I’m always amazed that at the first sign of warmer temps and Spring like conditions we all shed our thick, wooly layers for short, light airy garments… almost a little too quickly! Perhaps we are just desperate to escape the memories of blistering cold winds, puffy jackets and gray days that we feel the immediate closet switch will tell the weather gods that it is finally time to usher in Spring and Summer. And while the weather gods may not always listen (see unprecedented snow storms in Colorado) making frolicking in sandals and bare legs impossible, you can still usher in vibrant Spring in other ways.
Straight from the Spring/Summer runways from New York to Paris to Milan is bold, colorful, juicy lips. A nod to the brighter, lighter days ahead there’s nothing that says sun, beach and warm like fruit inspired color. With options oozing from each brand and different tonal palettes to suit every skintone there’s really no excuse not to paint your lips this Spring/Summer. The first choice you must make is color family- essentially red or pink? Then within those two hues lies a multitude of endless options. Let’s start with red. You can be a traditionalists and stick with cherry red, in which case YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in Blood Red will be your cup of tea. Need something with a bit more of a twist? I covet Nars Red Square that has a hint of tangerine. Floral enthusiasts may like MAC’s Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Korean Candy which is more of a poppy red. Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. Bold lip colors lend themselves to exploration and you might be surprised as to what looks good on you. My more olive skin tone readers will find the hints of tangerine and poppy to be quite complementary to their complexions. If pink is more your style then try Stila After Glow Lip Color in Festive Fuchsia for a more traditional look. But Spring is about bold, bright, juicy Fuchsia tones so I encourage you to jump right into Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu or Jardin de Plantes. With hints of a blue undertone, both shades look stunning on fair and Mediterranean skintones alike. However, if you prefer a more watermelon pink tone the try MAC’s Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Insanely It which has enough shine to remind you of a juicy, watery watermelon. Of course you can be like me and just try them all. Afterall there’s at least 100 days of Summer so there’s plenty of time to explore!
Usage tip: Stock up on many of these lipsticks at Sephora now and take advantage of their 15% off VIB beauty event with code VIBCHIC until midnight tonight. The key to the bold lip look is to keep the rest of the face very natural. Stick with fleshtone lids, a hint of mascara and a light dusting of bronzer.
The result: Be careful of people trying to take a bit out of you because you will really be that juicy!
We know that to make a really great chocolate chip cookie, I mean a seriously chewy, soft, not too sweet cookie, you need more than just chocolate chips or flour. To make this snack time favorite truly memorable you need multiple ingredients. Now stay with me I know we normally don’t discuss cooking, I’m thinking we should, but there’s a point to all of this. A coveted, four star, multi- winner chocolate chip cookie that makes you want to break out the milk needs eggs, sugar, milk, etc….so it is not a stretch to imagine that for the perfect blowout you need more than just a salon staple hair dryer.
A smooth, shiny, bouncy blowout is of course not achievable without the perfect brush. Now not all brushes are created equally and unfortunately there is something to the idea of paying more to get more. A styling brush for blowouts must have the right barrel size for the finish/look you are trying to achieve, gentle bristles to avoid tearing hair, vents to allow proper airflow and light enough that your arms don’t tire out. That’s a lot to look for in just one brush (thank god we are not looking for a man!). Seek no further! The salon staple Phillips Professional Monster Vent brushes not only meets all of the above criteria but is durable enough to last years of blowouts. Crafted out of polished hardwood, these brushes feature hollow, vented brushes for reduced weight and maximum air flow. More, even air means that you can really “set” your blowout to keep a long-lasting shape. I prefer the MV-1, MV-2 and MV-3 series which has reinforced bristles that can brush hair without causing any tears and doesn’t have a ceramic or metal core. I always find that brushes with ceramic or metal cores trap high heat for a prolonged period of time around the hair causing potential damage. These brushes last for years and many, many blowouts if you care for them properly which means storing them in a space that doesn’t scrunch or damage the bristles and cleaning it on a regular basis.
Usage tip: Now that you have found the perfect brush you need to find the perfect size. Smaller barrels (4” and smaller) are ideal for shorter to mid-length hair or if you are seeking more volume, bounce and curl (think Kate Middleton). Larger barrels are best suited for longer hair or a smoother, straighter finish (think Jennifer Aniston).
The result: Now that you have your chocolate chips (Super Solano blow dryer), eggs (Phillips Monster Vent brushes) and sugar (styling products) go make the perfect blowout (or chocolate chip cookie!)
