Dandruff…Or Dry Scalp?

For all your beauty advice…

I get asked this question a lot…I have flakes of skin on my scalp, and it itches…is it dandruff, or just dry scalp? And, more importantly, is there really a difference? It can be hard to distinguish the difference between dandruff or a dry scalp because the symptoms are very similar. In both cases, there will be white, flaky skin on your scalp that gets into your hair and embarrasses you, and in both cases, your scalp will be itchy and irritated. But, just because the symptoms seem the same, doesn’t mean the condition is the same, or should be treated the same.

So, what is dandruff? Dandruff is a mixture of oil, sweat and bacteria which results in a shedding of scalp tissue…AKA flakes. Gross to think about, I know, but not fun if you’re dealing with it. Because dandruff is a bacteria, it is contagious and you should avoid sharing any of your hair tools if you are suffering from it, and if you think someone may be suffering from it, you should avoid using someone else’s hair tools. Food for thought…avoid using, or sharing, hair tools, period. Just don’t take any chances.

And what is dry scalp? Well, dry scalp is exactly that…a dry scalp. It’s the shedding of dehydrated skin cells on the scalp. The scalp gets dehydrated from over-use of alcohol based products, climate factors, and over scratching your head. The result of a dry scalp is, white flakes that are often mistaken for dandruff. A dry scalp isn’t caused by bacteria, or too much build-up of oil. It’s just dry and needs moisture…STAT!

(Sometimes, it may not be either…it could be a build-up of too much product and you need a clarifying treatment to break down the build-up and get your hair/scalp healthy again. Too much hairspray, gel, or mousse may look like dandruff, or dry scalp, but if you take your fingernails and glide down a strand of hair and it’s white and powdery, that’s product build-up…just want to get that possibility out-of-the-way.)

Whether it’s dandruff, or dry scalp, all is not lost. The conditions can be treated easily and have you on your way to beautiful hair and a healthy scalp in no time. Although similar treatments can be used to get rid of the problem, dry scalp is going to be less of a battle, because it’s just a matter of switching up products, not treating bacteria.

Any professional grade clarifying shampoo is going to help either problem. It will help reduce any buildup of oil, or product, which can attribute to dry scalp. So, use a good clarifying shampoo at least once a week and you’ll start to notice a difference. If you shampoo on a daily basis, use a gentle shampoo. I like Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo. It will help you heal your scalp if it’s dry, but also treat dandruff. If you don’t wash your hair every day and suffer from dandruff, use a dry shampoo to absorb oil; this will allow you to keep overactive oil glands at bay and keep your scalp balanced. I’m a huge fan of Batiste dry shampoo. Hydratherapie from Biolage is a great, every day, moisturizing shampoo that will hydrate and add moisture. Follow up with the Conditioning Balm for best results.

Dry scalp is going to be easier to treat than dandruff; if you have tried professional grade products and you still suffer from dandruff, your best bet is going to be seeing a doctor and getting a prescription shampoo to treat the dandruff.

Dandruff, or dry scalp? Either one is a problem that can be treated. But, hopefully now you have a little more insight to differentiate between the two.

Have you suffered from either condition? What steps did you take to clear up the problem? I look forward to your response.

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

You’ve Been Beautified!

Shea It Isn’t So

For all your beauty advice…

Shea butter has been around for a long time, but it’s become more and more popular in beauty products in recent years. Many products advertise that they are enhanced with Shea butter to get the point across that it’s a very nourishing, and moisturizing product. Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the nut of an african tree. It’s a very thick consistency, often solid at room temperature, but it’s uses are many. Shea butter is a major multi-tasker when it comes to beauty. It’s very thick, but it warms up quickly and it easy to spread around for whatever need you may have.

There are many brands of pure Shea butter on the market, but my all-time favorite is by L’Occitane. (I’ve been meaning to do a L’Occitane review…everything they make is amazing). It comes in a tin that will last you a very long time; it also comes in a small tin that’s great for your purse, or for travel.

So, what exactly is Shea butter’s purpose? It’s highly moisturizing because it’s enriched with Vitamin E. You can certainly buy products that are enriched with this good fat, but you’ll get the best benefit when you buy it in pure form. There are so many uses for Shea butter, and here are some of my favorite tasks for it to perform.

