Showing posts with label hair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hair. Show all posts

So You Got a Bad Haircut...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I remember being like, maaaaaybe 15 and deciding that I wanted to cut all of my hair off. It was a big deal: I had just bought my first shirt that wasn't from Nike and what I thought were the coolest pair of sunglasses ever. They had blue lenses, so I guess you could say I was pretty dope. 

In my bid to become hipper (seriously guys, I think I have a journal entry that details exactly how I planned on changing my image and it's embarrassing) I decided that my blunt, shoulder-length cut that I had literally rocked since second grade would have to go. I planned on a trendy, short pixie-type cut, which I tried to explain to my then-hairdresser. With copious pictures of Rachel Leigh Cook that I'd cut out of my YM magazine, natch.

I still vividly remember the sinking feeling that I had when she started hacking at my hair. I was in full-blown panic mode as she also added blunt bangs I NEVER asked for. When it was completely styled, there was no doubt about it.

I had a mushroom cut. 

And I lived with that mushroom cut for a year before it grew out. A year at 15, might I add, which feels a lot like a decade. Particularly when your two best friends are a) a talented dancer b) a gorgeous ingenue-type and you're forever labeled c) the funny one.  

It is with this in mind that we should talk haircuts. Believe it or not, the mushroom cut of '99 wasn't enough to sour me on taking hair risks forever. While I kept my hair in a layered short cut for the rest of high school, I've grown and chopped repeatedly since then. And for every nine great haircuts I get, there's one that makes me feel like this when the hairdresser starts cutting: 

 And because I'm terrified of confrontation, I usually just clam up and tip as usual because I'm awkward like that.

But I have learned how to deal with a bad haircut since then. Only once in my adult life have I hated a style so bad that I went back to the same hairdresser to have it fixed and it took every ounce of courage I've ever had to do that. If you're like me, try these steps first. 

1. Rewash and Style Again

I've definitely learned that sometimes, I feel like I hate a haircut, but it's really the way the hairdresser styled it that I hate. I'm not a huge fan of blowdrying with a round brush because I like a lot of texture over smoothness. And what's the first thing most stylists reach for during a blowout? A round brush. 

So when I've had that awful sinking feeling in my stomach and have thoughts like "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?" I will head home, wash my hair, and style it like I would normally. And more often than not, I like it 100 times better when it's more "me." 

2. Add Texture

Since I chopped my hair this last time, I've found that it's a lot harder to keep it straight. Without the weight of long hair, I get springy waves. And guess what? I love them. I wish that the stylist had thought to add texture when she styled it because it's way easier for maintenance and it really shows off the texture of the cut. 

If you totally hate the way your hair looks, grab a curling iron and some product (I curl with a flat iron). Seeing how your hair looks with some waves or curl can help you make peace with the style. 

3. Play with It 

OK, I'm going to be 100 percent honest here -- I haven't loved my bangs this time around. I always think I want them, but then I remember that they're kind of high maintenance and make me look younger than I am (with two kids in tow, I would very much like to look my age). 

But even though I yearn for my longer face-framing layers, I do love the versatility side swept bangs offer, something I never would have realized had I not taken the time to play around with them a little. Add bobby pins, try a chignon, play with layers, whatever. It'll be fun, I promise. 

4. Tell Your Hairdresser

I have talked to a TON of hairdressers and they've all said the same thing: They'd much rather have you come back and get your hair fixed than you just living with it. After all, it's basically a walking commercial for their services and if it looks like crap, it hurts them as much as it does you. And chances are that it was a communication error -- you said to give it a trim and she thought that meant to chop four inches. 

When I had to scrape up all of my courage and go back to my hairdresser she first, told me she knew I didn't like it when I left a few days earlier and second, thanked me for coming back. She added a few layers to what was kind of a blunt cut and I went merrily on my way. 

5. See Another Hairdresser

If you really feel uncomfortable going back to the hairdresser who first cut your hair, it's OK to go see someone else (another thing my hairstylist friends tell me repeatedly is that they're not offended when you go to someone else). Let your new hairdresser understand the issue (without bashing the other one) and give CLEAR critique, like "I asked for layers and it's too blunt," or "It's a lot shorter than I wanted." Then, you can think up a solutions: Adding highlights to create more movement, using extensions, cutting in bangs to add texture, etc. 

The bottom line? It can most likely be fixed or at least changed to a point where you can live with it.

Some stuff you shouldn't do:
  • Cry and do nothing about it.
  • Try to fix it yourself.
  • Try and get your husband to fix it. 
  • Avoid your hairdresser until the end of time.
  • Swear off cutting your hair forever. 

The thing is that when you take risks with your look, it can go either way. I love getting my hair cut because it always makes me feel a little "new" but with that can come some seriously unfortunate outcomes. But guess what else is worse? Being so terrified to change that you end up look like a caricature of yourself in the 90s. I'll take a risk over that any day. 

Now please tell me you have some awesome "bad haircut" stories to share. 

