Need To Fire Your Stylist?

For all your beauty advice…

A hairstylist, much like a doctor or a therapist, is someone with whom you form a relationship. Like any relationship that has run its course, breaking up is hard to do. If you’ve said it once, you’ve probably said it a thousand times. “I just want a trim”, and wouldn’t you know it? You leave with 3 inches, or more, of your hair hacked off. The hair you tried so hard to grow out so you could start wearing it up…the hair that is now being swept into the lovely trash can designated for cast off locks…mingling with other hair that was also on the floor not so long ago. At one time, you may have appreciated your stylist for his/her artistic talent. But, when that talent is no longer what you are looking for, or your stylist hears you but doesn’t listen…it’s time to move on.

How do you go about firing your stylist? Do you sneak around and “cheat” on them with other stylists until you find the one you’re looking for, or do you just flat-out tell them it’s time to move on? What if you have been admiring another stylist’s work and they happen to be in the same salon? Well, that’s like running into your ex with the younger version of you on their arm…awkward!

The first thing to do is to talk it out. Try to communicate better with your stylist and maybe you can work on patching things up and have a better relationship. It’s always easier to put the blame on yourself, at first, and tell your stylist that maybe you didn’t get the words right as to what you were looking for with your cut. You never know, you could have a very mature individual cutting your hair and by speaking up, they will listen and realize not to pick up their tools until they have asked you what you need, and have repeated back to you what you have said. A good, thorough, consultation should always be the first step of a hair cut, no matter how long you’ve been going to the same person.

Communication not working? Ok, this is the tough part, but it’s your hair so it must be done. Unless you are willing to walk around frustrated with your hairstyle, it’s time to move on. It won’t be easy. Really, when is a break up easy? Most people in this industry, myself included, are either temperamental or sensitive. If you’re lucky, your stylist is temperamental AND sensitive. Not a good combination when it comes time to cut the ties…no pun intended.

If you’re looking to see a stylist that works at the same salon, call and talk to a manager or the receptionist and explain what’s going on. Ask to be scheduled with the person of your choice when your current stylist isn’t working. You won’t have to do this forever, just until the hurt wears off, then you’ll be able to schedule when you please and it won’t be so uncomfortable when you do run into them. Remember, time heals all wounds…even hair wounds.

#1 rule here if you’re still at the same salon? Do NOT gossip about your former stylist to your current one. Hair salons are a breeding ground for gossip and it WILL get back to your former stylist. Nothing but nasty can come from that, so just say you needed a fresh start with someone new and steer the conversation in another direction. Trust me…just. trust. me.

What if the new stylist doesn’t work, either? Move on to another salon altogether. Many salons these days are adopting a uniform way of cutting. This works in the salon’s favor so any stylist will give a quality cut and the customer won’t have to be patient waiting to get in with one stylist. That’s not a bad idea on the salon’s part, but if you’re unsatisfied, it’s time to start searching. Ask around, word of mouth is going to be the best way to find a new salon. Who knows? You may find, in all your searching, that what you are looking for is what your original stylist had to offer all along. Sometimes a break is a good thing for both you and your stylist.

So, what kind of stylist am I? temperamental, sensitive, or the worst, temperamental AND sensitive? Hmmm.. Wouldn’t you like to know?  

Have you ever had to fire your stylist? I want to hear your story and how you handled it.

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at

You’ve Been Beautified!

Kindness Is Beautiful

For all your beauty advice…

I don’t get to write random rants very often. I try to keep my writing consistent with reviewing products, discovering home spa ideas, and giving beauty advice. But, lately, I’ve discovered that not only does beauty come from within, but if you have nothing on the inside, there’s not a whole lot to offer on the outside. If you want to present yourself as a beautiful human being, you need to work on the stuff that people can’t see first.

Don’t judge others. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘do not judge a man unless you’ve walked a mile in his shoes’. Another one along those lines is pretty simple, ‘be kind to everyone, we all have unseen battles’. I don’t believe in using one’s past to form an opinion about them in the present. What’s the point? What do I know about what they may have endured in their life to get them to where they are today? Who am I to point a finger, or turn my head just because of the past? By fully accepting people for who they are, that is beautiful. That makes a person desirable, knowing that they will always open their arms to you without hesitation.

