Emerald, declares Pantone, is the color for Spring 2013. You may recall my post a year ago “Eyes for Emerald.” This tells you how popular this color can be. (Or maybe I’m just ahead of the trends.) Either way, emerald is a great color on most people. It is considered a cool bright color. You may recall that bright colors bring brightness to your face, which is a good thing. When you face looks bright (compared to dull) you will look more vibrant, thus looking younger.

You can pair your emerald green with any neutral color: black, white, gray, navy, beige, cream. For a pop of fun color, try these Coach pumps with a simple shirtdress (like this one from Younkers). If you work in a creative environment, you could be more bold and wear emerald green with this purple shirtdress from Banana Republic!


chadwick_colorblock_jacketdresschadwick_ruched_crossover_dressWhile emerald may be the “in” color for Spring, timeless cuts in this color will take you through many seasons. Chadwick’s ruched dress or their colorblock jacket dress are two items that will stay in your wardrobe for many years.

nordstrom_lanvin_silk_blouseIf you prefer something to pair with your current black skirt or pants, try this silk blouse from Nordstrom’s.

What will you wear emerald with this Spring?


Have you ever watched What Not To Wear and hear the poor girl say, “But I found it in the stores!” when Clinton and Kelly tell her the attire is not appropriate. Well, just because it is in the stores or you see in a catalog doesn’t mean it is appropriate or flattering.

Here are some examples:

  1. talbots_refined_collectionTalbot’s is showing work attire and this image was in their recent flyer. The black skirt length is great. The pump is work appropriate. The bright, bold color of the top is great and even the necklace is nice. But can you see what is wrong? No matter how think you are, cleavage is not appropriate for the workplace. With a wrap top, this can often be a problem. If you see a top you like with this sort of wrap neckline, try and see if it will stay closed with the neckline not as low. A little trick I use is the pin the under piece to my bra at a high enough point so no cleavage is showing. If the over piece is cut properly it will lie flat against the under piece and you will be set. I do not suggest trying to pin both pieces of fabric as it usually pulls as you move throughout the day and calls more attention to the area!
  2. chadwick_blouson_dressWhile Chadwick’s isn’t calling this a work-appropriate outfit, it is shown on a page that contains other office attire. So what’s wrong with this dress? The length is fine. The neckline is fine. The problem is the dress overwhelms her. The top is too voluminous. Even with a tied waist, this dress makes her look too top heavy. You may recall that patterns also add bulk. The bigger the pattern, the bigger the bulk. This dress is too much, whatever way you look at it!
  3. chadwick_border_printI also have to comment on Chadwick’s border print dress. You may recall I reviewed a dress a few months ago that was also a border print dress. That dress was considered “right” because it was well balanced. This dress is not balanced at all! Note all the attention goes to the bottom portion of the body. If you are top heavy, this might not be a bad thing. Another problem is the decoration that seems to top out at the abdomen. If you have flat abs, this is great. The rest of us probably don’t want anyone staring at our abdomen. And don’t get me started about where the largest print of the pattern sits!

May you always look great!

mirrorINPUT FROM READER: “reading a romance novel and a sentence caught my eye and thought Wow, that makes sense When trying on clothes, do not look in the mirror until the outfit is fully on.  Take a breath, count to 3 and than turn and look. That way you get the pow! Can’t wait to try it.” K2

Thanks “K2” for your suggestion because it is really a good one. Often when we see only one piece of the outfit we make a decision that would be different if we tried on the entire outfit. To go along with that suggestion, here are some other tips:

  1. If you are looking for something to go with a specific piece of clothing, take the piece of clothing with you to the store. Then try the entire outfit on (using K2’s suggestion above).
    • Try to do this without a sales associate nearby. You need to see what your personal thoughts are. Do not let a sales associate talk you into something. If you don’t love it without their help, you probably won’t love it when you get home!
    • Move around in the outfit to see what would happen in real life: sit down, bend over, lift your arms, twist at the waist. If the item lands “funny” then you will probably be worrying about it all day long and that just isn’t worth it.
  2. If you spot something and don’t happen to have the specific item with you, see if the store has something similar. Almost every store has black pants, white blouses, black jackets, etc. Strive for something as close as possible to what you have at home. Remember that you don’t buy what you are using as a substitute!
  3. If neither option above possible, make sure you try on the complete outfit as soon as you get home. That way you won’t accidentally miss the “return by” date if the outfit doesn’t work. Keep your receipts and don’t take the tag off anything until you are 100% sure.

