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Texting and BlackBerry Etiquette – Kimberly Law

About a year ago three teenage cousins were invited by their grandparents to go out for dinner and then to a play. They all seemed excited about the activity until they arrived at the restaurant. After they arrived, two of the three girls received text messages. Instead of shutting off their cell phones and enjoying the company of their grandparents and each other,  they started text messaging their friends and each other. This left the grandparents and the third cousin sitting there feeling left out, annoyed and uncomfortable. At the theatre they continued text messaging throughout the play. Each time a text was received the phone would vibrate and the light came on, annoying the people around them. It was also embarrassing and insulting to the grandparents.

Unfortunately this is a commons story and it happens often. When it comes to cell phones and text messaging we often forget our manners and etiquette. We don’t consider how the people around us might feel. Think about the last time you were kept waiting while somone you were with had an non-important texting conversation.

Some people think that portable devices such as BlackBerry’s used for texting, emailing and planning your day follow different rules of etiquette then should be followed for chatting on a cell telephone. I think that most would agree they are generally less annoying then being forced to listen in on a cell phone conversation just because you happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, just because they are more private and less disruptive then cell phones it, doesn’t mean you should use them at anytime. Checking and responding to e-mail, text messaging or planning your day on a portable device during these times is just plain rude!

  • During a meeting, public event, lecture or in a classroom.
  • Restaurants. (Unless you are alone)
  • Places of worship, weddings & funerals.
  • In someone else’s home or office.
  • While socialising with others face-to-face.

When using any kind of electronic conversational device for texting, emailing or talking, consider the people around you and on the other end of the conversation.


In the Toronto Sun today there is an article called Rules of dumb, has our high-tech evolution resulted in a lower standard of etiquette? It mentions a situation where a teacher took a cell phone away from a student and then read all of her saved text messages in front of the class. Obviously he did this out of frustration over the perceived lack of respect. However, were his actions more respectful? He obviously embarrassed the student.
Catherine Bell of Prime Impressions shares some great comments in this article on cell phones and technology from an etiquette perspective. When asked if the rules have changed, she says that the rules haven’t changed, but that people’s perceptions of them have changed and that is just as important. “The whole idea of civility and respect is wanting in all environments,” she says. “They’re throwing out the window the consideration for the people around them.”
So I guess the question is, whether consideration for the people around us is still important. Or has society evolved to a place where taking other people into consideration by using manners and etiquette is no longer important? And if so will this lead to a continuation of civilization as we know it or will it lead to chaos?

From my perspective as a certified image consultant and etiquette expert, it would seem that a society lacking in civility would be taking a step backward. Civility evolved over time to create order and respect in the lives of others and ours. However, lately I have seen examples of incivility everywhere. It is my personal belief that we need to get back to basics and consider before hand how our actions might affect others. Then act appropriately.

Packing Light for the Stylish Traveller

For business or pleasure travelling can be exciting and adventurous. However, packing to suit all possible situations can be tricky; especially now with weight and carry on restrictions. This can make packing and travel frustrating, even for the experienced traveller. As an Image Consultant,  I have found that these packing tips help my clients lighten their load and maintain their style.

Choose a Color Palette
Pick two main wardrobe colors.  At least one of your two main colors should be a neutral: black, brown, taupe, tan, or navy. While white is a great neutral, especially for summer, it may not be the best choice for travel because it gets dirty so quickly. All of your basic clothing pieces should be one of the two main colors. Next choose one accent colour that can be worn with either of the two main wardrobe colours. This way all of the clothing in your suitcase can be mixed and matched to look great together.

Stick to Three Pairs of Shoes
A casual pair of shoes, such as sneakers that are comfortable for walking is a good idea if you plan to go sightseeing. Dress shoes in a basic style are ideal for business or a dinner out with friends or family. If you are near the beach or plan to enjoy some warm weather, sandals can look nice and still let your feet breathe. There really should be no need for more pairs of shoes. If you go with neutral colors that coordinate with your basic wardrobe colours, the three pairs that you bring will match anything in your travel wardrobe.

Pack Lots of Accessories
Ties, scarves, earrings, necklaces and belts take up very little room in your suitcase, yet can change your look in seconds. For women, a pair of dangly earrings will dress up a basic shirt or blouse for daytime. A set of pearl earrings and choker turn that same blouse into the perfect evening wear. Bring a couple of different belts and scarves as well, since these can dramatically change how an outfit looks on you. Men can instantly change the look of an outfit by adding, removing or changing a tie. Sunglasses are also an important accessory to pack, particularly if your eyes tend to look a little dark after a long trip.

Go Reversible
Reversible clothing is a great option for traveling. It gives you twice the look without taking up extra space. Jackets, skirts and shorts are ideal for this type of treatment. Using a reversible bag lets you have two looks in one, as well. When purchasing reversible clothes make sure both colors and, of course, the overall style is flattering to your colouring and body shape.

Bring Sample Sizes
Instead of bringing full sized toiletries and cosmetic items, transfer small amounts into travel containers. Travelling is also a great opportunity to use those ‘Gift with Purchases’ and cosmetic samples that may be accumulating in your bathroom vanity. This will save space in your luggage, and lighten your load while travelling.

Follow these tips before your next trip and you will be sure to look stylish wherever you travel.

How to Apply Make-up to Look Younger – Part 1

I love make-up. Whether you apply a little or a lot it can totally change a women’s appearance. It can make you appear younger, older, more glamorous or sexy. It can also hide imperfections or enhance any feature. The sad thing is that as we age, a make-up application that once looked natural and brought out our features can now appear harsh and bring out the lines and wrinkles instead. Because of this it is important to adjust our make-up application as we age.

Focus on making your skin look healthy and evenly toned instead of adding more colour. A good skin-care regiment can work wonders. Always use a moisturizer on the skin before applying foundation. This will help the foundation blend easier onto the skin. I also recommend using an eye cream as well, especially if the eye area is dry.

For a more youthful look, choose a foundation formula that is light-reflecting but does not have a sheen. I would also advise staying away from a matte finish foundation. Both can draw attention to lines. There are also great formulas that help to diminish lines on the skin.

Choose a foundation that is as close as possible to the colour of your skin at the jaw line. Test a few colours at a time and choose the one that blends the best with your skin tone. When using a concealer choose one in the same undertone as your foundation and blends with the colour of the skin or foundation next to where it is applied.

By choosing the right products you can create the perfect canvas for a younger looking masterpiece.

View our next Post to learn tips for looking younger with make-up…

For more make-up tips and application instruction see ‘Masterful Make-up in Minutes’