applying lipstick

How to apply lipstick to make it last

Second only to your eyes, your mouth is the central focus for communication.  Lipstick is all about directing attention to the face, and in business  – that’s where it should be.

Make-up in the business world has only two purposes:  to make you look healthier and more vibrant, and to accentuate your best features.  It is not about glamour or seduction.  It should be remembered that the context is business – after hours is your affair.

When make-up is well applied, it enhances a woman’s professional image considerably.  It says:  polished, well groomed,  and attention to detail.

Consistency is just as important.  Even if make-up is applied well, if a woman is inconsistent with its use on a day to day basis, it suggests that she is indifferent, frivolous, and unstable.

Choosing the correct colour

Lip colour is the finishing touch to your make-up and should compliment your skin tone – and the clothes you wear (assuming they are also the correct best colours for you).  If you are not sure, check in with a colour consultant to be sure.  The session could also rescue you from the eternal black syndrome.  If you are not in the habit of wearing lipstick, start with a more natural tone.

To get great looking lips, you need a lip pencil in a natural colour or similar shade to your lipstick and a lip brush to apply the colour.

The seven-step lipstick cure

Step 1: When applying your foundation, also apply over your lips, blot with a tissue and allow a moment to dry.

Step 2: Dust lightly with face powder

Step 3: Outline line your lips with the lip pencil starting with the cupids bow (the V in the centre top lip).

Step 4: Fill in entire lip area lightly with the lip pencil all over your lips before applying your lipstick.  It helps your lipstick last much longer.

Step 5: Work the lipstick colour into your lip brush and apply, avoiding the lip-liner.

Step 6: Blot off excess lip colour with a tissue. This helps to ‘hold’ the colour and prevent smearing.

Step 7: Re-apply lipstick to achieve a gloss finish if you prefer this look.

And for those who have very thin lips, outline your lips just outside the natural line with the lip pencil.  Use a brighter shade or a rich gloss to make lips appear fuller.

For those who wish to play down very full lips, pencil the lip-line just inside the natural lip line.  Avoid glosses and very bright colours, and blot off any extra sheen.

Voila – there you have it!

in front of computer

Sabotaging Yourself? Email Blunders And What To Do About It!

It is amazing to find that some people have no idea as to how important their email communications are and what can be assumed about a person based on what they divulge in an email.  I advise companies to adopt an email policy that will give them an ‘edge’ on their competitors and at the same time,protects them from awkward liability issues.  Listed are some email blunders that occur so often in business.

The Blunt Emailer:
“Need that print-out from you.  Urgent.  When you go out, can you get me a coffee, 1 sugar”

General comment:
This is way too blunt no matter how well you know the recipient.  Respect for others in the workplace is essential if you want to build rapport and keep work relationships healthy.  People give more when they feel respected.

What it says about the sender:
Lacks respect for the subordinate or workmate. Unprofessional, uncaring, rude. Sens mixed messages.

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:
Not only can it be intimidating for those who work in close proximity, it lowers the professionalism of the department &/or company. It can have an adverse affect on marol and output.  It can build bad feelings within a department.

How to improve next time:

Don’t make demands and ask for favours in the same breath.

The conversation could go like this:  “That printout is required urgently. How soon would you be able to give that to me?”


“Would you mind doing that print-out for me as soon as you can as it’s now urgent?”

A separate email request regarding the coffee could go  “Would you mind picking me up a coffee with one sugar if you are going that way?”  Be prepared to offer the same favour for your workmate at other times.

The Nuisance Emailer:

Helllllllllooooooooo!  Aren’t you going to say hi today?  Any, check out these pics from the party!  The one of so-and-so co-worker is sooooo funny!  Can’t stop laughing.  What’s new? xx”

General comment:
This is way to familiar an email for the workplace. Emails should be brief, to the point and should not be eliciting idle comment from a co-worker.

What is says about the sender:
Immature. Lacks respect for follow workers, especially around boundaries and their time.  Assumes familiarity with the recipient that may not be there.  Has little regard for priorities.

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:
This sort of e-ttitude will affect this person’s reputation across the board.  It will be difficult for anyone to take this person seriously, and one should be wary of trusting this person with one’s personal details.

How to improve next time:
Eliminate over-friendly banter in the workplace altogether.  Being friendly, polite and respectful will build trust with follow-workers and the boss.  If sharing photos of the work-party – keep the photos appropriate, and send them only if requested to do so. Otherwise notify by email that you have copies and if anyone is interested in receiving them, to indicate this to you.

