Hair and Beauty

I’m No Angel, But Is Plus Equal?

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the Lane Bryant ad circulating on social media.

#ImNoAngel

#PlusIsEqual

And while the message of plus acceptance is something I have rallied behind for the past decade, this morning I had a hard time associating myself as one of these women.

I watch the glamazons in the Plus Is Equal campaign and admire both their bravery and beauty as they strut their stuff in national ad campaign for the largest plus-size retailer, Lane Bryant. They are each gorgeous, flawless and idols to women of a larger size like myself.

So this morning when my boyfriend complimented my body, I had a knee-jerk reaction of shrugging him off. It’s especially fitting since today I’m dressed from head to toe in Lane Bryant fashion items. From my bra and boyshorts by Cacique to my Lane Bryant-branded pencil skirt, tank and half-sleeve jacket, I’m a walking billboard. Today, I’m feeling casually elegant, super confident and a bit naughty.

So why shrug him off?

Good question.

Why is it so hard for me to take a compliment?

I’m sure all women have this issue. We become obsessed by parts of our body that we don’t feel are adequate enough, and we project all our negativity toward ourselves. For me, size has always been my concern. I target hate toward my arms and my stomach. So I was instantaneously forced to look and ask myself why I couldn’t see my own body in the same light that I saw the “Plus Is Equal” campaign woman.

For all we want to post on social media about self-acceptance, it’s easy to fall back into centuries old body shaming practices. We’ve been raised to sit up straight, project our chest, whittle down our waists, plump our lips, shave our unwanted hair, grown our head hair long and luxurious, wear heels to elongate our legs…and blah, blah, blah. There are so many expectations on our appearance that it’s easy to fall into self-sabotage comparing ourselves to these widely accepted, often contradicting, standards.

No matter how many memes we post, no matter how many compliments we get, no matter what our level of self-confidence seems to be…the one thing we can count on is that ALL women harbor the same kinds of doubts about themselves. It’s an unspoken rule.

So what are the rules to accepting ourselves with so many lingering self-doubts?

According to NEMA (National Eating Disorders Association), there are 10 tips for body acceptance.

  1. Appreciate all that your body can do.  Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams.  Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
  2. Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like.  Read your list often.  Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.
  3. Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin deep.  When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel.  Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
  4. Look at yourself as a whole person.  When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts.  See yourself as you want others to see you–as a whole person.
  5. Surround yourself with positive people.  It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.
  6. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person.  You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones.  The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
  7. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body.  Work with your body, not against it.
  8. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages.  Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body.  Protest these messages:  write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message
  9. Do something nice for yourself–something that lets your body know you appreciate it.  Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.
  10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others.  Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.

And while these all seem well and good, they are each a monsoon of emotional baggage for most women. Today I battled with #4 but any given day…

Which of these do you battle with most on a daily basis?

Trying to Be A Girly Girl is Not Working Out For Me

by Teddy Sephina

One day, I thought maybe I should try to be a little more feminine. Even though I’m not exactly overly boyish, I’m not exactly magazine cover material either. In other words, not girly enough to be standing in front of a motorcycle with a Hell’s Angel straddling the bike, but not too tomboy either to be the Hell’s Angel straddling the machine.

I thought maybe I should try this eyebrow thing all the girls do these days, since apparently gone are the days when Brooke Shields’s eyebrows were sexy. I have Brooke Shields’s eyebrows. Not sexy at all. So I got a little mirror and some tweezers and I tried to do the old-fashioned plucking, since I remembered all the times Grandma would stand under the bright kitchen light, and pluck her chin hairs and eyebrows out. I used to think this a very odd morning ritual until I noticed my mom do it too, years later.

Now, in my mid-thirties, I’m having to do it. Cripes.

So, I laid out on the couch, angled myself in a way that the large lamp would shed enough light onto my face, and began the art of plucking. Unfortunately, not being educated enough in the trials and tribulations of being a cutesy girl, I plucked too much. Fed up with it all and too embarrassed to show my roommate at the time, I ran into the bathroom, and had a little freak-out session.

Whoopi_Goldberg_Cannes_1992Then, I promptly took up a razor and shaved what was left off, thinking if Whoopi Goldberg could get away with it, why couldn’t I?

