Ask Aimée

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Aimée Gowland is a local fashion expert and stylist who specializes in personal shopping, wardrobe consultation and private shopping excursions.

Gator Skin

Q. Living in this tropical New Orleans climate, I have often heard the phrase “great skin, bad hair” when referencing the pros and cons of humidity. While the winter air remains humid, the heater in my house is sucking the life out of my skin. Help! I am flaking out!

Matt C., Arabi

A. Thanks for writing in and trusting me with your epidermis, but, alas, I am not worthy. My professional knowledge is limited to having you not dress like a flake. But I know who can help you: my favorite skin care professionals at Lux Salon Blends (3141 Ponce de Leon, 301-2953).

Aestheticians Erin and Ashley explain that drastic changes in temperature, especially going from a damp outdoors to a dry indoors, can wreak havoc on your skin. The heater is a like a vacuum that removes humidity from the air. As a result of the lack of moisture, your skin gets depleted of its water content and feels rough and flaky. In order to restore its natural luster, it is important to modify your skin care regimen. Erin suggests the following:

—Run a humidifier while you sleep.
—Switch to a mild cleanser. Agera Extra Gentle Cleanser is a foaming non-irritating product that does not deplete the skin of essential oils.
—Use a toner. Agera Soothing Conditioning Mist acts as a humectant to lock in moisture.
—Replenish with a healing moisturizer. Agera Recovery Cream is ideal for men and women, all skin types, feels amazing and smells divine.

Lux Salon Blends adapts all its treatments to suit each client’s skin care needs. I have found the staff to be one of the most sincere and knowledgeable in the area.

What Not to Say
Q. I was at dinner with my sister and friends when she began critiquing my outfit. I realize now that my attire probably was not the wisest choice for my figure, but I was not prepared for a public fashion bashing. Who died and made her Tim Gunn?

Lisa, Gretna

A. You can thank TLC and Bravo for the recent influx of “Stacy” and “Clintons” in our lives (my own mother doesn’t hold back in informing me when my clothing and accessories disagree). While I am appreciative of friends and family who point out an awkward faux pas or wardrobe malfunction, it should be done with diplomacy. I want someone to tell me if I have spinach in my teeth or need an Altoid, but there are appropriate methods of delivering this advice. I presume you are both from the same school of “home training” and know not to belittle publicly but to save the war of words for family dinners. If you consider your sister to be trustworthy, stylish and to have your best interest at heart, ponder her advice. Suggest that she go with you on your next shopping trip. However, if sis is simply being malicious, remind her, in mixed company, with the utmost tact, of her six-inch bangs and enthusiastic application of Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth perfume from 1986. Be sure to bring photos.

Wardrobe Change
Q. January 2009 brings a horde of resolutions about “change,” and we are inaugurating a president whose platform was based on “change.” Fashionably speaking, what do you recommend I change for ’09?

Ana, Lake Terrace

A. Fortunately, it is possible to remain in vogue while surviving the current economic situation. Fall-winter 2008 saw a few trends that will translate into the next season, and winter-spring 2009 offers some inexpensive looks that you can incorporate into your wardrobe to keep it fresh.

Keep From Fall-Winter ’08:
—Tulip skirt with big pockets
—Voluminous top in bright hues
—Ruffles on a dress or blouse
—The “boyfriend” jacket/blazer

Consider for Winter-Spring ’09:
—One-shoulder blouse or dress
—Long or short Grecian dress
—Harem pants
—A jumpsuit in lieu of a dress
—Clunky high shoes in a Mary Jane or loafer style

The Wrong Thongs?
Q. The platform wedge thong sandals that have infiltrated the city perplex me. I notice women of all ages wearing them with exercise clothes, jeans and dresses. They are worn in restaurants and at the grocery store, regardless of the temperature. Not to be crass, but they look like stripper shoes.

Jenny C., Old Metairie

A. Months ago, there was a discussion during a Pilates class pertaining to this particular breed of “comfy” sandals. I had not the slightest idea what brand of footwear the group was chatting about. Although I had seen the style of footwear about town, I was not aware of its moniker. Thanks to some market research in our local boutiques, I have found the true name: Volatile Shoes. Price points range from $19.99 to $49.99, and the shoes are advertised as “fun, flirty and trendy go anywhere footwear.” This description is also suitable for Hugh Heffner’s Girls Next Door. I thought the shoes would be charming poolside or post spa treatment but concur that they might look better on my Malibu Barbie. I empathize with the contention that Volatile sandals are comfortable, and this rationalization reminds me of the same claim concerning Crocs and Uggs. All have specific functions … appropriate to the situation: table dancing, gardening, après-ski, respectively.