Finishing School Friday

Beauty tips. Fashion tips. Etiquette. Open forum.

*Audience Note* I’m mostly going to sit back and listen. Please feel free to talk among yourselves.

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33 Responses to “Finishing School Friday”

  1. HR Professional says:

    I went through entries (quickly) to get the name of the poster who said to shave using conditioner rather than shave gel. It works great, I did it this morning. No more wasting money on the sudsy stuff for me.

    Thank you to Miss Glamtastic (Tia), Robynne and Tertiaryanna for posting answers to my questions last Friday.

    • KimP says:

      Lol, the shaving with conditioner idea was my tip; glad to know it helped. It seems like the hair grows back slower and comes in softer, too. Trust me, you’ll never go back to shaving gel or cream!

      I don’t remember if I shared this tip, but here goes anyway. I love tinted lotion with a hint of shimmer to give my skin a nice sheen. However, the particular lotion I loved is no longer in stores, so I make my own now!

      Purchase a thick, conditioning lotion that is fragrance free, and purchase some bronzer or makeup pigment close to your skin tone that reflects bronze and gold.

      Dump the lotion into a mixing bowl and add the bronzer or pigments to the lotion one-half a teaspoon to a teaspoon at a time. Blend the ingredients and test the mixture on your skin. If you need more tint or shimmer, continue to add bronzer/pigment and test until you find the desired blend.

      I also like to use a pinch of white glitter from Mac Makeup that reflects gold, reflecting gold is key. Their glitter is very fine, similar to a bronzer or pigment, so it adds an extra pop and gives you that Victoria Secret’s model glow.

      I don’t wear this everyday, but it works well for date night! It really draws attention to the décolletage and shoulders and looks beautiful on the legs when wearing a shorter dress.

      Of course you want great skin as a foundation, but a tinted shimmer lotion just takes my skin to the next level. People will notice as many have complimented me on my glow.

    • You’re welcome! I hope that the info was helpful.

    • Robynne says:

      No prob!

  2. Valerie M says:

    Last week, I remember someone bringing up fashion color tips. I didn’t respond in time, but what better time than now.

    Here is an *excellent* resource I found last year that really helped me to pick and combine clothes better, especially for my cool skin tone.

    This site has a chockful of tips once you find out your skin tone. The organization can be a little aggravating at times but it is all there, you just have to dig around.

    It separates skin tones between spring, fall, winter, and summer… and then breaks each section down further (cool summer, clear summer, deep summer). It then offers color suggestions for each break down. It also has seasonal color analysis for women of color.

    I have also seen suggestions on how to mix and match colors. For example if you really like a color that doesn’t look good on you, you can still wear it if you play it down with other more flattering colors.

    E.g. you can wear that near the bottom half of your body farthest from your face OR wear that color as an accessory OR wear a different tone/temperature of that same color. This is the page that goes into details about mixing and matching:

    The site also goes beyond color and goes into body shapes, different clothing types, etc.

    By using this site I have found ways to reuse abandoned clothing in my closet and make them look like new again. I haven’t gone clothes shopping since late October and I now regularly receive compliments on my clothing/color choices… something I received less often before with the same exact clothes. D’oh! I’ve learned that the problem isn’t not having ENOUGH clothes. The problem is having TOO much clothes — especially pieces that don’t go with anything else — and not knowing what to do with them if it hit you on the head! I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’ve made significant progress.

    Another resource that has helped me (I won’t put anymore links else I’ll get put in the spam folder):
    “The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece” – from Amazon. Bought this a year ago and it helped me understand how poorly fitted clothing made my body look out of proportion. Excellent book, it is my bible. Again, you don’t have to buy an entirely new wardrobe.

    Another resource – not fashion related.
    Check out Anna Barone’s books. Google her name, her site is called chic & slim. This is a woman who struggled with weight and adopted a French diet, eventually losing weight. I don’t need to lose weight. But I’ve always been fascinated with French diet and it meshed really well with my food philosophy anyway. She also includes other tidbits about clothing and how the French dress.

