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 

Here Are My Favorite Stocking Stuffers

Stocking stuffers add surprise to the holidays.  Select for fun, usefulness, or simply because you like them.  My top pick, an e-cloth eye glass cleaner ($3.99) cleans both glasses and phone screens.   E-cloths contain 3.1 million fibers per square inch that work like busy fingers to collect dirt and 99.4 percent of bacteria from the wiped surface.   If you encounter hairspray, simply spray with a small amount of water.   It is small and flat enough to add as a remembrance to a holiday card. Other e-cloths include cloths ($8-$15) for windows, baths, stainless steel, and even crystal.   Anyone male or female that suffers from dry hands, elbows, or feet will love Gloves in a Bottle ($7) shielding lotion.  This portable travel size provides a barrier between skin and drying elements.  It doesn’t wash off. It has to wear off, allowing skin to heal.     Make-up brushes return to former glory…

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Style Tips to Make You Look Fashionable and Fabulous

Part II Connection The brain makes sense of things by connecting to what it already knows or has experienced.  When you dress, your appearance should help the viewer’s brain connect the elements of color, pattern, and style.   If you decide to wear a yellow skirt and a red blouse, they don’t connect.  The viewer may not know why it is not pleasing, but the brain is searching to connect the two colors together.  Add an accessory that has both colors.  A scarf with yellow and red flowers could provide the link.  Seldom should a color accessory be by itself.  Wear a solid black outfit.  Add red shoes.  That is a striking look, but it needs another touch of red to complete it.  It could be a handbag, red framed glasses, a scarf, or jewelry.     Pattern, like color, needs connection.  The easiest is to pair similar pattern forms.  Stripes go with stripes or…

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Style Tips to Make You Look Fashionable and Fabulous

My mother taught first grade for most of her career.  Her mantra was that if a child learns the sounds of letters and the “rules” of phonics, any child can read.  I feel that way about certain simple tricks that allow a woman to look fashionable and fabulous.   If you wear a long skirt (mid-calf is the current trend), then the jacket should appear short.  The reason I say “appear” is that a longer, solid color tank or blouse could be worn beneath a short jacket if it is the same color as the skirt.  The shorter jacket in a different color gives the illusion of balance, while the matching top covers the hips and provides the elongating look.  Of course, just wearing a short blouse over a longer skirt is appropriate as well.   If a short skirt is worn, a long jacket will provide balance.  Balance your leg length and torso length.…

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What’s Has Happened to Fashion Fair Cosmetics?

In 1973 the company that owned Ebony, a magazine aimed at people of color, created a cosmetic line that provided skincare and makeup that suited the skin and skin tone for ladies of color.  No other major cosmetic companies provided the quality and depth of product line to meet their needs.    The company placed its products in department stores next to known brands such as Estee Lauder.  As the industry changed and multiple brands were being offered simultaneously in stores like Sephora, sales began to diminish.  About four years ago questions began popping up about whether Fashion Fair was going out of business.  The answer was that they were reorganizing.   Troubled consumers began buying multiples of their favorites and that created an even greater problem of supply.  Gradually, department stores nationwide began to reduce inventory.  This September a cosmetic industry news article indicated that the company would be put up for auction on…

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How Do You Clean Your Skin?

Every person should have her own cleansing regimen that fits the characteristics of her skin.  Determine if your skin is oily, dry, normal, or a combination.  Are there any skin conditions that need to be addressed such as rosacea, acne, or eczema?  Your goal should be to have a balanced skin PH, open pores that allow your natural oils to flow, and moisturized skin.  Talk to a skilled beauty advisor to determine which cleansing products best fit your skin type.   Cleanse your face morning and night.  Why cleanse in the morning?  Your body repairs itself while it sleeps.  That means it tries to get rid of toxins, and dead skin cells, pushing them to the surface of the skin.  If you don’t cleanse, you are wearing all the toxins and dead skin cells throughout the day.   Most people do not take the time to properly clean their skin.   Let the product do…

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Do You Have Dry, Cracked Heels?

If you do, you are not alone.  They can be painful as well as a health risk.  The main cause is dry skin.  Inexpensive, and simple treatments help significantly.  When we are young with moist skin, as we step on our heels, the fatty pads that cushion the heel bones squish out causing the skin to move with the expanded pad.  As we age and our skin is no longer moist and pliable, the fatty pad still squishes, but the skin has become dry and rigid.  Something has to give.  Add pressure from increased body weight and the skin splits, causing a fissure. Next, bacteria enter the fissure creating an infection.   The first step for combating cracked heels requires exfoliating the dry skin by using a foot scrub or pumice stone. Merle Norman’s Pink Grapefruit Sugar Scrub is relaxing as well as exfoliating.    This allows the moisturizer to penetrate to the new skin…

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Maroon and White, The Spirit of Aggieland

