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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Hair Care Miracle

Lets talk hair. 

Be careful what you wish for, all you straight-haired 'wish I could have curly hair' women. Curly hair is a bitch. Variety is the only thing going for curly hair, however, perfecting all the hair styles is key. You don't want to look like there is a rats nest on your head, believe me...it sucks. Recently, I have been getting complimented on my hair and it is because of this magical product I found that is making it picture perfect. The MoroccanOil Moisture Repair Conditioner is nothing like its cheap counterparts. In fact, this is the best damn money I have ever spent on hair products. 

My cousin, Ashley, is a seasoned hair stylist that is solely in charge of taming my 'fro. Since she has been my stylist, her advice has changed the way I think about hair. So many things I was doing wrong for so long, and finally I realized how dumb I was. The countless dollars I spent on L.A. Looks Gel which gave me the extra crunchy look that was unfortunately trending in high school (early 2000's). God, what was I thinking? (I guess everyone has these ah-ha moments looking back into their high school days and realizing how foolish they looked).  

There is a whole line of MoroccanOil products that work wonders for all hair types. This stuff can get pricey, and I'm usually the one shopping for a bargain but it is truly worth every penny. The brand has been a salon secret, and through word-of-mouth between stylists, the hair Gods have blessed women with a miracle worker...for hair. Personally, I only use the conditioner because I feel as though it gets the job done. Using both shampoo and conditioner would be fantastic, I'm sure, but I'm on a budget. I buy what I think is necessary, and using the conditioner and the MoroccanOil Treatment does just the trick. This oil is an exclusive formula of high quality argan oil, mixed with other high quality ingredients that when combined, makes this brand one of the best out there. I put this on my damp hair after washing it which will help protect when I put heat to it. I straighten and re-curl my hair basically everyday. (I know, it is ridiculous to curl already curly hair). It is way too high maintenance, although I do plan on finding the right products to wear my hair naturally because it is pretty, if done correctly. Because I wash my hair twice a week, I shampoo with a generic brand twice, to give it a good cleaning. With thick hair like mine, it takes a solid couple of days for it to look greasy. I use about a quarter-size amount of the MoroccanOil Repair Conditioner and coat my head well, focusing more on the bottom ends because I have an ombre (the ends tend to look dry and this helps it look healthier). After showering, I brush through my snarly hair then finally put the MoroccanOil Treatment on. The smell is fantastic too! 


I have decided to let you lucky readers see my curly locks, without any product in it. After I washed my hair, I put the oil treatment in, as I always do, then let it air dry. I want to show the transformation of my nappy curls to the shiny, soft hairstyle that I do almost every day. It truly is amazing. If it came down to it, I would rather buy these products than a new pair of shoes (if I had to choose). That says something. Don't believe me? Ask Ashley.  

Before & After

Hey guys, Ashley here. Here are my thoughts on these products that Anita can't stop raving about. I'm always recommending the MoroccanOil brand of hair care products to my clients, especially the original product that started it all, the MoroccanOil Treatment, which is a nourishing leave-in argan oil/serum that conditions the hair leaving a shiny, silky soft finish on even the most dry and coarse of hair. I would consider the treatment a basic staple that every women's arsenal of beauty products should have, as it's like a multivitamin that works for all hair types. Combined with the MoroccanOil shampoo and conditioner, your hair will look and feel the healthiest it has ever been. 

As with any products that become quickly popular as the MoroccanOil Treatment has, a fair share of copycats will emerge that piggyback off the success of the original. I've had clients tell me that they use MoroccanOil at home only to discover that they've fallen into a trap to tricky marketing tactics that confuse consumers into believing they are using the original thing. Don't be fooled, you cannot buy the original MoroccanOil products anywhere except at professional salons, or online at their website, and yes, as Anita found, there is a huge difference in quality and results from the original vs copycats. 



If we haven't convinced you, try it for yourself. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Feminine Fit: StyleWeek 2014

Denial. We all experience it. But ladies, you cannot do your body justice by wearing clothes that obviously do not fit. I know, I know, I have also had those moments when I want to trick myself into thinking my favorite jeans fit when they are really ripping at the seams. If you question it, then it's a done deal. Salvation Army is always taking donations.

Luckily for me, StyleWeek tickets were up for grabs at my internship and duh...I am obvi going to snag some (yes, I do abbrev things like most young-ins  do, although I know I am too old to do so. Whatevs). So, StyleWeek is the New England version of Fashion Week, that comes around a couple times a year. It was created in 2009 with the intent on connecting buyers and media with emerging local design talent. Some designers that were on the hit-show Project Runway showcased their collections in these fashion shows.

