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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Monday, July 28, 2014

Reviewing: Tressmerize Extensions

Sometimes things just work out.

A couple of months ago, I was hemming and hawing, trying to figure out how to go about doing some of the long haired styles I wanted to try, but knowing all too well that my Glamtime extensions were the wrong color and a new investment would likely be necessary.

Enter Tressmerize.

The owner of the company was referred to me by a friend, and asked if I wanted to try out her amazing luxury extensions for the purpose of review...Yes, please!! After all, the extensions are created specifically for shorter or fine hair, and include a (gulp) HAIR TOPPER too! What is hair-topper, you may ask? Well, think Ginger of Gilligan's Island, or Jane Fonda in Barbarella, and you can see why this idea appealed to me.
See, a 'fall', which is what those ladies were known to wear, was typically a partial wig that was worn at the crown to give extra volume and that signature '60's' bombshell look. While this product is not really MEANT to mimic that era, with just a tiny bit of coaxing it certainly can. The topper is actually a tool for hiding shorter upper layers, and it works beautifully for that. But since a 3/4 wig nowadays in natural hair can run upwards of 300.00, this set of extensions is also a godsend for retro gals like me.

My mind began to whirl around the possibilities, when I got the product in the mail. Jane Fonda...Michele Carey...ooooh, what about Dorothy Gish? These are all possible with the new extensions so pardon me as a swoon and rave for a moment...

While Tressmerize doesn't have a huge color range, I was assured that they are virgin hair and easily colored. Which is lucky, because they were totally the wrong shade for me. The site doesn't have very good photos currently of the different color swatches so I took the owner's advice with the ones she sent and I'll admit I was a little concerned. They were a very basic yellow blonde, sort of like when you first bleach a full head of hair to the yellow stage, before toning.

That said, the texture was still silky and the clips were very sturdy...all in all, I'd say these are the best quality clip-in extensions I've used yet. I was skeptical that such a silky texture of hair would hold onto the color I'd inevitably have to apply...but try it I must.

In the interests of budget, I chose a super-duper cheapo brand of hair color, that 'Balsam Color' stuff you can get for like, 3 bucks at the grocery.

And lo' and behold, they turned out to be the perfect shade of dark honey blonde that matched my hair! Such a fortunate thing!!

Dutifully, I pin curled them and laid them out to dry so I could prepare them for my trial run.

Unlike my Glamtime extensions, which became somewhat dry and brittle after coloring and setting, these maintained their silky texture even after the process, which was another huge relief. I honestly couldn't have been more impressed with the actual product and was anxious to get started styling them.

My first endeavor was to re-create an 'Aurora' sort of look, for my Animated Angels series.

The look had previously been done on my channel using just my own shoulder length red locks, so I was anxious to do something a little more whimsical, but still wearable. I was very pleased with how easily the extensions installed, blended with my hair, and styled. The overall look came out pretty well, and I was pleased to add the video to my playlist of options for channeling animated ladies in a more realistic way.

Enjoy the video tutorial, below:

To sum up, Tressmerize is a great product, and well worth the price tag (the full set is 297.00, which is still less than a 3/4 wig in human hair and far more versatile).

And that's my opinion.



Monday, July 21, 2014

The Art of Style

Over the years, I have developed quite a little collection on my computer of art that I've discovered or rediscovered. One whole folder is dedicated to styling in art, paintings in which styling is the central feature or inspiration. I think it's interesting that to this day, ladies in varying states of 'undress' or 'dressing' maintain their appeal and continue to inspire artists worldwide.

Here are a few of my favorites...many of them were created understandably by Pin Up Artists, who have been celebrating the feminine lifestyle for decades. But some are 'fine' artists who were likewise moved to capture the aesthetic of beautifying oneself.

