Banging Back the Years

As we age, there’s a whole lot going downhill: Our skin sags, our face wrinkles, and our hair grays and loses its vibrancy.

But what we may not realize is it’s far easier than we think to reverse the process. In fact, the right cut and color can take years off our perceived age!

It’s a timeless truth that the right cut will help to draw attention to your face and highlight your best features—whether that’s your eyes, skin, lips, or anything else. —And it can also mask or even hide entirely any flaws you may be insecure about. You know how our favorite Hollywood ingénue, Reese Witherspoon, has a strong jaw? Her long layers and side swept bags are a brilliant maneuver to soften her look!

But if your “flaw” is aging – and honestly, my friends, imagine the alternative – as we start to see those gray hairs peek out, we should counteract by choosing bold, dramatic colors that can actually accentuate aging not mask it. Yvonne Neihule, owner of Neihule salon says, “Dark colors work against the skin to highlight lines and wrinkles, in many cases taking the hair lighter, or adding highlights versus low lights can soften the face and diminish the look of pronounced lines around the eyes.”

Just as cut is important, as is color. A short cut opens up the face, and brightens the skin – which can help to hide wrinkles and lines.  It’s almost like getting a facelift! Feathering also is a great softening style that can hide lines…softer is often better in these cases. Going softer compliments the face and does not focus or highlight harsh lines or shades in the face.

Remember, the ideal style is one that makes you still look like YOU, but younger. Don’t go mid-life crisis and dye your hair purple or get wild extensions…this may make you feel childish, but you’ll probably still look your age!

By Aly Walansky

Twilight’s Kristen Stewart at the VMA’s

kristen stewart

Who out there is not a fan of the Twilight trilogy!  At the 2009 MTV VMA’s last week the Twilight crew was in full effect with incredible show stopping hair styles.  Kristen Stewart rocked her edgy, yet classic short do styled by Hallie Bowman, a Celebrity Stylist for Pantene.  No she didn’t chop her long beautiful locks off it is all the art of pinning!  Hallie cut Kristen’s bangs slightly.  She then bobby pinned her hair towards the back and left some pieces on the side giving the illusion of a bob.  What do you all think of Kristen’s do?

Flat Iron Maintenance

These simple tips will help prolong the life of your professional flat iron and keep those bad hair days at bay! 

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat IronHundreds of best-selling, top-rated flat irons, hair straighteners, and styling irons are sold every day, and if you own a flat iron, you know you would be lost without it. If you have that much trust in your hair straightener, shouldn’t you take care of it? A well-loved flat iron equals a happy hairstyle in my book. (Pictured: BaByliss Nano-Titanium Flat Iron)

A Few Minutes a Day
Taking a few extra minutes to care for your flat iron (or curling iron) after each use will not only help prolong its life, it will also ensure it is clean and ready for use the next time you need it. Some extra care goes a long way with a flat iron, and it’s easier than you think. Plus, if you’ve ever had a flat iron die on you, you know all about the bad hair days you must suffer until the new one arrives, so proper care is the way to go.

Caution, it’s HOT
Remember to always use extreme caution when handling your hot flat iron, and keep in mind that the plates of the iron will remain very hot for a short period after you turn it off. You should always wait for the flat iron (or any hair appliance) to completely cool down before cleaning or storing it, and you should always unplug it immediately after use.

 HAI Heatproof Bag/Mat ComboSafety First

 While your flat iron is cooling down, I suggest placing in on a heatproof mat to protect it and your counter tops. Many of the flat iron manufacturers sell heatproof mats along with their irons, and it’s a good idea to get one. I’ve seen them in silicone and in a variety of other heat resistant materials, any of which are fine for resting your hot appliance on while using or during the cooling down period. (Pictured: StyleBell Heatproof Bag/Mat Combo)

Gentle Care, Better Hair
The flat iron plates should be cleaned with a soft cloth and a professional iron cleaner specifically formulated for use flat irons and other heat styling appliances. You should never use any harsh or abrasive cleaners that will damage or scratch the surface of the plates, or reduce the iron’s ability to glide through the hair easily. Make sure to never spray iron cleaner on a hot iron, this could potentially damage the plates of the iron. Always make sure you use iron cleaner on a cool iron to protect your iron from possible damage. I recommend cleaning your flat iron after every use to keep your plates in tip-top shape, and maintain its peak performance. Remember “gummy residue”. Enough said.

