Archive for the ‘Hair Care Products’ Category

Making waves with minimal effort

       
Friday, October 11th, 2013

Making waves with minimal effort

Just because summer is long gone doesn’t mean you have to abandon those carefree waves.

Wavy hair is just as appropriate for cozying up to the fireplace as it is for basking on the beach. Plus, it’s simultaneously laid-back and romantic, meaning it works for nearly any occasion, from a casual coffee date to an elegant affair. Creating the perfect style doesn’t have to take a lot of effort, either – after all, the idea is to look effortlessly stunning. Ditch the styling tools and use these tips to achieve flawless, fuss-free waves overnight:

Braids
You may already know that braids are big this fall, but were you aware that un-doing this technique can also make instant waves? After washing your hair and combing it out, pat it dry and part down the center. Then begin weaving it into two braids while it’s damp. Looser braids will make for gentler waves, while tightly wound braids will produce a more crimped effect. You can also change the look with the number of braids: One will produce a subtler curvature, and three or four of them will make high-intensity waves. Secure the ends with an elastic and leave them alone until dry. Doing this a couple hours before bedtime is ideal, as you can wake up and quickly finish styling them.

Once your hair is dry, unbraid it and use your fingers to comb through your strands, which will help to create a natural look. A spritz of strong hairspray will provide the hold you need to lock your waves into place.

Buns
Another supremely simple way to get whimsical waves is by twirling your hair into multiple buns. While it’s still damp, smooth some shaping cream over your strands and twist it into coils on top of your head, securing with bobby pins. As with the braid method, more buns will make for a drastic finished look. Unpin them once your hair is dry and shake your tresses out to get a tousled effect.

Headband
There are endless possibilities when it comes to wearing a headband, and one of them can create perfectly sculpted waves. Using a soft elastic headband, wrap your hair section by section around it, using pins to secure the ends. Once all of your strands have been wound around the headband, leave it to dry, ideally overnight. After unpinning every section, scrunch them with some texturizing mousse for extra oomph.

How stress is sabotaging your beauty

       
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

How stress is sabotaging your beauty

There are obvious reasons to avoid stress, as it can do some serious damage to your body. Did you know that it affects your appearance as well?

Between work deadlines, social obligations, paying bills and taking care of other responsibilities, sometimes it’s inevitable to feel overwhelmed. However, you might want to consider ways to keep your calm once you realize the potential impact on your complexion. Here are just a few ways that stress is sabotaging your skin, hair and nails:

Wrinkles
It’s no secret that stress can affect mood and energy levels, but it also makes you look olde. Daily Makeover explained that when you’re under a lot of pressure, your body continually churns out cortisol, a hormone that can break down collagen – not to mention also make you gain weight. When your cortisol levels are high, it’s more difficult for the skin to reproduce elastin and repair damage, leading to faster formation of wrinkles. Dr. Doris Day told Woman’s Day that it can be helpful during a particularly stressful day to stop and take a deep breath, thereby relaxing the muscles in your face to prevent fine lines.

Puffy eyes
One of the major negative effects of stress is that it can disrupt your sleep, and as a result, you end up with tired, puffy eyes. Daily Makeover noted that when you don’t get the deep sleep you need, your body is unable to rid itself of excess liquids. Therefore, that fluid ends up settling in the undereye tissue, causing dark circles and bags. It’s crucial to get an adequate amount of shuteye, but when you still need some extra help, use a moisturizing eye cream and a yellow-based concealer to fake an awake look.

Breakouts
Unfortunately, you’re also more likely to get pesky blemishes and breakouts when you’re tense, which can be frustrating and exacerbate the problem. According to She Knows, one of the other effects of a spike in cortisol is increased oil production and an inability to control inflammation. Therefore, you’re a lot more likely to see redness and clogged pores. Skincare expert Lavinia Borcau recommended looking for cleansers and toners that are formulated with green tea or chamomile, both natural anti-inflammatories.

Dry skin
If your skin is looking flaky and feeling dry, stress might be the cause. Borcau told She Knows that when you’re especially strained, your skin can’t hold moisture as effectively. She suggested using a rich cream that contains shea butter and avocado oil. Not only will your complexion feel softer, but these ingredients can also act as a barrier from irritants, free radicals and bacteria in the environment.

Damaged nails
Your digits are also dealing with negative impacts when you’re under pressure – and not just because you might be nervously biting your fingernails. Dr. Flor Mayoral, dermatologist and clinical instructor from University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Fla., said that many people make a habit of pressing their fingers over their thumb nail, leading to a raised ridge in the center. On top of that, your nails may become weaker, peel or even begin to show white horizontal lines. When they’re looking particularly brittle, nix the lacquer for a week and brush on a strengthening treatment.

