More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman
  • In-depth look at the power of beauty as expressed via fairy tales, esp the latest movie version of Snow White:  Snow White and the Huntsman

  • Another article on the great stress Boomer women are feeling to look young…is it worth it?

  • The WSJ offers a business woman’s guide to beauty “lifesavers” — always interesting to see WSJ try to get more feminine 😉

  • Homes in idyllic spots in Britain sky rocket in value showing the great importance of beauty in one’s life

Any more stories to add? Comment of tweet us @Beautyskew

Weekend Observations: Dress Your Age — What Does that Mean?

Now that I’ve hit the big 4-0 I feel like I need to start dressing my age.

But what exactly does that mean these days?

I’ve never been one for dressing conservatively or primly.   After all, I work in tech.  I can’t look outdated in a world that lives in the future!

Does it mean wearing more expensive or higher quality duds?  LOVE THAT.  But I’ve always been cautious about spending tons of money.  Something deep down stops me.  I think I always felt expensive clothes was one of those luxuries I had to deserve, and, well, was I truly worthy of them?

Another nagging question: am I confident to know if the investments I make in my wardrobe are right?

Enough with the crazy thinking…time to reinvest in myself.  I know I have to take the big leap and find a personal shopper.  Too much of a time, energy, and cash commitment for right now.  BUT, with enough encouragement, I think I may go for it.

Yet, I still need to get something.  I got an extra push after reading an excerpt by my colleague Eileen Naughton in the book, How Remarkable Women Lead.  Her advice: “Take of yourself, indulge a little…” (And, Eileen is TRULY remarkable!)

So, I ran into Helmut Lang an hour before it closed and bought these two items:

What do ya think?





Week in Review: 5/13-5/19

Our week was filled with much discussion:

I finally put my thoughts down on what I think is beautiful Weekend Observations: How Do I Define Beauty

Why Cate Blanchett inspires me Pic of the Week: Birthday Inspiration

There are all sorts of ways to look good — follow some of these and you’ll end up benefiting in the boardroom Stop the Kvetching, Everyone Can Benefit From Looking Good In The Office

More juicy reading we couldn’t put down More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Can you taste the summer yet?  I think I can!  Enjoy another weekend in May and start wearing those summer dresses/suits!

Week in Review: 4/1-4/7

The hot topics @Beautyskew this week:

The horrible Vit A process can be oddly pleasurable Weekend Observation: How the Vitamin A Process is Perversely Enjoyable

The amazing beauty right around to corner Pic of the Week: Ah, The Beauty Right Outside My Office

Let people look/dress the way they want.  Otherwise everyone, including your biz, loses Looks Discrimination is Bad For Business

Even more reading to enjoy!  More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Enjoy your Easter or Passover!

More beauty reading we’ve curated More toLove: Additions to the Reading List

Enjoy your holidays!

Looks Discrimination is Bad For Business

When I read the article, “Dress Code Discrimination: Different Figure, Different Rules?” I couldn’t help but nod my head throughout the entire piece.  The story is about weight discrimination.  The author, Kristen Houghton, writes about her friend who adopts the uniform of the season, i.e., leggings and tunics, but was told that she dressed inappropriately because of her weight.  To be more specific, her manager told her that her outfit accentuated her curves too much.  She was outraged and went up the ladder to get her manager in deep shit.

While I haven’t suffered from that exact form of discrimination, I relate to the story.  In my past life, I could wear a simple shortish skirt and get a “talking to.”  And believe me, I’m no Kim Kardashian or Victoria’s Secret model, but I still got my share of comments from the boss.  Unlike the heroine of this article, I would usually go home after such incidents, cry and then go buy more modest, frumpy clothes.

I’m not trying to get the world to wear hooker outfits to work, but I think we need to be more open-minded to all body types and let people express themselves.

Plus, if we let people express themselves in the ways that are most natural for them, they’ll be happier and more creative as a result.  This translates to more productivity and a better bottom line (no pun intended!)

So, you bosses out there, just let people be who they are and wear what they want.  Everyone will benefit in the end.

 Comment or tweet us @Beautyskew

Weekend Observations: Getting into My Groove

It’s been 3 months since I started my new job and a change has washed over me.

On the positive side, I’m starting to get into my groove at work.  While I still feel new (i.e., trying to get the hang of certain technologies, processes and people), I don’t feel as in-over-my-head as I had at the outset.

On the negative side, I have the time to sit back and take a long hard look at myself, and I’m not happy with what I see.  While I refuse to step on the scale (out of fear, not for some “philosophical” reason), I know I’ve gained a bit (well, more than a bit) of weight.  I’m also not sleeping enough so I ALWAYS look tired.  And, to top it off, I’m doing that dang Retin-A program so my skin looks scaly.  As I said to my husband today, “I feel downright ugly.”

Why have I gained so much weight so quickly?  Well, not only do I have amazing free meals as a perk, but our mini kitchens in the office are always stocked with TONS of goodies.  And boy do I partake!

But there’s something else going on here too.  Feeling overwhelmed and a bit out of control at work, distracts me from caring too much about how and what I eat.  I’m more concerned with my work than my body.

Last year I wrote a post all about the notion that our bodies are a reflection of our emotional health.  That is, when we feel like shit our bodies tend to look it too.  I’m living that now!

