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Weddings are magical. From the moment the ring is presented to a girl, a wave of super-human powers surge through her body, propelling her into planning mode with the tenaciousness of a saber-toothed tiger. OK. So we kid. But the truth is, planning a wedding is quite an undertaking. Make the process fun and make way for GRunveiled, a wedding show for the contemporary bride that takes the “something old” out of the whole borrowing rhyme. 

As we roll into a new year, we take some of our old, tired habits and styles with us. You’ve now been put on notice! It’s time to freshen up your look, update with color, or just learn a few tricks to take better care of your hair. 

The power of pint-sized beauty products slipped into a stocking is undeniable. From faux eyelashes, to glitter nail polish, and lip gloss that smells and tastes like confections, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A chat with Erick Gerson, a professional makeup artist with experience in makeup and airbrush makeup for weddings, fashion, video, and print, has us talking about his favorite product picks worth giving for the holidays.

Guilt-free shopping. If that’s just something you think people talk about, you would be wrong. It’s happening in huge proportions at the eighth annual Saint Mary’s Health Care Shoppe Soirée. The event at Thousand Oaks Golf Course on November 28, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., combines two key forces this season: holiday shopping and donating to good causes. Shop, sip, and savor delicious desserts and cocktails, with proceeds benefiting the Personal Care Area of The Lacks Cancer Center at Saint Mary’s Health Care.

In every woman’s closet there’s a clothing item that languishes away, worn maybe once a year (for pity’s sake) or never worn at all. Whether a gift, expensive purchase or laden with buyer’s remorse, this item needs to go and Chelsea Slocum is here to tell you where to take it—to the clothing swap.

“People are skeptical at first,” says Slocum who’s attended and is now holding a swap in her home. “They picture clothes in a giant mountain and women sifting through them.” Women also wonder how different body shapes and sizes fit into the equation. But the fact is, a better way to describe it, is a wardrobe swap.

“There’s more to a wardrobe than clothes. There’s shoes, scarves, hair accessories, jewelry, purses.” Guests are encouraged to bring ten to fifteen items that may include a wide range of beauty accessories and organization is key. Women are asked to bring their items on hangers and place jeans or shirts in designated areas. A whole store is set up with racks and mirrors and women attend in leggings and tank tops for ease when trying on items. There is even a number system, wherein your number is called and you get to go and choose an item so the pickings run smoothly.

“It’s a girl’s night vibe. You go shopping and make new friends,” says Slocum. “It’s fun. I’ve taken the craziest dress and weird shirt and I don’t know what I’m going to wear it with yet but it’s free and I get to take it home and experiment.” Add some appetizers, wine and conversation and the night is a great way to network and socialize all among fashion.

“In this day and age women who can’t spend a day at the mall—this is like a gift to have an audience of women to talk about clothing.”

Even Blue, a Goodwill boutique, supports this creative clothing mixer donating racks and hangers and handing out flyers and bags with coupons inside. Girls leave feeling excited about their new clothes at great prices (free!) and someone’s trash becomes another’s treasure.

Consider throwing a clothing swap of your own to score new duds, get rid of stuff you never wear and play a game up grown-up paper dolls in the process.

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