Feel fabulous fast

Brigitte Bardot: classic striped shirt, sun streaked hair and glossy lips Darlings, do you ever wonder why some women always look so fabulous. I’ll tell you: they take care of themselves. They also know a few timeless fashion tricks anyone can use to look fabulous fast. Getting that extra oomph doesn’t take a fortune, but it does take care and time – not a lot, but enough for that polished look.

It also helps to use your imagination to channel inspiration from celebrities and designers you admire. Don’t hesitate to borrow from Megan, Jennifer or your favourite glossy magazine. Or maybe you fancy a more iconic look, like Brigitte Bardot. Why not? Stars borrow from screen icons all the time. Don’t go for a carbon copy; just borrow elements for a knockout look. Summer is the time to play. Treat yourself with loving care and you will look and feel fabulous – fast. 
Buy a summer dress. It can cost just $30 at This drss is $33 onlineH&M or New York Connection. Make sure you feel fabulous in it. You want something basic, like a black t-shirt dress, white peasant style, or basic shift. All these styles can be dressed up or down and changed with jewels, hats, scarves and shoes to suit your mood and needs. The point is to get a fabulous base and accessorize it to suit your mood. If you can afford a better dress, go for it, but get one or more and make them your canvas.  
If you are absolutely not a dress person, get a great summer shirt and a stunning pair of white pants to wear it with. Make sure the colour is fabulous on you. Dress it up or down and change the look with accessories. This summer you are a chameleon, an actress, and a diva!
Get you hair trimmed or styled. If you are growing it, get a recommendation for a stylist who will respect your wishes to trim only a scant eighth of an inch. A good trim makes all the difference as to how hair swings. Skip pricey salon deep-conditioning treatments; you can buy a good one and do several treatments for the price of one salon session. I love Wen by Chaz Dean www.chazdean.com.
Finger tip hightlightsHighlights around the face can be flattering, but right now a single glossy color is all the rage. Learn to touch up your roots or fresh up your own colour at home. Roots look cheap and are aging too!  Use Clairol Root Touch Up Kit frequently, or buy a gentle rinse in colour. If you can’t afford pricey up-keep, get subtle highlights or go for a colour near your own. You will look better and fresher.
Chanel Rouge Coco --splurge for it!Find a sheer red lipstick or shiny pastel lip gloss and wear it. The best way to find your perfect red is at cosmetic counters, such as MAC, Clinque, Laura Mercier, Chanel – they all have a wide range of good reds, and good staff to help you. If you are looking for drug store range, L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche with Anti-Aging Serum has fabulous shades as well as several great reds. I have a wide selection of these lipsticks and wear them all the time. I love them, as does our staff – women of all ages. The plumping is terrific. It can be challenging to find the shades at the drug store, but it’s worth it. The new Chanel Rouge Cocohas gorgeous shades too. They are soft, flattering and sexy – worth a splurge. I adore this lipstick too!
Catch a sexy trend with Covergirl Dance Party --looks posh for penniesInvest in a light pastel eye shadow to flatter you eye colour. Go neutral with pale pink or beige, or try a pretty light lavender or pale blue – no shocking turquoise. The Cover Girl compacts in Dance Party for lavender or Smoky Shadow Blast are an inexpensive but effective way to experiment with this pretty trend. Think of a pale wash across your lid, not a heavy wave of colour. The effect is feminine, flirty, and straight off the runway. Add couple of coats of black mascara. www.covergirl.ca
Mascara is essential, if you are allergic to mascara, try Latisse to grow long dark lashes or Lamas Beauty Radiance Night Lash Masque, a natural lash treatment and darkener that seems to work for many who are allergic to mascara. http://www.lamasbeauty.com/kits/lnr300.html
Buy a good fitting pair of white jeans or a white denim skirt. White is timeless, classy, and flattering. It will update your wardrobe and make it look fresh. The Gap and L’Express have many styles of jeans and a wide range of sizes at good prizes. Most women look best in a straight-cut jean with a waist that hits at or just below their natural waist.
Get a soft denim jacket in pale wash or white, or a casual “boyfriend blazer” to top your spring and summer outfits. This is much better than trying to wear a too-heavy fall jacket over your spring and summer outfits, which looks wrong. These jackets are inexpensive and will last several seasons. The Gap has several inexpensive good-looking versions of both. Do not buy the jacket too big.
Shop for good-looking wedges, ballets flats, and causal sandals that are comfortable to wear. Do not wear running shoes when you are not in the gym.
Get in the habit of doing a weekly pedicure and manicure at home; the monthly ones most women get are not enough. Use OPI nail polish, like most nail shops, in a sexy neutral or perfect red. Or treat yourself to a cute black lacquered-topped bottle of Chanel. Perfect hands and feet look expensive and chic. No time for polish? Use a quick coat of clear and buy a jar of five-second manicure. Five-second manicure is a jar of oil and gentle abrasive your dip your hands into, to rub off dead skin and cuticles. Then, you just need file to your nails.
Keep a good body lotion by your bed and apply it night. Don’t forget your feet!
Use sun block daily. Keep it in your car and apply it to your hands before you turn the key. Driving can really age your hands and face.
Treat yourself to a relaxing face masque a few times a week. You will be amazed at the difference in your skin, and it takes only 15 minutes. If this sounds extravagant, think about it! A facial costs about $100, but a masque costs about $40 to $60 for a jar or tube. It will last several months – even used as lavishly as I recommend. What a reasonable treat and you get instant results! I love all the masques from Elizabeth Grant; they work and are fabulous value! www.elizabethgrant.com. I also like Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask www.clarins.com. By the way, this does not replace the ministrations of experts, but it really helps in between.
If you like a little glow, start to use a gradual self-tanner now so you don’t have to worry about a smooth application. Just replace your regular body lotion with Olay Quench with Touch of Sun. Inexpensive and it works. I love this gentle approach to getting a glow. It doesn’t streak  and it’s easy to maintain. The shades look natural too, and there’s no nasty smell!
To give your face a glow try, Dior Bronze Sun Powder Spray.  It comes in two shades. Dior Bronze Sun Powder Spray is a self tanner that goes on evenly and gives you instant colour too. $60. On a budget? Try Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Shimmer Bronzer. It comes in several shades and has anti-oxidants as well as self-tanning action at $14.95.
Sort your accessories and organize them. You have more than you think. If they are organized you will wear them. Get used to tying a scarf in your hair or on your bag this summer. Try to find a signature accessory for yourself. Mine is a bold bracelet. Buy a magazine and then shop your drawers and closets for the trends. It is old advice, but have you tried it! It’s amazing what even 25-year-olds have stashed.
If any of this feels silly to you, think again darlings. You are never beyond looking fabulous. The secret of women who do is that they try.

