Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

She’s Got Legs

Even though it’s winter and your legs can hide behind opaque tights for a bit longer, it’s time to start thinking about your Spring wardrobe and fitness routine for the best pins around town.

  • Without a doubt, resistance workouts with weights will help tone and sculpt your legs.  The best exercises for great gams include squats, lunges, and dead-lifts.  However, without cardio to burn the fat on the surface, your tone will never show.  Running, jumping-rope, swimming, elliptical training, etc are all great fat-burners… just keep moving and get a good sweat going.
  • Aside from exercise, the right shoes will help create the illusion of longer and leaner legs with nude-toned high-heels (see pic above).  I recently added the two below Jimmy Choo darlings to my arsenal of shoes for Spring.  These will be perfect with shorts, dresses, and skirts for creating a clean line of color from hip to toe.

  • Know your hem-line.  Avoid letting your hem end at the widest part of your leg.  This means if you have heavier legs, don’t rock very short skirts and dresses… opt for knee-length or slightly above-the-knee and wear high-heels in a neutral shade such as nude, light silver, or light gold tone.  Below-the-knee hems are hard to pull-off without looking overly matronly.
  • Lotions and potions will help as well.  Before going out, put a lotion with a subtle shimmer on your legs to help reflect the light and add tone.
  • Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.  Smooth thighs, knees, and bum are definitely always in style.  Aim toexfoliate in the shower 2x/week and follow with a body oil or lotion immediately after to moisturize and keep your skin youthful.
  • Pedicures.  I have a different opinion on pedicures from most women (I think).  I care much more about the softness and health of the skin on my feet than the color of the nails, although you cannot go wrong with a feminine pink.  Your feet need to be healthy and looked after.  I find that getting a quickie pedicure is pretty much all about the nail polish rather than the foot care, so go to a nicer salon or buy sanders and scrubbers to keep your tootsies looking great for those peep-toe shoes.
  • Shaving, waxing, etc all go without saying…. smooth and silky is the way to go.
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Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Grooming, Image advice, Legs, Losing Weight, Skin care, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Look and feel your best in 2011

Resolve to look and feel your best in 2011 with positive changes in your lifestyle, habits, and appearance.  See the below for my take on building a healthier and more attractive body.


1.  Create S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound).  It’s easy to say “I want to lose weight in 2011″ but you need to consider the details.  For example, “I want to lose 4 pounds each month for 5 months so I will be 20 pounds slimmer by June 1st.  I will reduce my caloric intake by 500/day by cutting refined foods (alcohol, candy, white bread) and begin walking at least 20 minutes per day.”  S.M.A.R.T goals will help you achieve.

2.  People in great shape look and feel better.  Would you pay USD$5,000 right now for the body of your dreams?  Of course you would!  Ok, so use that money and purchase a gym membership, personal training, new workout gear/clothes, a kayak, hiking boots, etc.  Commit to your decision to look and feel better.

3. Book an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss products for your age and skin-type.  Maybe you want a few injections or fillers, scars/pigmentation/veins removed, or just need to drink more water and sleep better.  A dermatologist will tell you the truth and hook you up with the products and creams to suit you best.

4.  Find a wonderful salon/spa.  I rave about the Mandarin Oriental Salon (HK) because they are specialists with hair, face, feet, nails, etc.  Invest in a relationship with a wonderful stylist and technician and trust them on beauty and grooming advice.  Look after yourself.

5.  If possible, only buy fresh food.  It’s that simple.  Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, dairy, nuts, eggs, tofu, whole grain breads… and even chocolates.  Consider buying chocolates from See’s Candies which expire relatively quickly vs. packaged chocolate that lasts 6-12+ months on the shelf.   Always go fresh and try to avoid needing to open a wrapper to consume your food.

6.  Take care of your wardrobe.  If it has a stain, a hole, reminds you of a bad experience, hasn’t been worn for 2 years, or you just don’t like it – it’s out.  Don’t rationalize or feel guilty for getting rid of it.  Use a dry-cleaning service to ensure your clothes look their best, purchase lint-rollers for home/work/car, take your shoes to the cobbler seasonally for care and upkeep, use jewelry cleaner regularly, and buy quality hangers so your garments hang properly.  www.imageandlifestyle.com for my personal shopping and style services.

7.  Smile and de-stress.  Take a holiday, get more sleep, book spa appointments, watch a movie with a glass of wine… do whatever it takes to chill out.  Make your happiness, goals, and health a top priority for the new year.

Filed under: Beauty, Dressing Style Tips, Exercise, Facial, Fitness - Motivation, Grooming, Hair, Health, Healthy Eating, Hong Kong, Losing Weight, Manage stress, Skin care, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Necessary Evil of Beauty: Nutrition & Supplements (5)

Being healthy and well-nourished is the most beautiful look I can imagine… and there is no shortcut to a healthy diet.  Being thin does not equate to beauty.  I see tons of skinny women who just look awful.  True health is visible by a person’s smell, posture and bone/muscle shape, complexion, hair and nails, body weight – not to mention the cognitive abilities, longevity, quality of life, etc.  I think carbohydrate free diets are terrible on the system and your body, though I’m not an expert.  I have, however completed an advanced certificate in nutrition and know a diet composed 50-60% carbohydrates, 20-30% healthy fats, and 20-30% lean protein is the way to go… and that the quantity of what you eat is critical.  No matter how balanced your diet, if you overeat, you’ll gain weight.  To help keep your weight in check, aim for making 50% of your breakfast fruit and at least 40% of your lunches and dinners vegetables.  Fill in the rest with whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats and you’ll be feeling and looking beautiful.

