I got married last week! Yay! Thank you for bearing with me through my dearth of posts as I’m slowly returning to, “real life,” post-madness.
Early on, I knew I didn’t want an elaborate updo. I have a ton of hair (which you can see in my shine treatment post) and an updo would take too long, require approximately 3.46 cans of hairspray and roughly 27,483 bobby pins. I opted for a curled style with the sides pulled back slightly into a waterfall braid across the back. Woo! I cannot do this myself, however, so I knew I needed help. Here’s what I was going for, originally:
Consider Beauty Students
A friend of the family was a stylist, and there was pressure to ask her if she would be able to do it. I did, she said she would do it free BUT she couldn’t do the braid. Well…okay. The braid wasn’t that important. We settled the day and all that stuff, all was well. Two weeks later she called back saying oh, no, I didn’t realize the date, sorry, can’t do it.
I then start looking into other options. On-site hair wasn’t a requirement for me, and frankly I was happy to save the money by going, “to them.” My now-husband actually found a Paul Mitchell partner school in our area and suggested I look into it and consider beauty students. At first I thought, “Do I really want to trust my hair to students? I know everyone has to learn somehow, but I take pride in my hair and would hate to have it messed up due to a novice’s mistake.”
Then I thought, “Well, you haven’t having it cut, colored, or otherwise chemically processed, so why not?” I found that their rates were substantially cheaper than those of regular salons (whose eyes, I’m afraid, seem to light up with dollar signs when they learn it is for a wedding – even though they might do the same style for any other occasion…or no occasion at all), and it wasn’t terribly far away. They were willing to do a trial (not included, but the price + stylist tip it was still FAR cheaper than what it would’ve been for juts the day-of bridal style at a regular salon, let alone for a trial and day-of, let alone on-site).
1. Because I don’t tan in beds or outside any longer, I need to fake it (especially because I’m not trying to look washed out in an ivory gown). I’m going to have a lot of pictures taken soon, so I needed it to be convincing and not a pain to deal with, either. I bought a bottle of Million Dollar Tan’s Cabana Tan and Cabana Tan Extreme lotions a while back after some recommendations were made to me. I’m pretty happy with it and plan to have a post up soon. In addition to their lotion products, Million Dollar Tan carries spray and mousse versions, which you can find here.
2. The original bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara is my holy grail mascara (so far, anyway). I often go without because $18 for something that you need to replace so frequently is too much for me – but I snagged two (one regular, one waterproof) when Ulta had them half off as a part of 21 Days of Beauty event this spring. It does on sale on the bareMinerals website, too, every now and then, but if you don’t care about it being on sale you can get it there, Ulta, or Sephora.
3. The original 3-Minute Miracle (“Moist Deeeeep Conditioner”) is my favorite conditioner, period. More than I loved the Tigi Moisture Maniac conditioner, and this is a hell of a lot cheaper. They have new versions of it now, too, but I haven’t tried them yet. You can get it at drugstores, mass merchants, online – pretty much anywhere, this is very accessible.
4. Got a sample-size can of this Dry Shampoo with from a Gift with Purchase bag and it is easily the best dry shampoo I have ever tried. One or two short bursts takes care of my whole scalp, it is not strongly scented at all, it feels nice, ugh. So good. Alas, with a $20 price tag, I’ll be stretching my sample and ultimately sticking with Psssst! unless I can find it on sale. (You can get the travel size for $7, however). I could only find it at Ulta.
5. Credo blades aren’t safe and daily pumice stone use only get you so far. Despite my DIY pedicure efforts, sometimes you have to break out the big guns. This is also carried at Sally Beauty as well as a similar product that is slightly cheaper (haven’t tried this brand though). Be careful not to leave it on too long, and be both grossed out and amazed by what it does to stubborn calluses.
Disclosure: Hey! Some of the links in this June 2014 Favorites post are affiliate links (not all of them, of course) – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I only recommend products I’ve tried and verified as awesome, which is kind of the point of a favorites post. Ethical blogging FTW.
I’d just like to share with you a brief anecdote from Tuesday night.
All products mentioned are in the picture above!
1. Wash hair. It’s time, you know? Plus, you need to get that dry shampoo buildup out (it is awesome, but is not meant to stay forever). Condition liberally, leave it in for a few while you wash your face and body.