Get your beauty mojo on

Gracey Hitchcock www.dolcedolce.comThis holiday season you may be thinking of ways to cut back. That’s great if you are talking about your budget, but when it comes to your appearance, it is time to cut loose. Style gurus have been touting looks that are gilded and glitzy.  Darlings, it is time to go for the gold and gild the lily. The economy is the pits, and the news is depressing. But in the immortal words of Auntie Mame, “we need a little Christmas right now!” To that sentiment I’ll add Chanukah and New Year’s Eve too. Bring on the celebrations, and be sure to sparkle plenty at every festive occasion.
The first step at all your gatherings – big and small – this season is impeccable skin. This is the time to step up your regime or treat yourself to a good facial. If your budget is tight, or you do not have a reliable skin care guru, do not despair. There are plenty of fabulous alternatives.
Elizabeth Grant Cuecumber Mask www.dolcedolce.comI adore Elizabeth Grant’s Cucumber Gel Mask. It is an ultra gentle hydrating and calming mask with soothing botanical extracts of cucumber. It contains Elizabeth Grant’s anti-aging ingredient Torricelumn to lift away impurities gently. This gentle mask is perfect for all skin types before an evening out. It leaves skin plump and ready for make-up.
If you eyes look tired, stressed, or — heaven forbid – lined, try Elizabeth Grant’s Biocollasis Complex with Torricelumn Advanced Cellular Age Defense Eye Power Pads.Elizabeth Grant’s Biocollasis Complex with Torricellumn Advanced Cellular Age Defense Eye Power Pads.   Don’t be put of by the word “age”. Eyes can look “old" at any age from stress, environment, and lack of sleep. Take action.These pads work wonders. They banish lines in 10 minutes and make eyes look fabulous. There are six pairs in a box for $35, and the mask is the same price. The cost for both is less than most facials and will get you through the season.   http://elizabethgrant.com
L'oreal HiP Color Chrome EyelinerThis year the best looks for eyes are metallic and smoky. One of my favourite looks is metallic eye liner. It is easy to wear and apply. DolceDolce’s Anne Gravel and I both are both crazy about L’Oreal HiP Color Chrome Eye Liner. We wear it over our regular black matte eye liner. Anne, who has blue eyes, wears the silver lightning. I have brown eyes and wear both the silver lightning and gold charge. Under $10.
Ladies who prefer like a less dramatic look may prefer to try violet volt or black shock chrome liner alone with with mascara. Blend it into a subtle smoky eye. DD Tip: L’Oreal HiP Color Chrome eyeliner is one of easiest ways to update your make-up. They look fabulous on everyone.
For an even subtler look, try Laura Mercier’s gold or silver “foiled” eye shadow. Apply it as a soft liner at the base of your lashes or as a soft wash. $22.
Chanel’s Shimmery Tweed Highlighter Chanel’s Shimmery Tweed Highlighter is three delicately ‘woven’ shades of shimmering color in gold, bronze, and copper tones. Use it all over your face and décolleté for a gilded appeal. $60. 
DD Tip: For the holidays try a smoky eye in jewel tones for a fresh and festive look.
Dior has chic compacts of five coordinated shades with pearlescent shine. Treat yourself to Petal Shine or Smoky Crystal. $56.
 Cover Girl Eye Enhancers in Café Au Lait www.dolcedolce.comDD Tip: For a soft, sexy, smoky eye that is easy to wear, try Cover Girl Eye Enhancers in Café Au Lait.  Effortless and inexpensive; it gives you fawn eyes. Under $10.
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Anti-aging Serum Lipcolour Real Red and Passion Pink www.dolcedolce.comDD Tip: If you vamp up your eyes keep your lips soft and sexy. My must-have lipstick is L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Anti-aging Serum Lipcolour in Naturally Nude or Pink Passion. I top it with L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Plumping 6 Hour Gloss in Plumped Rose and Plumped Tawny. 

