I learned early on that the right undergarment makes all the difference in how your clothing looks and getting properly fitted for a bra is just as important as proper tailoring. www.wearemidlife.com

Q & A With Sandra Mimran: Founder of Boost, Lingerie for Small Frames with Big Bustlines

We first noticed Sandra Mimran and Boost on Instagram @boostwr. Like Sandra, Jessica has a larger bust line on a smaller frame and solutions are always welcome. When we noticed that she was launching this company at 50 we were immediately fans and peppered her with a million questions (okay 29 of them). For everyone who ever wanted to know what it’s like to launch a brand at 50 here’s our Q & A with Sandra Mimran of Boost.

What is your work background? 

When my kids were younger I worked in an internet startup which procured auction experiences for charities. When the kids got a little older I transitioned to residential real estate, which I’ve been doing for the last 14 years.

When I turned 50 I wanted to change direction and pursue something where I could integrate a fashion brand with a cause. My passion for fashion started in utero, as my mother was a high-end seamstress, and although I can’t even sew a button I’ve always had an eye for design and detail. Lingerie has been on my radar since I was 16, when it became clear there was nothing available for my body type. It’s something that I kept coming back to, especially since my shape was changing and there was still nothing suitable in the marketplace. I knew that I wanted to address this in the marketplace through an effective design but finding the right team to execute my vision took much longer.

Currently the most common bra size is the US is 34DD

 

How long should a bra last?

Two years max, depending on the wear and tear and how often they are hand-washed. Bras stretch over time, but more importantly our bodies are constantly changing, which also means breast sizes change. I can be 3 different sizes in a month.

How many times should a bra be worn before it’s laundered?

I’m a pretty active person and with my hormone fluctuations I feel warmer than most, so for me it’s 3 times, then a hand wash.

Do people really expect us to hand launder these things?

My garment is “machine wash” which I know is important for convenience. As for a bra, hand washing them is the only way to keep it’s shape and fit. And for us bustier girls, where the average bra is at least $80.00, we’ll take the time to give them some TLC.

[Editor’s note: We asked this question before getting the answer that Sandra actually hand washes her bras. Jessica pleads guilty to sending very expensive lingerie through the washing machine but at least it’s on the hand wash cycle.]

Where can a busty woman find a properly fitted shirt?

For me it’s been trial and error and it’s a combination of material and cut. There needs to be a bit of stretch in it and the shirt needs to be a little longer, since busty girls tend to be short waisted. I like Pink, Theory and Skinnyshirt for layering. I always carry Fashion Tape, just in case.

Are there underwires in this?

Boost is not a bra. I purposely designed Boost without underwire because chesty girls usually have to wear them all day and the last thing they want to do is lounge or sleep in it, but we constructed the garment in a way that still gives you a shape without any constriction! The pattern is very technical.

What do you friends say about this? Has anyone recommended therapy? It’s a BIG project.

lol…My friends have been extremely supportive (pardon the pun) and ironically the people that have inspired me the most have been from on-line communities, where I’ve never met any of them. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for years and it was now or never, has it been scary, hell YES, but facing my fear has been my therapy (and if you knew how much a NYC therapist costs, it’s actually cheaper to start a business).

What comes after Boost? Is this the beginning of a line?

The goal is to turn Boost into a brand, I have a lot of designs in my head, especially in activewear. The marketplace is slow to catch up with our changing shapes, and having shopped extensively and been routinely disappointed I know that I can come up with some solutions.

 

Do you think that it’s limited to the midlife + demographic?

Not at all! I really made this for my 16-year old self, when I shot up from a size A-DD in a year, and it evolved to my 50-year old self where I’m still the same size only now, I need a lift! I had a soft launch in November with a well attended trunk show — my customers ranged from 16-60, so I’d say it’s for everyone.

James Patterson’s New Illustrated Book Asks: What if Penguins Behaved Like Humans? And the Results are Hilarious

This post is sponsored by Little, Brown & Co.

James Patterson is on the morning shows talking about the thriller he cowrote with Bill Clinton. This should not be confused with the dozens of other thrillers he’s written, the 45 (and counting) short books under 150 pages and, no, it’s not an Alex Cross thriller.