You’ll see maroon and white throughout the Bryan-College Station area—especially during the football season.  The colors known as “the Spirit of Aggieland,” connote far more than just school colors.  Maroon comes from the French word for chestnut, marronnier, a reddish-brown wood.  The color maroon symbolizes perseverance, strength, and passion—many of characteristics attributed to Texas A&M current and former students.  White stands for purity and integrity.  Texas A&M can boast that it has the largest student body in Texas, the second largest in the nation.  It is in the top ten schools for National merit scholars.  It had seven medal of honor awards recipients during WWII.  Famous former students include entertainers, businessmen, engineers, medical doctors and researchers, and a host of others, each successful in his or her own field.    It is no wonder we all get a little mushy at the sight of Maroon and White. In additional to the two primary Texas A&M…

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What’s Happening?

There is a lot going on at Morgan Fitzgerald’s so here is a brief synopsis through October.  Hone your bidding skills, choose your right mask, and play a fashion scavenger hunt.   This Saturday, September 28 at 2pm, our Brighton jewelry auction begins.  Clients place gently used Brighton jewelry up for auction.  Although no warranty accompanies the jewelry, the values are terrific.  Each group contains three pieces sold for a single price.  Be sure to call to reserve a seat.  You may view the pieces up for auction from Thursday until the time of sale.  Cosmetic masks provide intense treatment for specific skin needs.  If you are not currently using a mask, or you don’t know which is best for you, participate in our free mask event through the end of November. You can try all five of the masks to determine which is best for you.  Following your mask treatment, we will pamper you…

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Foundation Primer, a Gift for Makeup Wearers

If I asked you what wishes you want for your makeup, you might say for it to stay on longer, look smoother, have improved condition, and perhaps even appear tightened.  Primers do all those things and more.  They take very little time to apply, but give so many benefits.  Most of Merle Norman skin primers can be used on any skin type.  However, each offers specific benefits.  The basic skin primer smooths, provides optical diffusers to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and pore size, evens skin tone, and enhances truer foundation color.  Foundation Plus Primer offers the only primer with SPF.  If your foundation or moisturizer already has an SPF, the extra SPF does not provide an additional benefit.  However, this particular primer is known for its silky feel.  It extends wear and fills in lines and wrinkles, provides anti-aging ingredients such as vitamins A,C, and E, plus green tea, as well as a firming…

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Brighton Jewelry Auction

Gently Used Please Saturday, September 28, Morgan Fitzgerald’s will hold its annual Brighton Jewelry Auction at 2 p.m.  You may place items for auction or attend the auction, or both.  The money from the auction is returned to the person placing the items as credit for her use to buy new Brighton jewelry.   Anyone may place items for auction. However, there must be three pieces of gently used Brighton jewelry per entry—a necklace, bracelet, and earrings.  They do not have to match.  The pieces must not be tarnished, or significantly worn or broken.  Jewelry to be placed for auction can be brought to Morgan Fitzgerald’s from now until Wednesday, September 25.  You can place a minimum bid for the entry.  The bidding would start at that amount.  If you do not have a minimum bid requirement, the bidding starts at $5.   If entries are not sold, they are returned to the owner.  …

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What Is a Stylish Woman?

The Cambridge dictionary defines stylish as having a special quality that makes a person or thing seem different and attractive. Most would say Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Melania Trump should be called stylish women even though their styles are quite different.   A stylish woman includes current trends, but chooses them to fit her wardrobe, body shape, and style.  The garments fit well—not to tight or lose—not to short or long.  She spends extra time to find perfect fitting garments, or if her body requires, will spend a little money to have them altered.   Clothing facilitates her activities.  The stylish woman moves easily.  Shoes coordinate appropriately with apparel, but she never sacrifices function for style.  It’s better to have a kitten heel than a high heel that throws her off balance.  Her shoes are always cleaned and repaired.   She also dresses appropriately for the occasion.  Well fitting jeans and crisp white shirt carries…

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Are They Naughty or Nice?

Parabens, used from the 1950’s as a preservative in everything from shampoo to food, including cosmetics, has come under scrutiny since a 2004 study that analyzed breast tumors from twenty women. Eighteen of the twenty tumors contained parabens.  The study did not indicate that parabens caused or contributed to the tumors, only that they were present in the tumors.  Nor could the researchers identify where the parabens came from.  However, for those who have experienced cancer, the use of products containing parabens should be considered.   Parabens, according to the Harvard Heath Review, have a weak estrogenic effect.  “Although estrogen plays a role in breast cancer, there’s no evidence that people who use paraben-containing products face an increased risk.”  The FDA site concurs with that opinion.   So, the question is, “Are parabens naughty or nice?”  Parabens prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in products.   Both bacteria and fungus can cause health risks. However,…

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Skintelligent Eye Moisturizer