Don’t gossip. Ok, I love a good tabloid just like the next person. Honestly, there are times that Lindsay Lohan’s seemingly train wreck of a life makes mine look normal. I agree that a good morsel of Hollywood dirt can shake your troubles away for a short time, but I’m talking about the people who aren’t in the spotlight…everyday people who don’t welcome media into their life. Don’t make fun of people, or talk badly about them…it just makes you look bad.

I’ve just noticed lately that people seem to go to either extreme. They’re either generous to a fault and do nothing but good for others, or they are full of themselves and are in this life to see what they can get out of it. So many people like to point fingers at others and twist situations around and place blame, instead of taking responsibility for themselves and realizing their actions affect others.

Be grateful. A simple thank you goes a long way in showing someone you appreciate what they do. It makes them feel good, and it will make you feel good too by knowing  you’ve acknowledged their kindness.

Smile. Remember the song from Annie? “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile”. It’s true…it should be the final accessory you put on for the day, and the one you don’t remove. I’m not saying you should walk around all day looking like you have a coat hanger stuck in your mouth, but a simple smile when greeting others can transform your features and your voice, and smiles are contagious…start spreading them around!

So, no product review, no how-to advice today. Just a simple rant on being  nice to people. There is no sense in being rude, judgemental, or downright mean to people. It’s simply not attractive.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Email me your Q&A Monday questions at

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning, and Happy Monday. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I got some great questions this week. Read on about lemon juice and lightening hair, permanent makeup, and a nail polish fix!

Dear Brooke, I want to do some lightening to my hair, maybe some streaks, can I use lemon juice instead of hair color? Joan M.

Dear Joan, Ah the multi-tasking lemon! I’ve used it to clean with, cook with, and in my skin care. Lemon has been used for a long time for many reasons. I know it’s been used by many people to lighten their hair in the summer time. You didn’t mention what color your hair is, so I don’t know that using lemons would work for you. Blonde or light brown hair takes best to a lemon juice rinse, or a spray made with lemon juice and diluted with water. Dark brown hair won’t get anything but brassy tones. Most people use lemon to lighten their hair mixed with spending lots of time in the sun. That being said, lemon juice and sunshine are going to lighten your hair, but there is a big risk of hair damage by doing this. Sun dries out hair, and lemon juice will dry out hair as well. I have dark brown hair; I tried this one summer and I ended up with dry, brassy hair. Not a good look. I don’t usually recommend store-bought color, but if I had to choose for you, I would say save the lemons for lemonade and grab a highlighting kit from Target!

Dear Brooke, I have been considering permanent makeup for years. Have you done it? What are your thoughts on it? Tracey C.

Dear Tracey, I have never gotten permanent makeup done myself, but I have considered it for a long time as well. Permanent makeup is basically the same process as getting a tattoo, because that is how they apply it and that is the reason it’s permanent. It’s mostly popular on the eyes, being done as eyeliner or filling in eyebrows. It seems to be gaining popularity in the industry and it’s no longer such an ordeal to find someone who does it. Obviously, you want to look for someone with all the right certifications and with lots of experience. The best way to do this is to ask around and find someone who’s done it, or knows someone who’s had it done and see how it looks on them and get their opinion. I’ve always wanted it done for eyeliner. The idea of waking up in the morning and already looking done for the day is so appealing! But, I will say, the idea of having someone tattoo color onto my eyelids is a little freaky. If I ever get it done, I’ll write about it. If you get it done, let me know what you think! Good luck!

Dear Brooke, How can I get nail polish to look as good on my nails as it does in the bottle? I buy these fun colors based on what they look like, but when I put them on myself, they streak and don’t apply evenly. Help!! Alex B.

Dear Alex, I know what you mean! It is very annoying to have to apply coat after coat of nail polish and only end up with a gooey mess on your hands…literally! Not only is it irritating that the color is not as pretty as it is in the bottle, but who has that kind of time to sit and let it dry?? I just picked up a great tip for this problem. Instead of a clear base coat, use a white polish, like what you see used for a French manicure. Let it dry all the way before applying your brighter color. The reason this works is, the white polish provides an opaque base and makes the true color of the polish show up. It also helps prevent dark nail polish from staining your skin. Give this a try and let me know if it helps!

As always, thanks for the great questions. Keep them coming! Send me your Q&A Monday questions at

You’ve Been Beautified!

