Beauty On A Dime

Beauty On A Dime

by Megan McIntire

Real Girls, Cool Hairstyles


Photo: © L’Oréal

I don’t know about you guys, but every now and then I get seriously bored with my hair. I wear it pretty much in the same style, day in and day out. I’ve tried looking to celebs for inspiration, but red carpet hair right now is either safe and boring, or theatrical and crazy.

No, the hairstyles that elicit an “OMG” reaction from me are usually the ones that I see on the streets–some cool girl walking by me rocking an awesome boho braid, or a chick in the checkout line in front of me with the most perfect sweeping bang ever. It’s times like those when I want to whip out my phone and take a picture of their hairstyle from every angle, so I can look at it later and try it out. Unfortunately, that’s not really an option because it’s kind of creepy and I might get a face-full of pepper spray if I tried it.

L’Oréal shares my love of real girl style. Their new Your Style, Your Studio website wants you to stop looking at the red carpet for inspiration and start looking around you. The site is a user-generated lookbook of cool hairstyles for men and women, uploaded by real people. Anyone can log on and upload pictures of their hairstyle for everyone to see and try out themselves.

You can search hairstyles by the type of style, hair length, products used or even the “personality” of the look (boho, urban, retro, chic, etc.). Hairstyles that fit your criteria will then pop up and you can click on the ones you like, comment on them and find out what products you can use to get the look. The Victorian Updo pictured here definitely caught my eye; I can’t wait to try this one out on myself!

So whether you’re looking for a new look, or you just want to share your own hip hairstyle with the world, check out L’Oréal’s Your Style, Your Studio site and get inspired!

I’m Finally A Dry Shampoo Convert

I know what you’re thinking: “Great, another beauty blogger singing the praises of dry shampoo. But I’ve tried it, and it doesn’t work on my hair.” Trust me, I was you before I tried this particular dry shampoo.


When it comes to my hair, I’d say I’m both lucky and unlucky. I’m lucky because I’m a ridiculously low-maintenance person, so the fact that I can shampoo and condition it, then leave the house with it wet and have it dry fairly straight is pretty ideal. Dealing with other products and blow dryers sounds like a nightmare.

Before you start hating me, let me address the unlucky part. My hair is super-fine, and I’m pretty sure it starts getting greasy the instant I step out of the shower. On days I go to the gym, I clearly have to wash it (I have no idea how people manage to make it through a workout without having to wash their hair afterwards). On the days I don’t work out; however, you’d think I’d be able to skip the hair washing. After all, almost every hairstylist will tell you it’s best for your hair if you don’t wash it every day.

For me, though, not washing was not an option. I even felt self-conscious doing the second-day ponytail with a headband. So when friends started telling me about dry shampoo and its miraculous ability to de-grease your hair on non-washing days, I was pumped. Except…none of the dry shampoos I tried at first had the desired effect.

Enter Got2b’s Fat-tastic Fresh & Full Dry Shampoo. This product somehow manages to add volume to my end-of-day limp locks, and it makes my hair smell good. I even wore my hair down two days in a row with only a dry shampoo between the days. If your hair is anything like mine, you know that this is a major feat.

So if you’ve been a dry shampoo holdout thus far because you can’t find one that’s compatible with your strands, I highly suggest you pick up a can from the Got2b line. For $5.99, you can’t go wrong. And you’ll get more beauty sleep.

Monoi Monday: Healthy Hair Mission Accomplished


After three weeks of using the new Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Collection, I’m happy to say that my hair is officially healed! Gone are the flyaways, static and dryness and instead my hair looks as sleek and smooth as Cassie‘s here.

Since I was so happy with my overall results from the line, I had to ask Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price more about the products and why they are so effective. Read on for my Q&A with her!

What specifically made you think of Monoi oil for the hair?
“I’ve always been in love with flowers. A while back, I read about a sacred, ancient Polynesian ritual using my most favorite flower, gardenias. The story intrigued me, and since I’ve always loved gardenia, I knew I wanted to create something with this powerful ingredient. More and more consumers have been writing to my team and me about their growing hair care needs–women with tight coils, loose waves, frizzy hair, damaged braids and locks, trouble growing hair with weaves–I’ve heard all of the cries from our fans, so I had to react.”

