Category : Beauty

DIY beauty

Pamper yourself with DIY face masks

Keep your skin smooth and keep blemishes at bay with DIY face masks at home. As lovely as they are, regular facials don’t fit into everyone’s schedule — or budget. However, you might be surprised what you can create with ingredients you already have in your home. We’ve rounded up some must-try face masks, complete with lush ingredients that can improve the look of your skin from the comfort of your couch.

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DIY Honey Lemon Face Mask
DIY Champagne Detox Face Mask
Vitamin C rich face mask
Chocolate Oatmeal Face Mask
Clay face mask
Detox Your Face Mask
DIY Blueberry Face Exfoliator
DIY Honey & Oatmeal Face Mask
DIY Face Mask for Wrinkles

The Homemade Honey & Lemon Face Mask contains two of the most powerful natural ingredients you can find in your home. Lemon alone can help clear up acne, blackheads, and skin discoloration. The mask, from Hot Beauty Health, is simple but remarkably effective.

Hello Natural brings you a Champagne Detox Face Mask. You only need three ingredients and twenty minutes to get the benefits of this mask. Whether you decide to use leftover champagne the morning after a late night or sip from a new bottle while applying the mask, the antioxidants in the bubbly beverage help soothe your skin.

JJ Begonia knows what it’s like to see your favorite produce start to go bad by the middle of the week. Thanks to her savvy beauty skills, she can help you salvage those deteriorating fruits and veggies into something for your skin — like the Vitamin C-Rich Face Mask. The sweet-smelling mask will exfoliate and brighten your skin.

The Chocolate Oatmeal Face Mask proves cocoa can be a treat for your skin, too. This mask, from Gourmande in the Kitchen, is bursting with skin-improving ingredients. It helps combat free radicals, exfoliates, soothes, moisturizes, and opens up clogged pores.

The Clay Face Mask from Sprinkle of Cinnamon looks simple, but one of the ingredients completely shocked me. Especially with consistent use, this mask keeps your skin free of blemishes, and you might be surprised to see which of the ingredients you have in your kitchen right now contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Oatmeal With a Fork concocted a homemade mask that gives you immediate results. The ‘Detox Your Face’ Mask is packed with natural ingredients that truly deliver a nutritional punch to your skin. The ingredients combine into a gorgeous, rich green color, and after 20 to 30 minutes, you’ll already notice a difference in your skin tone.

Smooth and moisturize your skin with the DIY Blueberry Exfoliating Mask from Alyssa & Carla. If you pick up a pint of blueberries during your next shopping trip, it’s likely you’ll already have the other three ingredients in this mask in your kitchen. The mask makes enough for two applications, and we know you’ll love it enough to use it several more times!

Hairspray & High Heels teaches you how to use three common — and budget-friendly — kitchen ingredients for a fabulous facial scrub. The DIY Honey & Oatmeal Facial Scrub will help your skin look younger and fresher without exotic and expensive ingredients, and the extra few minutes you spend on your skin will give you a few minutes to relax and recharge.

Try the Best Eye Mask for Wrinkles from Hello Glow for an instant face lift. The mask is gorgeous, and it will tighten your skin and help regenerate your skin’s cells. You’ll love how smooth your skin feels after a single application.

What is your favorite tip for an at-home spa day?
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5 looks from head to toe

We teamed with one of our favorite moms Venessa Kaufman, founder of We The Classy to show our busy moms 5 Ultra-Stylish Day-to-Day looks with sneakers. Venessa is a mother of two toddlers, blogger, model, and a registered financial broker who is always on the go. All of us can relate to Venessa’s journey, finding a way to feel like yourself and be a mom. “I found that being stylish like my pre-baby self, while dressing functionally for my post-baby self has been a key component in determining how my day is going to go” says Venessa.

I think we can all agree with V when she says “that handling a tantrum on a staircase in stilettos is a hazard to anyone’s safety!” So for all of you girls who (pre-baby) were constantly running around in heels, this is for you! Using the same pair of New Balance sneakers we created 5 looks that are free of those traditional black yoga pants. If you don’t already own a pair, we strongly advises you to purchase a pair of neutral or monochromatic “sneakers” to accomplish these looks.

