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best hair products for blondes

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best products for blondes

I love being blonde. It’s become part of my identity, and I love it, but it sure is expensive to stay blonde. Not only are the regular salon visits pricey, but upkeep afterward can get up there in price too. It’s worth it to me, though, to extend the life of my blonde and push it as long as possible before going back under the dye cap.

I’ve been dyeing my hair for more than half my life (woof, I’m old) so I have more than a few tips and tricks to maximize that dye job. Let’s roll tape on the best hair products for blondes!

Best Shampoo for Blondes

Unite Blondia Shampoo: This is a new product for me. I picked up a travel bottle at the salon on my last appointment because I had two trips coming up and didn’t want to fuss with pouring my existing shampoo into a travel container. The instructions say to only leave it in your hair for up to 60 seconds, so I got super pumped thinking it would tint my hair lilac if I left it on long. I paired it with Aveda’s Blue Malva conditioner, and it did take out the yellow that was starting to shine through. My friend said that it had that nearly-purple tint too, so mission accomplished! (It smells like grape, so if you’re scent-sensitive, skip on down the road.)

Jhirmack Silver Brightening Shampoo: This is the lowest-price shampoo I use, so it’s become my daily shampoo. You can get it at drugstores like Walgreens, and it works pretty well! (It’s cheaper in-store than on Amazon, too.) I tend to use it more after a few weeks post-dye when I’m washing my hair more than once a week. This has been my go-to shampoo for about four years and I keep coming back, even after trying out more expensive products. I think that says something.

Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo: I decided to try out this fancy shampoo on the last Sephora VIB sale. It’s lightly scented but not too overpowering. It works fine, but I hate the bottle. The push-top doesn’t open very wide, so it’s tough to squeeze out enough product. It’s alright, but there are other more cost-effective options that work just as well (in better packaging.) I did try the matching conditioner as well, but I still like blue malva and Joico a lot more.

Kevin Murphy Blonde.Angel.Wash: A stylist friend of mine introduced me to Kevin Murphy a few months ago, and I’ve tried it a few times. I like it a lot because it doesn’t get overly bubbly – it definitely is a wash, more than a shampoo, and it hydrates hair really well. I like it, but can’t justify the cost.

Lush Daddy-O Shampoo: I love the smell of this shampoo from Lush, but I didn’t feel like it actually worked all that well. I had really high hopes, but my hair still looked a bit yellow-y after use. Don’t get me started on the companion conditioner bar either – I would scrub and rub it into my hair, and still not feel like I had even gotten any in or on my locks.

Bedhead Dirty Blonde Shampoo: Oh, memories. This was the first purple shampoo I ever used. It’s not too pigmented, so if you spend serious money coloring your hair, I’d opt for a different choice. If you’re a natural blonde just hoping to pull out some of the yellow from hard water, this is a great (and inexpensive) choice.

Tigi Catwalk Fasionista Violet Shampoo: I picked this up during an Ulta hair care sale. It’s very bubbly and soapy – it has a nice scent, but I don’t love it. Honestly, I think that the Jhirmack shampoo is better than this one. It’s inexpensive, but still not worth it.

best products for blondes

Best Blonde Conditioners

Aveda Blue Malva Conditioner: Don’t let the price tag on this one give you a heart attack. It really is worth it. Douglas J Institute has been my go-to salon for over five years, and I held off on buying any of the pricey products for a long time. In December 2015, though, I caved. I got the best dye job of my life and the stylist sold me on this conditioner. It’s the best thing I’ve ever put in my hair. It makes it feel super healthy, has that light Aveda scent, and really brightens and tones hair. I use it once or twice a month. I definitely recommend buying directly from Aveda, either online or in a salon, and joining the pureprivilege program to collect points. You can also get 15% off your first order online! I’ve not tried the blue malva shampoo, but I’m sure it works just as well.

