Since we’re talking music festivals, don’t read any further unless you’ve seen this:
I love The Obesity Epidemic. Such amazing energy. Can’t believe I missed them at Bonnaroo last year.
So I’m en route to the Hangout Music Festival as we speak (#ThankYouHotspot) and am super pumped to wear a hippie headband, some sort of obnoxious fringe getup, and impractical hipster boots whilst waving my hands in the air and swaying to the righteous tunes.
Here are the real items essential for the best fest experience:
1. Flowy/sheer/crocheted top of some sort. You can wear it over a pretty bra or bikini top for a Bohemian look that’s airy and comfortable. The blouse pictured is from Calypso St. Barth, but Free People has my favorite selection of Boho duds.
2. Jorts. Duh. They’re a staple for music festivals. The more worn-in, the better.
3. Comfortable/practical footwear. Girls that wear heels/high wedges for festivals…I can’t even. If it’s sandal weather, choose a pair you’ve already broken in so they won’t give you blisters or pinch pain, and some sort of support is ideal. I love Havaianas, but they suck for being on your feet all day. My Cole Haan Grove sandals (pictured) with cushy, supportive soles are made for walkin’. If it’s raining, consider there might be mud and you’ll need rain boots, which coincidentally, look awesome with distressed denim shorts.
4. Sunglasses. Another no-brainer. I’m currently lusting for these thick cat-eye Wayfarers. Meow.
5. Something to carry your sh*t. For a fest, you gotta’ go crossbody or backpack (or fanny pack, of course). You don’t want a purse slinging around while you’re trying to wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care. This Navajo-print bag from South Moon Under is festival fab.
6. Fouta. Not to be confused with a FUPA, these European throws act as compact and cute blankets to sit on AND you can even find some that work as scarves/wraps like my obsessions at Huff Harrington Home for $42 (seriously, they’re amazing and I keep buying them in different colors–read more HERE).
7. Sunscreen. Do you want gross, painful sunburn? Maybe some skin cancer? How about both? When you’re outside for hours on end, you’ve gotta SPF it up, especially on your face (nose and forehead, especially). Coola organic suncare is my absolute fave (more on sun essentials next week) and this SPF 30 for face with a matte finish prettifies your complexion while protecting it.
8. Freshening towelettes. If it’s hot, you’ll feel gross by day’s end (or middle). Use cleansing wipes on your face, neck, arms, legs, etc. to make yourself feel fresh again. Even baby wipes work wonders.
9. Undercover flask. I’m not suggesting you break the rules. Okay, yes I am. You may as well try to sneak in alcohol in a flask that looks like binoculars, an iPhone, or camera to save yourself a couple $27 drinks. Or you could put vodka in a water bottle, wrap it in your fouta, and hope for the best. It’s worked for me (ssshhhh)….
10. GoGirl. Disclaimer: I’ve never used this. But if you’re weird about urinating in a porta potty and/or outdoors, this hygienic invention could help your situation by letting you pee like you have a D.
Now you’re ready for some good, clean fun.
Ladies with cheap blowdryers: If you’re not ready to part with that tool for a pricier piece, stop reading right here.
But if you’re considering dumping the zero and getting with a hero, carry on…
I’ve fluctuated between expensive and cheap blowdryers for the past decade or so. I even did a post on the “best” cheap ones, which I’m now ashamed of because I have seen the light (don’t search for it; I erased it). During my hairapy session a few months ago with stylist/guru Bill Murphy (remember his product line?) when we discussed why my hair wasn’t as full as it used to be, he said I had breakage from my blowdryer and asked what kind I used.
BUSTED. I had been using a $30 Remington I thought was decent. He explained to me that a quality blowdryer just can’t be made on the cheap because of the motor it needs to have and all the other fancy technology, and for a good one that will treat your tresses right and not cause breakage, you need to drop at least 100 bones. I knew he was right. Why do you think you can’t achieve the same blowout a stylist gives you? Sure, they’re professionals, but a lot of it has to do with the tools. I took Bill’s advice and purchased the same dryer he uses in his salon and swears by, the Italian-made Twin Turbo 2600.
