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Q. How did you get started as a fashion and beauty blogger?

A. It’s always interesting to talk to someone about how they ended up on their career path, you’ll often find that it was not a straight line from A to B. This was very much the case for Beth Herbst and myself, and our path to creating StyleBakery.com was an interesting one.

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Shortly after graduating from Syracuse University (I majored in Advertising, Beth majored in Speech Communications), we both found ourselves working at a small media marketing and television production company in NYC. We interviewed for the company after hearing from some friends that they were hiring. I had always envisioned myself as a copywriter at a cool NY ad agency, but the job offer seemed so intriguing, I couldn’t resist.

The company produced fashion and lifestyle segments for television shows such as NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s The View, created syndicated video packages, and wardrobed celebrities. Since neither of us had any fashion or TV experience, our boss and mentor, Pier Piccoli, taught us everything. Working at such a small company was an incredible learning experience; it meant that we weren’t limited to one position or job responsibility. We did everything right from the start, including shooting and editing video, hiring and styling models, media training on-air talent, writing copy, pulling clothes to wardrobe celebrities, and more. Of course, it also meant that we did a lot of unglamorous jobs like schlepping, answering phones, packing and unpacking boxes, waking up at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. for a television call time… But we learned and did so much more than we would have at a large cubicle-laden corporation.

After several years of learning the business inside and out, we decided it was time to venture out on our own. We started a small production company called Reach Marketing, Inc. and were lucky enough to work with the Today Show, Vogue magazine and the NBA almost right from the start. Our company was small — just the two of us — and we worked out of our apartments, still doing all the glamorous and unglamorous aspects of the job but with the added pressure of running and owning our own business. It was an amazing, yet somewhat scary feeling to be on our own and masters of our fate at such a young age.

In early 2003, I taught myself HTML and the mechanics of building a basic website, so we decided to launch StyleBakery.com. At the time, there were very few sites about fashion, style or beauty — and certainly nothing like the fashion and beauty bloggers that are so commonplace today —so we had to forge our own path and learn everything as we went along. What started as an online magazine that published every two weeks as a supplement for our TV fashion segments, eventually turned into a self-sufficient and thriving website that updated every day with fresh content. We soon added specialized sites for teens (StyleBakeryTeen.com), moms (StyleBakeryMom.com) and budget shoppers (Sweet-Savings.com and CheapChicDaily.com) to become the wide-reaching women’s style network that we are today.

Having gone to college in the very early days of the Internet, we certainly never could have imagined our eventual career: that we would be writing and producing content for the Web. Our advice to anyone starting out in their career, or one looking to make a change, is to consider every opportunity that comes your way. It may not be what you studied in school, or what you envision your path to be, but you never know where each new opportunity might lead you.



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Q. I have really dry skin and can’t seem to find a tinted moisturizer or foundation that doesn’t emphasize my flakey patches. Any suggestions?

A. I too have really dry skin, especially in the winter and early spring. After many years of trying out a variety of products, I’ve finally found the best way to combat dry patches and flakey skin. Here’s what works for me:

Step 1: Exfoliate before applying makeup. You can use an exfoliating cleanser or cleansing brush (like Clarisonic).

Step 2: Apply a serum with hyaluronic acid on damp skin. This will help draw water into the skin to keep it plump and moisturized.

Step 3: Apply a non-greasy moisturizer (preferably with SPF) and eye cream.

Step 4: Use a BB Cream designed for dry skin in place of a tinted moisturizer or foundation. Estee Lauder’s DayWear has hyaluronic acid and glycerin to trap moisture in skin, along with a gorgeous sheer coverage.

Q. I have several parties coming up for November and December and have no idea how to style my hair. I have long wavy/curly hair and usually just wear it down or in a ponytail which doesn’t seem dressy enough. I’m terrible with a curling iron and don’t like to blow my hair straight. Any suggestions?


Amy Adams deep side part, Kirsten Dunst side swept ponytail

A. Two of this season’s most gorgeous hair looks also happen to be super-easy, requiring little extra styling time.

The deep side part — As you can see from Amy Adams’ look above, simply moving your side part over an extra inch can create a dramatic and flattering evening look. Smooth out your waves with a little styling product and sweep your hair over one shoulder and you’re done.

