All Posts Tagged ‘Hair


makeup monday: beauty must-haves for your next vacation.

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Hey guys! It’s been a long time and I missed your faces. Summer is in full swing and that means I’ve been prioritizing outside time over inside time, and usually inside time is where the blog magic happens. But. I’m back! And it’s gonna be a good week.

Why, you ask? Because I just returned from a glorious visit to the islands, and by the islands, I mean Hawaii, and by glorious I mean it was the best. THE BEST. #thebest. And I want to talk about it forever and ever because it was pure magic. And I want to keep it fresh in my mind so I don’t forget the deliciousness that is the island life. So this week is Hawaii week over here on the old blog. From now until next Sunday, it’ll be all Aloha, all the time. Get ready. It’s gonna be great.

And to kick off this island extravaganza, we’re talkin’ travel beauty. Truth be told, my travel beauty routine isn’t much different than my summer beauty routine, in that I seek out products that are easy to use, good for the skin, and able to withstand the heat and humidity like champs. I do find, however, that travel beauty can be even a bit lazier than summer beauty (which is great!) because you don’t need to master that perfectly made up look; it’s more about blurring the edges and giving yourself that beachy glow (while also protecting your skin from the summer elements).

I also tend to seek out products that have multiple uses so 1) I don’t have to check a bag, and 2) I’m not that crazy lady at airport security who has like fifteen clear plastic bags full of toiletries instead of the allotted one bag (I’m still usually that crazy lady).

The following are the twenty things you’ll find in my travel beauty bag (I know twenty seems like a lot but that’s covering skin, hair and makeup…and yes, I count sunglasses as a beauty product…gotta protect those peepers!), all of which I’m able to fit (snugly) into one larger-sized cosmetic bag. These were lifesavers in Hawaii and kept me looking fresh, beachy but not too beachy (if you know what I mean), and kept my skin happy and protected in the strong island sun.


From top left: 1) hair bands, goody ouchless hair elastics. 2) bronzer/blush/highlighter, urban decay naked flushed palette. 3) lip balm, this works turbo balm. 4) fragrance, elizabeth & james nirvana black rollerball. 5) sunglasses, tory burch t-print aviators. 6) argan oil, josie maran argan oil. 7) sea spray for hair, bumble & bumble surf spray. 8) eyeshadow, urban decay eyeshadow in toasted. 9) hair brush, conair travel hair brush. 10) waterproof mascara, maybelline big eyes waterproof mascara. 11) hairspray, nexxus travel size comb thru hairspray. 12) brow pencil, anastasia brow wiz in caramel. 13) eyeshadow primer, urban decay primer potion. 14) lipstick, nars lipstick in schiap. 15) clear nail polish, dior nail glow. 16) cc cream, clinique moisture surge cc cream spf 30. 17) cream blush, nars the multiple in portofino. 18) individual false eyelashes, ardell. 19) waterproof eyeliner, chanel stylo yeux waterproof. 20) bobby pins, goody.

1) hair bands: I get scolded regularly by my fashionista friends for perma-wearing a hair band around my wrist, but it is literally my worst nightmare to be caught without one just when I need one, and that goes doubly for when I travel. My travel hair style tends to be of the ‘pile it on top of my head variety’, especially in warmer climates, so hair bands at an arm’s reach (or wrist’s reach in my case) are mandatory.

2) bronzer/blush/highlighter: this might be on some people’s ‘maybe’ list for travel beauty, but I find a combo palette that includes bronzer, blush and a highlighter one of the easiest, low maintenance ways to add a little pretty to your travel beauty routine. During the day, a sweep of bronzer over the face (after a liberal application of sunscreen, of course) keeps you fresh; adding a little blush to the apples of the cheeks and a little highlighter to the tops of your cheek bones sets you up for an easy, breezy evening look. I love the Urban Decay palette pictured, but Nars and Neutrogena both have great options as well.

3) lip balm: whatever your preferred method of moisturizing your lips, please don’t forget it when you travel. And please don’t forget the importance of SPF if you’re headed to a sunny locale.

4) fragrance: this one might be a ‘nice to have’ but I always love a little spritz of something when I’m on vacation.

