Vitamins for the Perfect Skin

The end of the semester is within view, but we still have a few weeks to go before we can throw our lectures notes in the fireplace and just kick back while listening to the embers crackle.  The last few weeks of every semester are always plagued with term papers, projects, and finals.  We try to avoid it, but the late nights spent studying are inevitable.  These sleepless nights are bound to take a huge toll on your skin.  Although your mind will be fried, here are some vitamins to keep your skin looking at its best.

Vitamin A is associated with fortifying bone cells, which are important for the health of your hair and skin.  Course, dry, blemished, and itchy skin can be traced back to low levels of vitamin A in the body.  The consumption of liver, carrots, and sweet potatoes, foods that are rich in vitamin A, can prevent these problems from developing.  Vitamin A is also found in topical forms, such as lotions and night creams.  It protects your skin from premature aging.  As college students, we don’t want to roll into class looking like we’re fifty.

Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, can hydrate your skin and reduce redness.  Inadequate amounts of B3 in the body can result in dry or scaly skin, possibly even dermatitis.  Vitamin B3 can be found in under the name “niacinamide” in lotions, creams, and serums and in foods, such as fish and peanuts.  The dry, winter air can really draw out the moisture from your face, so don’t be remiss about getting enough B3.

Vitamin C is the master of aging prevention.  It plays a major role in collagen production.  Below the epidermis, collagen has the task of preventing the skin from sagging.  A vitamin C deficiency will produce coarse skin and will prolong the amount of time it takes for wounds to heal.  Many fruits, especially citrus fruits, are packed with vitamin C.  Having wrinkles when you’re in your twenties doesn’t sound appeal at all.

The vitamin that is often associated with skin health is vitamin E.  This vitamin aids in evening out your skin tone and softening the texture of your skin.  Color discoloration is common for people, who aren’t getting enough vitamin E.  Many topicals designed for skin health contain vitamin E.  Seafood, nuts, and seeds are also full of it.  Vitamin E will keep your skin healthy and radiant.

We all know that the end of the semester is a very stressful time, but your health should always come before your studies.  Taking your vitamins will take your skin to new heights, but don’t forget about the basics: getting sufficient amounts of sleep, eating well, and drinking water.  When the last week comes, you’ll be rolling into your finals with the freshest face.

Uncut: New Waves

Listen up, gentlemen!!  November is finally here, and what better way to start off a new month than with a new haircut.  You can’t just let your hair sit on your head – it’s just as much as part of your personal style as the clothes on your back.  I have three styles to show you for short, medium-length, and long hair.

First, let’s talk about short hair.  Adam Levine inspired this short cut.  It’s modern and sleek, and it’s perfect for the guy who’s always on the go because it requires little maintenance.  This short cut is a nice intersection between “bed head” and “I don’t give a f**k”.  To get this cut, the sides and back have to be cut really short using clippers.  Cut with scissors, somewhere between half an inch to one inch should be left on top.  As far as styling goes, you should apply some sort of styling wax and just mess up your hair.  I recommend Defining Paste by American Crew: it provides low shine with a great hold because it contains beeswax.

Now, onto medium-length hair.  I find this style to be professional; very prim and proper, so it can be worn to work or out on a date.  There should be a contrast in length between the hair on the sides and back and the hair of top.  The sides and back should be cleaned up for a tighter look.  This style was worn by James Dean, but we updated it into a modern-day “high-and-tight”.  Because it is longer, it’s going to require some maintenance.  I recommend something with great hold, either Pomade or Fiber by American Crew.  Pomade provides high shine, and Fiber offers low shine.  It just depends on the occasion or your personal preference.  Both can be applied to dry or damp hair, so you can always “bounce back” during the day if necessary.

Finally, long hair.  Long hair can easily go wrong – just look at Russell Band.  If you like that beach, surfer look, but want to look cleaned-up, I recommend this cut to you.  Bring your hair to shoulder length, and ask your stylist to texture the ends so your hair doesn’t look so full.  To prevent your hair from just hanging in front of your face, it has to be reshaped.  Ask your stylist to angle it, so there’s movement going away from your face.  Maintenance-wise, I recommend Forming Cream by American Crew.  It’s easy to apply, and that’s important since you have so much hair.

