The email subject line said: Beauty Bundle SOS
How are you? I am loving your Instagram and Facebook postings these days.
I have a project I am hoping you can help me with, please. My accessory situation (mainly jewelry) needs help. I realized a few months ago that it’s the thing that hangs me up most when I am trying to get out the door to the office, or out to dinner, or packing for a trip. I think I need a few beauty bundles that can be my go-tos. Not sure how we’d approach it … trip to Bess’s store? Mall? Both? I am open to ideas. Please let me know. Thanks!
Nothing sounded more fun!
We set a date and I asked some pre-shopping questions. I wanted to know if anything had changed style-wise.
Sallie said, “My style is pretty much the same, maybe a little more fashion-forward sometimes (playing up the ‘funky’ in my ‘funky elegance’ style recipe).” Good to know!
She said, “I’ve been trying to upgrade my jewelry. I am not really a fine jewelry sort of person so I’m trying to find higher end costume jewelry instead because that’s what I actually wear.”
She told me her husband, Rob, had bought a very pretty moss necklace for her from Studio Collections Jewelry in Sonoma. She wanted to work with it so she’d wear it more. She said, “I’d like to end up with several jewelry bundles.”
I have a couple of connections to artists who make jewelry so I asked Sallie if it was okay to bring things to show her that might fit the look she was going for. She was game. We decided we’d meet at Nordstrom, Corte Madera.
Our first step: editing
We started in a dressing room. Sallie brought me her jewels and we did an edit, just like in clothes! Just like in clothes, there were pieces that were too worn looking; items that she’d had for a while that were ready to be replaced and brought up a notch or two in terms of quality; and items that just weren’t “her” anymore.
Our edit left us with (from front to back on the picture of the wooden shelf above) her “home” wear necklaces; in the middle is a white necklace that we’ll find pieces for once the summer selection comes in; the ones in the back are ones that Sallie is moving away from or won’t use much. I’m guessing that after this Beauty Bundle shopping appointment, she may even be ready to recycle the back row, but for now, she’s keeping them.
Finding the first Beauty Bundle in her own collection
Sometimes there’s a Beauty Bundle that’s living just under our noses. In Sallie’s case I found this silver bundle out of the things she brought with her. Every time she wears this Ippolita necklace she can grab the silver earrings and bracelet (by Simon Sebbag) and she’ll look pulled together. One down!
The rose gold Beauty Bundle is new
This rose gold bundle consists of all new pieces. I brought the Sol Sisters rose gold/crystal spheres necklace with me. The minute she tried on the necklace, it said YES! The color was great. It was interesting and simple at the same time, really lightweight, and easy to wear. To build a bundle around it I headed straight to Nordstrom’s rose gold jewelry section where I found the ring and bracelet which are airy just like the necklace. This whole Beauty Bundle looks very modern and clean. I can imagine her wearing it a lot in spring/summer over white and tan. Yet it’s very glamorous over black and lovely over burgundy. Two Beauty Bundles so far!
Creating the burgundy Beauty Bundle
This burgundy Beauty Bundle showcases a double layered pendant. It has a brown marcasite tassel with freshwater pearls, also by the Sol Sisters. This necklace is amazing on Sallie with her coloring. The colors just glow on her. I tried different companions for this necklace but I came back to using the rose gold pieces we’d gathered for the rose gold Beauty Bundle. This necklace is such a standalone piece that it didn’t need much else. The rose gold ring, bracelet and earrings are doing really well in the supporting role. Three Beauty Bundles in the bag!
Finding companions for the moss aquamarine Beauty Bundle
This is the necklace her husband bought for her (above) from Studio Collections Jewelry. Her birthstone is Aquamarine. Do you recognize the shape of the ring and the bracelet? Yes, you do! They are the same as the rose gold. Sallie feels bracelet-challenged so to have the same one in two metal colors was just plain smart. I love how the detail in the earrings are delicate like the necklace is. Very chic! All the pieces aside from the necklace are from Nordstrom. Four Beauty Bundles and counting!
Black and gold Beauty Bundle
This Beauty Bundle layers two separate necklaces by a private designer we work with from time to time named Brea. They can be worn separately but Sallie was interested in doing more layering and these work well together. The pendant necklace is black spinel and pyrite with a quartz pendant. The circle chain is gold fill and rhodium. The earring choices, ring, and bracelet are from Nordstrom. Are we at five? Yup, five Beauty Bundles!
Topaz and gold Beauty Bundle
Here we’re working with two pieces that Sallie already owns: the topaz pendant necklace and the gold and topaz chain. I layered these two necklaces together, added the ring and bracelet in gold and then gave her two earring choices. You might wonder how the gold and black earring got into this mix but actually it fades out and blends with the topaz when you’re standing there in person. Do you see how much mixing and matching we’ve been doing? I really didn’t know it would turn out that way but very glad it did! Okay, that’s six Beauty Bundles. Everyone was happy.
Post shopping thoughts and an email
This shopping trip took two hours or so. It was a challenge putting all the pieces together for each of these Beauty Bundles. It was like a mental zigsaw puzzle. I needed to focus on building them one-at-a-time. I expected we’d be visiting a few different stores in order to get it all done but in the end between what she already had, the jewelry sources I brought with me, and the well-priced pieces from Nordstrom, we were able to accomplish it all in one place.
