Author: Kristin Booker

The 8 Types of Girlfriends Every Woman Needs

Most of us have had good girlfriends of many varieties: from the secret-keeping, pinky-swearing grade-school bestie to the friend who answers the midnight call with provisions and bubbly. They’re the bricks on which the houses of our lives are built. My girlfriends mean everything to me. They are the family I have chosen for myself. I aim to give back to them, as much as they give me. There are certain roles each must play in my long-standing tribe of female power, defined by personalities and needs. Sometimes one at a time, sometimes all at once. Here are eight types of BFFs that are crucial to my wellbeing, my sanity and my life. 1. The Sweetheart I once had a friend stay up with me for two days after surgery. She took my temperature every hour on the hour and refused to leave my side until I could hold down food. She was salve for my wounded body and soul, and I’m so grateful that she’s still in my life, always there with a smile …

She Quit Corporate America to Become a Beauty Blogger — That Was Only The First Challenge

(Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/ TueNight.com) Beauty blogging is very different than it was when I started in 2007. In fact, everything about beauty blogging and my life in general has changed. Back then, I was living an entirely different life: a 15-year career in corporate America as a human resources executive, living in the South, with no real creative outlet. I started out creative (I went to school for art,) but my father put the pressure on my sophomore year to “get a degree you can eat on.” So, I switched to Business. The need for approval had been established when I was young. Interestingly enough, it would come back to haunt me almost my entire life. Once on the winding ladder to company success, I blindly kept climbing. Externally, I became a very successful HR professional — but inside I was dying. Over 100 pounds overweight, I drank myself into a stupor at happy hours and was utterly miserable. I wanted — I NEEDED — to do something different. It was during that …

Everything You Need to Know to Find Your Perfect Jeans

I am a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of gal — always have been, always will be. There’s something so amazing about finding that perfect pair of jeans and breaking them in so they mold perfectly to your shape. I am a denim brand’s ideal customer: I’m loyal and will purchase a sack of the same pair once I find a cut I like. But why — oh God, WHY — is the process to find a pair of jeans so hard? It’s like running the Gauntlet, fraught with perils like bad dressing room lighting, the wrong underwear and branding that simply lies. Also, the cost of denim is bordering on ridiculous. There is no such thing as denim that’s so sumptuous that it merits a price tag over $150. I’m sorry, but no. Also, why is it that our asses are getting larger yet it feels like the pants are cut smaller? I don’t understand this logic, denim brands. We would like to buy your pants, but we have to be able to fit into them first. …

The Trend Trap: A Few Words on Wardrobe Sanity

I wish I could say that I have a wardrobe filled with amazing investment pieces, and that I’ve never fallen prey to one of those “Try the Trend” stories you see in magazines every month. I wish that were true, but it’s not. A quick glance through my closet would reveal a Western shirt from the “Cowboy” trend that was hot a few years ago, which is now gathering dust next to a jeweled sweatshirt for which I paid way too much to look like a casual chandelier. I admit it: sometimes I fall into “The Trend Trap.” It can happen to the best of us — no one is immune. [pullquote]My cashmere coat and I are happy to invite a $25 sweater from H&M to come play for a season.[/pullquote] I’ve identified “The Trend Trap” as a five-part cycle that strikes when you least expect it. Feel free to throw in an “Amen” from the choir loft if any of the following speak to you:   1. You’re vulnerable: One day, for whatever reason, you’re …

9 Things You Must Know to Thrift Like a Pro

Ever since I was little, I have been singularly obsessed with Other People’s Clothes. I say this as a proper noun because, well, it’s a proper little obsession. I love new clothes too, but there’s nothing that makes me happier than buying something that’s already been broken in. This, of course, makes my mother practically apoplectic. She grew up in poverty, was adamant that I have brand-new clothes for every occasion so that I looked crisp and clean. My unrequited love for vintage and thrift was confounding and concerning for her. I can see her plight: a single mother working multiple jobs to give her child the things she never had, and yet the child insists on second-hand everything as the main source of her wardrobe. It’s nothing personal, Mom. I just prefer that lived-in look. My love for these items took on a life of its own in college, where I discovered the joy of “borrowing” my boyfriends’ items of clothing. I pilfered college sweatshirts and created quite the stash of broken-in denim; I’ve …

