Monday, October 31, 2011

Hair Profile: Kassie Baumgardner

It is not hyperbolic to say that meeting Kassie Baumgardner changed my life.  When I met her during sorority recruitment two years ago, our conversations were largely part the reason I joined our sorority in the first place.  She just returned from a life changing summer in Chile and is one of the most independent and strong willed people I've ever known.  Kassie is a natural leader, fiercely loyal, and extremely outgoing.  This is a girl who never gets embarrassed!  I'm fortunate to have her as my (Big!) sister and my friend.

Right now Kassie's busy with her last semester in undergrad before she goes off to study law, but she took time to answer my questions about her gorgeous hair.  She's one of the only artificial brunettes I know, and dark hair suits her so well!  Here's a few of her tips for going deep, deep brown:

How long have you been dyeing your hair?
I have been dyeing my hair for as long as I can remember. I started dyeing it probably in middle school. To be honest I have no idea what my natural hair color is.

Has your hair been colors besides deep brown?
Oh yes! It has been dark brown, blonde, bleach blonde, an attempt at red that really just turned bright orange. (Not my best moment if I say so myself)

What made you decide to go brunette? Any inspirations?
My mother's hair is naturally very dark brown and my hair started to change from blonde to light brown my senior year of high school. I just decided to see what it would look like as brown. I liked the way it looked and just kept dyeing it darker and darker. I really liked the way the dark brown looked against my skin.

Do you DIY or go to a salon?
I do my own hair. I will let it slip that I use a box. A whole 7 dollars is what it takes to keep my dark brown hair. Now I cannot do my own hair. My mom does it for me every time I go home to Ohio. I haven't gotten the nerve to try and dye my own hair. :)

What kind of upkeep does it require?
It doesn't require a lot of upkeep to keep my hair healthy. I use a certain shampoo that is good for colored hair, and I use a product that you put in right after you shower.

What do you love most about your hair?
The fact that my hair stays healthy even after I dye my hair. it actually gets healthier as I dye it.

What drives you crazy?
The fact that my hair grows so slow! I'm trying to grow it out and it is taking forever!!

Is there anything hair-related you'd never try?
I would probably never try extensions. I have heard they are very painful and I think it'd be like a toupee, you would just know it was fake. :)

Any great product recommendations?
I use Biolage by Matrix for colored hair shampoo and conditioner. I love it and use it all the time!

What advice would you give to someone contemplating dyeing her hair a rich brown?
I would start with a light brown and see how it looks. You can always go darker the next time, but getting it light again is a hard if not impossible thing. Also ask around at the salon and see what your hairstylist thinks. They have been doing this for a while.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011: Edie

As promised in my previous post, last night I went to a Halloween party dressed as Edie Sedgwick.  I had planned to do a whole Edie-inspired photo shoot, replicating famous pictures of her, but the party was such a great time I forgot to take any pictures till I got home at the end of the night!  But anyway, it was fun being a blonde again for a little while and wearing crazy big eyelashes, even if hardly anybody knew who I was supposed to be.

Did you dress up this weekend?  Let's hear some costume stories!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Easy Edie Sedgwick Halloween Costume

It's probably no surprise that my Halloween costumes always involve dramatic makeup; my pick this year is no exception.  I'm dressing up as Edie Sedgwick, she of 1965 Warhol Superstar fame.  The best part is that I've already got everything I'll need in my closet; chances are, so do you!  Check out these essentials for insta-Edie.
edie sedgwick

1) Leopard print coat: Faux, naturally. Although Edie's was probably real.
2) Black tights: As a dancer, Edie never bothered to change out of her leotards and tights and they became part of her trademark look.
3) The longest, most dangly earrings you can find: Another Edie signature; if they don't at least touch your shoulders, you're doing it wrong
4) Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde: To listen while you get ready.  Some of the songs ("Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat", "Just Like a Woman") are rumored to be inspired by her
5) Multiple pairs of false eyelashes: Edie was also famous for her bold makeup and often wore several pairs of eyelashes at once
6) Nude(ish) lipstick: She wouldn't have been caught dead in bold lipstick; eyes were the focus of Edie's makeup and bright lipstick was out of vogue by the mid sixties
7) Eyeshadow palette: Light and dark browns, even black, are a must for completing Edie's famous look

Pretty simple, right?  All I've got to buy is a short blonde wig!  For true authenticity, though, you've got to perfect her unique eye makeup. 

