Thursday, October 15, 2009

Optical Style

The right pair of glasses or sunglasses can make your eye color pop, flatter or slim your face, and make you appear more experienced or youthful. Here are some tips to make choosing the perfect pair of glasses a breeze.

To emphasize your eye color, choose a frame in a complimantary color. The color can be bold, subtle, or even accents to a neutral frame.
- Blue eyes - pick frames in pink, red, purple, or orange
- Green eyes - pick frames in purple or golden
- Golden eyes - pick frames in green or purple
- Brown etes - pick frames in any color except brown

For TV and staring at computer screens, choose polarized lenses to reduce glare and reflection. For driving transition lenses turn your driving glasses into sunglasses when you're driving during the day. For sports, choose wrap-around styles for a secure fit, specialized tints to help you see uneven pavements, hazards and balls that can hide in the grass.

Flattering frames compliment the shape of your face. To determine your face shape, pull/slick back your hair, look straight into a mirror, draw an outline of your face on the mirror with an erasable marker or lipstick, and compare the shape of the outline to the faces below. If you have an angular face, choose rounded frames. If you have a rounded face, choose angular frames. Here are some more options for specific faces.

Oval - Face is broadest across the cheeks, longer than wide, and tapers toward the forehead and chin. Look for frames that are at least as wide as your temples with oval/walnut-shaped lenses.

Round - Face width and length are about the same, with full cheeks, and a rounded chin. Look for angular frames, wide/rectangular lenses, and a clear bridge.

Square - Face width and length are about the same, with equal distance across forehead, cheeks, and chin. Look for rounded frames with narrow lenses that are wider than they are tall.

Heart - Face is wider at temples and cheeks and narrows at jaw and chin. Look for frames in a color tone similar to skin tone (light colors for fair skin, medium colors for medium skin, dark colors for dark skin) and with rimless lenses.

Triangle - Face is narrow at temples and forehead and wider at cheeks and jaw-line. Look for attention-grabbing frames, cat eyes, or details along the top edge of the frames.

Rectangular - Face is longer than it is wide, with high cheek-bones, high/broad forehead, and broad jaw. Choose rounded frames with decorative details at the temples, a low bridge, and lenses that are taller than wide.

References: Looking Younger by Robert Jones, The Vision Council,, and Sarah's experience with clients.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Not Really About The Shorts

First Lady Michelle Obama is taking a lot of heat about wearing shorts to visit the Grand Canyon. People might be taking about her shorts, but the shorts aren’t really the problem. The outfit doesn't work because she doesn’t look like the First Lady in it.

(PHOTO - Dana Felthauser, AP)

Image is tricky, it's a form self expression and communicates your place in society. For an outfit to really work it has to honor your sense of style, flatter your body, be practical for the occasion, and represent who you are.

There’s no problem with the outfit Michelle chose, per se. It’s flattering and perfect for a mom on vacation. The sticky part is that she isn’t an “ordinary” mom, she is also First Lady and her outfit ignores the formality of her official role.

Just like the President, she is “on duty” 24/7. Right or wrong, the American people expect her to look like the First Lady... always. The President looked like “The President” on vacation at the Grand Canyon. She looked like “Alice America” instead of “The First Lady.”

(PHOTO - Reuters)

Being the First Lady requires a formal element, even if the occasion is casual. A more formal pair of shorts (tailored walking shorts or starched capri pants) and a slightly dressier shoe (sport loafers/Keds) would have made all the difference.

We “regular” women face the same judgement everyday, it’s just not discussed on a national scale. We encounter the same distinction when dressing for the office picnic versus a family vacation. There is a level of formality, professionalism, and modesty that is expected at a business casual event.

Michelle can be comfortable, express her personal style, be a Mom, be a fit and fashionable woman, represent Change and a New White House, and represent her official role as First Lady. All women face the same challenge. It’s possible to create an image that works. And no one said it was easy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Hat & The Power Of TV

What were people talking about after the Inauguration? Aretha Franklin’s hat! It upstaged Michelle Obama’s outfits, the cutest first children, The Oath, Revs. Warren and Lowry, and Aretha’s rendition of "My Country "Tis Of Thee." Some people liked "The Hat," some didn’t and EVERYONE was buzzing about it.

For comedians, The Hat was the subject of jokes that lasted for days. Some even wore even bigger and more exaggerated versions of The Hat.

