Style Shoot with The Beauty Jar and AzulOx

I first collaborated with The Beauty Jar and AzulOx on this creative shoot a while ago, but I figured I’d share some of my favorite photos. The work of a hairstylist who can tame my shape-resistant hair and a photographer who can make me look tough deserve extra documentation.

I had fun putting together a few edgy outfits and mean-mugging for the camera. The sweltering heat and public set (a mural-coated parking lot downtown) posed a few challenges, but it was worthwhile from the first heating of a crimping iron to the victorious Gatorade chugging as we packed up to leave.

Here, the little-black-dress-and-wild-hair combo done three different ways:


Josh has a way of making his subjects feel super comfortable and getting the best shots out of them. It was hard to keep my angry model face because we were laughing half the time. Get a peek at his creative process on his blog.

If you’re in need of some primping in Austin, I definitely recommend The Beauty Jar. The whole staff is sweet and welcoming. Auralia works magic on hair. Seriously: she molded it into that architectural orb in like five minutes. Brizy does gorgeous makeup and individually applied lashes that will turn you into a living doll. Check ’em out.


Break from Hiatus

I’ve spiffed up my blog again (i.e. changing the theme and adding a header with my anonymized quads by the English seaside). I was fiercely loyal to a fashion-focused Instagram account during the interim,  but quite simply got bored of looking at myself. Rest assured, this will still be a crevice of the internet for one girl’s style and the selfies that entails, but I’ll make it more of a variety show.

I had to take an Insta-break after exploring my own love-hate in an article I wrote for Thought Catalog. But in the interest of catching up, here’s a series of snapshots from this summer:

noname-2 noname-3 noname-5 noname-6noname-9noname-4noname-7noname-8 noname-11 noname-12 noname-13 noname-14 noname-16noname-15 noname-17 noname-18 noname-19 noname-20 noname-22 noname-23 noname-24 noname-25 noname-26 noname-27 noname-28 noname-29 noname-30 noname-31

I Narrowly Escaped Keratin Hair Destruction

What’s cooler than smoothing your hairs with an at-home keratin treatment? Finding out a day later that the product was swiftly discontinued and is now the target of a class action lawsuit. Oops.


I guess that’s what I get for using a cheap drugstore replacement for a chemical protein-restoring treatment that generally runs from $150-$300 at salons. It sounded like an economical way to tame my long, haystack-esque hair. Plus, the ingredient list excused it from the formaldehyde controversy already surrounding the popular service.

I wouldn’t have tried it if I knew it was allegedly making people’s hair fall out. Luckily, I didn’t have this side effect. I’m pretty careful in the presence of anything that smells like chemical warfare and requires gloves for safe handling. I repeated the instructions in my head like Hail Mary’s and timed each step with my phone’s timer.

The mild results: hair that felt like cornsilk. A week later, it still looks a bit smoother and straighter than before.


Sometimes wind blows at exactly the right time. Wearing: American Apparel lace tee


Because the smoothing kit was discontinued – not recalled – I assume there was a high incidence of user error. The website says customers who already bought the kit can still use it, but reminds them to follow the directions closely and make sure the product is appropriate for their hair type. People with permed, dyed or otherwise damaged hair were warned to steer clear.  But aren’t women with “damaged, brittle, breaking or dry” hair precisely the market for a frizz-smoothing product? It’s kind of like selling cold medicine that’s dangerous to take if you have a cold.

I asked Suave why they discontinued the product and got this response:

Hello Kayla,

Thank you for contacting us regarding Suave Professionals Keratin Smoothing Kit.

We are committed to ensuring our consumers have an excellent experience with all of our products.  After receiving a greater-than-expected number of hair-related consumer complaints, we evaluated the Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30 Day Smoothing Kit and decided to discontinue its retail sale. 

We recommend trying the rest of the Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Line, including the shampoo, conditioner and the serum.

We don’t have any plans to reintroduce the product at this time.



Your friends at Suave

Okay, Suave, I guess you can still be my “friends,” seeing as my hair isn’t breaking off in chunks.

The moral of the story is to ALWAYS FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. It will get you far in life and might even result in good hair.

Jean Genie

The heat index is already breaking 100 degrees in Austin these days. I decided to sacrifice a pair of vintage Levi’s to the cutoff cause. I cuffed them for now, but hopefully they’ll get a nice fray going.

Thrifted and customized David Bowie t-shirt, Levi’s shorts, Deena & Ozzy belt and boots

I tried doing a half moon manicure, House of Holland style. I can’t decide yet if it’s artistic or simply too messy and WTF-ish.

I’ve been doing some milkmaid braids lately, despite being called Princess Leia by most males I encounter. (She wore buns, guys. Buns!) But it’s really easy to pin up braids in the morning. The messier they get by evening, the better. And it shows off my weird blonde streak!

Rag curls!

