Category Archives: Beauty

Meet Mr Manners Thomas Farley- Celebrity Snapshot with Harvey Helms

                                                   Meet Mister  Manners Thomas Farley

Whenever I have a question about etiquette or the right thing to do in a sticky situation, I always reach out to my friend Mister Manners, Thomas P. Farley. He’s one of the nation’s best-known arbiters on matters of contemporary behavior. As a speaker and workshop leader, he works with companies to help their employees achieve greater levels of understanding and communication in the workplace. As a regular guest on the NBC Today show, among other media outlets, he speaks to TV audiences on issues of common consideration and modern-day manners. On top of that, he’s kind, fun and super adorable!! Need advice? Check him out at www.whatmannersmost.com and follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Mr. Farley was nice enough to help me with some of my biggest issues! Applying makeup in public, trolling on the internet, and of course his fav beauty tip for fabulous hair!

Here’s his 5 in 5 Celebrity Snapshot!

  1. Where does your passion for etiquette & manners come from?

Growing up in a family of six, consideration and respect were essential means of keeping the peace. Not that my siblings and I were perfect, but “please” and “thank you” were encouraged, while phrases such as “shut-up” were outright banned. Nightly family dinners were a requisite part of life, as were lively conversation and storytelling. Toss in my sixteen years of Catholic schooling (most of that time spent wearing a necktie) and you have the basis for my career today, one dedicated to advocating thoughtfulness and getting along.

  1. What do you think about women who apply their lipstick in public? Like at a dinner table in a restaurant? On the subway?

I believe it’s important for both men and women to be ready to take on the world before they open their front door to start their day. That means setting aside the time to complete one’s skincare, hair and beauty routine at home. I don’t take issue with someone who needs to reapply a bit of lipstick in public—as long as it’s not during a meeting or over a meal. Makeup should never make an appearance when food is present. But lipstick is where I draw the line….applying eye-liner, blush or mascara out in the open is a definite no-no. More than anything, it presents you as disorganized and unprepared. If your make-up needs a pick-me-up, head to the rest room to do so.

  1. In this day of social media trolling- Any advice on how to handle haters?

Cultivate real, in-person friendships that nurture your sense of self. Pay less attention to how many likes your posts get or how many ill-willed comments strangers hurl your way. Those are people who clearly have nothing better to do, and I genuinely feel sorry for them.

  1. What is the biggest etiquette faux pas that you see in your everyday world? What should people do to change it?

As a daily rider of the New York City subway system, I think it’s a case study in how etiquette is pushed to the brink when we are stressed or placed in uncomfortable situations. Behavior of otherwise good people can turn quickly selfish, with actions such as pushing to get on, shoving to get off, playing overly loud music, cursing, blocking doors, manspreading, staring, not giving up one’s seat to someone who might need it more than you… and yes, putting on full makeup. And yet, I have also witnessed some of the nicest interactions you can imagine on subways: locals giving tourists sightseeing advice, young children offering a seat to someone who is elderly, people keeping their cool and offering help when a fellow passenger falls into them if the train has jerked to an unexpected stop. It’s a reminder to me that even in the least pleasant of situations, patience and common courtesy make such a difference. Being rude and getting angry is no path to feeling at peace.

  1. With the fabulous head of hair you have- And I know that you NEVER kiss & tell- But will you share your secret beauty tip that keeps it so handsome?

Awwww, thank you, Harvey! As anyone with curly hair will tell you, it can be a blessing and a curse. Walk outside on a super-windy day and suddenly your well-styled coif looks like an out-of-control ’fro. Manageability is always an issue with curly hair. I think that’s the reason so many men opt keep their wavy hair short and why so many women live for their blowouts. But with the right haircut—I go to Devachan, in New York, which cuts only curly hair—the right products (I like Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk), and a bit of practice and patience, a head of curly hair can go from looking like a mop to looking like a million. (Most days anyway.) And on the days when it doesn’t, you just have to embrace that day’s look, and hope others will too!