Can you tell us why the Monoi collection manages to work so well on all hair types?
“Monoi is a hair care system that works to repair damage caused by environmental aggressors, chemical damage and heat-styling. It doesn’t matter what type of hair you have–everyone has damaged his or her hair.”

Once someone’s hair has been repaired, should they continue using the collection on a weekly basis or can they ease up on the routine?
“You’ll want to continue using the shampoo and conditioner to maintain your hair’s strength. I recommend that once you’ve seen a difference in the state of your hair, you start doing the mask just once a week. The collection will help you prevent damage so that your hair can grow strong, giving you the freedom to style it as you please!”

What are some other suggestions for how to keep hair looking its best?
“I recommend pacing out any chemical procedures and heat-styling. Just like you would rest your body after strenuous exercise, you’ll want to do the same for your hair. When you take the time to restore moisture, repair damage and prevent future damage, you will have more resilience to style as you please.”

What are your suggestions for styling products to pair with this regimen?
“What’s great about this line is even though it harnesses the power of an oil, it moisturizes and hydrates without leaving behind any residue, which means you can have major volume and movement immediately after styling. Feel free to use whatever you typically use to style. Our Macadamia heat styling products are my favorites at helping to prevent future damage while heat-styling.”

Monoi Monday: On The Road To (Hair) Recovery


Today marks the second week of my epic hair recovery journey using the new Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Care line. It’s been pretty cool watching my hair change for the better over these past two weeks–I’m now officially hooked on monoi. Is there a self-help book for that?

To recap, my fine hair was feeling frazzled, broken, dry and all around abused, so I turned to the power of Tahitian monoi to try and turn back time and make my locks silky and smooth. I’ve seen amazing results by using the shampoo and conditioner every day and the treatment mask once a week–my hair feels and looks so much softer and sleeker. You can definitely see the difference.

This week I decided to put monoi to the ultimate hair test: Air-drying. Usually when I let my hair dry naturally, I end up with limp, lopsided waves and enough flyaways to give an air traffic controller an aneurysm. Not so after treating my locks to the Monoi Repairing collection–my waves were smooth, silky and totally frizz-free. This is great news, because it means I can stop blow drying my hair every day, which will also help it look and feel healthier. It’s win-win!

Tune in next week for the final results of my Monoi Monday experiment, and to get the scoop on the line straight from Lisa Price herself, the founder and creative genius behind Carol’s Daughter!

Monoi Monday: My Quest For Silky Hair


The new Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing collection.

I’ve recently decided to grow my hair long and have come to the realization that this is going to be a lot harder than I thought. As someone who has spent most of her formative years with short hair, I’ve forgotten just how ravaged long hair can get. My ends look like someone took a clothes’ iron to them. Because of the tortured state of my locks, I’ve been on the hunt for something, anything, to turn them back into a substance that resembles hair.

Enter the new Monoi Repairing hair care collection from Carol’s Daughter. Made with pure Tahitian monoi oil, it promises to reduce breakage by up to 96% after just one use. Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price has been obsessed with this fragrant ingredient for years. Monoi oil is created by taking tiare gardenia flowers and soaking them in a first-press coconut oil for a minimum of 15 days. The resulting emollient oil has fantastic smoothing and softening properties.

The Monoi Repairing collection features a sulfate-free shampoo, repairing conditioner and treatment mask, all infused with this magical oil. I decided I had to put this strand-strengthening trio to the test and see what it could do for my frazzled locks. Over the next three weeks I’ll be using these products exclusively on my hair and reporting back with my results. Today is day one of my Monoi Monday journey.

I decided that to start off, I would treat my hair to the entire range in one go. From the minute I twisted open the cap of the shampoo, I fell in love–it smelled like a beach vacation in my bathroom. I’m usually not a fan of sulfate-free shampoos because they don’t really lather up, but this one gives good suds thanks to a coconut-derived lathering agent. My hair felt clean and fresh. So far, so good.