Start with an eyeshadow primer and a matte vanilla or cream colored eyeshadow applied from your lashline to your browbone.  Use a wet eyeliner brush to create a defined black or dark brown line over your natural crease.  Extend it from your inner corner and make it as dramatic and defined as possible.  Line your upper lashline with black liquid liner, then apply the biggest, most dramatic pair of false eyelashes you can find.  

It's okay if the eye makeup isn't totally perfect.  Edie herself had way better things to do than drawing and re-drawing eyeliner all day.  In later years when she'd spent through her inheritance, Edie even used watercolor paints to apply her eye makeup.  You really can't mess this up!  Have fun getting ready and have an even better time at all those fabulous Halloween parties and haunted houses you'll be attending!

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?  What was your favorite costume as a kid?  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Essential Guide to Being a Villainess

When the charming and supremely talented Jei started tweeting her hilarious #VilliainessBeautyTips, I begged her to save up a few for a very special guest post.  I laugh every time I read these and am so pleased to share them with you!  Thanks Jei!  Without further ado, we present a handy guide for being The Best Bad Girl You Can Be.  You'll learn the necessity of rouge,  the finer points of attracting Overlords, and of course, the all-important difference between a female villain and a Villainess.  Very useful for Halloween...or your everyday life! 

The Villainess on Beauty
-An evil laugh daily is good for twisting the soul (and trimming belly fat).
-The redder your lips, the sexier your quips. Even if they're awful.
-A villainess is rarely a natural anything, save of course spiteful.
-If your cheekbones don't at least look like they can take an eye out, something's wrong.
-A villainess's brows aren't just shaped, they have personality. (Bonus points if you take it literally.)
-A princess wears blush. A villainess rouges.

The Villainess on Fashion
-Every girl should know the value of a good cloak.
-When choosing a catsuit (and you will be choosing one), avoid leather and latex. While popular among Overlords, your inner thighs don't like them quite so much.
-Spiked heels are well and good, but never an option for a final battle against your Nemesis.
-As fun as it is to wear a metal bustier, remember the edges are sharp. Pad accordingly.
-Never wear a corset to a battle. Your figure isn't nearly so important as your oxygen flow.
-High collars are impractical in all situations save the very formal. In addition to restricting motion and circulation, chances are you're hiding your "better weaponry" with it.

The Villainess on Overlords/Slaves/Whoever's Keeping the Giant Hollowed-Out Skull Warm
-A princess waits for her prince to come. A villainess compels him with a "come hither" arch of the brow.
-If he can't handle your murderous streak, he's not Overlord material.
-A villainess doesn't play well with others, unless it's for fun and profit.
-Bite first, bite back, bite hard, but don't draw blood (the stains are impossible).
-As attractive as the Rebel Prisoners are, chances are they're only out to get you.
-A villainess has more important things to do than stay in the kitchen.

The Villainess on Villainy
-The difference between a villainess and a female villain is the difference between a personal assassin and a barrage of low-level minions.
-Your "better weaponry" will work on practically anyone, save rival villainesses.
-Do not waste time monologuing to prove yourself to your nemesis; a short quip before you kill them will do.
-Never employ berserkers. Just don't.
-In the spirit of Chanel's timelessness, take at least two useless switches off your doomsday device before taking it out of your lair.
-A villainess takes her tea however she pleases. Her companion, takes two sugars and one cyanide every time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Battle of the Dry Shampoos: Tresemme Fresh Start VS. TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret

dry shampoo

I've been using Tresemme's dry shampoo, Fresh Start, ever since it debuted last year.  It's a fantastic bargain, makes my hair look clean, and adds lots of volume even after five days without washing my hair (shhh!).  But I recently spent a few extra dollars on a can of TIGI's Rockaholic Dirty Secret dry shampoo.  How do the upscale and bargain versions compare?  Here's my breakdown...