1. The Cool T-shirt Trend
Hot to rock a t-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes for a casuel look

(Pictured: Old Navy Necklace, Skinny Jeans, H&M, $9-49.95)
V-neck Tee, ZARA)

2. Moto jacket paired with printed active pants
Moto jacket with printed leggings and tennis shoes for a sporty look

(Pictured: Moto Jacket ,GAP $25.99, Printed Active Pants OLD NAVY $29.94)

3. Knit long sleeve tee with leatherette pants
5 ways to wear dress up your tennis shoes

(Pictured: Knit Long Sleeve OLD NAVY $16.94, Leatherette Pants H&M $17)

4. Fine-knit dress paired with a bright colored clutch
A dress and tennis shoes it can be done!

(Pictured: Fine-Knit Dress H&M $24.95, Pink Clutch H&M)

5. Leather jacket paired with v-neck tee and jersey skirt
5 ways to style trendy tennis shoes

(Pictured: Vegan Leather Moto Jacket AMERICAN EAGLE $89.99, Jersey V-Neck Top OLD NAVY, $14.94), Zara Mini Jersey Skirt)

Secret Beauty Tip From Venessa:

Another obstacle I’ve encountered is having pretty manicured nails between giving baths and making dinners. Through trial and lots of error I have discovered two Essie nail colors that are both lovely and extremely fast drying. So fast that if you need to have your nails done for a night out you can throw on a coat as you step out the door with no fear, or even while sitting in the playroom with the kiddos.

IMG_5182The two colors are called Haute As Hello and Good As Gold. Both are worth their weight in gold to a busy stylish mama.

I strongly believe that part of being a good mom is being good to one’s self. Our kids learn from our actions. If we are kind to ourselves and are confident about our images as mothers, then they will learn how to be confident as well. You are someone’s idol.

We loved working with Venessa aka VNK. She is the sweetest! Thank you for having so much fun with us and sharing some of your tips. For more with VNK follow @wetheclassy

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 FabFitFun Winter Box VIP Event + 10% off Coupon Code


We had so much fun at the FabFitFun Winter Box Launch Party last week in Los Angeles! What a fun night and we left feeling relaxed, primped, and pampered after all the festivities.


FabFitFun did an amazing job with their new Winter Box 2014. Teaming up with brands like Juice Beauty and Daniel Stone, FabFitFun’s Winter 2014 Box is one of their best boxes yet. The total value is worth over $380 but they sell it to their members for &49.99! Thankfully, it’s yours for 10% off with our special code SSM. Check out some of my favorites from the box below!

Daniel Stone COCO Candle, $42


Lather AHA Hand Creme with Evening Primrose, $30

Become a FabFitFun VIP and get your own Winter box, sign up at today!

The FabFitFun Winter 2014 Box also contains: Half United Fighting Hunger Necklace ($34), yourMinerals Assorted Eye Shadow Duo ($44), Salted – 3 Months of Free Membership ($29.97), $30 Fashion Project gift cards with Free Shipping, Organic Valley Organic Balance Milk Protein Shake ($2.99), Justin’s Classic Almond Butter ($0.63), Special K Snack Bars ($2.62/box).

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Solutions for dry, winter skin

Winter weather means dry hands and chapped lips. Wind and cold outdoor air contribute to your chafed hands, but the dry heat indoors means your skin can’t catch a break. Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer with dry skin until spring weather arrives. We have ten tips for winter skin relief — including some fabulous products for all budgets.

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Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil
CO Bigelow Derma Remedy
Aveeno Positively Nourishing
Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiance
Clinique Moisture Surge
Jurlique Moisturing Hand Sanitizer
LOccitane Hand Cream
Burts Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Bliss Foot Patrol
Sephora Color Reveal Lip Balm

Soft skin starts in the showerDerma Remedy is an intensely moisturizing body wash for winter’s driest, most-irritated skin (C.O. Bigelow, $18). With shea butter and primrose oil, the body wash helps keep skin hydrated for 24 hours at a time, giving winter skin relief between showers.

One-stop moisture shopping — Moisturize your face, body, and hair with Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil (Kiehl’s, $42). Repair split ends, smooth chapped cheeks, and leave your entire body silky smooth with fairly-traded Moroccan Argan Oil and naturally derived emollients, enriched with antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

Moisturize while soothing your sensesAveeno Active Naturals Positively Nourishing Body Lotion is a daily tool for healthy, soft skin (, $5). Lavender and chamomile provide a calming balm for your senses, while colloidal oatmeal keeps your skin moisturized.

