Category Archives: travel

Dry Shampoo – Some helpful hints

Up until about a year ago I was a “wash-my-hair-everyday” kind of girl. I couldn’t stand the idea of not washing my hair, even if that meant blow-drying long hair, in the middle of summer, in a southern state. We’re talking 100 degree, 100% humidity averages, where you instantly start sweating the minute you get out of the shower. No matter what the thermostat is set on. Well, needless to say, I finally got tired of that. So instead of packing up and moving somewhere cooler, I figured out that dry shampoo could actually take on the task of cleaning and refreshing hair. But even now I only go a day between washing, or in other words, I traditionally wash my hair every other day.

One thing I have learned after going through a maze of what dry hair shampoo to use or not is that what you use really depends on your type of hair. One of my sisters has fairly thin hair and stopped washing her hair everyday years ago. But what she uses may not necessarily work for me, since I have thick hair. And my hairdresser claims she only washes her hair once a week! Sorry, but I can’t imagine that. I guess I should fess up to the fact that I have oily skin and hair, so after a week that would get scary. I know the oil secretion would adjust over time, but sorry, I just can’t go a week.

Another determinant of which dry shampoo you like will be the scent that comes with it. Some are strong, some not so strong, but almost all of them do have a scent. So if you are scent sensitive, you will probably have to try a few before you find one that is right for you.

And keep in mind some dry shampoo’s are better than others for color treated hair. This was big for me as I am now on the “trying different colors and highlights” bandwagon.

I have discovered that the key to a dry shampoo working well is to spray or apply accordingly and then leave it for two minutes before you brush or style your hair. This will give the product enough time to absorb any excess oil or odor.

I put together a condensed list of what made several “best and worse” dry shampoo lists floating around the web. And I include comments from what I’ve tried and haven’t tried.

Best Dry Shampoo’s

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Not only have I seen this on almost every best list for dry shampoo’s (totalbeauty.com, thefashionspot.com, allure.com), it really does not leave the dreaded white residue and smells great. It is a bit on the pricey side at $20, but worth it to me and most reviewers.  Or you can try the travel size for pricing as low as $9. I typically try new products this way, so if you want to try, purchasing the travel size may be the way to go.

Batiste Clean & Classic Original – Like the above, this is on most best’s lists and the scent is good. It sprays on white, so you will just need to brush through after letting set a bit. Batiste also makes several other versions of a dry shampoo, but the “original” version is what makes it on all the best lists consistently.  You can find the “original” version at most drug stores.

Naturia Dry Shampoo by Rene Furterer –  This is another great dry shampoo with a subtle scent. According to TheFrisky.com it adds volume and shine. You can buy at Drugstore.com  It comes in full and travel size, so choose carefully since this is a bit pricey.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – This is not technically a dry shampoo, but has been used as one and praised consistently. The only issue here is the price….$42 a bottle on Amazon. But they do have a smaller travel size that sells for much less.  And this was on The Fashion Spots best list for dark hair.

Worst Dry Shampoo’s

Tresemme Freshstart Dry Shampoo – On several worst lists and for good reason. It is tough to spray on and not overspray. It does not blend well into the scalp, or rather it still shows after extensive brushing in darker colored hair. I have used this and, personally, do not like or recommend.

The following were on both the best and worse list of several reviewers’ depending on the reviewer.

Psssssssst – According to Elle.com this dry shampoo can keep your hair refreshed for days.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo – This was one of the first ones I tried and I loved the scent. And it works well on most hair color’s.

Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo – Again, some loved and some did not love….but you have to love the price. At only $4, it may be worth a try.

According to The Fashion Spot there’s a way to make a do-it-yourself dry shampoo that will make it easier on the budget and the environment.

But I have to say, according to some older and wiser ladies who did not have dry shampoo until a few years ago….plain baby powder does the trick and does it well.

And what do I put on after I have gorgeous tresses? I absolutely love our new Regis Necklace!

N054 4 (1 of 1)

 

It’s a trendy, yet subtle way to add some style if you are not a huge statement maker. And it comes with matching earrings! No looking for a pair to match up with it.  And remember we have free shipping until after the holidays!

Happy Shampooing!

Tour Bus Travel with Style in Scotland!