Price & Availability:
Rockaholic Dirty Secret is $22 at Walgreens, or $12 on Amazon (no idea why there's such a huge variation!), for 6.3 oz.  You can find it at some drugstores, online, and hair salons.  Tresemme Fresh Start is only $4 for 5.7 oz. and is available at drugstores, online, and in big chain stores like Walmart.
Winner: Tresemme Fresh Start; it costs a pittance and is way more widely available than Dirty Secret!

Both products are scented to make your hair seem even cleaner.  Fresh Start to me smells like citrus and powder, and while I've never cared for the scent at all, I have had compliments on how good my hair smelled after I sprayed it!  Dirty Secret also smells like citrus fruits, but instead of powder the undertone here is something more industrial that I much prefer!  It's somehow cleaner and more fresh to me, but this is kind of a personal preference. 
Winner: Dirty Secret, hands down.  I just love my hair smelling like lemons & industrial-ness, I suppose.  Not your thing?  The scent fades more quickly than Fresh Start.

Dry shampoos are notorious for leaving behind white powdery residue and while these two are no exception, Dirty Secret's powdery residue brushes out much easier than Fresh Start's.  Fresh Start's formula can cause buildup and make your hair feel very gunky, too...don't use it if you're planning on someone touching your hair!  Dirty Secret in comparison has no icky buildup or gunk; your hair will feel a little drier wherever you spray it, but that's it.
Winner: Dirty Secret!  No gunk or buildup is a fabulous thing!

Dry shampoos can also give your hair the most glorious volume!  Both of these do, but Dirty Secret's volumizing effect doesn't last long at all; hair falls flat in five minutes.  Fresh Start gives hair volume that actually lasts, due in part to the "gunkiness" I mentioned above.  But still, volume!
Winner: Fresh Start!  Volume that lasts is the clear winner in this category.

Does It Make Your Hair Look Clean?
This is, of course, the main reason you want to use dry shampoo--so your hair looks clean! Duh, right?  Luckily, both of these dry shampoos do exactly what they're supposed to do.  Fresh Start has a little more powder so you've got to brush it out more carefully to make sure the white residue is no longer visible.  Dirty Secret requires a little more product for your hair to look freshly washed.
Winner: It's a tie!  Both products work fantastically well to make your hair look clean!

So...which is the overall winner?
Fresh Start: 3/5
Dirty Secret: 3/5

We have a tie! 
If formula and scent are important to you, spend a little extra and get Dirty Secret.  If you don't mind a little (or a lot of) product buildup, Fresh Start works just as well.  Both make your hair seem equally clean!  You can't go wrong with either.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall 2011 Nail Polish: Zoya Jem

As soon as I saw Jem in one of Zoya's September magazine ads, I knew I had to have it.  It's a stunning deep plum with hot pink and gold microglitter.  In the bottle it looks more fuchsia and gold, but on my nails the effect is definitely vampy.  It's not quite what I expected, but I love love love it.  In certain light the microglitter is barely noticeable and the deep plum looks almost black, but in bright light at certain angles the glitter shines beautifully.  I wish the gold was a little more visible on my nails, but otherwise it's perfect.

My best friend Jessica is loving Jem's burgundy counterpart, a deep dark red with bright red microglitter from OPI.  I love that we're both sporting vampy glitter nails!

What nail polish are you loving for fall?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lesson Learned


A beauty blogger should know better, right?  Well...

I tried out three new skincare products.  At once.  All from different brands.  I was alternating them throughout the week, trying this during the day and testing that at night and so forth.  When my skin went NUTS (shock, horror) I had no idea which product was the culprit.  I finally figured it out, but the trial and error process was Not. Fun. At. All.

Let this be an example!  Don't try to incorporate more than one new thing into your skincare routine at a time!  That way, if you have an averse reaction, you know exactly the product that caused it.  And if the products you're using really work for you, try to resist the temptation to switch. This goes for foundation, powder, and tinted moisturizers, too.

