Life got a little bit better a few weeks ago when I noticed that Mad Men had become available on Netflix Instant. I love television. From Breaking Bad to Boardwalk Empire, I think that the little box often has movies beat these days. But nothing is as close to my heart as Mad Men.
Part of it is that I’m an ad gal myself, so I get excited around that creation process. But what gets me even more is the women: Joan, Betty, and Peggy, in all of their outward beauty and inner suffering. As I rewatch the early seasons I catch myself constantly pausing to take a picture of the screen to capture a look, a moment, a color—all of my senses being satisfied at once.
This gave me an idea:
What if we tried to recreate three big beauty trends from that time—with natural products, of course—that also happen to be hot right now?
A quick cross reference with Elle’s Spring Beauty Preview proved very fruitful indeed, so here goes…
1. Top lining: I’ve always loved heavily lined eyes, but as I get a little bit more mature I’ve become a bigger fan of the top-only line. There’s something classy and clean about it, though a lot of women are intimidated because the mags make it look like this. If you look at Betty’s eyes here though, you can see that there’s a much more subtle version of this style—one that doesn’t even require using that pesky liquid liner! Instead I use my basic Jane Iredale Eye Pencil in black, which is way more forgiving if you don’t have a steady hand. The trick is running the pencil right at the lash line. I start toward the middle, getting thicker as I go.
2. Bold lips: Still in in a big way: Elle may be calling it red, but really the word for lips is bold (whatever your color choice is).
Since nobody needs a lesson in lipstick application, I’ll just say that if you have yet to try the pretty and poppy hues from Ilia, or the seriously strong colors from W3LL People, you are missing out. Find our full favorite lipstick recap here, then share your own in the comments.
3. Hair with height: High retro hair has definitely gotten a modern makeover. I told you a few weeks ago how I made a blowout last for days with dry shampoo, but the best kept secret about this stuff is the height it can give to hair. It’s so easy too: Simply shake a little bit onto the area you plan to raise, and then fluff and move it around with your fingers at the root until you can’t see the powder (you’ll start seeing volume immediately). Then, using a comb, tease the spot just a tiny bit and see it rise to the next level. Now take the piece of hair right in front and smooth it over the little mound for a more finished Joan-type look.
Questions? Comments? You know what to do!
This one goes out to all my curly, frizzy, wavy, fro-y friends out there.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now and, inspired by my buddy’s piece yesterday, I decided to get all listy on it. Obviously you guys know that what got us in trouble in the first place was a fated chem-filled Brazilian Blowout. And as such we like to encourage women to generally embrace what they were born with, rather than fight their looks at every turn—especially with toxins.
But let’s be real about things too. There will always be women with curly hair who try to make it straight. And just because we want you to love and accept yourself does not at all mean that we don’t strongly advocate mixing sh*t up sometimes. When I get a blowout it’s like a new lease on life! I don’t do it often but when I do, a whole other gal comes out to play: She’s a little more sophisticated than me, this blowout character, a little more polished. I’ll never be her year-round, but I like her style.
But here’s the big surprise, ladies: Going natural—and I mean really natural—is the best thing you can do for your blowout. Consider this a guide to the anti-Brazilian blowout.
1. Stop washing your hair. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Not washing my hair is the best thing I ever did for this (now less) dry, curly mane of mine. It’s made it more manageable and actually much easier to style. Thanks to the natural oils in there I no longer look like someone who’s been electrocuted when I get my hair blown out. Sure, my ends are still a little ragged but overall my hair looks much healthier than it once did straightened. Also—and this is the clincher—when your scalp is used to not being washed you can keep a blowout for days (and days, and days) without it turning to a greasy mess. It’s like you’ve pre-trained it for the blowout. I kept my last one for over a week easy—and I could have gone longer.
