Don’t Call Them Mommies

Liz Gumbinner over at Mom 101 has a hilarious analysis of her experience as a female tech editor at CES. She makes some excellent points about the experience of a woman in technology:

  • Do not ever throw your phone face down onto a pointed rock, ladies.
  • “You mean, if say…Mom is away on a business trip? Maybe at the CES Show at Las Vegas, while Dad is home with the kids?” At which point I realized that I had headed out of the house that morning, forgetting to take off my other six heads.
  • Women spend more on tech than men. They’re involved in 89% of the consumer electronic purchase decisions.
  • And finally:

  • It’s time to move on from 1954. If not for feminism or for social good, you need to do it for your own business.
  • I would agree with her that 99% of the time, gender isn’t a big issue in technology. But that remaining 1% can be hilarious, sad or both. Do you have a funny story about a time a guy assumed you couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t understand because of your gender?

    The Low Maintenance Woman’s Guide to Curly Hair

    Guest post by Ellen

    The author with short hair, dressed as a red crayon

    The author with short hair, dressed as a red crayon

    For much of my childhood I had very short hair. I got mistaken for a boy a lot, but I didn’t mind it, and it made being in the pool easy – I didn’t have to wear a swim cap. Granted, my hair was also the texture of straw, but it didn’t bother me.

    However, once I got to sixth grade, I decided I’d had enough of both being mistaken for a boy and short hair, and I grew it out. Somewhat to my surprise, it was curly. My response to this was to wear it in a clip (sixth grade) and then side barrettes (seventh grade through eighth grade), and then came the grunge era – enough said.

    I never quite knew what to do with my curly hair, and, because I am lazy, have stuck mostly to just washing it and letting it air dry. However, whenever I went to get it cut, the stylist would lobby for straightening it. One: I am lazy and don’t even use a blow dryer most of the time. Two: I have very fine hair and live in humid climes, so all the work would be undone within minutes of exposure to the weather.

    For my last haircut, I went to a stylist who specializes in curly hair and discovered that the system she uses is based on a book called Curly Girl, which I had actually perused a while back. Since that haircut, I’ve been happier with my curly hair than ever – it’s been holding the curl and hasn’t been frizzy, even in the considerable humidity of the Gulf Coast region. I’ve found that having had hair care made into a system with discrete steps has made it much easier for me to understand.

    The author in seventh grade, with omnipresent barettes

    The author in seventh grade, with omnipresent barettes

    Here are the basics of the Curly Girl method, as gleaned from my stylist, a perusal of the Curly Girl book, and various curly hair websites:

    -Most products designed to hold curl, reduce frizz, etc., do this by using silicone, which is heavy and not great for the hair.
    -To remove silicone residue, you need sulfates in your shampoo. Sulfates are not good for anyone’s hair, but they’re especially damaging to curly hair becuase of its structure.

    According to the curly girl method, if you respect the structure of curly hair and keep it healthy and adequately moisturized, it will naturally reduce frizz. How to do this?

    -Avoid sulfates, silicones, and parabens.
    -Don’t shampoo. Cleanse instead.
    -Use a non-silicone conditioner.
    -Use a non-silicone gel/curl volumizer.

    If you google this, you’ll find guides about following this method in 15 simple steps, but (as I’m lazy) I’ve reduced it to three, which I will explain here. I’m going to tell you the specific products I’m using (as my stylist was trained by a specific system) but if you read the book no specific products are mentioned and a quick googling of the method pulls up lists of other products that meet the criteria.

    Step One: No more shampoo. Say what?

    I thought this was totally gross, but it turns out you’re not just going to leave your scalp and hair greasy. Instead of shampooing you are going to cleanse (yes, semantics are at play here). It turns out that the lather in shampoo is mostly there for psychological reasons and isn’t really doing much. As a result, you don’t really need it.

    The non-shampoo I now use is Deva Curls Low-Poo, which does have some lather, but there is another, No-Poo, which doesn’t. There is some difference in the pH or somesuch that made her recommend the former. When you cleanse, you’re going to be focusing on your scalp, not your hair. Use the pads of your fingers to massage the scalp. Rinse as usual.

    Step Two: Condition

    You want to use a rich, silicone-free conditioner. The one I use is Deva Curls One Condition, which is the only conditioner they make. What you are going to do with this conditioner is comb it (with your fingers) through your hair. As you do this, bring your fingers together (my stylist calls this “noodling”) so you can feel the texture of your hair. You want to do this until your hair feels smooth. When you’re working on the right side of your head, turn your hair to the right, and so on. Rinse.

