January 2011

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I was a privileged “front row” ticketholder to the inaugural SC Style Workshop, and I wanted to take a moment to tell each of you how much I appreciated your generosity in sharing your knowledge and expertise in your respective fields.

Diana Deaver.  Photographer.  Visionaire.  Difference-maker.  Your photography is finding its way throughout this lovely city of ours like the roots of some lovely flower.   Every time you click your camera, you manage to find beauty; more likely, you are simply reflecting the beauty you already see inside your subject.  The fact that you put together an event that celebrates beauty from the inside out, is a testament to your dedication to where true art lies: in the eye of the beholder.  You are a visionary, out to make a difference, and I’m so happy to know a heart like yours has found its way to Charleston.

Ayoka Lucas.  Style Editor of Charleston Magazine; founder of Charleston Fashion Week.  We’ve met only a couple of times, but you appear to me to be that “brutally honest” friend whom you referred to last night (a must on your “team” of style-helpers).  I’ve already labeled my five boxes (Keep, Donate, Dump, Fix, and Archive), and plan on cleaning out the closet today.  Thank you for your qualified definition of STYLE as that of an outward reflection of my inner attitude.  Thank you for referring me to Tim Gunn’s 10 Essential Pieces.  And thank you for encouraging me to make my look book and style board.  I feel I’m well on my way.

Andrew Petersen.  International Makeup Artist; cosmetics guru; inquisitor into why I “can’t” wear pink 😉  Thank you for your sage advice about not breaking the bank on my cosmetics purchases.  You told me to invest wisely in my foundation for the loveliest skin possible; and to low-brow it in the shimmer/shine products.  I will prime my eyelids for optimum shadow longevity; I will work on my day time look and use only one or two products to bump it up for a night time look.  I will now be on the lookout for what you say every woman needs: a pink-y bronzer.  And I will be sure to come see you at Cos Bar on King Street and a myriad of the world’s finest cosmetic offerings right here in Charleston!

Kristen Bostic.  Financial Advisor.  Thank you for reminding me that my net-worth is not my self-worth.  I heard you loud and clear when you told me to Know My Numbers; figure out my comfort number (3 to 6 months of income, set aside for emergencies).  You told me to take control of my debt. . . that indeed I control it and not vice versa.  Most importantly, you reminded me to continually educate myself about money; to be an active participant in making it, an accountable spender of it, and a responsible saver.

Marcus Amaker.  Poet, musician.  Editor of Charleston Scene magazine.  Your honey-dipped words are still hanging, lingering, and lolling around in my ears.  I saw your lines as you spoke them. . . I hope your poetry is published.  I want more.

Jessica Anderson.  Creator of Mindful Yoga.  Empoweress.  Thanks to you, I have already begun my path of paying more attention to and being aware of my thoughts.  Especially the ones you called “diminishing.”  Hmm. . . lots of power there.  You told me to slow down (which I need to hear on a daily basis).  You asked me not to be judgmental of my thoughts.  And you encouraged me to write. . . journal. . . record thoughts to see where I’ve been, where I am, and perhaps to be able to figure out where I’m going.  You reminded me that my center and my calm/stillness is within me always, and that to tap into it, I need only to slow down and summon it.

Angela McKee.  Skin care expert.  You are a radiant example for what you extoll: from good health comes beautiful skin.  Do you know how much you glowed?  You obviously love what you do.  Thanks to you, I’m looking more thoughtfully into the environmental factors that affect my skin on a daily basis.  I really want a water filter for my shower head now;)  You reminded me that proper diet and rest are vitally important in my quest for beautiful skin.  Thank you for wearing it all on your sleeve.

Elli Boland.  Nutrition and fitness expert.  I laughed out loud at your opening line. . . “What’s up bitches???   I mean Beautiful Goddesses!!!”  If ever there were a walking, talking personification of someone who practices what she preaches, it’s you.   Thinking about what my body needs is key in helping me obtain my nutritional best.  However, it was one of your final points, Elli, that struck home with me most: to reprogram (“train my brain”) through positive affirmations such as I am Healthy, and I am Beautiful just the way I am, and Thank you, Body, for giving me life.  And forgiving myself for an occasional slip of a cookie or other treat.

