 years, Lisa has been designing wardrobes, providing personal shopping services, performing closet analyses, and presenting corporate seminars. Her clients are geographically and professionally diverse and include leaders of Fortune 500 companies, and large and small businesses, attorneys, accountants, doctors, television anchors, national politicians and numerous other professionals.
Regardless of a client's clothing size or budget, Lisa is committed to helping her clients assemble the essential wardrobe to instill confidence in career and lifestyle. Lisa ensures that her clients will spend their money wisely by utilizing the clothes they do have, and filling in missing holes in their wardrobe. The end result is that Lisa's clients have closets that are organized in a way such that getting dressed can be done with ease and confidence not with frustration and self-doubt. And yes, clients spend a little more money on the front end, but in the long run they make smart purchases that will pay their dividends over the years by having quality, versatile clothing that will last.
So, how does the wardrobe consulting process work?
The first step is to call or e-mail Lisa (612-747-6695 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a time to chat on the phone (and this is free). Then if you choose to move forward Lisa will explain her fee structure and you will agree on a plan. The first thing that usually happens is that Lisa will come to your house for your closet analysis.
Now, before she gets to your house, you do have some homework. And here is the assignment:
You have a 1, 2, 3 system for your clothes in your closet:
1's are pieces that you absolutely love and cannot live without. These pieces have no snags or stains.
2's are the practical, functional pieces that work with your 1's: blouses, shells underpinnings, etc. These items also have no snags or stains.
3's are everything else: impulse buys (with tags still on), a pair of pants you've had since high school, a Christmas sweater that grandma gave you, items that are stained or snagged but you feel guilty getting rid of because you paid too much money for them...basically, items (including shoes) that you haven't worn in a whole year and clothes that you KNOW really shouldn't be in your closet.
You need to be in the right mood to do this: a decisive mood. If a 3 comes into your head, do not have a discussion with yourself about it. Just put it in the 3 pile. P.S., A little note about jeans. According to Lisa, "No matter how expensive that pair of jeans is, if they don't look good on your "tush," forget it, get rid of them!"
There is a fourth optional pile for those who have had significant weight fluctuations, have been pregnant in last year or are currently pregnant, or are undergoing a career change.
So, at that point, when the 3's have already left the scene, Lisa comes in and takes a look at your ones and twos to figure out what you really have and what you need. She makes a list of what you need to supplement your wardrobe including belts and other accessories. She will actually put post-it notes on your clothing to remind you of what goes with what.
Lisa will then take that list, your budget, and your size and will hit the stores. She will pre-select items for you and you will then meet her at designated stores where you will try on the items and she will help you decide what works and what doesn't. A "shopping coach" is what Lisa likes to call herself. When your appointment is complete, you will have a well-rounded, sensible, form-fitting wardrobe that you will look and feel good.
Moms who are on limited budgets, much of which goes to clothe and feed their children, need to be "thoughtful" and deliberate about their own wardrobe. Hiring a wardrobe consultant can be extremely helpful because if you have a very well thought out wardrobe, which does not mean expensive, you will have something for every function. Yes, you will pay Lisa a fee to help you fine-tune your wardrobe but it is a cost-effective (and time-effective) way of accomplishing your goal: establishing a wardrobe that really works for you.
"Moms do need to spend money on their 'uniforms,' whatever that may be," Lisa says. "All of my clients are moms and 90% are working moms. You have to look your part. I want you to look good and professional at work, and have the 'cute mom' look on the weekends.
Lisa's Top 10 wardrobe MUST-HAVES:
1) Black suit (pant and/or skirt)
2) White Blouse
3) All-occasion black dress
4) Perfect fitting jeans
5) 3 underpinnings (shells, camisoles, and or dressy t-shirts) in your favorite colors
6) Black pants
7) 2 pairs of black shoes, 1 high heel and 1 low heel (one could be a boot)
8) 1 additional pair of pants to mix-n-match with black
10) Black purse
There is an 11th item that actually should be number one, according to Lisa, and that is UNDERGARMENTS. Lisa is a huge proponent on spending a little more to get high quality undergarments. "An outfit can be ruined if you can see panty lines," Lisa says.
Lisa Rubin lives in Minnetonka with her husband and son. She also has a daughter in college.
Mention this article to Lisa and she will give you $50 off of your closet analysis.