Loving My Hair Right Now

I think there’s something to be said when you’re actually at a point in your hair life where you can say “hey, my hair is looking pretty awesome this week” so, you know, I had to share.  As you guys know, I’m a big fan of Gavert Atelier in Beverly Hills and lately, I’ve been frequenting Just Extensions, which I can tell you, as a matter of fact, are the two reasons that I’m loving my hair right now. True story.

The awesome Toyomi highlighted my hair to the light (but not platinum) shade that I love, using a technique called Alchemy.  Toyomi developed the inspiration for her craft in Tokyo, where the world of beauty is exploding with color and creativity. With this vibrant vision, she took on Beverly Hills working with celebs such as Leven Rambin and AnnaLynne McCord.

As for the fullness and volume of my hair, this is where Just Extensions comes in.  You probably read my first post, but just in case you’re not familiar, Just Extensions is an affordable hair extensions bar that focuses on one thing: extensions.  And they have all different kinds, including micro-links, braided sew-in, beaded one-step weft and fusion techniques that range from $100 – $300.  If you know extensions, then you KNOW that’s a pretty amazing price.

The Hair Files: Sherry Ratay at Gavert Atelier Salon

So lately I’ve been really missing my hair extensions and fact of the matter is, when I’m not feeling good about my HAIR, I’m not feeling good about myself. It’s sad but true.  So when my a PR friend reached out and let me know that the famed Sherry Ratay was in town from Florida (on behalf of Minardi) and, gasp, doing highlights at Gavert Atelier, I literally jumped up and an instant smile was on my face.  For anyone who doesn’t know, Sherry is an award-winning color expert, known for her gorgeous reds and balayage (my fave!) highlights.

It’s really embarassing that good hair- such a little (and somewhat shallow) thing- can make me happy but it DOES, so sorry for partying. And actually, this was the best timing ever because I had JUST booked an amazing video opportunity with PopSugar (more on that December 5th when it goes live!) and hi, I definitely can’t go on-camera with BROWN ROOTS.  So then there’s that.  If you’re in Florida or LA (when she’s in town), I highly suggest you book an appointment since I’m pretty much obsessed with my “baby blonde,” as Sherry called it, highlights.

Photo: behind-the-scenes shot from my PopSugar holiday beauty shoot.  Hiiiii green screen.

The Monday Rundown (LA Edition)

Gavert Atelier highlights: It’s been a little over a year since my last trip to Gavert and I was LONG overdue.  I love everyone that works there – seriously, they’re the nicest staff ever – and I especially love the fact that they give honest advice and opinions; they don’t just “yes ma’am” any of their clients and that is important if you want good results!  The color?  I love.  Will I go back to Gavert Atelier?  Absolutely.

Sprinkles Cupcakes: They have a ton of locations now and, as you know, cupcake stores have a lot of competition…but what makes Sprinkles unique is their cupcake ATM machine.  How can you not want to just buy cupcake after cupcake, just to watch them come out of the ATM?!  I’m obsessed.

H.D. Buttercup: Pricey, yes, but this is one of the best furniture stores that I’ve ever seen.  At the very least, you can go and get some good inspiration and then stop into Father’s Office (right next door) for some good beer on tap or a glass of wine.

Blessed Charm jewelry: I went to an event for Blessed Charm last week and absolutely fell in love with their dainty, sophisticated, yet simple, line of jewels.  The creator, a former entertainment manager, lives here in LA and all of the materials are sourced from LA as well (and, of course, also made here).  What I love even more than the jewelry line is the brand’s partnership with Create Now, an organization that serves vulnerable kids (ages 2-25) who have been abused, neglected, victims of domestic violence, etc. and teams them up with mentors that spend positive time with them.


Summer Helpers

I love a nice lazy summer.  For me, summer is all about relaxation, the beach and not caring as much about the little things (e.g. brown roots, slightly dirty hair and uncomfortable shoes).  Here are three of my summer helper secrets:

Foot Petals: I’m obsessed with this life-saving product.  It can take shoes that normally destroy your feet to shoes that are actually comfortable.  They’re a miracle.

