Archive | April, 2013

SO Not Your Mother’s Hair….

23 Apr

NYM_FULL_Line_4.13

About a month ago, I started noticing a lot of Tweets about, to and from some company known only as “NYM”. Being a New Yorker, I just figured it had something to do with my state. But after a bit of research, I realized “NYM” stood for Not Your Mother’s, a brand of hair styling products that gives you salon-looking glam with an easy on the wallet price. Okay, no offense? But just about EVERY styling product claims that. So I’m like….okay, whatever. NEXT!

But the rave reviews kept coming in, through Facebook, through Twitter, through blogs everywhere. What was it that NYM’s products had that people loved? I had to find out the scoop. And the fabulous people at Not Your Mother’s were excited to tell me all about them, and to let me try a couple too!

not_your_mothers_kinkymovesThe first product I sampled was NYM’s “Kinky Moves” Curl Defining Hair Cream. Now, granted, it wasn’t easy for my daughter to handle a product named that to be on our vanity counter. (Even I had a thought or two when I looked at the label.–Shudders). But we moved along. I naturally have wavy hair, but it easily gets flat, frizzy or… just… bleh, sometimes for no reason. I’ve tried setting gels, mousses, curl enhancers–you name it–without much luck and not doing what the product promised. This Curl Defining Hair Cream not only said it would define and enhance naturally curly or wavy hair, but it also would de-frizz and detangle frazzled hair. Plus, thanks to the fabulous benefits of grape seed oil (love that stuff, read more about it here) that had been added to the product, the cream would add gloss, shine and UV protection benefits as well.

When I first used it after a regular shower, I immediately noticed its fabulous scent. I am a fanatic about the smell of hair products. I can’t stand it when hair styling products reeks of alcohol or artificial fragrances. If a product has natural, healthy ingredients in it, it should smell natural and healthy! This NYM’s product smelled of fresh grapes with a hint of jasmine. Yummy. It’s not a heavy or fake scent and I loved it. Okay, so like most people with, thick long hair, I figured I would need a substantial amount of the product to get the result I wanted, right? Ummm…..WRONG! Live and learn. A little more than a quarter-sized dollop is all I needed to rub into my hands and coat my damp hair, from roots to ends. After a comb through with a wide tooth comb, I messed my hair a bit with my fingertips and blew it dry upside down. The look I got was FABULOUS! My natural waves were full and bouncy, and not sticky and gooey. It felt soft and smelled good! I just used my fingers to style the full, wavy look I loved. Now I was ready to lock it in. But with what?….

not_your_mothers_shesatease…. with a Not Your Mother’s “She’s A Tease” Volumizing Hairspray, that’s what! Unlike my daughter, I love…LOOOOOOOVE…..the big hair rocker look. I grew up with it, I think it’s fun, and it is sooooo me! Back in the day, we used a can of alcohol/bug spray-smelling Aqua Net, freezing each spray with a hairbrush, curling iron and hair dryer giving us a look of full hair that would make any 80’s girl proud. Now, I like that full look still, but I don’t want the stickiness, the crazy-glue stiffness, the frizz and that chemical smell that reminded me of 9th grade science class. (“Stay away from the Bunsen burners, ladies!”) For years, I’ve been sniff testing hair sprays to find one that didn’t smell like moonshine, but still had good hold. “She’s A Tease” gives me everything I want in a hairspray: a firm hold, lift and volume and humidity resistance keeping the frizzies in check. In addition, NYM’s Volumizing Hairspray contains apple blossom and bamboo extract to strengthen your hair and give you extra volume with a nice scent. The hold is STRONG! You don’t have look for the formula that’s right for you…. there is one formula which works for everyone. A no brainier! This, by far, is my favorite hair spray on the market right now. An all-day manageable hold with a smell I love!

I am so glad I discovered this great brand. It’s not a line of products that will flood your TV with commercials or jam your magazines with luke-warm ads. But it is out in stores where you can get it and with salon results at drug store prices! Seriously, that is amazing. I think word of mouth is great advertising–honest and convincing–and I will certainly do my part to get the information about NYM’s products to fashionistas everywhere… they’re that good. You can find Not Your Mother’s “Kinky Moves” Curl Defining Hair Cream and “She’s A Tease” Volumizing Hairspray as well as other fabulous products in their line at stores in your area such as CVS, Target, Walmart and ULTA Beauty. To order online, you can find Not Your Mother’s products at cvs.com, ULTA.com and drugstore.com. The price for the items I tried is an extremely reasonable $6 each.

This Sassinista is telling you to run–not walk–to get Not Your Mother’s products to treat yourself and your hair to some fabulous styling and pampering. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and Facebook too! They often have deals and contests which is FAB! I love the products, my hair loves them, and I have found a way to keep my auburn tresses smelling and looking fab all day long. A salon look without the salon price? One word–awesome!