2. Procrastinate about leaving the warm shower. It’s cold on the other side of the curtain. Pout like a child, grudgingly dry off and step out.
3. Hastily towel dry hair so it isn’t sopping or considering becoming icicles. Start a blowout with drenched hair? You’re gonna have a bad time.
4. Comb through your mane with a wide-toothed comb to detangle. We’re civilized folk, after all.
7. Instead, do a horrible job at it and somehow wind up with it on the door of the bathroom (I don’t even…). Wipe off the door before your fiance thinks you were doing grade-school science experiments in the bathroom with hair products as reagents. Don’t be like me. Also, don’t use hair products as reagents – a lot of them are pressurized and/or flammable. The more you know.
8. Deal with the now-intrigued cats on the other side of the door who were curious about what was getting the inside of the door (aka you wiping the root-lifting mousse off the door).
9. Apply one pump of Super Skinny to the mid-lengths and ends. This step was pretty anticlimactic. Wipe your hands off because it feels weird.
10. Rough dry upside down with an easily-obtained dryer (though I guess a difficult to obtain one would work just as well), trying to get the scalp area (where you applied too much foam goop) driest. Flip back over, make sure the roots are dry.
11. Move onto the ends with an awesome gigantic round brush (4″!) that you require (because your hair is almost waist length when it isn’t being wild and crazy and using a 2.5″ barrel would be awful).
12. Get bored 7/8 of the way through your adventures in hair drying (with nearly-dry hair!) and decide to go finish making dinner.
This is a pretty normal DIY blowout for me. Occasionally, I’ll really take the time to go through the process properly. But really, it is important that your routine feels like something you want to do, and not like a chore. You do not have to take it so seriously – the world won’t end if you get root-lifting mousse on the door, after all.
So this is old news by now, but I have long hair. Long hair takes longer to dry, style, etc. As such, I wash my hair every other or every second day – there’s the added benefit of not over-washing my scalp, too, so it seems happier about the status quo.
I use a shower cap with varying luck. My scalp still manages to get wet sometimes, and it frustrates me. I had about as much luck with the free caps they provide in hotels as I did with various Conair and other random drugstore ones.
I window shop online just for kicks and came across this Sonia Kashuk Couture Shower Cap. It looks pretty sturdy and has good reviews on the site, so I decided to pick it up on my next Target trip. A little hard to find (it wasn’t with the rest of that stuff, instead it was on a Sonia Kashuk endcap in cosmetics and bath products), I picked it up for $4.99 and laughed to myself about the use of the word, “couture.” Here’s the packaging – this also threw me off because I had no idea what the packaging looked like – but now you know! The exterior plastic was a little scuffed from transport, but no big deal!
The back is a little scuffed, too, but hey – it looks shower-cap-esque! Elastic and oh look! Terrycloth.
Because the people in charge of packaging are sadists, this is one of those twelve-thousand-tabs that you have to untuck, slide this-way, lift-that-way, click-your-heels-together-three-times-and-say, “There’s no shower cap like–”
Okay, that’s enough.
Here’s what it looks like out. The exterior is a thick-feeling vinyl, and the interior is a soft, plush cotton-terry. I’m not entirely sure why they went with that for the lining, but it feels nice enough and does not wreak havoc on curls.
Here’s another, with my hand to show scale – the measure from the tip of my middle finger (not nail) to the heel of my hand is about 6.5 inches. It is gigantic. One of the reviews I read complained about this, but I think they are a goof – this fits all of my nearly-waist-length hair without me having to clip it up – though if I do clip it up, it happy obliges an over-sized alligator clip.
As for the practical test, it was comfortable! The cap was neither too tight nor loose; it held its position confidently and I did not have to adjust it a single time (awesome). None of my hair got wet unlike some other caps that simply didn’t sit right. It appears to have no issue drying, but if you’re concerned you can always turn it inside out just in case. At just under $5, the Sonia Kashuk Couture Shower Cap comes in at less than some other drugstore options and appears to be holding up better (I’ve had it for about a month, now).
Though I find their marketing odd – Target says,
Now one can step in and out of the shower in style while keeping hair perfectly dry and protected. A black shower cap with cozy terrycloth lining and a fashion attitude.
