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Q. I have fairly sensitive/fair skin, so I am addicted to self-tanner.  Lately, however, self-tanners are irritating my skin.  What is a good self tanner that is also easy on sensitive skin? 
-Irritating Irritation

B000Bh81Sa.01-A3Jvdwo73Dmqmo. Pe25 Scmzzzzzzz A. Self tanning can definitely irritate skin with extended use.  Our beauty editor, Mickey Williams, suggests you start tanning at night before bed, or time the duration you wear the tanner. Maybe plan a Wednesday where you wake up early to tan, and then make sure you are near a shower after about three hours. Most irritations start when the chemicals in self-tanners react to your own body chemistry after extended exposure. 
 
If tanning at night, make sure to use darker bed sheets or a light layer of darker pajamas. Mickey likes using Comodynes Convenient Cosmetics Self-Tanning Towelettes. They absorb right into the skin without a messy residue to leave behind on sheets. One towel goes a long way, so make sure to use them conservatively. 
 
And lastly, Mickey says ff you simply must wear your facial tanner throughout the day, use a tanner that is tinted to look like a light foundation. Biotherm’s Sunfitness Autobronzant SPF 12 actually melts right into your own complexion with a minimal amount of coverage. The lower SPF makes way for less sunscreen irritants and the tint doubles as a foundation so you will not have to mix makeup with tanning.

Q. How do you wear the metallic gold, silver, bronze shoes?  What goes best with them?  I have heard that you can wear them like a neutral, but I still can’t figure out which shoe looks best with what color clothes.  I like gold with green, but when it comes to other colors I am at a loss.  What color should you wear with yellow? Silver, gold, bronze? How about blue?  Does it depend on the shade?  What about pink?  Please help!
-Clueless About Color   

A. I’ve said that metallics are like a neutral, but in truth they do so much more than a neutral.  A cream shoe with a yellow dress is fine, but a gold sandal with a yellow dress is sexy. Here’s my metallics 101: gold works best with green, red, orange and soft colors like beige and khaki;  cooler colors like blue and gray look best with silver; brown looks good with bronze or gold; white and black and even pink work with multiple metallic shades.

Q. I’m a 24 yr old aspiring stylist. I absolutely love fashion! You name the magazine and I probably have a subscription. I’d love to start my own personal shopping/styling business. Although I don’t have a background in fashion or degree in fashion I still think that I could do well. I got my niece ready for her winter formal and I only spent $96.00. Fifteen of it was spent on her dress. She looked fabulous.

Do you have any advice on how I can get started in this field or who I can talk to about getting started. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
-Fun Fashion Fanatic 

A. Love a girl with passion.  Now it’s time to focus your passion towards your goal of creating a personal business. Start small.  Keep your day job and make time on nights and weekends to build your shopping business. To start, do you want to work in-house for an upscale department store or boutique as a personal shopper, create a loyal client list that trusts your expertise and sense of style?  Or start on weekends by creating a comprehensive list of all the boutiques, shops and department stores, break it down by neighborhood, prices, designers offered and even restaurants in the neighborhoods. Meet with managers of these establishments and be friendly, build a relationship. 

For styling you’ll need photos of your styling work.  Are there any photographers that are trying to get work for their portfolios?  Offer your services for free.  You’ll both get something out of the shoot. Create a website offering your personal shopping, perhaps even shopping tours of different neighborhoods with a stop for lunch or afternoon tea. Create a postcard that can be left at different boutiques, bookshops and especially hotels in the area plus contact women’s groups-PTA, junior leagues, red hat societies- to let them all know you are available to be a personal shopper.  At hotels, meet with the concierge and let him or her know the details of your business so they might suggest it to guests.  Be savvy enough to shop for both women and men. And then of course there’s always the opportunity to learn the business by assisting a fashion editor/stylist on shoots—get the lay of the land by doing the grunt work (ironing, lugging trunks and boxes, pinning clothes) which quite frankly, I still do.

Q. I came across your site and thought it was just great. I am going to my brother-in-law’s child’s christening. They are having a get-together at a restaurant after the church at about 3pm.  I was planning on wearing a simple v-neck, short-sleeved wrap dress (black) from Express, size 1/2.  It fits real nice and is knee length.  Should I just wear a simple black pump (I have a black leather pair with an ankle strap or do I avoid the ankle strap).  Or should I wear an open toe, but I wanted to avoid the pedicure, this week my schedule is real hectic.  And I am not crazy about open-toe shoes with pantyhose, and I wanted to wear pantyhose because I don’t have a tan right now. If you could suggest an actual shoe or website, would be great. Or should I just go with the simple slacks and dressy top?  I thought a dress was more appropriate, because I have two young girls 3 & 5 and I am dressing them in fancy dresses that I bought them for Easter.  Should my husband wear a suit? We are from New York but the christening takes place in Baltimore.
-Toes not ready to peep 

A. Go for the dress and wear something that gives more of a hint to the nicer weather like an open toe sandal or peep toe, and if you can’t get a pedicure just put on some nail polish and deal, since nobody’s going to be really eyeing your toes.  If you can’t bear to expose your toes, then choose a sling back and skip the hose.  I’m not a big fan of hosiery unless it’s tights or sheer black in the winter.  And don’t fret about not having a tan, it’s only April and unless you live in Florida we are all still looking a bit pasty so everyone will look the same.  Why not buy the Jergens moisturizer that gradually tans your skin without messy stains? You can find it at your local drugstore and by the time the christening date arrives you should have a nice glow. 

As for your husband, I don’t think a suit is necessary.  A shirt, nice slacks and a sport jacket will be spiffy enough.

Q. I’m getting married on July 1st and uncertain what to give my four bridesmaids as gifts. I’d like to stick to a budget of $100 for each friend. Help, I don’t want to disappoint them.
-Giddy about Getting Married 

A. Don’t overthink your gift giving.  Remember that this is your wedding and a focused, prepared gift can be easily achieved and loved by all your friends without blowing your budget. Also, don’t assume the gift has to be a part of or worn on the wedding day. 

Since your wedding is in July, I have two suggestions: one that focuses on summer fun and one that is truly indicative of their styles. 

Screenshot-3Idea 1:

Purchase canvas tote bags like the much loved ones from Lands’ End and have them monogrammed for each of your bridesmaids. Then fill each with a big oversized beach towel, a cute photo album (include a special photo of you and your friend on the first page), flip flops and an inexpensive sunless tanner.  All together these items should total about $100 spent for each girl. 

06Ba8F5718C6717A8Bd9Cac7B4A69Ee6-1Idea 2:

Give a piece of jewelry that will be treasured and fits each girl’s style.  Choose a pretty necklace, a beaded bracelet or dangly earrings that will dazzle with many outfits in your friend’s wardrobe. When buying jewelry for about $100 or less for each bridesmaid, don’t fret if one item is $99 and another is $60.  The point is that you’re giving a gift that you believe they’ll enjoy.

Leaf Branch Charm Necklace, shown above, $65 at mrejewelry.com

Breath Believe Pearl-1personalized necklace, $95 at haleym.com

Chm 3 Tiered NecklaceChristie Martin 3 Tiered personalized necklace, $105 at girlshop.com

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