The Squeaky Beard Gets the Grease–The Dirt of Beard Oil

There are few things as unsightly and uncomfortable as an unkempt beard.  Not only does an unshaped beard make even the most dapper look like a hobo, it can also lead to some serious face itching and flaking.

Just like the skin on your scalp, if your chin and cheeks don’t get enough attention when you wash, you’re likely to find yourself with a chin full of itchy dandruff.

But fear not gents, the secret to your facial hair woes is here: BEARD OIL.

What, might you ask is this magic elixir?  Beard oil, made by many different manufacturers, is a light weight oil moisturizer that not only moisturizes skin, smooths and conditions beard hairs, and often has a nice manly scent that acts like a subtle cologne, but also provides a very sexy sheen.

For those not quite ready to take the plunge into beard-only products, consider giving your beard a deep condition by adding vitamin E or jojoba oil to your your conditioner, and don’t forget to really exfoliate that chin!

What do you think about the beard oil trend?

xoxo

A

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Trapped in the Closet: The Closet Detox You Need

Whether its a New Year’s resolution or wishfully thinking about what you’ll buy with your tax refund, it’s probably time to give the closet a good overhaul.

While I’m no closet genius–I’ve decided I don’t have to be until I’m 30–there are some serious things that can be done to prevent to beast of wears from getting entirely out of control.

  • Have a good chat with your clothing.  If you remember when you bought it, and it was more than 2 years ago, and you don’t consider it a staple, move it along.  If it doesn’t make you FEEL awesome, dump it.
  • Doesn’t quite fit right, and know you’re too lazy to go to a tailor–dump it!
  • Can’t  identify at least 3 other clothing pieces to wear it with–dump it.
  • Did you wear it to a funeral, or on a date that ended with a breakup–dump the bad memories.

It’s funny to think about clothes that many of us keep that we don’t really like/don’t really fit/don’t really contribute to us feeling positively about our wardrobes or ourselves, but instead lead to a closet chaos of clutter.

It’s time to dump it.

Whether you’re a fan of goodwill, or have luck on eBay, don’t forgo your local consignment stores, and think about trying new apps like Poshmark.

Got any great closet wrangling tips?  Are you a  lover or hater of closet overhauls. Tell me about it!

xoxo

A

Spooning! Not the Boyfriend/Girlfriend Boyfriend/Boyfriend Girlfriend/Girlfriend Kind…

Yesterday, my massage therapist dug a Chinese spoon out of her arsenal, and said, have you every tried spooning or scraping?  Of course, all I could think about was spooning hot and sour soup, but told her I was game for anything.

Little did I know, Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese practice of scraping the back of a spoon in diagonal strokes on either side of the spine to draw blood to the surface.  It causes minor bruising, much like my cat has just attacked from behind, but has the added benefit of reducing inflammation, and stimulating blood flow.

The treatment feels a little like a soft emery board giving me a back rub, but is rather relaxing.

The red bruising can last a day or two, but really makes the back feel better, and while it may be a bit weird, it feels pretty awesome.

Have you tried Gua Sha?  Are you into Chinese medicine?

Tell me about it!

xoxo

A

The Foam Roller, or Your Personal Massage Therapist

In recent months, I’ve developed a serious addiction to foam rolling.  For those not hip the the roll, foam rollers are those long styro logs you’ll see at the Pilates studio or physical therapists, and while they may look like pool noodles, they’re actually the answer to your long cry for personal masseuse.

My Pilates instructor talks of partial paralysis being cured by the practice of foam rolling, and while I don’t know all of the science behind it, I do know that a little foam rolling can go a long way.

Whether you’ve got tight quads, calves, shoulders, or hips, there are a variety of exercises you can do in under 1 minutes per body part.  Rolling out your muscles has a similar affect to actual massage–moving lymph fluid, releasing muscle tension, and reducing muscle pain.

Check out these great links for foam rolling exercises you can DIY!

Prevention Mag shows the basic exercises and a 10 minute routine.

Huffington Post gives some more in depth moves.

and Shape has a video about ab and thigh toning rolling.

Do you foam roll?  Has it changed how you feel about your body? If you haven’t will you give it a try?

Let me know in the comments!

Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.

xoxo

A

Stylist Kit: What not to Forget on a Shoot, or Really EVER.

This weekend I had the pleasure of styling a sales training video for BMW–because it’s important to help others (even if their job is selling cars I will probably never own).  The gig was fairly last minute, so getting to the shoot and opening up my kit gave me a rude awakening to get better at remember the essentials.  So whether you decide to take a crack at hackin’ it in the hair and makeup industry, or just want to be more prepared for an outing or your daily life, here are some essentials to never forget.