Next I tried out the Repairing Conditioner, which uses natural bamboo water, panthenol and UV protectors. Again, that gorgeous tropical smell when I opened the bottle. I worked it into my hair and let it sit to achieve maximum moisturizing benefits. My hair felt soft and tangle-free.

Finally, the heavy hitter: The Monoi Repairing Mask. Enriched with a potent blend of butters, oils and nourishing extracts, it’s the ultimate savior for tired, damaged hair. It felt a little thick when I applied it, which made me nervous–my hair is ultra-fine and tends to go limp at the mere mention of hair masks. I waited patiently for a full 10 minutes, then rinsed it out. Even wet, I could feel how soft and silky my hair now felt. I turned on my blowdryer, dried my hair and was shocked to see the silky, shiny locks that had replaced my usually fried ends.

After just one use, I definitely saw a difference, more so than I’ve seen with the other reparative treatments I’ve used in the past–at home or in the salon. The products are ultra-nourishing, but since the moisturizers are so light, they don’t weigh hair down or make it greasy. Best of all was the scent, which I would get whiffs of throughout the day.

Tune in next Monday to see what a week’s worth of monoi has done for my hair!

May The Fashion Force Be With You

Last week I had the privilege to do a cool ride-along with Mercedes-Benz as part of their Fashion Force: A group of bloggers on patrol in NYC’s trendiest hoods to spot fashion-forward guys and gals. My sweet ride, a 2012 CLS63 AMG, was decked out to look like a sleek police car, complete with flashing lights. Let’s just say it was quite the attention-getter.

I traveled to some of the hippest neighborhoods in NYC, including the Meatpacking District, Soho and the West Village. Check out some of my fave finds!

I spotted Sara walking with a group of friends in the Meatpacking District. I was immediately taken with her adorable twisted hairstyle, which she said she created by twisting the sides back and putting them into a hidden ponytail, then twisting a piece up and over to create a headband. I also loved her pretty purple eye makeup, a blend of two Sephora shadows.

I chased Denise down across the street from the Standard Hotel. Her daring red crop caught my eye from half a block away! She told me this edgy ‘do is her signature style and that she’s had it since college. Hey, if it’s working for you, why change it?

One sight of Susan in her boho Steven Alan coat and I knew I had to feature her. My added bonus was her adorable hairstyle–a tiny braid on the right side of her head that she pulled back and secured with an elastic. She described her overall look as casual and comfortable, but I would have to add effortless chic to that list.

A trip to Washington Square Park earned me lots of curious stares and the double style find of Sharon and Nicole, two NYU students on their way to class. Nicole’s thick braid and spring scarf gave her that downtown cool look I love and Sharon’s trenchcoat and sandals combo was just too cute for words.

SoHo turned out to be a fashion goldmine. We parked in front of Chanel, where I caught Andrea here taking a photo of the car. She was rocking her natural hair texture, which she had pulled up and wrapped with a scarf she got on the streets in Paris. The finishing touch was a swipe of Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips in Roxanne. Gorgeous!

You really never know who you are going to run into in this city. Just before packing it in for the day, I ran into the divine Miss Eva Chen, Beauty Director of Teen Vogue looking all awesome with her low-key self. She described her look as “sleepy Thursday,” which meant no makeup and au naturel hair. She mixed high/low fashion finds like a biker jacket from TopShop and a sequined jacket from Zara with some killer sandals from Chanel. I also adored her neon orange pedicure, courtesy of Essie’s Mini Shorts polish. Just goes to show that you don’t need tons of products to look gorgeous!

The Truth About Thinning Hair


Thinning hair is not usually something women worry about, unless they are experiencing it firsthand. I know it’s never been at the top of my list of beauty worries–until recently. After a particularly stressful month, my hair began falling out in scary clumps. While my lost locks gradually grew back in, this stress-based follicular folly really got me thinking about hair loss and what would happen if my hair hadn’t grown back.

