Get the Look: Reem Acra’s Fall/Winter 2015/2016 Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Hair

Reem AcraAtlanta area hair artists from Salon Soda were back at it making hair magic at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week this week. Reem Acra’s Fall/Winter 2015/16 collection made a big impression last night at New York Fashion Week as modern day Mary Antoinettes sashayed down the runway with whimsical styled hair produced by Didier Malige, Rene Furterer and Soda Salon stylists.

Here’s how to get the wavy curls look for yourself with tips from SODA RUNWAY team member Azita Rezaei:

  • Start by creating a lot of texture using Renee Furterer Volumea spray. For this particular look, dilute the Volumea Spray by 50% with water, creating a sort of “beach spray”, and then apply the spray to the end of the roots. 
  • Make a center part and comb the hair to flatten the top.
  • Create a soft finger wave on each side of the head from the temple to behind the ear by creating a swoop with your fingers & setting the hair in place with hair pins.
  • Softly dry the hair using a blow dryer and diffuser.
  • Use a 3/4 inch curling iron, opening the clamp and wrapping one inch of the sections around just the barrel to give it a natural wave.
  • To finish the look, remove the hair pins to reveal soft finger waves.
image courtesy of Reem Acra

The Essential Guide to Drybar for First Time Customers


I tell people I went to Drybar to get a blowout and they’re like, “Okay, what is Drybar?” Here’s what you need to know before you go:

It’s blowouts.
No cuts.
No color.
It’s just that simple.

But, really, it’s not because Drybar offers a customer experience that is more than just great hair and it starts when you walk in the door.

Appointments – No appointments are necessary for Drybar services though you can make an appointment before you go.

Price – A blowout is only $40. Yes, $40, and that includes a wash. Want to go more than once a month? Drybar offers a $75/month Barfly membership that includes two blowouts plus a free birthday blowout. Plus, Barfly members only pay $35 for every additional blowouts.      Continue reading

Get the Look: Ji Oh’s Fall 2015 Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Hair


The South goes north this week for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week and Atlanta’s own Adam Margarin from Soda Salon produced runway-worthy looks for Ji Oh’s Fall 2015 presentation at Pop14 early this afternoon.

Ji+Oh+Presentation+Mercedes+Benz+Fashion+Week+AUtFo9wt60PlModels were styled with looks giving style and edge to the designs using Rene Furterer products. Starting with the brand’s Volumea Spray and Mousse on wet hair to give it grit and texture, stylists then hand dried the hair leaving a natural texture that was able to be easily manipulated into a ponytail which was then swept forward for a Faux -Bang with soft natuarla pieces falling out around the perimeter.

Here’s how to get the look for yourself:

  • Prep hair with Rene Furterer Volumea Spray and Mousse
  • Hand dry to leave natural texture
  • Use an elastic and create a ponytail that can be pulled up into a faux bang
  • Pin hair across the top of head to keep in place
  • Give the faux fringe a soft sweep to the side
  • Pull down soft pieces around the perimeter of head
  • Finish with Rene Furterer Gloss spray

images source: Noam Galai/Getty Images North America

Four Sexy Cocktails to Make for Valentine’s Day

First Kiss LiDestriThey’re pink and they pack a punch. Plus, they’re just sexy enough to dress up your Valentine’s Day whether it’s before you go out of after you get back. Here are four of my favorite pink cocktails:

First Kiss
1 part chilled LiDestri Pink Limoncello 
2 parts sparkling wine garnished with fresh berries
Mix ingredients together. Serve in a champagne flute.

Pink Passion
1 part chilled LiDestri Pink Limoncello 
2 parts cranberry juice 
Mix ingredients together and serve on the rocks, topped off with 7up. 

Pink Limoncello
Gin or Vodka
Shake with gin or vodka in a ratio of your choosing.

