Preggo Vibes 

It being that I’m practically 9 months pregnant, I’ve rediscovered my love for linen pants and loose shirts. I feel a little boheme in this look and not super edgy, but I imagine if I were to gather the strength to leave the house I’d throw on large, oversized black sunnies and killer wedges. None of that’s happening today, let’s be honest.

I’ll sashay around the house with a vacant longing-for-the-sea look on my face while I drink smooth move tea (#realtalk) and pray this baby comes soon.

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Today’s Look 

I can’t get away from doing a really glowy, natural look for my hair and beauty regime. I have a feeling it has something to do with that effervescent feeling that pregnancy can give you at times.

Here’s a list of beauty products I used today for this look!

1. Vitamin C oil

This will change your life. My skin is so soft and dewy it’s unbelievable.

2.L’Oreal Foundation

I mix mine with a dab of that Vitamin C oil to thin it out and give a more luminous finish. Since it’s so thin then I also use it on my eyelids instead of eyeshadow and a primer.

3. NYX illuminating stick

4. theBalm Hot Mama Blush

5. NYX Bronzer 

6. Your favorite lip balm, mascara and brow!

Remember to contour and you’ll get a breezy summer glow!

Preggo Blues – How To Spruce Up Your Style 

I’m currently 7-ish months pregnant. As a style lover (check out my Instagram – @theluxurie) living in the most tumultuous 7 months of my life thus far, in terms of my body drastically changing all the time, hasn’t just been hard to deal with, it’s been downright unpleasant at times.

Don’t get me wrong, the joy and privilege of carrying a little human hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s special and exciting. But there are days when pulling on yet another pair of leggings with an oversized  sweater has me looking wistfully and my “other” wardrobe and dreaming of putting on that little high waisted denim skirt with the cropped blouse and some kitten heels.

I’ve had to fight somewhat hard to keep my sanity in and amongst all these changes at a time when I usually would’ve found some solace in my wardrobe, I now too don’t have that. Most days I feel frumpy, tired and super un-sexy. (My ladies have changed so much that I’ve resorted to wearing sports bras…this is sacriliage. I miss my little satin and lace lovelies!)

As a result, I’ve come up with a plan of action to assist my sanity, and by direct extension my husbands sanity, as he has to hear me quietly mutter at my ever growing bump and ever shrinking wardrobe options.

The keys to not feeling frumpy and unsexy in my book is then as such:

1. Build your inner confidence.

The first step is reminding yourself that you are creating possibly the most special and magical experience you’ll ever experience. Your body is growing a human. This surpasses any insecurity and thoughts of self-doubt and fear. You are a warrior! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with it.

2. Frequent pampering sessions.

This may seem small, but setting time aside once a week to fully pamper myself has been life saving. Doing full body exfoliations and baths, pedicures, manicures, face masks, you name it has not only made me love my crazy looking body more, but it gives me time to reflect. To reflect on my connection with my hubby, my new sweet baby, my new life. Taking time to soak it all in is all you need to manage this major transition smoothly. There’s also something about a good mani/pedi that just makes a girl feel put together.

3. Shoes.

Down to the details. I used to insist that I would never wear just sneakers or sandals when I was pregnant, but alas, it being winter, I’ve practically salivated over anything totally flat and boot like. However, the seasons are changing and I’m busting out my super cute kitten heels (an inch or two never hurt anyone) and am committing to commit. An adorable pair of shoes never did hurt a girls morale.

4. Accessories.

Fun accessories will be a life saver when all you can muster is a sweater and leggings. I’ve elevated my looks many a time by simply adding statement earrings or a bold handbag. You can also play with necklaces, bracelets and rings. Remember to have FUN. Minimalism be damned.

