Saturday, November 27, 2010

13 Hair Tips for Gorgeous Winter Hair

 From AOL contributor - Gina Nguyen

Here are some tips to keep your hair looking enviable, healthy, shiny, soft and smooth come winter. You do not have to succumb to dried-out, mangy, unmanageable locks that others suffer through because you'll have all the know-how you need to show-off an impossibly-gorgeous mane after reading these winter hair tips right here.

#1 Wash your hair with lukewarm water. Hot water will only damage your dry hair further by disrupting the hair cuticles and causing breakage. On the other hand, washing with too-cool water will not effectively remove the dirt and build-up on your hair and scalp, leaving you with a greasy appearance. Go warm. As you finish your shower, however, do a final hair rinse in cold water to seal the cuticle and add some last-minute shine.

#2 Pat your hair dry. Towel-drying your hair is a delicate process. Instead of rubbing it dry with the towel, which causes further damage to your hair, pat and scrunch your hair dry with the towel. You can also twist your hair up in a super-absorbent hair towel like a Turbie Twist (from $5.49) to let it dry on its own. See tip #8 if you're more of a blow-dry fanatic.

#3 Deep condition your hair. Salon hair stylists will recommend that you deep condition your hair about once a week to keep it soft and silky-smooth. Well-moisturized hair also means less frequent static electricity attacks. Just go through with your regular shower routine, and then apply a generous helping of deep, hydrating conditioning cream to your locks from scalp to ends. Some of the best deep-conditioning treatments are: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner ($6.19), Garnier Fructis Fortifying Deep Conditioner Masque (from $6), L'Oreal Professional Absolut Repair Masque for Very Damaged Hair ($30); and my favorites: Alterna Hemp Organics Repair Treatment Conditioner (from $15) and RedKen Smooth Down Butter Treat (from $13).

#4 Shield your hair! Wear a hat (loose-fitting like a feminine knit cap or a casual slouch beanie), a hood, a snood (what's a snood?), or even just wrap a scarf over your hair to keep your hair safe from the dry winter air and chilly winds. Lengthy exposure to extreme weather conditions like that can lead to breakage.

#5 Incorporate an anti-dandruff shampoo into your routine.
Dandruff can be especially tough to beat in the winter time. The cold, dry air of the winter, and the dryness from our heating systems have our scalps itching and flaking. Working-in an anti-dandruff regimen into your regular one can have you seeing flake-free shoulders before long. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is extremely popular for its effectiveness, and it's only $15.49! Just use it twice a week on your hair wash days, and you're on your way to being dandruff-free.

#6 Lay-off the daily shampooing. By all means, please wash your body every day! Just give your hair a break every other day or so. Washing your hair so frequently will strip your hair of its natural oils (sebum) and moisture in no time. It's the combination of the water and the chemicals from your shampoo that hurts your hair's health. Now, how does one skip without looking grimy and unapproachable? Why, by using dry shampoo, of course! Dry shampoo works by absorbing some of the excess, hair-clumping sebum where you apply it (apply it to the greasiest patches of your hair), and then is brushed out to leave your hair feeling lighter and cleaner than before. Working a dry shampooing into your hair care routine every few days will also keep your hair color lasting longer. While nothing feels as good as a daily shampoo and rinse, frazzled and frizzy hair is a far worse fate.

Now, some dry shampoos will leave so much white residue on your hair that it will have people wondering if you have a major dandruff problem. That residue can also have you feeling more gross than before you applied it, too. To save you the trouble of learning the hard way, here are some brands that we recommend: Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk $18 | Batiste Dry Shampoo $7.99

#7 Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners.
When you do wash your hair those three or four times a week, reach for bottles that mention something about moisture, hydration or being sulfate-free (it's more gentle). It will give your hair the nourishment it needs after being stripped of its moisture after a long day in the winter air, and protects it for the day to come. Try moisturizing brands like: Pureology, Kerastase, Ojon, BioSilk, Alterna, or even certain lines of Herbel Essences.

#8 Fortify your diet. Make sure you're getting enough zinc, iron, essential fatty acids, and Vitamins B, C and E. Healthy foods like salmon, chicken, cereal, green veggies, fresh fruit and whole grains will give your hair a daily dose of nutrients to fight harsh outside conditions. Oh yes, and as always, keep throwing back those eight glasses of water each day!

