Be A Rockstar Guest!

The holiday parties may be over until next year but those New Years parties are just around the corner. You already know how to host an awesome party (see my last post) but what about being a guest? Don’t just be another face in the crowd, be a rock star!Here are a few tips to help you stand out in the spotlight:

*If an RSVP is required, respond immediately. Many people put the invitation in their purse or on their refrigerator and say they will call in a few days but why not do it right now? The faster the host knows how many people are attending, the better they can plan for their party.

*If you say you are coming, come! Last minute cancellations are not acceptable unless there is a real emergency (and no, laundry, lack of sleep, or cleaning are not valid excuses).

*Never bring people who were not invited (this includes your children). If the invite is just addressed to you, double check before you bring a date. If it is addressed to you and a significant other that means your kids were not invited. Only bring your kids if the invite is addressed to your family or if the host tells you to.

*Always bring a hostess gift, even if it’s just a candle or a bottle of lotion. Keep it simple. Bottles of wine are always a safe resort (that is if the host drinks alcohol).

*Every host dreads the question: “What do you want me to bring?” The host already has too much to think about so if you are offering to bring an appetizer or dessert make your own decision. If you know that the host really likes something that you make, offer to bring it.

*Arrive on time. If you arrive too early you will stress out the host, while late arrivals give off the impression that you don’t care about the party.

*Don’t just talk to your group of friends. Try to make the rounds and introduce yourself to as many people as possible. If you only talk to people you know other people may think you are stuck up or anti-social and that is definitely not our goal here.

*PLEASE don’t whisper! I don’t care what you are talking about, just don’t do it! People will think that you are talking about them or the party even if you’re not.

*Make sure you compliment the cooking, even if it’s the worst food you ever ate.

*Don’t be picky about the food. The only time you should refuse to eat the food being served is in cases of religious or medical conditions. If you really can’t eat the food, do so politely and don’t draw attention to it. If you do have a religious or medical condition you may want to warn the host ahead of time or bring a dish you know you will be able to eat.

*Offer to help put out the food or clean-up. A good host should never put their guests to work but you still need to offer.

*Before you use anything, ask for permission. If you want to turn on the television to catch up on a game, ask. Even if you want to use the bathroom, ask. It’s not your house and you need to respect their property.

*Stay till the end of the party. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours there, but wait until most people are done eating, dessert was served, or presents were opened (if applicable).

*Lastly, ALWAYS remember to say thank you (more than once if you can). The host went through a lot of effort and chose to invite you so let them know that you really did appreciate it.

The next time you attend a party, try some of these tips out and I promise that you will have a list of party invites in no time. Every host loves a guest who makes their life easier and they will surely invite you back again. Don’t forget to return the favor and invite them to your parties as well. Happy New Year, remember to be a rock star!

Now, go practice your ‘lipstick confidence’!

Ms. Hostess of the Year

Is your house clean? Does the food taste good? How many people did you invite? Do the guests know each other? What type of drinks should you serve? What should you wear? These are just a few of the many questions that a host has to deal with- no wonder why hosting a party is so stressful! My house has always been the destination for family holidays: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties. So, I may only be twenty-one years old but I know a thing or two about hosting a good party.

We have all been to our fair share of really awful parties. We walk away with a bad impression of the host, complaining about their rude manners and neglect of the guests. Parties are supposed to be fun (yes, even for the host) so here are a few tips to make your next party a success. A happy host= happy guests!

*Whether you are sending out formal invitations or inviting people over the phone make the invite clear. What occasion is the party for? Is there a dress code- casual or formal? What’s the time frame? The less unanswered questions your guests have, the better they will feel about attending your party. No one likes not knowing what to expect.

*If you are requiring RSVPs it is your responsibility to make sure that you have everyone’s answers. In a perfect world each guest would follow your RSVP date and respond but let’s face it- it’s not a perfect world! If there are lingering RSVP’s just make a quick phone call. A host’s worse nightmare is to not have enough food/drinks for all their guests.

*Make sure you have everything ready BEFORE your guests arrive. It’s ok to have a few odds and ends to do during the party, but people came to YOUR party to see YOU so remember to socialize.

*Dress up! It’s your party- wear something that makes you feel good. The better you feel, the more confident and relaxed you will be.

*It is the host’s job to make the guests feel comfortable. Start with greeting all your guests at the door. Your (smiling) face should be the first thing they see. Set aside a designated area for coats and purses and bring your guests belongings to that area for them.

*Make sure to introduce your guests to people they do not know, pointing out things that people have in common to break the ice that will encourage a conversation between them.

*Spend time with ALL of your guests, not just your best friend. Also, keep your eye out for people who are sitting alone and bring them into your conversation.

*It’s ok for the host to have a few alcoholic beverages at the party but try to stick to water as much as possible. No one likes a drunk host- save yourself the embarrassment.

*Be prepared for a crisis! When you want something to run smoothly, it never does so be prepared. Have cleaning supplies (club soda) and towels set aside ready for spills, etc.

*It’s really tempting to clean up as you go but try to save all the cleaning for when your guests leave. Your guests may feel like you are hurrying them along if you are cleaning up around them.