5. Outfits.

I refused to buy an entire wardrobe of maternity clothing simply because I knew I wouldn’t wear half of it for longer than two months. Instead I invested in two or 3 maternity jeans and pants, some super long tank tops and an abundance of sweaters from H&M’s Basics section. I’ve also managed to squeeze into some of my other sweaters, t-shirts, dress shirts, cotton dresses and leggings. The days that you get sick of wearing the same thing again are days to get creative! My low rise boyfriend jeans still fit through all this time so I wore those with a tee and kitten heels for a fun but semi polished look. Or belt a maxi cardigan over a dress or leggings to give yourself a figure. The options are not endless, but they do exist.

Remember to wake up in the morning, to put on a dab of mascara and lipstick, brush your hair and face the day. Doing these little things will help set the standard for what I’m assuming will be a crazy first few months. I’m preparing myself for sleepless nights, lots of throwing my hands in the air and deep breathing. But I know I can set myself up for success by creating healthy habits and routines now that are flexible enough for mommy-hood.

Let me know some things that you did as a new mom to help keep you sane!!

No Fear For the Fringe

Fringes, tassels, boho, 70’s glam, 90’s grunge, etc etc.. These have all been styles that’ve been around for a few years now. Our obsession with all things tassel reached fever pitch circa last year with women salivating over anything suede and fringed, but thankfully we’ve settled into a happy balance. Unless you’re a street style star or a insta-stylist it can be hard to style a fringed look without looking like a wash-up from last years Coachella trip, or a wild west woman who is really wild, and really west. It also may appear to be a challenge to grab, let’s say, a fringed hand bag, and worry that you’ll get severe stares at Target. But don’t fear the fringe. Embrace it.

Styling fun, spicy things can be an enjoyable experience, and it adds that certain pop to a look that takes it from here… to HERE. Knowing how to style fringed things will take you from “girl-next-door” to “Paris-here-I-come”, and getting those style basics down will ensure that you don’t suffer from buyers remorse when you see your garment or accessory hanging in the closet.

My general rules for styling fringe:

  1. Keep it simple, keep it sweet. Don’t over fringe. Keep it to one accessory or clothing piece.
  2. Keep it neutral. Let your tassel do the talking, and if it’s colorful, then keep the rest of the colors in your look muted.
  3. Elevate your look with elegant shoes. Try flat mules,heels or booties. I reserve a sneakers and tassel combination for the street style queen. She’s being photographed, whilst we on the other hand, are not.
  4. Rules are made to broken. Have fun!!

 

Check out some outfit ideas with the Barbara Bonner “Lilith”. It screams iconic fringed bag and makes for a great accessory.

 

The Essential Wardrobe: Dresses & Jackets

You’ve made it so far! We’re finally on dresses and jackets, the essential ones every girl should have in her closet.

Dresses are one of those things that, although perhaps not worn often, are essential in our wardrobes. In my ebook, The Essential Wardrobe, I tell a story of when my husband told me, very last minute, that we actually had a christmas party to attend the next evening. He had bought tickets for his companys’ annual affair and was naturally looking forward to the festivities. I would’ve been in a major flap about it because I don’t like surprises that include me having to be dressed a certain way, but luckily I had gone shopping that summer and decided to invest in a classic, fancy LBD that would be business appropriate but also very soiree appropriate. I had something to wear! No stress. This is why having those classic pieces come in handy, you never know what will come your way! A surprise date night, a spontaneous night out with your girls, who knows!

Dresses:

  • Something fun! I love this little metallic shirt dress because you can throw heels on and it’s dressy and fun, or white converse and it’s casual and cute.
  • A good every day dress. This wrap dress has stolen my heart! It’s easy enough to toss on in the morning if you’re running out of the house, paired with suede sandals. Or throw on some heels and you have a fun casual dinner look.

 

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  • The bombshell! Every girl needs a bombshell dress! This is for those special occasions, date night, “you want to make your man swoon”, dressy parties etc. If you wear this with stockings and a cardigan in the winter with super fun accessories, you have a more demure and classy look. Throw a boyfriend blazer over your shoulders in the summer! You can also wear super cute black kitten heels and loose chignon to tone down the sex appeal if you need to.
  • The formal dress. This dress is perfect for functions, business meetings, formal occasions where you need to be a bit more serious. Do tousled beachy hair and big earrings (I’m talking Dolce & Gabbana status) to make this dress a bit more light-hearted if you need a black dress, but not quite at the bombshell level.

