“For wizards”

I’m coming to appreciate Davines hair products more and more lately. But we can all agree they’re tripping balls, right?
20131112-145915.jpg

Also that’s totally not Italian for “oil;” just saying. :)

Of COURSE when my hair is filthy…

Me with really nice, really gross filthy hair.

… it looks fantastic.

Me with really nice, really gross filthy hair.

Seriously, I’m not trying to be vain or all poor-me humblebragging, but this happens to me ALL THE TIME. My hair looks SO BAD on the days when I wash it, and it often looks so fantastic when it’s been damn near a week and it’s not really acceptable hygiene-wise and I touch it and feel like I need to wash my hands and I can’t possibly leave the house like that. Sigh! I don’t know if it looks “fantastic” to you too, or if we really adequately captured it in this quick iPhone shot that I made my husband take. But it was like not too big on top, smooth flat bangs that weren’t tweaking out or flipping or curling in weird ways, no short scalp frizzybits, and long loose messy-yet-even curls throughout the rest. It blended my often-frizzy layers in perfectly, camouflaged split ends, and even had some shine going. DANGIT.

It just feels like such a shame to ruin a good thing, you know? (Don’t worry, I sucked it up and hopped in the shower. And now I look like crap.) In the past I’ve to reproduce a good dirty hair day, and it’s never been consistent. But I’m pretty sure this was a few days after I’d done a conditioner-only cleanse plus Moroccanoil, though, so it actually was a slightly different cocktail that might be possible to simulate. You can bet your tresses I’m gonna try to reproduce it again!

If I had to guess, I’d suspect the conditioner-only cleanse helped the top part chill out and added some weight, while the Moroccanoil shined/smoothed the longer layery bits. We shall see!

 

Cramming in my good hair days

Weird shadow, but I still think I look nice here. :)
Look, we tried. Hard.
I don’t know why my hands look giant. I have normal hands.

I’m in Hair Crisis Mode! OK, not crisis, but possibly Professionalism Transition Urgency Status.

I’ve been growing my hair out basically ever since Halloween of 2008. Weirdly specific timing, but here’s why I know: Grant and I were planning on being Margot and Richie Tenenbaum for Halloween, and we really went overboard on selecting the perfect costume elements, but when I went to my hairdresser and told her to cut my hair just like a picture of Gwyneth as Margot so it was the right length when straightened, well, she kinda badgered me into getting a short stacked bob instead which kinda ruined the costume (as did the fact that we are each approximately double the body weight of the characters we were dressed as, but shut up, we know that).

I believe I was singing along with "Living on a Prayer" at the Rickshaw, the night before Grant's proposal. How's THAT for a freakish memory?Anyway, even though the stacked bob was NOT what I asked for or expected, I think I rocked it for a while. But then very shortly thereafter, Grant proposed to me (awww!), so THAT’s why I knew the time frame, and of course for the next year and a half I was diligently growing it out so that I could have Wedding Hair. You know, slightly curled, long, romantic, blah blah blah that is what wedding hair is, at least lately. (It sort of seems like these things are cyclical, which is a little ridiculous. I mean, of COURSE it would have looked awesome if I’d been married with shorter hair. But you just get up in your head about this stuff when the Bridezilla Bug bites you.)

Weird shadow, but I still think I look nice here. :)Well, that wedding was in 2010, and I think I pulled Wedding Hair off quite well, thanks to Carina the Traveling Stylist. But I’ve been growing it out ever since then, mostly for lack of a better idea. It’s getting kind of crazy and scraggly-feeling and unmanageable. It never looks like that wedding pic; it mostly looks wild and unruly and kind of like I should be in some sort of late 60s-early 70s cover band. But I really love the look and feel of it on “good” days, and I’ve always wanted to try having it as long as I can get it until I simply must hack it off. I figure now’s my window, before we yet have hair-yanking children. So I keep leaving it long, and therefore sometimes scraggly.