Facial Mask Recipes

For all your beauty advice…

It’s no secret I’m a fan of homemade spa treatments. I get asked a lot about do-it-yourself skin care, especially masks. It’s great to know that so many secrets to beautiful skin can be found right in your kitchen…or a few blocks away at the grocery store. So, I thought I would share some fun facial mask recipes for everyone to try.

One of the easiest, and one of my favorite, masks to make is one made from yogurt, honey and oatmeal. These three ingredients are good for moisturizing, nourishing, cleansing, and exfoliating your skin. I believe this is a good one for all skin types. Start with plain yogurt. If you have normal to dry skin, choose a yogurt that is higher in fat content for added moisture. Combination to oily skin should choose low-fat or non fat yogurt for this mask. Start with about a cup of yogurt, add in 1/4 cup of ground up oatmeal, and warm up a few tablespoons of honey in the microwave, just enough to thin it out some, and drizzle into the mixture. Oatmeal is very easy to grind up; throw it in a blender or food processor, or break it up with a spoon. Mix all ingredients together and apply to clean skin. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse. As you rinse, use circular motions and the oatmeal with gently exfoliate your skin. If you want a deeper level of scrub, you can use ground up almonds in this recipe as well as, or instead of, the oatmeal.

I am always seeing products that are enhanced with vitamin C and grape seed extract, and they cost a fortune. It’s no secret that the acids in fruit are great for your skin. I like to make fruit masks with whatever I have lying around. There really aren’t exact measurements, you just mash, smash, mix and apply! I like to use kiwi and banana as a face mask. It’s refreshing, it tightens pores, and the kiwi seeds are little exfoliators to polish up the skin and make it look like you spent a day at the spa. One note of advice: test any fruit based mask on kids before putting the entire mixture on their face. When I tried this mask, my family wanted in on the fun and I put it on my 9-year-old and her skin was very sensitive to all the acids. She looked gorgeous when we took it off, though! See? Beauty equals pain!! You can add yogurt to your fruit mask for moisture and it will help thicken up the mixture and stay on your skin better. Again, 10-15 minutes, then rinse.

Avocado isn’t just for guacamole! It is a great moisturizer for your skin. Simply take half an avocado and a few teaspoons of olive oil and mix together. This is great for dry skin and mature skin. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and your skin will feel soft and moisturized. Sprinkle the other half of the avocado with a little garlic salt and enjoy while you’re masking.

For oily and acne-prone skin, try an egg white mask. Simply remove the yolk from an egg, add a little lemon juice to the egg white and beat until you have a dense consistency. Apply to clean skin and leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse. This will help clear up blemishes and control oil on your skin.

There are so many different variations of homemade facial masks. Really, there are no rules, so get creative with what you have! You don’t NEED the honey in the yogurt face mask, so if you’re out it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of yogurt on your skin. It’s fun to play with your food! I can almost guarantee, if you start mixing ingredients together for a mask, pretty soon the whole family will be involved. Any time I’ve tried to make a mask for just me, within minutes the kids, and even my husband, are all wanting to join in the fun. Getting beautiful and bonding at the same time? Priceless! 

What are your favorite homemade masks and skin care recipes? Can’t wait to hear!

Email me with your Q&A Monday questions at

You’ve Been Beautified!


For all your beauty advice…

A new generation of women are rising up and redefining beauty in regards to sunbathing. Sunbathing may cause more than twice as many life-threatening cancers as previously suspected, scientists disclosed yesterday. Our propensity to toast ourselves on the beach could be linked with the 40 per cent rise in the blood cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as the increase in skin cancer.

Wow. That gives you something to think about, doesn’t it? I copied that from someone’s Facebook status, I didn’t write it. I’m not here to preach about skin cancer or anything like that; I’m not a doctor and I don’t like discussing disease.  But, it got me thinking about the lengths we will go for some color on our skin. How many of you out there are still using tanning beds? Shame on you! How many of you will go in the sun for hours at a time and either fail to reapply your sunscreen, or you just don’t bother with it in the first place? Don’t even get me started…I hope you’re enjoying your peeling skin right about now…you know who you are! Yes, I understand we don’t want to look pale and translucent. A little color on the skin can make a huge difference in our appearance, but let’s do this right.

Self tanning products are everywhere now. They come in so many ways of delivery, too. Gel, lotion, mousse, tan towels, spray, etc. And of course, there’s the every day lotion that gradually darkens your skin over time and claims to not streak. I think that’s the biggest fear people have when they think of self tanning. I know it took me a long time to get it right. I still sometimes mess it up. There are tons of brands to choose from, but the most important thing of all is learning how to apply, and what steps you need to take to prep the skin.

