Thursday, August 25, 2011

Party Pretty...My Interview with Fashion and Beauty Editor Jennifer Chan

Hello dear readers!!

Another work blog... and this time it's all about how to look party pretty with fashion tips, hair dos and don'ts and make-up tricks, from Beauty and Fashion Editor Jennifer Chan (TypeF, InStyle, Elle, Daily Front Row, etc.) who knows the scoop on how celebrities look so pulled together, and shares her own experience having to party hop for work. What a job!

Please click over and let me know what you think.

Party Pretty...Interview with Fashion and Beauty Editor Jennifer Chan

I feel so blessed to have such a fashion savvy friend as Miss Jennifer Chan. As Fashion and Beauty Editor for, TypeF, and The Daily Front Row, along with contributing to magazines such as In Style, Elle and Real Simple Magazine, she is one of the first to know about new health trends (Piloxing anyone?), beauty products, fashion and more. She hosts a video series scouting unique styles by people just looking fabulous out and about in cities across America, appears on-camera for a myriad of events, products and promotions and attends events nightly both in Los Angeles, and other major cities, to investigate the trends being set by celebs and style moguls. All this, followed by rushing home to write one of her many articles before the New York publishing deadlines at 3 am LA time... and she looks amazing doing it!! Quelle vie!

Over dinner recently, I began to pick her brain about how to look polished and pretty when you're working and going from event to event. In my personal experience, I've found that after a few minutes in one of our kitchens, overseeing and assisting with set-up, bringing products from the car to the event site, and perhaps a few flights of stairs, I no longer feel chic and pulled together, and I really, really want to feel both of those things. Divulging some of her insider tips and experience, Jennifer shares some great make-up and styling advice to make sure we can all be a hot host or hostess, who can handle the heat and look amazing in the kitchen!

What is the best hairstyle for being on-the-go at a party? Any products (anti-humidity, certain types of hairspray, etc.?)

Half-up, half-down is a good go-to, with a few face-framing pieces and plenty of volume at the crown. Twists and braids are also right on trend right now, as well as top buns if you're feeling creative. I tend to wear my hair down and always strive for glam touseled curls. To achieve this, I rely on hot rollers, a ghd flat iron and the best hair sprays in the business: got2B's Glued spray and Voce hair spray. They both last for hours, retain hard-earned volume and maintain styles no matter the climate. I also like Living Proof Root Lifting Spray before I blow dry.

What would be your beauty suggestions for someone who's going to be in the kitchen and preparing to still look pretty when guests arrive?

Set your makeup with a veil of translucent powder (if it's on the oily side) or a spritz of finish spray (if it's on the drier side.) Bare Minerals Hydrating Mineral veil is fantastic, and Skindinavia makes the best spray (with formulas specifically for aging skin, dry skin, etc.) so nothing slides off and there's no creasing, cracking or smudging.

Are their any clothing styles that translate better from party planning mode to pretty party hostess?

I'm dress-obsessed. (Side-Note: This is true as I've never actually seen Jenn in pants, let alone jeans! I'm not even sure she owns them, but if she does, I'm sure they're incredible!) Literally, more than half of my closet is filled with dresses because they're versatile, flattering and always appropriate. You can get dressed in a flash, add heels and you're out the door! Find a silhouette that works for your body type and don't stray from it. Pencil skirts, belts and flirty blouses are also good options for a little variety. And it's a well-known fact that I live for nude heels. You can never have too many pairs, they go with everything and your legs will look fabulous for any event.

Any tips for keeping feet and legs happy as the night goes on?

Foot Petals makes a product called Haute Heels that are life savers! These adhesive little pads stick to the inside of your shoe and shifts your weight in heels, which in turn, creates magical comfort for nights out on the town. You can also take heels into a shoe repair and have them add a layer of cushion to the bottom for additional durability, which simultaneously can ease pain in the process. I love Arturo's Shoe Repair in Beverly Hills.

What makeup lines or products can survive through tastings, sippings and cheek kissings?

I love L'Oreal Infallible Lipstick...great wearability, wide selection of colors and affordable price point. Smashbox and MAC make great gel eyeliners that don't budge, LORAC and Stila have great liquid pen options, too. I set concealer with ColoreScience Corrector Palette, which is amazing and keeps skin from looking dull. I always spritz Skindinavia's finishing spray after I apply makeup to set it for the rest of the day. Keeps everything in place and skin stays fresh and hydrated--my fave!

What are the essentials to have on hand for last minute touch-ups?

A cheerful pink lip gloss (I like MAC's Pink Poodle or Clinique's long last glosswear SPF 15 for a sheer option)--one swipe and you look finished and upbeat. Pressed powder, a bronzer or brightening blush and eyeliner are always in my clutch for late nights on the town.

What's the best way to prepare skin prior to a night out?

Drink plenty of water, hydrate skin with serum and moisturizer and eye cream so the skin is smooth and supple before makeup application. Rohto eye drops also take the red out ASAP and make you look alive and well-rested.

If you'd like to read more about Jennifer's fabulous adventures and beauty and fashion tips, check out and The Fabulous File!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Romance at Short Notice...

When I was in second grade, we were experiencing one of our worst winters, making it impossible to go out for recess. As an alternative to all of us becoming completely stir-crazy and suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) our school chose to have Hawaiian Day. We were all allowed to wear our beach clothes (under our coats, of course), suntan lotion and sit on beach towels instead of at our desks. It was wonderful, and all these years later I still remember how much fun it was to listen to the Beach Boys in Mrs. Gaston's class while practicing Arithmetic.

