Saturday, February 28, 2009

Review: Clairol Perfect 10

I've always had blondish brown hair, and it's always bothered me. It's not that I didn't think my hair color was pretty, it was just that I'm indecisive, but I don't want my hair to be. And since I'm definitely not a blond, I decided to go brunette. The problem was, I'm really protective of my hair, and I didn't want some hair color to totally strip it and turn it into straw, so I put up with my annoying hair color for the sake of my hair. That is, until my mom introduced me to Clairol Perfect 10. Unlike most dyes, which use ammonia to wear away your hair's F-layer so they can deposit color, Perfect 10 leaves that layer intact, causing significantly less damage to your hair. I know. Love.

Perfect 10 is really easy to apply (it actually does take just 10 minutes), doesn't smell horrible, and doesn't leave your hair looking like straw. I think my hair might actually look healthier since I've dyed it. The process is really simple, just mix the dye, apply it, leave it on for 10 minutes, and rinse your hair until the water runs clear. The dye didn't burn my skin, but I think it bothered Maud a bit after a few minutes (Maudie has really sensitive skin though), but it's not like a "my skin is on fire I'm going to die" burn. Then apply the included conditioner (which smells realllly yummy), leave it on for two minutes, and rinse out. Done!

Make sure your hair hasn't been washed for at least a day before you dye it. The natural oils help the dye cling to the hair cuticle. Now, if you're like me and one, you're really OCD about having dirty hair, and two, you really can't go two days without shampooing like you're supposed to, I have a tip. After washing the dye out and before you conditioner, wash your roots with a tiny bit of color-safe shampoo. It won't strip your color, and it'll keep your hair clean until the next day (always a plus).

As for how long the color lasts, I wouldn't call Perfect 10 permanent. If on a scale from one to ten, one is your natural hair color and ten is a totally opaque, permanent dyed color, Perfect 10 starts out at a 10 (haha), and washes out to about a 7 after 3/4 days. A lot of hair colors lighten a tone or two in the first few days, but I think Perfect 10 does that a little more than most. Over the next 6-8 weeks, it fades down to about a 4 and stays there. So by the time my hair's grown out enough to have one inch roots (which is like three weeks, sorry Maud), the color has faded to become more of a tint. Now, if you didn't want to change your hair color that drastically and you're fine with darkening/changing it just a few tones, then this would be great for you. If you're trying to cover greys or changing your hair color dramatically (like blonde to dark brown), then you might want to go with something a little longer lasting.

I've tried three different colors of Perfect 10: Medium Brown, Light Golden Brown, and Medium Golden Brown (in that order). Medium Brown was a little flat for me. It's a very cool toned brown, and I have a lot of gold/red in my natural color, so it wasn't really working for me, and it was a little dark. Light Golden Brown is a really pretty, warm color, about one or two shades darker than my natural color. I tried Medium Golden Brown this time, just to mix it up, and I really like it. It's a very warm, almost reddish, deepy, chocolately brown. For reference, this first picture has my natural color, and the last picture captures the Medium Golden Brown most accurately. It look me like 7986798 years to get a decent picture--my hair is so shiny the camera flash makes it look white! I know, I know, my life is so rough, but I think the dye actually contributed to that. Look how shiny my hair is before I dyed it and then after. It's wayyyy shinier now. And please ignore how gross me and my hair look. That bathroom lighting is brutal.

Clairol Perfect 10 is $13.99 at, and about $12 instore at Target.

Image Sources:
Perfect 10:

Hot Head

Do you ever go to get a fabulous hair cut, love it for about a week, and then decide you want something completely different? Well, that's all fine unless you're like me. Because my hair grows about an inch every month and a half. And while that is nice for when my hair is short, it's absolutely wretched when I want my hair to be long in a matter of minutes. So, even though my friends are jealous because I spend about a quarter of what they do on haircuts every year, I (not so secretly) am completely jealous of them because they get to change their hairstyles wayyyyy more often then I do. Just think. One inch in a little over a month. Kill me. Snails moonwalk faster than that.

Okay, at this point I'm feeling a little down and need a pick me up. Of the hair teasing and voluminizer kind, of course. Here are some photos of great hair and how to do it yourself (or have a uber skilled friend do it for you.) Courtesy of Allure.

"Braid a ponytail hair extension that matches your hair color and pin it at the nape of your neck. Wrap the braid around your crown, pinning the ends at your nape, then let your hair hang loose or twist it into a low knot directly above the braid."