    Step Three: Gel

    Do this while you’re still in the shower. “Noodle” it through your hair, then drizzle just a little water over your hair and re-noodle. You’re done with the shower part. The one I use is called B’Leave In, but there are several others available.

    There’s no need to comb your hair, since you’ve noodled it thoroughly. To dry your hair, lean over and scrunch the water out with a towel. You want to lean to the side you’re scrunching. Then, if you’re lazy like me, let it air dry. Those of you who are less lazy or who live in climes where leaving the house with damp hair won’t work, blow dry with a diffuser. There are additional hair products you can add – what I’ve outlined seems to be enough for me.

    Videos on this method are available from the Deva Curls website: http://www.mydevacurl.com/

    Again, this is the brand I have experience with but any products that meet the no sulfates, silicones, and parabens criteria should work.

    I really recommend that if you are a curly girl you try getting your hair cut by a stylist who is trained specifically for curls.

    The author with self-styled hair, present day

    The author with self-styled hair, present day

    Ellen is from New Jersey and spent enough time in Boston to be a die-hard Red Sox fan. After becoming a librarian, Ellen moved to Mobile Alabama where her most important role is to make sure that Beckett, a golden lab, is properly entertained. Beckett would like you to know that while he likes chicken, he would never ever drink beer in the club house. Ellen likes pie, geology, mathematics, books and baseball.

    Advice: Catholic wedding reader

    Dear Brenda,

    My cousin is getting married (Catholic church wedding, 2pm, Atlanta) next Sat. I am a reader so people will see me. What do you think of the following options? Shoes are the same for both.

    - A Red Sox loving librarian in Alabama

    Gray shoes

    Gray shoes

    Maroon dress

    Maroon dress

    Blue floral dress

    Blue floral dress

    Dear Red Sox Loving Alabaman,

    I’m hoping you mean NEXT Saturday and not yesterday, or I am not so helpful. Sorry!

    I prefer the maroon dress for this. The color is a great wedding color, a great seasonal color and goes very well with the gray shrug. It will also make the gray shoes and shrug *pop* more (it’s a nice combination) than the blue patterns. I don’t like having things over larger patterns like the blue dress as well – I think it stands better on it’s own. (And I’d prefer it with a white or silver sweater, I think.) It also seems a bit more summery. I was in Atlanta last week, and it wasn’t all that wrong.

    I hope you’ll share pictures of the outfit you picked! What are you wearing for a necklace? I’d love to see this paired with a really high-interest garnet choker, like this one:

    The dress has a great neckline for a really interesting necklace.

    - Brenda

    Ask Brenda!

    I’ve secretly always wanted to be an advice columnist. I still love reading advice columns, and I read three or four a day. It’s amazing how many different perspectives there are on life, how many different problems people experience, how few core problems they boil down to, and how often the suggested resolution strategy is counselling.

    So it is with GREAT delight and a sense of lifelong fulfillment that I open the first all-call for your geek-girl-fashion-advice problems and questions. Please please please tell me your fashion conundrum. Post a picture of your interview outfit and ask for feedback! Tell me about that fashion question that has always plagued you! Outline your uncertainty regarding what color socks to wear with navy slacks!

    I’ll go through the questions, do any required research, and answer your question as best I can. You can comment on this post, or email me at technicallypretty@gmail.com . Let me know if you’d like me to keep your information confidential, and I’ll make sure you are, to the best of my ability.

    Facial: an experience

    Following my adventures in facial masks, I decided to bring my facial journey to the ultimate conclusion: a proper spa facial. A week at my mother-in-law’s over Christmas provided the perfect opportunity to sneak away for 90 minutes and spend an exorbitant sum. I went to Beverly Day Spa in Woodstock Georgia and got the European massage (which was on sale). Here’s how it’s billed:

    European Facial

    This therapeutic facial will leave you feeling refreshed
    and renewed. It begins with gentle cleansing, exfoliation and
    steam therapy. Your skin is analyzed, extractions performed and
    then customized for your specific needs. This includes a face, neck
    and décolleté massage, appropriate mask and protective hydration.
    A soothing warming hand treatment completes your relaxation.
    This Seasonal Special includes a $20 Facial Moisture Treatment
    as a FREE Gift fromBeverly’s Day Spa Salon
    Regular Combo Price $100
    Giving Season Special $80 Save $20

    Before the facial

    Before the facial

    So, like a massage, it started with me under a sheet on a table in a darkened room. My aesthetician, Stacy, cleaned off my face by gently rubbing it with cleanser. There were many hot towels and wrappings and gentle upward circles across my cheeks. It was quite pleasant and relaxing.