Send them with short explanation in subject line e.g. Subject: Photos of Friday evening. And restrain yourself from comment on any of the photos. Do not ask for, or expect a response from those receiving the email.

The Needy Emailer:
“I get the feeling you aren’t talking to me. You haven’t said hi to me for the past two days, and I’m trying to figure out what I’ve done to annoy you.  Can we have a talk?”

General comment:
It is very inappropriate to express a personal concern by email.

What it says about the sender:
This person sounds and acts immature, hesitant and lacking in confidence. The whiney edge to this email is a credibility breaker.

Why is it bad to have this e-ttitude:
Trying to put a guilt trip on a co-worker shows poor jedgement, a lack of propriety and a neediness that can be very annoying and sometimes intimidating.  This will affect this person’s standing with co-workers and the boss if he/she hears about this.

How to improve next time:
If there is a concern that one may have over-stepped the mark or offended, don’t address this or any other concern in an email.  Address the issue personally and make a time (preferably out of work hours) to meet with the other person on neutral territory so that your conversation is out of earshot of co-workers and the issue can be discussed and sorted out amicably.  Always have a satisfying outcome in mind before the meeting so that when you DO meet, you already have a positive mindset. There is nothing more off-putting than a ‘cap-in-hand’ approach.

The Terrified Emailer:
“Hello, Mary.  I’m so sorry to bother you, I know you’re really busy and you don’t have time for annoying people like me!  However, I was just wondering if we might be able to go through my ideas this morning at some stage?  If not, don’t worry, I just thought I’d ask. Sorry to be annoying!”

General comment:
This is so apologetic and assumes the worst situation so much so that it actually creates the situation. There are people I’ve met like this and I want to slap them.

What it says about the sender:
Totally lacking in confidence.  Doesn’t trust people nor their own judgement. They put other people down in a covert way without realising it e.g. you are bothered by my interruption; you don’t have time for me; you think I’m annoying etc.

A covert controller perhaps?

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:
This type of behaviour will undermine this person’s professional standing and personal relationships. They come over as capital ‘L’ for looser and will be ignored &/or taken advantage of.

Stop the negative thinking. It’s not all about YOU!  Appreciate your strengths. List the areas that need attention and do something about it. Find a mentor.  Seek counselling. Do unexpected things for other people WITHOUT expecting a response, acknowledgement or thank you.  And get an updated image (hair, apparel, accessories). A serious change is needed here – and it’s the visual change that gets noticed first.

How to improve next time.
The Insecure Emailer:
“Do you think my latest report was terrible? Will I get fired? PLUS, I’ve been late for the last two days. Oh God. Have you heard anything?

General comment:
This is so inappropriate. Also when asking for a response with a negative outlook, you are sure to get negative feedback, if not directly in an email, but future responses from the recipient of your initial email.

Lacking self control, lacking in self confidence, erratic, drama-queen. Too self aware, overly self indulgent. “It’s all about me.”

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:

People will not take this person seriously. If they can’t control these sorts of outbursts, their career path will be stymied – no future. Submitting a report where one expects it to be viewed in a negative way is nothing short of incompetent.

What is says about the sender:
Get a grip, get serious about your position and the job at hand. Be prudent, think carefully before opening your mouth, and never send pathetic emails like this again.

How to improve next time:
Hey babe! Can I get that info from you this morn?  Don’t tell Boss I was late – hot date went a little too sell last night! xxxxxxxx

The Overly Familiar Emailer:
General comment:
Way too familiar with a co-worker. Sending bad signals from woe (literally) to go about personal life

What it says about the sender:
Poor judgement, lacking self control, no respect for co-workers, the company or the ‘date’, lier (work hours) cheater (the organisation), very gushy, pushy and annoying.

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitute:
No one could trust this person to do the decent thing. Unprofessional conduct in work hours and poor conduct outside of work hours reflects badly on the individual and those they associate with.

How to improve next time:
Keep your private life to yourself – never discuss at work under any circumstances. Never call a co-worker by any name other than their own. Babe is a major put-down. Asking someone to not tell the boss something assumes that they would have done so – thus putting them down at your level.  This is disrespectful to all concerned.  x-kisses should never be seen on any email sent to co-workers or to anyone’s business email address – EVER. For that matter, it’s a bit passe on any email. Family and close friends would be the exception.

Footnote:  Check your email etiquette and if any of the above examples relate to you – stop immediately. Your future is at stake!


