Tag Archives: Paul Mitchell

Yeay!….Spring?

24 Mar

According to the calendar, spring came on Monday this week. As I sit here at my desk, you might not believe that. There is a still a coating of snow on the ground from a two foot storm we got LAST week. Some of it has melted but today the temperature is bordering on freezing so the rain that is falling right now is a combination of rain, freezing rain and sleet. Fun, fun. Let your inner self feel my excitement. Can you? Yeah… I can’t either.

With the date saying one thing but the skies saying something else, what are glamour and fashionistas to do when they want to add a few new things to their fashion/glamour collection but don’t know how to integrate them into this fickle weather? I have been looking carefully for things that I can use now but can also transfer into my regular spring routine (or even summer!) when the temps balance out to where they should be. It can be frustrating, but if you do your research there are a few things you can grab now that will be great for this time of year AND continue to be a plus as the weather continues to brighten up.

So what has Sassy been using lately? Here are a few things you may want to check out:

**Victoria Secret PINK Hoodie** – A hoodie of any sorts is a great seasonal transitioning piece. If it’s cold, wear it under a warm jacket. If it’s warmer, wear it under something lighter like a leather coat. If it is getting “warm”, wear a jazzy tee and leave the hoodie opened up. The thing that is nice about a hoodie is that they are so versatile that you really can wear any type and any color in ANY season. Since spring is here, I thought I would add a really nice pastel pink hoodie to my collection. I own no pink clothes. No really…nothing. I never thought it looked good with my auburn hair. But the shade I recently got looks really awesome. The color is flattering, the hoodie fits well, it is warm…. oh! And it was on sale! Cha-Ching! This is a great item to find on sale now so keep your eyes open for one you like.
Victoria’s Secret, prices vary by style.

**DSW’s Black Ballet Flat** – A few days ago, it was nice enough out for me to put aside boots and high-top sneakers and actually pull out a pair of flats to wear with my skinny jeans. Woo Hoo! Well, that was until I tried on the pair I wanted to wear. I couldn’t even get my toes into them! I have put on a couple of WANTED and NEEDED pounds over the winter and it seems some of it went to my feet. Maybe? It could also be from the foot surgery I had almost two years ago. I went through and tried on all my flats and realized I need about three different styles of black flats. I ordered a pair of ankle lace ups, a pair of fancy small wedges and a cool pair of flats with “studs”. Thankfully, all the other flats I have fit just fine. Flats are a must-have shoe style when the temperatures start to rise. It may be too warm for boots, but it may be way too cool for sandals. Flats come in all styles now so don’t be afraid to add a couple of pairs you like.
DSW.com, $39.95

**Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème** – I haven’t been one to use concealer much over the years. I’ve been lucky—the eye creams I have used have treated my eye area nicely, kept away dryness, and have prevented dark circles and fine lines. In my last Sephora order, I got a nice little sample of the KVD Concealer Crème and I put it on my vanity to try. This winter took its toll on my eyes a little bit. Over tired, stress, eye strain, even the sun. But after I tried the sample, I was VERY impressed. I will be honest…my face brightened right up! Not only does it do a great job at hiding little imperfections in the eye area (especially underneath) but it does an amazing job at illuminating my eye area AND face! This is great for this time of year because we often find that we need to moisturize our eyes more during the colder weather, but forget to use a product to brighten the skin around them. As it gets warmer, we can protect them from the sun to keep the eye area bright but often forget to use a gentle moisturizer. While we find the right product(s) that will help keep our eye area from aging, a good concealer can hide little tell-tale signs during the process. Kat Von D’s Concealer Crème does just that! The formula is gentle and the coverage is fabulous!
Katvondbeauty.com or Sephora, $26.00

**TwinMedix Pro: Essentials E5** – About a year ago, I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. It truly was a life changing adventure, both personally and professionally. I had the opportunity to meet with world-renowned makeup artist James Vincent who was a plethora of knowledge for me. When I mentioned I was frustrated with my sensitive skin and not being able to get my hands on good skin care near me, he told me to talk to Michelle Shaffer with TwinMedix. She was a doll. I explained to her that my skin gets irritated easily and I had to switch out brands and products depending on the season. She introduced me to the TwinMedix Pro line, explaining what each product did. Five simple products was the entire routine for day and night. Easy peasy. I have been using it faithfully ever since that day and my skin has never looked better! The one item, however, that I did not know how to put into the routine was the Essentials E5 product. Come to find out, this product is actually a MUST HAVE especially when seasons are changing. It contains pure Vitamin E which protects the skin from environmental damage while hydrating and soothing skin especially when it is exposed to harsh and changing weather conditions. It also calms sensitive skin like mine. I began to use it like a primer and I have noticed that no matter what it is doing outside, my skin feels soft and protected. I use it daily, along with my other TwinMedix products. It’s nice to have a great base to my look that doesn’t just smooth my skin but nourishes it as well!
TwinMedix.com, $90.00

**Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum** – Winter can do job on our hair. The heat, the cold, the wind, the dry air, you name it. I have a shelf… okay two… of products to use depending on what is up with my hair. Right now? I’ve got some dry ends to deal with. But earlier in the week, my hair felt oily and gummy. Ugh! I can’t keep a ton of things in the shower, so what do I do? Not to mention, my hair is color treated which doesn’t help me try to find products that won’t hurt my “enhanced” auburn tresses either. I try to find the best shampoos and conditioners for what my hair is going through and help it get healthy with those. What’s a challenge is, without extensive research, those two items can either help a lot or do even more damage if it contains chemicals that aren’t good for my hair. But when I get out of the shower, that is when I need a good product to keep my red hair in check. I need something that will smooth without leaving it feeling greasy. I need something that will give it shine without drying it out. I need something that will keep it soft without making it fly everywhere. I need something that will protect it without weighing it down. I need something that can gently “coat” each strand to keep it healthy. Oh…and I need something that can do ALL of that no matter what the weather or temperature is outside. It needs to give me what I need without checking a forecast first. PM’s Super Skinny Serum does just that. No matter what is going on outside, a small dollop of the Serum will smooth fly-away hair on dry & windy days, it will lightly condition and seal your hair strands keeping them healthy, and it will control your hair with a formula that keeps your hair shiny, silky and frizz-free in any weather. It is also an added bonus that the Serum will speed up your drying time so you hair is not wet in unhealthy elements, giving you the results you want in less time. The Super Skinny Serum is perfect for ALL hair types so it allows you to not just get the look you want but will also allow you to add it to your haircare routine without any interference. So no matter what the weather is outside, your hair doesn’t have to become damaged from it–just a bit of Paul Mitchell’s Skinny Serum will lock in the results you want.
Paul Mitchell Salons (see their website for locations), prices may vary.

So, are you ready to say goodbye to winter and welcome in the sunny days of spring? I know I am! Gently convert your wardrobe, skin care and hair care with these items and you can cut out some of the frustration of flip-flop weather and keep your routine on the straight and narrow!!

Please share!—Sassy wants to know what YOU have that helps you transition your fashion and beauty routine between seasons. Do you have any products that helps make these changes easier? Let me know!!

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End of the summer? – Start Preparing…

29 Aug

summer-is-almost-over

You have probably been to the store and have started to see school supplies in the aisle. If you live someplace other than where I am (upstate NY), schools may already be in session. That means it is time to start thinking about cooler temperatures and autumn colors. Don’t worry—you definitely have some time. We will still enjoy some warmer temps before that fall chill hits the air. (FYI, this is a great time to start hunting for summer/year round necessities that may be on clearance) But before the hustle and bustle of back to school, starting college, soccer mom schedules or anything else overtakes your precious little bit of free time, you may want to keep a look out for a few of these goodies to prepare yourself ahead of time!
Foot Peel FootCream AloeSox



1) Time for post-summer home pedicures. You have been wearing sandals all season and your feet feel like leather. It happens to many of us, including me. I try to keep my feet soft, smooth and healthy all season but I really want to make sure they are in great condition before boots weather hit. I suggest an alpha-hydroxy foot cream that sloughs off the dead skin without harsh abrasives. Then follow with an extra rich foot cream with natural oils and minerals. For an extra boost, apply at bedtime and cover with aloe infused socks! Sassy uses: Shemen Amour Foot Peeling Cream and Mineral Foot Cream. Shemenamourusa.com, $20.00 each; Airplus Aloe Infused Spa Socks. $2.97, Walmart.

