Okay ladies. I know. I know it’s cold outside and you ate more chocolate than you intended during the holidays. Your merriment probably included martinis, pumpkin pie and every other decadence that the holidays serve up. Damn that delicious Hickory Farms cheese and sausage box! It’s the work of the devil. Now, I’m not getting on you. I just know what I go through with my clients around the beginning of April: the “Dreaded Bathing Suit Try-on.” Why am I bringing this up while you’ve just had visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads, laying on the sofa, wrapped up in your Christmas Snuggie (you know, the one that you thought was absolutely ridiculous until you used it one night while watching your latest Netflix selection and now don’t want to take it off)? Don’t worry. I’ll keep your Snuggie-addiction a secret, but I’m bringing this topic up because with a little planning in January, those April bathing suit try-on’s will be a little less traumatic. I’m not telling you flat-out that you need to lose weight. But I do know what I go through with my clients in dressing rooms across the country when choosing summer swimwear. The crying. The complaining. The self-deprecation. The “I’m never going to wear a bathing suit again” ranting and raving. I know it’s painful to think about. I know that in most places it’s still cold outside and you can hide a multitude of sins with Yummy Tummy and a loose fitting sweater or blazer. But I also know that swimwear doesn’t lie and you can’t lose 20 pounds in only a week! The funny thing is that we know we are going to go through this every year . . . but this year we’re going to beat it! So here’s the deal. Don’t be afraid! Put down that cookie! Here’s the quickest way to get swim suit ready:
- Pull out your swimwear from last year and try it on in a full length mirror. If you don’t have a full length mirror, buy one immediately. You should look at the front and back before you leave the house every day. It could save you the embarrassment of the smashed bed head in the back or the dreaded toilet tissue stuck in your panty hose trailing behind you when you walk. Then step on the scale. The number is the number.
- Try on all your swim suits from last season. Face yourself confidently in the mirror and own what’s going on. Don’t suck your stomach in. Let all that holiday indulgence hang out! If you just had a baby, see what junior has left behind. You have to know what your dealing with. Knowledge is power.
- Love yourself. Even though you see fat, it’s your fat. Be a Goddess and know that fate probably doesn’t intend for you to spend the next 20 years being a size zero. Look at your Mother’s history in photos and enjoy the life of being a woman. It doesn’t get better than being part of the global sisterhood.
- Plan your goals. If you decide that you need to lose more than 20 pounds, this is not about swimwear, this is about life and health. Be honest and think about how you want to attack this. Nutrition? Exercise? Trainer? Canyon Ranch? Doctor? Get opinions from experts about the best way for you to achieve your goals. Surf the internet to see what’s available. There are many diet solutions out there. It doesn’t have to be expensive. From 5 pounds to 100’s of pounds. Chances are there is one that will work for you, and many that won’t. I for one, can’t do two shakes and a sensible dinner. It doesn’t work for me. One size fits all doesn’t work here. Get a support team! There’s nothing like involving other women who are in the same boat. Do it together. Call each other. Meet for coffee. I like to watch the TV show the “Biggest Loser” occasionally. It gives me inspiration to keep going!
- Don’t judge yourself by the pictures in the fashion magazines. These girls are paid to look like that and they have genetics that are beyond those of any human mortal. Plus, the girls in magazines aren’t real. If you’ve never gone to YouTube and typed in “Photoshop Makeover“, you simply must. I mean, it’s nice to use aspirational images to meet your goals but be don’t ever hold yourself to magazine standards. The universe made you in a certain way. There’s not just one vision of beauty no matter what the media says. I know that this is a hard one and I hate it when people say this to me because I fall prey to it myself. My imaginary picture of myself is that I’m 6’1”, weigh 160, and have a 30-inch waist. As you can see from my bio page, that’s not the case. Oh well. Let’s just keep trying to be the best version of us we can be. I know I’m no Brad Pitt, so I just try to concentrate on my Universe-given talents and the latest skin care technologies.
- Try to buy a swimsuit now that you want to wear during the summer. Many resort collections offer swimwear in the winter. You can also find some cute suits on the internet. If not, use your existing suit as the guideline. Although, I find buying something new always gives me an incentive. Most of you did this with your wedding gowns prior to the your big day. Same principle here. Try the suit on occasionally to monitor your process. You’ll know when you’ve reached your goal. If you don’t reach your goal that’s okay too! Don’t give up and eat a whole box of Oreo’s. Instant cookie gratification will make you feel good for about a minute and then the guilt and remorse will set in. Keep trying! You have time. There are 4-5 months to show off your new body during that time of the year.
So there it is. Get off the sofa and get rid of that Snuggie right now. Tell Hickory Farms “No Thank You! I’ve had enough. I’ve got work to do.” See you by the pool, lounging in that new Prada swim suit.