2. Show up with a wet head. Critical if you’re doing it at a salon, otherwise the stylist will force you to wash your hair. Trust me on this one. And even if they don’t they will still use chemy products in there that you don’t want. Which takes me to…
3. Avoid leave-ins. I’m not talking about a little bit of argan oil on the ends here, but if you leave crap in your hair (even of the more natural variety like my new favorite curl cream) you run the risk of your hair getting weighed down and dull looking after a day or two. Even worse, your scalp could start itching. On the contrary, your natural oils will add shine and not weigh your hair down (except maybe at the root, but there’s a solution for that). So keep your hair dirty-clean, yeah?
4. Ask for a loose wave rather than the pin-straight look. I know us curly-haired girls dream of nothing more than shiny, stick-straight locks. But the truth is, no matter how healthy our hair is, most of us are still going to have broken ends that look rough when they’re super straight. It’s just the nature of the curly beast. As dumb luck would have it, the last blowout I had I asked for loose waves because I wanted to wear it in a pony for my friend’s wedding. I’ll never ask for anything else. Having the ends fall into big curls was the perfect camouflage (see picture above for inspiration) The waves also actually got better as the days passed.
5. Use dry shampoo to keep it alive. As mentioned, depending just how used to not washing your scalp is, the top can get a little greasy or flat after a few days. Meet your new best friend, dry shampoo. Siobhan has written about this stuff in the past but for some reason I’d never tried it. Probably because it’s called shampoo—but it’s really nothing like it. The added volume dry shampoo can give you at the root makes it feel more like a styling product to me than anything else. Yes it gets rid of the grease, but also, holy height! (Again, see above pic for inspiration because dry shampoo can do that depending how thick your hair is.) I’ve been using this All Nighter Styling Powder (couldn’t look less natural, but it’s made from rice tapioca and colored with mineral pigments) and I love it. I even use it here and there when my hair’s curly just to get that extra boost on top.
So, who here likes to get a blowout now and again? Got any tips to add?
Yesterday I made the (possibly ill-advised) decision to take two yoga classes in a row, because I had some kinks I needed to work out, as it were, and because Jupiter just entered my sixth house (kidding! sort of!). It was therapeutic and surprisingly energizing, but I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. Plus, my apartment was an icebox. Getting out of bed was going to be a toughie.
What saved me was the simple knowledge that, thanks to dry shampoo, I could lay there under the duvet lazily hitting snooze and still make it to work on time. After I showered with a towel on my head, I went looking for the Lulu Organics dry shampoo Spirit Demerson gave me as a book-launch present in July. Curveball? The bottle was empty.
With no time to wash my hair and a job that requires me to look presentable every day, I had to improvise. In my medicine cabinet I found a bottle of Dr. Hauschka Body Silk, a powder. I googled the ingredients and found that the first ingredient was rice starch. Perfect! I thought. I’ve sprinkled that gluten-free-girl’s staple in my hair more times than I can count, with great results. But I’m out of that too. No matter, because the Dr. H formula not only worked great, it also smells like roses (literally).
Dry shampoo is one of man’s greatest contributions to womankind. It’s a powdery solution you can spray or sprinkle onto your hair on days when you don’t feel like washing it. It can extend the life of a blowout, save you from looking like a greaseball, and add a really amazing texture to your tresses. It also gives a little volume at the roots.
The problem, as with many beauty products, is that some of the conventionals can be really toxic. It may just look like powder, and it may have names that look (or even explicitly claim to be) natural, but many of them contain BHT, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, butane, coumarin and synthetic fragrance, to name just a few. And you’re at risk of inhaling the stuff.
So we think it’s best to simple, natural and cheap. You don’t need propellant gasses pushing it out of a spray can any more than you need aluminum. All you need is something starchy and dry that can absorb your oils and stick to the hair.
I’ve tried rice starch, Lulu Organics and Dr. H’s body powder—all of which work great for me. I’ve also tried baking soda, which worked less well.
Your turn. Do you use dry shampoo? If so what do you use? And when?