Autumn is my favorite season as a fashion designer and stylist for two reasons. For starters, it's not that hot on the West Coast and not too cold yet for you East Coasters. Second, you can wear a mix of casual summer pieces and winter styles and not look awkward. Running my own clothing line Michael Ferrera Custom Clothing means that I must stay on top of the latest trends. I’m just back to LA from fashion events in Las Vegas and New York so, in the interests of helping out all the Made Men out there, I’ll share the top five style tips gentlemen should have this season.
This is a style trend that ladies have used for years but through GQ, Esquire and all the other gentleman mags the dress boot has become more acceptable for men in the professional world. Hugo Boss, Allen Edmonds, and John Varvatos do a great dress boot, but you can find a bunch of comparable options.
Quite frankly the skinny tie is becoming the norm and a tie is always appropriate in corporate America. But if you really want to showcase your style opt for a scarf. Ditch the tie but accent your suits and shirts with cashmere, silk and wool scarves instead. A bit of unexpected flair is sure to turn heads.
Burgundy is a color that we in the fashion world have been exploring for a while now and it seems like it is here to stay. It adds some color when you wear ties, hats and accessories but you can also wear it this season in large pieces like suits and overcoats. It’s a bold statement but definitely can be pulled of by a confident gentleman in the fall.
This is not a new trend for the season but many gents just forget about it. Rather than keeping it casual on a date, rock an overcoat or a vest. Going somewhere fancy? Go for it with a three piece suit that will show how polished and grown up you are. Put in some effort to your wardrobe and layer your style this season.
Drop-crotch has been a stylish buzzword the past few seasons and it’s definitely a cool edition to your casual wear. This is not your first date outfit, but it works for your quick run to the mall, the market or your Saturday brunch date. Add some cool sneakers, a nice T-shirt and beanie to the drop-crotch sweats and she’ll think that you stay fresh for every occasion.
Sixteen years of sitting in a classroom, and you’re almost there. College is almost over, and soon every friendly face will ask you about your future plans. Some of us can answer the “what are your plans after college” question with grace, charm, and confidence. Others will stumble through our answer, desperately trying to finagle our way around their judgements and our own confusion. This necessary life transition can seem intimidating and it is easy to be fearful of the unknown. But as you hang on to the last days of student life, there are a few things you should do to ensure the easiest transition into “real world adult life” when all of the college fun is over.
Check out our “Surviving Senior Year Checklist”!
Feeling nervous about your senior year or plans after? Watch these TED Talks.
Beyonce may have “woke up like this” but being cute isn’t as easy for everyone else. Knowing how to correctly apply your makeup, keep up with trends and do it all flawlessly is time consuming. Here are some helpful beauty hacks that will both save you time, and help you put your best face forward.
In a pinch and only have mascara? Your mascara can also double as eye liner. Take an eyeliner brush and dip it into the mascara. Apply the mascara to the the eye just as you would a gel liner and add some drama to your makeup look.
Suffering from a few late nights? Reduce under-eye puffiness and redness with green tea. Soak green tea bags in warm water to seep and then refrigerate until cold. Squeeze out excess water and place on eyes for five to ten minutes. The antioxidants and caffeine in the tea will reduce reduce redness and tighten skin.
Got a surprise pimple on the day of a big event? Don’t bust out the concealer, use Advil to zap it. Pierce or cut a gel capsule and apply directly onto the affected area. The anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat aches and pains will reduce any redness and swelling caused by unsightly blemishes.
Are you a nail-color addict? We have all been there where that beautiful dark red has left our nails stained and no amount of nail polish remover can get it out. So how can you change from black to pale pink? Use toothpaste to get stains out of your nails. Apply a small amount of whitening toothpaste to each nail and sit for about five minutes before rinsing off. Do this three times a week for nails to look whiter and brighter.
Bonus: You can also make your own whitening paste by combining 2 ½ tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide.
Late again with no time for a shower but have greasy hair? No problem! That neglected bottle of baby powder is just as effective as any dry shampoo. The absorbing powder will soak up oils that collect in your roots. Sprinkle and massage powder into the roots and blow dry to absorb on the go.
