Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning, and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend…why do they go so fast? Thank you for sending me your questions. Read on about if your hair is affected by the tanning bed, velcro rollers battling a perm, and homemade treatments to add shine to your hair. Looks like hair care is the theme of this Q&A Monday.

Dear Brooke, I like to tan on a regular basis (spare me the lectures, I’m aware of the dangers). My question for you is, can the tanning bed damage my hair? I like to think I’m using the right products to protect my skin, even though I tan, but I have often wondered about the fate of my hair. Thanks! Tina M.

Dear Tina, Ok, I will spare you the lecture on dangers of using a tanning bed…as long as you know what the long-term issues may be. Just like the sun can dry out your hair, or fade your color, tanning beds may pose the same problem…more-so if you have chemically processed hair (color-treated or permed). On the days you are going to tan, use a conditioner that has sunscreen, or a treatment product that is designed to protect your hair from the sun. Also, if you tan consistently, make sure you are doing a deep conditioning treatment once a week to keep your hair healthy. Check with your tanning salon about what kind of products they offer to protect your hair. You might also want to ask your salon what the guidelines are on headwear while using the bed. If you can wear something to cover your hair, do that for an added layer of protection.

Dear Brooke, About a week ago, you wrote an article on the difference between hot rollers and velcro rollers and you said if you had to choose between the two, you would choose velcro rollers. My question to you is, will velcro rollers still give me the look of a salon blow-out if I have permed hair? I am afraid to try them because I fear my hair will turn out frizzy! Thanks! Jera D.

Dear Jera, This is a great question…it makes me remember that when I throw out a styling tip, it may not be for everyone. Velcro rollers can be used on permed hair, but you need to make sure you are using the right product to help smooth your hair, so it doesn’t turn into a frizzy mess. Get an anti-frizz serum to put on your hair and then style with the velcro rollers. It may take a little longer to get the look you are aiming for, if you’re using velcro. Keep some hot rollers on hand; using them will be a faster process if you’re wanting to change the look of your hair, but don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to styling and blow drying.

Dear Brooke, I love your homemade skin care and hair mask recipes. Do you have any tips for treatments I can whip up at home to add some shine to my hair? Melissa F.

Dear Melissa, Thank you for your question…thanks for all the great questions you send me, I love your loyalty! Doing home hair masks/treatments is as simple as opening up your fridge, or just heading to the grocery store for some basic ingredients. I recently wrote about homemade hair masks, but I’m happy to share a quick recipe with you right now. Take three tablespoons of olive oil, and mix with two tablespoons of honey. Apply the mixture to your hair, top with a shower cap for about 20 minutes and rinse. This will make your hair soft and shiny, and it’s made from ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. I love homemade hair and skin treatments, have fun!

Thanks for the great questions this week…keep them coming! Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Celebrity Hairstylist Tara Smith Holding Casting Call At Duane Reade

For all your beauty advice…   


Exciting news for those of you who are in New York City this week!! British Celebrity Hairstylist Tara Smith has teamed up with ExploreModeling.com to launch a nationwide casting in search of a new “Top Model” to represent the Tara Smith Hair Care Range.   

Tara will be at Duane Reade in Union Square NYC on September 15th looking to fulfill the final “Top Model“ spot. The lucky female selected will be included in a photo shoot in NYC on September 16 photographed by Celebrity Photographer Russell Baer. The final photos will appear on both ExploreModeling.com and TaraSmith.com and the video will be shown on over 10 video sharing sites that have partnered with ExploreModeling.com



The “Top Model” will receive $500 in cash, $500 in product from Envite.com and $200 worth of Tara Smith Hair Care products! (Jealous!!)  


Tara has already chosen four female models for the photo shoot through online model searches with the video-based modeling website ExploreModeling.com, leaving one spot for the lucky winner! To enter for a chance to be the next “Top Model” for the Tara Smith Hair Care Range please RSVP to Amy at: amy@exploremodeling.com.   