L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Plumping 6 Hour Gloss www.dolcedolce.comAnne Gravel wears L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipcolour too, even though she is a young twenty-something. So much for age-delegated products! She knows it is fabulous lipstick. Anne loves it in Real Red and Passion Pink. She tops it with L‘Oreal Infallible Never Fail Plumping 6 Hour Gloss in Plumped Red and Plumped Red. Under $10. www.lorealparisusa.com  www.lorealparis.ca
I like red too, but I prefer a softer red, so I often wear red gloss alone.
Don’t forget lots and lots of black mascara to complete any look this season. Two of the best at any price: Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume for thick and sooty lashes; and L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Explosion to lengthen and thicken with the funky round brush to reach and lengthen every lash.
Don’t forget your hair. If it needs to be to be colored, you can easily do it yourself. Home hair colour has never been better. Check out our recent archives. We love the resources offered by www.l’orealparisusa.com and www.clariol.ca. They are goof-proof, check the, out. I have used help offered by both of these companies to fix msitakes made by salons.
Even Vogue ran a feature on home hair colour this month. I will tell you why darlings: because everyone is doing it, because the products so fabulous. Home hair colour is the new mascara.
I cannot recommend highlighting at home or using spray on hair colour. I tried Bumble and Bumble hair colour spray. It is expensive. It made my hair sticky and a weird colour. In a pinch, I recommend using plain old powdered eye shadow. Use taupe and gold for blondes, and the right shades of brown for redheads and brunettes. Then use hair spray to set. Better yet, learn to touch-up your roots with regular colour or Clairol Root Touch Up.
Don't worry about perfection,go for a sexy updoGlam holiday looks are easy to do home. If it suits you, part your hair on the side, wear in it loose waves, or roll it under, like an old-time movie star. If your hair is naturally curly, tame it into ringlets. Casual upswept dos are all the rage too. Blow or roll your hair full and bouncy. Loosely pin it up and then let a few pieces fall artfully around your face. Spray it well with L’Oreal Elnett before and after you pin to make sure your style stays all night. Elnett is brushable; your hair will never be stiff or gluey looking.
DD Tip: A curling iron or electric rollers can make these looks a snap to do in minutes. The look is casual and softly sexy. Don’t aim for perfection.
Braids are fun and sexy, but also sophisticated when done right. French-braid your hair and let it hang down your back or to the side. If it is a bit short, braid an extension into your own hair. No one will notice. When you braid in an extension, it won’t damage your hair as other extensions can. Check a beauty supply store for a reasonably-priced extension, if this appeals to you.
If your hair is short, add some glam with an ornament or fresh highlights. Jeweled barrettes, combs, feather ornaments, tulle, and metallic scarves are fun ways to add a sexy twist to your look this season.
Darlings, you can look stunning as your favourite celebrities this holiday season, in your own unique way. Do not for a minute think that you are not worth the trouble or beyond help. It’s not true. The holidays are time to sparkle and spread joy and light. We have weeks of celebrating ahead, so get your beauty mojo going! Ready, set, sparkle!