My always sharply-dressed and well-coiffed friend was visiting town last weekend, and both his Mint Tingle Facial Masque and his hair product were commandeered by airline security. So he asked me for a recommendation as to what he should buy to tide his hair over while here. After busting on him for being such a product junkie, I told him – and now I’ll tell you – about my go-to hair product: Kusco-Murphy Lavender Hair Cream. While in all cases one size doesn’t fit all, I’ve seen it work nicely on a variety of hair types, and that’s why I recommend it.
Its texture and weight are perfect, as it’s neither too greasy like some of the heavy waxes out there for guys, nor too sticky like the silicone-based anti-frizz products.
Also, it’s not a gel, so your hair actually looks like hair, not a gravity-defying “blowout” like DJ Pauly D’s signature ‘do from Jersey Shore (check out this amusing video tutorial of him demoing his hair styling technique: “I’m just rubbing the gel around the perimeter”…wha? If your hair has a perimeter, we need to talk. See my Services page.).
Anyway, back to Kusco-Murphy’s lavender goodness.
The smell is amazing, but very subtle, not like you bathed in Axe Body Spray. Although this product is on the expensive side, a little bit goes a long way. The best price I’ve found for an 8 oz jar is $30 plus shipping here or $35 from Arte Salon and Bigelow Chemists in Manhattan. Take a dab and rub it between your palms, then work it in back to front.
Check it out, and let me know what you think!
When was the last time you updated your headshot? What, you don’t have a headshot? No problem…read on for how to plan it, what to wear, and how to get it done with aplomb.
Having a good headshot never seems urgent until something like a speaking engagement comes up or someone is writing a profile of you, and then all of a sudden you really need one. Even though this may not be at the top of your to-do’s, trust me, people are checking you out online — and forming impressions of you based on what they see. And thanks to Google Images, any public pictures of you are going follow you around long-term. Below are 9 tips for getting headshots that would make your mama proud:
1) Wear solid colors as much as possible. If you’re wearing a patterned tie, make sure the pattern is not too busy or large in scale, since that will draw attention away from what people want to see to begin with — that handsome face of yours. Showtime’s CEO Matt Blank above gets it right with his clean, crisp look.
2) Speaking of color, make sure the shade you have on flatters your skin tone. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wear the right colors. (You can figure this out by having a color analysis done — contact me for info, or more loosely by asking people whose judgement you trust what colors they think you look best in.)
Bonus tip: If you have light colored eyes, play them up by wearing a color that matches them.
3) Get your hair cut 5-7 days before photos. That’s about the right amount of time for a new cut to “settle” in, especially if your hair stylist tends to cut you very short (sometimes they do this to make the cut last longer if you have trouble fitting appointments in). You can also get it cut closer to the date of your headshot, and let him or her know you’ll be taking photos within the next couple of days and not to go too short.
4) Choose your outfit carefully depending on the purpose of your photos. For example, the whole idea of a business headshot is to show people that you’re trustworthy, professional and approachable yet self-assured. If you’re in a field like finance or law, go with a suit and tie. For more creative and casual fields like advertising or technology, you can wear a blazer and dress shirt, or just the dress shirt. Whatever you plan on wearing, bring a few options to the shoot.
5) Consider the background. For something traditional in feel, have your photos taken in-studio. For a more interesting vibe that’s still business-friendly, do them on location in your office — if you’re an executive, you might place yourself in front of a window overlooking the city, or stand powerfully in your office. If your photos are for personal use, or your industry is more casual, go outside and shoot in a park or in front of a cool background. See the image above of Jay Penske or my client Chris’s “after” photo for examples. Once you know what background your photos will be shot against, be sure that the colors you’re wearing don’t blend into that.
Read the rest of…
Julie Rath: How to Get Killer Headshot Photos
Have you seen my latest before and afters? I just added several updated sets to my new website.
The before and after section is the most visited part of my site, so this week I’m lifting the hood to show you how it came together for my client in the images above: John Bailey. John is a Management Consultant, and he was looking to create a more appealing image for speaking and presentations. Here’s how he described what he wanted to accomplish:
“Take the package that is me – height, build, bone-structure, baldness and all – and create an image that says ‘authority, approachable’”.