The Midlife Crisis of a Sassinista….

14 Apr

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Okay, so this post doesn’t have a whole lot to do with fashion and glamour. In a way it will, since my solutions include them. But it’s more about feelings. Oh, see? There goes all the male readers, shutting down their iPads and heading to the fridge the minute they read the word “feelings.” Most men will agree that women + feelings + emotions + conversation = MIGRAINE or DISASTER. Scotch or exercise. Or doing anything that hasn’t been done in months around the house that suddenly needs tending to, so they can avoid the topic like the plague. (“Yeah, umm, honey? I’m going to take care of that thing by the shed. You know, that thing!”) I truly believe emotional fashionistas are walking time bombs. We are one sad news story or spilling wine on a white bebe top away from just losing our shit. And it’s not pretty. OH, it’s not pretty at all.

I go through this stage–lasting from a day to a month–probably once a year or so. It happens more frequently than before so I kind of write it off to a midlife crisis…that happens frequently. So you see, this isn’t new to me. When it does happen, it tends to happen in winter. Medical professionals might diagnose it as having “SAD” which stands for “seasonal affective disorder”. Doctors are still perplexed about these winter-related shifts in mood. Blah blah Vitamin D deficient, blah blah seratonin decrease, blah blah lack of sun. WHAT-EV-AH! All I know is it makes me feel old and lifeless. This year, I have to say, it didn’t hit till now. A little late this year, according to Dr. Mood Disorders. I’ve been riding pretty steady the past few years, surfing the confident and contentment wave for a while. Happy with my work, happy at home, happy about life. But lately, kind of out of nowhere, I have hit a wall. And I’ve hit it HARD. I am blah about feeling BLAH! Oh, and I refuse to go the “Oh I hate my life. Nobody likes me. My work is so unfulfilling” bullshit route. I know I have good days, days I love! But right now, all I know, is I am having a midlife meltdown. I’m in a solid funk.

What does it feel like when a Sassinista gets in a funk? Anything and everything. (AKA: Be afraid!) To me, I feel “old”, I look “old”, I can’t remember what I said five minutes ago and I already forgot what I was going to say next. I have this pathetic feeling that I everyone I encounter will piss me off, and most times they usually do. Driving to the store gets radioed out to law officers ahead of time that a redhead in a four-wheeled weapon is on the road and all should proceed with caution. I sometimes think I could lock myself in my closet with my iPhone or iPad (of course), a bottle of Red Coke and a box of oatmeal cookies for a week or maybe two and I’d be thrilled. But the fact is, I need to make some changes. And it’s up to me to turn it around.

So how did it come to this? I don’t think I would be wrong in saying that the weather here HASN’T helped. One day it’s sunny, the next it’s cold and windy, sometimes we go for days without any sun. It rains, it snows, it sleets at any given time without warning. (That would be right now in fact.) I could spoil myself at the mall in a pair of leopard espadrilles (that’s a wedge-type sandal) with boyfriend jeans, feeling all primped and pumped, only to leave and see an inch of snow on my car. Like… WTF is up with that! Because of being cooped up through all this, I get stir crazy at home. I sleep a lot, I get restless a lot. I get grumpy a lot. I eat a lot. Or I eat nothing at all! Even if I treated myself to a little “retail therapy” or “food fixation”, I’d feel okay for a bit then I’d feel bad about it later. It’s a vicious circle that I’m just spinning around in, day after day.

So the question becomes… how do I emotionally, physically, mentally and financially get out of this funk without losing a friend, cleaning out the shoe department of Macy’s, making Xanax my meal of choice for breakfast, or just grabbing a few necessities and moving into the shed? The “good” news is I’m not alone with this. (Oh my God, you mean there’s more of me?) Doctors see it all winter long. Some of my friends get in the rut. But I don’t think it’s just a “pop a pill” situation. I think a lot of the fixing has to be done slow, from the inside, and with a lot of help … by myself. Now granted, if I thought this was serious in any way, I’d be at an M.D. in a heartbeat. But since my funk has funked me before (that sounded funny!) it’s a case of just doing little things to slowly get out of this. And with the calendar on my side, there is hope. So I’ve listed some things I do or try to do when I need to do some “funk-busting”. These things are not for everyone. Lord KNOWS they aren’t for everyone, but if something tickles your fancy, smile and consider doing it:

Sassy’s Personal Funkbusters:

1). DO SOMETHING…ANYTHING! Laying in bed, shutting yourself away from society is not going to help your blah mood. Even if its just reading a magazine at the book store, hitting a coffee shop with a friend, doing work on the iPad, or taking photos…do SOMETHING out of the house. The fresh air–no matter how cold or wet–is better than being droopy in bed watching endless episodes of Law & Order SVU.