Good advice indeed! Until next time! Be kind to each other!

Xo

Harvey

                                       Celebrity Snap Shot by Harvey Helms

 

 

A Day In the Life Of A Silicon Valley Mom By Guest Blogger Denise Geschke

 

    Denise Geschke

Serious dilemma this week. My kids had a semi-formal dance at school on Saturday night. I spent the requisite amount of time buying my daughter ten different fit-n-flare dresses and then returning nine of them. Luckily, my son was much easier to buy for and his outfit came together with only three visits to Bloomingdales.

The standard deal is that your kids are invited to a pre-party before the big dance. The pre-party allows parents to see their kids in the semi-natural habitat amongst their peers. And, it’s a full on photo shoot complete with tri-pods, lenses and video. Cameras are everywhere.

We were lucky enough to be able to get to my son’s pre-party, take photos, not embarrass him or utter any words out loud. Good showing by us. We moved on to our daughter’s pre–party and proceeded to mingle with other parents and take a few hundred photos of our daughter, her friends and even a few with their dates.

So far, so good. Both kids had fun at the dance, we met a few of the other parents and it was overall a good experience. Here’s where the problem began. On Monday, parents starting sharing photos online. Certainly, this is a nice gesture.

However, along with the hundreds of photos of our amazingly photogenic teens, there were a few candids of the parents. And, guess what? One horrible, unauthorized photo of me. Oh no. There I am in all my middle age glory, unedited and from a really tough angle. My mind starts racing. There it is and what do I do?

My initial panic involved some of my recurring internal dialogue that ensues when confronted with an unflattering photo.
“Is that what I really look like?”
“Two choices here: give in and head straight to Eileen Fisher (the “Nuclear Strategy” coined by my beauty mentor Sarah L.) or start battling to not look any worse (the “Reinforce the Aging Dam” strategy).”
“That’s it – I really am going Paleo!”

My secondary conversation with myself focused on the best coping mechanism known to middle aged women and all married people; denial. I thought, “How can I make this photo go away?” If the photo is gone, then denial wins. I don’t have the option to delete photos in the shared album. So, I have to directly ask one of my daughter’s friend’s parents to kindly remove the offensive photo. And, I gotta find a way to do this that allows me to not come off as a total freak. Delicate balance.

Because I don’t know the parent who posted the photo very well and he’s English (possibly less tolerant of candid photo panic), I haven’t made a move. But it’s out there. And, with Prom a few short months away, I’ve got to get a plan so that this doesn’t happen again.

 

Celebrity Snapshot-Vicki Abelson

CELEBRITY SNAPSHOT

WITH

HARVEY HELMS

Welcome to my very first edition of CELEBRITY SNAPSHOT! 5 questions in 5 minutes that give you a deeper look at some of our favorite celebrities and what’s on their minds.

Who did I choose as my first interview? A woman who makes me laugh, think, love, and care all in the same moment. She’s the deliciously complicated mother, bestselling author, performer, producer, promoter, and talk show host, Vicki Abelson


For the past eight years, Vicki has been presenting the crème de la crème of the music and literary worlds at her celebrity-driven literary salon, Vicki Abelson’s Women Who Write. This is where she and I hooked up with my first book BLUSH: THE UNBELIEVABLY ABSURD DIARY OF A GAY BEAUTY JUNKIE! Her other guests are a “who’s who” of Hollywood: Norman Lear, Cloris Leachman, Michael Imperioli, Jackie Collins, Kevin Pollak, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Marilu Henner, Paul Williams, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz to name but a few. I could name drop endlessly. She knows everybody! Her first book, five-star Amazon Bestseller, Don’t Jump: Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N Roll…And My Fucking Mother, published by Carl Reiner’s Random Content, made the San Diego Book Review’s Best of 2015, was named One of the 7 Best Books By Or About Women, and #1 Best Summer Read 2016 by Amazon. Need a fab read? Get it immediately! Her weekly podcast, Vicki Abelson’s BROADcast: The Road Taken, can be heard on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and tunein. She’s so busy but I was lucky to get a few precious moments with this smart glamazon!

