Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lost in Translation

     So after more than 12 hours of travel we finally arrived in Erlangen, Bavaria, yesterday morning. The rest of the day yesterday was spent trying not to fall asleep. When you are trying to adjust to the time change, the best thing to do is to sleep on the plane as much as possible. I got about 4 hours. Then when you arrive, it seemed like 6 am but it was noon here, stay up until a proper time in your current location. So we finally fell asleep around 10pm (German time), but we had only had about 4 hours of sleep in the 35 hour prior. Basically I was in a fog yesterday.
     Today is my first real day here. So far I have learned how to ask for still water instead of sparkling, Stillen Wasser, how to order a coffee, Milk Cafe (I know, this one is impressive), and that German pillows suck!
     I love learning languages. I think that is what I am most excited about. I want to speak German, like NOW! Obviously it isn't that easy. I think my love of language combined with my strict grammatical upbringing (my dad is a grammar nazi) has led me to strange love of finding mis-translations.
     Yesterday in Paris's Charles De Gualle airport, I found myself taking a picture of a sign written in both French and English, indicating the ingredients of a sandwich. I warn that I have a little 12 year old boy that sometimes takes over my sense of humor. I hope it was supposed to say duck. Otherwise the French have strange taste in food.

     But this isn't my first time taking a picture like this. When I lived in Miami, finding a sign that was mis-written in English made my day. I guess I am easy to please. Here is my favorite picture of this phenomenon taken in Miami.

Out of Order :D
     Tomorrow we go apartment hunting with an agent that JP's company is providing. Look for an update to follow that trip around the city. I will be sure to take pictures!

<3 from Germany,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. We all have a lot to be thankful for.

Here are a couple of things that I am thankful for.


Chop Chop

JP, my hubby

Margo, my sister


My Parents

I am so lucky to have so many things to be thankful for, that I couldn't even list them all here.

<3 Andi

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Ball Has Started Rolling...

     Picture me as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, with the huge round stone barreling behind me. The stone is the impending move that is coming whether I am ready or not, and it is rolling faster and faster. Maybe it's not this dramatic, but this is how I feel. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. It is just very hard for me to comprehend all of this at once.
     This is my crazy schedule for the next couple weeks. This coming Saturday I am driving down to Miami to see JP's family. Right after Turkey Day we fly out of Miami, leaving unassuming Georgie with my in-laws, to go to Germany. We will be there for one week, trying to find an apartment. This will be my first trip outside of North America. Then we fly back to Miami, pick Georgia up, and drive back to Atlanta. Then I have two weeks to finish everything I need to get done, packing things, donating things, selling things, throwing things away. Next we drive up to Michigan to see my family for Christmas and then it is back to Miami again to turn in JP's car to the dealership. Back to Atlanta, one more time, the movers will come the first week of January. Finally we will be in Germany for JP to start work January 11th! I feel like I held my breath the whole time I was writing that.
     The next couple of weeks will obviously be very busy for me. I originally was going to end my blog contest at the end of November but I am going to end it tomorrow night, November 18th, at midnight. That way I can send out the prizes before I leave for my house hunting trip. Anyone who still wants to get in on the contest should do so now or forever hold your peace.
     This won't be my last post of the year, (I hope) but I wanted to wish everyone a great Holiday Season! I can't believe how fast it has snuck up on us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Saturday Night in the City

     Lately we have been spending Saturday nights at home, watching a movie and cooking in. This weekend we were invited by a couple in our building to go to dinner, we'll call them Mark and Angela. 
     Now I am going to be very honest, these aren't our favorite people. We met them over the summer, and between now and then we have gone to dinner with them a couple of times but every time has been just ok. No real connection to these people. Every time we see these two there is always just something strange about them, especially Mark.
     So you are probably asking yourself, why would we even choose to go out with them? After weeks of just sitting at home, I jumped at the opportunity to get my husband to take me into the city. Not only that, they suggested to go to our favorite restaurant. So I figured, why not? Well I will tell you why we shouldn't have in a minute. 