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Jackets

I’m all for fun trendy jackets, but I’m also a sensible girl. And being sensible means you have things that prepare you for the elements. Here is a list of must-haves!

  • The trench. This is a no brainer. If you want something that’s a bit edgier, opt for a black trench. This is for work, going out, visiting friends.
  • The “muck about” coat. This is a waxed coat that can handle any weather, is sturdy and can get some mud on it and it’ll be ok. This is the coat you wear when running errands, going on walks, going to the gym, all round doing life in not so fair weather. This is not for work, visiting friends, dinner parties.
  • The boyfriend blazer. This jacket goes with EVERYTHING. It’s a perfect spring/summer/fall coat when it’s too hot to wear an actual jacket, but you want to look a little more put together, or have your shoulders covered.
  • Denim jacket. My choice here is a black one because I love wearing black. But get a classic denim jacket that suits your personal style. Also goes with absolutely everything.
  • Leather jacket. Also can be customized to suit your style, but a good leather jacket never does anyone wrong! If leather really isn’t your thing then try a suede option in a more neutral color.

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Hope this was helpful! Let me know what you think!!

The Essential Wardrobe: Sleeveless Tops & Skirts

If it were winter, this title would read “The Essential Wardrobe: Knits” . But lucky for us it’s summer and so our wardrobes must reflect this.

In the ongoing “Essential Wardrobe” series, we’ve covered denim, pants, blouses, tees and even under garments. Today we’re going to focus on sleeveless tops and skirts.

Tanks or Sleeveless Tops

  • White cotton, linen or brushed silk. Don’t just find a plain white tank top, get something truly special.
  • Black silk.
  • Something fun! Stick to good materials and choose a style or color that you feel is timeless and suits you extremely well. Nothing can every surpass an item of clothing that fits truly well.

 

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Skirts

I love skirts! They are a vital part to any wardrobe. Here are some essentials to have.

  • Black pencil skirt. Always. Whether for work, funeral, meeting, dressy date, etc etc. You can never go wrong with a black pencil skirt.
  • White pencil skirt. The same goes for this. In regards to white clothing; if you have small children or a terrible knack for spilling things and you know that white is not your friend, then opt for another neutral color. Whether it’s a flowy cream, hunter green or something along those lines. Make sure then that the rest of your neutrals are all in the same color family so that your outfits go together regardless. (Creams and reds, or creams and greens, never reds and greens as essential pieces).
  • A splashy dressy skirt – something with sequins or gold. This is your party skirt. Every girl needs at least one.
  • A fun every day skirt. Cotton or linen are good choice and I also love denim because it’s hardy and ages well. Choose a style that suits you that you can live in.

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Next time we’ll do some outfits! Check out my new ebook “The Essential Wardrobe: How To Have the Perfect Closet“!!

The Essential Wardrobe: Creating Amazing Looks With The Essential Pieces

We’ve written a few articles so far detailing those essential wardrobe pieces, and talked about how they’re the bones of your closet. With these pieces, or pieces like the ones I’m about to show you, you can create innumerable looks with a few of your choice accessories.

So far we’ve talked about tees, blouses, denim and pants. So with those four categories, here a few looks that incorporate pieces from this, and this article.

You’ll notice that I recycled the shoes and accessories in these looks. As much as I love shoes, it’s not always necessary to have 30 pairs. Check it out:

First Look: You’ll notice I grabbed the striped blouse and my “fun” denim with classic espadrilles, a shoulder bag and sunnies. Your “fun” denim is the piece that you choose outside of your black, blue and white classic denim. Choose one that had distressing, or is a fun wash or shade of color. Something that speaks to who you are, your style.