Stefanie and I are more concerned with his new illustrated book Penguins of America. We appreciate that we only had to wait three pages for a potty joke, six pages for a tattoo of regret and seven for a jab at the ridiculous drinks that barristas everywhere are forced to make.

It’s been a while since either of us have bought our own children picture books, so we end up buying our friends’ kids nostalgia from our own childhood or the books we read to our kids. The problem with that is we’d miss out on gems like this:

What is more ridiculous? The idea of a Penguin ordering food at Starbucks or the actual orders that humans make?   http://wearemidlife.com

Penguins of America is a hilarious depiction of our daily lives were penguins were to take a walk in our shoes.

Does anyone have a recipe handy for a mini-jumbo, skinny-nonfat, chocolate-cod, sugar-free, triple-espresso, extra-hot, no-froth decaf?

I asked Stefanie and her reaction was

When I asked her what the problematic ingredient is she simply replied, “Decaf”.

I have a little collection of books that I’m gifting to my friends four year old daughter. Two are Madeline (nostalgia), two are early readers (I can’t help myself), and the last one is Penguins of America. The illustrations are the for the kids, the cheeky words are all for mom.

You can check Instagram and Twitter for your favorite pages, they’re using the hashtag #PenguinsofAmerica

We’ve also partnered with Little, Brown & Co to bring you a copy of Penguins of America as well as a $50 gift card to Starbucks. The only requirement is that you promise to never use it to buy decaf anything. Stefanie does not approve.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cop Copine Dress details

Playing at the Cop Copine Showroom

This week Stefanie and I got to live a dream. Cop Copine opened their showroom for us and we were able to preview their fall lines as well as try on their Spring/Summer collection. I already own a few pieces from the current collection as you’ve seen here, here, and here.

We pulled out my Huawei P9 camera and I’m only telling you this because I think these are some of the best photos we’ve taken in a while (be generous we are NOT photographers). And we have edited none of these photos. The photos have been resized but are otherwise completely untouched.

All the clothes on the rack are a size 36 and I wear a 38 so there will be no close ups of the jumper where my bra is sticking out, but trust me, it will be adorable in a size that actually fits.

Here are our favorites from Spring/Summer 2017, these items are currently in the stores. In August we’ll bring you the Fall/Winter lines. We’re not allowed to show you what they are but we can tell you that the colors are splendid, the fabrics are interesting, and the workmanship is decidedly French.

 

Currently Cop Copine has two stores in the US, both are in California but you can shop online. They’re very true to size and I’d urge you to not be afraid of the more body conscious dresses. They use thick enough fabrics with some great detail so we’ll be showing off our assets not our imperfections.

Shop online at cop-copineus.com/eshop/

Instagram: @CopCopineUSA

If you go to the Pasadena store everyone is really wonderful. I particularly enjoyed working with Anthony:

Pasadena
One Colorado
Old Town Pasadena
12 Douglas Alley
Pasadena, CA 91103
Tel: (626) 796-1985
pas@cop-copineus.com

San Francisco
352 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 989-9035
sf@cop-copineus.com

Dr. Jessica Wu and Robin Mc Graw playing with their skincare line Revelation.

Robin McGraw Revelation Skincare Review: Magical

Robin McGraw’s Revelation team offered to give us samples of her skincare line. We expected a few drops of each item in a little sachet but were surprised and delighted to find instead full size products. We’ve been playing with Foaming Joy facial cleanser, 50 Fierce moisturizer and sunscreen, and Vita-Boost vitamin infusion serum. These three products make up the Good Morning Sunshine line. It’s safe to assume that this should be every woman’s morning routine.

The three products work very well together. Cleanser and sunscreen are two products that every woman at every age ought to take seriously. We live in Los Angeles and it’s a dusty, dirty, smoggy city with bright sunlight nearly year round. Trust us, if you can only have two products in your arsenal we’d recommend a high quality cleanser and a high SPF sunscreen.

With that being said we need to confess that we have a favorite.

Vita-Boost from Robin McGraw Revolution is our favorite serum, it's never oily and soothes your skin preparing it for moisturizers.