     First let me get to my "Look" for the night. I decided to do something totally different than what I normally do with my make up and I curled my hair. 
     To curl my hair like this, I parted my hair in one inch vertical sections from the parting at the top to the bottom hairline. Then I took these large sections and wrapped them around the curling iron, away from my face, without opening the clamp. I did both sides and then the back. If there were shorter layers that  didn't curl as well I went back over them, again, away from my face. At the very end I brushed my hair out with a paddle brush, and then took my hands, flat, one on the bottom of my hair, one on the top and smoothed the hair back down. That last step is hard for me to explain, hopefully you understand what I mean.
     For my eye makeup, I used MAC. Parfait Amour and Vibrant Grape on the lid, Graphology in the crease and Phloof as a highlight. It is a little more complicated than that so I will go through step by step. 
     After applying my foundation, concealer and powder, I applied Beige-ing Shade Stick to my entire lid and a little above. Then I blend it in with my finger. This makes a good base for the colors to stick to and makes them more vibrant. Then I took MAC brush 224 and did a nice coat of Parfait Amour all over my lid. Then next step is eyeliner. MAC Pearlglide in Molasses very close to the lash line from the center of the lid to the outside. Then I take MAC Brush 228 and smudge that all the way out so it doesn't look like a line anymore. This then acts in the same way as the Shade Stick to help the next color to show up better. Then I used MAC 266, a small angled brush and the Vibrant Grape along the lash line and blended up and in the outer V. In the outer V, I used MAC Brush 272 to blend. Then I did another coat of the liner and went over that with the Graphology and the 266 Brush, and went up into the crease with the 272. Then finally I used Phloof as the highlight and applied it with MAC Brush 219, right below my brow and to the inner corner of the eye.

     Back to the story. We got a call from the Mark saying that the restaurant we had originally planned on going to was closed for a private party that night, the whole reason I had agreed to go in the first place. Oh well, they said they were going to a different restaurant and we met them there. They had chosen to sit right next to the band. We hadn't seen these people in months and we sat there silently, all dinner, because in order to talk we had to scream. There was a whole other section of the restaurant where you could still hear the band but not as loudly. Then, any talking they did was to complain about the band.... Why did they sit there?
    Another weird thing was that they kept leaving the table to go to the bathroom, not together but at different times. Mark was acting very different after the first time and after the last time Mark got back, he just started putting on his coat without saying anything. The band had just taken a break so speech at this time was possible. JP, my husband, said, "Where are you going?" Mark said, "Getting the eff out of here." (He didn't say eff) Angela finally said that they were going to a bar down the road where she knew someone. We decided to go with them, even after the awkward dinner. I guess I figured we had come all the way into the city we might as well stay out for a little bit.  
     We get to the bar and Mark makes a big deal about being a Firefighter when they make us pay to get in. JP and I just pay for everyone to end the scene. When we get in, they leave us to go find the friend in VIP. JP and I figure we just paid to get in here so we are going to have a fun time and we start dancing. I am secretly hoping they never come back and find us... Unfortunately, they did. They had obviously been fighting she was trying to hide that she was crying, he was trying to make small talk with JP. They finally went off to talk somewhere privately. We waited probably about 10 minutes and took that as our cue to leave. 
     We almost ran to our car. It had been such an awkward night... At least I looked cute. LOL

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Reds Don't Make it Right... and new hair for me too!

     Last night at the CMAs, two beautiful ladies unexpectedly (to me) showed up with red locks. Kellie Pickler and Nicole Kidman both took a page out of Reba's book and warmed up their blonde hues. I think that it is no secret that I love me some red hair, but that doesn't mean that I love it on everyone.

Kellie Pickler
Nicole Kidman
Who wore it better, hair edition.

