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#LOTW Skull n' Crossbones

Hitha Herzog in a black dress, black skull sweater, and black heels and purse.

No I'm not on my way to a funeral—this is a standard New York City uniform! While black on black can seem risky or bland, make it unique by adding surprising elements and textures. I picked this Alexander Wang sweater with skull trim to give the girly dress more of a downtown vibe. Black Louboutins with criss cross straps to keep the entire look elevated. Add my trusty Fendi bag, and I'm ready to conquer the world.

Why a former WWE CEO is a perfect pick to run the Small Business Administration.

Honest hour: I haven't been thrilled with President Donald Trump's cabinet picks. HOWEVER, when it was announced former WWE CEO Linda McMahon was selected to run the SBA I was overjoyed. To say this woman is amazing is an understatement. Here is why I am psyched: 

What is the SBA? 

The SBA or Small Business Administration is a government run agency to help support and promote small businesses  and owners in the U.S., i.e. someone like me! The agency also facilitates lending through the popular SBA 7(a) Loans; 504 loans, which provide funding for the purchase of fixed assets, such as real estate, buildings and machinery, at below market rates; and the SBA Express program, which offers term loans and lines of credit in amounts from $100,000 to $350,000. When needed, the agency provides disaster loans. It also offers business counseling and mentoring services, and special programs for women, minority and military veteran entrepreneurs. In theory, this should be the coolest agency in D.C., but the last ten years, specifically with the 2008 recession, the SBA has been a mess. 

WHY LINDA MCMAHON IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR SBA:

She started from the bottom now she's here:

She took WWE from a small local business to a multinational public company. Prior to creating the WWE, she struggled as a small business owner. She and her husband went bankrupt at one point and lived on government assistance. She's literally seen it all and  understands how to build a small business to an international brand.

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger: 

D.C. isn't the first time Linda McMahon has tried her hand at politics. She was on the board of directors for Connecticut Board of Education and ran a self-funded campaign for Senate twice. She was unsuccessful but sometimes it's the failures that make you a better person. 

She slays when women and women’s initiatives:

McMahon is also the CEO of Women’s Leadership L.I.V.E. She co-founded the organization in 2014 to promote leadership opportunities for women by providing them with proven processes and sustainable strategies and by organizing conferences.

You're so 2000 and late: WILL ALSO Bring the SBA into the 21st century:

McMahon will focus on Fintech starting with helping get loan applications online vs. the reams of paper you have to fill out when applying for a loan. This will hopefully bring the SBA into the 21st century which it so desperately needs. 

I was on Fox and Friends back when McMahon was only a nominee, where I discuss this with a restaurant business owner and a financial planner. Check it: 

 

Protect yourself before you wreck yourself: How to prevent online shopping and credit card fraud. #Holiday2016

Protect yourself before you wreck yourself: How to prevent online shopping and credit card fraud. #Holiday2016

Holiday spending is about to wrap up and the National Retail Federation is expecting retail sales expected to reach $655.8B (source: NRF). With people in a mad dash to return items and take advantage of end-of-year sales, now is the time to be hyper-vigalent about protecting your credit cards from fraudulent activity. Last thing you want to do is end the year on the phone with VISA because your card is getting declined at a bar.

Is there really a "war on Christmas?"

Is there really a "war on Christmas?"

THIS IS NOT A “WAR ON CHRISTMAS." Let’s call it what it is, lack of biblical references in holiday advertising it’s not a war on Christmas, it’s people feeling like they are being forced to be politically correct and using the Christmas holiday to express that. The AFA (American Family Association) is a religious organization that is leading the crusade. The problem is, their methodology among a whole slew of other things. I discussed this on The O'Reilly Factor last week- check out my research and our discussion!  

Can you Take me High Enough? Consumer sentiment, investing and #DOW20K

Can you Take me High Enough? Consumer sentiment, investing and  #DOW20K

Like it or not, the stock market has been on fire since President elect Donald Trump took office. Since November 9th, the Dow has hit almost 15 record highs. Tuesday was no different, closing at 19,974.62. What the hell is happening? Let me give you the 411. 

