2018

KEEP IT COOL

Platinum hair has been “in” for a while, and that’s no secret. From high school and through most of college I kept my blonde tone anywhere from strawberry to golden and never thought I’d vary from that. I jumped on the icy train quickly and switched to cool toned blonde around the time I moved to New York, and since then I’ve gotten questions about how I keep my hair cool and light.

MY ANSWER? Patience, for one.

AT THE SALON

If your hair isn’t light blonde to begin with, it’s best to take your time with lightening it so you don’t damage your hair (if you do, I have solutions.) If you have any sort of red in your hair, be it from your natural color or from dye, the process of getting that cool tone is going to be trickier. Work with a stylist that is skilled with blondes and you’ll be just fine!

Now, there are two ways you can lighten your hair — highlights or bleach and tone. It is probably safe to say that most strikingly ice platinum blondes do bleach and tone, where bleach is applied all over and then toned to the right color. If you’re going for dramatic, this may be the way to go. If you like more dimension in your hair, you’ll want to opt for highlights, which is what I do.

MY HIGHLIGHTS TRICK

There are several things I do for my highlights to give the all-over color feel while maintaining dimension. First, my stylist in Houston does heavy slices of highlights as opposed to weaving them. This is better if your hair is already light so you don’t have stripes. I also alternate doing full highlights and partial. I like my color to be bright around my face as well, so sometimes I’ll have my stylist lightly brighten the roots all around my hairline on my face. This is what works for me, and I always recommend talking everything over with your stylist to create the look that is best for your hair and what you’re going for!

THE TONER

If you want an icy, cool toned blonde, you may need to tone your hair.  I recommend opting for a toner that is grey, purple, or blue. Think about it like a color wheel. Purple is the opposite of yellow, so it will cancel out the yellow tones. Blue is the opposite of orange, so it will cancel out the orange tones. I’ll get more into those later!

I tend to favor more of a silver/grey tone to my hair, but I actually haven’t been toning it lately. I’ve been seeing Melanie at N Salon recently and she recommended not toning my hair, and I’ve loved the results so far. She just highlights and uses a purple shampoo on me. This is exactly why it’s best to talk through what your goals with your hair are with your stylist — they can recommend the best process for YOUR hair. 

AT HOME UPKEEP

Keeping your hair icy doesn’t end at the salon, unfortunately. Lucky for you, I’ve found an arsenal of products that help me maintain my color and banish gross, yellow brassiness.

JOICO COLOR BALANCE PURPLE SHAMPOO

This one is probably a no-brainer. You’ve likely heard to use a purple shampoo to get rid of brassy tones. I’ve tried a few, and my biggest complaint with most that I’ve tried is that they never seem to feel like they actually clean my hair. I don’t wash my hair often, so I want it to feel clean no matter what shampoo I use, and I really don’t want to wash it twice to get that feeling. 

I use the Joico Color Balance purple shampoo because it miraculously does give that clean feeling and just the right amount of color. I’ve heard great things about the Fanola No Yellow shampoo, but I have yet to try it. 

OVERTONE DAILY CONDITIONERS

This is what I use when I want a dramatically “cooler” look. I have both the pastel purple color and pastel silver. The pastel purple deposits a little too much color for my liking, so I usually stick with the pastel silver. The ends of my hair soak up color very easily, so the silver gives the cool tone without straight up turning my hair a different color. 

They have a ton of different colors so if you’re trying to maintain red, rose gold, or virtually any other color, they have something for you! 

EVA NYC LEAVE-IN FOAM

I don’t use this frequently either, because it also deposits quite a bit of purple color. However, I like to use it when I want my color to look amazing in photos. It also smells AMAZING which is always a plus. It’s definitely great for a little extra boost when needed! 


That’s about it! As I’ve mentioned a few times, it’s always best to work with your stylist on your color. They’ll be your ultimate resource for the results you’re looking for. Have you tried any of these products, or what are your secrets for keeping blonde color cool? Thank you for reading! 