John is located in Oregon, so we did all our work via Skype and email. Here’s how it went down:
The black and silver color combo is too aggressive for business. In addition, because John’s head is bare, the black shirt is overly intense and stark on him – almost making him look like a floating head. Overall, he was coming off too strong in his before look. In contrast, the lavender shirt is more flattering, and in combination with the sportcoat, it’s friendly but authoritative.
John is 5’ 8” and slightly stocky, so a main goal was to make him look longer and leaner. The diagonal lines of his sportcoat’s opening “V” are slimming and elongating, and pull him in at the waist. Paired with dark jeans, the jacket creates an overall monochromatic look that also makes him look taller and thinner. We had his jacket cut on the short side to make his legs appear longer.
The peak lapel on John’s jacket draws the eye up toward his broad shoulders and his face in a flattering way. He looks sharp but approachable with his open collar.
John had already ditched the moustache pre-Rath. Good call, John! The shaved head is a confident look (studies have been done on this – here’s a great article on the topic). Making the move from contacts to glasses made sense, as it adds dimension to his face so that he doesn’t look so bare.
With no head or facial hair, John’s look was vulnerable. He was attempting to strengthen that, but he was doing it in the wrong way. The end result was “trying too hard.” John says, “Men hate to ask for directions – and I think even more so about their appearance. It’s an admission of helplessness – and perhaps seems a bit vain as well. I think that holds lots of guys back from success … [Now] when I present professionally, the difference in how I feel – and therefore, how I carry myself – and the depth of the confidence I can project – is very significant.”
You can read more about John’s work here. A very warm thank you to him for participating in this article!
Guys, I have to tell you something that will either upset or (hopefully) liberate you:
You are TOO COOL to still be carrying a backpack.
If you’re no longer a student and are not on a euro tour, there’s no excuse. For some reason, Manhattan’s streets are overrun by knapsacked men, and it always makes me scratch my head because it is such an awkward and unattractive look. It’s especially troubling when the guy in question is wearing what would otherwise be a nice work outfit. Instead, his look is overwhelmed by a clunky nylon box strapped to his back, which only makes one wonder what grade he’s in. It’s also downright dangerous on an NYC subway when the backpack-wearer turns around in tight quarters. I’ve seen this happen to more than one woman, and the guy had no clue he nearly took her out! There are many better options out there to comfortably carry your things while looking great and not injuring lovely ladies who might otherwise be into you.
$50 and under
I like both the style and the price of this messenger bag from Urban Outfitters. It’s got a vintage feel while still work appropriate. The bag comes in two color combinations: khaki with brown and brown with brown. I prefer the contrast of the khaki and brown option (above) — classic and classy ($48).
Read the rest of…
Julie Rath: Too Cool for School (The Case Against Backpacks)
In BREAKING NEWS from the Pulitzer Prize winning news site, DailyPix.Me, our own contributing RP, Jason Grill, was named the #12 best looking politician under the age of 40.
With breathless pose, the reputable news agency writes:
Grill is a former Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives. He’s also a lawyer, writer, TV analyst, radio host and an all around handsome man! Oh and did we mention that he’s only 33?
Check out the piece here.
Of course, Jason had already been labeled, by the hard news, Cosmopolitan magazine, as one of “7 Politicians We’d Like to See Shirtless (And One Who’s Already Taken It Off).”
Wrote Cosmo when Jason was an active politician:
This smokin’ hot Dem is running for a second term as a representative in the Missouri House of Representatives. Hey Jason, if you need anyone to hang out on the campaign trail, give us a call.
While we here at The Recovering Politician are big admirers of Jason’s dreamy blue eyes (or are they brown?), we are not sure if he is the sexiest recovering politician alive.
We need your vote below. Besides Jason, here are another few choices:
Michael Steele repping the red states
John Y. Brown, III in best fashion mode
“Each Person’s life is like a mandala—a vast limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear, and think, forms the mandala of our life. We enter a room, and the room is our mandala. We get on the subway, and the subway car is our mandala, down to the teenager checking messages on her i-phone, and the homeless man slumped in the corner. We go for a hike in the mountains and everything as far as we can see is our mandala: the clouds, the trees, the snow on the peaks, even the rattlesnake coiled.”
~Pema Chodron, Living Life Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change
Standing in the center of our own lives is a powerful place to be. If life is in fact a vast limitless circle, it means that not only are all our experiences meaningful and brimming with potential, it also means that our loved ones have their own mandalas to create—even if that means they must make mistakes and experience painful struggle at times.
