Monday, August 23, 2010

Trim the Front, and Give a Little Back

Photo by Huffington Post
This is pretty much what my hair looks like right now.  What's sad is that this look probably took some hairdresser at Copenhagen's Fashion Week an hour or so to style, while I can achieve the effect simply by waking up in the morning. 

I either need a haircut or a modeling agent in Denmark.  Considering I'm 5'3" and klutzy, I've booked an appointment with the lovely and talented Miss Jessica for a cut and color tomorrow morning.  Just about everything she touches turns to gorgeous, it's ridiculous.

I think we can all agree that a good haircut can do wonders for your self-esteem.  What most of us probably don't realize, though, is that a good haircut can also do wonders for the community, and, in some cases, change lives.

Photo by Tulsa World
A cool cut was tops on my little brother's back-to-school list.  He's 12 and starting the 7th Grade, so it's very important to him that he look awesome on the first day back.  Luckily for him, our mom was able to take him to a really nice salon and get him the cut he wanted.  A lot of kids are not that fortunate, but, thankfully, there are kind and generous people out there to help.  Yesterday, for example, student stylists at the Tulsa Technology Center's Peoria Campus in Oklahoma volunteered their services to about 500 school-aged kids.  These were not just your run-of-the-mill bowl cuts, either.  There were fauxhawks and shaved-in designs for boys, and braids and curls for little girls.  The event, the 18th annual, was a win-win situation, since it gave the students a chance to practice their skills as they helped out the youngsters.  Stories like this help me keep my faith in humanity.

There are times, though, when a good haircut can be more than just a confidence booster.  There are two amazing women in the Ukraine who are using cosmetology as a means to keep orphaned and disadvantaged teenaged girls off the streets and out of harm.  Anya Afanasenko and Sandra Wagner (student and director, respectively) of the Gill-Tech Academy of Hair Design in Kerch, Ukraine founded the Dream Project, an educational program to teach cosmetology to these less fortunate young ladies, in the hopes of giving them the foundation for lasting careers.  According to Wagner:
Because they leave the orphanages and internats at 16 and have little or no education or life skills, it is stated that 80 percent of these young women end up in prostitution or involved with human trafficking.
Through the Dream Project at the Hope Center, Afanasenko and Wagner hope these young women will be able to take their new-found skills and make lives for themselves.  As Afanasenko said, "Every person in Ukraine needs a haircut."

The original plan was to send a few girls to the United States to learn, then have them come home to work.  Unfortunately, it was impossible to secure visas, as there was no reason for the ladies to return to Ukraine.  Salons in Kerch educate through apprenticeships, and none have been willing to take on orphans.

The pilot program should begin in Fall 2011, and could enroll anywhere from 7-30 girls, dependent upon available instructors.  For more information, visit The Dream Project on Facebook.  You can also donate through Global Action online at (specify that funds are earmarked for the Dream Project) or by mail: Global Action, 7660 Goddard St., Colorado Springs, CO 80920-8944. (Write "The Dream Project" in the memo line).

Okay, folks.  Now it's time to reach into the old magic bag o' samples!  Today's pick:  Dr. Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure™ Vitamin C Brightening Serum.  According to Sephora:
This potent and effective Vitamin C serum was created to deliver all three necessary forms of Vitamin C to each layer of the skin and works well with the lipid- and water-absorbing skin layers. Restores damage from aging, sun, stress, and poor diet as it organifies heavy metals found in tap water.
Okay.  Sure.  Whatevs.  I have two, maybe three applications in my little pack, so obviously, I'm not going to get to witness its long-term results.  This review is strictly off of one application.  Alrighty, here we go. 

The serum is very thick.  It looks and smells like vanilla icing, which is not unpleasant, just not what I was expecting from something labeled "Vitamin C".  The directions said to apply to clean skin, so I slathered it on right after my shower, and was a little taken aback.  It goes on almost exactly like my silicone-based Tarte primer.  I checked the ingredients, and second on the list is cyclomethicone, a silicone-based oil.  I really didn't know, at this point, if I should even use a primer.  It's a very hot, humid day, and I didn't want my makeup to run, but my skin was completely coated in this very thick, satiny serum.  Who was to say that stuff wasn't going to melt off, anyway?  Plus, would my face even be able to breathe with all those heavy layers? 

I decided, in the interest of science (or whatever), to just go about my usual routine, as if nothing had changed, however, I did opt to skip my moisturizer.  The serum is not a moisturizer, but it's the same basic step in my makeup routine.  I applied my under eye de-puffer, my lightest primer, foundation, eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow, a cream blush, powder bronzer, mascara, and concealer.  I decided to skip powder, except to set the concealer.  It's so hot outside, and I was sure it would just end up being pointless.  On days like this, I generally end up blotting off sweat and oil (lovely, I know), no matter what I do to avoid it. 

Fast-forward to 3:00pm. makeup is flawless.  There is no oil on my face, whatsoever.  My skin looks bright and fresh, and even younger than usual.  I normally can't tell any difference with anti-aging products, but I can with this one.  It's not drastic, but it's noticeable if you're looking for it.

Now, the not-so-good news:  it's $95 for 1oz. at  Yikes.  Now, if you try a sample and love it and have the money, or if you're dermatologist recommends it, that's one thing.  If you're just looking for something that you can use as, or in conjuction with a primer that has a boost of brightening, age-preventing Vitamin C, might I make a suggestion?  The Body Shop has a Vitamin C Skin Boost that, while I have not tried it, many users report similar results to that of the Dr. Gross serum.  It's a much more wallet-friendly $26 for 1oz., and  it received a 9.3 out of 10 member rating at  Who says pretty has to be expensive?

1 comment:

  1. yeah, $26 is definitely better than $95. i haven't tried the whole primer thing yet; i've been thinking about it, though. i mean, these days i've been sticking with MAC mineralize powder as my sole foundation. the rest has been too much to deal with.


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