Category Archives: Beauty and Nails

Don’t You Shop Me!


I don’t like photoshopped pictures. 

But probably not for the reasons you’re thinking. I’ll leave the arguments about wither or not they create unrealistic expectations and cultivate unrealistic self images to the thousands of writers who’ve already brought them up. For me, the real issue is that photoshop takes away your body’s story.

There’s a pic of Britney Spears, who, apparently from dancing, has some bruises on her leg. Photoshop – poof! No more bruises. Victoria’s Secret models? Too fit! They need more curves and so they photoshop some in. Those muscles they got from hours at the gym? Scar from second grade? Tattoo? Tan Lines? Gone!

I didn’t realize how anti-photoshop I was until a photographer friend touched up a picture he took of me. He smoothed out my tan, added some shiny life to my hair, and took away all my moles and this weird scar I’ve had on my face since I was a teen. I barely recognized myself! And not in the good way.



That girl is pretty, but she’s got no story. Where’d she come from? What does she do? Does she look like her mom or her dad? I can’t tell. And that’s why I don’t like photoshop.


For the first time in my life I have a body that I’m proud of. And that body includes pole kisses, a nearly eternal bruise on the top of my left foot from pole climbs, thighs that have gotten bigger thanks to gaining some muscle (I actually had to go up a size in my skinny jeans) and a variety of scars and weird marks from all sorts of accidents (have I mentioned I’m an awkward giraffe?).



I’m far from perfect, or even where I want to be, but it would feel like an insult to my body for all the work it’s done to just photoshop out the parts I don’t like. Even the part I hate most… my stomach.

Dozens of pole conditioning classes later, I still think I look a couple months preggers, and I hate that no matter what I do I can’t get rid of the pooch beneath my belly button – but that’s what it looks like. And I’m doing everything I can to make it better, so what is there to be embarrassed about? To prove how anti-shopping I am, here.. my most hated body part in all it’s unaltered glory.



Now that will probably haunt me for the rest of my internet days. #ohwell

Nail Polish HAUL


I LOVE me some nail polish and when I hit Sally Beauty today they had an additional 50% off the lowest clearance price. Um, yes!

Here’s the specs of my haul:


  • Le Chateau – $0.99
  • Androgynie – $0.99

China Glaze:

  • Poinsettia- $0.99
  • Icicle – $0.99
  • Haute Metal – $1.49 (forgot it was in the bag when I took the picture :/)

Finger Paints:

  • Winter Sky – $0.99
  • Drummer Boy – $0.99
  • Asylum – $5.49
  • Red Crackle – $0.99


  • Touch of Glitter – $0.99

Gelish Mini:

  • Cococabana Banana – $4.47
  • Amazon Flirt – $4.47
  • Close Your Fingers and Cross Your Eyes – $4.47
  • The Great Googly-Moogly – $4.47

Total with Tax: 35.55!

Love: Prabal Gurung NYFW Nails


I am completely and utterly flabbergasted by these glorious nails, hand painted by Jin Soon Choi for the Prabal Gurung fall show!

Inspired by Chinese calligraphy, they’re definitely eye catching but not garish and even more perfect when you look at the collection they were shown with.I’m thinking of trying a DIY version with Konad stamps and black and white nail polish, first I need to buy this template (m66)…

Take a look at how the black and white gradient feel of the manicures compliments the black and white pieces from the fall collection – perfection!

Love: Gradient Nail Glitter


While browsing through all the fabulous things I could do with my nails if I weren’t an interpreter (which requires plain nails at all times so as not to be distracting) I absolutely fell in love with this gradient glitter from Funky Trend.

I generally try to avoid glitter on my nails since the infamous blue glitter incident of ’02 (my only excuse is that I was in high school), but there’s something so grown up about these flashy tips. Can’t you just picture them with a sparkly cocktail dress or against a simple black clutch?

As an added bonus: because the nail gets ‘natural’ close to the base, you could have quite a bit of grow-out before they started to look sloppy. So much more forgiving than dark colors that start to look grown-out after two days!


