July 16, 2012

Celebrating Southern: Hair and Make-up

Link up with Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition

This week we're Celebrating Southern! Being the lovely Southern Belle that she is Miss Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition has started a fun, week long writing project all about life living in the South. She made it clear that we didn't have to be from the South or even living in the South to participate. I was truly excited when she announced this link up last Thursday because while I can't say I'm a Southern girl, I'm certainly living in the thick of Southern Belle country and thought it might be fun to give a Northern girls point of view. Feel free to link up with Leslie each day this week!

A Little History

Before I start this process I want to go on record as to saying, I am a Maryland girl born and raised. And while many will tell you I'm either A) a Yankee or B) That Maryland is below the Mason Dixon line, either way you slice that I'm OK with it. Being called a Yankee is not an insult to me in the least and I've been called that many times when I first moved here to Alabama. Since then I've been dubbed a "Southern Yankee" by my Brother-in-law. I've been living in the South for almost 8 years now and I will say for the most part I feel I fit in quite well, that's not to say it wasn't an adjustment. Most of the rumors you hear are true, lots of others aren't.  Southerners are friendly, truth. Southerners are very protective of their kin, truth. Southerners make the best sweet tea on earth, truth. Southerners are polite, truth. Football is a way of life and a second religion, truth. Southerners are all married to their cousins, false. If you hear banjos you should probably run for your life, semi-true. Ok that last one was a joke! In all seriousness, just like any other part of the country there is an exception to every rule. Not all Southern men and woman talk with a thick accent (my husband disappointed many of my friends when they heard him talk for the first time and he didn't have an accent). Not all Southerners are polite, but if you could compare the slower pace and friendly ways here to say somewhere up North, I bet you'd agree people are much more friendly here. For me it wasn't a huge struggle to get used to this way of living. Lots of people smile, and say hello. They ask you how you are, and truly mean it. Most Southern folks don't go through their days in a rush - they take their time. Maybe in the bigger cities the hustle and bustle is quicker but the small town I live in currently doesn't reflect big city living in the least.

As a Northern girl, I truly love living in a land of Southern Hospitality. And being exposed to the Southern way of life is a nice change. I miss home, a lot but oddly enough being here in the South suits me too. Reese Witherspoon's character wasn't lying in Sweet Home Alabama when she said she felt right at home in both locations. It's true. I could be just as happy here in the South as I could back home in the East, so long as I have my husband, my family and know who my true friends are I'm 100% happy. P.S. She also wasn't lying when she said you need a passport to come down here, truth.

As a not-so-girlie girl myself, being in the South has helped me get in touch with my inner Southern Belle. One thing you must know is not all Southern ladies are Scarlett O'Hara, although they'd wish they were. And not all Southern Belles are Dolly Parton, although it wouldn't be a bad person to be compared to, would it ladies? Ok, ok, truth be told they'd rather you tell them they were kin to Carrie Underwood these days, am I right? If there is one Southern lady that has it going on, it's Carrie Underwood. The hair, the clothing, the body, and I'm sure most would say the Prince Charming-esque professional hockey playing husband is a bit of a dream thing for most Southern girls. {The profession is inter changeable, I don't know many girls here in the South that gives a rats tail about hockey!} But I digress - the topic today is Hair and Make-up trends so while I won't call myself a forerunner for this type of stuff I will comment on the trends or ways I handled living here in the land of Southern darlings!

Let's start with today's topic of discussion, shall we?

Hair and Make-up Trends

Long, layered and lovely. That's how most Southern belle's rock it. I still haven't figure out how they look so perfect, poised and not drenched in sweat, but they do. Since I've cut my hair shorter I wear it down more often and end up looking like a sweaty mess. I have vowed to grow my hair out again. If it's on your neck, it's going to look a sight here in the South. Either you have it super short, above your shoulders or it's long, flowing and in a cute pony. OR you stay in the AC all day long!

