Rediscovering my inner lady: preparing for a big event

bloomingdales personal shopper for special event

My son’s bar mitzvah is next weekend and we’re having a party to celebrate. It started out small but — as these things often do– it grew into a bigger event than we imagined.

We wanted to mark this special occasion with friends and family so we decided to go for it and host a Saturday night cocktail party.  My head has been swimming with details but one of the most daunting items on the long to-do list was making myself presentable to the scores of people who will be staring at us for several hours next Saturday.

I took a long hard look at my saggy self and decided I need a lift, in many areas.

I  wear makeup and try to maintain a sense of style in my clothes and accessories, but I had not revamped my look for a long while and it was time. I’m not getting any younger and need help to look my best.

I thought I’d share some of the steps I took to get ready for the big event, and feel a bit better about myself.  Most of these are easy changes and none of them break the bank. Perhaps it will be useful to you as a checklist the next time you have a big party or celebration.

–Personal shopper

I had to find something to wear so I took a leap and made an appointment with a personal shopper at Bloomingdales. I’ve never done it before but was surprised to learn it’s a free service! It was like having a fairygodshopper of my very own. Before the appointment I filled out a form with my style preferences, and showed up to a room full of dresses, shoes, and accessories, all tailored to my taste.  I spent a couple hours trying on dresses and every time I needed shoes to match, this magic lady snapped her fingers and sparkling new shoes in my size appeared.  I found some great dresses for the bar mitzvah and other parties, and she gave me some handy tips for improving my look that didn’t cost a fortune or require surgery.  It was the perfect beginning to my lady transformation…..

Bloomingdales personal shopping for special event

–New intimate wear

One huge piece of advice my fairygodshopper offered was replacing my bra. This is one of those no-duh tactics that I probably would not have thought of on my own. Of course I knew I needed some new bras– many of mine are stretched out– but when she conjured up a new one for me as I tried on dresses, it was like an instant boob job.  Sometimes it takes a poke on the shoulder to prompt you to look in the mirror and see an obvious need for change. (New underwear is nice too.  My fairygodshopper says it’s the foundation for every great outfit.)

–Salt scrub

If you’re planning to go bare-legged in your new dress, it’s a good idea to exfoliate. It sounds like a lovely idea but just doesn’t make the cut in my busy day. But since I’m preparing for a special occasion, I’m more motivated. I bought a loofah and basic salt scrub from the drug store ($15)  and rub it on my arms and legs for a few minutes in the shower a few times a week leading up to the event. It gets rid of dead skin from winter and makes my limbs silky smooth, almost like having a wax. Who knew?

Make up makeover for special event

–Make up overhaul

I wear makeup every day but I hadn’t changed up my routine or products for many years.  And these days I have more to hide. The bar mitzvah was a great excuse to find a cosmetic cure for my tired face. People are going to be looking at me all day and night and I don’t want to look washed out in the pictures. I like MAC makeup so I made an appointment for a free makeover. The deal is they don’t charge to paint your face, but you’re strongly encouraged to spend $50 on products at the end. I loved what my artist did to even out my skin and erase the tiny lines invading my face. She suggested some new colors for my eyes and cheeks that gave me a fresher look, but I still felt like me.  I purchased several products but my favorite is the tinted moisturizer because it’s lighter than liquid foundation, moisturizes instead of dries, and even has SPF to protect your skin. You can buy it here.


–Nude fish net stockings

The dress I bought is a light pink and I have nude pumps to go with it. But it’s the end of winter and my salt scrubbed legs are glowing and smooth but still pasty pale. Plus it’s still cold so bare legs didn’t seem like a great option. When a salesgirl recommended nude fish net stockings I dismissed the notion immediately. The idea of my healthy thighs seeping through the holes of fish nets was abhorrent.  But a friend leant me her pair and I was shocked at how good they looked. These aren’t streetwalker’s fish nets, they’re stretchy tights that suck you in while disappearing completely. You get the effect of a bare leg but the tightening of hose, keeping anything jiggly in place. They are genius!

You don’t need a special event to revamp your look, but it’s always a nice inspiration. I have a friend who treats herself every year on her birthday.  There’s never a bad time to feel good about yourself.

7 responses to “Rediscovering my inner lady: preparing for a big event

  1. I am thinking of hiring a make up artist to help me update…but so scared! Maybe I will. Three weeks to go!!! Mazel tov!

  2. You can totally rock the knit hat and yoga pants at the bus stop so I’m sure you’ll look even more amazing with the full makeup and fancy dress. Can’t wait to see pictures!

    • thanks for stopping by! you should try a free makeover at a department store and see how you like it. then you can still hire an artist for that day or maybe you can do your makeup yourself and splurge on something else like hair!

  3. Superauntienan

    Love the idea of an update every year on your bday!

  4. I wish we could be there. I’m sure you’ll look smashing!!!! Best of luck!

    • Thanks Faith! We will miss u! But we’ll send pix. Xo

      Check out my blog: and follow me on Twitter @carpoolcandy Sent from my iPad

  5. Congrats on your big day Brooke!