I've gone back to my trusted standbys for a while: EverBlossom's Oh Hush serum and Infotone face mist.  My skin is now much improved.  Lesson learned! 

Have you ever had a ghastly beauty mishap like this?

Friday, October 14, 2011

NARS Mayflower

This is probably the closest I'll ever get to actually owning a nude lipstick.  I tried, I really did, but my lips just look WEIRD without a teeny bit of color.  NARS Mayflower is unmistakably pink-y mauve and a bit shimmery, but it looks enough like my natural lip color that for me it feels almost like a nude lipstick.  Like my lips, only better.  It's juuust pink enough that I don't feel washed out!  The very sheer formula makes a great difference, too.  If you're like me and want the look of a nude with a little bit of color, Mayflower is perfect!

It's more pink than this swatch shows. One day I'll get this picture-taking thing down, I swear!

Do you wear nude lipsticks?  What are your favorites?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Collaboration! Daphne Guinness & MAC

Fashion icon and beer fortune heiress Daphne Guinness has announced her upcoming collaboration on a color collection for MAC!  It's slated for release in the U.S. on December 26th and will debut internationally a month or so later.  Unfortunately those are the only details unveiled so far, but I will definitely keep my eyes open for more!  I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Philosophy's Blue Raspberry Snowcone Shower Gel

We're well into October, that magical time of pumpkin and cider scented everything, yet I'm still soaking in bubble baths full of Philosophy's summer collection inspired by SNOWCONES.  I've written pretty extensively on my addiction to Philosophy's 3-in-1 shower gel, shampoo, and bubble bath.  I've tried TONS and they all smell delicious but this Blue Raspberry Snowcone scent has got to be one of my all-time favorites.

Something about it weirdly reminds me of childhood.  I don't know why; I was never a fan of blue raspberry flavored anything growing up.  But something about it smells so familiar and gloriously artificial in a way that only sugary treats can and that only Philosophy can so perfectly replicate .  Maybe it reminds me of the blue raspberry Sour Straws that were my best friend Jessie's favorite.  We'd go to wrestling tournaments together to watch her brother compete and that's what she always ordered at the snack bar. Or maybe it's reminiscent of some other bath product I adored as a kid.  Remember the sparkly Art Stuff line at Bath & Body Works?  Pretty sure there was a blue raspberry scented shower gel or body glitter (!).

Isn't it funny how scents are so strongly tied to memory?  What are some of the more memorable scents in your life right now?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beauty Dare: I Got My Eyebrows Threaded

Welcome to Beauty Dare, an exciting new feature on Applied Glamour in which I try unusual/odd/interesting treatments and products. Want to triple dog dare me??? Send your beauty dares to me at appliedglamour (at) hotmail (dot) com!

Ever since my amazing friend Chandra wrote a guest post about eyebrow threading, I've been dying to try it.  I enlisted her help and together we headed to the Brookwood Day Spa in Birmingham and paid a visit to Moon, the eyebrow threader on staff.  I was a little intimidated and sooo glad Chandra came with me!

I didn't really know what shape to ask for or how to tell Moon exactly what I wanted, but luckily there was a handy chart on the wall where I could simply point to the eyebrow shape I liked best.  I settled back into the chair and made small talk with Moon while she began the threading.

I'm not going to lie; it was painful.  I've never had my eyebrows waxed so I don't know how it compares, but it was about as painful as plucking them.  I hear it gets less painful on return visits, so the worst is over!  Moon told me she was impressed by how well I handled it; she says most first-time customers flinch and jump and even cry!  I was a champ and didn't flinch at all.  It was over quickly, too.  The whole process took about five minutes and only cost $8!

So now...the results! Drumroll please....

Shazam!  Instant pretty eyebrows!  They weren't awful before I had them threaded but they were definitely doing their own eyebrow thing.  It's amazing how much more polished my makeup looks now that they're shaped and more arched.  It really makes a difference!

Will I be returning?  ABSOLUTELY!!!  I'm so pleased with Moon's quick work.  Are you in the Birmingham area and want to try threading?  Visit the Brookwood Day Spa in the Brookwood mall, you won't be disappointed!  They offer a wide variety of services at extremely affordable prices.