It was love at first blow.
Wait, that came out wrong…
But seriously, I saw a huge difference when I used it for the first time. My hair was softer and silkier with NO frizzies or flyaways; needless to say, it looked way prettier, too. Did I whip my hair back and forth more than usual that night? I think you know the answer to that.
I purchased mine at Bill’s salon (it comes with two concentrator attachments), but you can find these online for $100 and up ($90 on sale!). The Hair Guru also recommends the Izunami G6 ceramic dryer, which is used in the salon, too. Of course there are other quality options out there, so here are five things to look for if you’re thinking of upgrading:
1. 1875 watts or more. I say go for 2600 (the more power, the better), but anything under 1875 probably isn’t going to cut it.
2. “EMF shield” or “low EMF.” The Electro Magnetic Field is what causes damage to your hair as well as frizz and flyaways, so nip that sh*t in the
3. Ceramic. This has to do with coils and other technological, internal things that dry your locks better. The Twin Turbo isn’t ceramic, so it’s not a must, but still a plus.
4. Warranty. If the dryer doesn’t have at least a 1-year “we’ll fix this with no questions asked” warranty, don’t even think about it.
5. Authenticity. Don’t be fooled by the $40 one that looks EXACTLY like the $100 one and claims to work just like it. It doesn’t.
Also, remember that top-notch dryers last longer; Bill says his Twin Turbos last four years or more and he’s using them all day everyday. This site seems to be a good resources for the top blowdryers and you could always ask a trusted stylist if he/she has recommendations.
As for brushes, I picked up a new one of those, too. Check out THE TURBO DREAM TEAM:
That’s a Chi Turbo large round boar brush ($15-$20). For the best blowout, look for 100% natural boar bristle brushes. Ceramic is also great in a brush you’re using with a blowdryer as it heats the hair healthily. Some salon-recommended brands are Marilyn and Denman, but there are plenty of badass bristles out there–Ulta has the best selection I’ve seen. And Bill is coming out with his own brush line, the Encore Series, this summer, so I’ll definitely be reporting on that.
And if you have a hot date tonight and don’t even want to dry your hair with your ol’ cheapie, don’t panic–you’ve survived this long without going bald; you can still use it (I used mine for a while after my hairapy session before I pulled the trigger on the Twin Turbo). Just consider upping your game with the tools for your tresses now that you have the intel.
Take care of those lovely locks, ladies.
Remember the tears in my eyes during my first bikini wax? (If not, click HERE.) It absolutely has gotten better over time, but let’s be real–you’re ripping hair out of your skin in a sensitive area, so (some sort of) pain is a given, ESPECIALLY if you’re going Brazilian. I consulted two of Atlanta’s top hair removal experts, Myka Barbato of WAX and Raquel Souza of Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio, to share their expert tips for less ouch factor.
1. Meds. Both pros recommend taking your normal dosage of ibuprofen/aspirin 30 minutes to an hour before. It can reduce pain but also help with potential inflammation.
2. Alcohol. You can have one or two drinks to take the edge off, but Myka says, “Not too many! Alcohol thins the blood and you don’t want to be more prone to bruising, etc. just from too many cocktails!”
3. Your period. Good Lawwwd, don’t go getting waxed right before your cycle is supposed to start as you’re more sensitive down there up to three days before. You can also be sensitive up to three days after, but once you’re past that point, it’s a perfect time for a hoo-ha haircut because as Myka says, “The grow-out period isn’t so hard to bear because the last week you are most likely on your cycle and probably not getting any action anyways.” #TRUTH.
4. Pregnancy. Myka says, “During the first two trimesters, it’s business as usual, but the last one can be more sensitive.” That’s not to say it can’t be done (hello, you’re going to want to be groomed right before you have a crowd of people down there cheering on your vagina), but just be sure to go to a top-notch salon (like WAX or Sweet Peach) as they know how to handle a delicate mom-to-be.
