Frizz And Humidity- If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

You know that meme with the super fuzzy rabbit making fun of the electrifying effects of humidity on hair?  You know- Is it humid today?

Well, I hate to be that girl, but it’s a real thing, and you really haven’t experienced humidity until you’ve lived in the MidWest.  Or at least somewhere other than Southern California.  I’ve described California dry heat as ‘blistering’.  And make no mistake- it is.  But I would describe Illinois humid heat as oppressive.  It is a different animal, and it wants to lick you in the face.

You see the grey, cloudy sky outside in August and it fools you.  Boy, does it fool you.  The temperature reads something like 78 but you then look at the “feels like”- more around 90.  You step outside and you feel like a warm, wet dog has jumped on your back.  Or like you’ve just walked into a mouth.  You feel the urge to take a really, really long nap and your sentences suddenly go incoherent.  Someone described walking outside in Midwestern humidity as “like trying to walk between the slices of your peanut butter sandwich”.  Might be true.

But the hair.  Oh, the hair.  And irony of ironies, that I would choose this year to commit to bangs.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve met a single soul out here that also has bangs.  Except for maybe the five year old boy with the bowl-cut-of-no-choice or the little girl with bangs that make her look like Matilda.  It’s just me and the kindergarteners, because no grown woman would dare make the witless decision to cut bangs in weather that at times feels like trying to backstroke through butter.  Bangs in humidity, when you’ve initially straightened or blown them out, seem to devolve within two minutes into one giant, self-inflicted cowlick that look like some awkward bird’s wing sticking out of your forehead.

But there are ways, believe it or not, of gaining back a sense of power and control over one’s hair in humidity.  It’s not a set of fancy tricks, it doesn’t mean cutting all your hair off (though that is a solution), and it’s actually more of a practice in paradox than anything.

The secret to gaining control over hair in humidity is letting go.

Let. It. Go.

And I’d cue Elsa, but her climate is entirely inappropriate for our topic of discussion, so ignore the frosty connotations.

I woke up this morning knowing that it was a hair wash day for me (about every three days).  However, I knew I’d have no time to dry it, and what on Earth would become of it once I stepped out into God’s Armpit?!?  I had no time, but the wash had to happen.  I actually packed my hair dryer and my straightener with me to bring to work, thinking I’d fix things once I got there or at least blow out my bangs (ha!).  Again, no time.  Got to work, got started with work right away.  The only precaution I took were a few spritzes of Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Infusion on my wet hair before leaving.  I also had neither the time or attention span to think of touching my hair once I got to work either.  I just kept flipping it from side to side, without touching it or my bangs, hoping for the best.

And you know what?  Here’s what I got:

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Not too bad, eh?  A deep, messy side part along with haphazard bangs also tossed to the side didn’t turn out half as poorly as I’d expected.  Now, some of you are probably rolling your eyes saying, “Oh, my hair would never dry that way”.  Well, keep in mind that this is where humidity actually helps.  Humidity helps bring out wave and curl.  And adding a product with some oils in it like the Surf Infusion will add definition to that wave or curl, and will also help to control some of the frizzies (though obviously not all).  But, if you’re in dry heat, I can’t say your hair will dry this way because there probably won’t be enough moisture in the air to bring out good wave/curl.

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This oil-infused Surf Infusion is also better for my hair because typical salt sprays tend to really dry mine out, and it’s dry to begin with.  This spray feels extra hydrating without sacrificing the beachy effects.

So again, if you have hair that’s prone to frizz, I think one of the easiest ways to get frustrated with it in humid weather is by fighting that frizz.  It’s honestly better to just roll with it.  And don’t fight volume, either!  Go ahead and flip your hair upside down and shake it out for the most volume you can get (so long as it’s already dry- avoid touching it at all while it’s still wet).  Anytime I’ve tried to keep my hair remotely straight or smooth out here in the summer, it’s turned into a battle where I’m constantly touching it and constantly wanting to reapply something like Alterna Caviar’s CC Cream to keep things at bay.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So all this to say, just stop fighting it.  Besides, who doesn’t look okay with big hair?  I mean seriously!  Big, voluminous, crazy hair has always been fun, has always been je ne sais quois, and has always been associated with Beyonce.  Or Diana Ross.  Or someone else awesome that seems to be having a good time in life.  Just go with it.  xo, MR

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#EmptiesChallenge Update 3

Yes, I am still trying to keep this up!

