Tag Archives: hair spray

Fave Beauty Companies-2016

19 Feb

sephoraaislesAround this time, I start thinking about the products that I fell in love with last year. As I sat at my vanity today, I realized I fell in love with A LOT of things in 2016! Skin care, makeup, fashions… you name it. I think I have my visit to The Makeup Show in NYC last May to thank for that. I learned about so many big companies as well as “indies” that had products that were above so many others. Not to mention, I was able to ask questions about their ingredients so it could help me decide on possible items that my sensitive skin wouldn’t protest. So instead of me singling out each product that I am crushing on big time (and trust me—there are many), I thought I would talk about some of the companies that have given me items that are now a part of my regular beauty and glamour routine:

twinmedixTwinMedix: None of my makeup products would look or feel good on my face if my skin wasn’t in great condition. I had been using a “variety” of skin care products from different companies to try and get my skin to a place where I was happy. I admit, I am fighting the clock when it comes to anti-aging skin care for my face. I thought I was winning, but then I began to realize that all the different products I was using were usually created to work their best with other products from the same brand. Sometimes those sister products were hard to find, very expensive or even irritated my skin. I was kind of at a loss as to what to do. That was until I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. I was honored to meet and be able to have a little one-on-one time with the fabulous makeup artist, James Vincent. I asked him what smaller, unknown companies at the show should be on my “must see” list. His first answer?—TwinMedix. I stopped by their booth and met their fabulous President, Michelle, who was a sweetheart. I told her about the problems I was having with my skin and what I wanted to achieve in the long run. She introduced me to the ENTIRE line from TwinMedix. If I was going to try this brand, I was going to do it right and use ONLY that product….and I am so glad I did! My skin has NEVER looked and felt as good as it does now. I have been using each product faithfully since last May and I love the results. Their state-of-the-art technology enables them to create the purest and most professional formulas that integrate pharmaceutical-grade vitamins to treat and protect your skin. It is so high tech that there are very few products that are needed—a great cleanser (O2), a phenomenal exfoliator (X), and vitamin enriched serums (C10,E5 A15) that are used each day and night. For a redhead with sensitive skin, I have to say my face has never looked and felt so good. The vitamins they use are known to help fight against aging, and they are abundant in the TwinMedix line. As hesitant I was to try a skin care line without research, Michelle told me how to use each product and why! She even told me to let her know what I thought after I used them for a while… and I did. I am glad I found the TwinMedix line of skin care products. I still don’t like getting old but now I have the goods to help me help kick over the hourglass in the aging process!

katvondKat Von D: Being in the tattoo industry made me aware of the KVD line of cosmetics as soon as her line was released. Anyone who follows her knows that she doesn’t blend in with the crowd and she is proud of it. After many years of “blending”, I finally found my voice (and pen!) and began being the sassy redhead I am now. When I am out in public, I like doing my makeup in different ways. No matter what the attire is for the day, my makeup always has a pop to it. Sometimes it’s a bold lip, sometimes a rocker eye look. When the winged eyeliner look took off, I was lost. VERY lost! I couldn’t get it to look good like some girls that came to the tattoo shop. I watched videos, I played dress up, I tried. Then I learned that it might be easier to get the look I want if I used a better liner. What did everyone suggest? You got it… Kat Von D’s. It all started with her famous Tattoo Liner. I fell in love immediately! The long wear formula and easy peasy pen design let me get the winged liner look the way I liked. It even gave me the precision of the thin pen design to create some fun, “out there” looks. My next love was her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. It is no secret that I like to talk. If I am out and decide to have a cup of coffee with a friend, I don’t want my ordinary lip color to end up on my teeth or all over the coffee cup. I want it to stay put for a long time. KVD’s Liquid Lipstick does just that! If it is on, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The colors she has are awesome—bold, flawless and long lasting. She even has colors that are REALLY bold, like purple, hot pink, blue and black. What I like to do is create my own color of the day. I pick the shades of Everlasting Liquid Lipstick that I want to blend, use a clean lip brush, and apply my own shade that will last. I don’t think I have ever created the same color twice! The possibilities are endless. My lip look can be as neutral or as strong as I want. In fact, when I went to order my latest KVD lip color, I had the opportunity to get a sample of her Lock It Concealer Cream. When it came, I thought I would just try it out since I don’t really have dark circles under my eyes. Well, that may be true but I couldn’t believe how “bright” my makeup looked on my face when I used it. The color was spot on (which is difficult for a redhead to find) and it carefully hid the flaws that I didn’t know I had! I was in awe and I ordered the full-sized product that week. I will be looking forward to sampling different things in the KVD line when I get the chance to get to a Sephora and adding to my favorite cosmetics. (Oh, by the way? Do not overlook her makeup brush collection. She may not have many of them but the ones she does have in her line are FABULOUS!)

