My love for all things extensions only grows bigger and bigger by the day, which is why I was absolutely thrilled when I was asked to host the launch event for LA’s first hair extension bar: Just Extensions. The event was presented by SexyHair, an awesome hair product line that has a great selection of products that are safe to use with hair extensions, which is totally key for maximum wear. Sexy Hair’s Stylist, Laura Hickenboth, gave tips to all guests on how to maintain extensions and what products were best with each specific technique, which was incredibly informative.
Just Extensions, founded by Riqua Hailes, offers extension lovers an alternative to the long application hours and over-priced services typically associated with getting extensions. Whether you are looking to add length, volume or color, the experienced “extensionists” and licensed stylists can help you achieve the exact look that you want. Just Extensions also allows you to choose your preferred method of application, which I love, and their stylists can help guide you on the best application for you, based on your hair’s texture.
For some reason, as soon as January hits, I always seem to get in a hair funk. My friends assure me that my hair looks “fine” but I get really down on myself and end up going back to the two things that make me hair happy: perfect blonde highlights and new hair extensions.
So I went back to one of my absolute faves for highlights: George Papanikolas for Joico. I’ve already raved about him here and hereso clearly, you know I’m obsessed. George is one of the hottest and most sought after colorists in Hollywood; Instyle, Allure, and People Magazine have all recognized George as one of the countries top colorists. Using the French, freehand technique “balayage,” he creates natural-looking, sun-kissed color that looks, as George says, “like you’ve spent a summer at the beach, not three hours in the salon.”
One of the most important ingredients in George’s color blends is a foundation of healthy, shiny hair. To produce his vibrant color results, he relies on Joico’s Vero-K-Pak Color, as well as Joico’s Hair Repair System which includes Joico’s K-PAK Deep Penetrating Reconstructor to keep his cients hair in optimum condition. This award-winning hair fixer is packed with Joico’s unique Quadramine Complex, which transforms strands instantly, leaving hair stronger, glossier and easier to manage.
So touching up my color was step one (and photo one, above). Step two was filling out my fine hair with extensions. Now, my previous hair extension experience was truly epic but when I found out about Just Extensions, LA’s first extensions-only salon, I HAD to try them out. Just Extensons is a Drybar for hair extensions, if you will, and you know how much I love a dedicated salon. The best part? Aside from the excellent customer service, their extension packages are crazy affordable. I texted my friend Kristen, who is a frequent “weave” getter, and when I told her she could get a full head for $150, she replied back “a full f&*cking head for $150?!?! I’m making an appointment!” Now that’s excitment for good hair. With three signature packages that include; micro-links, braided sew-in, beaded one-step weft, and fusion techniques (all ranging from $100 – $300), there really is something for every hair type. Ugh, and guys, I TRIED out clip-ins (really, I did), but they’re just not as good! I’m sorry. This is the real deal. I sent the salon manager a recent photo and when I came in for my appointment, she had four packs of perfectly matching hair, ready to go. About two hours later, I looked like the second picture and I’m not even kidding – heads turned as I walked down the street. A true testament to GOOD HAIR.
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.
I was super excited to get an invite from the fab skincare line DDF to an intimate pre-Oscars gathering with E!’s Giuliana Rancic. Truth be told, I’m an avid E! News watcher and I truly admire G for her amazing work ethic and positive attitude, even though this is a very hard time in her life. All challenges aside, the reporter told us a hilarious story about how she got to LA (highlight: she cried her way into staying at The Mondrian) and she even gave us the inside scoop on her three dress options for the 84th Annual Academy Awards! And guys, she choose a dress we ALL loved- a gorgeous white Tony Ward that had all of us up in arms. Speaking of which, she also filled us in on the fact that she was also going WITHOUT FOUNDATION for the second year in a row, thanks to the wonders of DDF, of course.
Giuliana’s makeup artist, Catalina Su, filled me in the exact steps she took to get Giuliana red carpet-ready, minus the heavy base:
Giuliana prepped her skin with DDF’s Amplifying Elixir and Wrinkle Resist plus Pore Minimizerand used the Revolve 400X Micro-Polishing System twice a week to polish away imperfections, making her skin look absolutely incredible without foundation.
Giuliana also wore DDF’s Weightless Defense SPF 45+ to protect her skin under the sun in addition to MAC’s Studio Moisture Tint. Tom Ford Beauty Extreme Mascara and Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink finished off Giuliana’s brown eyes and a touch of Chanel Espiegle Blush and MAC Fresh Honey Blush were applied to her cheeks. The fresh look was completed with MAC Viva Glam Lipstick giving the perfect pop of color.
Now onto the dish…
Q: What does Bill do when you’re on the carpet doing interviews?
A: He basically finds out everything on Twitter. I come home and he’s all “I saw it! You did great…did you really lei George Clooney?”
Q: Your hair extensions look amazing and natural. Where do you get them done?