2). Get a haircut. If its been a while, take some time to revamp your hair. You don’t need to do anything drastic either. Your can always try playing with a new color, but I love my auburn and wouldn’t mess with it. But a nice trim, followed by a home warm coconut oil or yogurt masque will give you AND your hair a major boost.

3). Get a manicure. Just to have someone massage then hold my hands then paint my nails for an hour is well worth the small price. Pick out a color that will match the mood you want. Plus salon mani’s are good for you nail strength.

4). Go for a small walk. Yeah, I know… BORING! But go for a walk at the nearest mall. Hell, bring a coffee. Yes, it’s good exercise but take it in as a sight seeing tour. Look at everyone around you. Try to guess what they are thinking. Make up stories for different people. It’s almost like making your own movie in your head!

5). Watch your favorite sad movie. Watch it all alone with a box of tissues and cry your mother-loving eyes out. Sometimes a good cry is cleansing. Think that all these negatives you feel that you are surrounded with are being washed out. Then have an ice cream or a cupcake and depuff your eyes with cold cucumber slices. Shhh. I won’t tell.

6). Play beauty parlor. Put yourself in front of a mirror, drag out every hair styling tool and styling product. Take all your makeup brushes and your glamour selection and go to town. Grab a couple of magazines with new seasonal looks in them and practice. Take a pic or two of each look with your phone so you can see what you like and mistakes you can avoid in the future. Be daring, be adventurous!

7). Go shopping. Yes, retail therapy is costly and only temporary, but you don’t have to let it be. Research local consignment shops and thrift stores in your community. Do some second-hand browsing! It keeps your purchase costs down and local business thriving too.

8). Find a new fragrance. Go to your local high end store and sniff away. Don’t forget to cleanse your senses with coffee beans after every third sniff (just put a few in a zippy bag and bring it along with you.) Also bring two extra baggies with cotton balls in them. After trying as many as you can, spritz your two faves in each bag, zip it up and keep them. Take them home and try them again tomorrow. It sometimes takes a day or so for all the notes to come to the surface. Once you find one that lifts you up?–go for it.

9). Volunteer. Shelters, food banks, hospitals, nursing homes… they are always looking for people to put a smile on their residents faces. Maybe you can do your daughter’s nails or her friend’s nails! You’ll find yourself smiling in no time too!

….and lastly….

10). Get a tattoo or something pierced. Seriously, this is NOT for everyone, but patheticly it is for me. Does pain infliction cause me to feel younger? No, but I gotta say I feel high as a kite for months after I get some new ink. I dunno.

I hope none of you are in a “screw everybody” mood like me, but if you are, take some pleasure in knowing you’re not alone. Let’s hope these blues make way for some bright clear skies, warmer temps, pretty flowers and glamour and fashion galore! Don’t let your mood get the best of you. Chomp away at those blahs, one small bite at a time and soon you’ll be flying high again!

You Know You’ve Made It When…

11 Apr

….you’re Facebook friend’s dogs are even cheering you on! Now THAT’s what I call fans!

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Thanks, John!!

Sassy’s Spring Six

8 Apr

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Happy April, spring seekers!  Are you ready for the snow to be gone? Ready for some warmer days? Dying to get some of your warmer clothes out from hiding? Can you hear your sandals yelling, “Let me out! Let me out!”  Well, Sassinistas, that time is just about here! Granted, you will get a cold day and night once in a while, but for the most part you can feel the sun getting warmer each day and that is a fabulous, FABULOUS thing. Even though the seasons have changed, that hasn’t changed the fact that I can still find some great Sassy items for ALL seasons!  What six did I find during March?  Let’s see:

LorealCode1. L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector: Fact or fiction: An uneven facial skin tone effects how old you look. Fact! Oh, and not just a little… uneven skin tone can make you look as much as 10 years older!  It is important to help keep your skin looking young as long as you can however you can. L’Oreal’s Serum can help to correct and revitalize skin tone by lightening dark spots, age spots, sun damage and post acne marks. I noticed a difference in my skin tone in just two weeks. I never had major damage to my skin tone, but this product even brightened my dull skin to make it look younger. What I love to do? Mix two pumps of the L’Oreal Serum with a shake of my favorite mineral powder and I have a nice, light, creamy foundation that is keeping me young! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $24.99)

FriedaRed2. John Frieda Radiant Red Colour Protecting Shampoo & Conditioner: Most of us “gingers” (I actually don’t like that term, so that will be the only time you’ll see me use it here) try anything to keep our red locks looking bright & fresh. And it’s not easy. Last month I wrote how I’m hooked on using cranberry juice as a rinse to keep my red hair nourished and bright, but now I also found a daily shampoo and conditioner to help as well.  It nice knowing I’m using a hair product specifically for my hair color, to enhance its tones and prevents fading. Leave it to John Frieda–a hair genius–to develop daily use products to help not just specific hair concerns but also specific hair colors. The results I’ve had with this line is great. My bright red is staying bright even longer!! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $6.99 each)

