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Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

I actually can’t believe it’s taken more than 10 posts before I’ve talked about my hair (sorry, is that shallow?) because it’s pretty much one of my favorite topics to discuss. But here goes.

I’ve had curly red(ish) hair all my life, and have hated it for just as long. Most people’s reaction is “Really? I’d love to trade my hair for that!” When in reality, if they experienced what I do every time I get out of the shower, they’d take that right back. Because naturally, my hair is sometimes straight, sometimes curly, always frizzy, and never smooth. About four years ago I started getting the Japanese straightening done and things have been happier ever since (that’s a story for another time…). But it definitely does a number on my ends.

The good stuff.

The good stuff.

Enter, Dove Intense Therapy shampoo and conditioner! I’ve been seeing the commercials on TV for a while now with the girls saying they punish their hair by doing things like twirling and straightening (check and check!), so I thought I’d try this stuff. And it actually works! Which is nuts because I haven’t spent less than $25 on a bottle of shampoo in the last four years and here comes this $7 bottle that’s just as good if not much better than the fancy stuff. And you know I love deals like that.

So if you’re like me and you pull and twist and twirl and fry and dry and otherwise take out your anger and frustration on your poor, poor locks, definitely check this stuff out.

For some reason, in my head, this post sounded a lot less like an ad for Dove. But anyway, just sharing my unsolicited advice cuz I’m feeling nice and it’s FRIDAY, and it’s supposed to be 80 DEGREES in BOSTON this weekend.

80 DEGREES. In BOSTON. Might I remind you that it’s APRIL.

In other news, we leave for Vegas a week from tomorrow and I need vacation books! And shoes! And teeny tiny make-up and shampoo containers! And! And! And!

See what a week of work does to me? Brain: officially fried.

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The Vegas dresscode

As I mentioned before, the girls and I are headed to Vegas in two weeks (!!!) for 5 days of fun in the sun and general over-the-top-ness. Most of us have never been, myself included. We’ll be seeing a show or two, doing some sightseeing, lounging by the pool, scoring free drinks from casinos, and last but not least, hitting the dance floor. Which brings up our latest dilemma – the Vegas dresscode. What does one wear to such a place? We all sort of realized that our bar-hopping go-tos for hitting up Harvard or downtown weren’t really gonna cut it in Vegas, aka Sin City, so I hopped on the net and started googling. This is what I found (shudder):

Are you kidding me?? Are these girls going to the club or the street corner? Do girls really dress like this in Vegas? Help me out, people, because I am starting to feel that we might be looking seriously out of place. Collectively the 5 of us have probably purchased 30 new dresses in the last month (and returned about 20…). We’ve tried the baggy look, the super short look, the tight look, and the boobs-in-your-face look. The only thing this experience has left me with (besides a shiny purple sack that looks kind of like a shrunken 80s prom dress) is the question – why are girls like us dressing up in clothes like that?

We’re not aiming to attract men, or get male attention as I’m guessing most of the girls wearing those clothes are. We all have boyfriends awaiting our safe return and who we love very much. Is the prospect of a free drink worth whoring oneself out for? No, I don’t think so, anyway. And yet, I have enjoyed the hunt for the perfect cute/sexy-but-not-overly-so/comfortable/shiny/beer-belly-hiding Vegas-appropriate dress! Why might this be?

I really think that half the reason girls dress like they do is because it’s still fun to play dress-up. Even when we were little and put on mom’s heels and old dresses and smeared lipstick on our faces, we loved the idea of using clothes and props to feel fancy for a day. Proms and balls and homecoming dances in grade school were another opportunity to do more of the same. To show ourselves and our peers that we are capable of some serious fancy. And sorority events and formals? Yes, please! Any excuse to get hair and nails done. Freshman year a bunch of us organized a whole dance just so we could dress up for a couple hours (no lie!).

I think another big part of the reason we like fancy-ing ourselves up is competition. Other girls. Not to get the guys’ attention, but to get the girls attention–we want other girls to think “hey she’s a competitor/threat”. I don’t know if this is a built-in behavior or not, although it certainly seems like it could be.