#9 Change your blow dry routine! Stepping out into the cold with wet hair after a shower will only get you sick and cause hair breakage, so of course you'll want to reach for your hair dryer more often in the winter time. Unfortunately, all that dry heat on your hair will strip your hair of its health, as well, so you'll only want to blow-dry if you're in a hurry. For those days, use a leave-in conditioner spray on the ends of your hair to fortify the vulnerable ends and use a heat-activated protective serum like John Freida Frizz Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection ($8.99) to keep your hair from scorching.

Though more expensive, MoroccanOil Treatment Serum ($35) is also great to apply from root to tip before heat-styling your hair, and it will protect your hair from the harmful UV rays that are still abundant (yet, easily forgotten about) in the winter. Finally, when you blow dry your hair, try to point your hair dryer down (from your scalp to the ends of your hair) the entire time, and finish-off with a cool blast of air to prevent hair cuticle damage. Healthy cuticles mean healthy, shiny hair!

#10 Switch-out your hair dryer for an ionic hair dryer. Ionic hair dryers release conditioning negatively-charged ions that break down the water molecules in your hair, allowing them to evaporate more quickly. The benefit is less time spent under hot air than your typical hair dryer, which then means less damage is done to you hair. Moreover, you'll see shiner and softer hair with less frizz than usual because the ionic dryer flattens and tightens your hair cuticles, simultaneously. Try the CHI Rocket Professional Hair Dryer ($179.99, reg. $229.99) for 50% faster drying time and healthier, dried hair. You might also like to use the Conair Tourmaline-Ionic Ceramic Brush ($14.99) with your ionic hair dryer to avoid breakage.

#11 Choose your products wisely. You know what it's like to put rubbing alcohol on your skin, right? It has a drying effect -- and it's a great trick for drying out pimples. But, beware when alcohol is included in your hair styling products. Hair care products with high alcohol content, like many hair gels, tend to dry out your hair further. If you need an alcohol-free gel, try Frederic Fekkai Styling Gel ($17.50). If you're looking for a good alcohol-free hair spray, try Frizz Ease Dream Curls Spray ($5.99). Want alcohol-free volumizing mousse? Try highly-rated Ojon Conditioning Volumizing Foam ($22). Maybe you'd prefer Nexxus VersaStyler Artistic Designing Lotion ($12.99), which offers versatile styling and is great for adding texture and hold without the alcohol. See other alcohol-free options >>

#12 Prevent static. Make sure to avoid items made of wool. Wool tends to dry-out hair, and dried-out hair partnered with dry winter air leads to static! When brushing your hair, use wooden combs or wooden brushes to reduce static. And, as you know, the more moisturized your hair is, the lower your chances of having to suffer with static-hair!

#13 Sleep on Satin. If you want your hair to shine when you rise in the morning, try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. Tossing and turning on rougher fabrics can rub your hair the wrong way. Fight the morning frizz and pamper your hair at night with satin.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Five Body Types, Five Little Black Dresses

Pear Shape -  Try wearing a halter dress, it will give the illusion of balance between your shoulders and hips.

Banana Republic - $198.00

Rectangle - Look for a dress that creates an artificial waist. The V-neck also breaks up your naturally wide torso.

Banana Republic - on sale $79.99

Hourglass-  This is one of the easiest body types to dress.  Look for something that accentuates your curves.
Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Stretch Satin Sheath Dress
Nordstroms $118.00
Inverted Triangle- This body type has larger shoulders and narrower hips.  Look for an a-line shirt.
Follow-My-Lead Dress
Anthropologie $158.00

Apple- Like the Rectangle body type, the apple needs a waist defined for it.  Try something that gathers right at the waist like this dress from Macys.

Jones New York Dress, Faux Wrap Draped Matte Jersey
Macys $118.00

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Every season, it's the same search—a pair of heeled boots that we can navigate slippery sidewalks in without resorting to heavy clunkers. Here are a few favorites to suit every budget and taste.

Seychelles Romance Boot,, $140

Sawyer Lace-up Boots,, $54.99

Steve Madden 'Freewway' Boot, Nordstrom, $84.90 

Dolce Vita Joelle Platform Boot,, $170.80 

Buttoned Booties,, $55.99

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meet Your New Winter Coat

The coat is the must-have for any new winter wardrobe, so buy your coat for the long haul and think of it as an investment piece.

A Cozy Over-layer
The newest trend in coats right now is a cape and can be a great alternative to a chunky sweater. The best pairing is with narrow skirts, leggings or skinny jeans.