Jae Raids the Drugstore

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

So it's been a while since I've done a JRTD! If you're new here, it's when I give you the benefit of my insane cheap cosmetic buying addiction to tell you what I loved and hated. Most of this stuff I bought at various drugstore-type places -- occasionally it'll be from a department or specialty store. As you should already know, no one pays me for this. Especially not the brands that I rail on instead of love. It's allll out of the goodness of my heart.

Can I just take a moment to express my deep and abiding love for this stuff? OK, so my eyeliner ran out and I am super picky about eyeliner. I hate when it's too hard and jabby and please don't say "That's what she said."

OK, fine, say it. Feel better now? You're disgusting.

Moving on. I grabbed this stuff honestly because I hate sharpening eyeliner pencils so I always grab the roll-up ones. And it is magical. It goes on so smooth that the first time I tried applying it I inadvertently put way too much on because I'm used to pressing hard. Instead, this is gel like and once it sets, it won't budge in the water. Which is great because I've spent the last week at various water features to keep my kids busy. It's only the second week of summer. Save me. Anyway, I loved it so much I bought it in both brown and black and since it was like $4, that's doable.

Hello, lover. This Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Spray usually retails at about $17, but I bout a combo pack with the volumizing hairspray for that much at JC Penney so there you go. The hairspray is pretty major. Like, it will give you crazy 90s side poof if you let it. I like it for updos, but when I'm wearing my hair down, this root pump is my fave. It sprays on but then puffs up like a mousse. I just douse my roots with it before blowdrying my hair and it lasts forever. Totally worth the extra money.

I really love this jumbo lipgloss stick for summer. It's smooth and non-sticky and just enough shimmer to go with a tan. I really liked it until I found that my son had rolled it up and smashed it into my bathroom counter. I made him clean it up and it took literally 30 minutes so there's a testament to how long it lasts. Luckily, I still have another one in red to play with. And SO cheap, which always makes me seriously happy.

OK, so I bought this BareMinerals mascara having never tried their mascara before. I love love the foundation, but I'm not gonna lie here -- I didn't love love this. It made my eyelashes a little spiky. And I don't really need length, I need thickening and this just didn't do it for me. I'm still waiting to find a mascara that trumps my beloved Diorshow, but it looks like another one bites the dust -- and I can add to my substantial collection of once-used mascaras. Huzzah!

Zoooooomg you guys get ready for my favorite latest find. THIS STUFF! Maybelline Color Whisper. It's like a glossy lipstick that gives color without being like "OMG is this lipstick fading funny?" all day. I'm obsessed. I've bought a couple different colors, but I'm going to level with you here: Choosing colors with this stuff is kind of a crapshoot because they're SUPER DUPER sheer. Like, the color pretty much looks nothing like the cover or the stick. But the color is so sheer that it kind of doesn't matter. I got both a really bright pink and then a nude-y rose and they both look amazing. I've been carrying them with me everywhere because it's enough to perk up your face without being like I'M WEARING LIPSTICK EVERYONE!

Yeaaaah I tried this, but if you're a brunette you might want to look somewhere else. This stuff is WHITE. And the first time I used it, I used it just like my favorite -- Suave of all things -- and it left a giant white polka dot in my hair and it freaked my husband out because he thought I was going gray. Like, it's useable if you really brush it through, but it's probably best for blondes.

Hey, low maintenance girls -- I'm looking at you. I bought this in plum a month ago and just barely used it all up. Because I used it literally everyday. It's a nice smudgey eyeliner on one side and a super easy cream eyeshadow stick on the other. I usually wore it when I was going low key because I'd line my eyes and then smudge some of the shadow into the crease of my eyelid and I was done. Oh darn... looks like I'll need to do another order soon... whatever will I do...

Alright, that's my latest and greatest. Also, the not-so-greatest. I'm off to feed my children. WHY do they want food all day?

Jae Raids the Drugstore: Best (and Worst) Beauty Buys

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Latey-late post from me today. I have to tell you about my awesome experience a couple of hours ago! So my hubs wanted to meet up for lunch and I told him I'd be by McD's around noon and to meet me and my youngest there (me trying to be a good mom and letting my kid germ it up at the Playplace.) When I got in the parking lot, there were no spots left because apparently, McD's is really popular on a Wednesday afternoon, so I drove around the parking lot. Unfortunately, some complete idiot had parked a truck and trailer in such a way that the people coming in through the drive-thru completely cut me off from the rest of the parking lot. As in, I had no outlet whatsoever. There was about a five-foot space and I drive a huge SUV and I was stuck in this weird little triangle between the edge of the trailer and the cars in the drive thru line. So I had no choice but to wait until the cars in the drive-thru pulled up so I could wedge myself out. Anyway, I was sitting there waiting for that to happen when a guy in a truck starts honking at me furiously from his truck. He was behind me and obviously stuck too. After another minute, he slammed out of his car and proceeded to examine the distance between the cars and the trailer and decided, in his opinion, that I should try and squeeze through. I'm not INSANE so I told him no, which is when he released a steady stream of expletives at me. It was so awesome, you guys. I was like DUDE! Don't yell at me, yell at the guy parking a tractor trailer in the drive-thru!

