Posts Tagged ‘personal image


Make-up Makes Women Appear More Competent

Wearing makeup has a significant impact on how people perceive women, making women seem more attractive, competent, likable and trustworthy, according to new research published early this month.

According to ABC News, Researchers at Procter & Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute showed study participants photos of women either wearing no make-up or wearing one of three different cosmetic looks – natural, professional or glamorous.

In the first study, subjects were first shown images of women, who were of different ages and ethnicities, for 250 milliseconds. In a second study, a different set of study subjects looked at the same photos for an unlimited amount of time so they could carefully inspect each face.

Study participants then rated the women in terms of competence, likability, attractiveness and trustworthiness.

“We found that when faces were shown very quickly, all ratings went up with cosmetics in all different looks,” said Nancy Etcoff, lead author and associate researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The women were judged as more competent, likable, attractive and trustworthy.”

But when subjects had the chance to examine photos for a longer period of time, the same perceptions didn’t carry over.

“When they got to the more dramatic makeup looks, people saw them as equally likable and much more attractive and competent, but less trustworthy,” Etcoff said. “Dramatic makeup was no longer an advantage compared to when people saw the photos very quickly.”

Etcoff said the study findings should serve as a message to women that cosmetics could have an impact on how people perceive them in ways beyond physical attractiveness.

“In situations where a perceiver is under a high cognitive load or under time pressure, he or she is more likely to rely on such automatic judgments for decision-making,” the authors wrote. “Facial images appear on ballots, job applications, web sites and dating sites.”

According to ABC News Radio, a Proctor & Gamble chemist and co-author on the study, Dr. Sarah Vickery, said the research could have an impact on the cosmetic industry.”We’re really seeing for the first time how that impacts how others perceive us so that could lead to new color palates, new finishes or it could impact how we organize our color collections for women,” she said.

This study shows that cosmetics enhance how others perceive your beauty, but there are other ways to feel beautiful,” said Ann Kearney-Cooke, director of the Cincinnati Psychotherapy Institute. “Your warmth, confidence and energy attract others to you. There’s nothing more attractive than a confident woman with a voice of her own, with her own style that comfortable in her own skin.”

(Excerpts from ABC News Article by Kim Carollo)


How to Perfectly Iron a Shirt


If you’re anything like me, you hate ironing so much that you dryclean your dress shirts just to have someone else do the dreaded chore for you. I know, it sounds awful, but I can’t help it – ironing is just not my thing. Busted!

But it looks like there’s hope in sight. Here is a video with some smart tips on how to perfectly (and efficiently) iron a shirt – it looks so easy, I might do this after all!

Click here: How to Perfectly Iron a Shirt (video from Globe and Mail)

Good luck!






Classy Book!


Lindsay Lohan tweets to thousands about her ta-tas. Heidi Montag gets plastic surgery and CNN reports. It’s the age of poorly behaved, panty-flashing train wrecks. As a social chronicler for many New York publications, Derek Blasberg’s seen it all. “I’m shocked by how many supposedly sophisticated girls don’t know their water glass from their wine, or who believe menstrual cycles are appropriate cocktail conversation,” says the 27-year-old New York University grad from Missouri. Now Blasberg’s compiled everything he’s learned from Hollywood, fashion, and high society in Classy, a guide to becoming a true lady. “Modern society has put such an emphasis on inappropriate behavior that it seemed like the right time to remind young women how to behave,” Blasberg says.  We agree!

 Have fun reading about 21st century manners and let us know your thoughts!




A Makeover Story


 At 39, Salma felt she needed a change. “I often have challenges in finding the right fit, both for casual and dressy outfits,” she admitted.
“I love clothes and fashion and wanted to update my closet with some items that were new this season yet would be classic additions to my wardrobe.”

Curves are great, but balance is the key (isn’t it always?) Salma’s pear-shaped body type requires a wider leg and higher-waist pant. Because so much of Salma’s figure is well proportioned, we can balance the hips by adding soft layers and volume to the other parts of the body without bulking her up. An executive, Salma needs to always wear professional pieces at work. A suit is a great choice because it lands confidence and authority. Prominent collars – either on a jacket or a shirt – balance the hip and bookend an outfit. A three-button jacket helps pull everything into place. The jacket shouldn’t be tight on the tummy but should create a line that narrows the waist.
This dress is an example of using all curves to their best advantage. We couldn’t get over how stunning Salma looked in this dress – it seemed as if it had been made for her.
A straight empire style dress emphasizes Salma’s curves, while adding balance to her body shape. Dutchess satin is structured and has enough weight to support curves and show them off. The detail on the top creates visual focus near her face, and elongates the silhouette. Any great bag would work here; one that matches the outfit or is in bold contrast to it.