Joico Color Endure Conditioner: This was an impulse buy when I was between blue malva treatments but my hair was starting to feel really brittle. It hydrates really well, and it’s sulfate-free, which helps keep your color healthy. It’s a great, inexpensive option to keep in your shower.

It’s a 10 Miracle Blonde Leave-In Conditioner: This is a summer gamechanger for me. Since I love being outside (no surprise) my hair cooks a little fast. (By cook, I mean drys out, obviously.) I’ve never tried the regular It’s a 10 formula, but this blonde one is a must-have. It helps with frizz, detangles, and moisturizes, and also helps to protect your color against the sun. When I first started using it, I noticed a marked difference in the brightness of my color!

best hair products for blondes

Other Hair Products To Use

Invisibobble Hair Ring: I got these in a Sephora value set, and holy, cow, you guys. These are the best hair bands ever – especially for working out. I used to use the Scunchi hair ties with the rubber, but they always stretched out and hurt my hair when pulling them out. The Invisibobbles don’t move at all, and the coils don’t leave any “bend” in your hair either. This was the only hair tie I brought to Memphis, I had it in and out of my hair over the course of four days, and I made a blowout last the entire time because there was no crease or anything in my hair. I can’t recommend or talk highly enough about these!

Wet Brush: I ordered a wet brush on a whim a few years ago, and I can’t imagine using any other kind now. It’s built to not pull or snag your hair, which keeps it from getting frizzy or frayed. This paddle version is my new favorite.

Dry Shampoo: When you aren’t washing your hair often, dry shampoo needs to be used religiously to keep your head feeling fresh. My favorite is Batiste’s Brilliant Blonde because it blends in super easily, so you don’t have to brush it in too much. (Ouai has a dry shampoo foam that I really love too, but it does take a bit of working in, depending on your tone.)

Alligator Clips: I like these for styling out my hair. They’re what cosmetologists use in salons – they don’t pull too much on your hair, and you can section it out really easily. (They’re also great for just easily throwing your hair up to get it out of your face.)

What do you think are the best products for blondes? Do you have any holy grail hair products?

July 10, 2017

help for hormonal acne from curology

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Curology provided me with a sample for this review, but all opinions are my own.

My whole life, I’d been lucky to have perfect skin. I often got compliments on it which always made me feel great, but last winter after a birth control change, I started getting terrible hormonal breakouts all over my face. It didn’t matter what I did – being extra careful and mindful of taking off my makeup, drinking extra water, trying out different charcoal face washes – nothing was making it better. I thought I would try out Curology to see if a prescription might help out.

Curology is a skincare solution that pairs you with a dermatologist who analyzes photos of your skin along with your own feedback about it, then customizes a three-ingredient medication for your specific skin problems. The first step is to post selfies of your skin, and Curology makes it really easy to upload from your computer or directly from your phone.

Throughout my experience, I tried to keep a little journal to review my experience. Let’s check it out!

Week 1: On March 13, I got my first box and started using it every night before bed. I am a greaseball, and the greaseball is me. Apparently, this is normal and it’s called “purging” – Curology sends emails along the journey to touch base and educate you about the process. My face feels like an oil slick and I can’t really tell if the acne is getting any better just yet, but I’m going to keep chugging along.

Week 3: I contacted my provider and asked for any tips she had that might help the purge since my skin has been so oily. She recommended a cleanser, and it has been helping. She also suggested using the medication every other day and making sure I’m not going too overboard with it (which I definitely was.)

Curology Progress Photo

Week 6: The texture of my skin has gotten way better, and a lot of the acne on my cheeks has cleared up. I’m still getting breakouts around my mouth, but they aren’t nearly as severe as they were.

Week 10: There’s no acne on my cheeks or neck anymore, and most of it along my jawline is gone too.

Week 12: Still having breakouts here and there, but again, nowhere near my original photos when I started using Curology. They aren’t as painful either – I used to be barely able to touch my chin without a wince, and that discomfort is gone now.

