Bring In Fall With A Kiss… And Dark Lips

I love, love, LOVE lipstick. I never leave home without it. Fall is one of my favorite seasons for lipstick since I can break out those dark, sultry tones. Nothing says “HELLO!” like sexy, can’t-wait-to-be-kissed lips. So hello fall. My lips (and his) thank you.

You CAN wear dark lipstick. No matter what skin tone or hair color you have, anyone can pull it off. Of course there are a few key points to keep in mind.

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1. Remember, if you are going to do a bold lip, keep eyes soft and minimal. My favorite look is a simple gold shimmer shadow with only mascara and a deep burgundy lip. You will look like you walked straight off the runway.

2. Know your skin tone and underlying pigment. (Please refer to my blog Undertones… De-Mystified)

3. When it comes to those burgundy shades, there are 4 tonal differences to keep in mind: pink, brown, blue, and red.

If you are light-eyed, a pink-based burgundy will make your eyes pop. (Deep Mauve or Rose may be your color.)

If you have dark eyes, use a brown-based shade. The honey in your eyes will be greatly accentuated. (Cherrywood can have hints of brown in the shade)

Blue-based burgundy looks fantastic with all eye colors. Keep the tone rich if you have a neutral, olive, or warm skin tone and muted for lighter or cool skin tones. (Plum is a delicious example of a blue-based burgundy)

Burgundy with a red base will balance out brunettes and they will be able to support the shade. (Think of this as a vampy red)

4. Take them for a test drive. Whether you are at the salon or department store, swipe the color on a white tissue. If you like the shade, try it on. Take a cotton swab and run it across the lipstick. Use the cotton swab to apply it to your lips. Does the color brighten you up or does it make you look sleepy? If the shades lightens you up, that is the one. Now rock it.

5. Lipstick first, then liner. Darker shades can be even messier than red. Apply the lipstick first keeping away from the outer edges. Blot. Now use a matching or only slightly darker liner to outline your lips. Nude liner will work too. Reapply your lipstick remembering to color within the lines.

6. Skip the lip gloss. Dark lips do not need any help in the attention department. Lip gloss can tend to make darker colors bleed. But if you must gloss, only apply a dot of it to the very center of your bottom lip.

7. Rock them. Exude confidence when wearing dark lips. Walk around like you own the place. Having confidence is even sexier than just the lipstick.

Happy Fall!

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Say No To The Box

I have clients who still use box hair color. I understand that sometimes financials get in the way of awesome hair, but when your head is obviously your most worn accessory, it is not to be skimped on. I know color forwards and backwards and I am here to educate you on the significant reasons of why you should not use box hair color. I will also give you less expensive ways to get custom professional color at the salon. You don’t have to always break the bank to look fabulous, but you do not have to go cheap either.

1. One Size Does Not Fit All

One size fits all jeans do not exist in real life and neither does hair color. Jeans that fit a size 4 will not fit a size 14. A box hair color blonde may work on your sister who is already blonde but may turn orange and brassy on your locks.

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As a hairstylist, we take so many factors in when customizing a color just for you. Not only do we take your physical features into mind but we also utilize the correct chemistry to determine the developer that should be used.

Most box hair colors use a 12% developer, meaning it is creating only little lift and then deposit making it 100% impossible for brown hair to become blonde. It also results in “hot roots”. Brown box hair color will appear to have a red or warm tint at roots because it was not meant to be lifted to reveal that underlying pigment. And of course, the number one hair rule, color does not lift color. If you have dyed your hair dark brown and now want to be even a light honey brown, forget it. Sure your regrowth may turn out perfect, but your ends won’t budge.

2. Color Must Be Customize

Like I said, stylists take many factors into consideration when customizing your hair color.
-Natural & Underlying Pigment
-Level of Gray (if any)
-Previous Chemical Services
-Porosity or Damage of Hair
-Skin Tone
-Level of Lift or Deposit

You hair stylist will then determine the type of hair color to use and the correct amount of lift needed. You are not given these options when you use box color at home.

3. Semi, Demi, & Permanent Face Off

Some box colors claim they “last 30 washes” but do they really? In a salon, there are significant difference between these types if hair colors. A box cannot tell you which one is correct for you to use.

