My Hair Growth Plan: All the tears and products.

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I am that girl at the hair salon.

The one cringing in her seat while the stylist, who is most likely annoyed beyond words, trims off just the slightest measurement from my dead, fried strands. I can’t help it. My mother had long, lustrous locks of which she wore like a badge of honor through much of her late teens and early 20’s. It was a legacy I was more than happy to uphold, until, well, I didn’t. I think it was the 6th or 7th grade where I finally let the scissors cut into the thick, warm brown strands which had grown un-touched for close to 5 years.

The result was less-than desirable. What was once long, thick and wavy, was now short, puffy and shapeless. It was then that I also discovered my hair had (No, God!) TEXTURE! The battle had begun. Now please insert years of heat torture, dye, bleach, ombre and that one Summer I tried to look like a Kardashian and you have a head of hair with quite a lengthy history. I learned a lot about my hair over the years, most of all that I was happiest when it was long. So, on my last hair appointment, my stylist and I came up with a plan- you guessed it!- a hair growth plan.

Step 1: A dusting every 6-8 weeks.

hair-cutting

Getting a “dusting” is industry lingo for ‘literally’ cutting off just the ends. This may seem anti-productive, however it ensures that the length you do have will look neat and healthy. Having long, stringy hair is not a good look on anybody. Schedule them ahead of time to take the guess work out, best part is, these types of cuts are usually inexpensive, in some cases you can request a dry cut and save on the wash/ blow-dry fee.

 

Step 2: Wash 2-3 times a week

washing hair

Yes, I know, nothing in this world feels better than having freshly washed hair. The problem is, most of our natural oils are stripped away each and every time we lather up. To prevent damage, try washing your hair 2-3 times a week based on how oily you hair tends to get. You will probably be Pinning messy bun tutorials by day 3, but the end result is so worth it.

 

Step 3: Dry with a soft T-shirt

cotton t

Finally, a use for that balled up t-shirt in the back of your underwear drawer. Standard towels tend to be made up of fabric that can be harsh on your sensitive strands, leaving them frayed and delicate. A towel absorbs all the extra moisture without the damage.

 

 

Step 4: Satin pillow case

 

satin

Satin (or silk) pillow cases allow your hair to slip and slide all night rather than being tugged or damaged with friction.

Pick up a pair at Bed Bath and Beyond

 

Step 5: Weekly hair masks

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At least once a week you want to make sure you’re giving your hair a little extra boost of hydration with a hair mask, whether you followed a recipe or stopped by a drug store, there is an option for everyone. Some of my recommendations include Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask and Aussie Most 3 Minute Miracle conditioner, the second is light enough to use daily, both are under $10!

Step 6: Vitamins

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Taking a daily multivitamin is always suggested, however, adding other supplements such as Biotin to your regime can have a significant effect on your hair and nail health . Keep in mind, vitamins work best when your daily diet is healthy as well. So maybe switch that hamburger for a kale salad once and a while.

 

I’m only a few weeks in and already I’m seeing a noticeable difference in my hair’s texture and overall appearance. Like all good things, the length will come in time. Please share your hair story in the comments!

Happy Growing!

Xx

 

 

Fall beauty products I’m obsessed with.

According to this 80+ degree weather, we have not quite made it to Fall yet. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a full beauty regime in place and ready to go should mother nature decided to change her mind. These 7 products will have you looking and feeling your best by the time the leaves start changing.

Renpure Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner

Renpure Solutions Rosemary Mint

Renpure Solutions Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner can remedy even the most damaged Summer hair. The non-sulfate formula keeps your follicles moisturized and soft to the touch. Not to mention that killer price. You could probably go away for the weekend with the money you save on shampoo and conditioner.

Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner

Target 6.99

Benefit Instant Brow Pencil

Of all the brow pencils I’ve ever tried, this by far gives you the most natural results. The creamy formula effortlessly blends into your brows, and the built-in brush spreads the product for an even application. The most experienced eye brow filler will be impressed by this user friendly product.
Please be warned , you will never leave your house without it on.

