Women Over 40 Fashion Blog

Check out our tips on how to find your unique style, have more confidence, and feel good about YOU!

5 Big Reasons your First Impressions aren’t working …even if you think they are!

 

I’m sure you are already aware of how important first impressions are. But you may not be aware that the “first impression” is actually only a seven second window of the initial meeting.

This means that when it comes to an interviewing situation, you need to act quickly in order to make a memorable first impression. To get hired and remembered, here are five big reasons why your first impressions may not be working even if you thought you did a great job.

Does your appearance match expectations?

Of course you may not know what the visual expectations are when you first meet someone. If you are interviewing for a position, you should have a visual in your mind of what type of clothes the person wears in the job that you are applying for. For example; an account manager position, you will meet clients in person. Make sure to dress professional which could include a matching two piece outfit or a dress and blazer. Just make sure to look professional since you will be the front face and represent the company.

“When you look good, you feel good.” This has always been my motto and it’s true. You will automatically walk taller, look confident, comfortable and happy.

Appearances really matter in first impressions. This is the first information someone has about you – and plays a bigger role in the first meeting than they do in later meetings.

Dress the part and project professional presence. Employers are seeking staff that have a sense of poise, confidence and are competent. Make sure you wear a touch of color, for example, a black matching outfit with a red blouse. Red symbolizes a subtle influence of power.

What is your style? This matters too. A person can usually figure out by the clothes your wear if you have a serious, fun, traditional or progressive look. Your style tells an “instant story” about you. So it’s important to make sure you project your story the way you want it to be told. You are your own walking billboard.

It’s important to point out that you don’t have to be good-looking to look good. Beauty is nice, but confidence is what matters. I was once hired based on the confidence that I projected in the interview. My boss said that she wished she had my confidence and was impressed by it and knew that I could do the job.

When you look good, you will feel good and project a positive image that shows your style, poise and comfort in your own skin.

Are you present?

Walk tall, maintain eye contact, smile and present a firm handshake.

Relax and get in the flow of what’s going on in the room. Don’t think about the next question you are going to ask. The interviewer will be able to tell if you’re thinking about it and it shows on your face.

Stay in the moment and listen intently with eye contact. This gives the interviewer the indication that you are in the moment of the conversation and interested. Focus on what’s being said and at times you can use the same information in your answers. The person is giving you information about the position, including who is the ideal candidate for the job. So really listen. During my years of interviewing for jobs, I found I was able to use the same information that the interviewer gave me. By making eye contact and nodding toward them, it makes them feel at ease and more comfortable with you.

Don’t forget to smile. A smile represents that you are happy, positive and approachable. This is an invitation to the interviewer to make contact.

The handshake impacts your initial impression and should be firm and complete the grip, but not too heavy that the person’s hand is hurting. The firm handshake is seen as more confident and assertive.

Do you project the right energy?

What type of energy are you presenting when you meet people in person?

Even if you are a calm person, you must show that you still have it – your energy that is. Your energy includes how much you talk, how fast and how loud. You can still have a calming nature, but be involved in conversations for new ideas and thinking. Competition is fierce and employers are trying to keep up and think of faster and new ways of working.

When talking to people, “lean in” or forward. This shows your interest and energy as well.

Show how you are not stuck in your ways and able to adapt to changing ways by giving examples of working in an environment where you had to adapt quickly to a change. Show how flexible you are. If you’ve worked in more than one company, that’s a good thing these days and shows your resilience.

Did you connect with the interviewer?

People are comfortable working with someone who has similar interests, lifestyle or know some of the same people. I knew a past employee of the company that I interviewed with and the interviewer was very fond of her. I also commented on my potential boss’ picture of her grand-daughter hanging on the wall and she was so excited that I noticed. She proceeded to talk another 5 minutes about her. Of course, she couldn’t ask me any questions about my family since that is illegal, but openly giving her some personal information about me having a daughter helped us connect. She immediately felt we had similar interests due to having children.

You can also look around the room and find any pictures that you can comment about to generate a conversation and connection. Show interest in the interviewer as a person, since people like to talk about themselves and want to work with someone who they feel they connect with.

Did you prove your worth without mentioning money?

Always have prepared questions to ask the interviewer, team and hiring manager, but one the most important things to do is to bring any documents to the interview that supports your accomplishments.

For example, if the position requires you to create a new process, then bring the document that highlights where you did that at another company. Be prepared to leave it with the company and remove any confidential information.

Prove why you are the most qualified and Get Hired!

So I ask, are your First Impressions working for you?

 

Find out how to get noticed and identify your First Impressions personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com

What is the best haircut for your face shape?

Remember the time you took a picture of your favorite celebrity’s new haircut to your hairdresser and asked for the exact same look only to be completely disappointed at how it turned out on you? It’s because haircuts are not one-size-fits all. What suits your favorite celebrity might not work on you because you may have completely different face shapes.