makeupforeverMake Up For Ever: This is a big name when it comes to cosmetics. That’s probably because they are masters of just about everything in the industry! If you are looking for a product that you loved from another company and it recently got discontinued, I suggest you look at MUFE. They even have things I never knew about or thought I needed… but now are part of my makeup routine. One of those items is their Aqua XL Eye Pencil. I love my liquid liner on my top lid, but when it comes to the waterline on my bottom lid, it is hard to get any liner to stay there for a long time. The Aqua XL is perfect for just that. Not to mention, it is a pencil you have to sharpen yourself so you can get a nice tip for precise application. It is a product I use EVERY day. I am also a big fan of MUFE’s Aqua Seal, especially since almost all of my eye shadows are mineral loose powders. If I need to keep my eye look in place through the craziest of situations (all-night dancing, tear-jerker movies, photo shoots…in the rain), I will use a just a little on my eye shadow brush and pat it on using my shadows. It does dry quickly, so have an idea of the look you want before you start because it is meant to stay and IT DOES. This is also great to use if you want to create eye liners in wild shades. Using an angled liner brush, dip the tip in the Aqua Seal, pick up a bit of pigments from shadow pot and apply along the top lashes or in/below the bottom lash line. The bottle lasts a long time, just keep it sealed tight. When it comes to finding a foundation, I will take and suggestion or recommendations (let’s not forget about samples!) really help me decide on one I might like to try. I find my skin to be very sensitive to department store & drug store liquid make-ups. When I had the chance to pick the brain of a professional makeup artist, I asked what his go-to foundation was. He didn’t hesitate: Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face and Body Foundation. It is SUPER light but buildable. It doesn’t “hide” my skin but in fact makes my skin look natural and flawless. Again, the bottle is REALLY big and lasts a long time. Some might be put off by the price, but if a bottle lasts an entire year, that breaks down to pennies a day. Then, to complete my look, I like to give my face a nice dusting with an HD powder. It sets my makeup and leaves my skin flawless. The finishing powders I had used in the past left my face looking “cakey” so I was hesitant to try them again. Then I received a sample of MUFE’s HD Microfinish Powder and I’ve been using it ever since. It was hard to process that a powder could be white but it truly is colorless and anyone can use it. A nice, light finish for all day wear and perfect for movies, videos and photos. I always keep an eye on Make Up For Ever to see if they have any new items that I might love as much as these.

lamineralsLA Minerals: “Who?” you ask. Exactly. LA Minerals is a small indie company that I stumbled on while looking for products that wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin many, many years ago. I was able to try many different formulas and shades (which they have many of!) to see what mineral powder foundation would work for me. They have samples available for almost all of their products so it was nice to try ones I liked and see after a couple of uses whether it would work for me. Well, they did. They ALL did! I ended up getting hooked on a light coverage formula (Valley Girl) for summer when I just need an all over dusting in the heat; a heavier coverage mineral makeup foundation (Hollywood) during the colder months when my skin is a bit is a little paler and uneven toned; a pure, no talc blush in a color that goes with everything I wear without giving me itchy skin; an oil-controlling finishing powder that keeps the shiny-ies away when my skin gets a little oily in the summer and during workouts; “diva dust” that works as a fantastic high-sparkle cheek, lip and eye highlighter; and pure mineral eye shadows that can go on wet or dry, contain no talc, and requires very little product for a great look. What is nice about LA Minerals is that they have a “frequent flyer” code every month for returning customers. You will never see this company in magazines, on TV, or in cosmetic stores. It is all done by one fantastic woman with a great product that thrives on referrals. I have been singing her praises for MANY years and will continue to do so! (Footnote: LA Minerals just released a pure mineral LIQUID foundation which its AWESOME, especially on my dry, winter skin.)

Paul Mitchell: If your skin and makeup are looking great, you might as well make sure you have beautiful hair too! After a horrid hair decision over 3+ years ago, I had to find someone that would fix my mistake and get my hair healthy again. My BFF at the time said he knew just the person and set up a time for her to come discuss my options. She was a miracle worker! She still keeps my hair, even today. I still have a bit of damage to my ends, but they are almost completely grown out. Whenever I would go see her for my appointments, I would ask her what items would work best on my hair to do this or that. The first item she suggested was a Paul Mitchell spray called “Hot off the Press”. It was a multi-function styling product that could be used with hair appliances to hold the style or after I was completely done with my hair for a good hold that wasn’t sticky or damaging. It was exactly what I needed and there is always 1-2 cans in my loft at all times. Since I had been “enhancing” my hair color over the past several years, it was important to find the right products that would extend the life of my color without causing more damage. PM came out last year with a fabulous line of products just for that! The Ultimate Color Repair line not only helps repair current damage but also seals in color preventing fading and keeps hair shiny & soft. This has been my go-to line ever since it came out to keep my auburn tresses bright and healthy! In addition to those favorites, I also have other Paul Mitchell styling products that I love that helps give me a fab look for the day/night. You will find Super Skinny Serum, Stay Strong, Thicken Up, Extra Body Finishing Spray in my collection at all times. Even with that chaotic hair experience, my stylist along with Paul Mitchell’s great products has helped my hair to get healthy again… and has what I need to keep it that way!