Use it as a lip balm. When I can’t find my go-to lip balm, or when I am out and I find that I have no lipstick, lip balm, or lip gloss with me (gasp! I know!!) I reach for my mini tin of L’Occitane Shea butter and use it as my lip balm. It feels a little strange at first, but once it warms up and absorbs into my lips, it feels great and it’s a wonderful lip treatment. Think of it as a deep conditioner for your lips.

Speaking of deep conditioner: Warm it up in your hands and apply to your hair at night. If your hair is long, concentrate on the ends and braid it and leave it in overnight. When you shampoo and condition the next day, your hair will feel soft and look shiny. You can also use it to protect your hair line when you do your own hair color. Not only will the layer of Shea butter keep hair color from staining your skin, it will nourish the skin around the hair, and keep your follicles healthy.

Keep your nails beautiful with Shea butter by applying it to your cuticles instead of cuticle oil. Not that there’s anything wrong with cuticle oil, but if you don’t have any, and you happen to have Shea butter on hand, you can use it as a cuticle and nail treatment. Rub it in, let it soak in and then apply a hand cream for a mini hand spa treatment.

Apply it where you are about to spray your fragrance; it will act as a primer of sorts and help the fragrance adhere to something, instead of soaking into your skin and wearing off. Your signature scent will last much longer.

Apply it to your feet, especially your heels, before working out. It will absorb into your skin as you warm up from working out, and when you’re done…voila! Mini pedicure! You can also apply it to dry elbows and knees, and if you’re suffering from a cold, dab it onto your nose when it gets dry from too much tissue use.

Pregnant? Use Shea butter to hydrate areas prone to stretch marks and you probably won’t get any at all. Just had a baby? Use it to treat diaper rash.

Traveling? Great! Make sure you have some Shea butter with you to replace any beauty products you may have left behind. It can be used to keep makeup in place; it can replace pomade for your hair so it’s great for short styles.

I could go on and on with how many different ways Shea butter can be used. It’s expensive, but when I tell you it will last a long time, I’m not kidding. I’ve had my huge tin of Shea butter from L’Occitane for over a year. Check out this link for tons of other ways to use your Shea!

Do you use Shea butter? What’s your favorite way to use it? I look forward to your response!

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

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!

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!

Homemade Hair Masks

For all your beauty advice…

In this week’s Q&A Monday, I featured a question from someone asking me about hair masks. It occurred to me that with the family spa nights I like to write about, and the homemade facial recipes I featured, I have neglected to share some ideas for hair mask recipes. It’s fun to get a little messy and have a spa night with friends, kids, and loved ones. Spending a lot of time in the sun, or the pool, can really dry out your hair, so can heat styling, and chemical treating. So I wanted to share with you a few hair mask recipes that will moisturize dull, dry locks, and add lots of shine!

Coconut Oil Hair Mask: Coconut oil is an excellent treatment for your hair to add shine and bounce to dull, dry hair. Treating your hair with coconut oil is easy, and pretty inexpensive when you look at the oil treatments in stores. You can buy coconut oil at most grocery stores, and health food stores. It’s solid at room temperature, so scoop out a few tablespoons and place them in a cup. Place the cup into a pot with enough warm water to cover the bottom of the cup and allow the coconut oil to slowly melt. You can personalize this to your liking with other oils like lavender or rosemary. Or you can just use it as is. Rosemary can help with scalp conditions such as dandruff, and lavender can be used to help relieve stress. Comb your hair out making sure all tangles are gone; you’ll be applying this treatment to dry hair. Start with applying it to the scalp and work it through to the ends of your hair. Put on a shower cap, or use plastic wrap and leave it on for at least 15 minutes. Longer for really dry hair…you can even sleep in this treatment for maximum moisture. Use a gentle shampoo to cleanse; you may have to shampoo twice to get all the oil out. Chances are, you won’t need a conditioner when you’re finished with this treatment.

Brown Sugar/Olive Oil Scalp Treatment: Healthy scalp=healthy hair (full article on that, coming soon). If you have clogged hair follicles, or build up from too much product on your scalp, your hair won’t grow. It’s important to keep your scalp healthy so the follicles stay un-clogged and nourished. A very easy, and wonderful feeling, scrub is made with two simple ingredients. Brown sugar and olive oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and one tablespoon of olive oil and mix them together. Apply directly to your scalp after shampooing, working the mixture in circular motions. The side benefit of this is, massaging your scalp improves circulation, and circulation can help promote hair growth. Rinse out the mixture after you’re done massaging for a few minutes and style your hair as usual.

