Nancy’s Column

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Every week Morgan Fitzgerald’s owner Nancy Pride writes an article for the local newspaper, The Eagle, called Simply Stylish.

Topics include fashion, cosmetics, gift giving, etiquette, social awareness, and sometimes, even a little humor.

Simply Stylish by Nancy Pride 

Be Creative with Scarves

Change the shape of a neckline. Add color to flatter your complexion. Keep warm in winter. Any of those things can be accomplished by choosing the right fabric and style of scarf.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a scarf as a piece of cloth worn about the neck, shoulders, or head. It doesn’t define it as a certain shape, size, or texture. That leaves it up to you to be creative. The most popular contemporary scarf is the infinity, a continuous loop scarf, long enough to loop twice around the …

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Fall 2014 Fashion Trends

This fall’s trends present combined contrast. Wear sheer or woven, plaid or bold print, bright or winter pastel, mini or mid, wide leg or leggings, oversized coat or belted. Sound confusing? It is not when you see it on the runway.

Sheer fabric creates the sense of femininity without exposure. Sheer tunics worn over tanks and leggings provide a flow and movement of fabric, yet a visual illusion of form.  Choose a sheer short sleeved shirt worn over a tank or woven long-sleeved shirt to provide texture contrast.                           

Plaid teams …

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Do’s and Don’ts for Dry Skin

Dry skin suffers from sensitivity and premature aging. Look in a mirror. Place the back of your index finger against the middle of your cheek. Lift upward. If your normally smooth skin wrinkles or you see additional wrinkles, you have dry skin. It is still dry, even though your skin may have oily patches on nose or forehead. 

Determine the cause of your dry skin. Do you wash your face with soap? Soap dries the surface of the skin, stripping the skin of natural, protective oils. Likewise, hot water removes …

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Accentuate the Positive

We marvel at magic shows because the magician directs our attention to what he wants us to see, not to the slight-of- hand tricks.  We can look thinner, shapelier, taller (or shorter if we prefer,) simply by directing the attention to our positive attributes. 

Take a look in the mirror. In one column, write down what you think are your most attractive features. Circle the top three. You may have a well-proportioned body, a great smile, and narrow ankles. Write down what you view are your unattractive features in another …

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Understand the Sizing Puzzle

Figuring out what size you are may be as difficult as solving the problem of the national debt.  Women’s sizes are as different as women themselves.

Are you a 4 or 14? Or could you be both? Most U.S. manufacturers categorize by junior, petite, missy¸ plus, half sizes, or simply XS-XL.  Other manufacturers categorize by a numbering system such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And then, to the further complicate the issue, foreign sizes are different as well.

First, for U.S. sizing, determine what category your body type fits. …

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Travel “Must Haves”

Whether traveling this summer or throughout the year, there are numerous products that make traveling easier.

Cinda B offers a quart- size, clear zippered pouch to carry liquids through airport security. The sturdy zipper and plastic hold up much better than regular baggies.  Cinda B also has covers for hot curling irons or straighteners. Brighton’s totes and cross-body bags made of parachute cloth are extremely durable and light weight.  They fold and pack easily in luggage or for use as carry-ons. 

Tilley hats for both men and women pack well …

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Makeup for Tweens

When should a girl begin to wear makeup? Lifestyle, maturity, and personal preference all affect when she should begin. At age 12 her body changes as well as her face.  It is important that she begins a skin care regimen to cope with impending blemishes and skin changes. She should first learn to properly and regularly care for her skin. Then she can add makeup.

Her first step in skin care is cleansing her delicate skin. Over-cleansing strips the skin of natural and needed oil and moisture. All products should …

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Create a Visual Facelift

Whenever we look at something, our eyes see dimension because of light and dark. That which is closest to us appears lighter and bigger. That which is farther away appears darker and smaller. This is what I call the principle of light and dark. Apply this principle to cosmetics and you can create a visual facelift.

Beauty experts consider an oval face to be the most desirable, but few of us have perfectly oval faces. By using brown-based blush, you contour your face so it appears oval.

