mentioned that I have them, I have been receiving a steady stream of all kinds of questions: What kind do I wear? How much do they cost? Where in LA do I get them done? So I wanted to address all of these questions today, and hopefully shed some light on the situation for ya.
Today we’re going to talk about something I surprisingly probably get more e-mails and inquiries about than my wardrobe choices – and that is my hair extensions. Ever since I
I think it’s safe to say that these days it’s become a lot more common for ladies to wear a bit of extra hair on their heads. Sure, there are plenty of women who were blessed with impressive manes, but it’s no secret that a lot of the luscious hair we see in the media has a little (or a lot) of help from locks that didn’t naturally grow there. I got kind of unlucky with the thinnest, puniest hair imaginable, and growing up it was always an insecurity for me. Now it’s a treat to be able to have that hair I always wished I had, even if it’s in kind of a roundabout way and I can’t imagine going back to my regular hair anytime soon. Keep in mind that I am in no way an expert in hair extensions or hair in general for that matter, so definitely talk to your extensions stylist (don’t worry, I recommend some below) for more information. I’m just simply sharing what I’ve learned from my three years of experience wearing them…
So let’s get down to business, shall we?
What kind of extensions do you have, and what kind do you recommend? There are lots of different types of extension methods out there – wefts, individuals, clip-in, tape-in, etc. Every method has its pros and cons and what’s best for you is totally based on personal preference and your specific hair. I have tried 3 different methods – clip-ins (for my wedding), sew-in wefts, and beaded wefts. The “wefts” are rows of hair sewn together in a line at the top which connect to a row of your hair at the root. So, kind of like clip-ins but they stay in permanently – well at least until you take them out. I have worn anywhere from two to four rows at one given time. The beaded wefts are like the sewn-in but they connect only with beads that clamp them to the hair at the root with no thread woven throughout, which makes them quicker to do but less secure, less thorough, and more stressful on the hair (not great if you have thin or weak hair like me). The sew-in’s are my favorite because they are very safe on the hair, chemical-free, and very natural looking. I have never tried the individual (like mirco links or keratin tips) because I personally think they can look wormy/stringy when not styled properly, and I’ve heard that the tape ones aren’t very secure and can fall out. Clip-ins were great to have for a special occasion and to see how I felt wearing extensions without committing to a longer term method, but I didn’t find them to be practical for everyday use.
What’s it like wearing them? Do you have to do anything special to care for them? I’m not going to lie, it took some getting used to. The first couple of nights my scalp was sensitive and I felt like I had little rocks stuck to my head. But just like anything, I got used to it really fast and after awhile hardly even noticed they were there. You do have to work around it when washing and styling it – you can’t just fully run your fingers through it which can feel weird. Certain hairstyles can be harder to do – a tight top knot, for example, doesn’t really happen for me. I can still put it up – just a bit more loosely and with careful placement. I also needed to buy different hair products than I was used to, like a heavier conditioner (I love the Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Masque), and a serum for the ends (Kerastase Exilir Ultime is my favorite right now). The best thing is that my blowouts last longer with extensions. I used to have to wash my hair everyday but now I’ll do it every three days or so, which is perfect because I hate showering. Ugh, it’s so boring.
How much do extensions cost? You’re looking at spending a minimum of $300 for your first appointment, and can spend up to $1,000 or more, depending on where you go (see below) and the quality of the hair. Maintenance appointments can cost anywhere from from $30 all the way up to $500+. Maintenance (tightening) happens every 5 to 10 weeks. I know that’s a wide range but it seems to depend on your hair, the method you’re using, and how secure/good of a job they do.
Where do you recommend in LA for hair extensions? Lots of salons offer hair extensions, but you do have to do your research to find one that’s in your price range, offers GOOD hair, and the method you want. I can give you two strong recommendations from personal experience of where to go in LA, for two different price ranges. I’m sorry this part leaves out anyone outside of LA, but I have only been to places where I live…
Kacey at Jonathan and George Salon - Kacey is the creme de la creme of hair extension experts in LA. She does her own sew-in method that’s very particular, secure, always perfect, and completely natural. The quality of hair she provides is top of the line (it’s angel hair I tell you) and she does gorgeous Pin-worthy color as well. There’s nothing you need to worry about with her because her work and product are the best of the best. She is priced accordingly, so if the money isn’t an issue then I highly recommend her. Call Jonathan & George salon for more information and pricing.