Yes my pretties! It’s that time of year again. If you’ve been to the mall recently then you’ve already heard “Jingle Jangle Jingle” and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Of course, I’m on the hunt for special gifts for the upcoming holidays. I’m always looking for all kinds of gifts! From great bargains to one of a kind items to help my clients fill their loved ones stockings! No matter what holiday you celebrate, gift giving is definitely on all of our minds. My luxury pick this year is Fonderie 47-the most delicious custom jewelry created by Humanitarian and Activist Peter Thum. Peter is the CEO and cofounder and previously founded and grew the social venture Ethos Water, which funded over $6 million in safe water projects, helping more than 420,000 people around the world gain access to water and sanitation services. Just Incredible! Peter, with his cofounder John Zapolski have now turned their social conscience to combat the devastation caused by illegal assault rifles in Africa’s war zones. Fonderie 47 sprung from Peter and John’s personal experiences having seen assault rifles in the hands of children and how these rifles hinder many aspects of development in Africa. Peter told me “A transformation is needed to break this cycle of violence! To this end, we’re we are turning the power of the AK47 against itself. Not only do we destroy these weapons, but we invert what they stand for by remaking them into wearable art.” Brilliant! Fonderie 47 has already destroyed more than 6000 assault rifles. The sale of each piece of Fonderie 47 jewelry funds the destruction of more assault rifles.
The jewelry? Breath taking! Created in collaboration with leading designers, including New York City based jeweler Philip Crangi and Swiss designer Roland Iten, the world’s premiere designer of mechanical luxury for men, Fonerie 47 is creating exceptional handcrafted limited edition jewelry and accessories. I know you’re just dying to see some of this gorgeousness that helps the world so I’ll be showing parts of the collection in my next column! Knowing you the way I do here’s the link to check out their beautiful website! www.fonderie47.com. Next Wednesday, I’ll give you a mini “Harvey Trunk Show” with Fonderie 47. Can’t wait to see what you think. Oh… By the way girls….If anyone asks you what I’d like for Christmas….Fonderie 47 is at the top of my list! See you Tuesday.
As your Cyber Main Gay I have to admit something! I don’t know how to cook. Well at least girls, act surprised like it’s big news please! LOL! As Joan Rivers once said “The only thing I know how to make is reservations!” I can totally relate. I do however know good food when I taste it. I’ve always considered Julia Child the “Queen” of all great things cooking, especially after seeing the movie“Julie and Julia“. Watching Meryl Streep portray Julia Child was like watching the actual Julia Child. Great performance. I left the movie realizing that Julia changed the way we cook with her 1961 best seller “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” It was a revolution! Nothing since has rocked the culinary world to it’s core. Or at least not until now! Ladies- Meet Nathan Myhrvold-author of “Modern Cuisine- The Art and Science of Cooking.” An exquisite six volume series of pure cooking magic, that combines the ART of cooking with the SCIENCE of cooking.
First things first ladies! Who is Nathan Myhrvold? Hang on to your Juicy Couture aprons! He’s beyond amazing! Nathan is a Co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, which is an invention company. This company is stocked with an elite assemblage of brainpower, scientists and puzzle solvers of every variety! They dream up processes and products to make the planet better, then file for patent applications! The company currently controls over 20,000 patents! Nathan graduated from high school at 14 years old, and by the time he was 23 had earned, primarily from UCLA and Princeton, a bachelor’s degree [mathematics], two master’s degrees[geophysics/space physics and mathematical economics], and a Ph.D.[mathematical physics]. Take a brainiac breadth! He then went on to Cambridge university to do quantum cosmology research with Stephen Hawking!
Nathan is also the former chief technology officer at Microsoft, where he was a futurist, strategist, founder of it’s research lab and the “Whisperer” to Bill Gates! Bill once observed “I don’t know anyone I would say is smarter than Nathan.” Just to put that in perspective, Bill gates is to the tech world what Anna Wintour , chief editor at Vogue magazine, is to the fashion world! Enough said. Now girls, imagine me sitting at the Westin hotel waiting to interview Nathan about his revolutionary cookbook! This shopaholic, beauty junkie was definitely shaking in his Prada shoes! No worries my pretties! After 5 minutes with Nathan, I was so charmed and mesmerized that I almost forgot to take notes for this column! Nathan has always loved food has one more impressive credential-he’s is a master french chef. At 9 years old he flambe’d a turkey for Thanksgiving! His love of great food and science prompted him on a journey to create this six volume masterpiece. Volume one covers the history and fundamentals of food. The next four volumes cover equipment and techniques, animals and plants, gels and emulsions, finishing with volume six-detailing plated dish recipes. All recipes are spiral bound and printed on waterproof, washable paper. Of course Nathan would think of that! Love it! Im definitely accident prone! My two favorite highlights were “Cooking with Liquid Nitrogen” and the map of “Regional Barbecue.” I’m a southern belle and I adore barbecue, just like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind! This book is the new must have for all people who cook! If your a novice to cooking like me it’s a great start. Find out more at moderncuisine.com. There you have it gorgeous! We need a man like Nathan! Handsome, smart, charming and can cook too! Oh !!!!!!I have to go girls!!!!!! My liquid nitrogen is boiling!!!!