This does not mean you have to stick to your usual styles or not experiment with your hair. It just means you need to do a little homework before you go to the salon to ensure you walk out of their satisfied with the results. As we get older, rocking a haircut that enhances our features makes all the difference.

It’s easy to stay in our comfort zones with familiar hairstyling habits, but keeping the same style for years may be causing you to look older than you really are. The secret to a good haircut is in finding the right style that suits your face.

In my previous blog post about easy ways to refresh your look in 2018, I suggested getting a new haircut that matches your face shape. Since a lot of people are not familiar with the concept, I decided to expand on this subject a little further.

 

How to Measure your Face Shape

To determine the shape of your face, you’ll need a tape measure or a ruler.

Make note of the numbers as you go through the steps below.

  1. Forehead:

    Start with your forehead and measure across on its widest part, from one end of your hairline to the other. This is usually halfway between your hairline and eyebrows, but might differ for a few people.

  2. Cheekbones:

    To measure your cheekbones, carefully start measuring from the outer corner of your eye, across the bridge of your nose to the outer corner of the other eye. Ensure the placement of the tape is above the cheekbones and in a straight line.

  3. Jawline:

    Begin at the base of your jaw (bottom of your ear) and measure along the edge of your jaw until you reach the middle. Multiple that number by 2.

  4. Length of Face:

    For your face length, begin at the middle of your hairline at the top and end at the tip of your chin, while staying directly on top of your nose.

Your face ratio will either be 1 (your width) to 1 1/2 (your length) or 1 to 1 or 1 to 2.

 

Image: Clip Art City

Determine your Face Shape and Style

 

Keep your measurements in mind while you go through the types below and figure out which category your face falls in.

 

Oval

If the length of your face is 1 ½ times the width, you have an oval shape.  The proportional measurements make this shape extremely versatile and can suit nearly every haircut.

You can pull of any length and style with layers to accentuate your prominent features. If you want to show off your eyes, get some bangs which also help to create a more youthful appearance or a cute bob to show off your well-defined bone structure. Try to avoid short layers since it’s a dated look and might make your face longer than you’d like. If your hair is curly in texture, try to keep it shoulder length or longer to balance out the curls.

Celebrities with oval shape face include Julianne Moore, Tina Fey and Salma Hayek.

 

Round

You have a round face if the width of your forehead, cheekbones and jaw are more equal. Your jaw is less angular and more rounded, characterized by fullness below your cheekbones.

The best hairstyles for you are the ones that elongates and makes your face appear leaner. To do this, keep your hair length past your chin and add soft, angular layers to it. Try to reduce the volume of your hair and excessive weight on the sides to lessen the roundness. Unfortunately, short hairstyles are hard to pull off especially if your hair is on the curlier side.

 

Celebrities with round shape face include Cameron Diaz, Oprah Winfrey and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Square

If the width of your forehead, jaw and cheekbones are equal, you have a square shaped face. Your features are sharp and angular, especially your jawline. 

Avoid straight cut bangs and blunt hairstyles. Opt for side swept bangs, asymmetric side partings and long tresses along your cheeks. Keep the volume to a minimum to avoid making your face broader and choose to increase length instead.

Celebrities with round shape face include Emily Deschanel, Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow.

 

Oblong

Not to be confused with oval shape, oblong faces have a longer and narrower look to them. Your width to length ratio is usually 1 to more than 1 ½.

The right hairstyle for you is one that adds more volume to your face and creates a wider and more balanced look. Short hairstyles such as a chin-length bob with curls and layers is very flattering. Be careful to avoid longer styles since they tend to drag down the face.

Celebrities with round shape face include Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler and Meryl Streep.

 

Heart-Shaped

You’re a woman with a heart-shaped face if you have a wider forehead and narrower chin.

Side swept bangs are the best feature to add to your hair – they take the attention away from your pointed chin. Short haircuts with volume around your jaw works great for your shape. For longer lengths, add more layers and keep your style fuller.

Celebrities with round shape face include Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Naomi Campbell.

 

 

Diamond

If you have a diamond face, your cheeks are the widest part of your face with a narrow jaw and forehead that are nearly equal in width. 

I recommend going for single length cuts, adding curls or choppy ends to add texture. Long styles are sleek and look gorgeous on you. Add a deep side part or side-swept bangs to take attention away from your hairline.

Celebrities with round shape face include Viola Davis, Selma Blair and Vanessa Hudgens.

 

 

Find out How to Stand Out from the Crowd and identify your personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com.

