Warm Nights, Cafe' Lights…

Ladies, whether it’s you and your man or you and the girls, this is the season where you can really enjoy a night “out” on the town literally. The warmer temperatures make for it easy for you to use your imagination and show off a little with confidence! Not to mention how good the warm night air feels when you’re walking around or enjoying a cool drink in an outdoor café…. 

Dresses, capris or shorts! It doesn’t matter which of these you wear, you’re showing some skin and this is makes you feel instantly more sexy. Check out these looks for yourself!


Make eye contact wearing the summer version of the smoky eye. For step by step instructions, click on http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/how-to-make-your-eyes-look-bigger?click=smart&kw=ist&src=smart&mag=COS&link=http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/how-to-make-your-eyes-look-bigger-SMT-COS#slide-1 

To fake beautiful summer skin, use a self tan cream like L’Oreal Sublime Bronze. For great results, moisturize your skin with your favorite unscented lotion first, then apply self tanning cream and blend carefully. Then apply extra body lotion around your ankles and knees to blend the self tan cream in.

For face, neck, décolletage and even the tops of feet, use a bronzing powder with a big fluffy brush!

When summer shows itself here in Portland, locals take full advantage. From outdoor concerts, the festival of the evening, or just dinner and drinks on the patio of your favorite venue, this is the season to savor the offerings of the moment. Enjoy!

The Choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani

P.S.  If you like this blog, please LIKE my FB fan page for more beauty tips and fashion! http://www.facebook.com/pages/BackStage-LLC/257897457659368#!/pages/BackStage-LLC/257897457659368

A Stylist’s Guide to Summer Business Attire

As the temperature climbs and the outdoors is calling to us to come out and play, it gets harder and harder to drag ourselves to the office, much less dress professional enough to conduct business. But the impressions you give still play a tremendous role in your success, even when it’s summer! You may be tempted to dress casually, but you can still look fabulous and professional while trying to keep your cool.

Ladies first:

1. Dress in layers: You can put on and take off layers depending on the current temperature. Start with a skirt and a short sleeve top and layer with a lightweight sweater that will take you from air-conditioned coolness to the sizzling sun outside. Treat yourself to some fun three-quarter sleeve sweaters in different colors!

2. Try an up-do: Here’s your perfect opportunity to try that new style you’ve been thinking about and the bonus is that it will make your summertime outfit look more dressy and show off your earrings!

3. Lighten up your make-up: If you feel like your make-up is running down your face, trust me, it is!  Wear a lightweight foundation with sunscreen in it and instead of putting it on the same way, wear less of it and just use a concealer on areas that need more coverage.

4. Buy something white: If you want to add something to visually lighten up your wardrobe for summer, make it white! This color will make you instantly look more cool and crisp and will tie in many other colors in your closet, instantly extending your summer wardrobe!  

5. Show some skin: Summertime is a great time to skip the pantyhose and tights, but if you’re unsure about the color or condition of your skin, try a self-tan cream and/or leg make-up. Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs is a great cosmetic choice that comes in many colors.  But be mindful of what you’re revealing. Don’t wear a skirts that are too short and don’t wear sleeveless tops to work. Wear at least cap sleeves as you still need to set the standard for professionalism. And remember that if you put something on and are questioning whether it’s okay for work, it likely isn’t!

Just for Men:

1. Khaki slacks: These are a summertime staple with classic coolness. Be sure these are made of a good cotton fabric and be double sure to iron them. To make them work-appropriate, they need to look neat and are best worn with a good leather belt.

2. Sportcoats: Even when the temperature soars, you can wear an unlined jacket. Choose a cotton or linen fabric for summertime wear. These are relatively new and are a fabulous alternative. The unlined jackets actually require more workmanship as their counterpart as the inside seams need to be finished. The result is that you can still wear a jacket that feels light enough to wear in the summer, yet still gives you that polished look.

3. The short-sleeved dress shirt: The key here is fit. With no jacket to cover up the imperfection in fit, it will be imperative to find the right sleeve length and fit to your midsection. The less bicep that is covered, the more casual the shirt becomes. A good rule of thumb is that the sleeve length should come down to just above your elbows for a professional look.

