Nancy Houlmont of Beauty411 is straight-up HILAR. She, Michelle Mismas and I have a standing Fashion Week dinner tradition and discuss everything from nails to Nance’s innate Kennedy-ness. She lives in Wisconsin geographically, but she’s a New Yorker on the inside. Here, her Five Rules For Life. In Nancy’s words:
I’ve definitely reached a point in my personal and professional life where I’ve accumulated some “life stripes”. What I’ve learned is that you should pay attention to that little voice inside your head. Listening to that voice will keep you out of trouble. My inner voice has been shouting the following bits of advice to me and I’ve found when I ignore it, the situation doesn’t end well.
1. Be Nice.
Let’s face it. Dynasty and disco died in the 80’s; the era of Alexis Carrington is over. Some of the people I admire most in the world, makeup artist Bobbie Brown, hairstylist Ted Gibson, fashion guru Tim Gunn and figure skater Michelle Kwan, all prove that being nice and successful do not have to be mutually exclusive.
2. There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.
I saw this on a poster years ago and it’s true. Hard work and dedication will get you to your goals; shortcuts and leeching off someone else won’t. My suggestion is just to accept that, settle in and do the work. If you do, you’ll realize that before you know it, the opportunities will start rolling in.
3. Have good friends.
Friends (human or the furry kind) make life infinitely much better. They help keep you sane, are completely honest and have your back at all times. To have good friends, you’ve got to be one. It goes both ways.
4. Invest in one great accessory.
Whether it’s a classic designer handbag, gorgeous piece of jewelry or watch, killer shoes–adding one perfect accessory will elevate any outfit. And when I say “invest”, I mean save and spend for the real deal–no fakes.
5. Stop rolling your eyes and accept the fact that your mom was right when she said to eat your vegetables (still working on that one!), drink 8 glasses of water a day, use sunscreen and always wear clean underwear.
I know, I know, sometimes it’s painful to admit that your parents are right. On the other hand, think of it as a coming of age thing.
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