Thursday, December 29, 2011

For the Love of Dry Shampoo

Oh, dry shampoo, how I love thee? Let me count the ways…
      My entire life, I’ve had very thin, unruly, and wavy hair (as well as two cowlicks towards the crown of my head, but I’m not a devil, I swear…). While some can barely fit their hand around their ponytail, I could probably fit mine between two fingers. It does have it’s advantages; as straightening, blow-drying, and curling take mere minutes. But fine hair is also very prone to oiliness, and despite what almost every hair care professional recommends, I just can’t go without washing daily. After a 24-hour period, unlike thicker hair, that becomes much easier to style with fantastic curling ability, my hair sticks to my scalp, and quite frankly, looks absolutely horrible. So, as soon as I first read about Psssssst in Allure Magazine when I was probably eleven years old, I discovered the wonders of dry shampoo. When Bumble & Bumble released Hair Powder, I think I searched every retailer of their products until the shipments came in. At this point in time, almost every hair care company makes dry shampoo, and I think I use it almost daily. That being said, here are my favorites and how I use them:
The gold standard. Don’t let the $39 price tag scare you, this is a miracle product. Besides the fact that it an addicting scent similar to that of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue that lingers subtly all day, it is an incredible product, unlike anything else. It is not a dry shampoo, per se, but its own entity. I use this on freshly blow out hair for volume and texture that is unattainable for folks of my hair type otherwise. It gives a matte, sexy finish that is modern. It’s particularly wonderful for creating messy braids and updos, and helps hair stay in place.
One of the first, and still one of the best in my book. I love the To Go Size for my gym bag, it’s so refreshing after a work out when you are in a rush. This one has a clean, lemony scent that isn’t overpowering. I’ve used it in a pinch for volumizing and texturizing. My only tip? Keep the bottle in a separate plastic Ziplock, as it is bound to leak, and you don’t want the white powder all over your bag!
I don’t have a keratin treatment, nor will I ever get one because I think it is practically impossible to flatten my hair further. Regardless, you don’t need one to use this product, which is totally genius. With other dry shampoos, if you miss your roots with the spray, your skin gets a strange, powdery cast for the remainder of the day. Not with Keratin Complex. The pod of powder attaches to what looks like a large blush brush, and you can open or close the nozzle to release the desired amount so that you simply brush it directly on the roots. So brilliant – and the formula is excellent, scented subtly like a grape popsicle, but not sickeningly sweet. The powder comes in various colors, which makes it work overtime to disguise roots in addition to imparting mega-volume.
An oldie, but a goodie. Pssst was originally created for those who were unable to shower due to illness, or people on camping trips. I’ve never been a big camper, but Pssst should be a bathroom staple. Available almost everywhere, the classic white powder spray does exactly what it intends to. While too much of this can leave an ashy caste on dark hair, a small amount is enough to extend a blowout an extra day. Another tip I’ve used it to spray Pssst on a synthetic-bristle paddle brush or fine-tooth comb and brush immediately into roots and voila – mega-volume.

Disclaimer: Even though your hair can potentially look wonderful for days on end with the use of a good dry shampoo, please do us all a favor and continue to shower. Invest in an adorable shower cap – these from Urban Outfitters are pretty irresistible (and utterly ridiculous).  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hello There

View of the Brooklyn Bridge from Jay Street, Brooklyn; November 2011

- Napolean
          As cliché as it is to begin my first blog entry with a quote, the quote is something I find to be quite necessary: it’s the reason I have embarked on this little journey. I am quite the stubborn dreamer, and had I not been raised in the environment I was, I’m not quite sure if my dreams would have come true in the manner that they have.
My grandmother in the McCaller, May 1967
         Add grand to Napolean's quote. I owe my infatuation with the world of beauty to my grandmother, Marie Irvine.  An only-child of the Great Depression, she attended a one room schoolhouse in the tiny country town of Pawling, New York, enchanted with the beautiful surrounding Berkshire Mountains. With her parents unable to afford the tuition at Vassar, Marie had felt as if she had one choice after graduating from high school: New York City. The glistening “Big Apple”: a city where one could go from virtual unknown to celebrity overnight. Marie, a sensible, wise young lady did not, however, have aspirations to be a starlet. She longed for a comfortable life, and this was her motivator for entry into Katharine Gibbs Secretary School. Unfortunately, long hours of typing were much more tedious than she had initially thought. Feeling isolated and disheartened, Marie decided to take a job as a “treatment girl” at Elizabeth Arden’s famed Fifth Avenue Red Door Salon. Quickly rising the ranks at Arden with her natural talent and charm, she soon was applying makeup to dozens of New York City socialites and helping to formulate the makeup and skincare collection that has grown to be unanimous with the American idea of beauty. By the time she was thirty-five, Marie had limos taking her into Manhattan from her home in Queens to the sets of world-renowned photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, creating looks for the likes of Marilyn Monroe and supermodel Verushka.
Two of the hundreds of magazine covers my grandmother did makeup for.
Left - Richard Avedon, January 1961. Right - Bill King,  November 1969.
Image Source
          To say that glitter runs in my veins would certainly be a fair assessment. From the time I was five years old, the portrait of my mother as a toddler sitting on Marilyn Monroe’s lap inspired me. As perhaps one of the clumsiest children my dance studio had ever seen, my only motivation to keep dancing was the hope that in the next recital, I would get to wear more mascara. In the fifth grade, I declared in the yearbook that my role model was Bobbi Brown. No, not Whitney Houston’s dysfunctional ex-husband, but the makeup artist who so successfully created an ubiquitous international brand.
My makeup work on the cover of Graphis Photography Annual 2009.
Photo by Kevin Reed
Styling by Ope
Hair by Linh Nguyen
          Fate has been quite kind to me. I began working as a freelance makeup artist in New York City when I was just shy of sixteen years old. In the past four and a half years, I have built up my portfolio with the help of many incredibly talented individuals I have met along the way. I also spent my sophomore year interning in the beauty department of Glamour Magazine, and I’m fortunate enough to have just completed a beauty & health internship at Teen Vogue. Sometimes, I need someone to pinch me and wake me up from these dreams, ideas I’ve had since I was awkwardly dancing in my sequin tutu, that are actually my reality.
My first published writing credit in Teen Vogue, December/January 2012
           I would love for you to join me on my journey wearing coats upon coats of mascara and fabulously fuchsia lipstick. Not only through my tests of the latest and greatest cosmetics available (although I’m delighted to share my findings), but also through what has created our modern idea of beauty, explored through photos, observations, and small anecdotes. Beyond the powder, paint, and rouge of my vivid imagination is a world that I’m dying to explore. Follow me on Twitter @cbentleymakeup and check out what inspires me on Pinterest
For the Love of Lipstick,