Beauty Buzz: CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™

By |September 8th, 2015|Beauty & Trends, Beauty Buzz, Sponsored Post|

kirsten smith clear scalp hair whydidEven though the official start of fall isn’t until September 23rd, Labor Day often feels like the end of summer and the transition from fun in the sun to back to school and back to reality.  Goodbye, cabana.  Hello, cubicle.  We swap out our skimpy suits for sweaters and our pedicures become irrelevant, hidden under closed toed brogues and boots.  Even our beauty routines must morph.  CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™ has a developed a line to aid in the conversion consisting of nourishing shampoos and conditioners that are designed to address various hair and scalp needs.  Like skin, weather can also have a strong effect on our scalps. As seasons change so do our skin cells and hair cycle – in fact, studies have shown that seasonality can cause shedding especially in fall.clear scalp and hairCLEAR SCALP & HAIR™ Intense Hydration Nourishing Shampoo and Nourishing Daily Conditioner deliver the following benefits:

  • Hair is resilient to dryness for 24 hours of soft, hydrated hair
  • Infused with cactus extract, a known hydrator
  • Clinically proven to help replenish the scalp with essential hydration with regular use
  • Leaves hair beautifully strong from root to tip
  • Formulated with Nutrium 10™, an advanced moisture complex of vitamins and nutrients including vitamins B5, C & E, sunflower, almond, soybean & coconut oils, glycerin & aloe vera

kirsten smith whydid clear scalp and hairAs I spent an entire afternoon weeding through my closet and tossing things I hadn’t worn in ages (and maybe shouldn’t have ever worn) to make room for the new season’s latest acquisitions, I caught a glimpse of my hair in the mirror.  It was dull and a bit dry from all of summer’s fun.  Even my scalp was feeling the effects of too much sun.

It is essential to care for your scalp and hair with products designed to nourish and strengthen it – to ensure a healthy, full bodied head of hair. With fall on the horizon, you’ll want to put an emphasis on scalp care and start early, so your scalp and hair are ready for the transition ahead.  After a few uses of CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™ Intense Hydration Nourishing Shampoo and Nourishing Daily Conditioner, my hair regained some shine and a bit of bounce.  I had figured chopping my locks was going to be the only way to regain control of my mane, but post CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™, there’s not a pixie cut in my autumn forecast.  Now not only is my closet ready for fall, so is my hair.

kirsten smith whydid clear scalp hair

Photos by Skinny K

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Beauty Buzz: A Perfect Blowout with Ammon Carver

By |January 6th, 2015|Beauty Buzz, Guest Blogger|

ammon carver salon lanza hair careThe New Year is a great time for a new look.  If you are a bit gun shy and not yet ready to pull the trigger on the of the moment lob (long bob) or a complete color makeover makes you nervous, why not start with a little lesson in achieving the sleekest blowout you’ve had in years?  I have a lot of hair.  Hair that seems to have a mind (and split personality) of its own as seen in this Instagram photo.  It’s wavy.  It’s curly.  It’s flat.  It’s full.  I do my best to try and tame it, but even after all these years of practice, even I know there’s always room for improvement.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ammon Carver at the opening of his salon and in-house photo studio in conjunction with Lanza Healing Haircare located on west 17th Street this past fall and I fell for him immediately.  Not only is he incredibly talented, but also disarmingly warm and sure isn’t hard to look at (sorry, folks, he’s taken).  He invited me to come back to the studio in order to tell me more about L’Anza‘s new Keratin line and demonstrate it on my tired tresses.  I’m never one to turn down the opportunity for someone else to handle my hair, so I happily agreed.  I was so impressed with the product, which actually made my hair so shiny it looked like I’d had it highlighted, and Ammon’s attention to detail, that I asked if he’d be up for sharing some of his secrets.  We decided to start with a straightforward blowout and below are a sprinkling of his top tips as to how to execute the type of blowout sure to turn heads.

(full disclosure: I hesitated to post this as now you’ll all know what my hair is actually capable of looking like.  Often times, I’ve left the salon and the ladies seemed surprised to realize that I “actually have nice hair.”)