#FakeoutFriday Going undercover in Chinatown

The last time I went undercover, I was embedded with the LAPD in 2010. We were on a stakeout of a counterfeit ring selling close to $1.5 million in fake NFL and MLB merchandise. This mission was different, mainly because I was by myself (meaning no protection of law enforcement) and sellers of the merchandise seemed more aggressive/protective of their pieces. I was on a mission to find (and show) how easy it is to get a Celine Nano Luggage bag AND how similar they look (mostly so you can call out your friends for carrying a fake bag). Check it: 

Met a vendor who approached me. "You looking for a handbag?" He asked. "Yes, of course I am! Celine Nano Luggage to be exact!" He walked swift and was taking me to a "secret location." 

Met a vendor who approached me. "You looking for a handbag?" He asked. "Yes, of course I am! Celine Nano Luggage to be exact!" He walked swift and was taking me to a "secret location." 

 I spy a table full of "designer" sunglasses. And I have to give the counterfeit manufacturer credit, these do look good. But let's be real, they are FAKE Tom Ford, Prada, Gucci and Celine. 

 I spy a table full of "designer" sunglasses. And I have to give the counterfeit manufacturer credit, these do look good. But let's be real, they are FAKE Tom Ford, Prada, Gucci and Celine. 

From a distance, they look good. My undercover photographer Jack, agrees. 

From a distance, they look good. My undercover photographer Jack, agrees. 

Fake or not? Clearly yes since I am downtown and you probably wouldn't get a pair of legit Prada shades on the street. Which is my first point: if a pair of designer shades are being sold on the street for $30, they ARE NOT DESIGNER! 

Fake or not? Clearly yes since I am downtown and you probably wouldn't get a pair of legit Prada shades on the street. Which is my first point: if a pair of designer shades are being sold on the street for $30, they ARE NOT DESIGNER! 

The vendor is sensing something is wrong. At this point, I have less than one minute to try and find out where she sourced these sunglasses, who her supplier is and if she is selling more merchandise around the area. 

The vendor is sensing something is wrong. At this point, I have less than one minute to try and find out where she sourced these sunglasses, who her supplier is and if she is selling more merchandise around the area. 

No dice. The vendor realized I was taking pictures and got pissed. This was her feeble attempt at blocking my photo of the fake items. Nice try. 

No dice. The vendor realized I was taking pictures and got pissed. This was her feeble attempt at blocking my photo of the fake items. Nice try. 

Pretending to talk to my sister. Notice how the vendor suspciously looks at me as I wait for the Celine handbag. 

Pretending to talk to my sister. Notice how the vendor suspciously looks at me as I wait for the Celine handbag. 

I got it! The Celine Nano Luggage bag. But clearly it's fake. Below are five ways you can tell if a Nano is fake or the real deal. 

I got it! The Celine Nano Luggage bag. But clearly it's fake. Below are five ways you can tell if a Nano is fake or the real deal. 

5 Scams to be aware of this Black Friday + Holiday Season

5 Scams to be aware of this Black Friday + Holiday Season

Just when you thought it was safe to go shopping! The volume of holiday sales are expected to reach $655.8B (National Retail Foundation), and that means there are more opportunities than ever for scam artists to take your hard-earned cash!

What's up with Black Friday 2016?

Hitha Herzog discusses Black Friday with Jon Berman and Brooke Baldwin on CNN's New Day on November 25th, 2016.

I went on MSNBC to talk about what to expect this Black Friday. As I said in an earlier blog post, this year's Black Friday is more of a "Grey November" and more people are starting to do their shopping online starting September 30th. One difference in this year's Black Friday is the uptick in app usage to find good deals. People are using apps like RetailMeNot to show price differentiation to make sure they're paying the best price possible. Apps like RetailMeNot are able to check which discounts are going on at which stores, and then offer coupons to users to get even better deals. Clearly the Internet Age and the ability to research beforehand is having an effect on consumer behavior—smarter purchase decisions are just a click or an app download away!

