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What are YOU Looking For? (survey)

21 Oct

With the Fall here, Halloween in a few weeks and the holidays right around the corner, what is on YOUR list of stuff you are looking for? For example, I’m looking for a new black handbag and would love help. We want to get a sense of what types of things people are searching for right now. You never know…we may even be able to help you! (give some details)

I’ve invited you to fill out the form What are YOU looking for?. To fill it out, visit:

Hair Perming 2.0

14 Oct

Equally burdened and blessed with straight and wiry hair, I’ve lately been of getting it PERMED. When I tell non-Asian girls, their eyes go wide as they recall fuzzball hot mess days in high school. (You thought you was all Mariah Carey but you looked more like Chucky, photos don’t lie). The words going through my head at the same moment: “Girl, did you really think I curl my hair every day?” No way, Jose. I have neither the skill nor the patience.

Perming is a completely ordinary procedure at Asian salons and they usually cost upwards of $100 but they take more than 3 hours of your day but don’t smell as bad as they once did. The good news is that they fry your hair far less than they used to; especially the “digital perm”. I’m not sure why it’s called this but I assume it’s because it looks like you’ve made little finger waves. Perming solution is applied to the hair and then rolled onto heated curlers and you look like a real freak but you get used to it:

A perm’s quality has as much to do with the skill of the hairdresser as the product itself so don’t skimp. It’s worth it for me because I’m wash-and-wear and it gives me volume even as the curls start dropping and growing out.

The downside is that no matter how well done the perm is, it’s a process that damages your hair to achieve those glorious locks. That means, breakage and split ends are way more common and you have to be extra vigilant about keeping it well trimmed. It also means you need a good hair regimen. You CANNOT wash more than twice a week (I’m down to 1-2 times) and you treat your hair.

Olive Oil Pack

Perming is the ultimate stress my hair so this olive oil pack is a must for me. It’s a little icky but great on those washing hair days especially if your hair is wiry like mine. Grab your hair in a ponytail and just about everything from the tail out needs to be covered in olive oil. You don’t need to put it on your scalp – this will give you scalp pimples. Sleep in a shower cap overnight and wash your hair twice with shampoo and condition the ends, if necessary. This has revived my hair after a particularly drying perm.

I Heart Dry Shampoo

26 Sep

Okay, so my hair doesn’t look completely amazing today, but I’m still quite happy with it. It’s been 6 days since I washed it and I rolled out of bed this morning and ran a brush through it. That’s a far cry from the days when I had to wash it and style it every single morning to have it look like this.

I was born with baby fine oily hair. As I’ve aged, it’s baby fine(r), oily hair with dry ends that break off every time I wash and style it. So…why am I posting a photo here and talking about it? Because since I discovered Dry Shampoo, it’s gotten fuller, healthier and definitely more manageable.

Did you know that your hair ages, too? I hadn’t really thought about it other than understanding that it turns grey at some point. In between your youthful, shiny hair and grey hair, your hair starts to age. It gets dryer, more brittle and thinner. I don’t know about you, but I’m deathly afraid of female pattern balding. Ever since I went back to my natural color (I died my hair light blonde for 15 years!), I swear I’m seeing my scalp too often for my own comfort. That is why dry shampoo is making me uber happy.

I shot a short video on Friday talking about Dry Shampoo, but I plan to follow it up with more of a tutorial (I couldn’t do full-on tutorial on Friday since I didn’t have my camera man home ;)):

Here is a list of dry shampoos I’ve tried. My favorite spray thusfar is Klorane’s Extra Dry Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – it goes on the lightest and leaves the least residue. But I’ve also been trying the powder versions. They leave behind lots of white residue, but last longer.

I’m really looking forward to trying a tinted version from, especially the Ambience Cosmetics Brush on Dry Shampoo Applicator. I’ll let you know how it works!

My Latest Obsession: Argan Oil

21 Sep

Over the past 5-8 years, I’ve been buying the best face creams that money can buy. Creme de la Mer, Jurlique, Dr. Hauschka, Fresh, Sisley…you name a crazy-priced brand and I’ve bought vats of their creams. Some worked better than others, but all of them left me feeling like I dished out more cash than I was getting back in results. The one that came closest to perfection for me was Creme de la Mer, but along with the hydration/elasticity I was getting fairly frequent breakouts because the thickness of the cream blocked my pores something fierce (even the lighter version).

But one thing I never considered trying was oil. I figured that oil was, well, oily. My skin is that oh-so-maddening combination of oily and dry all at once. I need moisture++ to keep the elasticity, but too much moisture blocks my pores and gives me blemishes. I had people suggest trying oils, but my own image of oil was always negative.

What started to change my mind is a deluxe sample I received on one of my trips to Sephora. I have something like 25 gabillion points, which I refuse to cash in on (I’m holding out for some luxury spa vacation package – the big kahuna!). While checking out during my birthday month this summer, the cosmetic consultant handed me the usual philosophy birthday bubble thing and upon looking at my points, offered up a free sample of Josie Maran’s Argan Oil. It was a freebie, so I took her up on it.

It sat in my overpopulated skincare drawer (full of partially used products) for a couple of weeks until I ran out of whichever expensive cream I was using at the time. Upon realizing I had nothing to moisturize with, I thought I’d give it a whirl for one night to see what would happen. And what happened was nothing short of miraculous!

Sure, it went on oily. My boyfriend said he felt as if he was crawling into bed with an Exxon Valdez activist. But in the morning, it had absorbed nicely into my skin and when I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror I saw an even, smooth skinned woman looking back at me (usually I wake up blotchy and puffy). Thinking it was just a fluke, I tried again the next night and, sure enough, I woke up looking fresh and more even-toned again.

After a few weeks, my skin felt more taught than usual. I swear my jowls were receding. There were no breakouts. And best of all, I stopped wearing full-on foundation and started wearing a wee bit of tinted sunscreen instead. I was hooked! I immediately went online to research what I had discovered and it turns out that Argan Oil is one of those ‘best kept secrets’. I also didn’t know this right off the bat, but it is otherwise known as Moroccan Oil – the same stuff that is being raved about for hair repair (and works…I’ve been using it since).

I also discovered that Josie Maran isn’t the only one who produces cosmetics based on this miracle oil. I can buy it for super cheap at my local health food store (about $25 for 4 oz – sure beats $135/oz!). I still buy from Josie’s line whenever I can because she has a great mission to support the women who harvest this oil in Morocco, but when I can’t get to a Sephora or I’m feeling a little cheapskatey, I’ll pop into the local Rachelle Bery to pick up my supply. I use it for my face, my turkey neck, my decollete and my hair – so I sail through my supply pretty quickly.

I’m completely hooked and I’m super excited that I found something that works that doesn’t cost me more than my rent to use. Have you used Argan Oil or Moroccan Oil? If so, what do YOU think? Do you have any more ‘best kept secrets’ you want to share with me?

Would love to hear your comments below. I’m also sending out an open invitation for women age 35-55 to contribute posts to this blog. There seems to be such a demand already (I’m getting tons of emails and messages of excitement) that I think we could build a great resource!


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