So here you go! Meet Vicki Abelson with her 5 in 5!

Vicki! What’s your fav thing about being a woman?

For me, it’s the permission to be sensitive, empathetic and openly express my emotions. I mean look at men, STILL, in 2017! We judge them if they cry. We’re given permission, and men are stuck.

What about the ongoing gender equality issues with women & Hollywood?

First, I’m all over Meryl Streep and her Golden Globes moment. I was so impressed and moved by her. Women & Hollywood continues to be interesting. Older male actors get sexier. We accept older men in leading romantic roles, but female actresses as they age go from romantic lead to playing someone’s mother and that’s if she’s lucky. And, there are less parts and more women competing for the roles. Stricter image criteria then men? Weight? Wrinkles? The double standard alive and well.

One show I’ve seen that’s doing a good job in this area is called “This Is Us”. One of the leads in the ensemble, Chrissy Metz, isn’t just a little heavy, she’s obese. She’s beautiful, and, having a sexy life. It’s thrilling to see this character struggling while living a funny and beautifully romantic story line. This gives me hope for the future.

Gender equality. What’s next?

Is it still about women’s rights? What antiquated thinking. Lines are getting blurred-more gender fluidity. Are we women? Men? Trans? We’re human!! A woman did run for President, and the show Transparent seems to be breaking down some walls, but women are still paid less than men for the same jobs.

Who’s your hero?

Hilary Clinton’s my hero. She’s spent almost her entire life in public service. I can’t believe how many times she’s been kicked to the curb but rises- brushes herself off- and keeps fighting. Brilliant, qualified and hardworking, is she warm and cuddly? No. Is she flawed? Yes. But aren’t we all?

What’s next for you?

I’m aspiring to broader platforms for my creative projects. My manager is about to shop Don’t Jump for episodic TV. Netflix, HBO or Showtime would work nicely. Don’t cha think? My Podcast? Bigger platform like NPR. The new Fresh Air? I love interviewing celebrities about their journey. Firstly, I’m a fan girl. But, I’m also fascinated with how they managed to break through and be successful. How they merged creativity and commerce. I find they always have a tool, or tools, which guide their path. I learn from them where to refocus. I hope my listeners do, too. Sharing what I learn is one of my greatest joys. And, then there’s simply the fact they have “it”- that indefinable something which makes them irresistible. I want to be around them, dammit, don’t you?

Vicki! You’re fabulous. You know I’m a beauty junkie. Any tip you want to share about staying gorgeous?

Crest White Strips! I smoked for years and these little strip miracles took that damage and years off me. Not that fake too white look, rather, a natural, whiter smile. It’s made me more comfortable with myself in life, and in photos.

You will fall in love with Vicki. My life is better just knowing her.

Check out all things Vicki Abelson at the link below! You’ll be glad you did!

http://www.vickiabelson.com/

Stay fabulous till next time gorgeous!

xo

Harvey

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS 2017 – THE STOP IT LIST

 

2016 Goodbye. What a year. Some good. Some bad. Some unpredicted election results and deaths of some of our most treasured icons. It was a year that forced all of us out of our respective “Closets” as it were. Liberals, bigots, racists really we got to see each others true feelings. Everyone had an opinion about everything and social media became the main venting place for all to let each other have it. Facebook had a record number of unfriending and blocking situations that I’m sure mark Zuckerberg didn’t see coming.

SO 2017. Let’s turn the page and take a step forward into what I hope we be a more collaborative vs dividing year. With that said, I thought I’d begin a new tradition of creating a “Stop It” list. You may want to create one as well. This list allows me my last vent for 2016 about things I want people to stop doing. Not that they will stop but just saying it makes me feel better. If you disagree with my list, then make your own and post it.