*When your guests are ready to leave show your appreciation (exaggeration is appropriate here). They took time out of their day or night to come to your party so show your gratitude by grabbing their coats and purses for them, walking them to the door, and remembering to thank people for any hostess gifts they gave you AGAIN (you should have already thanked them when they first gave it to you). Bonus: Try to remember exactly what they gave you!

If you follow this party etiquette, you will be the go-to party girl for all your friends (lucky you). The hostess can make or break a party- so be the best host you can be. The more comfortable your guests are, the better the party.

Happy holidays, party with ‘lipstick confidence’!

Walk Like A Queen

Unfortunately, first impressions mean everything. People often decide if they like someone or not within the first few minutes of meeting them. Our lives are so busy that people rarely have the time to truly get to know one another. Therefore, the image that you give off within the first five minutes is essential. One easy way to enhance your first impression is to perfect your posture. Ok, maybe it’s not as easy as it looks but it’s definitely worth it.

I will admit it. I am a victim of horrible posture. After 13 years of competitive swimming, my posture could definitely use an upgrade. My shoulders tend to lend forward, I slouch in my chair while sitting in class, and never think about my posture during the day. There are thousands of bad posture victims just like me (come on, admit it too!). Our lives require us to slouch in front of a computer screen all day. It’s really easy and completely mindless to have bad posture, it’s one less thing we have to think about. But, mastering good posture is a necessary first step to becoming a more confident you, or at least to appear to be.

Not only does good posture give you a banging first impression, it also has wonderful health benefits. Good posture decreases your chance of injury by strengthening your muscles. Bad posture allows less oxygen to reach your muscles. Naturally, this makes it harder for your body to exercise, recover from hard workouts, or to just simply breathe. Good posture balances your body so that no one part of your body carries all the stress. Perfecting your posture also makes for better digestion, easier pregnancies, energizes your body, helps to prevent sciatica, and just feels so damn good.

What does good posture look like? When standing, start with your feet:

  • Rock back and forth; find the spot where your weight is evenly distributed.
  • Don’t lock out your knees. Keep them slightly bent in a comfortable and natural position.
  • Straighten your back. There should only be a very slight curve in your lower back.
  • Pull your head in ever so slightly so that it is aligned with the rest of your body. You probably aren’t doing the chicken dance right now so pull your head back!
  • Pull your shoulders up to your ears, roll them back and down. They should feel as if they are sliding right into place.
  • Your chest should be forward but there is absolutely no reason to exaggerate it. We all know what your mama gave you, no reason to broadcast it to the entire world.
  • Your goal is an ‘S’ curve (a small curve at the back of your neck and your lower back).

The key to good posture is a strong and tight core. Now the challenge: hold this posture throughout the day. The first time you try this, you probably won’t be able to hold if for more than a few minutes. Try to stop, think, and fix your posture a few times a day. Soon enough, good posture will become habit and believe it not, natural.

How about when you’re sitting in front of that computer screen all day? Just because you are sitting doesn’t mean you can’t have good posture. Constantly pushing your head forward to read what’s in front of you or to see what’s on your computer screen stretches the ligaments in your spine which results in neck and back pain.

  • If you are reading, try to keep your reading material at eye level rather than on your desk.
  • Just like standing, make sure your head is pulled back over your shoulders (you probably aren’t doing the chicken dance at work, but then again you never know).
  • It is often helpful to keep a small pillow or rolled up towel at the small of your back while sitting in order to help keep your back straight.
  • Try to keep your feet flat on the floor as much as possible. I am a huge fan of crossing my legs but this shifts your weight to one side of your body, throwing off your body’s balance and makes it next to impossible to have good posture.

There are many ways to perfect your posture.  The easiest way is to self-check your posture by standing against a wall. Your shoulders and voluptuous, well-defined butt should be touching the wall. You can also try going for a short walk while concentrating on your posture or spend just five minutes stretching every morning. If you are feeling a little more adventurous you may want to try yoga or pilates. I am not a flexible person so I find pilates more enjoyable, although both do require some flexibility, pilates focuses more on the core. There are many great websites and videos on the web with short routines that you could easily fit into your daily schedule (I live my life according to the god of YouTube). If you are a REALLY adventurous person, ballet lessons will perfect your posture in no time. Don’t deny it; we all envy the ballerina’s posture, body, and grace.

No matter how you spin it, posture is extremely important to first impressions, your confidence, and your health in general. Before you go, check out this vintage video on women’s posture I came across.

Now, go practice your ‘lipstick confidence’!

Hello Blog World!

Hi all! My name is Sarah and I am a first time blogger (so bare with me). I am a senior in college and the idea of venturing out into the real world in a few months is both exciting and scary. I attend an all womens college and over the past four years I have learned that the way in which a woman presents herself is absolutely essential to her success, especially in a co-ed world. I am definitely not an overly outgoing person and my confidence level is a little below average which is why I have decided to write this blog. “Lipstick Confidence” is about womanly etiquette. Each post will focus on a different etiquette problem, providing a solution and some ground rules. My hope is that through my writing of this blog women (like me) will learn how to present themselves better in public settings which will build that “lipstick confidence” we all wish we had.