Givenchy Pandora Pure, Stuart Weitzman sandals

I’ve been meaning to do a bit of cleanup of the blog format for some time, but decided to go for a full makeover. I chose this format as I believe it’s easier to read, hope you agree. I purchased a theme from pipdig based on the features and rave reviews and have to say that I’m loving it so far. It was easy to install and customize. I’m still working on some image sizing on older posts, and adding some elements here and there. Just a couple of navigation notes:

  • on the main page, links for comments can now be found at the bottom of each post.
  • I’ve moved the Outfits and Travel Wardrobe sections to the navigation bar at the top of the page
  • There’s now a handy “return to top of page” arrow that will display in the lower right-hand corner once you’ve scrolled down. (LOVE this feature!)

The photo above was taken behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles over the weekend. We had some fun exploring after stopping in at the Advanced Style book signing at MOCA. (More on that tomorrow!) It was a slightly chilly day with a brisk breeze and that bit of sunshine felt good! Am wearing:

earrings | scarf (similar)| top (similar) | jacket | jeans | bag | sandals

Even though the jeans were a petite size, I had them shortened a little to hit right above the ankle, which I’m finding is my preferred length for slimmer pants.

Hope you like the new look, and that your week is off to a good start!



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There’s little doubt that we’re in the full throes of a major Silhouette Shift. It began bubbling a few seasons ago, and now seems to have hit full boil. For the last decade or so, narrow bottoms (slim pants, pencil skirts) and longer/fuller tops were the dominant silhouette. Now, we seem to have hit a tipping point where fuller leg styles offered outnumber the slims. Rather than panic 😉 I’ve decided to keep an open mind. Remember that it took some time for our eyes to adjust to skinny jeans too (and yes, I hear some of you saying you never adjusted to or liked them) and what we find “flattering” may also shift as we get accustomed to a certain style or silhouette.

I’ve long maintained that “trends” are merely opportunities to find a greater selection in the styles you’d wear anyway, and this one is no different. If wide leg pants (and fuller skirts) are your thing, the pendulum has fully swung your way. Enjoy! And if not, there are still plenty of slimmer silhouettes on offer. Shifts in fashion are no longer as absolute and universal as they once were. Retailers and the fashion industry seem to be getting the hint that we no longer want to be dictated to, but rather enjoy having some options from season to season to freshen our wardrobes.

I’ve written on occasion about the idea of a signature style, of knowing what works and sticking to it. While still applicable, I find that my concept of a signature style can also shift over time: there’s always a bit of balancing between the “knowing what works” aspect, and keeping my style modern and current (not trendy), as well as allowing for expressing different moods and facets of myself.

If you’ve built your look and wardrobe around a long-over-lean silhouette, it can be hard to fathom how a cropped, wider leg style can be incorporated, should you want to. For those of us who are not tall and slender, look for styles that are slightly less full and/or made in a more fluid, drapey fabric. I actually find slightly cropped styles easier to style and wear. That bit of ankle showing creates some structure and I don’t feel as “swallowed” by fabric. I’ve also found that a longer third piece on top, like a vest or duster (see middle image above), creates a vertical line and breaks up some of the fullness on the upper leg. Shoes with a bit more visual volume, like a wedge or block heel will also help balance the wider leg styles.

How do you feel about wider leg pants? Will you be wearing them?

(A bit of housekeeping: I’m planning to do some updating of the blog format over the weekend, so thank you in advance for your patience while I adjust.)

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makeup artist shares tips to help lips look fuller

After the first “ask the makeup artist post” (tips for hooded eyes) I received several requests for a makeup tutorial for mature lips. Brian of Makeover Workshop has put together this very comprehensive step-by-step guide to creating smoother, fuller looking lips.

Susan asked me to create a how-to for mature lips, to help them look fuller and smoother. I found many women share challenges similar to the ones I hear at my Makeover Workshop Makeup Party events. They feel their lips have changed over the years: they’re smaller, less plump and rougher in texture. Women also express frustration with lipsticks and glosses staying on, and with color seeping into fine lines around the mouth. Plus, some women say they no longer are sure what lipstick colors to choose.

Hopefully, I can provide solutions to these issues. Before I get into my how-to for lips I thought it could be helpful to look at why lips don’t look and feel the way they used to.