Just like it takes time to lay out in the sun and willingly fry your skin, it takes time to apply self tanner and get your skin ready. You want to make sure you start exfoliating your body a few days before you are going to apply your tanning product. This is a very important step, because your skin has build up of dead skin cells and the thicker the layer of build up, the faster the product will rub off. By getting rid of that layer, the tanning product will last longer and will apply more evenly.

Where to start? First, to avoid discoloration around your fingernails and cuticles, apply some vaseline to this area. This will create a barrier between your skin and the product, and prevent your nails from getting stained…saving your mani in the process! Or grab some latex gloves to save your hands and nails. The process of applying self tanner is pretty much like applying body lotion, you just have to do it slower and make sure all areas are getting covered. Most people like to start with their legs and then work on the arms, and finish with the torso and the back. A great tip I picked up is, when applying keep your fingers tightly together. If your fingers are separated, it can cause streaking. Apply using circular motions for an even application. Ease up on the product around tough spots like knees and elbows. Wait for the product to dry! If you get dressed right away without all of the tanning product absorbing, you risk streaking. You don’t want all your hard work ruined.

Afraid to do it yourself? Try a tanning salon. Not the beds! Please, please, please stop using the beds! A lot of tanning salons are now offering the spray tan. Sometimes it’s just worth the price to have someone else, or a machine, do the work for you.

What are your favorite self tanning products? Do you get spray tanning done, or are you still using the beds? What method do you prefer your self tanner to be? Lotion, gel, mousse or tanning towels? As always, I’m looking forward to your response.

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty On A Budget…e.l.f.

For all your beauty advice…

The first time I heard about e.l.f., also known as Eyes Lips Face, was by a very excited phone call from someone telling me that Nordstrom bought out this company and has to sell all the stock with the e.l.f. name on it and you can stock up for only a dollar! There was such urgency, I had to check it out. I found their website and started shopping! But, as I was shopping around and frantically adding things to my cart so I wouldn’t miss out on a sale, I noticed that their site was going strong and there was no breaking news banner announcing this big deal with Nordstrom. So I started Googling. (God, I love Google!) Come to find out, it’s a scam…some mass email was going out to people saying this, and there was never any truth to it according to Nordstrom. I don’t know why it started, some think it was being used to phish information from people, but it just wasn’t true. Did I want to try this makeup still? Yes, I was curious, but now that I knew there wasn’t some big rush, I calmly deleted my shopping cart and decided to wait for another time.

Another time came just a few weeks ago. I like finding bargain products, I like finding any products, and trying them out to review. The first time I did Beauty On A Budget, Wet ‘N Wild was the star of the show because I got almost everything I tried for a dollar. e.l.f. is also known for having almost everything in their line priced at $1. Can’t beat that. I decided to give it a shot and see if it’s decent quality. I ordered a dozen products for $18.95. Each product was $1 and shipping was $6.95.

I went overboard on lipgloss…oops! I couldn’t help myself. The Hypershine lip gloss is identical to Stila Lip Glaze in the packaging. Same size, shape, and method of delivery. But, does it stand up to Stila? The answer to that is, yes! I was so impressed with this lip gloss. In my experience, cheap lip gloss is just that…cheap. It’s either way too sticky or feels like you’re putting oil on your lips because there is no consistency. This stuff is absolutely fantastic! While it does have a light scent to it, it does not have any kind of flavor to it, which I prefer. So many lip glosses have a little sweetness to them and that seems to make me lick my lips all the time. e.l.f. Hypershine gloss is awesome, and I’ll be getting more…when I can justify it!

I bought a couple of face products, too. Shimmering Facial Whip, All Over Color Stick, and Natural Radiance Blush. The All Over Color Stick is a good multitasker. It can be used as a bronzer, an eyeshadow, or a lipstick. It has a good consistency and doesn’t feel sticky. The same can be said with the Shimmering Facial Whip. It serves the same purpose as the All Over Color Stick, but it’s in a liquid form instead of solid. These two products are kind of an add-on, that you would use to highlight certain features…a finishing touch. I generally don’t use products like that, but I wanted to try something new, and at a dollar each, why not! The Natural Radiance Blush is nothing to write home about…so I won’t. Let me just say the color in the container was not what showed up on my face…barely anything showed up, so that tells me there isn’t much pigment there. Not worth it.