This was, is still sometimes, a tough concept for me as a mother. I want to prevent problems before they occur especially because my acute foresight spots a snag just as it begins to unravel. And why should it have to unravel if it doesn’t have to? Unraveling is bad. Bad unraveling, bad!
I have lost many nights of sleep and found many a pizza and pint of ice cream in my fretful worrying about unraveling. There are so many people in my life for who my help, if only they would follow it exactly as directed, could be spared struggle, disappointment, anguish, a sore throat, even.
But the truth is that considering the magnitude and mystery of the grand scheme of things here, there’s no way to tell if someone else’s experience is actually an unraveling. Chances are quite good in fact that one’s perception of another’s pitfall is really an incomplete view. You can only stand in the center of your own mandala, not someone else’s. What if their struggles, disappointments, anguish and re occurrent sore throat are meant to lead them to more deeply intricate aspects of personal mandala design?
This realization could unburden many a Catholic and Jewish mother.
What’s more, Pema Chodron goes on to say, “But it’s up to you whether your life is a mandala of neurosis or a mandala of sanity.”
If I habitually lose sleep and gain pizza because of someone else’s problem, I have carefully created a new problem where none existed, and, am choosing to live it as I decide to create a life of neurosis for myself.
Phew. Well, when I put it that way…
Conversely and coincidentally, as I sit down to edit this article this morning—waiting for my computer to boot up—I glance at Facebook on another device and see right there in my news feed the proof that this is all true: “My happiness depends on me, so you are off the hook.”
This realization could unburden many a spouse, parent, friend, employee, parent, grocery checker, teacher, aunt, and parent.
Dear loved ones, you are officially off the hook. And, I will officially really, really try to stop worrying about you—I know I’m off the hook. See you from the center.
P.S Take your vitamins
How I exposed myself to art. In a trench coat.
This print was hanging in our house while I was growing up. It was the first time I made a connection with trench coats, nudity and art.
But it wasn’t until my first job out of college working as a runner/clerk at Frank Haddad’s law firm that I get to live it.
George Salem, a wonderfully large and loveable fatherly figure and excellent criminal lawyer, asked me to help with research on a case. It was a case to disprove certain “images” published by a client were “obscene.” George’s idea was to have me, the new intern, take my Polaroid camera and trot down to the Speed Art Museum and tour the museum for examples of nudity in art. And click off a few pictures of what I found. We’d then be able to show the “images” the client was associated with were no more obscene than art on display in our fair city’s prized art museum.
Simple enough…and kinda brilliant, I thought to myself.
So, I threw on the tan trench coat my mother had just gotten me for Christmas now that I was needing “Big Boy” office clothes –and headed to Speed.
Fortunately for me there was a new display –probably something George Salem was aware of—featuring extensive and, well, rather provocative, nudity. It was in a cordoned off area but you could stand outside the ropes and appreciate the art. And even try to photograph it.
I noticed that there was a sign at the entrance saying “No photography.” I instantly realized that if I wanted to please my boss—and keep my job—I would need to be innovative and stealthy.
I waited until no guards or patrons were around and stepped toward the display, opened my trench coat –with my Polaroid hidden at chest level– and clicked off a couple of pictures.
Just my luck, a guard walked by at that time and kindly explained to me that I was not permitted to take photographs. I apologized and walked into the next room. And waited for him to leave.
I returned as soon as he left…and went to the other side of the display where there was even a greater show of nudity, opened my trench coat and continued completing my task. Click. Click. Went the camera.
The guard returned but did not see me take the last couple pictures. I smiled and tried to look fascinated—in a high minded and artistic way—in the grand display in the middle of the room. With all the naked people. I was in my 20s and not very persuasive. The trench coat didn’t help things.
The guard smiled back tolerably and, again, eventually walked away…..This last time I found the primo angle, leaned in over the roped off area and holding out my Polaroid for a final few shots, “Click!” and “Click!” And then….”Sir! Sir! I have asked you already to stop taking photographs of the display. I’m afraid I am going to have to ask you to leave.”
And he did.
And I did. Leave.
With my non-obscene and purely artistic photographs. And I delivered them. To my boss. In full uniform. trench coat, and all.
And as a result, I will never ever be able again to wear a trench coat when visiting Speed Art museum. For fear of being mistaken for, well, a curious and camera-happy investigator, shall we say.