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions for your Career or Business: Do’s and Don’ts

 

 

 

 

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions

The nature of the word “resolution” refers to solving or fixing something. That’s the major downside of New Year’s resolutions; they come from a negative place of feeling “not good enough”, making us wish to fix ourselves in order to be perfect and that’s not a very motivating place to be. And because of this, the initial adrenalin rush from setting resolutions gets replaced by our lack of motivation and soon becomes a forgotten notion.

We don’t need to be fixed, we need to grow.

We, as humans, are not broken, and we don’t need fixing. However, we are driven by fulfillment and we need to experience a life of meaning. Sell-fulfillment is achieved when we satisfy our need to continuously grow and our need to meaningfully contribute to the world. At times, we get so busy with our daily routine that we forget how important it is to fulfill our need to grow.

This year, instead of subjecting yourself to fail on your resolutions again, let’s go with a new approach. While you’re reading this, mark today as an opportunity to set new habits and behaviors and to continue to pursue them consistently.

Here are my tips on what to do and what not to do this year to help you reach your professional goals.

 

BEGIN BY FIGURING OUT YOUR CAREER PATH

Take a stock of where you currently are in your professional career path and where you want to be. If you’re past your 50s, you could be in a wide range of places in your career. The great thing is, you’ve already got a lot of experience behind you but there’s also a long way to go. Figure out what you want next.

As hard as it might be, the trick is to sit down and be real with yourself.

Do: Clearly define your goals.

Research shows that a lot of people fail to reach their goals because they don’t set definitive ones. Instead of ambiguous ones such as “grow in my field” or “get better at my job”, set specific objectives. It could be “I want to take the lead on 5 projects this year” or “I want to be promoted to Marketing Director by the end of the year”.

Don’t: Set unrealistic expectations.

Don’t overburden yourself by setting too many goals. Pick one or two specific areas that you want to improve on and work at them. This will ensure you stay focused and you aren’t wearing yourself too thin.

 

YOUR CURRENT JOB

You might be one of those individuals who love their current jobs and aren’t looking for a major change. If that’s the case, it’s time to figure out how you can grow at your company and get the most out of your job.

Do: Work harder to meet the demands of your job

Practice your skill more. Find out what you can do to drastically improve the quality of your work. No matter how educated or how long you’ve been in a profession, there’s always more to learn.

Don’t: Let the fear of uncertainty or rejection stop you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility on projects if you’re confident you can handle it. Or those great ideas you’ve been afraid to share at team meetings. Speak up, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Do: Earn more respect at your office

Take notice of the professional habits of senior leaders you look up to. Dress well and be on time. Try to procrastinate less and use your hours at work more wisely. Having a great work ethic always goes a long way.

Don’t: Indulge in work place gossip

Office gossip and drama is a normal part of every workplace culture. Though you can’t avoid it, you can do your best to stay away from it. Be friendly and helpful to your coworkers but always keep a professional demeanor.

 

CHANGE IN CAREER

If you’re looking for a new job or a change in career, here’s what you need to focus on this year:

Do: Strengthen your personal brand

A well drafted cover letter and updated resume is key, but having a strong online presence is also a determining factor in today’s hiring process. Make sure your social media profiles are free from embarrassing pictures and content you don’t want your employers finding. Join industry groups online, follow trends and share resourceful articles on your profile. It might be unfamiliar territory, but step out of your comfort zone and establish yourself online.

Don’t: Forget to keep up with technology

Make a conscious consistent effort to stay in tune with the latest technology. There are classes online to help with this. Whether its social media or software updates in your field, you need good technical skills to make advances in your career. Don’t be the person that looks lost when it comes to tech and loses an opportunity to someone younger because you’re afraid of a smartphone.

Do: Build your network

Having a strong network in the industry can be a game changer when it comes to securing a job. Build a strong network of contacts on LinkedIn. Stay in touch with friends and family members that have made great advances in their profession and strengthen your relationship with them. Attend networking events, start conversations with new contacts and grab every opportunity of meeting new people.

 

CAREER CROSS-ROADS

Are you happy at your current job but unsure about what your next steps should be? Are you confused about switching a career this late in the game or starting your own business? We all grow through professional cross roads at some point in our lives.

While you’re on the fence about it, here’s what you can do to help steer you in the right way.

Do: Update your resume

Make sure it includes all your achievements and projects over the past year. Highlight new skills you’ve acquired. Consistently keep your resume updated.

Don’t: Forget lessons learned

Look back on everything you’ve learned so far and stay in tune with it. Whether it’s a new skill you’ve learned or something regarding your profession, make sure you practice and stay on top of it.

Do: Get a mentor

If you’re confused about which direction your career is headed, get help. No matter what your age, it’s never too late to get a mentor or a life coach. Find someone with experience that can help guide you.

Don’t: Be afraid of change

Sometimes we get stuck in our comfort zones and are scared to change. Don’t be stuck and don’t settle. As familiar as your current situation is, there’s always more waiting for you, if you want it.