GraffitiNudes ClayBlush BrushCleanser

2) Give your makeup a once over. Pull out those drawers and boxes where you have all of your makeup stored. Look over each piece. Is it leaking? Is it crushed? Is it more than a year old? (3 months if it is mascara), Do you still wear it? Do you have doubles of things? Really think about each piece you look at. If you aren’t going to use it or if it is old, just toss it. Don’t take up the space if it isn’t needed, wanted or might not be a healthy option. Try to minimize your makeup as much as possible. And just because you threw out one thing doesn’t mean you need to replace it with two! (I know you do it…. Because I do too!) If possible, throw out multiple singe eye shadows and replace them with one new, good pallet. Try reducing your blush colors to just two—a good warm shade and a nice cool one. And don’t forget about your makeup tools. When was the last time you took care of them? Give them a good cleaning with anti-bacterial soap and let them air dry. Get in the habit of taking care of your tools by rinsing each one with a quick, daily cleaner after each use. This will not just keep the brushes in good condition longer but will keep the makeup you use with them fresher longer too! Sassy likes: Maybelline’s Nudes Eyeshadow Palette in Graffiti Nudes and Rock Nudes. Ulta, $9.99 each; Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Glisten (shimmering peachy pink) and Dazzled (shimmery soft rose), Ulta, $28.00 each; Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner. $24.00, Sephora.

WomenCardigan LongLeanTank HenleyTee Yoga

3) Analyze your closet. Now is a good time to take a look to see what you did wear and what you didn’t during the summer. If you did wear it, you are good to go. If you didn’t? Start asking yourself some questions why: Does it fit? Is it out of style? Is it out of your style? Can you integrate it into the fall/winter season? Is it worn? Was it just a bad purchase decision? Use these guides to help you decide whether you want to keep it out for next season, you will pack it away for next season when the weather gets cold, or if you need to give it away. This time of year, after my sorting has been done, I try to see if I can grab anything that might be on sale that I can wear during the fall with a sweater or jacket. Things I like to look for are things like camis, t-shirts, thin long sleeves, lightweight cardigans, maxi dresses and other clothes that can be layered. These items are perfect with a cardigan or even a hoodie. Sassy likes: Junior Drape Front Open Cardigan, $13.78; Women’s Long & Lean Tank, $2.70+; Women’s Crochet Front Henley Tee, $12.58; Junior’s Yoga Tie Waist Pant (assorted styles), $4.48. All available at some Target stores and Target.com

skinnyserum Olay burtsbees ShemenHand



4) Get ready for extra moisturizer. When the season changes, the first thing that usually notices is your skin…. so now is the time to get ready. Really think from head to toe: your hair, your face, your lips, your hands and especially your body. All of these things can be affected when the weather gets cooler and indoor heat starts kicking on once in a while at home and at work. If possible, keep the temperature in your home warm not hot, avoid cranking the heat, crack the windows for some fresh air whenever you can, and grab an extra blanket instead of turning on the furnace. Adding a few plants will keep moisture in the air which helps your skin as well. You do not have to go out and change everything you need for your skin—sometimes just adding a product once in a while can give your skin that little extra boost without spending a ton to improve its moisture retention. Sassy likes: Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum at select salons; Olay Regenerist Regenerating Face Serum (Fragrance-Free), $23.99 at Walgreens; Maybelline Baby Lips Crystal Lip Balm, $4.49 and Burt’s Bees Body Lotion w/Milk & Honey, $9.99 at Walgreens; Shemen Amour Mineral Hand & Nails Cream, $18.00 at ShemenAmourUSA.com

AntibacterialSoap5) Get your body ready too. Kids are getting ready to head back to school, if they haven’t already. This means that those charming little nasty germs are going to be flying around more than ever. I remember when my kids were in elementary school, they would both bring me home a case of strep throat in less than a month after classes began. As much as you can prepare or try to prevent, it is not unusual for some of those buggers to get to you, and it isn’t hard to go from parent to patient very quickly. Even if you don’t have kids, just grabbing a shopping cart at your local supermarket can turn your hands into a germ breeding ground. If you haven’t yet this year (before it gets really busy!), get yourself to the doctor for a physical to make sure your health is good. That would be your chance to ask about any immunizations needed, vitamins, or general tests you might need. The best thing to remember is that your hands are germ breeders. Keep them clean with anti-bacterial soap and use hand sanitizer only if you can’t wash them properly. General rule?—It takes 20 seconds of washing to kill germs and bacteria. Sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” twice while washing to be effective! Sassy likes: Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap with Moisturizers in Fresh Citrus, price varies at different retail & drug stores.

So now you have ideas that will help you transition into changes in weather and temperatures. Of course, you may run into days that will be hot like the middle of summer as well as days that are cooler than fall. Days like that may throw your usual fashion and skincare selections into a tailspin. Don’t panic. Each morning, take a look at the weather forecast and take a possible +/- 5 degree difference into consideration when making your selections for the day. With a little hunting and different options, it’s not too difficult to make this transition as “smooth” as possible!