A few months ago, I wrote about new probiotic skin care products recentlyintroduced by cosmec firms. I was skeptical at first, but have been very pleasedwith customer and personal results. The products provide “good” skin bacteriathat help battle environmental stresses, acne, and other skin issues. Now, MerleNorman has introduced Skintelligent Eye Moisturizer to add to the Skintelligentline which currently includes a cleanser, moisturizer, and toner. It is a hydro-gel that provides supreme moisturization with the added benefit ofprobiotics that help your natural defenses. It reduces puffiness, and dark circleswhile improving elasticity. If is safe for contact lens wearers. It is free offragrance, alcohol, colorants, dyes, oil, and paraben. The packaging adds to its high-tech effectiveness. Its contoured metal tip coolsand massages as it applies the product. The messaging improves circulation andabsorption. Begin by placing a few dots below the eye. Gently blend across theeye area, using gentle strokes of the applicator. Work from the inner…

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Make-Up 2019 Fall Trends

September and most of October in Texas feels more like summer than a cool precursor to winter. Instead of pulling out sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, we change to fall colors. Make-up needs to reflect fashion on-trend style colors while establishing make-up trends as well. Plums and greens with soft neutrals help create a minimalist look. Generally, emphasis on the eyes decreases unless you are wearing apparel in on-the-edge neon colors. Reduce eyeliner width to the base of the lashes. Use soft neutrals to shape the eye, but blend, blend, blend, creating a no make-up look. Individually define lashes by holding the mascara wand like a pencil and stroking the individual lashes. If you are not using mascara primer, now is the time to start. Apply primer first, then stroke individual lashes with mascara. Concealer allows you to use less foundation. Apply to spots, dark circles, or blemishes. Next apply liquid foundation with a foundation brush…

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Fall 2019 Fashion Trends

What goes up, must come down. Designers give a unified mid-calf length to stylesthis fall. What goes down must go up. As the hemlines drop, necklines go up. Gone is the peek-a-boo shoulder, although an occasional one shoulder appears. Shades of purple reign supreme—from lavender to deep purple. Leopard over- powers zebra with tiny to enormous spots. There is even a little whimsy with unusual color added to the spots. Don’t care for the all over leopard look? Get the look by adding a small leopard pattern in your handbag. If you thought squared shoulders were gone forever, think again. They’re….. back. Look for squared, slightly larger shoulders that appear almost military inspired. Along with the military look comes belted waists and gold buttons. Add an emphasis on English-styled tweed in tiny houndstooth or larger windowpane. Suiting tried to gain strength last fall, but appears more frequently this season. Go monochromatic or mix blazers with…

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Is Betty Crocker At It Again?

No, something is baking, but it is not Betty. Cosmetic companies have found a new way to improve texture and versatility of its powdered products. They take creams or liquids and slowly bake them until they become solids, creating silky, smooth texture that blends better, producing a natural look. Most blushes, eye shadows, and powders are pressed to maintain their shape. The baked cosmetics, formed in the baking process, do not require as many fillers such as talc. Without the fillers, the products become more luminous with more pigment, allowing you to blend better without using as much product. In addition, the baked cosmetics can be applied either wet or dry. Most of the baked cosmetics have a slightly different look compared to pressed. Their domed shape allows the brush to pick up blended colors formed by the marbled “veins” within the product. Merle Norman has just introduced its two new baked products for fall.…

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Brighton Handbags, A True Investment

Brighton leather handbags, when registered at purchase, have a lifetime cleaning warranty. No other brand—even bags ten times that price— have such a generous warranty. Once a year, pay only the cost to ship the bag to Brighton. Brighton will clean the leather, the cloth inside, replace any parts (assuming they are still available), and then return at Brighton’s cost. Brighton offers this warranty because they believe in the quality of their product. Leather purchased from the fi nest tanneries rival that of bags ten times the prices of Brighton bags. Each style is individually designed with attention to extreme detail. Their designers are sent around the world to get inspiration. The Ferrara bag was inspired by the medallion church windows, the Africa Stories by designers traveling to Africa. The handbags are not only beautiful and stylish they are also functional. Outside pockets help you stash for easy access; inside pockets help organize and keep…

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Celebrate The Fourth With Gusto

On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. Even then, John Adams predicted that July 4 would be a celebration day for generations to come. We as Americans have much to celebrate. We have freedom. Os Guinness in his book Last Call for Liberty proposes a perplexing question. Is freedom the right to do what we want, or is it the right to do what we ought? At Texas A&M we see tremendous patriotism—love of country that impresses everyone who visits—love of country that puts country above personal safety—love of country that produces more CIA agents than any other university in the country. After 9-11, TAMU students organized a display of this community’s patriotism. Each level of those attending the A&M football game voluntarily wore red, white, or blue as designated by their seat level. Sale proceeds of shirts went to victims of 9-ll. It was just clothing, but what…

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