"There's nothing sexier than hair that looks like it's been disheveled by a roll in the sheets. Mimic the effect by scrunching large sections of damp hair in your hands as you move a blow-dryer in circles around your head (hold it about six inches away). This fluffs the hair rather than matting it down. Another trick: Rub your crown lightly, like it's a baby's belly, for a few seconds to create slept-in texture."

"Add instant volume at the end of the day simply by changing your part. Flipping it to the opposite side not only gives you more lift at the roots, but it also helps you achieve a different look—without a trip to the hair salon."

"For a laid-back interpretation of half-up hair, pull the top and sides back into a loose ponytail (no combing—just shake and rake the hair with your fingers), wrap the ponytail around itself in a figure eight, then stick a bobby pin or two through it to secure."
"There's a laid-back vibe to textured hair, probably because it looks effortless—and it almost is. Simply run leave-in conditioner through damp hair to calm frizz, scrunch large sections, then tuck hair behind your ears while it dries to create a gentle wave."

Now, there you have it.

Image Sources:

Milan Roundup #2

Designers are losing their backing left and right (poor Gianfranco Ferre), but Milan Fashion Week is still going strong. Here's roundup numero dos:

Dolce & Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani. I have a confession to make. I don't really like Dolce and Gabbana. They are way too trannylicious/over the top for me, and this season was no exception. They held their show in an old opera house, and all the fabric they used looked like it had been ripped off the theater curtains, seats, even programs. Creative, but wearable? Not really. There were lots of pieces like this mini dress, which could probably work on a teensy starlet on a red carpet, but would be difficult for real life (I'm getting a definite Miu Miu vibe from the super minis with the puffed skirts). There were a few less insane pieces in white, like this screened tee and skinny pants combo, that had a cute, Audrey Hepburn vibe. Over at Giorgio Armani, the 80's were in full swing, but there were some timelessly chic frocks like this strapless number. The assymetrical biege ruching is a little kooky, but so fun.
Giorgio Armani, Alberta Ferretti, Alberta Ferretti. At Armani there was also this one-shouldered LBD (shocker, I know), but I like how it did the one-shoulder strap coming from the center of the neckline. It's a fresh take on this season's runway staple. Alberti Ferretti had some chic, wearable looks like this cardigan/skirt combo. The velvet on the skirt is a little Proenza Schouler (in a good way), but the slouchy sweater makes it day appropriate. And the silver filigree detail on that dress? It looks like a spiderweb in the best way possible, light and floaty, but drop dead glamorous.

All Burberry Prorsum. It's no secret that I love Burberry. If Christoper Bailey was straight...well...
Anyways...He did a lot of floaty, fitted to the waist with a-line skirt dresses (like the white dress on the left) topped with a heavy knit or a trench, some thick tights, and boots. Even if you can't afford Burberry, that's a great way to winterize a summer dress and look amazingly chic. And how cute is that embroidered shift? It's a little folksy, but I think the grey and black palette keeps it from being kitschy. Last but not last, there's the classic black trench. For real life, go with a little less volume or risk looking like a marshmallow, but the idea of the black trench with the big, dramatic collar is perfection.

Image Sources:
Alberta Ferretti (blue):
Alberta Ferretti (silver):
Giorgio Armani (one-shoulder):
Giorgio Armani (strapless):
D&G (dress):
D&G (pants):
Burberry Prorsum (khaki trench):
Burberry Prorsum (shift):
Burberry Prorsum (black coat):

Friday, February 27, 2009

Two Words: Dry Conditioner

I know we've all heard of dry shampoo. When that came it, it was like a crazy aha/OMG moment for women everywhere. Shampoo. That's dry. In a bottle. Wow. But the hype over that's kind of subsided, and now dry shampoo is all over and no one bats an eyelash. Until now. Let me introduce: dry conditioner. I know. Breathe. I had a little mental breakdown when I heard about this too.

It's called T3 Orlando Pita Renew Dry Conditioner (if Orlando Pita was involved, you know it's good). It's made from a wheat-derived complex that won't make your hair greasy, weigh it down, or turn it grey/ashy like some dry shampoos do. It adds moisture and makes your hair look shiny, and healthy. Just look at the hair from the Barbie runway show, where copious amounts of this conditioner were used. Shiny, happy, bouncy, shampoo commercial hair. I can see this being totally perfect for people like me, who get oily up at the roots, but really dry at the ends. With a spray conditioner like this, you could pnpoint the moisture at only your ends, and not end up weighing down your hair by accidentally getting the conditioner in places it shouldn't be (like your roots). I am buying this. No, seriously. ASAP. It retails for $25, and it's currently sold out at, but you can find it on Go! Buy! Condition!