4. Undershirts: Always wear an undershirt underneath your dress shirts, preferably a V-neck. While it may seem too hot, this extra layer will actually absorb perspiration and prevent staining from antiperspirants.

5. Accessorizing: If you want to still look polished while wearing lightweight clothes, then upgrade your accessories! Buy a leather band watch that will go better with your Khakis and invest in a really great textured belt and shoes. If you normally wear a tie with your jacket, you can skip it and wear a colorful pocket square instead.

6. Grooming: When your clothes are less formal, you need to pay closer attention to your grooming details. Body tattoos should be hidden as well as piercings. All hair including moustaches and beards should be neatly trimmed and cologne should be kept to a minimal.

Regardless of how hot it gets, you will always represent yourself and you’ve worked hard to achieve your success, so don’t blow it with inappropriate attire. Tweak your summertime wardrobe the smart way and keep that competitive edge.

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani

If the Shoe Fits…. Buy it in Every Color!

Need I say more? As far as the most common guilty pleasures in life for women, shoes must rank in the top five! There’s nothing quite like pretty shoes to turn a girl’s head. The fashion scene has been overwhelmed by the intoxicating color and texture combinations of the last few seasons. Summer, of course, gives you the opportunity to wear these shoes, while showing off your perfectly polished toenails!

So, what’s new?

Metallics: It used to be that metallics were saved for special occasions, but over the last few seasons, we’ve seen them everywhere from flip-flops to dress shoes. While the brushed metallics are easier to wear due to being less shiny, more and more brighter versions are showing up everywhere. They look amazing with matching jewelry and accessories, clothes that you can’t wear black shoes with, black clothes, and lots of skin!

Color blocking: Color blocking is still going strong and now is showing up in shoes. If you don’t quite have the confidence to wear color blocking, why not start with your sandals this summer?    

Summer wedges: Wedges have been back for a few seasons, but this summer, you’ll see a lot more of them in natural tones as well as bright colors. I love the mixology of the textures within the same color scheme. So comfy and versatile!

Ballerina flats: These flats can range from romantic to edgy, depending on the color and textures. Worn with shorts or dresses, it’s the perfect season to try something new while showing off your summertime skin!  

Just for men:

Huraches: Making a comeback, you’ll find these leather woven shoes everywhere. Pair these with khaki shorts,  casual slacks, or even straight jeans cuffed up for an updated look to a 70’s favorite!

Slip-on shoes: From more casual top-siders to dressy loafers, you’ll see them more and more with dressier clothes. Try skipping the socks for a more European look.

Leather flip-flops: A little nicer than your average foam rendering, it’s the perfect sandal for running around town or a casual evening out.  Choose a wider strap for balance and more fashion statement. These are versatile enough to be worn with a button down and linen pants to a T-shirt and shorts.

Two-toned oxfords: Making a resurgence in a big way, you’ll find these in dual toned leather panels. Reminiscent of 1920’s gangster style, this look is very wearable due to the classic lines. Be sure to let the shoes do the talking here and keep the rest of the outfit basic and scaled back!

One way to make an understated, but chic fashion statement is to wear trendy shoes and wear clothes that can be a back-drop to the footwear instead of competing with them. This is a very classy look and the balance of the tried and true, yet edgy combination helps you to pull off the new shoe styles confidently! And remember that shoes are the perfect place to have fun with color!

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani

Trend: Bold Pastels!

Color is blooming everywhere this spring. This season we’re seeing the return of the pastels, not just traditional pastels, but a more vibrant palette as well! These luscious sherbet colors are as cool as they look. You’ll see the burst of color in all clothing including jeans and jackets.

How to pull it off? If you want a more conservative look, pair with traditional colors and allow the pastel to be the statement piece. If you’re more bold, try color blocking by wearing a jacket, pants and top in three different pastels. The beauty is that they all mix and match! Remember to keep the lines simple.

Don’t forego the make-up. These luminescent colors can wash you out if you don’t wear enough color. Take this opportunity to play with the new eyeshadows and use them as accent colors. I like to wear my traditional daytime look of soft brown eyeshadow and accent with a mint or lavender color just on the lower lids to brighten my eyes. For lips, go with a glossy rose or pink tone to tie it all together. The bonus is that you’ll look instantly more refreshed and updated!