SHOP THE POST:

I GOT A PUPPY

If you follow me on pretty much any social media, you already know about my sweet Stevie girl and how I’m obsessed with her. I’ve had my little love for just over 2 weeks, and she’s now 10 weeks old. I’ve known I wanted a dog for a while now, and since I couldn’t bring Fitz to Austin with me (he doesn’t do well without a yard) I figured I should get a puppy of my own. I named her Stevie after Stevie Nicks. I’m extra so I gave her a middle name too, Blair, because Blair Waldorf/I love the slightly spooky sound of the name thanks to the Blair Witch Project. See the witchy theme going on here? Anyway, I digress. I made this post to include all of the logistics behind getting a puppy, living in an apartment, having a full-time job and having a life in general. It’s possible!

PICKING THE RIGHT PUP

I knew I wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but with any breed, I recommend doing your research on it. Each breed has certain personality characteristics and common/potential health issues that you need to be aware of. Cavaliers are prone to heart problems, and you want to know anything like that about the breed you choose. You’ll also need to know how they’ll fare where you live, (ie. are they the best breed to have if you live in an apartment) and how big they’ll get, etc. If you’re getting a purebred pup as well you should know they don’t typically come cheap. I also wanted a girl, and girls are usually more expensive. I browsed around and ended up finding the right breeder on PuppyFind. She is located further away (outside Lubbock) but I took one look at Stevie’s picture and I knew she was my pup.

WHAT TO ASK THE BREEDER

You want a reputable breeder, so make sure that they have all of their paperwork and I would also ask for references from their vet and people who have gotten puppies from them previously. You’ll want your pupper’s medical records as well, which your breeder should have all ready to go when you pick them up. If you’re picking your pup up at 8 weeks (I wouldn’t advise any earlier) then they will likely already have one round of their parvo/distemper vaccine and received dewormer. Either way, you’ll want the records to give to the vet whenever you take them to their new vet you’ll be regularly going to. I also asked about the health/medical history of Stevie’s parents and of previous litters because I was worried about potential breed health issues and things of that sort. I asked for pictures of her parents and what their personalities were like as well, and what size she was relative to her littermates. I wanted a pup on the smaller side, and Stevie was one of the two smallest in her litter. You also want to know what kind of food your puppy has been eating so if you want to switch them to something else you can buy both types of food and mix them for a while so it is easier on your puppy’s tummy.

PREPPING FOR PUPPY

Puppies are like toddlers, so it’s important you have everything set for them to be safe in your home. If there is trouble for them to get into, they will find it if you’re not careful. I would also pick out your vet you’ll be taking your little angel to before you bring them home. If you’re going to get pet insurance, then you want to have those details sorted as well. Stevie (and every animal my family has ever had) goes to Banfield which is the vet inside Petsmart. They have a wellness plan program that is really great for puppies because you pay monthly and it includes all their vet visits, vaccines, and their spay/neuter surgery. If they have to have treatment for something because they get sick you will get a discount as well if they are on a wellness plan. This is just another option to pet insurance, but you’ll need to pick what’s right for you and your pup.

Now, onto the semi-fun part: what to buy.

  1. Crate, crate bed, and blanket for crate cover – I’ll talk more about crate training in a bit.
  2. Grass potty pad (super important if you live in an apartment) and lavender potty pads
  3. Accident cleaner – your pup will have accidents, it’s a fact of life
  4. Playpen or gate – good for sectioning off a portion of the house for them to play in. Stevie is in her playpen while I’m at work with her crate in it, so she can play or rest in her crate.
  5. Regular bed – I got Stevie’s at Nordstrom Rack so look there and Home Goods too
  6. Nylabone, kong rope toy, kong, tiny tennis balls – good for chewing, more on that later
  7. Interactive burrow toy – I got Stevie the seahorses but there are TONS of other types. This is probably Stevie’s favorite toy and she could play with it for hours.
  8. Breed specific food – Royal Canin makes food catered toward specific breeds to help with their health problems. The food is also shaped in a way that makes it easy for that breed to chew (ie. if they are likely to have an underbite) This is what Stevie’s vet recommended for her. I order it from Chewy since I can never find it in store.
  9. Training treats – Stevie is very food motivated, and these tiny treats have been really helpful training
  10. Stuffed toy for cuddles
  11. Dog car seat (sorry I’m extra but this keeps her safe in the car and out of my lap while I’m driving)
  12. Harness and collar
  13. The cutest dog tags ever
  14. Puppy shampoo
  15. Lint roller – I could make a second Stevie out of all the fur she sheds