    Then we exfoliated (I’m not sure what product she used for that – sorry! – except that she said it was perfectly circular unlike walnut or apricot scrubs). By the way, exfoliation is a fancy way of saying, “take off the top layers of dead skin cells”. There was a steaming wand that got waved at my face – not unpleasant. Be warned though – I was asked if I was claustrophobic and all the towels, cloths, covering, steam streams etc. might be not fun if you were claustrophobic.

    Next up: looking at my skin through a bright magnifying glass to tell me everything that was wrong with it. This, my friends, explains so much about who we are as a cosmetic culture. I was paying someone to look at my skin through a magnifying glass and tell me everything that was wrong with it. Now, I was assured I had very good skin (which, well, I think I do). But on the list of horrors for my mid-30s skin I was told I had fine lines in my forehead and neck (but no crowsfeet!), large pores on my chin (although blessedly small ones on my nose), broken blood vessels around my nose (avoid hot and cold to prevent those from getting worse – and if they ever bothered me I could have them lasered off) and rosacea.

    This was also the section where she would do “extractions” which is a fancy way of saying “popping your zits, with a needle if need be”. I did not have much need for extractions. I was wondering if this was really a good idea, given that every mom in the history of the universe has told her teenage children to just not touch them. (Of course, every teen in the history of the world has ignored this advice.)

    Of these, I have noticed the lines on the forehead and neck. My mother has a serious case of rosacea, so that wasn’t too surprising and helps explain why my cheeks can be so sensitive. The pores I’d never noticed, and I think the broken blood vessels are invisible for those NOT using a magnifying glass to evaluate my skin clarity.

    I have very mixed feelings about this. I went in thinking, “I have good skin”. I came out thinking, “I have good skin, but large pores, fine lines, rosacea and broken blood vessels. Maybe I should manage/fix/do something about those.” And that is precisely how the beauty industry ends up getting quite so big and profitable. But at the same time, I’m actually glad to know about the rosacea, because it is something better prevented in one’s 30s than attempting to be fixed in one’s 50s.

    After the delivery of this bad news came the paraffin mask. This was part of what made it a European facial, I guess. She snipped out a nose hole from some gauze. Warm paraffin was put on the gauze and laid on my face. (Although I thought it was funny she did this right after telling me not to put hot stuff on my face.) Then she did a massage of my shoulders, arms, hands and top of my chest as the paraffin cooled.

    I was getting pretty drowsy at this point. I think she put the facial mask on? She put lotion on my hands, put them in plastic baggies, and then put them in these warming gloves. Then she left me for a nice little nap. I have no idea how long it was – somewhere between 2 minutes and 20. But mmmmm that was a great little nap! The final step was to put on another round of some sort of cream (I think) and some lip balm. I was told not to put on makeup for AT LEAST half an hour to let it all soak in.

    After the facial

    After the facial

    With the Christmas special, I paid $80 for the service, plus a nice tip since Stacy was great. I also decided to spring for a sampler of the product – it cost $12 for the teeniest tiniest samples you’ve ever seen. The product they used is CRAZY expensive – even on Amazon a 1.7 oz bottle of serum costs over $50. So overall I spent $112 for about 120 minutes of pampering.

    Summary:
    The facial was extremely relaxing and enjoyable. But it was also a “problem-finding” experience – the sort that ends up making you think you need to spend more money and buy more things. Although I think it did noticeably improve the quality of my skin, I suspect we’re talking no more than a 2 to 3 week improvement. I also suspect that the only person who notices the improvement in my skin is me. (Maaaaaaybe my mother-in-law, but almost certainly NOT my husband.)

    I asked what people usually got facials. I think facials are most useful when you have a skin problem or big event. For instance, I think it would likely be a pretty good idea to get a facial a week or a week and a half before a wedding. Someone battling acne or an active skin problem would find competent help with an aesthetician.

