I have been trying desperately to grow out my hair for what feels like years. I’ve dreamed of having Victoria’s-Secret-model-length locks. I’ve been so focused on the length of my hair, in fact, that I’ve avoided doing anything interesting to my ‘do for far too long. I’m no stranger to switching up my style, I’ve been dyeing my hair since the 8th grade. I’ve tried every color under the sun including blonde, black, and Taylor-Tomasi-Hill-inspired red. I’ve tried tons of lengths, too–asymmetrical bob, long and flowing, bangs and everything in-between. I am definitely not afraid of change, but I’d been stuck in a rut.
Finally exasperated with my mousey-brown shade, I wanted to update my look to something sexier. I work in fashion so having an edgy look is par for the course. Usually, my feeling is that the cheaper the haircut, the better, so you can only imagine my excitement when LHJ told me I was going to the incredible Sally Hershberger Downtown Salon here in NYC. I was paired with colorist, Aura Friedman whose clients include, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sophie Dahl to name a few. I was at a party with a few girlfriends the week before my appoinment when I mentioned I was going to Sally Hershberger, “Oh my god, are you going to Aura?” one of the girls asked. That’s when I knew I was in for something special.
I arrived at the salon with a photo of Khloe Kardashian’s new ombre hairstyle. It was close to my own shade without being a drastic change, but also like nothing I’d ever had. Aura painted my hair like an artist to a canvas (the last time my hair was highlighted there was one of those embarrassing caps involved). She spoke like a chemist talking about the pores of the hair while using a fluid non-method technique to apply the color.
While my color set, I asked Aura about the best treatments for colored hair. She recommended a brand new product from Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer that you apply before washing your hair and it acts as a primer to protect against fading (Why didn’t someone think if this sooner?!).
My plastic-wrapped locks weren’t burning or itchy like most dyes I have had in the past. Aura and her assistant, Lucille Javier, checked up on the color often to make sure it wasn’t over processed. After my color was finished I headed to stylist, Temur Dzidziguri for a cut. He snipped off the dead ends and shortened the layers to avoid a heavy look. I had been growing out my blunt bangs and he easily worked them into my cut. Temur said even if you’re growing out bangs, it is helpful to have them trimmed often – as they tend to grow out “crazy.” I’m from the south, so to get a little lift Temur dried the bulk of my hair with my head flipped upside down. Using a round brush and a light layer of hairspray, my hair was transformed into a shiny, buoyant masterpiece. My color transitioned from brunette to blonde flawlessly.
I left the salon with not only the best color and cut I have ever had, but also with the confidence that I no longer looked like the boring girl next door. I may not have the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, but I do have the hair.
There are a few things we almost always have in our purses–iphones, hand sanitizer, various lipstick tubes, and good old Chapstick.
Chapstick is a classic that has kept our lips smooth through many a harsh winter and we’re excited to announce that there’s a new tube on the block. The classic brand is adding two limited-edition flavors to their classic lineup for spring: Pomegranate Gum Drop and Citrus Jelly Bean.
We gave both flavors a spin and we’re hooked. They offer the same great Chapstick moisturizing power you know and love and the scents are sweet but not overpowering. Our favorite is the Pomegranate Gum Drop but treat yourself and give both flavors a go! Whether you’re preparing to stuff some Easter baskets or get your lips in tip top shape for warmer weather, these sweet lip-savers are the perfect pick.
Beauties, there are a bevy of fabulous follicle-focused launches this month in the world of affordable hair care. Whether your spring hair inspiration is ’60s big (that’s always mine), ’90s sleek and straight, or cute and curly, these ten items will help you achieve your best coif. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo is sulfate free, so it won’t fade color and includes luxe ingredients like white orchid and almond, coconut and argan oils to revive ravaged locks.
2. John Frieda Frizz Ease Unwind Curls Calming Creme ($7) is a new take on my long-time favorite product, Unwind, with a softer feel. Apply this formula to damp curls and feel them literally unclench to blow out more easily and more quickly. You can also air-dry for relaxed waves.