Product of Our Environment:

Before you begin your blowout, be sure to apply product to your hair in order to ensure safety from heat and to seal in moisture.  Ammon used L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Combing Cream, which sort of smells like heaven.

lanza haircare keratinThe Root of the Problem:

A lot of people think flipping their heads upside down to get out the initial dampness is a good way to begin a blowout, but in actuality, you’re only increasing your chances of fighting frizz.  Nope, that’s not volume.  The best place to start your blowout is right at the root.  The hair there is the most difficult to manage and tends to be the most frizzy/flyaway.  Drake may have started at the bottom, but we’ll begin at the top.

ammon carver blow dryKnow Your ABCs:

Think of your hair in sections with the root being A, the midsection being B, and the ends being C.  Just as you wouldn’t recite the alphabet backwards, don’t dry your hair backwards either.  Your roots retain the most moisture (and as mentioned the most stubborn texture).  The ends of your hair are the driest and if you blow them for the same amount of time as the roots, you will only dry and damage them further (ever notice how that’s the first part of your hair to dry)?  This might take a bit of dexterity, but with practice, you’ll have the hang of it in no time.

how to blow dry your hairFrameworthy:

Many people (myself included) save the front portion of their hair for the end much like dessert.  Well, because this area often includes your face framing layers, it’s important to get that portion polished before finishing up your ‘do.  What’s the point of having perfectly blown out tresses at the back of your head… unless you’re a carriage driver looking to make extra tips?

ammon carver studio whydidTurn Down for What?:

If your dryer has a nozzle, use it.  It helps to keep the air flowing in a concentrated direction.  Speaking of direction (and there isn’t just one), be sure you’re blowing down.  As Ammon explained to me, “Think of your hair cuticle like the scales of a fish.  If you blow up, it’s like rubbing the scales in the wrong direction.”

ammon carver lanza haircareQuality Investment:

While the Mason Pearson brush Ammon used to tug my tresses taught may be on the pricey side, he assured me that it’s well worth the investment.  As far as blow dryers go, there’s no need to go pro, but an upgrade from your drugstore offerings may be in order.

ammon carver blowoutPump Up the Volume:

Now it’s time to add volume to your coif.  Do so by concentrating a finishing hairspray near the roots.

ammon carver salonWith a Twist:

If you don’t love a stick straight look, add some easy bounce with a large barrel curling iron.  Don’t forget to curl pieces in the front away from your face.

how to blow out hairFinishing School:

Last, but not least, be sure to seal in your style with a finishing spray like L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Lustrous Finishing Spray to extend the life of your blowout.  (I carry a travel size of this spray in my bag for touch ups).

ammon carver whydid blog

how to blow out your hair


lanza keratin healing oilL’Anza Keratin Healing Oil ShampooL’anza Keratin Healing Oil ConditionerL’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Combing CreamMason Pearson Junior Mix BrushT3 Featherweight 2L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil Lustrous Finishing Spray



Guest Post: Smile without Cracking Up

By |December 31st, 2014|Beauty Buzz, Guest Blogger|

During the bitter winter months, it’s hard to imagine wanting to pucker up when your lips feel more like cracked sidewalks than soft, sumptuous pillows.  Fortunately, Dr. Kenet has some tips as to how to keep your lips kissably soft even on the coldest days.  

best winter lip balmsIt’s hard to look happy when you’re lips look ragged. Winter bears down on lips—low humidity, indoor heat, windy days, icy rain and snow. Of course, we know that lip balm helps, but it’s important to know the details to keep your lips looking great.

  1. Avoid lip care products that contain phenol, menthol or salicylic acid. Although that pleasant minty blast may seem refreshing and tingly, you’re putting your lips at risk for further peeling. Removing these layers of skin leaves your lips more susceptible to the environmental factors that cause chapping.

For example: Carmex or Rosebud Balm are not recommended.