Remember, gentlemen, we’re not twelve-year-olds anymore.  It’s crucial to have a cut that provides a sense of masculinity and professionalism.  Let’s bring in this new month right.  I expect to see some new haircuts around campus.

Autumn Leaves, and New Colors Please

There is nothing more relaxing than taking a load off your feet long enough to give yourself a mani and pedi.  But that’s just an additional bonus for the possible fashion statement you’ve got right at your fingertips (literally).

Whether you’re sporting sparkly polish for a night out or your go to color is a neutral pink, nail polish is a cheap and easy way to constantly make a fashion statement.

OPI’s new fall colors promise to keep you on your toes.

This autumn’s going to class colors are a step below last year’s black with softer mauves and chocolate browns.

Suzi Loves Cow Boys
Warm & Fozzie

With the leaves all changing colors, you might be looking for something a little more colorful. Find an outlet with some warm spice hues.

The “IT” Color
 Melon of Troy

But if you’re really looking to stand out, the best touch would have to be by adding a little shimmer to your nails. OPI is even switching things up with a line from Nicki Minaj.

Rainbow Connection
Spark De Triomphe

If you aren’t savvy on sparkles you can always change your nails up a little bit by having four nails on your hand one color and then have having an accent color on the remaining finger. Our cover model even sported the switch up.

So don’t pansy out and turn to your all time favorite bubble gum pink. Experiment with different shades, after all change is only a swipe of nail polish away.

J & F Gemelli Beauty Event

This past Thursday, June 2nd, I was lucky enough to be a guest at the J & F Gemelli Salon Event at Stone Creek in Cary, NC. The event was sponsored by Elle magazine and was open to the public. It was a great atmosphere, and was very professional – the salon hired a DJ and photographer to add to the luxury of the event. Hors d’oeuvres and a wine bar completed the classy feel.

Wella's Brilliance Shampoo for Colored Hair, part of the event's gift bags. Image:

During the event, the salon’s stylists offered free color consultations, inviting guests to come back for color and highlights (all guests were given a $10 certificate valid at any of the salon’s three Triangle locations). The stylist who worked with me, Shayna, was amazing! She brought my eyebrows a few shades lighter, a procedure which three different salons in Chapel Hill and Durham have not been able to provide. Then, she used a gloss on my hair (which was dyed a golden blonde), which gave my hair more of a strawberry tint and looked more natural with my new eyebrows. It also made my hair really soft! To finish the look, she gave me a blowout – and the best part is that all of the styling was free!

The products J & F Gemelli used at the event were Wella cosmetics, a luxe line created by the same stylists behind haircare legend Sebastian Professional. The Wella products were 30 percent off at the event, so my sister and I made sure to stock up after seeing the wonders they had worked on our tresses. The complimentary Elle gift bags included Wella shampoo and conditioner sets, in addition to the June issue of the magazine.

If you missed the event, I recommend giving Wella products and the J & F Gemelli salon a look. The stylists are friendly and knowledgeable, and the prices are comparable to those of other salons.

Everybody’s Gone Surfing

Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Blue Moon, $15.50, Image: M.A.C. Cosmetics.

Still searching for that perfect summer beauty look? We have the solution in one of our favorite new lines: M.A.C.’s new “Surf, Baby!” collection. The palettes range from neutral looks to bright pigments, so there’s something for girls of every makeup style. Surf, Baby! offers a variety of products, including neutral and metallic loose pigment powders, five shades of compact eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara (waterproof, of course!), lipstick and lipglass, cheek powder (a summer staple!), and, of course, nail color. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the colors are nautically inspired – think browns, tans, turquoise, and corals.