Oh! And while we’re on a beauty post, if you want more info on the M.A.C. Wonder Woman collection I posted about last week, check out Vampy Varnish who got to try out all the colors and took photos of what they look like on real people! (so jealous!)

Love or Lose: One Nail Different


I read in Cosmopolitan that celebrities are doing one nail an eye catching metallic while leaving the other nine a muted color. At first I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke, seriously, who would paint one nail a different color? But after I gave it a try for a  night out, I have to admit that the creative manicure set off my cocktail ring beautifully and made it look as though I’d spent ages planning it all (really it was a happy accident). Still, I’m not sold on this look for everyday, what do you ladies think? Would you rock this trend? (see my version below)

Love: M.A.C. Wonder Woman for Spring 2011

Wonder Woman and M.A.C.

Wonder Woman and M.A.C. by jennaw on

Fair disclosure: I love M.A.C. and just about everything they make. If I had an unlimited makeup budget, I’d slather myself in the stuff every day. As it is, I have a few pieces that I mix with my drugstore finds.

Their limited edition collections always manage to find themes you might not associate with makeup (Hello Kitty?) and somehow make them work beautifully. I was excited to spot their latest collection over at Temptalia, though some of the colors leave me wondering. The bright blues and killer reds are definitely not work appropriate but on the right occasion they could really pop.

The full collection includes the makeup basics plus nailpolish, pigments, lipglass, brushes, makeup bags, and a t-shirt all in gorgeous packaging. Prices range from $14-$49.50. What do you think? Where and how would you wear these bold colors?

Lust: Bleach London

Lust: Bleach London

I have a penchant for crazy hair, probably because (due to my professional job) I can’t have it, so when I ran across Bleach Hair Salon at Wah Nails I spent hours combing through the pages, drooling over the dye candy. Dip dyes, bleach outs, every color of the rainbow: this salon has influences runways and fashion magazines around the world and made an underground phenomenon explode. Don’t believe me? Take a look…


Love: Products for Blonde Hair that Really Work


In case you can’t tell by now, one of my biggest fashion pet peeves is stringy, nasty, over-processed blonde hair – mostly because there’s just no need for it! A few amazing products will keep your blonde hair gorgeous and feeling great no matter how much 20 volume bleach your hairstylist says you need. Even better, not a single one of these products retails for over $10!

Without a doubt, the GOD of bleach blonde products is Clairol Shimmer Lights ($7). It’s not expensive, smells amazing, and works wonders at keeping brassy orange tones at bay. Use it once a week in place of regular shampoo (rinse, lather, repeat and let the second wash sit 3-5 minutes) and you’ll see the difference as soon as you step out of the shower. Fair warning though: it does create a purple murder scene in your bathtub.

Garnier Fructis 3-Minute Undo ($6) is a miracle for dry hair – I use it once a week when I do my Shimmer Lights and let it sit 3-5 minutes (can you tell it’s my longest shower of the week?). If you’ve got a serious case of the dries, you can wet your head, slather it on, wrap your head in saran wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. You can also snag those great little bottles of conditioner that come with box dye from your friends, because you would never box dye blonde, right? Right??

When it comes to an everyday purple shampoo, I’m not entirely convinced that all products aren’t created equal, but I’ve had good luck with John Frieda Sheer Blonde Color Renew Tone-Restoring Shampoo and Conditioner ($8/each). I pick it up whenever Ulta has a sale and use it between Shimmer Lights and Garnier treatments. If you’re using Shimmer Lights once a week, you can probably get away with about any shampoo in between as long as it doesn’t have a red or yellow dye in it (some do to make the shampoo pretty, ex: Bath and Body Works in Sweet Pea).

That’s really about it, everything I use to keep my blonde hair in shape between bleaches. Inexpensive, easy to use, and leaving no excuse for nasty burn-out blonde ever again.

Looking at going blonde? Check out this post for details!

