November 24, 2014
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Here & Now: Uh-oh, What Will the Wardrobe Police Say?

Our columnist does a little personal spring cleaning of body and closet.

PushArt

Things to do today:

1. Push my immortality envelope, vampire-style, with some freshly harvested blood.

2. Get the feline thing going with a flirty fringe of cat corners.

3. Rock my personal X-shape with a sensuous pair of strappy red shoes.

4. Borrow a few ounces of fat from my whatever and put it back under my no-longer-25-year-old cheekbones where it rightly belongs.

     Okay, I’m not really doing all this today, but it is spring, and I’m definitely in the mood for flirty, sensuous and age-defying. Last spring, after a heart-wrenching breakup, I did what many ex-partners do: I trashed the closet. I was merciless. Some things went straight to the dumpster, some to Goodwill and the rest to a friend.

     “These are very nice clothes, my friend said. Do you really want to do this?” Oh, yes, I really did!

      You’re thinking revenge, right? Actually, it wasn’t his closet I emptied. It was mine. Peeling off the layers to heal the heart, maybe? Anyway, a year later, my entire wardrobe still can fit into my airline carry-on. So I’m starting with agenda item No. 3.

Enter Tamra, Style Maven

     The statuesque, auburn-haired Tamra Nashman, actress and high-powered model-turned-personal style consultant, shows up at my door in a designer dress, classic jewelry and, I swear, at least eight inch stilettos. I’m barefoot, in jeans and T-shirt. Might as well be honest. This is the real deal. Based on the photo I supplied earlier, she’s come prepared with my personal, laminated color palette. It’s dead on: jeweled fuchsia, purples, reds and cobalt blue. She’s impressed that my home is accented in these colors. “Great,” she says. “You’re already in tune with your power colors! You’d be shocked at how many women have closets packed with nothing but black.”

     Oh, dear. My closet isn’t packed, but it’s mostly black.

     “After we chat about your lifestyle, business and personal goals,” she says, “we’ll spend three or four hours in your closet, narrowing down to your best fit, style and colors, and reviewing your accessorizing options.”

     Oh, dear again. How long can it take to examine one blue dress, and one red dress and a dozen black items?

     So we begin:

     Me: Here’s my favorite blouse. And I love these pants. But I have nothing to go with either. She: Ever considered putting them together? Me: You’re kidding! … hmmm … Wow!

     She: Pair your black with teal, red and your other power colors. For this dress, do you have some great red shoes? Me: No. She: Silver, then? Me: Uh, no silver either. But I have these black ones. And these other black ones.

     Me: This boxy jacket should go. She: Maybe. Try this skinny belt. Look! There’s your perfect X-shape! A nip at the waist transforms that straight up-and-down shape to a feminine, alluring look.

     Alluring? If my next guru has her way.

Lashes by Saadi

     “Come curious, be amazed, leave beautiful,” the website says. Saadi Persad’s brand new Blush Aesthetics Studio is not your mother’s spa. Unless she’s a diva from the Marilyn Monroe-Liz Taylor-Sophia Loren era, where the art of beauty, seduction and romance was as subtle as the fluttering of lashes and the rush of color in the cheeks.

      “There’s a difference between vanity and self-esteem,” Persad says. “Remember that feeling … you catch your man’s eye, and feel the flush and blush all over. You feel so adorable and sexy. My goal is to help you get in touch with that sexy, adorable girl again.”

     Persad is already known as the eyebrow-threading guru of Naples. But Blush extends far beyond the brow line. Her cozy little emporium of diva-ness is all gilt mirrors and faux fur pillows, leopard prints and fainting couches. The menu includes glam facials, body sugaring, brow tinting, anti-aging eye treatments and more. I’m going straight for the Cat Corners, a sassy, multi-level fringe of curled lashes, invented by Daniel Dinh, the personal lash artist of Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry, Naomi Campbell, Angela Bassett and other mega-divas.

     But first, Persad’s 90-minute Blush Signature Facial. I can report that there was a soft cloud of steam, the fragrance of bamboo and jasmine, silky oils, euphoria-inducing scalp and face massage. I wish I could tell you more, but frankly, I slipped into another dimension under my cashmere blanket and Persad’s nurturing hands. Without having to move, I doze through most of the lash application. Afterward, the world feels pink. Persad hands me a mirror.        

     “Look at you. You’ve got that sensuous bed-head going, a glisten on your skin, and those lashes! You’re beautiful.” I must say, after five days, I’m still smiling at that familiar, but ever so much more adorable, girl in the mirror.

And Now a Vampire Facelift?

     I’m on a roll. Next up: that Vampire Lift, offered by several med-spas and plastic surgeons around the Gulfshore. Makes sense, right? Inject the face with a juicy vial of your own freshly harvested PRP (platelet-rich blood plasma) to stimulate and plump up the skin. Alas, there’s no sensuous neck biting— a gazillion tiny needle pricks replace the fangs. Still, it’s quick, non-surgical, and Kim Kardashian loves it. But is it legit?

     My answer man is Dr. Manuel Peña, a leading Naples plastic surgeon who’s been working with stem cells from patients’ own body fat mixed with blood platelet gel for nearly two decades—originally to aid healing and more recently to replace facial volume.

     He admits that his straw-colored concoction isn’t as sexy as vampire blood, and fat harvesting is a surgical procedure. But here’s the thing, he says: “Fat is your body’s richest source of stem cells. While blood and fillers eventually go away, 20 to 30 percent of the fat injection ‘takes.’ It’s living, growing tissue, and it’s yours to keep.”

     Despite the vampire hype, he says, PRP injections (which he also does) are relatively inexpensive, and have merit in places where fat doesn’t live, like the delicate skin under the eyes.

     So, can werewolf hair volume injections be far behind?

RESOURCES

Tamra Nashman, Extra-Ordinary Image

extra-ordinaryimage.com (239) 877-1345 Consultations from $497 (includes color palette assessment, body analysis, suggested clothing styles, makeup application training, hairstyle recommendations and reference materials) to two power-packed days that also cover body language, business etiquette, presentation and on-camera skills, $4,497

Blush Aesthetics Studio

Blushby 41.com (239) 384-9130 Cat Corner Lashes $100

Dr. Manuel Peña

dr-pena.com (239) 348-7362 Fat transfers from $3,600

Vampire Lift

Skin Deep Laser Naples (239) 260-5060 skindeepnaples.com $600-1,499 Ask about March special.

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