Anyone who knows me IRL knows that confrontation makes me uncomfortable. Like, crawl under my bed, hide from the world and sob uncomfortable. So naturally, after finally getting out like 30 SECONDS after this all went down (and after the guy revved his engine like a NASCAR driver to make his point as he sailed by) I immediately plunged into a deep depression and just wanted to go home. Naturally, my husband came to my rescue and sent me off shopping to bolster my spirits. And in a very roundabout way, it reminded me I hadn't done a products post in a while.

As it turns out, nothing comforts me quite like low-priced drugstore beauty buys. Oh Walgreens, you'll never fail me.

Also, just a head's up that I'm not compensated for any of these reviews. Homie don't play like that.

 The Body Shop Lip Stain in Bronze Glimmer.

For real you guys, this stuff is liquid gold. I bought the other stain in a pinky rose color but this one is by far my fave. It's more of a rose gold and has a gold  glimmer to it that I love on its own or layered over my Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach. It's become my "keep in my purse because I will reapply 100 times per day" lip stuff. Welcome to the purse, Bronze Glimmer.

Maybelline The Turbo Volum Express Mascara

 In my never ending quest to test every single type of mascara ever known to man, I stumbled across this little gem because I was shopping at our local grocery store and cruising the makeup aisle and the "Volum" in Maybelline The Turbo Volum Express Mascara stood out to me. All I want in life is big hair and big eyelashes, OK? Anyway, I've been impressed! I don't think it's as good as Million Lashes, but I like it much better than the Rimmel Scandalous Eyes. In related news, mascara names are stupid.

 Clean & Clean Morning Glow Moisturizer.

Confession? I've always thought that at 30, I'd switch to a "grownup" moisturizer. But when I hit 28 this summer, I decided that it was time to man up and try something that didn't smell like a teenage girl's bedroom. So I switched to a gel creme thingy and haaaated it. Sure, it made my skin super soft, but it made me break out like a crazy person. So I'm back to using my old fave, which gives enough moisture so your makeup doesn't look dead-person powdery but also doesn't cause zits. Hooray! Who cares if I smell like a 14 year old?
 Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner

K, I love me some self sharpening eyeliner. Not because it sharpens on its own and I can never find my sharpener and end up using my daughter's Disney one, but because the actual pencil is so SOFT. I hate when you get an eyeliner and it's like stabbing yourself in the eye with a steak knife. This makes for perfect smudginess, which I appreciate when I'm running late but still want my eyes to look done. This is a keeper.

 Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Finishing Touch Cream

Someone on my Facebook page recommended this to me when I was looking for a good styling balm and whoever you are, you're my hero! I love the idea of balms but hate hate hate when they make my hair all greasy-like. This stuff is uber-light and I'm really happy with it. I use it after I blow my hair out and it looks all big 'n stuff. Stay tuned next week -- I've got an awesome tutorial coming up on faking a blowout. Oohhh yeah.

 L'Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

I don't typically use traditional shampoo. I've been sulfate-free for about a year now. I made the switch after I went blond because my hair takes a huge beating with coloring process and I don't want to add all those chemicals to the picture. I'd like to keep some of my hair actually on my head, thanks. So I was overjoyed  to find this stuff. I don't love the smell -- but I am super happy with how it works. It'll weird you out at first because there aren't any suds and you need to rinse super well, but I use this on both me and my daughter and we have crazy soft hair. Love!

 Nair Face Wax Strips

I've waxed my own eyebrows for years and years, but I always used Nads. I just barely ran out and this was all I could find at the drugstore in a dire hour of eyebrow-waxing need. And this is the big loser of the bunch. These hurt like, 400 percent worse than Nads. I did like that I could cut the strips in half and only use one per session, but let's just say my son came running into the bathroom when he heard me screaming bloody murder with half of a strip stuck to my head. I'm going back to my old green goop and not even pretending to imagine what these babies would do to your bikini line.

You know what guys? This was totally therapeutic. Mr. Anger Management has nothing on a good chat session about beauty products.

Of course, now that I've thought of about 96 witty comebacks for this huge d-bag, I'll probably never see him again. But in case he ever reads this blog and realizes I'm talking about him, I will say that he looks like he smells, his truck sounds like it contains a dying panther and my car would total his if he wanted to play chicken. Ah, that felt better.

Help Jae Decide! (Again!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

OK, so I have a hair appointment this afternoon and I'm dying for a change. I've had the same long layers style since last summer and I'm down for something new, so I thought I'd put it to the masses to help me make up my mind. I've been hoarding pictures on Pinterest for a couple of months, so here's what I've come up with. Also, last time you guys helped me decide it was mah-velous, so let's do that again.

Couple things you should know.
1) I won't go any shorter than shoulder length. I actually like my hair short, but I feel like it looks way too much like teenage me. And teenage me wore yellow vinyl pants. It was a dark time.
2) My hair has already been colored, so we're only deciding on cut. OK, fine, I'm thinking about more highlights so sue me.
3) I have the hair of a Disney mermaid. It's super thick, pretty wavy, and filled with crustaceans. I KID! But the thick and wavy part, yes. Most of the time I get the stylist to thin it out a little or it literally takes 7 years to dry.
4) I don't mind styling, but during the summer I usually scrunch in some mousse and head out in the sun. So low maintenance is my friend.
5) Also, my hair grows obscenely fast. I rarely get drastic cuts because they only look good for five minutes until my hair starts acting like that PlayDoh toy where you can squish hair out of the guy's head. Does anyone even know what I'm talking about?