  3. Joyousnerd says:

    Thank you Valerie M for these tips! I could really use some tips on how to put outfits together. It was only this year that I realized I’m a cool. For the longest time, everything I looked at said that all black women are warm toned. Of course that isn’t so, any more than all white women are X or Y! Now that I know I’m a cool, I can immediately disregard anything that won’t work for me. This helps narrow the field tremendously.

    • Valerie M says:

      I’ve come across that misconception repeatedly too – always thought I was warm toned by default. But yep… that definitely isn’t the case. At first I wasn’t too happy because many famous women are warm toned (or a brushed up to look like one). But with the right colors, you can definitely make your skin pop no matter who you are.

  4. Consider getting your eyelashes curled with an eyelash perm – also consider getting them tinted – You won’t have to add mascara and manually curl your lashes every day which can save time while allowing you to leave the house with eyes that pop

    • mobile68 says:

      I was nervous about putting glue on my lids for falsies, but after watching the youtube videos on this procedure I may give it a try.

      I was hoping for something that wouldn’t require me using chemicals, but this is something that I can see myself doing on a special occasion.

      Thanks 4 the tip, even though it was not up when I posted my request.

  5. mobile68 says:

    Can anybody recommend either a method to curl eyelashes, a good eyelash curler or/and mascara?

    I tried methods I’d seen on you tube, bought 4 eyelash curlers (heated & regular) but unlike my hair, my eyelashes will not stay curled.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    • Melissa Q says:

      I actually did a response about this. A good company to buy mascara is MAC, or if you’re a little short on cash Avon. Avon sells quality cosmetics for pretty cheap prices, especially on a college budget.

      You might want to curl your eyelashes first. Then use eyelash primer. Lastly, mascara. The primer might help them stay. Just make sure that you use mascara after the primer, because it makes your eyelashes a little white-ish.

      And remember, wash all of that off. Don’t sleep with that stuff on.

  6. YMB says:

    I ordered the Clarisonic skin cleansing system based on the advice of several commenters here (thanks, ladies!) and it is no joke! I have only had it for about a week so I haven’t experienced any miraculous skin transformation yet. However, it does get all of my makeup off with one wash.

    I found out about this after it was already too late, but Olay just came out with their own version for $30.

  7. I love the color black…Always have always will…BUT, BUT, BUT…Walking around like an undertaker will send out the wrong message to man…I’ve gotten into the habit of paying attention to cut and accent colors…For those who are a bit “colorshy” like I am, commit to injecting a punch into shoes, purses, hair accessories, etc…Mix it up! …These make colors like black, grey, brown & navy much less severe…

  8. Melissa Q. says:

    Eyelashes are an important part of making your eyes ‘pop’. Using an eyelash curler, using primer, then using mascara. A good mascara is MAC Cosmetics Zoom lash. If you want an extra extra boost to help grow out your eyelashes, use L’Oreal Lash Boosting Serum. For a daily look, beautiful eyelashes and a little makeup with smooth skin can go a long way.

    Using Charm
    As a woman, it is important to know how to use charm and make small talk when talking with new people, and make a good first impression. You need to avoid ‘mule-behavior’ as much as possible. As noted by Evia, saying concrete things does not leave space to ‘wiggle’ out of difficult situation. It is necessary to be well rounded and versed in different areas and subjects to give you a wide girth in conversations.

    These two sites are good places to start: How to Charm & How to make Small Talk

    • mobile68 says:

      I’m a sucka for MAC products. So whenever I can get my lashes to curl (I’m really tempted to try blackwomenwhitemen recommendation of the permed lashes) I will be at their counter to purchase that mascara.

      Thanks for the additonal tips Melissa Q!

  9. lunanoire says:

    In my 20s I had good results regarding facial skin tone and clarity when steaming my face with rosemary in the hot water and using a clay mask.

