Thoughts on Ronda Rich’s “Seductive Flirting”

Every year I re-read What Southern Women Know about Flirting by Ronda Rich. This book has been a staple in my library for the last 9 years! I first read this book the summer before my sophomore year in college (2008) and I have recommended it to almost every woman I have met since.

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That summer was also my first time preparing for a sorority recruitment. That year, our brilliant and beautiful recruitment chair recommended this book as a summer reading to prepare for Fall recruitment. There is a whole section in this book about social flirting, which was primarily what we focused on in our workshops….I like to think it helped 🙂

However, beyond college, this book has seen me through so many seasons of life. I feel like every time I read it I learn something new. In addition to social flirting, which applies to how you may interact with strangers, friends, and work colleagues, Ronda Rich also talks about courtship and seductive flirting. I thought, given the nature of this blog, I would share some of her insights here regarding the latter.

In chapter twelve, The Fine Art of Winning his Heart with Red Silk and Black Lace, Rich discusses the importance of lingerie and self-care in seductive flirting.

One of the principal messages in this chapter is the importance of thinking “Beautiful Thoughts.” It all really does start there, doesn’t it? It’s no secrete that confidence is one of the most attractive qualities in another person. Lingerie, in my opinion, is an accessory (and a very important one) that helps facilitate a state of mind.

Rich also discusses the importance of beauty treatments, fragrance, and posture. With regard to beauty treatments, she simply recommends treating yourself well. That is to say, we all should establish a routine of pampering ourselves, whether that is with a bubble bath and glass of wine, or a tea party and lingerie…it is so important to spend time with yourself doing whatever makes you feel pretty. This also means wearing your silk gowns to bed every night, if only, and especially for yourself!
With regard to fragrance…Rich states that it should be a part of your self-care routine, but also a part of the seductive flirting process, as fragrance is a powerful aphrodisiac. She recommends dabbing it on before bed, occasionally spraying your pillows, and layering during the day. Note: Layering a fragrance helps with its lasting power. Layering is also all about the process; pampering yourself with lotion, powder, and then perfume.
My personal favorite is:

Coco Mademoiselle

Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle
You can find the lotion, powder, and perfume here!

Finally, she also stresses the importance of the “Perfect Match!” She writes this with regard to matching lingerie, stating that:
“Matching underneath is just as important as matching on top. When you wear sexy lingerie, you feel sexy. And when you feel sexy, you act sexy. It’s that simple. “

My take away from this chapter is that self-care builds self-love, and self-love builds confidence!! I hope you all decide to check out What Southern Women Know about Flirting, and some of Ronda Rich’s other work.
There really is something for everyone in this book ❤

Until next time,

xoxo
Marie

Lingerie and the Art of Ornamentation. An interview with Prof. Dr. Laurent de Sutter

From the origins of basic undergarments to the Victorian corset and the birth of the gravity defying underwire bra- women have been looking for ways to support, suppress or accentuate the curves for a very long time. The ancient Egyptians wore a band of linen under their diaphanous robes to flatten the bust line, Cretan women invented the corset to create an hour glass waist and the women of ancient Greece, banned from wearing corsets and crinoline, wore the Apodesme instead: a band of fine material tied around the torso for supporting the breasts during movement. The invention of the brassiere, broadly referred to as the bra, liberated women from the pain of the corset, which had proven to cause irrevocable damages to the female well-being over the course of time. It’s been a long road from women’s health to Ermine Cadolle, Agent Provocateur, Carine Gilson and La Perla…

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Nette Rose: Flirty Intimates Handmade in South Africa

Literally Nataly

Nette Rose is a gorgeous handmade intimates brand from South Africa. The brand was founded, designed, and produced by Megan Miller, using local fabric suppliers in Cape Town. In an Elle South Africa article she described how she named her brand “Nette Rose” (pronounced Nettie Rose) after her two “sensational and stylish” grandmothers, Nette, who bought her first pair of fabric scissors, and Rose, who sparked up the idea of Megan going to a fashion academy.

The brand has since reached Europe via Nic and Steff Fitzgerald, two Switzerland-based distributers who are also originally from South Africa. One day, they came across an article about Nette Rose, and in their words “immediately fell in love”. And I am not surprised! They are very happy to support “a young, responsible, South African brand!”

