Monthly Archives: May 2007

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Now That’s Recycling!

Alex is coming to the end of a year-long project in which she attempts to wear a 100% recycled wardrobe. Though there aren’t any recent posts on her project journal, she has some wonderful ideas for recycling items you already own. I particularly like the idea of making underwear out of old t-shirts.

Are You Ready for This Jelly?

I’ve been using Vaseline (actually, store-brand petroleum jelly, but “Vaseline” sounds nicer) as a moisturizer for my scalp recently. The weather has been unusually dry, and a little Vaseline massaged into my scalp the night before I wash my hair helps keep the skin from getting flakey.

My hair is also a lot drier than usual, not only because of the weather but also because I just had my highlights touched up. The other night as I rubbed in my scalp treatment, I pondered the fried ends of my hair and decided that a little Vaseline couldn’t hurt – I would be washing it the next morning anyway. I usually use John Frieda’s Secret Weapon to tame frizziness, but to my surprise the Vaseline worked even better. The ends of my hair curled prettily like I’d just spent hours with a blow-dryer, round brush, and curling iron.

Some of you may wonder why I was so hesitant to put Vaseline on my hair. After all, you can usually find it in the African-American hair care section of any drugstore, so it obviously can be used for that purpose. Well, several years ago I modeled for some art shots for a photographer (friend of a friend from art school). In one set of pictures he had a specific look he was going for and asked me to slick my hair back to a point and make it shiny. He suggested just wetting it, but I had what I thought was a better idea.

Martha Graham
Modern dancer Martha Graham

I had recently read in Martha Graham’s autobiography how, before her performances, she used to put “handfulls” of Vaseline in her hair until it became “a smooth, shining strip.” That was exactly the look I wanted, so I slathered my tresses liberally with the stuff. Unfortunately, my hair did not become a smooth, shining strip; it was a greasy, stringy mess that refused to hold any shape. The photographer added some hair gel and spray to try and make it stick together long enough to take the pictures.

The pictures came out great, but it took me two showers and a lot of shampoo to wash all the goop out of my hair. I vowed never again to repeat my mistake. But now I know that a little bit of petroleum jelly can be a good thing for dry, frizzy hair, and it’s cheap to boot! I just have to resist the little voice that says “if some is good, more must be better.”

The Fabulous! Festival

I’ve been trying out a lot of blog carnivals to see which ones I’d like to participate in regularly, and this one looks promising. The Fabulous! Festival of beauty and fashion is hosted by Space Between My Peers this week. Check it out for some great musings about beauty, fashion, shopping, and personal style.

The Empire Waist Conundrum

see what I mean?I like the current empire waist trend for tops and dresses. I think it’s a shape that’s flattering for a lot of figures as it emphasizes the bust and hides a thick waist or wide hips. Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly difficult to find an empire waist garment that fits properly.

The high waist is supposed to hit right below the bust, but for me it often seems to land right in the middle. I’m left wondering whether I should pull on the top as hard as I can and try to get the waist to sit in its proper place, tighten my bra straps to hoist the girls up closer to my chin, or else just push the empire waist up above my boobs like a sort of yoke.

For a while I thought I had this problem because I am large-chested and so many women’s clothes just aren’t made for my body type. Then I saw a friend of mine who is stick-skinny and small-chested wearing a faux-wrap empire-waist shirt that cut right across the middle of her bustline. So if manufacturers aren’t making these clothes to fit either the narrow- or wide-chested, either the petite- or ample-bosomed, for whom are they making them?

Bits of Beauty #6

The latest Bits of Beauty blog carnival has been posted over at Tonic Gifts. Included is The Wardrobe Miser post Change is Good, as well as lots of other great posts on subjects ranging from sleep to body image.

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