As a fine-haired lass, I’ve always done everything I can to boost, plump, thicken and add volume to my locks. What I neglected to consider is that as we age, our hair strands begin to lose thickness and density, resulting in noticeably thinner, weaker hair. You can apply all the volumizers and root lifters in the world, but if your hair is gradually fading away, there’s not much that’s going to help. Even scarier, this hair-aging process doesn’t just affect little blue-haired old ladies–it can start as early as your 20s!

When it comes to anti-aging, we take great care of our skin, but we don’t bother to take preventative measures with our hair. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help prevent thinning hair before it gets out of hand. One of the easiest options is to use the Nioxin Scalp & Hair Care 3-Part Systems.

Each personalized system is designed to create volume, reduce breakage, amplify hair texture, strengthen the cuticle and remove excess sebum from the scalp. I took a comprehensive quiz on the brand’s site to assess my needs and found that I fit perfectly into the type 3 system–Fine, Chemically-Enhanced, Normal To Thin-Looking Hair.

The kit features a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment. I loved the Cleanser and Scalp Therapy because they made my scalp feel energized thanks to a fab peppermint tingle. Definitely woke me up in the a.m.! The Cleanser helped remove excess, dulling residue from my scalp while the Scalp Therapy restored moisture to it, leaving my hair shiny and smooth.

The last step in the system is the leave-in Scalp Treatment, and this is where I had my misgivings. As those of you with fine hair can attest, we have to be very careful about the amount of products we put in our hair, otherwise our locks can start to look weighed down and greasy. I’m happy to report that the Scalp Treatment did none of the above. I applied it to my wet hair, combed through, then applied my usual heat-protecting spray and styling cream and my hair was not only soft and shiny, but bouncy and full as well.

I’ve been using the system for two weeks now and I really like it. My hair feels and looks healthy, shiny and soft–not to mention full and plump. Best of all, this easy to use system is relatively inexpensive at just $39.99 a set, making it a realistic option for those looking to prevent hair loss without shelling out a fortune. I’ll definitely be using this preventative gem regularly to help keep my hair healthy and strong.

Special Offer for Daily Makeover readers!
Want to try out the Nioxin Scalp & Hair Care System for yourself? We’ve teamed up with the brand to offer 10 lucky winners a customized system just for them. Just tell us in the comments section below when your first aging or thinning hair moment was and you will be automatically entered to win. Contest ends December 10, 2010. Please read the full rules and regulations before entering.

This post is sponsored by Nioxin and the product was supplied to Daily Makeover for review. The information included is the honest opinion of our editor. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

DIY Diva: The Shiny Hair Rinse


Photo: © Kevin Winter/DCNYRE2010
/Getty Images for DCP

People who have shiny, smooth hairstyles are the luckiest people of all. I mean, who wouldn’t want lush, glossy locks instead of frizzy, frazzled strands? If you weren’t blessed with shiny, healthy hair like Selena Gomez‘s, I’ve got a super-simple at-home treatment that can fix that, no expensive keratin salon treatment required.

First off, you’ll need two cups boiling water and two to four tea bags, depending on your hair length. Brunettes should use regular tea like Lipton, blondes should use chamomile. Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove. Let the water cool. Jump in the shower and wash and condition your hair so it’s nice and clean. At the very end of your shower, take the cooled tea mix, tip your head back and pour it over your hair, being careful to keep it away from your face and eyes. Do NOT rinse it out. Towel dry hair (be sure to use a dark towel as this mixture could stain a light one), then style as usual.

This is a treatment that should only be done every one to two months. Repeated use of tea can change your hair color, making it lighter and even brassier so it’s best not to overdo it. Also, it’s a good idea to wash your hair with cool or lukewarm water, as that can also increase the shininess.

