Informed Intern

Since starting Life is Glossy, I've received lovely emails from readers with compliments and questions. So I thought I'd take those questions and answer them one by one right here. Whether you've already landed an internship or not, you might like to hear what I think about the questions that come up the most. While most of them can be answered in a variety of ways, I can only speak from my own internship experiences. Don't hesitate to weigh in with comments or different views! Welcome to the first installment of Informed Intern!

Q: What's the best way to stand out and make a good impression during my internship?

A: Speak up! I've struggled with this because I tend to sit back the first week or so and just observe how things are done. This isn't bad, but in the past it took me a few weeks to warm up to one boss and when I finally felt comfortable enough to chat about ideas, my thoughts on the current issue and the things I'm passionate about she asked me why I hadn't been that vocal from the beginning. Make the most of your internship by asking your boss questions about the industry and don't be afraid to make suggestions. Once you've settled in and learned what you will be responsible for, it's important to anticipate. Learn what your regular tasks will be and get them done. Finally, I think the sooner that you develop relationships in the office the better. Editors have interns because they want fresh ideas and perspectives coming in. Interns work for free because they want a crash course on the industry. Usually internships have a start and end date, so make the most of your time there.


Love/Leave Jan 2011

Welcome back for another round of Love It or Leave It, where I compare covers and let you know why I would or would not pick them up if I had a choice on the newsstand. It's time for January issues, meaning that some of my favourite glossies are bursting with stories for the 'New Me.' Before I get ahead of myself and start discussing resolutions, let's get to the covers while it's still 2010.

LOVE: That Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't look over-styled in this picture. I really do enjoy that she isn't wearing something ridiculous that screams 'Carrie Bradshaw' here. It seems like a softer approach after the glitz-filled holiday season. What stories will I flip to? ELLE's spring fashion preview and their piece on Winona Ryder (perhaps that should have a larger cover line because it's not a story that every fashion magazine has). Pink cover lines really help the cover star, fashion preview and perfect haircut stories pop. Even their beauty stories sound appealing, I mean, I've admitted before that I'm a sucker for certain cover lines/recycled stories and they often include 'new year, new you' or 'personal style' themes.
LEAVE: Ugh, SJP again? Really? Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let me say that as much as I love reading about health and fitness, I don't like doing so in fashion magazines. The "What Makes You Fat" cover line has me cringing only because so often health stories in fashion mags describe one 'ideal' body type and involve extreme measures to achieve it. I'm not so keen on the pieces I 'need' for the new year because I like my January issues to be about re-invention and renewal, not buying more, even if they could be considered gifts to myself.
LOVE: Amy Adams' daring cover look. Besides being taken aback by her recent performance in The Fighter, I admit that I don't know much about her and would be interested to read Marie Claire's profile. Her expression seems to be directed at all of those viewers who actually think she's a lot like the princess she played in Enchanted. I've said in the past that I like that typeface they use that makes certain cover lines appear scrawled across the page. 
LEAVE: Unfortunately, I don't read Marie Claire a lot because their newsier stories are often all about shock value. Is a reader honestly turning to this mag to read about sex being sold on online?

LOVE: After recently subscribing to Vogue in an effort to make myself read it more often, the cover that came out was December 2010 featuring Angelina Jolie. I immediately felt like my decision to subscribe was a complete waste of money. But this month had me smiling because I'm a fan of Natalie Portman's. Sure, Black Swan is absolutely everywhere right now, but I'd be interested in reading their interview with her. I never thought of her as a 'good girl,' but it seems she's going to shed that image with Black Swan and the upcoming No Strings Attached. As I pointed out before, previews of looks for 2011 are my reasons to read this month's major fashion mags.
LEAVE: When I think of Vogue, I think of the magazine's history. Will this cover really have an impact years from now? She looks frightened rather than glamorous. Couldn't they have done something a little more dramatic? This is Vogue!

Based strictly on covers, I'd say Marie Claire takes this round. Reader loyalty is important (I read both Vogue and Elle more often), but Amy Adams' look certainly stands out from the rest of these pretty cover darlings. What do you think of these covers? Are there any issues you can't wait to get your hands on?

Visual Interest

When I recently redecorated the board in my room to reflect what I'm interested in this season, I noticed a return to words rather than images. Since most of the fashion shoots in my December issues failed to jump out at me, I ended up tearing out pages with bold heds [titles of articles or shoots], deks [sub-titles of articles or shoots] and even ads with encouraging slogans. Now the words "refined" and "make yourself proud" appear mixed in with images of Alexa Chung and Sasha Pivovarova. That afternoon I just couldn't seem to track down pages of photos that inspired me. Then one early morning before work I found a collection of paintings by Paolo Galetto on Vogue.it. The images feature some of the world's best known society heiresses, actresses and models, from a dreamy, water-coloured perspective.
For more click here.
 Chiara Clemente
 Poppy Delevingne
Zani Gugelmann


One Trend Fits All?