The Ice Cream Bar’s Peach Lady
1 oz The Ice Cream Bar Peach Lambic Ice Cream
.5 oz Raspberry Liqueur (substitute with any berry liqueur)
4 oz dry champagne or prosecco
Pour raspberry liqueur into bottom of chilled flute glass. Pour champagne in halfway, letting bubbles settle. Drop in 1 scoop of Peach Lambic. Serve immediately (and watch the magic happen)

Need something to nosh on with your drinks? Have nibbles of dark chocolate available or go all out and make this amazing and classic version of strawberry shortcake.

Guy’s Guide to the Perfect DIY Valentine’s Day Beauty Basket

Valentine's Day Beauty Gifts 2015

Want to get your wife or girlfriend a Valentine’s Day gift but not sure what get her? Skip jewelry from Jared, a Whitman’s Sampler, and the romantic smell of burning risotto as you scramble to make her the perfect meal. Here’s what you do:

Head to the craft store. Go to Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn Fabrics and get a basket and some filler. You can usually find a basket for under $10 that will fit everything you want to put in it and for filler, feel free to go as cheap as possible without looking like it’s Easter. Get bonus points by downloading the store apps and using coupons they always have available.

Fill the basket. Sure, you could go to her salon and talk to her stylist about what products she should splurge on but who has time for that?! Here’s what you buy:

  • Drybar – Swing by the blowouts emporium and grab their Texas Tea Volumizing Hair Spray and Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse. The two products are staples of Drybar stylists and worth every penny.
  • Bobbi Brown – The brand’s Foundation Stick is something someone who receives this basket will fall in love with over and over again. The color is build-able meaning she puts on how much or how little she wants. Women love options.
  • Bluemercury – After a long winter, she’ll thank you for adding a pack of M-61 Power Glow Peel facial treatments to her basket. The one-minute, one-step treatments are perfect for a woman on the go.
  • Silhouette by Christian Siriano – Inspired by tulle, this playful but dusty fragrance has notes of  cassis, jasmine, rose and freesia which make it mature while still being fresh and fun.
  • Nars – Women have been screaming the praises of Nars products for years and two of my favorites are perfect for just about any woman – their Orgasm Illuminator (a lightweight versatile liquid that can be used all over the face) and Super Orgasm Lip Gloss (a pink gloss that gives sophisticated shine with just a small punch of color).
  • amika – The company’s Nourishing Mask is one of the highest rated, best-selling products on with good reason- it’s AMAZING! The product will make her hair silky after a winter of dry air and blowdryer abuse without weighing it down, something she’ll appreciate.

Make her a card. Listen to Nick Offerman’s advice here (skip to 3:14 for the advice, watch it all for the laughs). Do as he says, trust me.

5 Things to Love About The Cosmetic Market

The Cosmetic MarketLast week I was invited to experience The Cosmetic Market at Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia. The friendly and helpful personnel gave me a tour of the store, filled me up with mimosas and shortcake, and showed me why they aim to be a fun space to shop and explore everything beauty. I was instantly hooked. Here’s why:

1.)  It’s locally owned. Not only is The Cosmetic Market a brand born in the South, it’s a female-owned company.

2.)  It’s not just about make-up. Sure, you think “cosmetic” you think lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow. They have those- and plenty of them. But, they also have waxing, spray tanning, and a wide variety of aesthetic services.

3.)  They’ve teamed with Bliss. If you’re in the know about hot spots to get a massage you’ve probably heard of the Bliss chain of beauty and spa products and services to offer the Bliss Wax Bar to locations of The Cosmetic Market. No appointment is necessary to get facial waxing, brow tinting, or lash tinting though appointments can be made in advance of your visit.

4.)  It’s fun, funky, and not intimidating. Even though I write a beauty blog, I’m still intimidated every time I walk into Sephora. The dark tones, black plastic with no smudges on it, and tight quarters make me want to shop online despite the great products they offer. Avalon’s The Cosmetic Market location offers a fun, funky, and open shopping atmosphere with oranges and blues mixed with whites on the walls while stainless steel fixtures and spacious digs invite browsing. Plus, there’s a circle motif that carries from the store’s exterior to interior that’s just awesome.