Any other tidbits of advice you’ve picked up that you can share with others?

Back from vacation in Florida for a few weeks at the end of January and this cold weather is tough! The day we left Florida it was 85 degrees at 10:30 am. When we awoke in Iowa the next day, there was six inches of snow and the wind chill was below zero!

talbots_ankle_pantWhile looking through the catalogs that arrived while I was gone, I noticed Talbot’s “One Fine Day” collection. The clothing is bright, fitted and professional looking. The ankle pant worn with heels is on trend. (Don’t let your heels get higher than 3″ as it will diminish your professionalism.) While the blouse might be a bit drab for the more adventurous woman, they have plenty of other tops in bright colors to keep you feeling happy!

A word of note about ankle pants, or any other trend for that matter: be careful when you try to transfer the trend to other similar clothing items. For instance, the ankle pant is slim fitting. This allows the eye to see the length of the leg, even when it is cut off at the ankle. The look would be totally off if you tried to wear a boot cut pant at your ankle. That would say “high water” pants. (And you remember what the cool kids said about people who did that in high school!)

The other classy look Talbot’s is showing in their Spring catalog is the length of their dresses–right at the knee. This is the most universally flattering length. The Ann Taylor Loft look uses a short sheath to keep their dress looking fun. Talbot’s look takes the v-neck dress and adds a pop of hot pink in the shoe to keep their outfit looking fun. When either of these models sits down, the dress will ride up another inch or two, making the shorter skirt even shorter and, thus, less professional. This is what makes certain clothing timeless–the ability to wear it multiple ways and be appropriate for multiple age ranges.


lands_end_button_downI was looking through the Lands End catalog I received a few days ago and found some basic button down shirts to replace those that are showing wear. I jumped on line and order 5 shirts in less than 15 minutes. The on-line ad said if I spent more than $50, I’d get free shipping. When the order showed shipping, I found the code for the free shipping and entered that to save $6! So far so good . . .

As soon as I submitted my order, I went to recycle the catalog and noticed that there was a 30% off plus free shipping coupon in the catalog that I initially missed! Dang, dang and double dang! I quickly called them, gave them my order number and they adjusted the price. My new savings–$67.20. Whoo-hoo!

While typing this I looked at the coupon again and it actually expired on 1/15/13, which was yesterday. And they still honored it! I just love a company that understands customer service.

I might have pretty traditional taste in clothing, but I love a good buy as much as the next gal.

What great buys did you pick up during the post-holiday sales?

Skin care is the basis of any woman’s image. Start with a good skincare foundation and the rest will come easier. I’m talking about presenting the best YOU you can present.

regimen_kitsAt this very moment, women fall into two groups. Which one are you?

  1. Women who love the skincare regimen they are using. (If this is you, stay the course!)
  2. Women who are somewhat disappointed in their current plan and dread the thought of having to find something.

If YOU are looking for a new or different skincare regimen, this could be your best opportunity. The skincare regimens are already on sale. If you order now you will receive an additional 30% off any one of Avon’s Anew skincare regimens! Individual skincare products are not discounted. Shipping and handling will apply based on where you live. Check with me for details.

Take the skincare quiz to determine the proper regimen for you, then contact me to place your order.

NOTE: this is not an Avon special offer. This is only available through me. On-line orders will not reflect the discounted price.

Skincare orders MUST be received by January 16, 2013.

E-Orders Ship for Free With $10 Minimum Order!

If you prefer to order on line or don’t live near me, now is the time to take advantage of FREE standard shipping with on-line orders of $10 or more. Check out my website for this campaign’s special offers. This special offer continues through January 17, 2013.

NOTE: The skincare regimen discount described above does not apply to on-line orders.

What Else Is Hot Right Now?

Head to my website and search for the following products:

  • Hands often show signs of aging and I am personally excited about the Luminosity Pro Brightening Hand Cream. Say good-bye to brown spots!
  • The On Duty Unscented deodorant rolls on clear so doesn’t leave white marks on your clothes. I’ve found this product to be as effective as clinical strength Secret.
  • Lip colors are on sale. Try the Beyond Color Plumping Lip Color (I suggest Mad for Mauve or Divine Wine) for a bright color or the Ultra Color Rich Lipstick (the Cozy Mauve is soft with a touch of shimmer). 
  • If you have a few dry patches on your face due to the winter winds, try using the MagiX Face Perfector (primer) under your foundation. The gel acts as a light-weight shield and keeps skin feeling soft!