Hair loss
Is your hair starting to shed? Daily makeover explained that hair loss is another issue that can be caused by anxiety. Your hair follicles immediately go from a growth phase to a resting one. Dr. Mayoral noted that the “fall-out” phase that follows typically lasts for up to three months after a stressful time, and it can take six to nine months for the hair to re-grow. In the meantime, switch to a shampoo that can energize your scalp and a nourishing, thickening conditioner.

Fresh hairstyle ideas for fall

       
Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Fresh hairstyle ideas for fall

Your beachy waves were just fine for summer, but you might be getting bored with your hair now that autumn is here.

Something about the changing leaves, cozy sweaters and richer colors in your wardrobe may have you itching for a change in your coif. If you don't have the funds – or the guts – for a dramatic transformation, don't fret. There are plenty of ways to shake up your hairstyle without a ton of time or effort. Here are a few ideas to consider for your new 'do:

Fetching fringe
Even if you've been too timid to try bangs, sideswept fringe is flattering on a variety of face shapes, and can be relatively easy to maintain. Feeling bold? Elle magazine noted that blunt bangs are a major trend this season. The source recommended using a heat protective spray on damp hair before blowdrying them. A shine serum can help to eliminate frizz, and a spritz of hairspray ensures they stay in place.

Still, you might not be ready to take the plunge. Fortunately, Harper's Bazaar reported that the side faux bang is an ideal alternative when you can't commit to the real thing. Redken creative consultant Guido told the magazine that all you have to do is part your hair farther to the side and sweep it across your forehead to give the illusion of bangs. You can use a bobby pin to secure the section in place.

Deconstructed bun
While a neat bun always looks elegant, a messier version is on trend this autumn. Fortunately, it not only looks chic but also takes considerably less time. Refinery 29 explained that the first step is spraying your strands with a thickening product that will boost the volume. The key is not to overbrush your hair to keep the tousled texture. After rough drying your hair, pull your tresses up the top of your head and tie in a ponytail with an elastic. Fold your hair through the band to create a loop, and then twist the ends that are sticking out around the base of the pony to build the bun. Keep playing around with it until you're happy with the undone look, then pin the ends in place.

Wet and wild strands
You might be surprised, but hair that looks soaking wet is actually a major trend this season. Harper's Bazaar explained that models for Prada, Oscar de La Renta and Roberto Cavalli all sported this sleek look on the runway. Don't leave the house just after showering, though, especially as the temperatures are starting to drop. Instead, get the same effect with hair oil, which creates a high shine finish.

Hair report: How stars make a bang

       
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Hair report: How stars make a bang

Bangs are something of a beauty enigma. They look stunning when they're done right, but that task can seem nearly impossible. Styling them can be a major hassle, they fall into your eyes, and then there's the awkward growing out phase. Still, you've likely been eager to try them out yourself – after all, they frame your face, and can completely transform your hairstyle.

With the right hair products and a little inspiration from some of Hollywood's most fashion-forward starlets, you just may be able to bang it out.  Need some inspiration? Consider these celebs' hair-raising styles before you get some bangs yourself.

Sienna Miller
Sienna makes beautiful bangs look just too easy. With a swept-up bun, she keeps things casual by pulling out a few pieces of her around her face. That technique also helps to soften the harsh look of bold bangs.

Zooey Deschanel
Bangs have become somewhat of a signature look for this actress. Her blue eyes always pop from just underneath a thick layer of dark fringe, which she keeps both straight and voluminous. The resulting look, combined with her retro makeup, recalls a 1960s charm.

Reese Witherspoon
This blond's thin, fine locks wouldn't work with thick bangs, so she opts for piecey, delicate ones. Her fringe never looks too heavy, and is especially flattering with gleaming highlights that give them an airy effect.

Alexa Chung
The queen of mussed-up chic, Chung parts her bangs so that they don't get in her eyes, and also leaves them unstyled and unkempt.

Kim Kardashian
​Kim K's extra long bangs look alluring grazing the top of her eyelashes. The blunt cut has a striking effect, especially in contrast to the rest of her long locks, which are loose and wavy.

Jennifer Lawrence
If you've ever been curious to try bangs but are too afraid of a bold, bunt cut, take a cue from this actress. She opts for a subtle, sideswept look that's simultaneously understated and elegant.