Olive Oil/Honey Mask: Honey is great for your skin, and it’s also great to use in a hair mask. Honey is a humectant and it will seal the cuticle of the hair and make it shiny. Olive oil is very moisturizing, so the two together will give you soft, shiny hair. Who doesn’t want that? Take three tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of honey, mix them together and apply to your hair. Top with a shower cap, or plastic wrap and leave on for 15-30 minutes, shampoo as usual, rinsing well.

I suggest trying these treatments at night, or on a day off. The point is to take your time and relax. One thing you shouldn’t try? Mayonnaise. I tried this as a mask on my hair once and it smelled like fish for days! Yuck, I know. The things I do in the name of beauty.

Have fun with these, add essential oils and even some fruit. Add some banana to the Olive Oil/Honey Mask to give your hair strength and volume. The great thing about making your own hair masks is, you know exactly what’s going in your product and you can even buy all organic ingredients for a fraction of what you would pay for an already packaged, certified organic product! Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite homemade recipes to treat your hair?

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

You’ve Been Beautified!

Product Review…Silky Dirt By Jonathan

For all your beauty advice…

I’ve learned, in my many years of doing hair, that 2nd day hair is best for creating waves, adding definition, and shine. But, for those of us who prefer to shampoo almost every day, we wonder: is it possible to achieve those traits of beauty on squeaky clean hair? Yes, there are a few ways. One way is to use an abundance of product on your hair and have it feel coated and sticky to touch…or you could just try Silky Dirt by Jonathan.

When I hear Jonathan products mentioned, I think of the wildly popular styling product Dirt. Dirt is a texturizing styling cream that is great for short styles that you want to look “chunky” or “piecey”. Think along the lines of molding mud, or pomade. Like I said, great for short styles. But what about long hair that’s nice and clean, but needs some texture to achieve all those sexy styles you see on the red carpet? That’s where Silky Dirt comes in. Silky Dirt is the same concept as Dirt, but it’s designed for long hair so it’s not as thick as Dirt. Also, if you have dry, or damaged hair, Silky Dirt will give your hair shine.

I have long hair, and it tends to be more frizzy than wavy or curly. I don’t usually leave my hair in its natural state unless it’s a day for a pony tail. (Come to think of it, most days have been pony tail days lately, time to get it cut!) I was excited to try this product because of how popular Dirt is for short hair. Silky Dirt is a medium textured cream, that doesn’t feel sticky on your hair or your hands.

The best way to use Silky Dirt is on almost dry hair, or completely dry hair. Like most quality products, a little goes a very long way with this product. Rub a small amount between your hands, and apply to your hair in sections, focusing on the middle of the hair shaft down to the ends. This product is truly amazing, because the second it touches your hair, everything is transformed. The texture is automatically different, and the definition it gives your hair is amazing, as well. Let your hair continue to air dry, and you will have those beach waves everyone has been trying to perfect for so long!

You can also give your blow-out some texture by using Silky Dirt as a finishing cream. Just style your hair with your round brush and blow dryer as usual, then take a small amount of Silky Dirt, work it into your hands and apply to the middle of the hair shaft down to the ends. This will give your hair a lot of control and shine.

Jonathan products are pretty expensive. This one retails for $28. Yikes! I know. But, it’s a 3.35 ounce tube, and I’ve had it for over a month now and with as much as I’ve used it, there’s not much gone. It’s going to last you a long time. And the smell…WOW!! I can’t describe the smell! I was looking at the ingredients, and I can’t figure out what’s giving it this amazing scent. Cucumber and rose essential water, extracts from lemongrass and pomegranate, shea and mango butter, and sweet almond…all of those mixed together make such a pleasant scent; the first time I tried this product I kept wondering what smelled so good all day…nice to find out it was me!! ha ha!!

All of Jonathan products are made with essential water. The thought behind that is, chlorine and heavy minerals in our water can dry out hair and fade color, and make hair unmanageable. They wanted to put better water in their products to help replace what our every day showers are taking away. Also, almost all of the products in this line are 100% vegan. I know that’s important to a lot of people, and I think it’s great to see brands going that direction.