A: Byron & Tracey! I go to them for color, cut, everything. I have a girl who goes and buys the hair at this place on Wilshire and it’s great for the ombre look.
Q: What’s some good advice that you tell people who want to get into the business?
A: There are two types of people in Hollywood- some are down to earth and others have checked out of planet Earth. The more grateful you are, the more good things will come to you.
Here’s the deal. My blogger girls are some of the trendiest, most IT girls you will ever meet so naturally, I needed to know what they’ve been lusting after for the last several years. Here’s a rundown on what they wish they could’ve purchased for themselves at 22, even if that was a decade ago for some of us.
While technically I could’ve afforded the $185 set of four plates, I had no real use for them because when I was 22 entertaining meant uncorking a $9 bottle of Pinot Grigio (wait, I actually still do that) and putting out a bag of Tostitos. Now, that I’m an official grown-up (I have the paperwork to prove it) I like to serve my guests snacks and whatnot on real dishes and these are the perfect mix of badass and fancy-pants.
Now that I’m a “grown up” (ugh) I would splurge on a fancy camera like the Olympus E-P3. I borrowed one last fashion week and it was a life saver — super lightweight and the photos I took made me look like a professional photographer — any camera that can do that is worth a purchase!
Of course, there are so many things I want to give myself that I STILL can’t afford—a Chanel J12 watch, a car…But one “present” I did buy for myself this fall was a pair of nude Jimmy Choo platform pumps. I wanted them forever (at least three years). When I finally did get them, I had two Saks gift cards from various events and one that I had cashed in my Amex points for. I ended up getting them for like $250. And, now that I have them, they’re everything I dreamed of. They really do go with everything and I feel super sexy in them. If only I could walk five blocks in them, they would be perfect!
The thing I can buy myself now that I couldn’t buy when I was 22 is a FOUR SEASONS BED. YES. I’m going there.
When I moved to NYC in June of 2002 (happy 10th anniversary to me, almost), I inherited my brother’s old apartment (he was moving back to Philly and I kind of… evicted him). I also inherited his bed he’d had for a year. It’s a meh full size bed, perfectly fine except for the fact that he and his ex-fiance lived together, which weirded me out from both a Feng Shui and a–just ew– standpoint. I’m convinced my romantical chi has been fakakta since sleeping on a mattress tainted by a failed relationship and I was also in the market for a new bed but I had to wait until things like barely making rent weren’t an obstacle. And as you can see, that took about ten years.
So a couple weeks ago, I ordered the bed of my dreams–I figure, it’s an investment, but I’ll get 10 good years of amazing sleep on it. It’s coming within another two weeks and I seriously cannot wait. I slept on a Four Seasons mattress on a recent trip to Morocco and was sold.
When I was 22 and had my first job at Cosmopolitan all I wanted were a pair of red soles. I remember splurging on a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs black patent leather and velvet peep toes that I adored (and still have), but all I wanted were Louboutins. Now, I own two pairs of the coveted red soles and allow myself to buy them once in a while. They’re a nice treat!
Say what you will about fur, but I love animals every which were possible – as pets, meals and yes, even accessories. Tops on my holiday wishlist this season is Philip Lim 3.1’s deliciously decadent dyed fur iPad case – truth be told, I can think of no nobler end for a bunny.
I was 22 in 2004…during the height of hurricane Beyonce. She just started her solo career and she was EVERYWHERE! I was obsessed with the Manolo Blahnik lace up boots that she was wearing in the Bonnie and Clyde video with Jay Z. Don’s ask why, but I was obsessed. I wanted a pair so bad. I even bought myself a knock off pair, but it just wasn’t the same. I guess the only way you can really get away with wearing those shoes is if they’re Manolo’s. Knock off just won’t do! I forget the exact cost, but they were Manolo$ so I’m sue they cost a pretty penny. Whatever the exact amount it was more than I had as a Loyola University New Orleans junior.
Now I could splurge and buy myself a pair… but I wouldn’t! Let’s be honest what was hot in 04 prob won’t make the cut in 2011. Today I’d love to gift myself a pair of Brian Atwood Fringe Suede Lace-Up Booties.
What I want for myself more than anything is hair extensions! I may be as unable to afford them as a decade ago, but then I didn’t know how much hotter I’d be with them – and what a worthwhile reason for debt they truly are.
Annie Tomlin – BellaSugar.com: Travel
Now and always, the thing I want most is time to travel. Visiting new places makes me think of the world differently, and when I was 22, I was too concerned with squirreling away money into savings. I still save a good chunk of each paycheck, but now a portion goes into a travel fund. I’d love to see Thailand, Montana, or Patagonia soon.
These Miu Miu heels are the perfect blend of two things I really love – shoes and sparkle! My favorite way to indulge myself is with a luxe pair of shoes, and I love that this pair has a sparkly take on a classic design. While they make a stellar party pump, I would pair them with an everyday look, too. I can definitely see myself getting plenty of wear out of these!