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Julianne Hough Shares Her Get-Glam Secrets

I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite get-ready moments is when I’m glamming myself up for a night out with my girls. I find that I tend to be a bit more adventurous with my beauty choices, adopting new hairstyles and intensified makeup instead of my usual day-to-day look. Country singer and Dancing With The Stars veteran Julianne Hough feels the same way: She’s teamed up with Caress to share her secrets to a great night out, from how to get glam to how to make sure you have a blast with your girls. Check out my video interview with her to get the scoop!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Win It! A Frizz-Fighting Secret Weapon


One of my favorite things in the summer is the effortless hairstyles. Nothing looks sexier than a tousled, slightly messy updo or beachy waves. Notice I said SLIGHTLY messy–there’s a big difference between hair that looks carefree and looking like you got caught on the wrong end of a wind machine.

You have to be especially diligent in the summer, when humidity and heat combine to create out-of-control locks. That’s why I’m loving this new frizz-busting serum, which claims to keep hair silky and manageable even in high humidity. Avon‘s Advance Technique Frizz Control Lotus Shield uses a formula inspired by the lotus leaf plant to create a natural shield that prevents moisture from penetrating the hair. It keeps frizz out and your hair looking polished.

I tried Lotus Shield out on a recent 90 degree day, the type that usually leaves my hair so out of control that people start wondering if I may or may not be a street urchin. I was definitely surprised with its frizz-reducing capabilities. Not only did it keep my frizz in check, it also helped eliminate pouf, something my hair really stuggles with in the summer. I let me hair air dry and Lotus Shield helped coax out my natural waves and helped them stay smooth. By the end of the day my hair was miraculously frizz-free, smooth and not even a little bit wilted, a definite plus in my book!

Special Offer for Daily Makeover readers!
We’ve teamed up with Avon to offer three lucky readers the chance to take home their very own Lotus Shield! Just tell us in the comments section below how you keep your hair looking frizz-free and fab in the summer and you’ll be automatically entered to win. Contest ends July 6, 2010 at 5 P.M. EST. Be sure to read the full rules and regulations.

Congrats to our winners Kassidy, Rebecca and Melissa. Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their frizz-free tips!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

What’s Your Beauty Forecast?


Photo: © iStock Photo

Mother Nature and I are not BFF’s, especially when she decides to unleash all kinds of crazy weather on me. This week alone we’ve had blistering heat, stifling humidity and torrential downpours. This type of schizophrenic weather wreaks havoc on my beauty routine because I never know what products to use on my hair and skin to help combat environmental effects.

Technology to the rescue girls! has launched a new function they call the Beauty Forecast. Major thanks goes out to the lovely Daneen at Spoiled Pretty who turned me on to this amazing application.

Here’s how it works: Simply type in your zip code and the Beauty Forecast will tell you not only what the weather is going to be like, but what possible beauty predicaments might pop up because of it and recommend products to use. If you click on the 5-Day Forecast option, it will plot out your week for you and tell you if you have a high chance for frizz and dry skin–it will even chart your dry skin and frizz threat levels for the next 5 days.

Genius, but it begs the question: Why didn’t someone think of this earlier? I could have been saved some major weather-related beauty trauma in my teens had this been available. Well, it may not have been around then, but you can bet I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this nifty new tool now!

Would you use the Beauty Forecast?

Hair Care Stops Being Polite & Starts Getting Real

Last month I told you about Pantene’s awesome contest to try and find the first reality hair star. You guys sent in your videos and 12 lucky ladies were chosen as semi-finalists and flown to New York for a test shoot where they had their hair styled by superstar stylist Danilo. Check out what Danilo had to say about the ladies and their magnificent manes:

On Friday Pantene announced that three finalists had been chosen–Huda Mumin, Valerie Castillo and Marissa Hopson. One of these three gorgeous gals will star alongside the fabulous Stacy London in an ad that’s set to air tomorrow (May 25) between 9 and 10 P.M. EST on three different networks–Oxygen, Bravo and NBC.

I for one cannot wait to see the ad, mostly because I’m curious to see how a reality hair ad will differ from a regular one. And, of course, to see who gets crowned the next Reality Hair Star. My vote’s for Huda–Who do you guys think should win?

This post is sponsored by Pantene. The information included is the honest opinion of our editor. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Win A Rock Star Makeover!