Hate a great lipstick that is gone before lunch? Make sure your lipcolor stays all day, and has a flawless finish with translucent powder. After applying lipstick, hold a tissue over your lips and lightly dust on some translucent powder over the tissue. This will help set lipstick to last all day.
Got a mid-afternoon shine? That hand sanitizer in your purse could come in handy. Rub a small amount on shiny areas of your face, especially the T-zone. Besides the alcohol in the hand sanitizer which dries up excess water, there are also other ingredients similar to silicone that smooth like a primer and give your skin a protective coat that lock in moisture, reducing shine.
Out of makeup remover? Vaseline works just as good as the best cleanser. Put a small amount of Vaseline on a washcloth or cotton swab and rub on to remove stubborn eye makeup, lipstick or mascara.
Want to get the perfect winged look with your eye liner? Use a spoon to help guide you like the photo above. Hold the straight part of the spoon against the outside corner of your eye and trace the line upwards. Take the round end of the spoon and place above your eye and trace until the lines meet. Fill in and smudge to get the perfect winged shape in no time that is even on both sides.
Your toothbrush can do more than just clean your teeth. It’s also a great tool to exfoliate your lips. Moisten your toothbrush and rub lightly in circles on lips to exfoliate and remove dead skin. Regular exfoliation ensures super-soft lips.
What are your ultimate beauty tips? Leave us a comment or tweet us @MadeWomanMag!
I’ll be honest: Setting up my baby’s nursery hasn’t exactly been as fun as I imagined it would be. Living in the land of the expensive San Francisco Bay Area real estate means baby is coming home to a two-bedroom apartment instead of the large, lovely house I imagined I’d have when I started to have children. But alas, we’re working with what we’ve got, and with a bit of organization and planning, our nursery has really come together—just in time for baby girl’s due date.
Since this isn’t our permanent residence, I didn’t want to go overboard and create one of the adorable baby wonderlands I’ve seen on Pinterest. I have a feeling that few moms really do the dream nursery, anyway. Here’s the approach I took to get my baby’s room ready so that it’s still a sweet, cozy space that will meet our family’s needs.
Unless you already have an empty room waiting to become a nursery, you’ll likely need to de-clutter your current space to make it baby ready. This is important: Before bringing any new stuff in, get the old stuff out. Make a few Goodwill donations, reorganize your living space and clean out the closet. That way, when all the baby gifts and goodies start accumulating, there will be space for it all and you won’t get overwhelmed.
If you plan to paint the room or change out flooring, etc., be sure to do it after clearing out the space and before bringing in new stuff. We can’t paint in our apartment, but if you can and want to, this is the time to do it.
Before installing fancy window treatments, special lighting or custom wall art, be sure to set up the room with the essentials. Usually that means a crib, dresser, changing table (dresser/changing table combo, in my case), a glider, and possibly a bookshelf or nightstand. Once there’s a place for baby to sleep, get changed and be rocked and fed, you can jazz up the space with accessories. Be sure to allow plenty of time for furniture assembly!
After all the furniture is in, it’s time to wash all the blankets, bedding and baby clothes. Believe me, there’s more to wash than you might think! Be sure everything that is washable and will touch your baby’s skin gets a run through the washing machine before you use it.
Now the fun part (and also the part that I’ve been putting off). Once you have everything in place, washed and ready to go, you can add those finishing touches that give the room personality and pizzazz! I’ve been checking out cute area rugs, handmade art, decorative mirrors and pretty window treatments. I haven’t totally figured out where I want to take the décor, but it’s fun to work through the process.
So, Made mommies and mommies-to-be, what’s your advice? How did you set up your baby’s room, and is there anything missing here that you’d recommend?
Many of us have heard that we ought to buy certified organic berries, kale, and fuzzy fruits (remember the dirty dozen?), over conventionally grown counterparts to avoid eating genetically modified or pesticide-laden plant products (the list is updated every year; check out the new one here). The label, organic, has become synonymous with being the better option for selecting produce and other groceries. At what point, however, did it become a catch-all term for everything associated with being healthy?