Liv Tyler
Tyler has been sporting straight, thick bangs for most of her career, and for good reason: The mod look just works for her. Glamour magazine noted that the actress even has a secret technique to make them work for her face. By tucking longer strands around her face behind her ears, she emphasizes her cheeks and visually highlights her flawless bone structure.

How to get a magnificently messy mane

       
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

How to get a magnificently messy mane

While a perfectly polished blowout can be inarguably alluring, there’s something about an unkempt ‘do that’s effortlessly sultry. Ever since Brigitte Bardot sported a mussed up hairstyle, women everywhere have sought to get bedhead that’s somehow chic instead of grungy.

In fact, a hairstyle that’s not flawless can add some edge to a prim and proper ensemble. By sporting a wild mane with a ladylike dress, for example, you’ll never look too fussy. Still, achieving this look takes more than jumping out of bed in the morning. Ready to take the plunge? Follow these steps and you’ll look divinely disheveled.

Bun
This not your typical tidy ballerina bun. The hairstylist behind the always flawlessly unkempt Alexa Chung, George Northwood, told Refinery 29 that the key to getting her look is roughly drying the hair, but leaving it 10 percent damp. Next mist some hairspray onto your roots and comb from the back of the head forward. Pull your locks into a loose ponytail that sits haphazardly on top of your head and comb forward toward the hairline again. Northwood noted that this back combing technique is key to creating a messy effect. Finally, coil the ponytail around to create a bun and use bobby pins to secure it. Another shot of hairspray will lock the style into place.

Ponytail
This pony is far more punk rock than preppy. StyleBistro explained that in terms of styling products, it’s important to opt for solutions that mimic your hair’s natural texture. For example, a defining cream is ideal for curls, while pomade can do wonders for waves. Start by twirling your strands into four tightly wound top knots to enhance body. Next, flip your head upside down and use your fingers to comb hair up into a ponytail either low or high, depending on your preferences. If you’d like more lift, you can tease your hair at the crown.

Braid
Braids have been everywhere this year, with an overwhelming amount of starlets rocking them both casually and on the red carpet. For this mussed up version, apply a texturizing cream and weave your hair into a braid that starts low on your head, close to the nape of the neck. After tying with an elastic, pull horizontally at the braid from top to bottom, widening it and loosening it up. Finish by pulling out a few stray pieces of hair in the front.

Caring for curly hair: Essential tips

       
Friday, August 16th, 2013

Caring for curly hair: Essential tips

While you may have battled with your curly coif your whole life, you’re likely the envy of most of your friends. In fact, some straight-haired women spend hours trying to get the same bouncy, voluminous tresses. The question is – how do you discipline your ‘do? With these tips and a powerful combination of products, you’ll be able to keep curls under control.

Comb carefully
The more you brush curly hair, the greater the frizz factor. So before you step in the shower, use a boar-bristle brush to make sure the natural oil from your scalp is evenly distributed throughout your hair. Tommy Buckett, celebrity hairstylist for Garnier Fructis, noted to Glamour magazine that curls tend to get tangled and knotted. In the shower, use a wide-toothed comb to brush your conditioner through your strands from roots to ends. Buckett explained that color-treated curls are extra thirsty and require a deeper conditioner. Opt for a weekly treatment like the Fekkai Advanced Essential Shea Ultra Rich Mask, which enhances hair’s strength and manageability. Once you’ve rinsed out the conditioner, avoid wringing your hair, rubbing it with a towel or putting it in a turban. Instead, lightly squeeze the moisture out with a clean towel, encouraging your curls’ natural shape.

Style smarts
This is a key step in your regimen, whether you have kinky ringlets or looser ones. While hair is still damp, work a reasonable sized amount of de-frizz serum or styling cream into your locks, scrunching as you go. Finer hair can benefit from the lightweight Leonor Greyl Algues Et Fleurs Curl Enhancer, which uses seaweed and other film-forming proteins to restructure the curls so they maintain their shape. Thicker, coarser curls should opt for a heavy-duty product that can tame and relax the hair, like the rich Hamadi Shea Hair Cream.

Whatever product you use, don’t go overboard as too much can make your hair greasy and weigh it down. Air drying is your best bet for avoiding poofiness, but if you’re jetting out the door, blowdry your bangs and roots. It’s helpful to pop a diffuser on your hairdryer, which can distribute the heat more evenly.

Sleeping beauty
Waking up with flattened or frizzed out locks? The way you style your hair before you go to sleep can have a big impact on how it looks in the morning. For a better bed-head, pile your hair high on top of your head in a  neat knot. You’re less likely to have a tangled mess in the morning, and more importantly, you’ll avoid the risk of breakage. Buckett also recommended in Glamour purchasing a silk pillowcase, as it won’t cause as much friction on the hair fibers as a cotton one.