Check out jonathanproduct.com for a list of all their products and some amazing hair styling tips. Have you tried Silky Dirt, or any other products by Jonathan? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

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

You’ve Been Beautified!

Product Review…Spin Pins

For all your beauty advice…

Move over tacky claw clips, there’s a new product on the market that’s kicking your butt!! Goody has come out with Spin Pins. I saw Spin Pins not too long ago and I passed right on by. They looked kind of boring and, really, what the heck was this tiny spiral of metal going to do for my hair? A lot, evidently. I didn’t think I would ever make the purchase, but a good friend of mine told me I absolutely HAD to have these. Ok, I value her opinion, so I picked them up…and I’m never turning back.

What are Spin Pins? Goody claims that these 2 little twirly pins will do the work of 20 bobby pins. They’re not kidding. Imagine trying to put your hair up for the day, and instead of placing numerous pins in your hair to make it stay, you only need 2. You know that girl you see at the mall, or at work, who always has perfectly messy hair? It looks like she twisted her hair up in a knot and it’s messy, sexy, and you can never achieve that look on yourself?? (Yeah, I hate her too.) Well, now your hair can look like that, too.  What a relief for me, even being a hairstylist. I will freely admit to you that I have never been able to master the up do. Even with 16 years experience doing hair, I struggle with styling. You want your hair cut in the latest fashion? No problem. You want a new color to enhance your best features and give you a fresh look? I’m your girl. You want a bridal up do, or a lovely French twist? Run fast and run far from me!! I excelled in color and chemicals, but styling…not so much. Maybe if these suckers had been around when I was doing hair full-time, I wouldn’t have turned people down who wanted a fancy style.

Spin Pins are really very easy to use. It’s as simple as pulling your hair back into a pony tail, twisting it around into a bun, and twisting in the Spin Pins. They retail for about $6.00 and they’re pretty sturdy, so it’s not like you are only going to get one or two uses out of them, they will last you a long time. They’re great on all hair types, thick or thin. They don’t require directions, but there are some tips to remember. When you spin them in, don’t interlock the pins with each other. You want to pins to grab onto your hair, not each other, they won’t work very well if they’re tangled together. They spin clockwise to go in, and counter-clockwise to come out. For a tight hold, make sure the first one you put in goes deep into your hair and catches on the hair on your head. They won’t work very well on wet hair, so make sure hair is almost all the way dry when you style with Spin Pins.

Spin Pins come in blonde and brunette shades, so they will blend in with your hair color. Great for medium to long length hair, and women of all ages can use them. I know I’ll be keeping these with me at all times. I am wondering how I ever lived without them. I put my hair up a lot, I always have, this not only makes my life easier because it makes it so fast to style, it’s something new and different and that’s always fun. Too bad these weren’t around when I was a teenager…I had to rock the ugly banana clip, remember those??

I want to know who has tried these, and do you love them as much as I do? As always, I look forward to your thoughts!

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

You’ve Been Beautified!

So Many Hairbrushes, Which One To Choose?

For all your beauty advice…

Finding the right hair brush for you can be overwhelming. There are so many to choose from, how do you know which one is going to give you the best style, and which one is going to be your go-to brush when you just need a little grooming? Some of you may think, a brush is a brush, right? Well in some ways, yes. I mean, they all have bristles and handles and look relatively similar. But, just because they look similar doesn’t mean they perform the same. I mean, look at the Jonas Brothers…to me they look the same, but they each perform in different ways. I know that had nothing to do with brushes, but you get my drift. Let’s get back on track here. The shape of the brush, the bristles of the brush, and the core of the brush, allow the brush to do many different things. Whether it’s just for grooming, or for styling, I’m here to help you choose which brush is right for you.

The Paddle Brush: One of my all time favorite brushes. It looks like a small paddle with a soft cushion holding in the bristles. This brush is a multi-tasker, because it can be used for basic grooming, but it can also aid in styling. The paddle brush is great for people with long, thick hair, and it is also great for someone with a tender head. The cushion on a paddle brush really helps with a tender head because as you’re brushing, the bristles “give” a little and don’t cause so much pain when you have tangles. Perfect for kids who run when they see you coming with a brush. A paddle brush is also great for blow drying long hair that’s all one length.

