Beauty Wednesday: Dry Shampoo

dry shampooLadies, what is your favorite dry shampoo? What’s the top quality you look for — and what turns you off about other dry shampoos?

As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite dry shampoo (after trying a few) has remained Psssst!, the super cheap, super old-school-looking dry shampoo. Here’s how I apply it before bedtime: I pick up the top two inches of my hair (like where bangs would be if I had them) and spray the dry shampoo at the sections from the front and the back). Even though I have dark brown hair and the spray is stark white, it all absorbs overnight. After that, my hair is kind of a non-issue. It doesn’t smell like anything; it doesn’t look oily; it doesn’t feel overly textured or cornstarchy — it just is. That’s kind of what I’m looking for in a dry shampoo, to be honest — to be able to spray it on and forget about it. (I wish there were a name for this, but I’d say the “ability to forget about it after I’ve made the decision to wear it” is increasingly something I’m looking for in beauty and fashion.)

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The Best Beauty Advice You’ve Ever Heard

The Best Beauty Advice You've Ever HeardLadies — what’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever heard? What advice has changed your routine, and what tips do you always follow? For my $.02, here’s the beauty advice that I think of most often:

  • Put real sunscreen on your face, neck, clavicle/chest, and hands as often as possible. The skin there is far thinner than the skin elsewhere on your body. (By “real sunscreen” I mean like SPF 50 — not the “moisturizer-with-SPF-15-added” stuff I used for years!)
  • Visine gets the red out — whether your face is blotchy from crying at a inopportune time, or you’ve got a pimple that’s bumming you out.
  • Some products are best applied at night — from skin products to dry shampoo to deodorants, and more!
  • Don’t wash your hair too often. Maybe your hair only needs conditioner rather than shampoo. Maybe you only need to wash the front of your hair or your bangs. (This is also handy if you’re trying to fit in a lunch workout!)
  • If you always wear your hair curly, go all in and get a “curly cut” — this often means getting tons of short little layers so your curls can do what they want. (There are tons of posts on this around the web — here are a few.) The con that I learned the hard way: It’s often difficult to get a blowout if you have a curly cut, and possibly even to pull your hair back if you’re going for a run or something. So if you’re like me and you have curly hair but get blowouts for anything important, just stick with a “straight hair” cut. (Here’s our older post on how to make a blowout last for days.) (Just to be 100% clear, there’s nothing unprofessional about curly hair or anything wrong with it, and that goes for natural hair too; my own curl pattern is just really uneven, and there’s a straight bottom layer for some reason, so my personal preference is to wear my hair straight.)

Pictured: Pixabay

Best Beauty Advice for busy women

Coffee Break: Acqua di Parmi

acqua di parmaI’m curious, ladies — what are your favorite summer scents? I took a break from wearing perfume years ago when my sons were babies, but I’m starting to get into scents again, and am on the hunt. In years past, my summer scent was the men’s cologne, Acqua di Parma; Nordstrom notes that it is “a composition born from sunny Sicilian fruits and a harmonious blend of floral essences such as lavender and damask rose that merge with woody notes of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli.” (Not surprising, I guess, considering vetiver and sandalwood are two of my favorite scents — I definitely tend to prefer darker, deeper notes.) It’s $105-$173 at Nordstrom. Acqua di Parma ‘Colonia’ Eau de Cologne Natural Spray

Psst: Know your office (and your coworkers) — many readers have noted in the past that they haaaaate working with people wearing heavy perfume

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Psst: White House | Black Market has some great sales going on right now — take an extra 40% off already reduced prices with code 62787.

Wear Makeup, Increase Your Salary?

Wear Makeup, Increase Your Salary?“How a Little Lipstick Could Add Thousands To Your Paycheck” — that’s the title of a recent Fortune article reporting on a new study. Anyone else feeling a little stabby? We thought we’d take a closer look at the research and discuss it here. Some questions to consider at the outset: Do you agree that “good grooming” affects your salary and career success? Do you think there are other correlations at play (e.g., women who make more have more money to spend on grooming, or successful women are more organized to remember to schedule things like regular haircuts and drycleaning)? 

