Maven product alert: A new favorite body wash from the mother land

Good morning, Thursday. It's been a bit of a week I must admit. I'll be grateful when it's over.

And with that, I don't have a ton to say, other than I've fallen in love. With a body wash.

I love long walks in my neighborhood with the Khan man and the other day we ended up at one of the best stores in my neighborhood, Shen Beauty. It's an all organic beauty store and it's like being a kid in a very healthy candy store. I love seeing what's in there as they're always updating with new things and it's a lovely little pick me up. And though I wanted to like the Necessaire body wash that's all the rage, I just don't. It's fine but not quite my thing. Have you tried it? It popped up so much on my 'gram I had to. And meh. It doesn't quite lather enough.

So I found this Israeli brand Lavido at Shen and the Vanilla Patchouli body wash has me sniffing my arms all day long. It's delicious and fresh and somehow not too sweet. It also comes in orange blossom and bergamot which I'll try next- sounds perfect for warmer weather. 

Oh and I also got my brows tinted to go with my fresh tresses. I haven't done that in years but I'm digging it. I'll never be a real, legit ginger but I can try.

Cause that's what's up this great smelling Thursday in the 718. Yours, in better living through products. XO

Does rock and roll have a shelf life?

Good morning, Tuesday. It's so lovely outside and sun streaming in my window is giving me some much needed life.

So we've all heard the news about Mick Jagger having to bow out of some tour dates to have some heart surgery. I wish him a speedy recovery and was sad to hear he was ill.

But I will say this, and you may think it makes me a hypocrite as I've been speaking about ageism- it's time for the Stones and many of their contemporaries to throw in the towel when it comes to rocking a stadium show. It's enough already.

I say this because I think certain careers may have a real shelf life- nobody expects Michael Jordan or Dr. J to still play basketball. And I for one think it's the same for rock stars. There's an expiration date, with some real exceptions. And I'm amazed by the breadth of artists coming out of the woodwork to tour once again- Morrissey. Fleetwood Mac. The Stones. Steely Dan. Unlike the Stones, I imagine some of these folks need the cash, which, while I won't queue up to see them, I suppose I must respect the hip replaced hustle. But it is nuts how many of the bands of yesteryear are hitting the road. And some with great success. I'll give you an example.

I saw Bryan Ferry a year or so ago and he was backed by an ultra cool, gorgeous, young band. He has a timeless quality to his style and it works for him. He can still take the stage because he does smaller, more intimate shows. He's pivoted enough to embrace his age but is still true enough as a performer. And it works for him.

And though there's probably no way I could sit through an entire Cher show, I applaud her for doing it. Somehow her bombastic camp and glitz transcends age. So does her face, which miraculously does not age thanks to any combination of dermatological juju.

Performers like Leonard Cohen had an old soul vibe from day one. And his last show was a poignant tribute to a stellar career. And as a huge Stones fan, I feel their performance and live shows don't hold up to their younger years. I don't want to see them play slowly. I don't want to see it because it's not appealing anymore. At least not to me. To me, it's a bummer they don't just strip things down- and play some smaller shows like they did at the Beacon some years ago. That I would probably go to see. And maybe it's just because I've aged out of stadium shows- I went to see Dead and Co last Summer and could not believe there were "mature" people in the parking lot sucking on nitrous balloons. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Particularly at this age. Make it stop. And ps, I felt forced into liking John Mayer because he was the only one plugging the holes on the Titanic that night. And I don't like him at all sooo...

Maybe this is all terribly subjective. Because Iggy Pop can still be shirtless and wailing and it works for me. Patti Smith still performing? Absolutely. But stadium rock from the 60s and 70s is a big nah for me, dog. I guess I'm not a big fan of not acknowledging that age does not change you. Because it does. Right? Yes or no?  

That said, I will be listening to the Stones until the day I die. They are my all time favorite band and I will love them forever and their music has stuck with me my entire life, because the music itself does not really have an expiration date, but unfortunately, I think they're a bit past their "use by" date when it comes to live shows. . And that's that. Is there such a thing as a prime, ps? I don't know. I'm confused by my feelings on this I just know I don't want to see them at Met Life Stadium. Why can't they do a small club show? That somehow feels right. Or at least not as cringeworthy.