OK, here we go. I was going to make an adorable poll, but I'm having the kind of day where workout ended an hour ago and I'm still in my clothes, so I have to get a move on. Just give me the number in the comments. Pros, cons, and other suggestions are totally welcome.


Love the bangs and the length.


Probably the one I'm most serious about. NatPort looks all adorable and summery and I like that it's a bit shorter.!


Super sleeky and short. Plus, Claire Danes is probably the celeb that I resemble the most (really, why could it not be Sofia Vergara? Stupid Anglo-Canadian roots) so I generally think that if it looks good on her, it'll probably work on me.


This is the cut I have now, so it would basically be more of a trim. I wish I could do this hair color too, but red hair makes me look exactly like my mother and that freaks my husband out.


This is the hipster cut from a couple weeks ago that I have a girl crush on. I heart its shaggy-ness, and if I got it, I could wear thick non-prescription glasses, so...


I've had this cut before years ago. I love her bangs and the layers in this bad boy.

So, what do you think? What's your fave? Gimme your number and then I'll sound like a crazy person when I talk to the stylist "Um, some people that I don't know on the Internet said I should go with this." It'll be great!

How to Hide Heinous Roots

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spoiler alert here people! I'm not *actually* a natural blonde. I know, you're just blown away, right? I apologize for ruining your day.

Seriously though, old-timey readers know that I went blonde at the end of the summer last year because I got into my head that I could pull it off. After three hours in the hairstylist's chair I had scored the perfect shade and I've been overjoyed with the results. Know what I'm not overjoyed with?

The crazypants roots I get after a few weeks! I have freakishly thick, quick-growing hair, which means every couple of months I back, begging my hairdresser for more blonde. I figure I'll go back to dark hair this fall, but for summer, I'm keepin' it (not) real with the lighter color. I actually have an appointment on Friday, so you know it's getting bad.

So, that means I've had to become a prostar at hiding really bad roots until I can snag an appointment. One of the first things you want to avoid at all costs is giving your hair a hard part, like so:

K, you guys know I love you because I'm letting you see my really bad roots. Go ahead, make fun of me. I can take it. And by "take it" I mean "cry in my bed while eating ice cream and watching Sabrina."

But seriously, they look SO bad because my hair is slicked back into a pony. I might as well have made a sign that says "Hey, I'm busy and highlights cost a lot!"

Don't be like me.

Instead, how about these suggestions to get you through till hair day?

1) Tons of Texture

One way that I can usually hide roots is by using a ton of body and texture to trick the eye into thinking my hair is like, you know, done. Going with waves or curls makes the line between your real color and what you tell people your real color is by blurring the hard line of the roots. I just add product to wet hair and let it air dry or use a diffuser. Then I pretend like my diffuser is creature from outer space trying to attack my brains because sometimes I get bored while drying my hair.

2) Slick it Back

I love to have some sweepy bangage (which sounds kinda dirty) but when I have roots, I opt for something a little neater. I'll pull all of my hair back from the front hairline and do a messy bun. Then, I grab a thick cloth hair band and slide it right over the bad roots. You can then take your hair down for a totally cute vintage 70s look or leave it up, which always makes me look like I'm going to play volleyball, but whatevs. I'm not really because I'm a terrible volleyball player. TERRIBLE.

3) Ziz Zag Part

In highs chool, my brother learned the hard way that it's NOT OK to mess up the ziggy zaggy part a teenage girl spend three hours to create. But since we're not teenagers anymore, you shouldn't have to fear obnoxious 16 year olds messing up your hair. Unless it's your own kid. That's something I would totally do to my mom. (A reader pointed out that this originally said "do my mom" which is hilariously awkward/awesome. Oh Jae, when will you learn to proofread?)

Seriously, I love to torture her. Sometimes I like to bodycheck her into the wall when I pass her in the hallway. Is that mean?

I DIGRESS. A messy part can hide some seriously bad roots, so mix it up a little! Try parting your hair farther over than normal or go with a center part. Just let your hair fall wherever and you won't see them as badly. Or, grab a comb and seriously draw a zig zag going from the front of your hairline to your crown, then part. Done!

4) Eyeshadow

I know what you're thinking -- Jae's being drinkin' the crazy juice. But unless crazy juice is peach/mango Crystal Light, I assure you, I have not. Eyeshadow can be your BFF when your roots are showing. Seriously! I've totally done this and my secret is out. People who know me IRL, don't you DARE JUDGE ME.

Grab some eyeshadow close to the color of your dyed hair. I use a goldy color. Spray your hair with hairspray and quickly brush a little eyeshadow onto your roots while the spray is tacky. Hey, it's not going to work every time, but when you only have a half inch showing and you have family pictures, it's totally worth the quick fix.

SO, have I given you hope for the future? If all else fails, wear a hat. I've been wearing one nonstop this week because I know I'm *so close* to getting rid of my roots. Ahhh... hair salon feeling, you shall be mine!