Hold onto your summer glowNivea Sun-Kissed Radiance Gradual Tanner and Body Lotion does more than keep your skin moisturized (Amazon, $8). The lotion gradually builds a little bit of color onto pale, winter skin — with a fresh scent not often found in self tanners. Gingko extract and grape seed oil help moisturize skin for even color without streaking.

Make a visible difference in your skinMoisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator makes a visible difference in the appearance of your skin (Clinique, $39). The oil-free, cream gel hydrates skin immediately, plumping facial skin and smoothing lines caused by dryness. Use twice daily for beautifully hydrated skin.

Fight winter germs while keeping your hands soft — Keep germs at bay without sacrificing soft skin with Jurlique Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer (Amazon,  $12). The natural alternative to common hand sanitizers, which strip moisture with drying ingredients, the Jurlique sanitizer eliminates 99.9% of bacteria within seconds.

Don’t miss this best-selling hand cream — The L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is one of the most beloved hand creams in the world — one is sold every three seconds! (L’Occitane, $28). Honey, almond extracts, and coconut oil are blended with a high concentration of Shea Butter for a luxurious cream that never feels oily.

Get smooth, soft cuticlesLemon Butter Cuticle Cream will keep your cuticles soft and smooth, so your manicure looks its best (Burt’s Bees, $6). Sweet almond oil and cocoa seed butter provide moisture to your cuticles, while vitamin E and sunflower oil keep nails from becoming brittle in the winter air.

Keep feet soft between pedicures — Foot Patrol exfoliates and softens feet after only a single application (Bliss, $18). Peppermint and salicylic acid soothe your feet and keep them from turning into a scaly nightmare after spending all that time in winter boots. Use the fabulous cream regularly, and you’ll swear you just left the pedicure chair.

Personalized color for chapped lipsColor Reveal Lip Balm does more than moisturize your chapped lips (Sephora, $13). The moisture booster soothes chapped lips with a sweet touch of honey, while a pH enhancer creates a subtle pink shade perfectly suited to your body chemistry.

Bonus winter skin care tip

Moisturizing products work best when they’re trapping in the moisture your skin already has. Make the most of your skin’s natural moisture by applying your favorite products right after you shower. You don’t even need to wait until you’re completely dry — since some of the moisture will evaporate, applying your moisturizer on top of damp skin can help build a protective, moisturizing barrier on your skin.

Do you have a secret winter skin care tip you can share?
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With a new season comes a whole new slew of nail polish to try out. Time to set aside the neons and brights of summer and focus on more deep and rich tones. Today we’re sharing our favorite fall nail polish shades.

gray polish

Deep Taupe

A good deep taupe nail polish literally goes with everything, and is great for those of us not really wanting to take a huge risk when it comes to our nails. It’s classic and chic and you cannot go wrong. “You Don’t Know Jacques” by OPI is my go-to fall shade that I fall back on time and time again, and would match perfectly with a pair of super cute Sam Edelman ankle boots.

plum polish

Deep Plum

I love a deep plum shade for fall. It’s the perfect addition to a sophisticated tweed jacket and tailored pants, and is kind of the quintessential fall shade, don’t you think? Chanel “Provocation” is perfect.

navy polish


Blue nails were big in the summer, and they’re here to stay into fall. Just trade in the mint shades for for a darker navy, and you’re good to go. It is chic and classic for a reason. Navy is a shade that when paired with the right smart outfit will come off as beautiful and even feminine, plus it’s so dark it will go with just about anything! Loving Essie “Style Cartel” paired with this beautiful pom pom scarf from Anthropologie.

berry red

Rich Berry Red

A gorgeous rich red polish that is romantic and seductive is just perfect for fall. Red is always in style. Try Essie’s “Dress to Kilt.”



For a fun twist, paint your nails metallic. This hot trend is perfect for an unexpected pop in the cooler months. Try this Butter London polish in “Bobby Dazzler” and throw on some fun bangles, like these by Free People.

Which shade is your top pick for fall?
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fall makeup trends
Have fun with fall makeup trends

You might not be able to completely overhaul your closet every season, but makeup trends are easier to follow. Load up your makeup bag with fun colors and on-trend makeup for a fun, easy way to ease yourself from summer to fall. The latest trends in skin, eyes and lips aren’t complicated and keep your look fresh — even when you’re wearing your favorite classics from your closet.

makeup trends
Start with subtly glowing skin

This fall’s foundation is all about looking luminous. Overly done, matte skin is difficult to achieve and keep perfect all day, and this fall you don’t have to worry about that! Glowing skin doesn’t need to be flawless — though we’d all love to find the secret to impeccable skin. Start with a light-reflecting makeup. Nars Illuminator in Orgasm is a stunning, peachy-pink, but the makeup comes in six luminous shades (Nordstrom, $30).