I've always thought that different cities had distinct street style identities. Dressing for a day out in London wouldn't be the same thing as dressing for Milan. I also love reading articles that play up the differences between prominent looks in varying international locales. But according to Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani, there's no distinction at all! Sozzani's blog provides an insightful, behind-the-scenes take of her job at the influential fashion publication. In the past she's written about the role of each department at the magazine, and how they choose their cover stars. Recently Sozzani's confessed that she has been seeing similarly dressed women across the fashion capitals, and she asks if magazines are to blame. She concludes her post with a reminder that magazines are to be interpreted, topics are to be argued and that the looks in fashion shoots are always missing one thing - your personal touch.

"Vogue by its very nature tries to look for new ways of wearing clothes. It's a magazine based on research...I would like to emphasize once more that magazines must be read with your own head, and interpreted with your own taste." -Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia


A Good Night

Oh the lengths we'll go for a night on the town. After leaving suburbia, and making a few stops, we arrived at the birthday girl's apartment. She and her beau hosted a lovely pre-party (complete with appetizers, wine and french music) before the main event at Goodnight. "Don't forget to give them your name at the door," we were told. Goodnight is a bar in downtown Toronto with a strict reservation policy. So strict in fact, that if you haven't made a reservation, don't expect to get in. Just past the clubland crowds lies the alley that leads to this hidden hot spot. We dash across the street toward what looks like a dead end, only to find a few smokers outside of a large grey door. A tiny sign is the only indication that this is the right place. My sister rings the doorbell and a woman with blunt bangs and glasses answers. LC gives her our reservation, "It's under Marie-France" (the birthday girl is French and decided to make reservations under the names of French presidents' wives or mistresses). I thought we obeyed all of the rules of this hidden haunt, but we are told that next time we should arrive with our entire party. Regardless, the woman glances at her clipboard and lets us in. 

Inside, is a sparsely decorated room complete with barely-there lighting and a large bar. I already can't help but feel like we snuck into some secret hideaway, and the decor certainly adds to that effect. It looks as if the place was just found this way, and someone decided to serve alcohol. I can't help but think of the prohibition when I see that the bartender is wearing suspenders and sporting a combover. The cocktails are listed without descriptions, so we had a few questions for the man behind the bar. Friends drank Old Fashioneds and Gimlets, while the Dark and Stormy and the Tea at Goodnight remain mysteries. The music was from a mix of genres throughout the night, but it was the old school hip hop that pleased the tiny crowd. 

Later we sat around chatting about our fantasy itineraries for this summer's European adventures. Who would love to go? Where are they dreaming of going? My mind spun with the possibilities of vacation destinations. Before any actual planning takes place, there are the visions of strolling through new cities and dreamy conversations about what you'll do first. As much as I adore recapping fun nights or memorable trips with friends, it's those moments beforehand that are my absolute favourite. None of it's real, and none of it has to be.

Don't expect too many chance encounters at Goodnight, or to call up some friends to join the party. You do have to reserve your place there after all. Plus, you shouldn't expect to show those who missed out pictures from your night at the bar. When my sister tried to snap a shot of friends, she was quickly told that cameras are not allowed.  

At First Sight

Years ago on a family vacation, I remember my mother arriving at the pool with a treat for me in hand, an issue of Vogue with Jennifer Lopez on the cover. I still have it and have found that over the years there are certain celebs that will influence my decision to buy a magazine, hold on to it or even to walk right by. Along with Jennifer Lopez on my list of must-buys is Anne Hathaway. My little library includes her current Vogue issue, the last one she did and an older issue of InStyle (a magazine I don't read regularly). Here's a roundup of who makes the cut. Some of the following relate back to a favourite film, song or iconic outfit, while others, I can barely explain.
The Must-Buys: Favourites Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway, Drew Barrymore, The Olsens
The May-Buys: Always intriguing Kate Hudson, Lauren Conrad
The Walk-on-Bys: Not interested in Taylor Swift, Blake Lively
Do you breeze past the newsstand waiting for something to catch your eye? Or are you loyal to certain titles?


Night Out Necessities

Night Out Necessities
'Tis the season for social dinners, Christmas dates, girls' nights and traditional family gatherings. The holidays are a wonderful time to catch up and reunite, but they can also be a little exhausting. Why not make sure to pick up these beauty essentials while you're out looking for the perfect stocking stuffers? While I may not have my very own Dolce & Gabbana bag (centre) to reach for, here are a few of my favourite things. 

Clockwise from top left: Vintage compact mirror, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Marc Jacobs roll on fragrance, C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve, Boscia oil-blotting sheets, Altoids Smalls