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The BeautyBlog

Salon and Spa Life


Our premier salon and spa experience is the ultimate in relaxation, luxury, and style.

By Brianna, Nov 13 2014 10:45PM


Guest Author: Michelle Grossman

via: Beauty High

By now, we thought we had our haircare routine down pat – between our paraben and sulfate free shampoo, our leave-in conditioner, and our rejuvenating hair mask, what more could we need? The truth is, we’ve left out one component, and a very important one at that. While we don’t typically like to associate the words “hair” and “oil” with one another (cue the dry shampoo), when you put them together, you’ll find just the missing link we need.

If you’ve put all the clues together by now, you know we’re talking about hair oils. While you may have skipped over them on your list of “haircare needs,” this is the time to seriously reconsider. Not so sure? Just read on below to find out why hair oils are so essential, and why you need to start using one right now.

1. They improve the quality of your hair. If you want your hair to be stronger, softer, and shinier, we highly recommend incorporating a hair oil into your beauty routine, because that’s exactly what it will do.

2. And, protect it. Not only do they improve the quality of your hair, but they also prevent damage. Hair oils are lubricants, so they’re great for detangling wet hair and preventing knots. They are also a sealant, so they seal the cuticle down, making them a great heat protectant as well.

3. There are different techniques for usage. Some hair oils are like masks that you work into your hair, leave in overnight, and then wash out in the morning. While others can just be applied to the ends of your hair to polish off your style, adding some instant gloss and shine.

4. It’s important to choose the right one for you. Different kinds of oils work best on different types of hair, so before you select a hair oil, know what you’re looking for. Determine what kind of hair type you have, or what kind of issue you’re dealing with, this way you can pick an oil that will work to best resolve it.

5. Natural oils work wonders. If you’re looking to make your hair shinier and smoother, opt for an argan oil as it makes hair softer and less frizzy. If your hair is dry and you need a moisture boost, try an olive oil and it helps to restore elasticity. To improve the overall quality of your hair, a coconut oil might just be your lifesaver, as it penetrates deep into the hair shaft to strengthen weak spots. For damaged hair, avocado oil should be used as it’s rich in amino and fatty acids, as well as vitamins, which all will work to resist breakage.

6. Less is more. Using a lot of product doesn’t mean it’ll work over time. When it comes to hair oils and applying them, it’s definitely quality over quantity.

7. Even distribution. With the above being said, application is super important. Split your hair into sections and work just a small drop of the oil into each part. By sectioning off your hair, you’re making sure the oil is being distributed evenly throughout your hair. Be sure to also comb your hair through after you have applied the oil to disperse it even more thoroughly.

8. They won’t make your hair greasy. Many people are afraid to use hair oils, worrying that they will leave their hair greasy, especially at the scalp. However, the natural oils from your scalp are strong enough that you really don’t even need to apply any hair oil there. But, if you do, they will absorb into your scalp quickly without leaving any residue.

9. Steam your hair afterwards. Speaking of absorbing the oil – steaming your hair will do just that. After you’ve applied your hair oil, just grab a hot towel and wrap it over your hair for about 10 minutes to really help all the oils soak in.

10. Use twice a week. For the best results to achieve healthier hair just use a hair oil two times throughout the week!

By Brianna, Nov 5 2014 07:58PM

We love these healthy living tips via The Coveteur:



If you've so much as entered a grocery store, cafe, wine bar or farmers market in our post-Goop, gluten-obsessive world, we're willing to bet you often ponder your options with more questions than answers. Non-fat or soy milk? Wait... isn't almond the new soy? Or is it hemp that's the new almond? Vodka tonic or agave margarita? Wait, what about merlot? That magazine in my doctors office said I should drink a glass every night, right?

With the struggle being, well, real, we enlisted the Sakara Life founders to debunk and break down our top head-scratchers. They're the experts, so we'll let them take it from here...

"Let’s face it. New York City comes rocking a pretty sexy selection of healthy options. Juice bars on every other corner, gluten-free alternatives at cafes, vegan bakeries and about that array of boutique fitness studios designed to satisfy every single one of our deepest cravings? Yes, thank you NYC for having our back(side)s.

But somehow you still find yourself sitting at brunch staring at a robust menu boasting locally sourced, organic fare, not sure whether to get the omelet with full eggs or egg whites, wheat or multigrain toast, bloody mary or mimosa. And, trust us, you aren’t the only one. With so much conflicting information being thrown around carelessly and hot new trends everywhere you look, what to eat to best nourish your beautiful body can get confusing quickly. Now, this list isn’t your typical this or that because, in this case, both this and that are great options and we are damn lucky to have them at our fingertips. But because we deserve to be picky and because we can, let’s dig a little deeper into our healthy options to see when and where we really are choosing the crème de la (dairy-free) crème."