How to style short hair

       
Thursday, August 15th, 2013

How to style short hair

Beyoncé recently chopped off her famously long locks in favor of a piecey pixie, and ever since many girls have been eager to snip their own strands. Whether you’re already rocking a shorter length or are tempted to make the cut, you’ll need to consider these particular products and styling tricks first:

Straight up
Halle Berry is the poster child for the pixie cut, which she has maintained throughout most of her career. Celebrity stylist Neeko, who did Berry’s ‘do for the “Cloud Atlas” premiere, told PopSugar that the style is pretty simple to recreate. Start by blasting your blowdryer on your hair while using your fingers to create a disheveled look. Neeko stressed that it’s essential to use products that will thicken the hair so there’s no need to tease it. Work in a small amount of Jack Black’s Sleek Finish Texture Cream, which is infused with Vitamin B5, to make hair appear fuller, as well as Lanolin and Beeswax to control frizz. Next, he advised using a flat iron on small sections to straighten them in different directions for a mussed up effect. Lock in your look and add extra definition with the Baxter of California Hard Water Pomade.

Va-va-volume
If you’re looking to amp up the drama with a shorter cut, take a cue from Lena Dunham. Redbook magazine noted that achieving her style requires a texturizing hairspray. Try spritzing Fekkai’s COIFF Bouffant Lifting And Texturizing Spray Gel all over hair to lift the roots and give the rest of your mane some character.

Still want higher impact? Go for Pink’s signature pompadour. According to Redbook, celeb hairstylist Marcia Hamilton achieves it by curling large pieces at the top of the head with a big barrel iron and then using bobby pins to secure every individual section. After smoothing pomade over the top and sides, unpin the hair, tease it and coat with Structure Naturelle Strong-hold hair spray by Leonor Greyl to protect the pouf all day long.

Cropped curls
With a little finesse, curly girls can wear short hair, too. Mischa Lisikiewicz, a stylist at Sine Qua Non in Chicago, explained to Redbook that it’s advisable to only shampoo hair once or twice a week so that natural oils have a chance to hydrate strands, combating any coarseness. In between washes, you can keep your coif fresh with theBalm En Route Dry Shampoo. Work in a de-frizzing cream and blowdry with a diffuser for a flawless, frizz-free finish.

DIY beauty solutions

       
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

DIY beauty solutions

While do-it-yourself projects typically involve hot glue guns and MacGyver-like skills, you can also DIY when it comes to your beauty products.

In fact, there are likely a multitude of items in your drawers, cabinets and pantry that could be used in beauty treatments (powdered milk, anyone?). The best part about DIY beauty is that because you're concocting the solutions yourself, you can customize the formula to address your specific hair concerns, skincare needs or makeup preferences. Here are just a few DIY ideas for some products you can make with simple ingredients.

Haircare
If you're dealing with dry, dull strands, this mask will instantly make locks more lustrous. All you need, according to Self magazine, are two or three thoroughly mashed bananas, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Mix the concoction together and apply evenly to your hair, letting it sit for 15 minutes before you wash it out. Bananas are high in potassium, which can infuse strength into strands weakened by the sun, heat styling and other stressors. Self noted that the apple cider vinegar acts as a clarifying agent to get rid of product buildup, while the olive oil's fatty acids hydrate strands.

Skincare
Dry skin is a downer, but Adina Grigore, founder and chief formulator for S.W. Basics, told Refinery 29 that you can mix a moisturizer so rich that parched, damaged skin becomes softer, smoother and fully hydrated. Just mix together 1/2 cup of shea butter, 1/4 cup cocoa butter and a drizzle of coconut oil into a glass bowl. Make sure the bowl can withstand heat, as you'll be putting it over a a double boiler on low heat for several minutes. Once the consistency is fluid, use an oven mitt to take the bowl off the burner and let it cool. Then put a lid or plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate the homemade moisturizer. An hour later you can apply the cream to your face and body – and take a deep breath, because the scent is heavenly.

Makeup
Looking for a great glow? Sometimes it's hard to find the right shade of bronzer – if it's too light it's ineffective, and if it's too dark it looks entirely fake. The idea is to achieve the kind of radiance you'd naturally get from a day basking on the beaches of St. Tropez, and there's no better way to get the color just right than to mix it yourself. Self magazine recommends mixing together 1/2 cup cinnamon powder, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and three tablespoons of baby powder and sifting it into a bowl before mixing in four to five drops of coconut oil. By adding body lotion, you can personalize the shade: More lotion will make the bronzer more subtle while less will make a richer, deeper pigment.