Yet I’m doing more and more video work for my business, and while I can handle a podcast recording Skype session looking slightly less than perfect, I really hate doing a proper interview like this one or a polished advice video without looking like I’m bringing my A game. A combination of sanity, time, tendinitis, and just way too much hair means that I almost never bother taking the time to blow-dry and or straighten it these days, because I just can’t pull that off on a regular basis. It’s too much!

So I’ve decided that I’m going to shell out for a Swink blow-dry, and then pack as many different videos (including outfit, eyewear, jewelry, and bangs-management changes) into the same day, so it looks like it was spread out, haha. I’m also borrowing some professional floodlights from an artist friend, so I’ll be well lit in addition to being well coiffed, dressed, and generally groomed. (And lashed. I’m getting falsies put on too, since they help make your eyes pop on video. Although let’s hope they don’t come off halfway through! One time that happened to poor Rachel Maddow during her show and we could NOT LOOK AWAY.)

What do you think? Will it be super obvious that all of my videos were actually shot on the same day? With wildly vavoomier hair and lashes than usual? I mean, I don’t really care that much, to be honest… most of my clientele would totally “get” that I had to pack all my glam into Media Day, and be kinda charmed by it, I like to think. After all, I’m all about helping REAL people, the kind who don’t necessarily look like they’ve always just stepped out of a shampoo commercial when there isn’t a special occasion. I think it’s fair game to channel a bit more polish than usual when it’s for one of my red carpet moments! (Oh speaking of polish, I should probably slap some of that on too. You never know what might get me gesturing at the camera.)


Side note: I remembered hearing Melissa Rivers talk about her book Red Carpet Moments AGES ago on a podcast. Well, I looked up this little video-interview about it, and I was horrified. Both by Melissa’s looks (just because she seems like she’s had a lot of work done, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given her mother, but I sort of thought the apple had fallen farther from the Restylene tree) and because the audio quality is AWFUL, especially when the interviewer is asking questions. 5by5 has really spoiled me on audio! And my Retina MacBook Pro has spoiled me on image quality. That book cover image (generated from Amazon) is atrocious. I blame them/the publisher, though. I hope you can get past it. <3

Anyway, I’ll post a video here too so you can see how I did!

Mountain Rose Herbs giveaway

Mountain Rose Herbs, my favorite hippie skincare and herb supplier is doing a very cool giveaway for the best herbal recipes of 2011. Check ’em out — not only do they have great ideas there and a killer prize, but these guys sell extremely high-quality, well-priced DIY skincare items. I use them to purchase all my butters and almost all of my oils, and they have some terrific tea blends too. Plus hardish to find items like Fuller’s Earth clay. Kicking myself for forgetting about an argan oil refill on my last order — ah well, at least I have an excuse to load up on some more fun stuff soon!

Ingredient awareness on the rise?

So I just saw a swanky J. Lo commercial for L’Oréal EverSleek products last night, and believe it or not, neither the celebrity nor the awkwardly harsh reading of the line “And nothing weighs me down…EVER” nor the creepy bronze latex dress is what most caught my attention. Nope, it’s the fact that a mainstream TV commercial for a mainstream drugstore brand actually made reference to the kind of uptight ingredient awareness that I thought only freaks like me cared about. Innnteresting. Watch it here:

I was just surprised. A few years ago, worrying about harsh sulfates and heavy silicones was kind of EDS and MUA territory, ya know? I mean, heck, my spellchecker doesn’t recognize “silicones” (but DOES recognize “spellchecker” unhyphenated. But not “unhyphenated.” I may be straying from the point here.) So it’s interesting to see this creeping into mainstream beauty awareness — here’s hoping that means that my own pet cause, sunscreen ingredients, can start to get some more traction too. Fingers crossed! And yes, I might break down and try a bottle of EverSleek at some point, though I’m betting my increasingly long mane would miss those silicones weighing it down. We shall see!

