Tag Archives: Beauty

The New Girls Take Over

7 Aug

Last winter I made the terrible mistake of dying my hair red. I’ve been a lifelong brunette -except for that short period in high school where I went a stunning shade of pink- and I thought somehow that red would boost my personality in some way. I was so off base.

I recently read an interview in Vanity Fair with one of my favorite actresses right now, Lizzy Caplan, in which she said that she was excited that actresses like her now “get to be the girl” as opposed to the best friend role. Caplan, a pale brunette, is stunningly gorgeous, but you may remember her as the dark and crazy mess that was Janis Ian in Mean Girls.  It got me thinking about television and movies today, and about how brunettes have- in their own way- taken over a role that in the past they never really played. And as a brunette who has now come to completely adore my hair color, I’m all for it.

There’s something to be said about brunettes taking charge of the television industry right now, because in a way it opens up the door for all women to take a new lead in media. Lizzy, Tina Fey, Zooey Deschanel, Mindy Kaling, Aubrey Plaza, Kat Dennings, Krysten Ritter. All unusual suspects in Hollywood that have managed to make a name for themselves as strong, independent, funny, smart, unique and sexy leading ladies. And they’ve used their talents to draw their crowd as opposed to a stereotypical idea of what is supposed to be beautiful in Hollywood.

These women have created  a new persona and pushed the limit on what all women actresses can do on TV. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are proving that you can be strong, funny and powerful without a man influencing every aspect of your life; Kat Dennings and Krysten Ritter prove that women can be snarky and sexy without being labeled bitchy and slutty; and Zooey Deschanel is stepping up and showing women that it’s okay to be girly and cute, because being a woman doesn’t make you any less of a leader or any less in control of your destiny.

Gone are the days of the “quirky best friend” for every woman that isn’t a cardboard cutout of the typical tall blonde bombshell. And gone are the days of every tall, blonde bombshell being labeled as the “ditsy sex object.” Women are proving their chops in new ways. I think that, despite hair color, women have been restricted by their sex in the media, and that is changing. There hasn’t been a better time to be a funny woman in Hollywood then there is now, and I love that I’m on board for the ride.

Why Lush Went Too Far

27 Apr

Three years ago (wow I can’t believe it’s been that long) while backpacking through Italy with my friend, Lizz, I ran out of shampoo. This was a serious, serious problem as, after almost a month of travelling with the same duffle bag of clothes, that was about the only thing keeping me from not smelling like a moldy ball of sweat and grime. I was gross.

While walking around Rome one day Lizz and I stumbled on a store called Lush, a cosmetic store with only all-natural, organic, handmade products. They also had shampoo bars, which was beyond necessary (and traveled better than liquid shampoo, FYI!).  That was my first experience with the store, but since then Lush shops have been popping up everywhere, including in the mall right by me.

I really do like their products, they smell and feel amazing, but I can’t quite say that I like Lush anymore. This week, in the front window of Lush’s Regent Street (London) shop, they decided to put on a performance as an attempt to put an end to animal testing on cosmetic products. They stuck a 24-year-old performance artist in a nude leotard on a table, then streamed a 10-hour long series (before clicking that link please be aware that it includes a very graphic video of the performance) of torturous procedures, depicting what animals go through during one day at an animal testing lab. A “doctor” in a white lab lab coat and mask stretched the woman’s mouth open, choking her with lotions and creams, sprayed contact solution in her eyes, even shaved her head. It was long, graphic and in my opinion extremely unnecessary.

Obviously I’m against animal testing for cosmetics or any other product, because I’m not a heartless monster. Obviously I don’t want to subject animals to pain or poison them or stick them in cages to be used as basically live bait. Obviously. And I don’t know anyone that agrees to animal testing either. But this bizarre and brutal performance does not help curb animal testing, it just displays really terrifying and disturbing images to innocent civilians. It puts a fear in children that stumbled across it while walking past the shop or looking online. It harms human beings and does nothing to end animal cruelty.

It was a cheap and poorly-planned publicity stunt for the company. I don’t know if I’ll ever shop at Lush again, because I’m really offended that they would subject a human being to such pain and their customers to such offenses all to prove an already-obvious point. They could have asked people to sign a petition and people would have signed it without that performance, because animal testing is wrong regardless of that.

If you want to make a difference when it comes to animal testing, check out this list (after the jump) of brands that still test products on animals and don’t buy them. It’s that simple. Hit them where it hurts, in the wallet, and don’t terrify others who don’t have their hand in what goes on with these companies. Keep this list in your wallet, and next time you go shopping skip over the bad guys. It’s as easy as that.