It’s like good therapy.

HARVEY’S 2017 STOP IT LIST

  1. STOP OVER EXFOLIATING YOUR FACES! Too much of a good thing like scrubs, peels, retinol, any of the cosmetic acids, Clarisonic brushes, buff puffs, enzymes, and micro daily whatchamacallits are making everyone look dehydrated and making the incidents of rosacea and adult acne go through the roof. So stop it. Use these a few days a week vs everyday please.
  2. STOP OVER DRAWING YOUR EYEBROWS! I like an enhanced natural brow but come on! Those big brunette comas your placing above your eye area because some inexperienced beauty blogger told you to? No. Stop it.
  3. STOP BUYING/WEARING THOSE CONTOUR/HIGHLIGHT KITS! Regular people do not need these for daytime real life looks. If you have your own Net Flix series, then you can keep doing it. If not? Stop It!
  4. STOP ASKING PEOPLE TO CUT, COPY, OR PASTE SOMETHING RIDICULOUS ON FACEBOOK. No. We don’t have time. Period. Stop It!
  5. STOP SAYING/TELLING PEOPLE HOW BLESSED YOU ARE. This should be self explanatory. If you don’t understand, well, perhaps you may have a little problem in this area. Stop it.

Well I feel better. Please let me know your TOP 5 Stop It’s to begin 2017! But just don’t ask me to copy and paste it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

XO

HARVEY

TAKE A TIP FROM GWYNETH PALTROW AND SHAKE IT UP!

Hello my darlings1 I’m taking a break from my Emmy 2011 Countdown to help all my kittens get ready for fall. I know that many of you are  sending the kiddie’s back to school so let’s have a little ME time! Clients are texting hourly  asking for my perspective on  fall make up trends, so here you go!  As your Cyber Main Gay I have to tell you I’m a little tired of “Au Natural” so please, let’s glam it up! Go into your bathrooms immediately and do a quick inventory! I know you have everything that gives you the “No Make Up Look” so don’t even consider buying another neutral.  Keep that look for day and now concentrate on a little glamour for night!  This season should be a breeze and add some budget relief   because you only need a few elements to update your look. No complete overhaul here! Think eyes and lips! Have an open mind! Try something new! I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s  philosophy on life and beauty! She proclaims “Beauty to me is about being comfortable in your own skin, that, or a kick-ass red lipstick!”  You rock Gwyneth! So let’s begin!

Step 1- Buy a red lipstick! It’s the must have color! Don’t say “I look horrid in red!” Instead say “Which shade of red complements my complexion?” Burn’t red, Cherry red, soft red, OMG there are a million! All my clients say “But it’s too bright!” Well when you’ve been wearing nude 24/7 for the last 10 years in going to definitely be a change. Come on Girls! Go for it!! I love Lancome’s L’Absolu Rouge shade Hold Up Red from their 29 ST Honore fall collection!

http://www.lancome-usa.com/29-St-Honoré%3A-Fall-2011-Color-Collection-by-Aaron-de-Mey/whatsnew-29StHonore,default,sc.html

Step 2_ Wear color on your eyes. Try the deeper hues of plum or gray. Add a surprise with sheer mint green or blue. Yes blue is back. I won’t accept any whining till you find the shade that rights for you “Miss I always wear the same thing everyday!” I love YSL’s 5 palette eyeshadow from their delicious Midnight Garden Collection! Don’t let the mint green scare you! It’s super sheer and totally luminizing!

http://www.yslbeautyus.com/Fall-Collection-2011/makeup-fall-collection,default,sc.html?cm_mmc=LabeliumSearch-_-Google-_-SiteLinks-_-YSL%20beauty&gclid=CPbB17Ke6aoCFQs0QgodiG7RPg

 

Step 3- Get ready! Take a breath!  Let your brows grow.I know I know! A brow change is difficult at best but  a fuller brow is in so give it a try. I’m not saying UNABROW, I’m saying natural brow with maintenance.  Let your brow girl or boy know what your experimenting with to give you the perfect look! Don’t just sit in the chair and say “The Usual please!”