Do: Be prepared for new opportunities

Even if you’re not currently looking to switch, you never know when an irresistible opportunity might come along. Always be proactive with your efforts. Continue to learn and build your skills and grow your network.

 

A good way to help you stay consistent is to remind yourself that investing time and energy towards improving your skills and career is an investment in yourself and your future.

 

Want to find out how your style and brand impact your professional success? Sign up for my 11-page self assessment work- book that will help you stand out and get noticed, without ever saying a word @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com.

Five Easy Ways to Refresh Your Look in 2018

I always feel the New Year is a great time for getting a new perspective on things and improving our outlook on life. Is it time to refresh or update your look in 2018?

Do you feel like you have nothing to wear? Would you like a new appearance, improve your image or gain more confidence? What about your hairstyle? Do you wear it the same way all the time because you don’t know what to do with it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to update or refresh your look.

If you have no idea where to begin, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with the basics.

Here are 5 easy ways to refresh your look in 2018 that will embrace your style:

 

Revive your eyebrows

Well-groomed brows shape the frame of your eyes and highlight your best facial features. In fact, your brows can make you look put together even on a makeup free day.

Make sure your brows are shaped to your face. Locate an experienced brow specialist in your area, which you can find in hair or nail salons. Make sure to read the customer reviews and ratings on the place to ensure you pick an experienced professional. Eyebrows have the power to transform your face so you want to make sure they’re in the right hands!

The right eyebrow shape will brighten your appearance and make you look youthful. The trick to finding the best brow for your face is to first figure out your face shape.

Next, decide what color brow suits you the best (usually I recommend sticking to the color of your roots or a shade darker than your current hair color) and then decide what features you want to highlight the most.

Purchase a nature eyebrow pencil or powder. I personally like to use Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer. It  is double ended, with a powder-like pencil  on one end that creates natural lines and strokes to fill in. The spooly brush on the other end helps to blend and comb your brows to retain their shape. You can fill in your brow and brush in an upward motion and you will create a well defined brow.

Incase you need help, there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube that guide you with filling in and shaping your eyebrows.

 

mix up your color PALETTE 

Sometimes it’s just so convenient to wear certain colors like black or grey and not have to think about coordinating colors. It’s been so cold the past few weeks and I found myself in this rut for a while and had to snap out of it. My energy became so low and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I determined it was the colors I was wearing. I needed a change in the colors I chose to wear to feel better.

Take a look at your wardrobe and make note of the clothes you wear most of the time. If you notice a repetition in the shades of color you choose to wear usually,  try making a conscious effort to mix it up. Once I started doing this, I felt so much better so I definitely suggest you give it a try.

You will put yourself in a style rut if you wear the same colors all the time. To refresh your color pallette, pick out some items from your wardrobe that are a different color to the ones you usually wear and make a decision to wear more of them. You will feel as though you’ve got a whole new style without having to buy new clothes.

You could also start out with small steps by adding a colorful handbag or bold color shoes. Since it is currently cold out, you could also use colorful layers of scarves or vests to add a splash of color. If you’re a monotone color kind of person, adding patterns to your look is also a stylish way to step out of your comfort zone!

 

EMBRACE ACCESSORIES 

I think the easiest way to refresh your look is to get a few new accessories and use them as a focal point for your new look. 

A cape or poncho is perfect, if you like them. The color of the year for 2018 is ultra violet (purple), so if this is in your color palette, try it or something like a crossbody handbag. Purple is a color you can use to colorblock outfits and you can wear it with red, navy blue, teal, black or cream.

Reading glasses is another way of updating your look. I love different color reading glasses to match my outfits. You can find them at peepers.com or Google other places. You will feel completely transformed and stylish at the same time.

Of course, shoes, scarves and jewelry are other options that help you to accessorize. It’s time to test out new styles and find out which new trends you’re willing to add to your wardrobe. Accessories are always a fabulous way to turn up any look!

 

CHANGE IN MAKE-UP

Is it time to change your make-up routine and have a different look? 

Sometimes your make-up is the hardest to change since you may not know what to do or how to go about it. It’s also challenging to try a new look when we’re comfortable with what works for us.

Changing up your facial look so that you don’t look the same everyday can take one simple trick without doing a whole lot.

Take a look at Youtube tutorials to help you with eyeliner application or eye shadow color combinations. They also have different seasonal make up looks with easy instructions. This is an excellent source to get started. Everything you need help with, you’re sure to find on Youtube!

I personally use Bare Minerals make-up and love the transparent and natural look. It’s light on the face and makes me feel like I don’t have any make-up on.  It’s also great for sensitive skin and doesn’t break you out. I suggest that you walk into a store location to get matched for your perfect color. Bare Minerals is located mostly in malls but their products can be found pretty much everywhere. 

