Personal Style, Pop Culture

Alyssa Hertzig’s Treat Yourself, Gift Yourself Guide to Sleepwear and Loungewear

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Alyssa Hertzig of The Sparkly Life blog is no stranger to the “treat yo’self” philosophy. A mom and a wife, a lifestyle blogger, a beauty writer for some of the world’s top magazines and, oh yeah, a Bare it All Power Figure, we knew Alyssa would be the perfect person to talk to for our holiday gift yourself guide.

Bare Necessities spent the day with Alyssa at her home outside Manhattan, hanging with her adorable kids Sadie, 7, and Nate, 4, and pup Easton. Alyssa was in full sparkly life mode during our photo session, while her in-between moments were spent trying to feed the kids, get them to after-school activities, talk to the babysitter, let the dog out….

Real life, meet the sparkly life.

That’s what this gift-yourself guide is about: the times when the reality of every day rubs up against who we imagine ourselves to be…polished, put-together, at our best even when kicking back.

“As moms, we tend to put our kids before us—and we should do that! But it doesn’t mean we don’t matter, too,” says Alyssa. “I dress my kids in adorable PJs each night, but if I’m being honest, I’ve kind of let myself go in that area. I had fallen back on wearing sweatpants and an old tee shirt to bed—not exactly chic.” And since Alyssa spends a lot of time working for home, “that outfit often follows me into the next day, so I love the idea of giving yourself the gift of cute loungewear or sleepwear. It can be just as comfy as your standby sweats, but you feel so much cuter and more confident.”

Who doesn’t need a daily dose of that? Read on for where she found it.

Continue Reading Alyssa Hertzig’s Treat Yourself, Gift Yourself Guide to Sleepwear and Loungewear

Inner Beauty, Personal Style, Power Figures, Relationships

Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein See Beauty Everywhere in their Podcast for Women, Fat Mascara

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By day, Jessica Matlin (top right) is the health and beauty director at Teen Vogue, and Jennifer Goldstein (top left) is the executive beauty and health editor at Marie Claire. Not glam enough for you yet? On nights, weekends and rare, spare moments in between, they become the co-hosts of Fat Mascara, the award-winning, first-of-its-kind weekly podcast about all things beauty. (The show’s name is an allusion to the bigger, better, juicier, where-does-it-end? trend in mascara and the like.)

Since last spring, Jess and Jenn have been “raising a wand” to their favorite products; interviewing celebrities, hair stylists and makeup artists, physicians and all manner of experts; reporting the latest industry news; answering listener questions and otherwise holding up beauty as a mirror to our culture.

For bravely, stylishly and hilariously exploring this often fraught women’s territory in a smart, fresh way, we hereby name Jenn and Jess this month’s Power Figures. Read on to hear how they know a hero from a zero when it comes to cosmetics, why these print all-stars became audiophiles, how they cope with stress when they’re at their limits and what beauty really means to them.

Continue Reading Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein See Beauty Everywhere in their Podcast for Women, Fat Mascara

Ambrassadors, Behind the Seams, Having a B.R.A. Fit

Carole’s Bra Fit Makeover: From 36D to 34DD

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“I’m 58 years old and have never been fitted for a bra before. That’s a long time not to know,” says Carole Walker, founder and president of Integrity Marketing and Media, where she works with major brands —“they don’t intimidate me”—to find solutions to problems.

We got the vibe that a bra intervention wouldn’t unnerve Carole in the slightest. “I’m an open book,” she told us. “I’m always up for an adventure and learning something new.” The same can be said for the Bare Necessities amBRAssadors, our in-house team of fit and fashion experts.

Let’s do this, Carole.

Continue Reading Carole’s Bra Fit Makeover: From 36D to 34DD

Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Pop Culture

An Empowering and Exclusive Look into Curvy Kate’s 7 Star in a Bra Finalists

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Curvy Kate, our dear friends from London, decamped to Bare Necessities this past weekend. Given our shared reason for being—empowering women of every age, size and shape—we were excited and honored to be their exclusive partners in hosting the annual Star in a Bra competition. Fans of the brands entered to become the new face of Curvy Kate and win a yearlong contract with True Model Management, as well as all the Curvy Kate lingerie imaginable.

“We received about a thousand entries, the most ever for Star in a Bra stateside,” says Chantelle Crabb, Curvy Kate’s communications manager, “bra whisperer” and a former winner herself—so she knows the rigors the 19 contestants went through: before-after photos; bra fittings with Bare Necessities’ ace amBRAssadors Mette, Michelle and Kristyn; photo shoots in three different bras and interviews with Bare it All. You’d never know that some of the contestants hadn’t so much as stepped out of their bedrooms in their skivvies before, much less in front of a camera in a studio full of strangers, but they brought it like the bold, confident women they are.

Today, those 19 inspiring women, beautiful inside and out, became the final 7. And the winner is up to you.

Read on for their moving personal stories, then visit Curvy Kate’s Star in a Bra to cast a vote for your favorite. The winner will be announced on November 15.

Continue Reading An Empowering and Exclusive Look into Curvy Kate’s 7 Star in a Bra Finalists

Personal Style, Pop Culture

Trick or Treat? Sexy Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults

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Step aside, pint-size ghouls and goblins on parade. The grown-ups are reclaiming Halloween. Last we checked, there was no age limit on a wicked good time. We’re all in favor of playing dress-up, whether you’re going out for your thrills or staying in and ignoring the doorbell.