The side ponytail — Perfect for a day-to-evening transition, a ponytail dresses up for a party with a little side swoop. Style your bangs across your forehead towards the side where you’ll create your low ponytail, like Kirsten Dunst above, and secure it with a pretty hair tie. This look works well with sexy “undone” hair or pulled a little tighter for a sleek look.

Q. The summer humidity is wreaking havoc on my curly hair! Any suggestions for keeping the frizz under control? I feel like I’ve tried everything!

frizzy-hair-.jpgA.Summer is such a fun season, don’t you agree? Lazy afternoons by the pool, beach or lake. Fun nights with friends barbecuing and sipping fruity cocktails, good times right? Everything’s peachy, couldn’t be better until… humidity and intense sun rear their ugly and equally evil heads. My color gets zapped and fades into oblivion days ahead of when it should, leaving strands of gray poking out everywhere and the volume normally visible in my tresses goes limp because I counter the humidity with so much hair products that my scalp short circuits and can’t process another ounce of smoothing serum or volumizing spray and conditioner. It’s a B.H.D. (Bad Hair Day) but it doesn’t end up being just one day…it ends up being most of July straight through to Labor Day, and baseball caps become more then just a sporty, hip accessory, rather they become an extension of my head.

So, I’ve temporarily turned into Nancy Drew super sleuth and I’m on the hunt for a new crop of products, the best and brightest that hair care has to offer that will turn this hamster wheel around for all of us! One easy D.I.Y. replenishing treatment I experimented with last night was mixing 2 tablespoons of mayo with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (mine is orange), placing a shower cap over my hair and leaving it on mask-style for 15 minutes. The oils and egg in the mayo are the elements that go in and recondition dry, frizzy hair. And I must admit for the pennies it costs, the results I’m being left with today are positive and my hair is shinier than it’s been in weeks. So this effort is getting my thumbs-up seal of approval.

However, for all the beauty junkies who prefer to stay out of the kitchen and head straight to the drugstore, take a peek at the spread below for a crop of products that promise to support you and your tresses through the duration of the dog days of summer. Cool thing is, the emotional high you receive from healthy looking hair comes at no extra charge and that, as the credit card commercial on TV will tell you, is PRICELESS!


Stacy’s Summer Hair RX

Problem: Dry, Frizzy & Color Faded Tresses

1. COLOR RX = Clairol Nice & Easy Color Blend Foam. This is the first home color system I’ve been successful with because the foam means no mess and no dripping so I can multi-task around the house while it goes to work on my sun faded color. I tried “Medium Brown” and it put some pop back in my locks!

2. BUILDUP RX = Nioxin which I always thought was geared for hair thinning, shedding and breakage (which it is) created a new 3 step system for 6 different problematic hair categories focused on replenishing your scalp so you don’t need to use as much product to create the volume in the first place.

3. QUICK FIX RX = Alterna Summer Hair After Sun Hair Quench is a hydrating gel mask enriched with antioxidants to protect from environmental damage while enhancing shine and vibrancy.

4. TOOL RX = I’ve been using the Goody Styling Therapy Copper Paddle Brush and the Paves Tourmaline Cermramic Styling Iron since April and have become big fans of both for controlling frizz and leaving my hair sleek and smooth. The brush literally feels like a scalp massage.

5. EMERGENCY RX = No time, in a rush…opt for either a simple chic bun or grab a stylish fedora and hit the ground running!

image: hotbeautyhealth.com

Q. My boyfriend is about to be back from Iraq and we have a very special vacation planned.  I want to wear a cute little black cocktail dress, but I don’t know if I should wear hose, and if so, what color to wear.  I am extremely pale  and our vacation will be in December.  I don’t want to look like a fashion disaster! 
-Pale Writer 

A. Assuming you are going somewhere warm, skip the hose and be sure to wear some knockout intimates under your dress.  If you’re pale, consider a spray on tan.  I’m a big fan of Model Co. transparent spray on tan.  Just be sure to continually wash your hands and be light on the ankles, feet and elbows to avoid staining.  Or start applying a gradual skin glowing lotion now like the “tanning” or body shimmer lotions from Jergens.

P96122 Hero       200-21

ModelCo Tan Airbrush In A Can, $7 and up at sephora.com

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, $5.99 at drugstore.com

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