3. Vo5 Smooth and Sleek Shampoo ($3.50) It doesn’t get more economical than this sweet-smelling shampoo. I love this one for washing pre-curling-iron waves. It keeps my hair sleek even though I rough-dry it instead of properly straightening it before imparting undulations with my Sarah Potempa Beachwaver.
4. L’Oreal Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight HeatSpray ($5) Five bucks scores you lightweight heat protection up to 450 degrees, manages frizz and blocks humidity for a sustainable style – 3 days’ worth, to be exact. L’Oréal Paris Consulting Celebrity Hairstylist Mara Roszak suggests that you spray it on damp hair starting at the ends then rough dry until completely dry. You then re-spray the hair lightly, brush through and then flat iron. “The heat spray is a perfect way to cut out the round brush blow-dry and go straight into the smooth straight look you want,” she says.
5. Garnier Fructis Hair Care Triple Miracle Dry Oil ($6) A jewel for travel, this does-it-all oil will stop your ends from looking ragged but also moisturizes your face and body in a pinch.
6. Dove Advanced Series Oxygen Moisture Root Lift Spray ($7) This fresh-scented spray yields plush volume at the root, key for extending your blow-out an extra 24-36 hours. For real.
7. Pantene Weekly Rehab Creme ($7) You know how those at-home color conditioner tubes are always unicorn-levels of magic on stressed strands? Think of this deep treatment as one you can buy a la carte. It made my hair glossier and less tangled than it’s been in a while.
8. John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate + Rescue Deep Conditioner ($10) resuscitates wrecked tresses with hydration to instantly improve the look and feel of damage after just one use, thanks to Inca Inchi Oil.
9. Suave Professionals Split End Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner ($4 each) If your ends routinely resemble a peace-sign within weeks of a trim, this cleanser and conditioner is officially your slow jam. It mends ends like no one’s biz, plus, it smells divine.
10. TREsemme Keratin 7-Day Regimen Set ($7) For under $10, you get this entire smooth-hair set that will keep frizz and kinks at bay for a full week. It includes shampoo, conditioner and a heat-activated treatment to help you feign a straight mane.
What are your favorite hair care products of late?
As we mentioned in our trend forecasting from NYFW, ponytails are going to be big this fall. High, low, sleek, and messy–the whole gang’s coming to a pinterest boards and fashionable heads of hair near you! While most of us mastered a basic pony in grade school, it can be tough to get that oh-so-sleek style that we loved during NYFW. For help on that front we turned to Tommy Buckett, hairstylist extraordinaire at the Serge Normant Salon. This season he crafted incredibly chic, “uptown” ponytails in partnership with Garnier for the Kate Spade Fall/Winter 2014 presentation at Fashion Week.
The key product behind the look was Garnier Marvelous Oil Deep Nourish. We watched it completely knock out any frizz in the models’ hair and create gorgeous shine, too. “A lot of people are scared of oils but this is actually really light and it sinks into the hair because it has no silicone,” Buckett explained about the Nourish oil.
Here’s how to get the look:
1. Begin by blow drying your hair straight. Once the hair is dry apply 4-5 pumps (for long hair, less for short) of Garnier’s Marvelous Oil Deep Nourish. You can also apply a little heat protecting spray.
2. Use a flat iron to smooth out your hair so it is as straight as possible to get a sleek look.
3. Flip your head upside down so your hair hangs down over your face. Gather it together in one hand, smoothing with a brush as needed.
4. Holding onto your ponytail, flip your head back upright.
5. Tilt your chin up and look at the ceiling while keeping your ponytail as tight as possible. This is Buckett’s trick to get the tightest possible ponytail.
6. While your chin is still tilted up, secure your ponytail by wrapping it with a hair bungee--this type of hair tie will keep the ponytail as tight as possible without creasing the hair.
7. Use Garnier Disorder wax spray to smooth any flyaways or baby hairs.
8. Wrap a strip of leather over the elastic and secure it.
Katy Perry: pop star extraordinaire, cat lady, false fringe aficionado.