Holiday beauty bounty

As I mentioned elsewhere, I’m a spoiled girl. My husband‘s entire family is tuned into my taste, and I took home a fascinating haul of fun products this year. In addition to receiving to bra clips and bejeweled makeup brushes, I got a gadget from my MIL that I’d never even HEARD of before — the InStyler! You sort of have to watch the videos to get how it works or even what it is.

But it’s awesome! Since I got a new haircut right before my trip, with much shorter layers that can occasionally be hard to tame, I’m looking forward to putting this sucker to good use. (However, apparently it can short out easily if you wrap the cord around it or just bonk it around too much, so you must treat it gently.)

My other neat beauty treat from an aunt and uncle was Sephora’s latest Lash Stash. This sucker had loads of formulations I’ve wanted to try out, including Hourglass Film Noir and Blinc Kiss Me. Another cool difference from prior Lash Stashes is that this kit contains both a coupon for a free full-size tube of your fave version, and a surprisingly great tarte eyelash curler.

Oooh, and not to forget, I also got a heat-protective glove so I stop burning myself while styling my hair. All in all, I feel quite lucky that I have some fun gifts to try out which will actually be good blog fodder too, heh heh. Look out for more in-depth reviews on all of these items soon!

How can we look “polished” on the go?

A friend’s recent Facebook comment cracked me up — she said on the first day of her attempt to dress a bit sleeker looking, she forgot to wear deodorant; this was proof to her that it was impossible for her to be “polished” no matter what she tried. I used to be much the same — i.e. a frizzy mass of imperfect skin, hair, makeup, and fashion. But I’ve found a lot of little “polished” tricks over the years.

The strongest example is with deodorant! During my Frazzled Summer Heat Wedding Gear-up Insanity I forgot deodorant approximately once per week, and keeping a stick in my car always made it melt, so I got a packet of DermaDoctor MedETate wipes. Even after that hectic season, I now always carry one with me and keep a couple in my desk at work.

And, now that I walk to work most days, and my hair sometimes loses its oomph or straight look while I work, I now have a crappy half-inch straightener (a relic from when I had bangs) in the bottom drawer of my desk. I’m also never found without my purse hook, which keeps my bag from drooping on the floor getting dirty or just looking sloppy.

In addition, I now carry a small cosmetics bag with every essential imaginable, so I can touch up anything that needs touching up on the go. (I don’t always use it, but the fact is that I COULD if I wanted to.) But I have this grandiose idea of the perfect interchangeable on-the-go kit, with little spots for mascara, tweezers, brow wax, you name it!

I’m a sucker for all kinds of products designed for gals on the go, like Trish McEvoy’s refillable pages, Too Faced’s Glamour 2 Go, and the above-pictured Dior Deluxe Travel Palette. I carry a little makeup-and-more bag that I keep stocked with pre-moistened glasses cleaning wipes, Similasan individually-packaged eye dropsHello Kitty Band-Aids, miniature Anastasia tweezers, a tiny Burt’s Bees comb, a combo nail file and emory board, my awesome O Hui compact, at least a couple retractable makeup brushes (including my über-fave Baby Buki),  a tiny sample mascara tube, hair ties, a sample perfume tube, tampons… all in my petite Coach makeup case which fits in my purse. Oh, and in the winter I’ll hit up a Whole Foods for a free sample of Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, and carry that teensy tube around all season.

I’m curious to know if any other ladies out there have tricks to look more polished/together themselves — I doubt this post will get enough hits to really say, but I’d love to hear from you if you have any input! What’s your tip for staying smooth-looking even when life on the go leaves you frazzled?

Sephora Favorites are kind of my new favorite

When I was living in Barcelona, I my friend who worked at the department store how to say "eyeliner" in Spanish. The answer? "Eyeliner" in Spanish pronunciation, i.e. "eh-yeh-lee-nurr". Lovely!Ohmigosh, Sephora is doing WAY more Sephora Favorites boxed sets this year! (Even if you ignore all the Halloween ones.) Or maybe they’re just doing more all at once? Either way, I’m obsessed.