Embrace eyeliner this fall

No matter which makeup trend you decide to try this fall, eyeliner is going to play a major role.

makeup trends


The smokey eye has been reimagined in browns, instead of the usual blacks and grays. It’s a look many women will feel comfortable trying, because you can use the techniques you’ve mastered in years past with the neutral shades that play a large role in daytime eyes. The bareMinerals READY® Eyeshadow 8.0 The Power Neutrals is the perfect palette for the smokey brown eye (Bare Escentuals, $40). Damp application will turn these shadows into soft, blendable eyeliner.

makeup trends

Makeup lovers know that black eyeliner never really loses its place in your makeup bag. The key to keeping black from becoming boring is to keep up with the most on-trend application methods. This fall, black is making a dramatic appearance in the form of a definite, thick swoop along the lower lashes. You’ll need a steady hand — and a waterproof liner — to keep the trend from sliding from risky to raccoon. Try Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner by Smashbox (Sephora, $20).

makeup trends

Colored eyeliner is the fall makeup trend that will have the most dramatic effect on your look. If you’re unsure about the trend, start with a rich purple, like the Larger than Life Liner in Bourbon Street (Sephora, $24). Purple enhances and brightens all eye colors, and it’s subtle enough to transition into color from a neutral liner. When you’re ready for something bolder, try the Larger than Life Liner in Khao San Road, a metallic aquamarine (Sephora, $24).

makeup trends

Extend your lashes

Nothing finishes your look quite like stellar lashes, and Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes are the next best thing to applying false lashes — or investing in lash extensions (, $29). The 3-step fiber lash process transforms your own lashes into lush, dramatic lashes. Moodstruck Fiber Lashes are water resistant but wash off easily at the end of the day. Mascara lovers are quickly learning Moodstruck is a makeup must-have!

makeup trends
Red lips are here to stay

Red lips have been making their way onto the makeup scene for a few seasons, and they’re not going anywhere this fall. Cherry red lips are surprisingly easy to work into your routine. A swipe of Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Everyday Diva will instantly polish up any look (MAC, $22). Just be sure to apply while looking in a mirror in case of any errant wisps of red — it’s not a look you want to attempt in the dark.

Which trends are you excited to try this fall?
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by CoolSculpting®. All savvy opinions are our own.

Cool Sculpting

Summer shouldn’t mean hiding your skin

High temps, days at the beach and nights out with your girlfriends are all opportunities to slip on your favorite skin-baring clothes, but many women are hiding their bodies instead of celebrating them. According to a survey of 500 women, there are four major “thigh hiding” techniques women use each summer. 22% of them refuse to wear shorts at all. Keeping your body under wraps is no way to spend a summer — or any season!

Cool Sculpting

When diet and exercise stall

Clean eating and fitness challenges are major factors in helping women feel better in their skin. Cleaner diets lead to clearer skin, better sleep and increased energy, while fitness goals help build lean muscle and increase endurance. But there are times when changes in diet and increased activity seems to stall. 88% of women mention “one area” they’d like to fix before they pull on a bikini. CoolSculpting is designed to help improve the stubborn areas of thighs and those pesky love handles.

CoolSculpting® helps you regain confidence

Women don’t need a magic fix for their bodies. Feeling self-consciousness interferes with enjoying the summer months. Walking on the beach with confidence means you can worry about where to plant your umbrella instead of what to pull on over your bathing suit. CoolSculpting® just helps smooth away a little bit of the worry about baring skin and feeling comfortable doing so. Like them on Facebook to learn more.

  • The CoolSculpting® procedure is not intended as a weight loss program for overweight individuals.
  • The best candidates are people near their ideal body weight with stubborn fat that have not responded to diet and exercise.