Also this year it’s all about glitter, so figure out if you like it or not. Glitter is taking over for the eyes, lips and cheeks. If you want to use it subtly, I recommend using it on the lips, on top of your lipstick. It really looks pretty with a touch of glitter, which isn’t too much.

 

 

 

Get a Really Great Haircut

A new haircut always looks fresh and clean, but if you only get a trim a few times a year, this may be a dramatic change. Last year was more about the shorter bob styles but this year styles are longer and back to curls. 

While you may know what type of style you want, make sure it’s the right style for your facial shape. Google “The Best Hairstyles for Face Shapes” and you will be able to determine what style is best for you.

Make sure the hairstyle matches your lifestyle. If you are no longer working or on a part-time basis, you do not want a style with a lot of maintenance. You need a look that is easy to care for, is flattering on you and makes you feel amazing!

 

Go ahead, take a leap of faith and update your look for the new year! Try one of our suggested easy ways to help refresh your look and let us know how it made you feel.

 

Find out How to Stand Out from the Crowd and identify your personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com.

 

 

 

What to Wear to a Christmas Party: Tips to Look Stylish from Chic To Casual over 50!

Christmas is fast approaching. Can you believe it? The year is almost gone. Have you thought about what to wear to the Christmas parties and look stylish and comfortable?

Here are 5 tips to help you coordinate an outfit quickly. You should find a little inspiration from my ideas below to help you plan what to wear to your Christmas party. Who knows, you may already have an outfit in your closet. Now wouldn’t that be nice!

 

Red

Holiday Red Dress

Fortunately red is best color of the season  so you should be able to find many possibilities that will work well for a Christmas party.

Red also works well for women over 50 since it is a festive color and automatically makes you feel better. All you need to do is make sure you find the right shade that works well with your complexion. You can find reds that have blue, orange or brown in them, so find the color that looks good on you!

Red Christmas Tree Decor

 

A red dress or pantsuit would be an ideal choice to wear to a Christmas party. Red with gold jewelry is a timeless classic combination. That being said, depending the style of your dress, you may not need too much jewelry.

 

If you don’t have red clothing, you can always use accessories to make a festive impact. Red shoes, jewelry, a red handbag, scarf, poncho or wrap. And my new favorite thing, glasses. Yes, red rimmed glasses, I love them! So festive!

 

 

Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits had disappeared and now they have returned, in a big way.

They are not for everybody but if you feel you can pull it off, then why not? The body fit makes all the difference. Try to make sure you look long and lean is the trick and you will know if you have the right body type for it.

Choosing darker shades help. Blacks and navys are chic and versatile and they immediately slim down curves.

If you find you have tummy flaws, a jumpsuit that has material in the middle instead of being fitted is ideal.

You should also find a style that is somewhat tailored but not tight. Most of all, stay away from clingy fabrics. Sometimes they tend to rise up at the front and back if they are too tight, creating a “wedgie” effect – so try on a few styles to find the most flattering fit for your figure. For instance, I have a jumpsuit that have the palazzo pants affect so when I wear heels with it, I automatically look long and lean. If I didn’t wear the heels I wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

The big thing about the jumpsuit trend is that you must feel really good and confident about yourself. If you are unsure if you should wear it, then don’t. The unsureness will show on your face and you will look uncomfortable and lack confidence.

Also make sure to accessorize the jumpsuit with sparkly jewelry.

If you aren’t wearing one of these pieces of clothing and you’ve always wanted to, try something new. Go to the store and try them on and find out if it is for you. You might be surprised and love the new you!

 

Jewel Embellishments

Get more holiday glam from embellishments this year. There are so many outfits out there with pearls on tops, sequins on dresses and jeans and sweaters.

Some of the outfits can go from casual to dressy depending on how to choose to wear them. Add boots or heels and you’re off to the events. You can find shoes with pearls and my personal favorite are the sequin shoes. You will have them for years to come.

Lace and metalics are also great to wear for the holidays.

 

Velvet

Velvet is back and bigger than ever and should be easy to find.

You can find beautiful colors in velvet, but for me, I choose to stick with black so I can add colors of sparkle with it or wear red shoes if I like.

You can also find velvet jackets and tops and the velvet fabric can be worn dressy or casual. If you’re going to a casual event you can wear velvet skinny jeans, or leggings as well as velvet slacks to a dressy event.

 

Blush

The color blush is a light faint pink.

Wearing a light pastel can be an eye-catching approach to holiday dressing. The is fall the color blush has been jumping off the shelves.

 

 Almost anyone can wear the color and make you look updates. If you are especially a Winter, or Autumn season color, you will look absolutely fabulous in this color. You can accessorize with neutrals, like black or white.