Sunset

And the Winner is……

23 Apr

Everyone…we have a winner!

A big congratulations goes out to Tabitha who got the secret question right for my recent trip:

Sassy will be going to NYC to watch and help with a new book launch party and book signing by the sisters at How to be a Redhead, and sponsored by the awesome crew at Paul Mitchell.

Tabitha?… I will be in touch with you this week to discuss getting the awesome prize to you soon!

The book signing was an absolute blast! I got to meet some great people, including the two fabulous sisters who wrote the book, Stephanie & Adrienne Vendetti. The fabulous crew from Paul Mitchell who was lead by Jill Schnapp–also known as the redheaded specialist in NYC–did some amazing braids on the redhead attendees as well as spoke about Paul Mitchell’s new Ultimate Color Repair line which is PERFECT for us gingers. I made a bunch of contacts including my newest friend Olive who has her own channel on YouTube called “The New York Real”. In addition, I met some great redheads who were a blast to talk with and get to know. I am looking forward to heading back to the city next week to get other fabulous information at The Makeup Show, focusing mostly on skin care and makeup products.

Congratulations again, Tabitha, for your big win! You will be getting some great Paul Mitchell products for you to enjoy!

Thank you as well to supported me on this adventure. It truly was a dream come true. Now? More dreams to tend to and traveling to come!

Sassy Auburn is getting ready to head in to the book signing!

Sassy Auburn is getting ready to head in to the book signing!

Stephanie, Adrienne & myself at the book signing

Stephanie, Adrienne & myself at the book signing

Look at those fabulous redheads!

Look at those fabulous redheads!

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Stephanie, Adrienne & Jill from Paul Mitchell

Stephanie, Adrienne & Jill from Paul Mitchell

Sassy & her new friend Olive talking about future events!

Sassy & her new friend Olive talking about future events!

What would make the event more fun?  Getting a braid from the Paul Mitchell Professionals!

What would make the event more fun? Getting a braid from the Paul Mitchell Professionals!

“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

Day 8: Holy Grail Makeup Products…

25 Sep

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***Disclaimer: Due to much wandering in the preparation, healing, and recovery for my foot surgery, the “30 Day” challenge has been extended. Thirty days will now be referred to as “… whenever.” Don’t hate–Sassy is trying her best.***
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Now, back to the beginning. Holy grail products–what a vague topic. I’d be willing to take a guess that when it comes to makeup, every woman will say, without hesitation, that when it comes to our glam, we need to know only one fact: if we own it? — we need it. Plain and simple. But here is the twist: If we own it and it is in her vanity, makeup drawer, Caboodle AND purse? It now falls under the heading of “Holy Grail”.

I’m trying to go outside of the box and think of things in my routine that I need… NEED!… but may not be makeup and are with me constantly. I might not use it every day, but I need it close by. For whatever reason.

So what are the necessities–my “holy grail” items– that are must haves in my glamour routine for whatever reason. Here’s what I came up with:

image1. Paul Mitchell’s Styling Products: As a big fan of big hair, I am a huge supporter of hair styling products that hold. There are times I want a strong hold that would stand up in a hurricane and there are times I want a soft, touchable hold that feels natural. Paul Mitchell has products for just that and everything in between. I’ve used high-end products as well as drug store ones. Some do okay, some make my hair feel like cardboard, others are an epic fail. My fab hairstylist gave me a can of PM’s “Hot Off The Press” soft hold finishing spray and it changed my thoughts on hair products completely. Because my red tresses, I need a specific shampoo & conditioner to keep the color strong, Paul Mitchell’s HOTP came as a strong recommendation from my stylist when my hair was recovering from almost beyond help chemical damaging process. It held my style without a nasty buildup but it was low in alcohol and didn’t put anything in my hair to cause more damage. Soon after that, I became a Paul Mitchell Insider and have been able to fall in love with even more great styling products like PM’s Thicken Up, Extra Body Thickening Spray, Sculpting Foam, Fast Drying Sculpting Spray and Super Skinny Serum. After my hair appointment this week, I fell in love with PM’s Freeze and Shine Super Spray for a volume boost to the roots and the Awapuhi Wild Ginger Texturizing Sea Spray. Their scent and hold gave me a reason to continue to smile about my Paul Mitchell products!! Visit paulmitchell.com !, prices vary.