PUPPY BEHAVIOR: POTTY TRAINING, CRATE TRAINING, CHEWING/BITING

Ah, everyone’s least favorite part of being a puppy parent. This is where your patience will really get tested. Stevie is a perfect angel MOST of the time… but we’re still learning.

Potty training is something we’ll still be working on for a few weeks since I live in an apartment. This means she can’t go outside to potty until she’s gotten all three rounds of her parvo/distemper vaccine. Parvo is very prevalent in Texas especially at this time of year, and it makes puppies very sick and a lot of times they won’t make it. They can get parvo from smelling other dog’s poo that has it, and it can stay in the soil for up to 10 years. Because of this, you don’t want you puppy walking or going potty where other dogs have gone and you don’t know their medical history. They’re usually fine to go out in your own personal yard, but no dog parks or high-traffic dog areas at your apartment.

So what do you do while they’re a puppy?

Potty pads. It’s not glamorous, but if you have a balcony (I don’t) it helps a lot too because then they can associate outside = potty. I have a grass potty pad for Stevie that’s set up in my bathroom with potty pads in it and I clean it daily so it doesn’t get gross. She is usually very good at going potty on this and prefers it to just a potty pad hanging out by itself. We’ll start outside training in just a few weeks!

Stevie is also being crate trained. It’s a safe option for her when I can’t be at home so she doesn’t get into anything she’s not supposed to. You want to get a crate that’s big enough for them when they’re fully grown, but also has a divider so they have a smaller space while they’re little. You want them to be snug in their crate, so they won’t sleep on one side and potty on the other. I cover her crate with a blanket when she’s in it so it feels cozy and it’s her safe space. While you’re crate training, you want them to have good memories in the crate so I put some of her favorite toys, a couple treats for her to find, and she even eats in her crate in the morning and at night.

It’s pretty normal for puppies to cry in their crates at first, and you have to keep in mind that they’re like babies and they cry to tell you what they need. If Stevie has eaten and gone potty and she’s still crying, then I know she’s just wanting attention and she’ll fall asleep soon. I can read her cries now and tell if she’s crying because she needs something or if she is just being whiny. Usually she’s just being whiny and will pass out in a few minutes or start to entertain herself with a toy. Crate training also helps keep your pup from developing separation anxiety and teaches them to be independent. If Stevie had it her way, she would constantly be right on top of me. But, she also loves her crate and feels safe there when she can’t be right with me.

Another thing we are still learning not to do is chewing and biting. Puppies explore and learn about the world through their mouths, and in the “wild” they learn not to bite from their mom and littermates. Since they don’t have that when they live with you, that’s something you have to teach them. I don’t let Stevie play with my hands, and always keep her nylabone or something she can chew on instead within reach of me. Anytime she bites or chews me a little too hard, I yelp, pull away, and whimper the same way one of her littermates would and then give her something else to chew. I feel super dramatic doing this but it works, and she’s learning she can’t chew on human skin.


This post has now become WAY longer than I intended it to and I could still write more. All in all, Stevie is well beyond worth the work that comes along with her being a puppy. She’s still so little, and I can’t wait to see her grow into a big pup, but I’m also cherishing every little moment that I have while she’s tiny. If you wanna keep up with all her adventures be sure to follow her on Instagram!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

PHOENIX TRAVEL GUIDE

 

When my best friend Maddy of Miss Madds and I took our trip to Phoenix, I learned quickly that most people don’t think of the city as much of a “destination” to visit. We spent a long weekend there to celebrate our 23rd birthdays, and let me tell you — there is loads to see, do, and eat. The natural features of the city are gorgeous with flowers + cacti everywhere you look. I put together a little guide to show off all the things we loved about our trip in case you’re looking at taking one too.

