In college I used to beat myself up about the way I looked. I wanted
to have strong biceps and traps. I’m not talking about wanting a body
like an East German body-builder, I just wanted to be athletic and have
toned arms like Madonna.
I was never fit enough. No matter how much I crunched, downward
dogged, and ran, I could never get a completely flat stomach or feel
satisfied with my weight. I picked at my food and didn’t allow myself to
enjoy the foods I loved. Why couldn’t I have Janet Jackson’s abs?
I didn’t think I was stylish at all. I saw myself as a schlub, a
messy spirit of a girl who could barely dress herself for a 9 AM class,
let alone find something trendy to wear for a night out.
I hated my face. I had big, round cheeks and my skin always looked
ruddy and uneven. I experimented with make-up, but nothing seemed to
help. My hair was the worst part — a random bunch of kinks and waves
that took forever to blow dry and straighten. Forget putting it up in
some fancy up-do — I could barely braid my own hair.
I was hopeless. I was going to be an untidy, uncool, unfit, ugly
duckling. I was very much unlike the girls I saw on the front covers of Allure and Vogue.
I would never be like the Hollywood starlets who walked down the Red
Carpet with their perfect hair, perfect bodies and perfect clothes.
I was body-conscious and starving for most of my 20′s. I was not happy.
In my mid-20′s, I started getting my nails done at a nail salon just
outside of Hollywood that just happened to be cheap, very good, and
frequented by celebrities. Women hopped in and out of the salon, their
hair pulled back, wearing cut-off’s and a t-shirt, no ounce of make-up. I
didn’t think anything of them as they chatted quietly with their
manicurist or flipped through the latest magazines. Occasionally, I had
conversations with them about the best places to find fried calamari,
boyfriends, and shoe sales. We were ordinary women who were getting
pampered for a few hours.
I overheard a conversation one day with the girl at the front desk
and one of the manicurists. They were talking about a certain celebrity
and what her favorite nail polish color was. Why would they care about
I watched carefully as the manicurist walked over to a young woman
whose hair was in a messy top knot and wore sweats that were one size
too big. Her face was flushed and she kept apologizing for not
remembering the nail color. When the manicurist showed her the small
nail polish bottle, the young woman’s face lit up and she giggled like a
little girl as she hugged the manicurist. Yes, that was the color she
And then I recognized her. Could she be the same woman that
captivated millions of people across the world with her silly and upbeat
I suddenly realized I was staring and felt myself blush. I was never
star-struck until now, but this was different. As I sat in the massage
chair, while someone massaged my calves and feet, I realized I was
flanked by a who’s who of Hollywood’s elite — movie and TV stars.
I finally realized that I’d been expecting too much of myself. I was
comparing myself to women who were surrounded by facialists,
nutrionists, personal chefs, stylists and trainers. But they were still
women who dealt with the same body issues I struggled with on a daily
I learned to accept my body, and through my own hair stylist,
friends, and acquaintances, I learned how to work the system so to speak
and create the allusion of having gorgeous, flowing hair and a perfect
Hollywood Fashion Tape
When I was trying to figure out what dress I was going to wear when I
got married, I settled on a beautiful, contemporary, asymmetrical piece.
The only problem was that it gaped in the front and showed too much
skin. I thought of sewing the front a little, but laughed. I could
hardly thread a needle, let alone sew. I tried a safety-pin, but that
looked terrible. At a local beauty supply store, a woman introduced me
to Hollywood Fashion Tape.
She claimed all of Hollywood used it, and that it would remedy any
problem I had with my clothes. I rushed my home and put this clear tape
on to help with the pucker in the front of my dress. Problem solved! I
was no longer falling out my dress. I keep this tape at home and in my
purse for emergencies. It’s great for keeping straps from slipping off
your shoulders. If you find a hem is starting to come apart and fabric
is falling down where it’s not supposed to, put this tape on as a quick
fix-it. The company offers a variety of solutions for any of your
fashion emergencies: bra converters, silicone breast enhancers, clear
bra straps and bra extenders so your bra will fit you better.