The Tara Smith Hair Care range is a new line of natural and organic hair products in the US. The line consists of shampoos, conditioners and styling products, which are salon-quality, and has high performance and are environmentally friendly that are available at a reasonable and affordable price. The Tara Smith Hair Care line has already won the highly commended “Best Organic Launch” at the 2008 Pure Beauty Awards in the UK. Tara’s unique products signal the first hair care brand to combine natural and organic ingredients with low chemical formulations and certified organic fragrances that offer salon-quality performance. Tara’s hair care range is free of harsh chemicals, is cruelty free and uses recyclable packaging. Tara is taking steps towards revolutionizing the hair care industry through her unique, planet-friendly range. Check it out on tarasmith.com  





About ExploreModeling.com 




Few would admit it, but almost everyone has either pursued modeling, dreamed about being a model, or, at the very least, wondered what being a model would be like. You don’t have to look like Heidi Klum to be a professional model, but you do have to do the right things to get there. Often, a lack of information about modeling, misconceptions about the industry, or being deliberately led astray by costly scams makes becoming a professional model harder than it should be. Cristina DeHart has been a working professional model for the past 15 years. She founded ExploreModeling.com as a video-based website that provides open and honest information about the modeling industry. Through this website, Cristina helps people navigate the tumultuous waters of the modeling industry by providing them with the tools and information they need to set and reach their goals. ExploreModeling.com also teams up with fashion-oriented brands, publications, and talent to bring high-profile modeling opportunities to its registered users. 



Sounds like a great opportunity! So, if you, or someone you know who has fabulous hair, are in NYC this week, check out this casting call! It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun, and the prizes are amazing!! Tara Smith Hair Care sounds great, and as soon as I get my hands on some, I will be doing a review! If you make it to the casting call, let me know. I want to know who wins, and how much fun it was! Good luck…may the person with the most fabulous hair win!!  


You’ve Been Beautified!    







Permed Hair…Do Or Don’t?

For all your beauty advice…

Most of us have done it at one time or another…and most of us have wondered why? Why did we think it was ok to put ourselves through the torture of getting a perm? Was the thought of having to sit still for approximately 2 hours, or more, having our hair tugged and pulled, and having nasty chemicals placed on our hair that burn us and make us stink for days, worth it for the end result? Well, at one point in our lives (mine anyway) it was totally worth it. Having a perm in your hair can make life a lot easier once your hair settles down and the curl relaxes. Endless minutes spent styling your hair can be put to better use, because your hair is already “done”.  But, people ask me about perms all the time. They want to know, with all the straight and wavy styles, is anyone even perming their hair anymore? They weren’t for a long time, I’ll admit. But, with some new techniques and products on the market, I have a feeling permanent waves will make their way back into many women’s lives.

Once upon a time, women allowed professionals to actually hook their hair up to a machine for a perm. Well, back then they weren’t “professionals” they were “beauty operators”. Much like perms, stylists have come a long way! I find it hard to believe, and a little crazy, that it once took a machine to perm hair. I saw one once at a museum and it looks like a torture device!

 No Thank You!!

From there, we graduated from your basic perm with small rods, to spiral perms that people still embrace. The latest trend in perming the hair is the beach wave perm. This can be done a couple of ways. Perm rods have stayed consistent with what’s trendy, and you can get rods that range from the size of a pencil to the size of a soup can. Even spiral rods have stepped up and gotten bigger. People want movement to their hair these days, they don’t want to look like a poodle! Not too long ago, I saw perm rods that looked just like the toe spacers you would use in a pedicure. The concept was to weave the hair throughout the spacer and perm it from the middle of the hair shaft to the bottom. I played around with it once, and it’s hard to control. But, have no fear! You can still accomplish beach waves with old school perm rods, you just start rolling the hair at mid-shaft instead of at the root. It’s a tricky process, so I highly recommend you let a professional do it.

The perm solutions have come a long way, as well. Anyone who’s done this knows it’s a two-step process…the waving solution and the neutralizer. The waving solution is going to smell no matter how advanced technology becomes. The active ingredient that makes the magic happen stinks. If someone can change that, they’re set for life! The second step, the neutralizer, doesn’t burn and they usually smell good to help mask the smell of the first step. Perm solutions have become more gentle and some are even infused with nutrients for your hair.

I’ve noticed in magazines (I admit I’ve been reading too many tabloids lately) most hair styles are slowly changing from loose beach waves, to loose spiral curls. I think the spiral perm is great. I loved it when it first arrived in the world of hair, and I still love it! A friend of mine had one done not too long ago, and her hair looks great. It always looks done, and it only takes her a few minutes a day to style her hair. I also have a handful of friends who have naturally curly hair and I envy those ringlets! Of course, they love to straighten their hair when they can. We always want what we don’t have, right?