I ordered for lips, I ordered for face, and since this line is called Eyes Lips Face, I figured I better get some products for the eyes. I’ll be up front here and tell you this category of products disappointed me the most. I got an eyeshadow quad, a cream eyeshadow duo, a waterproof eye liner pen, a white eyeliner, and a mascara duo that sported regular mascara on one end, and waterproof mascara on the other end. The eyeshadow, much like the blush, was not true to the color at all. It stayed on through the day ok, but it really didn’t look like I had any on. The cream eyeshadow wasn’t true to the color at all…it was only ok. The waterproof eyeliner was hard to apply. It looks like a felt tip pen, but the tip on this was hard and it dragged at my eyes when I applied it. The same can be said for the white eyeliner. The biggest disappointment of all was the mascara. I applied and applied and applied and it looked like I wasn’t wearing any.

Bottom line? Stay away from the eye products, play with the face products, and stock up on the lip products! Have you tried e.l.f.? What are your thoughts on this product line? Can’t wait to hear!

Email me your Q&A Monday questions at

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good Morning, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend, and a nice Father’s Day. As always, thanks for the questions. Read on about sunburn, clarifying shampoo, and removing hair color from your hands.

Dear Brooke, Over the weekend, even though I wore sunblock, I still managed to get burned. Do you have any tips on how to deal with a sunburn? Julie B.

Dear Julie, Let me start by saying, sorry you got a sunburn. I hate that! Sunburned skin can be such a nuisance…dry, itchy, it stings, not to mention it’s hot! The first thing to remember is to drink lots of water and stay hydrated! Aloe Vera gel has been a longtime sunburn soother. If you have a plant, snap off one of the leaves and use the gel from the plant on your burn. You can also buy an after sun Aloe Vera gel by Banana Boat. I know some people are still using the old stand-by, Noxema. I can’t smell that stuff without thinking of past summers and suffering burns. A good home remedy that works, but smells a little: vinegar. Put some vinegar and water into a spray bottle and spray on your burn. This should stop the stinging and ease inflammation. Check out Soothe A Sunburn for some more tips on how to ease the pain of too much fun in the sun.

Dear Brooke, I was just told I need a clarifying shampoo, but I wasn’t told why. What is a clarifying shampoo, and why would my stylist tell me I need one? Mary C.

Dear Mary, Why would your stylist tell you that you need something and not back it up with reasons why? Sorry, I know you’re asking me the questions, but that was the first thing that came to mind when I read this. A clarifying shampoo is designed to remove build up from your hair. Do you ever notice how sometimes your hair feels weighed down and “coated”? That’s from build up from products over time. Conditioner, styling gel and mousse, hairspray, chlorine, etc. can leave build up on your hair and cause bad hair days. A clarifying shampoo can remove the build up and give your hair a fresh start. You don’t want to use it every day, that will strip the hair of its natural oils. If you have a lot of build up, use it once a week for about a month. Once it feels healthy again, switch to a maintenance routine and just use it once a month. Almost every hair care line will have a clarifying shampoo, or you can ask your stylist which one they would recommend. (and since your stylist doesn’t seem to offer up much information, come armed with lots of questions) Follow the directions on the bottle, some shampoos recommend you leave it one for a few minutes, some don’t. You want to make sure you are following the instructions so you get the best results. Good luck!

Dear Brooke, Every time I dye my hair, no matter how much I rinse it, the first time I style it, my fingers turn black! Do you have a quick fix to remove color from my cuticles and nails? It’s driving me nuts!!! Thanks! Melissa F.

Dear Melissa, I love that you always have a good question for me! Thanks for being so devoted. Well, when I first read the question, my initial response was going to be, make sure you are rinsing your hair enough. While I don’t doubt your rinsing skills, it sounds like you may have hair color left behind on your scalp. I’ve had this happen to me before. I’ve rinsed my hair great, but I didn’t get all the product off my scalp. When you start to rinse, massage your scalp really well while rinsing to loosen up any of the product that has adhered to your scalp. See if that makes a difference. If you still find yourself with color on your hands, some quick home remedies that always work for me are #1 baking soda and dish soap. Mix equal parts of these two and massage into the stained areas and rinse. #2, my old stand by: nail polish remover…works like a charm.

Thanks for the questions. Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at

You’ve Been Beautified!