I remember seeing a celebrity one time and noticing how long and
beautiful her hair was. My curiosity was piqued because I had just seen
pictures of her a few weeks before with a bob. Was she wearing a wig?
But her hair looked so natural, so healthy. I was envious and just had
to find out. I went to my hair stylist and asked her about this mystery.
She laughed and looked at me like I was from another planet.
“How long have you lived in Los Angeles?” she asked as she eyed my frizzy hair.
“Almost 10 years now,” I proclaimed, curious as to where she was going with this.
“And you still don’t know about hair extensions?” her voice echoed
throughout the salon and I was positive everyone was looking at me as if
I’d committed the biggest crime ever.
Hair extensions have been around for a very long time. They don’t
look abnormal and unreal like some wigs do. Most hair extensions are
made from real, natural human hair and can be matched to your specific
hair color. Depending on the look and style you’re trying to create,
your stylist attaches the extensions directly onto your hair. Your hair
will move freely and and you never have to worry that the extensions
will fall out.
Hair extensions like the ones from Great Lengths are very soft and very expensive. You can easily spend over $1000 to have these extensions applied. Too pricey for me.
That’s where Ken Paves comes
in. Hair stylist to the stars like Ashlee and Jessica Simpson, Eva
Longoria, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz, Paves brought a more
affordable version of hair extensions called the hairdo
to the market. Instead of being bonded directly to your hair with
glues, Paves’ hairdo clips into your hair. You have the choice of buying
natural-looking synthetic hair for under $100 or real human hair
extensions — these are obviously more expensive. I own a hairdo
extension, and although I don’t wear it very often, it looks great and
blends very well with my own hair. The best part is that it easy to
apply, there are many color choices, and different hair lengths and
styles to choose from.
You can have full, luscious hair for the weekend.
Not everyone has a perfect body or can be a size 2. Women come in all
shapes and sizes. To create the illusion of being slim and shapely,
many celebrities use shapewear.
I’ve used Spanx for years, along
with Oprah, Tyra Banks and Gwenyth PaItrow. It’s been a lifesaver for
many occasions, especially after giving birth and the darn baby weight
would not go away. Spanx has a great line of shapewear — everything from
slips and camisoles to bodysuits and bras. Spanx eliminates visible bra
and panty lines. And it does wonders for a protruding belly.
I wasn’t endowed with a shapely body. In fact, through most of my
life, I had a boyish figure — no curves, just sort of straight all over.
I couldn’t fill out a sweater to save my life and jeans never looked
good over my flat bottom. Thank goodness for padded bras. I don’t have
to look like a boy anymore.
A few years ago I read about celebrities using butt-enhancers. I
couldn’t believe there was even such a thing, but I wasn’t surprised. I
looked at my backside in the mirror, just recently wearing my favorite
pair of jeans.
Hmmm… I could use a little ooomph. I found Huit’s Magic Pulp Boxer Boyshorts at Nordstrom.
The sales associate here said they couldn’t keep them in stock. I
bought it and couldn’t wait to get home. I tried it on with my jeans,
and what do you know — I suddenly had some shape in the back.
Motherhood has given me some curves, but I welcome any help!
I hate walking in new heels. I get calluses, my feet slide forward,
and my skin gets rubbed uncomfortably against the straps and heels. Foot
Petals to the rescue. Foot Petals offers a multitude of foot cushions
like padded arches, insoles to prevent form your foot sliding forward,
and strips that attach to the slimmest of straps to prevent rubbing and
falling. You can go out dancing with your favorite heels and not feel
like you need to be in crutches the following day.Where were these
cushions when I got married and had to suffer through painful straps and
There are many products in the market that will enhance your look,
from make-up to clothing to undergarments. Being comfortable in your own
skin is difficult when we’re bombarded on what a woman’s aesthetic
should be through magazines and movies. Just know that the images you
see in print and in magazines have been heavily Photoshopped, teased and
tweezed, pulled-up and separated. What you see is not what you always
get in real life. Embrace your body, even if you think you need a little
help. We’re not all perfect.