Beauty Unbiased: January 2013

In Honor of Michelle Obama: So I Got Bangs, The Lost Chronicles

Editor's Note: In honor of our First Lady's new hairstyle, which subtly yet distinctly brought Michelle Obama's hair to that next level isht, I bring you "So I Got Bangs", my unpublished first ever blog post written four years ago.
Image source:

January 13, 2009

This week has been filled with victories and defeats. But who ever said having bangs would be easy?

A break through occurred this morning at precisely the right time. You see, I had reached an impasse with my bangs this past week. The cowlick in my hair had overpowered the blow-drying techniques I was instructed to use by my Parisian hair stylist (I forget his name, but I like to call him Enri... Like, French for Henry, but I don't know how that would be spelled). I was devastated at the division in my bangs that I couldn't seem to stop from occurring day after day. I began doubting my decision to get bangs, doubting Enri's expertise, and doubting that I would ever be satisfied with my hair again.

Sure, on the surface no one knew all of these fears lingered in my heart. When people would compliment the new hairstyle, I would give them a forced smile. Even lie and say I liked the change. But deep inside I was crying out. WHY? Why me, why this cowlick? I'm ashamed to admit that I even pulled the bangs back yesterday, in an act of defiance to the cowlick. Ha, that will show them to mess with me I thought sinisterly to myself, If you can't obey, then poof! You can just no longer exist. Ah, if it were that easy. Of course we all know it's not. They shall remain there (for a few good months til they grow out anyways), and oh my bangs knew that. They taunted me during the day, using the wind as an excuse to come loose from the hairspray and bobby pin holding them back. They were fighting me, and in a little way, I wanted them to win.

And then inspiration hit me! This morning when blow-drying, I decided to try a new technique. Instead of brushing only my bangs forward and drying them, I brushed all of my hair forward and let it naturally fall into place as the wind from the blow-dryer worked its magic. And Viola! As I imagine Enri says alot to himself or to clients (Oh, Enri, our time together was too short). This proved too much for my cowlick and all day has been pure pleasure with my bangs falling into just the right place.

Will every day be perfect? *Gentle chuckle and head nod*  No. But that, my friends, is the beauty of bangs. They blow with the wind. They change like the leaves. And all we can do is embrace them and their complexities.

Excuse the poor quality, this was 2009 after all and this is what a cell phone camera
was capable of at that time. Which is to say, not much at all.

The Lazy Girl's Guide to a DIY Peplum Top

Tucking dresses into pants because I have so many cute dresses that I just never wear. Am I alone in trying to make this become a thing? In the winter, you all look so cute in your tights and skirts but... aren't you COLD?! Maybe being incubated as a fetus in the West Coast has ruined me, but I stay consistently frigid in the cooler months. I'm even wearing a pair of thick thermal American Apparel leggings underneath my BDG waxed jeans in the photo.

The fact that tights make me feel colder in the winter has not stopped me from wearing some of my favorite dresses as tops because you know what... why not tuck them in? This works better with less bulky fabrics, like a silky dress. Viola, DIY peplum!

Some warnings: Tuck carefully (I like to pull my pants over the dress instead of tucking it in), watch for awkward bulges, and slightly blouse the dress out in the most delicate of fashions. I may have a leg up on you all due to being an expert delicate blouser from my private school uniform blousing days but don't lose the faith. A little tweaking and you'll be a peplum-er in no time. 

Should I Get A Haircut? And Other Things To Avoid Asking Google

Determining that moment in time when your hair shifts beyond cute and flattering to unruly and distracting is often an impossible task. Things must happen to discover that yes, it is time for a cut. Bad things. And once you've admitted that moment has arrived, well its already past time you should have cut it. In my most recent hair saga, it was a picture I took with friends. I was unhappy with the way I looked in the photo and after re-taking it a few times realized that I could only focus on how my hair had grown too long. It needed to be cut. I had an appointment scheduled about 24 hours later with Drew Schaefering, stylist at Paul Labrecque Salon in the Lenox Hill hood of Manhattan.

The offending photo
Did I mention this was on New Years Eve day? Yeah, I decided I needed a cut THAT bad. Usually cutting (or coloring) my hair before a big event - I was prepping for the Nivea New Year's Eve party- is something I steer clear of. Luckily, Drew is apparently a superhero of sorts, in addition to being a L'oreal Professional Stylist who frequently works backstage during Fashion Week. Yes, that is actually him pictured below.

Image from
Planning a haircut with Drew was a much better way to deal with my hair unhappiness than the previous ways I've tackled the decision of whether I was ready for a haircut. In the past I've tried Googling "should I get a haircut" and seeing what the Google universe had in the cards for me. Side note: if you google "should I get a..." the top three options are: flu shot, divorce, and iPad. I'm going to go out on a limb and say if you're searching for these answers online, chances are the answer is YES.  

Right now may be the appropriate time to disclose that I actually hadn't cut my hair since March 2012. That is 10 months roughly from the day I went in for a cut with Drew. Why I was uncertain about whether I wanted to cut it shows that there is something really wrong with my judgement. Thankfully Drew did not judge me for my indiscretions and kept my hair just the right length while adding some movement with layers in the front. To keep some volume in my hair for my New Year's Eve party, I walked out of the salon looking like this:

However, my reward for walking around Manhattan looking like Beethoven's for four hours was this:

Actually loving the way your hair looks in a photo (and real life): Priceless! If you're in the market for a New York City based hairstylist (he does color too!) get an appointment with Drew by contacting the Paul Labrecque Salon via email at or via phone at 212-988-7816.

My New Years Eve in Times Square with Nivea

If you've never lived in New York City, you may be surprised to hear that Times Square is the last place on earth that most New Yorkers want to ring in the New Year. For my New Yorkers in the house, you know what I'm talking about. The only way to enjoy New Year's Eve in Times Square is to party VIP style, often meaning $200 or more per ticket. Since I am morally opposed to overpriced festivities, I was pretty psyched when Nivea invited me to their New Years Eve party at the Hard Rock Cafe. If you hadn't noticed, Nivea is one of the leading sponsors of New Years Eve. From Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney hosting on the Nivea Kiss Stage, the lip balm that is passed out to the huddled masses in Times Square for that midnight kiss, and those huge blue top hats? Nivea blue.

To experience midnight in Times Square, video footage best sums up the energy and excitement of a countdown that includes fireworks and a deluge of confetti, NYPD officers asking for a photo, and the after show inside the Hard Rock with Carly Rae Jepsen and Train. Oh and for all who have yet to spend New Years Eve in Times Square... it is definitely worth doing at least once in your lifetime. Happy 2013!