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant

A recent article appeared on Forbes.com called “The Seven Ways Your Boss Is Judging Your Appearance.” While this is no surprise, I wanted to expound on some of the areas:

  1. younkers_structured_jacketGrooming: The article refers to looking “polished” or “pulled together.” Of course it means that our clothes are clean and pressed. But a “pulled together” look is more than that. You need to put together an outfit that is pleasing to the eye. Jackets are a girl’s best friend when trying to look pulled together. Statement jewelry that is not distracting (too flashy, too noisy) gives one a polished look.
  2. Posture: Sitting tall adds to your height (see No. 5). If you’ve gotten into the habit of slouching realize that it is adding years to your look and tells others that you are not proud of yourself. Think about keeping your chin parallel to the floor. If you can push your shoulders down and back, your posture has room for improvement.
  3. Physical Attractiveness: This is where a lot of people just throw in the towel. But it doesn’t mean that only the most beautiful people will succeed. It means you do the best with what you have. Wearing cool bright colors will make most people look alive and energetic, keeping the attention on your face. People only see your flaws when you don’t tell them where to look. Take charge of your image!
  4. Slimness: Yes, some of us aren’t in the best of shape. But dressing appropriately for your shape will make you look slimmer. A black tent dress doesn’t solve all your problems. Wearing monochrome clothing does cause the eye to glide over your silhouette, but structure is still important. We need to know where your waist area is, where your legs start and stop, that you have shoulders that don’t slouch. A structured jacket will solve this problem for most people.
  5. younkers_pumpHeight: While we can’t change our height, we can add a few inches with the right shoes. Adding more than 5” heels, however, is overboard and causes you to look like you are more interested in being trendy than getting to the next meeting in one piece. I recommend no more than a 3” heel for the workplace. Again, that posture will help!
  6. Expensive Clothing: This area can be overwhelming to those with a limited budget. But it is the way the item is made and the material that is being used that is important, not the actual price tag. Recently I saw a pair of plaid pants at Von Maur where the plaid didn’t match up on the sides. This is distracting and a sign of poorly made clothing. Conversely, I saw a similar pair of plaid pants at Sears where the plaids were matched properly. Wearing items that are appropriate for your body shape will also help less expensive clothing look more expensive because they drape on your body properly.
  7. Youthful Appearance: Should all of us over the age of 40 just give up? Absolutely not! Wearing clothing that makes you look vibrant and energetic will help you look and feel more confident. When people see vibrant, energetic and confident people, they don’t even think about age. Again, cool bright colors will achieve this. A pop of lip color will also wake up your face.

So don’t be disheartened by these studies. When you are in control of your image, you are in control of your career. Don’t get left behind by being a wall flower.

Do you feel your boss is judging you by your appearance? In what ways?

Yes, getting in shape and eating healthy are great resolutions. But, let’s take a look at a few that you can do today that will start helping immediately:

  1. lipcolorsWear a lip color every day. I say this over and over again, but lip color is really the most important makeup tool you have. It brightens your smile, your eyes and lights up your face. If you don’t normally wear lip color, try L’Oreal’s Peony Pink, Burt’s Bees Rhubarb or Avon’s Mad for Mauve. These colors are soft and a good starting point. If you are already wearing lip color, think about kicking it up a notch with L’Oreal’s Blushing Berry, Maybelline’s Madison Avenue Mauve or Avon’s Divine Wine. Check out your local Walgreens for the L’Oreal and Maybelline products. Contact me if you are interested in the Avon colors.
  2. Stop chewing gum. I used to be an avid gum chewer. I once had a contest with another woman (both of us over age 40) to see who could snap their gum the loudest. I am ashamed to admit I won. But I’ve seen people chewing gum at work, in church and even as part of a bridal party! If people kept their mouth closed while chewing, it might not look so bad. However, once they get going, the mouth starts opening and the sound effects start! (Think about opening your mouth when you chew food. Same thing.) Don’t believe how bad it looks? Try looking at some on YouTube. I could only watch a minute of this video before I had to turn it off. If you have dry mouth, try a Tic Tac.
  3. barretteDo something with you hair. I don’t mean it has to be cut in the latest style or needs to be permed or straightened or even color treated. I mean do more than just wash and air dry. Dry using a blow dryer and a brush for a bit of lift at the crown or a bit of body on the ends. It may not be much, but it communicates to people that you are willing to put some effort into your looks. Even pulling it back with a barrette can look sophisticated if your barrette has any sort of style to it.
  4. Smile more. As we age, the effects of gravity start to show. Not only do we have wrinkles and sagging skin, but the ends of our mouth start to droop. Eventually you can look like you have an eternal frown on your face. Not a very good image. You don’t have to paste a fake smile on your face. Just stop, right this minute, and do a little smile. Just enough to get the lip line straight or the beginning of a smile. Keep practicing, it will become a habit.
  5. Leave your name and number. I know we have a lot of technology out there, but really, not everyone has the same phone options you have. Do not assume anyone has your number automatically. Some people don’t have cell phones (gasp!) and don’t have caller id (another gasp!) and would like to call you back but don’t have the info. Make it easy for people to reach you. Always, always, always leave your name and number.

What are your do-it-right-now resolutions for 2013?

Ding Dong Report:
Campaign 2 orders due January 2, 2013

C2_bookletI have been looking for a new skin care regimen as the one I had been using for over 25 years was no longer keeping up with my dry skin—especially in the winter. My skin is sensitive so many brands sting. I took Avon’s skincare quiz, marking that I didn’t have many wrinkles and that my skin wasn’t sagging (my high school friends said I have great skin!). The recommended product was Reversalist. The first thing I noticed was that the cleanser was very good at removing dirt and oil from the skin. And the night cream was fabulous! The most moisturized my skin has ever felt without feeling greasy! Two weeks into the test I realized that this level of skincare wasn’t right for me. While the night cream was great, the day cream wasn’t able to moisturize me enough after using the cleanser.

I decided to take a closer look at my skin, get honest about what was happening, and re-take the quiz. The reality of it is that I DO have some fairly deep wrinkles on my forehead (I hate honesty). And I do have some discolorations on my skin (I do NOT have dark circles under my eyes). So I ordered the Ultimate 7S series. After one week I can tell this regimen is much better for my skin. After cleansing my skin doesn’t feel tight, it just feels clean. The day moisturizer is thicker than I expected, but no flaky dry skin at the end of the day and no greasy feeling–YEA!

footworks_bundleOther notables in Campaign 2 are the Save-A-Bundle Sets for $9.99:

I tried the perfumed skin softeners and they are great to rub on wrists and neckline for a hint of scent rather than an overpowering one. When working, keep scents to a minimum so others won’t be distracted. Scents should give you an essence of femininity rather than an aggressive presence. I’ve been using Candid. Mix and match on sale this week: 3 for $9.99.

Contact me for samples of products:

  • Genics Treatment Cream (on sale now for $24.99)
  • Pro Line Eraser Eye Treatment. This will premier in a few weeks and the price is usually the lowest at that time.

What are your favorite skin care products? They don’t have to be Avon. We just want to hear about your experiences with products you love!

When I attended advanced training for my certification, I was with a group of women who I had never met before. I didn’t have any preconceived notions of who they were, what their style was or how they wore their hair and/or makeup. When each of us were directed to try a brighter lip color—each one of us balked! I thought the color was too much for me. Red! RED! Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw were these bright lips. I couldn’t see my eyes; couldn’t see my hair; I couldn’t see anything but my lips. As I turned to my classmates, they were also wearing red. I thought they looked fabulous. Funny, but each one of them was balking at the bright color themselves.

This probably happens to you when you try a new look—hairstyle, fashion, makeup, etc. The first thing you say is, “Oh, this isn’t me.” This is a natural reaction. But if you truly want to do something different, you have to be willing to stretch the envelope. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable—at least for a little while.

How do you stretch the envelope? Try a new look three times before you give up. Whether it is a new color or a new style, your brain will immediately tell you that “something isn’t right.” If your brain rebels, put the look away for at least 24 hours. Then try it on again. Do it three times over the period of a week. If you don’t like it after the third try, then go ahead and return it.

Even if you return it, applaud yourself for trying. And keep trying. Do it until your brain no longer objects to trying new things.

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