I've always had issues with frizzy hair. I thought I knew humidity when I lived in Maryland, and don't get me wrong it DOES get humid there but darlin' you haven't known humidity until you've lived a summer in Alabama or any of the surrounding Southern states. Someone once said to my husband, "Breathing the air in the South is like trying to breathe in mayo." They were SO spot on with that. Gross, yes, but it's the truth. The air here in the summer is thick, extremely thick. Oddly enough, so is my hair. Thick, a bit course and very wavy. In my youth I had straight hair, but after years of perms in school I really think my hair decided to stick with the waves and bid my silky locks a general peace out when I was in high school. Since those days of bad perms I have been fighting the frizz and waves in a never ending battle for straight, pretty hair.

via google
My first defense with this issue is smoothing shampoo, followed by frizz ease products and finished off with a flat iron, and more frizz ease products. I seriously swear by John Frieda products. I start with my LO'réal EverSleek or EverPure sulfate free shampoo. It isn't a huge NEED but I love the way it smells and keeps my hair feeling soft, clean and manageable. Then I follow up with my arsenal of Frizz Ease styling products. Truth be told I probably don't need all of these in my hair but it's a tried and true method I've been using to keep my hair nice for days on end. I try not to wash my hair every day. I will often try to go 3 days or more if possible to keep my hair healthy. I'm no spring chicken and neither is my hair the less I dry it out the better. Add to that not having a super greasy scalp and I will say, I'm blessed.

My Anti-Frizz fighters are as follows: ALL FRIZZ EASE - 3 Day Straight Spray {thank you Misty for the tip}, Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme, Hair Serum, and Flawless Finishing Creme. Lastly I do use the Heat Protecting spray for my flat iron as well. (See John Frieda link above for details about each one).

Yes, I use all that in my hair, but not a huge amount of them. I use a dime size of each thing and work it through my hair. Blow it out straight, in sections, then iron out any kinks and then live in it for a few days. Yes, I still have to fat iron out kinks each day, and yes I wear my hair in a top knot while I shower and iron it again but in the long run it works for me. I still battle frizz and kinks but I found that it's not as bad as it used to be. If John had his products when I was in HS my life would have been much easier.

Some days I just don't have the time to blow out my hair. It takes me a half hour most days to get this hair in check. Now you see why I don't like to blow it out all the time. If I'm in a time crunch, or just don't want to fight my natural texture, I will wash my hair the night before and add in some frizz fighting product and a bit of mousse, sleep on it and handle the rats nest in the morning. I will then curl my hair using my curling or flattening iron to make soft waves. Thankfully this style will last me a day or two as well. I usually think it looks better on the 2nd day. My Southern dolls I have not perfected the poof, or teasing my hair for volume - I may need you all to come hold my hand.

I know a huge trend here in the South is big hair. Thankfully big hair is pretty now - some of the old big hair, ala the 80's [metal AND country] was just plain scary. I totally rocked the huge 80's bangs if you're wondering and mine were fabulous thanks to all those evil perms! Trends here in the south for big hair now are less beehive and more, poof. And not Snookie poof, heavens no! Poofs are reserved now for volume in your crown, your ponytails and your updos. I've heard it quoted "The higher the hair, the closer to God." Am I right Southern ladies? Truth be told I'd like to think this look is "natural" but I know damn well that Carrie's stylist teased her hair to the heavens to get that volume. Note to self: Perfect the tease! Can we all take a moment to gaze at Carrie's perfect locks. I want to hate her, but I can't.

via google • she makes it look so effortless!

Let's talk Make-up!

Most Belles will tell you that you are not to leave the house without your face on. At the very least you should be rocking mascara. Well ladies I'm here to say I break this cardinal rule all the time. Not for lack of my Northern mother trying. My mom never went out without her make-up on. I can recall going to the grocery store, being told we were going and about 45 minutes later we left. She insisted she put on all her make-up. I didn't get it - I do now. Trust me if I didn't have bags under my eyes, I wouldn't mess with as much make-up as I do now. I NEVER wore make-up until I was 19. I started wearing it in college. My inspiration? Rose from Titanic. I wanted her eyeliner so bad and thus started wearing it and mascara, regularly. I say that I break the rules now all the time because once a week I vow to not wear make-up and give my face a chance to rest/breathe. That day is usually Sunday. Most of the time it's spent relaxing at the house, with the off chance I have to hit up the store, I still will go sans make-up. I should care more, but I figure all the women here judging me will say "Oh, bless her heart... she just don't know." Then they will see the Jeep tag that reads MARYLAND and give me a free ticket. I think it's good to let me my face breathe from time to time, so wrong I know but it feels so right to me. NORTHERN FREE PASS!