Yup, you read that correctly. Katy Perry has a line of false lashes, appropriately named Katy Perry Lashes, which are both 1) super affordable ($6.99 each) and 2) all kinds of awesome.
I was a little surprised when I found out about them, even though they’ve been out for a while, but I guess they just hadn’t crossed my radar until now.
I wish they had.
There are four new styles out now for spring — Feline Fierce, which I’m wearing in the top pic; Punk Princess; Banging Beauty and Lovely Lolita — and I’m infatuated with them all. I like them just about as much as the false lashes I usually wear when I wear false lashes, the $16 33 Lashes by MAC.
Compared to the 33s, these cost less than half as much ($6.99 versus $16), and because they’re carried at most drugstores and Ultas, they’re very easy to find (sometimes I don’t want to trek all the way to the mall).
These new spring styles also have something of an edge to them… Nothing too crazy, but I like the range of options Katy gives, from the more dramatic Feline Fierce (perfect for a night on the town) to the more natural Lovely Lolita, which still has some kick.
That one is my favorite pair from the spring line because it’s fine for daytime but still only about two seconds away from hitting the club.
Not that I hit the club very often (*cough*, anymore, *cough*).
Also in the plus column, these are 100 percent natural, and they don’t look plastic or fake, unlike some other drugstore brands that shall remain nameless…
But I think what really makes them stand out is how easy they are to apply, especially for someone (like me) who’s normally all thumbs when it comes to applying false lashes, and especially full strip styles like these.
No drama at all.
Seriously, they’re a breeze. I just run a tiny amount of the adhesive, which comes with them, by the way, along the lash strip (I’m serious. You only need a tad.), wait for about 30 seconds, look down into a mirror, set the lashes directly on top of my natural lashes, and squeeeeeeeze the false lashes together with my real ones.
They even comfortable! — even the dramatic styles, which is unusual, I think. Most of the time with other false lashes I’ve tried, in particular super long, thick lashes, I get a headache after a while from how heavy they feel (I’m very sensitive about anything near my eyes), and I end up having to take them off halfway through the day.
These, on the other hand, don’t feel heavy at all.
They’re a great drugstore find. I only wish I’d discovered them sooner.
I definitely plan to stock up on Lovely Lolita next time I see them at CVS or Ulta. They’re also available online.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, natural skincare brand, Tata Harper has released Love Potion, a blend of 10 essential oils that the brand’s founder Tata Harper describes not as a perfume but as an “experience.” Tata and her team of experts sought to create a blend of oils that creates instant allure and magnetism and that promotes self-love. I sat down with Tata last week for breakfast at ABC Home in New York City to find out more about the newest addition to her line.
Gloss Daily (GD): You mentioned this morning that Love Potion is an experience, not a perfume. Can you tell me what you mean by that?
Tata: ”Fragrances don’t necessariily provide any emotional well being other than, ‘oh well you smell great.’ This is really all about making you more confident so you can make the most of what you have. I meet so many women because of what I do and I realize that a lot of people are insecure even if they’re beautiful and it’s really about making the most of yourself. So, Love Potion is something you would put on every day–even throughout the day when you’re feeling low and you need a boost of good vibes, you can put it on before a party, or in the morning. It doesn’t compete with your perfume.”
GD: What is the best way to apply Love Potion to get those mood-boosting effects?
Tata: “You want to put it on your pulse points, on your wrists, and a little bit on your neck and then the most important step is to put a little on your palms, rub them together, and inhale. It’s a nice little moment and that is what gives you the long term effects. Take a couple of deep deep breathes. Get those molecules up through your nose into the emotional center of your brain.”
GD: How did you come around to include the 10 essential oils that you included in Love Potion?