     I think that a lot of blondes, whether they are natural blondes or bottle blondes, associate themselves with being blondes. This has nothing to do with your natural color and everything to do with the way you feel about yourself, and your personality. I am not talking about dumb blonde stereotypes either. There are many serious and very intellectual blondes, and they still consider themselves a blonde. Kellie is not one of those by any means.
     As a hairstylist, I get plenty of blondes who want to color their hair for the fall and winter to a deeper shade. It is my job to talk them out of coloring their hair all over and into doing lowlights. Why? Because a blonde will always be a blonde, and more often than not, I will see that same person in less than a month asking for highlights again. That is traumatic for your hair. Even more so, if the person has decided to go red. Red is that hardest shade to keep in the hair, but also the hardest to get out.
      While Nicole and Kellie both looked beautiful last night as redheads, I think there is one clear winner. Nicole. Not only is she comfortable being a redhead, she didn't change that drastically from what she had before. She is still a very light strawberry blonde. Even if she wanted to go back to blonde the process wouldn't be quite so hard. Kellie, on the other hand, went very dark compared to her old look, and I predict that the next time we see her she will be back to her usual self. I don't think she will last very long at all.  Sorry Kellie. I blame the person that did this to you.

Last and very least, is me.  I made a color change about a month ago but I never posted a picture , except for my profile picture. Now that I've had my hair cut too, I figured I should share. This is, after all, my Hair Blog. I figure now was an appropriate time, introducing two new redheads, and one who stepped away from red for now.... I will always consider myself a redhead, and it won't happen in a month, but I will always be back.

I am still running the contest in the post 2 below this one. You have until the end of November to enter!

Have a great hair day!
<3 Andi

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Katie Holmes on the Cover of Elle

Ok, enough people have asked, and, honestly, I am getting tired of typing the same instructions to individual people.  Not that I don't love you all! I will just put it in one place for everyone to reference...

Obviously, I am talking about Katie Holmes hair on the her Elle cover. It is a beautiful picture, and her hair looks gorgeous, but how does one achieve that style at home? I am going to be honest, she has someone fluffing her hair every 10 shots to look like this.....but a girl can dream.

Still I will break it down, step by step, how to come as physically possible to this flawless look as possible.

Visual Inspiration

Besides your blow dryer, you will need,

 A large round brush

 A mousse

 A flat iron

Start with wet hair and apply some volumizing mousse. I like Aveda's Phomollient, shown above.

Focus your attention with the dryer first to the bangs if you have them, just to be sure they don't dry funky.

Then, tip your head upside down, and blow the roots dry. Pulling them away from the head with your other hand.

Once, the roots are dry, get the ends mostly dry as well, with just the dryer.

When the hair looks dry but still feels damp, start using a round brush. I clip the hair up from about the ear, all the way around to the other ear, up with a clip.

When you are drying with a brush always make sure you are using tension and blowing the hair down the hair shaft. This helps close the cuticle and make the hair smooth and shiny.

Do the entire section that is not in the clip, just slightly under. If it isn't perfect don't worry.

Next run a flat iron over this section quickly, focusing on the ends to take most of the curl out. You don't want it stick straight, but slightly angled in towards the face. To do this hold your flat iron with a slight angle inward. This also helps to tuck under fly aways.

Let the clipped up section down, and again section away the crown area. From the crown to the front hairline and about 3 inches wide. Clip that mohawk section back up.

This section I would also blow slightly under but with this section as you are releasing the hair from the brush, sweep it to the back of the head instead of just straight down.

Now for the third section. This is the most important section. When I am doing this section of my own head I literally turn off the blow dryer and set it down in between each small subsection that I do. Then I take the next small sub section and get it positioned in the brush before I turn the dryer on to it.

Start this section in the crown and take horizontal sections all the way across the 3 inch section and only 1 inch thick. Then clip the rest of the section forward so you don't pick up extra hair in the brush.

Repeat the same as above, moving forward toward the hair line.

Once you get to the front, take the bangs and blow then back as well.

Now, run your fingers through your hair to finish the style. Rearranging the hair how you like it to fall.

If any pieces are too tucked under, quickly go over them with the flat iron to lessen the curl.

I am sure they also used some kind of texturizing product on the ends to make it more piecey, which you can do if you would like. I just hate the way those products feel in my hair.

I hope this helps!

Don't forget to enter my blog contest in the post below this one!