We all know that when we see an advertisement in a magazine or on TV for a beauty product, our ears perk up and we try to justify how this great product could fit into our beauty routine. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. As I have gotten more mature, I have learned that new doesn’t always mean better. Although for us makeup junkies, it is hard to turn away from something new that looks great. Nowadays, I find myself asking “Is it worth the time and money to try this or should I stick with the product I already have that I KNOW does exactly what I want it to do?” Sometimes I do venture off and try something new, but I am also finding that loyalty has its privileges…and results!

Let me know what you think about this: Do you have a brand that you are completely loyal to? Do you have any “must have” products from different brands that do what you love and won’t try anything else? Or are you an “I have to try it!” person who is always looking for something newer/less expensive/better? Let me know your thoughts on brands or products you LOVE!
makeupaisles

“Letters From The Loft” (?) ……

5 Nov

Im-SorryI feel bad. I really do. I have completely ventured off course in regards to my list of the “30 Days of Beauty”. I don’t even think I got through a third of it. That’s sad. My dilemma now is this: do I finish the list, taking however long it will take me, or do I just write a blurb here and there while mainly focusing on the things that are awesome and hot right now in the industry. Rather than miss an opportunity to show my readers and fans the things that are new, hot, steals or seasonal stuff, I think I will keep my Sassinistas in the loop and just drop a “30 Days” article in once in a while.

WriterNow, let’s talk about my writing for a second. The fact is, I haven’t done much of it lately. And my passion for sharing my love of this industry has been very minimal over the past year. I really don’t know why either. I love to write. I love to try new products and share my experiences with my readers. I love to teach. I love to find great sales and steals and share with all. I love to design and create new looks based on what is new, what is hot, as well as integrate existing fashions into today’s trends. So why haven’t I done just that? Have I been too busy with life? Has my other J.O.B. consumed my every waking second? Have I fallen out of love with fashion and glamour? OH HELL NO!! In fact, I’m seeing it through a different perspective lately. I just haven’t had the time, energy or ambition to… for lack of a better term… focus. And that’s not good. Not good at all. Oh what is a Sassy red head to do?

After a long thought process, I have decided to make a big move in regards to my writing career—I have decided to look into renting some space where I can go, by myself, to focus on my blog and my desire to be BIG in this industry. Carrie Bradshaw had her Manhattan “Loft” in Sex and the City, and it worked for her. Why couldn’t it work for me? I could use that time to either research, test, write or brainstorm about what I want to share with my fans and readers in regards to items that I have discovered or fell in love with. I would need a space where I can spread out endless magazines and circle pages with a big marker of what I think is awesome. I could find things that are fitting for the season, things I discovered, items I have tried and loved, creations or concoctions I have made for my skin, and of course, research things that may or may not–in my opinion–live up to the hype. The time to go and write would be my own. The space would be free from distraction. I would be able to put myself and my writing first without interruption. It would be exactly what I need to refocus on my passion.

LoftA friend of mine recently rented a small apartment in a very historical part of a town not too far from where I live. He asked me if I could watch his place one day while some electrical work was being done by his landlord. He had to be at work and couldn’t take time off to be there so I said yes. To kill time, I decided to fire up my pathetically dusty laptop and try to write. BOY DID I! I began this article and started my next one, more than I have done in months. Even with the maintenance men there, I was able to get stuff edited and photos downloaded. I had a beautiful view out of the old, classic framed windows to inspire me. It overlooks cobblestone streets, gorgeous foliage, with only sounds coming from the bells of the old churches and the occasional car driving by. When I first saw it, all I could think of was Carrie’s apartment. It was almost exactly the same, except for the fact there are no designer shoe stores nearby. C’est la vie. But there is everything else—-which is exactly what my career needs. My friend is only there a few hours a night, and I would only need it a few hours each day. Professionally AND practically, it’s perfect! And for less than the cost of a bottle of Xanax, a daily cappuccino (or three) and a portion of my sanity, I could pay a small amount towards expenses such as electricity, tea and toilet paper and write without bother. All I would need to buy is a desk, a chair and a surge protector. I mentioned it to him and he thinks it’s a great idea. I’m already considering adding a new section to my blog called “Letters from the Loft” where any topic is free reign.
I. Freaking. Love. It.!!

So, without bogging you down with details of obvious necessities that this fashion writer needs for her future work area, I’m going to address things that ANY working woman might find they need in their “space” at work. Of course, these might be a little more glamour oriented, but that’s perfectly okay. It is TOTALLY fine to be a high-profiled woman who has the things she needs to ROCK her job and her look…and that includes me! Here are a few things that I would make sure sit by me at my desk in “The Loft”:

GoopBurtsBeesAlmondHand Cream: Interior environments for us women can be detrimental to our hands. Between shaking them, typing with them, writing with them, washing them, not to mention dry-as-hell interior heating sources, our hands can get parched as a pile of fall leaves. The texture and appearance of a woman’s hands can give her age away faster than any driver’s license can. That’s a true fact. It is especially important to keep them hydrated with a fast-absorbing cream during the day so you don’t leave your work area a greasy mess and an extra emollient cream at night to lock in moisture while you sleep. If at all possible, use a good hand cream with SPF to protect them from sun damage that can come in through work windows, cars, sunroofs as well as sun/wind/snow glare. If you find a hand cream you like that doesn’t have an SPF in it? Just transfer the hand cream to a small jar and add a good, gentle SPF to it. Sassy likes: For day…Supergoop! Handcream at Sephora (A Best of Beauty by Allure award winner). Sephora, $12/1 oz., $34/10 oz. For night…Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream  (2013 Natural Health Beauty Award Winner). Drug stores, $9.00

eosBlackberryFGGKateLip Balm: I never hide the fact that I have a serious weak spot for ALL lip products. Sometimes when I am not going out in public, I just want a good balm that will moisturize without question. If I think I am going to have to interact with anyone, I prefer something slightly jazzy with a bit of sparkle or a hint of color. It is kind of a pain to keep two things with me, but I’ve carried much heavier things in my purse. Plus, at The Loft, I can leave two without causing clutter. Remember to look for a lip balm/tint that focuses primarily on the condition of your lips and less on the scent or flavor. Sassy likes: For just moisture… eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere Blackberry Nectar. Drug & retail stores, $3.29; For moisture plus a tint… For Goodness Grape Lip Tint in “Kate”, a natural peachy pink shade loaded with oils and butters to keep your lips pretty and smooth. Forgoodnessgrape.com, $9

SallyHansenTripleRevlonEmeryStrong Nail Necessities: Oh you KNOW this has happened to you! You sliced or chipped a nail while doing something at your job and that one nail file you keep in your drawer is now being used by Tom in accounting to try and fix his picture frame. *shakes head*. I don’t recommend keeping anything spectacular or expensive to mend a nail at work, but you need to carry something. ALWAYS carry something! Get an inexpensive package of nail files and put one in your purse, one in your pen holder, one in your desk, one in a file marked “Hit List”, whatever you need to do. With using scissors, typing, picking off tape, or bumping them into desks, you can be sure your nails will take a beating. Keep them strong with a good protector or top coat and a go-anywhere file in your work space just in case. Sassy likes: Sally Hansen Triple Strong Advanced Gel Nail Fortifier. Walmart, $8.19; Revlon Compact Emery Boards (pack of 24). Walmart, $2.00.

Paul_Mitchell_Freeze_and_Shine_Super_Spray_500ml_16.9oz__87755.1345152407.328.245

paul_mitchell_express_dry_stay_strongHair Hold: Even if you don’t move all day, your hair will. I am not quite sure how that happens, but it does. Sometime during the course of my day I will grab a quick peek in the mirror. I check to make sure my eye makeup isn’t running down my face, my lips are soft and tinted, my skin isn’t shiny or splotchy, and my hair doesn’t look like frazzled. If I have used the right makeup, I can be pretty sure the first three are fine. But the hair always seems to have a mind of its own. Of course, there are a lot of products that can literally glue my hair into a Barbie & Ken plastic look, but that’s so not me. I am not a big fan of the helmet head look. I’ve tried many products to keep a look without feeling crispy and without falling flat due to weather. There are only a few on my bathroom counter that gives me the hold without feeling sticky. And that’s definitely a good thing. Sassy likes: Paul Mitchell’s Express Dry Stay Strong Hair Spray, $18.99 & Paul Mitchell’s Freeze and Shine Spray, $26.68. Available at select salons through paulmitchell.com

LiveColorfullysephora_atomizerA Touch of Scent: I don’t like to wear a lot of perfume if I am going to be around a lot of people I don’t know. I wish some people would follow the rule that just because YOU can’t smell yourself doesn’t mean others can’t. Sample spritzers of perfume that come free with purchase or a try-size at a place like Sephora can be a life saver if you want a touch of scent to make yourself smile or to add to a application from earlier in the day. I am a BIG BIG BIG fan of the perfume rollerballs. I can carry them with me when I’m out and about as well as have a scent I like without investing a ton of money with the chance I’ll get sick of it or worse, have it “spoil” from age or elements. If you have found a scent you like, I suggest getting a couple of sample sprays from a place like eBay to keep at your desk or in your work. You can also get yourself a small refillable atomizer to carry with you with your favorite scent or maybe get some empty rollers to carry a few. You can change it up depending on your mood or season. Either way, it helps you feel refreshed to add a light burst of your favorite scent when you need a mood or motivation boost! Sassy likes: “Live Colorfully” Rollerball by Kate Spade, $25; Sephora Collection Color Universal Atomizers, $16.00. Both available at Sephora.com

celestial-seasonings-1024x682Good Teas: Not everyone is a coffee person. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but on days I need to stay relaxed, keep my head, focus, and maybe warm up a bit, I am a big fan of different flavor teas. I like loose teas when I have the time and where with all to make them and enjoy them, but that isn’t always possible. If I am in writing mode, I prefer to grab one all ready to go. I had won a contest with Celestial Seasonings a few years back which got me hooked on many of their flavors. It’s still my go-to tea when I need a warm “ahhh” moment from a beverage that is just good for me, inside and out! Sassy likes: Celestial Seasonings “Sugar Plum Spice” — a flavor that is just like the name; “Tension Tamer” that is a combination of peppermint, ginger & lemongrass; and “Honey Vanilla Chamomile” that is sweet and relaxing. The Sleepytime teas are a great relaxer as well, in great flavors like “Decaf Lemon Jasmine” which also helps with a cold at night and “Sleepytime Peach” with its calming, gentle peach flavor. Oh, and don’t forget an awesome mug. It’s a must! Sassy likes: Celestial Seasonings various teas available at select markets and online at celestialseasonings.com, prices vary.