One thing to note: since the first shipment I got, they’ve changed their frequency. Now, instead of sending 3-month supplies, they have a variety of plan levels to fit your needs:

  • Pricing plan details:
    • 30-Day Bottle (14 ml): Shipment Every Month $19.95 (+ $4.95 Shipping & Handling)
    • 60-Day Bottle (27 ml): Shipment Every Two Months $39.90 (Free Shipping & Handling)

You can get a smaller bottle now, which is great – if the formula needs to be changed up, you don’t have to wait as long. When I got the reminder that my new shipment was due, I contacted my provider with a new set of selfies and feedback on how it was working, and she updated my prescription accordingly. (Plus the new bottles are TSA-friendly, so you can take it on plane trips.)

curology delivery

The new formula I’m on seems to be working much better. I saw a little improvement off and on with my first bottle (mostly around my chin and neck, which didn’t feel like hormonal acne to begin with) and in the week since I’ve had the different medication, the texture has gotten even more clear and hormonal acne has been more manageable. It was impossible to cover with makeup before, but now I can use tinted moisturizer and it’s not noticeable.

On the Curology website, there are a lot of success stories – many people who have been using it for over a year are continuing to use it because their skin has cleared up completely! You can also upload your own progress pictures (this is important so your provider can review them to evaluate progress and changes) and check out guides with tips on how lifestyle factors can affect your skin. In addition to that, you can contact your provider anytime with questions. During the purge when I started using the product, I was miserable with grease. My provider Rachel suggested a drugstore cleanser to try, and it worked really great. I’m still using it as my daily facewash because it makes my skin feel so dewy and fresh.

Another really cool thing about Curology is that their website teaches you what each medication in your formula does. There are no “filler” products – they just put in what you need to keep your skin clear.

Curology medicines

I’m obviously a big proponent of health care from home – I would never have made a trip to a dermatologist office for a lot of reasons. Curology makes it so easy to talk to your provider about what is and isn’t working, get suggestions, and an affordable medication that can be customized monthly based on your skin care.

My experience has been really great, and though I am still having a few breakouts here and there, they aren’t nearly as bad and are easily covered by light makeup (in this photo, I’m just using Laura Mercier moisturizer!)

curology update photo

If you struggle with acne, I highly recommend Curology. It’s super affordable, and you can even get a free month by using my referral link here!

June 12, 2017

dollar shave club wanderer review

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I was provided a complimentary product from Dollar Shave Club to review, but all opinions are my own.

dollar shave club wanderer

Dollar Shave Club‘s name sounds obvious and their marketing has been all over for the last few years, so it seems pretty easy to describe their company. A monthly subscription box for razors. They’ve branched out to become so much more than that, though – and they asked me to review their new Wanderer line of shower products. Dollar Shave Club’s Chief Innovation Officer, Fadi Mourad, told Sweet that Wanderer was born of hearing from guys that “their skin always felt dry, itchy, and uncomfortable throughout the day,” so with that in mind, I paid special attention to how clean and fresh I felt when jumping out of the shower.

dollar shave club wanderer

Though much of their marketing has been geared toward men, they encourage women to use their shave products as well (I’ve used their razors before), and I was impressed by the Wanderer line. The scents aren’t overly “manly” – one of the cleansers is lavender and amber scented, which is really warm and soothing. (I described it to someone as it feeling like a hug when I first used it.) The Sage & Black Pepper shampoo and conditioner smell really great – lightly scented, and the sage smell really makes me feel awake. Their conditioner is particularly amazing – it’s left my hair super soft, and helped with snarls and tangles. Another touch I really appreciated in the shampoo and conditioner is that the top of the shampoo is translucent, while the conditioner is white, making it easy to tell the difference!

dollar shave club wanderer

Wanderer also features two soap scents – the calming Amber Lavender, and awakening Mint Cedarwood. I’m a really big fan of the Amber Lavender cleanser – I like to use it when I shower at night to help relax and drift off. Mint Cedarwood is great too – the combination definitely does awaken you, and when paired with the Lathering Shower Cloth, it’s a combination for next level clean. (The exfoliation of the shower cloth is a bit heavy, so if you have sensitive skin, it might be something to try just once a week.) Their bar soaps have exfoliating beads in them too, and I’ve liked having one by the sink for really clean hands.