I recently took a trip to Scotland for two weeks and it was fabulous! Part of what made it so great, aside from the fact that this was the first time I was able to be away from work that long, was I went on the trip using a tour bus company. I have never considered doing this previously, but one of the people in our group suggested a particular tour company and simply raved about how good they are. Another person in our party has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) so my family thought doing a tour would make the walking or physical exertion of traveling easier. So off we all went.

But first, let me advise that you should schedule plenty of time in between connecting flights on your way to Europe. It’s no fun running from one end of an airport terminal to the other, and barely making the flight. Or not making it at all. Just give yourself plenty of time and consider visiting one of those airport spa’s, if you have the time. Sage advice, as I’ve learned the hard way…more than once.

Usually there’s limited time and you want to see as much as possible while on vacation, right? Tour bus travel will definitely get you to many places each and every day. As an overview, we started in Edinburgh, went north up the east coast all the way to the Orkney Isles, then across to the west side to the Isle of Skye, and ended the tour in Glasgow.  Regardless of how large a geographic area you are trying to cover, the bus stops every hour and a half, if for anything, bathroom breaks.  So sometimes this meant road stops with a café and tourist shops, but most of the time this was a chance to visit some incredible castle or take a scenic photo. Examples of quick stops were St. Andrews, Glames Castle, Melrose Abbey, a ride on the “Hogwarts Express”, and so much more.

And just think, you don’t have to worry about driving in a foreign country yourself, figuring out that country’s train system, or paying a lot of money for taxis. You are chauffeured around in the comfort of a large and, typically, luxurious bus, with comfy seats and a toilet on board. While I’ve always enjoyed using mass transportation in other country’s, the “when in Rome” attitude, I have to say, I didn’t waste any of that “which rail line do we take” map reading time while on a tour bus. You simply jump on and away you go. No dilly-dallying. The only thing you figure out is where your assigned seat is on the bus each day. And according to others on the tour who were more seasoned than I, the times we left each morning were good (in other words, not real early). We typically had a hotel buffet breakfast each morning (included in the tour price) at 7:00 or 7:30 am and left the hotel by 8:00 or 8:30 am.

Some additional perks of using a tour were, since I was traveling in a party of five, they always made sure to sit my group together on the bus, or at functions we went to. In addition, the main tour guide was very knowledgeable about the country, each place we visited, and handled any special requests, such as arranging ahead of time for dietary restrictions. Also, some city’s we visited they brought in a tour specialist to give us even more detailed information about where we were visiting. And lastly, the tour I used, Trafalgar, delivered and picked up one piece of luggage for each person from our room. We changed hotels at least five times, so you don’t realize how helpful this is until you see how small and slow European elevators are.

I have to mention a few miss-steps too, right? One was we went at peak season, on probably the two busiest tourist weeks of the year in Scotland. This meant the group was VERY large (52 people). And that meant it took a while to do anything. A bit of herding cats for our tour guide. On the flip side though, we met a lot of wonderful people from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But, overall, I highly advise you NOT to go during peak season; May and September are usually good times for most European trips.

I found a great article on comparing bus tours on Rick Steves’ Europe site. Check it out if you want a great trip. While Trafalgar was listed as low-end cheap, it was great, well organized, and we saw more sites than we would have seen if we had done this trip on our own.

Click on the hyperlink for a few more good tips from Rick Steves’ Europe site.

pearl spiral ring

As for what jewelry did I take? I typically like to take basic pieces such as the Tubular Pendant Necklace or the Chandler Necklace. They go with just about anything. I also took the Trim and Proper Bangle, one of my favorite pieces, our new Medora Spiral Ring and the Henley Cuff Ring.

Oh, and as for the physical exertion concern, our family member with MS enjoyed the trip tremendously.  The tour company is always amenable to anyone who does not want to get off the bus or see a specific site.  In other words, you still do a bit of walking.  And while tired at the end of the day, we were still able to make it to the hotel bar for a libation, including some great scotch.  🙂

Cheers!

airport spa

Your Travel Wellness Oasis – Airport Spas!

airport spaTravel in itself is stressful and with waking up early and running through the airport to just sit and wait having a spa nearby to freshen up sounds like a great idea! There are several airport spas popping up at hubs around the country and you’d be surprised at how popular, affordable and chic they are.