Benefit Instant Brow Pencil at Sephora 20.00

MAC Studio Fix Power Plus Foundation

The Summer is for the dewy completion, but the rest of the year, go matte. This two-in-one miracle covers imperfections with no added shine.

Mac Cosmetics 27.00

Sephora Collection Classic Red

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Time to put the pinks and nudes away, the bold lip comes back with vengeance the first sign of cooler weather. This color of all vixens is a must for any woman wanting to make her presence know this season. Or just wear it to bed? Either way, this cream lipstick is beyond.

Sephora 12.50

Essie Skirting the Issue

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One of my all time favorite Essie colors. Skirting the Issue is the perfect everyday dark mauvey/red/brownish color available. If I could only choose one nail polish for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Essie 8.50

Lush Dark Angels

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Use this coal black sugar scrub as a daily face wash or weekly mask. Either way, the unique formula exfoliates all the gunk and grime off you face leaving it baby soft. Coal has actually been proved to force out bacteria which may lead to acne.

Lush 31.95

Tanwise

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I know you may be wondering what a tanning lotion is doing on a list of Fall beauty products, but before you huff and puff, please let me explain. My greatest loss every Fall is the natural Summer-time glow from those long days of Sunshine. Tanwise’s natural hue allows you to keep the charade going, if only for a little while longer. Put some on when you start to long for those marathon beach days.

Sally Beauty Supply 9.00

Happy (almost) Fall.

Xx

Feel the burn, my first experience in a tanning salon.

Tanning Bed
Let me take a moment to fully express my shame. As an advocate for being skin cancer free, I never thought I would spend time, and a considerable amount of money, in a tanning salon. As a fair-skinned lady I have grown to love, or more likely accept, that I would never have a natural Jlo glow. Nope. Not me. I was destined for the more blotchy sunburned/ mildly darker look.

Of course I dabbled into the fear-inducing world of self tanner (June through August all my bath towels take on a light brown hue) and for the longest time that was enough. Enough until a few weeks ago when the harsh reality of 4 days in the Tennessee sun sent me into a panic. After MONTHS of snow and indoor entertainment, I was the fairest I’ve ever been. My first venture outside was going to be the most exposure I had ever had to the solar goddess. What would become of me?? So after much deliberation I decided it would be the responsible thing to gradually develop a base tan, making my milky complexion just a little more prepared for what was to come.

So here’s what happened.

Part 1: The Stakeout

After the decision to get tan was made I needed to find a salon in my area, this proved to be easier than expected. I found out there was a popular little salon in a shopping center right around the corner from my house. On the way back from the dry cleaners I stopped in for a preliminary check. The salon was well decorated and the young girl behind the counter seemed nice and offered a variation of suggestions based on my needs. I filled out a questionnaire which quizzed me on my skin and past medical treatments. The first thing I noticed was the prices, the bed I was recommended was $19 per session, go ahead and do the math, take deeps breaths as to avoid fainting. For those of you not in close proximity to a calculator, shit is expensive. Who knew so many people where spending hundreds of dollars a month on a faux glow?

Part 2: Virgin Huecides

The first time I actually used the salon I opted for 8 mins in the bed which was originally suggested. I made sure to let the girl know it was my first time and some instruction would be necessary. She led me into a private room which contained a tanning bed and a small stool for my belongings. On the bed was a towel shaped as a monkey and tanning goggles. She said I could wear as much or as little as I was comfortable with in the bed. For me that meant underwear and no bra. The thought of being butt naked just didn’t seem sanitary. Once I was comfortable, I needed to pull the top down and press a green button. They register the time at the front desk, so the bed automatically turns off after the 8 minutes is up. The first few moments of tanning required some composure, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in an illuminated coffin. After the initial moment of discomfort I relaxed. The bed did heat up quite a bit but the built in fan certainly helped a lot. After about 5 mins I started to get antsy, I hate the thought of burning, and paranoia was settling in. Just when I was contemplating an early escape the lights went out, it was over. I was pleased to see a barely noticeable deepening of my skin tone, after bidding farewell to that helpful employee I was already planning my next visit. I was almost certain I was now addicted and would probably end up looking like the tan mom.

