Liquid Pantyhose

I glared at the pantyhose display. In order to control or support my abdominals, I’d rather meet my bestie at the gym to gab between crunch sets — than to cram my body into a synthetic net. When I need to be energized, I’ll pop into Starbucks. Avoidance plagued my mind until my eyes rested upon the true solution to making ones legs look stellar: liquid pantyhose, by Studio 35. Their slogan advertises, “Bare legs…only better,” and it’s true. They continue, “It’s like pantyhose in a can,” and it is.

I was first introduced to this product during my best friend’s wedding. Before slipping into my dress, her sister-in-law tossed me the small, golden, aerosol can. I love trying new products, but stared at her reluctantly— if I dyed my hands, skin, or dress orange, the bride would kill me. However, once I saw the finished product, I quickly changed my mind. It literally looked like someone had applied airbrush makeup to her gams. I remembered this experience and snatched a can from the shelf.

Forty minutes later, I was freshly showered and scrubbed. I opened the hotel curtains for better light (natural light is really good for double checking product applications, tweezing brows, and even applying makeup) and propped my leg on the seat of a chair.

I sprayed the liquid into my palm, to the count of three-Mississippi, and quickly worked the product between my hands. I applied the solution to my lower leg in a rather circular motion. If there was any excess, I smeared it on my outer thighs. I did a second three-Mississippi spray and applied the product to my upper-outer thigh and worked inward. With any excess from this step, I covered my knee, feet, and ankles. After repeating this process on my left leg, I scrutinized my legs in the natural light to be sure that I hadn’t missed any spots and that the application was even.

Studio 35 states that the product dries “in 60 seconds” and it does. The residue easily washes off with soap and water, but stayed put on my legs for over 18 hours. Nothing rubbed off on my dress— I went to bed, slept on white linens, and the product never smeared or stained the sheets.

Perhaps my legs looked lovelier than they do in pantyhose because the color was more natural; I think it comes down to the basic reason why women opt to wear foundation on their faces rather than nylon stockings—only bank robbers and criminals would be caught like that.


I LOVE MASCARA: Top 3 Brand Picks

Mascara is, hands down, my favorite cosmetic. For selfish reasons, I make it a point to continuously try new new brands– just in case technology develops something even grander than my old standard. As a professional Makeup Artist, however, my obsession with eyelashes serves practical purpose too.

Fifteen years of dedicated “research” has narrowed my mascara preferences to 3 best brands. My recommendations are based on effect, quality, and layering ability.

Formulated for use on eyelash extensions, but great for natural lashes too!

Xtreme Lash’s “Xtreme Volume Mascara” is formulated to work with Xtreme Lash Eyelash Extensions, but it’s seriously an awesome mascara for all lash types–especially oily skin types. This mascara is truly a water-based product. I say truly because many water-based products contain oil derivatives which can lead to clogged follicles, or skin tags around the eye area, in oily skin types; these oil derivatives are usually listed as containing a form of “glycol.” Sounds like some synthetic chemical or alcohol derivative, right? Nah, just oil. Companies do this because oil is a very inexpensive filler for thousands of household products; they figure what you didn’t know hasn’t hurt you thus far. However, Xtreme has a conscience and provides medical grade products to their clients. In addition, this formula is great for sensitive eyes.

Too Faced: Lash Injection Mascara

Too Faced’s “Lash Injection Extreme Thickening and Lengthening Mascara” is a fabulous, designer cosmetic. This mascara runs medium to high price-wise, but it’s worth the extra cash and a trip to Ulta. One coat provides really nice lash definition, but two makes for seriously bitchin’ lashes. Plus, it has a “real brush,” not one of those rubber wands that looks like an oversize dental pick, so the product coats the lashes evenly. If you feel like treating yourself to something fabulous, this is a great pick.

Best mascara Ev-er.

L’Oreal Paris’  “Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara” is my favorite mascara of all time. The formula is seriously perfect. I cannot confirm this, but I believe the mascara itself is probably the same as L’Oreal’s “Lash Architect Mascara,” which was tragically discontinued. At any rate, this mascara was made to be built upon and if you want a heavy mascara/ grunge/ London/ vintage look, this is an excellent choice. One coat yields well-defined lashes, but this formula must have been designed with mascara junkies (like me) in mind; normally, applying 2-5 coats of mascara throughout the day yields clumpy- stumpy lashes. However, this pick elongates and continues to thicken lashes no matter how many coats you do. Plus, it’s cheap and you can find it anywhere.

Honorable Mention goes to: Flirt “IT CURL,” “Diorshow” by Dior.

7 Deadly Sins (of Hair)

I am guilty of committing the seven deadly sins of hair assassination. Fortunately, I’ve found a few products that fix all major tress-passes:

  1. Ratting/ Teasing Hair: I like big hair, y’all–all kinds– from the late, Amy Winehouse’s beehive to Snooki’s Marie Antoinette inspired pompadour. However, these awesome up-dos are not hair healthy in the everyday; back-combing/ teasing/ ratting rakes the hair follicle and leads to serious breakage. Keratin treatments can definitely help repair damaged hair, but Biolage’s Hydrotherapy Conditioner works amazingly in a pinch.
  2. Using Cheap Product: Do you already purchase Biolage products from CVS, Walmart, or Target? I hate to tell you this; you’re using cheap product. These chains negotiate contracts with companies, purchase their expired products, and mark them up for resale. Essentially, purchasing professional hair products in these stores is like paying full price for Escada perfume at the outlet mall. Who would do that? Always buy products from your salon or hairdresser to ensure the quality and value of your purchase. Above all, trash Pantene, Suave, and Herbal Essence products. They’re loaded with plastic fillers which can lead to further hair damage.
  3. Bleaching: Nobody knows the power of highlights like a Florida girl. Bottom line? Bleaching your hair is very, very bad for it. Bleaching strips the hair shaft to the cuticle and robs vital oils and protein. Especially if you bleach your hair, especially if you have breakage, replace the nutrients with an effective conditioner. I like to sleep with conditioner in my hair, 3 nights leading up to my hair appointment, so that I’m in primo condition.
  4. Bleaching to Lift Color: The benefit of building a relationship w/ a regular stylist is that they can work within a plan to maintain the health of your hair. For example, ask your hairdresser,  “If I want to stay lighter in the summer, how can we build on the look to transition to darker winter hues—and back to summer again?” Always follow lifting treatments with an overnight conditioning treatment.
  5. Flat Ironing: I love my BaBlyss flat iron and would never boycott my right to silky hair in sub-tropical weather. Fortunately, my iron features ceramic heating plates and digital technology to control heat settings; I try to set the temperature at the lowest setting possible, never pass over the same section twice, and never squeeze my ends between the plates. Always use protective products like Chi Silk Infusion or Smooth & Protect by Straight Sexy Hair.
  6. Blow Drying: Sometimes blow-drying is necessary, but skipping this step on a regular basis gives me assurance that I’m consciously avoiding heat damage when I can. Bedhead’s Headrush shine spray looks great on dry or wet hair.
  7. Styling Wands/Curling Devices: Who doesn’t love big, luscious curls? We know I do! Curling wreaks havoc on the hair especially when heat settings are higher than needed for your hair. When using styling wands, never heat the curl for longer than ten seconds.