Just Extensions – If you are on a budget or are looking to try extensions for the first time without making an investment, then I definitely recommend this place. It’s an extensions-only hair salon that just opened on La Brea, and it’s where I got my extensions most recently (the ones you see in these photos). It’s the Dry Bar of hair extensions. Extensions are all they do there, and the place has an open, fresh vibe very similar to DryBar (champagne included). They offer all the different methods of extensions, and will do a great job matching your hair’s color and texture. Their prices range from around $100 to $400 for your first appointment, and $75 for maintenance appointments. I am very happy with my extensions from them – they are very good quality for the price point, not to mention a great match to my natural hair. The application is very secure, and the salon is a pleasant fun place to go have your hair done. Riqua the owner is very passionate and knowledgeable about extensions, and she will educate you on the process and get you all set up with some great hair.
A few more tips on how to avoid making some mistakes I made…
When you go to a new place for extensions… I recommend going in first for a consultation to discuss which method is right for you, get a price quote (since it can range drastically), and get your hair matched. Tell them all about your natural hair’s texture and tendencies so you can be sure to get as close of a match as possible. If you have naturally curly hair, then you won’t want stick straight extension hair, etc. After you have your extensions put in, you’ll probably want to go to your usual hair stylist for a more thorough or specific cut, and any highlights or any color you might want to do.
Keep in mind that there are no guarantees with hair that’s not your own. I did have one bad experience with a salon in Orange County where I spent hundreds of dollars and ended up with a horrid tangled mess of hair that I couldn’t get a brush through and had to remove completely within two months. Always strive to get the best quality of hair that you possibly can and ask questions. You can’t always tell by looking at it if it’s going to be good or not. My bad round of hair was gorgeously silky at first because it had been treated with chemicals to make it appear perfect. Have your extensions stylist fill you in on the details of where the hair comes from and make sure they can tell you why you can expect good quality from the hair you are getting from them. You don’t know exactly what the hair’s history is. So if you decide to highlight your hair, it may lift to a different tone than your natural hair. Nothing a good colorist can’t handle, but certainly something to keep in mind.
So I hope this was helpful for those of you who have been curious about hair extensions. Like I said, I’m no expert but I’ve definitely had my fair share of time with them now and am happy to share my experience in hopes of helping anyone who might be considering giving them a try.
Disclaimer: Just Extensions provided me with these extensions gratis so I could try out their service, and I am only telling you about them because I’m genuinely happy with the hair and do really recommend them. I would never rave about a product, brand, or service that I didn’t love.
So, lately I have been testing out every beauty product I can get my hands on and after much obsessive trial and error (so what else is new?), I have fallen in love with a few new gems that I just had to share…
Chanel Mousse Douceur & Lotion Douceur - Despite my super dry skin, this is not the most moisturizing option of the bunch (that’s the blue one) but yet it’s still gentle, not drying and leaves skin with a clean, radiant finish that’s perfectly primed for moisturizer. Plus they sure do look pretty on your bathroom counter.
Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum & Vitamin E Eye Balm - Two beauty brands I love joined forces and made two really amazing products – especially for those of us with thirsty skin. The serum is brilliant under moisturizer at night (hello wakeup glow!) and the eye cream is luxurious as can be.
Chanel Glossimer in Blizzard #19 - The Chanel lip glosses are hands down the best ones out there and this color is the perfect “natural lip color” shade while also being super pop-shimmery and glamorous.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer - I was waiting for this product to come out and actually went to the store the day it arrived to pick it up. It’s illuminating, covers under-eye darkness, and also stays all day. Seriously – get it.