The actual images of her were too horrible, Kristen Wig was the better alternative.

The actual images of her were too horrible, Kristen Wig was the better alternative.

Part 3: Get Cocky

Three days later I stopped in again, as a seasoned pro, I decided to try my luck with 10 minutes. This time around I was much more relaxed, I knew what to expect, and since I was already satisfied with the outcome, my burn-paranoia was nowhere to be found. After the time was up I again noticed a slight deepening, but as I went about my day I started experiencing some sensitivity on my chest and legs. After a close inspection I discovered some burning in certain (errr) sensitive areas, nothing too bad, but enough to make me reevaluate my decision. After an emergency conference with one of my good friends, we decided I got a little too ambitious. If 8 mins worked for me, then that’s where I will stay. She also suggested the indoor tanning lotions, which most places sell for an insane price.

No one looks like this, your ass sweats.

No one looks like this, your ass sweats.

Part 4: The Tannest of them all

I am waiting for the burned areas to calm down before I venture back in. This time for 8 mins and covered in protective lotions. I still crave that summer tan for Bonnaroo and I already spent too much $$$ to give up on it now. That being said, I know this will not be something I will continue with, health risks aside, being a chronic tanner is not cheap. One month of unlimited visits could easily cost $150 and up, and for that price I will stick to covering myself in Tanwise every other week.

Sally Beauty $10

Tanwise

Happy summer sunning.

Xx

Is makeup the enemy?

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my makeup, I love to spend money I don’t have on it , and I love love making my eyelashes double the length they will ever grow naturally, but that’s not the point. The point is, makeup isn’t what you look like, it’s waxes and pigments that create a person you would rather be. So when someone refers to the real you as being “ugly as fuck”, which was experienced by the Manrepeller’s Leandra Mendine (As explained in this blog post, Why I don’t Wear Makeup), one must really consider the benefits and disadvantages of a made-up face.

Have we become so accustom to filled-in brows, bright pink cheeks, shimmering lids and dark full lashes that anything less seems ugly? Be honest, we have all seen those gossip-rag headlines about celebrities without makeup, you may have even picked up a copy waiting in line at Walgreens. Did you not think that Katie Holmes should’ve probably added an extra layer of concealer under her eyes? Or that SJP looks old and wrinkly? I have often wondered if these thoughts are our own, or just what we have been told to feel.

Katie Holmes

I for one would not like to be held to that standard of perfection. Some days I have bogs under my eyes or a chin pimple that can be seen from outer space, the last thing I would need is someone pointing it out in an email or blog post, that’s just rotten. If i’m going to be completely honest, the times I have felt the prettiest are after a day at the beach with no makeup applied. Just a gentle sun-kissed glow and dewiness from some leftover sun block. I can find beauty in my hazel eyes and light eyebrows. My skin may not always be perfect, but this is the face I was born with, the one I was given, and on some days it’s beautiful and on others it’s tired or stressed or sad. At the end of the day, when we wash it all off, that is our true face of beauty. So maybe it’s time we become a little more accustom to a bare face. I’m not saying to ditch it all completely-God knows I won’t! Instead take away the pressure of having a full face of make up every single day of your life. Throw on a tinted moisturizer and leave the house with confidence, because really, who cares what everyone else thinks anyway?

Here are some beautiful ladies who bared it all and lived to tell the tale:

Go be bare faced.

Xx

Top 10 must-have drug store beauty products.

Whether you consider yourself a drug store goddess or scoff at the idea of cheap mascara, it’s time to listen up. The beauty brands offered in our local haunts have improved tremendously, in fact, many of the products used in fashion shows come from the same place you buy tampons. Who knew? In no particular order here are some drug store beauty products you should be getting your fancy little hands on ASAP.