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Look Two: Here we have those cigarette trousers. Paired with your essential striped tee, espadrilles, sunnies and shoulder bag. Your look is dressy casual. This is perfect for grabbing lunch with an acquaintance or an informal business brunch or coffee date. You decide.

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Look Three: I love this look because it’s summery and breezy. I would tuck the front of this blouse into the pants. This top is one of the essentials and takes the place of a denim shirt. I don’t particularly love denim shirts so I’ve chosen a light blue linen one in it’s stead. It still serves the same purpose. The pants are gorgeous for any occasion, and in this look you have another casual, but dressier outfit. Notice I recycled all the same accessories from the previous looks.

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Look Four: Your classic silk shirt and black-ish denim from your essential pieces are spruced up with fun earrings, an adorable clutch and belt that really pop and then some minimal black heeled sandals. This style of heeled sandal is easily my favorite and I would own it in at least three different colors if I could. They’re chic, simple and classic.

 

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In your wardrobe, your accessories are everything. Because my wardrobe tends to have a lot of neutral colors, I opt for accessories that are really unique and special. They create the frosting for an amazing look.

 

Much Love!

Much Ado About Cindy: Body Image and the Big Screen

The Cinderella movie just came out, and though I haven’t seen it yet, twitters’ all abuzz about the size of poor Cindy’s waist. Comments from it being airbrushed, to how the actress, Lily James, needed to go on a liquid diet to fit into the dress, and how it’s a terrible role model for children. The part that really gets me is where she is a “bad role model for children”, mainly because people come in all shapes and sizes, and because you’re not that size, you’re unaccepting of her as a person.

I feel passionate about body image because I didn’t always love myself; I knew I was pretty because my mom always said so, but I felt like an outsider at school because I was bullied, which made me terrified of people. Today it’s a different story. I love my body, I love myself, and I have a healthy (maybe too healthy..) level of confidence to where I can be in the buff in front of my hubby and not feel ashamed or ugly. Though to be honest, when I see a truly fit girl, I do feel a pang of dolefulness at my lack of discipline when it comes to working out. But nevertheless, I’ll tell you how I got to a place of loving my body.

I have a gorgeous mother. She has the body of a woman who had two kids but she’s beautiful and very fit. When I was growing up, I’d watch her faithfully put on makeup every day and refresh her lipstick before my dad got home. She believes that you must always look your best for your husband. She took care of her body in that she ate heartily and healthily, she was very active and is still quite fit for her age. She washed her face with amazing skin care products and later on would switch to all natural oils, lotions and potions. This paid off in that her skin looks like a 45 year old’s and she’s well into her 60’s. I watched her religiously put body butter on her whole body when she got out of the shower in the morning, and before she would go to bed at night. She would put lotion on her hands the second she got into the car, every single time. She was the woman that always had fabulous hairdressers, and I remember thinking that she was at the cutting edge of fashion and style. A real modern woman.

She had clothing for every situation, and her wardrobe was impressive. She could find amazing clothes anywhere she shopped and I would prance around the house in her clothing that she brought back from Greece and Israel. I stomped around in her high heels and played the “I’m so beautiful game” as a humble 5 year old, and my sister and I would pretend that we were princesses with the scarves she had gotten from some far away land. My mother didn’t only dress well though, she lived well, and she was the embodiment of a confident, loving, beautiful woman that I wanted to be one day.

She and my dad complimented my sister and I endlessly, and she would give us manicures and pedicures and put lotion on our hands and we would watch her spend time on herself like that. She championed our independence when it came to picking out our own clothes. She wasn’t my favorite person when she disciplined us, but I always knew without a doubt that I was my mom’s (and dad’s) princess, and that my sister was their rose. Those were her nicknames for us and they still are. Sure there were times when it wasn’t all rosy and things were hard and unfair. My dad and her would be gone a lot on business or really busy with work, but I remember the good times.