dollar shave club wanderer

The Citrus Hawaiian Ginger face cleanser is another standout. It won’t dry you out at all (or leave you feeling greasy), and the tropical scent of this one gives you a quick vacation while you wash your face! I’m very used to face cleansers with microbeads or extra scrubbers in them so I was apprehensive about this, but it works up into a nice lather for a deep clean.

The line is sulfate-free (which means the hair products are safe even for color treated hair) and natural, with ingredients meant to hydrate while they cleanse. You can purchase the products a la carte, or buy one of the bundles they’ve put together for a discount. I was really impressed by all of the products and I highly recommend them – they could even save room in your shower if you’re overly stocked on gendered shampoos and shower gels!

Have you ever tried Dollar Shave Club? What’s your favorite shower gel scent?

April 19, 2017

top 5: holy grail beauty products

Posted in Living, Style by


Somehow, sometime, I became a little bit of a girl girl in that I LOVE makeup and beauty products. Trips to Sephora and Ulta are therapy for me, and some of my favorite BFF activities with Dani have been nights we’ve stayed in, painted on eight different masks, and given ourselves at-home pedicures. In light of that, I thought I’d share some of my favorite products today – they might even spark some gift ideas for you!

Read more…

November 18, 2016

like black and white / opposites 

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Marie Claire is one of my favorite magazines – it includes information that is actually useful and interesting, and their online articles are just as interesting (not to mention that “What A Good Woman Does,” my new obsession, debuted there recently.) Every month, they close the mag with an “opposites” section, where they give a celeb a list of questions where they’ll describe the opposites of each topic. Since I’m a celebrity in my own house (since I live alone and everything) I thought I’d take a crack at filling out their survey. Who knows, maybe they will get wind of it and print me in the next issue!

  1. Picky about gas stations. There are certain ones I would not be caught dead in / not so much about coffee. I will literally drink any that is put in front of me
  2. I feel for local government employees / no sympathy parents of toddlers. (If you are one, I’m sorry.)
  3. Skills mastered contouring! / can’t quite get the hang of email setups… or spiral staircases.
  4. Early for EVERYTHING / late for tech upgrades. I didn’t get an iPhone until 2013
  5. Totally get the appeal rooftop bars / don’t get at all dressing up to run errands
  6. Getting better at being nice to people / getting worse at being on time
  7. Perennially cool red lipstick / never cool unsolicited dick pics
  8. Moment of triumph finally being truly moved on from my ex / epic fail the move I’m currently waffling back and forth on. Nashville housing is hard, ya’ll!
  9. Glad it’s ahead of me my inevitable move to LA / glad it’s behind me certain relationships, for sure
  10. Hottest place I’ve ever been honestly, probably Michigan. I remember it being in the 100s the summer before I moved / coldest also definitely Michigan
  11. Always up for a nap. Mexican food. Pool hangs. Impromptu vacations. ER. / never up for scary movies or Metallica
  12. Too much in my life social media / not enough of oceans, lakes, or beaches
  13. Endlessly curious about history, political science, art… pretty much anything you can find in a museum / zero interest NFL football
  14. Subject I won’t shut up about lately Orphan Black and traveling / subjects I avoid lately I have been backing out of the confederate flag debate. As a displaced Yankee, I don’t want to get into it
  15. True believer coconut oil. At my last dentist appointment, they couldn’t believe that I don’t floss because my teeth were so clean and healthy. I oil pull almost every day, so I guess it’s paying off!  / major skeptic Orphan Black‘s Paul. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he on our side? HOW CAN WE KNOW!?
  16. Perfect day begins with a three-mile run or yoga / and ends with a (fancy) beer and some trashy TV
July 10, 2015