The Vita-Boost Vitamin Serum looks like liquid gold and is magical.

A drop of serum on clean skin is transformative. We’ve had some hot and windy days where our skin was very aware that this is a desert with a city plopped on top of it and the Vita-Boost had us looking radiant and never oily.

Additionally Jessica has rosacea and is quite sensitive to harsh skincare. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Foaming Joy purifying facial cleanser caused no redness. Sometimes gentle cleansers just don’t get the job done, this one does.

Robin teamed up with Dr. Jessica Wu to create this skincare line. “As a dermatologist, I see the difference in my patients’ skin when they take care of themselves. But as I tell my patients, it’s not just about the skin; it’s about taking care of the whole person inside and out,” says Dr. Wu, Exclusive Chief Medical Advisor for Robin McGraw Revelation.

“Robin and I realized that by working together we have the opportunity to help women everywhere with an offer of professional-grade skincare products at attainable prices.”

We all know Robin McGraw from her husband Dr. Phil. You’ll find her in the audience at nearly every show. What you may or may not know is that in addition to being a beauty junkie she’s a philanthropist. When Georgia Smiled: the Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation creates and advances programs that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault live healthy, safe and joy-filled lives.

We all know beauty is more than skin deep. Robin McGraw’s Revelation left us feeling good about our skin and about our purchase.

Follow Robin on Instagram @Robin_McGraw 
Find Robin McGraw Revelation online.

 

Pastel Motorcycle Jackets

Pastel Moto Jackets at Every Price and Size

I was picking up some basics today from a bunch of different departments when I noticed that pastel motorcycle jackets are basically everywhere. Okay, maybe I wasn’t shopping basics when I was over in the Rebecca Taylor section caressing the fabrics but I was noticing what the Spring 2017 Trends are and pastel moto jackets are everywhere. Rebecca Taylor’s lilac version is stunning and at $895 it’s a trend you’ve got to love not just like.

If you’re like me you are a sucker for craftsmanship and quality. If you’re like me you don’t have a bank account that can support thousand dollar purchases that will last a year, two if you’re lucky. If you’re like me you wouldn’t spend that kind of money even if you could afford it.

We all have to decide if a pink or lilac biker jacket is the item we want to own for several years.

I’m leaning toward “Yes” and it’s entirely likely that I’ll be bringing home the Rebecca Taylor version. If you’re learning toward one year or two I found pastel motorcycle jackets at every price-point and a couple of plus sized versions too.

If you buy one or already own one we’d love to see how it looks. Tag us on Instagram and show us how you styled one of the season’s hottest trends.

We Want to Be In Your Inbox

Though Instagram is our primary community we treasure these pages for longer form writing. With that in mind we have decided to send a weekly email to our readers. Last week we sent a short but sweet email reminding y’all of why we exist.

The content is hosted here, but if you don’t feel like clicking, this is what we said:

When we told our friends that we were going to establish an online community devoted to midlife they looked at us a little funny. The only midlife discussion seems to be The Midlife Crisis, which, interestingly enough, is not a crisis at all and will be discussed at a later date.

Midlife for us is something between your 40’s and your 50’s. That’s all we’ve got! There’s no longer anything homogenous about midlife. We aren’t all grandmothers; we aren’t all mothers. Some of us will have our first child at 42, some of us will never have children, some of us will never long for children at all.

Midlife may be the time when you retire early or the time we begin new careers. You may find feminism, religion, or both in midlife. You may reject everything and take off on a trip around the world; you may pay off your mortgage and settle in for the duration.

Midlife women know their strengths and weaknesses. We know what looks good on us and what’s in style. We know which styles to ignore (remember when neon was popular again for 20 seconds?). Midlife women manage budgets and examine amortization schedules before signing loan docs.

We’ve spent 40 or more years refining our tastes, prioritizing our lives, and sometimes… coveting shiny objects. So here we are, solidly in midlife, and we will celebrate the shiny things, but also the healthy things, the oddball things, and the compelling things.

We won’t talk about the political things. It’s not that we don’t care. It’s that we care with such passion that we all need a break.

Here’s to the shiny things.

