One of the things that I loved the most about growing up on the East Coast [of the U.S.] is experiencing those warm, muggy summers where the air envelops you like a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer. If you've ever sat outside on a mid-July Florida night, you know what I'm talking about. However, this kind of moisture in the air can also turn your hair into an uncooperative, poofy mess more resemblant of a lion's mane than a supermodel in a slow-mo hair commerical-- especially if you have thick, naturally wavy hair like mine. And it only gets worse the closer you get to the Equator. That's why, when you're in the dead heat of the summer, or you're booking an island getaway to a humid tropical destination, you need to come prepared with your own aresenal of hair products to fight the humidity and keep your locks lookin' sleek. (No one wants to Instagram a picture of a bad hair day, right? Didn't think so.) Which brings me to my favorite hair-perfecting products...
1. John Frieda Frizz Ease Expert Finish Polishing Serum. This is a life changer. John (can I call him that?) first won my heart when I was 15, when I began using his original Frizz Ease "Smooth Start" shampoo and conditioner. My hair did a complete 180 that year, becoming significantly shinier, bouncier, and glossier for the second half of my teens. I credit John Frieda with helping me attract and procure my first boyfriend, so I basically trust him with my life. Or at least my hair.
This particular serum is a magic cocktail of silicones, hydrolzed proteins, sunscreens (to protect your hair from UV damage), cationic polymers (to seal in moisture), hydrolyzed silk, and other complex ingredients that provide deep conditioning, emolliency, supreme shine, and thermal protection from hot styling tools like your hair dryer and curling irons. It's one of the best all-in-one serums I've ever tried.
Here's how I use it for the best results: After you get out of the shower, gently towel dry your hair, squirt 2-4 pumps onto your fingertips, smooth it throughout the bottom two-thirds of your hair, being careful not to douse your roots, and then let it continue air-drying. When your hair is about 90% air-dried, blow dry it straight or style it into a braid or bun; something to keep your locks sealed together. The result? Hair that looks noticeably glossier, sleeker and smoother -- even in the stifling Florida humidity.
2. Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream. I got this as a freebie in a gift bag at Swim Week two summers ago, and after using it for about a week, I became instantly hooked. Living Proof is Jennifer Aniston's hair brand, so it makes it sense that this would be a superior hair-glossing product. It's one of the rare leave-in styling creams that I can put in my hair that makes me feel like I'm making my hair healthier and more conditioned by applying it-- not just putting a bandaid over the problem for a quick styling fix, and creating product build-up over the long run.
3. Joico Humidity Blocker Finishing Spray. This Joico spray is like the "finishing powder" of hair products. It's an aerosol spray that you mist onto your hair, which becomes a lightweight, magical shield when you step out into oppressively humid air.
Quick tip: Remember to hold the bottle 8-10 inches from your head and spray sparingly. Although this spray is more weightless and less sticky than others, using too much could still leave it looking undesirably greasy or weighed down. A little goes a long way.
What do you guys use to keep your locks looking pretty in muggy air? If you know of another miracle product that works better, please leave a comment and let me know!
When it comes to bathing suits, I'm a sucker for this shade of pink. I'm also really starting to like fixed triangle tops like this, because I don't have to adjust them constantly when they start sliding around.
You can get Candice Swanepoel's Minimale Animale Stranger bikini at Nasty Gal. Unless I beat you to it. :)
(Video credit: Arts and Culture TV)
Watching the opening of the Mikoh Swimwear runway show made me smile inside, and reminded me of why I love Miami Swim Week! While some of the other fashion weeks around the world have a tendency to be somewhat uppity and exclusory, the designers that show in Miami keep things fun, relaxed, down-to-earth, and beachy with an island feel. The drum beats and continuous boom-boom hip shake of Mikoh's authentic hula dancers made me feel like I was at a luau surrounded by tiki torches on the west side of Oahu, and gave me the urge to get up and shake my own hips! Mikoh's collection was also very impressive to me, featuring absolutely perfect cuts, pretty prints, airy fabrics, ocean blues, coral pink, and enough black and white minimalist simplicity to keep my internal Calvin Klein-ish side satisfied.
Above: a few of my favorite pieces from the show. The bandeau set on the left and the romper on the right would make a pretty chic and comfy outfit!
Well, friends... Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Miami has commenced! What does this mean? Sweltering Florida heat; fashion tents; white runways; model castings; guest lists; bikinis everywhere you turn; and 4 days filled with trade show pandemonium, wherein brands from all corners of the world exhibit their latest array of swimwear designs for the coming year.
Last night, the famously skimpy brand of bathing suits known as Frankie's Bikinis debuted their 2015 swimwear collection in The Oasis tent at The Raleigh hotel, generating even more momentum for this trendy Malibu-based brand. Designed in California by the curvaceous beauty, Francesca Aiello, Frankie's Bikinis "aims to satisfy the needs of surfers who demand functionality and a great look when they hit the waves." Whether you surf or not, trust me, Frankie's is a brand that you're gonna want to be familiar with. Each bikini evinces the freedom of being a young, carefree beach girl, embodying a sense of unique creativity that stands out from the crowd. It's a style of swimwear that interweaves fashion-forward detailing and seamless silhouettes in a way that makes you feel sexy and powerfully feminine, yet also prudent and smart (for purchasing such a functional, wearable bathing suit). I wish that they would design ONE pair of bottoms with more bottom coverage for girls who are 25+, but still, Frankie's Bikinis is one of my top 10 best brands in the industry right now. I already have 2-3 favorites from the new collection that I'll be adding to my wish list.
Oh, and did I mention that Francesca -- the creative visionary behind the brand -- is also the youngest designer to ever show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week?! (She's only 19. That's crazy...)