Fashion Tips to Live By

Despite all the products available to enhance a woman’s natural beauty, looking good still comes with a price. Over the years I’ve learned several valuable lessons in the beauty enrichment department—some firsthand and some by watching others’ faux pas. Some mistakes cause no more than a fit of giggles but others may make you want to hang out with your dog until it “grows out again.” (Thank goodness our dogs don’t care what we look like, huh?)

Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the years:

  • First perms can be quite an ordeal and if you’re considering one, please understand that it may not turn out exactly as you planned. Soft, gentle waves can quickly become “one happenin’ Afro” if your hair curls easily. Fortunately this was a popular style of the day, but it still made quite an interesting look on a short, fair-skinned blonde.


  • In regards to the previous paragraph, the warning from hairdressers “don’t shampoo for 24 hours or the curl may not set” does not apply to all people.


  • If attempting to highlight your hair with a DIY home kit, don’t wash the solution out too soon or you may get caught between stages in the coloring process. This can result in orange highlights. Of course, if this is the look you’re after, you’re good to go.


  • When applying bright lipstick, don’t pucker up and swipe on a lot of color or too much will get on the inside of the lips. Pink teeth are not attractive.


  • When drinking a red beverage at important social gatherings, remember to take small sips. No gulping even if you’re thirsty. Red mustaches are quite embarrassing on grown women.


  • Scotch tape works well on fixing ripped hems on bridesmaid’s dresses, especially when it’s mere seconds until picture time. If this does happens, just smile and act like nothing has happened. No one will be the wiser—except for you.


  • Several hair styling appliances have dual purposes. A curling iron works quite well for ironing wrinkled clothing, unless you’re doing a whole suit, but it’s still better than nothing in emergency situations. Also, if you ever find your front door frozen shut because the humidifier is turned up too high, a hair dryer and a screwdriver are essential tools for alleviating the problem. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)

We can learn much as we strive to achieve gorgeousness. Remember that for every problem you have, someone else has experienced it first. You are never alone in your quest for beauty.



Rose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks AND TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap. That’s four chances to win a book every time you post here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.

Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada only.

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Shari Barr

Shari Barr lives on a farm in southwest Iowa with her husband and they have a grown son and daughter. Her most recent fiction titles include four "McKenzie" books in the Camp Club Girls series for middle grade girls.

17 thoughts on “Fashion Tips to Live By”

  1. Shari,

    I never thought of using a curling iron to remove wrinkles in a pinch! Great advice.

    I have used packaging tape to keep a hem in place on skirts and pants when the thread gives way at work.

  2. LOL, Shari, you’re already to be a helpful beauty tip (among other things) columnist yourself! I want to hear the screwdriver/hair dryer story!

  3. Clever tips, Shari! Never would have considered using tape as an emergency hem fix, or a curling iron to remove wrinkles!

    I did learn the hard way that my already-wavy hair takes perms very well. The one–and only–time I had a perm, I ended up with that afro you talked about, and it stayed for forever.

  4. Rose, we’re innovative, arent’ we? A stapler works on hems for older jeans. (Yep, I’ve done it.)

  5. Kav, remember my earlier blogs about the mouse in my apartment and my first Christmas tree? This is the same apartment. Well, anyway, this apartment was the upstairs of a single family home, but I had my own private entrance. One cold winter day I was heading out the door for my job at the bank when, lo and behold, I couldn’t get out my front door-it was frozen shut. (When I told my landlord about it later, he told me he must have turned the humidifier up too high.) Anyway, I called my boss, told her I would be late for work and grabbed the only tools I had-a hair dryer and a screw driver. Twenty minutes later when I got to work, everyone was giggling at me.

  6. Brenda, even after that shocking first perm, I still went back for more. But I don’t think any of them were as curly as that first one.

  7. Shari, I can so identify with those perm “tips.” Mine would take very quickly, but also grow out very quickly, so I’d end up with straight hair from the roots to about halfway down, then frizz for the rest of it. Not a nice look. I’ve stayed away from perms for the past few decades!

  8. Stacy, I probably haven’t had a perm for close to 20 years now, but my hair has gotten so curly the older I get that it looks like I have one. I don’t quite understand it, but it sure helps on the cost of perms.

  9. My hair has a tendency to turn red when dyed. The only good thing about that is that red hair looks good on me, but I would love to go back to a golden blond color. Not happening! But I’ve had bad perms before also. I did one too soon after I had my last son and have not tried since. My hair was fried for a year after that, and has never been the same since then.

  10. Shari, I love your tips, which, I dare say, sound like they come from a lot of personal experience. I used the curling iron all the time to iron ribbons on my girls dress when they were little. And as a wedding planner, I can say your spot on with the tape.

  11. I think I need to tag this post…never dreamt of using the curling iron for clothes….duh, of course it’s an iron. And yes, the hair dryer is a dryer, too…useful for drying those spots you have to rinse.
    Would love to win

  12. Dawn, I bet you would look cute in red hair. It’s a whole prettier than orange.

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