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


Guest Post: Adrienne Zager Dishes Out Her Holiday Fitness Tips

By |December 22nd, 2014|Guest Blogger|

As many of you sit in the airport reading this from your smartphone, you might be feeling a slight pang of anxiety about returning home for several reasons.  One of those  not involving meeting your sweetheart’s relatives may have something to do with not gaining unnecessary weight while indulging on holiday goodies.  Fortunately, my dear friend and go to for health and fitness tips, Adrienne Zager has been so kind as to drop some knowledge on how to stay slim during your trip home to the ‘burbs. adrienne zager at home workoutNothing can fully express my inner panic and dread of how to pack a suitcase better than that terrified look of dear little Kevin McCallister.  However, after one too many excess baggage fees paid and excess pounds gained, I now officially have traveling light and feeling light down to a science.

Before I share with you my Holiday Fit Essentials Guide, let’s first reintroduce our regimented selves to one of the greatest life lessons the holidays serve to remind us: flexibility.  Instead of having an anxiety attack over the thought of missing your weekly hot pilates class, embrace the healthy change of scenery by simplifying your workouts and creatively using your surroundings. Stairs or a fireplace are perfect for step-ups and provide just enough height to effectively target your tush.  Regardless of your heath and fitness goals, maintaining a consistent diet is fairly easy when in the comfort of your own home and regular routine.  Traveling requires a flexible diet approach by making moderation your new best friend so you can enjoy your favorite holiday foods guilt-free.  Contrary to popular belief, unless you completely gorge yourself from now until the new year, if your clothes feel snug it’s water retention. Dehydration, alcohol consumption, and sodium-rich foods cause the body to hold onto water. In order for the body to process fluids correctly it must be properly and consistently hydrated, so say hello to your second new best friend: water.

And with that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

adrienne zager holiday workoutHere are some more of my tried and true travel fit tips to have you returning from holiday looking better than before!

Holiday Fit Essentials Guide:

* Fruit-of-the-Loom men’s wife beaters

- I’ve used these for years. They are cheap, simple and practical. Bring a pair of sneakers, basic black workout leggings/capris and use an assortment of colorful and/or printed sport bras to change up your look.

* Resistance bands and jump rope

- These cheap buys should remain in your suitcase year-round as gym access isn’t always a guarantee. They provide diverse, effective and fast workouts in the comfort of your hotel or guest room.

* Vitamin case

- Purse-friendly way to keep your hangover headache medication, daily multivitamin, and B-complex organized.  B-complex is essential for food metabilism, energy production, digestion, relieving water retention, healthy hair/skin/nails and much more.

* Protein Powder

- Portable, quick and convenient meal on the go. Scoop what you need into a ziplock bag for easy packing. Don’t forget to include the scoop and a shaker.

* Stevia

- Best sugar substitute and will help satisfy cravings. Stevia + lemons = the perfect sugar-free lemonade and makes increasing your water intake easy.

* Detox tea

- Drink in the morning and night to gently cleanse and rid your body of toxins and water retention.

* Apple Cider Vinegar

- My holy grail for the fountain of youth and weight loss. One shot and your sugar craving is gone.  If you can’t get the shot down add 2 tbls to 8oz of lemon water and stevia to taste. The health and detox benefits of ACV are endless.

holiday fitness tips1. Organic Food Bar Raw Vegan Protein, $69.99, 2. Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Stevia, $8.99, 3. Bella Faux Ostrich Skin 7 Day Pill Box, $12.98, 4. Fruit of the Loom Men’s 8 Pack A Shirt, $17.99, 5. Kusmi Tea Detox Tea Bags, $15.85, 6. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, $4.99, 7. Rage Resistance Bands, $24.99, 8. All Pro Weight Adjustable Jump Rope, $22.99

Somethin’ for the Fellas: Copious Row

By |August 28th, 2014|Guest Blogger, Somethin for the fellas, Why Did You Wear That?|

david chines copious rowRecently, I had the pleasure of virtually catching up (as he’s spent most of the summer traveling and sunning in the Hamptons) with my dear friend, David Chines, founder of Copious Row.  Having always had impeccable taste and being my favorite friend to “spill tea” with, creating an online shopping destination only seems like a natural progression in his career having a major background in fashion, marketing, and digital media.  Below, David answers some questions about the concept behind Copious Row and what makes a truly dapper gentleman.