Shauna Mackenzie Heathman.  Image consultant.  Did I ever consider “image consulting” before I heard you speak?  Honestly, no.  But wow, this is a very viable and appropriate field to study today, the Information Age.  Shauna you made so many amazing points, but once you teased us with “The Secret to a Great First Impression,” I was hooked.  But the first great point was that despite the old adage “there’s no second chance at making a great first impression,” one should consider that someone who did not make that great of a first impression should be given the opportunity to redeem him/herself.  We’ll never know the many possibilities that led to that encounter.  I’m a firm believer in second chances, so this struck home with me.  So without further adieu, the secret to a great first impression: Be aware of how I make another person feel.

In addition to these encyclopedic minds, the SCSW was sprinkled with the cutting edge fashion designs of Alena Fede, Chelsie Ravenell, Sherri Miller, Beth Pilger and Anna Lassiter.  So a big congrats to ALL involved and I’m looking forward to the next SC Style Workshop!

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I looked forward to Saturday, January 29 for some time.  I was a lucky ticketholder of a front row seat for the inaugural SC Style Workshop (SCSW), the brainchild of ubiquitous Charleston photographer, Diana Deaver, held at the historic American Theatre on King Street.  Her concept was to bring together renowned experts in the fields of style, makeup, finances, spirituality, skin care, nutrition & fitness, and image consulting, in order to help jump start a wonderful year of empowering women.  This theme was quite in keeping with Diana’s personal philosophy of beauty that emanates from the inside. . . the outward stuff can all be achieved with the right tips, tricks, and tools.  A portion of the proceeds from this event go to Parent’s Anonymous of SC.

I’m going to attempt to summarize the messages of each of these professionals. . . not an easy task.

Ayoka Lucas is the style editor of Charleston Magazine and founder of Charleston Fashion Week.  Ayoka began the evening with a definition of STYLE: an outward expression of your beliefs and attitudes.  Style is not synonymous with fashion (which is trend-related. . . an ebb and flow of looks that appear and reappear over time).  Her most useful tip was how to reorganize one’s closet.  Start with 5 boxes labeled Keep, Donate, Dump, Fix, and Archive.  They are all pretty self explanatory. . . with a little emphasis given to the “Archive” box. . . those would be the items of clothing that are one-of-a-kinds that you just cannot part with.  She also referenced Tim Gunn’s “10 Essential Pieces” as the building blocks of a wardrobe, and having a “team” of specialists (hair, makeup, clothing retailers, and a brutally honest friend) to help you navigate and find your own style.

Andrew Peterson is an international makeup artist with an impressive resume with some of the world’s largest, most prestigious cosmetics lines.  Currently, Andrew has helped establish the east coast’s only Cos Bar (located on King Street), which is a retailer of the most fabulous cosmetics available.  Andrew called on a friend in the audience to help him demonstrate a prime (day time) look, then explained how to bump it up to a night time look with only a product or two.  I appreciated his comment that you don’t have to break the bank in order to look fabulous in your makeup: spend the money on a good, quality foundation to make your skin look beautiful.  He says when it comes to shimmer and shine products, you can hit up Wet & Wild for trendy looks.  He’s also of the belief that every woman needs a great pinky-bronzer.

Kristen Bostic, financial advisor with Financial Management Group, Inc.  spoke of the importance of one’s mental take on money.  Some of the key points she made were “net worth” is not to be intermingled with “self worth”; you are not your money.  Know your numbers: how much you have, how much you owe, what your “comfort number” is (3 to 6 months of income set aside in case of emergencies).  Take control of your debt.  And last but not least, educate yourself. . . know your money, how it works, how to make it work for you.

Jessica Anderson is the creator of Mindful Yoga located in Mount Pleasant.  

Angela McKee

Elli Boland

Shauna McKenzie

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