How we perceive age and its "rules" is complicated. I love how, much like sexuality, age is becoming much more fluid. I just think it's not about trying to capture something from your youth, but to keep learning, adapting, and pivoting and embracing. Because you can't go back. And why in hell would you want to? And maybe it's not about me begrudging the Stones their love for performance- it's really more about me as a viewer not wanting to see it anymore. I'm sure there will be many that say otherwise. I just can't. 

Cause that's what's up this rock and roll Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in still love you, just not live. XO



She can wear 'em. I can't.

Good afternoon, Monday. Sorry for the late post. My get up and go was unavailable until right now.

So I got the leopard Converse high tops.

And I retuned the leopard Converse high tops.

Truth is, I'm not a Converse high tops kind of woman/girl/lady. I admire the women who wear them and look awesome. But I look like a clown. Or at least I feel like I do. That toe cap is tricky. And as my husband reminded me as I boxed them up, "you're kinda fancy". 

It's not that I'm fancy at all. And that French chick at the top of the post? She's fancy as f. But I get his point. Because he associates Converse with a girl who maybe plays bass or is a bit more of a tomboy than I am.

But I wear sneakers all the time. Nike, Adidas, Puma, Vans. It's true a couple pairs of designer kicks have crept into my closet in recent years- Golden Goose, Rag and Bone, Stella McCartney. But I think his point was I'm not a rough and tumble Converse person. As much as I adore the way French women rock them, I just can't do it. They look inelegant on me. Do you have them? Have you ever? My theory with Converse remains the same as it was when I produced a couple shoots for the brand- you have to wear Converse your whole life in order to pull them off. I had one pair of red canvas high tops in high school and never really returned to them, though I do somehow remember a black and white gingham low top version in the 90s but can't truly place them as my Adidas Gazelles were way more front and center then. 

So the net net is: I'm down to try new things and am a lifelong learner as previously mentioned. But I know what works on me and I knew better than to buy a pair of leopard Converse high tops but I did it anyway. I got caught up. That's all. Don't you wish you could hit return or send things back whenever something doesn't work for you? If only.

Just thought you should all know in case you were expecting them to be a big part of my Summer look. Alas, they won't be. But if they're part of yours, good on ya. 

And that's the end of that. 

Cause that's what's up this knowing what works kind of Monday in the 718. Yours, in keeping it real. XO


It's a beautyful Friday here at the Maven shop

Good morning, Friday. And welcome to the weekend. Do you ever feel completely restless and exhausted at the same time? Like you can't sit still but all you want to do is crawl under the duvet? That's my tempo right now.

In the spirit of my last few posts, I found this great article on vogue.com (buried below pictures of Kendall, Gigi, and Bella) with great tips for makeup for women over 50. I'd like to say that these are great tips for most women of any age. Because they come from Sandy Linter.  Because before Pat McGrath and the other celeb makeup artists, Sandy was shutting it down. I'll never forget working with her when we shot Jerry Hall (pre marriage to Rupert Murdoch thank goodness)  for the Broadway adaptation of "The Graduate". She was a hoot and Jerry insisted on her presence. I can see why- she's pro.

My big takeaway from the article, link here, is that black eyeliner may not be your bestie as you age. I myself consider liquid black eyeliner the second coming of Christ, so this was news to me. Needless to say, I have been dabbling with brown liner of late and absolutely snapped up that Lancome recommendation she posted called Black Coffee. Dark, dark brown may make me a believer. You still may have to pry my assortment of liquid black liners from my cold dead hands. That's how much I live for it. In current rotation? Eyeko Skinny Liquid. All day. So good.

Oh and that you should "wear makeup, and not let it wear you". And that trying to hide wrinkles generally make them worse. What you didn't know? 

My other takeaway was that Serge Lutens product. Not quite a foundation, but quite expensive. I'm intrigued. I love a good skin perfector. But for that price? Not so sure.  I guess true perfection comes with a price. And since I prefer a bit of the imperfect, this one will probably sit in my shopping cart forever. You know you put things there too and never buy them. Don't even lie.