image2. Ole Henriksen’s Skin Care: Having sensitive skin makes trying and finding a good skin care line difficult at times. Even though I am often asked to try new and natural skin care products, I often find myself coming back to my first skin care “Ahhhh” moment. My “samples sell” statement is what got me hooked on the Ole Henriksen’s various skin care products. It started with a few Sephora samples, then went to trying a mini travel set, which took me to talking to the company directly and trying several of their products that might be right for me. What I found was several items for my skin care routine that didn’t irritate my skin but also made my face younger looking. I seriously noticed a difference! His Truth Serum Collagen Booster gave my face some oomph for the day. The Truth Revealed Super Cream SPF 15 is a gentle daily moisturizer with good sun protection. I would be lost without the Ultimate Lift Eye Gel to keep aging around my eyes at bay. The Invigorating Night Treatment is a non-sticky gel that actually smooths fine lines and renews skin cells to keep your face taught without drying. And the African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser is enriched with anti-aging extracts to remove dirt and makeup gently as well as Vitamin C and citrus extracts to brighten and purify the skin with astringent properties! Although those are my top fave OH products, I am also a big fan of other items such as the Sheer Transformation Moisturizing Cream, Walnut Complexion Scrub and Total Truth Eye Cream w/SPF 15. With the change of seasons happening soon, I am going to see what changes my skin has and get some products to try and see how they work. OleHenrikson.com’s online store!, prices vary.

image3. L.A. Minerals Valley Girl Foundation: A good foundation is a must have for any makeup look that goes on my face. The only time I can think of when I’m not wearing foundation (other than bedtime) is if I’m working from home and go out to get the mail. Oh, I’ll still have lipgloss on–and mascara!–but no foundation. I have a couple of drug store foundations that I will turn to depending on what is on my day’s agenda, the weather, special occasion, etc. But if I want a natural, smooth finish with my makeup, I most always use my mineral foundation that I love. I was lucky enough to take advantage of an L.A. Minerals sample sale where I could try different formulas and shades to get the one I wanted. The Valley Girl formula is perfect for us sensitive skin girls who need a light formula with good coverage. (It’s even a plus if you have mild acne issues!) A light dusting with a foundation brush over a great primer is perfect for a natural look that won’t slide off my face before the end of the day. Visit L.A. Minerals.com here!, prices vary.

image4. ForGoodnessGrape Lip Balms & Scrubs: I’m a lip gloss whore, I’ll admit it. I’ll try any color, any kind, any formula. I probably have more glosses than this country has states. That’s awesome and sad all at the same time. The only thing I know for sure is that no matter what I use on my lips for color, it won’t look good unless my lips are soft and healthy to start with. In order for that to happen, I need to exfoliate & moisturize my lips in the morning and condition them at night. Plus because I’m a “Chatty Cathy”, I can talk any bit out moisture right out of my lips during the day. I always need a lip balm on hand 24/7. ForGoodnessGrape doesn’t just keep my lips in tip-top shape but they offer a RIDICULOUS array of flavors so you have no excuse not to have one (or two or ten+) convenient at all times. Right now? I have Coconut Milk & Lavender in my purse; Chocolate Iced Cream Soda at my desk; Vanilla Hazelnut Latte in my car; Blueberry Sugar Cookie in the bathroom; Marzipan in the Living Room; and about twenty other flavors I can pick from at bedtime. Plus I use Cinnamon Sugar or SWAK Lip Scrub to exfoliate the dry skin on my lips each day & night. They may all taste & smell different but they all have something in common: each balm has several natural butters & oils to keep lips moisturized and soft. And each scrub has real sugar plus moisturizers to gently remove dry skin on the lips while conditioning as well. The fact is that NO lip gloss, lip stain or lipstick will look and stay its best with badly-conditioned lips. And Lisa’s “ForGoodnessGrape”s balms and scrubs do just that. Stock up and be adventurous with your flavor selection. Go balm wild!! “The Best Lip Balm Ever!”, $4+

