Five (No Way!) Things I Learned Last Week
In the past week, I’ve been to New York City, Greenwich, Bronxville, Jersey, and Tennessee. All this traveling did prevent me from posting—but not from stockpiling new beauty and health info. My trip to the East Coast was peppered with breakfasts, lunches and cocktails with editors and publicists (and I took copious notes). Then Mary Kay took me—and about two dozen other beauty editors—to Blackberry Farm outside of Knoxville to showcase their new spring and summer launches. I’ll be weaving info from this weeklong trip into posts for weeks to come, but here, to start, are five (surprising!) tips and tricks I picked up along the way.
P.S. Check back later this week for a few must-have products I discovered on my travels.
Alternate eyes when applying Lash Boost (or any lash or brow treatment) The Streicher sisters (a crazy-talented, genetically-blessed LA-based trio made up of makeup artist Jenn; brow guru Kristie; and hairstylist Ashley) were hired by Mary Kay to travel to Blackberry Farm and offer each editor a signature Lightening Striike session: 15 minutes of makeup, brow and hair primping. Within an hour of arriving at the Farm, I was settled into Jenn’s makeup chair. As she was applying my makeup, she noted how long my lashes were (thank you Lash Boost), but also pointed out that my right lashes were longer than my left. I started in on how my face isn’t symmetrical, one brow is fuller than the other, blah, blah, blah, when Jenn inserted, “I think you probably just apply your serum to your right lashes first, so they’re getting more product night after night.” Oh. Duh. She was totally right. Jenn suggested that, from now on, I alternate which eye gets the first, fresh-from-the-tube dose to even things out. Done.
Botox can prolong your blowout This may be an only-in-New-York (or in-LA) trick, but I was having drinks with my friends Alison (a PR mogul), Jenny (another top publicist), and Didi (beauty editor and BFF), when they started talking about how women are getting Botox along their hairline to minimize sweating while Soul Cycling and SLT’ing. My dermatologist, Neal Schultz, MD (who I did visit almost immediately after landing at LaGuardia) has never suggested this for me, but I’m intrigued. I know women who’ve used Botox to dry up excessively sweaty palms (and some who’ve done their underarms, though that freaks me out a little, as the sweat has to leak somewhere), so I believe it works. If keeping your strands sleek (and shampooing infrequent) is a priority, ask your MD about it.
Eating pineapple can impact your periods An NYC friend (who will remain nameless) is dating a man from Boston, and she shared (over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, natch) that she eats pineapple to manipulate her menstrual flow around his visits. Eating a few rings, she says, makes her period come early (as well as come and go quickly). And this isn’t just an old wives’ tale. I did some research, and it is true that pineapple contains bromelain, which can soften the lining of the uterus and facilitate faster shedding (this is also why some doctors say to avoid pineapple early in pregnancy).
Everyone can wear bangs The last time I had bangs was in the late ‘90s. I cut them myself on impulse and regretted it for the next year, as 99 percent of the time, my fringe was clipped back, off my forehead. It’s not that I hate bangs. I actually Iove bangs. . .on other people. I also think bangs are flattering on aging faces, acting as pseudo-Botox and minimizing forehead lines. But I have natural wave in my hair—and it is waviest, finest and stubbornest (pretend that’s a word) around my face. So, the second there is any humidity in the air, bangs shrink up on me into a poodle-like puffball above my eyebrows. But, while I was in Manhattan, I visited my longtime stylist Nunzio Saviano for a haircut and, for the 500th time, he told me that bangs would suit my face shape. I always politely, firmly decline, but this time, I explained why: They are a nightmare to keep smooth. Nonplussed, Nunzio responded, “Just get a keratin smoothing treatment on the front of your hair.” Oh. Another Jenn Streicher moment. I suppose that would work. We didn’t have time to try keratin this time, but on my next visit, I think I'm going to make the cut (and I’ll document how it goes here on MediumBlonde). Point being, keratin smoothing services need not be an all-over service. They can also be used as spot-treatments to tackle stubborn areas.
Arnica Montana tablets may save traumatized toenails While I was in New York, I shoe-horned in running the Shape Magazine Half-Marathon with my friend Didi. This is the second year we’ve run this amazing, all-woman race and, although this year, just like last year, I went to a running store to get fitted for proper shoes, I still ended up with black, bruised toenails. Last year, I lost three of those nails, which looked terrific come sandal season (not). This year, the nails are staying put (and are currently camouflaged with dark navy Essie After School Boy Blazer)—and I think this is due to taking five 30c pellets of Arnica Montana daily in the week leading up the run, as well as every morning for a week afterward. The nails are still bruised, but I believe the Arnica helped temper the inflammation—and the fallout. It’s worth noting I also did not bruise after visiting Dr. Schultz. While he is certainly an adept injector, I give the Arnica props too.