Here are some further lip tips:

  1. No licking. Either it’s a habit or you may think you’re doing your lips a favor. In either case, it’s a mistake.
  2. Eat right -plenty of good fats (fresh salmon, krill supplements, even a bit of grass-fed organic butter) to keep your body and skin in top shape against the elements.
  3. Avoid matte lipstick and go for something moisturizing. A new product, Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon is a nice easy moisturizing lipstick that won’t dry lips out.  Revlon Moondrops Lip Conditioner is a throwback, but it has lasted through the years as a favorite because it’s inexpensive and has all the right ingredients.  Extravagance:  Baum De Rose By Terry for lips gives a slight tint and tons of moisturizing protection.  Go Basic: Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect, Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Do this:

  1. After your shower, gently pat dry and get an emollient on your lips.
  2. If your lips are already chapped, avoid sipping hot drinks for a few days.
  3. For extreme cases, apply 1% hydrocortisone before bedtime.

 best lips balms winter1. Clé de Peau Beauté Lip Contour Treatment, $50, 2. AERIN Rose Lip Conditioner, $28, 3. By Terry Rose Balm, $60, 4. Eos Lip Balm Coconut Milk, $3.49, 5. Revlon Moon Drops Lip Conditioner, $8.99, 6. Aquaphor Lip Repair, $4.29, 7. Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, $25, 8. Burt’s Bee Lip Crayon, $8.99, 9. Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm in Honey, $9, 10. TokyoMilk Dark Femme Fatale Collection Lip Elixirs in Salted Caramel, $7


Beauty Buzz: Haunting Beauty

By |October 30th, 2014|Beauty Buzz|

best halloween makeupAnother great way to make use of your leotards is by creating beautiful Halloween makeup.  If accessories aren’t your thing, or you just can’t seem to get your hands on a Piers Atkinson flamingo headband, head to your closest makeup counter and start getting creative.  Whether you choose to paint yourself like a mime or wish to achieve Cleopatra’s cat eyes, there are endless possibilities for temporary self  transformation with just a few strokes of shadow or a bit of contouring wizardry.  Play around, have fun, and just remember, it’ll be dark and everyone’ll be drunk.

halloween makeup tips

1. Viseart Contour, Camouflage HD Palette, 2. Sephora Collection Dramatic Performance Longwear Lash Kit, 3. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Night Crimson, 4. T3 BodyWaver Curling Iron, 5. Jin Soon Tout Ensemble Collection, 6. Too Faced Smokey Eye Shadow Collection, 7. Sultra Color Hair Mascara, 8. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Shimmer Navy, 9. Lancome Artliner 24H Bold Precision Eyeliner, 10. Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Maneater, 11. Urban Decay All Night Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Duo, 12. Urban Decay Black Magic 24/7 Glide On Double Ended Eye Pencil Set, 13. Bobbi Brown BBU Palette



Beauty Buzz: Falling for You

By |September 25th, 2014|Beauty Buzz|

fall 2014 beauty trends to tryWhile you’re updating your fall wardrobe and tucking away summer’s short shorts and bathing suits, be sure to check in with your makeup bag as well.  This fall’s beauty trends are focused on fierce lashes, flawless skin, pops of color, perfectly lined lids, and metallic touches.  With only adding a few secret weapons to your beauty arsenal, you’ll take on this season’s updated face with ease.  We can get to the deep side parts, big bangs, and more braids for hair in an upcoming How To video.  In the meantime, check out five of fall’s most fabulous beauty trends.

All That Glitters:

fall 2014 beauty trends 3Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Metallic, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour, NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow


fall 2014 beauty trendsBenefit Cosmetics Big Spender Lashes, Sephora Collection Bulls Eye Lash Applicator, Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eye Mascara, Essence Volumizing Lash Powder

Color Wheel:

fall 2014 beauty trends 2Lancome + Jason Wu Color Design Palette, RMS Beauty Cream Eye Polish, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Colour Pencil Essentials Set, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty Couture Palette Eyeshadow

Bottom Line:

fall beauty trends 2014Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner, Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush, Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner, Hourglass 1.5mm Mechanical Gel Eye Liner


beauty trends for fall 2014Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder, Givenchy Beauty Teint Couture Long Wearing Fluid Foundation, bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation with SPF 20, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze  & Glow