Image Sources:
T3 Dry Conditioner:
Barbie Runway Shot:

Boots Botanics Waterproof Mascara

I think I've made it really clear that I hate mascara. It smudges, it flakes, it clumps, it gives me raccoon face, the list goes on and on and on. And I wear contacts, which means I'm always having to put in eye drops, and I've never been able to find a mascara that can stand up to that. Waterproof does not always mean waterproof. But, I might have to my words. I was at Target today picking up some hair color (which I will eventually get around to reviewing), and I got sucked into the Boots display. They redid all their packaging, and have some really cute stuff ($4 eyeshadow! $4!), and I had a gift card, so I bought some of the Botanics Waterproof mascara in Brown/Black on a whim, and wore it all afternoon.

First off, the price is great. It's like $7. That's like 1/3 the price of Diorshow (which is crap, btws). The packaging is cute and sleek, just a plain silver tube, and the brush is the typical mascara brush (you can see it in the picture). I got Brown/Black on accident, (I was aiming for black), but I'm pretty happy with the color. It's a very soft, natural looking black. The application is pretty good; it goes on a little clumpy, but that's easily fixed with a lash comb or a few wiggles of the brush. As for volume and length, it doesn't give all that much. My lashes looked a little fuller, a little longer, and a little darker, but no one would be asking me if I was wearing false lashes. Honestly, that doesn't really bother me though. I have pretty good lashes already, and I don't need all that much by way of mascara, so this subtle, natural look definitely works for me. The thing that really makes this mascara a winner is that it's actually waterproof. For serious. I put this on and wore it for a few hours, then took a shower than involved lots of face/towel scrubbing (I dyed my eyebrows when I dyed my hair, and I had to get the dye off somehow), and it didn't even smudge! Not once! I give it an 8/10 (two points off for minor clumping and minor length/volume improvement).

So, if you want a cheap, low-maintenance, actually waterproof mascara (that's technically from Europe, always a plus), head over to Target/ and snatch this stuff up. It's definitely worth it!

$6.99 at

Image Sources:
Boots Mascara:

Milan Fashion Week #1

Welcome to Italia! That's right, it's Milan Fashion Week. I love Milan--the Italians definitely have their own perspective on fashion, and it shows (is anyone else as excited for the Dolce and Gabbana makeup launch as I am?). Here's my roundup from the first round of shows:

Emporio Armani, Emporio Armani, Cavalli: How cute is that ruffled Armani coat? Especially when paired with that ruffled dress. It's a lot of ruffles, but the clean lines and minimalist palette keeps it from going into the overly girly category. I think it's safe to say that cascading ruffles are sticking around for next fall. And that tiered dress is so old-school Chloe (I miss old Chloe) to me--very girly-bohemian, but a little sexy with the mini-dress length. That urban-warrior dress is totally not what I'd expect from Cavalli, but I like it! The thin strips of leather and studs take the dress from boring to not only edgy, but hot. Props to Cavalli for showing even though his backing folded a few days ago. I hope he makes it! It would be really tragic if no one could buy this adorable dress.

Moschino Cheap and Chic, Missoni, Missoni: Moschino is always...offbeat. Generally in a good way. There wasn't as much crazy humor this time, but there were lots of wearable clothes covered in cascading ruffles (very Lanvin Fall/Winter 2008, no?). This LBD is definitely on the ruffly side, but I think the black tones down the ruffles just enough to make it wearable--if you're ready to be the center of attention, that is. This was probably my favorite Moschino show yet. Almost everything was some sort of knit, and while it might be a little crazy-hobo-chic to wear all the knits at once, if you dissect the elements of these looks, there are some really realistic and cute pieces. Take these two sweater dresses for instance. The fit is loose enough to be casual, but skims the body in a really flattering way. The scrunchy tights are perfect for a cozy winter look, as are the cardigan coats and oversized scarves. Maybe leave the giant hippie headband to the runway, though.

Image Sources:
Emporio Armani (coat):
Emporio Armani (dress):
Missoni (blue):
Missoni (tan):

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lipstick Queen

Lipstick Queen is a fantastic lip product line created by Poppy King in her quest to find the perfect red lipstick (she was inspired by Jerry Hall. That's reason enough to buy). It's a very small brand with a very specialized product line, and the cutest Art Noveau inspired packaging. They're a little on the expensive side compared to MAC/drugstore lines, but it's definitely worth the extra splurge.