I've found that water proof IS vital. I don't wear it all the time but for outdoor events, hot days and kayaking it's a given. Yep, you read that right, Mrs. Odd Pants over here will wear mascara when she goes kayaking (as well as light make-up) but not to the store. I'm flawed, clearly. I don't ever recall my mascara truly running from crying lightly at weddings but why chance it right? Kayaking I sweat a lot, and it runs into my eyes sometimes, having waterproof isn't just a beauty thing but a safety thing! Safety first!

It's a fairly new trend and I'm completely on the band wagon. It's lighter to me than most liquid foundations and/or tinted moisturizers. It goes on well, gives me ample coverage and I only have to grave a few bad spots with cover-up. It also helps with my dark circles. This product also let's my freckles shine through - I don't like covering them up. Since it helps me I then only have to use a light powder and bronzer to feel 100% covered. Again, I'm new to all this make-up stuff. Well I guess as new as a 30 something can be, but I like to look natural, not overly made up unless I'm going out for the night so this helps me. Having a less thick face covering also keeps me cool and makes me less concerned when I have to blot my forehead/face/cheeks from sweat.


I don't know if it's a trend but I'm obsessed with lip gloss. If I had one product I would swear you couldn't take away, it would be my lip color. There you have it... this Northern gal likes her lip smackers, and gloss, and stick - I love it all! I think it's the quickest way + mascara to look dressed up and put together in a pinch and it also can cover you in the blush department if you're in a jam.

So there you have it, my not so Southern ways of trying to fit in with the sea of Southern beauties that have it all figured out! See you tomorrow when we discuss more Southern Topics!

Today I am back on the wagon. The workout wagon. I am going to be starting Chalean Extreme for the second time. I had a lot of luck with it before and it fit my lifestyle a lot better having 2 days of rest vs. just one. I want to make this a goal to change my way of thinking about fitness, weight loss and health in general. It's not a quick fix. If I treat it as one I will gain all my weight I've lost back again, for the third time. No more! Check back for updates! I will be listing my Workout of the Day [WOOTD] at the bottom of each daily post. Operation Fit Into My Snowboard Pants has started!

WOOTD: Burn Circuit I: Chalean Extreme

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Anonymous said...

Glad you stopped by! Funny because we have switched places and I'm getting used to life in Maryland! However, I will agree with you on the humidity-it's SO much better in MD. People look at me like I'm crazy when I say it's not so bad here, but that just means they haven't experienced a southern summer. You are completely right about the hockey, although I am slightly addicted to the Capitals now! And I didn't fare so well in the accent department....people comment on it all the time! And Priscilla-love. Snooki, bless her heart. :)

Casey @ Classic with a Pop said...

Stopped by from A Blonde Ambition! This is SUCH an interesting perspective - so glad you joined in on the linky party :) I will be trying those Frizz Ease, fo sho. I swear...the humidity nearly kills all of us, huh? I don't think I've read a post yet that didn't mention it! haha If we had a team of stylists to follow us around, maybe we could look as good as Carrie ALL the time - that must be the trick :)

Allyson said...

So much goodness here...from one Southern transplant to another (although I've always considered myself a southern girl...even though I guess, technically, KY was a neutral state, but whatever). Shana was so shocked on her first trip down just HOW polite everyone is. And it's true. Everything is slower. And my BP is so much better off. Which is good because it needs to offset some of the cookin'. And the sweet tea. The sweet peach tea is something they serve in Heaven, though.

So I was going to cut my hair after E arrived, but I put a little fan in the bathroom with me so I wouldn't mind to stand in the steam and blow dry it. And now I've decided to keep my long, layered, blonde locks. I am, from the neck up, looking a little like Carrie Underwood these days. And the air-dry curls are a MUST down here, too. I'm glad you've discovered that.

We wear mascara, lip gloss, and a bit of powder because it's just too effin hot to wear anything else.

Now, about those Maryland tags...I think it's time to bite it and get some AL ones, don't you? If we're rockin' the GA ones...

Emily Anne Pride said...

Stopped by from A Blonde Ambition. I have such a big problem with frizz especially during summer humidity. I love Frizz-Ease. Living in the South has definitely made me more of a girly girl. Love the post!

Sarah Wyland said...

Stopping over from Leslie's blog...

So many of us went for Carrie Underwood as an example of Southern hair! Frizz is my own worst enemy. So annoying when I have so much hair to begin with!

Anonymous said...

I'm way behind on blogs, but I'm loving this series. I'm almost out of my 3-day straight spray. Must. Get. More.

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