When we moved to the United States, it all got worse, compared to what it had been at school back home. I didn’t know who I was, where I belonged and I felt like I really stood out. I went into a bit of a grunge phase and, though I was confident and strong, I felt like I wasn’t being myself. After 4 years of painful high school memories and so many bad moments, I graduated and I knew that I could choose who I wanted to be. After a year of detoxing from school and being thrust into a new life in a city surrounded by amazing people, I finally stepped into “myself”. I knew who I was and started acting accordingly. I started being like that princess my mom always called me. I started doing my hair and makeup every day, had a nice wardrobe and really started loving myself. I changed my outlook on life, and decided that it was fun and I was meant to live it to the fullest.

When I’m about town I notice things, and I see moms who don’t love themselves, they don’t take care of themselves, and their outward image speaks of “I don’t care, I don’t know how to care, why does it matter” etc. I see wives who don’t try to look their absolute best for their husbands. I also hear moms who never compliment their daughters for fear that they might grow up with a false sense of self. They don’t want to pressure them into being someone specific, rather let them have the freedom to choose whatever. What they’re doing, in fact, is not giving them a framework to thrive in; those girls, therefore, will be the ones who succumb to society’s “ideal woman” and they will be the ones struggling with their body image because it was perpetuated through their mothers’ insecurity.

It’s those same mothers who are offended at the Cinderellas’ of the industry. You see, although in principle it might sound nice to give a child the choice of who they want to be, you can’t expect them to make decisions like adults do. They haven’t been given the options, seen the consequences, made the mistakes, intellectually derived solutions to problems, and lived through years of regret, understanding, knowledge of wisdom, like adults have. All they see are unicorns, flowers, fun, not fun, sad, happy. They don’t understand, or can’t comprehend, the “choose whatever” lifestyle. Why? Because they’re kids. Their brains haven’t fully formed to a place where they can decide for themselves. All they’re doing is absorbing, like sponges, information around them. They aren’t deciding anything, just absorbing.

What role model are you being for your daughter or son, so that the information they’re absorbing is information you can be proud of. The information I absorbed about body image around my mother, was that I could be beautiful, that I was a princess, that I had a good heart, that it mattered that I loved myself for my future husband’s sake.

So it all starts at home. Mothers, love yourselves. Show your daughters that you love yourselves. If you don’t love yourself then do something to change it. Change your diet and start working out. Those endorphins will immediately change your mood! Find the things about you that you love and if you’re having a hard time, grab a girlfriend and chat about it. Be open, honest, and real. The best thing you can do for your daughter is give her a proper framework for what true beauty is. Actually, be an amazing role model for her. Teach her what you think she should know about beauty and body image. Rather say something than nothing at all. Teach her to love her body, in whatever shape or size it is, whether it’s tall and willowy or a little tubby.

Before I got married, I weighed a very slight 125lbs. For a 5’9″ girl, that’s quite skinny. After marriage I quickly gained the “marriage weight” and clocked in at a solid 140lbs. That felt like a lot to me. You guys. It was real. I was so ashamed. My husband didn’t really care because we were both in the marriage muffin boat. I went from prancing around the house in my undies as a single girl to wearing t-shirts to bed. This was so not me! I loved being free and loving myself! I knew something had to change, and drastically. First I cut out the pizzas and Krispy Kremes, the chocolates, and the drinks, and I joined a gym. (Although, you haven’t lived if you haven’t had a freshly glazed hot Krispy Kreme donut right off the belt.) That was fine but I realized that my mindset concerning myself wasn’t changing. I decided that I would stare at myself in the mirror until I could accept myself and love my body. I continued to faithfully put lotion on every night, and I would stare at myself until the day came that I realized I looked like a cherub. I kid you not. Those little angels in Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Those ones. I laughed so hard the moment I realized it, because I loved it. I started feeling playful again, and then soon after that I felt sexy. I felt like the models in those old paintings, the ones lounging lazily on a couch with grapes in their hands. When I saw myself like that, I started loving my body. My sexiness hadn’t diminished with the extra love. It was there all along; I just had to realize it.