Braid breakthrough: How to rock 4 new styles

       
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Braid breakthrough: How to rock 4 new styles

Braids have come a long way from their prairie days. In recent years, celebrities from Sienna Miller to Vanessa Hudgens have been rocking these hair styles in a multitude of new ways, showing that it's possible to make them elegant, edgy and even sexy. In fact, The Huffington Post reported that "braid bars" are opening up in cities around the country as a result of the trend.

Try these styles for a look that's anything but immature.

Go fish
A fishtail braid is perfectly playful for the beach, but starlets like Blake Lively have demonstrated that this style is just as appropriate for more formal affairs. For a sleeker look, braid sections tightly together. However, if you're hoping for a less polished, more piecey effect, PopSugar recommended tugging on the braid to loosen it up, as Jennifer Morrison has done. Spritz on Structure Naturelle by Leonor Greyl to finish for touchable, all-day hold.

Bun with a twist
A fusion of a braid and a bun is both sophisticated and eccentric. Try a low chignon with just a braided piece, which is chic for the evening. Alternatively, braiding all of your hair and wrapping it into a bun high atop your head can really show off the texture. Before braiding, apply a bit of Sleek Finish Texture Cream by Jack Black to keep strands slick and and flyaway-free.

Crowning glory
Who needs a headband? A braid that weaves across your hairline looks regal while framing your face. Opt for a slender version for a subtle style or use chunkier sections to amp up the drama. PopSugar noted that Hayden Panettiere rocked a totally different angelic take simply by pushing the braid farther back on her head. You could even try weaving in some ornate pins for a whimsical look. If you want a messier, more bohemian effect, try pulling out small pieces of hair around your face after you've finished the braid. Spraying En Root Flexible Hold Hair Spray by theBalm will keep your crown in place, even with exposure to extreme humidity.

Understatement 
The undercut braid has been an increasingly popular style for celebs who want a grungier alternative, according to Refinery 29. The source reported that Cara Delevigne sported this rock-and-roll style at the Met Gala, but she wasn't the only one: Model Chanel Iman displayed the same daring look at the event, according to PopSugar. Work in Gel a La Keratine by Leonor Greyl at the roots, which hardens when it dries, keeping the braid locked in.

Blowout bliss: A step-by-step guide to perfection

       
Monday, August 5th, 2013

Blowout bliss: A step-by-step guide to perfection

There's really nothing that boosts your confidence like a fresh salon blowout. However, achieving the same look at home can be a struggle without the right tools and products. Whether for date night, a summer soiree or an important job interview, use these tips for a coif that looks like it was handled by the professionals.

Prep with products
A good blowout starts with the shampoo. If you expose your hair to heat frequently, the Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo by Fekkai not only helps to nourish strands, but the soy and milk protein also strengthens them to prevent future breakage. If your hair tends to fall flat, opt for the Advanced Full Blown Volume Shampoo, which amps up thin tresses for a fuller finished look. An ultra-moisturizing conditioner is also key for a shiny blowout, as excessive heat can leave hair looking like straw. Treat hair to the Ristorativo Di Vita Conditioning Treatment by Borghese, which hydrates brittle strands while transforming the texture for softer styles. Gregory Patterson, a hairstylist at Blow in New York City, told Women's Health magazine that it's important to thoroughly rise out any conditioner for a long-lasting look.

Fight frizz by spritzing in lightweight Serum de Soie Sublimateur by Leonor Greyl, which smoothes the hair shaft without weighing it down for a poof-proof appearance. If your hair is highly unmanageable, opt for Condition Naturelle by Leonor Greyl, which contains protective proteins and seaweed extracts for shine and buoyancy.

Time to dry 
Now you're ready to pick up the hairdryer. Real Simple magazine recommended starting with the bangs when they're still wet. For more volume, hold hair in a round brush vertically above the head, but for a sleek, pin-straight look you'll want to pull hair downward. Next, Real Simple suggested moving to the back sections, which can be harder to perfect, and working forward toward the face. Always keep the blowdryer constantly moving – directing heat in one spot for too long can scorch your hair and cause serious damage.

Preserve and protect
After all that work, you'll likely want to make your blowout last. In Women's Health, Patterson recommended using dry shampoo, which can absorb oil and keep your style looking fresh. He also advised using a clip or a headband instead of an elastic because they won't leave a pesky crimp.

Follow these steps and your hair is bound to blow everyone away.