Draw a curved …

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My Little Pony

We often think of young girls with ponytails; but long, fashion ponytails are for all ages. Most women on the runways or red carpets “enhance” their own hair with add-ons. The look is easy to do, gives a visual lift, and saves time. 

Pull your own hair into a ponytail high on the back of the head. Your own ponytail doesn’t have to be long if it can be secured with a band. Use a good quality band because the ponytail comb should go under the band instead of into …

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Be Safe on the Fourth of July

Outside activities are the norm for the Fourth; but while having fun, protect yourself from the environment. Use the correct sunscreen and protective clothing. All sunscreens including those in cosmetics should be duo spectrum: they should protect from UVB (burn) and UVA (aging) rays. There is controversy concerning what is the best “number” of sunscreen to use. Keep in mind that the number indicates the length of time a person can stay in the sun before burning. If you burn in ten minutes, a 30 SPF would protect for 300 …

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Are You Throwing Money in the Trash?

Every Box Tops for Education coupon is worth ten cents to schools. I walked through my house and clipped Box Tops for Education coupons from products I already had and collected $5 worth. If we do not clip and donate to schools, we literally throw money into the trash.

Clip the coupons from over 250 different products. Donate to your favorite school or drop them at Morgan Fitzgerald’s. We collect for your preferred school or select schools in need and deliver to the schools. Look for Box Tops coupons on …

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The Look of Custom Jewelry at a Fashion Price

When you have the perfect outfit, the perfect jewelry may be difficult to find until now. Brighton has introduced Your True Color. You can choose the color stones you want, see a colored picture of what the jewelry will look like with your stone choices, and receive it within a week. 

The jewelry is the same quality as Brighton’s in-store stock. In fact, if the sample designs have the colors you want, you can purchase those in the store. The jewelry is made from zinc to give high detail, plated …

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Even though dads seem to want less, and drop fewer hints, they still deserve recognition on Father’s Day.  The problem: what would really please him?   

Brighton belts made of solid leather hold up longer than the “all leather” belts made of pressed leather.  If a belt lasts only six months to a year, it is probably pressed leather.  Brighton belt styles vary from classic to contemporary, to western and reversible.  Choose a size one size larger than his pant size.

Does he love music? The bluBOOM speaker fits in the …

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Do You Have to Tell?

When I was a child, I was taught to always tell the truth. What I was not taught was that you don’t have to reveal everything. I learned as I grew up that if people who didn’t have the Miss Manners course asked personal questions, I could answer without full disclosure. When I have a dinner party, I often cook everything myself, but on occasion, I may purchase something pre-made. Do I have to “confess” to the not-so-polite guest who asks, “Did you make this?” No, I simply state it …

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Shop On-line

Business owners have to wear multiple hats.  One is that of a clairvoyant. What does the market place need, and what is the best way to provide it? In my opinion, clients want a different level of convenience than traditional boutiques have offered. They want to browse store stock at a convenient time for them, (that may be midnight), compare prices, select, have items gift wrapped and shipped. Or, they browse when more time is available and then on lunch hours or while running errands drop by the boutique to …

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Hats for Protection and Style

As summer approaches and we enjoy the sunny outdoors, hats and clothing which block the sun help prevent skin cancer as well as prevent premature aging. Look for the UPF rating to determine how much sun protection is provided. Notice it is a UPF rating, not an SPF rating. Originally, fabric was rated with an SPF (Sun Protective Factor) that measured the length of time skin was protected before burning.  In 1998, the U.S. government developed the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) standard by measuring the amount of ultraviolet transmittance as …

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Some Things in Life Really Are Free

I just returned from the Merle Norman convention where all the new products were introduced.  One of the most exciting products was a set of four gels used for our free steam facials.  Yes, free. 

The Pumpkin & AHA Retexturizing Maskcombines pumpkin puree, powerful antioxidants, and fruit acid complex to loosen the “glue” which holds the dead cells on the skin’s surface.  After the facial, the skin appears more radiant and noticeably softer and smoother to the touch while moisturizers and serum penetrate more evenly.  By exfoliating skin regularly, pores …

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Have a Fresh, Natural Look for Summer

A natural, carefree look for summer begins with good skin. Exfoliate alternately during the week with chemical and scrubbing exfoliators to reveal younger, smoother skin. Next, use moisturizers with SPF during the day and moisturizers without SPF at night.