Nette Rose intimates are contributors to the slow fashion movement, handmade in South Africa with “fun, cheek, and a lot of laughs!” something that was a further…

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6 Trendy Boudoir Outfit Ideas to Watch Out For

Boudoir Photography Site

A couple of years back, you could say with much confidence that boudoir was a popular trend. Brides would go out of their way to have surprise gifts for their grooms. Today, it is a norm. Everyone does it. People enjoy it. Any person can have boudoir photography and look awesome. Regardless of your body type, you can still take advantage of various boudoir outfits to suit the occasion. So which trendy ideas can you opt for?

Boudoir Photography Ideas Boudoir Photography

Sexy T-shirt Look

Can you get one of his old white T-shirts? Well, it might as well be the only thing to capture the most out of the photo session. Tie the shirt across your chest to give this sexy, witty look. Match it with a tempting pair of underpants. You can still choose booty shorts for the lower part. It is the perfect outfit for someone who is ready to…

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The Sexiest Cosmetics on my Vanity

I’ve always heard the saying “Sex Sells” and I never gave too much attention to it.  I won’t pretend to be an expert in advertising or marketing, but I did spend a great portion of my time in grad school researching sex and sexuality. That said, this topic is particularly interesting to me. I have been thinking a lot lately about how brands in the beauty industry market sex to sell more of their products. Much of the research I have found on this topic examines how visual ads use symbolic messages and sexual innuendos to boost sales. Much less research has focused on print advertising. For me, I don’t buy a lot of magazines or even watch TV, so I am someone who is probably most influenced by product names, packaging, etc.

I think it is particularly interesting how brands market what is called “product variants” with the use of creative names, say for example in lipstick or nail polish colors. I know I have been guilty of buying a product just because I like the name. I have also noticed that this usually happens within particular brands that I already love or have made a commitment to.

It took me a little digging, but I found a really interesting study that examined the names of 1,722 lipstick colors across 52 brands (Merskin, 2007). The study utilizes textual analysis and finds that product variant names for these lipsticks brands most often fall within one of three categories: food, beverages, and sex/romance. The author proposes that part of the marketing strategy here is to appeal to the “essential components of human survival and desire.” The author suggests that this type of marketing and advertising is especially effective because it plays on and evokes strong  emotions in the consumer. Merskin (2007) writes that these product names evoke especially strong emotions among women because of the associations that women have tied to food, eating, weight, desire, sex, and sexuality.  I agree that this strategy is likely very effective, as society has historically controlled women’s sexual expression and body image. You can read the full article here.

In a more recent study, Lindstedt and Nilsson (2014) examined how product variant names within a particular brand influenced buyer intentions to purchase a particular color of nail polish. They categorized the variant nail colors into sex/romance, geographical, and animals/nature names. Unexpectedly, the sex/romance category faired the worst. That is, it did not significantly impact consumer’s purchase intentions. The authors theorize that the market may be saturated with these types of ads, thus lending consumers to become habituated to sexual messages in advertising.  You can read more on that here. This is actually not surprising, as the discourse around sex and sexuality is increasingly becoming more normalized (i.e. less taboo), especially over the past decade.

 While these are very interesting findings, these are only two studies. I’ll also note that no study is without its limitations, so I recommend taking each with a grain of salt.

I can say that, personally, I don’t know how many times I have purchased an eyeshadow or lipstick simply because of its name! With all that said, I wanted to share some of the sexiest cosmetics on my vanity!

Spoiled Sexymatte deep mauve
Lingerie Lovermatte mauve
Feather Boamatte pastel pink

(I will admit that I initially picked out these shades based on their names. However, I have always loved Buxom shadows – these have been a major staple in my makeup wardrobe for years. Also, these first three colors blend really well together for a simple every day look!)

Silk Sheetschai luster
Satin Seductionbisque luster
Wild Nightsshimmering sugar plum

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

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(How could I not have this mascara!? I love the name and the packaging. Honestly, the product is not my all time favorite, but I do like it. I actually preferreed their “lashgasam” mascara, however, it seems that it was discontinued 😦  !”

Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection

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(How adorable is this palett? I love the packaging so much and the colors are really nice. This is by far the “sexiest” product on my vanity. Still, it is not my favorite. I prefer the Buxom shadows. However, with primer these are fairly comparable!”

Here are the colors!:

In the Buff
Satin Sheets
Birthday Suit
Fuzzy Handcuffs
Sugar Walls
Lap Dance
Voulez-Vous
Garter Belt
French Tickler

Urban Decay – Naked2 Palette
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(This is actually the first ‘nice’ eyeshadow palette I ever bought. I haven’t used it in ages, but there are some pretty scandalous names here!)