image5. Lancôme’s Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover: Meh. Many face cleansers will say they are safe for washing off eye makeup. While that MAY be true, I find that it’s mainly a lot of hoohah. Facial cleansers aren’t all formulated for sensitive eyes and heavy duty, long wear eye makeup. Not to mention? Some cleansers can clog oil ducts in the eyes causing dryness and lash loss. AND if you use any cleansers with acne meds or exfoliators in them, you especially want to steer clear of the eye area with those! They can cause burning, reddening, or even scratch the eyes with the microbeads. I’ve never really hunted down eye makeup removers because the one I was introduced to when I started my blogging days is still the one I use most. That’s Lancôme’s Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover. It’s not “cheap”, but it lasts a LONG time because so little is needed to get off even the toughest waterproof liners, shadows and mascaras. Plus I usually add a couple drops of water to my cotton ball before adding the remover. That’s just my preference. It extends the use of the product, prevents an oily feel if I accidentally use too much, and I still can remove my stubborn eye makeup completely. I have no sensitivity to the formula with my eyes OR contacts. One large bottle is in the bathroom, another trial size bottle (often received as a gift with purchase) is next to the bed for those nights when I forget to take off my makeup before bed and am too lazy to go downstairs. That’s my idea of a necessity! Lancôme US Website,$29

image6. Good Tweezers: This is a no brainer. It is certainly not makeup, but if you wear makeup?… these are a necessity! I waxed my eyebrows for many years till they got to the point where I would only need to tweeze a here and there straggler once in a while. I heard that Tweezerman tweezers were an ultimate must-have, and the rumor was right. Yes, they can be pricey but use this tip: save some cash and buy the MINI slant tweezers. They are just as precise, they stay sharp, are easy to handle and are much less pricey than a full-sized one. Just keep the little plastic tube they come in–it’s easier to store and keep track of them!! My online Sephora store., $14.

I probably could list a thousand other items that I love, but I tried to narrow it down to things that are a must have. Every. Single. Day. With the ever-changing makeup, glamour and skin care industry, and my constant sampling and reviewing of new products, it’s hard to really lock in to specific items that I would consider “Holy Grail” items. But these items, I have to say, are always found in my vanity and purse and know I couldn’t live without!
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Do YOU have any “Holy Grail” items in your beauty routine? I want to know…what can’t you live without?!? Share your must have’s with a comment below!

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

Drumroll Please….

28 Dec

WinnerFirst, let me appologize to my readers and contest entrants. This holiday season got very hectic and chaotic for me. Earlier in the month, I was thrown into a state of frenzy when I was faced with the news that I had lost my best friend due to cardiac arrest. He meant the world to me. In fact, he was hugely influential on my writing career. Thanks to him, I was exposed to the world of tattooing and learned not just the art of the industry but also how skin care and fashion played into it. He challenged me in my writing skills and loved to read my blog posts. When I was asked to work closely with the Paul Mitchell organization last month, he was beyond happy for me. Then suddenly, my life with my part time tattoo career became dark. Although we are attempting to move forward, a piece of me will always be gone. I am thankful, however, that I had him in my life for the time that I did. He encouraged me to follow my passion to write just as he always expanded on his love of his art. He will be forever missed.
Anthony Lawton & Me

Now, after a long awaited drawing, the results of Sassy’s holiday contest have been chosen. Thanks to all who entered and I appreciate your interest in my blog as well as the fabulous products I use, love and promote. Congratulations to the following winners:

The winner of For Goodness Grape’s Strawberry Gift Set is…. CHRISTINE! — @grandmain2002

The winner of Paul Mitchell’s The Art Of Color Gift Set is…. KRISTA! — @krhach

…And the winner of Paul Mitchell’s The Art of Rejuvenation Gift Set Tea Tree Gift Set is…. TABITHA! — @Tabatha426

Below is a picture of the list and drawing results:
Contest results

 

 

All winners please email me at the “Conact Sassy” link above or here to send me your full name and address so I can mail your prizes out this week!!

 

 

Congratulations again to all our winners! And Happy New Year to all my Sassinista friends!!

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‘Tis The Season… For Giveaways!!

11 Dec

imageEveryone is out and about doing holiday shopping, enjoying the pretty lights, or home wrapping gifts, making cookies, and–of course–getting stressed! Ugh. But have no fear… Sassy is here! I am going to calm your season’s stresses by giving you a chance to win goodies for your friends or family. Or–EVEN BETTER!–a giveaway to snag a goodie for yourself just because you are awesome and deserve it! So what is Sassy giving away this season? Three EPIC gift packs that any glamour guru would love to have! Three winners will be chosen (out of minimum of 25 entries) by random.org. You must complete the requirements to have your name entered. Once verified, you will be notified that you are in the running. If you want to be entered and cannot meet a requirement please contact me here and we will discuss it.

