Lipstick always makes things better!

Sending you kisses!

Sending you kisses! Wearing my favorite lipstick (Bobbi Brown Lip Color – Pink*)!

This was a rough morning: I had two places to be at the same time, and was not prepared. It is a state in which we mothers find ourselves all of the time, because life with children is nothing if not messy and chaotic. And just when you think you have your ducks-in-a-row something will happen to shake it all up and you are back to square one. I would like to say that it gets better as your children get older but this state of confusion has followed me into my boys’ teen years.

In times like these, a mother must remain calm and breathe deeply. And that is a good place to start, but the reality is that you need more to combat the chaos: you need lipstick. This morning, as I was rushing to my second place after delivering my son to his destination, I found myself grabbing my favorite lipstick* and telling my mother, “Lipstick always makes things better!” And it does. Applying lipstick in moments of stress is calming and instantly uplifting. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that lipstick is the gateway to the other stress reliever for any mother: her smile!

Sending you kisses! xx!


Dress for Success Morris County - December Meeting

Dress for Success Morris County

I returned tonight to Dress for Success Morris County to share in its December monthly networking meeting (part two of the three-step process to help women in need pursue an independent life). DFSMC hosts this monthly meeting for the women, to have a chance to stay connected with friends (I was told that some have been coming for at least eight years) and to feel empowered to continue moving in a positive direction. It’s an evening that includes dinner, an informational keynote speaker and babysitting for their children. What I witnessed was an overwhelming outpouring of love and uplifting energy.

I arrived just in time to see the women finishing dinner and enjoying each others’ company. Everyone looked polished and professional, as they wore outfits that they had selected from their suiting and styling session with a DFSMC volunteer. But what was most noticeable were their genuine smiles being among friends and supporters. I met Simone, who told me that she had just landed a job and “felt like a queen!” To Simone, this job means freedom. “When I first came to Dress for Success Morris County I had no confidence. Now, I am full of confidence and this new job is power.” Similarly, Nancy described her remarkable transformation: “I had given up on myself and now, I feel like a professional again. By coming here – they give you anything you need – you get over your negative feelings and find your strength again.”

With a warm introduction, speaker Ceylone Boothe-Grooms took the floor; from the moment she spoke she made a connection with the audience. Ceylone’s message rang true for these women, all of whom like Simone and Nancy have had much to overcome: Believe in yourself. In Ceylone’s words, “We are women. By design we are fierce and fabulous! Confidence is powerful!” Perhaps Ceylone struck a cord with everyone when she told her own story; growing up in The Bronx in an environment filled more with drugs than dreams. She was forced to leave college early to work and help support her family. But she had strong parents who saw her potential and she herself began to dream big. It was then that she decided to hold her head high and change her thought process. By chance, she landed her first job in Alexander’s Department Store and later advanced to Macy’s as a makeup artist, all because of this belief in her dream and her unwillingness to give up. Today she is a national make-up artist and image consultant, performer, speaker, and former Mrs. New Jersey America (2011).

She was as if a spiritual leader, and the women reacted with applause and appreciation. There was something so moving about Ceylone’s message: first, believe in yourself and then, give yourself the best chance for success by dressing the part. When she finished, she answered makeup questions and provided makeup lessons.

I think we were all transformed tonight.

What do you think?

Simone: feeling confident

Simone: feeling confident

Speaker Ceylone Boothe answering questions and giving a makeup lesson

Speaker Ceylone Boothe-Grooms answering questions and providing a makeup lesson

Beyond skin deep …

Bobbi Brown: The Studio

Bobbi Brown: The Studio

Lindsey applying my makeup

Lindsey applying my makeup

Why is it that when someone touches our face we feel safe and loved? There is an element of the divine in that expression. Several weeks ago when we were without power (this was Day 10, I believe), I had a tender moment at the Bobbi Brown makeup counter, after losing my concealer in the mayhem of the storm  …

I was feeling and I’m sure looking, forlorn. Two associates at Bobbi Brown helped me by selecting a proper, more moisturizing concealer. But it was not about the cream. When one of the women held my face in her hands and told me that I would be okay, that was the moment that transformed me. A week later I was a new person; our power had returned as had the moisture on my face, but it was the kindness of a touch that made all the difference.