Anyway, a little makeup love for my ladies this Friday. Cause that's what's up this blackish brown Friday in the 212. Yours, in (near) perfect skin. XO

On the power of connecting

Good morning, Thursday. Gorgeous day.

I realize that my recent writing may make me sound like I don't value young people and that's the furthest thing from the truth. I love working with young people-there are challenges for sure but there are challenges with everything so that's a moot point. We all love to hate on millennials, but generalizing a whole group of young people for their work habits or lack thereof is just silly. I love being around young people- they inspire me.

And my takeaway from all these years of experience is this- once you realize it's time to move on,  passing the torch is a wonderful thing to do. I have always been a connector, my entire life. I think that's what I loved most about producing, because it sure wasn't the panicky calls about FedEx shipments gone missing or a wardrobe stylist who "just doesn't get it". What I loved was putting great people together, and knowing who the kindred spirits were that would make something great together. It's so much fun to do that. It never, ever felt like work to me. Plus, New Yorkers like to be know-it-alls- we revel in knowing the best of the best and the hidden gems as yet to be discovered. 

I bring this up because recently, I met an amazing young woman who happened to be registered on rover.com, a pet walking and sitting service. I was looking for someone to watch Khan and I came across her profile and immediately felt like she'd be perfect to watch our little guy. When she came to my house we got to talking and turns out she's been a writer for a minute, and really loves comedy writing. After a few more times watching Khan, we got to talking about advertising, and how she was interested in copywriting. If you've spent time in ad land, you can immediately tell who would be a good fit. And I knew this woman would be fantastic. I mean- who shows up to coffee in New York City with a grin and a tennis racket in the middle of winter? Just enough quirk. In an Annie Hall kind of way. Love her.

So I quickly got to introducing her to some people I thought she should know. And as luck would have it, she landed her first gig.  With someone I think is one of the best creatives out there. I am so excited for her I want to burst. 

Throughout my career, I have made many introductions- some lead to nada and some start people on their path. I have never sought to do this for money, ps. I tried being a photo agent. It didn't work for me. I just like to do it because it's my beshert, or inevitability in Yiddish. It's something I will never stop doing regardless of where I am in my career or what I'm doing. Because it feels like the right thing to do. And I'm eternally grateful to all the amazing people I have worked with that inspire these introductions. Lucky me.

I have a great friend who is one of the best connectors I know. She throws amazing dinner parties where she puts the best people who need to know each other together, and she does it with so much ease. Recently I attended a dinner of hers with some CEO lady bosses (and wondered why I was in the room) and you know what? I got a potential great gig out of it. Amazingly powerful stuff, this connecting.

Good things come back to you when you do good things. I know this to be true. I've been close to broke many times and it's in those times I tend to donate money to favorite causes, and give a dollar or two or five to a person in need. I do this because it's right- and that there's always someone or something that needs help more than I do. I'm not looking for praise here mind you- I'm just telling you that helping people and connecting people is a cause very close to my heart. And if you ever need me, I'm here.

And if you like this post or anything else I've written of late, do me a favor and share it. Let's keep the good vibes going and keep connecting. It's one of life's simple joys and it means so very much.

Cause that's what's up this paying it forward kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in connecting the dots. XO


Hot or not? And who really cares?

Good morning, Wednesday.  Sun's out in the city and it's just getting lovelier. Still a bit of the chill in the air, but you can almost taste Spring and it's divine.

As I cycle through the week, I truly am floored by all the amazing conversations around ageism my piece created. So many people, many of whom I don't know, reached out and said how much they can relate. One commenter noted that advertising is never going to change, and I don't disagree. It's kind of like that old cliche- you can't change the world, but you can change yourself. True that. That's why reinvention is so very important.

The trajectory of this  blog is being reinvented as we speak, for example. I love writing about so many things but as I move forward, I think Maven is going more midlife than not. I realize I'm a bit past the midlife point but that's cool. You understand the intent. I want to keep sharing content that speaks to this phase of life. Because there's so much to share.

So I'm part of a Facebook group where women over 40 share hilarious and often cynical sentiments about getting older. It's a sacred space and I don't want to out it because I respect it so much, but one woman posted something that gave me pause. And it was:

"I like getting old because I no longer have to care about "being hot." Anyone else?"