Most of all holiday dressing is about wearing color and emlishments whereas New Years Eve dressing is darker and more sparkly. So make your holiday dressing colorful, comfortable and stylish.

 

I want to hear from you!

Have you planned your holiday party and Christmas outfits? What will you wear for your Christmas party?

Motivation Monday: Inspiring Gift Ideas To Start Your New Year Off

Gift Ideas to start your new year off…inspired by a few of brenda’s favorite things

Happy Monday friends! Hope you all had an exciting weekend filled with all things seasonal and are ready to take on the last two weeks we have left in the year (Am I the only one who STILL cannot believe how fast this year has gone by?!). That being said, this Monday Motivation post is based on some holiday spirit, which we all could do a little more of. With Christmas quickly approaching, I listed some of my favorite inspiring items that are perfect gift ideas for the New Year. They make for very thoughtful gifts that I’m sure all the special people in your life will appreciate.

Have a very Happy Holiday Season! Let’s dive in

here’s a list of some of brenda’s favorite things

  1. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Book by Jen Sincero You Are A Badass - by Jen SinceroThis book, written by best -selling author and success coach Jen Sincero, is a game changer. One of the best books of 2017- it a refreshingly blunt guide that will help you find motivation and direction to start living your true authentic life.

 

 

 

 

2You Are a Badass Desk Calendar 2018  

Based on her New York Times best selling book mentioned above, this 28 day calendar has daily entires that encourage you to embrace the best part’s of your life and constantly remind you of the power you have to change the parts of your life you don’t love. It makes for the perfect gift to help someone live their best life. you are a badass 28 day calendar

3. Gratitude Jar

Gratitude Jar

“I’m grateful somebody came up with the Gratitude Glass Jar. It includes 365 cards so your family can take turns jotting down notes about things they truly appreciate. At the end of the year, everyone can gather for a celebration of whatever is on those cards.”—Oprah Winfrey

What a great idea to add notes to the jar that you are thankful for during the year. Read them at the end of the year.

 

4. Violet Handbag

Iman and Joy Handbag – www.hsn.com

Violet is the color for 2018 – I love this handbag! It looks and feels just like a Chanel handbag. Why not get a Genuine Leather crossbody handbag to add the pop of color for the New Year? I love this bag and it is so reasonably priced ($59.99). It has RFID (which has credit card protection inside your purse). You also receive two straps including one leather and one chain for evening. Colorblock your outfits and wear this color with navy, red, and gray. You will look so stylish. It also comes in 9 other colors.

 

 

If you are an entreprenuer or thinking of becoming one, this is a must-have book. Dorie gives you an excellent view of how to create multiple streams of income and be a successful entrepreneur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations – Book by Oprah Winfrey

Find this soul-stirring and inspirational book on Amazon.com.

I read something from this book everyday. Truly uplifting!

 

 

 

 

 

7. The Sound of Your Soul – Free podcasts series of Super Soul Sundays

Listen to Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts.

(Free.applepodcasts.com/Oprah)

 

Speaking of songs, what is your Song for the Year?

For me – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now – by McFadden & Whitehead

(Old School) When I sing the song I always change the “us” to “me”.

I have this song on my phone and if get down, I play it and I’m feeling good again. The song reminds me of good times in the day. It makes me happy and I dance.

Add a song to your playlist that makes you HAPPY and will be your song for 2018.

 

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Brenda is in the News – Oprah Magazine!

Great News: I’m quoted in Oprah Magazine, January 2018 issue.
Check out my Motivation Mondays on Facebook.com/BrendaFergusonHodges. I recommended Oprah’s latest book, “The Wisdom of Sunday’s Book”, (which I love by the way), and my quote is in the January issue of O Magazine. The book is a collection of moments from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday’s show, which is so inspirational. Thank you, Oprah!

Year-End Check-Up! 2017 Style Tips

Since our mid-year check up blog post was highly popular, we decided to refresh your memory with some of the highlights. Can you believe it’s already mid December? But before we move on to a new year, let’s go over some style tips we learned in 2017.

The end of the year is the perfect time to check in with yourself. It’s time to look back on your outfits and style choices of the year and figure out if this is the personal brand you’re trying to showcase to the world.

Here are 5 ways to analyze your personal style choices and revamp your outfits.

It makes a great difference in how you feel. You can start with one simple change.

DO YOUR CLOTHING CHOICES MATCH YOUR LIFESTYLE?

First and foremost you must have the appropriate clothing in your closet in order to have something to wear on a daily basis.

Organize your closetDo you sometimes pass over new jeans, morning after morning, in favor of an old pair?  Only 20 percent of the clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis, according to a survey from California Closets. Another survey by Voucher Cloud revealed that the average woman has $550 dollars of unworn clothing in her closet. Most commonly unworn items in her closet are shoes and coats.