Ready to see the prizes? Here we go:

imageThe Art Of Color Gift Set from Paul Mitchell: If you or your bestie use color to enhance your hair’s natural shade, then this is a great holiday gift set! You will get: Color Protect® Daily Shampoo, 10.14 oz. and Color Protect® Daily Conditioner, 10.14 oz. Packaged in a cute box, this is a great gift for any diva who wants to have great products to take care of and extend the color in their hair!

imageForGoodnessGrape Strawberry Kisses Set: These are three of my favorite products from one of my favorite indie companies. Known for their unique balms, glosses, tints, scrubs and fabulously scented products, ForGoodnessGrape is my go-to lip company to keep my lips soft, conditioned, slick and colored. In this special set, I have included a Strawberry Sugar Lip Tint (a gentle strawberry scented & flavored frosted tint in a light pink shade), a Queen of Hearts Sugar Scrub that will gently exfoliate your lips during this rough weather, and a Strawberry Shortcake Lip Balm to keep them soft and healthy. Natural, organic and earth friendly ingredients are used in these American made goodies that are fun and healthy to use!

imageThe Art of Rejuvenation Gift Set from Paul Mitchell: Ahh! Tea Tree’s natural extracts and rejuvenating scents will turn your hair care routine into a sensory experience. It cleans your hair gently without heavy chemicals while stimulating your scalp to keep it healthy in any weather or season. The winner will receive Tea Tree Special Shampoo®, 10.14 oz., Tea Tree Special Conditioner®, 10.14 oz., and Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel®, 2.5 oz. This limited edition holiday set is a fabulous little extra for anyone special!

Okay, how do you get entered? You need to do a few things:

  1. Follow me, SassyAuburn, on Twitter by clicking here: SassyAuburn on Twitter
  2. Follow ForGoodnessGrape on Twitter by clicking here: 4GoodnessGrape on Twitter
  3. Follow Paul Mitchell on Twitter by clicking here: Paul Mitchell on Twitter
  4. Follow “ItsSassyAuburn” on Facebook by clicking here: SassyAuburn’s Facebook Page
  5. Comment on the Facebook “ItsSassyAuburn” post for this contest with your @Twitter name, a flavor lip balm you’d create if you could, and what you need to keep your hair healthy!

(If you do not have a Twitter account, email me for an alternate entry method)

Winners will be selected at random at 12:01am on 12/19 from the total entry collection. Make sure you share this contest with your friends and followers because there must be at least 25 entries. The more people we have participating, the more giveaways we can do in the future! I will confirm your entry on my Facebook page under this posting, so look for your name there as being entered.

ChristmasLights

Happy holidays and GOOD LUCK!!!

It’s Not Winter… Yet.

23 Nov

imageThe calendar says November. Last time I checked, winter started sometime in December. And Christmas came AFTER that. So even though the leaves all are off the trees, my local stores have their decorations up, balsam wreaths are for sale, and Santa is at the Mall, I’m sticking with all my might not to lose sight of the fact it is fall. My favorite season. And I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Now, the fact remains we have already had about an inch of snow fall outside my back door, my furnace is on, firewood is being delivered this week, and all of my boots and sweaters have been brought out of storage. It did get cold. Really cold. Really fast. But I still see my lawn, I still see fallen leaves, and I still see my pumpkins on my front step. In my mind?… autumn is still around. And we can enjoy a few transition things to keep us looking and feeling our best before we look like an Eskimo–24/7.

So what are a few things I am glamming up on before the Arctic chill officially hits? Check out these pre-winter but still fall goodies that I’m finding are a must have right now:

imagePaul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum – Snowing or not, we have to acknowledge that furnaces across America are kicking on. And this, in turn, is causing hair–my hair!!–to get dry and frizzy. When I got a sample of this clear wonder, I figured I would give it a shot. The only thing that concerned me was the fact that the bottle stressed to only use ONE PUMP into my hands, rub together, and run through hair. I’m like, “Glamourista PUH-LEEZE! I’ve got hair longer than a horses tail!” One? Okay…sure. We will play by rules. So I put one dollop in my hands and ran it through. And yes!…. one just about did it. I added a little more to the ends just to make sure they got coated too. But I must say a little does goes a long way so use what it says! It seals moisture into each strand making it shiny and keeping the frizzies in check. Perfect for the weather right now! (Sassy gets hers from paulmitchell.com)

