Life Well Lived: My Fave Fashion, Style & Beauty Resources

BlogHer asked me to share my fashion, style and beauty resources with my readers this week and it got me all excited and spirit-fingery just thinking about gathering and sharing this treasure trove of resources. Some of you know that I started out my adult life somehow mistakenly thrown into the fashion and beauty scene as a consultant for Clinique cosmetics. I was eighteen, had never worn an ounce of makeup my entire life (and my mother never wore an ounce of makeup her whole life, so I didn't even have a role model to look up to re: how to wear makeup)... I was completely and entirely clueless about skincare/makeup, but I did have genetically nice skin, ergo my entree into the world of beauty (if you will). I quickly learned everything I needed to learn (and probably much more) about beauty, style and fashion from my newly formed contemporaries; namely my very first gay friend, Ric, who not only so lovingly told me that I needed to get my 2-inch-thick unibrow weed-whacked but also told me exactly who I needed to see in order to get it done, booked the appointment and came with me for support.

And thus I was translated.


So without any further delay, here's my list of absolutely tried and true favorite fashion, style and beauty resources:

1) Making Faces - Kevin Aucoin. This book taught me that you don't have to follow any set list of "rules" when it comes to makeup. For instance, this picture of Cher taught me that I could use lip gloss on my eyelids... because, why not? I used to spend hours just looking at the beautiful and artful creations. In this book, Kevin takes several well known celebrities and completely transforms them. This is Winona Ryder made up as Elizabeth Taylor. And Isabella Rosselini as Barbara Streisand.

2) The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own - Nina Garcia. This is seriously a list of the 100 things every woman must have in her closet. Here's a whittled down top 10 for you to peruse.

3) The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece - Lucky Magazine. A better-than-best-of collection of all the advice that's ever been in Lucky magazine, plus more. A visual guide containing everything you'll ever need to know about dressing your best for less. Filled with full-color photographs and illustrations, the book provides an answer to every imaginable clothing dilemma and arms readers with all the advice they need before they spend another penny.

4) Pinterest and Polyvore These are user created, mad-fun genius. Go take a peek & get addicted.

5) Travel - it's amazing what you can pick up on in airports and while you're out and about in different parts of the U.S., and international countries.

Also? For those really interested in beauty/makeup, I'd recommend killing an hour at one of the makeup counters and just playing with their stuff. Warning: I remember working at the Clinique counter and getting frustrated with those who came by to play but gave the impression that they were serious shoppers. Here's a tip: Just be honest. A lot of these girls work on commission, so it's easy for them to get frustrated when they think they're gonna get a sale, but end up only with a mess to clean up. Tell the girl behind the counter that you're just there to play. Most of the time, they'll be cool with that - especially if you're visiting a counter with young college-aged girls who spend their 4-8 hours at the counter playing in color anyway; or if you happen to catch when the counter gets their new seasonal colors. Just be sure to go during the week day, in the early morning, when they're not busy. It's easier to do if you visit a counter at a smaller department store or in a smaller city (those multi-million dollar counters get fairly busy and are more about business & less about play).


What about you? What are your favorite fashion, style, and/or beauty resources? Who or what serves as inspiration when it comes to your look? You can read more about this topic by clicking here. And you can enter the Life Well Lived sweepstakes by clicking here (when you comment, you'll be entered to win an iPod Touch).