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4. Step Away From The Bottle

If you want dimension, a bottle will not give you that. I don’t care that the box says it is “multi-faceted”, there is absolutely no way one bottle can create depth and highlights at the same time.

The only way dimension can be achieved is professionally. We can see where your hair falls, strategically place foils, balayage, etc. You do not see box hair color magically growing a pair of eyes or hands to do that, do you?

5. Straw-Like Hair

This agitates me to no end. Clients now are convinced that ALL hair color leads to straw-like hair texture. This huge misconception has now led to an uneducated public.

Box hair colors are still using Metallic Salts from the 1800’s. Really? Way to evolve. These will continually build up on the hair which will darken your hair way past the desired result. And god forbid you ever want to go lighter. Even an experienced stylist will have difficulty lifting that.

The ammonia level is devastating in box color. It will irreversibly change the pH level of your hair and its corrosive tendency will blast open the cuticle of the hair shaft. An unclosed cuticle only means major damage, split ends, and the inability to lock in color.

All this leads me to my next point…

6. Hair Cuts

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All the damage the $10 box causes will eventually lead to an unwanted hair cut. There is no way to rid your hair of split ends except for a hair cut. And the damage will probably become so severe that there is no amount of deep conditioner that can repair it. So you can say good-bye to your long locks.

Also, you will spend close to $40 on a fabulous hair cut to only ruin it when you go home and use box hair color. You wouldn’t put $40 bucks in a garbage disposal would you?

7. Caps, Highlighting Combs, and Ombre Kits = Disaster Waiting To Happen

Don’t be foolish! If you are not ready to spend $300 to correct these, do NOT spend $10 on any one of these at-home kits. You will either end up looking like a cheetah or a zebra or like someone threw up on your head (sorry). These are just bad, bad, BAD news. So just don’t.

8. Advertising Celebrities

Do you really think Eva Longoria really uses box hair color? NO!

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Enough said.

9. Box Formulas May Change

Box hair color are massed produced by manufacturers and the formulas may change. So that honey brown you have been using may not be so honey the next time you use it.

Professional formulas do not change. If a stylist creates that honey brown for you, she keeps that formula in your file so that next time you come in she can touch up only your regrowth with that formula to avoid over depositing and can use a different formula to refresh your ends. How’s that for consistency and customizing?

10. You Are Worth More

You are better than average or far-below-average hair. We all have those designer shoes, bags, or gems, why not have designer hair?

If you are dead set on using box hair color then so be it and we will let you be. But, we are here to advise you on only what is best for you and the integrity of your hair.

You have a beautiful personality. Your exterior should match so that you can just ooze beauty and confidence.


 

Now, if you have chosen to finally take the professional route, how can you keep your piggy bank from crying?

Take it slow. If you are going for a major change, take baby steps. Your wallet won’t take a major hit all at once. And do realize it may take more than one visit to achieve the wanted results anyhow. When you have been using box color, the stylist has a hard time predicting what the lightener may lift to. Plus, we should protect the integrity of the hair.

For those of you who have those stubborn grays. Try highlights! The regrowth will be much less noticeable allowing you to get away with color services less often.

If you get the works done including color, highlights, and a hair cut, think about alternating services. For instance, on the one visit, do all 3. Maybe the next time just do the base color at the regrowth and a clear shine on ends to give them life. Then repeat the first visit on the third appointment.

Pick a low-maintenance color. Reds are hot, I know, but they require more often appointments since they tend to lose their vibrancy.

And no matter what, use professional color-safe products. You finally made your hair designer quality, treat it right. You wouldn’t throw your Coach purse on the bathroom floor, would you? You just invested in your hair, don’t strip it and ruin it by using cheap products.

Happy Coloring!

The Bobby Pin… You’re Doing It Wrong

If a woman leaves bobby pins, she is marking her territory.

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I have been a hair stylist for almost 10 years and when I saw this I was like “hot damn!”

The groves of the bobby pin assist in holding the hair in place. When the flat side is against your head, it can more easily slide down. It has been life-changing since I came across this little gem of a tip.