I’m closer now to the size I was when I got married and I remind myself every now and then that I might not look like a Victoria’s Secret model, yet, but I sure do feel like one. And that’s what counts.

7 Steps To Healthy, Glowing, Summer Skin

I can honestly, and positively say that I love my skin. I’ve putting oils and all sorts of lotions daily on my skin since my teens because I love having that fresh summer glow. My tried and proven ways of having great skin has been tested from the winters in New England to the hot, hot, hot summer days in California.

Here are 7 steps to amazing summer skin tried and proven by me!

1. Wax!

If you haven’t gotten into the habit of waxing, I’d say to just do it. I always hated it immensely, but having done it a couple of times I honestly couldn’t go back to solely shaving. Shaving is fine for emergencies, but I love waxing anything that can be waxed including my legs, bikini area and sometimes the tops of my arms because it gives a much smoother look and feel compared to shaving. It also lasts a whole lot longer (up to 4 weeks). When you shave you irritate the top of your skin and quickly develop bumps, in grown hairs, not to mention nicks and scratches etc. Ouch! Waxing also takes off dead skin and leaves you with a nice smooth glowing finish. Now you’re on your way to that summer glow! My favorite wax is Moom wax. 

2. Moisturize!

This is the mother of all things to do as a woman. At night after a shower I prefer to use oil all over, and I find that all natural and organic coconut oil is the absolute best to use, but I’ve also loved using a mixture of essential oils with vitamin E and so on. The company Yves Roches has an amazing selection. (Their Monoi Oil is to die for).  Your skin is immediately infused with moisture as your skin soaks in the goodness. In the morning I use an Argan oil infused body butter like this one all over, and almond oil for my face. The almond oil is very light and doesn’t weigh on the skin. I always try to use lotions and body butters that are free of parabens and other harmful chemicals. Burts’ Bees also makes an amazing super thick moisturizer for ultra dry skin. Here is where I find the coconut, essential and argan oils.

3. Exfoliate!

If you’re not waxing, or between waxes, it’s critical that you do this. Use a loofa sponge, a pumice stone or even a back washer brush to scrub your body all over, at least once a week. This way you get rid of dead, flaky skin that gives you that ashy look, and it also prevents in-grown hairs. Remember to be gentle, no need to take all your skin off!

4. Baths

I love taking hot baths infused with whatever oils I have on hand. I love those coconut, argan or essential oil mixture. When you’re in the tub your pores open up to reduce over-heating, and your skin is soft and supple allowing the oils to soak in nicely. When you dry off you’ll find your skin feeling extra soft and glowing beautifully.

5. Drinking Water

We all obviously know that drinking water is the best way to get healthy, glowing skin. It cleanses you from the inside and washes away all those impurities.

6. Self-Tanner

If you’re ready to have a nice summer tan try this self-tanner, I’ve used it before and it’s amazing. It’ll look extra great used on top of your now gorgeous glowing skin!

7. Bronzer

When I have a nice tan I like to high-light parts of my body with a very subtle bronzer. Usually the tops of my shoulders and arms, collar bones and naturally the cheeks. This give your overall appearance that dewy summer skin look.

Now you know how to get that amazing summer glow! Give me feedback and let me know if you have questions and how it worked for you!

Borrowed From The Boys: How To Rock Menswear

The “girls just wanna boys” look has been around since women first started wearing pants.. circa 1920’s. We saw androgynous looks on the runway this year (and every year past) which means that the trend of women wearing mens clothing, and vise versa, really isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. If you love being feminine (like me) it might seem hard to trade your heels for brogues or loafers, and your a-line skirts for trousers, but there is a way to rock this trend while still staying true to our girly selves.

Check out these looks below for some menswear inspired trends!

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These are some basic “borrowed from the boys” pieces, mix and match and have some fun outfits! The way to rock this look is all in the details. Soft and feminine hair and makeup, accessories and the right shoes.