The Vent Brush: Good for styling and basic grooming, but not a good choice for long hair that gets tangled easily. A vent brush is a brush that has openings on the back of the brush so air can move through it…like a vent. They are great with short styles and because of the vents, they allow the hair to dry faster. Once you master how to style with a vent brush, you will wonder what you ever did without it. Not my personal favorite, because I don’t have short hair and I have a tender head. (Yes, I am a princess and I need my paddle brush.)

The Round Brush: Perfect for styling all types of hair because they come in so many sizes. The shorter your hair, the smaller the brush you will want to choose. A round brush is used to smooth the hair and create the perfect blow out. Your hair shouldn’t wrap around the barrel of the brush more than twice, for the best results. If you use a brush that is really small on really long hair, you will probably end up with a tangled mess. Not to mention, it will take you twice as long to style your hair if you use a small brush. I prefer a round brush with a metal core, because when you are heat styling, your blow dryer will heat up the core and help shape your hair to the shape of the brush resulting in a lot of volume and movement. A great tip when you are using a metal core round brush: when you are finished styling, wrap a section in the crown of your hair around the brush and blow dry for a few seconds. With your hair still wrapped in the brush, blast it with cold air from the blow dryer for a few seconds. This will help seal the cuticle of your hair into this style and give you extra volume where you want it.

The Thermal Flat Brush: Think of the paddle brush and a metal core round brush merged into one. Thermal flat brushes are great for straightening the hair. Because the metal base of this brush heats up when used while blow drying, it acts as a straightening tool for your hair. I like to use it to prep the hair for the straightening iron. I can never get mine perfectly straight with just the brush, but it works great to dry it with a thermal flat brush and then finish the top layer with a straightening iron.

There you have it. Some basic tips on brushes and which ones to choose. What’s your favorite brush? Do you like brushes with a metal core or do you prefer ones without?

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

You’ve Been Beautified!

Summer-Proof Your Look

For all your beauty advice…

Summer is just around the corner! The time for outside activities is upon us; bbq parties, swimming, hiking, etc. A lot of people I know hesitate to even apply makeup or do their hair for certain activities throughout this time of year because, what’s the point when it all melts off after an hour? How frustrating is it when you spend all the time you do to get ready and look gorgeous just to have it wilt away faster than it took to apply? Well, my first rule of thumb for this time of year is, don’t go outside! It’s too hot and sticky and, unless I am being fanned by a fig leaf pool-side, than I prefer to stay inside. But, that’s the Princess in me talking. If you MUST go outside, and I know most of you must, there are ways to keep your beautiful self looking beautiful.

Summer-Proof Skin: Your skin care routine doesn’t need to change too much in the summer. You may want to switch to a lighter moisturizer and save the heavier creams for winter, or use at night. Lighten up on products containing AHA’s or retinol, as these ingredients make your skin very sensitive in the sun, and more prone to burning. Also, use a good SPF that’s waterproof to ensure maximum protection for your skin.

Summer-Proof Makeup: One of the most important steps in applying your makeup, is to first wait until your skin has fully absorbed your skin care products. If you start applying makeup when it’s still damp from moisturizer or SPF, you’re going to have a mess on your hands. Always start with a primer to make sure your foundation has something to grab onto. Without a primer, your makeup will soak right into your skin. Switch to a lightweight liquid or powder foundation, or a tinted moisturizer. Eye makeup is another one that’s tough to keep in place on hot days. Make sure to use an eyeshadow primer before you apply your shadows. A good one will make sure the colors stay with you all day. I like Shadow Insurance by Too Faced. For eyeliner, I really like Aqua Eyes by Make Up For Ever. It truly stays put through heat and humidity. Waterproof mascara is going to be your best bet this time of year. If you’re not using one now and you don’t need one, then don’t worry about it. But, if you find that your mascara starts to smear  if you start to sweat, then go waterproof. There are so many to choose from out there, I can’t even begin to name good ones…this will last forever if I do that. Avoid using mascara on your lower lashes if you still smudge with waterproof. Use a cheek stain for your blush instead of powder, it will last much longer on a hot day. Set your makeup with a setting spray and you’ll be good to go.