A New Hairstyle: by Norman Rockwell (1927)

Young Woman at the Mirror: by Berthe Morisot (year unknown)

I believe the following painting is supposed to depict a boy's first haircut, though I've always assumed it was a little girl. Being that it was painted in 1918, it's unlikely that a little gal would be getting a haircut or that her mother would condone such a thing.

The Haircut: by Norman Rockwell (1918)

Edward Degas (year unknown)

Waterhouse painted some of the most lyrically beautiful pictures of ladies at their toilette.

The Mermaid: by J.W. Waterhouse (1848-1917)

Mariana in the South by: J.W.Waterhouse (1897)

Woman at Mirror by Max Beckmann (1918-1920?)

Before the Date by: Norman Rockwell (1949)

by: Vaughan Aldan Bass (1940s?)

Woman Before the Mirror by: Titian (1515)

More Norman Rockwells...

Girl at Mirror (1954)

Going Out (1933)

More Pin Up Goodness:

Gil Elvgren (1950's)

Joyce Ballantyne (1945-1955)

Ernest Chiriaka (1953-1957)

Joe De Mers (year unknown)

Edward D'Ancona (1930s)

K.O Munson had some amazing pieces (no pun intended) and his work is often overlooked in the Pin Up field. The backing sketches make them especially frame-worthy.

Hopefully you enjoyed this little art show and it has further inspired you to set up an area that lends itself to creativity as well. Nothing else makes you feel quite so lady-like as a designated dressing room or table. :)


This post is sponsored and inspired by Kelly Grace Art. Make sure to visit her site by clicking the link to the right or here in this article.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Few of My Favorite: 'Philosophy' Things

This is a new blog series I'm testing out for you. Since I'm now in the position to try a few more brands that are considered 'high end', I thought I'd lend my opinion, since I know how difficult it is to know whether something that is more pricey is worth an investment or if a less expensive drugstore option would suffice. So I've compiled a list of my favorite products from various brands to clue you in on that kinda stuff.

Philosophy is a brand that I've always loved, even with limited experience, and now that I can honestly say I've tried almost everything the line has to offer, I can share my opinions with you as to which products are worth the (sometimes hefty) price tag. Bear in mind that I am basing these opinions (for what they're worth) on my own skin type (which is very dry) and needs. Your personal experience may be different than mine but this is just a general overview of these items and is meant to guide, not to direct.

So without further ado, here are my top ten Philosophy products, counting down*:

10. Miracle Worker Overnight (68.00):

The only item on my list from the 'anti-aging' options by Philosophy is the Miracle Worker Overnight. This is an intensive moisturizer that claims to work with sleep to visibly 'reset' your skin and lend a more youthful appearance. One of the things that I like about it is as that when compared with similar products from other brands, it is significantly more affordable and still maintains the richness and efficiency of the pricier night creams. It does not contain the more expensive peptides etc that hike the price up with the other guys, but this still packs quite a punch when it comes to providing an intensive and therapeutic amount of moisture that still leaves the skin feeling supple and soft in the morning.

9. Pink Melon Sorbet Whipped Body Souffle (22.00):

Though I've always been a fan of fruity body lotions and gels and literally used to have a 'Bath and Body Works' smell for every day of the week in my shower, I've gotten away from that over the years. This one really brings me back to that frame of mind. It is the most delectable and mouth-watering melon fragrance anywhere. Everyone who opens the lid sighs with delight and it flies off our shelves, as a result. Think Watermelon Jolly Rancher reimagined as a silky smooth body lotion and this is what you get. The large container goes a long way and is absolutely worth the money. Use it with one of the creamy vanilla scented body washes to really up the 'sweetness' quotient.

8. Deep Fill Fix (34.00):
Having only used this a few times I can't vouch for the 'long term' benefits of this product, but I do know that when applied to my deeper 'frown' lines, the result is an instant softening that gives me the boost of confidence I need. To clue you in on the consistency, I would say this is sort of a mix of a silicone based primer and a heavy duty eye cream. A tiny bit goes a long way and this product also contains ingredients that diffuse light, so the skin around the problem area is also placed into 'soft focus'.