Last night my friend Roni (she’s lovely) set it for me by carefully coiling small sections of damp hair and securing them with bobby pins or strips of fabric. After leaving them overnight, I got curls that have held up way better than the ones I  get with a curling iron. I’m sure the results are even better for women who have hair that’s not quite so long or defiantly straight. Give it a try!


Pretty-Stuff-of-the-Month Club

Beauty Bar is fancy. The cosmetics retailer is so fancy, in fact, that you have to pay for samples. But, for some people, joining their “Sample Society” may be the most economical way to indulge in the newest beauty products not coming to a Walgreen’s near you.

It’s worth it if you:

1. Like to try trendy things but don’t want to gamble and waste money on ones that don’t work

2. Can hardly finish a bottle of anything without it expiring or losing its appeal

3. Think mini things are cute and surprises in the mail are fun

4. Want a free year-long subscription to Allure magazine

How it works:

They charge you $15 (includes shipping) at the beginning of the month and send you a box with a mystery mix of five travel sized perfumes, makeup, hair and/or skincare. The selection is somewhat customized to your preferences according to a short survey you complete. The package also comes with a little booklet of tips and a coupon worth $15 off your $50 purchase of any of the brands featured. I probably won’t use it, but if you love one of the products and decide to buy it, the whole set pays for itself.

And, of course, you can cancel whenever. “It’s a free country,” as they say.

What you’ll get:

No ketchup packets of moisturizer here. Every sample is large enough to use regularly for at least a month. Here’s what my first package contained:

allure beauty bar

Neato owl bookends and boring books not included

1. Fekkai Olive Oil Glossing Cream– No, it doesn’t smell like olives. I once coated my hair in actual olive oil for an at-home treatment, and I smelled like a salad even after two shampoos. Unlike most of the stuff in your kitchen cabinet, I’d recommend this for frizzy hair. It’s perfect for when you’re wearing your hair down and don’t need the hold of a gel.

2. Ren Glycolactic Peel Mask– I’m intimidated by the word “glycolactic” and hadn’t tried an acid peel before, but at least this one is natural. It smelled and felt like putting apricot jam on my face. At the prescribed 10-minute mark it started to burn a little, but my skin felt fine after I rinsed it and my complexion was better than usual in the following week.

3. Oscar de la Renta Esprit D’Oscar roll-on perfume- smells sort like baby powder, but more sophisticated. I didn’t love the scent, but it grew on me. Plus, the thing’s exceedingly portable.

4. Skyn Iceland Relief Eye Pen– This is a magic wand for hangovers. My body may still be on strike until I get a breakfast taco and Vitamin Water, but at least this helps my sleepy zombie eyes.

5. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant– You shake a bit of this powder onto wet hands and it dissolves into a paste with which to scrub. It wasn’t scratchy or even grainy, so I was surprised at how well it exfoliated my skin. It was as smooth as I’m gonna assume dolphins are. People with sensitive skin should check it out.

Are Wigs Just for Halloween?

Question to myself: “Are [blank] just for Halloween?”

(That blank has been filled with any number of fashion risks, including fake eyelashes, Victorian Gothic dresses, sequined flapper headbands, 1920s felt hats, shoulder-padded blazers, etc.)

Answer to self: “Nahhh.”

I recently bought my first wig for a themed party and now understand the strange seduction of fake hair.

Of course, it wasn’t love at first sight. My first stop was a pop-up Halloween warehouse. You know, one of those purveyors of all things gross, “sexy,” and plastic splayed out in an attempt to fill one of your community’s department stores abandoned by the half-dead economy and faring none the better for it. Before this gets too Detroitian, I’ll just say the wigs looked more than scary on me. Most had been ripped out of and shoved back into their packaging enough times to create a ratty mess of a headdress.

A friend with some wig know-how recommended one of the better curated costume shops in town (The Bazaar Backstage), but before I could get there, I passed by Big Joy Wigs and Beauty. I was sure that a legitimate, everyday wig shop would have something that was striking and convincing in equal measures.

It was an awkward experience.

The place had House of Leaves-esque architecture, seemingly 10 times larger than it looked from the outside. Hundreds of wigs on vacant-faced mannequin heads lined the walls. Two bored employees ignored me until I started trying to shove my very long hair into a brunette bob. Apparently you need to purchase a wig cap for hygienic reasons if you’re going to try anything on. Embarrassed and compliantly sporting a little nylon sock on my head, I continued studying the hair extensions and signs with references to sewing things on. Enter confused white girl mode.

Luckily, a salesgirl guided me to a well made blonde wig that was only $20. She referred to it as “she,” which was kinda creepy, but nonetheless I appreciated her. And “her:”

Standin’ there in my [blonde] wig, like, ‘Who thinks they know who?

It’s fun to pretend you’re someone different once in a while. I’m looking forward to partying in this thing tomorrow night.

But does anyone have an idea for a Halloween costume I can build around this?

Or how to properly disguise a pair of red eyebrows?