I know, I know, organic fruits and vegetables are healthy. What I’m talking about, though, are the certified organic meats, cheeses, sugary cereals, and cookies. I’ve overheard some people say in the cookie aisle, “this one’s organic, so I’m gonna get it cuz it’s healthy.” (You can also insert gluten-free or vegan, in place of organic.)
Sadly,these foods are not necessarily healthy (yes, meats, cheeses, and dark chocolate, in small portions can have health benefits, but read: small portions). You can’t eat as much as you want simply because the food is organic.
The organic label means that a product is a better option over the conventionally grown/raised food. It’s a good guide for avoiding unwanted pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that may leach into your food, unbeknownst to you. Some research has indicated that organically grown and raised produce and meats have greater nutritional value because they have not been genetically modified. And organically raised animals are fed a healthier diet and are often raised under healthier conditions (not in cages or pumped with steroids or other meds). However, there are other studies that suggest that there is not a significant difference between conventional and organic foods. The Organic Trade Association took a look at the major studies that compared the nutritional value of organic versus conventional produce, and concluding... that more studies need to be conducted. But take a look at their report, and form your own opinions.
If avoiding chemicals in your food is your aim, then stick to organic foods -- if your pocketbook permits it -- otherwise, refer to the list of dirty dozen produce items that you should buy organic and go conventional with anything else. To ensure you don’t gain a few extra pounds, use good judgment and remember that the organic label isn’t a green light to eat as much as you want. Moderation is always the best policy.
Are you a bit like Cher from Clueless… always looking to make the perfect match? Or are you like Tai aka Brittany Murphy who was open to getting matched up by her best friend?
If you answered yes to either of the above, you’re in luck! Two young entrepreneurs -- aided by the advances in technology (thank you, iPhone!) -- have come in to save the day with a new app called Closer which is “totally bangin!” (sorry, had to bring the Clueless references full circle). Closer lets you play both the matchmaker and the matchmakee all in one place. It’s a mobile tool that makes getting people connected simple.
Here’s how: the application works by connecting with your Facebook account and loading in all your friends. You simply click the friend that you want to match up and the person you’d want to match them with and it sends them the introduction. And if you are looking to meet new people, you can handpick specific friends on Facebook whom you trust and request them to set you up with people they suggest. You just slide to the right or slide to the left to either “get matched” or “start matching.” It’s easy to use and has a very sleek, cool vibe to boot!
Adding on to the basics, there are a few cool extra features like the “You are Close!” feature that allows users to receive push notifications when matches are close by them and the “Matchmaking Feed” that allows users to see when the friends they set up interact on Facebook (become friends, get tagged in a picture together, change their relationship status, etc.)
So, who spearheaded this awesome idea? Ladies of course! The concept came from two friends, both serial female entrepreneurs in their twenties. Pretty awesome, right? Eugenia Kuyda and Taisia Antonova went to school together in Moscow, but lost touch for many years, until they randomly ran into each other at a bar, reconnected and then came up with this idea for an app.
The co-creators say that Closer is their way of fostering authentic human connection -- because at the end of the day, our friends really know us better than any computer algorithm can. Who better to match us than the people who know us best?
Taisia and Eugenia look forward to expanding this project and opening this up as a way for people to not only meet new dates, but also meet new quality friends and business connections. “The tool is there to create matches and this could support various types and forms of relationships throughout life,” Taisia says.
If you’re digging their mission and want to check out Closer, it is FREE on the iTunes App Store. It’s not yet available on Android or on the Web, but that is in the works as well, according to inside sources.
They are looking for feedback on their app as it continues to grow and improve, so if you can, add some comments below and tell them what you think! Cheers to amazing matches in our lives!
Having a personal stylist isn’t just for celebrities. Any woman who wants to improve her quality of life personally and professionally should try working with a stylist.
Why? Let’s break it down.
Learning how to dress your body type -- and knowing what’s appropriate for different settings -- will help you dress to impress at any event. This will give you the kind of confidence that turns heads and allow you to be more visible both personally and professionally.
