beauty Archives – A Little Leopard
beauty Archives – A Little Leopard

beauty Archives – A Little Leopard

I love my hair stylist and my salon, but I sometimes daydream about cheating on them with Anh Co Tran. Just for one cut! Just to see what it’s like! The man basically invented perfectly imperfect, “I woke up like this” waves, except he calls it Lived-In Hair. And trademarked that phrase, thank you very much, because he’s just that good.

Tousled, beachy waves are everywhere, from Pinterest boards and Instagrams to bloggers like Aimee Song and celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski…who of course are some of Tran’s clients.

While he’s based out of LA (and his salon, Ramirez | Tran, is gorgeous), Tran does travel quite a bit. However, something tells me getting styled by Mr. King of Lived-In Hair is out of my price point right now, even if I don’t have to spring for the plane ticket. Luckily, thanks to reading a whole bunch of articles and watching a whole bunch of tutorials featuring Tran’s technique, I’ve gotten much better at styling my own hair. Buying myself a curling wand may have been the single best decision I made in 2015, followed closely by learning how to use it.

Tran uses a traditional curling iron, but I’m terrible at those. I’ve never quite figured them out…however, a nice thick wand (I think mine is 1.5″?) will do the trick just as well. Make sure you don’t wrap your ends around the wand, to avoid overly pageant-girl curls and get more of that casual, cool-girl bedhead look.

The awesome thing about Tran’s style? He claims it will work on every type and texture of hair. That’s also why he cuts dry, to see how hair falls naturally and make sure it looks good without his clients having to do anything…and looks great if they do put effort in. Mm, yeah, sounds ideal. Convinced and want to try it for yourself? Check out the video below; it’s my favorite Anh Co Tran tutorial for how to get messy waves. (Homegirl in the video has super thin hair…just create more sections if you have more hair!)

Plus, shop all the supplies and products you need to create this look. Yes, these are pricey, but if there’s one area you shouldn’t go cheap, it’s haircare, and most of these products come recommended straight from Tran himself!

featured images: Anh Co Tran

Overwhelmed, underwhelmed, however you feel about it, New Year’s Eve is tomorrow. (And I don’t think you can just be whelmed about it, unless of course you are in Europe.) So wherever you’re going and whatever you’re doing, you’re going to need a few things to get through the night and ring in 2016:

ONE: Something to wear.

Chill night in with friends? Go jeans and a cool top. Hitting the bars or a house party? Do something unexpected, like leather pants and faux fur or a jumpsuit. Either option will help you look extra amaze in a sea of glittery, body con dresses. Personally, I will be rocking a velvet crop top/pencil skirt matching set. And if I can get over my figure skating flashbacks to embrace the velvet trend, so can you. (Buying it on sale helps, too, of course.)

TWO: Something to drink.

Champagne is the clear choice here, but you may want to switch it up throughout the evening. If you’re out and about, decide on a go-to – preferably something simple because any bartender you encounter will probably be a bit busy.

THREE: Something to make your face and hair pretty.

New Year’s Eve is a time to set the tone for who we want to be in the coming year. Do you want to be a red lip girl? Someone who wears fake lashes? Now is a great time to test it out.

FOUR: Something to carry your phone, keys, wallet + the aforementioned stuff to make you pretty.

Grab extra cash, too, because the Uber/cab situation is quite likely to turn into a nightmare and who wants to ring in 2016 that way? Depending on how big your bag is and what your outfit situation is, you may also want to stash some bobby pins, band aids, advil (definitely advil, even if it’s two pills floating around your clutch), gum, concealer and lipstick in there. Maybe also sunglasses, just in case. You know. If they fit.

FIVE: A ride or die bestie to ring in the coming year.

Because of course.

So tell me – any big NYE plans? Will you need a survival kit for the night?

This post is in partnership with bliss.

Fun fact: I’m something of a skincare junkie. I am constantly on the lookout for the best skin products within my budget – though skincare is one of the areas in which I’ll splurge. (Within reason – no La Mer for me, sigh…)

One brand that seems to make its way into my rotation pretty frequently? bliss – that’s why I was so excited when they shared the bliss a-‘bright’ face facial-at-home set with me to try. The holiday season is prime time to ramp up your skincare routine: busy schedules, parties, stress, and wacky weather can all wreak havoc on your skin.

Whether you’re stepping into one of 21 bliss spa locations worldwide or DIY-ing a facial at home, bliss believes first and foremost in spa-based products backed by science. And the bliss a-‘bright’ face facial-at-home set is, as the name suggests, perfect for the DIY home spa treatment route.

The set includes fabulous foaming face washtriple oxygen energizing vitamin c day cream and that’s incredi-‘peel’! glycolic resurfacing pads.

“Foaming” formulas can be a little scary – at least, for sensitive-skinned girls like me who sometimes find them drying. But thanks to ingredients like chamomile and rose hips extracts, the fabulous foaming face wash is truly a gentle exfoliator. And the triple oxygen energizing vitamin c day cream smells like biting into a fresh clementine. (So probably don’t get it if you hate clementines, and also re-evaluate your life because clementines are great.)

