the beauty thrifter is in!

DSC_5516I am all for cutting back on stupid spending in 2014. (My new kitchen isn’t going to pay for itself, ya know?) Today over on Beauty Bets, I’m spilling some thoughts on budgeting, hair color and a $12 product that’s my new happy medium between salon color and box dye. Check it out!



Photo by: Julia McMahon // LB Jeffries Photography

an ode to grandma’s dressing room

mary & haroldToday over on the Etsy blog, I shared a few pretty ideas for building a vintage-y vanity area, inspired by my beautiful Grandma Mary (pictured above) and the nook where she used to get ready. With inspiration coming equally from Naples, Florida, circa 1977, and femininity’s golden age of the 1940s and 1950s, the curated collections of dress, decor and details were SO fun to put together. If you have a minute, please do check it out!



beauty school sunday: success with at-home hair dye

7640251978_440a27fd42_zIt’s been approximately one million years since I dyed my hair at home. But with the new year around the corner and a looming list of home improvement projects on the horizon, I’ve got saving money on my brain. And so when the familiar itch to brighten up my color came around this weekend, instead of booking a salon appointment, I looked into drugstore options.

When it comes to going blonde at home, there’s no one I entrust more than Lady Clairol, so it didn’t surprise me to discover glowing reviews for Clairol’s Perfect 10, which retails for $10-12 and is available in the aisles at Walgreens, Target, CVS and Ulta stores. After doing some reading, I settled on shade Lightest Blonde, a luminescent light blonde.

Box dying your hair takes practice and to brush up on the basics, I turned, of course, to You Tube. The found the video below super helpful.

  After watching the video all the way through once, reading two more how-to articles (one and two) and the instructions in the box of dye, I took the plunge. Thirty minutes later (start to finish), I had perky golden locks I’m really pleased with. And with only a $20 investment (I used two boxes since my hair’s long and thick!), a fraction of what I normally would spend on salon highlights, I had money leftover to spend at my favorite brewery. (Pay no mind to my static-y bangs and weird beer grip!)

photo(31)Are you resolving to spend less on beauty expenses in 2013? If so, tell me what you’ve got planned, smarties!



Top photo source: Flickr.

beauty school sunday

Quick background: I’ve spend many an indulgent Sunday morning propped in bed, surfing You Tube and Pinterest for cute beauty tutorials to try in the upcoming week. Along the way, I’ve found some helpful gems which I’ll be sharing here with you on the odd Sunday. 

Late this summer, the French twist was top on my list of hairstyles to master. It’s a polished style that’s works well with second-day hair, making it an ideal ‘do for weekday mornings when I need to look nice for work, but don’t have time to shower and blow-dry. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but bits and pieces from each of these tutorials were helpful so I figured I’d share ’em all.

I found this how-to via Capital Hill Style, a good blog to follow if you work in a formal-ish professional environment. This gal’s non-traditional twisting method wouldn’t work with my thick hair, but if you have shorter or thinner locks than I, it could be a winner.

I loved the messy, fuzzy end result of this Beauty Department tutorial, but found the chopsticks element totally unnecessary. The tip I did steal from this how-to was no. 5: teasing the middle ends of your hair before you roll it up makes for a meatier, bulkier twist.

And last but not least, the tutorial that made it all click! I’ve shared this link with a few friends who were wondering how I fixed my hair…I think what makes it super easy to get is the clear shots of the back of the model’s head.

Some other Frenchy tips I’ve picked up along the way…

Using the correct pins will make doing this ‘do so much easier. Make sure to track down big (three-four inch) bobby pins (for running vertically up the back of your hair) and open hair pins for securing the roll.

It’s better to tease too much than too little when you get started. You can always comb out extra volume, but adding it after you’ve started smoothing and pinning is a pain in the rear.

A handheld mirror will be your best bud when you’re learning this style. Use it to make sure the back’s not looking too ratty or bumpy and that your twist is centered and even.

Don’t sweat it if it takes you a few tries to get the twist down. Give yourself plenty of time to mess around while you’re learning, i.e. don’t try it out for the first time if you’re on a tight schedule or worse, running late.

If you do this right, you shouldn’t need to use a ton of pins or hairspray. I usually do a quick spritz of Extra-Strong Elnett and get on my way.

Do you have any tried-and-true tricks for French twisting to share? If so, leave a comment and let me know! I hope you all have had fabulous Sundays so far. I went to a dear friend’s baby shower this afternoon and now I’m off to hop on a bus to see this dreamboat.

Heck. Yes.



P.S. The beautiful Bruce photo’s from here.

the beauty thrifter is in!

I’ve been obsessing over barrettes lately. I love how they can make a plain old hair-do look mad fancy with minimal effort. Today over on Beauty Bets, I shared a handful of wallet-friendly barrettes I adore. And here are some of my vintage faves.

Kicking it off, going clockwise from the left-hand side, we have a pair of gorgeous gold barrettes ($8 for both) from the 1960s or 1970s available at Shop Lawrence. To the right, check out the sweet petite name barrettes ($4 a piece) from the ’60s. (I think I need the Betty one, btw.) Beneath that, an adorable set of little deer pins ($8). They’d look super fun tucking in strays with a tousled high bun. This orange 1930s Bakelite bow ($62) couldn’t be in better shape, from the looks of it. And last but not least, this super dazzly mod bauble ($14). I’d wear this on date night with a big old teased half-up half-down ‘do, big gold hoops and a LBD.

And that, my dears, is it for today. I’m beat from the week and it’s only Wednesday. I’m excited for tomorrow though. I took a new route home tonight (way faster!) and spotted a thrift store to check out tomorrow. I hope your week is going swimmingly so far!



treat yo self tuesday

Last night, I took myself on a date to the spa. I’m usually pretty good at resisting the many deals and offers that roll through my Inbox, but when I saw Spot Spa’s spring detox special earlier this month, honest to God, I booked it the very next day…because I know a good deal when I see one.

This wonder of a package includes a lemon-infused foot soak and full-body dry brushing followed by a 60-minute massage. The kicker is that you get to take home a full-sized bottle of fancy body oil home with you—Weleda’s Birch Cellulite Oil or  Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil (both cost around $30 at the co-op)—all for $150.

My practitioner Sarah was truly a down-to-earth delight. True to form, I asked lots of questions about beauty, health and wellness, including “what’s the proper technique for dry skin-brushing?” (I’ve been super intrigued since reading that it’s one of Miranda Kerr’s beauty secrets) and “is my going to kill me?” She had tons of good, honest input and sent me home with tons of tips and little nuggets of wisdom. Did I mention that she’s not afraid to dig really deep into those tensed-up, tender parts? Because she totally did, and I’m all the better for it. (Thank you Sarah!)

I left the spa feeling blissful, relaxed and deeply grounded, which is exactly what I was hoping for. And although I know $150 is nothing at all to sniff at, I felt like for what I got, that price is a fantastic value. The Spring Detox special is available at both Spot Spa locations now through June 15th. You have to call to book it…the number for the Northeast location is 612.331.4182 and the Uptown location can be reached at It feels good to treat yo self!