I was able to go to two shows, dressed to the nines, with my best friend and mother by my side. Walking into the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence, I felt like a celebrity, well in the media world, anyway. I got my own press name tag and everything. There was a photographer greeting you as soon as you walked in, arranged on a red carpet, of course. Looking around, I could appreciate being in a room with women who clearly put as much effort into their appearance as I do. Trust me, walking into a room as the over-dressed girl is not an easy feeling, more awkward than anything. With my chin up and four-inch heels down, I make my way to my seat, conveniently front row so I can see the models and fashions perfectly.

Carissa Lynne Designs was my favorite designer of all I saw. Overall, her collection is wearable to a variety of body types, including mine. I have a curvy figure, so wearing dresses is a struggle. Typically, the hem is higher in the back than the front, because the fabric needs to cover all of my backside. With Carissa Lynne's designs, specifically her dresses, I think they work well with curvaceous females.

Above, you can see a snippet of the show, with designer Carissa Lynne holding hands with one of her fabulous models.  Let me break down some of her fashions with pictures I took. 

Fit and Flare- These dresses are your friend. In fact, they are a go-to for me because of the flouncy design. It extenuates the smallest part of your body, your waist, and creates a flirty silhouette. This dress, in particular, has a thick strap and high, almost boat neckline, which is more conservative considering the amount of leg that is exposed. It is sexy but classy. It is a comfortable fit because it isn't a form fitting dress. You shouldn't have to worry about your goods falling out of the dress, wear-ability of the garment is important. The balance is what draws me to this style. This shade works well on olive skin tones like mine, plus this burgundy color is perfect for fall/winter. Maybe pair it with a beige or black blazer or leather jacket for a visual contrast to the whole look.



Double breasted anything- This was my favorite garment of the whole show. If I could, I would have bought it that night. Not only is the color one of my favorites to wear, the shape of this dress is adorable and timeless. The double breasted top of the dress is what makes it, hands down. It is conservative but authoritative. Even if this color of the dress were an army green, it would work. Anytime there is a design similar to this, it fits really well (and if it doesn't, I would suggest bringing it to a tailor, it is worth your time and money). Once again, the flouncy bottom works well with curvy body types. It's not only comfortable to wear, but a show stopper, for sure. You'll feel like you're Jennifer Love Hewitt walking into a college house party like the scene in Can't Hardly Wait. If dresses aren't your thing, you should consider getting a double breasted jacket, trench coat or blazer in your closet. I would pair it with black jeans or jeggings, or even a funky pair of leggings. It is a polished and trendy look that everyone, male or female, should own.    


Mix and Match- The whole concept of 'leather and lace' is something I love. With this design (sorry for the distorted picture) she paired a crop faux-leather pant with a chunky fur jacket. Perfection. These pants can be tricky however, just make sure you get the correct size. Stretch pants work well with my shape. Sometimes I may have to buy a size bigger to ensure comfort-ability. Being 5'9, finding long enough pants can be tricky, that's why I like cropped pants so much. Less work for me. With the pumps and your hair pulled back in a messy bun, it completes the look. This is great outfit for a night in the city or an upscale bar. Whenever I wear tighter pants, I make sure to wear a looser top (this is the balance concept I told you about earlier). Not only does it make me most comfortable but it lets me pick and choose what parts I want to show off. For example, if I am feeling bloated, this outfit would be perfect because it would hide any muffin topage  that may be happening. It is all about being aware of your imperfections, and working with them instead of fighting them and losing miserably. 
Geometric shapes- Push the fashion envelope a little, ladies. Recently, I have seen more and more geometric shapes in clothing, whether it be a skirt, dress or neckline of a blouse (if you don't know what I am talking about, look at any of Lady Gaga's photos, she uses this style often). This look was the last to walk the runway and was the most memorable. Everything about it would work well with my body type. The designer played with an otherwise classic straight-lined hem. By it being longer in the crotch and booty area, it makes it comfortable to wear. There is no way your cheeks are falling out of this one. It is long enough on each side so covers everything it is supposed to. I would rock this on a special occasion or event because the shimmery fabric and silk top half of the dress dubs it evening wear. The wide strap makes it appealing to women with a bigger bussom but also the 'V' neckline shows a little extra skin, making it a sexier outfit. Because the fabric is longer in certain areas, it isn't revealing too much, rather mimicking the hemline of the dress. Very clever, Carissa Lynne. 

Being honest with yourself is the only way you can achieve a great wardrobe which consists of stylish clothes that stay true to your style aesthetic and also fit you well. In the words of Stacy London, clothing tailors are your best friend, especially for bodies that are more difficult to fit. Not all sizes work for some women, but with the right state of mind and willingness to fit your body correctly, anything is possible, even a jaw dropping entrance walking into a college house party like Jennifer. Who doesn't want that?

First night of StyleWeek with my bestie Joe Catanzaro 

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