Once you get used to limiting your intake of processed foods, you might not love the taste of excess salt, sugar, and saturated fat.  But, we are animals after all and sometimes nothing tastes better than some good ol’ butter, steak, cream, or fried chicken.  So live by the 80/20 rule to keep your internal health and outward beauty in check:  80% of the time you eat like an angel while 20% of the time you enjoy food as a normal person with friends and family without over-thinking.  Case in point – Thanksgiving and other such holidays.  It’s just one day – so eat what you love.  Then, for the next 4 days eat sensibly and take an extra walk each day.

In addition to a balanced and varied diet, supplements will keep you looking 42 when you’re 50.  It is a good habit to start early in life to maximize the benefits.  While supplements are wonderful little things, I hate taking them, finding a place to put those bulky bottles, and the aftertaste.  Necessary evil, right?  My personal daily intake includes the following: calcium with vitamin D, essential fatty acids [EFA] for omega 3-6-9, a powerful multi-antioxidant, high quality multi-vitamin, flax seed sprinkled on my breakfast oatmeal, occasional psyllium husk, probiotics, and the odd fitness supplements I also take such as CLA, BCAA, and electrolytes – if I’m exercising in the heat.  See your doctor or consult the staff at GNC about the supplement options available.

Eating well will keep you looking and feeling your best.

Filed under: Beauty, Health, Healthy Eating, Skin care, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Necessary Evils of Beauty: Drink Tons of Water (3)

Hello and welcome to the third entry in a week-long series of posts about often over-looked beauty ‘secrets’.  Drinking water should have been the topic on day #1 … and it’s not really a secret, but it is a habit which will significantly affect your body and mind in terms of functionality, beauty, health, skin care, digestion, circulation, body weight, etc.  It’s dramatically important.  I view large water consumption as a necessary evil because most people cannot stand drinking water – the taste, texture, temperature, etc… but we absolutely need water to survive (and look beautiful of course!).

How many glasses of water did you consume this morning when you woke up?  How many glasses of water did you drink last night at dinner?  Begin your day tomorrow by drinking a large glass of water as soon as you get vertical, and then drink another glass at breakfast.  Buy two extra-large bottles of water each day (or refill for eco-friendliness) and make an effort to drink one before 2pm and the other before bed.  As a challenge with a wonderful reward,see how you feel and how youthful and soft your skin is after drinking only water for two weeks; cutting out all caffeine, alcohol, juice, milk, soda, and tea.  If that is too tough, just cut out caffeine, alcohol, processed juices, and soda for two weeks and consume only decaf tea/coffee, milk, fresh juices and water.  You’ll feel fantastic once the raging caffeine-withdrawal induced headache finally subsides on day four.  🙂

We are supposed to drink water, and it has worked well for our species… so keep it up and try to consume fruits and vegetables with high water content as well.

 

 

Filed under: Beauty, Health, Healthy Eating, Image advice, Losing Weight, Skin care, , , , , , ,

Necessary Evils of Beauty: Proper Exfoliation (2)

Hello and welcome to the second post in the ‘necessary evils of beauty’ – a 7-day series to discuss a few over-looked, yet influential beauty habits.  Today’s topic deals with a common complaint of many women (and men): dry, bumpy, pinkish skin often found on the backs of the upper arm, tush, thighs, etc.  The answer is proper exfoliation, a process of either mechanical (scrubs) or chemical (peels) dead skin removal which facilitates moisture absorption, provides a youthful and radiant appearance, and smooths the texture of body and facial skin.
It’s surprising how few women exfoliate their curves for soft, supple skin.   We, as a gender, spend an exorbitant sum of money on high heels, Spanx, lip gloss, hi-lights, and fancy panties… yet neglect to dedicate just 1-2 minutes every other day to keep our body and facial skin smooth and healthy.  Removing the dead cells will allow the young and healthy skin to glow… and your expensive facial serum will be much more beneficial when it is absorbed directly into your healthy cells instead of sitting on the old skin.  Well-groomed women know this is a critically important process to include in their shower and skin care regime.  Plus, smooth and healthy skin is so much sexier than anything else you could possibly wear!  😉

What You Should Know About Facial Exfoliation:
  • Be extra careful with the delicate skin of your face.
  • It’s easy to overexfoliate. Talk to a good esthetician about the product and frequency that is best for your skin. Your should be especially cautious if you have sensitive or aging skin.
  • Be careful not to overdo microdermabrasion. It can make thin, aging skin even thinner if you get too many treatments too quickly.
  • Don’t overexfoliate, especially in summer or in very sunny climates. You’re making it easier for your skin to be damaged by the sun.
  • Never use body scrubs on the face. They’re too rough.
  • Be very careful with peels. Don’t get one peel and then go somewhere else to ask for another. You can remove too much of your protective layer and end up exposing the living dermis. Again, be careful about going out in the sun afterwards, or doing it in summer.
  • Never wax if you’ve had a peel recently. It might expose raw, living skin, which will have to scab over to heal.

    What You Should Know About Body Exfoliation:

  • You can use a body scrub once or twice a week with no problem.
  • Body brushing every morning is a gentle way to exfoliate — and wake up!

(Above tips from http://www.about.com)

Filed under: Beauty, Facial, Grooming, Image advice, Skin care, , , , , , , , , ,