Loose Handles?
With regular use, sometimes the handles of the iron may become loose. If this occurs, you can step away like I do, or try to fix it by removing the hinge cover and tightening the nut. Always make sure the iron is unplugged and completely cool before attempting to tighten a loose nut. Remember to replace the hinge cover securely when you are done. If you are unsure, mechanically challenged, or don’t like the idea of taking your favorite appliance apart, please seek professional help! A stylist, a professional salon worker, repair man, or electrical appliance guru should be called in immediately.

Proper Storage Please!
When storing your flat iron, you should never, ever, never wrap the power cord around it. Did I say NEVER? I really cannot stress this point enough. Wrapping the electrical cord around the flat iron causes damage and stress to the connection points and will lead to damage of both the iron and the cord. I wish I could tell you how many people complain that their flat iron broke after 3 months due to cord damage. When storing your flat iron, bundle the cord loosely and lay the cord next to the iron. This will prolong the life of your flat iron, guaranteed.

It’s Worth Repeating
A flat iron will take several minutes to cool down completely after use. To avoid burning your counter top or vanity, you really should invest in a heat resistant mat or heatproof bag specifically designed to cover the flat iron’s plates. A heatproof mat protects your counter surfaces while the iron is cooling down, and also keeps your flat iron plates clean and protected from damage during storage and travel. A mat is a great resting place, but for travel and storage, if you can get a heatproof bag, it would be a better investment in the long run.

Hot Tools Professional Iron CleanerPrevent Damage
 Keep in mind that any styling products used on your hair will cause build up on your flat iron plates over time. This leads to excess stickiness on the plate surface, and results in poor styling results. The gummy residue on the plates can also cause damaging stress to your hair by pulling and snagging the strands, causing split ends and breakage. Flat irons are meant to glide through your hair smoothly, so it’s very important to make sure your iron is clean before each and every use. Gummy residue? Split ends? Damage? You should be running to pick up some professional iron cleaner before you even finish this article. (Pictured: Hot Tools Professional Iron Cleaner)

Taking care of your flat iron not only prolongs its life, it also ensures better performance and smoother slip through your hair as you style. Plus, exercising caution with any heat appliance is always recommended, safety first!

 

And of course, if you’re in the market for a new flat iron, our Best Flat Irons section features the most-wanted irons around!

Restore Hair’s Strength and Shine with Moroccan Oil

MorocanOilA Trip to Morocco…
Touted as a revolutionary styling and finishing product, Moroccan Oil is one of the latest in innovative, healthy hair treatments. Just apply a few tiny drops to clean damp hair from roots to tips and you’ll immediately notice a natural, silky softness in your hair’s texture without that greasy, heavy feeling you might find with other hair serums.

With just a few drops, Moroccan Oil instantly goes to work seeping deep into your roots, repairing all of your split ends, while nourishing your scalp with beneficial antioxidants and Vitamins E and F. This super serum works well on all hair types and is especially good at making tangles and those tiny knots disappear with ease – no more tugging and breakage! And the smell is yummy! A a fabulously subtle, incense-y scent that leans more towards a spicy-Caribbean coconut than a sugary tropical aroma. Very nice!

Moroccan Oil promises no build up (and it didn’t!), protects against UV damage and other environmental pollutants, and provides unbelievable shine. I really like the shine without oil factor, even though it’s an oil base, it isn’t greasy. 

 It also claims to speed up your drying time by 40%… I didn’t notice a significant decrease in styling time, but I definitely noticed more manageable, healthier strands after one use. If you’re looking to reverse your daily hair damage, go for Moroccan Oil, the healthy shine alone will make you a believer. Click here to buy it now at StyleBell!