So, the study: Last week, Fortune reported on some research about the effects of looking “put together” at work. Two sociologists found a new way of crunching data from a study that looked at how people’s ratings on attractiveness and grooming compared to their income levels. “Grooming” in this case meant how “put together” they looked, which included makeup for women. Their analysis revealed that for women, “grooming was actually more important than looks when it came to earnings.” Men’s grooming affected their salaries to a lesser extent, while men’s and women’s salaries got the same boost from being considered attractive. The sociologists found that “[A] well-groomed woman of average attractiveness makes about $6,000 more annually than an average-looking, averagely-groomed woman. She also makes about $4,000 more than her better-looking, but less put-together coworker.” Researchers saw this as a positive, concluding, “[t]he big takeaway here is that people can capture most of the attractiveness premium [through putting effort into their appearance]… It’s not just what you’re born with.”

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Professional Hairstyles: Do Ponytails Count?

Professional Hairstyles - Ponytails at Work | CorporetteDo ponytails count as professional hairstyles? Which are the best ponytails for the office?  Do you think 50s/cheerleader ponytails are no-gos for the office, or is any neat, easy hairstyle inherently professional? 

Have you guys been watching AMC’s Better Call Saul? It’s the prequel story to Breaking Bad, chronicling the path that small-time con-man/lawyer Jimmy McGill took to become everyone’s favorite drug lawyer (later known as Saul Goodman). One of the story lines involves Jimmy working at his brother’s BigLaw-esque law firm, and one of his main friends is Kim Wexler, played by Rhea Seehorn. Kim’s story is similar to Jimmy’s — she started in the mailroom, went through law school later in life, and is now working as an associate — but unlike Jimmy she’s squeaky clean. Without giving away too many spoilers, it’s so inspiring to see her efforts to make partner, including a long montage where she calls every single person she knows to try to bring on her own client. In another scene, she does so well on her first court appearance that the opposing counsel tries to hire her. In general, she’s a rockstar lawyer. She dresses professionally, too — but something I’ve been pondering is her hair: her most frequent look is a ponytail. Not just the low, harried ponytail many of us throw our hair into when we’re working in our office and want to keep our hair out of our faces — hers is curled, and part of her all-day look.  And while it isn’t super-high, it isn’t super-low, either. (In general, I think a lower ponytail is vastly better for being taken seriously.) Part of her character is that she’s earnest and kind of new to this world of BigLaw — so is her hair supposed to convey that as well? (Ah, here’s a picture of her ponytail from the back, below. And apparently the same actress wore the same hairstyle on another show where she also played a lawyer, but I’m not familiar with that show.) Maybe I’m biased against ponytails that feel too pageant/cheerleader as professional hairstyles? 

professional hairstyles ponytails

In the past, we’ve collected easy office updos (which included some ponytail looks), as well as discussed how to style long hair for interviews, but let’s discuss ponytails, ladies — what makes them appropriate (or inappropriate?) for the office or other big meetings? Are there different rules for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s? 

Some thoughts from poking around the Internet: The Muse gives ponytails an enthusiastic thumbs up for professional hairstyles, and Buzzfeed has this niceish twisted ponytail for work, which I like so much I’m adding it to our Work-Appropriate Hair board on Pinterest. [Read more…]

Beauty Wednesday: Serums, Sunscreen, and Retinoids

aging skincare tips serums sunscreens retinoidsLadies, what is your skin routine? At what age did you get serious about skincare? What are your favorite products, both over-the-counter and prescription, whether for anti-aging, anti-wrinkles, exfoliating, or something else? I’ve seen a lot of readers talking recently about serums, sunscreens, retinoids and more, so let’s discuss. I’m curious to hear what everyone else is doing, what products you like, and if you have any tips/tricks for applying — but here’s my own story:

After years of using only organic options while pregnant/nursing (based on something my first OB/GYN said to me), I was eager to get “the good stuff” when I finally had my body back to myself. As I often do, I turned to the commenting threads for advice and found an older thread where a reader had said that for a woman in her 30s, the main things you need are Vitamin C, sunscreen, and a retinoid. I liked the simplicity of this statement, as well as the chorus of agreement from other readers. I already had an organic, nursing-approved Vitamin C serum and have been using sunscreen daily since my teenage lifeguard years, so I thought, OK, to the dermatologist I go for a retinoid. (Just a quick science/vocab lesson, at least as I understand things: Retinol and retinoids are both Vitamin A. Retinols are available in over the counter (OTC) products; retinoids are available in prescriptions only. Retin-A is the brand name for one of the retinoids you can get.)

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