Cool Sculpting

Try CoolSculpting® before summer ends

If you need a little boost to get you from covered up to wearing your favorite bikini, try CoolSculpting®. Find a doctor near you and talk about how the non-surgical procedure will work with your body and your goals. CoolSculpting® is so sure you’ll love the results that they’re giving away two thigh treatments — and a $500 shopping spree to buy a few new pieces to show off your new legs! Enter for a chance to win today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Happy National Lipstick Day

Lipstick-loving moms should celebrate today — it’s a holiday! National Lipstick Day is July 29 and we’ve rounded up the best of the best for those who never leave the house without it and for those who are looking for a fresh new shade for summer. So, smack those luscious lips together, moms… today is all about lipstick!

Top 8 best-selling lipsticks for summer

Best selling lipsticks for summer

Top row, left to right:
NYX Matte Lipstick in Nude,, $6
Jouer Hydrating Lipstick in Whitney,, $22
Borghese B Moisture Advance Care Lipcolour in Carnevale Red,, $25
diego dalla palma Matte Lipstick in No. 95 Orange,, $34

Bottom row, left to right:
em michelle phan Lip Gallery Creamy Color Classic Lipstick in Cuddle Up Pink,, $15
LORAC Breakthrough Performance Lipstick SPF 15 in It Girl,, $22
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Fairest Nude,, $6
Gorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Quinn,, $25

These are the hottest lipsticks of the summer and we love that they range from subtle nudes to the bold oranges, with some classic shades in between. As we all know, even if we have a favorite go-to lipstick that takes us from season-to-season, we often grab a new color as our wardrobes change with the warmer weather and these eight lipsticks are a good place to start for summer.

When it comes to trends, nudes have definitely caught the attention of women — online searches for “nude lipstick” are up 50 percent in summer compared to spring. Moms who wear nude lipsticks share that they wear it because it gives them a natural look, without having bare lips. “I’m a bright lipstick fanatic,” says Angie. “But, I don’t always want to put on a bright shade, especially when I’m not wearing much makeup otherwise. Nude lipstick is the best for those days!”

What moms are wearing on their lips

We chatted with some of our favorite moms on National Lipstick Day to see what they’re wearing on their lips for summer.

Paige: “My current favorite is one that I got for my birthday, MAC Lipstick in Snob (, $16). It stays on, feels good and isn’t lumpy. At first, it looks a little Pepto-pink, but when I blend it with my brush, it softens.”

Chelsea: “I have a secret weapon. The Wet n’ Wild lipsticks in the black tubes (Wet n’ Wild Mega Last Lip Color) are completely comparable to almost all MAC colors. It’s all I use.”

Ashley: “Do lip stains count? I go with Yves Saint Laurent #14 (, $41) hands down. They stay on for a good 3-6 hours!”

Sara: “My new favorite is NARS Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita (Amazon, $26). I can put it on in the morning and immediately feel put together for the day. It’s creamy, moisturizing and the name is perfect.”

What’s your favorite lipstick color?

Information courtesy of, including their Beauty and Luxury Beauty stores.

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The sad state of summer manicures

Sand and water can take a toll on typical nail polish. Between the chlorine in pools, the grittiness of sand accompanying a day at the beach and the four hundred hand washings necessary due to sunscreen application, your basic manicure doesn’t stand a chance. If you don’t want Monday’s manicure to fall apart by Wednesday, consider a gel manicure. The light-cured polish lasts much longer, and savvy moms can achieve a gel manicure at home — with a few fabulous products.

gel nail polish
Salon quality at home

If you’ve been loving your salon gel manicures and can’t wait to bring the process home, the Gelish Basix Kit is a fabulous choice (Sally Beauty Supply, $55). Used by many salons, you can get salon-perfect nails without leaving the house with the Gelish MINI Pro LED Curing Light (Sally Beauty Supply, $75).


The easiest gel manicure to remove

The Kiss Gel Polish Color Gel Starter System comes with almost everything you need to get perfect nails at home (Beauty Online Supply, $20). You’ll need to invest in the Everlasting Pro LED Gel Lamp to complete the system, but the Kiss system provides a gorgeous, shiny manicure that’s one of the easiest to remove (Beauty Online Supply, $30). One of the main complaints about gel manicures, in general, is the removal process, so the Kiss system is the best option if you’re worried about spending a ton of time removing the polish.

gel nail polish

At-home gel manicures for beginners

The Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Kit comes with absolutely everything you need for your first at-home gel manicure (Ulta, $65). The system includes the LED light — and everything else you’ll need for gel nails at home. It’s the best system for one-stop shoppers who don’t want to worry about forgetting one of the system steps at the store.