Tata: “We started by investigating the state of mind and the qualities that really make people attractive. As soon as we figured that out we approached experts and aromatherapists and we said ok, we’re looking for essences that help boost confidence, positivity, happiness, those that calm you, some aphrodisiacs to help with arousal–let’s include all those. We started with a list of 20 oils per category and then we were like ‘ugh this smells awful, ugh this is awful’ and we started narrowing down those combinations until we found something that has the best oils and also smells fantastic.”
GD: Was there a specific oil that is special to you or a scent you have always loved that you just had to include?
Tata: ”Ylang-ylang is my favorite. It’s a known aphrodisiac so I wanted to include that for sure but all the other ones I didn’t really know. It was a really fun project because I learned so much about the emotional state you need to be in so you can make the most out of your life. Love Potion is not just about looking for a partner or looking for relationships; we just need more love. People are angry–don’t focus on that stuff–focus on the good stuff.”
Who needs to wait for a love to bring them flowers next week when everything is coming up roses in the world of fine fragrance? I personally plan to take matters into my own hands and buy myself my own rose … one that comes in a super pretty bottle, that is!
Rose has long been at the heart of perfumery, but fell out of favor as an “older” or soapy scent for many years. Recently, a new harvest of roses has bloomed that modernize this cult classic note for today’s woman, with perfumers taking exciting and creative approaches to the flower.
From girlie to intense, fresh to sensual, a rose isn’t a rose anymore. Here are 4 great takes on the trend:
1. Roses De Chloé ($95) – If you love ballet flats and could survive on macarons alone, this scent is for you. Chloé is one of my cult classic fragrances, and this twist on the ultra-chic original marries rose with a modern magnolia for an ethereal experience.
2. Dolce e Gabbana Rose The One ($108) - If a little black dress and killer heels is more your thing, this sensual version of Dolce e Gabbana’s blockbuster The One has a lean-into-me powdery softness that goes from dusk till dawn.
3. Early Roses by Teo Cabanel ($110) – If you live in a white tee and jeans, this unique and effortless fragrance is the simple, fresh way to wear rose that evokes a walk through a dewy garden in Spring. From cult perfumer Teo Cabanel, it’s the kind of scent you want to spray in your hair, on your pillows, in your car …
4. Rose Oud by Perfumes de Nicolai ($78) – For the explorer at heart (and for serious perfume afficianadas), this creative scent marries two niche fragrance trends: rose and oud. Here, a fruity raspberry rose is blended with intriguing, mysterious notes of oud - a smokey, wood-derived ingredient with Middle Eastern origins. Sexy and intriguing, it’s bound to have people asking “Where did you get that scent?’
And remember – these last way longer than the real thing anyway!
THIS WEATHER. This weather. I’ve just about had it with polar vortex 2.0 and 3.0 and so have my strands. They are all, “Bahamavention me, PLEASE.” And then I have to be all, “We’ve got another 2-3 months of this staticky, zero-hydration precipitation situation before you go back to your shiny, flaxen, former version of yourself.” But in the meantime, it’s all about masks (or masques, if you want to be fancy about it), and plenty of them. Here, my three favorites for dry, normal, and oily locks. Best of all? Each one is available at the drug store for under $10.
Seriously dry/color treated/scandalous locks get treated to this little gem–Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Recovery Hair Mask–which at $6 is full-throttle hair help in a bottle. It blends olive, meadowfoam seed, and sweet almond oils to resuscitate ravaged hair. Use it once a week on a Sunday while cleaning out your purse and watching Girls and I promise you’ll see smoother strands come Monday. Trust.
Normal hair that maybe just needs to be cut, like, a month ago needs the expertise of John FriedaFull Repair Full Body Conditioner. If amplifying volume is your goal (but your ends are still suffering), this moisturizing 5-minute miracle is an ends game-changer. I like to re-suds my roots with shampoo post-application to give my hair more gravitas.
Even Oily hair needs moisture and Aussie 3-Minute Miracle is my favorite way to impart it. The trick is to use a very small amount, only on the ends and to rinse it out after 1 or 2 minutes (I know, sacrilege, but that three minute stuff is for those with either thick or dry hair – oily roots require strategy!). For winter weather, this inexpensive deep treatment will give raggedy ends the slip they need to stay healthy in sub-Arctic temps.