If you’re on a budget, the eye and lip products are a great bet. The mascara, which works for both length and volume, promises to work its magic on even the lashes of your eye’s inner corner, and it’s only $14 – the price you’d pay for two Cover Girl LashBlast mascaras at the drugstore. And each eyeshadow is just $15.50 – less than you’d pay for an Urban Decay product, and about what you’d pay for 3-4 drugstore shadows. Our favorite shadow shade is the bright “Surf USA,” but the neutrals (which have clever titles like “Short Shorts” and “Swell Blonde”) will work well with most skin tones. The collection’s biggest steal, though, is the Powerpoint Eye Pencil, which, at $15.50, is more affordable than Urban Decay’s classic 24/7 eye pencils, and promises to stay put through even a day at the beach. The downside? The liner is only offered in two shades, “Gilded White” and “Blue Noon,” and the white is already sold out!

Got a little more cash to spend? The line offers two sets of four limited-edition loose pigment shades – one in the peach-pink color scheme and one in the bronze-gray. At $32.50, they’re a splurge, but if you want high-quality beauty products that will last through the summer, this line is definitely the way to go.

Summer Skin Savers

We’ve all heard about swapping heavier mosturizers for lighter ones and wearing sunscreen at the beach, but what else do we need to know to adjust our beauty routines to the heat? No one wants to look greasy or smudge their eyeliner with sweat (we all do it!), so we’ve compiled some summer beauty tips to keep you looking fresh!

Is your skin ready for summer? Image courtesy of

  • Less is more. Summer isn’t the tip for standout red lips or heavy smoky eyes. By piling on too much makeup, you’ll make your skin more likely to become oily. Stick with minimal foundation, light blush or bronzer, soft shadow and liner, and mascara. If you can, use eyeliner and mascara only on your top lid, because the bottom lashes and under-eye area are more prone to sweat and smearing. For lips, opt for a peach, nude, or light pink shade.
  • Powder is your friend. We’re all fans of Clean and Clear’s oil-absorbing sheets, but using them too often can strip away your skin’s natural moisture, causing you to become more oily! While it can be tempting to re-apply foundation throughout the day to make up for what you’re blotting away, a loose powder will help trap your skin’s natural oils in, which will prevent you from unnecessary grease. If you’re not covering up blemishes or evening your skin tone, try using more powder and less foundation for a healthy, sun-friendly look.

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A Jeanius Idea

You’ve seen feature articles about denim in magazines – it’s not just pants and skirts anymore! Jackets, belts, shoes, and even dresses are made in all styles and washes by some of the most prominent designers and brands. Distressed denim has made a comeback since the 90’s, and even denim button-down shirts are suddenly cool. You may even have heard about the “Denim and Rose” collection at Bobbi Brown, which released a glittery eyeshadow shade called Denim Sparkle last summer.

M.A.C. Jeanius Eye Shadow in Motorhead, $19.50,

But with its new color palette, M.A.C. takes the denim trend one step further. Today, the iconic beauty brand launched the “Jeanius” collection, which includes denim-inspired beauty products of every variety.

Like Bobbi Brown, M.A.C. has included eyeshadow in the collection as well. But these aren’t your ordinary shadow boxes – the powders are pressed into a stitched-looking pattern to resemble jean pockets! The shadows even have a metallic rivet attached for the authentic jean look. The pigments are available in two shades (washes?) of blue, and are also available in white and black. Continue reading

Right ways to deal with the wacky weather at reasonable prices

Are you, your skin, AND your hair flipping out because of the unpredictable and inconsistent climate of Chapel Hill lately? You’re not the only one. I’ve gone from having a humidity-induced frizz ball of hair, to painfully chapped and cracked lips, to dull and dry skin, to a blindingly shiny and oily face in the past week. The array of looks I’ve sported this week has been endless – but certainly not by choice! I’d rather not worry every day about how my appearance has altered from what I intended when I left for campus in the morning! Luckily, there are products that are easily and inexpensively available to help relieve the worry and in extreme cases, pain! Here are some products to look for to survive this weekly whacky weather we’re having:

Petroleum and beeswax have been pinpointed as the two most important ingredients to have in a lip balm to best  battle chapped lips. Burt’s Bees contains both petroleum and beeswax and can cure any case of chapped lips at  hardly any cost at all (Under $4 at drugstores and the Student Store).