Have a good hair day!
<3 Andi

Sunday, November 1, 2009


     Many things can cause your hair to accumulate build up, products, hard water, chlorine, etc. There are many ways to keep this under control.
     For the ladies who don't color their hair I suggest using a clarifying shampoo. Depending on your unique conditions you could use this anywhere from once a week to once a month. If you swim in a pool, have hard water, use a lot of waxy products or use a drugstore brand shampoo, you should use it once a week followed by a deep conditioner, preferably a salon brand that won't just start building back up on your hair.
     For those of us who do color our hair, and this is probably most of us, a clarifying shampoo can strip your color or cause it to fade too quickly. Using it a couple of times just before you color your hair is better than nothing, but it may not be enough. A better solution is to do a Malibu Wellness treatment on your hair no more than 3 days before your next coloring. They actually make different treatments for different situations, swimmers, blondes and dull hair just to name a few. This helps to remove build up that may inhibit the color from processing correctly, this enhances the vibrancy of the color and provides a more true to color result, among doing other things for the hair.

     I have three of the Malibu Wellness Color Prepare treatments to give away. To enter this contest all you have to do is become a follower of my blog and comment on this post. If you are already a follower just leave a comment. Don't forget to include your email address in the comment so I can let you know if you win! The winner will be chosen randomly. The deadline to enter is Monday, November 30th at midnight. NOVEMBER 18TH AT MIDNIGHT!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Conditioning: Tips and Tricks!

      I get a lot of questions asking about dry or damaged hair and what to do to help repair and or prevent it. I always give the same answer, buy a good weekly conditioner. If you wanted to take it to the next level, I would suggest going to get an in salon treatment. That's where they have the good stuff.

     Let me go further into detail about dry versus damaged hair. What to use for each and why one conditioner might be better than another for your particular situation.

Damaged Hair
     Usual causes are bleaching or highlighting the hair, or repetitive coloring. On this type of hair you need to use a combination of protein and moisturizer in your conditioner. Why protein? The molecules of protein go into your hairs structure and fill in any holes that may be there. There are different ranges of protein to moisture ratios in different products so you should pick one that is balanced to your needs. The more damage to your hair the more protein you need.
     Why not just use a protein rich shampoo to prevent damage? Well, although protein is good, it can also build up in the hair and cause the hair to become more dry. Think of it this way, for every molecule of protein that is in your hair, that is one molecule of moisture that can't be there. So you really only want to use protein if you need it.
     I have a couple of products that I will recommend, each of which I have used personally. The first, and my absolute favorite is Aveda's Damage Remedy. The reason for the favoritism is because Aveda discovered a new type of protein that does NOT build up in your hair. Once your hair is full of the protein the rest will just drop out. So that is a HUGE plus to not have to worry about using too much. Another one I really like is the Redken Real Control line. In a previous post, I reviewed the deep conditioner and I liked it so much that I am now using the shampoo and conditioner from the line as well. I will review the shampoo and conditioner from this line later seeing as I just started using it a couple of days ago and don't really have a good grasp of whether I like it or not yet. The good thing about the Real Control line is that it doesn't contain too much protein and it is still a good moisturizer. If your hair is very damaged, and you want to try Redken, the Extreme line is what they have. This one I have never actually used.

Dry Hair
     Most of the time when people think they have damaged hair, their hair is really just in need of some extra moisture. A couple of split ends don't need a protein conditioner, they need a haircut.
     Curly hair is one type of hair that is usually dry. So if you're a curly cue you will want a moisturizing conditioner.
     Dry hair is a little more simple, you don't have to worry about protein build up. Just get a good moisturizer like Aveda's Dry Remedy or Redken All Soft.

How to Apply
     Now I know everyone knows how to put conditioner in their hair, but to get your hair to really soak it up there is a trick.

1. Shampoo like normal and skip the regular conditioner.
2. Towel dry your hair as best as you can in the shower.
3. Now apply a generous amount of your weekly deep conditioner
4. Leave it on as long as you want/can.

Your hair is like a sponge, so if it is already full of water it doesn't soak up much more moisture. If you ring the sponge out before using it, it will soak up much much more. So just make sure you get as much water out of your hair as you can before applying the conditioner.  Most times I do the steps above first and then wash my body and shave, etc. and then I wash out the conditioner. Every once in a while though I will leave the conditioner on to sleep in or for a longer period of time. If I sleep in the conditioner I take a dry towel and wrap it around my pillow before laying my wet hair on it.

I hope this helped answer any questions you may have had. If you have another question I will be happy to answer!