But, the good news is that at the 3 month mark, this realization of my body’s changes has made me take control again.  I’m trying my best not to eat the snacks (or at least fewer of them 🙂 ) and trying to stay away from the types of foods I like to eat when I’m stressed.

It’s going to take a lot of willpower to keep this up but I feel good that I have regained a sense of control in both my professional and beauty lives.

So Karen, you have a partner in crime now!

Oh, yeah, and it helps to know that I’ll be in Cannes mid-June to motivate me further 😉

Weekend Observations: Is All of This Worth It?

Flaky Face!

In case you haven’t been following our escapades on Beautyskew over the past year or so, I’ve spent the last 12 months trying to turn back the clock.  After years of sun spots multiplying on my face, I said “enough was enough” and underwent months of lasering.  While the laser helped, there’s still damage that we couldn’t get to.  It’s not terrible but it requires another solution.

So I turned to Retin A.  Any derm will tell you that Retin A (or a version of it) is gold.  With all the hocus pocus skin care products out there, this is the real deal.  It’s basically vitamin A.

And, as you can imagine,  it wouldn’t be effective without being potent.

Boy is it ever…and that’s an understatement!

I’ve used Retin A before, when I was at my old job, and would call the peeling that I endured “dandruff face.”  But I didn’t care that much and was willing to walk around a bit funny looking to reach beauty nirvana.

Now it’s different.  I’m at a new job, meeting new people everyday and meeting clients throughout the day!  Yikes!

I can’t push it off any longer into the summer because Retin A sensitizes your skin to the sun big time.  But can I really afford to have dandruff face for a long-term goal of even skin?

In other words, is all of this beauty stuff really worth it???


So, like many “challenges”, I’m taking this day-by-day (and dumping a ton of moisturizer on my face throughout!)

I’ll let you know if this is all worth it.  But like any diet or exercise routine we begin, I may need your encouragement to keep it up 🙂


Can We Just Stop Judging Women Who Love Fashion

Anna Wintour

Say what you will about Anna Wintour, but she made a great point recently about perceptions of women who love fashion.  She was fed up with people viewing women who are both in positions of power and who also love fashion as “idiots.”  Her exact words:
“When women are in positions of power, and they’re featured in a women’s magazine like Vogue … they tend to be incredibly unfairly criticized. It’s an incredibly old-fashioned approach. Just because you’re in a position of power, and you look good and you enjoy fashion — does that mean you’re an idiot, or that it’s not seemly to be in a woman’s magazine? If a man is in GQ, they don’t get the same kind of criticism.”
The blurb in that published her views then reinforces this stereotype by referring to Vogue magazine as an institution that emphasizes “materialism and consumerism.”   I interpret this as fashion is for the vapid, brainless type who just want to show off.
Now wait a second.  I’m not naive about the fashion industry and how it encourages us to spend, spend, spend every season.  But clothing design is also an art.  And if people appreciate the art of fashion and, at the same time, try to make themselves look more attractive with clothing, more power to them!
I don’t think we should be slaves to fashion.  And quite honestly, I don’t know very many people who are.  But I do know wonderful, brilliant people who also like to look good and enjoy seeing what new creations designers have crafted.
Why can’t we just let people love what they love and live as they live without passing judgement?

Week in Review: 1/1-1/7

Need to Bundle Up These Days

Ah, we survived the first week of 2012.  So what did we discuss on Beautyskew?  Take a look…
I shared all the beautiful reinventing my family and I experienced over the course of the year Weekend Observations: The Beauty of Reinvention
Adding to the list of creepy but beautiful art exhibits that I admire, our Pic of the Week shared photos of Susie MacMurrays’ weird but cool show of art made from mundane objects Pic of the Week: An Eerie Look at the Human Condition
Karen shares her progress in week 6 of her 30 week weight loss plan, and urges herself to turn her good intentions into action in 30in30: Showing Up
Is it bad taste for head hunters to encourage their candidates to make over their appearance along with their resumes? Should Make-Overs Be Encouraged Before Job Interviews?
Add to your weekend reading list with these fascinating beauty-in-culture stories we found this week  More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Have a fantastic weekend!

Should Make-Overs Be Encouraged Before Job Interviews?

Looking great for a job interiew is a must
Jezebel published a piece on a speed-dating service that forces women to get make-overs before their dates, “Speed-Dating Service Would Rather Ladies Had a Make-Over First.”  Good news: the make-overs are free.  Bad news: guys don’t get the same rule.
But forget the inequality for a second.  There’s something to this idea.  Why not put your best foot forward before a date?
Being married for over a decade, this article doesn’t apply to me.  But then I realized, “shouldn’t the same rule apply for another type of critical meeting, i.e. the interview?”  In other words, should we — men and women alike — be forced to look our best for job interviews?  Given I’ve had my share over the past few month, I certainly remember how I “performed” in these meetings when I did or did not look great.  The better I looked, the better I felt, and the more I nailed the interview.  Duh!
I’m not saying we should all go to job interviews looking like we are about to whoop it up at a dance club or about to walk the down the aisle.  I’m just thinking that we could all use a make-over, a new suit or a hair cut to spruce up our looks and our attitudes.
For all you recruiters out there, I would encourage you to push your candidates to not just clean up their resumes but their looks too.  It may just land them the job of the century.