Dr. Jart Nourishing Beauty Balm - I have been foundation hopping for months and this is definitely the star of my recent findings. Considering it’s a BB Cream, it’s low maintenance with lots of benefits, but it also gives really great coverage, basically erases pores, and wears well throughout the day. Miracle product right here.
Chanel eyeshadow quad in Mystic Eyes - This is my first time trying Chanel shadows and I am beyond impressed. They are so blendable and pigmented and the quads come in the best color combos – this one is so perfect for an elevated everyday/mildly smokey eye look.
NARS Eyeliner Stylo - This is big. I was an avid gel eyeliner user until I got frustrated with the way it would migrate around my eye area and transfer to the upper lid. This pen changed my life. It takes a few times to get used to applying it with precision but it is so on point and will not go anywhere all day long. I’m completely obsessed with both the black and blue ones and now I need the green and gray to complete the collection.
So, any new products you can’t live without these days?
Joe’s legging jeans, Victoria’s Secret PINK tees, Theysken’s Theory leather jacket, Maybelline Colorsensational Vivid lipsticks, NARS #21 brush, NARS Albatross highlighter, individual false lashes, Klorane dry shampoo, Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, Maybelline Dream Lumi concealer, Goyard tote, Kate Spade iPhone case, Kate Spade sunglasses, Tom Ford sunglasses, Yogi Super Anitoxident Green Tea, Starbucks mug, Target wedge sneakers, Steve Madden wedge sneakers
Ahhh how I’ve missed this blog over the past month. I don’t like to be gone for so long but sometimes I can’t avoid it. You’ve probably noticed that my blog often battles my day job for my attention. In this case, I spent the past several weeks styling a TV show for HGTV which required pretty much all of my time. I hate to leave my blog hanging but I love the fact that you stick around even if I can’t give you new posts every day. So thanks for your patience during the hiatus and I promise there’s plenty of new inspiration to share, starting with this collection of things that got me through my time working on set. If you find yourself in need of some new staple items for those never ending packed days, I highly recommend each and every one of these items. Most of them speak for themselves, but I do have a few specific notes:
Joe’s legging jeans – They’re equal parts flattering, soft, and comfy so there’s no restricted skinny jeans feeling. Maybelline Vivid lipsticks – They come in such an impressive range of high quality pop colors – I especially love Pink Pop and Shocking Coral. NARS Albatross highlighter + #21 brush – When you’re putting in long hours, it’s downright impossible to maintain a healthy glow without a little help, and this combo really does the trick. Lash extensions – Before starting the show I decided it was the perfect time to try lash extensions (I went to Lashfully). With the early wake-ups, it was so nice to not have to worry about sticking a mascara wand in my eye while I’m still half asleep. They looked glamorous but not too much for a regular day. I’m not sure I will become a devotee since it can get pricey and I still have yet to try the lash lengthening serums. I’ll keep you posted. Wedge sneakers – Even with the wedge, I was surprised to find they are just as comfy as regular sneakers and add an automatic touch of chicness. I’m sold on these altogether.
One last thing before we go back to business as usual. I’m selling my Louis Vuitton Speedy 35! LV just raised the prices on all their classic styles (those rascals), so if you’ve been thinking of adding this one to your collection, it’s the perfect opportunity. I still love it – I just want another LV bag in a similar style and need to prioritize. :) You can find all the details here.
Between the start of winter, traveling and the holidays, the past month has brought on all sorts of new favorite things that have made their way into regular rotation. Some are rediscovered gems like my best red lipstick shade (MAC’s Russian Red), and some are new versions of tried and true staples like J.Crew’s Viv flats (I have loved them in black, now I’m so excited to have them in silver) and a new Michael Kors two toned watch with a simple, masculine dial that will alternate with my old friend rose gold. Some are brand new additions to my life that I can’t get enough of – Kerastase’s Elixir Ultime is a no-joke hair serum that I rely heavily on (I love to apply it to dry ends before bed and wake up to silky smooth 2nd day waves), Cle de Peau’s ultimate luxury of a makeup remover, Maya Brenner’s ‘C’ necklace that sneakily hasn’t left my neck since November, Diorshow New Look mascara with its wonderfully tiny wand to get those hard-to-reach lashes (and great for smaller eyes), Phillip Lim’s black and white leather pouch that serves all sorts of heroic carrying purposes, Jonathan Adler’s divine smelling Muse Blanc candle which I practically carry with me every time I go from one room to another, Miss Dior which put an end to my long-time perfume collecting/wearing dry spell, and Dollar Shave Club’s razors which not only have the most genius branding, but are a clever solution to both his and my shaving needs. What are some of your favorites from the past month?