Healthy hair is beautiful hair!
<3 Andi

P.S. I am sorry if there are typos in this post. I started it much earlier but had to leave half way through. I have now been up for 20 hours and am too tired to go back and correct my mistakes. I hope I wasn't so tired that you can't understand. We'll see when I read it again in the morning! Goodnight!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bye Bye Baby!

    I dropped my husband, JP, off at the airport today. He is, as I type, on his way to Germany. After spending a week in Germany he is going to Paris for another week. Two weeks! I miss him already. 
   He is going to interview with the same company that he works for here in the US, just for a position in each of the two cities that he is visiting. I am so proud of him to even be considered for this opportunity and I know he will do wonderfully! He is very professional and very good at what he does. I am sure they will be impressed with his knowledge and personality. I hope he gets a little time to relax and scope out the cities as well.
    I am very sad to be without him, but I know he is doing it to benefit the rest of our lives!

One of my favorite pics of us!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let's talk about Hair Color.

    Most of us have, at least at one time, colored our hair. Probably going hand and hand with that, we all have hair color disaster stories. It may be because of a box color done at home, or a stylist that didn't exactly understand what you were trying to say. I am going to try to help prevent a(nother) disaster from happening to you.

Box Color Disasters

Your hair came out too dark/the wrong color/in the right light has a slight tone of puke green.
    Hair Coloring Rule #1- Color canNOT lift color. In general terms, once you darken your hair with color, you can no longer lighten it again without using bleach, even demi or semi permanent color.
   Solution- Run, don't walk, to a professional. You need to highlight your hair and then go over it then with the right color. You may want a conditioning treatment after this.

You have been coloring your hair at home a dark color and now want it lighter.  
    Same as above. See your stylist. This is not a disaster but trying this at home can actually lead to said disaster. You roots will color to the light color, but your ends won't lift very much. Obviously not a good look!

Your hair turns out too light.
   This is not so much as disaster. It is much easier to darken hair than to lighten it. Just color your hair again, but I still recommend going to a professional.

Disasters are more apt to happen when color is done without a professional hair stylist. Once a disaster does happen it costs a whole lot more to fix the problem than it would have to just do it at a salon in the first place. At a salon the stylist doesn't just put one color on your hair, they mix several different colors to customize the color for each client. Box color is much more damaging to your hair than salon color, because they have to make it the highest strength to make sure it will work on everyone from a blond to a black haired person. Because of all of these reasons, I never encourage anyone to use a box color.

Disasters at the Salon

Lack of Communication
   Usually a disaster that happens in the salon is the result of a lack in communication. Everyone has different terminology. For example, what a blond might call dark a brunette might call light. An easy way to prevent this from happening, is to bring in pictures of cuts and colors that you like. That way you both know exactly what each other is talking about. Check out Google Images if there is a specific celebrity's style that you are looking to find. Or go to, one of my favorite sites to find different hair styles.

Something Goes Wrong
    A) The highlights come out too ashy or too golden 
    B) The color is too dark or too light
    C)Too red, to warm, to ashy, ect.
In any of these cases I suggest giving the stylist that originally did the color the chance to fix it. They will usually fix it for free, within the first 2 weeks after the original service. At least go to the same salon. Going to a different salon they will charge you for a whole other service. The original stylist should know the exact formula they used and will then know how to tweak it to make it right. If after this time they don't get it right, then try to have someone else fix it.

Your Hair Has Major Breakage
   It is expected, that when you have certain services done, some breakage may occur. Your stylist should have warned you, before coloring your hair, that this may happen. If you choose to continue with the service that is at your own risk. But if you go in to the salon with perfectly healthy hair and have it severely damaged, talk to the owner/manager of the salon and ask to have a complementary deep conditioning treatment. Next time, in this case, go to another stylist.

If you experience a disaster at a salon that you really like, but feel bad going to another stylist, DON'T. You pay good money to get your hair done and you should go to a stylist that you like. If someone doesn't do your hair how you want it done, find someone who does. I promise that the stylist understands. It may feel weird to you but us stylists get over it.

I wish you all good hair days!
<3 Andi

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Plan

  People think I am crazy, but I plan my hair out years in advance. It helps me to keep my hair at its healthiest and not fall for the latest trends, but to be true to what works best for me.