Think about it: if you’re in line for coffee behind a hottie but you feel frumpy in your outfit, would you have the confidence to start a little small talk conversation? Not likely. And who knows where that conversation could potentially lead…
It’s you, only better. If you’re working with the right stylist, they will bring out your inner style; tweaking what you’ve already got so that it’s still authentic, but much more polished and pulled together.
Why does it matter if you’re more polished and pulled together? Because you lead with your look. Communication is 55% physical and, when you meet someone, you’re making a first impression before you even have a chance to speak your brilliant thoughts. You better take advantage of that 55% and comb your hair, define your waist, add some mascara and shine your shoes!
Need more convincing? You can actually save time and money when you work with a stylist. Of course, you have to invest in the service. But what you spend on the service saves you time getting ready every morning and makes shopping a more streamlined and fun experience.
If you have a little extra money to invest in yourself, having a stylist shop for you is a transformative experience. Items selected just for you and your personal style are brought to you in the comfort of your own home.
In the long run, you save thousands by working with a stylist since you’ll have clothes you love, that fit better and allow you to create new outfits. Compare this to the clothes you have still sitting in your closet with the price tags on them and it’s a bargain!
To get the most out of working with a stylist, you need to keep in mind that you’re making an investment in your sanity as much as in your style and career (and love life!). Book an appointment or a “style session” first to purge and take stock of your wardrobe. Since many women are overwhelmed by the information they get in the first session, opt for 3 or more sessions over the course of the year. This way, you’re updating your looks seasonally and further integrating all the tools your genius stylist is giving you. Under the tutelage of your stylist, you’ll soon be able to create killer outfits on your own.
The bottom line: once you work with a stylist, you’ll be able to open your closet each morning and decide exactly what you want to wear in five minutes instead of twenty. And you’ll always have something ready for that last-minute special event. If you have the resources, investing in a stylist will take your wardrobe -- and your personal brand -- to the next level. Plus, it’s FUN!
Vision boards have become increasingly popular as people find them to be an effective tool for brainstorming and planning. Women, in particular, have been taping and gluing their way to business ideas for years. And it doesn’t stop there. Some serious wedding planning, home decorating, and bucket-list-making have gotten done via vision boards. Bettyvision founder and CEO Julie Thorne Engels recognized the potential for this tool, and the power of encouraging people to perfect and refine their dreams -- and bring them to life.
Julie, with the help of marketing maven Lindsey Heisser, set out to bring this concept to the digital space. They've since built a community called Bettyvision.com, where women not only share their personal visions, but also encourage each other to see them to fruition. Bettyvision's mission is to “provide resources and support necessary to bridge the gap between just dreaming and living the dream.”
The goal of Bettyvision is to create community around an individual's goals, making it a space to share tips, track milestones and provide encouragement to others. Similar to Pinterest, you can pin images to your boards; but Bettyvision allows you to add text to articulate your goals and track progress with their Milestone list. There is also an embedded Google search bar that helps with research and finding inspirational images. I like how other users can follow along with you and your board, as you work toward your goal and leave comments to congratulate you when you reach it.
No woman is an island, and the Bettyvision community promotes success and collaboration. Digital networking takes on a new form centered around each user’s unique ideas. The Bettyvision newsletter also spotlights one “Power Betty” each issue, bringing attention to other female-owned start-ups. Since its launch, thousands of boards have been created and shared. The outcome is a collage of ideas and goals from women all over the country.
What I liked best about this site is that it allows you to clarify and hone in on your dreams. Instead of letting your million and one great ideas get lost in the abyss, you can create a board for each and get instant feedback from your peers. It takes the guesswork out of planning and provides a visceral design you can use to communicate with others. Entrepreneurs, business people and dreamers alike will find this a useful tool that can help them reach success.
I tested it out myself and created a “better body” board to help me reach my fitness goals. I outlined which fitness classes I wanted to take and other steps I could take to get ready for summer. I was able to share the board on my social networks and my friend were then able to comment on how they wanted to join me on my workouts.