As I think about my work space in the tattoo shop, I can say that many of the items I keep there are pretty much a necessity for my daily existence to maintain the look and feel I want throughout the day. Of course, there might be some of you who need extras and some who might need less. But for me? These items are kind of a “go to” list for when I just want to try and get through the day looking my best. So tell me… did I miss anything? Do you have a must-have item that is with you in your purse or at your desk every day? Let me know what it is! I’d love to see what necessities are must haves for you! Maybe they will even become a must-have for me too!

…and in the meantime? I will keep you posted on my status with the Loft. New endeavors have to begin somewhere. Personally? I think my writing career may have turned over a new leaf right here!
LetterBook

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 4

5 Jul

30DaysHapply Fourth of July everyone! Today is the day we celebrate with picnics, fireworks, family and flags. I feel like I fit right into this day: Blue Nails, white sparkle eyeshadow and bright red hair. Speaking of hair, we are up to day four: Hairstyle. Of all the things I probably could have the most trouble writing about, this topic will most likely be the one. Over the years, I have had issues with my hair. Between chemical treatments, over processing, bad products and more, re-establishing my long, soft, luscious auburn locks has taken time. I’m thankful my new stylist has taken care of me to get my hair back on track. A lot of teaching, a lot of pampering, and a lot of good products to give my tresses some TLC!

Red hairSeveral months ago, my writing and my love for good hair products caught the eye of the infamous Paul Mitchell company. They asked me to be a Paul Mitchell Insider, trying and testing new products they were getting ready to launch. They also would send me items from their line that might help me with my quest to rebuild my healthy hair. My challenge was always to find styling products that would help me hold a look without them drying out my hair or leaving it feeling sticky. With all the goodies that they had me try, I was able to do that.

After a while, I found the products I needed to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy. But now I was faced with a different challenge: the damage that had happened over the years had caused my hair to frizz, thin and break. I needed my length back. I read all kinds of articles on how to speed up my hair growth. I tried sprays, oils, waters, and vitamin-enriched products. I guess they helped, but I’m impatient. I’M A REDHEAD!!! I wanted long hair now. That’s when my stylist suggested I get a Halo Hair Extensions system. This new product is not damaging to your hair like extensions, clips or glues are. Basically it’s just a clear headband with real hair that sits on your head which is gently tucked under the top layer of your own hair, blending and flowing with your natural stands. Because it is real hair, it can be wash, dried, colored, curled, flat ironed or styled just like it was your own hair. I jumped at the idea of adding several inches of new hair to my head and got a Halo. I love it! It’s easy to work with and feels natural. So, until my own hair catches up, I can give my hair some waves and length to keep me feeling sassy!

So, the question becomes what am I using right now to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy? It’s involved so here is the list:
PaulMitchell

Halo Hair Extensions in #33 Dark Auburn in the 16″ length
OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner
Paul Mitchell Products Super Skinny Serum
Paul Mitchell Products Thicken Up
Paul Mitchell Products Fast Drying Sculpting Spray
Paul Mitchell Products Hot Off The Press Spray
Tool Structure Bone Super Rattail Comb from Sally Beauty Website
The Wet Brush from Sally Beauty Website

That sums up my hairstyle on Day 4. My hair is and probably always will be my signature feature to my look. Blazing red tresses hanging down pass my shoulders makes me stand out in a crowd. Even if you can’t remember my name, you never can forget me. I’m that sassy redhead with flaming, flowing hair and the feisty attitude to match!
Redheads

The Redhead, The Disaster and The Extensions….

14 Oct

Sassy AuburnOnce upon a time, there was a sassy redhead who loved her red tresses. They were her signature “accessory”. She loved to design her look with her fiery locks in mind. Not to mention… she had the attitude to match!

Then, tragedy occurred.

Somewhere in her clouded mind, this feisty redhead thought that a head full of long, red, wavy curls would look fabulous. And just like she was back the 80’s, she spent hours in a salon with stinky processing solutions and tight rollers that gave her a migraine headache. When she was done, her hair was full, curly and bright with color.

To quote the title of a S. E. Hinton book: “That Was Then, This Is Now”.

After a few weeks, her color began to turn a bland red with no shine or finesse. Her waves turned into a huge hairball of frizz. And every time she would brush, comb or wash it, hunks would break off in her hand. Eventually, the damage became so bad, she needed to cut away most of her marred mane just to salvage what was still in tact. The sad part? To do this she had to cut off about 6″+ of her beautiful ruby stands. Unfortunately, what was left wasn’t very healthy and needed continuous TLC. It was going to be a long process.