“WILL WORK FOR SHOES?” Well of course, I thought to myself, when my friend June Miller Richards, CEO & Founder of 6 Degrees of June, said “Harvey have you heard of Susan J. Ashbrook?” June is a fabulous BFF who arranged for me to be a celebrity panelist for an Angeleno Magazine event for Westfield Malls in Los Angeles along side the fabulous MS. Ashbrook. I’ve known of Susan for several years as the visionary woman who is credited for really creating the RED CARPET protocols that we know and love today. Not that dresses weren’t worn by celebrities in the past, they were. But the modern starlet phenomena that we see at every major celebrity event? That’s Susan! I must see the Red Carpet coverage on E! before all Hollywood award shows! Who’s wearing what by whom? It’s a Stylist’s dream! Susan has penned her experience in the fabulous book “WILL WORK FOR SHOES”-THE BUSINESS BEHIND RED CARPET PRODUCT PLACEMENT. I love this book , not only for the dish, but for how Susan is helping others to create successful products and businesses. Her book is a literal “HOW TO” get huge, powerful exposure for your brand by harnessing the star power of celebrities! I receive emails weekly from women who are launching products and services in search of advice about how to be successful. If you’re searching for ways to build your dream business, you must get this book!
Susan shows you how to:
* Get your product on the body or in the hands of a celebrity. Love it!
* Execute a celebrity marketing campaign for next to nothing!
* Prepare for the attention and increased demand when you have a celebrity hit!
Anya Sarre, HEAD FASHION STYLIST, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT AND THE INSIDER said “Susan Ashbrook was the PIONeer in celebrity dressing! Susan’s look behind the curtain of celebrities and fashion makes her book a must read for everyone!”
It’s a fast fabulous read! http://www.amazon.com/Will-Work-Shoes-Business-Placement/dp/1608321444
Will I work for shoes? I know you already know the answer to that my pretties!
See you on the red carpet!
Happy Holidays girls! Of course this time of year I’ve been up to my freshly waxed eyebrows getting everyone ready for holiday festivities. You know…The right little black cocktail dress? False lashes? The perfect “IT “shoe? Faux fur accessories? Smoky eye or super frosted deliciousness? I was feeling a little fashionista overwhelmed when by chance I met a fabulous woman who reminded me of the true reason for the season. Giving. Girls meet Sonja Perkins-Founder and Chairman of the super supportive girl nonprofit Project Glimmer. Now I’ve always known the magical powers the gift of beauty and jewelry bestow helping self-esteem and confidence. What’s on the inside of a girl is definitely the most important and Sonja believes that every girl is defined by here choices. When a girl feels valued on the outside, she feels worthy on the inside, and this makes all the difference in choosing her future.
And when a girl changes her future, she changes the world. The seasoned and successful venture capitalist Sonja launched Project Glimmer in 2010 and gave away 800 gifts to teenage girls in need at Christmas, all through the San Francisco Firefighters toy program. Up to that point, there had been little if any gifts for teenage girls. Sonja has transformed this and is hoping to deliver 25,000 gifts this season to more than 30 organizations serving thousands of Bay area women and teenagers. The organization’s rule in giving is simply “Nothing can disappoint!” Sonja said joyously “We only give things that delight! We want the recipient to know that she’s not alone in the world, even if the people around her are not treating her well.” LOVE Sonja! In this season of giving, if you’d like to help Sonja and her incredible team, discover how you can help at Projectglimmer.org. Okay girls, back to red carpet dressing for me! Hope Santa brings you all the joy and happiness you deserve!
Women & Makeup. This should probably be a title for one of my upcoming books. I’ve spent 35 years empowering women through co-created image with skincare, makeup, and fashion. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions helping each woman on her own personal journey. The question that still resonates after all these years is “How much makeup should a girl wear?” Looking at social media can leave you baffled! If flip on YouTube makeup posts, you’ll perhaps think that everywoman wakes up to a 45 step regimen that includes contouring, highlighting and a host of tricks that use to be saved for special occasions, weddings, or a hot date. What’s the T? T means truth in drag queen slang, just in case you’ve not seen Rupaul’s Drag Race!