  • Bobby Pins–it’s bets to have these suckers in their normal size, as well as the 3″ “roller pin” variety, which are idea for really thick hair.  If you have a color selection of them, even better.
  • Green Concealer– Green counteracts red, so whether you’re suffering from blemishes or just a cold nose, green concealer can be your best friend, and it’s incredibly affordable. 
  • A Marcel Curling Iron– unlike the standard spring curler, the marcel lets you control the tensions, which makes it perfect for curling, or straightening on the fly, and when you’re packing light, or for uncertainty, multifunction tools are best.
  • Kleenex and Q tips– Whether you’re adding or removing makeup these disposables are your best friend.  Prevent contamination, keep people clean, end of story.
  • Petrolium Jelly or a Non Petrolium Alternative–Perfect for stopping dry lips, adding shine to hair, removing stubborn makeup, and stopping any pesky dry skin, it’s a must have.

Add in your favorite products, combs, brushes, and some applicators, and your good to go!

What are you favorite multipurpose products?

xoxo

A

Oscar Noms–What People AREN’T Saying…

Now that the dust has settled from initial shock and upset to what I would say is rather un-shocking Oscar nominations (I didn’t say they weren’t disappointing…)  I’d like to take a moment to discuss a category that the Academy nailed, and why–Hair and Makeup.

Looking back on the year’s “memorable” makeup, several movies come to mind that were NOT nominated…

Into the Woods…

All was whimsical, dark when necessary, and a general level of Disney decadence.  And we learned that Meryl looks great in pastel tresses, but it would have been a very typical nomination.

Maleficent…

Another Disney job well done, and one of those movies where you’re not quite sure what is makeup and what is CGI, but probably the least memorable aspect of the film.

The Hobbit…

Spending more time on CGI than makeup, it’s nice to see the LOTR film give up a slot in this category.  Once you’ve made hobbit feet, a true feat, must we continue to acknowledge  a job well done?

This brings me to the films that were nominated, which I loved because they show a spectrum of recognizable skills–hilarious facial hair, major facial reconstruction, and body paint.

Were it not for Tilda Swinton’s role in Grand Budapest, the film may have been snubbed, but it is deserving of it praise for the it’s clean and effective use of prosthetics and makeup that didn’t leave the viewer thinking about it.  Hair and makeup defined those quirky characters without bashing us over the head fake mustaches.

Steve Carrell basically got a whole new face for Fox Catcher, and it was, well disturbingly awesome.

And last but not least, it’s always nice when super heroes get a nod–and Guardians of the Galaxy did serious makeup and prosthetics for a lot of the film instead of turning to CGI, which is pretty fabulous.

All in all, the nominees please me, because they’re not all like “oh hey, look at my hair!” but are more like “wait, is that my real hair?”

How did you feel about nominations?  What do you think what snubbed?  Tell me about it!

xoxo

A

How do you do, Dry Shampoo? A Review of Sorts

Winter is a cold hearted bitch on hair.  It’s cold, and dry, and washing your hair can not only lead to more dryness, but can also lead to, well, being cold.  So when winter gets you down, its time to turn to the waterless washing.  Dry shampoo, however, is a tricky beast.  Sometimes I love it, sometimes it breaks my heart.  In an effort to prevent complicated relationships between dry shampoo and others, I’ll give you a rundown of feels on my most used brands of dry shampoo.

1. Dove.

My favorite drug store variety, Dove’s dry shampoo has a light scent and isn’t too grainy.  It can however leave white residue, so brush well, friends.

2. Pssst.

A true classic, my ideal travel size product.  Buy it at the drug store, not Urban Outfitters, unless you’d like to overpay.  Also a leaver of the chalky roots if you’re not careful.

3. Rockaholic

My favorite spendy shampoo, this has a great scent, but is better for volume than killing grease. If it’s been more than 2 days sans shampoo, this little friend can’t do much.

4. Big Sexy Hair

The big sexy hair, is just that BIG and SEXY.  This stuff packs serious volume.  So serious in fact it’s difficult to run your fingers through it without sticking to the many silica particles.  It is perfect for dirty hair that wants to become an undo, or for fine hair that wants to look sexy voluminous.

So, maybe it’s not the most in-depth review of no wash shampoo, but these are my go to brands, and they fall into the cheap to moderate price range.  What are some of your faves?  Do you ever go for the solid plan of throwing plain old cornstarch at your noggin and hoping for the best?

xoxo

A