Category: Good Reads

Greet with Openness and a Warm “Hi!”

Fish and Cars

(L’Absolu Rouge BX: 230 Rendez-Vous – Lancome, L’Absolu Rouge BX: 151 Rouge Mythique – Lancome, L’Absolu Rouge BX: 251 Brun Prodige – Lancome, L’Absolu Rouge BX: 173 Rouge Preciosa – Lancome, Le Lipstique LipColouring Stick with Brush – Lancome, Rouge Pur Couture – 32: Pourpre Carmin – Yves Saint Laurent, Rouge Pur Couture – 35: Rouge Vernis – Yves Saint Laurent, Rouge Pur Couture – 4: Rouge Vermillion – Yves Saint Laurent, Rouge Pur Couture – 14: Rouge Feu – Yves Saint Laurent)

“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!” — John Muir.

Outer Beauty

Last year in December, I was tasked with the challenge to find a red lipstick to match my natural golden skin tone for a holiday party. I walked into Macy’s with a friend and an old Lancome lipstick (Rouge) hoping that it would still be carried by the retailer. “Hi! I am looking for this lipstick in Rouge,” I asked the counter salesperson with a smile. She responded kindly with a few alternatives to an out-of-stock item.

From my experience, I told her that red (meaning, pure red or candy apple red) does not look flattering on women with golden complexion; however, darker shades of red such as plum, maroon or raisin colored lipstick look sleek, sophisticated and fabulous (deep red also matches the dark color of my eyes).  Thus, we I played with various shades of red lipsticks until I am fully satisfied and happy. I purchased a beautiful tube of dark red by Lancome. 

Since I chose to go bold with a red lipstick, I balanced the overall look with shimmery gold-ish natural eye shadow and black eyeliner and mascara (because gold brings out the natural beauty in women with natural golden skin tone).  I received many compliments throughout the night for the lipstick and the dress (which I purchased in Auckland, New Zealand).

And I learned something new — Besides putting your finger in your mouth to keep lipstick off your teeth, applying vaseline on your teeth before applying lipstick also prevents lipstick from sticking on them!

Find your favorite shade of red and shine!

Inner Beauty

With your favorite shade of red lipstick (or whatever shade you love or even no lipstick at all), you are more than ready to meet people, make new friends, network with other professionals or hang out with your friends! Nicholas Boothman in “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” recommends an “Open – Eye – Beam – ‘Hi!’ – Lean” approach in greeting people.

1. Open. Cultivate an attitude of openness – You are interested. You are cheerful. And You are helpful. Face your body toward the other person. Put away your technology and give this person your undivided attention.

2. Eye. Look the other person in his or her eyes. It conveys that you are confident and it allows you to sense the feelings of the other person by seeing the windows of his or her soul.

3. Beam. Smile, girls! and show off your beautiful lips (and/or lipsticks)! Share your contentment, happiness, joy and excitement. You love yourself so much that you couldn’t help but smile!

4. Say “Hi!”.  Hello! What’s Up?!  Hey! OH MY GOD! Yo! Greet the other person with your favorite hello. Identify yourself. Be pleasant.

5. Lean.  Lean subtly toward the other person. Synchronize with the other person by matching his body language, tone of voice and words. Show that you are interested in the other person. Listen to the other person’s interests and stories. Ask open-ended questions. You will create fantabulous rapport! 

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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Build Beauty on a Strong Foundation

Fish and Cars
(Trench Coat – Burberry, Watch – Michele, Black Skirt – Theory, Basic T-Shirt – American Vintage, Denim –  7 For All Mankind, White Dress Shirt – Vero Moda, Khaki Pants – Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Pearl Necklace – Brooks Brothers, Pearl Studs – Astley Clarke, Little Black Dress – Nicole Miller, Black Blazer – Theory, Black Trousers – Theory)

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” George Bernard Shaw.

Outer Beauty

A strong foundation begins with classic pieces that serve as building blocks for your personal style. They are essential and timeless pieces in your wardrobe; therefore, invest in them. Purchase quality and they will last for years to come. And you will shine!

You will look sharp in a black suit. Ensure that the black blazer has at least two buttons. I love black blazers that emphasize my waist as it gives definition to my body. Also, I prefer my black pants to be slim or straight legged. If you are petite, a pair of black pants looks best without pleats, which tends to swallow you. In anticipation for meetings or interviews where a skirt would be more respectful to be worn than a pair of pants, I usually purchase a matching skirt. And I love suits in quality materials – It immediately transforms a person!

A white dress shirt is also an essential classic. You could wear it with your black suit or you could wear it casually with a pair of jeans or shorts. I love shirts with a little stretch in it as they are more form fitting, feel better on the skin and easier to iron. And I cannot live without t-shirts, because they are versatile. Personally, I prefer V-necks and t-shirts made of thin, stretchy and comfortable material.

In addition to a pair of good fitting jeans and khaki pants, a strong foundation would be lacking without a black dress. You could wear your little black dress to any event. To dress up the black dress, I usually wear a strand of pearls with a pair of pearl studs – and a trench coat.  You will look classy.  To dress down the black dress, I may use a colored belt or wear a pair of fashionable sneakers.

Be creative with your classic pieces and shine!

