Category Archives: Health and Beauty

Where Cool Girls Get Their Hair Done

The power of a great haircut or hair color is undeniable — as is the opposite. (Holla if you’ve ever been reduced to tears by a hair disaster!) Which makes choosing the best hair salon a decision that can send you down a Yelp wormhole — especially if you live in the big city. Yes, finding your hair stylist/colorist match in Los Angeles, a city where they’re as plentiful as avocados, is rough. Think: perfect curly haircuts, sunkissed highlights, tousled waves, the latest hairstyles the celebs are wearing … basically, the stuff Pinterest dreams are made of.

So we went on a mission to find the very best salons Los Angeles has to offer, where the aforementioned cool girls of the city get their hair did. Whether you need a slight trim or complete hair makeover, you can’t go wrong with one of these hair salons.

The founders Johnny Ramirezand Anh Co Tran are responsible for some of the most gorgeous styles (you’ve likely double-tapped or pinned quite a few of them). While this definitely isn’t the most affordable salon, the results will have you (and everyone you encounter on the street) like woah.

Neighborhood: Beverly Hills

Vibe: A bit rustic, a bit French inspired and 100 percent chiller-than-thou (but in a way that makes you feel cooler just for being there).

Known for: The literally trademarked “Lived-in” hair color and waves that make sexy look effortless.

Star Stylists: Ramirez handles the color (he can take you from dark to light hair in a single day); Tran transforms blah cuts into insanely Instagrammable styles. Make sure you block out a whole day for your transformation, as color with Johnny can sometimes take upwards of seven hours. The end results — plus the fact that you can go six months before coloring again — are completely worth it.

Price: Base color with Ramirez starts at $150, highlights start at $350. A cut with Tran will set you back $400. Their uber-talented roster of other stylists and colorists rings in less spendy.

Benjamin is, hands down, one of the coolest hair salons in Los Angeles. Founded by Benjamin Mohapi, this insider-y salon has locations Downtown and on the Westside.

Vibe: The stylish decor is a blend of eclectic trinkets and artwork, which gives the salon a distinctly chill flavor.

Known for: Cool-girl balayage, on-trend rainbow hues, and edgy, effortless cuts.

Star Stylists: In WeHo, book with Shah Karegar for perfectly blended color that is Victoria’s Secret model-level gorgeous. Seek out Rita Markarian (also in WeHo) for a cut and style that will make over your hair and your energy. Her down-to-earth, positive vibes, mad skills with hair shears and the ability to coax your hair into the best version of itself make for a spiritual experience.

At the downtown outpost, get an appointment with Sal Salcedo. He’s a genius with shears and can cut layers (on both straight and curly hair) that will make you weep with joy.

Price: A cut and blow-dry starts at $150. Base color starts at $120, and highlights begin at $230.

Semi Permanent Hair Colors Tips

Semi-permanent hair color is the unsung hero of the drugstore hair-care aisle. It’s the perfect solution for those who want to test the waters of a color change, but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars and hours in the salon chair to do it. Unlike permanent hair color, which can last for a few weeks (sometimes even months), semi-permanent hair color lets you take a subtle new shade for a spin without the commitment.

But when it comes to selecting the best semi-permanent hair color for your strands, it’s good to know what it can (and can’t) do for you. Here’s a primer on the two types of temporary at-home hair dye:

Semi-Permanent Hair Color: If you want to add a gloss finish to your hair color or brighten up a dull ‘do with some shine and light pigment, semi-permanent hair color is your best bet. “This type of hair dye is used to deposit color at your level or darker,” says George Papanikolas, Matrix SoColor celebrity colorist . “It doesn’t have the ability to lighten hair, but semi-permanent hair color is great for covering or blending grays.” If you’re looking to go from brunette to blonde, a semi-permanent hair dye won’t cut it. “Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t penetrate into the cortex of the hair like permanent hair dye,” says Redken Global Artistic Director Kris Sorbie. “It only deposits color on the surface.” According to Papanikolas, semi-permanent hair color is often used in salons to tone brassy highlights or add shine to a lackluster mane, but it will only last you about 15 to 20 shampoos.

Demi-Permanent Hair Color: The major difference between semi- and demi-permanent dye is the lifespan and color deposit. Demi-permanent hair colors are a step up from semi-permanent, but a level below permanent. “[It’s] used to either richen your natural color or darken a lighter color,” Papanikolas says, adding that it’s ideal for refreshing faded dye jobs.

Demi-permanent hair dye, like semi, can’t take your hair lighter, according to Papanikolas. However, it will last longer (20-50 shampoos), which is especially good for gray coverage.

Whether you’re looking to add shine and gloss, or you simply want to try covering some grays on the cheap, these are the best semi-permanent hair colors on the market — with a few demi-permanent options, for you less commitment-phobe types.

Hair Perfumes for Gorgeous Smelling Strands

Have you heard of hair perfume? It might sound a little, well, extra, but hear us out: In a lot of ways, perfume formulated for hair actually makes more sense than regular perfume. Washing hair infrequently has become trendy, and hair mist is a great way to keep your mane smelling fresh between washes. Also, most hair perfumes actually serve a dual purpose, combining protection, moisture and shine along with their amazing scents. Another bonus? The many inventive fragrances and gorgeous packaging means they’re totally gift-able.

