Thursday, October 23, 2014

Night Moisturizer that Won't Bankrupt Savings

You want to treat your skin to a good moisturizing product, but the magazines are recommending a $74 cream that doesn't fit your rigid budget. The drug store has several brands, but you're not sure which to try and whether you'll like it.  Probably one of the best products on the market is Pond's Rejuveness.

 Moisturizers are critical for dry skin, but don't think they aren't a necessary part of every beauty regimen.  To preserve this important external organ, you need to keep it clean and slightly moist.  Moisture is the best way to defend against premature wrinkles and plump up the ones you may already have.

                                         POND'S Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream- 7 Ounces
I had been using Pond's successfully for several years and was happy with the texture, scent, and overall protection it gives.  When I saw their night-time anti-wrinkle cream, I decided to give it a whirl.

Rejuveness is rich and creamy, and it feels great on my skin.  In fact, I like it so much I often use it as a mask after exfoliating, which feels fantastic if you have time for a warm, relaxing bath.  Target often offers a sample size for under $2 so you can try it out before investing $10 in the larger size.  Save yourself that $64 the magazine are paid to push.  Try it out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mascara Under-eye Mess

Nothing makes a woman look as haggard as dark circles under the eye.  The problem is, even when you use a good concealer and do your makeup well, half way through the day, you may still wind up with under-eye darkness from smudged or flaking mascara.

Mascara Smudge Under the Eye

I tried a range of fixes, like using waterproof mascara.  I even tried more expensive brands that claimed they were smudge free.  Nothing worked.  I still had to carry q-tips to fix the issue.

For awhile I just stopped using mascara, thinking maybe my liquid eyeliner was the problem.  But when I got through the day scott free from smudge, I knew mascara was the issue.

I finally came across some good advice in a fashion magazine.  It claimed that the under-eye flaking occurred when mascara was applied while lashes were wet.  Sure enough, my lashes are always a little moist after applying liquid liner.  I began putting on my mascara as the last step in my makeup routine.  Voila!  No more under eye smudge!  What a simple fix for such an irritating dilemma!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Love Your Professional Hairspray but Hate the Professional Prices?

Ion Effective Care Restorative Finishing Spray       

It's easy to shell out a good portion of your paycheck on beauty supplies, but there's always the doubt that you really are getting the best bang for your buck.  As a stylist, I have tried a wide range of products.  Some are disappointing, and some will break the bank.  When you find that price-conscious spray you love, it's like discovering gold!

Stylists have a few different types of hairspray.  First, we have working spray, meaning hairspray that has good distribution and dries quickly.  It's a light spray with a little hold to help while shaping a style.  Then, when the style is achieved, we grab our go-to finishing hairspray to really seal in the style.  The finishing spray depends on the amount of hold and stiffness the client wants or can tolerate.  It's rare to find one spray that can do both.

The closest hairspray I've found, which can be workable and help hold the style at the end is not one you might suspect.  I've doled out dollar for Sebastian, paid for Paul Mitchell, and paid through the nose for Nioxin.

I've also gone cheap and have been disappointed by Vidal Sassoon, Salon Selectives, and Suave, which is surprisingly not as bad as the other drug store finds.

But for the money, the best spray is probably the inexpensive Ion spray I buy at Sally Beauty Supply.  And if you wait for a sale, you can buy one and get the next half off!

Ion Color Defense Extra Control Shaping Spray
So save your simoleons.  Seriously.  Sally's Ion spray is probably one of the best all-over hairsprays on the market.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How to Curl Difficult Hair and Make it Last!

Many people have commented on my daughter's Halloween picture.  She wanted a curly style to embody the goddess Athena to bring softness and beauty to the powerful goddess of war strategy and intelligence.

My daughter has the trifecta of difficult hair:  stick straight, long, and heavy.  Simply curling her hair is not effective.  The curl just drops out as if I'd never even tried!  Even professional irons won't help much.

So how do you get hair like this to maintain curl?

First, we put her hair in hot rollers and let them sit in for a good 20-30 minutes.  I had already put a light styling product in to help it set.