Jessica & Stefanie

This week we are sending you to one of our favorite Instagram accounts (not ours), recommending a book, sharing a profoundly insightful essay about moving forward in life, and telling you about a special in store event from a department store everyone loves.

We hope you will sign up for it. We hope you will share with friends.

Subscribe to our mailing list

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Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Midlife Men

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Midlife Man

If you think women are high maintenance when it comes to gifting then you’ve obviously never shopped for a midlife man. Since they know what they like if they want to own something the chances are pretty good they already do. Buying a Valentine’s Day Gift for your midlife boyfriend (do we call them boyfriends?) or husband can be challenging, to understate the obvious.

We found some truly pampering grooming items for him as well as decidedly masculine jewelry. Where do you put that jewelry at night? In a leather tray of course. Also, we all know that Stefanie has a minor addiction to all things Clare Vivier and she found an elegant card holder for every man at every age.

With price points between $34 and $395 we are pretty sure we found gifts to suit every budget…. unless you’re buying him a Bentley and a butler, in which case we’d like you to have our addresses so you can send gifts here too.

Ferragamo red and black leather belt

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

You can buy us pretty much anything for Valentine’s Day and we’ll be delighted. We’ve lived through the joys of Macaroni Necklaces and clay handprints. If you want to know what women like us really want this list will come in handy.

For your nightstand: Upstream: Selected Essays

Currently on my bed-side table is a book of essays written by Mary Oliver, one of America’s premier poets. “Upstream follows Oliver as she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, her boundless curiosity for the flora and fauna that surround her, and the responsibility she has inherited from Shelley, Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe, and Frost the great thinkers and writers of the past, to live thoughtfully and intelligently, and to observe with passion.”

Upstream: Selected Essays available in hardcover or digital download for instant gifting $12.95 to $15.95

Upstream: A book of Essays by Mary Oliver

 

Shinola: The Cass Watch

Stefanie fell in love with Shinola because they have a wonderful story. She went to their pop up store at The Grove in Los Angeles and learned about how they repurposed workspace in Downtown Detroit and reemployed past auto workers in an effort to create a better product and to rejuvenate a city.

Jessica fell in love with Shinola because she likes pretty things.

This watch is called The Cass and if it reminds you an Hermès Kelly watch you are not alone. At $950 it’s a generous gift that’s not a ring.

The Cass watch from Shinola is the perfect Valentine's Day Gift

The BloomsyBox delivers cut flowers every month.

Who wouldn’t love to get a bouquet of flowers every month? BloomsyBox’s subscription service delivers beautiful cut flowers to your door every month. They have partnered with farms that are committed to protecting the environment and treating their workers with care. $40-$50 a month.

BloomsyBox sends a bouquet of flowers every month

Chocolate. Did someone say, “Chocolate”?

Chocolate and Valentines? But of course! Lady Chocolatt is a chocolate boutique and coffee shop in West Los Angeles. It’s no secret that Stefanie has a bit of a coffee addiction so adding some sweets to her favorite type of shop is always a big win. If you’re local visit the store on Wilshire Blvd near Literati Cafe on Bundy or you can order on-line here. Our favorite is the Ballontins Box beginning at just $27.50.

Chocolate for Valentine's Day

http://rstyle.me/~9xBYM

A red leather belt from Ferragamo

Everyone loves reversible belts. In addition to respecting your closet clutter we all have a perfect notch for our favorite belts and when you can get two colors on one leather strap everyone wins.

For Valentine’s Day we are coveting this black and red belt with a gold buckle closure $395 at ShopBop

Ferragamo red and black leather belt

A Love Note To Good Skincare

You may have noticed Sarah Maizes’ fabulous ring on Instagram but what you might not know is that her skin is flawless. We had to find out more about her skincare routine. Here’s a picture of her at age 48 with neither foundation nor photoshopping.

no makeup great skin & great skincare

I had to ask her about her skin so here goes:

At what age did you decide to stay out of the sun?

I don’t come from a family of sun worshippers so staying out the sun is the norm to me. My mom never laid out in the sun and I always felt like I was going to melt if I stayed out too long.

Did your mother or someone else teach you to care for your skin?

