Renowned celebrity stylist, and ‘self-made fashion machine’ Robert Verdi joined me recently to dish on everything from throwing a great holiday party on a budget, to taking the stress out of holiday entertaining and overnight guests, to looking fab in holiday photo, to little tidbits on how you can thrive this holiday season and so much more!
Candace Rose: What are some great gift options for those of us on a budget?
Robert Verdi: “Everybody is on a budget, Candace, and you have to be careful how you spend your time and your money. So one of my tips is to go to your local drugstore and pick up these holiday must have gift sets from P&G. They’re chock full for everybody you know and love. This is a fabulous luscious embrace gift set of all of your favorite Olay products. And the little luxuries one- if you know somebody who travels a lot for work or has been traveling back and forth between a boyfriend’s house and their own house, this is a great little one (please see video for details)- it’s got minis of Scope, Crest, Secret, and Olay; so it’s a great little travel kit. And you can knock a little people off of your list like the nanny, the babysitter, the dog walker in one-two-three in one swoop.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions when it comes to prepping one’s home for the holidays?
Robert Verdi: “Prepping your home is really about being a gracious host and a generous host. If you have people coming to spend the night or two with you, what you want to do is make sure all the towels are washed and fluffy and folded. You have to provide extra towels, it’s something that people take for granted, they think one towel is enough. They like to feel welcome and they like to have everything at their fingertips and they don’t have to ask you for it. Don’t leave a half used tube of toothpaste on the bathroom vanity. Get all of your supplies at your drugstore when you’re getting your holiday must haves pick up some Herbal Essence shampoos, some Pantene Moisture Whip, Secret Clinical, even Venus and Olay razors, and have that all in the bathroom brand spanking new on the vanity for your guests to use.”
Candace Rose: And like you said, entertaining guests can be very stressful, especially during the holidays. What advice do you have for the host or hostess this year?
Robert Verdi: “Well, one of the things I like to tell hosts and hostesses is to actually wrap a little gift and put it at the dining table. And whoever you’re seating will get their own individual little gift at the table and not necessarily in the living room where you have the tree and the big hoopla because the kids are hard to migrate to the dining tables. So if you put a little gift there and you say ‘Hey, everybody, we’re going to be serving dinner and everybody has a little gift on the table’ they’ll move over quickly and that way they’ll each feel like they’re being treated special and they feel very welcome and warm again. And it’s a great way to get everybody to the table.
The other thing is use seating cards even if they’re your family and friends because people will inevitably sit next to someone they know and really the holiday time you want to mix and mingle and sit next to your uncle who you haven’t seen in a few weeks or who you haven’t seen since last Christmas. You don’t want to sit next to your sister who you live with because you see her every day. Mix and mingle and that means that the host has the responsibility of actually using seating cards to make sure everybody spends a little time with everybody else.”
Candace Rose: The holidays are full of photo ops, and nobody wants to be tagged in horrible pictures on Facebook! What are some of your favorite tips or tricks for looking your best in front of the lens?
Robert Verdi: “Candace, here’s the thing, once somebody has the camera out you should immediately pop into posture. So posture is what makes people feel a little sloppy. Arch your back, right at the small of your back and draw your shoulders back. It feels a little unnatural, but it looks a million times better on camera and actually looks really natural.
But for girls, the secret is lips and lashes. It’s all your eyes and it’s all in your lips. You want to have a bright pop on your lips and you want to have long beautiful lashes. So use the Clump Crusher mascara from CoverGirl, and get a lipstick in a beautiful red from CoverGirl and you’ll be set for the holiday season, and you’ll look like a superstar in every picture.”
Candace Rose: What are some of your tips for surviving the holiday season?
Robert Verdi: “If you get stressed when you get invited to somebody’s home and you’re stressed about what to take them, I think there are a couple of innovative ideas. One is get the family pet a gift instead of each individual person in the home. Everybody loves a pet coat, so this is a little rain jacket for $32. I always put it with a galvanized bucket filled with Iams dog food and a little dog toy hanging off of it. And everybody will inevitably put their clothes right on the dog, they take pictures and put it on Facebook. It’s really a great little gift to take somebody.
And then another practical gift are batteries. Fill a jar with all different size batteries from Duracell because they are inevitably used within the holiday month, and they’re all gone. So all the gadgets, all the things in your home that need batteries you’ve actually received as a hostess gift. It’s a great gift, I actually love it. Quite honestly it’s a little idea I stole from somebody else who brought it to my home, and I said ‘This is BRILLIANT!’
If you’re going to an office party this year, this is a great little tip- Tide To Go pens are awesome for the entire office. Whether it’s a guy or a girl, it’s a great gift because guys are always- you have a drink in one hand and a little hors d’oeuvre, and you get a little schmutz on your tie, on your shirt, on your jacket or on your dress that’s a great gift they’ll love having in their desktop drawer or in their pocket or in their bag. It’s an easy thing to take and it’s a pop of color, and it looks great in the jar and it’s really chic.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for additional information?
Candace Rose: And as for you, Robert, where can your fans see you next?
Robert Verdi: “I’m everywhere! I say I’m omnipotent but that’s not what I mean; I’m omnipresent! I’m out and about, check me out on Facebook, and there’s a lot of fun things you can see- I’m on HSN, I have a sunglasses collection, an accessories line. So I’m out there, I’m not even hard to find.”