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Welcome Back, Freckles

17 Apr

This past weekend my boyfriend, Alex, and I went to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It was beautiful and warm and sunny and perfect. And best of all? My freckles came back!

Now I understand that most people hate freckles and love being tan. I am the exact opposite. I love my freckles, mainly because I don’t tan. At the ripe old age of 22 I’ve gotten wise and have stopped attempting to tan, mainly because I enjoy not getting cancer, and this is around the time I start stocking up on my sunscreen and getting ready for the summer.

Instead of dealing with sunburns and aloe and pain I’ve just decided to say screw it and embrace the teeny tiny little dots of tan that pop up all over me, AKA my freckles. They are my version of a tan, without actually getting a tan. And they’re my summer look without sunburn. I kind of love them. Luckily, freckles are cool now. Emma Stone, Bar Rafaeli, Cintia Dicker… all super hot hotties that make their freckles look good. I’m trying to get others around me to embrace the freckle movement, and make this the best summer ever.

To all the ladies out there I say, join me in the pale-freckle revolution. No longer will other girls grab your arms and yell “OH MY GAWWD LOOK HOW PALE YOU ARE!” because we’ll all be pale and awesome! This is the summer of healthy skin!

Not Worth the Money: China Glaze Magnetix Polish

31 Mar

A month or so ago I found this really interesting nail polish in Ulta from China Glaze called Magnetix. Basically it was advertised as a nail polish that, when met with a special magnet, would create really unique patterns on the wet nail polish. I instantly though, “oh yeah, I want that,” but it was $10 for the polish and an additional $10 for the magnet and I didn’t feel like spending that much on a product I had never heard of before. So, being the frugal style hound that I am, I went trolling on the Internet for a good deal.

I found the polish for $4 and the magnet for about the same price, but with shipping it came to a whopping $15. And then I played the waiting game.

Don't mind the cuticle mess, I was rushing!

When I got my Magnetix polish and magnet I was so excited that I ripped open the package next to my dad and tried it out on my already-painted nails. The first two fingers I did (see the photo on the left) worked! Basically what you do is paint the polish on and then quickly hold the desired pattern over the polish for 10 seconds. I did the starburst and the kind of chevron pattern thing, and while I did hit the first nail with the magnet I still saw really interesting patterns.

Naturally my next move was to run upstairs, wipe all of the polish off my nails, and paint all of my nails with a pattern, which I decided was going to be the starburst. I was already planning on what I would say on here, how much I loved it and how great it looked. But then I started hitting snags.

The next round didn’t work at all. They all remained blank. Then I realized that hitting the magnet against my nail had become an actual issue with every nail. You couldn’t really avoid it, and it was so frustrating.

I tried over and over again over the course of a few days, but never got a matching pattern that worked for all of my nails. So I’ve ditched it into the bottom of my polish box to come across another day.

Overall I wouldn’t suggest this product to anyone. It’s really expensive and doesn’t give you a really great result. Plus, the colors are super glittery and all very dark, which don’t really work for someone like me who has to show up to work in an office with a bunch of adults 5 days a week. Once I get over my frustration of it I might try applying it to one nail and leaving the rest neutral, but it’s definitely not my style for a full set. If you’re up for spending three hours painting your nails, give it a try, if not, don’t waste the money.

My Must-Haves for Spring

20 Mar

Happy Spring everyone! I have been waiting and waiting for the spring to arrive. It is one of my favorite times of the year: bright colors, amazing dresses and skirts, flowers everywhere, sun and no-jacket weather. I go nuts.

Since spring is officially here I have decided to list my favorites for the upcoming season, using pictures pulled straight from Pinterest, since that is my latest complete and utter obsession. Enjoy!

Nude
The color (is it a color? I don’t know) is my latest addiction. I’ve got my nude nails painted right now, and I have been day dreaming about nude heels for about a year, since I saw Kate Middleton rocking the crap out of them so many times this summer. Since Kate Middleton is legally perfect, I knew I had to follow her lead. When the nasty, stupid winter rolled around nude went away, as did my quest for the perfect nude heel.  When I’m bored at work my instant reaction is to online shop, and through my journeys I found these beauties at Target. Cheap, not too high, and with a nice broad heel that is great for long days walking around. I am way too excited for these to arrive at my house. Nude is classy, plain and simple, which is why I need it for this spring.