Bettyvision is more than just a website. Much like Made Woman Mag, they focus on offering useful tools to their users. They bring that mission into the real world with their Bettyvision workshops. These LA-based seminars allow local businesswomen to dive into their missions, find support and set measures for accountability.
If you have big plans for your life, it's a good idea to map them out. Bettyvision.com allows you to do just that. Let’s face it, sharing your dream -- whatever that may be -- with the world increases the likelihood that it will actually happen. Since I’m all about doing whatever it takes to make your dreams come true, I vote this site a must-try. Put your brilliant ideas on the growing, digital pinboard and see what sticks.
This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com
So what is it about the woman that always gets the guy? You know who I’m talking about.
Every guy you know thinks she’s cool/smart/funny. Men get giddy around her. Conversations stall when she walks into a room.
What does she know that the rest of us don’t?
Girl, it’s not about what she has – so much as what she doesn’t have. It’s pretty likely that men are attracted to her not only because of the things that she does, but because of the things that she doesn’t do.
And I can guarantee you that our Girl Wonder does not exhibit any of these three traits:
Ahh. The mother of all un-sexiness.
Sometimes (and this has probably happened to the best of us) we might feel a bit incomplete without a man or believe a relationship will solve our problems. The man in your life will smell this desperation a mile away. And desperation? It’s not a good look on anyone.
When you’re carrying around the (totally false) idea that you need a man to be complete, you’re giving away your power.
Pause right there.
Think about it – when you place your contentment + happiness in the hands of another individual, you’re at their mercy. Are you willing to gamble your well-being on his actions or in-actions?
Besides, consider all the unnecessary pressure it puts on him! The pressure to live-up to your expectations of the perfect mate will be exhausting + a sure-fire way to incite disinterest.
Want to reclaim your power? Brilliant. Start by putting the kabosh on these actions:
1. Needing his approval of how you look
2. Incessant emailing, texting and phone calling. (not to mention obsessive checking of your own email or vmail–mmmhmm….we’ve all done it…)
3. Insisting you know where he is, was + will be 24-7
4. Too many whiny “I miss you’s” in that little girl voice
The number 2 way to send your man running for the hills.
It sounds like this:
“Do you still love me as much as before?”
“Do you think I look fat in this?”
“Am I pretty enough for you?”
Insecurity is rooted in another false idea – the idea that you are somehow not adequate. You’re only human and self-doubt is a very real emotion that we all feel from time to time. Totally normal.
However, staying stuck and investing in the idea that you are “less than” is a slippery slope. The key to being desirable is to allow yourself to have the feelings of insecurity but not indulge in them! (Easier said than done. I know. But practice makes perfect- so give ‘er a shot.)
Simply notice when those feeling come up and reflect…. "Hmph. There is that thought again. Interesting”…and then redirect your attention to what you’re doing at the moment. Imagine sitting by a babbling brook and noticing how the leaves glide across the surface of the water past you. Think of your insecure thoughts as those leaves.
You always have a choice.
You can either invest in your insecurity or your sexy.
Overly critical of others. Especially of other women:
Let’s get straight to the point, shall we? It is flat-out ugly when you
are outwardly critical, especially of other women. Imagine this: A beautiful woman walks into the room + your perfectly pleasant conversation with your sweetie quickly spirals into a sarcastic, snarkfest of gnarly criticism.
Why is it that women find it so difficult to compliment another gorgeous, accomplished woman? (Especially, in the presence of their honey?)
Answer: Yup, you guessed it–False ideas.
Somewhere we believe that by tearing other women down our man will not notice their attractiveness.
Reality Check: He probably noticed her 10 seconds before you did so it’s a waste of time. Not to mention that being critical paints you as jealous, insecure + really, kinda mean. And who wants to be That Girl?
Take notice of your energy level after such a barrage…does it feel heavy or light + airy? Eventually you will recognize that the ill-will is draining. On you + your man.