Red Wine

"Red wine contains reservatrol, which has amazing antioxidant properties that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by raising levels of HDL or 'good' cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. If you are looking for hard alcohol, vodka soda is definitely the lesser of many, many evils, but wine should be your go-to for both work and play."



"Eggs are the best hangover cure, so if brunch is involved, eggs are front and center. One little egg has 7 grams of high-quality, complete, lean-body-building protein, five grams of fat and a diverse team of iron, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids (antioxidants) that keep your insides disease-free and your outsides glowing. That tofu scramble on the menu comes packing a whole lot of controversial soy, which is one of the highest genetically modified crops in the country, plus its phytoestrogens have been linked to breast cancer. If you follow a strict vegan diet and eggs are off the table, opt for a hearty bowl of oats with hydrating fruits and cleansing cinnamon. Bonus points for shaved coconut on top."



"We believe in chewing, and, when done right, salads come packing an array of fresh whole foods filled with natural life energy. This means more complete nutrients for your body to soak up. Best part of all? A salad means getting in our #1 body-loving, beautifying, supercharging ingredient: greens. We eat 4-8 cups of greens a day, so, most days, we’re going with the salad. Although soups are also a great option, they can be tricky if you don’t know exactly what’s in them. They are often based in creams, come packed with unhealthy amounts of sodium, are paired with processed crackers/bread and leave us feeling…well…hungry. Makes those donuts sitting on your co-worker’s desk a little harder to resist when 3 PM rolls around."


Do we have to?

"Um… are we allowed to plead the fifth? We’re not fans of Coke or Diet Coke and while we can talk about high fructose corn syrup (Coke) versus aspartame (Diet Coke), when it comes down to it, they're both causing some serious shock and harm to your body. If we’re going to drink a Coke (which most likely means whiskey is involved), we pick whichever tastes better to us at the time and call it what it is: a splurge. Amount is key when it comes to soda (a dab will do ya!). And make sure to follow up your indulgence with some seriously balancing body-love: alkalizing greens, hydrating fruits and blood-stabilizing fats."



"If we’re going the route of dairy milk, fatty milks help keep blood sugar stable, which can come in handy depending on what you are pairing your milk with. The key here is to make sure it’s organic and not non-fat! Danielle’s body doesn’t digest dairy well, so she always opts for dairy-free alternatives. Organic almond or hemp milk are our favorites, as long as it they’re carrageenan free—they’re rich in essential vitamins and minerals and easiest on the digestive system."



"Quinoa is a whole food, high in complete protein and fiber. It's a staple that should be in your kitchen right this very second. Couscous is a kind of pasta made from semolina flour (gluten). We’re whole-food kinda girls, so if we’re enjoying some couscous, you can safely guess it’s made out of cauliflower, not flour."


Kale Chips

"We’re usually not fans of chips in any form as they tend to be dehydrating, difficult to digest, and… dead. But sometimes you need that crunch, and that’s okay. But if we’ve got to choose, you know we’re going for the kale. The combination of olive oil, kale and whatever other superfoods are going in there (spirulina? Nutritional yeast?), make it a great option. However, if it’s really and truly up to us… sit us down with some Tarot cards and a fresh kale salad instead and we are two happy ladies."


Different strokes for different folks.

"Both are pretty darn great when it comes to getting in an array of nutrients in a form that is easy for your body to digest and assimilate—but don’t forget to chew! Most people don’t know that you’re supposed to chew your juice and smoothies and this step is essential for breaking down sugars as it stimulates enzyme production in the saliva glands. Juice is best on an empty stomach, smoothies are best for some serious satiation. While a smoothie can serve as a full meal, juice is a supplement—great for a snack or to boost your vitamin intake throughout the day. Stay clear of super sweet juices that are based on sweet fruits and veggies (ie: apple, carrot, beet) and opt for something green."


Please don’t make us choose…

"This one hurts. Whit is so into arugula right now, but kale is kale and there is no denying the nutrient powerhouse that she is! In 1 cup of kale,you’re getting hefty amounts of protein and fiber, in addition to folate, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants galore. On the other hand, arugula is super hydrating, boosts detoxification and is rich in chlorophyll, which helps prevent liver and DNA damage. So we’re calling it a tie. Not only is variety the spice of life, but it’s also key in ensuring you are getting in the vast array of nutrients your body needs. So mix it up baby!"


Fresh bread

"Find freshly baked bread and ditch the preservatives! If something is designed to last for weeks on the shelf, it is not designed for your body. Most of the time this will mean going with whole wheat bread (unless you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity in which case you want to find bread with whole food ingredients!), or go old school and get a baguette baked fresh that morning! Preservatives cause more harm than simple carbs. If you're only eating bread every now and then, keep a loaf of Ezekiel bread in the freezer—cinnamon raison flavor is da bomb with a little coconut oil and Himalayan sea salt."