Let’s get real ladies: when you were growing up, did you really dream of becoming an office assistant or an accountant? Probably not. Chances are you aspired to be in the limelight, be it as a ballerina or an actress or a singer.

My secret ambition was to be a rock star. Granted I had no talent for singing, nor was I adept at smashing (let alone playing) guitars, but that didn’t stop me from trying to be like one. Every morning I would layer on the Urban Decay shadow and liner (Maui Wowie, Smog and Bourbon were my shades of choice), circling my eyes to create that perfect hazy gaze. A dab of cream blush on my cheekbones and a swipe of dark lipstain pressed into my lips and I was the ultimate rocker chick, at least in my head.

Unfortunately, most of us can’t live out these rock star fantasies, which I think is just tragic. So I’m stoked by this cool contest from Flirt!. In honor of their new fragrance, Rock-n-Rebel, the brand has teamed up with rock godesses The Veronicas to host an online contest called “Show Us Your Inner Rock Star.”


The Veronicas in all their rock chick glory.
Photo: © Flirt!

Starting today, you can head to Flirt’s website and enter by submitting a photo of yourself that shows off your best rock star style and what it means to you. The winner will be flown out to L.A. to get a rocker chick-inspired makeover and go on a shopping spree with The Veronicas!

Runners-up will receive a bottle of the new Rock-n-Rebel perfume, which I’ve been in love with ever since my first sniff. It contains notes of apple nectar, pink grapefruit, and white lotus blossom which create a high-energy scent that has a hint of softness. It’s the perfect way to unleash your inner rock diva, and you don’t have to trash a hotel room or kick over a drum kit, so that’s a plus.

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Get Rid of Static Hair


One of the things (okay the only thing) that I love about winter is that I get to bust out my collection of winter hats. My good friend Kim is quite the accomplished knitter, so I look forward to the those blustery days when I can put on one of the slouchy berets she has so awesomely made for me. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of rocking these woolly knits is an abundance of static hair. If I didn’t have enough problems already with frizz, now I have to contend with super-powered static? Ugh.

Happily, I learned a few fun tricks from the experts at John Frieda at a recent event. The legend himself, the fabulous (and fabulously handsome!) Mr. Frieda was kind enough to give us a primer on his cult classic Frizz-Ease product. For those of you who suffer from untameable frizz and crazy curls then you HAVE to try it. Frieda explained that in order to get the maximum benefit from the super serum, it’s best to apply it to wet hair. Use a towel to blot (not rub!) your strands, then apply a dollop of Frizz-Ease. Frieda advises using less of it at first and then build up to your perfect amount. After all, it’s better to use too little than too much!

If static pops up to ruin your newly frizz-free ‘do, John Frieda International Creative Consultant Harry Josh has a quick and simple way to get rid of it: water! Run your hands under a little bit of running water, pat them together and then lightly pat your head to instantly smooth out static. It’s quick, easy and you can do it anywhere, which means now I have no excuse not to wear my collection of cozy headgear. Looks like Kim better start knitting me some more slouchy knit hats…

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.

Want A Hollywood Makeover?

Hayden Panettiere July 07 2009

Score a glam look like Hayden’s!
Photo: © Dimitrios Kambouris/

Around here at HQ, we really love a good makeover (obvs). There’s nothing like a new look to help you boost your confidence and feel refreshed and reinvigorated.

Apparently Neutrogena feels the same way because they’re running a “Flaunt Your Inner Celebrity” contest where the winner will receive a trip to NYC for a Hollywood-inspired makeover with a celebrity makeup artist and a professional photo shoot to show off their new look.

Interested in scoring this sweet prize? Head over to Neutrogena’s Facebook page and tell them why you deserve to flaunt your inner celeb. You’ll automatically be entered to win the grand prize makeover.

One lucky lady will be given the A-list treatment in NYC and 10 first-prize winners will receive a Neutrogena prize package worth $250! Contest ends on September 11 so hurry up and enter before it’s too late!

As one the web’s largest beauty sites, constantly receives products from beauty companies for editorial review. Please read our Editorial Ethics Pledge if you’d like to know how we select products to feature.