Oxymoron Gloss: $20. This is a sheer, matte lipgloss. Yes. Matte. I know. That sounds like a paradox, but think about it. Super shiny lipgloss makes you look like you've been...chugging vegetable oil or something. Not cute. And it's sticky, and your hair gets stuck in it, and it's not fun. Whereas with this, it's a sheer wash of non-shiny color that looks natural and conditions your lips. And it doubles as a blush, and it comes with it's own brush. Genius.

Big Bang Illusion Gloss: $20. I am so excited about this, it's like the coolest thing ever. Unlike the Oxymoron Gloss, this is a pearlescent, non-sticky, sheer gloss. Inside of giving lips a really wet look, it has a mother of pearl finish so your lips practically glow! Can you tell I'm freaking out? And it comes in amazing colors, anywhere from lilacy-taupe to cherry red to sparkling rose. I die.

Medieval Tinted Treatment: $20. You know that flush look your lips get when you bit them or eat a ton of cherry flavored popsicles? This basically a sheer lip balm with a bit of cherry/winey pigment that's flattering on all skin tones. If you're pale, you can get a really light wash of color, or build it up if you have darker skin. It's like a really low maintenance lipstick. You can't go wrong here.

Saint Lipstick and Sinner Lipstick: $18. Poppy King makes to kinds of lipstick. Saint has 10% pigment, and gives a sheer, innocent look, and Sin has 90% pigment for a more matte, opaque look. Both lipsticks are completely glitter free, moisturizing, and come in a really flattering range of shades.

So basically: a whole line of lip products that's somewhat decently priced (for what you get), with super cute 20's glam packaging, and that comes in a ton of flattering colors. Uh, yeah, I'm sold.

All products available at

Image Sources:
Oxymoron Gloss w/ Brush:, w/out Brush:
Big Bang Gloss:
Medieval Tinted Treatment:
Sinner Lipstick:
Saint Lipstick:

Creative Nail Design Recipes from Fashion Week

Have you ever noticed that the awesome nail polishes from Fashion Week never really go into retail production? So no matter how much you loved that burnt orange from Phillip Lim, you won't be able to buy it at Sephora. That's because backstage nail artists almost always custom-blend the polish for each show, and luckily some of them spill the beans on the recipes for their gorgeous concotions. It's like baking...but with nail polish..and toxic...All of the polishes used are from Creative Nail Designs (they're generally the polish of choice for Fashion Week). A quick note on mixing polishes: buy an extra, empty bottle (most sites that sell CND will let you do this) to mix in so that you can make sure you get the right amount of each lacquer. Use the code SWRECIPE at and they should give you an extra bottle for free. CND polishes retail for about $6.

Yigal Azrouel: Gunmetal Gray
Costello Tagliapietra: Dirty Pastel Pink (I couldn't find any pictures, sorry!)
1/4 bottle Cream Puff

Catherine Malandrino: This is from last year's fall show, but it's still a gorgeous and relevant shimmery heather grey with slight purple tones.
1/2 bottle Nordic Grey Creme (this is a custom blend of
1/2 bottle Retro White, 22 drops Black Platinum, 10 drops Voodoo, and 8 drops Hot Pop Blue)
1/2 bottle G'listen (add in slowly until the shimmery gray/purple tone you want is reached)
Behnaz Sarafpour: It's literally foundation for your nails. If you like the low-maintenance, natural look, this is the one for you.

Image Sources:
Karen Walker:
Costello Tagliapietra:

Alexander Wang Studded Duffel

I love Alexander Wang. I love handbags. So, I've concluded with my highly advanced math skills that I must love Alexander Wang handbags. Especially this one:
The Coco Duffel: Releasing in July for $899. Look. How. Pretty. Pretttttty. The studs on the bottom are super subtle, but totally one, totally awesome, and two, totally practical! It keeps the nice leather off the floor. Somehow MK Olsen got her hands on this BEFORE the runway show. Too. Jealous. For. Words.

Since the Alexander Wang bag doesn't come out for months (grrr), I'm getting my stud fix with these hot bags:

BE&D Garbo Studded Shoulder Bag, $995 at It looks like the Gucci boots (the black ones with all the studs). I love the size and the shape, and the fact that there are multiple sizes of studs--it definitely makes the bag.