5) sunglasses: does this one really need explaining? Fashion accessory + protecting your eyes from the damaging effects of the sun = win.

6) argan and/or coconut oil: use it as a moisturizer, use it as a makeup remover, use it as a sunburn soother. It’s the multi-faceted-iest of the multi-faceted beauty products.

7) sea spray: when it comes to styling my curly mop while on vacay, this stuff is my jam. Spritz it all over and not only does it give me a perfect beachy wave, it helps to control frizz, which is a must in humid climates. Combine with a little hairspray for hold and you’re set to go.

8) eyeshadow: choose a neutral shade you love and you only need to bring one. When I’m on vacation, I’m not doing any fancy eye makeup, I’m probably not even applying it with a brush (fingers for the win). I wear one shade to give my eyes a little oomph and leave the rest at home.

9) hair brush: um, this one’s self explanatory. I hope.

10) waterproof mascara: I don’t wear anything else during the summer and the same goes for summer travel. It’s quick and easy to apply, it adds just the right amount of ‘look’, and the waterproof formula ensures I can take a dip in the ocean or pool and keep on truckin’ with my eye makeup intact.

11) hairspray: the best combatant of my mortal enemy, humidity. I spray it all over before I head out for the day, and by using a lighter hold formula, it keeps frizz at bay while not feeling super ‘crunchy’.

12) brow pencil: this is one of those prissy girly things I just can’t give up. No matter whether I’m going to work, to the club, or across the street to get coffee in my PJs, I still have to do my brows before I leave the house. The Anastasia Brow Wiz makes that a quick and easy task and keeps me looking groomed but natural all the day long.

13) eyeshadow primer: just because I’m only using one shade of eyeshadow while on vacation, doesn’t mean I want it melting off my face. Primer is the only way to ensure even the laziest of looks stay in it for the long haul.

14) lipstick: this is my second girly add to my travel bag. I don’t need to go into my serious, long term relationship with lipstick AGAIN. Suffice to say, no matter where I am in the world, there will be several lipstick options nearby at all times. For most people, a nice neutral or pretty pink shade will do the trick; for me, vacation is the perfect opportunity to rock a bold lip (and maybe for you too?).

15) clear nail polish: I usually try to work in a mani before I head out on vacation, but if I don’t have time, I’ll throw a bottle of clear polish in my bag to get me through. This way my nails are still shiny and pretty but I don’t have to worry about chips or smudges that you might get with brighter colors.

16) cc cream: for me this is the dream face product for vacation. It’s easy to apply, usually high in SPF, and it’s everything you need in one product so it cuts down the number of bottles you’re throwing in your cosmetic bag. I love the way Clinique’s CC cream mattifies my skin, gives me a hint of color, and doesn’t look too ‘made up’. The SPF 30 doesn’t hurt either.

17) cream blush: the easiest of the easy beauty products. Add a little pop of color to your cheeks and a touch of mascara and you’re ready to face the day. Add another layer and set with powder or a powder blush and you’re ready for a night out on the town.

18) individual false eyelashes: these are just FUN. If you have a special occasion dinner or activity during your trip, false lashes add a bit more definition to your look while still looking completely natural (vs a full strip of lashes which can sometimes look too overdone). If you’re not going to try new things while on vacation, when are you going to?

19) waterproof eyeliner: this probably also falls on the ‘nice to have’ list, but I think it’s a great option for a day-to-night transition. Add a little definition to the base of your eyelashes or go a little smokier and blend with your finger; either way the waterproof formula will ensure that your look stays in place (and it comes off easily with a little argan oil!).

20) bobby pins: for when you want to attempt a slightly fancier hairstyle than messy ponytail and/or topknot.




makeup monday: stay fresh from head to toe.


Ugh, humidity. My sworn enemy. It is the ruiner of things, period, the end — most noticeably any hairstyle and/or makeup look I try to pull off between the months of June and September. There is nothing that makes me feel more uncomfortable, and it leaves me looking like a flat, melted, sweaty mess. Which is why I’ve made it my life’s mission (one of many) to find products that will ward off the effects of humidity and keep me looking so fresh and so clean, clean. I have yet to find a product that keeps me from sweating uncontrollably on city subway platforms in the dead of July, but here’s hoping. Until then, these are my favorites for keeping me lookin’ fresh from head to toe.