Ultimate Heavy Jersey Cape,, $170

The Military Trend
The military look has spilled over into every clothing style and has been a strong trend in coats for the past year.  It's a chic option and a tie belt flatters every woman's body.

Double-breasted Military Trench, Calvin Klein, $290

Color improves any mood and the price on this coat would make anyone happy.  Choose a bright color like hot pink, yellow, orange or green. Or, go truly Fall with a jewel-toned coat.
Wool Coat, Old Navy, $90

The Season's Hottest Color
Camel is definitely the color of the season when it comes to everything.  Get ready to look fabulous and extremely chic in your camel coat. It's perfectly adaptable and will make you look simply flawless every day, everywhere. 

Wool-Cashmere Plaza Coat, JCrew, $325

Glamorously Warm
White wool with faux-fur trim...this might be the most glamorous way ever to stay warm and is sheer sexiness in a coat.

Polar Express Coat, French Connection, $368

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Simplify your morning routine

Who likes to wake up an extra half hour if you don't have to?  Here are some easy ways to make your morning routine run a little smoother.


No time for a full blowout?  Straighten the top and front sections, then pull them into a low ponytail or bun.  Keep it neat by wearing a headband about 1 inch from the hairline. 



If you know your schedule for the week, take a few minutes on Sunday to plan out each outfit.   

When you find a flattering dress you absolutely love, take it to your tailor and have him replicate several versions in different colors and prints each season.  Add some jewelry, a sweater or jacket to make each outfit  unique.


Breakfast the night before

Prepare a smoothie the night before and either freeze it into individual Popsicle molds or just keep in a cup ready to grab on your way out the door.   

Morning Glow

After you wash your face in the evening, mix a few drops of self-tanner into your night cream. In the morning your skin will look warm and refreshed.  It will be easy to slip out the door without full makeup.   

Touch Up at the Office

If you have naturally wavy hair, wash it the night before and wrap it, still damp, into a bun when you go to bed. At the office, undo hair and quickly style a few pieces around the face with a mini (stashable!) curling iron. Try Conair's Mini Pro 1-inch ceramic curling iron; $18.

Work Your Commute
Time-saving pro Peter Walsh suggests starting your morning with a brisk walk to the train or subway station instead of driving.  This not only makes you green, but also gets a little morning workout in.  In your bag, bring a lightweight wrinkle free outfit along with some body wipes, deodorant, and dry shampoo to freshen up at the office with.    


Who doesn't have multiple purses stashed in your closet just waiting to be used.  I know I do, but who wants to continuously switch all your belonging from one to the other?  Well here's a cleaver little solution that will hopefully make the transition a little easier.  Try the Cherry handbag organizer ($26; . You can also use a makeup bag. 
Main image for Cherry Handbag Organizer

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tips for looking Taller and Slimmer

  • Who hasn't been told by their mom, "don't slouch, stand up straight".  Well it's true, good posture can make a huge difference in the way others perceive your height.  Not only will you seem taller, but you'll also appear more alert and engaged.

  • Opt for a monochromatic outfit.  Mix textures like knits or leather with a blazer, cardigan or overshirt.  Leave the blazer or cardigan unbuttoned for maximum vertical lines. Try a V-neck to lengthen the neck and draw the attention to your face.

  • Accessorize with loosely tied scarves with long, vertical hanging ends.  Match your tights/pantyhose with your skirt, pants and shoes.  Avoid thick belts that cut you in half.  Wear long necklaces or pendants instead of a choker.

  • And of course, a little heel - at least an inch or taller.  Make sure you practice walking around the house before heading out on the town, you don't want to look awkward when walking around.  If high heels aren't for you, try platforms.

Here's to a taller, sleeker you!!!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Statement Jewelry

Statement jewelry is still gracing the runways so why not you too!  A daring accessory can help bring life  into a dull outfit and is a great investment when only one standout piece of jewelry is needed to complement any outfit.  Here are some beautiful, bold and sure to draw some attention pieces. 

Wear over a simple tank and open cardigan or blazer. Can easily be worn dressed up with your favorite pencil skirt and menswear.

Crystal Bloom Necklace, JCrew, $150

I picture this cuff with a long tunic top, skinny jeans and some sexy, take-charge boots.

Sheena Sequin Cuff,, $48



This ring can be donned with most anything.  Jeans and a leather jacket or a metallic skirt with black tights and sweet flats.  It's a great vintage piece to polish off any outfit and when a heavy necklace doesn't suit you. 

Cameo Ring,, $28.80