Writes contributing RP John Y. Brown, III:
One of the greatest sins we can commit is to have a chance to get to know extraordinary people. And then not take advantage of it. And you never know when the opportunity will present itself. So always be ready to talk. Even when you’re not sure.
A picture of a cat siting on a column led to some chuckles from my wife and daughter but then a nice lady with a very professional looking camera decided to take the same shot. I nudged my wife and daughter and said, “Told ya it was a good photo to take.”
The woman with the professional camera overheard us and, along with her husband, laughed. And that’s all I needed. Over the next 20 minutes I learned that Matt Chua worked as a VC for 6 years before he and his wife, Erica, dropped out and became professional world travelers 2 years earlier. They’ve visited and written about 30 countries, mostly about economic development but also offering a sort of young person’s Trip Adviser take on each destination. (Think of Albert Brooks’ Lost in America —but working out. And going international)
Next year Matt hopes to find himself in Stanford’s MBA program. And deserves to be there. And if that still isn’t enough to pique your curiosity, their website is titled “LivingIF.com” with the tag line, “Living to never wonder, What if.”
Now, we are pleased to have Matt and Erica Chua join us as weekly travel columnists at The Recovering Politician, with their first column, cross-posted from LivingIF.com, below. Please help me welcome them to the RP Nation, and come back every Monday at this time to read about their next extraordinary adventure!
Incomparable. Stunning. Choose your superlative…none will do the Everest Region justice. Nowhere else on earth is like it. Walking amongst the world’s largest mountains, admiring deep valleys and snowcapped peaks, will be one of your life’s highlights.
Here even view from the outhouses are spectacular…
Read the rest of…
Erica and Matt Chua: Hiking Mount Everest and Three Passes Unguided
The old saying goes, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Well, didn’t they tell Eve not to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden? Well, she did and with good reason, they are good for you! I’d almost say they are the perfect fruit, packed with antioxidants, fiber and overall taste. Your mother was again right when she said eating one will keep the doctor away; apples are packed with Vitamin C (almost 14% of the daily value) to help keep the immune system strong and efficient. Here are the top 6 reasons why you should be eating apples daily:
- Apples are packed with fiber (4.4 grams per medium apple). Fiber allows the body to blunt the fat storing effects of insulin and keeps blood sugar in a stable place.
- They provide 14% of your daily value in the immune-boosting Vitamin C
- Are low in calories (95 calories per medium apple) and can satisfy hunger.
- Research has shown that people who eat apples on a regular bases are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome (heart disease and diabetes).
- Apples can increase your endurance. Quercetion, an antioxidant, has shown to increase the amount of oxygen that is available to the lungs.
- They taste good! Especially with a little peanut butter!
I am big believer in food as a source of healing for the body. We can get a lot of raw vegetables and fresh fruit more so that we can through processed foods. Apples are packed with good nutrition and should be taken everyday!
There are few things more devastatingly dashing than a man in a beautifully-fitted tuxedo. If you’ve received an invitation for an event calling for “Black Tie Optional” attire, your best option is – you guessed it – Black Tie. Why not take the opportunity to bring out the big guns? I promise, womens’ heads will turn, and the other guys not in tuxes will wish they had opted otherwise. Check out this shot above from a recent photo shoot for my new website (coming soon!). Pretty good, right?
Relatedly, designers have been showing formalwear looks deconstructed with individual items worn as separates (as seen in my Fall style report). This gives you even more reason to invest in a tux as well as some fun and interesting formalwear elements, which will come in handy when you’re faced with a Creative or Festive Black Tie dress code. Below are my top 5 picks for pieces that will help you mix up your evening gear.
1) Acne Velvet Double-Breasted Tuxedo Jacket — Acne made a splash with their fall lineup of swanky eveningwear separates. This jacket speaks for itself, so keep the rest of the look simple and classic.
2) Acne Jacquard Print Pants – These print pants are next-level style at its best. The trim cut calls for a similarly tailored jacket.
3) Michael Bastian Dinner Jacket – For evening wear with a festive twist, I am very much into this tartan shawl collar dinner jacket. The beauty of this piece is that you can wear it formally as shown above with ivory dress pants, but you can also dress it down with a bowtie, denim dress shirt, boots and cords, as seen in this excellent WSJ article on the topic.
Read the rest of…
Julie Rath: Get this Party Started — What to Wear for Black Tie Optional and Creative Black Tie