RocketMascara3. Maybelline Volum’ Express ‘The Rocket’ Waterproof Mascara: Good lord, my middle make up drawer is starting to look a mascara graveyard. I could write a college paper on what mascaras don’t cut it, aren’t that great, haven’t got what it takes, or just plain suck. My list of mascaras I like is definitely a short one. The promotional hype on Maybelline’s new Rocket mascara is certainly eye-catching…probably because it is in every magazine, is seen frequently in TV ads, and is surround you at every corner when you are in the cosmetic department of every drug store. So, like, YEAH, I’m going to buy it because I’m still in search of the “ultimate” mascara. Fact is, this isn’t it. But don’t let that discourage you from buying it.  It actually has incredible stay power, with absolutely no smudging or flaking all day. Its small mini comb brush help to coat each lash while separating them. I would like it a bit more if I got more length from it, but for an everyday stay put mascara, it is worthy of being on the vanity! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $7.49)

JCHeart4. Juicy Couture’s Pave Heart & Toggle Luxe Necklace: Listen, being a sassinista goes way beyond just having your makeup and shoes looking good. Fashion and glamour starts on the inside and works its way out, from head to toe. Now, listen up here because this is very important. When you visit brand or company websites, most of them want you to sign up for their emails or e-newsletters. Your inner voice says, “Hellz to the no! I don’t want an inbox full of crap.” Let me say that maybe a good percentage is just blah-blah-blah, but every once in a while a contest, a coupon or a deal will come through that will make it all worth those repetitive deletes. And I landed one of those last month. Juicy Couture followers received an email stating they were having a Facebook Fan sale on one item at a ridiculously low price. So, wanting to see what it was, I ventured over to Facebook and checked out their page. Sure enough, there it was: they were having a sale for just Facebook fans on their pave heart and toggle necklace. It was available in three shades–gold, silver and rose gold. AND they were offering free shipping. This gorgeous necklace, regularly $70, was available FOR ONE DAY ONLY for $38. I was on it like a moth on a lightbulb. It was delivered in four days, beautifully packaged, and was accompanied with a tester perfume. Marketing emails can overrun your inbox, but sometimes it’s worth it’s weight in rosé gold! Seriously, create a gmail account for just fashion and beauty sites to keep them separate from the pictures of your Aunt Betty’s birthday party. You never know what surprises may come your way. (Sold out, but other great pieces available at juicycouture.com)

Vaseline5. Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer:  I’ll be honest: I really didn’t think a spray-on quick drying moisturizer would a) work; b) be useful; or c) work. (Did I say that already? Sorry.)  The thought behind it was remarkable. Spray on an all over moisturizer that would dry fast so you could get ready faster. Now, given, there are days when I like to take some time after a shower when I can really pamper myself with a nicely scented body butter, maybe with a bit of shimmer. Those are days I can allow the moisturizer to slowly soak in giving me time to relax and enjoy the experience. Then there are the days I hit the snooze button way too many times and I have to FLY! No time for a long relaxing shower, no time to select a soothing scented moisturizer to put on. No way, to-day! I gotta go!! That’s when I first tried the Vaseline® Spray & Go™ Moisturizer. Okay, gotta say, it was nice. Of course my skin didn’t have that luxurious creamy feel to it, but it was soft, smooth, and I was able to dress fast. I like that the moisturizer scents don’t collide with my perfumes too.  It’s a great way to give your skin the moisture it needs when time is of the essence! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $7.99)

Beer6. Beer  If you asked someone what they do with their left over beer, almost everyone will say, “What’s that?” Beer is a readily available drink which is a necessity during football games and college parties. But did you know it has a formula that is great for your hair? Do you care that you can put it on your head and not throw a ping-pong ball in it? If you do, then it will be helpful to know that there is protein in the malt and the hops in beer. These will coat, repair and replenish your hair making it soft and shiny. These natural ingredients are a great way to give your hair a shiny, full bounce. You can open a new can or use some leftovers…. it’s up to you. I do suggest, however, that you don’t use the beer in Uncle Larry’s red Solo Cup. You might lose a body part if you try that.  (Available at… well, hell, you know where to get beer.)

I couldn’t be happier to wish my blog lovers and Twitter followers a Happy Spring!  Remember, the sun is getting brighter and warmer so don’t forget your sunscreen and use this as a reason to go out and get yourself a pair a flashy, hawt sunglasses! Start fading in those great, bright spring colors into your closet and just enjoy the days we’ve been patiently waiting for!!

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