Makeup For Biking to Work

makeup for biking to workWhich makeup is best for a biking commute, or another commute where you expect sweat and possibly wind? Reader K wonders…

Being lucky enough to live only four miles from my office, I’m wanting to start taking a bike to and from work every day for personal fitness, sustainability, and savings on gas and vehicle wear-and-tear. The difficulty is with wardrobe and makeup. Specifically, making sure I don’t look like a war zone every day. I have a feeling this is an issue for women in very urban environments as well, where walking and subway commutes can be the transportation method of choice. Since I’m in Texas heat is the biggest issue, but I’d also be interested in any ideas for dealing with the cold, wind, and other factors. What are some ideas for making sure I don’t look like a hot mess at work after biking in?

Great question. Biking to work (or walking!) are solid ways to sneak more exercise into a busy life — I actually really miss the time I used to spend walking to and from work. We’ve talked about the best bags for commuting, how to cool down quickly after a hot commute, and how to keep your regular bra sweat-free.  We’ve had guest posters share their love of wedges for walk-to-work heels, and I’ve shared my own trick — getting a pair of comfortable/stable “commuting shoes” that were the same height as my regular pumps (so I didn’t have to hem my pants differently), but maybe a bit uglier than what I’d otherwise wear around the office; I’ve also talked about how I’ve logged way too many miles in Reef/Teva flipflops with arch support (not recommended).  But we haven’t talked about which makeup is best for a possibly sweaty/windswept commute. [Read more...]

Beauty Wednesday: They’re Real! Mascara

They're Real! MascaraSo it takes a lot for me to rave about a new beauty product, but I really do love this mascara that I recently bought, They’re Real! from Benefit. I’m not sure if it’s the formula, the brush, or what, but this is my new go-to for a night out. The mascara adds a ton of length, drama, and va-va-va-voom to my eyelashes. I have the mini size, available for $10 from Sephora; the full size is $22.

On a day-to-day basis I’m liking (but not loving) Lancome’s Defencils; prior to that I loved L’Oreal’s Voluminous for daily wear.

Readers, which are your favorite mascaras (both drugstore and high-end)? Have you found any other new rave-worthy beauty products?

(L-all)

Work-Appropriate Braids

braids-for-workYes, yes, the braids trend has been around for-ever now… and I’ve been meaning to write a post forever!  It shows no sign of stopping, I think in large part because braided looks are easy and fun hair styles that can be adapted for fancy looks (weddings, galas) to every day looks (like work) — and because they’re just braids they’re pretty weather-proof as well.  I thought I’d round up a few of my favorite braid tutorials for you guys, and start the discussion — do you like to change up your hairstyle for work?  Do you think braids are professional enough to wear to work often?

For my $.02, I think some kinds of braids are a hard sell after you reach a certain age (e.g., milkmaid braids, the braided-halo look, etc), which means that in general those looks should probably stay away from the office.  Either you’re too old to wear them, or you’re emphasizing that you are young enough to wear them.  That said, my favorite grown-up way to do braids is to do a few braided strands as part of an otherwise normal look for you, whether it’s down, a bun, a ponytail, or a half-updo.  I’m putting Maria Menounos’s look front and center because a) I think she normally has a good professional hairstyle, and b) the YouTube video actually does a good job of showing you where to take bigger sections of hair and so forth.  I think she looks “new and now” (as they joke at the end of the video), but that she doesn’t lose any credibility points in doing so.  I can see this also being a nice update to a pulled-back look such as a messy bun or a low ponytail.  Here’s a similar take from Real Simple.  I actually always think of this as being a Lauren Conrad braid but could not for the life of me find a tutorial on her site, The Beauty Department — maybe it’s just too simple. [Read more...]

Is Ombre Hair Professional?

ombre-hair-for-workIs ombre hair appropriate for the office? When does any hair color become “unprofessional”? Reader P wrote in with a great question, and perhaps might lead us to an interesting discussion of when hair dyes and colors cross the line:

I was wondering if you could do a post on whether ombre hair is professional. I graduated from law school last May and am currently interviewing for positions. I have this “fellowship” through my school for now (used for rankings), but am looking for a full time real job. I have long black hair and am thinking about getting the ombre look with either medium to dark brown on the ends or perhaps auburn. What do you think of this look? Is it acceptable in the professional setting or does it seem to casual? Here are some images of what I’m thinking of: here and here.

Every time I think we’ve covered hair as completely as it can be covered, another question comes up.  We’ve talked about platinum blond hair at the office, as well as gray hair at the office, but not other hair dyes and colors.  So let’s discuss. [Read more...]

What Is the Best “Professional” Haircut?

professional-hairHere’s a question we haven’t talked about in a while: what is the best professional haircut for women? I can remember, years ago, that Angela Merkel’s short, almost mannish cut was THE cut to have. Not just for women of a certain age, but for a lot of women who were coming up the ranks. But I wonder: what do you think of as the most “professional” haircut? If it were right for your hair, which CEO, anchor person, or world leader would you be taking pictures of to your salon, saying “if you want to be taken seriously, you have to have serious hair.”  (Bonus points for any reader who can find me a video link to Working Girl where she says that — in the meantime, here’s the trailer.)

So who do you look to today for the best professional hair?  Sheryl Sandberg?  Marissa Mayer?  What changes to your own hair have you made to make it more “professional”?  Or do you think we’ve reached an age where “whatever works for you” IS the best professional haircut?

Beauty Wednesday: What Do You Keep Trying?

Japonesque Lash Placement KitI thought today we would talk about the beauty and hair things that we want to like and adopt into our repertoire — but that, despite multiple tries, you still don’t quite “get”.  Weird question, I know, but for me I can list a few things that are in this category:

- False eyelashes — I think I’ve gotten them to stick approximately ONCE — for a random friend’s party sometime in 2001.  I feel like they’re so much more popular than they used to be (at least, I can’t think of a single show I watch on television where the actresses aren’t all wearing them, even for the “natural” faces) that I want to keep trying them, at least for nights on the town.  Still: every time I get them out they end up not sticking or not sticking in a symmetrical way — and the glue inevitably screws up the rest of my eye makeup.  (My latest thought: that I need to try one of the new “false eyelash applicator” things, such as Japonesque Lash Placement Kit, available at Beauty.com for $12 — any thoughts, ladies?) [Read more...]