 Pastels for Men

This year, untraditional colors break through the classic boundaries of the shades men normally wear. The trick to pulling this off is to wear with classic pants and shorts on the lower half. Pastels look great with khakis as well as jeans and slacks. Accessorize with a bold watch and go sockless with slip-on shoes and you’ll exude confidence and look like you know what you’re doing!

It’s not your imagination, studies show that wearing color can make you look better as well as feel better. When you’re ready to lighten things up, try something new; It’ll put a smile on your face!

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani

Spring 2012 Make-Up!

Ladies, let’s face it (no pun intended), one of the most common ways to look outdated is wearing your makeup the same way you have worn it for ages. Not only does your skin and hair color change as you age, but makeup fashion changes as well. I seldom recommend dramatic changes in cosmetics to my clients, but subtle differences have a huge effect.

Here are some makeup inspirations for Spring!    

Trend: Cat-eyes– Add more mascara and/or falsies to the outside corner of the top of your lashes and go heavier on the black or black/brown eyeliner on the top lashes only. A little retro, a little Meow!

Trend: Crimson lips- Orangy-red lips are a spring standby, but try on several shades to make sure it complements your skin color. Make sure you go more neutral with color on the rest of your face before you try these lipsticks though! If you have thinner lips, try a sheer red gloss instead. As a rule in warm weather, forego the matte lipsticks for shiny and glossy ripe color!

Trend: The Navy Eye- Navy lined eyes are the smoky look for spring/summer. Remember to wear it with a neutral face and lips. Perfect for spring and summer evenings out on the town!

Trend: Sun-Kissed Skin– Be careful with this, ladies. Strategically well placed bronzer can be hot, too much bronzer or self tanner is not. Your guideline is to run a large, fluffy brush of bronzer lightly over areas where the sun hits you naturally on your face, décolletage and even the tops of your feet when you’re wearing sandals. Try an iridescent, copper-colored cream or powder eyeshadow for a subtle, but flirty look.

Trend: Look-at-Me Nail Color– Shades for fingernails and toenails you’ll want to try for spring are lavenders, all spectrums of tangerine as well as blues. Worn best on shorter and groomed nails. Time for that mani-pedi!




I rarely recommend a specific color or brand in my blogs because every woman has a different skin tone. What I know for sure is there is a shade that you can wear of almost any make-up trend available. It all depends on how you put it together. If you’re unsure, ask for help at the cosmetics counter or call your local stylist!

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani


Let's Talk About Style, Baby!

“Fashions fade; style is eternal.”— Yves Saint-Laurent 

Don’t think you have a style? Think again.  Ask some friends what they think your style is, but be prepared to hear the answer, though! You may not be aware of it, but most people do have a style that others recognize. Whether you’re the type that wears workout clothes or the type that wears trendy clothes with heels all the time, you already have a look that other people associate you with.

Now whether you like the style you have is another story. You may have a look that is yours by default. If that’s the case and you don’t like it, then you have the power to change it!

How do you pick a different style? Take time and peruse through magazines and Internet articles on fashion and pick something that resonates with you, something that makes you think, “Wow! I love that!”

Now take apart what those women are wearing piece by piece; ie, cardigan, ruffly top, high waisted slacks, trendy purses, pearls, and bow tie pumps, etc. Now write down what items you like.  If you have picked out a consistent style in different images, you will start noticing how the pieces start duplicating each other. Now head into your closet and start trying on your favorite pieces that make you feel great and take note the cut of the garment, the color and what the sleeves are cut like. Take all this information and create your new shopping list!

While you’re at it, don’t underestimate the power of a great haircut and color. While this is not part of your wardrobe, a great cut can drastically change how your clothing looks. Find pictures in magazines or the Internet and take them to your stylist.

The most important thing about your new look should be that it makes you feel great. Creating a personal style is really just about wearing what you love!

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani

P.S. If you need help, I’m in the Portland area. Refer to my contact page and send me a note. We’ll sit down and map out your personal style that fits your lifestyle and your wish list!