Head: Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray

6oribe-impermeable-anti-humidity-purse-spray-lgnAs a naturally curly-haired girl, the absolute most difficult thing to wrangle in the summertime is the mop atop my head. I love my hair, I really do, it’s soft and pretty and does what it’s told when it comes to styling, but when humidity shows up to the party, it turns into that girl who’s had too many jello shots and is now passed out on the couch while the party rages on — in simpler terms, a total train wreck.

The Oribe Anti-Humidity Spray is the best product I’ve found to stay the effects of humidity on my tresses. It keeps my ‘do in place, acting as both a hairspray and a smoothing agent. It’s not cheap, it goes for around $40 a bottle, but a little goes a long way, and for me, the price tag is worth it. Frizz be gone!

Face: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

hourglassIf there’s one step I absolutely do not skip in summer makeup application, it is the application of primer. This nifty little product is the best way to keep everything on your face in its proper place — it grabs on to your foundation or tinted moisturizer and keeps it from creasing or melting or wearing off, so you’ll look as fresh at 6pm as you do at 8am, all the while evening your skin tone and adding an extra layer of SPF.

My favorite primer of late is the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. It glides on beautifully and creates the perfect palette for your foundation. It almost has a powder-like finish, and I can’t even believe how fresh my foundation looks throughout the day. Minimal touch ups required — this, my friends, is a miracle product.

Need even more staying power? If you’re prepping for a formal event or a night out on the town, add a spritz of makeup setting spray once your makeup is fully applied to really lock in your look.

Body: Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

LUSH-silky-underwear-lgI have a confession. I am a sweater. No, not a knitted garment often worn in cooler weather. I am a sweater, in that I sweat. A lot. It’s one of those things I hate most about my body, but it’s always been that way. I don’t understand those girls who can flit about in the summertime and look perfectly dewy and effortlessly cool; I’m the girl just next to them who has sweat stains on my t-shirt and a glistening upper lip. It’s gross, but it’s my truth. I’m glad I can talk about it here, dear readers. I’m hoping one or two of you out there feel me on this.

So, in an effort to counteract my overactive glands, I scoot, nay RUN, over to Lush the minute there’s a hint of humidity in the air, and I buy them out of their stock of Silky Underwear Dusting Powder. Truth be told, I kind of hate the name, but I looooove the effects of this miracle powder. I use this liberally in the summertime; a dash here and sprinkle there, both in the nooks and crannies that are sweat magnets (back of the knee sweat, anyone?) and on the rest of my body as a light moisturizer (one of its main ingredients is cocoa butter). It leaves your skin with a lovely jasmine scent, and it does a nice job of keeping you fresh and dry throughout the day. I keep a travel size in my bag so I can touch up during the day (or after a particularly sweaty subway ride).

The moral of the story: Nothing can completely mitigate the effects of a humid day, but hopefully with these products in your arsenal, you’ll look fresh and pretty even when you feel anything but.



low/mid/high: dry shampoo.

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Happy Friday, readers! Who’s excited for this week to be over? Me. I am. It’s been a doozy. Spring is making an angsty teenage entrance to New York City, happy and bright one minute, bitter and dark another. Also, my entire office has contracted the plague, so the week has been an exercise in avoiding wayward germs. I was only half successful. Coughs and fevers and stomach bugs, oh my.

Ah well, the weekend is upon us. And with the weekend comes a new feature on the blog: the low/mid/high series. A fun adventure in which I find my favorite versions of products at low, mid, and high price points. I am always on the hunt for the best price-value relationship for my purchases, knowing that sometimes the cheap thing works and sometimes you gotta throw down some cash for the quality goods. I’m here to guide you on what’s best, then you can decide what you want to spend. Easy peasy.

Today’s feature is all about dry shampoo. Despite my self-proclaimed obsession with beauty products, sometimes I’m lazy. Dry shampoo allows me to be lazy and also still look polished. It’s also great for extending a blowout to day two (or three) or adding a little volume to a hairstyle that might have fallen flat.  Whatever your needs, dry shampoo is a great tool to have in your hair arsenal.