So, if you’re looking to get in on the hair perfume game, read on to discover nine of our favorites. When it really comes down to it, don’t you just love the idea adding an extra punch to your fabulous hair flip?

Come for the beautiful French packaging, stay for the delicious floral scent. Miss Dior Hair Mist also happens to boast amazing staying power, and it’s sure to garner you plenty of compliments.

Oh, and if you’re looking to take your whole-body fragrance game up a notch, it pairs very well with Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, $78.

Sachajuan’s Protective Hair Perfume smells like a crisp green apple, which goes nicely with its peach and rose top notes, as well as its cedar wood and white musk base notes. Plus, as the name indicates, it helps protect your hair from UV rays, while also hydrating, eliminating static and keeping your strands shiny. Since it’s so moisturizing, it’s especially great if you have dry hair.

For a perfect spring scent with a touch of vintage glamour, give Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hair Perfume Mist a try. It’s refreshing, yet classic, and the sturdy, minimalist packaging will work equally well on your vanity or in your purse. Another bonus? It helps nourish your hair with an organic, plant-based formula.

Conditioning treatments will keep your strands healthy

A quality deep conditioner can make all the difference for ladies with natural hair. Hitting your strands with a rich dose of moisture once a week or so can help nourish, strengthen and moisturize, repairing any damage from heat styling or the elements. The best deep conditioners for natural hair can also help enhance curls, increase shine and protect hair from future damage, keeping it healthier (and prettier) for longer.

There are a few things to look for in a deep conditioner for natural hair. Since natural hair tends to be coarser and more prone to frizz, you want to keep an eye out for hydrating ingredients that will penetrate your strands without weighing them down. These might include shea butter, coconut oil, raw honey and aloe vera. Some formulas become even more effective when heat is applied, which is perfect for safe heat styling.

In the end, the best deep conditioners for natural hair make your hair the best version of itself it can possibly be — that being soft, healthy and defined.

So where does one look to find the best deep conditioner for natural hair? Right here. We consulted our TotalBeauty.com readers’ unbiased reviews to compile this list of the top-rated natural hair masks and deep conditioners on the market. From drugstore brands like Neutrogena and Aussie to high-end Kérastase and Moroccanoil products, these are the best available deep conditioners for natural hair. Count down with us to No. 1.

Best Drugstore Shampoos

There are hundreds of shampoos in the drugstore — but how can you tell which one is the best drugstore shampoo? That’s where these reviews from our readers come in. Hair products, shampoo in particular, are of the utmost importance to our TotalBeauty.com readers. This will become clear as you peruse these glowing reviews of the best drugstore shampoo picks.

That’s right, these products are all from the drugstore — and many are under five bucks. After reading this, if you feel compelled to run out and stock up on the best drugstore shampoo from Pantene, Aveeno, Dove and others, do it. You won’t even have to feel guilty.

TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.0*
Why it’s great: “I absolutely love this product,” raves one reviewer. “It smells fantastic and is very reasonably priced.” Another reviewer adds that “this shampoo leaves [her] hair clean and feeling healthy.” To sum up: “The scent is amazing” and it’s “a great value.”

This recently-released clean, floral fragrance from everyone’s favorite friend next door has notes of rose water, Amazon lily, and sandalwood. It’s perfect for feminine, nurturing and romantic types.

Gorgeous perfumes to the woman

Mother’s Day gifts are tough. You want to give something that says “thanks for being a great Mom,” without resigning her to the kitchen by giving her a “helpful” cooking appliance, or making her feel old by gifting a knitting or crocheting kit, or proving that you had no time by handing her a Hallmark card that reads like a cheesy novel. Clothes are tricky. Flowers are overdone. Chocolates imply no thought.

Like we said, a gift for the most important woman in your life on a day when you are thanking her for her often-thankless work has got to be good.

Skip to see the new perfect-for-spring-and-summer perfumes (and a couple classics) that will make any mother’s day.

That’s why perfume is the perfect gift for really any woman. It shows thought, effort and taste on your part and if it’s the right perfume for her, she will be forever thankful. Why? Because scent is the strongest link to memory — every time she smells it, she will be reminded of your love and appreciation.

But now that you are hip to the secret of a successful Mother’s Day gift, it’s important to realize that you can’t just pop into any Sephora or department store and pick a perfume at random. That’s where we come in. With this handy guide containing the best and brightest perfumes new for the season as well as a nod to a couple classics, you can find a scent that matches her essence (or yours if you are treating yourself) be it youthful, glamorous, sophisticated, sexy, or ultra feminine.

Trust us, she’ll love these picks way more than the mug with “#1 Mom” slapped on it — shehad to say she liked that — it’s called unconditional love.

Looking for a lighter scent for the season

The season of summer has some of the most distinct smells. The hot, sticky aroma of humidity and fresh cut grass. The sweet, salt water wind at the beach. The pungent, almost bitter fragrance of moist flowers in the garden. Chlorine � sorry, we’re getting carried away. It’s just that summer is known for its fragrance — and when we think fragrance, we think perfume.