Trendy Twists on Classic Styles!

Everyone knows that what comes around goes around, but in fashion what goes around again will always take a new little spin that makes it new and exciting to wear. Fashion rarely  re-emerges in the exact same shape and form from its original debut. What makes these so wearable is that it’s a familiar style, but with a new twist!

Here are some fun, wearable styles you’ll be tempted with this season:

Colored jeans- New pastels and neons are a new take on denim. Wear pastel tops with pastel jeans or bright tops with bright jeans.  I also like to balance the color with a neutral (white, black or denim) on top and wear with cowboy boots!

Bold Jewelry in settings of gold- Shown in big rings, necklaces, bracelets as well as earrings. The small change from silver to gold is what makes it new and updated. Look for fun finishes like brushed gold to elevate your style.

Trench coats in fun new color- Look for them in pinks, melons, greens for spring/summer. Polish any outfit and turn heads in a flattering new color.

Statement flats- Take the old stand-by, flat slip on shoes and buy them in fun, bright patterns, stripes and embellishments! These look best with simple pants, skirts and dresses.

Clutch purses- Back in style again, but this time you’ll see them with big buckles and new shades. These clutches will update any outfit!

T-shirt dresses- Above the knee T-shirt dresses of the 80’s are back.! This time around you’ll see them in stripes. The skinnier stripes are more flattering and look great with a skinny belt and longer necklaces. Breezy and fun for spring and summer!


Be careful about what you try to revive out of the back of your closet. Sometimes it works, but oftentimes it doesn’t. Small styles changes like different sized collars, textiles and necklines may seem small, but add up to a big difference in the overall look of your outfit. I like to just buy the newer version to incorporate with my current wardrobe for an instant seasonal update.

Like I always say, “Details make the difference.”

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani

Ten Affordable Accessories To Update Your Wardrobe NOW!

When I work with a client, one of the things I hear most is “I have a lot of clothes
but I’m tired of them.” We all invest quite a bit of money in our wardrobes and it’s
just not practical to keep buying new pieces just because you get bored with the pieces
you already own. The easiest and most affordable thing you can do to update your
wardrobe is to invest in new accessories.

Here are my top 10 picks: 

1. Men’s watch: This is not the to say you should just outright steal your man’s watch
right off his arm, but there are a lot of great watches out there that are made for a
woman’s arm, but are just a touch masculine. Choose a larger watch face and chunkier
bands. How about a stitched leather with a bold metal face worn just slightly loose so it
looks cool, not constricting. Pair it with other bracelets on the same arm and you’ve got
a real fashion statement going on!

2. Spectator pumps: The old style is much daintier with a pointed toe and skinny heel.
The new style has a rounded toe and chunkier heel. Love the way this little detail differencescan change your whole look.

3. Skinny belts: Buy these in basic colors as well as neon shades for fun! Belt your favorite
cardigans and sweaters loosely for a modern twist to your tried and true wardrobe go-to’s!


4. Traditional handbag shapes in new colors: It’s more comfortable to ease into a new style  
when there’s something familiar about it, yes? Take a classic shape and make it feel feel brand new by choosing a bright hue like orange, yellow or hot pink!

5. The big ring: Haven’t tried this trend yet? This is one of the easiest and most wearable
accessories to liven up your outfit. There are countless possibilities for stones and metals.
How about trying a bright electric blue ? It’ll go with a ton of things in your wardrobe and give a snap of color on your hands that will be fun to look at throughout the day.

6. Silk neckerchief: Tie one on in a luscious, translucent color or gorgeous print. Wear it with a T-shirt with  a small denim jacket or even with a monochromatic twinset for an edgy yet retro-glam look!

7. Leopard print shoes: Yes, this look is still going strong. Now that you’ve seen it for awhile, it’s time to get brave and treat yourself to a great pair! You can actually wear this as a neutral and it will make any outfit instantly more interesting and shows off your style confidence!


8. Lady-like mini bag: The opposite of the large tote bag comes the retro version of the chic
little handbag. The small size, short straps and creative buckles makes us even feel more feminine when we’re wearing this. These are just plain fun: don’t you just want to have one?