    Do if:
    – You are having an active skin problem you’d like some help addressing
    – You have a big event coming up in more than a week and you’d like your skin to look better than average
    – You want to know what’s wrong with your skin
    – You would like a relaxing pampering thing to do, but don’t want a mani/pedi or massage
    – You have some decent cash to splash around

    Don’t do if:
    – Your skin is already good
    – Money is being carefully watched
    – You’re susceptible to “Experts” telling you that you need to spend a lot of money to fix things that are wrong with you, and that you never noticed before
    – You don’t like having your face touched
    – You are clausterphobic

    New Years Resolutions

    It’s a the time of the year to think about how we want next year to be different! One of MY resolutions is to write more here and build the community. But I’m curious, for those of you who have been reading this for a while, do you have any fashion related new year’s resolutions? Do you want to look different in the coming year? If so, what would you like to change?

    Share your new years resolutions with me!!

    Masks

    I think I begin to understand how these fashion magazine things work. You read the same advice seven or eight times and you become struck with doubt. For example, the skin care advice always includes a serum, a facial and a mask – on top of the moisturizer and SPF that are universal. Now, I use and have talked about the moisturizer and spf, but the other stuff? No clue.

    So I went to Stop and Shop (grocery store) beauty aisle. Nary a mask to be found. I went online and bought two sets: a green tea mask and a ten pack of weirdo Chinese masks. I went to Sephora while I was in the mall to check out their mask offerings… which START at $50, and walked away with a sample because I’m not about to recommend a $50 face mask to all y’all unless using it suddenly makes me look like Cate Blanchett.

    How I would expect a $50 facial mask to make my skin look

    All of these were supposed to “brighten” my face and provide a “luminosity”. I’m wondering how these things are measured. I bet the cosmetic scientists have control skin baseline lumens (or something), and using these creams provides a .78% increase in lumens over a 2 day period for every $100 spent.

    The Sephora sample was a leave-on-overnight one, which I used while my husband was out of town. It made my face sticky all night long. Ugh. The green tea one had food colorings in it to make it look green: yellow number something and blue number something else. It made my face feel taut when I put it on – a rather satisfying “I’m doing something here!” sensation. I immediately broke out. (I’m not a very good scientist, I was changing too many variables to identify which one was the culprit – or if both were, or maybe the BB cream after all.)

    So far I’ve been too chicken to try the Chinese essences ones.

    A combination of chemicals and creepy sounding substances. Snail? Royal Jelly?

    I carefully examined my skin after the masks. My personal brand of self-photography (aka attempting to take cell phone pictures in the bathroom mirror) is not detailed enough to capture the quite noticeable difference between makeup and no makeup, so had no hope for offering you insight into the variable luminosity of my skin. But I noticed pretty much nothing – other than the aforementioned breaking out bits.

    Summary:
    Not worth it. In beauty, I’m noticing that it’s pretty easy and inexpensive to go from 0 to 1, or 2. But the cost, effort and challenge of going from 2 to 3 is orders of magnitude higher, and you can hardly notice the differences unless you’re obsessed. I couldn’t tell a positive difference in “brightness” (maybe I could if I paid a ton of attention, but eh.) I did break out around that time. I see all downside and no upside.

    Use if:
    – You get really bored
    – You are having a sleepover with your girlfriends and are 17 years old
    – You already have one you like and think makes a difference

    Don’t use if:
    – You already have decent skin
    – You like getting value for your money and effort.

    December 2012 Magazine Report: Marie Claire

    Grade: B+

    I recently took back-to-back redeyes from Boston to San Francisco (and back again!) The redeye back I lurched into a ball of unconsciousness, but on the way out I had a bit of time. As usual, I stood before the Airport Store stand o’ massive magazines and tried to pick one. I’ve reviewed Instyle and Glamour, twice.

    This time I picked Marie Claire. This isn’t one I’ve ever read before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be horribly upscale? Trashy? Fancy?

    Here’s what I learned:

    Of course it’s sold out at a mere $1,875.00

  • Glory hallelujah, they say that I can find/use holographic stuff! That’s totally one of my fashion weaknesses! Score!
  • Sadly, the stuff they show is universally way out of my budget range. They have a “Luxe for Less” page, where I’m expecting, you know, $20 – $50 items. The actual items displayed run from $29 to $595 and average about $300. For whom is a $600 skirt “less”?
  • They have a section for “Big Girl in a Skinny World” that gives some plus sized fashion tips. Better yet, they DON’T include weight loss tips. Even better and better, Nicolette Mason is actually a regular Marie Claire staffer. It’s nice to see a plus size staffer at a fashion magazine.
  • The magazine includes multiple, positive portrayals of working women. I’m not sure why that stands out to me, except it points to a more mature demographic.
  • Rejoice lovers of looking good – old school glamour is in, especially the dark lips, soft curls combination that I secretly wish I could reproduce.
  • Finally in the plus column, they include an article about a non-heterosexual relationship. It’s refreshing to read a fashion magazine that isn’t all “How to please your man in 39 completely obvious ways we include in every issue”. (Why yes, I am thinking of Cosmo….)
  • So Marie Claire includes women of color, plus sized women, working women and non-straight women. Why doesn’t it get my top ranking?