I couldn’t get away with it. It was now extremely hard to tell what facial expression I was using, and it was very disturbing. So I rooted through my roommate’s make-up kits and found an eyebrow stencil and eyebrow pencil and proceeded to draw on some eyebrows. Well, more like “colored in” a stencil I was holding over my hairless brow. Then, it didn’t look so bad.

…Or so I thought.

When my roommate showed up, wondering what I was up to, she started howling with laughter at my work of art decorating my lower forehead. I was humiliated. She asked what the hell happened and I told her, which again reduced her to a loud fit of giggles. When she finally could be mature again, she told me she would draw in the brows for me, as I definitely had no sense of symmetry in my work. I was offended. After all, I had gone to art school. But I guess I must be a Picasso, and if I wasn’t careful, I would next be drawing a nose on my chin.

So the next day, I forced myself to go to work, but not without first wearing a bandanna so low on my head, it came down to my nonexistent eyebrows, and I pulled out from underneath the bandanna some strands of hair.

Then I switched out my glasses to the bigger, chunkier retro black glasses, and I got away with it for a few days. Thank god my eyebrows grow quickly. I would have looked like Grandpa Munster if I let myself go a little too much. It’s really a darn shame.

Today, I let someone else do the eyebrows. I learned a painful lesson from all of that.

Another way I wanted to be more chic and feminine was to get highlights in my hair. One time I got it done, years ago, when I had shorter hair, and it looked really good.

So years later, with slightly longer hair, I decided to go for it again. I went to a decent salon and requested the “Highlights for Lowlife Hair Special.” When everything was finished, I looked in the mirror and recoiled in horror when I saw that my once dark brown hair was now black, and the highlights that were supposed to be a dirty blond color, were now in fact bright orange!

I looked like the Princeton Tiger! I was horrified.

I told them to do something. They said they couldn’t. I refused to pay and tore out of there and ran to the car as fast as I could, lest anyone would actually see this abomination that was my head.

I went home and cried. I thought how ugly I already was and this made it worse. I recalled that the lady who screwed this mane up told me to wait 24 to 48 hours, and then use a home coloring kit that was to be two shades darker than my natural color, and it would make all of my hair one good, darker brown color. So I tried this. I followed the directions, after wearing bandannas or hats for two days, and when the time came to see how it looked, the black was still black and the orange was even brighter!

Well, I hung out that night with a bunch of girls, lamenting my latest stroke of bad luck, with intermittent fits of giggles on their parts– certainly not mine– and by the end of the evening, the girls had shaved my head.

I now had no hair. Not one strand of long, dark brown, wavy hair graced my naked head.

Man, I have to break out the bandannas again. After a while, I had a crew cut look as the hair was growing back in, and I very briefly had a serious case of gender identity crisis.

Years later, today in fact, I have long dark brown wavy hair that will never ever get a coloring job done again by a salon or even a barber.

I put make-up on myself, and I look like I work at a fair, giving face painting jobs to little kids’ faces.

I pluck my own eyebrows, and I look like a white Whoopi! It’s not a pleasant look.

I try to get a nice hair dye or something done, and I look like I’m wearing a rainbow wig that is usually only donned by professional clowns.

I finally had to face it. I’m a tomboy. Through and through.

And I’m finally okay with that.

FASHION: Males Are Now Going to Great Lengths

by Kristie LeVangie

Hair extensions used to be reserved for women.

Well…not anymore.

Celebs like Justin Bieber,

Bieber

Harry Styles,

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and David Beckham

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have men feeling as self-conscious about what they have “on top” as they are about what’s on the bottom.

Salons in the U.K. are reporting as much as a 200% increase in male hair extension interest.  Whether it’s length, texture or volume, men are seeking ways to emulate the stars and enhance their coiffure beauty.

One of the companies leading this revolution was Great Lengths.  Check out some of their amazing transformations here:

Extensions aren’t just for men who want to make a statement.  They are for any man who wants to maintain his youthful mane, and for some can be a viable alternative to the scary “plugs” or surgical hair replacement procedures.

We say two thumbs up to this male beauty trend.  What do you think, men?  Would you ever?

I Want to Turn Your Cream Into Butter

by Kristie LeVangie

Okay, you with the dirty mind.