7. Fresh Cream Body Lotion (17.00):

Another product you'll want to eat. This lotion contains macadamia nut oil, fruit oils, and antioxidants so the quality of the ingredients is almost more impressive than the scent. But not quite.

6. The Microdelivery Purifying Enzyme Peel(42.00):
I have never been big on 'peels'. They hurt and they're time consuming. And I feel that the payoff is rarely worth it. This is a little different. It works in 1-3 minutes and results are instantaneous. After a mere 60 seconds of only a little more than a tingle, my skin was left feeling slickly clean and looking remarkably radiant. Perfect for an afternoon treatment just prior to a big night out!

5.Unconditional Love Fragrance Spray (46.00):
This is the fragrance spray I enjoy the most by Philosophy. It's very light and subtle, reminiscent of blueberry pie. My husband loves 'food' smells so it's a clear winner in our house. The longevity is definitely an issue for me; I can't smell it anymore past an hour or so, but I have it on good authority that the fragrance does linger and others will smell it long after you think it's faded.

4.The Microdelivery Exfoliating Daily Wash (40.00 for the 16 oz size):
When it comes to a daily exfoliant, I'd be hard pressed to think of a better one. This non-foaming cleanser contains tiny granules that gently and effectively resurface the skin without feeling overly harsh. For added sloughing, it can be used in conjunction with your Clarisonic or other cleansing brush. Older ladies absolutely love this and repurchase it again and again as part of their regimen, I've discovered. The fact that it's sulfate free is an added benefit.

3.When Hope Is Not Enough (50.00):
Hope in a Jar is one of the most popular moisturizers in the world, but I prefer this one from Philosophy. Although it is promoted as being great for mature skin, younger gals with dry skin will also appreciate the replenishing aspects of it and the gentle absorption it as to offer. It also protects against dehydration, maintaining the skin's moisture balance throughout the day. I used this as a primer, to help my BB cream blend more efficiently, and I never noticed it becoming oily or my skin feeling tight over the course of the day.

Purity Made Simple Facial Cleansing Oil (25.00):
If you are a cold cream user, and you'd like to invest in something that's sort of an upgrade, this is your answer. This mineral-oil free blend of natural ingredients nourishes the skin as it dissolves makeup, leaving it feeling soft and completely free of residue. I adore it as a pre-cleanse, using it in the same way as I use my cold cream, and removing it with a tissue before my exfoliating cleanser at night. While I can't use the Purity 3-in-1 cleanser that so many adore, this suits my needs beautifully and since such a little goes a long way, I feel it's well worth the reasonable price. Incidentally, I also have used olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil in the same way; I like this much more.

1.Hope in a Jar A to Z Cream (38.00):
If there were any product by Philosophy that should be accompanied by choir music and the Hallelujah Chorus, this would be it. This correcting BB Cream is by far the product I recommend and sell more than any other in my department. I'm not sure what makes it so much better than any other BB cream or tinted moisturizer I've used, honestly. I've researched and read over the ingredients repeatedly and can't see a lot of difference when compared to other creams. So I have to assume that Philosophy just has the formula part down, in the way they mix it up. The cream comes in three universally flattering shades (even relatively dark skin tones can wear the Dark shade without that 'ashy' effect) and the coverage is sheer, buildable, and effortlessly blendable. The finished texture is smooth enough to be ideal for mature and wrinkled skin but velvety enough to work for oily skin, especially when coupled with a mattifying primer. I recommend this in place of foundation for day or evening, perhaps coupled with just a little concealer. It evens out skin tone, holds up well in humidity, and has virtually no fragrance to speak of. Basically a dream product.

So that's my list! I hope some of you found it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about the rest of the line and if you're in the Memphis area, come in and see me at Dillard's so we can try this stuff out!


photos courtesy the Philosophy website. I do not own these images