Decide what type of clothing you need to have in your closet. For instance, if you are working a full-time job, then you should have over 80% of your closet filled with business clothes. The other 20 percent could be casual, sporty, casual chic, and a few items for evening wear, depending on what you need.

Sort through pieces you haven’t worn in ages and get rid of the ones you’re not likely to wear again.  Once your wardrobe is filled with pieces you love to wear, you will never say you have nothing to wear again.

Wear colors that compliment your skin tone

I was surprised to find out how little people consider their skin tones when picking out color choices. In my opinion, it makes a world of difference to your look.

Examine your closet and experiment with different colors to find out which hues work best with your complexion. Ask a close friend (one whose fashion opinion you trust!) what colors look good on you and work best with your skin.

It will also be beneficial for you to understand your skin surface tone, which is the color you’d describe yourself (light, medium, tan, dark, etc). Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface. You can have the same skin tone as someone, but a different undertone which is as follows:

  • Cool: (pink, red or bluish undertones)
  • Warm: (yellow, peachy, golden undertones)

If you have cool under tones, colors that look great on you include:  mint or kelly green, teal, lavender, purple, navy, hot pink, rose pink and burgundy.

For warm toned skin, colors that look good on you are:  peach, yellow (lemon and mustard, which has more brown tones), brown, red, lime green, orange, kelly green, and mint green.

Are you wearing the appropriate clothing for your Body Type?

Do you know your body shape? This is the first step in feeling good in your clothes and building your personal style. It’s important to make sure your clothes fit in proportion to your body shape.

Knowing your body portions and what you need to adjust or camouflage will make you self consious of your body and can lower your self-esteem.

Explore the 5 different body shapes and identify your body type.

Hourglass, Rectangle, Apple/Oval, Pear/Rectangle, and Inverted Triangle.

HourglassCurves, curves and more curves!
Your shoulders are relatively as wide as your hips/thighs and your waist is distinctly narrower than your shoulders and hips/thighs.

Rectangle– Shoulders are as wide as your hips/thighs. Your waist is as wide as or just narrower than your shoulders and hips/thighs.

Apple/Oval – Shoulders are narrower or as your hips/thighs: from the front view, your waist appears the same width or wider than your shoulders/hips.

Pear/Rectangle – Your hips are wider than your shoulders with a round, sloping shoulders, a well-defined waistline (and might even have killer abs), your buttocks and thighs are full and round. Pear body shapes gain weight on their thighs.

Inverted Triangle – Your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips/thighs.

Complete your outfit with accessories

Accessories complete the outfit and have the power to instantly make you comfortable in your own skin and boost your confidence. Here are a few accessories you can try out in different seasons:

  • A pair of comfy sandals, flats or heels – I’m always looking for style and comfort and I think the designers finally got it right. There are so many stylish and comfortable selections out for recently including Birkenstock’s, slide-in mules or heels with ankle straps and snug boots.
  • A sassy handbagTry a color like coral, blue or yellow. You’ll be surprised how much the handbag adds a pop of color and updates your outfit.
  • Statement sunglassesA classy pair of sunglasses can take you from drab to fab, instantly. You will also beat the heat, in style, during the hotter months.
  • Hats – They protect you from the sun and in colder months, warmer hats are good accessories that also cover your ears.

Never again leave the house feeling uncomfortable about your style choice

If you don’t feel 100% confident about your clothing choice before leaving the house, then don’t wear it. Try this quick trick — take a full-length picture of yourself and see how you look. The camera doesn’t lie. I always do this when I’m trying on sunglasses and want to select the right style. I can always tell which ones I should buy based on the picture and how I feel in them.

You will be able to recognize the right outfit at the moment you look in the mirror and feel nothing but pride, satisfaction, happiness, empowerment and confidence in what you’re wearing.

 

By doing all of these things you will continue to feel better about how you look and present yourself to the world. Its starts with how you feel about your style.

The end of the year is always a great time to evaluate what has been working for you. It helps put things in perspective for the new year.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

5 Tips to Look Chic and Professional at your Office Holiday Party

Season’s greetings to all you lovely ladies! You might be comfortable dressing up for holiday parties with your friends and family, but what about with your coworkers and boss? Keep reading to discover my tips to look totally chic yet professional at your office holiday party.

Think back to previous holiday parties you’ve attended.  I’m sure you have seen some interesting outfits that caught your eye. Draw inspiration from them for your own style. Put together pieces that showcase your personality and style. Find the right combination between elegance and glamour in your holiday ensemble. This will help you pull of a trendy yet business casual look at your holiday party. When you wear something you feel and look good in, it automatically instills more confidence in you which your coworkers are bound to notice!