I’ve had some good perms in my past, and I’ve had some really bad perms! I’ve been thinking I may go down that road again. What do you think? Permed Hair…Do or Don’t?

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

September Contest!!!

For all your beauty advice…

I recently did a review of Batiste…a truly amazing dry shampoo. Being a girl who loves her shampoo and looks forward to suds-ing up in the shower, I’ve always been hesitant to try a dry shampoo.

 I decided to get over that, and make it my goal to try every dry shampoo on the market. I decided to stop looking once I tried Batiste…it’s that good. I contacted the wonderful people who introduced me to Batiste and asked them if they could spare a can of this dry shampoo that I can share with my readers. They came through for me and sent me a can of the original scent to give away in a contest!

My last contest I had, I requested people to send me pictures of your pedicures, good and bad, for some pedicure essentials as the prize. So, are you wondering what you’re going to have to do to score this prize? No, you are not going to have to send me pictures of your dirty hair! All you’re going to have to do, is 3 simple things.

#1, become a fan of my BrookeKnowsBeauty page on Facebook. #2, become a fan of Batiste on Facebook. #3, post on my Facebook wall that you completed these steps, and your name will be entered into a drawing to win the dry shampoo. How easy is that? Very easy, so do it now and tell your friends to do it, too!

The winner of this contest is getting a FULL size, 5.05 oz. can of Batiste Dry Shampoo, Original Scent. It’s so easy to use, and the Original Scent will leave your hair feeling clean, full of body, and smelling great! Check out Batiste online to see where you can purchase a can…unless you win ;). This contest is going to run through the month of September, so there’s plenty of time to enter and spread the word. Thanks for reading!

Send me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Hot Rollers Vs. Velcro Rollers

For all your beauty advice…

Those of us who grew up in the 80’s remember what it’s like to handle hot rollers, figure out how to put them in and make them stay, and remain patient while we waited for them to cool off so we could have perfectly curly hair. Next, we graduated from hot rollers to velcro rollers. They looked like any other hair roller, but the result is different from what you get when you use hot rollers. Both types of rollers are useful for any hair length and they both give you different looks. So, exactly what purpose do they each serve, and does anyone even use hot rollers anymore?

Hot rollers are generally ceramic rollers covered thinly with a velvety material, or they have spikes all over the roller to resemble a brush. They come in a square, or rectangular, case and each roller sits on an individual heating element. Plug them in, let them heat up, and start rolling! Hot rollers tend to give a pronounced curl and the style tends to last longer because of the heat. When your hair heats up, the outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, opens and allows your hair to transform to the shape its wrapped around. As your hair cools, the cuticle closes, trapping in the shape of the roller, giving you bouncy curls. Hot rollers perform very similar to a curling iron, but they allow you to set your hair all at once and have your hands free while they cool. Conair makes some of the best/most affordable styling tools. Yes, you can certainly spend more, but if you’re looking for quality and affordability, Conair is the way to go.

So, if hot rollers are so great, why use velcro? Velcro rollers are going to give you an entirely different look. Velcro rollers will give you a loose curl, but are mostly used to add volume and smooth out the hair. You know how you desperately want to achieve the blow-out your stylist gives you, but for the life of you, you can’t recreate it at home? Try using velcro rollers, you will get very similar results to what your stylist does. Blow dry your hair until it’s almost all the way dry, but still slightly damp. Set your hair with the velcro rollers and spray with spray gel, or hair spray and hit the rollers with the blow dryer for a few minutes. You’ll want to do this a few times, letting your hair cool between shots from the dryer. This is a perfect time to do your makeup, by the way. Remove the rollers from your hair and brush through with your fingers, or a hair brush. Check out Sally Beauty Supply for a variety of sizes.

Pros and cons of both rollers? Pro of hot roller: lasting curl. Con of hot roller: they can be tough to use…it can be difficult learning how to control your hair to wrap around the roller, and they can be heavy and not stay in place because they keep falling. Pro of velcro roller: easy to use…they grab right on to the hair so it’s easy to set your hair with velcro, and they are self-gripping, so you don’t need clips to keep them in place. Con of velcro roller: because they are actually velcro, removing them can be somewhat painful because the hair grips onto the velcro and it can hurt when you remove them.