Here are my faves at every price point:

lmh - dry shampoo

Low: Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo, $5.99.

This was a lucky drugstore find that turned into a major win. It’s great at reducing excess oil in your hair and has a pleasant scent to it, which is somewhat rare for dry shampoos. I find your hair stays fresh all day, although it doesn’t add as much volume as the more expensive versions. The bottle goes by pretty quickly for the size, but for the price, it’s a solid choice.

Mid: Ojon Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray, $13 for travel size, $24 for full size.

First of all, let me just say that for such a great product, I cannot stand the name. It’s like 27 words long and uses the phrase ‘rub-out’. I can’t even. Other than that, it’s fantastic. It keeps your hair looking clean and polished all day long and adds great volume from just a few quick sprays. The smell can be a little strong at first, but that fades quickly. I also like that it comes in two size options; I keep the travel size in my desk at work for touch ups and have the full size version at home.

High: Sachajuan Volume Powder, $32.

This is the Cadillac of dry shampoos, both in terms of features and price. It’s fancy. It’s Swedish. And it is THE BEST dry shampoo I’ve ever used. It usually lasts more than one day, it adds amazing volume and it is the closest thing I’ve found to actually washing your hair. It’s not my every day go-to, mostly due to the price tag, but if I need something with staying power, this is what I reach for. I also sometimes use this as prep for a formal event or a night out. If you want your ‘do to stay fresh all night long (especially if there’s dancing involved), this is a lifesaver.

So there you have it. Go forth and purchase. I hope you enjoyed my first low/mid/high series. What other products should I test drive? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!





makeup monday: my go-to hair tools.

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OK. So technically, this post is not about makeup. Sorry. Hair falls into the larger category of ‘Beauty’, but ‘Beauty Monday’ just doesn’t sound as good, so here we are. Really glad we covered that.

The topic of hair, however, is one that I am just as willing to spend hours discussing, so I thought sharing the secrets to my good hair day would be helpful to you, dear readers. I don’t use these products and tools everyday (I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those girls who looks like she just left the salon every time you see her), but when I want a great bouncy/wavy blowout look, these are my tried and true.

A good blow dryer: I’m a big fan of my T3 (and not just because it was the key purchase that launched me into the upper echelons of Sephora’s loyalty program), but there are plenty of other ‘professional grade’ brands out there that will do the trick. The price tag might seem high, but if there’s one place to spend money on your hair, it’s here. I find that this dryer takes less time to dry my hair and I get smoother results. If you’re someone who blow dries their hair every day, this is even more important, as it will do less long term damage to your hair. The T3 also comes in travel size, which if you’re willing to live without a few extra features, achieves the same results for less money.

A boar bristle brush: As someone with naturally curly hair, I try not to brush my hair too often, as I find that it creates frizz. When I do brush my hair, however, I reach for the boar bristle brush. Because the boar bristles help to distribute the natural oils in your hair from your scalp through your hair cuticle, it polishes and smoothes the hair to encourage a glossy shine. I also find that it’s a great tool to use to help straighten those little wispy curls around my face. The bristles really grab onto the hair so I can easily get to them with my blow dryer.

A ceramic curling iron: For me, this is what takes my hair from blah to huzzah. After I blow dry, I curl my hair away from my face in 1 inch sections over my entire head. I let my hair cool, spritz with hairspray, then run my brush through it and it’s good to go. This step helps my ‘do stay all day, and I can usually stretch it to day two (or three) with some dry shampoo and a little re-curl of sections that may have fallen flat.

Good quality hair products: When I want a big and bouncy look that will last all day, I rely on three products — volumizing spray, smoothing oil, and hairspray. The volumizing spray, applied to the root of the hair when it’s wet, helps to get good height and bounce as you dry (not, like, Texas beauty queen height, but close enough). The smoothing oil, applied when hair is dry, smoothes (obvi) the hair and helps control flyaways and frizz. This is especially helpful on humid days, aka the entire New York summer. And hairspray, applied at the very end to set the hair, helps keep your style in place all day.

If you’re looking for some tips on how to perfect an at-home blow out, check out this video. With these tips and the tools & products above, you’ll have salon quality hair in no time!