 

My two fall  skincare picks are Kate Sommerville’s 24 Hour Pimple Punisher to banish zits and Lancome’s Visionnaire with LR2412 to erase pores and wrinkles! Each can be added into your current skincare protocols!

http://www.refinery29.com/10-brand-new-beauty-products-for-fall-we-can-t-wait-to-try/slideshow#slide-5

http://www.lancome-usa.com/visionnaire-minisite-landing-page/visionnaire_index,default,pg.html?cm_mmc=LabeliumSearch-_-GoogleBrand-_-Skincare-_-lancome%20visionnaire

 

 

 

 

Now, as soon as you drop off  little Wyatt and Tiffany at school, stop at Starbucks then go directly to your favorite store and have some fun! Remember “No Neutrals!”

 

Big Kisses to all the girls I adore!

xo

Harvey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XO Elizabeth

As your Cyber Main Gay I’ve loved many fabulous actresses in my life.  My love affair with Barbara Streisand started the first time I saw “Funny Girl!”  Bette Davis?  “All About Eve. ” Joan Crawford?  “Mildred Pierce. ” Judy Garland?  “The Wizard of Oz.”  Rosalind Russell?  “Auntie Mame.” And finally as we say goodbye to the most beautiful violet eyes ever created-Elizabeth Taylor in “Giant.” I wanted to wait a respectful few days to say farewell to Elizabeth. Gay men take their screen love affairs with actresses very seriously.

Now of course I’ve seen all of her films.   When I first saw her in the fabulous 1944 “National Velvet”, I wondered “Did she know she would be one of the world’s greatest stars?  How could she not with that face? ” Plus the fact that I cried like a big gay baby after viewing it! Elizabeth was known to say “I prefer animals to people.”  Lucky that her two first leading men were a dog and a horse.  She was also the original in “Lassie Come Home!” “Butterfield 8” that had Elizabeth playing a call girl won her an Academy Award.  “Cleopatra”, where she fell in love and eventually married Richard Burton.  They really were the Brangelina of their day! Quite a scandal!  “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  Loved it because it was like watching my parents marriage. Passionate and brutal.  I thought Elizabeth would understand my  life after seeing that movie! “A Place in the Sun” with Montgomery Cliff” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with Paul Newman.  Two of the hottest leading men ever! My favorite though is “Giant”.  An epic, that in my opinion was the precursor to the “Dallas” and Dynasty” Tv shows!  Plus yummy Rock Hudson and smouldering James Dean? I’ve seen it a million times!  Of course I have to mention the 8 husbands.  Not going to go through all of them!  A girl is allowed to make a few bad choices you know!  My favorites are of course Richard Burton who was sexy beyond belief, and the man who gave her the incredible jewels!  Mike Todd, who was killed in plane crash a year after their marriage.  Elizabeth was supposed to be on that flight but fell ill suddenly. Mike told her she better stay and rest.  She loved him. Tragic.  Ultimately though, after a historic career, Elizabeth Taylor will be known as one of the greatest crusaders in the fight against AIDS!  She co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research[amFAR] which has raised more than 465 million dollars for AIDS research and treatment.  Later she started her own Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. She was courageous in the beginning when no star wanted to touch the issue.  She ran to her Giant costar’s side when Rock Hudson was outted with the disease. She always seemed fearless.  Thanks for that Elizabeth!  As we say goodbye, the beauty junkie in me has to mention her top selling fragrances Pasiion and White Diamonds.  Funny that these sum her up in such a beautiful way. The most beautiful, passionate woman who was  as clear and bright as a perfect diamond.  Elizabeth Taylor  truly is Hollywood’s Last Great Star.

Rest in peace,

xo

Harvey