Miu Miu Studded Shoulder Bag, $1,295 at Expensive? Yes. But pretty? Also yes. The oversized, abstracty studs make it a little more sweet than punk, and the chain detail on the handle is unexpected, visually interesting, and just a little rock and roll.
Botkier Trigger Bag, $610 at This one doesn't have really studs, but it's still pretty adorable. The two slanted zippers kind of remind me of the YSL bow bag, but for much, much less. The combination of the glam silver metallic leather and the edgier zippers and studs make this the most wearable option of the bunch.
Image Sources:
Alexander Wang duffel (bottom):
Alexander Wang duffel (runway):
Alexander Wang duffel (MK Olsen):
Miu Miu Tote:
Botkier Bag:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let's Go Scarf Shopping

I think it's pretty obvious that I love scarves. As in I wear a scarf everyday. For serious. Now, I ended up with that Violet Lovequotes scarf I posted about a while ago (and I love it! LOVE!) but a girl can always use more scarves, right? Most of the scarves I'm posting are pretty expensive, but there's a reason, I promise. If selected carefully and worn right, a scarf can both be the finishing touch on an outfit and keep you warm from summer to winter. Think of it as a good pair of ballet flats. How much would you spend on those? And even more people would notice the scarf, since it's by your face, than that pair of ballet flats. Which justifies spending even more money on the scarf. You see where I'm going with this.

Starting off with this American Apparel Circle Scarf, $28 at, TDM Design Grande Cashmere Scarf, $175 at The American Apparel scarf is a serious bargain--I've seen it, and it's gigantic, big enough to be worn as a dress! It comes in a rainbow of colors, and I love the circle shape. It makes it easy to get that cozy, wrapped around your neck look, and it'll never somehow slide off your neck and onto your legs and then trip you and make you fall on your but. No comment. This TDM scarf is the perfect winter scarf, thick and fuzzy, and I like the woven pattern. The solid color keeps it versatile, but the texture makes it interesting.

Tolani Weeds Scarf, $85 at, Tolani White Cheetah Scarf, $99 at Tolani is a pretty famous scarf brand that's really popular with the paparazzi stalked celebs. The pattern on Vanessa's scarf reminds me of that classic Missoni flame pattern (but for much, much cheaper), and the black and white tones mean it'll go with tons of different colors. I love Sienna Miller's scarf with the big cheetah print. It's an easy way to add a touch of fun and a luxurious vibe to even the simplest outfit (like leggings and a tank top).

Virginia Johnson Shell Scarf, $195 at, YARNZ Floral Leopard Scarf, $165 at The pattern on this Virginia Johnson scarf is so light and pretty, but subtle at the same time. Plus the scarf is huge, so it can double as a shawl or maybe even a sarong--it pays for itself. Kind of. And the flower/leopard YARNZ scarf is 70% cashmere (always a plus). The twist on the classic animal print is really cute, and the grey/black color palette makes the leopard print even more wearable.

Sir Alistair Rai Raj Karma Scarf, $122 at, Sir Alistair Rai Ahuja Mobius Scarf, $168 at This brand's another celeb favorite. All of their scarves have an Indian/Hinduism theme, a nd the prints/embroidery kind of make them look like you picked them up on your last trip to Goa. The blue scarf is super long/fat, so it's really the only accessory you need to make an outfit, and the purple scarf is a circle shape, so it's really easy to wrap (and has the cutest print!).

Sunshine and Shadow Burgundy/Pink Silk Scarf, $145 at,Lovquotes Scarf in Cobalt, $88 at Sunshine and Shadow makes the prettiest silk scarves, which are probably best for summer unless you live in SoCal. I like how this has a bit of a retro vibe to it with the pink and burgundy tie-dye. And, of course I had to put in a Lovequotes scarf because I'm in love with mine. It's the perfect size and weight, and the linen is so soft! These aren't for the clumsy/low maintenance types, though. Since the linen is a very open, loose weave, it snags and tears very easily. I have to keep mine in a plastic bag in my purse when I'm not wearing it so it doesn't get ripped to shreds. Despite that, these are totally worth it. I have dreams about having an M&Ms worthy rainbow of them in my closet. Yes, I know I have problems. And LC has very good taste in scarves. Much better than her taste in men.

If spending $100-$200 on a scarf isn't exactly your thing, I seriously recommend that you try eBay, especially for Lovequotes, Tolani, and Sir Alistair Rai (they're the most likely to show up). You can usually find them half to twenty five percent off, and eBay sellers are generally very accomodating and reliable. Just make sure you check their feedback ratings and return policies first. Good luck scarf hunting!

Image Sources:
American Apparel scarf:
TDM Design scarf:
Tolani Weeds scarf:
Tolani Leopard scarf:
Virginia Johnson scarf:
Yarnz scarf:
Sir Alistair Rai Purple scarf:
Sir Alistair Rai Blue scarf:
Sunshine and Shadow scarf:
Love Quotes scarf:


Related Posts with Thumbnails