Unfortunately, I’m not talking about your “man juice.”

In fact today, I’m not talking about you at all.  But you are welcomed to hang with us ladies for a bit.  I may turn you onto something new.

And no, Pitmaster Jimi, I’m not stealing your thunder today either.  This isn’t an article about food.

This IS an article about a great new product I quite discovered by accident and now use religiously!

I’m a big fan of convenience.  With a busy life, I like to get shortcuts anyway I can, and one of my big kicks lately is subscription products.

Subscriptions these days are more than just magazines and newspapers.  I have scheduled deliveries of organic vegetables to beauty products coming to the house…and everything in between.  I’m a big fan of spending less time in stores with crowded lines, limited selections and navigating through unnecessary clutter to find what I’m looking for.  To me, it’s worth a few bucks to save the hassle.

So when I ran across a subscription service for my man that delivered shaving supplies to the house, I was on-board immediately.  And when I found out it was a fraction of the cost, I was ecstatic!

If you haven’t heard of Dollar Shave Club, I suggest you google them right after you finish my article.  With packages ranging from $1/month to $9/month for razor blades, there’s a level that fits right into your budget for sure.  (Compare that to mainstream store replacement blade prices!  Savings of about $4 PER BLADE.) And while it’s marketed to men, I actually have and use The Executive on all my various lady bits.  It’s a dream.

But even that isn’t why I’m here writing this article.

I’ve been a user of shave gels and creams since my teen years.  I just prefer the added lubrication it offers, particularly with the frequency in which us women have to shave our legs.  And because my skin in general tends to lean toward the drier side, it’s sometimes aggravating to my leg skin to use only soap.

But I also have teen girls.

So a few weeks ago as I was in the bathtub and reaching for my shave cream– you know where I’m going with this, right?– it was completely empty.

But…he had ordered some Shave Butter from Dollar Shave Club to try it.  So I had a handy substitute.

Dollar General Shave ButterI had encouraged him to give it try after seeing the natural ingredients touted on their website: Golden Barley, Organic Prickly Pear Cactus, Pacific Sea Algae, Black Willow Bark, Vitamins A, C, E, and Oat Extract.  And I especially enjoyed their advertising messaging, “TRANSFORM THE DREAD OF SHAVING INTO THE JOY OF SOFTLY WIPING WHISKERS OFF YOUR FACE.”

Ladies, I’m here to tell you that after that one “seeing the light” experience, I will NEVER go back.

The formula is safe for sensitive skin and actually leaves my legs feeling more moisturized.  I feel like I’m doing something great for my skin.  I have yet to cut myself shaving and love the smell.  Best part is that it’s only $8 for a 6-ounce tube that quite frankly lasts longer than my creams ever seemed to.

Now…I just have to keep it a secret from those damn girls.

So check out their site, watch some fucking hilarious marketing videos and place your order. Tell them Libidacoria Magazine sent you. Now go! Here’s the link.

Dyed and Gone to Heaven

me

 

 

 

by Kristie LeVangie

With bright floral prints and colorblocking in season for apparel, the color continues as the mane attraction when it comes to sun-kissed locks.

The red and blonde ombres of last season make way for some untraditional pops of color.

Pink is Chic

The pink trend has been seen on celebrities such as Emma Stone, Katy Perry, Rachel McAdams, Heidi Klum and Carrie Underwood.

Light pink, bright pink, a little pink, a lot of pink…it’s feminine and edgy…and reads like the opening of a Dr. Suess book.

Pink Hair

rachel-pink-hair


16972-Bright-Pink-Hair
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Get a clue.  Go for blue!

Both Katy Perry and Demi Lovato have taken blue to a whole new level.  Go bold!

katy perry blue hair

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Or soften it with a little less intensity.  Like this subdued hue.

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Or this…

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Purple is To Die For.

Katy Perry makes our list yet again.  This time she appears with her purple locks.

Whether it’s her intense royal purple,

 

 

Katy-Perry-Long-Purple-Hair

6-dark-purple-hair

…or something a bit more lilac…

e1cecfa0a744b58cadc52dc3e9a31438

Purple commands some attention.

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Our longer stint with Mint.

Coming out of last season, mint green seems to be a color we aren’t yet willing to let go of.