However, you could probably drop the “empties” term from the whole thing and just call it an “empties update” from now on. Because there really was no particular end goal in mind for this, my so-called Empties Challenge has developed into more of a general tracking and analyzing of spending habits.  So, this may be a little boring for you as a reader, but I’m basically going to lay out what my beauty spending has looked like for roughly the past three months and discuss what can be improved and what expenses lie ahead.  I’ll also match it against what I’ve used up and finished at home.

My last update was on January 29th, so I’m just going to focus on purchases and empties for February through April.

I’ve only had five complete empties for this entire time period, and they don’t amount to much: a mini Kerastase Masquintense, Davines Momo conditioner, Burt’s Bees Sensitive facial towelettes, another CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara, and finally the Sally Hershberger keratin spray.  I am still almost out of a lot of things, like my Acure night cream, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, UNITE 7 Seconds conditioner spray, my first Glossier Boy Brow, and my Shiseido Ultimune serum that I use at night.  My NARS concealer is still holding on for dear life, too.

It’s frustrating how slowly I manage to go through things (except the Shiseido- I manage to go through serums like water).  Part of what’s happened though is I’ve been trying to use other, lesser-used items in my possession, so that’s put some of the almost-finished ones on hold (especially in the hair department).  I’ve also been going through lots of samples like Kerastase’s Elixir Ultime conditioning mask, but I couldn’t abide the scent of it so I discarded it after one use.  Nevertheless, going through samples has slowed things down too.

This right is here is what a full, daytime skincare routine consists of for me if I’m firing on all cylinders.  Three of these items were gifted to me, two were purchases of the past few months, and one has been with me for a while and is nearly finished.  It’s just a mix of stuff I have going on, so getting through some of the bigger products without being wasteful is a challenge.

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Now, let’s look at what I’ve purchased.  And I’ve kind of blown it.  Or at least, it feels that way.

February was the worst.  I bought a BeautyBlender, cleanser for the BeautyBlender, a Becca Mineral blush, and a new Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick.  That may not sound like much, but it adds up.  I also bought my husband a fancy new beard oil to replace the nice IPA one that my mom got him for Christmas (Go Mom, and yes, IPA beard oils exist!).

March was a little better.  I got a bang trim and a blowout (booked an assistant stylist for a much cheaper price!), but I walked out of the salon with a new Denman brush.  Now, that brush has been exactly what I’ve needed for my bangs, but it was still something like eighteen bucks.  I also purchased the Phase 2 Glossier kit on the day it debuted.  Curse you, Glossier!!!

This month in April I’ve purchased an Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster, and that’s it.  Whew.  My mom and I went out for birthday mani-pedis while she and my dad came out to visit, but I don’t really count that toward this challenge.  Beyond this, I’m declaring a full moratorium on all unnecessary expenses for three weeks (beginning with this past Monday).  The moratorium will end on Monday, May 9th, just in time for  … my dental appointment.

I’m kidding; a dental appointment isn’t exactly a frivolity.  What I’m really saving for is my birthday in the middle of May; specifically, the hair appointment I’ve been thinking of gifting myself with once I’ve saved a little.  And because it’s now about that time, I’ll be needing to book for color, and that has got me a wee bit terrified.  Justin Kamm is the only stylist that has ever colored my hair and since he’s back in CA, I’ve been researching all kinds of options in Chicagoland for weeks.  We’ll see what actually happens within the next couple months, but it’s worth it to nail down a salon out here that I can trust either way.

There aren’t a ton of Davines salons out in this area, so I’ve been looking into a couple Aveda ones since I really love and trust the brand.  Then there’s the question of Do I go big and book a high-end salon in the city?  Or is it more a thing of Trust the junior stylist that did a great job with your bangs/blowout and just say a few prayers?  The junior stylist’s prices will obviously be much more reasonable, but there’s also the fact that if it doesn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, the loss wouldn’t feel so detrimental.  It’s one thing to have a junior stylist in the next town over make some boo-boos with your hair that you can easily have corrected, and that you paid a discount price for; it’s another thing to book an expensive salon an hour away, have crazy high expectations, pay a ton of money, and then, if the worst happens, have to awkwardly try and tell these highly-reputed folks that you don’t like what they’ve done.  And then if I had to make a second trip back into the city for corrections?  Quelle horreur!  But like I said before, we’ll see what happens.