The T is that most women want to spend 5-10 minutes on their faces and look like they’re wearing no makeup. They hate the feel of foundation. They may say they love the color red, but always opt for the naked shades of everything. Now I’m not speaking about beauty bloggers or makeup junkies who love the ritual and also have a shopping addiction. I fall into that category. I’m talking REAL WOMEN. REAL FACES. REAL BEAUTY. Here’s the truth. You only need a few steps to achieve an enhanced version of yourself. And that’s only if you care about your image. Some women don’t. Makeup is not every girls gig. If beauty is a part of your life, here’s a must have list to start a real regimen:
- Cleanser/Makeup Remover – Clean skin is healthy skin. Cleansers are manufactured by skin type. Oily to very dry. If you wear makeup you NEED a remover before you wash your face. This is an important step in the life of your skin.
- Targeted Serum- Serums are excellent to get rid of any concerns you’re having. Blemishes, dark spots, fine lines. They contain higher percentages of active ingredients to alleviate your concern.
- Moisturize/SPF – Hydration and SPF protection are key to healthy, radiant skin. Even if you have oily skin you need hydration. SPF protection is not negotiable. Protect your face or suffer the consequences later. Add eye cream if you are concerned about dark circles or fine lines around the eyes.
How much makeup? It’s up to you! Here’s what I recommend for a naturally enhanced daytime face.
Choose products that are:
- Fragrance free
- Paraben Free
- Cruelty free
THE 4 MINUTE FACE:
- Primer – Fill in lines, disguise pores, add wear to any makeup. Can be worn without foundation to smooth the look of skin!
- Mousse Foundation – Weightless and concealing at the same time.
- Concealer/Eye & Lip Primer – Only if you have something you really need to hide. Dark under eye circles, blemish, or dark spots. Also if you’re going to wear eye shadow and lip color. Adds long wear with out looking dry. Apply after Mousse Foundation to cover completely.
- Invisible Blotting Powder – Talc free and skin refining that won’t settle into lines or become cakey mess by the end of the day.
- Bronzer – The healthiest skin looks sun kissed.
- Mascara – Duh!
- Lip Balm/Lip Color- Balm for plumping moisture that can be worn alone if you’re not a lip color girl. Add a gorgeous neutral lip color to enhance by day and perhaps a daring color for night? Why not live a little?
Believe it or not, these should take you between 7-10 minutes in the morning including your skincare. This will help you put out the BEST version of yourself out into the world. Like it or not, in this age of social media and selfies, image is not only important, it’s a part of who you are.
As Rupaul says, “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag!”
If beauty is part of your daily gig, check out my products & tutorials on harveyhelmsbeauty.com.
Please check out my new blog every week! I’ll be giving you commentary on all things beauty!
It’s approximately 8:00 am. November 9th. My eyes suddenly open to stare at the white shade of my bedroom ceiling. The paint shade is called Swiss Coffee. If you’re looking for the perfect white, this is it. As I sit up in my bed, I look around to see if I feel differently about the world. I notice that I feel emotionally hung over. I don’t drink alcohol so this is characterized by a state of……I don’t know what to call it. Confusion? My want for coffee overrides any other feelings and catapults me out from under my warm, protective covers.
After brewing my French dark roast and popping to the bathroom mirror to look at my skin, I realize that I knew this was coming for about a year. Not my filled pores and new zit from the stress, but the situation we find ourselves in as Americans this morning. Now, I’ve almost been called every name you can think of, but my favorite is American. I’m an American citizen. This morning I felt it more deeply than I have in years. Perhaps from how divisively the campaigns were conducted? The very fact that we can all say what we want whether someone else disagrees? I have an extremely diverse group of friends that exemplify a broad range of emotional beliefs. They also vote on all sides of the issues. While one friend wants someone who’s not the same old government, with a strong business background, and others want the civil rights champions, who believe in equality for all. And others hate that the 2 main characters we have to choose from aren’t the right candidates to move us forward. It’s because of democracy that I have all these different kinds of friends. This morning reminds me of that lovely truth. Very few places in the world have this luxury that I sometimes take for granted. Now don’t get me wrong! I know that things are far from being rosy today! I’m as opinionated as the next American. If you read my book BLUSH: THE UNBELIEVABLY ABSURD DIARY OF A GAY BEAUTY JUNKIE than you know I was bullied and almost murdered for being gay. I WILL NOT go back to a time where I’m treated as a second class citizen or tortured without consequences for the people who commit those hate crimes against humanity. In the same breath, I also don’t want the same old government that’s ruining us financially. I’m an entrepreneur with a freshly launched beauty brand that wants a government that helps us build a solid future, with less big brother watching over us. So now that the election is decided, we will move forward as we have after every election from the past. Hopefully working together like a serum & moisturizer do! Together they can get rid of any blemish or wrinkle! Separately they’ re not as strong or effective and take twice as long to work.
Sorry. You know I’m a beauty junkie and love a skincare analogy. It’s in my American Beauty DNA!
God Bless Us All!