So why the walk down memory lane? Well, I think we can all fall victim to BLAD, Busy Life Affective Disorder, (I just made that up) where we forget to inject a bit of fun into our lives in lieu of tackling deadlines, staying late at work or just not making time for it. It's hard to see the sun when dealing with tough commutes and overloaded schedules, and your weekends are spent tackling all the personal errands and tasks you've been putting off all week. Well, why not take a tip from my elementary school and invite the outdoors in? With a minimum amount of planning, you can turn an evening at home into a day at the park. Behold, the indoor picnic!

To set the scene, lay out a blanket that you don't mind getting crumbs on, along with some throw pillows for additional comfort. I like having a cutting board or two handy to create a more stable surface for cups, food, etc. as lumpy blankets aren't necessarily the most reliable places to set things. A little wine (don't forget the corkscrew) and some candles are a great touch, and a candle that smells like Macintosh Apples is a great way to enhance the feeling of being outdoors while in. Have lots of finger foods such as pre-cut fruit, assorted cheeses, crackers, veggies, anything that makes you think picnic. If you're with your honey, you might want to check out "Gayot's Top 10 Best Aphrodisiac Foods," to add a little more fun to the mix. Using disposable plates and cups means less clean up afterwards. I also recommend having paper towels and hand wipes handy, along with a bag to put any wrappers or trash in, so you don't have to keep getting up to go to the kitchen and disrupting the mini-vacation.

Quick note: I highly recommend putting on comfy clothes for this. Jeans can be awkward to sit in and shoes are forbidden! Also, shut down all phones, blackberries, computers, etc. You're not supposed to have cell service all the way out in the wilderness.

To enhance the ambiance, you could put on some nature sounds, like wind in the trees, a summer rain, or waves crashing on the beach, or find some of your favorite songs that invoke that sort of carefree spirit, remind you of the outdoors or just make you happy. Here's my top picks, and feel free to send me your ideas.

1. Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing (Great song and lyrics with Ray's soulful voice)
2. Bob Dylan - Lay Lady Lay (Across my big brass bed, or picnic blanket, whichever)
3. Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice (Just reminds me of that sweet early love when anything's possible)
4. Phil Phillips - Sea of Love (Perfect to imagine cozying up to your honey on a beach blanket)
5. Van Morrison - Sweet Thing (Such an easy song to listen to with romantic lyrics)
6. Joel Strummer and the Mescaleros - Mondo Bongo (If you saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith, this is the one they danced to in the rain when they first met. Swoon!)
7. Bob Schneider - Moon Song (Another great beach blanket song)
8. Van Morrison - Into the Mystic (The lyrics invoke the wind, the sea and rocking your gypsy soul)
9. Antonio Carlos Jobim - Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)
10. Norah Jones - I've Got To See You Again (Bossa Nova rhythms)

Happy In-Picnic-ing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Bittersweet Story... Make Way for Tomorrow

I was sidetracked tonight in my attempt to see Breakfast at Tiffany's at a Hollywood Cinespia Screening (the line to get in was incredible), so instead, I opted to watch a movie I've had on my queue and have been avoiding for a while because of its very serious and potentially sad tone. The movie is "Make Way for Tomorrow" a film from 1937 starring Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi as an elderly couple who have fallen on hard times, lost their home, and are now having to live apart in the different homes of their busy children, people that have no place in their lives for the struggles and presence of their lonely, ailing parents.

There are so many people that have fallen on hard times due to the economy, age, injuries, etc. and we tend to forget, in our healthy state, about the desperation people can feel as they try to hold tight to a sense of humanity and self-respect. I don't believe that most people would intend to be a burden on another, and this movie was a great example of how caught up we can get in being unfeeling towards those that perhaps slow us down or unintentionally encroach on our day to day lives, by no fault of their own. I was guilty of this behavior in my teen years, and regret it to this day.

There are some very powerful scenes when the couple portray the knowing of not belonging anywhere and feeling a burden, as well as the scenes of friendship, mutual respect and unconditional love that have gotten their characters through 50 years of marriage. I know it's just a movie, but stories like these serve as such a wonderful reminder of the type of love we should aspire to have, as well as how we should treat others and plan for our future (it covered a lot of ground!) I loved the dialogue between the elderly couple; the words they used with one another, their inside jokes, the way they spoke of one another when they were with others and the care and concern for the others well-being at the expense of their own happiness. It's romantic in a timeless, yet humble way, and I highly recommend it... but have your tissues ready.

Below is a poem Beulah Bondi recites in the film. I hope you will take the time to watch this movie. I haven't been held to watch a film without getting distracted by something in a long time, but this kept my attention rapt.

A man and a maid stood hand in hand;
bound by a tiny wedding band.
Before them lay the uncertain years
that promised joy and, maybe tears.
"Is she afraid?" thought the man of the maid.

"Darling," he said in a tender voice,
"Tell me. Do you regret your choice?
'We know not where the road may wind,
'or what strange byways we may find.
'Are you afraid?" said the man to the maid.

She raised her eyes and spoke at last.
"My dear," she said, "the die is cast.
'The vows have been spoken. The rice has been thrown.
'Into the future we’ll travel alone.
'With you," said the maid, "I’m not afraid."