May 21, 2012-
Sure we all watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey on Sunday nights, but I’m here to let you in on what it’s really like to live life in the prestigious suburbs of Northern New Jersey and not bear the name Gorga, Giudice or Manzo. A few weeks back I sat down with two of affluent NJ’s most fabulous women, who gave me the inside scoop on what life is really like in the Garden State, unedited and unscripted. They have the lifestyle, wardrobe, killer cars and gorgeous homes without the camera’s rolling, and are spilling how to get it all and not look like you even tried. They’ve got the scoop on how they stay gorgeous while living life in the fab lane and they’re two long time friends with different prospective on the definition of “Housewife” who aren’t selling anything or promoting their newest venture – They’re just giving it to you straight Jersey style. Meet Daniella Murphy and Adina Barbara.
Hi ladies! Thank you so much for chatting with me today! As a quick icebreaker for BBH Readers who may not know you, I’ve got one, ever-so-important question. If you were a Real Housewife of Bravo, what would your tagline be (ie Gretchen Rossi – Don’t call me a princess, call me the boss)? Go!
A: “Love Me Hate Me, You Choose…Baby I was born this way!”
D: “I may have lost my 20’s, but I have definitely found my 40’s baby”
I would venture to say that most BBH Readers have seen the show The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but you ladies are the real deal, living the lifestyle without the cameras. What do you have that make you and your fabulous lifestyle different then your everyday Housewife?
A: I think the word Housewife is different now. Decades ago it meant you were home taking care of your kids and your spouse. I think today it means a lot more and the interpretation of the word is a lot different. It’s all that I mentioned, but also still having a career and looking fabulous while doing it.
For me I always knew I wanted to work and do something other than spend my days playing tennis or shopping. I think the ladies from The Real Housewives have capitalized on their fame by creating cook books and alcohol lines, but I’ve been working for years and have had my career in Marketing at Norden Lasik (we specialize in LASIK, ultrasound face lifts, Botox, Juvederm, and skin care), aside from looking great, working out, cleaning my house. So it’s more what’s on the inside that sets me apart.
D: I think I’m completely opposite of Adina (laughter)! I knew that I wanted to be a young mom and have my kids at a young age. I always saw how my mom took pride in cleaning the house, taking care of the kids and my dad and always looked great while she did it. When my dad walked in the door she never looked like she was frazzled, unkept or making meatballs all day. She always had her nails done, lipstick on and even if her hair was in a bun it always looked perfect. I have always taken care of the way I look because my mom always told me to never look like I’d been cleaning all day when my husband walks through the door. I had that embedded in my brain at an early age and I’m always ready to go at a moments notice.
I raised my kids, and that was my career. So now I’m in the second stage of my life and trying to see what fits into my lifestyle now, and trying to see what I can do to exercise my brain now that I’ve done everything else.
So you both scored great men! Now we need to know how your scored your great style….Adina, so many people are trying to get that “Real Housewives of New Jersey” look. What are rules that women who want Jersey style status but don’t want to look like Snooki, should live by?
A: There are 4 main Jersey style faux pas to avoid : 1- Lipliner that is darker than your lipstick 2- Ill-fitting dresses. That means no cleavage where you don’t want it..like in the mid-range! 3-That really bad orange tan 4- “Jersey Nails”, which is a term I coined. They’re acrylic nails that have an actual curve to them. If you see those coming at you– That girl is from New Jersey (laughs)! And then there is the puffy hair, gum chewing, accent – I could go on, but I’m trying to be gentle.
You can avoid all of this by keeping your nails clean, your hair smooth and silky, and using nude or no lip liner!
So Daniella, how do you avoid breaking Adina’s Jersey Style Don’ts?
D: Considering I just bought a new MAC lip liner (called In Anticipation) that I love today, Adina, I don’t know where to start (laughs). Okay, okay… When I do use my lip liner I blend it and I put like a great beige- nude color over it to tone it down a bit – It takes away from giving you that Jersey dark lip liner look. And it makes the lipstick last longer, actually.
(I agree with Adina) on the smooth hair. Coming from having naturally curly, frizzy hair growing up and not knowing what to do with it, and over the years I learned how to tame it and smooth by having it blown out. I go two times a week for blow outs. Depending on my mood or outfit I go for the curly and tousled or sleek and straight hair . My products for wearing my hair curly are Leave In Eric Alt Salon Curl Boost and for straight hair I use Eric Alt Salon Silken Smoothing Elixir and I spray with Rusk Shining for shine . To smooth away fly-a-always I use Keihl’s Creme Silk Groom. As long as your hair is done I think pulls everything together!
One more rule? Watch how you wear big loud prints – Don’t wear them all at once. I love leopard, but wear it sparingly. Like just a bootie.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
A: Well my absolute favorite store, as you can probably tell, is Reve Boutique. I think that it stands out because Meital (Stylist and CEO of ReveBoutique.com) has new, up and coming designers as well as designers that have been established for years like Sky & Meghan. They have looks to take you from daytime to a black tie event, with pieces that you really can’t find anywhere. You won’t walk into a wedding and have on the same dress as anyone else. My favorite store for shoes is Neiman Marcus. C Wonder is great for accessories and bangles.
D: Of course I shop at Reve. I’ve been shopping there for 10 years! I started when I got married. I got married in my wedding dress and changed into a beautiful Mandalay gown that the owner of the store actually wanted to wear to a family function, but she kindly let me buy it. I still have it in my closet. I also like to shop at Neiman’s for great shoes and bags. I love a great designer bag.
Accessories are huge for me because I collect bracelets and I wear about 20 of them on my wrist everyday. I love Henri Bendel for those, but I even get great little handmade bracelets from Whole Foods and mix them all together. I live in Hoboken and there are fabulous little boutiques, and I can also get one of a kind things to add in!
Favorite designers? I get the feeling that this may be hard to narrow down.
A: Roberto Cavalli is my favorite designer. His designs are so feminine and so sexy. He has the most amazing fabrics colors and prints. You can spot a Cavalli outfit coming at you from a mile away. I can smell by now I think!
As for shoes, to make an outfit rock these days, you’ve gotta get red bottom shoes. But honestly I also love Brian Atwood.
D: I have a fuller figure so I like Herve Leger because you can just throw on a great pair of shoes and earrings, pull it together and walk out the door. I also mix BCBG Max Azria with a lot of stuff. I love Savee Couture because they have great dresses for date night!
Christian Louboutin, YSL and Sergio Rossi are my go to for shoes!
Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll cover make-up secrets, fabulous vacations, fashion faux paus and tips that a girl on a budget can use to get fabulous for less!