Increasingly, airports are vying to be your go-to beauty destination.  As they transition from transportation hubs to full-on shopping malls with chic boutiques, name-brand retailers and restaurants affiliated with celebrity chefs, more airports also are welcoming spa and salon businesses that help passengers glam up, too. The newest on-the-fly beauty services go well beyond the typical chair massage. Travelers at Chicago O’Hare can choose a walk-in or pre-booked “back facial” (an upper-back acne treatment) at the recently renovated Terminal Getaway Spa. LaGuardia fliers can try a shine-enhancing hair glaze and blowout at WT GO, a spinoff of the upscale New York salon Warren-Tricomi that opened in January. Meanwhile, men seeking old-school pampering can pop into the two-year-old barbershop at Buffalo Niagara International Airport for a hot-towel shave and a few minutes in the massage chair.

Not exotic enough for you? Try a fish pedicure at Wellness Oasis at Singapore’s Changi Airport, which involves plunging one’s feet into a pool full of callous-munching fish. Or, if you decide your bikini line needs immediate tending, “We’re ready, and the wax is hot,” said Adeline Moya, vice president of business development at Be Relax, a French chain with 38 locations world-wide including airports in North America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia (its name is a slightly awkward translation of a French idiom).

Beauty is just the latest development in the continuing evolution of airports that began after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when heightened security measures required travelers to arrive much earlier than they had before. After the security logjam comes the seemingly endless wait known in airport-speak as “dwell time,” a perfect opportunity for businesses to find profitable ways to amuse their concourse captives. The travel and retail industries are hoping to grab a piece of the $439 billion “Wellness Tourism” market, a travel category that includes beauty and which in 2013 grew at a faster rate than tourism overall, according to a study by the Global Wellness Institute, a Miami industry group.

This year, XpresSpa has added seven new spots at various airports. Meanwhile, its competitor, Be Relax, will have 11 new locations by the end of 2015, including Boston Logan, Toronto Pearson and Washington Dulles. A 3,000-square-foot branch is slated to open at Dubai International Airport in early 2016. Retail stores are getting in on the trend, too: Estée Lauder last year opened a 5,320-square-foot boutique at Detroit Metropolitan Airport; aside from selling its brands’ products, the store includes services like the “Arrive Hydrated” skin-care consultation, which uses products from the prestige line La Mer. Benefit recently discontinued its Sydney Airport brow service but still does brows at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, and Auckland Airport, New Zealand.

Fliers can also go the do-it-yourself route with beauty vending machines, which started showing up at airports about two years ago and have only multiplied since. Vending machines from 3FLOZ dispense travel-size beauty and grooming items, while Benefit Cosmetics’ “Glam Up & Away” kiosks sell mascara, blush and lip color and have mirrors on the side so travelers can touch up right after

buying. Nail-polish brand Essie has vending machines at five U.S. airports, letting bored travelers give themselves manis at the gate.

Travelers also often assume beauty services at airports cost more than those on the outside. That isn’t necessarily the case. Blowouts at WT GO in the XpresSpa in La Guardia’s Terminal C run $45 to $95 (the pricier version includes the glaze treatment); blowouts at Warren-Tricomi’s regular salons are $65 to $100. A basic XpresSpa manicure costs $30, about a third more than the national average, but

a haircut at the Old Fashioned Barber Shop at Buffalo Niagara is just $15—which might explain why some regular clients are locals who drive to the airport for a cut.

Still, some services just don’t fly. At Terminal Getaway Spa, which has locations in Chicago, Orlando and Charlotte, the most popular service remains that old airport standard: A 20-minute, $42 chair massage. Women business travelers tend to decline facials, because they’re already made up for the day, said Marko Iglendza, the chain’s founder and CEO. Nor does Terminal Getaway offer blowouts. “Say you’re flying to a meeting,” Mr. Iglendza said. “Would you really go to the airport to have your hair blown out? You might be late; there might be traffic. Would you really risk it?”

“There are two things you can do to waste time in an airport: get drunk or get your nails done,” she said. “I didn’t think arriving where I was going drunk was going to work.” Ha! Well put ma’am, well put.

So have you put the airport spa scene to the test? Share the services you’ve seen or tried and what you think with us on Twitter or Facebook using hashtag #airportspa.