Waxing Poetic


 And I own a waxing studio, so I consider myself an authority on waxing. What to do, what not to do and what to do it with. The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the past 3 years of having my own waxing studio is that not everyone who offers and performs waxing services knows what they are doing. Waxing isn’t the most fun service, but for those of us who indulge it’s a necessary endeavor. So in order to have the best waxing experience possible, I have come up with The 10 Commandments of Waxing:

1. Thou Shall Commit

At WAX we always say, “Once you go wax, you never go back.” So if you go back and forth between shaving and waxing, I have bad news for you. It’s going to affect your wax. Your hair grows back differently after waxing, so when you shave, it’s not as easy  to wax and it’s more uncomfortable for you. Try your best to get waxed every three to five weeks.

2. Thou Shall Choose Wisely

Listen, we’ve all been there. Sneaking in a quick mani/pedi at the place next to the grocery store while you wait for the dog to be ready at the groomer. It comes to your attention that you need a brow wax (only $5!) so you go for it. Only to regret it once you see your thin, uneven brows. Not to mention the disgusting waxing pot with the same stick that’s been used over and over on who knows how many clients…Make sure that you pick a reputable waxing place where everyone is licensed and trained, they don’t double dip and you know they are clean.

3. Thou Shall Be Honest

Please don’t lie to your esthetician about your skin care, medications and lifestyle. These things can greatly affect your wax and do you really want to have a reaction from an eyebrow wax the day before a big event? I think not. If you are using topical retionoids such as Retin A or any glycolic, lactic or salicylic acids you are unable to get waxed until you have stopped using these products for at least 2 weeks based upon strength. Same goes for Microdermabrasion and chemical peels. And if you are on Accutane – forget about waxing for at least 6 months after completing treatment.

4. Thou Shall Not Be Shy

It’s kind of like going to see your OBGYN. You know they have seen a million and one. Waxing specialists went into this profession knowing they would have to look at them all day, so when you take your pants off, don’t feel weird. They’ve seen all kinds and yours is no different.

5. Thou Shall Let it Grow

For your hair down there, it’s much easier to work with when it’s longer rather than shorter. We know it might get a little uncomfortable to keep it anything but clean for a few days, but the result will be worth it. Same goes for brows – a little patience and no tweezers goes a long way!

6. Thou Shall Follow Instructions

If your waxer tells you to do or not to do something after waxing, listen. No spray tanning, swimming, hot showers or working out for at least 24 hours.

7. Thou Shall Hold Thy Tongue

Let’s face it – we know that getting a bikini wax is no walk in the park. However if you are unable to make it through a Brazilian without crying out – then maybe it’s not the thing for you. No biggie – it’s not for everyone.

8. Thou Shall Come Alone

Sometimes first timers can be nervous. Maybe you need some emotional support so you bring a friend. I get it…but maybe that friend can provide support from the waiting area and not in the room with you? Trust me – good vibes travel.

9. Thou Shall Exfoliate

In order to prevent ingrown hairs it is imperative that you exfoliate between waxes. Some of my favorite products are PFB and a great sugar scrub. I’m obsessed with Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Scrub. Not only does exfoliating keep the dead skin at bay, but it also keeps you soft and smooth and gives you a mini spa vibe at home.

10. Thou Shall Moisturize

Especially in the winter months skin can become dry. Yep, even down there. Take time to add a little extra moisture to areas that might not get it as often, underarms, bikini line, etc. Dry skin can result in skin being lifted – and trust me,  no one wants that. Coconut oil is great, as is grape seed and jojoba.


Give it Back, Pay it Forward….


When we first had the idea for Highbrow Hippie and drafted our Manifesto, we made a commitment that we would always try to be as transparent and authentic as possible, offering our readers the good, bad and ugly. One subject in particular we wanted to focus on from time to time was the importance of giving back. Often life gets so busy and stressful that we forget that we are very blessed, and there are others in the world that are truly suffering and would gladly trade their problems and worries for ours. So whenever we feel like shit is truly about to hit the fan, we have found that the solution is to get out of our own heads, and focus on helping others in need. Let us tell you that the timing of Aids Walk Atlanta 2012 was just what the doctor ordered. Last weekend offered us the chance to explore the new Atlanta Beltline project, while re-connecting with friends old and new while we raised money for an incredible cause.

Exercising outdoors in gorgeous weather, helping others, followed by post-walk al fresco cocktails in Piedmont Park and a nostalgic tumble down a large hill circa 5th grade? Sounds like a perfect Sunday afternoon to us. We are blessed, indeed.


Warm It Up


As I spent my teenage years in CT, pictorial reminders of the glorious change of season in New England really strike a chord within.Though the temperature starts to steadily drop, a warmth permeates the air of the region as the landscape becomes alive in technicolor tones of gold, red and brown.

The fall foliage has also been a long source of inspiration for me as a colorist, as my aesthetic has always leaned towards colors found in nature. Many clients have finally begun to start their own hair color transitions for fall, and I’ve been thrilled with the numerous requests for warm, rich golden tones, as it’s the perfect solution to compensate for the paler complexion that inevitably awaits all of us ahead. Darker, warmer hair reflects light and will give hair amazing shine throughout the colder months, achieving an effect of the hair being lit from within, which is key since our skin will no longer have that effortless glow that comes with summer.