I’m loving the mini-spa ritual of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing with this trio. It’s kind of amazing to sit down at the end of the day with a freshly scrubbed face and the latest issue of one of my favorite magazines and just chill.

Sound good to you, too? Check out how you can win your own bliss a-‘bright’ face facial-at-home set below. bliss also has some amazing gift sets and ideas on, from stocking stuffer minis to entire deluxe travel sets. (Psst… use code DAZZLE20 for 20% off most bliss-branded products. Like, more than 600 of them. Left it too late to order online? Kohl’s and ULTA retail locations have you covered.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by bliss. All opinions are my own. Full T&C here.

I recently read an article about the best nail polish colors to transition from summer to fall, and it got me thinking: who says colors have to be so seasonally-limited? Sure, neons might seem more summer appropriate while darks belong in winter, but I’ve been known to wear my favorite shades (ahem, Lincoln Park After Dark) all year round.

There are certain colors that are timeless and work across seasons, from the most classic of reds to more modern takes, like pastels and metallics. Below, eight nail polish colors you can wear whenever you damn well feel like it:

(clockwise from top left)

  1. Essie Penny Talk: Metallics are here to stay, and Essie’s versions are some of the best. As a fan of rose gold and coppery tones, I’m partial to Penny Talk, but any metallic shade by Essie is a winner.
  2. Deborah Lippmann Naked: I mean, it’s right in the name – this is the perfect nude polish and apparently works with almost all skin tones. At $18, it’s one of the pricer polishes on this list, but a good nude is worth the splurge.
  3. Essie Ballet Slippers: This polish is perfect for more conservative job interviews or meet-the-parents situations, thanks to its neutral base with a whisper of sweet pink.
  4. Revlon Red: On the other end of the price spectrum, we’ve got this $5 beauty. It’s been around since the 1930s, so clearly they did something right.
  5. Essie Chinchilly: Traditionally thought of as a more “fall” color, this gorgeous grey adds a touch of luxe to whatever you’re wearing, whenever you’re wearing it.
  6. Butter London Molly Coddled: Or the pastel polish of your choice. Easter-y shades, particularly lilacs and lavenders, can brighten up an outfit even in fall and winter.
  7. Essie Midnight Cami: Navy is a new neutral, and like Lincoln Park After Dark (below), this inky color can work all year round. If it seems too dramatic for the summer, dark polishes are perfect for pedicures too.
  8. OPI Lincoln Park After Dark: I will be buried in this nail polish. My life utterly changed in 2005 when OPI introduced the Chicago collection, and Lincoln Park After Dark has been a constant in my life since then. It’s the perfect deep purple and goes with everything, ever, anytime.

While many “what to bring on the plane” posts and articles are focused on long, often overseas trips (which makes sense), I tend to take shorter flights. However, as a big proponent of carry-on only, this poses a different set of challenges: figuring out what actually makes it in your bag and on the plane with you. It’s not until you have to reduce your morning routine into 3 oz. or less in a quart size bag that you realize exactly how many liquids you need on a daily basis. (I also have an issue with hoarding travel sized products and samples all year long, then feeling the need to bring all of them on a trip. Except then my entire clear quart size bag is full of a random assortment of travel products. But that’s probably just me.)

The key is to find a way to travel comfortably and chicly while eliminating the excess.  Figure out what keeps you happy and sane while traveling, and prioritize those items. Many other items have solid alternatives or hacks. Always wanted to try a shampoo bar? Now’s the time! Products with multiple uses are also a travel lifesaver – think Benetint, which can be both a lip and cheek stain, saving you precious beauty bag space.

It’s also helpful to know what you’re willing to splurge on at the airport or your destination. I always grab a big bottle of water at the airport to counteract the dry plane air – even if it’s a $5 Fiji.

Look, from the recycled plane air to your fellow passengers, flying isn’t always the most fun. But a key selection of products – from beauty items to magazines – can help make it more bearable. For me, it’s the following:

  1. Socks, especially on longer flights where I want to be more comfortable.
  2. Eye mask – early flights and long flights call for a nap.
  3. Gum – to stop popping ears.
  4. Moisturizer of some sort – whether it’s a travel-size oil or actual facial moisturizer, I slather that stuff on during flights.
  5. Tea – theoretically, because it’s better for you and more hydrating. (Green tea please!) In actuality? I usually end up drinking coffee. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit.
  6. Face wipes – Favorites include Tarte Fresh Eyes and Simple’s new Micellar Cleansing Wipes.
  7. Face spray – Whether it’s Avene, Evian, or Smashbox’s new Primer Water (which is totally amazing, by the way). Look, until recently, I thought water-based face sprays were a total gimmick. But then a fellow traveler told me I look “effortless” in an airport bathroom after spritzing myself with thermal water. Color me converted.
  8. Reading material – of choice. I love a good fashion glossy, but this trip I’ve been finishing up Modern Romance. Yes, I am the weirdo LOL-ing in seat 16A or whatever.

Shop my in-flight essentials list below:

What are some of your travel necessities?