Rose Gold
I didn’t even know rose gold existed until I made my Pinterest (yes that’s my page and yes you should follow me! I feel no shame in my self-promotion). It’s this fantastic light gold color, with just a tiny bit of pink to it. In my opinion it’s made for spring. When paired with colors like dark blue, pink and turquoise it completely transforms, but it still stays pretty timeless and classic next to diamond or, in my case, rhinestones.

I’ve seen a lot of designers making rose gold watches, like this gorgeous Michael Kors watch. A nice, classy watch makes a professional woman instantly look like an executive, like she is so damn fancy that you shouldn’t even be walking down the same street as her. Plus, I have a crazy amount of respect for any person that refers to a wrist watch as opposed to a phone when looking at the time. Yeah you bet your butt I want one.

Pastel Jeans
Colorful jeans are everywhere right now and I am totally on board. I bought a pair of Old Navy skinny jeans in red a few weeks ago, and now I’m just sitting around trying to register the accurate amount of wait time acceptable before I buy the exact same jeans in another color. Lets face it: pants have always been too boring! Black, khaki jeans… and you’re done. I love this extra splash of color, and the pastel screams spring time.

These jeans I found on Pinterest are the color I really want, a nice salmon-pink. And they’re capris which make them even spring-ier. Pair that with a beige shirt and some rose gold accents, or maybe some baby blue and white, and you’ve got the cutest little outfit imaginable. There’s nothing like brightening up a room with your outfit, especially when the entire world around you is blossoming and bright.

High-waisted Skirts
I embrace the high-waisted skirt on an almost-daily basis. I think that tucking your shirt into any outfit makes it instantly 100 times classier, and embracing where your real waist is creates a totally class look and still gives a woman a great shape. Plus, since I’m short, normal length skirts make me look stumpy, but when I raise it up a few inches and throw on some heels I instantly look a little bit taller. Now that it is spring I can grab some brighter colored skirts and pair them with nice breezy shirts for an easy, comfortable and classy look. Love the high-waisted skirt. It will be your best friend. This fabulous Pinterest find comes from an even-more fabulous blogger named Kendi Everyday. In my personal opinion, vintage dresses and skirts are the reason the sun rises every day. They are flawless. And look! She’s got the nude heels. Perfection.

Fruity Beers
It’s time for bright colors and bright flavors. Oh I know, boys will judge you if you like fruity beers, but I’m a lady, I can’t resist something a bit pretty!

I can suggest some great fruity beers: Dogfish Head’s Noble Rot and of course Strongbow Cider are up there, but one particular seasonal beer makes my spring and summer complete: 21 Amendement Brewery‘s Hell or High Watermelon. A light and airy tasting watermelon wheat beer that is pretty much the spring and summer in a can. It’s one of those beers that you crave on a hot, sunny day while stuck at your desk at work (yes, I’m talking about today in my case)

Product Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

14 Mar

I have wanted Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects nail polish strips since I’ve discovered them. I have this bad habit of painting my nails at night, then accidentally falling asleep while waiting for them to dry so I wake up with once-pristine nails covered in smudges and lines where my hair has pressed against them. These stick on nail polish strips could solve that problem. They dry instantly leaving you with a really neat design you could never do yourself.

The problem? They are pretty expensive. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $10 for a product I would only end up using once for maybe a week. So I got savvy this weekend and went clearance hunting at Ulta where I found markdown nail strips from Valentine’s Day styles. A lot of them were tacky hearts and “Love” in comic sans over and over again, but I did find a sharp mix or red, pink and plum color blocks for $5, and I snatched them up really quick.

I was so excited about these things that I peeled all of my nail polish I had on completely off on the drive home. I feel like it’s pretty hard to mess up putting the strips on, you stick them on and press them down,then file off at the end of your nail. Trust me, I’m a total klutz and it was easy for me so you know it was good. When I put them on they looked cute! I was excited to have a really cool design that I didn’t have to spend 2 hours on. Plus at the end I had 5 extra stick-ons to hold onto, which would look cute on a single finger with some nude or red polish on all the others.

And then I went out.

I was heading to my friends house for a party, so I stopped at the liquor store and then sat in the car with Alex for 45 minutes on the way to her house. In that time I managed to get three big chips on the tips on my nails. By the end of the night, which consisted of a lot of sitting around with some beers catching up, not arduous things like building a new house or something, all the nails on my right hand had some chip or another. Frustrating? Oh yeah.

At least with real nail polish I could go ahead and touch it up, but this was different. As the days wore on I realized how much I missed real nail polish. The Salon Effects stick-ons are much shinier than polish and end up looking much more artificial, pretty much like stickers on your nails. I was starting to be a little embarrassed, too, at how obviously fake the design was. It just looked lazy. What really drove me crazy was the edges around my cuticles. They all sort of buckled up a little bit, just enough for a person like me to notice and sit around pulling at all day.