So, now let’s take it to the next level!

Bobby pins are smooth metal. To give them extra grip spray them with dry shampoo or a light hairspray and BINGO! Those babies aren’t going anywhere.

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Let’s lock and load them. To effectively hold twists and braids, follow the picture above. The bobby pin is almost completely hidden and it holds much better. With this tip, you can easily achieve so many different styles.

Now, if you are anything like me, bobby pins seem to migrate into places in my house where they seem to be lost and gone forever. Store bobby pins in tic-tac containers. Keep one by your bedside, in your vanity, and shoot, put one in your purse for hair emergencies or midday transformations. Plus, we’re repurposing what would normally be trash. Go green, baby!

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These tricks are game changers! Honestly, I just made your life 10 times better! And remember, practice makes perfect! It will definitely take a minute to change your way, but pretty soon you will be yelling at your friends, “You’re doing it wrong!”

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Happy Pinning!

Makeup Trends That Need To Die

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We have all seen them and done them; makeup tragedies. Breaking up is hard to do even when the relationship is no good for us. Case in point: Bad makeup trends are the equivalent to 2 am drunk texts to a past lover. We keep going back to them even though everyone around us is thinking, “What is she doing!?”

Here are makeup trends that we need to just let go and accept the closure. Believe me, you will be happier without them:

1. Talon Nails
Honey, claws are not attractive. Its all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Your nails should be sassy yet functional not a safety hazard.

2. Over Plucked Eyebrows
Are you a villain? Are you always surprised or mad? No? Then stop looking like it. Keep your eyebrows natural looking and only slightly arched. There is a fine line between furry caterpillars and nonexistent. Stay within the boundaries. And please, please, PLEASE use the correct color eyebrow pencil or shadow! You are not in clown school.

3. Frosty Lips
Do you really want to look like you have hyperthermia? Too light of lipstick is wrong on so many accounts. It makes your teeth look yellow and your skin corpse like. Your lips should look delectable, not dead.

4. Bronzer Overload
Need I say more? Oompa Loompa face is not sexy. Know when enough is enough. Your skin should look sun-kissed not like you bathed in carrot juice. And when your face color does not match the rest of your body, you’ve gone too far. Plus, your honey will be happy when his white shirts are no longer stained from your face.

5. Tarantula Lashes
Lashes should only be lengthened and accentuated not like you have spiders crawling on your eyes. Two coats of mascara is enough. Keep false eyelashes as natural looking as possible. Try only applying them to only the outer corners. If you have a hard time opening your eyes after blinking, you are doing it wrong.

6. Smokey Eyes for Beginners
I get it. Practice makes perfect. But please don’t go out in public with a trial run. Unblended shadows end up looking like you got lazy or just plainly forgot to finish. It is almost as bad as Grandma forgetting that her curlers are in. Get professional help. The worst thing ever is to walk into a club looking like a raccoon that got punched in the face.

7. Guy-Liner
I don’t care how sexy Pete Wentz is, guy-liner is a no-go! First off, the 80s are dead. Secondly, I don’t want my boyfriend stealing my liner nor hogging the mirror. You are supposed to be manly men. Leave the makeup to the ladies.

8. Traced On Lips
You should not look like a comic book character. Keep your lip liners either nude or in the same shade as your lipstick. Lip liner is designed to make it easier for you to apply your lipstick in it’s designated place and to keep lipstick from bleeding out. It is not supposed to be an added “look”.

9. Heavily Lined Eyes
Whether it be black, blue, brown, or white liner, don’t have a heavy hand. Keep lower liner to only the water line and lash line on the upper lid. Lightly smudge. And white liner is NEVER a good idea. So just stop. People should not think you have been recently crying, that or a crazy person.

10. Snow White Shadow To Your Brows
Use white shadow sparingly. Your eye lids should not glow in the dark. Keep a light, shimmery shadow to the inner corners of your eyes and a minimal amount near your brow. It should not be cakey nor does it need to be white as snow.

So just break up with these terrible makeup trends already. Sometimes you just have to let go. Remember makeup is made to accentuate you and bring out your best assets, If you over do it, you lose all of that.

Stay Beautiful…. And Natural!