Fast Fixes for Weird Hair Issues

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Am I the only one whose hair totally freaks out every winter? It's like it finally can't handle the dryness and indoor heating so it punishes me by sticking up all over the place and getting caught in the car door when I'm in a rush. This happens to me DAILY and makes me want to say bad words and yell at inanimate objects.

So this year, I set about trying to find ways to deal with my biggest hair issues, which are usually weird sticky-uppy hairs, static and overstyling. Can I tell you what works for me? Keep in mind my hair type, because it's pretty average and these fixes will work for most people like me, but not for like, crazy extreme cases. But then you can totally tell us in the comments what you do for your hair and all will be right with the world.

Major Static

Seriously, static is the bane of my existence, and it's so so bad when I let my hair air dry. Which is great because I let my hair air dry like, five days out of seven. So I've played around with a few different products to tame the hair that looks like it desperately trying to escape from my head.

Once I'm done shampooing, I use my conditioner and rinse it out. Then, just before i hop out of the shower, I grab another dime-sized amount of conditioner and smooth it all the way through my hair, but then don't rinse it out. This helps to add a little extra weight to my noggin to cut down on static.

When that isn't enough, I also use a finishing product. Cream-based ones are definitely the best for me. I like a styling creme that I run through my hair at the very end of styling, but guess what else works? Hand cream. When I'm in a pinch ie: in public and away from my massive store of products, I just wet my hands with water, get a pump of hand lotion and distribute it through my hair. Ta-da!

Weird, Baby Hairs

Do you guys know what I'm talking about when I saw "baby hairs?" Let me create a beautiful picture for you.

So last October, I was going through some major professional stress. I was making the jump from working for a specific company to going freelance and the transition was HARD. So I was super stressed out and for some reason my body likes to interpret stress as a cue to make me go completely bald. I lost SO. MUCH. HAIR. I would run my hand through it and come up with a handful of strands. Gross, right?

Well, everything worked out and I'm a happy little freelancer and that's great, but now all of that hair I lost has been growing back in. Yay, right! No. It stands up all over my head and I look like a crazy person who has been electrocuted. That is not hot. If you've ever had this problem, here's how to fix it.

First, get to your hairdresser. Like, now. When I explained my issue, my main hair girl cut in some bangs and layers so the baby hairs blended in. Then, I learned to never flip my head upside down when I blowdry. I usually looove to do this to get honkin' huge hair, but when I'm dealing with these little baby hairs I've gotta keep it smooth. That means blowdrying at a downward angle and smoothing them out as I go. Add a little serum to finish and bye-bye babies!


OK, so this is totally superfluous and shouldn't matter, but it irks me. My hair holds a curl really, really well. Like, to the point that if I'm not careful, I look like a deranged Shirley Temple. That's no bueno! So I've learned to relax on the overstyling so that my curls look more grown-up. How?

Well, first, I use a flat iron to curl my hair. If you don't know about this I don't think we can be friends. Second, when I've done the curl, I quickly grab it and yank it down while the hair is still warm. This helps to loosen it up. Finally, I flat iron the ends a little straight. That way you get beachy waves instead of Toddlers and Tiaras curls. That's creepy.

Hair still totally freaking out?

It's called a hat. Get one. They're cute as long as it's not a daily thing and you don't wear gross trucker hats like that phase that Paris Hilton went through.

So, spill. What's your worst hair problem and how do you deal? I am completely aware that there are bigger fish to fry in the world right now but seriously, if my hair looks bad, no one in my house is having a good day. lol, kidding! Sort of.

Jae Raids the Drugstore: Best (and Worst) Beauty Buys Under $10

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Since my family has literally been sick since November, I've had the opportunity to reacquaint myself with a very strange place: the drugstore. You see, when I was a teenager living at home, the closest place for me to buy makeup and hair stuff was the drugstore that was two blocks away from my house. I spent all of my tiny paycheques on massive amounts of eyeshadow and butterfly hair clips and whatever else was cool in 2001. Seriously, I loved that place. I would take hours to pick stuff out and then I'd rush home and try it all on like a demented beauty queen.

Since I've become oh so more mature in my old age (you guys, I was playing in the snow with my kids the other day and I fell and I've been complaining like a granny ever since) I started buying more of my makeup and hair stuff at beauty specialty stores, department stores and online. Honestly, I hadn't been in a drugstore in forever because usually we use a Walmart pharmacy and I'm picking up milk and Pullups with my prescription, not lipstick. But a couple weeks ago, Walmart didn't carry my prescription so I had to head down to Walgreens and since then, all of our stuff has been going there. The result? Hours upon hours of waiting for prescriptions that I have now spent trolling the makeup aisles for new products.

Since I totally understand that not everyone wants to go have their bank account manhandled by the ladies at the Nordstrom makeup counters, I give you some of the best (and worst) products that I've picked up during my drugstore escapades -- proof that you can find totally awesome stuff while you're picking up antibiotics and Advil.