Hmm. That stopped me halfway through my gluten-free waffle.   I completely get what she means. The invisible period of a woman's life is legit. I could probably walk down the street in my underwear and be largely ignored. I have to admit, there's comfort in that. But if I'm being honest, it also kind of sucks.

Look I'm married and I'm not seeking the male gaze or male approval or male opinions on my body or anything else.

And it's not her sentiment that bothered me- I can't judge anyone who feels the way she does, but my bit of buggery here is the very notion of what make someone "hot". And why that's the provenance of youth. It's fucked up.

We all know youth and beauty go hand in hand. That's why so many women I know are chasing the dragon/injectables/ketosis/cremedelawhatever to hold on a bit longer. I have to say I fall somewhere on the low side of that scale. I don't do botox or filler (I'm a complete needlephobic), I don't freak out over my body enough to deny myself things I love, but I do certainly have a hefty skincare and makeup budget because i just really love skincare and makeup. You do you. I'll do me.

But seriously- why oh why is being hot something that's off the table as we get older? Case in point- look at Andrea Linnett's brilliant blog post from yesterday, celebrating French icon Isabelle Huppert. Wearing jeans, shades, Converse, and an Hermes cuff, she looks hot as hell. At least she does to me. It's true she's thin and French and fabulous, but you get my point. What's not hot about her? Rien. That's what. I also love that she looks like she's about to give you the finger. That's pretty hot too. I suppose that's what the woman's post was all about in a way, but it still got me.

For me, there's much more nuance about feeling and being hot as we age. Wearing a bikini is only a small fraction of that. Having confidence is hot. Not giving a single f is hot. Knowing your style and what looks great on your body is hot. Being experienced and smart is beyond hot. So screw that noise that being older takes you out of the hot game. That's just dumb. 

I don't know what it's going to take to get society in line with this. Very few people look the way they do in their 20s when they are past 40 and 50. It's a fact. But does that mean you lose your sex appeal? I don't think so. You just lose society's expectation of what that looks like.

I never looked like a supermodel.  I have hips and thighs and boobs. I've always had those things, my entire post pubescent life. And I've been thin, fat, and everything in between.   I never fit into what is typically considered sexy and I was always super cool with that. Because I always knew I had a thing. Stylish, a little wacky, cool. All that. And guess what? I still have all that. A few more wrinkles and a few more curves but seriously- I'm still me.  Why is it that older men are considered sexy and distinguished but older women are taboo when it comes to sex appeal unless they're in some sort of perverse cougar role? I call bullshit.

Sure it's cool not to worry about hotness after a certain point. But why is age such a marker of that? That's just insane. After all, there's nothing sexier than someone who is just fully and completely committed to being themselves. Regardless of height, weight, age or anything else. Women, please stop idealizing your younger, "hotter" self. Chances are you're much hotter now.

Cause that's what's up this hot or not kind of Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in age old questions. XO




On timeless cool and classic kicks

Good morning, Tuesday. It's a beautiful day in the city and Spring is finally here, or at least I think so. Looking forward to sunny days and warm nights.

And as further proof that being age positive is very much a thing, my old boss Marian Salzman did an amazing interview over in the UK about how 2019 will be the year when we all grow up and admit how old we are. That we no longer wish to look or act 20 but just be the healthiest and best versions of ourselves. Marian is someone who taught me so much about how to work and how to look for trends so it was great to see her come out with a piece like this. After all these years, we're still somehow in sync.  Check out her interview- it's fantastic and she looks fabulous.

And since I'm a loud and proud Gen Xer, I couldn't help but fall madly in love with these leopard print Converse high tops, which take me back the 80s in the best of ways. Converse is a brand that transcends age and generations, but for members of mine, the Converse high top was a rite of passage. I had a red pair in high school, covered in pen with anarchy and Dead Kennedy symbols. That's how I rolled. I'm sure many of you did too. After high school, I kind of gave up Converse and think I went more into an Adidas place (Stan Smiths, Gazelles) as well as many pairs of Pumas. But something about that high top has always stood for more. I remember producing a shoot for the brand some time ago and was humbled by its history. Converse has always  stood for rock and roll, rebellion, and skate culture and basically anything indie. All the things i grew up with and all the things I still love to this day (not much of a skater obvi but love the influence and have always been inspired by its punk rock vibes). Plus I love how cool they look when you've kicked the shit out of them. I'm a fan of worn in. You can keep your spanking white Yeezys. That's not my tempo.