Here’s what Sallie had to say in an email after the shopping trip.
As you know, one of my goals for our session was to build jewelry bundles that make it easy for me to get out the door for work (often at 5 am) and pack for travel. I took a business trip this week and brought some of the pieces along. It make packing so easy!
I love that we picked things that are a bit fashion-forward (for me anyway). Part of my job as a management consultant involves helping my clients to move forward in key areas of their business and I think how I dress needs to reflect that. Also, I love how visually interesting the pieces are. If I am presenting in front of a client all day it gives people something interesting to look at :).
If you have pieces of jewelry that don’t seem to get worn and you don’t know way, consider taking the time to create a Beauty Bundle around that piece. Invest a little time and money and there will be ease galore in your future.
I hope that by seeing all these different bundles that it gives you confidence to work with pieces until you’ve got a completed a Beauty Bundle. Do you have something you’re ready to work on? Do share your experiences with Beauty Bundles, okay? Thanks!
LoesMarch 14, 2017 at 4:20 am
Dear Brenda, thank you so much for all the good work you are doing for us ladies, especially in accepting our bodies and looks just as the are! Regarding jewellery and such I would like to ask you if (and when) you don’t think it very soon gets “crowded” especially when also wearing (big/noticeable) glasses with earrings on the tinier side? (Just as with glasses and hats it is also tricky, I think.) I would really appreciate your thoughts on that; thanks for that also! Best regards, Loes, Amsterdam
BrendaMarch 14, 2017 at 11:11 am
Thanks for your question. You know, I’m always working with scale in everything I do with a client. In the layering of pieces, you often need more of them if the scale of the pieces are fine. If they’re chunkier, you could layer but you pretty much need large scale features to make it work: large eyes, a grand nose, full lips, that sort of thing. The bigger the scale of your features the more you can do. With fine features I may have a lighter touch as to volume. Wearing glasses over the years (I only started wearing them in my 50s) made me nervous at first about it being too much. But again, if you work with scale, you can manage that. Think of Sophia Lauren. She’s got such beautiful full features. Every picture you see of her is in large glasses or sunglasses. If she wore something dainty she’d look so out of touch with herself! This can be a little exercise in your mind. Take someone with delicate features and imagine her in large scale accessories. She’d drown. I hope this helps! So very happy to hear from you, Loes!
InezMarch 14, 2017 at 6:17 am
I, too, have the same question as Loes. I just wear small stud earrings now because of my glasses and would love to expand my earring collection. In addition, I am frustrated by all of these hook and drop earrings, like the ones you showed in the bundles. I find that they look awful with my aging earlobes, which are starting to sag. Do you have any advice for the type of earrings to buy for droopy pierced ears? By the way, my hairstyle is the same as yours so I have no way of hiding my ears! Thanks Brenda! Love what you do and I wish I lived closer so I could use your services.
BrendaMarch 14, 2017 at 11:14 am
Yes, yes, yes, I do have advice for droopy pierced ears. Stay away from those hanging wire earrings for sure. Wear earrings that have a base that sits on the ear. You can wearing dangly earrings but they have to have a base that covers the droopy part and then drops from there. I advice clients about this all the time. You can wear GREAT earrings with your glasses. I hope you’ll take yourself on a field trip and try different things on. I think you’ll surprise yourself with all the choices that are available! Thanks, Inez for your question!
DebbieMarch 14, 2017 at 11:14 am
Great Post! Thank you for doing this for us. Would you also address how to store beauty bundles at home or when traveling? Do you prefer those little pouches for travel that jewelry sometimes comes in?
BrendaMarch 16, 2017 at 6:35 pm
Hi Debbie, I think maybe this needs to be a next blog post! A short answer is that when I go traveling I have small bags with zipper closures that I have collected over time. I will put the earrings in small plastic bags (tiny) and then add all the other parts of the Beauty Bundle in that one small bag. Another day I’ll show you some ways I store my own jewelry at home. You might be surprised that it’s not in Beauty Bundles so much. Once I make a Beauty Bundle I usually don’t forget the pieces but I also write outfits down on my Wardrobe Charts so I can reference that if I have a lapse of memory. Does this help?
Cindy La FerleMarch 18, 2017 at 10:58 am
Where can we purchase Sol Sisters’ jewelry? I am not on Facebook, but wonder if they have a Web site? Can’t seem to find them on Google. Thanks for your help!
BrendaMarch 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm
Hi Cindy, they don’t have a website yet. They’re taking steps toward one though. Stay tuned!
Elaine @ Following AugustineNovember 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm
I’m so glad that your most recent post led me back to this one! I’ve been looking at my jewelry collection with despair lately. I tend to wear the same go-to pieces over and over again while others haven’t been worn for ages. I knew I needed to do some sorting and some getting rid of, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. Now I’m going to spread it all out, look for some Beauty Bundles, take some photos so I remember what goes with what, and then take a bunch of things to the local thrift store for someone else to enjoy!
BrendaNovember 27, 2018 at 10:31 am
Fantastic, Elaine. You’ll feel like you have bountiful ways to wear things once you start looking for the beauty bundles. Love your decisions!