9. Large floral earrings: Dress up anything with these colorful, whimsical accessories that
make you love being a woman. Find these in shades from pastels to bright, hot colors mixed with pearlsand faux stones.


10. Aviator sunglasses: Undeniably sexy, these glasses look chic with any style from Romance Girl to Biker Chick. These tend to make you look a little tough, so remember to break out that smile, heartbreaker!

With a flat-lined economy, spending money wisely is on everyone’s minds these days.
Using accessories to update a wardrobe is not a news flash, but can definitely be fun and a way to spend a lot less money than buying a bunch of new clothes. Besides, who wouldn’t want an excuse to buy new shoes?


The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

 ~ Lani

Timeless and Trendy- The Striped T-shirt!

With each season brings pieces that are going to instantly update your wardrobe. A lot of the time it’s a cool new accessory, but sometimes it’s just so simple, it’s right in front of your face! The striped T-shirt is a classic but it definitely comes and goes out of style. How fresh and new it looks depends on how you wear it with other pieces. Horizontal stripes are not your thing? You may change your mind this season!

How to wear it:

Nautical vibe: Classic, breezy and cool with a new twist of adding funky accessories and colors! You can never go wrong with this look. It’s playful and a little sexy at the same time. Wear it with khakis or jeans. What I love about Nautical is how you can dress it up or down depending on what you mix it with.

What about shoes? If you’re wearing the Nautical version, this is definitely a spring/summer look, so skip the boots and wear something more season- appropriate. And don’t be afraid to add a punch of color on your feet to liven things up!

Other accessories? How about adding a bright handbag or clutch? And we’ve all seen those berry red lips in the magazines- this would be a great time to wear it! You can also paint on a fun, bright Poppy color or French manicure on your fingertips and toes. With jewelry, keep it more on the simple side. Clean lines define the Nautical look.

Mixing it up: My favorite way to wear stripes! Note the way the striped tee updates and adds interest to this look. The pattern sizes are pretty close and the colors complement each other but don’t necessarily have to match exactly. Accessorize it up and you’ve got a fabulous look that makes you look like you know what you’re doing!

What about shoes? With this more eclectic feel, you can wear a fun leather sandal or a vibrant pair of pumps. If you wear it with jeans or a skirt, you can wear boots with this as well.

Other accessories? Have fun with this and experiment with bracelets, a great belt, scarves and jewelry. Try your hand at mixing patterns but keep it a similar size print. Remember to keep the same feeling of casual or dressy in your whole look. Example: if you’re wearing a tee with jeans and a soft scarf, don’t wear a conservative business jacket. You should be choosing a soft cardigan or a more casual blazer with this more laid back style.

Details, details! Note the scale of the lines. If you’re a small person, you can get away with wearing the bigger size stripes, but if you’re an average to larger frame, then stick to a smaller scale. The bigger the size of the stripes, the more visually larger the object (you) will appear to be.

Clothes are a great way to express yourself and you should be experimenting with them. Don’t keep wearing the same styles over and over again. We’re all creatures of habit, but once in awhile, try something new and remember to always have fun!

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

 ~ Lani

Portland Style

A filmaker once said, “Portland style is REI meets Dolce and Gabbana…”I think it’s more what I call big city meets Northwest comfort. You rarely see women in stilettos here walking around the streets. While people are still very interested in looking great, they definitely do it on their own terms.

Portland is not a slave to fashion and with the multitude of local designers, Portlanders make their own style.  This very cool town is known for a strong community of artists and the relaxed feeling of fashion reflects that.

There are also a lot of boots. This place is pretty much Boot-tastic  (yes, I think that’s a word)!


Even the professional community here has great taste and breaks away from the cookie cutter suit to eclectic business chic. Taking advantage of the new casual feel of business dress, you’ll see everything from a retro influence to an artsy vibe.

I always check out local fashion wherever I go and make note of what I’m inspired by. I’ll buy a piece and love it, shape it, tweak it, and mix it with what I already have in my closet and make it my own! This is one great way to develop your own style and build your wardrobe with amazing pieces you’ll enjoy for years.

Did I mention I love the boots?         











The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani

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