I haven't worn Chucks in a while and have graduated to Nike Blazers and my Golden Goose high tops, but may have to return to the classic and go for these in the leopard print. Timeless, American, and effortlessly cool. What more could I want from a shoe or sense of style in general?

Cause that's what's up this can I kick it kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in high tops and cool vibes. XO

Grazie

Good afternoon, Monday. I'm trying to break on through this start of the work week but my head is still very much in my lovely weekend upstate, but I digress. Because I just want to say thank you to all the people who reposted and shared Friday's piece about aging out of advertising. I had no idea it would hit home for so many, and I'm glad people could relate to it, though not so glad at the same time.

Thanks for all the love and support. Thinking of doing a redesign on the blog in the next month or so and definitely considering taking Maven to a new place. That piece really inspired me to think about what's next for me, the blog, and life in general. I remain steadfast in my reinvention mission. And to follow my heart and share it with you. I've always worn it on my sleeve anyway.

Look for more content around that as well as all the stuff you've come to know and love. Feeling very excited for all of it. 

Cause that's what's up this grateful kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in buckets of merci. XO`

Is it time for advertising to grow up?

Good morning, Friday. I know I've been a bit quiet of late- apologies all around. Only excuse I have is a lack of inspiration (it happens) and a lack of time (also happens).

But while I was cruising this am's papers while debating going to the gym in the rain (strong no on that one), I came across an article that gave me pause. It was a piece in the Chicago Tribune about ageism against women being the next #metoo movement, and man, that hit home for me in a very real way. 

The industry I've called home for many years, advertising, has always been known as being youth obsessed. Chasing the latest demographic with an alphabet letter has been the MO since I entered the business in the 90s. And with the fragmentation and immediacy of media nowadays, there's desperation in the air to always understand and somehow stay ahead of what the cool kids are doing. And truly, there's no place for those much past 40, let alone 50. At some point in your adult life, people will stop getting your references. And that moment is a real turning point. And it makes you feel old.

Because of this not so dirty little secret, I found myself feeling the burn a few years back.  A lot of young women in the industry were telling me I reminded them of their "very cool aunt".  

And then just before Christmas, a friend in the industry who is younger than me leaned in over holiday cocktails and asked quietly, "how old are you anyway?" Oof. This coming on the heels of a particularly epic photoshoot where I felt like Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School". I wondered how, if every other part of me had changed, was I still doing the same thing career-wise I was doing in my younger life?  I don't wear the same clothes I did in my 20s. I don't have the same boyfriend. I don't party the way I used to. So why on Earth was I still doing the same job? 

Big caveat- many people don't want to stop doing what they're doing. And that's great. It should be your right as an experienced and season ad vet or vet of any industry to keep on keepin' on if you're doing what you love. But for me, I got the more than sneaking sense I should move on. I don't want anyone telling me I'm like their aunt. And I don't want to be the oldest person on set. I also don't want to hide behind botox or pretend I'm something that I'm not. You couldn't pay me to go back to being 25. I'm a happier person now, of this I'm certain. 

What's even worse than the ageism is the notion that experience no longer has value. I can only speak to advertising, but that experience is no longer valued. Smart production is no longer valued. The value comes from youth and speed. But the funniest part of that is that in order to be scrappy and fast, you need to know what the heck you're doing. That's the rub right there.

Sure you have people sounding the alarm about all of this- the bombastic Cindy Gallop comes out in favor of age all the time. And my former home, CP+B, has bought back Alex Bogusky, who at 55, is a bit of a unicorn.  I don't know many people who can get a gig in advertising at 55, let alone 50. And ps- this ageist thing is not only prevalent when it comes to women, I know men are feeling it too.