If you're curious, here's a video with more information about threading, plus you can watch exactly how it happens.

Have you ever had your eyebrows threaded?  Is this something you'd try?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain

Don't you love a fragrance with significance and meaning behind it?  Diptyque's new 34 Boulevard Saint Germain scent collection is about as storied as it gets.  It was launched to celebrate the legendary company's 50th anniversary and is named after the original boutique's Parisian address.  Perfumers collected fragrance molecules off the floor of the boutique and blended them to create a scent that ideally captures the best of every fragrance Diptyque offers.  It's meant to evoke the scent of the store itself!  Interesting at the very least, no?

Have you had a whiff of 34 Boulevard Saint Germain?  What's your favorite Diptyque scent?  I have yet to own a candle, but a girl can dream!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ask Away: How Do I Get Rid of Blackheads?

And now, I bring you the very first installment of Ask Away!  Where you, dear readers, send in questions and I offer solutions.  Got a skincare or makeup concern?  Hit me up! appliedglamour (at) hotmail (dot) com
ask away
"Know of something that would be good for taking care of blackheads on the nose and upper cheeks?"

Yes!  You've got several options.

For a quick fix, you can go to a professional aesthetician for a facial and they will perform blackhead extractions. I've never had it done, but from what I hear it can be a bit may want to take an Advil or some such pain reliever about an hour before you go!  A tool called a comodone extractor is used to remove all the blackheads out of your pores.  Although you can buy the extractor at drugstores and go the DIY route, it's really better of you leave this up to the professionals.  Book a facial at a reputable spa and they will do extractions if you ask.  The results are instant!

Another option is to try skincare products that specifically target blackheads. When I had blackheads in high school (confession time!), I used a blackhead eliminating exfoliating cleanser by Clean & Clear.  It worked really well but it will take about a month to really see results.

Once you've gotten rid of the blackheads, you'll want to keep them from returning.  Since blackheads are caused by excess oil that's trapped in your pores, skincare products that target oily skin will work wonders to prevent them.  One particularly great option is to use a deep pore cleansing mask once or twice a week.  This one from Origins ($22) contains activated charcoal to cleanse your pores, Boscia's Luminizing Black mask ($34) dries and peels off, taking impurities with it, and this clay mask from Boots ($9) balances skin and cleanses pores at a bargain price!

I hope this helps!  You'll have clearer skin in no time!

Monday, October 3, 2011

MAC Girls Night Out for the Birmingham AIDS Outreach!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of donating to the Birmingham AIDS Outreach (a fantastic organization!) and in return I got a lovely makeover by MAC artist Natalie.  She truly went above and beyond to ensure that by experience was amazing!  Pictured above is the color chart she used, and look!  She even colored in the eyes to match my own!  She was also extremely patient and thorough in answering my endless questions, and I learned a TON of new makeup application tricks.

Natalie first asked how I usually do my makeup.  I answered, "Red lipstick, black liquid liner, very retro, very Dita Von Teese...but I don't want that!  I want to try something different!"  I ended up with candy colored eyelids and nude lips; it was a fun change!  At first it definitely felt weird for me not to have color on my lips, but I think I may have to add a nude lipstick to the family.  Natalie explained every step of the process, went into detail about the brushes she used, and taught me how to duplicate the gradient effect of the eyeshadows.  She also took the time to write down everything she used, which I definitely appreciated!

I still couldn't resist playing with lipsticks and investigating all the new products, like the Style Driven collection of super long-wearing makeup.  I swatched a few of the lip liners and they Did. Not. Budge.  Even when I used cleanser to remove them, the color barely came off!  It was amazing.

The best part, though, was the eyelashes!  I chose the most glamorous pair and Natalie trimmed and applied them for me.  Typically when you wear false eyelashes, you know you're wearing them; your eyelids feel weirdly heavy.  But with these fancy MAC eyelashes?  I couldn't even tell they were there!  They felt so light and natural!  Totally worth the extra $$$.

I couldn't have had a better time!  Supporting a great organization and getting a makeover: heaven!