Today I am back at the Bobbi Brown Studio, in need of new blush and lipstick. Lindsey applies the makeup and once again, I am grateful for the gentle touch. This feeling of gratitude goes far beyond the skin and settles in the heart.

What do you think?

Lindsey, Makeup Artist

Lindsey, Makeup Artist

Powerful Stuff!

Make-up artist Bobbi Brown’s new book, “Pretty Powerful.”

I caught an interview of interest on The Today Show: make-up artist Bobbi Brown with Alexa Ray Joel talking about Bobbi’s new book entitled, “Pretty Powerful.” And it is. I am a big Bobbi Brown fan. I use her make up (I especially love the creamy foundations and lipsticks). But what I find most appealing is her fervent desire for women to be their best selves.

This new book is about women sharing their individual stories of empowerment and self-esteem. In Bobbi Brown’s own words: “Creating ‘Pretty Powerful’ was an unforgettable experience; I had the honor of working with an amazing collection of women, each celebrating life and full of energy and confidence. My hope is to help women everywhere understand that being who you are is the secret to lasting beauty – and that all of us can be both pretty and pretty powerful.”
Bobbi Brown, from her book “Pretty Powerful”

I believe in her message!

What do you think?


IMAN rocks!


“He didn’t ask the Caucasian model, he just asked me. And he said, ‘Did you bring your own foundation?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And so he proceeded in mixing something, and he put it on my face. And when I looked in the mirror, I looked gray. I did not look like a brown skin. It looked gray.” IMAN, on her exchange with a make-up artist, on her very first photo shoot.

Former model, Iman, is doing good work. This beautiful woman and former model from Somalia, was profiled yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning, and the interview opened my eyes. From this conversation with a former make-up artist, to having women of color everywhere come to her for guidance on what make-up to use and where to buy it, Iman stood up and did something to change the world. In 1994, she retired from modeling and developed her own cosmetics line exclusively for all women of color, IMAN Cosmetics.

I am not a woman of color. I have never had to worry about how and where to find the right shades of make-up to use on my skin. I have never had to worry at all, until more recently, when I noticed a brown spot on my face that was never there before, but that is a different story which I’ll address later. And now I imagine, thanks to Iman, other companies are following suit and creating cosmetic lines for women of color.

Iman has expanded her line to include, Iman Global Chic on HSN (Home Shopping Network) and Iman Home Fabrics. In addition to redefining global beauty, she actively supports several charities. She is my hero and I thank her for opening my eyes.

What do you think?

Give me some sugar!

Fresh Sugar Coral and Fresh Sugar Rose 

My latest find comes to me via my seventeen-year old friend who knows what’s good. It’s Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, and it is entirely creamy and delicious on your lips. And the color lasts! Here’s what it is: natural, hydrating and moisturizing, gently-exfoliating and good for sensitive lips, with an SPF 15. Here’s what it is not: loaded with petroleum. And that is a good thing.

I bought the Rose (I am a pink girl) and the Coral for my mom. Other colors include: Plum, Passion and Honey. Note to self: keep it away from hot spots like your car and in your back pocket. It will not fair well.

Totally yummy and kissable. Come on – give me some sugar!

What do you think?

The other Bobbi Brown

Yesterday’s New York Times Style Magazine had an article about makeup artist Bobbi Brown and I was reminded why I love her and love wearing her makeup. First of all, it was refreshing to read about the other “Bobbi” Brown, and all the positivity she brings to the world. Secondly, I enjoy wearing Bobbi Brown makeup so much that I was compelled to write about her in my column, (see Styling with Mel, Let’s make up, January 2012). And most important, Bobbi lives her life with integrity; a fellow Jersey girl, she keeps it real with her family of boys while still remaining true to herself. She owns her inner beauty and helps millions of women feel better about themselves, too.

I feel most like myself when wearing Bobbi Brown makeup. That is what I call style.

What do you think?