However there have definitely been times in the past where you have witnessed some people wearing the most over-the-top outfits at office parties. This is definitely something to keep in mind and steer clear of. In these situations, finding balance in your outfit choices is key. Use it to create a visual representation of your smart and successful work-place attitude, even if the theme of the part is after-business hours.  Never forget that you are constantly mingling with people from work. Since it is a work oriented event, you and the rest of your coworkers are being observed all night long.

If your office holiday party is in the evening, then you definitely need to make sure your outfit is dressier than your day wear, to rightfully capture the holiday spirit.

Real personalities have a tendency to show themselves at a social event, especially when alcohol is involved. Be aware of this when you’re drinking and don’t let yourself get out of control. A lot of essential things might be part of conversations in these settings. Use the opportunity to stay alert and make a great impression with impressive responses. Don’t drink too fast, be cautious of your environment and sip your wine or drink slowly through the night.

Overall, you still want to look professional and your outfit should be a reflection of your elegant style which incorporates your personality.

Here are 5 guidleines for any event.

Wear something different from your regular work outfit

Unless there is a specific mention of a dress code, make sure you don’t dress like it’s just another busy day at work. Even if the event is a luncheon or during business hours, make an effort to be more festive. Switch up the color choices from what you usually wear or add some seasonal sparkle. Whatever it is, make sure you do it tastefully.

Sequins have become a year long trend recently but they are especially in fashion during the holidays. It’s a great idea to wear a sweater with low key sequins. I’ve seen turtle necks with scattered sequins on the front which are just beautiful and done with taste. You can always wear a sweater with a skirt and opague tights. There’s no need for a jacket but have on simple jewelry or even a small to medium-sized hoop bling earrings, which adds a nice touch.

I’m currently wearing a lot of long vests or dusters these days since I just love them and they go with the season. They help to make you look tailored and smaller and layering is great during the season. I love taupe and gold slightly-sequined vest with a matching gold lightly sequined turleneck sweater. This is a great outfit that can make you look festive and professional at the same time, especially with a daytime event. But be sure the color is in your pallette and looks great with your skintone.

If your event is in the evening, a little black dress is always a go-to. This is so simple and wearing the right jewelry will bring out the dress. Make sure the jewelry is not too much of a statement piece so it won’t stand out unnecessarily. There’s always a tasteful way to add more bling to an outfit!

I also suggest a red dress or pants which is always nice for a holiday office party. You might think eveyone will wear red but you will be surprised how mistaken you are. Hardly anyone is keeping with tradition any more, especially the millennials. I remember when I wore red ponte slacks, a red, black and tan blouse with a black jacket and it was such a hit among my friends. Red is in my color pallette and also my favorite color, so when I wear it, I always feel extra good. It helps when you feel great in what you’re wearing, you will shine and have more pep in your step and people will be automatically be attracted to you.

Try a different hairstyle or add jewelry to your hair

Shake it up a little and try something different with your hair for the office party. If you wear your hair down most of the time, why not try wearing it up?

Nothing extravagant, just keep it elegant and simple with the possibility of keeping it together with bobby pins. This can be a roll, pin up bob or French roll. Whatever is easiest for you.

You can also try wearing a ponytail or French braid or braids along the sides of your hair.

Slip into a pair of shoes you don’t normally wear to work

Here’s where you can show some skin if you like. Wear shoes that expose your toes and heels. They elongate your legs and make them look lean.

Try not to wear the same pumps that you wear to work. Wear something different and more glamourous. Maybe the color of the shoe can be red instead of the same old black shoes that you wear. Or the texture of the shoes is different, for instance, a little sparkle can be nice, as long as it’s not too much and goes with the outfit or dress.

Keep make-up natural and lips bright

You should look diferent than your everyday look, but do not add to much make-up, it will make you look older. It should be the same shade as your complexion and this will give you a natural look, which is what you want.

Try applying a brighter lipstick than you normally wear. Red or Berry’s are great colors for the holidays. These colors look great with red, black, ivory, mocha, blush, and burgundy.

Keep cleavage to yourself

The wrong outfit includes showing clevage, a backless dress, or a too-short skirt can present the wrong first impression. This can be a distraction and you will receive unwanted stares and gossip. People will look at you differently and there is no going back from that. You are always being looked at under a corporate microscope. You never know if you are being considered for a promotion or another position and should always present the right image.

Remember any event outside of the corporate office but you are meeting with people you work with, should be looked at as an office event no matter where it is held. Never forgot it!

Overall, your goal for dressing for a company holiday party is to keep your look chic and professional while also finding ways to show your personality and have fun.

It’s all about feeling good about yourself, so make sure the outfit you choose leaves you confident and ready to mingle and have some fun.

 

Find out How to Stand Out from the Crowd and identify your personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com (bottom of page).