My mom taught me to wash my face twice a day and to wear moisturizer (and a hat) but that was about it. My obsession with skin care came in my teenage years when I woke up every day with a new zit (or at least it felt like I did). As I got older, I realized I really enjoyed the calming ritual of cleaning my skin. It became sort of a mission to make the ritual effective. I’ve tried everything, from plain on Cetaphil to Clinique to the crazy priced stuff. I remember in college I was using Clarins and washed, toned and moisturized every night – it was the only thing that didn’t make me break out. ALL of my roommates thought I was insane. They still joke about it.

What is your current daily routine?

I’m about to reveal my crazy to you, so you might want to sit down. I wash my face every morning and every night. In the morning I use La Prairie foam cleanser and their radiance moisturizer with 30 SPF. It is honestly the ONLY sun screen I’ve ever used that doesn’t feel greasy, leave a residue or make me break out (wow…I sound like an ad. I swear they don’t pay me!). By the way, Natura Bisse also makes amazing facial sunscreen.

Night time is where my routine gets a little ridiculous, but when you have three kids and work all day, the ritual is just so soothing: For about 30 years I mostly just washed, toned and moisturized, and every week I used a mask of some sort to balance out whatever skin problem I felt needed to be addressed. Once I turned 48 I realized I had to take it up a notch. Now, every night I wash my face, then use La Prairie’s toner, then I tap a little bit of their Caviar extract all over my face and neck – it’s supposedly helps your skin absorb the products better. THEN…I use a tiny drop of anti aging booster and their Caviar Luxe cream. Once a week I wash with an exfoliating scrub before I wash with the foam cleanser. Did I mention you can also do all of this while you sit in a hot tub? Does that make me sound less crazy? No? Oh well…

Oh, and I NEVER sleep with make up on. It’s SO bad for your pores and stretches them out.

How long has it been your routine?

I’ve been following a regular routine since college, but I have only changed the skin care systems 4 times (once I’m sold on a product, I’m pretty loyal). My first facial cleansing system was Clinique but it was so ineffective for the money. Then I used Clarins. I started using Mario Badescu in the early 80’s. They were so small they didn’t sell it in LA so when I moved here I had to have it shipped. Now it’s everywhere and it’s still good, but I feel like it’s better for younger skin. About 5 years ago I started using La Prairie. It was totally by accident too – I had NO intention of spending the money on it. One day I stopped by the make-up counter and put a little of their anti-puff gel around my eyes. A couple hours later I forgot I even put it on until I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window. I looked 5 years younger! I was sold. I’ve been following my latest routine for about three years now.

Will a $335 eye cream change your life? Is premium skincare worth it?

Do you expect that it will change soon?

I think I have a few more years before I need to kick it up a notch again, but at some point I’m sure it will all stop working, and then I’ll just let the chips (and my cheeks) fall where they may. After all, I don’t think Medicare will cover La Prairie. HA!

What do you preach to  your daughters? Is it different than what you tell your son?

ALL of my kids use sunblock and none of us are sun worshippers, so that makes it easier. We’re deep into the teenage years in my house, so good, clear skin is an uphill battle every day. But I do tell all of my kids the same thing – take care of your skin every day and you’ll be rewarded.

Sarah Maizes is a Los Angeles based writer, producer, comedian, and the author of several award winning children’s books including On My Way to the Bath and On My Way to Bed.

Concierge Diamonds Thanks Midlife Readers & Rewards Us

Concerige DiamondsConcierge Diamonds generously awarded a pair of heart shaped diamond earrings to one of our readers. We want to congratulate Michelle LeBlanc on her winning entry and encourage you to follow her on Instagram.

diamond earrings winner

 

Concierge Diamonds will offer you a free jewelry appraisal.

We have been emailing with Dan Moran as the response to this giveaway has been nothing short of enthusiastic and he’s generously offered all of our readers free appraisals as well as 10% off of any purchase from Concierge Diamonds. As we roll into the New Year and resolve to get more organized those appraisals will be helpful. Concierge Diamonds is located in Downtown Los Angeles and easily reached by email, phone or contact form.

Now for the strangest disclosure ever written: In return for hosting this giveaway we received a thank you hug. That’s it. We really did just love these earrings and want to share them with you.