We stayed in Scottsdale, so the majority of the things we did were around that area. I would say that this is a perfect destination for a fun girls trip or even a blogger/influencer style getaway. Scottsdale is also the perfect location to stay, it’s rather easy to walk to a lot of restaurants, shopping, and there’s a nightlife scene within walking distance too. Plus, there’s no end of stunning photo opportunities all across the city. So with that said, grab your girls and start planning!

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Adeline

Boutique motel // This is where we stayed!

Hotel Valley Ho

Historic + modern

The Saguaro Scottsdale

Bright + fun


WHERE TO EAT/GRAB DRINKS

The Henry 

Good for dinner + drinks // Vital pick: Tuna Poke Bowl + Fig & Ginger Mule

Breakfast Club

Classic breakfast + brunch // Vital pick: Turkey Bene

Farm & Craft 

Healthy + sustainable // Vital pick: Steel Cut Oats + Protein Pancakes

The Montauk 

New England style options // Vital pick: Mac n Cheese

Diego Pop’s

Fun tacos + drinks // Vital pick: Snow Cone Margarita

Bandera

Comfort food // Vital pick: Rotisserie Chicken

Windsor

Laid back, good happy hour // Vital pick: No. 34

Sugar Bowl

Diner style sweet treats // Vital pick: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Postino

Wine + bruschetta boards // Vital pick: literally any bruschetta + wine

Berdena’s

Coffee shop, good for pastries // Vital pick: Cinnamon roll

Teaspressa

Espresso-style Tea, endless instagram-worthy moments // Vital pick: Iced London Fog with coconut milk

Lux Central

Fresh + cool coffee shop // Vital pick: Cappuccino 


THINGS TO SEE/DO

Desert Botanical Garden

Vital tip: go at golden hour, make time to go to Hole in the Rock too

Phoenix Art Museum

Vital tip: small museum with great contemporary/modern art

Old Town Scottsdale

Vital tip: great picture ops, especially at night with the string lights

Japanese Friendship Gardens

Vital tip: closes early, pay attention to closing hours

Phoenix Public Market

Vital tip: hours change based upon the season


WHERE TO HIKE

OVERALL VITAL TIP: PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WEATHER. ONLY HIKE WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS SAFE.

Camelback Mountain

Vital tip: there are two different trails to the top

Piestewa Peak

Vital tip: steeper than you’d expect, great photo ops along the way

South Mountain

Vital tip: drive to the top to watch the sunset

Hole in the Rock 

Vital tip: very short “hike”

Superstition Mountains

Vital tip: a bit of a drive out of the city, lots of things to do


WHERE TO SHOP

Fashion Square

Old Town Scottsdale Shops


This trip was truly the getaway I needed. The past six months have been a lot — health issues, a breakup, quitting my job, and starting a new one. I hadn’t really given myself a chance let myself rest and just enjoy the moment without worrying about a thousand other things (hello, anxiety, my dear friend!) All in all, this was the perfect way to round out the last days of my 22nd year of life. I spent the entirety of the trip in awe of my surroundings, and both Maddy and I quickly fell in love with this city. Phoenix, you have our hearts.

<< most photos x Maddy Hill Photographics >>

SEPHORA SPRING SALE

SEPHORA SPRING SALE 2018 | VITAL BLONDE

If you know me at all, you know I can’t resist walking into Sephora as soon as I see it. (Okay honestly I pretty much run as soon as I see it.) Lucky for all of us, Sephora’s Spring Sale is back, BUT it ends today. I decided to round up some of my favorite or “must-have” products for you to snag before the sale ends tonight. Today is my 23rd birthday, so I had no shame clicking “add to cart” on a few items as a little birthday present to myself.

SOOO… HOW DOES IT WORK?

First off, you need to be a Beauty Insider to participate in the sale. You can sign up here. Once you sign up and have your items all in your cart, you’ll want to enter the code for which level Beauty Insider you are.