For fashionistas and Hollywood stylists, it was an opportunity to express their expert opinions about whether The Hat was the height of fashion or the faux pas of the century.

For Newscasters, "man on the street" comments about The Hat were breaking news.

For African-Americans, The Hat was the greatest "church hat" ever; a crown and symbol of a matriarch’s status in her community.

By January 28, Designer and Milliner Luke Song of Detroit, MI who created Aretha’s signature one-of-a kind hat, had more than 3000 requests for The Hat. His replicas are selling internationally like hot cakes for the cool price of $179 each.

Luke Song and Ann Coulter will both tell you…you don’t have to be liked to get on tv and sell lots of stuff. The power is in presenting yourself in a way that gets you noticed, generates the buzz, and the leverages the media attention.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Set Yourself Apart With Video Chatting

Video phones (aka video chatting) are finally here! Now you can have face-to-face conversations in real-time from anywhere in the world (with internet access). Offering business associates the option to work with you remotely is another way to demonstrate you’re on the cutting edge and accessible to Gen XYZ.

Video chatting programs like Skype (have you seen it on Oprah?), ooVoo (cool visual effects), and iChat (a fav of MAC users) make it easy and economical to stay in touch with distant family, meet with business colleagues, record webcasts, and deliver video messages. Some programs even let you conference with up to 6 people at the same time, making virtual business meetings and sharing family events a breeze.

All it takes is a little know-how to avoid the common pitfalls that make you look unnatural. Here are some tips to make your calls go smoothly and make sure you look good to the person on the other end of the call.

The Programs

Programs like Skype (, ooVoo (, iChat, and Yahoo! Messenger provide the medium for video-chatting. Many are free (Skype and ooVoo) while others are bundled with other software (iChat) and services (Yahoo! Messenger). They are designed to simulate face-to-face conversation across a table – you look into a webcam and watch the other person on your computer screen. Some programs even let you conference with up to 6 people at the same time, making virtual business meetings and sharing family events a breeze. Once you download your program and create your user name, you just need a couple accessories and you’re ready to chat.

The Camera

Many new computers come with web cams built in to the very top of the computer housing. They are convenient and provide basic functionality. However, the positioning of these cameras makes for unflattering transmissions and discomfort for the person on the other end of the line. The problem – when you watch your colleague on your computer screen, they just see your eyelids…instead of experiencing real eye contact with you.

A separate web camera mounted to the side of your computer screen simulates more natural conversation. Mount it at eye-level, right next to your screen so you can quickly look back and forth between the camera and screen. This simulates natural eye movements that occur in normal natural conversation.

I’ve had the best results with the IPEVO Pointer Cam ($40, It’s independent and has light spring-loaded clamps, so you can mount it anywhere you want. The other great thing? You can also pick the camera up and adjust the focus to show the caller something in another direction, give a close up of details, or even play with unusual camera angles. Now the caller can see everything you see instead of being limited to a view of just your face. This might seem insignificant. After you chat a few times, you’ll really appreciate this feature.

The Lighting

Most room lighting comes from the ceiling. Down lighting literally creates a “horror show.” When the light comes from above, it creates shadows under our eyes, nose, and chin like a Freddy Kruger movie. Not the best look for you the first time your grandmother or potential employer sees you! The best lighting for video calls is soft filtered light coming straight into your face. Position yourself in front of a window with indirect light. Or use two clamp-on work lights from a home improvement store with frosted low wattage day-light bulbs. Aim the light straight into your face (the low wattage/filtered light keeps you from getting blinded). The IPEVO Pointer Cam allows you to adjust brightness and color settings for a flattering and natural look.

The Sound

Most new computers come with built-in speakers and microphone. These don’t work for video-chatting because the conversation from the speakers feeds-back into the microphone so the other caller hears themselves instead of you. You need a microphone that can’t “hear” your speakers.

A headset is an inexpensive way to solve this problem. The draw backs to a headset - you’re tied to the computer by wires, it can be uncomfortable for long calls, it messes up your hair, and only one person can participate in the call at a time.

I’ve had great results with the IPEVO TR10 Speakerphone ($79, separate models for PC and iChat). It has echo cancellation for natural conversation; hands-free so you have freedom to move around, works as speaker phone or handset for private conversations, and you don’t have to wear it so your hair stays perfect.

Want to test it out? Give me a call via Skype at sarahshah and see just how easy it is! Or, click on the link below to watch it all in action.