5. Exfoliation. Raquel recommends exfoliating the area within the 24 hours before your appointment for a smoother ride. As I’ve mentioned before, I die for the sugar peach scrub exclusively sold at Sweet Peach ($20). Also, if you can take a warm shower or bath prior to your treatment, it will help open up the pores for easier and less painful hair removal.
6. Distract yourself. Chat with your waxer, make a mental to-do list, or even text/email/Facebook on your phone (no X-rated Instagrams, please). I recommend asking politely if your aesthetician minds you using your phone during the treatment, but she won’t. She gets it. (Just don’t sext with your man; being turned on during a wax could get awkward quick.) At Sweet Peach, Sex and the City plays in the treatment rooms, so I actually get excited to go and see which episode is on. Nothing like seeing Miranda’s full bush while you’re getting yours removed.
7. Numbing cream + panties. If you’re really scared of pain, Raquel recommends Dr. Edna’s BareEASE prep kit ($18-$22, available online and at Sweet Peach). Forty-five minutes prior to the treatment, you put the topical analgesic cream on the area, then slide on the latex panty to isolate the application. It’s safe and doctor-developed, and many of Raquel’s clients swear by it. I tried it and did notice less pain, but nothing takes away ALL of the discomfort (except like, an epidural).
8. Post-treatment activity. Your “baby” skin is so sensitive right after hair removal that wearing tight clothing/working out or getting your freak on within the following 24-48 hours can irritate the area leading to bumps, pimples, and ingrown hairs (OUCHIE), so keep that in mind when making an appointment. With sugaring, there’s generally less or no irritation (I can work out within 24 hours with no issues), but still keep tabs on how your body reacts. And for the love of God, don’t go getting a spray tan right after a wax/sugaring unless you are wearing thick-ass panties that cover the entire treated area. Trust me on this one.
9. Wait time. Don’t go TOO long between treatments or it can make for a more uncomfortable experience the next time (in more ways than one). Everyone is different, but three weeks to a month is ideal. I think we’ve all pushed it past the limit during those winter droughts, but when you wait two months or more, you’re getting into scary territory.
10. Shaving. Ladies, I know the scenario. Some hot guy asks you on an impromptu date/your long-distance booty call flies in town unexpected/the ex shows up on your doorstep with flowers and a much hotter physique since the breakup…….and you’re rocking full ’70s bush. You could take a razor down there, but know that if you’re a regular waxer/sugarer, this could lead to ingrowns and make your treatment more painful next time. So what’s a girl to do? I say embrace the bush. He’ll understand; or better yet, he might really dig it and you’ll be getting down like Joanie and Chachi in no time. If he’s turned off by it, send that loser packing. Then put on Sex and the City and call it a (pain-free) night.
out down there, sisters!
**I’m giving away one Brazilian wax from WAX and one Brazilian sugaring from Sweet Peach. Head on over to the Witty + Pretty Facebook page to find out how to win!**
Apparently, there’s a sexy theme on W+P this week: Legs, selfies, and now the giveaway I’m announcing. Sorry if you’re a prude and/or are easily offended by riske chat, but I didn’t plan it this way. (But then again, if that’s the case, you’re reading the wrong blog.)
ANYWAY, I’m giving away three beauty + bedroom must-haves in the final W+P 1-year anniversary giveaway, but it’s ONLY available to email subscribers and I’ll be sending out the email with how to win shortly, so if you’re not signed up, hop on it with the form to your right! I’ll be giving away three packages (no pun intended) and they include:
1. The Wittiest + Prettiest toy ever. This FOUR SPEED vibrator known as “Hidden Drama” ($39) is disguised as a lipstick case so you’ll never be busted again when you want to pack the pleasure in your purse for those slow days at work. GENIUS.