How To: Go Blonde


Ever since I changed my hair, I run into someone at least once a week who looks in astonishment, reaches over to feel my hair that still feels like hair and asks “how did you do that??” Here’s the thing: there is no magical answer to blonde except to find an expert stylist who knows what he or she is doing and can work with you to get the color you want with a routine that fits your life and budget.

This is the color I was when I sat in Jayme’s hair and decided I wanted to be Marilyn Monroe blonde, a natural medium brown with some red undertones that I had put in with box dye:

When I went in to the salon that day, I thought it would be a one and done, I fully expected to walk out a blonde bombshell. Little did I know that going blonde (and still having hair at the end of it) is a time consuming process.


One: find an expert stylist and ask to see pictures of their work, ask if they have experience lightening people to blonde, bring in pictures of what you want, and work together to come up with steps and a timeline you can both agree on.

Two: start with highlights, increasing the amount of hair you highlight each time. With Jayme, I started at about 20% highlights, then around 40%, then 60%, then 80%: you can see my process in these pictures:

Three: time for a full bleach blonde! The best color comes from a two-step process: first bleaching and then toning. Until the toner goes on, your hair will be a strange orange-yellow color, take the Hitchhiker’s Guide approach and don’t panic! Plan to make this appointment an all-day event: my process took about four hours to go from ultra-highlighted brunette to full-on blonde.

Four: take better care of your hair than you ever have. I use Garnier Fructis Three-Minute Undo once a week and a hot oil treatment once a month. I also limit the amount of heat tools I use on my hair and go for trims once a month to keep the ends healthy.

With some careful planning and a great stylist, even the darkest brunettes can find a blonde that works for them. Here’s my end result, a level 9 blonde:

Have any questions about going blonde? Want to share your experiences? Post in the comments below!

Lust: Maggie Matich’s Lavender Hair


When I stumbled across Maggie Matich’s photos on Lookbook, I knew I had to interview her about my ever-ongoing fascination with lavender hair (don’t know what I’m talking about? See Kelly Osbourne and these models). She’s the first real live girl I’ve seen pull it off brilliantly, so of course I had to find out the when and how and why, read on…

How long did you have lavender hair?
I had lavender hair for about 1 month. I had had a jet black bob for about 5 years and I got scouted to model for Vidal Sassoon and they took me from black to copper to blonde. It was white blonde but because my hair had had so much dark colour put on it, it started to go yellow. The girl who coloured my hair said that a good way to counteract the yellow tones was to go an ashy purple (lavender) and I said go for it.

What process did you go through to get the color and what products did you use?
They used sassoon colour but she also used crazy colour and when I wanted to go a more vibrant purple, I used Directions hair colour which was very good as it wasn’t damaging to my hair (it was very brittle after all the bleaching).

What did you do to keep it up? Any special shampoos or products?
Sassoon gave me a lot of Kerastase shampoos and conditioners which were very good in keeping my hair healthy. I found the leave in Thermique condition by Kerastase was very good.

What reactions did people have most often? Any memorable ones?
I got told I looked like a cup cake. Weirdly, I liked that very much. My Mum hated it but I have never listened to my Mum. Oops!

What was your favorite thing about lavender hair? Your least favorite?
My favourite thing was just the colour. I love all shades of purple and so I was very happy I had it on my head. My least favourite was that when it was a deeper purple, it was hard to wear some of my clothes in that it became a bit of a colour overload and sometimes blue didn’t look very good. It was very short aswell so I looked a bit like a fairy or a pixie which is good in some ways but a little weird in others. Haha.

What tips do you have for someone thinking of rocking this trend?
Don’t be shy with the clothes you wear, it is a really all or nothing look. I found rather than over thinking the colours I wore and what prints I matched, it was better to go all out and completely miss-match colours and prints and I think it worked. I hope. But all black is also a wicked look with Lilac hair.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Nope, That’s all.

Want to know more? See Maggie’s blogspot, tumblr and lookbook accounts!