1: This iconic green and pink tube has been the go-to mascara for years. Believe the hype, Maybelline’s flag-ship product leaves most other brands in the dust.

$5 Walgreens

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2: Any hair stylist will tell you, L’Oréal Paris’s Elnett Hair Spray is worth it’s weight in gold. The super fine mist will hold even your most intricate styles in place, you can also brush it out in only a few strokes.

$15 Walgreens

Elnett LOreal Paris

3: I don’t know who Queen Helene is, but she sure loves to provide us with amazingly cheap and moisturizing beauty products. This Cocoa Butter hand and body lotion smells like a tropical vacation and costs less than a latte.

$3.49 Walgreens

Queen Helene Cocoa Butter

4: Don’t let the quirky name and retro design fool you. Pssssst! Dry Shampoo has been around for ages for a reason, it really really works. You need this in your life immediately.

$6.29 Walgreens

Pssssst!

5: Aveeno’s Soothing Bath Treatment is a life-saver, especially if you have ever been unfortunate enough to have the chicken poxs. The soothing formula calms skin and controls irritating itch. Aveeno’s trademark active ingredient is gentle enough for all skin types.

$8.29 Walgreens

Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment

6: Crest 3D Luxe Whitestrips are by far the best way to whiten teeth on a budget. The strips stay firmly on teeth and there is no unpleasant aftertaste. The price is well worth the bright smile you’re left with afterwards.

$50 Walgreens

Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips

7: We have probably all owned a tube of this stuff at one point or another. Carmex lip balm is second to none when it comes to relieving our chapped lips and ungodly cold sores. I shutter to think about a life without it.

$1.69 Walgreens

Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm

8: Nothing, and I mean nothing, will keep your pits as fresh as Mitchum will. The lightly scented gel formula lasts all day and night. This anti-perspirant in the real deal.

$3.99 Walgreens

Mitchum

9: Covergirl’s Cheekers blushes come in a variety of complimentary shades, not to mention the convenient compact with that iconic brush. My personal favorite hue will always be Classic Pink 101, it’s perfect for us fair skinned ladies.

$4.99 WalgreensCovergirl Cheekers Classic Pink 101

10: Revlon Creme Lipsticks leave lips super soft and in some of the best shades around. Go nude or shocking pink, with these prices you can treat yourself over and over again.

$7.29 Walgreens

Revlon Creme Lipstick

Happy Beauty Shopping.

Xx

Five things you’re NOT doing to keep your hair frizz-free.

Maintaing frizz-free hair is a daily struggle for those of us with less-than manageable follicles. Here are 5 things you could be doing to ensure those smooth and silky locks stay in place all day long.

1: Talk to your hair stylist.

Some of us are just really exceptional at camouflaging our natural texture. It’s important to explain to every stylist that you indeed do have curly hair, even if your stellar blow dry is telling them differently.

Long layers are your friend, its important to keep some weight in the hair. Volume is not usually an issue for us wavy ladies , leave short layers to the limpy haired gals (poor things).

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2: Ditch the shower for the sink.

I know what you’re going to say, but yes, I’m suggesting that you wash your hair in the sink and here’s why: The steam from your shower causes your hair to swell and expand. Washing your hair with cooler water in the sink is a hell of a lot more comfortable than a freezing shower. Cooler water seals your hair’s cuticle, leaving the shaft smooth and your hair feeling like silk.

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3: Dry your hair with a cotton t-shirt.

From Lauren Conrad’s mouth to your ears. A soft cotton tee is the best way to absorb excess moisture from freshly washed hair. A terrycloth towel can often cause damage when rubbed against your vulnerable strands. A well-used t-shirt does the job without fraying your fringe.I personally use a Bud light promotional tee from Summer 2011, you can feel free to get creative.

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4: Buy the right blow-dryer.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a professional bow-dryer but it is important to keep a few things in mind. Ceramic is always best and you want to keep the wattage at 1300 or above. How powerful you blowdryer is will directly effect the amount of time it takes to dry your hair. A concentrator attachment is a must, it focuses the hot air giving you the best control over your style.