10 Cool Shopping Tips

Keep your objectives in mind to dodge the impulsive buys.
Know what you already have, what you intend to get, and know the specifications. The specifications? you may ask. If you don’t know them, you need to see us. These involve knowing exactly what suits your body shape and proportions, and your colouring – essential for smart shopping.

Set aside the time you need
A credit card and a lunch hour are usually insufficient for making a smart purchase. Leaving it to the last moment is like buying an umbrella on a wet day. Diarise the time needed.

Be awake, aware and alive!
Tuck away a bottle of mineral water – dehydration dulls the brain.

Ensure you do not have distracting and competing needs arising from hunger, tiredness or the demands of a friend or children.

Have a light meal before the excursion and wear comfortable shoes for the walking part.

Check out the store/s
Certain stores should set off warning bells almost immediately. They will usually be inadequately lit and have few or no mirrors until you get to the change room. It goes almost without saying that sales assistants have a target to meet and that you need to keep the purpose of your shopping excursion firmly in mind. Tell them what you are looking for, what you need it for and your (correct) size. If they don’t listen – then leave.

Know your budget
Our advice is always to go for the best quality you can afford at the time. A high quality, practical item which lasts and doesn’t date can be more cost-effective than one which seemed a bargain at the time but gets little wear over its short life span.

Questions to ask yourself if shopping for sales items
would I consider buying it if it were not on sale?
am I compromising quality, fit or appropriateness for price?
will I have to spend too much on alterations to make this fit?
will I be able to combine it with at least two other items I own?
Be realistic about weight gain and weight loss

If you are heavier than you would like to be, forget about buying too-small sizes that will fit once you ‘lose the weight’. You could be diverting your resources to a hope rather than benefiting in the immediate, practical present.

Put function before fashion
Avoid clothing which follows the latest fashion trend unless you have the means to renew your wardrobe frequently.

Dress for the shopping experience – or risk the ‘Pretty Woman’ encounter.
You will be given the service and respect your deserve when you step into a store looking well turned out.

Oh – and take with you…..

  • your colour direction reference swatch
  • the shoes you need for the outfit/s you intend to buy your wits!
  • … and wear your best supportive underwear.

On the other hand – you might simply prefer to call us and let us do all the thinking and planning for your best summer wardrobe yet. Call us if this appeals to you.


Sound As Good As You Look!

The way you speak is just as important as the way you look! Itʼs as automatic as the way you dress, or where you part your hair. And like these everyday habits, you can change your speech to sound more confident, business-like and socially attractive.
Few people have ever heard a recording of their own voice, and, when they do, many canʼt believe it really sounds like them. For many people itʼs a humbling if not disturbing experience.

Then there is the practical issue of being clearly understood. Nothing undermines your confidence more than having to continually repeat yourself or find that others keep talking over you. Clear speech, in a pleasing tone, can make the difference between success and failure in both your social and business dealings.

Decisions about how you speak are no different to those you make about the manner in which you dress or groom yourself. If you are changing aspects of your outer image, itʼs a good idea to check also that your speaking style is aligned with your new image.
When your speech and appearance are congruent with your business goals, no only will you feel more confident, you will find that more opportunities open up for you.

Australia is a melting pot of many language influences and there are no longer rigid rules about “right” or “wrong” accents. If English is your second language, and others are finding your words difficult to follow, having voice training could be a very smart decision. Imagine the relief of being understood first time! Even Australian English can lack clarity, and the habit of using too many rising intonations makes you sound unassertive and lacking confidence.

When it comes to speaking style, quite a number of things can go wrong.

Ask yourself – Do I speak too fast, or too slow? Is my voice memorable (for the right reasons) or preferably forgotten as soon as possible – too loud, too soft, rough, breathy, nasal? Do I speak like a robot – in a monotone voice? Is my speech littered with wadding like “sort of”, “actually” and “you know”?
If you frequently repeat statements, find it hard to give information succinctly and in logical order, or would like to change speech pattern, then we highly recommend having a speech pathologist or trainer who specializes in speech and voice enhancement.

Itʼs easy to spot distracting features in others, but not so easy to hear them in yourself. Training enables you to increase both speech clarity and quality. Listeners will attend to what you are saying rather than being distracted by how you are saying it.

Good speech goes a long way towards building credibility in the eyes (and ears) of those you report to, work with and your clients.
If you would like to know what your best friend may never tell you about your speaking style, a voice assessment with a speech pathologist/trainer could be a smart move.