imageForGoodnessGrape Gingerbread Lip Balm & Sugar Scrub – I love the scents of all of the late year holidays. I am the only one in the house, however, who is a big fan of gingerbread. I can buy it and no one else in the house eats it. Perfect. Awesome. Proper. When fall hits, I love all the seasonings associated with the season. I burn candles, mix oils & bake breads and other delicious delectables with these sweet spices. So if I can burn them and eat them, why not wear them if the opportunity arises? So I do! ForGoodnessGrape is my go-to resource when my lips begin to get cranky with the seasons changing. With a flavor for any holiday, season or mood, they always have something to keep me and my lips happy. I use the sugar scrub to gently exfoliate the chapped, dead skin on my lips then replenish and seal in moisture. Their gingerbread combo is one of my favorites this time of year. And yes, my lips certainly like it too!! (Sassy lands these goodies at forgoodnessgrape.com)

imageL’Oreal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in “Bottomless Java” and “Iced Latte” – Im not sure why but I wear very little warm colored clothing in the spring and summer months compared to what I wear in the fall and winter. I probably only have two pairs of brown flats and one pair of brown sandals. That’s it. But for fall and winter? I have at least two pair of high boots, a pair of suede over-the-knee boots, and at least two-three pair of shorter, combat style boots. I wear more brown and ivory sweaters than any other color (after black of course.) If I’m going to rock some slammin’ style in warm color tones, I need some makeup to match. The Infallible Shadow line from L’Oreal has always been a favorite of mine and they’ve even added more colors! Now I have two great warm shades to compliment my look when brown earth-tones make their way out of my closet. Because these two eye shadows can really make your eyes POP! with the right mascara and liner, I suggest keeping your lip shade natural with a hint of clear shine or a gentle nude long-wearing gloss. You won’t need to worry about your eye shadow, though. Any Infallible shade from L’Oreal will stay put. All. Day. Long. Epic! (Sassy grabs these eyeshadows at CVS.com)

imageMacy’s Material Girl Kurt Combat Booties – Speaking of boots, I have my own personal theory about boots and changing seasons: boots should get higher only when snow rises and the temps fall. So, when the weather is 30 degrees on Monday and 55 by Friday, lower booties are just fine for now. And I have my fair share. Some are leather, some are suede. Some are grey, some black, some brown, even some taupe. If I have the outfit, I have a pair of boots to match. I have a wonderful pair of black suede combat booties that I have had forever. They fit great, comfortable as heck. But I wanted another pair with no heel height in leather just for a change up now and then. This was a well thought out purchase: reading reviews, checking style, and considering comfort feedback. Then, the day I went to order them, I got an online code for 25% off. Score!!! I love how they fit and feel. Nice support, true to size, and comfortable for all day wear. Great find for the fashion closet that was very reasonably priced. (Yup, Sassy grabbed this gem at Macys.com)

image“Dolce” by Dolce & Gabbana – I don’t know. I’m just one of those girls that feels she needs to start a new season with at least one new fragrance. This year, I did it a bit backwards I think. I ordered a new fragrance for fall that caught my nose (and those of my fellow workers) almost immediately. It had a dark, alluring, almost naughty edge to it. It was deep, and honestly, that’s not usually me. But this one worked. So I gave it a try. Well, I’m still loving it, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s a bit too heavy too early. So I’m backing that scent up in the drawer and getting a new fragrance that I got as a sample in my boot order. Dolce & Gabbana is one of those companies that usually always delivers an appealing scent to me, for both men and women. This one didn’t let me down either. It is fresh, feminine, elegant and youthful with significant notes of white flowers and white amaryllis. This scent can be worn all year round since it doesn’t really reflect the season, but more the person wearing it. The sample sold–I will be adding this rollerball to my collection this week! (This was a great deal for Sassy at Nordstrom.com since they NEVER charge shipping!)

So, you see? There is room in between seasons where adjustments can be made to your fashion and glamour collection. In addition to adding a few new things, take this transitional time to go through storage to sort out your next seasonal collection of clothes. Try them on, ask yourself how much you wore that piece last year. Once or less? Put it away in a box for a consignment shop. Check their condition too. You may love that glitter Guess sweater beyond words, but if it’s faded, has a hole or two and missing sequins, you’ll have to realize it is only being held together by memories…you may have to say goodbye. It’s okay. Really, it is. Plus, we know fashion: As soon as that new Vince Camuto ombré sweater catches your eye… you’ll forget all about that other one.

Fall divider

Enjoy the rest of your fall!

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!