If you want my take, here it is. Reinvent. Find new ways to contribute and prosper at work.  Constantly flex and adapt and find employers and causes and passion points that value what you have to offer. If thoughts of being phased out because of your age are keeping you up at night, phase yourself back in. Chances are you are totally worth it. My reinvention continues and I'm loving writing for everyone from internal agencies to PR firms and beyond.  My takeaway? If advertising agencies can't flex and adapt to an aging workforce, then fuck 'em. Go make your own way. And never feel that it's too late. It's never too late. If you really look at your career, are you still totally happy doing what you're doing as you get older? If not, it may be time for a change.

And as the world turns, it looks like older women are having a bit of a moment. Some great roles for women in Hollywood for example as we saw at the Oscars this year- Glenn Close's excellent nom for "The Wife" and Olivia Colman's win for 'The Favourite". And look at Washington, DC. Sure all eyes are on AOC, but women like Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris are too legit to ever quit. And then more and more women are having babies later in life and defying the odds. 

At its best, advertising is an industry that affects pop culture and brings about change. At its worst? It's a rudderless sycophant that come to think of it, is probably dealing with an identity crisis of its own, struggling for relevancy in an industry that no longer looks anything like it used to. There's a real opportunity for advertising to help shape cultural attitudes about age.  Youth will always be front and center when it comes to marketing,  but don't count out the rest of us. Cause we still got it. As a member of the first named generation by marketers (X), here's to getting older and being relevant, vital, and most of all, valued.  

Cause that's what's up this age is just a number kind of Friday in the 718, Yours, in reading between the lines. XO

New York is a big mall and I don't like it.

Good morning, Friday TGIF and stuff. It's beautiful in the city and y'all know I love St. Patrick's Day weekend. I can't help myself. I'm a woman of the people. ;)

So speaking of that, I have a bit of a rant. I'm going to caveat the crap out of said rant because I have not yet been to this place, but I'm pretty sure it's horrible.

And that place is Hudson Yards. 

For those of you who don't know what Hudson Yards is, it's a development project in the nether reaches of Manhattan, way, way out on the West Side. It is literally one of the least convenient places to get to, and even though they have a train that goes right to it, to me it feels a bit behind the wall.

And that's because it is. It's a massive residential, office, and retail behemoth. That is like some sort of ridiculous fortress of bougie. I can't.

As I've been a New Yorker for most of my adult life, I'm one of those folks that hates the mallification of New York City. When I first moved here, there was a sense of entrepreneurial promise that was tough to beat. The city was full of places to shop small. From bespoke ballet flats to local mom and pop drug stores, there really was something so special about the power of small biz.  When I moved to New York in the 90s, the thought of a Home Depot in the city was disgusting, let alone a mall. Now we have several- Time/Warner Center (when is the last time you went there?), Brookfield Place, The Oculus. I don't think malls are places most people want to go anymore. So I don't understand why we need another one. And a ridiculously fancy one at that. Like the generations who came after me, I appreciate brands and businesses that I can connect to. Maybe that's why I always loved the mom and pop. The personal touch is important to me. It doesn't make me a dinosaur. It just makes me crave something not so generic, even if it is wrapped in a beautiful setting. I do like that they also opened a cool performance space, The Shed. I got something in the mail about becoming a member but the marketing materials made zero sense to me as I had no sense for what it was. Typical.

Neiman Marcus has set up shop there for their first location in New York (admit I'm a little psyched to see that one). But do we really need another place to buy a Vuitton bag or a pair of Lululemon yoga pants? I don't. And the hoo ha around the launch of this place was epic. You might think it was the Olympics Opening Ceremony yesterday. But for rich people. With a lot of botox. Jesus. Aren't we better than this, New York? Leave the malls to Vegas and Miami, please. It's enough already. I know we're better than this. Also betting on retail? Not smart. 

Perhaps a visit there will change my mind, but I doubt it. With restaurants and shops closing ad infinitum because of the high rents in this city, slapping some swish retail on the far end of the Island is ridiculous. If I want big box retail, I'll go to the suburbs. That's what malls are for. Nobody I know moved to New York City to go to the mall. Ugh.

Cause that's what's up this old school New York kind of Friday in the 212. Yours, in indie for life. XO