Skip to see which new summer perfume you should try now.

This season not only offers up glorious earthy smells, it also brings a fresh crop of designer perfumes that are perfectly lighter and more whimsical than the heavier scents of fall and winter. And just as you swap your wardrobe for lighter clothing when the temperature soars, you should do the same with your perfume.

But finding your new signature summer scent takes work — and you know what they say about summertime being easy living. Who wants to spend precious beach time in Sephora, sniffing the perfumes that line the perimeter of the store? Here’s a little secret: To find a summer scent that speaks to you, choose one that’s similar to the way you like to smell throughout the rest of the year. Scroll through this gallery of highly rated year-round perfumes, look for the notes you typically wear, and check out the new, summer suggestion for you based on your usual scents. Easy, right? Right.

Fragrances Are Embarrassed to Love

When you ask a woman — especially a beauty editor — for her favorite perfume, you expect to hear names like Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, and Chloé — not Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Paris Hilton.

It’s not that we have anything against these celebs, but there’s something so cheese-tastic about buying and wearing a fragrance that has a celebrity’s face plastered all over it. And yet, the celebrity fragrance industry is booming.

Elizabeth Taylor was the first to cash in with her celebrity perfume, and since then the fragrance industry has become a major revenue source for Hollywood. Take Paris Hilton. She’s made $1.5 billion dollars from her perfume collection so far, and she’s coming out with fragrance No. 15 this summer. Clearly there’s a market for the products, but who arethe women shelling out their hard earned cash for these celebrity fragrances?

We are.

Skip ahead to see the 11 celebrity fragrances we’re embarrassed to love.

Now, before you start raising those eyebrows, hear us out. While we may not proudly display these celeb fragrances on our vanities, the truth is that a handful of these perfumes actually smell good. Sure, you could argue that some of these celebrities don’t have any business in the limelight — let alone the perfume industry. But one way or another, they’ve created scents that a lot of us love to wear. Want to see the 11 celebrity fragrances the TotalBeauty.com editors secretly spritz on every day? Who knows, just like us, you might end up needing to find a good hiding spot for one of these.

Find the fragrance your mom will love

Sure, you love your mom. That’s totally undisputable. But that doesn’t mean that some years Mother’s Day completely escapes your mind and you’re scrambling to find a gift for your mom at the last minute.

Avoid all that stress and be 100 percent prepared this year with a gift your mom is guaranteed to love: a gorgeous perfume. A pretty fragrance is the perfect Mother’s Day gift because scent is so personal. But instead of spending hours at the department store, spritzing test strips with different perfumes and walking out of there smelling like you were way too spray-happy, just check out our Mother’s Day perfume guide.

We’ve got the perfect scent for every mom. Keep reading to see our favorites and then all you have to decide is which one is just right for your mom.

Just the gorgeous flower-adorned bottle alone makes this scent the perfect Mother’s Day gift. This fragrance is ideal for the mother who fully embraces her soft and feminine side. The bright freshness of bergamot oranges with a twist of white alba truffle is as pretty as it is unique.

A lily of the valley bouquet is traditionally given as a message of love, so what better Mother’s Day present than a bottle of this fragrance? If your mother has a green thumb or just loves filling her home with fresh flowers, then you’ve found her new favorite perfume.

Neroli Portofino eau de parfum is inspired by the cool breeze and sparking clear water of the Italian Riviera. Even if you can’t give your mom an all-expense-paid trip to Italy, give her this perfume with crisp citrus oils, floral notes, and amber undertones, instead. This fragrance is perfect for the mother who loves travel and has a bit of European flair.

The new fragrances that will transport you to summer faster than a whiff of Coppertone sunscreen

Take a deep, deep breath in through your nose. Smell that? That’s the scent of summer.

Come May, the aromas in the air start to change distinctly. There’s the classic summer scent cocktail of sunscreen, sand, and salt water. And then there’s the smell of savory barbeque chicken and juicy watermelon at a family picnic. Or sprinklers and cut grass. Fresh mint from the herb garden. Chlorine wafting up from your pool. You get the drift. There’s a whole buncha smells going on, and our olfactory senses are in overdrive this time of year.

So, when new summer fragrances started landing on our desks, we couldn’t wait to spritz ’em on our pulse points. And while it’s not possible to bottle summer, these scents come pretty close.

Which is why we’ve gone and rounded up the freshest of the bunch. The only problem? There’s no scratch n’ sniff option on the Internet. (But how awesome would it be if there were!? C’mon technology, make it happen!) So it’s our job to describe these scents as distinctly and viscerally as possible.

Instead of using common perfume descriptors that don’t really tell us much — words like “sensual,” “refined,” or “romantic” — we’ve come up with exactly the people, places, or things these summer fragrances bring to mind for us. Now it’s just a matter of choosing the right one for you.

Smells just like… A wicker picnic basket filled with a baguette, fresh blueberries, brie, and champagne

All the right notes: mandarin, blueberry, licorice, tuberose, sandalwood