There’s nothing more attractive, more transforming, more polished than the look of a perfectly sculpted blowout. Giving hair all the lusted after traits: shine, bounce and fullness, the perfect blow out can essentially make or break your day. Why do you think cult-fav blow out salons like Dry Bar are popping up faster than new Whole Food and Trader Joes locations? The answer – Duchess Kate! Have you ever seen a picture of her without her perfectly coiffed tresses? Her full, perfectly curled ends have become such a signature that she gets twice weekly blowouts from her stylist. While the rest of us don’t have royal pockets, that doesn’t mean we cannot create our own DIY signature blow outs. It just needs a little investment in the right tools.
Have you taken a look at your stylist’s hair dyer recently? If you do you will notice that all the top pros use hair dryers by Solano. As the pioneers of the “cold shot button” that “sets” your blowout, the Solano dryer is synonymous with quality, salon grade and durability. While the iconic, salon mainstay Solano’s are a bit bigger and thus a little heavier, they are not necessarily ideal for miniature Manhattan apartments or DIY blowouts. Luckily the Solano Lite takes the same power and expertise as its iconic sister, just in a lighter, more manageable body. Featuring two speeds, three temperature settings and a unique motor that distributes even, far infrared heat (healthier for hair) the Solano Lite lulls hair into a perfect union of shine, smoothness and body. It improves hair moisture with an ionic technology that helps dry faster while minimizing static electricity. Emitting concentrated, even, efficient heat I noticed that my hair dried in half the time I was used to with my Conair and my strands hold their “blow out” shape far longer. While it was pricey investment to make (do look for online deals from e-retailers like Folica.com) I promise that you will notice an instant change in the quality and finish of your hair…in fact it will look salon created! And the best part is that the Solano Lite’s slimmer silhouette, although a bit more expensive, makes it easier and more practical for us mere mortals who only have two hands.
Usage tip: Always point the nozzle of the hair dryer down the hair strand to ensure that hair is smooth and silky (upwards will results in more of a rats nest sort of look). And remember to keep the hair dryer at least six inches away from hair and never concentrating too much on one specific area. By always keeping the hair dryer moving you avoid frying your hair- yes excessive and long-term heat will cause hair to melt!
The result: Beware! You will be turning heads (literally and figuratively!)
As V-Day, or as many singles call it D-Day, rapidly approaches all the lovelies out there are tweezing, buffing, polishing and coloring away in case Cupid decides to strike with his (or is it hers?!) arrow. But there’s one place that should not be forgotten, and in fact has been proven in studies to be a key, sub-conscious indicator of someone’s attractiveness. Full, supple, rosy lips are an indicator of fertility which in the male, procreating/primal mind equals beauty. Of course in sub-zero temps coupled with dehydrating indoor heating, lips can be a far cry from the desired Aphrodite-look. Luckily resuscitating your lips is literally just a small tube away.
Aquaphor, the champion of restoring dry, traumatized skin to perfect health, has got the perfect remedy to rehabilitate even the most dire lips. Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect moisturizes, conditions and protects dry, chapped lips. Forming a “sealing-like” barrier on the surface of lips, this balmy miracle worker replenishes lost moisture with shea butter, beeswax, and glycerin. Vitamin E, one of my favorite antioxidants and hydrating agents, mimics lips natural lipids to fill in cracks and restore lip’s barrier function, and it’s waxy formulation ensures that these humectants stay sealed into the lips for long-term hydration. Going one step further to protect lips from future damage and dryness, this lip repair is fortified with broad spectrum UV filters to shield from UVA/UVB rays. It literally pampers and nurtures your most battered lips within days (I noticed a change within hours! Which is probably why I now own 5 of these and have them stashed everywhere!). And don’t worry it doesn’t interfere with your normal lip look. This balm has a matte, non-greasy, non-sticky, non-shiny finish that can easily be layered under any lipstick or lipgloss. I love wearing it with lip stains which give your lips a dose of color without adding too much gunk.
Usage tip: For immediate results I recommend applying every hour and always apply directly after washing your face. This way it will lock in the moisture from the water for a little added hydration. And of course this goes without saying but always avoid licking your lips, regardless of how tasty your puckers may be! For the nighttime use Aquaphor’s Lip Repair which is formulated without any SPF.
The result: Cupid’s arrow just got stuck in your plump, pillowy lips!