March 6, 2017

{STYLE} Platinum Blonde Self Expression with John Frieda Hair Care

While I felt like the world was falling apart around me, I set a very low-key "resolution" for my year: be blonder. Of course, I set my intentions around broader career goals and commitments to activism, as well, but when it came to something I could do for myself with relative immediacy and without the threat of failure, it was go blonde or go home. So, my gradual progression to lighter locks over the last few years evolved into full-blown platinum blonde ambition. It's no secret, though, that the stress of going blonde is pretty serious on your tresses - and breakage, fallout, and maintaining color is a process in and of itself. Knowing I was heading to New York for NYFW - and that the air would be cold and dry, and that I'd be doing my hair daily for shows and events, I tried to prep and plan out my haircare in a way that insured my new locks would be their least vulnerable.

Enter John Frieda Hair Care. I've been a long time fan of the "Frizz Ease" line - stocking tiny tubes of the serum in my purses to smooth out my ends and flyaways throughout the day (and this is something I've been doing for years!) But this years new line of product innovations came at a perfect time for me and my newly platinum hair. After all, as my mother says, "hair care is self care," and devoting a little time to creating the image and look that I want has been a pretty radical step in taking care of myself in an area where I can assert some control.

On top of this, John Frieda Hair Care experts have just launched their new Hair Talks Make Your Statement campaign to speak to the power of hair as a tool for self expression. The campaign was also kicked off with the most fun surprise concert in TriBeCa at the start of NYFW with Tinashe - who is the face of Hair Talks Make Your StatementThere's nothing that better conveys my own relationship with my hair -- it has always been a place where I've experimented, evolved, played with style, and channeled energy into creating parts of my identity. I've been coloring and restyling my hair since I was 13, been through an entire rainbow of colors (though it should be no surprise that my first color choice, all the way back in middle school, was pink), and my thankfully strong & resilient hair continues to be part of how I speak.

I planned out a series of styles that I could leverage out of a single wash - retouching, styling, and revitalizing throughout the week of running around to exciting events. Confession time: I was inspired by an old Into The Gloss piece where Kim Kardashian shared that she washes her hair every 5-days to get the most out of styling, and applied a similar approach in planning out my NYFW calendar. 

I started with priming my hair with the John Frieda Frizz Ease 10-Day Tamer Pre-Shower Treatment (it's an amazing, intensive treatment that you apply to dry hair before washing that extends the lifecycle of that wash) and following up with their Sheer Blonde Brilliantly Brighter Ultra Illuminating ShampooConditioner, (fellow blondes looking for a color correcting team: this stuff is great at keeping brassiness at bay and it's budget friendly). After washing and towel drying, I sprayed in some John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioner to my damp hair before I got ready to blow dry. For my day 1 style, I decided to stick with a smooth and sleek blow out that I could easily build from. Starting with a great blow-dry (without having to add additional heat just yet), was the perfect foundation - and styling with a deep side part helped create a bit of extra volume and movement without having to over style. Best of all, because this style is pretty easy to maintain, I managed to get two days out of it with a few sectioned-off sprays of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo.

For my second hairstyle, I knew I wanted to have some of my signature loose waves. Even though I've recently been playing with a lot of different styles, messy, undone waves are one of the looks where I feel most myself. They're playful, sexy but not too serious, and I love having additional texture in my hair. It might seem a little counter intuitive, but I applied a bit of mousse to my dry hair before adding waves in with an iron. The John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse not only helps set and cold the curl, but also adds extra heat protection. To finish, I rubbed John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir throughout my ends (I'm addicted to this product!) and smoothed out my fly-aways using John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch Up Crème (this is magic, especially if you have short & stubborn baby hairs like I do.)

For my next style, I worked on a simple transition with my waved ends on a half-up bun. I've been rocking the "tiny topknot" or "baby bun" for a while - and sorry not sorry, it's one of my favorite styles for in-between days! I secured the bun with pins and added in more volume to the sectioned off hair with a spritz of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo. Once I set the bun, I secured the style with John Frieda Sheer Blonde Crystal Clear Hairspray. Fellow blondes might know (or not, in which case, lesson time) that a lot of styling products are what can contribute to brassiness, build up, and fading color. What's so magical about this hairspray is that it leaves no residue or stickiness behind - while leaving a flexible hold that is perfect for styles that demand a little more movement and bounce. 

Photos by Lydia Hudgens,
Hair Direction by Adam MacClay

I love to mix up my wardrobe, obviously, but my favorite accessory lately has really been my hair - it speaks, it evolves, it definitely talks. It's part of my armor - a way for me to constantly switch up my look and redefine my persona. It's been a ton of fun to play with my new platinum looks and leverage as much as I can out of my arsenal of John Frieda Hair Care styling products - all while managing the stress on my hair. 

This post was sponsored by John Frieda Hair Care.
All content and opinions are my own. 