Achieve a natural glow by adding a few drops of liquid shimmer directly to your foundation. Mix well. Use a damp sponge to apply foundation. This allows a sheer coverage and a greater opportunity to feather edges. Use cover up to disguise flaws such as age spots. You’ll achieve coverage of …

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Advice for Choosing gifts for Mom or Grandmother

My youngest son, (the Fitzgerald in Morgan Fitzgerald’s) is probably the best gift giver ever. His gifts are unique, yet functional, practical, yet intriguing. What makes some gifts so special and others not so special regardless of price?

It is appropriate to the person’s interests and lifestyle. If your mom has a passion for cooking, look for unique cooking accessories, utensils, hard-to-find items. I now sell Perpetual Vanilla ($12), because friends first gave me a bottle. They knew I was always running out of vanilla. Three vanilla beans come in …

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Furs Can Be Restyled

Do you have a treasured fur that is either damaged or out of style? Fur stoles, jackets, or coats can be restyled into a garment that fits your lifestyle and that is appropriate for local weather. Damaged furs can be repaired.

Unlike other garments, most furs can be made larger or smaller, or into a different garment all together. Furriers separate and individually re-stitch each pelt in the garment. Matching fur can be added to enlarge or re-shape a fur garment. If you have inherited a fur and want to …

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Sleevey Wonders and Squeem

Sleevey Wonders and Squeem solve fashion problems.  If you get too warm in summer, but don’t want to bare your arms, or if the only dresses you can find are sleeveless, Sleevey Wonders gives you sleeves without the heat.

Available in both missy ($45) and plus ($47) sizes, the sheer or lace bolero is worn beneath the garment making the garment appear to have sleeves.  If the neckline is a little too low, fasten the bolero in the back, creating a jewel neck. Fasten in the front to accommodate v-neck …

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Morgan Fitzgerald’s On-Line Store Launches Tomorrow

Wow! Morgan Fitzgerald’s has a brand new on-line shopping web site! What does it mean for customers?

An on-line store paired with a physical store provides the ultimate in customer service.  It allows clients to shop from home with the convenience of talking with a live person to answer questions.  Shop the physical location to touch, try on, and look in person.  Shop on-line to create wish lists, reorder items, send gifts, gift cards, or select clothing and accessories when you know what you want.  Doesn’t fit? Return it to …

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Solutions for Pesky Problems

Sometimes there are little things that bother us that are not critical, but are annoying.  Simple fixes may help.  If your skin is acidic and reacts to inexpensive jewelry made from base metal, coat the metal that touches the skin three times with Skin Guard.  Recoat as often as needed.

When bra straps cut into shoulders, slide straps through Miss Oops shoulder cushions.  The shoulder cushions diffuse the weight over the shoulder, reducing the ridge line.  If bra straps fall off the shoulder, or show with sleeveless tops, use Magic …

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Professional Dress Can be Stylish

According to Dress for Success, women who dress professionally get higher raises, are viewed as more competent, and receive more promotions.  The traditional interview suit in solid blue, tan, or gray with white or blue shirt can be viewed as severe worn day in and day out once the job is secured. If your dress codes are more relaxed, there are several ways to look professional and stylish.

Professional dress almost always means wearing a jacket.  That does not mean that the jacket has to be a structured blazer.  However, …

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Quick Change Artists

My favorite wardrobe pieces have multiple personalities. They go from casual to dressy, from one color to another, from one neckline to another, or simply do tricks.   Reversible jackets when turned inside out display different colors, patterns, textures, or fabrics.

Mycra Pac raincoats reverse to different colors allowing one side for casual or “fun” events; the other, darker, color for more professional events.  Fridaze, a wrinkle-resistant linen line, has tanks with one color on the front and a different color or pattern on the back.  Not only can there be …

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Create Spring Wardrobe Trends with Accessories

If we all had unlimited wardrobe budgets, we could purchase new clothing to reflect every current trend. Most of us don’t have that option, but would like to reflect the trends. Accessories make outfits look complete, but also allow us to reflect trends economically.