  10. SweetIslandGirl says:

    I’ve been reading through the past few etiquette fridays and I am very impressed with all the knowledge and info being shared. I recently went through a devastating breakup (1 month ago) where my rainbeau man up and left and I am still going through all the ups and downs that come with this process. I made a decision early on (he blamed his unhappiness with himself on me-we were together for 3 years) to try to inject more colour in my wardrobe from the blacks, navy blues, purples and greys that had become the norm to something more lively so I can feel better. I find buying little pieces like pretty shoes, or brighter coloured tops and going to the gym (I’m slim but I want to tone up and be happy with how I look)is helping to elevate my mood. Do any of you ladies have any suggestions on things for me to do or maybe sites to read that I can use to better myself and improve (and in the process heal)? I want to be more charasmatic, not wear my hurt on my sleeve, put myself out there, deal with this…so I am a stronger and better person for this experience?

    This is my first post and for the past month I have been coming here everyday and soaking up as much as I can and seeing how I can incorporate it into my life.

    Please if you have any information I would appreciate it?

    Thank you

    • Sorry to hear about your breakup, hon. Good riddance to bad rubbish! Blaming you for his unhappiness shows a lack of maturity-and you deserve someone who is on the same page as you.

      He’s made room for someone better to come into your life-this is an exciting time for you! It still sounds like you’re a bundle of emotions, though 🙂 Make sure to take care of you, first, before you try to find someone new.

      You’re already at a pretty good website as far as self-improvement goes. You can check out my blog if you like, but I’m not sure if it will give you what you’re looking for right now. Try Little Golden Lamb , too. She seems really introspective and reflective-she may have the kind of blog you’re seeking. Feel free to leave me a comment with your contact info on my blog (I will leave it unpublished) if you wanted someone to talk to.

    • YMB says:

      Sorry to hear about your breakup. I’m sure it was for the better, even though it must really hurt right now. Use this as a time of discovery. Fill your time with things that interest you and make you happy, like a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. Sometimes you might just want to sit around and feel bad for yourself all day. That’s ok. In limited doses and as long as you don’t allow yourself to slip into a slump.

      In time you will have enough distance to do a postmortem on your relationship and to use your new-found knowledge in visualizing what you want and need in the next one. I truly think you’ll come out of this realizing how much better off you are without your ex, who sounds like he is selfish and lacking in self-awareness. Be well.

    • Valerie M says:

      Sorry about the break up. I second YMB. I’ve done the same and I find it helps me redirect myself and then everything else in my life (my demeanor, the way I carry myself, what I wear) starts syncing with the new-founded purpose. I personally wouldn’t spend a lot of post-break up time wallowing in self-improvement and relationship reading. I mean it does help to always improve yourself, but sometimes we women can get carried away with it and it just prolongs the entire moving on process. I know all too well, I used to spend months agonizing and analyzing ways to improve myself so the next person would accept me better when I should have moved on after the first month. I should have just accepted myself after a short pity party and then jumped right back into my social life. You just have to move outside of yourself sometimes.

      I have always heard the saying that “the fastest way to get over a man is to get under another one.” Can’t say I entirely agree because another man comes with a whole new set of problems especially if you’ve just ended a relationship. But if you replace “another man” with an interest of sorts or even new friends it kind of produces the same result.

      I also think your method is a good one. Prettying up in the morning is a great mood booster and it stays with you the rest of the day. Whenever I feel like I’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed, I just put on a little eye shadow (not flashy) and put a flower in my hair and it helps tremendously.

  11. Coffy says:

    Make your own lotion by whipping natural oils and aloe vera gel. I’ve started doing this and simply cannot go back to using commercial moisturizers. It keeps my skin so smooth and healthy, plus I’m not slathering my body in chemicals. Go to Youtube and search shealoe, there a lot of recipes out there–experiment until you find the right combination for our skin.