Rita Hazan Root Concealer for Highlights: My hair grows like a weed which makes getting my highlights touched up both annoying AND expensive.  This root concealer, made especially for highlights is great for helping me to get that extra week (or two!) before going back to the salon.

KENRA Platinum Dry Shampoo: I’m a big dry shampoo advocate and the KENRA version is pretty great.  I especially love that it has a UV defense duo, which helps protect against color fade.

The Private Room Beverly Hills


I’m constantly trying new colorists but it’s very rare that I find one that honestly impresses me.  I had a full head of highlights done at The Private Room a few weeks ago and guys, I was truly impressed.  Tina, the founder, gave me the straight talk that yes, she would give me the icy blonde shade that I wanted but only if I promised to lay off the flat iron.  I mean, I get it, but it’s HARD.  If I was able to get my hair blown out every day, no problem, but I can’t. I have to blow dry my own hair and yeah…I’m not very good at it.  SO the flat iron helps out.

I decided to give it up, in exchange for the icy blonde shade that I covet…and so far, so good.  Tina is a straight shooter, which I love, and she could even tell that I take iron supplements just by the way my color processed.  SO crazy.  I am totally going back.

photo: Salvador, me, Jen at Melissa Magsaysay’s book launch party

My natural highlights…at age 4

The other day one of my co-workers brought her two adorable kids into work and as they ran by I said to my cube neighbors “do those kids have highlights?!”  Guys, the little girl had dirty blonde hair with, what looked like, platinum highlights (that, naturally, I was totally jealous over).  The boy had chocolate brown hair with a slightly lighter shade of brown running through his roots.  I mean, it kind of struck a chord and made me think back to my own childhood hair and say “wait, did I have natural highlights back in the day?”

My natural hair color is brown – with my dark brown eyebrows, it’s a shocker, I know! LOL.  I started dying my hair blonde when I was a freshman in college and never ever looked back but seriously, if my hair still grew in at the level of amazingness that it did when I was four…well, I might’ve stayed a brunette.

What do you guys think?

By the way, I have to mention the fact that even in middle school when everyone was doing Sun-In, I NEVER used it!  But alas, it’s still the most hilarious packaging that I’ve ever seen.

photos: me, age 4; Sun-In bottle

29 on March 9th and amazing highlights by George Papanikolas!

I never thought that I’d ever say “29 is the new 22,” and especially not in a good way.  For the first time since I turned 22, I had a bit of a quarter life crisis freak out about getting older and yeah, you might consider it a bit of a meltdown.  Thankfully my BFF since 4th grade (and, ironically the friend that talked me off the ledge on my 22nd birthday), managed to calm me down with her words of wisdom.  Essentially, she reminded me that 29 is, in fact, not old and I have to learn to accept my life for what it is and not what I thought it would be as a teenager.

With that said, I am so insanely lucky to have found such amazing friends in Los Angeles…sometimes I honestly have to take a minute to soak it all in, which I did at my birthday sushi dinner last Friday night where sixteen of my closest friends celebrated my 29th birthday with me.  It felt good to be surrounded by all of the positive people in my LA life, and, I had brand new George Papanikolas highlights to boot!  As anyone knows, fresh highlights can really give your self esteem the super boost that it needs when you’re in the middle of a quarter(ish) life crisis and George knows exactly how to get the blonde that I covet (hello, he does Sarah Michelle Gellar and Nicole Richie).

I can’t say enough about George (you might remember my post from last January) where I raved about George’s balayage skills and, of course, Joico– one of my favorite hair brands.  Right now I’m obsessed with the Joico Smooth Cure line and especially the Smooth Cure Thermal Styling Protectant.  The line reduces frizz by 79% (yeah, that’s a lot) and even though I don’t really worry too much about frizz/humid hair here in LA, I do worry about protecting my hair from heat styling tools, and the Thermal Protectant spray is a-mazing for that.