    A few things really pulled it down for me (and that was before I visited their obnoxious website):
    – The incredible cost of practically everything they showed. For anyone who is trying to, you know, not go broke… there’s hardly anything shown than you could BUY.
    – A very, very busy layout with confusingly intermixed ads. It was harder than usual to tell content from ad.
    – A lack of guidance. I felt like they had a lot of themed pages like “Designer Dossier” or “Survivor Mode” that showed themed clothes to buy… but that you had to be pretty sophisticated to be able to use their pieces. Safari themed high heeled pumps could go drastically wrong in (say) my wardrobe. Instead of explaining how something worked with current themes, or how it could be built on they had collections of extremely expensive pieces that would be risky for a neophyte to try.

    So…. good (for a fashion magazines) articles, risky fashion advice.


    This isn’t unique to Marie Claire, but I’d like to shout-out to Amazon.com for a series of ads that show a professionally well-dressed African American women with the tagline “Smart is Beautiful”. There’s nothing not to love in that!

    Amazon being smart

    Beauty Balm – BB Cream

    In my recent reading of InStyle magazine, it seemed like every third ad was dedicated to BB Cream. It took me at least two magazine’s worth of poring over it all to discover this is an acronym for Beauty Balm. After having been brain-washed by sufficient repetition, I began to find the BB concept compelling. I mean, check this out:

    BB Cream in shiny package

    BB Cream in shiny package

    Experience 5 complexion-perfecting benefits in a single step. Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator instantly evens, illuminates, perfects, moisturizes and protects skin.

    Illuminates! They’ve come so far with LEDs!

    I decided it was clearly part of my job to figure out what this BB Cream was, and whether we are interested in it. Standing in the sultry and alluring lighting of my local Stop-N-Shop I reviewed the five or so BB Creams on offer, and picked the one with the shiny label (Youth Code BB Illuminator ~$15).

    I’ve been using it for about two weeks. You put this stuff on a lot like you would a moisturizer/sunscreen. And it does, in fact, claim to do those two things. However, unlike my moisturizer and sunscreen combo, it is tinted. They didn’t have a “practically albino” setting, so I picked up the light version, which still looks unexpectedly dark in my hand.

    I took probably 30 pictures this morning in the bathroom mirror (I even cleaned the mirror first!) so you could see the “before/after”. So even though they look identical due to lousy photography, I feel obliged to include them. Here’s the before:

    BBB - Before BB

    BBB – Before Beauty Balm

    This is my morning face. I’m sorry. I’ve seen it look worse, too. Anyway, here’s how I go greet the world on weekends, work from home days, or any time before I started wearing makeup to work. (I actually don’t usually wear makeup to church. It’s funny – I dress up in order to be respectful and honor God, but I don’t wear makeup in order to be less vain and to be honest with God and myself. I get the feeling these two things somehow are not sympatico, but I can’t figure out which one to drop.)

    Sometimes when I put on the beauty balm, I put on Regenerist eye cream first. I’m not really sure why, other than that it seems like the thing to do. It takes me a touch longer to put on the BB Cream than it would my good ol’ SPF/moisturizer, but not much. I’m not sure if the shine would wear off by the time I am done with my coffee, but I usually end up putting my powder on over that. When I have this cream on and the powder, I feel like my face has been wiped clean and is now a blank slate. This is the feeling that tempts one to wear a lot more makeup. Still, I only add mascara and eyebrows, and sometimes lip gloss. The end state is this:

    After BB and makeup application

    After BB and makeup application

    Summary:
    I like this cream. I think it actually does a lot of what it claims to do. While I feel slightly cakey and make up in the morning, by the time I get to work I feel like my skin looks better. I think the biggest difference is in the evening, when my skin does seem to have a more youthful radiance than it does when left to its own devices. I naturally have pretty decent skin, so this doesn’t make a huge difference to me, but if you have any blemishes/patches/things you don’t like about your skin, this might be really helpful to you. After two weeks of regular use, I have not broken out or noticed my skin seems damaged in any way, so it’s not just plastering over issues.