Here are some of my favorites:
Foxy
Booty Call
Tease

NARS Lip Gloss

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O
rgasmpeachy pink w/ shimmer

Colors I’d like to try: Baby Doll, Easy Lover and Strip Tease!!!!

NARS Blush
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rgasmpeachy pink w/ shimmer
Colors I’d like to try: Super Orgasm, Sin, Seduction, Sex Appeal

(There was a lot of hype about the NARS’ product variant, Orgasam. As far as I know, this color was only made in a blush and lip gloss. After all the fuss, I had to try each of these products. I was reasonably pleased with both, however, I will say that they are not on my list of go-to cosmetics.)

NARS Lipstick
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Sexual Healing
metallic peachy rose

(This is my least favorite product of those listed here. I literally only bought this for the product name. I am a big fan of NARS lipsticks, but sadly this shade is not compatible with my skin tone. I probably even knew this as I was purchasing it. This is actually the perfect example of how much advertising can influence consumer purchasing.)  


Side note…I would love to know WHO has the job of naming these products, and how I get that job!? I think it would be so fun.
Stay tuned for a post on the most sweet and decadent cosmetic names from my dressing table!
Until next time-
xoxo,
Marie

On Beauty, Perfection, & Babe Paley

“People read themselves into books, altering what they need &
discarding what they don’t.”
– Charles Bukowski

This month I have been reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue, and I have found myself identifying with the character Babe Paley. Who, by the way, was actually a beautiful socialite living in NY in the 50s. This book is considered fiction, but it is layered with so much history, it almost mirrors a biography or fan fiction. The book is written about Truman Capote and the scandal the ensued after the publication of his novel “Answered Prayers.” You can read more on that here.

But back to Babe. Of course, we all read ourselves into stories, and who wouldn’t want to identify with Babe!? She is the beauty of the story. However, it is not her glamour or status that I identify with. I find myself identifying with the character’s insecurities, her mannerisms, and approach to relationships…the way I once identified with Esther in The Bell Jar, or Holly in Breakfast at Tiffanys.

I have often found that a book transcends from being simply a book, to one of the many loves of my life, in just one moment. It is the moment that you read a passage or a quote that resonates with something so authentically you. I think the beauty in that moment is: from then on the rest of the book is self discovery.

“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself…”
-Emily Dickinson

It is not everyday or even every year that I find a book I feel this way about. When it happens though, it really is like falling in love. And in that same fashion, I have found that no matter how the story ends, I have recognized some part of myself in those pages, and always treasure that.

With all that said – in the spirit of authenticity and makeup, I wanted to share this lovely passage here:

“And to tell the truth, she was dependent on her cosmetics as others might be dependent on alcohol, in a tactile, pleasurable way. She loved the faint, flowery smell of her favorite blush; she delighted in the heavy silver of the brushes, the silkiness of the bristles against her skin. She enjoyed applying foundation, personally mixed for her by Elizabeth Arden herself, taking the sponge and dabbing it on her skin, each dab like a scale of armor, of power. She never grew tired of seeing her cheekbones come into sculpted glory with each swipe of the brush; she stared into the mirror as she blended and stroked and dabbed, and little by little, like pointillism, the face she knew and depended on, emerged into a complete portrait. Perfection.”
-Melanie Benjamin; The Swans of Fifth Avenue

P.S. You can find the book here =)

Daily Makeup Routine (Winter Edition)

I ❤ makeup. On my list of favorite things…I would say that it comes in at a close second, next to tea time and lingerie (which are tied for my #1). That said, there are few things that make me happier than finding a new lipstick or buying a newly coveted eye shadow pallet. However, similar to my closet, there are a few staples on my dressing table right now.

These of course change with the season, or depend on the occasion. I thought I would share what has become my daily makeup routine this winter! These have been my go-to products when I am getting ready for work, errands, etc.

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Beauty Blender
Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion
MAC Prep + Prime Fix +
Chanel -Perfection LUMIÈRE Velvet
Dior – Diorskin Forever Compact Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brush #12
Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW™ Pomade

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Yves Saint Laurent – Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-In-Stick Lipstick
Chanel – Joues Contraste Powder Blush
Lorac – Unzipped Eyeshadow Palette
Too Faced – Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer
Laura Geller – Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator
Dior – Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara
Tarte – Lash Curler
Kat Von D – Tattoo Liner
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