There’s the difference between the two, in case you’ve ever wondered. I have to say, I was a big fan of hot rollers until I discovered velcro rollers. I haven’t touched a hot roller in years! What about you? Do you have a preference between rollers, or do you stay away from them altogether? As always, I look forward to your response.

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good Morning and Happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoys the Labor Day holiday today. Have fun hanging out with friends, enjoy the official end of summer, and don’t forget your sunscreen! Thanks for the great questions this week. Read on!

Dear Brooke, I have a question that may seem kind of basic, but it’s something I’ve always wondered about. My daughter likes to peel the nail polish off her nails. I’ve always thought this was bad for your nails, but like most daughters, she thinks I’m wrong. Can you weigh in on this and give us your thoughts? Ellen P.

Dear Ellen, this is a great question. I know it can seem like a convenient thing to do, but peeling the nail polish off your nails is not a good idea. Every time you peel the nail polish off your nail, you are peeling a little bit of your nail right along with the polish. Have you ever noticed how white and dry nails look once polish has been peeled off? Any moisture that is in the nail bed, is also being peeled away with the polish as well. This can result in dry, brittle nails, and the nail itself may start peeling and that’s never fun. If you can’t convince your daughter that you were right, have her read this. Or better yet, treat her to a manicure and give the nail tech a heads up before you come in and she can pass on healthy nail education to your daughter. Good luck!

Dear Brooke, I often find that, by the middle of the day, my hair has fallen flat and lost all its style. I use a volumizing mousse every day, but it never holds the style I desire. Do you have any tips, or product suggestions on how I can keep my style fresh? Thanks! Heather T.

Dear Heather, I agree, it’s very frustrating when you walk out the door looking perfect for the day, and just a few hours later, the whole thing is flat and it doesn’t look like you’ve spent 5 minutes on your hair at all. There are different things that might be contributing to your problem. Humidity can wreak havoc on any style, so if your place of work is humid, that could be part of the problem. You didn’t tell me if your hair is fine, normal, thick, curly, straight, etc. But there are ways around this issue, no matter what your hair type. First of all, pay attention to how much you touch your hair throughout the day. Constantly running your fingers through your hair breaks down the product you have used and deposits oil and dirt from your fingers onto your hair causing it to lose its style and add static. Not fun! I have come across a great product for this issue. It’s called Full Thickening Cream by Living Proof. It’s a styling cream that is great for all hair types. It blocks humidity from the hair, and it doesn’t fall flat if you catch yourself playing with your hair. It’s pricey, but worth it if this is an ongoing problem. You can ask for a sample of it at Sephora and see what you think.

Dear Brooke, I have natural nails and I love to polish them. What frustrates me is, not even one day after I’ve given myself a manicure, my polish is chipped or has started to peel away. I do wash my hands a lot at work, and I know this is part of the problem, but do you have any suggestions on a certain brand of polish that holds up the best? Thank you, Jera D.

Dear Jera, I know how frustrating this is! When I cut hair full-time, I could never keep my nails polished because of how often my hands were wet and the polish just chipped away. I haven’t come across a nail polish that won’t budge unless you want it to, but I have figured out ways to make my manicure last a little longer. First, make sure you prep your nails properly. Before you start to polish, give them a quick swipe with some polish remover to make sure there is no lotion or oil of any kind on the nail bed. Try Chip Skip by OPI. It’s designed to keep your polish from chipping, or wearing off. Follow the directions on the bottle for best results. A couple of brands I have found to work best on natural nails for color are: CND, formerly known as Creative Nail Design, CND has vamped up their entire collection and it works great on natural nails. Also, Essie polishes have great staying power on natural nails. Hope that helps!

Send me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Pretty Toes/Ugly Toes Winners!

For all your beauty advice…

As summer comes to an end, I wanted to have some fun with a pedicure contest. For those of you who didn’t know what was going on, (that’s your fault for not reading) I requested readers to send me pictures of their toes. There would be two winners: One winner for the pretty toes category, and One for the ugly toes category. The prize? Each winner will receive some pedicure essentials, to either keep their feet in tip-top shape, or to help get your toes in shape, depending on which category you chose to enter. I have to say, I got more entries for the pretty toes than I did the ugly toes. I guess not many people were willing to show me that their feet need some help. No worries, it was all in fun.

This entry was very cute.