Beauty Insiders: 10% off everything with code YAYINSIDER

VIB: 15% off everything with code YAYVIB

Rouge: 15% off everything with code YAYROUGE

MY FAVORITES:

INVISIBOBBLE // These are my favorite hair ties! They look way cute in your hair and don’t leave a crimp.

KOPARI COCONUT BODY GLOW // I want anything and everything that will make me glow AND smell like a tropical paradise.

LAURA MERCIER TRANSLUCENT POWDER // I always need more powder. Always. #OilySkinProbs

NARS POWERMATTE LIP PIGMENT // This liquid lipstick does. not. budge. I have the shade “Get It On” because I’m incapable of resisting a cheeky color name.

ANASTASIA DIPBROW POMADE // This is the secret to amazing brows.

T3 HAIR DRYER // I have an older model of this hair dryer, but it’s made a HUGE difference in my hair. (aka I dislike washing my hair a little bit less now)

ANASTASIA GLOW KIT // Does anyone else want to bathe in highlight? Just me? Ok.

DR. DENNIS GROSS ALPHA BETA PEEL PADS // Every time I use these my skin feels BOMB. Read more about why you should get these here.

KATE SOMERVILLE EXFOLIKATE // I use this in the shower, turn the water heat all the way up (I enjoy burning my skin off it’s fine), and then enjoy the steam for a couple minutes before washing it off.

WHAT I BOUGHT:

SOL DE JANEIRO BRAZILIAN CRUSH FRAGRANCE MIST // I just wanna smell like summer all the time.

DR. JART ALL THAT CONTOURS SHEET MASK // I’ve heard this sheet mask is similar to getting Botox, so I will report back with results. Sidebar — I got Botox almost 2 months ago and I’m working on a post about that experience!

NARS CREAMY CONCEALER // This concealer has a cult following, and since I’m almost out of my beloved Tarte Shape Tape I decided I would give this a try.

ESTEE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR FOUNDATION // This is a repurchase for me! I love this foundation because it has great coverage but also feels super light.

If I had it my way, I would probably purchase just about everything during this sale. BUT I’ve done a little too much #treatyoself this month (birthday month so it’s justified?) so I had to limit myself a bit. Let me know what you’re picking up for yourself from the sale — be sure to hurry, it ends tonight!

FAVORITE SPRING TRENDS

FAVORITE SPRING TRENDS | VITAL BLONDE

sunglasses // dress (similar) // denim shirt (similar) // handbag // sneakers (similar) other similar


Spring is just around the corner (uhh next week hello? Where has 2018 gone?) Spring is by far my favorite season, and we’ve already started to get a little taste of warmer weather here in Austin. My favorite part of a new season starting is all the new trends to try out. I’ve rounded up all of my favorite spring trends for 2018 and breaking down my picks for you.

SHEER

This is probably my favorite of the trends – sheer everything please.

 

SATIN

Might not be the most comfortable look as the weather gets warmer, but satin has a classic and elegant look to it that can step up any outfit.

 

SMOCKED

Smocked pieces always have a playful and childlike feel to me, which is one of the reasons I love this look for spring.

 

SEQUINS/METALLICS

Gimme all the metallics, all the time.

 

PAPER BAG WAIST

I definitely think this trend will die out faster than others, but I’m loving the look right now.

 

COLOR

Notable colors for the season: dusty pastels, bold prints, lavender, red & pink combo and “gen Z yellow” (Is it really the next millennial pink?)

 

PLATFORMS

I might sprain my ankle again in some of these, but I’ll look good doing it at least. Chunky “Dad” sneakers are also in- dig out your Skechers for some Balenciaga vibes.

 

Keep an eye out for fringe, square necklines, punk styles and the 90s making a major comeback as well this season. I don’t know about you, but so far I’m loving all of these trends and super excited for spring to begin. What are your favorite spring trends this year? Let me know on my latest insta!

 

2018, LET’S DO THIS

2018 Let's Do This | The Lipstick Tales

So I’m a little behind here, I know. I don’t like resolutions, I never have. Something about resolutions has always felt staunch and unachievable. I’m more keen on the idea of setting intentions for the year.

