March Beauty Product Favorites


Elizabeth and James, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12, Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eyeliner, Beauty Blender Mini


I can’t believe it’s the end of March already, but I’m ready for spring. My Sephora haul this month yielded some goodies I would definitely repurchase.

First up is Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon. I typically use gel eyeliners with an angled brush because I feel like it’s more precise than a pencil, but easier to apply than liquid. This eyeliner combines the precision of a gel with the ease of a pencil. It’s similar to Urban Decay’s 24/7 liner, without the eye irritation I experienced with that pencil.

I also got to try Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black, which I ended up loving. It’s spicy and sensual, masculine, yet feminine. I couldn’t stop smelling my clothes when I wore it and immediately got a compliment from the hubs on it. Score.

I love using a Beauty Blender to apply my makeup for a natural and flawless finish. The Beauty Blender Micro Mini is perfect for concealer and small areas of the face!

It’s no secret I love my Clarisonic for night time cleansing. I’ve been using the new Radiance replacement head and I love how gentle it is but makes my skin smooth and glowing.

Last but not least is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12. I don’t know how I lived without it. It’s perfect for defining and filling in brows, especially using the Dipbrow Pomade (which I love). On the other end is a spool for grooming.


Springing it forward with lighter locks


bayalage, dark brown hair bayalage

If you read my last post about turning 35 and how my hair and personal style is more consistent, please disregard as I embark on a new hair color journey for the spring (minus the life changing events).

My hair story for the past few years has been very low maintenance and natural. I add some subtle caramel bayalage last summer. If you’re not familiar with bayalage, it’s a french word that means to sweep or to paint. Instead of highlighting hair with traditional foils, they are hand painted on giving a more natural, sun-kissed look. I love it because it’s so low-maintance with no obvious growing out lines. This technique has been around forever, but has been gaining a lot of steam lately.

Rewind to last week. I had been thinking about punching up my color, as it had been 7 months since I last had color done (when I said bayalage was low maintenance, I wasn’t kidding). When my hairstylist, Susan (Salon Vanity in Philadelphia), suggested we go lighter, that was all I need to hear to take the plunge.

bayalage, saran wrap

no foils here—it’s a plastic wrap party!

We decided to leave my natural dark brown base as is and not lighten it. That way the color is still relatively low maintenance. I was there for a 2-3 hours, but the results were well worth it.

dark brown bayalage

Color after being blown out

brunette bayalage, dark brown

Lightened locks definitely need some TLC. I’ve been using Shu Uemura Brilliant Glaze Collection to help preserve and protect my new hair color.

brunette bayalage

Some tips on going transitioning to a lighter color this spring:

  • If you plan on going darker again in the fall, don’t go too dramatic with the color as you want something easy to transition to back to.
  • Keep in mind your summer activities. If you do a lot of swimming, either in chlorine or salt water, remember colored treated hair is particularly sensitive to these activities.
  • Help keep color from fading with a gentle, sulfate free shampoo. I’ve been using Shu Uemura Color Lustre collection to keep my new color looking fresh.
  • Need color inspiration? Look to your kids. A friend of mine used her daughter’s sunny blonde as a starting point for her newly lightened hair. No kids? Find a picture of you as a child in the summer.

The Big 3-5! Here’s to 10 Years of (Questionable) Looks


Renee DeSantis

Today I turn 35 *shudder*, and I’ve been reflecting on how much I’ve changed and grown in the the past 10 years. On my 25th birthday, I was just kind of coasting through life. No real vision in sight and unsure of myself.  When I think about my life today, I’m incredibly grateful for the love, stability, happiness, and passion that are a part of my day to day life. And my hair thanks me as well.

During those “wondering” years, my hair changed with each life change–a breakup, a new job, graduating, you name it. It was until I met my husband, my rock and my center, that my look became consistent and more like me.

So as I embark on a journey into a new age bracket, enjoy a few of my hair raising highlights over the past decade!

brazil2007 edit2008editsmileedit

IMG_0666 edit

2013 edit


Down For 30edit




Winter Proofing Hair With Head & Shoulders Moisture Care Collection


This post is sponsored by P&G.

Head & Shoulders Moisture Care, co-wash, 2-in-1

It’s official. The groundhog saw his shadow and graced us with 6 more unwanted weeks of winter. That means 6 more weeks of delayed school openings, canceled dinner plans, and puffy coats and snow boots covered with that annoying film on dirty snow covered cars. Bleh.

It also means 6 more weeks of dry hair and scalp. The winter weather and dry indoor heating can wreck havoc on hair, especially ethnic hair, making it brittle and dry, thus more susceptible to split ends and dandruff.

The solution? Moisture. Moisture. And moisture. That’s why I was excited to try Head & Shoulders new line of hair care specifically formulated for textured hair. The Head & Shoulders Moisture Care Collection includes a shampoo, 2-in-1, co-wash and scalp soother.

The co-wash is great for when I wear my hair naturally curly. Co-washing, if you’re unsure of exactly what it is, is washing your hair with conditioner to ensure that dry/curly hair isn’t stripped of the precious oils it needs that washing with regular shampoo can cause.

Although my hair is naturally curly, in the winter I tend to wear it straight so the 2-in-1 wash is perfect for me. It contains vitamin E rich almond oil, coconut essence and dandruff-fighting ingredient zinc pyrithione (ZPT), which help combat the damage constant use of the hair dryer can cause. Before washing, I also used about 15 pumps of the scalp soother to cool and moisturize my scalp.


Head & Shoulders Moisture Care


I had great results with the 2-in-1. I never thought that I could just use one product for washing and conditioning, but I could with this one. My hair was flat, limp, and dull beforehand, and afterwards my hair felt soft and smooth, but I still had great body and shine.


Head & Shoulders Moisture Care Collection, Review, After


While I wish tomorrow I would be waking up to 75 degree weather instead of black ice warnings, good hair days help ease the pain. Thanks Head & Shoulders :)


HS_BlueHead and Shoulders scientists explored the unique needs and characteristics of African American hair and found a drastic need for moisture and protection. Head & Shoulders NEW Moisture Care collection, with Vitamin E rich almond oil and coconut essence, provides moisture for scalp and hair immediately and also over time, eliminating dandruff and leaving you 100% flake-free. For more information, visit Head & Shoulders on Facebook ( and follow @HeadShoulders on Twitter.

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