Though the color process begins at the salon, it really is a process that continues at home. Scalp care is key, and two of my favorite tips include massaging one or two vitamin E capsules directly onto the scalp, and coating the lengths of the hair with pure coconut oil for at least 2 hours and then shampooing at most 3 times a week. I like to do a light clarifying shampoo with apple cider for extra shine, followed with a color safe moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. When styling, it is key to remember to use a thermal protectant, because though slick straight styles are everywhere for fall, your beloved blowdryer and flatiron can strip your color at twice the rate of oxidation, quickly taking your color from rich and warm, to brassy and dull.

Ladies, it’s also time to put the harsh, contrasted ombré trend of summer to bed. Seriously. The trend is beyond played out. In transitioning your color to fall, focus on a softer blend, still keeping ends light, but toned down a notch. If you are a blond, beige, buttery and golden tones will keep your hair looking healthy all season. Brunettes should focus on brown on brown highlights, keeping the shade variance to 3 shades at most. Honey, chestnut, coppery and rich chocolate browns give a wide array of choices to keep brunettes interesting and versatile for fall. I haven’t yet decided what direction to take my own hair color yet for fall, but I’m leading towards a rich chestnut brown. Even darker skin like mine can appear sallow and flat, and I’ve begun to notice the last remnants of my summer glow fading away. If I can sit still long enough, it may be time to follow the lead of my clients, and warm my locks up too…..

A huge thanks to my client Barbara Hall for allowing me use of her fall foliage picture, my fellow (amazing) colorist Kaytee Joyce and my irreplaceable assistant Evelyn for letting me photograph their gorgeous brunette hair, and my clients Moe Razi, Alana Stewart, and Michelle Engstrom for being such beautiful muses….


Love At First Sight


I’ve always been attracted to this irreverent, seventies throwback style. Orange and brown as a color scheme? Yes please! Turquoise ceramic desk lighters? Of course. My home is the biggest reflection of my style – vintage and comfortable, eclectic and layered. I am happiest at home, rearranging my books and reevaluating the layout of a room. Tearing pictures out of magazines and adding them to my home folder. Yes, I have a home folder – it’s a 3 ring binder separated into sections titled Lighting, Kitchen, Flooring, Bedroom, Bathroom, Vignettes, etc.

While I love to buy vintage sometimes it’s hard to find what I want. Not to mention that somethings just don’t really stand the test of time – like pillows. Or bedding. Barf.

Enter Jonathan Adler. I have been a JA fan since 1996, before he even had a shop and was just this cool modern pottery line being sold at Barney’s. When he opened shop in Soho and expanded his line to included furniture, lighting and bedding no one was happier than me. He designed The Parker Palm Springs which quickly became a Highbrow Hippie favorite place to vacation. You know we love Palm Springs. He even inspired us to have a manifesto. Check out his here.

I’m obsessed with so many things…his use of color, the constant use of gold and brass, the new catalog, the tile walls in his house…the fact that he calls himself the 24 hour pot dealer. Hilarious. If you aren’t familiar check it out. I’m sure you’ll find something you love.

All photos courtesy of Jonathan Adler


Poppin’ Collars


I immigrated to America when I was 10 from Jamaica, and somehow ended up in a ridiculously wealthy, WASPY town in Fairfield County, CT. When I tell people I grew up in Westport, the first question is, how the hell did you end up THERE? Trust me, it was a fluke. The kind of story that happens only in America kids, only in America. Anyway, can you say culture shock?! One of my first jobs was at Splash Restaurant located within the town’s golf course. As a waitress, my livelihood depended upon the scores of wealthy white men who would descend upon the patio bar overlooking Long Island sound after their round of golf, dressed in their pastel or white polo shirts, collars often popped, and khaki shorts. I knew nothing about the game, only that it seemed expensive and they sure liked to throw back the drinks after they were done, which meant fatter pockets for me. That’s all I cared to know, really, because the tips I made serving those men that summer bankrolled my freshman year of college.

I never really gave golf another thought for almost 15 years, until I found myself vacationing in Jamaica with a friend from California who wanted to try a lesson. From the moment I got out on the course, I was hooked. To be honest, I was terrible in the beginning. But I love a challenge, and something about the absolute concentration that it takes to perfectly hit a golf ball struck a chord with me. I especially appreciate that my relationship with the game of golf began in Jamaica. Being on my island home made me feel like golf could belong to me just as much as a wealthy man. I went “home” and got my groove back not from some hot Jamaican guy, but from a tiny, dimpled ball.

Golf provides me with a mental escape after I leave the salon everyday, and it’s one of the only things that completely quiets my mind and slows down my racing thoughts. The sheer vastness and natural beauty of a golf course makes whatever problems I may be dealing with at that time seem completely insignificant, and I truly believe that it is the best mental exercise my brain has gotten in the past decade. And can we discuss the clothing? It is one of the only sports left that requires a strict sense of decorum. At times it feels stifling and stuck in the past, but at the same token the dress code also encourages a certain behavior. It also provides me a reason to give even more of my paycheck to Ralph Lauren, amassing a rainbow collection of golf gear. I now always travel with my golf clubs, Callaway Razr X for those of you in the know, and have golfed my way around the world on courses in Jackson Hole to the coast of Morocco, with of course, my collar always popped….