Ferocious Prabhakar Herzog 2003-2016

My original baby died today from complications of oral cancer. She was 13 1/2 years old. For long time followers you know she was on the recieving end of any and all "Indian mom in training" energy and love I had. She grounded me. Taught me to see the bigger picture. Defined unconditional love. I feel lucky to have known this incredible soul. Fortunate she chose me to be her mom. I want to thank the doctors at Blue Pearl Animal Hospital for taking such good care of her, specifically Dr. Jodi Kuntz, Dr. Andrew Kaplan from CityVet and Dr. Wendy Mcculloch at Pet Requiem. Thank you to all of my friends and family for being so supportive. Ferocious saw 3 presidents (one president elect), the first black president of the United States, cats become more famous than soap opera stars, the iPhone, the iPad, Facebook, Twitter, lived through a recession, met and charmed famous people in our home, survived pancreatitis, ingesting lillies, her brother dying, her mom getting married and Mayor de Blasio. She died the same year Bowie, Prince, Glen Frey, Muhammad Ali, Phife Dawg, Arnold Palmer, Leonard Cohen and Gwen Ifill. This was a life well lived. 

How A Fox News Feminist Changed Things From the Inside Out

Feminism. When I was in the 7th grade the word made me want to apply to all women colleges (yes I was thinking about college at age 11). When I got to Smith College and graduated to a job in investment banking, the word made me recoil. The connotation inferred I was a sideline extremist complaining about things that went against the very nature of "God given gender roles." This was in 1998. In 2016, "feminism" means an entirely different thing. I'm vocal but in my own way, which I talk about in this piece for Tuesnight.com. Writing it was both reflective and cathartic and made me homesick for my mom. On the eve of electing the first woman president of the United States, she is someone I would love to be with to watch it all unfold. - Hitha Herzog

Makeup Vibes: Sotheby's Facebook Live Show

Despite what Instagram would have you believe, it takes a village to get camera ready! For my Sotheby's Live Show, we wanted to do a look that was classy, polished, and had an autumn tone! Rockstar makeup and hair artists Sherry Stinger and Laura Weinstein killed it again, and were nice enough to share their secrets with me—check it out:

Hitha Herzog getting her hair teased and combed. 

Product shot of different styling brushes, and Oribe dry texturizing spray.

Product shot of different styling brushes, and Oribe dry texturizing spray.

Sherry Stinger on hair: 

"To achieve a full bodied straight hairstyle, I used Matrix Wonder Boost Root Lifter on the roots of Hitha's wet hair and blew the roots dry with a vent brush. Then I proceeded to dry the shaft of her hair with a large round brush. Finishing the ends with a Mason Pearson brush for straight ends. I flat ironed only the ends to add an extra touch of shine. To finish I added Oribe Dry Texturizing to add texture and volume. To give her hair a final polished look, I used Kenra Shine spray."

Hitha Herzog getting her eye rimmed with black eyeliner by a makeup artist.

Hitha Herzog getting her eyelashes coated in mascara. 

Hitha Herzog getting her eyelashes coated in mascara. 

Product shot of makeup used on Hitha for the Sotheby's Live Show: pictured are Inglot Lip Duo, Makeup Forever Professional HD High Definition Powder, Makeup Forever Lip Palette, various lip glosses, makeup brushes, and an eyeshadow palette. 

Product shot of makeup used on Hitha for the Sotheby's Live Show: pictured are Inglot Lip Duo, Makeup Forever Professional HD High Definition Powder, Makeup Forever Lip Palette, various lip glosses, makeup brushes, and an eyeshadow palette. 

Lauren Weinstein on makeup:

"Today's look was created with Autumn in mind...a spiced latte color scheme. Prepped her skin with with Eve Pealr Primer, Too Faced Lid Primer, For her eyes, I used a combination of Naked Palette: Half baked on center of lid, Rule in crease, Corduroy on outer corner. I lined her lid in Feline pencil, and Voluminous Mascara by L'Oreal. On her cheeks, a combo of peaches on the apples and matte bronze. To get the lip look, I prepped with Rosebud balm, then lined with Makeup Forever Acqua Lip in 4c, and covered the entire lip in Mac Lipglass in Hot pepper! Finally, I blot her face with Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender

Hitha Herzog getting her makeup done by Laura Weinstein, while looking over notes for the Live show.

Hitha Herzog getting her makeup done by Laura Weinstein, while looking over notes for the Live show.

Hitha Herzog, smiling while looking over talking points for the Live show.

Hitha Herzog, smiling while looking over talking points for the Live show.

Hitha Herzog doing a run through of the Live Show. 

Hitha Herzog doing a run through of the Live Show. 

Hitha Herzog doing a run through of the live show. 

Hitha Herzog doing a run through of the live show.