Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Whatever happened to brooches? And more important, when are they coming back? I have a great collection – many from my grandmother’s jewelry drawer – and I would love to start wearing them again. – Jewelry Fan
Dear Fan: They’re back. Start wearing them today! I’ve seen them in photos from Fashion Week runways. And I spotted three of them recently, romping at the neckline of Ikram Goldman, who was canonized by The New York Times as “high fashion’s ambassador from the Midwest.” If brooches are good enough for her (Michelle Obama has been a client of Ikram’s Chicago boutique), then surely it’s time to declare them fully fashionable. Ikram was dressed in head-to-toe black, but the trio of pins – about half-dollar size each – made the outfit a total wow. To answer the question of whatever happened to brooches, I think they’ve been the victim of the casualization (is that a word?) of America. Nobody dresses up any more for anything but weddings and funerals, and sometimes not even then. Another reason you haven’t seen too many brooches lately is that they’re heavy. Lightweight warm-weather fabrics don’t hold them very well. But there’s a way around that too. Pin the brooch through the fabric of your blouse or dress but also through your bra strap. Voila!
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have one real-dark mink coat and three faux furs in various shades of brown. I also have one real-light ranch mink hat and several faux fur hats in various shades of gray and browns. Do the colors have to match? Can I wear a real or faux fur hat with a cloth coat? Can I wear the faux with the real? – Befuddled
Dear Befuddled: There are no rules. Fake fur looks so real that it’s hard to tell the difference. And matchy-matchy hat/coat is absolutely not required. Just take a good look in the mirror, and if you like what you see, go for it!
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Why can’t I find a good colorist who will give me chunky highlights? I see it done on YouTube videos using foil (and I can do it myself with a highlighting cap but can’t get close enough to the roots). But when I explain clearly and show pictures of the contrasting look I want, I still walk out of even top-rated salons with highlights that look way too blended. I need more drama! Any ideas? – Christine K.
Dear Christine: Otherwise bold, brave women turn limply timid when they talk to their hair stylists! Ladies, tell them what you want and that if they can’t deliver you’re not coming back (in a nice way of course). However, Christine, you clearly have told colorists precisely what you’re going for and you aren’t getting it. Word-of-mouth is probably your best bet. Ask every woman you see who has the chunky look you want (perfect strangers included) where they get their hair colored, then book an appointment, but be sure to bring along the pictures and videos you mentioned. And good luck!
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have skimpy eyelashes, and they’re getting skimpier. No way do I have the time to fool with fake lashes, so how do I hold on to the lashes I’ve got? – Bree T.
Dear Bree: Prescription-only Latisse does work, but it’s expensive, and as soon as you quit using it, your lashes go back to their stubby normal. Be gentle with the lashes you have. No mad rubbing to remove your eye makeup! I read in More magazine that baby shampoo or Aquaphor are gentle ways to remove mascara and other eye makeup. I tested both, and you can skip the shampoo. Johnson’s baby shampoo (“as gentle to eyes as pure water”) stung enough that I’m not going there again. It’s still great for washing your cashmere, though. Just a small glob of Aquaphor ointment works fine without much rubbing, and so does the less expensive Equate brand from Wal-Mart.