    Use if:
    – You have skin you aren’t happy with
    – You are already using sunscreen, moisturizer and foundation in different steps
    – You have a big public presentation, and there may be photography/unflattering lighting
    – You are going to be very good about removing your makeup every night
    – You want a solid base for more fun/exciting makeup

    Do not use if:
    – You don’t like feeling or looking “made up”
    – You already have a great skin
    – You are not going to use other makeup

    November Fashion Update

    Seriously, doesn’t this look non-human, photoshopped and unappealing?

    I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus lately. I know there are few things more annoying than bloggers explaining why they haven’t blogged and promising to blog again (which is rarely the case), but… well, I was very busy. I was also really wondering whether what I’m trying to do here has value, or whether me giving fashion advice is the height of hypocracy. Reading the article on the damage that beauty-obsession can cause, I wonder if maybe we shouldn’t stick to our Birkenstocks and socks – where at least we’re happy with ourselves.

    But I remain convinced that there is a happy medium – a place where we pay attention to and enjoy the fun parts of fashion while still holding it lightly and remaining solidly in our skin. Also, someone came up to me at a party and told me that it was useful to her, and she was getting advice she valued. (She also called herself a fangirl. I am nothing if not susceptible to flattery.) So… thanks Jenny. And my schedule doesn’t get this crazy again until next October.

    The next fashion magazine on my list to review is InStyle. I’ve read two or three of them, and I suspect that this is one of the better resources for my little target demographic. It, like all fashion magazines, cares about celebrities. But it is about 90% less catty than Glamour was. It’s also relatively factual in its delivery of the relevant material, without weighing it down with value judgments. Even better, I learned a few things I found interesting and useful. They also do a WAY better job of translating the fashion to people of different sizes. They interpreted one look up to a 5X. Most fashion magazines refuse to believe that there is a size larger than 8, so I was happy to see them not only admitting, but un-shaming the larger crowd.

    Here are the relevant items:

    1) Color blocking
    I’m all set to hate this trend, but it’s definitely hot right now. You remember in the ’80s those sweaters that had big blocks of different colors? That’s all the rage. Kohl’s has quite possibly one of the ugliest front pages of their flier I’ve ever seen this last time – so ugly I noticed it (see top!). And the same seemingly-photoshopped picture is in the InStyle magazine. Seriously, it looks like an awful maniupulation job of a non-biologically correct mannequin, covered by a horribly unflattering dress. So…. you can adopt this color blocking trend. But I’m guessing that because even the models don’t look good in this style, it won’t have much power or endurance

    2) Leather shorts/skirts
    I ignored this in my last fashion report because I had trouble crediting it was true. Seriously, people are buying and wearing leather shorts? Apparently this is the case (although not in the financial district – I assure you. In fact, this is a trend I don’t think I’ve actually seen in public.) I consider a leather skirt/shorts a way advanced fashion skill. They’re really expensive and you’re supposed to be buying them as an “investment piece”. But an investment piece you can’t wash? Really? And what about the fit? How many of us have figures to pull off leather skirts anyway? And how many of us have bodies so unchanging we can purchase form-fitting clothing as an “investment”? And, um, don’t people get sweaty in them? Plus, this trend is so expensive it’s really hard to dabble in it and see how it will work. So it’s a trend, but unless you’re way more advanced fashion-wise than I am (or it’s a life long dream), I recommend against pursuing it.

    3) Some great tips
    – Use vinegar spray on armpits to remove staining
    – “De-Scuff Skins: Rub plain leather with a crepe eraser ($2, dickblick.com) which will lift even deep stains. For suede, all it takes is a firm toothbrush and some elbow grease”
    – Store gems and jewelry in plastic bags
    – If you have jeans you can’t or shouldn’t wash, you can freeze them to kill bacteria and reduce smell (which really? Why buy jeans you can’t wash?)

    4) BB – Beauty Balm
    Finally, there were like 93 ads in the magazine for beauty balm. As far as I can tell, BB is a generic name (as in there are multiple brands) for something that moisturizes, tints (like foundation) and provides SPF coverage. I decided that this might be worth trying out, so I’ve bought some (at the grocery store!) and I’ll give you a report.

    So what’s up with you? Have you been paying more attention to your style? Have you learned any fashion skills or tips in October and November? Do you have something you wish I’d cover from the pragmatic perspective? Let me know!

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