All that to say, I’m still attempting to plug away at my current stash of goods and put off appointments when I can afford to.  Even though it’s hard and purchases have cropped up here and there, it’s going to feel good to get through these next three weeks without buying anything.  Along with the hair appointment, I’m hoping to save for Alterna’s Caviar CC Cream, Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder, and perhaps a lighter fragrance for summer.  You feel the sunshine coming out from hiding in such a powerful way out here; you can’t help but want to celebrate with all five of your senses!  xo, MR

 

What’s In My Makeup Bag. Like, Right Now.

The contents of my makeup bag vary on an almost daily basis.

Because I frequently switch up what it is I’m using from day to day, it’s hard to predict what I’ll want to take with me to work, or out on the weekend, or wherever I go.  I want everything with me, readily available, but it’s hard to be sure I’ve got it all as I’m dashing out the door and I’ve put on a different combination of things compared to what I used yesterday.  There’s usually something for my hair, some kind of rollerball or perfume sample, some kind of skincare item, and a variety of other things.  And Lord help me when I’m having a real “night out” and I put a full face on; I end up practically taking my entire kit with me, brushes and all!

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So what was in my makeup bag when I opened it up just before I began writing this post?  There’s almost always some kind of pinky-nude lip color.  Right now, it’s L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Balm in Nourishing Nude for a shiny look, and Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands for when I want a more matte look.  However, if I’m not wearing other makeup already (as was the case today), I typically don’t end up using these at all.

There’s really only two unchanging items that have been guaranteed to be in my bag over the past few years, and that’s the Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm and CoverGirl’s Clump Crusher mascara.  Those two are always there, and I have, like five more tubes of each floating around in other nooks and crannies of my life.  Glossier’s Boy Brow hasn’t moved from my bag since I got it either.  It’s so easy to show up at work without it on, dash into the bathroom, and emerge with my brows even and in place five seconds later.

The Alterna Caviar CC Cream has been good for flyaways, and is especially good for smoothing out a midlength cut when it looks a bit too frazzled or feels too dry.  However, when it’s volume I want with perhaps a little bit more texture, Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray provides a quick pick-me-up.  I spray my little travel-size bottle a couple times into my roots and then flip my head upside-down and shake it out.  It’s so hard to define exactly what this product does, but it gives hair that elusive, lived-in, cool girl look.  And it smells incredible.  It gives you a little luxurious moment of escape in your day when you use this stuff.

That Vitamin E eye cream by The Body Shop is pretty great.  I’ve used it before and I’ve tried a couple other kinds since, but I came back to this one.  I like that it’s not a pot, making it much more sanitary as opposed to dipping your dirty finger in the same pot over and over and then applying the contaminated product to your eye area (which can technically happen with a rollerball, too).  I think tubes are the most sanitary for eye cream.  And I commonly have bad dark circles, so the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat is the fastest at getting rid of these without being too thick and cakey like some formulas.  Undereye concealer that’s too thick can sometimes make you look older, or even more tired.  That little Caudalie moisturizer is a deluxe-sized sample I’ve had, and its nice.  It’s very straightforward; it provides plenty of moisture and leaves my skin fairly dewy for the next couple hours.  No sun protection, but it’s easy to throw in my bag because it’s not in some giant jar like so many moisturizers are.

And that white perfume rollerball you see there is Elizabeth And James Nirvana White.  It’s a tea-based fragrance, and I love it.  It’s feminine and light, but very sophisticated.  They sell a dry shampoo of this fragrance now at Sephora, so maybe once I manage to use up ten more product in my empties challenge I’ll be able to get (because I have a list of like, five things I already want to purchase once I use up accumulate more empties).

One thing I notice that’s missing that usually isn’t is a blush compact.  I usually have some kind of blush on hand with a mirror, but there’s my point- I never know what I’ve managed to grab and throw in here until I have a minute to look later in the day.  I only used half the items pictured here today, anyhow!

For some girls I know, the contents of their makeup bags never changes, and it doesn’t change at all for years in the case of some.  I do have some admiration for that quality of consistency and knowing exactly what you like, but I on the other hand am a bit more unsure of my preferences.  And there’s always the fact that I just have too much to begin with.  xo, MR