Summer-Proof Hair: Just as it’s important to protect our skin in the sun, protecting your hair is a must-do as well. Try switching your products up for the summer. Instead of using products that add shine and volume, switch to shampoo and conditioner that will add moisture. Avoid heat styling during the summer as much as possible. If you’re outdoors a lot, the sun is going to be doing enough possible damage; using a blow dryer or any kind of styling tool is only going to cause more damage. Give your hair a vacation from the heat styling! Start playing around with your natural texture and find some cute styles that enhance what Mother Nature gave you. If you can, avoid coloring your hair in the summer, especially if you’re a sun lover. Color that’s exposed to too much sun is just going to fade fast. Keep up with regular trims to keep a healthy look and deep condition once a week. Play around with some cute up-dos or braids for a different look. If you’re really not sure what direction to go because you’ve never tried working with your natural texture, schedule a little extra time with your stylist so they can show you what will work best for you and keep it simple for you.

Those are some good suggestions to keep looking great all summer long. What about you? What do you do to keep looking fresh all summer? What products do you swear by in the summer?

I would like to wish you all a very safe, but fun-filled, Memorial Day Weekend. I’m sure you’ll all look fabulous while having fun!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty Emergency

For all your beauty advice…

Ever since I wrote Beauty Emergency a few weeks ago, I’ve been presented with more situations that can be categorized as just that. Sure, I could just feature the emergencies in Q&A Monday, but I think this is more fun. After all, an emergency deserves that kind of attention. And yes, there is such thing as a Beauty Emergency…if you doubt me, then all I can say is, you’ve never been there! But, most emergencies are fixable, we just have to calm down and think about Plan “B”.

Beauty Emergency #1: You’ve cut your bangs too short…way too short. In trying to save time, and money, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had this happen to us. We just think we’ll trim the ends, but then the right side is shorter than the left, so we cut that side. Uh-oh…now the left side is shorter than the right…better trim that just a bit. This goes on for a few more rounds and before you know it, it looks like a kindergartener chopped away at your bangs. And, wouldn’t you know it, you also have an important meeting, date, appointment, etc. in about an hour. What to do? Well, first, beat yourself up. No, I didn’t say do NOT beat yourself up, I said beat yourself up!! As a hairstylist, I would see this happen a lot and I always wanted to ask my clients what the heck they were thinking?? Never try to cut your own hair…ever! But, since you did it and you’ve thoroughly chastised yourself, I’ll go ahead and give you a few tips to live with this until it grows out. The easiest thing to do when this happens is to get yourself some pretty hair clips and pin the bangs back until they start to get longer. Also, wearing your hair up can lessen the contrast between your bangs and the rest of your hair. The most important thing to do is be patient and know that it’s just hair and it will grow back. But, anyone who’s had this happen to them usually learns the first time and doesn’t do it again. Has this happened to me? I can honestly say, I have not chopped away at my own bangs and had this happen. Now, I had my sister do this to me Freshman year in high school…thanks Kristine. And a few years ago, I actually had a stylist do this to me. The clips worked wonders for the first 3 weeks.

Beauty Emergency #2: You have naturally curly hair you usually style with mousse. However, right before work one day, you go to apply your hair product and the can is broken…not empty, but broken and the product won’t come out. Yeah, that’s an emergency, alright! If you don’t have a back-up product, which I highly recommend, you can run to your kitchen for a little help. I know it’s going to sound crazy, but all you need is an egg white or two. Whip the egg white until it peaks and apply to your hair like you would your normal mousse. Style as usual and you’re good to go! You might actually find your hair feeling even healthier when you wash it next. Natural ingredients are great for your hair. Don’t want to try that? Ok, while your hair is still wet, spray the palms of your hands with hairspray and run your hands through your hair, “scrunching” your hair at the same time. I wouldn’t do this on a regular basis, but in a pinch it’s fine and faster than egg whites. Also, you could take this situation as an opportunity to deep condition your hair. Add some good conditioner to the ends of your hair, leave it in and wear your hair up for the day. The next time you shampoo, your hair will feel hydrated. Once you’ve gotten through this situation, go out and buy 2 bottles of your product so you always have a back-up plan.

Have a beauty emergency or a question for Q&A Monday? Email me at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!