I wanted to pick just two things to focus on, because any more than that and I feel like I’m being pulled in different directions.

In 2018, I intend to be present and to grow my passions.

Be present

This is a big one for me. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, being present is not my forte. Recently I read a quote that said depression is living in the past, while anxiety is living in the future. That really stuck with me. I quite literally have a problem with living everywhere else but the present.

This isn’t something that will ever come easily to me, but I want to be better at it this year. So much time can slip right by if you aren’t paying attention and worrying about what’s coming next. I’m not going to let that happen anymore.

Grow my passions

Essentially what I mean by this is that I want to focus on the things that make me happy, the things I’m passionate about. Example- every year I say I’m going to blog more, and then I get absorbed in all the little details and forget my passion for writing and for sharing thoughts with others. As I get more caught up with everyday life, I forget about practicing all these things that make me happy.

This year, I want to make sure I don’t forget about the things I’m passionate about. I want to make sure I’m putting them into practice, making them a priority and growing with them and as a person as well.

Adjusting to post-grad life hasn’t been the easiest process for me, and I’m looking forward to feeling like I have my feet more underneath me in the coming months. I’m so excited to see what 2018 has in store, and I’m ready to enjoy every moment of it along the way.

What are your resolutions/intentions for 2018?

LOOKING BACK AT 2017

Looking Back at 2017 | The Lipstick Tales

2017 wasn’t all that I expected it to be. I’m not sure what I really expected it to be, honestly. Mostly, it was a year of change. I experienced more “big life changes” this year than probably any other year in my life. A lot of this year was very hard. Change and I are not BFFs, and I am still learning how to be comfortable with it. But, I learned so much about myself and grew as a person in more ways than I thought possible.

I started 2017 off by doing the scariest and most exciting thing I’ve ever done; I moved away from the only state I’ve ever lived in across the country to New York City to intern for my last semester of college. I learned to love the cold (this was the biggest surprise to me.) I learned how alone you can feel in a city surrounded by millions of people. I learned what it’s really like to work for a fashion designer (hint: The Devil Wears Prada isn’t a perfect depiction) and loved every minute of it. I learned the city can feel like home if you let it. I also learned that I wasn’t quite ready for it to be my home, and I decided to leave the city to start my “real adult” life back in Texas.

Fun fact: Between living there and all the trips I took, I spent more time in New York than in Texas in 2017!

Looking Back at 2017 Graduation | The Lipstick Tales
Photo by Shelby Nickel Photo

Then, I graduated college. I crossed the stage twice and officially earned two degrees in retail merchandising and public relations, and then I panicked. Okay, I’m done with school… now what? I had already been away from my friends for 6 months, but I started to realize we weren’t all going to be living just a minute’s walk away from each other now that I was back in Texas. So what was my solution? Move back to Austin and pretend everything is the same anyway!

Looking Back at 2017 Friends | The Lipstick Tales

So I moved back to Austin. I made a lot of new friends, started my first full-time job, and learned that Austin post-grad isn’t what I wanted it to be. And that’s okay. I’m 22, I’m figuring it all out still.

It seems like every year I look back and think of everything I could have changed, everything I wanted to be different, every way the year “went wrong.” It’s okay if the past year wasn’t your best year yet, and it’s okay if it’s nothing close to what you thought it would be going into it. All in all, 2017 through me for a loop. With each step I took, (or misstep – #tbt to spraining my ankle by stepping off a curb wrong) I learned something about the world and about myself.

As with any year, I’m ready to close this chapter of the book and start a new, fresh page. As I get older, the less I know what to expect with each coming year. I probably won’t have it all figured out by the end of 2018, either. Although this year shook out different than I thought, I will always look back at this year and smile. This year I realized my strength and resiliency. In each of the 9 pictures below, I can detail out the excitement I had for what came next, and that’s the exact feeling I have about the coming year.

2018, I’m ready for you.

Looking Back at 2017 Best Nine | The Lipstick Tales

Instagram

Copyright © 2019 VITAL BLONDE · Theme by 17th Avenue