  12. miss cosmic says:

    Thank you ladies for the tips.
    I’ll definitely try shaving with conditioner. I’ve found that exfoliating underarms daily really helps with ingrown hairs – I had unsightly bumps under my arms and now they are much better. I use a sugar scrub all over.

    Clothing-wise, I’ve realised that I’m dressing too young for my age (I’m 30 this year) because I mostly wear jeans and tees, and since trying to improve myself I think my tees are too young and form-fitting for the image I want to project. Does anyone know of any sites I can look at for ideas on how to dress my age without looking mutton trying to be lamb and without aging myself? Or tips on what to avoid?

    Does anybody have any tips for excessive underarm sweating? I’ve tried milk of magnesium, normal and heavy duty aluminium-based roll-on and sprays, even the crystal roll-ons didn’t do much for me. Its so bad that in summer my clothing choices have to be limited to colours that won’t show up dampness.
    Odour isn’t a problem (I sure hope not) since I’ve been using coconut oil, but that hasn’t helped with the moisture. Any tips anyone? Please.

    • **digging into the Style Files for you** 🙂

      I don’t know what kind of profession you are in, but one of the best blogs for grown-up-but-still-fresh-and-cute fashion is AcademiChic. Lots of cute, professional ensembles that would be very appropriate for anyone over the age of 25.

      Another site you could try is Boutiques. The website uses your preferences to select pieces for you. You set the rules, the website sticks to your preferences and only selects items that fall into your specifications. Set up a profile then browse through the clothing. Polyvoreis another good one, but I like that Boutiques will filter out a lot of the stuff that you don’t want.

      Take your design ideas and try to find similar pieces at retailers like JCPenney, Sears, Walmart, KMart and Target, where you can get many look-alike items at a fraction of the price.

      I don’t have any suggestions for the underarms issue, sorry 🙁

  13. mobile68 says:

    Before I put on a concealer &/or a powdered foundation, I lightly spread on some Noxema on my face and neck because I have oily skin.

    I’ve noticed that the compliments goes up a couple of more notches.

    Also I love Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque & Scrub. Definitely dries up the pimples & reduces my large pores. They used to make a Mint Julep astringent that I love but I guess they discontinued it so I just use witch hazel.

  14. MsMellody says:

    One of my favorite places to find unusual and stand out pieces to make my basics really pop is…;

    Love their styles and sweaters and beautiful stand out rain toppers!! Enjoy.

  15. FoxyCleopatra says:

    @ KimP,

    In regard to your tip about mixing tint/pigment with moisturiser, doesn’t the colour rub off on your clothes? If yes, how do you get round this?


    Hair tips:

    -Coconut milk/coconut cream deep conditioner.

    This is a very good deep condish. I’ve been using it for the past 2-3 months. I’ve seen loads of reviews online and not a single one is negative.

    How to:
    Mix coconut milk with natural oils of your choice. Put it in your hair. Cover with a plastic cap/cling film and leave on for at least 1 hour then shampoo. The coconut milk tends to be drippy so I swap mine for coconut cream instead. You can find these in indian shops. Buy it in a can. Also, you could open it and pour into a cup/bowl and place in the fridge 2 or so days before you intend to use it. Leave the bowl open so that some water will evaporate thereby reducing the ‘drippyness’.

    I generally add:

    -Olive oil
    -coconut oil
    -castor oil
    -almond oil

    If I can be bothered and want to go the extra mile, I might add or swap with 1 or more of:

    -avocado oil
    -jojoba oil
    -rosemary oil
    -tea tree oil

  16. Personal Stationary.

    I have had more than one interviewer become enamored with “that particular applicant” that bothered to send a hand written note.

    Use personal (elegant) stationary to truly make your mark.

    Make time to write notes to people in your life often, as well.

    One to two lines is enough. Keep it short, SPECIFIC, and heartfelt.

    You’ll be surprised what a little good ‘ol fashioned ink can do for your relationships –personal and business-related alike!