When done well, mint hair can be a show-stopper.  We’ve found it on celebrities like Lady Gaga and Amanda Bines.

Lady Gaga arrives at the Park Hyatt Hotel, Sydney, Australia - 17 Jun 2012

amanda-bynes-blue-hair
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Colorful Tips

Color is fun, and giving your head a colorful makeover could be just the thing to get you through summer.  We have a few tips to help you with such a hair-raising decision.

1.  Decide how much color you are comfortable with.  Perhaps an all-over color isn’t something your job will allow.  Perhaps you aren’t necessarily bold enough to pull off an all-over color change.  Whether it’s tips, streaks or all-over commitment, this should be your first decision.

2.  After you’ve decided how much color you want, it’s time to decide on WHAT color.  First, look at your wardrobe.  If you wear a lot of pink, for instance, you may want to avoid pink hair.  Monochromatic isn’t the look we would promote here.  Instead, choose a nice contrasting color like blue to make your pink wardrobe pop.  You will also want to consider your eye and skin color.

3.  Keep it simple.  Too complex of color schemes can have you looking more clown than fashionista.

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Don’t be afraid to play though.  More than one color can be awesome if you keep it simple.

Hair-Trends-Spring-Summer-2013-Dip-Dyed

4.  Do not color your eyebrows to match.  Enough said.  Really.
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5.  As with any hair styling change, consider the health of your hair first and foremost.  Too much bleaching or dying can dry hair out and damage it.  Take the necessary steps to maintain your shine and the integrity of your locks.  After all, it’s hard to dye your bare scalp.

This blog was brought to you by Skittles_Original

 

Shine is Not Always Divine: Hair Tips for Using Dry Shampoo

Some of you are thinking, “Dry?  I shampoo my hair with water, crazy bitch.”

Others of you are thinking, “Yeah, I know.  I use it 2-3 days after I shampoo my hair.  So?”

And yet others can close this browser now because they would never use dry shampoo and think it’s a waste of time that someone on the other end here is actually writing about it.

To group #3, I bid you “Adieu.”

To the rest, let’s talk for a minute.

How many times have you found yourself in a position where you slept at his place last night and now you’re late for work and simply don’t have time for a proper washing?

Shine is not always divine.

Dry shampoo could be the answer, but there’s more…

Dry shampoo can come in a few different forms: mostly powder or a spray-on.  You’ve no-doubtedly  encountered it in your local beauty aisle (or will now that I’ve mentioned it).  And of course, we know that it was designed to soak up the oil you naturally acquire by living life.

You would normally apply it by concentrating on the roots and brushing through to the ends.  And I would venture to say that most of us are using it between shampoos to extend the life of our freshly cleaned bounciness, but there are other opportunities for use that make sense as well.  For instance:

  1. Apply a bit of dry shampoo to your roots after a fresh shampoo.  It will stave off oil through the day and will pump the volume of your ‘do without the heaviness or stiffness of hairspray.
  2. Use it after a killer work-out at the gym to soak up some of the dew (sweat) you naturally accumulate at the roots.
  3. Use it after a long flight or a long day at the office to fluff up and freshen your style.
  4. Check out Pinterest and other online sites for home recipes (using cornstarch, baby powder, or other ingredients).  These often come in at a fraction of the cost of store-bought, are natural, and are generally made with products you may already have on hand.  (SCORE!  FREE!!!)

A few other dry shampoo tips:

  • Leave it on for at least 2 minutes before brushing out and styling.
  • Always hold the can (in the instance of dry shampoo spray) at least 6 inches from your scalp when apply to eliminate any clumping and ensure even distribution.
  • As a general rule, never use dry shampoo more than twice before you go back to full-on water and your favorite shampoo/conditioner.
  • Nearly everyone can benefit from dry shampoo since it soaks up the oil from your scalp but does not strip the oils out of the hair strands themselves.  The only people for whom dry shampoo should be avoided are those with sensitive scalps and dry scalps.

Ready to give it a try?

Our recommendations for the best brands are:

 

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo at Ulta – $7.99

Suave Dry Shampoo

Suave Dry Shampoo at Walmart – $2.88

But there are many others out there.  As always, look at consumer reviews, check your local stores for availability and share your results below.  We want to hear from you!