What is Copious Row?

Copious Row is an e-commerce site dedicated to the discerning man who is looking for unique and interesting items for themselves, their homes, their offices and beyond. It is also the perfect place to find an amazing gift for any man in your life!

How was the concept conceived?

The concept came about because I, personally, couldn’t find a website where I could find different and outstanding products. I felt like the male population was under served in the realm of on-line shopping. I don’t want to buy things that everyone already has.  I was also familiar with many international brands that weren’t available in the US and/or on-line. The site has an incredible international set of vendors that don’t have much US presence. I also kept hearing from my girlfriends that they have the hardest time finding gifts for men – another problem the site solves!

copious row landing pageWho is the Copious Row man?

The Copious Row man isn’t necessarily just one person. The goal was to create a site that men of all ages, geographies, and interests would want to shop on. The only unifying factor I would say, is that the Copious Row man likes the unexpected and appreciates incredible quality and craftsmanship. Our man is looking to invest in beautiful items that are timeless and classic but are definitely conversation starters.

What makes it different than say, Mr. Porter or East Dane?

Unlike those sites, we don’t carry ready-to-wear or shoes. We focus on lifestyle items, our pieces are not seasonal or trendy and don’t have a shelf life. It’s also a very easy sight to shop.  We very rarely have sizing in our items, so there is no need to worry about fit or size. We are also very selective about what we carry – we curate and edit very carefully. We choose the best of a product line making for a great, comfortable shopping experience that isn’t overwhelming.

leather gear cufflinks copious rowWhat must every dapper gentleman have in his closet?  In his bathroom vanity?

Every dapper man has to have a great wallet and a great pair of cufflinks. These items can really define a man and tell the world who he is.  Although most men are very casual these days, cufflinks can be fun and full of personality. They’re a great conversation starter and can tell a great tale.  Your wallet also tells a story – are you casual? formal? practical? It speaks volumes!

For the bathroom vanity – the right hair product! Knowing what works best for your hair type and knowing how to style your hair is essential, it’s one of the first things people see. Dapper starts from the head down!

hairbond hair distorter

What is the biggest style mistake that men make?

Not paying attention to details. When you walk out of your house you are sending the world a message. People appreciate a man who takes care of himself and takes pride in the things he owns. Carrying around a 12 year old wallet is not sexy. Using your grandfather’s torn up luggage is not cool. Women love a man who is sleek and put together.

troubadour leather wallet billfoldWhat is the one item that can take you from looking a bit disheveled to totally dapper?

A great bag. Whether it’s a beach bag, gym bag, briefcase, etc. If you see a man on the street who may be a bit disheveled but he’s carrying a great bag, he will still turn heads and keep people wondering.

mens tote bagWhat must men throw out from their wardrobes immediately if not sooner?

Flip-flops!! If not on the beach, a man has no business wearing flip-flops. They’re way too casual and make you look young and sloppy.


Gentlemen, I hope you took notes and ladies, if you’re looking for something extra special for that special man in your life, whether it be your father or fiancé, be sure to head over to shop Copious Row.



Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Mermaids Make Memories

By |December 24th, 2012|Guest Blogger, WhyDid Wisdom|

mermaids and martinis christofleA couple of weeks ago, I headed uptown to toast my dear friend, party planner extraordinaire, Hilary Pereira of Mermaids and Martinis fame, at a book signing at Christofle on Madison Avenue (think Tiffany’s… but French).  Not only was she signing her first book (of many to come, I’m sure), she was doling out some of the best holiday party tips out there… so good, in fact, I couldn’t keep them to myself.  So, I asked Hilary if she’d be so kind as to share her favorite holiday hosting tips with you.  For Hilary, a party is all about creating a memory and here are a few of her favorite ways to get into the spirit of the season in her own words:

“Trim the Holiday Chaos”

The holidays can cause some major nail-biting moments between family drama, overnight visits, and breaking the bank on holiday shopping.  Instead of stressing out before Santa’s visit, here are a few simple tricks to trim the chaos.  When hosting a soiree, why worry about mailing paper invites?  A great website like “Paperless Post” includes beautifully designed evites that you can customize from the envelope liners to the stamps.  Enlist a couple of Hostess Helpers!  This could include hiring staff depending on your budget or assigning a few friends to stay on top of some key elements during your party like checking in on the kids, peeking into the bathroom once in a while to make sure it is fully stocked, or helping you to snap a few, or even answering the door while you are busy mingling.  And, lastly, but most importantly as the host, be responsible for your energy!  A positive hostess is a magnet for positive guests and vice versa!

Signature Bubbly Bar

I love hosting a signature cocktail, but during the holiday season, I like to expand on this by creating a champagne bubbly bar.  Use champange or Prosecco depending on budget…invest in a few different bottles of champagne/Prosecco and then host small bowls of garnishes–raspberries, cherries, blueberries and essences that you can drop into the drinks.  Your guests will feel like they are creating their own signature drink. PS: Always serve a mocktail for those who are not imbibing or those who are driving!

Go beyond the Pointsetta!

Winter flowers are beautiful and this season’s blooms are easy to create memorable centerpieces–you can even dress them up to add some sparkle to your table with fabric or sequins. Some of the most popular blooms of the season are amaryllis, Star of Bethlehem, orchids, evergreens, mums, snowballs and holly berry.  Or, go outside, collect some fir leaves, pinecones, fallen leaves and go crazy with spraypaint.  I love using silver spraypaint and flocking these elements with fake snow.  But, this year, I used a gold leaf paint which looked beautiful on just on the tips of pinecones and fir leaves.

Traditions with a Twist

It’s fun to create new twists on old traditions.  Instead of a traditional tree trimming party, You could host a White Elephant party where everyone brings a surprise gift and you host a “Swap” or one themed “Winter Woodland” where decor consists of faux fur throws, lots of woodsy, pine scented candles, serve your cocktails out of mini steel thermoses and create a buffet of camp-fire comfort food and a dessert S’mores bar.  You could also host a “Destination Celebration” by creating a whole other country or place in your home.  If you live in chilly Maine, host a Tropical Christmas Luau, or, if you live in sunny Florida, host an Aspen Apres-ski party to switch things up a bit!!

New Year’s Eve: Countdown Cocktails

Purchase a few cheap plastic stopwatches and tie them around the stems of glasses–they will all sound off at Midnight in concert–OR, host a Time Traveler party and set your iPad or an alarm clock to sound off every hour from the minute your party begins through Midnight–every time the alarm goes off, you and your guests can celebrate what part of the world/country just entered into the New Year–AND, introduce a new food element or cocktail based on that country (example: When France begins their NewYear, serve a round of Kir Royales, Japan, bring out a sushi platter or fortune cookies with personalized messages, etc.)

LAST BUT NOT LEAST–An event is an opportunity to find out what these ‘holidays’ really mean to you. 

As a hostess, make your guests feel honored, loved, welcomed and appreciated.  Although it truly is of the utmost importance for me to host an event with a beautiful aesthetic and great food and drink–when we have one moment to come together (for some people just once a year), hosting an event should always circle back to what is most important, the people in your life, and that special time you have to toast in good health and to another year.  As the host, own that, and pay it forward.

And as if, Hilary didn’t already just do us a solid with all of these fabulous party ideas, she is also going to give away a signed copy of her book, Mermaids and Martinis: Turn Your Party Into a Memory to one lucky winner!  All you need to do is follow WhyDid and Mermaids and Martinis on Twitter and retweet this message for your chance to score a book chocked full of SO many more amazing party planning tips, tricks, and ideas.

Good luck and happy hosting!