January 23, 2017

{STYLE} In The Desert

I feel like I am always writing about how quickly time passes, how the days quickly turn into weeks and soon a month, and how each relatively small unit of time feels expansive because so much has happened. And yet, somehow, as I try to implement some kind of a more rigorous schedule in my life, the first few weeks of the year have flown by. Last year, after the new year, I headed out to Palm Springs with Brad, Christian, and Ali, and this year we decided to repeat the tradition and added Joshua Tree and our friend Anna to the mix, as well. After all that happened in 2016, it felt especially important to put a little bit of a pause on life to reflect, set intentions, and be together in a calm, relaxing, and familiar environment.

Being with friends who have also felt so sensitive to everything happening in the world was important and therapeutic, and being with creative friends helped inspire me in this next chapter in our lives where art, expression, consciousness, and resistance are all the more important. It helped ground me in finding my purpose right now - and wanting more than ever to be unapologetically and unabashedly myself. I've made it no secret that this last year felt like an enormous transitional period, with monumental changes in my personal and professional life, and finally settling into living in Los Angeles, and having reminders of my capacity to create, inform, inspire, and use my energy for positive change couldn't have come at a better time. 

December 22, 2016

{BEAUTY} Multi-Masking on the Go

As travel has become a huge part of my work life, one might expect that I've become an expert at packing, consolidating my toiletries, and fitting all my necessities into a neatly-organized carry-on, but this is far from my personal truth. I really do envy people who have turned traveling light into an art form (my friend Hitha is exceptionally good at this), but I'm constantly struggling with narrowing down my skincare and cosmetics to just-the-essentials and deciding which shoes to bring on a trip with me - no matter how long or short. I'm the type of girl who has a very lengthy and involved skincare routine, and when I'm traveling, I add in extra steps (like masking, exfoliating, and lifting from all that airplane-induced dehydration and inflammation) - which means extra items in my luggage. 

Enter Beauty-360. I don't know why I've never seen a packaging innovation like this before, but they're tightened up what I'm used to seeing as super bulky, hefty packaging into tiny single, double, or triple use products perfect for being on-the-go. The lineup of sheet masks, powder cleansers, eye masks, and more traditional masks (that come in smaller pods and a tupperware-like lid to preserve the contents), are inspired by Korean beauty trends - and the ingredients are equally inspired, and loaded with crushed pearls and hyaluronic acid. My favorites include hydrogel eye masks (there's a variety, including Collagen for hydrating, Charcoal for soothing, and 24K Gold for brightening), a Rose & Pearl brightening mask, and a Hydrogel Intense Hydration sheet mask. The main targets and promises of the line are to moisturize, firm, rejuvenate, and detoxify to help reduce the appearance of pores - all especially important when you travel. 

I learned from skincare experts at Joanna Vargas and Kate Somerville that one of the reasons your pores open up while you travel by air is because the air is so dry, and they are opening up to absorb more moisture from the air. This is why it's so important to keep your skin hydrated (both with moisture-enriching products and drinking plenty of water) during long haul flights, and exfoliating when landing. Whether you're taking a longer vacation, a weekend trip (like the one Ali and I recently took to San Francisco), or packing for an overnight at your SO's, these TSA-friendly pieces are essentials that won't break the bank, (the entire line is priced between $5.99 and $7.99 and available at CVS). When Ali and I visited Japan last year for our honeymoon, we had so much fun exploring and hoarding what we could find of Japanese and Korean beauty and skincare products in their local pharmacies, and to know we can get similar products and quality at our local CVS is so great. Just as our stockpile has dwindled, the introduction to Beauty360, which offers the same quality and ingredients at an amazing value, is one I'm thrilled to discover. 

This post is sponsored by Beauty-360
All content and opinions are my own. 

December 1, 2016

{STYLE} What's Your Casual?

It's not all black, pink, and white in my wardrobe, these days. I've been crushing hard on deep cranberry and burgundy tones, and finding the places where they fit into my comfort-zone-palette. It's a refreshing and seasonally-appropriate addition to my wardrobe workhorses, and has delightfully played off my recent favorite lipstick colors. 

I'll be honest, my memories of Hush Puppies are deeply rooted in mid-90s comfort shoes and moccasins; there was a moment in my elementary school life where their suede, tan, shearling-lined loafers were the shoe to pair with our navy blue uniforms. I never had a pair, but like many of the shoe trends of my 90's dreams (Airwalks, ADIDAS Superstars, and of course, Hush Puppies), I pined after my friends' collections. They sort of fell off the radar for me, but when I found out that they're still around, kicking, and they've updated their trademark casual comfort to stylish and affordable classics, I was ready to take them for a spin. I ordered this burgundy bootie, the "Melodi Langdon," and they actually, honestly, feel like I'm walking with little clouds on my feet. The soles are cushioned and ultra-comfy while giving me a tiny bit of extra height. 

I know I don't often do "casual," (I'm basically always overdressed), but for me, the key to casual is loose, flowy, and comfortable pieces. Even with a busy print, dresses like this one are basically an all-in-one look, and adding in the booties in burgundy plays off the color palette really seamlessly. What's your casual?

This post is sponsored by Hush Puppies

All content and opinions are my own.