This year, Bare Necessities has easy do-it-yourself costume ideas made up of good-looking separates you’ll re-wear after the Halloween party is over, as well as tongue-in-cheek sexy costumes designed explicitly (and we do mean that literally) for the bedroom.

Mischief Night, redefined.

Continue Reading Trick or Treat? Sexy Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults

Personal Style, Power Figures

Dora Lau, Founder of Curvy Couture, on What Women Really Want

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Sometimes, fate meanders, bringing us baby step by baby step to places in life we never could’ve predicted.

Sometimes, it’s a straight shot.

Looking at Dora Lau’s success, you can almost see it preordained, each dot connecting sequentially and building on the last lesson at the optimal moment. Dora evolved from a curvy teenager searching for the right clothes she could never seem to find to a fashion stylist to a lingerie trailblazer, founding Dora L International, Inc. in 1991 and racking up the accolades. In 2012, she laddered up another level when she launched Curvy Couture, her self-funded label for women much like herself, with elevated expectations and a taste level to match.

Bare Necessities interviewed Dora about that process of finding your calling and achieving your dream—not just down the road, but every day.

Continue Reading Dora Lau, Founder of Curvy Couture, on What Women Really Want

Ambrassadors, Breast Cancer Awareness, Health & Wellness

10 Things to Know About Life After Breast Cancer from Survivor Theresa Specht

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Four years ago this month, Theresa Specht, a preschool teacher and mother of two, was lying in bed watching television when a public service announcement about Breast Cancer Awareness Month came on. At 29, she had never really thought to thoroughly check herself out.

That’s the night she felt the lump in her left breast.

“My husband told me, ‘You didn’t have cancer an hour ago; you don’t have it now” and to relax and get some sleep,” Theresa recalls. Her gut told her otherwise.

Just before her 30th birthday, Theresa was diagnosed with stage III lymph node-positive breast cancer.

She had no risk factors or family history and tested negative for the BRCA gene. Her cancer, in her breast and lymph nodes, appeared to be estrogen-driven and was positive for the HER2 protein. “It’s a nasty cancer, but for that reason, a lot of research has gone into developing drugs to target the protein,” Theresa says. (It’s unclear whether her Cowden syndrome, a rare genetic variant, played a role.)

After six cycles of chemotherapy, a year of targeted biological therapies, a bilateral mastectomy and prophylactic hysterectomy, six weeks of daily radiation, reconstructive surgery and ongoing use of Tamoxifen, Theresa is still here, showing cancer who’s boss. She shares with Bare Necessities 10 truths about what happens when you’ve emerged from the fight of your life and it’s time to pick up where you left off:

Continue Reading 10 Things to Know About Life After Breast Cancer from Survivor Theresa Specht

Inner Beauty, Personal Style

Beauty & The Bras: Top 5 Beauty Trends for Fall 2017 (and the Bras that Go with Them)

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Sure, we’re sad that rosé season (also known as summer) is over, but let’s focus on the positives that come with this change, shall we? That forever-exciting back-to-school feeling, cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything…there are so many things to love about fall. Add gorgeous new beauty trends to the list, as inspiration from the runways makes its way to the real world.

There’s no shortage of new hair and makeup ideas: This year, the trends are sophisticated and totally wearable. Best of all, they’ll work beautifully with the scarves and boots you’re about to bust out of your closet, not to mention the season’s loveliest lingerie that you’ll be wearing underneath.

Ahead, five of the top beauty trends to try, each perfectly matched by yours truly at Bare Necessities with the best bra. Bring it on, autumn.

Continue Reading Beauty & The Bras: Top 5 Beauty Trends for Fall 2017 (and the Bras that Go with Them)

Behind the Seams, Confessions, Inner Beauty

Top 10 Model Confessions with Nina Daniele

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Nina Daniele (“‘Nina-Marie’ if my mom is mad at me”) grew up in Pelham, north of the Bronx in New York City. “It’s one of those towns you don’t appreciate until you have to be an adult and pay your own bills. As a kid, you’re bored AF,” she told us behind the scenes during the Fall Hot List shoot of some of our coolest bras and bodysuits. “I spent countless summer nights driving around with my friends, hanging out in the parking lot of the 24-hour Dunkin’ Donuts, stealing donuts out the back door since I think collectively we had about $5.”

She’s come a long way. Nina started modeling about seven years ago, while she was still in college. She planned to join the Air Force post-graduation, but her boyfriend convinced her to try modeling first: “I’m so happy he did because I don’t know how long I would have lasted!”

At Bare Necessities, we’re glad, too. The woman the lens loves gets her workouts from pole-dancing, her style inspiration from Aerosmith and has amassed much wisdom since her donut-filching days. Such as…

Continue Reading Top 10 Model Confessions with Nina Daniele

Ambrassadors, Behind the Seams, Relationships

Meet the amBRAssadors: Jeanette & Christianne on Professional Bra Fittings

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In the back-to-school spirit, we sat down this week with our senior and freshman amBRAssadors. Jeanette, 35 (top right), is the longest-serving amBRAssador on the customer service team, with five years under her belt. Christianne, 25 (top left), is the newbie: She’s been at Bare Necessities three months now.

What has Jeanette learned the hard way that she wishes someone had told her from day one? What does Christianne bring up from a Millennial perspective that changes how we shop for bras? What questions do they both field all day long, and what do they wish women knew?

Listen in for a few insights from the women you’ll find on the other end of the phone—or screen.

Continue Reading Meet the amBRAssadors: Jeanette & Christianne on Professional Bra Fittings