Why do I need to step in the shower with style? Why can’t I just step in the shower? Who is the judge here – and if I do it with style, do I get a 10/10 for wearing this cap? And I don’t particularly want my shower cap to have a, “fashion attitude;” I want it to perform – and fortunately, this does! I strongly recommend it if you don’t care to wash your hair daily and definitely will repurchase if I ever wear it out/lose it/it falls victim to spontaneous combustion.
If you’re shopping Remington products, it is more likely than you think!
I have a cheap, low-end tapered curling wand (unlike a traditional curling iron, no clip) that is on the way out. It was only OK at best, and I did not have plans to repurchase. Thanks to YouTube Beauty Vlogger Jaclyn Hill, I am very much so intrigued by the siren song that is the NuMe Titan 3; however, even with a good promo code it is still more than I’m looking to spend at the moment.
I realized that I really have no idea what the latest and greatest things are when it comes to styling tools, so I decided to do some homework and some e-window-shopping when I came across this Remington Pearl Curling Wand on Amazon. It is also a tapered wand and comes in two sizes – 0.5″-1″ and 1″-1.5″. Its full name is a bit of a mouthful, take a deep breath:
Remington T-Studio Salon Collection Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Wand.
Pearl is my birthstone. I’m quite enamored of them, in fact, so long as they’re tasteful. I cannot imagine any way that combining pearls with a 410 degree (Fahrenheit) hairstyling appliance would be practical or tasteful. “Maybe they mean the color of the wand,” I thought. It is a pearlescent pink, after all–but usually when things have silly names, they have silly claims. Remington says this product:
Combines advanced technologyand high-performance ceramic coatings with real crushed pearl to create a curling wand that delivers professional, salon-quality results. It quickly reaches a temperature of 410 degrees and has a high-tech, 1.5-inch barrel with ceramic coating to help you effortlessly achieve super sleek, high definition curls–without snagging or catching. Remington’s luxurious Pearl collection harnesses the precious power of pearl and Advanced Ceramic technology to create hair you can’t help but touch.
It also says:
Gorgeous salon-created curls are a breeze with the new T Studio Pearl Ceramic Professional Styling Wand. Featuring a high-tech ceramic wand infused with real pearl, this patent-pending technology provides the most advanced ceramic surface for the smoothest glide on the market. Your hair is left smooth and silky with a luminous luster.
What advanced technology? Tell us more! Nanomachines that manually hold your tresses in luscious curls? Until I have a hair appliance with Android OS or some science fiction in my hair, I don’t want to hear about your non-existent advanced technology.
A few times, it mentions high-performance ceramic coatings. This is not a solid ceramic iron. Many irons are manufactured this way including some high-end models. It is most likely a cheap metal alloy with a few very thin layers of ceramic plating. Ceramic more evenly distributes heat – a thinner, lower quality coating is not going to allow you to reap the benefits as thoroughly. The metal center makes them more (physically) durable, but the ceramic coating has a tendency to wear, chip, or peel over time. None of this makes this a bad product – but it certainly isn’t high-tech or high-performance.
My favorite part – it is infused with real pearl. You infuse teas, tinctures, and meats. Not hair appliances. A coworker of mine recently pointed out that when companies feel the need to stress that a product contains real something – cheese, chocolate, or in this case pearl – they’re being ridiculous. It is pearl or it isn’t. It is one thing to specify that a product has an imitation or artificial component, but they could definitely just say that it is, “infused with pearl.” This is marketing claptrap. “Infused,” sounds fancy and sophisticated. It is not. If the coating does have any pearl content, they took some reject cultured pearls, crushed them, and blended them with the ceramic. This isn’t magic. This is marketing.
I have not purchased or tried this iron for science to determine whether or not the pearl stuff makes any difference in how shiny your hair is or how easy the appliance is to use (regarding glide), but my money is on the fact that it doesn’t. That said, both sizes have overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon (4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,200 reviews!) and has a very wallet-friendly price-tag of only $25. Skimming the reviews, only 4.8% of them were negative and most of them were to the tune of, “It doesn’t even have a clamp!” (aka people who had no idea what they were purchasing), “It is hard to use (because it does not have a clamp)” (Fair enough, there IS a learning curve), and the odd infrequent electrical short. Based on the abundance of good reviews, I would say it is worth trying – buy if you’re on a budget or if you are new to the world of wands.
Have you tried this wand? Leave a comment!
Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a tiny percentage should you choose to make a purchase. See the About page for more info.