Although she didn’t get chosen as the winner, this person had some cute toes! She did the watermelon motif herself, and she did a great job! Very cute! This photo inspired my daughters to get out their nail polish and nail art supplies and start creating fruit on their nails.

And now, for the winner:

These sassy toes were sent in to me at the last-minute to be considered for the Pretty Toes category! Cute, fancy and sparkly, how could these not win? Congrats to our pretty toe winner, I will be in touch with you so I can send you your prize.

Now, for our ugly toes.

Really, they aren’t ugly. This winner was chosen for a few reasons, first of all, she was one of the very few brave enough to send in a picture of her feet for the Ugly category, and second of all, she works on her feet all day and her toenail polish is chipped and her tired feet need some love. So, thank you for being so brave to send me a picture of your tootsies! I will also be contacting you soon to send you your prize.

Miss playing along to this contest? No problem! I have another contest coming soon, and the prize is pretty awesome! Spread the word, tell your friends, and follow me on Facebook. You won’t want to miss this contest!

Send me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Fall Skin Care

For all your beauty advice…

As we transition from summer to fall, (and I breathe a sigh of relief from the heat) it’s important to treat your skin right and transition your summer skin care products to your fall products. Just like you won’t be wearing your summer clothes into the chill of the fall, you also won’t be using the same products on your skin. In the summer, we’re focused on keeping oil at bay, and having our makeup stay put in the heat and humidity. Now that fall is almost here, it’s important to keep skin clean and hydrated, but the products that you use should be different from the ones that got you through the heat of the summer. As the weather changes, so does your skin; using the same products you did through the summer won’t give you the benefits your skin needs.

During the months of autumn, your skin needs extra hydration (and well into winter!) If you’ve been using a gel cleanser, or a purifying cleanser, change that one out with a cream cleanser. I used to steer clear of cream cleansers because of my oily skin, but I found that Purity from Philosophy is gentle enough on my skin, but it still gives me that little bit of lather I crave so much. It’s not a cream, or a gel…it’s somewhere in between.

Switch to an alcohol-free toner, if you’ve been using one. I know a lot of people who toss their toners all together once the weather changes, but if it’s a step you can’t live without in your skin care routine, then find one that’s alcohol-free. Toners with alcohol are great for soaking up oil and keeping your skin clear, but in the cooler weather, you want to make the switch to avoid damage to your skin. Try the Rosewater and Glycerin Toner by Burt’s Bees. I love Burt’s Bees and have never been disappointed with any product by Burt! The natural ingredients in this product gently purify the skin, but won’t dry you out.

Since your slick skin still needs moisture in the summer months, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll have to introduce a heavier cream for fall. Make sure to still use one with sunscreen…even though the sun might hide on most autumn days, your skin is still exposed to the elements and needs that protection. Hope In A Jar SPF 30 has become my all-time favorite moisturizer. It’s not too heavy, but it provides tons of moisture and protection for your skin. Another great one to try is, Mary Kay Timewise Age-Fighting Moisturizer SPF 15.

Don’t forget to treat your skin to a mask at least once a week. If your on the oily side, stick with a purifying mask once a week. If you’re dry, use a hydrating mask twice a week. For dry skin, try the Rose Face Mask by Fresh. There’s just something yummy about roses in skin care! If you need a purifying mask try Red Rice Purifying Mask by L’Occitane. I’ve never been disappointed with anything by L’Occitane. Just like I want to live in the world of Pacifica, I would like to vacation in the world of L’Occitane!

Fall is the perfect time to give your skin some extra TLC. Schedule a facial at a local spa to freshen up your look and try to get one once a month. If you have some sun damage from all the fun you had this summer, go one step further and get a chemical peel, or a microdermabrasion. Yes, they are expensive treatments, and somewhat uncomfortable, but the end result is well worth it. There is a great peel you can try at home now called The Brazilian Peel. It delivers a high content of glycolic acid to your skin, but it’s paired with a neutralizer so it’s safe to do at home. It comes in a 4 week kit, and it’s about the same price for a 4 week treatment that you would pay for one at a spa. Your skin will look brighter and your skin tone will look more even after just one use.

Those are some basic tips to help you get from summer to fall to winter. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, too! Do you switch out your skin care when the season changes? What are some of your favorite products to use in the fall? I look forward to your response.

Send me your questions for Q&A Monday at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!