Color is one of the most variable trends from year to year. One color trend for this spring, pure black and white, is the easiest to replicate. If you have a black top and matching pant or skirt, add a white handbag, white bangle bracelets, and …

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Hair Pieces and Extensions

If you are planning a fun New Year’s Eve or simply want a new look for the new year, follow the stars’ lead and try hair pieces and extensions. 

Want a way to take you from the grocery store to a dressier look for dinner?  The Stylemaker is probably the simplest.  Put your hair in a ponytail and then double it over and pull through the band.  If your hair is long enough to create a nub, it is long enough for the Stylemaker.   Use the Stylemaker as you would …

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Spring 2014 Fashion Trends

I am at the Las Vegas Apparel Market as I write this column.  As always, there is excitement over all the new offerings.  Here are the trends as I see them.

Hemlines have been acceptable at any length for the last several years, but this spring there is a greater emphasis on mid-calf lengths.  Mini-skirt exceptions still exist for the young (or those who work out twice a day.)  Colors reflect pastel pinks and blues mixed with gray, or rainbow hues.  Pure black and white combos (no color added) continue …

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Winterize Your Skin

Cold weather‘s wintry blast struck again this week.  Just when we thought our skin would get relief, winds chapped skin and lips, furnaces dried the air, and skin became dried and flaky.   Winterize your skin by modifying your skin care and makeup products to meet your skin care needs.

What are you noticing?  Flaky skin?  Redness?  Itchy patches?  Those are all signs of dryness.  Begin with exfoliation.  Remove dead skin cells with chemical or manual exfoliation.  Remember to exfoliate all over your skin, not just your face.  The skin is …

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Does Your Handbag Fit?

We’re having a Brighton masterpiece handbag and shoe trunk show tomorrow, so I began thinking about what women might want to know about handbags before they purchase.

Handbags and shoes are the two most functional accessories in a wardrobe.  We try on shoes to see if they “fit.”  How many women try on handbags for fit?

Look at your current handbag.  What do you carry that you need every day?  Try those items in the new bag.  Does the new bag organize and provide easy access to items you use …

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Once skin has been cleansed, toned, exfoliated, and serums applied, it is time for moisturizers. Oily skin requires hydration just as dry skin does.  Choosing the correct moisturizer for your skin type and skin concerns is the next step.

If we never have sun exposure, our faces would be virtually wrinkle free.  Choose moisturizers with sun protection to wear during the day. New formulas now protect both from UVA (aging) and UVB (burning).  Give your skin a rest from sunscreen at night.  Since skin repairs during sleep, choose a formula …

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Serums Target Skin Issues

Once skin has been cleansed and toned and then exfoliated, with either chemical or manual exfoliation, serums can target specific problems.   Determine skin issues that create the most concern.  Does your skin appear dull even after exfoliation?  Do you have uneven pigment or dark spots?  A serum that brightens addresses those issues. 

Vitamins C and E in combination with botanicals lighten and brighten the skin.  The most advanced serums include peptides that signal the skin has been damaged and needs to repair itself.  Dryness exacerbates wrinkles.  If your skin is …

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How to Give a Gift Card

I don’t know if it is the kid in me, but I have always liked opening packages that conceal my gift.  So what do you do if you are giving a gift card?  Treat it as any other gift.  Box it, wrap it, and put a name tag on.  That’s the obvious.  But, with a little thought, you can make that gift card even more special.

Choose an ID case like Vera Bradley’s Zip ID and slip the gift card into the clear window so the store name faces outward.  …

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Cosmetic Gifts for the Holidays

Cosmetic related gifts are often overlooked during the holidays, yet can be some of the most appreciated and practical gifts received.  Many of us “make do” with worn or incomplete brush sets because we can “get by” with what we have.  Professional artists recognize that every brush size and shape, as well as type of bristle makes a difference in the effect on the canvas. 

Likewise, the right brush makes a difference in the final appearance of cosmetics on the face.  Smaller brushes give greater intensity of color; bigger brushes …

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