gel nail polish

Best overall gel nail polish system

The Sensationail Gel System is an overall winner for at-home gel manicures. The salon-quality results are even more impressive considering the reasonably-priced Sensationail Pro 3060 LED Lamp (, $30).  Sensationail even has trendy polish choices, like their Magnetic Gel Polish in Tantalize, which sets their color selection apart from some of the other gel systems (, $12).


gel nail polish
Gel nail polish for the non-committal

If you want to try a gel manicure at home without investing in a complete system, Miracle Gel™ from Sally Hansen might be your perfect match. The polish is a two-step system instead of the typical three-step system, and it doesn’t involve the curing LED light. With over 45 nail polish shades available, you don’t need to commit to an LED system to get the lasting power of a gel manicure (Walgreens, $10 each for color and top coat).

An at-home gel manicure cheat sheet
  • Unless you want to destroy your nails — and we know you don’t — always remove the polish by soaking and not peeling. Peeling will take off the top layer of your nail with the gel, which results in thin, weak, splitting nails over time. You can use 100% acetone to soak off the gel manicure if you run out of the polish remover that you bought for your system.
  • LED lights will work with any gel polish. Just because you start with one system doesn’t mean you can’t snag a color you love from a different one. An off-the-record hint is that even regular polish will simulate a gel manicure if used with the gel base and top coats. Your typical polish won’t last as long as a gel polish cured under the light, but it will last longer than normal if you have a favorite shade you just can’t find in gel form.
  • Following the instructions on the system you buy is crucial. Skipping one of the steps may seem like it will save you time, but the curing — which is what makes the polish so resistant to daily damage — depends on each step being performed during each manicure.
Would you try a gel manicure at home?
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I have been wielding a blow dryer since middle school, but I have never been able to achieve that bouncy blow out perfection that I receive at the salon. Lucky for me, my favorite salon — Hypnotic Salon and Spa in Olney, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC — hosted a Blow Dry Boot Camp.

What’s a blow dry boot camp?

Participants were invited to learn from their stylists exactly how to re-create that professional blow out ‘do that looks like a million bucks and lasts three days. We were told to bring with us our hair appliances, brushes and products for evaluation, and if the items were deemed less than awesome for our strands we could donate them to a women’s shelter and receive a 25 percent discount on improved tools and products at the salon.

I thought this was such a fabulous idea that I immediately booked my boot camp slot with my stylist and Hypnotic Salon and Spa owner Chrissy Mayo. Chrissy gives me great cuts, highlights and unbelievably bouncy blow outs, and she was game for me creating an online tutorial so YOU can learn from her mastery, too.

before .jpg


There on the left is beautiful Chrissy with her full, sleek, glossy mane…and me on the right with my home-dried, no-producted, ponytail-marked, frazzled mess. Chrissy had just given me a cut a couple weeks prior, so the hair itself is looking pretty fly. But there is not much savviness to how I styled my strands.



Chrissy’s face says it all…I was using some sub-par products that were not doing my home blow dry routine any favors. The first items to go were the ones laden with alcohol, which would dry out my hair and strip the color. The next items for the donation box were products too heavy for my hair texture; thick gels and mega-hold hairsprays will only weigh down and clump fine, thin hair like mine.


Chrissy recommended for me the Redken Blonde Idol BBB Spray to use when my hair is wet after washing and conditioning. It is a lightweight treatment for my ends to give my hair a soft feel without weighing down my thin hair. It will also help boost my highlights and protect my hair before heat styling. Another good protection before blow drying product is the Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer with Heat Protection.


Next I needed a product to plump up my roots and give my entire head volume while blow drying. Chrissy is a fan of the Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam. This stuff is so cool — it is a mousse that is not sticky and you can accurately spray right into your roots. It provides a brushable, soft volume.


The Dryer

The most important tool is an ionic hair dryer to promote shine and cause the least amount of damage to the hair. I already owned the Turbo Power Superturbo Lite 3300 Ionic & Ceramic Nano Hair Dryer and Chrissy was impressed (of course, I was not using it correctly.) Chrissy uses a salon-level BaBylssPRO dryer that is even lighter and more powerful (and pricier.)

Attach the Diffuser

Next up in importance is the act of actually attaching the diffuser nozzle that comes with your dryer. This will help your hair cuticles — layers on each hair strand which overlap one another like roof shingles — to smooth, rather than spiking up with flyaways and splitty-looking ends.