Next, once the rollers were cooled, I took them out and set her hair in barrel curls.  I made sure to pile them on top of her head with bobby pins to make it as comfortable as possible to sleep.  Then I wrapped her head to keep the curls safe.

The next morning, we took out the curls.  And here's the important part:  do not brush the curls!  I simply ran my fingers through them to separate.

The last step was taking a 3/4 inch curling iron and curling any strands that needed it.  I also made sure to take tiny strands around her face and the top *layer* of hair (her hair is not actually layered) to add more curl and make it appear as though she had long layers.   I then poked the gilded leaves with hair pins and smoothed back the bang area with heavy duty pins.  Once it was secured, I stuck the leaves in.

To plaster those curls in place, I finished with a strong, fast-drying spray to hold those curls in place.

When dealing with difficult hair that is shorter and/or layered, I often skip one of the curling phases.  For example, today's homecoming client wanted curls, but knew big curls would drop out of her hair too quickly.  So in her case, I curled small sections and immediately pinned them to her head.  When done, I sprayed her head all over with a light, but potent working hairspray.  I let them sit to cool 10 minutes, then took them out.  I styled the hair, but as I went, I hit certain areas again with my 3/4 inch curling iron.  Here she gets the big curl look, but one that should be sustainable with the extra structural work.

Nothing's more fun than updos!  It's like jewelry for the hair!  Just make sure you charge well for your hard work!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scalp problems: Folliculitis

The longer you live, the more you see.  Recently I've noticed a problem that seemed at first to be a mild irritant, like flea bites or a basic skin rash caused by an allergen. But when even Benedryl provided no relief, I knew something was fishy.  Plus, all the itchy red bumps focused at the nape and occipital region.  Even changing shampoos and discontinuing all hair products provided no help!

It turns out some people are prone to an inflammation in the hair follicle known as folliculitis.  It's a bumpy red rash caused by exposure to fungus or bacteria, from exposure to these elements.  It's embarrassing as well as irritating, but it's important to treat it.

If a rash continues for too long, it's important to seek medical attention.  Usually a doctor will just provide an antibiotic or an anti-fungal treatment.  Otherwise, you may suffer permanent hair loss on top of discomfort!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Surprisingly Effective Styling Tool: the hot air brush

I've seen the older generation with their pink sleep-in curlers and blue-rod perms.  The hot air styling wand is one of those products I just assumed belonged to that category of woman.

And then, sharing a hotel room with my co-writer, I noticed something astounding!  This beautiful trend-setting blonde uses a hot air brush!  Was it her mother's?  Curious, I asked to try it out.  Even though I was on 2nd day hair (shampooed the day before with no intention of a shampoo that morning before an early conference), I tried it out to smooth out some indentations in my straightened hair.

The first thing that surprised me was that it gave me more volume at the roots!  It also gave a soft bevel to the ends.  For a person with fine hair, it is superior to a curling iron when smoothing and styling hair because it doesn't smash hair down but provides a refining lift.  I vowed to get one myself.

Even though I've been wearing my hair in its natural state of wavy chaos, I bought the Revlon Shine Enhancing Hot Air Kit, for special occasions.  However, after using it to sculpt my bangs, I started using it after every shampoo.  In fact, it works so well, I can go the second day without doing anything to my bangs. It's speedy and doesn't leave me with a wad of frizz like blow drying sometimes does. Score!

Example of a style attainable with this tool:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Quick Fixes: Ardell's Touch of Color

My neighbor was preparing for an interview and asked for help getting ready.  In her industry, appearance is exceedingly important!  Although her root area wasn't too bad, she had sprinklings of gray and she wanted to make sure it didn't show, but wasn't ready to go through a full-blown color treatment.

We hit Sally Beauty Supply and picked up a new product from Ardell:  Touch of Color.
The fine-toothed comb applicator makes it easy to apply!

I was a little skeptical, but we bought the dark brown, went home, and applied it to the streaks of gray around her face.

Notice the streaks of gray at the root area in her temple and side-burn areas.

It only took a few minutes to dry, so I took advantage of the time to do her makeup (she wanted a very natural look).  Ardell covered her grays easily and beautifully!  After hitting her hair with my In-styler, the color still did not come off.  For those with dark hair who need to quickly cover up some patches of gray, this worked great!  In fact, Lyn is planning to carry this in her purse for times she just needs a quick fix!