It didn’t take a lot of thinking to convince the sassy redhead to go to a new salon. On a referral from her friend, she found her hair savior beautician who worked magic better than Houdini. The red tresses got stronger, the perm s-l-o-w-l-y relaxed and her hair became more and more healthy. The only thing that was still frustrating? The length of the locks seemed to be taking FOREVER to grow. She wanted her long hair back…now! (Did I mention redheads are impatient too??) So she asked her magical hairdresser what she could do to get her long hair back sooner. The answer was obvious and not cheap if she was going to do it right. The only option: extensions.

With samples from her beautician, the sassy redhead thumbed through the options for her extensions. Colors, materials, grades, textures, the works. This Sassinista decided these were going to be an investment, something she would utilize for years to come, so she wanted the best of the best. She had worked hard for the money she was going to use to buy them, so the decision was hers: another pair of Manolo Blahniks that she’d wear only twice a year… or gorgeous long, red hair that would lift her spirits daily. The decision was easy. Hair it was.

Two weeks later and five sets of real hair auburn red extensions in hand, this sassy girl–moi!–got the hair she had always wanted. It was long, bright and soft, and it felt like it was made just for me. I was in tears, so happy that I had my long hair back…and then some. But now I was faced with a new challenge: keeping my new hair looking fresh and natural. With the proper instructions and the right products, I actually have found this to be very easy!

So what are some necessary items to keep my new long hair investment looking and feeling fresh, natural and healthy? Check these items out:

pure Image Shampoopure BLENDS Color Depositing Shampoo – This shampoo is part of the pure blends fade prevention and color correction system. The shampoos come in a variety of shades so you can create the tone that you like best and keeps your natural or enhanced color looking bright in between trips to the salon. It is sulfate & sodium chloride free, created with an herbal blend, plus is keratin and collagen infused to create a hydrating formula that will eliminate color fade and color washout. I use a combination of two parts Red and one part Marigold to give me the bright red I love with a hint of copper. The pigments are strong, the scent is appealing and the color is perfect to keep my hair blended perfectly with my extensions! A fab find for my hair. (Check salons in your area poor ones that sell the pure Blends line.)

RouxRoux Color Refresh Mask– If you are finding that you need a major “oomph” in your color that your shampoo can’t keep up with, this is a great way to get a mini blast of temporary color that can hold you over in between freshen-up dye jobs. This product is sold in a packet with a reclosable tab so you can get almost two uses out of a packet. Follow the directions exactly for the best results, especially about timing how long to leave it on. Although the color selection is very limited (only four!) I have found that by mixing the Fire Red with some of the Light Beige Blonde gives me the shade for me. This with the pigmented shampoo really keeps the frenzied fading reds in line! (Sally Beauty, $3.99)

Miracle 7Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist For Extensions – When I got my new hair, the one thing I was told was, before I combed it with a wide-tooth comb, to spray it with a healthy detangling spray. This one is just for extensions and is great. It helps to reduce static electricity, frizz and tangling while helping to blend your natural hair with the extensions. It also protects against UV damage which can cause fading and increase a natural looking shine. This is a must use for me every morning and every night before my routine comb out. (Sally Beauty, $13.99)

Wet BrushThe Wet Brush – Okay, ever since I started really taking pride in my hair and its health, I knew that the ultimate no-no was to brush your hair wet. It pulled, it broke damaged strands off, and it weakened even healthy ones. The Wet Brush does help reduce that, but I’m still a wide tooth comb after washing girl however. What I do love about The Wet Brush is that it is super gentle on my natural hair and extensions when they need a brush fluffing. The tips are super soft and the bristles are über pliable so the hair–real or extensions–aren’t pulled, tugged, or ripped out. A super gentle brush to give your hair body and shine. (Sally Beauty, $8.99)

Paul MitchellPaul Mitchell “Hold Me Tight” Hair Spray – Some hairsprays I think are in a competition to see who can hold your style the best in the middle of a hurricane. I’ve used “solid hold” sprays that actually held my hair in place because it turned my hair solid! With my new extensions, I needed a spray with a light, manageable hold with flexible control while still locking in moisture and shine. I’ve had many sprays over the years on my bathroom counter, but to keep my hair in place, maintaining a natural look, without causing buildup or dryness…this is my one and only, go-to spray! (Target, $17.99)

There you have it–the story of the redhead, the disaster and the extensions. Although I am sad that I had to “buy” myself long hair again, I have to say, at the present time, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. It’s an investment, no doubt. An investment in yourself. But just like a house is an investment, you do what you need to do to keep it looking its best. And if you do?…it will hold its value for a long, long time. Which is exactly what I plan to do with my “new” accessory!

15 Must-Have Drugstore Glamour Items

14 Aug

Drugstore makeupEveryone loves to share their top drugstore makeup finds with their readers, followers and fans. I’m no different. Even though I have makeup items from the Dollar Store all the way up to a $50 blush (I won it–hell no I didn’t buy it!!), there is no reason why you can’t get a to-die-for look from your local drugstore. I’ve even expanded my Top 10 to a “Top 15” because I want to make sure your drugstore look is COMPLETE!
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So here we go…my drugstore Top 15:

1. Say Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes– No one paints a masterpiece on a dirty canvas. The same goes for your face. Using a gentle but effective cleansing wipe that will quickly give you a clean surface to start your work of art is the perfect way to start your day. Say Yes To products have always been a favorite of mine especially since they have different formulas to target different problems. I like the cucumber ones the best. They are cooling and perfect for sensitive skin.