When your hair is wet from the shower, the only brush you should use on it is a Wet Brush, which will not break your hair when it is at its most delicate. You can also use a wide-toothed comb. While you blow dry, Chrissy recommends the Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ionic Flat Brush for a poker-straight look and the Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ionic Thermal Round Brushes for a full, bouncy, tucked-under-ends blow out.

For round brushes, the longer your hair, the larger the circumference of your round brush should be. I was using a pretty small round brush, which was tangling my hair when it wrapped around. The size I was using (pictured below in the Rough Dry photo) was a better match when my hair was chin-length. I upgraded to the largest size.

rough dry.jpg

Rough Dry

Comb or Wet-Brush your hair, starting at your ends and working your way up to eliminate tangles. Then squeeze out all the water — do not scrub it with a bath towel, which can exacerbate frizz. Part your hair and then add your product.

Now you can begin the casual, easy, anyone-can-do-it portion of your blow dry: the rough dry. This means you just dry it using your hands and your dryer in an inexact manner to zap the majority of the moisture. While you rough dry, do not worry too much about your technique, other than always pointing the dryer nozzle towards the floor to coax your cuticles to lay smoothly against the hair strands for the healthiest hair look possible.

(Chrissy used my own dryer during the tutorial so I could really get a sense of how to recreate her art at home.)



Once your hair is 75 percent dry (or more wet if you have a wavier texture), section it with clips. I had some professional-style crocodile hair clips that came with my flat iron, but you can use claw clips, butterfly clips — whatever you have as long as it will hold your hair in sections without leaving a deep mark.

I have pretty thin hair so I can get away with clipping the top layers of my hair on both sides to the top of my head, and then drying the bottom layer on each side (four sections, two clips.) If you have thicker hair, clip up and section off more. You will be drying the bottom layers first, then working your way up, spending the most and final time on the sections at the front of your head and near your face.


The Hold

I always though stylists possessed magical powers (and of course, two arms not attached to the hair owner’s body) that allowed them achieve blow dry perfection. But Chrissy’s technique makes the entire process so much easier! Here is her secret: hold the dryer by the nozzle, not the handle! It gives you more control and is less fatiguing. It is kind of like holding a pencil — why hold up at the top when you can grip it better by the point?

Dryer/Brush Combo

Once you have nice control of your dryer in your non-dominant hand, it makes introducing your brush of choice into your dominant hand a zillion times easier. Brush your hair from beneath near the root and then use the nozzle of the dryer to follow your hair down to the ends. If you are using a flat brush, keep it moving to smooth. If you are rolling under with a round brush, you can hold the hair in a tucked-under position to get more of a bend at the end, but keep the dryer nozzle moving so as not to burn your hair.

Start with the bottom-most sections and then work your way up, leaving the top-most layer and your bangs or face-framing hair for last.


Top Section = Extra Attention

By now your final sections of hair will be almost dry, and that is totally fine. Your dryer and brush will be coaxing them into glossy, bouncy submission. Get a close grip with your brush at the root and pull up above your head for maximum volume. Insert slightly less hair into the brush than you did on the bottom sections, and spend a little more time with each pass of the brush. Think of it as icing your almost-completed cake.

If you would like more volume at the crown of your head (think of the location where you would insert a Bump-It, back in the old Snooki days), use a fine-toothed rat tail comb to accurately section off a piece at your crown near your part. Tease several inches above your root and then smooth again with your brush. Chrissy says that teasing right at the root will do nothing — the key is to move up several inches to really pump up the volume.


When you are done, spray with a lightweight hairspray that you can brush through and allows for movement, but will protect your hair from weather and extend the life of your hard work. Chrissy recommends the L’Anza Healing Style line of finishing mists — you can choose the level of hold that works best for your hair texture and needs.


If you would like to give your blow out a boost the next day, even after sleep, just add a little more Redken Guts 10 to reactivate volume. Then spray a dry shampoo like TIGI Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo or Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender to absorb oil at the roots.



Here I am on the left, grinning like a fool because I am having a great hair day that I know will extend into tomorrow. Actually, that hair lasted through two sleeps, one workout, a thunderstorm and volunteering at a swim meet in 90 percent humidity. I hope this tutorial helps you too to achieve great results.

Thank you Chrissy Mayo of Hypnotic Salon and Spa for a bodacious blow dry boot camp, and happy home blow drying friends!

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