      • As your lips age, your skin’s thin protective barrier becomes even thinner. Unfortunately, this affects your lips ability to retain needed moisture.
      • The facial skin, particularly on your lips, is super delicate.  Because it shows aging quickly, special attention is needed to combat the loss of moisture, collagen and circulation.
      • Lip volume reduces as estrogen declines during menopause, typically around age 50-55.

What can you do to prevent this or slow it down?

If you’re so inclined, you can add a moderate amount of an injectable to help return shape to your lips, plus use a lip treatment therapy along side it. I also find shaping and contouring the lips with lip liner and lipstick and/or gloss will also make a huge difference. I’ll show you how to do this.

One amazing product I’ve created is a lip therapy that improves the plumpness, firmness and smoothness of your lips. I love this treatment. It also supports collagen production and adds moisture. It’s called Re-Creation Lip Treatment. I find this treatment works amazing used alone or in combination with other therapies.

(Susan’s note: I’ve been using this for a couple of months and love it! My lips seem smoother and don’t get chapped and flaky the way they used to.)

Lips by Brian – Step by step

Skin Treatment Step – Apply Lip Treatment apply lip treatment

Before (or after) you line, apply Re-Creation Lip Treatment using a brush or a clean finger. Using my Face | Eye Conceal Brush, I apply a small amount of Re-Creation Lip Treatment to the lip surface and around the outside of the lip line (avoiding liner if you’ve lined already).

STEP 1 – Line lips 

how to line and contour lips

If you use a serum or treatment on your lips prior to lining, apply it at the very beginning of your makeup application, so it has time to be absorbed into the skin. If there’s left over serum/treatment around the lips; blot the area with a thin veil of powder to absorb excess product. Now, line your entire lip on the natural lip line. Keep your mouth in a neutral position–neither smiling nor open. After lining the entire mouth, I often apply liner in an upwards squiggly line at the very center bottom of the lower lip. Draw horizontally left to right, and thin the line out as you continue to draw upwards, towards the teeth. This technique makes the lower lip look fuller. A long-wearing, or waterproof liner is great if you have challenges with feathering (when color bleeds into fine lines around the mouth). If you apply waterproof lip liner on the entire lip after lining, your lip color will last all day. Most often I use a lip liner that’s similar to your natural lip or matches the lipstick or gloss.

STEP 2 – Apply lipstick

I use a lip brush but it’s fine to apply straight from the tube. Follow the cupids bow on the top of your mouth, and coat the top and bottom lip with color. When I use a brush, I have greater control to create lip definition and shape. Using a lip brush can also help work the lipstick and liner together; marrying the two products can provide a longer lasting result.

STEP 3 – Gloss 

Use a gloss that is translucent or semi-opaque. Apply a thin layer of gloss over your lipstick using the wand, a brush or your finger. Using gloss adds moisture and gives a look of fullness.  But remember, you don’t have to use liner, lipstick and gloss every day. Some days you’ll use lipstick alone or liner plus a gloss. The most important thing to remember? There isn’t one way to do lips. Liner plus lipstick is a long-wearing combo for days you need your lip color to really stay put. If it’s a casual day, I always suggest my favorite Hyper Gloss shades for stand alone glossy color: Petunia Soft, Noontime, Saddle Glow or Crazy Love.

STEP 4  – Conceal

using concealer to define lips

My final secret step is to apply a very thin layer of concealer around the mouth, just outside the lip line. This technique brightens the entire lip area and gives an appearance of fuller, defined lips. Finger application will be too messy. Be sure to use a concealer brush, it will define the edge of your lips and control the amount of concealer you apply. Less is more! Use a small amount of concealer on a firm brush to clean up the outer edge of the lips. This make your lips pop!

Here are some of my favorite lip colors from my Makeover Workshop line of lipstick, glosses and liners!

All-time favorite go-to neutral lip colors


01 Bliss Perfect soft pink for everyday

02 Peony Close to almost everyone’s natural lip color

03 Ladylike Sheer glossy neutral fawn red, perfect for brunettes, adds richness to blondes lips

18 Bolden Soft beige pink, with a slight shimmer. Glow Baby and Sensual Glow gloss enhances perfectly. Reminds me of MAC Viva Glam 5.

35 rue Rivoli New favorite. I find it can go either berry or neutral red depending on the lip liner I use. S’more and Heather lip liner makes it more of a muted coral/berry tone. Raspberry Lip Liner makes is a bright berry. It’s fun to play around with different lip liners to change the color.