2. Real lipstick. First things first: Don’t get this confused with the Hidden Drama or you’ll have a messy situation on your
hands hoo-ha. This is Pla Beauty’s Lovestruck ($22), my favorite red lipstick of all time. It looks good on gals of all complexions and hair colors; I’m a brunette and swear by it, but so does our blonde buddy Carrie Underwood who wore it on the ACM awards a few weeks ago (LOOK!!!). You’ll also get a Pla lip gloss ($20), and hear read me when I say: Best. Gloss. Ever.
3. THE panties. If you aren’t wearing Cosabella, you’re missing out, sister. I personally think Hanky Panky doesn’t have anything on these comfy, Italian-made, lacy numbers and we are lucky enough to have a flagship store right here in Atlanta (where they mysteriously seem to take all my money). The lingerie company is celebrating 30 years with the Trenta collection (that’s 30 in Italian) and we’re giving away THREE-packs of the incredible lowrider thong ($52)–super-fine lace designed to lay on the body for a seamless effect (read: no VPL!) and low-rise fit with wide stretch band (read: no muffin top!). So you’ll have a new pair of sexy stunners for every night of the weekend (talk about putting the fun in Sunday Funday).
So make sure you’re subscribed and look for further details in your inbox on how to win this provocative prize pack!
Hallelujah, it’s SHOW-SOME-LEG season! Whether you prefer to put your stems on display with dresses, skirts, shorts, skorts, jorts, or all of the above, it’s necessary they look as smooth, slim, and long as possible, a la Cher Horowitz circa 1995. Here’s how to glam your gams (and hair removal goes without saying, sisters).
1. Exfoliate. Silky smoothness and exfoliation go
hand in hand limb in limb. You need to slough off the deadness (no one has ever said, “Damn, her flaky skin really turned me on”), and if you’re using any sort of tanning product (we’ll get to that), it primes your bod for primo bronzing. I swear by the peach sugar scrub exclusive to Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio, but if you’re not in Atlanta, try Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish ($38) with a to-die-for scent, or any grainy sugar scrub at your local drugstore. OR get all modern-day Martha Stewart and make your own with this easy recipe!
2. Tanning. I can take my legs from wintertime pale to beachy bronze in 10 minutes flat without using a potentially disastrous self-tanner (swear). I evenly apply one coat of L’oreal’s Sublime Glow moisturizer ($10), let it dry (if I’m in a rush, I’ll take a blowdryer to the area), apply a second coat, and voila! You can try this with any of those gradual bronzing moisturizers; I just prefer L’oreal. It does have a scent that’s not my favorite, so I don’t rub this all over my body, but my legs are far enough away from my (and other people’s) nostrils that it’s fine. Also, after you shower once, the scent is gone, but you still have the color. Wham, tan, thank you, gams. Note: If you want to use real-deal self-tanner, click here for the best products and tips.
3. Moisture/shine. If you’re skipping the above step because you already have a perfect tan (bitch), you still want your legs to have a glowing sheen, but not look like a stripper or fitness competition contestant. I recommend mixing coconut oil (or even baby oil) with your regular body lotion (more on that here); use about one part oil for two parts lotion, but you can do half and half if you have drier skin like me. If you’ve done step 2 with the gradual tanner, your legs are already moisturized, so just do a very light layer of oil on your legs from the mid-thigh down (keep it away from your butt/upper thigh or you may run into a swampy situation).
4. Nude heels. I remember reading my friend Lauren’s blog post years ago about how nude heels elongate your legs and running out to buy a pair immediately even though my legs are already kinda’ freakishly long (read: I looked extra awkward in middle school). Now when it comes to footwear, I want to be nude all the time. I die for my Cole Haan Chelsea pumps (pictured; $298) and am probably about to pull the trigger on the other pair pictured, the Cole Haan Paley High Sandal, ($228) even though they will make me 6’3″ and take away from my happy hour fund.
Follow these steps (now you have an excuse to shoe shop!) and you’ll be hearing “nice stems” on the reg.