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes

I know I've reviewed this mascara on here before, but I picked up another tube when my pricey brand was out the other day and I remember how awesome it is. For a $8 mascara, this stuff rocks. It's the closest I've found to Diorshow, which is my all-time fave. My favorite part about it is that you can layer it really well. I hate when I go to put a second coat of mascara on and it's all crispy and gross. With this, I put on a layer, wait two minutes and then add one more for superthick lashes. I was wearing it at Christmas and my sister-in-law thought I falsies on. Score!

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter.

I am a sucker for new types of lip color, just because I'm not a hardcore lipstick girl. I love gloss, but I feel like the color fades super fast so it's kind of a pain. When I saw this I was excited because it's kind of a mix between lipstick and lip blam. Like, it feels like chapstick going on, but gives awesome color like a lipstick. This would be AWESOME if you're new to lip color or want to try a bolder shade (red please?) I bought this color, which is a bright pink in the tube but is just pretty and rosy on my lips and it lasted forever. I also liked that it was all smooth n' stuff.

(I'm wearing it in this picture. LOVE! PS My son looks like a tiny banker.)

Suave Volumizing Mousse

It makes me really mad when spell check says that "volumizing" isn't a word. Um, shut up. OK, I am a sucker for hair products, especially ones that promise to give me big hair. And I'm kind of a mousse-aholic. But I love this stuff. It dries really soft, even when I do scrunchy curls, so I use it for both curly and straight looks, since my hair is pretty wavy in real life. And i think I paid like, $2 for this, so it was totally worth it. I used a Big Sexy Hair version of the same thing and really can't tell a huge difference, despite the fact that BSH cost $24.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

I would literally rather have a root canal than try and mess with these again. I picked up a box because I hate doing my nails only to have them chip and figured this would last longer. It might have if I'd actually been able to put them on. First of all, each strip is encased in roughly 79 pieces of peely plastic, which means they make a HUGE mess. Second, they're pretty much impossible to apply I gave up and put them on my daughter. She loves them but I don't have the heart to tell her that they're slightly crooked. So I won't. Stab me with a spoon these were annoying.

Maybelline Mineral Power Foundation

I ran out of my precious Bare Minerals right before my trip to Canada, so I rushed to the drugstore since I didn't have a chance to get to the mall. I figured that all mineral powders were created equally, and I was close. This is a really great substitute for the real deal. If you want to try mineral foundation but don't want to fork out $25 for the stuff, try this. The coverage was fine, although I don't think it lasted as long as Bare Minerals. Also, you don't get the range of colors that you do with Bare Minerals, so it wasn't the exact match I usually get. But totally worth it to stash in my makeup bag -- I really liked the supersoft brush that came with it too!

Beyond the Zone Rock On Dry Shampoo

K, this is kind of cheating because I didn't buy this myself. But I went to a "Favorite Things" party with my friends and this is what I won. One of my friends (Hi, Tamera!) brought this to share and I'm glad she did, because it was magical. Everyone knows about dry shampoo, right? It's a powder spray that you can use to revive your hairstyle when it's oily or just flat. You might not be able to find this brand at the drugstore, but I've also tried the Suave dry shampoo and liked it a lot too. Definitely a must for time-crunched mornings.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll give a pic of me with dry shampooed hair. BUT I literally took this picture as I rolled out of bed and sat down to work for the day and i am not wearing a stitch of makeup. BEWARE.

But see? My face looks tired but my hair looks like it's actually DONE. I sprayed my roots with dry shampoo and then just fluffed with my fingers and got like 30-second hair right out of bed without doing anything special. It's awesome and one of my secrets to faking like I actually put myself together everyday. Totally doable.

Alright, so now I have divulged my guilty pleasure for low priced cosmetics (hence my insane obsession with buying stuff from e.l.f.). What's your favorite budget beauty buy that you can't live without?

How to: Get an Awesome Haircut

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My new hair cut and color! AND I'm smiling with me teeth! It's a Festivus miracle! I still think I look like a doof but the hair looks good!

So I finally went and I had my hair done yesterday. After three hours in the chair I'm super happy with the transformation, although it's taking some major time to get used to. I've never had hair this light EVER. I told my hairdresser that I've associated myself so long with being a brunette that having blond hair has thrown me off kilter. Am I more fun yet!?

Anyway, while I was talking for THREE HOURS with my main hair girl, Patti, we started discussing what makes a good client and how to get what you want from your hairdresser and I picked up some awesome tips that you'll want to use the next time you head to get a haircut.

I get the worst anxiety before getting my hair done. Like, I feel like I'm going to throw up. I usually want some drastic change and then I sit and stress over how it'll look and what will I do if it doesn't look good and all the rest of it. Most of the world is stressing over an economic crisis right now. Me? WILL MY HAIR BE OK?? So I feel like the better prepared you are for a hair appointment, the better off you'll be with the pregame anxiety.

1) Get a good hairdresser. I never know whether to call them stylists or dressers or what, but whatever you call her, trust her with your life. Or your hair. Same thing. When I lived at home I had an AWFUL hairdresser, only I didn't know she was awful. Her name was like, Lyyza or something stripperish like that and she always wanted to talk about her ex-husband and she NEVER listened to what I wanted. I always came home panicked because she had totally given me bangs or cut too much off or something else that made me freak out.