Personally whenever I see a hot, sassy mama I say to myself “You go, girl.” I’ve even been known to call my boyfriends attention to her killer shoes, stylish dress or confident ways. This way we both get to enjoy her shine + it fosters open dialogue between us. (Never a bad thing)
I will often stop a woman and tell her she looks great in her dress, or that her hair looks awesome and ask where she gets it cut. The appreciation + gratitude bestowed on me are rewarding and she walks away feeling just a little more shiny than before. Win-Win.
Let’s talk about how to amp up your sexy instead!
1. Take stock of how often you check your text/email out of a sense of desperation. This is your one and only life – slide back into the driver’s seat and reevaluate a better use of your energy. What is an action you can take right now that will focus your attention on your overall well-being + happiness? Yoga at lunch? Manicure with a girlfriend after work? Perhaps making that long put off phone call to your local graduate school or headhunter.
2. Feeling insecure cause you don’t fit in your skinny jeans from 11 years ago? Get-rid-of-them!
Honestly, how realistic is it that you’ll be that size again…have you considered that it’s cruel to keep them in your closet? That you are dismissing your present-day deliciousness? I am not suggesting that you pack on the lbs and ignore your health. I’m encouraging you to honor + dare I say…celebrate your womanly figure.
Toss the jeans.
3. When you see a stunning women, immediately catch INSECURITY + CRITICISM, and silently take notice of what you admire about her. Say “good for her.” And if you’re feeling real bold + saucy get her attention and give her the gift of a compliment.
The universe loves that stuff! I bet a compliment is already on its way to you.
Being an ambitious entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. On the one hand you get things done. You have a vision, you started a business and you’re making a difference in this world (and some money). On the other hand, your schedule is overflowing with client work, networking events and business opportunities. There is always something more you could be doing. The questions becomes: How do you fit it all in?
Here are some tips for managing your schedule as a busy entrepreneur:
Focus on the Big Rocks. Stephen Covey famously spoke about putting your “Big Rocks” first. Look at the mission of your business. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your purpose? Each day, think about the three most important things that will help you move forward on your business – your Big Rocks – and create a schedule to get them finished first. Once you’ve completed your Big Rocks for the day, you can move on to less important activities. And on those days that you’re only able to get one or two things accomplished – it happens to the best of us – at least you know you’ve tackled the most important things on your list.
Bucket Your Tasks. Set your schedule up so that you’re working on similar tasks all day. For example, I schedule all client meetings and coaching calls for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Mondays are reserved for writing and planning. Fridays are my admin day. Creating a solid schedule helps in two ways: 1) you’re not constantly bouncing from task to task and 2) you know exactly what you’ll be working on each day.
Get Rid of the Fluff. Let’s be honest. There are going to be things that just never get done. If you take an honest look at your day’s activities, you’ll see that there are some activities that you’ve picked up along the way that are no longer serving you. Maybe you had a problem saying “no” or maybe it’s something that seemed exciting when you first took it on. Either way, if it is not serving your bottom line, it needs to go. Does this activity align with your purpose and move you forward? If not, then it is time to place it on the back burner.
Figure out Your Energy Zones. Take a look at your energy levels throughout the day and schedule high energy activities when you feel the most alive. Are you a morning person? Crank through your to-do list early on. Do you find your stride after lunch? Schedule your tough mental tasks then.
Take It Easy. Part of the fun of being an entrepreneur is making your own schedule. Make sure to schedule breaks and down time so that you can refresh. That might mean hitting up the gym during lunch or simply setting a timer so that you take periodic breaks throughout the day. Don’t get too down on yourself for having an off day – we all need a break sometimes.
Keep it Professional. Full time entrepreneurs can find themselves slacking on the rigid scheduling. Early morning meetings are replaced with nooners. Business professional clothes are replaced with PJ’s... all day long. It’s fine to make your own rules if you are running the show, but try not to let all of your professionalism go out the window. Keep a clear, daily schedule even if you don’t go into the office everyday.
Once you are able to lock in a solid schedule, you’ll be able to focus on your revenue generating activities and really grow your business. Get laser focused on the activities that will move you forward and let the rest fall to the wayside. And when in doubt, take a little break!