“ I often wear my hair up as I have a natural curl in my hair and find it challenging to style” Salma confesses. Brent form The Lounge Hair Studio darkened her hair to a rich chocolate brown. “I’ve added some low lights to make it look more natural, and to give lust and shine to her hair. Then, I reshaped her layers so it would give her more body, movement and a trendier look’” he explained.

SKIN                                                                                                                                                                                           When I first met Salma, within the first few minutes of our conversation, she asked if we would include skincare in the makeover process.
“I have always approached my skin care with a long-term perspective. Since I’m reaching a milestone age, I want to learn some prevention skills to ensure that I am proactively looking after my skin while it’s still in good condition” she explained.  Salma’s main concerns were dark circles around the eyes and uneven skin tone.
We sent Salma to the Facial Rejuvenation Clinic. After a consultation, skin care experts recommended a mechanical exfoliation called microdermabrasion.
Through the use of gently abrasive crystals combined with an air stream, the microdermabrasion method gently removes the upper layer of dead skin cells. Removal of the dead tissue brings the healthy under layer of the skin to the surface, encouraging healthy cell rejuvenation. The process is entirely painless and non-invasive, usually taking less than 30 minutes for a complete facial treatment.

At the end of the session, Salma’s skin was softer, smoother and fresher looking.

Applied correctly, make-up can enhance a woman’s beauty by accentuating striking features or by creating visual illusions, for example.
Using foundation and concelear, I’ve started by evening out the skin tone and camouflaging Salma’s dark circles under the eyes.
Because she has a warm complexion and brown eyes, a dark green for eye lining is perfect for evening glamour. It creates contrast, therefore making the eyes stand out more.
I’ve darkened the brows to match her new hair colour, and applied shimmer eyeshadow to creative a more festive look. Two coats of mascara on the upper lashes completed the eye make-up. Warm toned blush for enhancing that fresh and healthy glow on her face, and a touch of coral lipstick finished the evening look.

After a lot of work but great fun, Salma was ready to share some thoughts about her makeover journey.
“This has truly been a transformation from the inside out. After a fitness assessment , I worked with my personal trainer to improve my posture, strength, and flexibility. This was followed by a wardrobe makeover with The Image Builders where I learned tips on finding the best fit and style for me, and updated my accessories. The make-up consultation was probably the best part, I love what Denisa did to my eyes. While it wasn’t always easy to let others make decisions on my behalf, the expert advice I received from all consultations in this makeover was outstanding – thank you so much!”

Photo credit Heather Goldsworthy from IMAGEOBSCURA,


Many thanks to: The Lounge Hair, The Facial Rejuvenation and Mixx Co-Fitness Studio for kindly contributing to Salma’s makeover.




Are You Dressing for Your Age?


“At every age, what makes you have a great sense of style is the ability to listen to your own instincts and to choose what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Being elegant is not a matter of age but of attitude.” – Giorgio Armani


We often hear things like “40 is the new 30” and “60 is the new 40,” but what does that mean in terms of clothing? Does it mean that we can wear miniskirts and cropped tops until sometime after menopause? Should we still embrace every trend? Should mothers and daughters shop together in the same store?

Here are a few tips, regardless of your age:


-At each stage of your life, aim to show the best and hide the worst – understand your body shape.

-At the end of the day, looking both chic and age appropriate comes down to personal style

-In general, extreme trends that appear out of nowhere and vanish just as quickly are caprices that benefit only the youthful.

– Shirts work for everyone – they are a basic that goes from 16 to 70.

– Colors and prints can soften an older woman’s features and give them a lift.

– Change your look through accessorizing – a sky-high heel gives a totally different effect to a dress than a suede pump.


Dressing for your age is really quite simple once you know what to look for. Once you understand the true power of clothing, you begin to see how you can use your clothes to create all sorts of illusions to look: younger or older, thinner or heavier, taller or shorter, more modern, less dated, softer or more powerful, or… whatever you like.


Here are some current looks you can embrace depending on your age:

           20’s: 20


Experiment and have fun. Stock up on big colorful scarves.





Invest in staples in bold silhouettes.





Navy is the new black – just as wearable and chic.




         50’s: 50


Jacquards and brocades always look sophisticated.





Menswear like tailored jackets and smart shirts look great.




A luxe skirt suit will make a statement.




Photos – Harper’s Bazaar Magazine