I’ve always had a love hate relationship with my hair. When I was young, I grew to appreciate its dark color living in a town/state filled with Scandinavian blonds (I’m Norwegian too but the Syrian part of my heritage gave me the dark locks). The downside to my hair is that it’s the thinnest, finest, most fragile hair I’ve ever seen. It’s stringy, flat, and not-so-Beyonce like. Let’s be clear – we’re talking about my natural hair, and that’s not entirely what you see here. What you see in these photos is probably about 20% my natural hair, and the rest is extensions. I’ve mentioned it before but in the interest of authenticity and full disclosure, I want to make it known – I have had extensions for almost two years. I am in love with what they do for my overall look and confidence, not to mention the ease of styling and making it last for days through various kinds of weather while still looking full and styled. I recently took the plunge for some longer locks and I’m so glad I did. Go big or go home, right?
Up until this recently, I have really been enjoying the ombré blond tipped look for the entire time I’ve had this extra hair. But it was just time for a change. I wanted to go back to my dark brown roots and cool the look down a bit for fall/winter. My natural color is an ash brown, so I didn’t want it to feel red or purple-ish. Just a cool brown. Different lighting situations bring out different tones (here it looks slightly warmer and lighter than it does in person) but I’m thrilled with the color that my stylist Amy at Studio DNA gave me. It’s a semi-permanent color that lets my highlights shine through just a bit and it will naturally fade over time… just in time for Spring when I suspect I’ll be missing the ombré again. But for now my hair feels like it went home. I’m back wearing the cool gray tones and silver jewelry I missed with the warmer hair. Sometimes you just gotta make a change.
American Apparel t-shirt, Bracelets: H&M, J.Crew, Ferragamo, HRH Collection, Nadri earrings
Photos by Ian Sheppard
gray and black - perfect go-to bags for whatever neutral accent the outfit calls for.Rebecca Minkoff Mini Macs in
Adorable Fifi Lapin phone cases c/o Iconemesis (cupcake, teacup)
eyeshadow palette, Giorgio Armani blush in #10 (I’m completely in love!) and Eyes to Kill mascara, NARS eyeshadow pencil in Goddess and lipgloss in Turkish Delight, Chanel lipgloss in Sweet Beige #297 - the most perfect nude gloss from the fall collection (it’s serious – I need to buy a backup)
Favorite new makeup goodies: NARS American Dream
The cutest mint green camera watercolor print from my mom – for Ian’s new desk setup.
Enjoy all the little delights of your weekend!
I’m finally back from Lovetown, USA (aka, Kingsland, GA). OK I’ve been back for a week and a half but a girl needs some time to catch up. When unpacking my suitcase, I took a moment of silence to honor the things that were lifesavers on set – products I will continue to turn to whenever days are never ending and environments are taxing. Let it be known these things are true miracles.
Clockwise from top:
Estee Launder Double Wear Foundation (previously discussed here) – Some mornings the alarm went off at 5:30am and I’d be out running around until 10:30pm. This foundation is superhuman and stays looking flawless until you remove it with turpentine… or Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil.
J.Crew Pocket Umbrella - I wasn’t expecting so much rain (silly me) so I snagged this one while on a wardrobe run to J.Crew. I like it because it always matches my outfits.
Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe Sunless Tan - Since my suitcase only had room for a handful of fun clothes and accessories, I had to find other ways to feel glamorous. Some mornings for a little extra confidence, I would apply this amazing self tanner (seriously, amazing) and felt like a bronzed goddess for days.
MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick - When I first tried it on, I was immediately sold on the perfect pop pink unlike any other colors in my collection. It was a fun way to glam up when I would get bored with the outfit repeats towards the end.
Victoria’s Secret Essential V-neck Tee - New favorite tee alert! OK, this is a big deal. They’re nice and long (first thing I look for) and come in lots of good colors including neons. Plus you can’t beat 2 for $26.
Joe’s Skinny Jeans in Parakeet - I know I’ve beat a dead horse with these but they were the perfect tool to keep things colorful and stylish while still comfortable for all-day shoots.
Steve Madden Troopa Boots - I picked these up right before I left and I’m so glad I did. They were perfect for days when the weather wasn’t exactly 75 and sunny (aka, most days).
Oribe Dry Texture Spray - This stuff is magical. Not exactly a dry shampoo because there’s a texturizing hold producty aspect to it, but that’s how I like it. It was a great way to add some vampiness when my hair looked sad.
Garnier Anti-Puff Eye Roller - THIS THING IS AMAZING. Seriously. 5am wake-up, puffy tired eyes – POOF GONE! Fresh, awake, and ready to face the day. This along with my Dunkin Donuts don’t-look-up-the-calorie-count whole milk iced latte with vanilla and cinnamon were my two main saviors.
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips - I kept trying to find time to paint my nails but there was never enough time for painting AND drying. These things not only last a lot longer than polish, but there’s no drying time and they made great conversation. I may have had to do one hand in the morning while steaming an outfit, and the other at 10pm while eating dinner in bed but that’s besides the point.
It’s no secret I’m a beauty junkie, so I figured why not share some of my most favorite products with you? These are no haphazard beauty experiments, these are my holy grails – products I use everyday and repurchase immediately every time I run out. Try one or two of em out and I promise you’ll fall in love too!
L’Oreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizing Lotion - Gives you that perfect year round subtle glow. Its light formula makes it hard to mess up, even if you’re just doing a quick once over.
By Elizabeth Dehn Serum - This serum from beauty guru Elizabeth Dehn does it all! It gives you decadent hydration with no breakouts in sight. I just ran out and must replenish immediately!
Urban Decay Naked Palette – I haven’t used any other shadows since I snagged this palette in the Spring. No fall-out, amazing pigmentation, perfect neutral colors, and endless possibilities!
Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask – I used to be conditioner shy, but ever since I got extensions I need no-joke detangling. This smells amazing and really softens and hydrates the hair without weighing it down. I can’t be without it.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder – It sets your makeup without looking cakey or done, yet the coverage is potent enough to dust on alone for out-the-door flawlessness.
Yes to Cucumbers Daily Soothing Cleansing Wipes – You have no excuse not to take your makeup off before bed when it’s as easy as a swipe of these wipes. Bonus: They smell like soothing cucumber.
Beauty Blender Sponge – I use this sponge damp to apply my foundation and it gives the smoothest and most even application with nary an imperfection.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate – By far the biggest splurge on the list but trust me – the difference it makes in your skin’s consistency and behavior is life altering.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation – Don’t bother touching up before going out for your evening plans. Your face literally looks exactly the same as it did when you put it on this morning.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 – My husband and I share a big ol bottle of this stuff and it’s equally reliable for both of our skin types all year round. It even lives up to my more pricey favorite, Kate Somerville Goat Milk, AND it has SPF.
Korres Jasmine Lip Butter – Perfect soft consistency – not sticky, grainy, or thin, and smells/tastes like a subtle sweet treat.
Anastasia Brow Powder Duo – Filling in your eyebrows is one of the best ways to wake up your face. A wise woman filled me in on this powder duo and I’m so glad she did. It makes it so easy to get the shading just right.
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel – Tried and true, this gel cleanser smells citrusy fresh and lasts forever. With just a little dab, it foams and cleanses thoroughly without drying the skin.
What are some of your can’t-live-without products?