Since I moved here I've had the same hairdresser for eight years. She lives across the street from me, which is super convenient and she listens much better than my old one. I never leave there thinking OMG WHAT DID SHE DO? It might take a few tries, but if you have a bad haircut or feel like she's not listening to you, don't go back. I kept my crappy hairdresser for like, four years. WHY.

2) Bring pictures. My hairdresser said this was a must. Ambiguously gesturing to your hair while saying things like "Maybe a few inches off but like, layers here and some length over here" is confusing and a recipe for disaster. Scour the web for a few different pictures. I sometimes bring two or three and point out elements that I like from each one, like the banks from one picture but the layers from another. A good hairstylist will be able to interpret what you want with a better idea of what you'd like the outcome to be.

3) Be realistic. Just because you tell your hairdresser you want a Jennifer Aniston cut doesn't mean you'll walk out of there literally looking like Jennifer Aniston. A hairstyle needs to be adjusted for your hair type, length and color, so it's better to have a general ideal of the style you want, rather than perfectly copying someone else's. You'll end up disappointed.

4) Give specific parameters when it comes to color. I really wanted to go lighter but I didn't want it to wash me out. I decided on an ashy blond because I have natural ash brown hair. So I asked specifically for a cooler-toned ash blond, instead of just asking to go lighter. I'm super particular about my color so it was helpful to tell my hairdresser the basic tone I wanted to go for so I didn't end up surprised with like, a strawberry blond.

5) Give your hairdresser a little credit. She's trained and as long as you've done your homework, a good one. While I had a general idea of what I wanted my hair to look like, I have no idea about how anything is actually accomplished. Let your hairdresser be creative and do her work and you'll be happier with the result. Unless you're a stylist yourself, lay off a little. Once you've given the proper parameters, let her do her thing.

6) Ask for advice on how to style and care for your hair once you leave the salon. This is imperative, because you'll leave there with the perfect blowout and after two days it'll be flat and weird and you'll think you have a difficult cut. Instead, watch your stylist as she styles your hair and ask about the products she's using. My hairdresser told me yesterday that lighter, bleached hair curls faster so I should dial down my heated tools. I had no idea! So glad she told me, because that'll make my cut and color last so much longer. And not light on fire. Which is important.

7) Speak up. Once I didn't communicate what I wanted very well and I wasn't in love with the cut I got. After going home I whined about it to my husband and finally hung my head in shame to call my hairdresser for a redo. She was mostly just mortified I didn't say anything while I was actually there. She had me come over that minute and gave me exactly what I wanted after I explained it better.

There's no reason you shouldn't be able to get exactly what you want at the hairdresser's. Seriously, have a loving, communicative relationship with two people in your life: Your spouse and your hairdresser.

Everyone's happy!

No Heat Hair

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I think we all know how vocal I am about hating summer. I am not a hot weather girl. We were just on vacation and it was blazing hot and it just made me become whiny and unpleasant. Just ask my husband.

I'm all about fall. When autumn hits, I'm the happiest girl ever. I get to wear cute blazers, spend time blowing out my hair and wear boots again. Oh, boots. But alas, it is just the beginning of summer, which means shorts, tees and flip flops for me. In the summer months, you basically have to pay me to get me to blow dry my hair. Something about being in my hot bathroom after a shower and blasting my heat with heat with it's 100 degrees outside doesn't *really* appeal to me. So I tend to go au naturel and just let my hair air dry. Problem is, I have super thick, wavy hair that can make me look like a hobo if I'm not careful, so I'm always on the lookout for hairstyles that I can pull off without heat. The last few days I tested out a few new styles to report to you and I'm EXCITED!

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So last year I positively lived in the side braid. I think it's because when I don't blowdry my hair, the front gets a little wonky and flat so I'm always looking to get it out of the way. But I'm still totally wearing it like this all summer, especially since we spend a lot of time swimming and in and out of water and I don't have time to fuss with my hair a lot. To try this for yourself, just gather a small section of hair over your forehead, leaving section in front that you can gather from for your french braid. Then, braid it back and pin it wherever you want. This also looks super cute in a ponytail too.

Also... I got a new couch since that picture... so don't feel bad for me anymore.

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The other day I had to do something with my hair before I went out to run errands and I found a superlong scarf that I usually save for fall. Seriously, the thing is like 10 feet long. Luckily, I was dressed pretty plainly in a white tee and khaki skirt, so I pulled my hair in a quick pony, tied this around my forehead and shook the pony out. Um, hello instant hair. Then I just let the ends fall over one shoulder and it was totally boho and looked like I used effort. YAY for pretend effort!

So the other day I came across this tutorial for doing no-heat curls and I was a little skeptical because it seemed TOO easy. Like, I actually had all of the stuff to do it in my vanity already and that never happens. It's also why I never make crafts. ANYWAY, I decided to try it anyway, which you would already KNOW if you were a fan on Facebook (see right) and OMGOMGOMGOMG I can't believe how awesome it turned out.

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Can you believe I got these with NO heat and about three hours? It's the most brilliant thing ever. You really need to watch the tutorial, but basically all you need is a sport stretchy headband. Seriously, that's it. I washed my hair, combed through some mousse and let it air dry before tying up my hair and it really worked perfectly. I am a believer! When I took the headband out I added some flexible hairspray, tousled with my hands and I was donezo. I want to try it overnight to see what results I get.