I kept them on my nails for five days. That way I figured I was getting $1 use a day out of them and it wasn’t a waste. But today they ended up in a nice little pile of sticker paper on my desk. As cute as the design was, and as easy as it was to use, I don’t think I’ll end up buying these again, and I definitely won’t pay full price for them. Maybe if I had a special occasion, but I’m not going to any balls or weddings or anything anytime soon. If you’re like me, and you can’t help but pick at your nails when your bored or nervous, these are torture. It’s easier just to set a half hour aside and paint your nails yourself.

Super Easy, Super Fast Craft: Mr. Kate Scarf

29 Feb

Today is Leap Day, so imagine my horror when I opened my closet to find that I did not have a single piece of yellow or blue clothing to wear to work! I would have gotten poked in the eyes, Leap Day William would have been ashamed, and I certainly wouldn’t have gotten anything from his bucket of sweets before he went back into the Marianas Trench (if you’re questioning anything I just said, just click the “Leap Day William” link)!

After some more digging, I decided I had no choice but to DIY my Leap Day attire. So I turned to one of my favorite crafting and style bloggers, Mr. Kate, for inspiration.

I’ve made a t-shirt scarf before, but obviously I needed one in yellow for today, so I whipped up this 10 minute scarf last night before bed! It’s super simple and you only need a few  supplies: an unused t-shirt, scissors and a scrap of fabric about 8 inches long. If you want, you can even use the scraps from the t-shirt you work with, so the scrap isn’t 100 percent necessary. Can’t be any simpler.

A few months ago I found a deal at one of the craft stores by me on t-shirts, so I bought a ton and have been holding onto them for crafting purposes, but you could also use a junky old shirt you don’t wear anymore. I’ve seen this craft done using shirts with prints on them and that looks really cool, but obviously it wouldn’t fit my leap day need so I grabbed my yellow t-shirt.

First thing’s first: cut off the hemline at the bottom of the shirt and cut off just below the armpit part of the shirt (P.S. I hate the word armpit and I’m mad that I had to write it… twice). You’ll be left with a rectangular loop of fabric. You can ditch the other parts of the shirt, or save the top part to use later on.

Take your rectangle and cut about a one inch strip of fabric from the bottom of one of the connected ends (where the shirt would sit on your side) up to about one inch before the end of your other connected end. Definitely check out the photo, it’s a little hard to explain, but it’s easy when you get going. This craft is not for the perfectionist. The cuts don’t need to be perfect. The first time I did this I used a ruler, and then realized it was pointless. To get a general inch, I use my “rule of thumb.” An inch is sort of kind of the size of the top of your thumb to it’s knuckle. If you really need to measure an inch out for this project, just use your thumb!

Continue cutting strips until you’re out of space, Making sure you leave about an inch at the end of your t-shirt. You want all of the strips to still be connected at the end. When you’re done it will kind of look like a hula shirt for a really tall baby or something. Now hold each strip at both ends and lightly tug on the strip. The harsh edges you get from cutting it will curl in, so that each strip looks like a long, skinny cylinder. The photo below shows the top half after I pulled the loops, and the bottom half before. Definitely check out the Mr. Kate video below for any questions. You don’t need to pull hard, and if you have strips that are skinnier than others pulling hard might actually lead to breaking, so be careful!

Now that all your strips are pulled and looking svelte, take the section that hasn’t been cut, open it up (kind of like you were putting it on as a t-shirt). Take your scarf while it is open (see photo) and just bunch it together. What will happen is the strips that you cut and tugged on will open up turn into your scarf, and the uncut piece will just be a small section on the scarf. Use your scrap of fabric to wrap the uncut area together, so that it doesn’t open up while you’re wearing it and so that it doesn’t stick out in the middle of nowhere. I used a blue t-shirt from my last t-shirt scarf (for Leap Day’s sake!), but you can use whatever you want! Yarn, leather (last scarf I made I used a leather strap from an old boot I had), ribbon, or a piece of scrap from your t-shirt so that it doesn’t stand out.

And voila! I recommend you check out Mr. Kate’s video below and her post for a full explanation. I wasn’t about to make a video, because quite honestly I lost my camera charger and my camera was on the verge of death, and as I mentioned I  was just about to go to bed, so there was no way I was taking a picture of myself looking as I did. Plus, Mr. Kate is much cuter and quirkier than me, so I’m pretty sure you would enjoy it more if you watched her!