Besides chapped lips, a dry face usually accompanies cold weather as well. Treatment is easy enough with the right moisturizer. There are many moisturizers available but it’s imperative to make sure your moisturizer includes the ingredient hyaluronic acid. If you don’t have moisturizer right now but are realizing you urgently need to get some, run to Walgreens and try Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30 (Under $10 at drugstores).

For the warmer days we’ve been having, you’re probably experiencing the opposite of dryness! You might wearing a shiny or even oily face, especially on those warmer days when you have a million things to do and are a girl on the go all over campus! Oil-free face-wash and moisturizer and foundation powder with SPF are good steps to take to start off the day, but on long days you can reduce shine later with blotting papers! There are many brands of blotting sheets, but try Boots Expert Shine Control Papers for less than $5 at drugstores.

Nothing is worse than spending precious time styling your hair just to step out and have it either Fructis SLK/SHN ANTI-HUMID SPR Size: 8.25 ozflatten or frizz because of humidity. To harness the untamed hair that happens because of humidity, the best inexpensive products to use are from the Garnier Sleek and Shine line, such as the Anti-Humidity Hairspray Ultra Strong and Anti-Humidity Styling Cream (under $5 at drugstores).

With the warmer temperatures, we’re eager to put on sundresses, shorts, tanks, and sandals. With this shedding of layers comes more skin exposure and the responsibility of getting back into a regular shaving routine. Unfortunately, oh-so-unpleasant razor burn can come along with smooth and hairless legs. For treatment of razor burn, dermatologists recommend applying topical lotions that contain hydrocortisone, such as  Aveeno Maximum Strength 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream (under $8 at drugstores).

Keep all of these products in mind when getting ready every day and you should be ready to cope with the crazy Chapel Hill weather!

Shiny Like the Moon

We all do our best to wake up with plenty of time to groom ourselves in the morning, but every so often, you just can’t drag yourself out of bed. Before you know it, you’re rushing to get to class on time – at this point, appearance isn’t of great importance. Sometimes, it’s late enough that you aren’t able to hop in the shower, wash your hair, and finish the rest of your morning routine. But with the appearance of more and more dry shampoos and conditioners, this can all change.

Even if you wake up too late to give your hair a full-on lather, various companies offer hair-cleaning solutions that don’t require the use of water. The products promise to get rid of oil and smell, without leaving residue. Just sprinkle some of the powder on your hair, leave it on for a few minutes, comb it out, and you’re done.

Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

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totally tattooed- no needles necessary

It’s the middle of winter and you may be weary of your jewel-toned peacoat, black leggings and boots. So how do you spice up your winter look?

How about rocking a designer temporary tattoo?

Chanel debuted these beauties at their Spring-Summer 2010 fashion show in Paris. Each dainty tattoo plays a trick with the eyes- upon first glance, it’s hard to tell if they’re tattoos, or actual jewelry. Buy the pack of 55 and you’ll have a unique accessory for every night on the town.


Chanel garter tattoo

Beyonce’s House of Déreon temporary tattoos are bold and exciting.  Check out this dramatic spine tattoo. For a more subdued look, try one of the striking spider tattoos. At $34 for the deluxe pack, they’re affordable too.


House of Dereon skeleton tattoo

Betsey Johnson released a line of temporary tattoos this fall. Rock hers for a punk-look. Choose from snakes, an owl, a black cat or spiders and you’re sure to be a conversation starter.


Betsey Johnson temporary tattoos

Rodarte, who designed the costumes for Black Swan, used henna-inspired tattoos in its spring 2010 runway show. M.A.C. makeup artist James Kaliardos worked with the sister duo behind the brand for a month to create the tribal looking tattoos.  There aren’t any for sale, but if you’re feeling especially artistic, pick up some henna and use these as inspiration to try your own.


Rodarte henna-tattoo

Keep people guessing and look totally fabulous this winter with a temporary tattoo or two.