Whatever is local

"If we’re on the beach in Rio, we’ll take fresh coconut water any day and enjoy each potassium-rich sip of pure hydration. But back here in what is about to be an icy tundric NYC, most of the coconut waters you find on the shelf have been processed, concentrated and HPP'd. So we’re opting for the Brooklyn Kombucha and the awesome Urban Fermentory from Portland, Maine. Kombucha is filled with probiotics (happy gut = sexy body) and amino acids that help your body digest sugars."



"Arguably the two most popular health diets right now, you’ll see these labels everywhere you go. We get it—you want to love your body, fuel it, heal it and keep it rocking all its natural goddess power, so just which do you choose? Kind of a trick question. These two diets are rooted in food allergies and intolerances that a good percentage of the human population has developed to dairy and gluten respectively. The spectrum of intolerances you see to these ingredients is pretty astounding—everything from a complete inability to absorb nutrients (which translates to your body needing to, ahem, purge) to acne, bloat and/or fatigue (the things you don’t really notice on a daily basis). Long story short: don’t slap a label onto your meal until you know your body and what ingredients (if any) it has issues with. Many people find themselves feeling lighter, brighter and leaner by omitting ingredients that are difficult for their bodies to process, but what those ingredients are vary body to body and you are doing your body no help by eliminating them just for kicks. Assuming you don’t have a serious allergy to either dairy or gluten, what it really comes down to is choosing the foods that are, first and foremost, not processed. Regular muffins over gluten-free muffins. Real cheese over fake cheese. Whole foods over any and every other food."

By Brianna, Oct 16 2014 08:37PM

Sephora Favs - Old Henriksen Cleanser, Stila Liner, and Anastasia Brows
Sephora Favs - Old Henriksen Cleanser, Stila Liner, and Anastasia Brows

We're always on the lookout for awesome beauty products. We recently went to Sephora and got a makeover by Carla in Santa Monica and went a little product crazy! Von Yohan Sem Cell Skin Care recently sent Southern Exposure the most fabulous serum and moisturizer we've ever used! (no kidding, we didn't get paid to say that) We're so excited to share our reviews with you.

Here are 6 products that will give your daily beauty routine a major boost:

1. False Eyelashes - We found these glittery beauties at Daiso on the cheap, but you can use any number of lashes to up your beauty ante. Just be sure to apply them correctly!

2. Red Polish - We found the perfect shade of red at Sephora from Formula X. Rouge is perfect any season on long or short nails. For a really vampy look, shape your nail beds into stiletto nails.

3. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner - We absolutely swear by this one. It just cannot be replaced. The shape of the applicator tip makes cat eyes achievable for anyone! It really does stay all day, doesn't drip or smudge, and is easy to remove with eyemakeup remover or an amazing cleanser which brings us to....

4. Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser - This cleanser is fabulous for normal to dry skin. Apply the gel like cleanser on dry skin in circular motions, then add warm water to remove impurities and makeup. It's gentle enough to use on eyes and strong enough to remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara and eye makeup.

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz - This mechanical pencil is an amazing 2-in-1 that is an eyebrow blessing! Use the comb end to brush out brows and the ultra fine retractable tip to shape, define and fill in your brows.

6. Von Yohan Sem Cell Skin Care - The owner of Sem Cell Skin Care sent us some moisturizers and serums to try and the results were incredible. The Lilac line reduces acne and redness. Say buh-bye to breakouts and hello to clear skin. The Peptide line is for all skin types and it is nothing short of a miracle. It works on all skin types, clears skin and prevents fine lines and wrinkles. We can't wait to carry this line in Southern Exposure.

These are just some of our favs. What are yours? Comment below, we love to hear from you :)

By Brianna, Oct 9 2014 05:00PM

Hi Beauties! We know that beauty is more than just skin deep. It comes from within! That being said, we also know that each of us have that one particular physical thing we wish we could change. If small eyes is your thing, today is your lucky day!

Our talented cosmetologist, Melissa Sherwood, gives a step by step tutorial on how to enhance what you've got to create a beautiful, dramatic doe eyed look.

Check out the video here.

Learn how to use eye shadow combinations, fill in eyebrows, and apply false lashes that's dramatic, yet wearable look for day to day.

We love to hear from you! Please like, comment, and share below :)

By Brianna, Sep 29 2014 07:47PM

We've all been there. It's Friday night, you have a hot date, and you want to feel extra beautiful so you grab your falsies and the glue and get to work. Next thing you know, the lashes are lifting in the corner, there's glue in your eyes, your eyeliner smudged, and you want to cry.

Not to fear ladies, this 4 minute video with our very own Melissa Sherwood will change your life. Check out the step by step tutorial that solves the eyelash application mystery for good!

Watch the video here.

Here's a recap:

1. Choose lashes

2. Measure lashes to fit your eye

3. Apply glue across the lash strip and wait until it becomes tacky

4. Apply from upward angle

5. Let dry and finish with gel liner