I suggest Conair’s Infiniti Pro Hairdryer, it has everything I mentioned above at a great price.

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5: Add the right amount of product.

Many times we can overwhelm our hair with a variety of products that promise miracles. Sometimes the “less is more” mantra really is the best way to go. I start off each blow-dry with a small amount of Argan oil. This special oil is rich in omega fatty acids and rehydrates your hair in a natural way. Argan oil penetrates the follicle increasing your hair’s elasticity and preventing further damage. Add a pearl size amount when you’re done drying for some extra moisture. Finish with a fine midst hairspray to smooth over any fly aways.

Agadir Argan Oil Treatment 12.99 at Target

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L’Oreal Paris Elnett Extra StrongHold UV Hair Spray $11.99 at Target

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Happy frizz-free hair.

Xx

Toss those pants, skirt the issue.

Usually sometime around mid-Feburay I find myself in a complete and utter Winter funk. The days are endlessly cold and the Sun becomes sparse at best. I lose motivation for every and all activities that involve leaving the house, which usually leads to an extra 6-8lbs of unwanted belly fat – food is the only salvation!

This year was no different. None of my pants fit, the ends of my hair are impossibly dry and if I was any paler I’d be in a coffin. That is until this past weekend. For the first time since October I could see a break in the black hole that was this Winter. That big bright shiny orb finally let a little heat fall on the Jersey shore, and I begun the planning of something I had been wanting to do for years (Bonnaroo 2014, baby!). So in celebration of impending Spring, lets explore the most wonderful part of warm weather- the glorious clothes!

If you’re like me, and I’m assuming you are, pants are something I generally like to avoid. Here are some of my favorite pant-less looks and where you can get them.

Cheer up! Summer is around the corner.

Anthropologie has been the go-to place for hippie skirts for years, and while I know a long floral dress can seem daring, sometimes you just need to be a daring kinda gal. Pair this with a casual t-shirt for a Summer brunch, or a quality tank for an outdoor wedding. Come on! Haven’t you always wanted to own one of these. Admit it.

Anthropologie $168

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If the thought of that much floral makes you gag, then here is your alternative. There is never a wrong time of year for black. This tulip design allows for a flash of leg making this skirt a great “going out” staple. Now lets all take a moment to thank the Forever 21 Gods.

Forever 21 $15.80

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Is your motto “The shorter the better”? Check out this little number from Zara. The pattern is fun but conservative enough for a dinner with your boyfriend’s parents.Throw a black blazer over it and head to board meeting, or add some leggings and wear it into Fall. The options are endless.

Zara $25.90

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If you’re feeling a bit more conservative, J.Crew has got your back. This drapey pencil skirt is pure perfection, and a much needed pop of color in anyones wardrobe. It comes in a variety of shades, but I much prefer this cobalt blue.

J.Crew $98

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Polka! Polka! This dotted skirt is hard not to fall in love with. Just picture yourself the envy of all backyard shin-digs. I highly recommend carrying around a pitcher of lemonade
to complete the look. Obviously this sweetheart is brought to you by ModCloth.

ModCloth $49.99

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This classic a-length tulle wonder is both glamorous and fresh. Make it casual or dress it up with different tops and shoes. The airy fabric will be lovely on a particularly humid summer night. I love that they paired it with an Eiffel Tower tee, giving it just the right amount of whimsey.

H&M &34.95

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I always like to have one or two go-to casual skirts in my warm weather wardrobe.This longer version of the tulip skirt is perfect to throw on before a Sunday afternoon beach trip. Plus the price is pretty killer too. What would we do without the Targ Mahal?

Target $19.99

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Give me patterns or give me death. Short and tight, this skirt was made for a little partying. The high waist allows for a few extra chicken wings the night before, so have no fear, break out that cropped-top you never thought you’d wear again.

Nordstroms $20

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Happy Spring dreaming.

Xx