5.)  There’s a wide variety of products. It’s not all their line of products like you’ll find at a Bare Minerals store or counters of product like you’ll find at a department store. The Cosmetic Market has hundreds of brands to choose from. If you get your make-up done by a store professional like I did, you’ll probably see them pulling from five or six different sections to achieve the perfect look for your skin tone and occasion.

Another thing I loved about The Cosmetic Market? Everyone was SO friendly! The whole experience made me want to shop there again ASAP- and I will!

4 Steps for Fixing Dark Under-Eye Circles

Black Eye ConcealerNo matter what the time of year, doesn’t it always feel like you’re running out of time to get things done? Consequentially you’re not getting as much sleep as you should be and with that comes the dreaded dark circles. Here’s my go-to fixes for them:

1.)  Get rid of the puffiness. If you have major pillows below your eyes, go with the quick (and cheap) fix I learned from Whitney Houston’s reality TV series- hemorrhoid cream. It may not be glamorous, but it works and it’s available in any grocery, drug, or convenience store usually for just a few dollars. Make sure you use the cream though, and not the gel. The gel will leave a greasy trail whereas the cream will sink right in. Simply apply a small amount to the affected area then give it 10-15 minutes to work to the fullest extent before moving to the next step.

2.)  Address your skin tone. Belli Eye Brightening Cream is the best overall product I’ve tried when it comes to toning down darkness and hydrating your skin at the same time. Plus, it doesn’t irritate my eyes. Make sure you let it dry before moving on to the next step.

3.)  Prep for the cover-up. Even through summertime sweat, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer stands up and that’s why it’s my go-to whenever it looks like I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Simply apply a thin layer to a dry under-eye area and let it the primer dry before you move on to the next step.      Continue reading

5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Season Belly Bloat

Mug and LemonWorried about overstuffing yourself and ruining any weight loss you experienced before the holiday season started? To keep the overstuffed bellies at bay, here are a few tips from Bamboo Juices CEO Kelley Sibley:

One -> Start your day with a mug of warm lemon water. Lemons are extremely detoxifying and when consumed first thing in the morning moves old waste out of your digestive system so that you can start your day feeling light and refreshed.

Two -> Drink green juice. Green juice is nourishing and when your body has all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes it needs to function properly your body naturally has less cravings which in turns helps to prevent over eating.      Continue reading

The Nose Knows Which Beauty Products Stink

body-wash-armAre you guilty of removing the cap to smell your soap or shampoo before you buy it? Of course you are! I’m pretty sure everyone is. Scent can effect everything from our mood to our work performance and even give us long lasting memories.

Which makes me wonder- why do I get sent beauty products to try that smell so strongly of oranges or licorice or peppermint that application makes my nostrils flare and my eyes water. Isn’t there a person that is supposed to test these things? An expert?

I’m, of course, no expert, but I know I know that even setting foot in a Bath & Body Works store causes my nose, eyes, and face to make motions usually reserved for a yellow lab with a nose tickle. I also know when I do like something and out of all the products I’ve tried this year, two were scented to stand out in a good way- Rituals Sensation Foaming Shower Gel Sensation and Belli Pure & Pampered Body Wash.      Continue reading

5 Healthy Holiday Party Snack Recipes

Caramel Apple SlicesHow many dips does one table really need? This holiday season, stop the calories from dips from going straight to your hips by adding something fun, different, and low calorie (perhaps even healthy) to your holiday party food tables. Here are five of my favorites:

Yogurt-Dipped Strawberries - This treat is simple, delicious, and something you rarely find at parties- three perfect reasons to add it to your table. How many strawberries will you need to make? I recommend three per guest.

1.)  Clean and wash strawberries.
2.)  Dip strawberries in Greek yogurt- I recommend plain, vanilla or honey flavored.
3.)  Set the dipped strawberries on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet
4.)  Place sheet of dipped berries in the freezer for at least one hour, removing them at least 30 minutes before guests arrive.
5.)  Serve on a platter.

Chocolate and Caramel Apple Slices - A perfect reminder of autumn, these treats give a nod to your sweet tooth without loading up on the calories. I recommend making three slices per guest. Here are two different ways to make these sweet treats:

Directions:      Continue reading