GHD MK4 Flat Iron Review

GHD MK4 Ceramic Flat IronWith so many flat irons on the market, how do you really know which one is right for you? I’ve been testing them out to see how each one works, and why. Today I’d like to share my review of the latest wonder from GHD, the GHD MK4 1″ Ceramic Flat Iron. Touted as one of the best flat irons on the market, I absolutely loved it.

Incorporating state-of-the-art styling technology, the GHD MK4 Straightener and Styler looks very similar to a lot of flat irons out there, but that’s where the similarities end. It’s different, and really, it’s better. All of you CHI fanatics take note, if you ever try a GHD, you’ll see what I’m talking about, and if you currently use a ‘drugstore variety’ flat iron, you’ll be amazed.

The MK4 has a rounded barrel for improved curling and styling, and let me tell you, it curls as easily as it straightens, giving you the ultimate in versatility. You should know that most flat irons will produce curls, but with this iron, it was easy and the curls were nice. I chalk that up to the way this ceramic iron smoothed my strands. It took out all the texture. It didn’t just ‘flatten’, it smoothed. And curled. Major props for that.

The GHD MK4 also has advanced ceramic heaters that are designed to sense the porosity of your hair type to apply and maintain the perfect amount of heat with every glide. That’s cool. Really cool. The iron stayed hot the whole time – no damaging ‘hot spots’ like some other brands – you know who you are! But honestly, it didn’t need to stay hot so long because it straightened my hair super-fast.

The ceramic plates that promise smooth, static free glides took out all my frizz in no time. Some flat irons have been known to create static on hair – especially ones with Tourmaline – so static-free was a huge plus. This iron also had an extremely good grip of my hair while styling, which is very important when choosing a flat iron, because it usually translates into quicker styling with less passes down the same section of hair. Additionally, the ghd MK4 has great tension control, which means I didn’t have to give myself carpal tunnel squeezing the plates together super hard as I straightened each section of my hair. Minimal tension worked just fine thank you.

This iron comes nicely packaged with a step-by-step DVD included in the box which is great for you newbies, but obviously you can always catch a styling video here on our blog if you need some extra help – check out Flat Iron Styling with GHD.

This iron gets two snaps up in Z formation. Watch out competition (ahem CHI), there’s a top player in town, the GHD MK4 has arrived and it’s fabulous! I hope more people get past the pricey price point and give it a try, it really is worth it.

P.S. The ghd MK4 also has an awesome auto adjust feature for international voltages so I can style my way around the world, if I ever get to do that…

Kate Hudson Wins Top Beautiful Woman on People

Kate Hudson

Our favorite Kate Hudson takes the top spot as the Most Beautiful Women on People magazine! Congrats Kate! Others such as Angelina Jolie, Marcia Cross, and Carrie Underwood are all in the spread. Where am I? Maybe next year!

Read More about Kate:
See Kate’s new haircare line launch David Babaii for Wild Aid
See Kate’s Hairstyle Gallery

Hairstyle Gallery: Leona Lewis Hair

leona lewis hair hairstylesLeona Lewis is taking storm of the music industry and guess what her hair is fantastic.  Her diva style portfolio includes straight and sleek, corkscrew curls, and our fav the long sexy soft 2 inch curls.  See more of Leona Lewis’ styles in our slideshow.

Celebrity Style: Marcia Cross Hair & Hairstyles

Marcia Cross HairDid you see Marcia Cross’s hair last night?  Her style was fabulous during the Desperate Housewives revival show.  Marcia’s hair was the perfect shade of mahogany red providing a striking contrast with her pale yet glowing skin tone.  Her curls were individually defined with long frizz free 2 inch curls.  It was completely dramatic!  But would you expect anything less from our Housewives diva?

How to get this look?  When hair is wet lightly spray the Bain De Terre Take Shape Mint Balm.  Comb through hair.  The Bain De Terre spray gel will create the perfect frizz free curl and hold that curl.  Section the hair and curl each section with the Hot Tools 2″ Curling Iron.  Remember the larger the curling iron barrel size the softer the curl.  Lightly stroke curled hair with your finger tips allowing the curl to take on a beautiful spring.  Then dab a few drops of the Abba Pure Shine Drops on your hands and stroke each curl with the shine serum.  Your new hairstyle will scream elegance.