Now, dressing for the clubs is quite different from proms and formals. But I think the idea is the same–to put yourself in a new light for a few hours, to feel glammed-up, and to compete (for what? I am still not sure. instincts.). Whatever it is that drives us, we are prepared to be one good-looking bunch of ladies. And although I might rather wine and dine amongst ourselves and go to bed at bedtime, I have a feeling I’m in for some long nights of high heels and hairspray. Gotta do it while we’re young, eh?

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Is there such a thing as a good, safe tan?

jergensWell, both the Ks and I are heading to Vegas in a few weeks with some friends, so the topic has been on our minds recently. We all want to look our best when we hit the pools and casinos in Sin City –which means adding some color to our pasty post-winter Boston bodies. Which means tackling the debate: tanning bed vs. tanning lotion. I’m a faithful user (and big fan) of Jergens Natural Glow Express (I remember when this stuff–the non-express kind–first came on the market and every Walgreens in Manhattan was sold out for like a month). I use it on my face regularly during the winter to get some color–and doubled up for special events like New Years Eve. However, even I realize that I’d need like ten bottles to prep for Vegas.

And so I put on my stupid hat and drove to the tanning salon. I signed up for a package and told myself that tanning a few times in preparation for a vacation isn’t like those girls who tan every week all year. I tell myself this each time I go–and I’m a smart girl, so why do I let myself put these blinders on? All in the name of beauty? I don’ t get it either. I know the dangers, but I do it anyway.

Well, after going a few times, I decided that maybe it wasn’t worth it and maybe it was pretty risky and basically I talked myself into acknowledging that tanning is pretty bad for me. Then I started researching spray tanning. Now, admittedly, spray tanning has come a long way since it first showed up in the late 90s. It no longer means an automatic orange hue–some girls look really great afterward! But I think it takes practice and trial and error to find a brand and a process that works for you.

bride-wars-hathaway-tanIn the name of research, my (female) roommate (K2) and I decided to check out the local Mystic Tan last night. We showered and exfoliated first, put on some grungy sweats, and headed out the door. We had seen Bride Wars together this winter, and were a little afraid of coming out looking like a burnt carrot, but neither of us planned on sabotoging the other’s tan, so we thought we’d be ok. Let’s just say that this morning, I woke up to the Boy calling me “Little Brown One.” I am definitely brown–and browner in some places than others! When you head into the spray booth they give you lotion to put on your feet/hands/nails to prevent the ‘tanning juice’ from getting into your nail beds and the dry skin in that area from soaking up too much tan juice. I wish I had thought to put some on my face! Waking up this morning my forehead and my cheeks were a nice brown color, but so were my chin and upper lip! Not so pretty! I scrambled up some lemon juice and baking soda (thanks, J.Lo in The Wedding Planner!!) and scrubbed a little bit, but still opted for some major make-up help to even things out. We’ll see what it looks like in a day or two. I haven’t seen K2 yet today but she says she’s not that dark. I guess I’ll find out at home tonight!

So here’s my frustration: Doctors and experts everywhere tell you that tanning is SO BAD FOR YOU AND YOU WILL GET CANCER, but then no one tells you any safe alternatives. One experience with a bad spray tan can send you right back into the tanning beds, or out in the sun! So instead of telling us that we need to always wear SPF 60 and hats and long sleeves and stay in the shade, why don’t doctors make some serious recommendations? Because really? Vegas? Long sleeves in the shade? Who are you kidding!? It’s like telling kids that the only way not to get pregnant is abstinence. Since it’s not realistic to tell people to stay pasty white all the time, it would be nice if they could tell us that hey, getting a slight tan isn’t as bad as burning, or something. Or is it? Why won’t someone just be honest? You either have the tanning salon’s propoganda about Vitamin D, or the dermatologist’s lecture on skin cancer. There has so be some sort of balance in there. Anyone?

I’m off to go squeeze some more lemons.

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