Posts Tagged ‘what not to wear’

I’m HUGE in San Antonio!

July 31, 2008

Hola all!

So my mom called me this morning crying. “Mom? is that you?” I asked as I answered the phone to the sound of bawling. “I’m soo…. proud of youuuuu!” she cried between telenovela-worthy wails, she is a bit of a dramatic Latina, 🙂 “You’re in the FRONT page of the paper, and you look sooo puuurty….” sob, sob, sob…

Awww, to clarify today I am in the front page of the LIFESTYLE section of my hometown paper: The San Antonio Express News, and it is a lovely article. Also, it’s a bit of a redemption piece as the last time I was in the Express News was four years ago for my last book: Border-Line Personalities and the accompanying picture was SO bad, I cried (and not out of joy!) for days. For some reason, my publisher sent an author photo I had rejected, and my long-awaited homecoming showed me with (what looked like) receding gums. The pic was AWFUL to begin with, but with bad reproduction all of my mom’s friends called her to console her, “Robyn’s really much prettier in person.” No wonder my mom was delirious this time around!!

Here is a copy of the NICE pic (whew!) and great article, thanks Elaine Ayala for supporting an SA girl, ese!!!

xxxooo Robyn

Elaine Ayala – Express-News

If you’ve been digging out the last bit of color from your favorite lipstick or shopping in a Goodwill store, Robyn Moreno has more on how to get through a recession with style.

The San Antonio native turned author and television personality found out early how to stay glamorous on budget. Moving to New York 10 years ago, without a job, helped her learn even more about stretching her beauty dollar.

Her collected tips are now in a new book, “Practically Posh: The Smart Girls’ Guide to a Glam Life” (Collins, $18.95), published this month.

“My mom was practically posh before practically posh was cool,” Moreno says. She shopped at Solo Serve, La Feria and Goodwill, “and she’s a gorgeous Latina woman. Her joyfulness and enduring hope and Latina flair inspired the book.”

Written and designed like a fashion magazine with photos, tidbits and quotes, “Posh” looks a little like a fancy scrapbook in which Moreno stars, but she writes with budget- and fashion-conscious authority.

It’s her third book. Moreno co-authored “Suave: The Latin Male” and co-edited “Border-line Personalities: A New Generation of Latinas Dish on Sex, Sass and Cultural Shifting.”

She’s host of Plum TV’s flagship “Morning Noon & Night” show, which features interviews with notable Hamptonites, and is spokeswoman for Woman’s Day magazine. She graduated from Lee High School, attending Edison for a while, and studied public relations at the University of Texas at Austin.

She’s one of four sisters, one a designer in New York. When she visits San Antonio, she does a little shopping. Whether here or there, she’s always looking for a bargain that doesn’t look like one.

First things first

Before heading out to a sale, Moreno suggests you shop your own closet. Getting rid of clutter can unearth a treasure.

“I don’t know about you, but I tend to wear the same things,” she says. So, ask a stylish friend or sister to put outfits together for you. “They accessorize things you wouldn’t.”

Same rules apply to drawers, she says; organize those with scarves, belts and jewelry.

Swap clothes with friends who wear your size. “Sometime you have clothes, nice clothes, that you just don’t wear,” so host a clothing swap party.

Moreno shops thrift and vintage stores, but says they’re totally different experiences.

A thrift or discount store such as Goodwill requires patience. The cheap finds are there, but go alone, she says. A hesitant, grossed out or bored companion will distract you.

A vintage store is more expensive, but offers what Moreno calls occasion clothing.

“All designers go to vintage stores for inspiration,” she says. She still remembers the cocktail dress she bought for $100. “I wear the hell out of it, and I saw it knocked off in Anthropologie for $300.”

Vintage rules apply to consignment stores, where you get “more bang and quality for your buck.”

Moreno advises trying on clothes. Vintage means old, and U.S. sizing has changed considerably over the years.

Don’t invest much on trendy, seasonal fashions, she says. When she visits San Antonio, she stops at Forever 21, which “is great for of-the-moment buys. They do a lot of knockoffs,” and it’s not just for teens.

She also likes Stein Mart, jewelry from Banana Republic and a vintage store in Southtown (since closed). “I bought a great ’50s cocktail dress for $40, and it’s beautiful brocade.”

When an accessory such as an “it” bag is what you want, rent it as did Louise, Carrie’s assistant in the movie “Sex and the City.” Moreno’s recommends Bag, Borrow or Steal, a Seattle-based company (

Making fashions last

Here are some of her clothing, fabric tips from Moreno:

Maximize fashion by caring for clothes, Moreno says. Learn the basics of stain removal. Her No. 1 tip is to act quickly. “Don’t let them set,” she says.

Know the difference between “dry clean” and “dry clean only.” “When it says ‘dry clean,’ it’s only a recommendation.”

Save on cleaning by using hangers. “Half the reason I take things to the dry cleaners is to press them. So, hang your clothes up right away.” She’s a steaming fan. An old-school hot shower will do, or invest in a handheld steamer. She owns one that cost $40.

Put on clothes last to avoid sweat and perfume stains. Moreno lets perfume set first and then applies makeup, deodorant and lotion.

Find a good seamstress. A high-end suit on sale can be tailored. Learn the basics of sewing, she adds.

Beauty on a budget

Moreno isn’t a huge fan of makeup, but she spends the most on foundation, which can be matched to your skin color at a cosmetics counter.

“Invest in one that has SPF and the one that gets you the most coverage,” she says.

Everything else, she says, can be bought at a drugstore.

Moreno swears by her Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($12) and doesn’t use water to wash her face.

She also loves Rosebud Salve as a lip balm.

Makeup artist Carmondy of the hit show “What Not to Wear” “gave me the best tip. The cheapest way to exfoliate your skin is to use sugar. I use it with my Cetaphil. Two teaspoons of sugar with 2 teaspoons of your face wash,” she says. “It wakes up your skin.”

“Posh” also recommends that you find a dermatologist, limit sun exposure, drink in moderation, don’t smoke, get sleep, eat healthfully and exercise.

Extend your makeup by digging out what’s left in lipstick tubes and put in a pillbox. Mixing shades creates a new one. Ditto for eye shadows.

“Posh” lists Moreno’s favorite drugstore beauty staples, including Visine, Alberto VO5 Hot Oil Hair Treatment, baby powder (takes oil out of dirty hair, absorbs oil stains on clothes, sets makeup), Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, Vaseline (makeup remover, lip balm, cuticle moisturizer, body balm) and Crest Whitestrips.

Moreno says there’s little difference in shampoos, so an inexpensive one is as good as a designer brand. But once a month, rinse your hair with a cup of apple cider vinegar. It strips the buildup and leaves hair soft and shiny.