Petunia Soft Hyper Gloss

Glow Baby Hyper Gloss

Sensual Glow Hyper Gloss

Great lipsticks for small thinning lips:

01 Bliss

02 Peony

07 Blur Shimmery light beige silvery soft color

09 Treat Vibrant super creamy soft pinky coral. Great for spring and summer

18 Bolden

35 Rue Rivoli (Susan’s note: what I’m wearing in my headshot photo)

36 Spring Fling One of my new sheer soft neutral pink glossy spring and summer color (Susan’s note: this one is really pretty!!)

Favorite lipstick and glosses with color:


09 Treat

12 Posey

14 Ballroom Hot super creamy violet that works on everyone’s skin. I’m amazed each time I use this lipstick how it brings the face to life and pulls everything together

35 rue Rivoli

38 Cinematheque


Petunia Soft


Crazy Love

Juicy Great for red heads and bold peachy lips

Saddle Glow

Cinnamon Berry

Great nude or very light lip colors:

05 Telling A true nude.

07 Blur

17 Brazen Bronze nude. It has a soft shimmer beautiful on golden skin tones. When a woman is wary of wearing a nude shades I always recommend Brazen. Works on  pretty much everyone.

20 Pretty Belle Nude soft pink for very fair-skinned women. I use this anytime I want to keep the lips light and pretty. Sensual Glow Hyper Gloss is fantastic with this color

39 Marrekesh New favorite nude. Light golden peachy nude. It’s glossy and a perfect summer to fall nude tone.

Favorite Lip liners:




Cinnamon Sugar







Thanks so much, Brian! I’ve also been using the Invisible Long Wear Gel Liner on days when I’m going for a very natural look. It really does help keep the lip color in place!

And here are a couple of gorgeous models, Ruth and Mindy, showing their before and after shots:

make lips look fuller with makeup

creating fuller lips with makeup

Just look at those fabulous smiles!!

If you have any questions for Brian, please ask away. And do check out his schedule of Makeover Workshops, or contact him if you’d be interested in hosting one of your own.

Stella Carakasi asymmetrical sweaterIt’s true…I’ve rarely met an asymmetrical hem I didn’t love. This is the Works Every Time sweater from Stella Carakasi, and the style is right in my wheelhouse. I love the soft color and interesting texture, as well as the dramatic shape.

Stella Carakasi sweater, French Kande jewelry

This is definitely a Statement Sweater that works best as the focal point of an outfit. I kept everything else simple, echoing the blue denim in the jewelry from French Kande. Though there’s a bit of volume to this sweater, the knit is light and semi-sheer so it doesn’t overwhelm. I’m wearing the XS in color “Stone.”

earrings | sweater (c/o Stella Carakasi) | necklace | bracelet (similar) | bag | jeans | sandals

French Kande jewelry, Givenchy Pandora bag

What design elements get you every time?

What to wear with your Statement Sweater…

This post contains affiliate links which may generate commissions for See complete disclosure policy here. Sweater provided by Stella Carakasi for review.

making coffee with french press
I’m working with Brian on another makeup tutorial post that should be up on Wednesday, and an outfit post that may be posted as soon as tomorrow if I can finish. In the meantime…

Blue Bottle Coffee has opened a store not too far from us, and I sampled the Bella Donovan, their version of a Moka-Java blend. It’s quite complex, and brews up wonderfully in a French press. Their coffees can be ordered online too.

natural vetiver scented soap

While out and about this weekend, le Monsieur and I had a chance to sample some products from the Aesop skincare line, and were very impressed. (We vaguely remember having tried some of these while traveling, but can’t remember where.) This exfoliating hand soap would be a nice gift for gardeners, or good for anyone whose skin tends to get rough from exposure to the elements. Pumice is the only exfoliating agent; there are no microbeads.

So did you watch Game of Thrones? We’re all on equal footing now…both those who have read the books and those who haven’t. 🙂  We book readers can no longer sit smugly back knowing when the s*%t is going to hit the fan.

We’ve had good reports so far regarding jeune homme getting settled into the group home. We worry, of course, as it’s so hard to know how much he understands.

After a few weeks of crazy schedules and stressing out, I’m working on getting my eating habits back on track. At least Passover week means no bread, though le Monsieur and I are pretty liberal and do eat rice and legumes. Have to say though, a whole wheat matzoh with avocado is pretty tasty…

What’s your favorite type of coffee and preferred brewing method?

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