Lyn is looking youthful and natural, ready for her interview!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bangs! The long and the short of it.

When people think of bangs, many have a limited vision of a straight-across Cleopatra-like fringe.  The truth is, bangs are extremely versatile and come in a variety of lengths and styles.  This time I'll look at long swept bangs, both parted on the side and in the middle.  I've been styling hair for over half my life, but I do realize that my views are obviously subjective.

If you're considering snipping in some bangs, but are afraid of a cowlick or the commitment, think about longer bangs.  Side-swept bangs look great on every face shape!  Although slightly on the thick side, these work gracefully with her color.

Be careful that your bangs aren't cut too short for side sweeping.  You want them to come down to about the tear-duct area.  Otherwise you get this look (nothing against Taylor Swift, of course):

 I love this sultry look with long bangs swept into this style.  It's somewhat layered (bangs and the rest) with curling iron curls.  Gorgeous!  Nice natural-looking highlighting, too!

The layering in this heavy bang lightens up the weight-line around her face, as does the sweep.  Soft and pretty!  These bangs could easily be achieved with notch cutting or by cutting them with a razor.

Middle parts can be tricky, especially if the direction of hair growth varies on either side.  They can also be unflattering for some round or square-shaped faces if too heavy.

Anne Hathaway's middle parted bangs look great and work well with the rest of the cut.  They are light enough that they separate nicely to give a soft look to the face, which works with many face shapes, even round!

Alba's middle part looks perfect:  bangs are long but light.  The highlighting breaks up the blockiness that might otherwise look too heavy on her face.  Then again, I don't think I've ever seen Jessica Alba look less than stunning!

This is what not to do.  Her bangs are not long enough to be separated like this.  With one over-all color, they look chunky, like something an adolescent would wear.  A good middle-parted fringe would be touching the area just below the arches of her eyebrows.

Her heart-shaped face is pretty, but the bangs are not flattering.  They are a bit too short and heavy to pull off this look.  The ends of her hair are medium brown, yet the root area is dark.  Adding some chunking or highlighting of this color to the bang area would help give this style more flow and wouldn't take away from her naturally pretty features.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Medium Length Haircuts

Experimenting with a new cut in winter can be a little tricky.  The problem with long hair is that it takes so long to dry, but leaving the house with wet hair leaves your teeth chattering.  Going too short during this time exposes your neck to the cold, too.  If you want a medium length style, there are plenty of cute and sexy styles to keep the doldrums at bay.

This haircut features angling in the front to add interest.  The highlights really set it off and make the cut's limited amount of layering stand out.  If you are looking for low maintenance, a cut with very little layering is the best bet.

This cut has very little layering, but the bangs and the teased crown make it alluring.  The smaller pieces around the face soften facial features and give it a sexy look.


Here a lightly layered haircut with a crooked part makes her wavy hair messy and exciting.  The bed hair look is accentuated with a little light curling iron, particularly around the face, to keep it under control.  This is a good bet for an easy medium cut for wavy hair.

This is a long bob with slight A-line.  It's a very easy style to work with and many women find wash-and-wear to be feasible with this kind of cut. 

For those with a little experience, layers are fun and seductive.  The model on the left has long bangs and just enough layering to keep her hair looking full and lush.  The ends are blown out with a round brush to give it playfulness with a carefree attitude.
The model on the right has very long, layered bangs that then blend into the layers in the rest of the cut.  A large curling iron creates flippiness and fullness in her fine hair. 

 This layered cut has a heavy, long, layered bang and takes advantage of heavy layering at and then below the bangs.  For that wispy effect, the cut has been cut with a razor instead of scissors.  It gives the cut a messy, yet styled look.  

What an exceptional style!  It features heavy layering from lips to ends with a long, but not heavy, bang.  For heavy hair, be sure to get some texturizing to keep it light enough to achieve some volume.  Stylists beware:  cut the length longer than you think you need!  The way her hair plays around her shoulders makes it look shorter than it really is.  You can always cut more later.  

A little light wax or even hairspray on your fingers can help you get those gorgeous, texturized ends.