I only *kind of* want this basics one, but I TOTALLY want this hair one, this new Lash Stash one, this eyeliner one, and maybe a couple others. And if these puppies go on sale after Christmas, well, maybe I’ll strike then! I just wish there was a way to link Sephora gift registries with Amazon gift registries. Ooh, like a lot. Like, I’m gonna go Tweet Sephora that idea right now!

Finally, an Aveda home run!

So Aveda finally came up with a new hair spray that really impressed me. This stuff is lightweight, firm, fast-drying, non-sticky, and more brushable than most hair sprays (with fewer fake-dandruff flakies). AND the smell ain’t too bad, and the spray seems to mist finer than some other nozzles. Hooray!

I also gave Phomollient a try before my wedding, and found it to be not horrible. (It didn’t seem as effective as the other, “industrial” mousse Carina had me use for my wedding ‘do, but it also left my hair less sticky when I touched it.)

Who knew Aveda would come to the rescue for my tresses? Certainly not me, with all my prior negative feedback to their new products.  For the first time in years, I bought a full-sized bottle of not one, but TWO hair products from them. Here’s hoping it earned me enough Pure Privilege points to finally not give a shit about whether they’ll expire someday.

The post-marital fuglies

Well, the big day has finally come and gone! The day was lovely, but now it’s time to get ugly. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t view marriage as an excuse to completely let myself go or anything. But this wedding has involved an INSANE amount of primping and stress and spending on our parts, and my new husband and I will both be pleased to relax a bit now that the show is over. (Though we DID both get spa treatments on our honeymoon!)

Non-beauty inevitabilities that I officially welcome back into my life:

Yellow teeth
— those Crest 3D WhiteStrips HURT! And my teeth look just fine all normal-colored, thank you very much.
Dry cuticles and unkempt nails — Sometimes you gotta be lazy!
Acne AND bacne — thanks for holding out for so long, epidermis! You can even throw some KP my way if you must.
Tan lines — gone are the days of swaddling myself in a goddamn cashmere wool wrap in 96 degree weather just to keep my back and shoulders line-free! OK, I still wear it sometimes as it’s great sunscreen and looks lovely — but I no longer feel OBLIGATED to wear it rain or shine.
Mosquito bites — I’m amazed you guys didn’t cover me in pink welts before the big day. Thanks, buddies! Have at it. I will tackle you with prescription-strength steroid cream and continue to catch you easily mid-flight.

Things I now bid adieu to for the foreseeable future:

Bustiers/corsets with boning — GOD PLEASE THE HORROR. I still have a scar from where it poked at me all night, from BEFORE the wedding! Boning is bullshit.
Spanx — I can finally both digest and breathe, to say nothing of going to the bathroom in a reasonable time frame.
Heels — OW.  At 5’11” I’m done with that discomfort for a WHILE. (Though I’ll probably dye and keep my 2.5″ Jimmy Choo and/or Angela Nuran wedding heels, and re-wear them eventually!) But as of right now, I can’t feel the outer edge of my damn big toes because of my wedding-day footwear worn for a mere 2 hours. *&^@$@#! heels!
Manis/pedis — I gotta start saving my money again, and plus, I kind of miss my OWN neglected polish shades! And no more dremel for a while. Nails on a chalkboard. And no more soaking my fingers in acetone for ages to get the tough gel polish off.
Makeup artists — I love being pampered and all, and Carina and Swink both did an amazing job — I just kind of miss looking like ME. I normally never do foundation or blush, my eye makeup never looks as perfect as theirs, and I’m just *used to* my own shades and formulations. Plus it took like a year to get my false lashes off, and a few real ones came with each cluster. QQ Owie!