What’s your favorite mask?
I’m a recent convert to the bold lip scene. I dabbled in a few red and pink shades back in the day but until working for Ladies’ Home Journal I didn’t realize the true power of a statement pout. When I did begin to dip my toe in the pool of lipsticks, balms, stains, and lacquers my first stop was the drugstore (I didn’t want to drop major bucks on products before I knew if I could rock them!) One of the very first items I went home with was a Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain and from then on I was hooked. Since that first fateful purchase I’ve hoarded Revlon’s long-wearing, convenient balm stains and (excited squeal) they recently released two new formulas–matte balm stain and lacquer balm stain.
I went straight for the matte shades as soon as I could get my hands on them. As you can see below I tried each and every shade! I did a test-run with several hues over a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Not only are these stains richly pigmented, easy to carry, and even easier to apply (thanks to their pencil-like shape) they also have incredible staying power. My color lasted through water-bottle sipping, snacking, and a couple hello kisses to the hubby. Plus, unlike other stains I’ve tried, these little sticks didn’t dry out my lips. The matte look of these balm stains is incredibly chic and every color I tried got major compliments at work.
Here are my tips for flawless application:
1. Exfoliate! If there are two things that don’t mesh in the beauty world it’s dry, flaky lips and a matte lip color–disaster! You want your lips to be as smooth as possible before you apply color.
2. Keep the rest of your makeup low key. A statement lip shouldn’t compete for attention with heavily made-up eyes or bright blush.
3. My favorite trick when wearing a matte shade is to add highlighter to your cupid’s bow (those little peaks above your upper lip). This will bring some light to your lips and keep the matte color from looking flat.
Check out the color guide below to find your favorite shade!
Elusive / Sultry
Mischievous / Complex
Shameless / Audacious
Showy / Standout
Striking / Unapologetic
I don’t know about you, but the holidays left me feeling a little gross. I definitely needed to hit the reset button on my diet and my beauty routine. Between piling on every gold, sparkly makeup product known to woman (hey, I like to get festive!) and the endless parade of sweets that left my skin a little drab, I needed a fresh start. Now I don’t believe in making tons of unrealistic resolutions, and I also don’t believe that humans need to pull toxins from our bodies via drastic detox regimes. (Nope, not really a thing.) But I do think that the new year is a great time to refresh both mind and body, so I went in search of some fun detox beauty products to get me in the mood. (Call it the January equivalent of pine-scented, sparkly-Christmas-festive.) My faves:
This Nip + Fab Detox Blend Body Lotion ($10) is a delight. The scent is a delicious mixture of tea tree, jasmine, and green tea that smells vaguely medicinal (in a really, strangely good way—I promise). It absorbs quickly—my lotion must-have—but leaves skin super-soft so it’s moisturizing enough to stand up to this wacky winter we’re having.
Did I mention my skin looked blah? Between the flaky wind-chap (terrifying) and the clogged pores, there was absolutely no winter glow happening. That’s why I love Doll Face’s Refine Peel-Away Refining Gel Mask ($28). You let it dry and then peel it off (which I find strangely satisfying) so it deep-cleans and exfoliates but it’s also moisturizing thanks to the hyaluronic acid. Perfect for winter skin that needs both kinds of TLC!
My hair had also gotten bogged down: In a way-overboard attempt to hydrate, I’d been slathering on a super-moisturizing shampoo plus a super-moisturizing conditioner plus styling products (yes, multiple). Enter this Pantene Damage Detox Daily Revitalizing Shampoo ($5). It gives you a good deep clean but it’s gentle enough for daily use. And it smells great. Welcome back shiny, bouncy hair.
The lesson? You can definitely have too much of a good thing—booze, Christmas cookies, and yes, even moisturizer. It’s all about balance, and that’s a beautiful New Year’s goal we can all embrace.