Inner Beauty

“Integrity” stems from the Latin word “integer” which means “whole” or “complete.” In other words, if you have integrity, you are whole, sound and complete in your inner world because you are honest and congruent. I strongly believe that a person who has integrity has a strong foundation to being beautiful within.

1. Be branded. Have (and adjust from time to time) a set of moral values and principles that you will live by. Think of what values you stand for, what you want to be known as, what characteristics you want to work toward. Brand yourself. Your own set of values and principles will provide you with self-confidence, help you set boundaries and attract people with similar values to you.

Here are some of my own personal moral values and principles: I am responsible for my own education. I work very hard to further the best interest of the company I work for and do not take any short cuts. I am open, honest and loyal to the man I am with and do not cheat. I do not steal any of my girlfriends’ interest(s). I only keep friends I could trust (I use a 3 strikes policy for people who lie). I will not leave when my nephew fails to do an activity – only after he accomplishes it (to teach him not to quit and to build positive associations). I strive to do the right thing, even when it is difficult.

2. Be honest. Besides telling the truth to others, I believe it is important to be honest with yourself, to be personally accountable. Without honesty, I find that it is very challenging to grow because it is easier to lie to ourselves or point the finger at someone else.  For example, if you obtained a C on a calculus examination instead of your goal of an A, be honest about the mistakes you have made and the efforts you could have put into studying instead of blaming the test (It’s unfair!), the teacher (She sucks!), the school (If only I go to Harvard!) or the system (Discrimination!).

If your attitude is one that stems from the fact that you have the internal locus of control – you will thrive! For instance, if you say to yourself “I am responsible for earning a C because I incorrectly applied the fundamental theorem of calculus” and learn the correct application of the fundamental theorem of calculus thereafter, then you will earn an A.

The truth will make you whole – and you will become a better person!

3. Be congruent. To obtain and maintain consistency in your character, act accordingly to your own values and principles. Be congruent in your thoughts, words and actions. When I was in Tahiti last year, I was reading Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” on having integrity and being consistent with the people who look up to you (in other words, watch out for hypocrisy!). When you find an unpaid item in your shopping cart, go back and pay for it! When I checked out of the hotel in Tahiti, I noticed that the hotel did not charge me for the delicious dinner I had, so I immediately requested the hotel to make the adjustment. Since I am the kind of person who would pay for a movie, go out of the theater and then pay for another movie, this did not present a challenge.

What is challenging to me is showing service professionals respect by not being glued to technology.  Thus, my phone is in my purse when I am in line ordering food. Incidentally, I spoke with a taxi driver today who thought that people in New York are rude because they do not say hello and are always on their phone, which reminds me – time to sign off and spend quality time with my nephew!

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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Reach for the Moon One Step at a Time

Fish and Cars

(Top – Grease Gas and Glory, Denim – H&M, Glasses – Vera Bradley, Shoes – Giuseppe Zanotti, Bag – Marc by Marc Jacobs)

The weather in California continues to be beautiful – the beam of the sun shines through crystal clear windows, naturally lightening the room. There is an enchanting chandelier made of antelope ears just right above me. I am thinking of times when someone tells me that I am “short,” “petite,” or “small.” I am an ordinary 5’2″ woman (and I am skinny) so it’s easy for bullies to yell, scream and rage at me either out of their insecurities or their need to feel better about themselves. Fortunately, this doesn’t occur frequently (I do bite!) but occasionally when I am at a random gas station or when I encounter a competitive, comparative and/or insecure male or female whom needs a small dose of esteem boost by pointing at my petite-ness. I thrive to reach for the moon, however, and readjust my perspective – and let my inner beauty shine!

Outer Beauty

If you are fabulously petite as I am, shine in a pair of nude heels! Not only will you be physically taller (not to mention sexier), the color nude will not cut off your height as a pair of black shoes would. Start investing in nude shoes now! And if you do not own any heels, get a pair and practice walking (and dancing) in them. They will boost your self-esteem and help you become more confident.

Wear form-fitting pieces of clothing, ones that accentuate your chest, waist and hips. They will emphasize the beauty of your curves, your femininity, your personality. When in doubt, a pair of skinny jeans and a blouse with a cut that shows off your wonderful chest and waist would allow your beautiful body to shine!

And of course – take care of your skin, the largest organ of your body. Wear sunscreen, eat healthy and be beautiful. Point your chest to the moon. And smile. ❤

Inner Beauty

Confidence and happiness usually come from within.

1. Begin by reminding yourself that you are beautiful,  you are confident, you are unique  because no one in the universe is just like you! You could do anything when you focus on it. Tell yourself that the moon is within reach and take actions to reach it one step at a time.

2. Accept your body as it is. I have curly hair that compelled salon artists to provide me with disclaimers (Ha! Nothing is wrong with curly hair!). And as mentioned above, I could be taller, bigger, etc. etc. etc. However, I love my curly hair. I love how I am and what God has given to me. I am just grateful that I could move and dance and read.

3. And lastly, understand that you are enough. I have been reading a lot of Brene Brown, PH.D., LMSW (author of DARING GREATLY, THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION and I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME (BUT IT ISN’T)).  It has been empowering to learn about shame, its triggers and resilience. I remind myself to embrace who I am every day no matter what happens. I hope you will embrace who you are as well!

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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