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Then, since I was heading out to something more casual, I pinned half up and called it good. The curls totally lasted all night and I still have bouncy waves this morning. I also really love the half up look when I haven't blow dried. I just pin my bangs back and pull the rest up. The trick to making it look messy and romantic is to use bobby pins, not a hair elastic. Just cross 'em so they stay forever.

Hopefully that's enough to get you out of the ponytail zone this summer. Although, I do understand the necessity of a ponytail. The other day I was being vain and wore my hair down to a workout class and then cursed myself the entire time... eww sweaty neck. I'm just saying you don't need a ponytail EVERYDAY. Summer is made for messier hair. Embrace the mess!

Anyone else have any good summer hair ideas?

Prettying Up a Pony

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, not an actual pony. Because why would I post about that?

Also, sorry for the lack of posting last week. I came home from Canada and went to the doctors for a cough, and whaddyaknow. I had pneumonia. Who gets pneumonia? Is this 1847? It was stupid. But I'm all better now!

No, I'm talking about the dreaded mom ponytail. Let me tell you, having a style blog is a lot of pressure. In the few times that someone has recognized me out and about, I panic and wonder if they go home and tell their friends that I was dressed sloppy or had spaghetti sauce on my shirt or *GASP* had my hair in a ponytail.

I'm not going to lie, I wear my hair in a pony at least one a week. But only once. And maybe on weekends. This is because I made a deal with myself that if I ever found myself wearing ponytails three days in a row, I had to cut my hair. And I am a strict mistress to myself. When I'm short on time and resign myself to a ponytail day, I at least try to ensure that there's something going on past the plain old droopy mom hair ponytail. Yes, I have THAT much pride and vanity. Also, I always run into people I don't want to at WalMart.

Ugh, is there anything worse than when you see someone at the store, chat for a minute and then say bye, and then meet up like, three aisles later? Well, yes, there is a lot worse. But that is still pretty bad.

But I digress. I won't hate on you if you have a ponytail. I understand you don't have time to do a full on blowout every day. But ponytails don't have to be shameful! They can actually be quite pretty and they don't have to take one moment longer than the traditional mom pony. Again, not an actual pony. I shouldn't have to keep saying this.

Anyway, I did my hair four times for your benefit today. My life is so hard. Also, after I was done I took my hair out and will not be wearing my hair in a ponytail because I am a hypocrite.

K, so this is a pretty common style for me. I just smooth my hair into a low pony, then I add a little hairspray into the actual pony to add texture. It's totally plain, but it looks put together and there is nary a scrunchie in sight. Please also note that I always wear dark brown hair elastics. You are not four. Put the hot pink elastics away. Use clear or hair-colored. You can also take a few strands of the pony and wrap it around the base of your ponytail and all of a sudden you look like you can do hair. Amazing!

I forgot how much I enjoy the buttons on that shirt. ANYWAY. If you're going to do a regular old ponytail, make it high and add some face-framing strands. Pulling your hair straight back can be kind of jarring, and the pieces look like I actually DID something even though this took me five seconds. I usually brush my hair into a high pony and then pull out the front strands before I put the elastic in. Then I can smooth out the top and secure it without messing up the front. I also might flat iron the front to make sure it looks sleek and not messy.

When in doubt, use accessories. They make a stupid old ponytail look like you actually spent time. I actually did a messy bun for this look. I remember my first day of high school, 14 years old, and I walked in the doors and a senior girl walked by whilst tying her hair into the perfect messy bun. I was so jealous. It took me YEARS to perfect the messy bun. YEARS. So I pulled my hair back into the bun and then folded a scarf into quarters. Once I tied it on, I messed up the back a little for the texture.

If you see me out and about with my hair like this, it's because my hair was not cooperating that day OR I didn't feel like washing it. The side pony just works with day-after-blowout hair. When you do a side pony, keep it low because this is not 1987. Secure the back along the nape of your neck so you don't have hair slipping out. Then I pull out a ton of pieces out front because I like the look to be messy and whateverish. Whateverish is totally a word by the way.

A few other notes:
-Keep bobby pins on hand. Yes, your husband will curse you every time he sucks up a bobby pin with the vacuum but it's still important. They are the fastest way to coax your hair back into shape after it goes crazy.
-Use other accessories like flowers, broaches, whatever, to make it seem like you actually care about your hair when you don't.
-Keep a bit of balm in your bag, especially if you're going to try on clothes. I HATE when my hair gets all staticky when trying on clothes. In a pinch, lip balm totally works on your hair.
-Earrings go a long way in making a ponytail look on-purpose. I'm wearing plain studs but seriously, almost any type of earring works with ponies. (NOT REAL PONIES OMG)

And, if your hair really isn't working, there's always your husband's hat.

Oh hat, how I love you. (Why am I staring romantically in the distance you ask? This is the day my Tahoe died in the rain and I sat in my husband's Jeep while he attempted to fix it on the side of the road. I am pondering the gladness that I feel that my hair isn't getting wet.)


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