2. L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum Concentrate – If you have cleaned your face, you better take care of it. A good anti-aging cream is something to help combat the signs of mother nature without interfering with the look of your makeup. As far as drug store serums, I like this one the best. It it absorbs quickly and gives my skin a smooth all over feel.

3. Physicians Formula Correcting Primer 3-in-1 (Corrector + Primer + Sun Protection) – Three great features in one product. This correcting primer is perfect for me because it comes in a green tint which helps me balance my uneven skin tone. This keeps my smooth and even so I do not look washed out. It also prepares my skin for my foundation as well as gives me a minimal amount of necessary sun protection. With its built in brush, it is easy to apply and is exactly what my skin needs for its bottom layer.

4. Maybelline Fit Me! Shine Free Foundation – A genius must have created the premise for this unique product. A gentle foundation in a stick for easy application has a center strip that is an oil mattifier to prevent shining during the warmer months. Brilliant! The coverage last all day without the foundation sliding down my face or becoming blotchy after a few hours. Perfect for anyone with oily skin or breakthrough shining.

5. Rimmel Match Perfection Skin Tone Adapting Concealer – I have never really ever needed of concealer. Come on, don’t hate! I guess I am just blessed with no dark circles. But when I started working at my new J*O*B*, I found some nights just felt longer than others. And where did it show? Yup, my eyes. This really cool concealer doesn’t just hide dark circles or imperfections on the skin, but it also puts in a nice highlight to areas that look nice with a bit of oomph. Although it doesn’t come any many shades, I found one to match my pasty white skin tone perfectly.

6. Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow – I have not hidden the fact that I do not have time during my day to touch up my makeup. When I put it on in the morning, I would be very happy if it looks exactly the same way when I get home at 5 o’clock at night. That’s why I really like this eyeshadow. It is a highly pigmented cream, and goes on easily and quickly with your fingertip. And it stays…ALL DAY! I like the fact that I can use a single color all over my eyelid for a simple, jazzy look or I can combine one or two with easy blending for a more intense look. If I wear this eyeshadow, I never check my look in the mirror during the day–I know it will stay strong all day!

7. Milani Shadow Eyez 12 HR Eyeshadow Pencil – Even though I love my cream eyeshadows, I also like to have other options. This long-lasting eyeshadow pencil is great because it can give the eyes a lot a depth when combined with a darker liner. It has staying power so it can be used as a highlighter, a shadow, a contour color for a deep smoky look, or even as a bold colored liner. I like the fact I can sharpen it as crisp as I want to get it to go exactly where I’d like it. Sometimes I will use a light Tattoo cream shadow shade all over my lid, swipe on a line of bold color with Milani’s Eyecolor Pencil for pop, then line top and bottom with black for an edgy rocker look. Ka-pow!

8. Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Pencil – Long wearing eyeliners are a must in my makeup ensemble. I have all kinds, shapes, sizes, colors. They are the signature on my make up look. I like the various bold colors that Milani’s come in, and I have had the best luck with these not just staying strong in color pigments but also staying strong on my waterline. I tend to use just these pencils on the bottom of my eyelids. They seem to have the best holding power under there.

9. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Gel Eyeliner – Although I have several liquid eyeliners that I use on my top lids, lately I tend to lean more towards a smudged look when it comes to lining my upper lids. That’s why I really like the waterproof gel eyeliner. The thickness of the line and the darkness of the smudging is totally up to me. It’s also nice to line the upper lids with a heavy smudge line then add a little color along the edge if the top lash line. It just gives it a dramatic effect. Plus this gel liner really stays–it is still on even at bedtime!

10. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara – I have to admit, it is really difficult for me to find a drugstore mascara that I can put in the “love” category. Most of my favorite mascaras are high-end brands or purchased through department or specialty stores like Sephora. I grabbed this one on a hunch and also because it was new and the packaging was jazzy. (Yeah, I’m a sucker for advertising.) So far, I have been quite pleased. Definitely no smudging, no flaking and lashes are still holding strong at the end of the day. First drugstore mascara that I can say that about. Kudos!

11. Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush – When cream blushes hit the scene again a while back, visions of my mother with little pots of lipstick colored goop flashed before my eyes. I knew the powder blush I was using faded in an hour which didn’t make me too happy. I’m glad I gave Dream Bouncy Blush a try because it was nothing like anything out at the time. It’s not a heavy cream–it’s a lightweight gel with a smooth texture and blend-able color. The formula seems to have longer wear which I like even more than powder. Oily complexions should not be scared–it’s not heavy at all. Good shades with no shine!

12. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Lip Gloss – I think I am going on my fifth year or more that I’d have to put this is as my favorite lipgloss. And for all the right reasons! It’s available in many, many different shades–warm, cool & neutral. It’s not sticky, but its consistency is just heavy enough to keep the color strong for hours. And if all that isn’t enough, the fact it conditions your lips while it’s on sets it apart from all the rest! I’m not sure if I’d agree with it’s 8 hour claim, but I would say out of all glosses I own, it does stay on and true to color the longest.

13. Physicians Formula Talc Free Mineral Wear Correcting Translucent Powder – This item is odd looking but it does the job. It’s a tri-color talc-free powder that adjusts with your skintone to set your makeup look giving you a nice, even matte finish. Plus it’s formula is gentle even on the most sensitive skin!

14. Milani High Speed Fast Dry Nail Lacquer – Some people may not say a coat of nail polish is part of your daily makeup routine, but for a well-put together look, I think it is a necessity. Nicely polished nails–in any color–just show that you care about your appearance. Does it have to be a flashy color? No. A neat white or bare pink is fine. But a fast-drying coat of polish that you can put on in minutes before flying out the door can really give you a well, put-togethered look.

15. Paul Mitchell Hold Me Tight Finishing Spray – Wait!! Before you grab your coat, purse, sunglasses and cell phone, give your hair one last look, fluff where needed, then give it an all over spray with this non-sticky, soft but strong holding hair spray. It keeps the frizzies in check, holds your style and doesn’t damage your hair with stiff gluey ingredients. Even though it is a salon brand, thank heavens you can get it in your local drugstore. My hair will be forever thankful!

So, I went a little over the usual Top 10 lists, but the fact is this: with my 15 items? Your skin, face, nails AND hair will be looking fab. I want to make sure you have not just MY favorite drug store items but my favorite items that can give you a complete look as well as take care of your skin! I’m not sure what drugstores are local to where you live so I didn’t want to quote stores or prices since they can vary. But, FYI? … All of the items I listed were found on walgreens.com and iPhone app. That can give you a lead on where you might want to start.
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Hope this gave you some helpful info before your next glamour run at the store. Stay sassy ladies!!

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 Most $$$ I’ve Ever Spent On Hairspray…

18 Mar

Before you ask, no the girl in the photo is not me. That is very close to my actual hair color though, but my tresses stay neatly flowing along my shoulders. There are times, however, I want to give my hair a jazzy look (but not that jazzy). Hey, I’m a big hairspray metal girl at heart and nothing makes me feel more young and wild than the look you get with a half a can of Aqua Net sprayed while hanging your head upside down with the blow dryer on high. Spray… scrunch. Spray…. scrunch. Some of you are nodding, as you think back to your days of your favorite acid washed jeans. You younger kids are just shaking their head thinking, “Ummm….huh?” Ask your mom. She’ll tell you.

Anyhoo, the fact of the matter is, when I want to hold a style in my hair for the day, I want a good hairspray. If you go to your local CVS, you could leave with a panic attack after seeing the various types, brands, sizes, formulas out there to hold your hair. Not to mention, the prices vary like you wouldn’t believe! I’ve paid as little as $1.00 and as much as $10.00 on a can of holding spray over the years. And there are some that cost even more! But nothing has really made me stop in awe at the results that I had gotten from the various ones I’ve tried.

That is…. until now.

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to get a mini can of a hair spray by Samy Style Hair Products called “Fat Hair Amplifying Hair Spray“. I knew it wasn’t a cheap product because the trial size was three times more than I usually paid for my regular hair spray. But I’m a sucker for good packaging and a deal, so I picked it up. OMG, I fell in love immediately. This stuff holds…. I mean HOLDS! Windy day?… no problem. Damp and rainy outside?… it will hold. This little miracle can became my savior for all my styles. Regular day do’s and formal up styles that need to be locked in place without worry. I didn’t even wait for the trial can to run out. The minute I saw it on sale at a local drug store, I was there with cash in hand.

Now, the fact of the matter is… I won’t lie…. a large can of this miracle hair spray does cost $12.99 at my local CVS. That’s the most money I’ve ever spent on hairspray in my life. But it WORKS. It smells nice. It holds better than a mixture of concrete and crazy glue put together. And it doesn’t make my hair look crispy, crusty or fried. My only complaint is that you have to run the nozzle under hot water about once a week because it does clog a big. But I guess if it’s going to hold your hair good, it’s going to hold up the sprayer a bit too.

Today, I had to buy another can of Samy’s Fat Hair Amplifying Hair Spray since the can I bought three months ago is beginning to run out. I don’t use it every day, but I think… I THINK…. Mr.Sassy might be using it sometimes (shhhh, don’t tell). I had a coupon for $5 off a CVS purchase so I got it for about $7.99. Doesn’t matter. It works, I love it, my hair loves it, that’s all that counts. I’ve already found a few other Samy product I like as well. (Their Icing Instant Re-styler is AWESOME!!) If I found something that worked as good as the Samy products did for less money?… I’d be willing to give them a try. But right now, this sassy redhead is a Samy Styling girl at heart!!

Samy Styling Product's "Fat Hair". Available at most drugstores and retail outlets for approx. $12.99