summer reading: biographies of blondes

Last night, when I was dusting off my bedside table, I noticed my biography choices this summer have a definite theme. Evidently, I like to read about blondes. Specifically, musical ones.

Top to bottom…

California Dreamin’: The True Story of the Mamas & the Papas
by Michelle Phillips

Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton & Me
by Pattie Boyd

Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen by Jimmy McDonough

I have a habit of alternating between fiction and biographies, so after finishing Wonderful Tonight (grade=C) in June, I moved on to Daughter of Fortune (grade=B), which I finally wrapped up last Saturday at the beach.

Seeing as it’s time for a biography, I started the book on Tammy yesterday and am one chapter in. First impression: It’s awesome. The writing is solid, but just as importantly, I can tell that McDonough’s fascinated by Wynette, and that her music moves and inspires him (as well it should). There’s nothing more boring than a music bio written by someone who seems to care nothing about the artist, their story or their music, and is simply (and sometimes, clinically) reporting the facts at an arm’s length.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to curling up with it tonight, after this busy, busy day winds down. How gorgeous is that photo of her on the cover, by the way? Love those big curls.

What are you reading this summer?

I’ll be needing a fiction fix next and would love to hear what page-turners are taking up space at your bedside.



guest blogging on beauty bets

Hey y’all!

Hy-Lo Drug Store, Southern California, circa July 1970 (source)

I did a little round-up of my favorite thrifty beauty buys for Elizabeth Dehn’s ever-so-handy blog Beauty Bets. From lip stain to blush, dry shampoo to moisturizer, all my top drugstore picks for gettin’ pretty are right here.

I’m so grateful to Bet’s for letting me spout off about my favorite products! While you’re over on her site, check out the archives of budget-friendly DIYs and Best Bets product reviews. Her site is a must-read for any beauty product junkie!

Have a beautiful day!!



if i’ve only one life, let me live it as a blonde

Last week, I spent some time reading ’60s and ’70s-era Seventeen mags I got at an estate sale. And, as much as I love the fashion & beauty editorials, I usually spend more time looking at the advertisements. Clairol’s ads, especially ones about blonde-ness, always catch my eye.

Clairol became a household name when it launched the first one-step home hair color formula, a breakthrough for the beauty industry, which debuted with the now-famous catchphrase, “Does she…or doesn’t she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.” Responsible for the famous phrase was a junior copy writer at the agency Foote, Cone & Belding, named Shirley Polykoff, who was also the sole female copy writer at the firm. It was Peggy Olson’s Polykoff’s future mother-in-law who inspired the now famous “Does she…or doesn’t she?” catchphrase. After meeting Polykoff, she took her son aside and grilled him about the true hue of his girlfriend’s tresses.

In 1956, when Polykoff was assigned the Clairol campaign, hair dye was still considered something only tawdry women used. To counter the negative stigma of hair color and build a wholesome image for the brand, early ads featured sweet, girl-next-door-ish models.

Sara Thom’s blonde locks are the star of this 1961 spot, photographed by fashion and band photographer Richard Avedon. Thom modeled extensively for Vogue, McCall’s and Hairdo magazine and was the featured face in ad campaigns for Cover Girl, Avon, Ponds and Max Factor, among others.

Recognize this lady? In the early ’70s, Cybill Shepherd was the go-to blonde for many a Clairol ad. She was even featured on Clairol’s packaging, as seen here.

Into the ’70s, ads continued to emphasize the “natural” blonde colors Clairol products offered.

This chick’s curls are fantastic and I love this ad’s tagline. This is a tear from one of my old Seventeens.

(Click the images to go to source. Facts are from Wikipedia.)

Well, I’m off to the couch to get some reading in. I would love to cuddle up with this guy, but he’s snoring on his bed as I type, so there he shall stay.

Enjoy the waning hours of the weekend!