Beauty & Style

Smooth Operator.

Let’s talk about hair removal, shall we?

 

The grooming practices of my generation are considered more excessive than ones past. Both men and women are much more body-hair-aware these days, and I think it’s glorious.

photo credit: national geopgraphic

photo credit: national geopgraphic

 

It started young with me, you would think I was born a Yedi with my obsession over hair removal.

  • I sliced up my shin pretty good when I was 10 and first tried shaving.
  • Then at 13, I had minor chemical burns from leaving Nair on too long.
  • I spent my 16th birthday walking back and forth from the bathroom to the kitchen with sticky arms and legs to re-warm my wax pot in the microwave.
  • There’s also a few scars left behind from an outdated at-home electrolysis machine (luckily it was so horrifically painful I only did it on a couple hairs).
  • Not to mention my over-plucked eyebrows, and the over-zealous threading for my face fuzz.

But that was all leading up to my personal Holy Grail: Laser Hair Removal.  It had been a complete game changer and I couldn’t be happier with my results!

photo credit: Carli Davidson Photography

photo credit: Carli Davidson Photography

My first experience with a laser was 6 years ago. And it was terrible.  I learned the hard way these treatments require some research to find someone good to perform them, since the success of the appointment has to do with the person operating the machine.  I ended up getting a great word of mouth referral to another Medspa and never looked back.

 

As the years passed, I have done treatments on more and more body parts. Winter time is usually when I embark on these quests since my skin is pasty white, hidden from the sun, and I’ll be finished by the time summer rolls around.

 

When I talk to my clients about my treatment (they ask, I swear!), here are their top questions:

 

  • What does it feel like? A hot rubber band snapping you- over and over again. But, each time you go, it gets easier and less painful.
  • How many treatments does it take? That’s totally personal- if you have light skin and dark hair six consecutive treatments should do the trick. Maybe with one or two more awhile later to clean up any stray strands that just won’t take a hint.
  • How much does it cost? It obviously varies by what you’re treating and where you live. But it’s important to stress ‘you get what you pay for‘. This is not the kind of thing you get a Groupon for. It’s a freakin’ laser and it can burn you. You want someone who has a lot of experience and knows what they are doing, which means you will be paying for that knowledge.  It’s not cheap, it will set you back anywhere from $150 to $300 per session per body part, depending on where you live.
  • Is it really permanent? Yes and no. I can honestly say I’ve seen a 90% reduction, and the 10% left over is light, soft, and so slow growing it’s practically invisible.  Every year that passes a little more will come back, so I will keep going back for annual touch ups.

The big thing is to know when you’ve gone too far….

photo credit: petwave

photo credit: petwave

 

Brush Up.

Let’s talk makeup brushes!

 

When I was just getting started in the beauty industry I really wanted to be able to do people’s hair and makeup.  I worked in a salon during the week, and then spent my weekends making house calls for my clients that were attending special events.

my collection

my collection

I would show up to someone’s house, set up my immaculate makeup artillery, and then I was soon horrified when they would insist on using their *favorite product*- pulling it from a makeup stash that was riddled with cracked cases, dirty brushes, and expired products.  All I could think was, “You’re gonna put that on your face?”  

 

Along the way, I stopped doing makeup on the side.  I still get loads of questions about makeup from my friends and clients.  The most frequently asked is, “What kind of brushes do you use?”  In my opinion, anyone can make a Wet ‘n Wild shadow look like it’s Chanel with the right brushes.

 

Here are my favorite go-to brushes in my personal collection:

brush_up_angled

MAC 208

 

MAC #208 Angled Brush for powder, paste or liquid liner. MAC #224 Tapered Brush for shading.

MAC 224

MAC 224

MAC #242 Shader for highlighting.  Bobbi Brown Brow Brush for filling in and shaping brows.

MAC 224

MAC 242

Bobbi Brown Brow

Bobbi Brown Brow

All my face brushes are from Bare Minerals.  Heavenly Face Brush for full coverage powder.

Bare Minerals Heavenly

Bare Minerals Heavenly

Tapered Blush Brush for bronzer and blush.

Bare Minerals Tapered

Bare Minerals Tapered

Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush is amazing for covering up blemishes and spots.

Bare Minerals Concealer

Bare Minerals Concealer

I use them everyday. I clean them once a month.  And they would make it on to my list of “what to save in a fire.”

Holy Roller.

I love volume!

photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

I’ve recently been sporting a more voluminous look with my trusty hot rollers. I had to wait until my hair was long enough again so I can avoid looking like a politician’s wife- Roller sets can be a little helmet-y on shorter hair.

 

But it’s funny- once I start wearing it fuller, my clients are always very interested in how I achieved the look. And I am surprised to hear most of them have never used hot rollers before, mainly because they don’t know how. It’s easy… I swear.

holy_roller-1

a. Plug in your hot rollers- I use a jumbo set from conair– and make sure your hair is bone dry before you start.

b. Take large sections (double the size of the roller) and roll everything back away from your face.

c. Don’t rock the hawk! A big mistake is using 5 or 6 rollers down the center “mohawk” section. This will make you look like a throw-back pageant girl. Instead, only use 6-8 rollers on your whole head and stagger their placement.

d. Let them set. If your hair curls easily, leave them for 10. If your hair is more challenging, leave them until they are completely cool- about 30 minutes.

e. Take them all out gently. And before you mess with the curls, spray with a touch of hairspray first. This helps to “memorize” the curl pattern.

f. Flip your head upside down. Shake it… rake it… make it awesome. Flip it back over and play with the curls until you like how they look.

g. Spray it one more time to finish. And I love, love, love, cheap hairspray.

holy_roller_2

Here’s some quick trouble shooting:

 

*The rollers come with little metal clips- if you can’t get them to hold tightly with those you need to invest in some vented clamps. This will take the frustration out of it.

 

* If you are feeling too puffy and fluffy, you can tame down your hair with something like a grooming cream, or even some of your husband’s pomade. Whatever you choose, warm up a dab in the palm of your hands, flip your head over, and smooth it through your hair from the nape down through the length. Flip it back over and smooth the bits around your face.

 

Pretty easy, huh?

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