Borrowed From the Boys: Me in My Dad’s Jacket

The photo above was taken of me when I was about four or five. My mom and dad were getting ready to go out for the night, and I wanted in on the action. Which is when I threw my dad’s jacket on over my housecoat and announced that I was coming with them. If I remember correctly, I also had my mother’s silver silk pumps on at this time, but you can’t see them in the photo. This makes sense because I was always trying to walk around the house in my mother’s shoes. The desire to wear men’s jackets stuck with me at that point. I’m always buying men’s jackets and blazers and having them tailored to fit me. As a curvy, duck-billed platypus version of both my parents (I have my paternal side’s hourglass torso with a long waist, I have the maternal side’s long, lean limbs), buying women’s blazers right off the rack is really hard for me. Which is why you always see me at thrift stores, nabbing men’s jackets …

7 Essential Beauty Tips I Learned From My Mother

My mom is a common-sense kind of woman, someone who doesn’t delight in ceremony and abhors anything fussy. Which is why having a teenaged daughter who was obsessed with makeup and fashion was a bit of a quandary for her. I wanted to look magazine-cover ready at all times. But over the years, I’ve fallen into a a much more mellow beauty routine that’s quite similar to the one my mother has practiced for years. Want to love the skin you’re in and look like you sleep in an oxygen chamber? Heed the following seven simple tips from my beloved mother. 1. “The less you do to your face, the less you’ll have to do to your face.” This is her number one rule; simple, plain and effective. The more you scrub and paint and spackle and pull, the more scrubbing, painting, spackling and pulling you’ll have to do. Less is more, which means the easier you are on your skin, the less irritated it will become. It’s never too late to adopt this concept. …

How I Cleared Out the Clutter in My Heart

Last spring while I was in a yoga class, the song, “Hearts A Mess” by Gotye came on. And it struck me that I was right there with him: my heart was literally a junkyard of broken bits. When people talk about tidying up, immediately thoughts fly to the home: desks cluttered with unopened mail, drawers filled with messy receipts, closets that seems to vomit forth clothes you can’t remember ever wearing. We buy magazines that tell us how to de-clutter our home to help keep us sane and happy. They tell us we’ll breathe easier after hauling 20-gallon trash bags worth of useless items to the curb. We’re better people now that we’ve rid ourselves of all that physical clutter. But what we rarely stop to consider is the wreckage of our past, as it remains cluttered in our hearts. The relationship that never quite died, the rejection letter that told you your work was not good enough, the person who told you your love was not quite right for them. Whether it’s hardened …

Women Who Inspire: Amanda de Cadenet

NAME: Amanda de Cadenet AGE:  41 OCCUPATION: Photographer, Activist, Producer and creator of The Conversation WHO SHE IS: A former wild child of the 1990s famous for her legendary dalliances and rocker marriages (then, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor; now, current husband Nick Valensi of The Strokes) de Cadenet wasn’t ready to just be a rock star wife. Sure, she acted  and produced and became a well-sought-after photographer who has shot for Vogue and Vanity Fair. But she didn’t stop there. De Cadenet has now created The Conversation, a website and video series that gathers women together around the tough questions we regularly face, creating an open dialogue that leaves you feeling surrounded by knowledge and understanding. From Hollywood power players to personal video dialogues, de Cadenet isn’t afraid of any conversation, even those that reflect on her own life. Slowly but surely, she’s changing all of ours, one conversation at a time. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: For years, I had a photo of Amanda de Cadenet and Courtney Love on my wall as a model of fearless …