                                                                I want it about this long.

    My plan is this: The last time I cut my hair short, I did it so that it would have time to grow out for my wedding. It did. I also know that I will want it long when I have babies. So I am still growing. When I grow my hair I keep it dark to keep it healthy, when I cut it I color it blond. Then I usually keep it lighter until I decide to grow it out again. Then as it gets longer I gradually color it darker.  So the "plan" is more of a common sense thing to keep my hair healthy since I want it long.
      Not everyone has to have a plan but it is good to keep the health of you hair in mind before you make your decision to color you hair. Before you decide to be a platinum blond please consider the length and health of your hair. If you do decide to go blond from a dark color, also consider a hair cut. If you don't want to cut your hair just yet maybe the color should wait until you do. Your hair will thank you!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Real Control product review.

    For the last month and a half, I have been using a deep conditioner made by Redken called, Real Control Intense Renewal Super Moisturizing Mask. This particular product gives a lot of moisture and a little bit of protein, which is a good combination for someone who is growing their hair longer. It also works well for someone who just wants to keep their hair healthy, but has minimal damage. The moisture keeps the ends from becoming too dry and the protein helps to strengthen the hair and prevent split ends. I really liked this product. It made my hair feel very soft and easy to brush through when I was out of the shower.
   For someone who is heavily highlighted and feels their ends need some TLC, I might recommend a product with more protein to help strengthen. The Redken line that would work in this case is called Extreme. For someone who is curly or just feels dry in general I would recommend a product with no protein, only moisture. The Redken line that works for this is the Smooth Down.
   This was my first time using this product and I really liked it. I would buy it again in the future. If someone has the right type of hair to use this product, I would recommend it to them.

If anyone has any specific hair or makeup questions, feel free to email me at I am more than happy to help!
I hope everyone had a good weekend!

<3 Andi

Friday, October 2, 2009

To All of My Beautiful Ladies!

    Your outward apperance is a reflection of an inward self.  If you look good you feel good.  Two contradicting statements, which is true? I think that they both are. It's a cycle, when you look good you feel good and when you feel good you look good.
    So where does one start? Well there are somethings in life that you can change and somethings that you can't. I say forget what you can't change and do your best with what you can. You can change how you look but you can't change how you feel. We all have days where we don't feel our best.
    Start with your appearance. If you don't normally wear makeup start with just a little blush eyeshadow and mascara. This can freshen up any face. Put on some clothes that make you feel beautiful. Style your hair the best you can. If you generally do wear makeup but just aren't happy with how you do it or are stuck in a rut, watch some youtube for inspiration. My favorite is Kandee the Makeup Artist.
    Commit to yourself. You are worth it. A lot of women, especially mothers, spend so much time on their families that they forget to take time for themselves. You are important! If you are happy, you will be much better at making your kids and your husband happy! I know it is hard to juggle all of the things we women have to deal with, but remember to make yourself a priority.
   You are beautiful! There are people all around you who love you! Never forget these things, but if you do, just put on some lipstick and your favorite dress and you'll feel better.

Love you all. Let's lift each other up with praise! Remind someone today of how beautiful/meaningful/lucky/fashionable/kind/ect. they are. A few little words can make someone's day! A candle doesn't lose any light by lighting another candle.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What's in a name? An introduction.

    I like the saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I think the concept that everyone and everything is beautiful when looked at through the right eyes, has a beauty of its own. I really believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I believe in the forgiveness of others who have wronged you and I believe in treating all living things with love and respect.
    I make my living, making other people look, but especially, feel their best. It makes my day to make someone else's day. But...
     I have some big changes coming my way. My husbands job is moving us to Europe. I figured now would be the perfect time to start a blog. Since I won't be working, it would give me a way to stay connected to my hair and makeup roots, by reviewing products and giving advice to those who ask. It will allow me to document the changes I am going through, moving from one country to another, for my friends and family to follow and also as reference for anyone else about to jump the pond. Also, it will provide a positive outlet and help to remind me and anyone reading, that, even at its worst, the world is a beautiful place. 
    Come follow me on my journey through life and see the world through my eyes.