Wanna know something? Like many of you, I spent YEARS torturing my hair—and my wallet—to get my hair to do what I wanted it to do. No more. These days, it’s braids-or-bust and a relaxer-free life for me—at least for the foreseeable future. The truth is, I’m never going to be rigid when it comes to beauty; I follow no rules except for one: “Do no harm.”
That said, when the next exciting hair trend comes along, I promise to comb through it and pull out the best of the best for us all to try. What am I dying to test out for 2018? “Color melts,” a new highlighting technique that is a cross between balayage and ombre techniques. Color melting employs three or more tones seamlessly blended into your base color so that you can’t tell where one color begins and another ends. It’s more of a soft and natural sun-kissed look that requires less maintenance than an ombre or balayage, which can have a more strobing or highlighted effect.
But you’ve got to have hair to play with it—hopefully, healthy hair. “Head spas” focused on scalp restoration are the latest Japanese innovation to hit the New York salon scene. Did you know that tension in the scalp shows up on the face in the form of lines of wrinkles? The good news is that they can be released through cranial massage. This 10-step, deep-cleansing massage technique also stimulates the follicles on your scalp, which can be suffering from a variety of conditions—like clogged pores, which can result from excessive co-washing and oiling of the scalp—slowing hair growth or even resulting in hair loss.
For the nuclear option when it comes to regrowing and regenerating hair, I’ll also be delving into the world of hair transplants. In my travels, I’m hearing a lot of buzz that more black women than ever are going under the knife in order to get their hair back. In this new year, The Glow Up is going find out the who, what, why and how much on hair transplants.
For me, when it came to newness and innovations this past year, the eyes had it. Magnetic eyelashes freed me from using messy glue and disposing of sets of false eyelashes only worn once or twice—which equals throwing money away. I got everybody in on the act. As a team-bonding exercise at The Glow Up, I even took my gorgeous managing editor, Maiysha Kai, for her first set of eyelash extensions!
It was fun to share one of my favorite beauty addictions—I only got my first lash extensions in April, and I’m hooked! So far, I’ve only gotten upper lashes, but I now plan on getting a set of bottom lashes to really make my eyes pop. The trick? I’ve been using growth serum since I started my extension journey, which has restored my bottom lashes enough that the new extensions will have something to adhere to. Stay tuned for that one!
This past year, I also tried eyebrow extensions, which serve realness on top of realness, but they only last a week—and that’s only if you’re careful. Microblading ended up being the standout cosmetic procedure of the year for me. It’s a Lazarus effect for fine and thinning brows that I can’t recommend enough. It’s the best accessory you can buy yourself when it comes to beauty because you can just get up and look groomed and ready to go.
What am I eyeing on the horizon for 2018? The next wave in contact lenses, from sparkling crystal clear to deep violet-blue hues that look like earrings for your eyeballs. It could be genius, or it could look like B.A.P.S. 2.0. We’ll see ...
Personally, I have no problem admitting that I’m a fan of both Botox and filler. These wonder drugs can apprehend and even temporarily halt the villainy that too much stress—or too much fun—can wreak on your facial structure. The best weapons in the fight to erase the creases and lines that life lays down on your face are exercise, a decent diet and, if you’re lucky enough, some good, clean sleep. But in a pinch, Botox can help—if it’s done well.
According to Dr. Amy Wechsler, author of The Mind-Beauty Prescription, “Botox is the most studied molecule in medicine,” and also one of the most effective and expensive drugs, ounce per ounce, in the dermatologist’s office. The Glow Up will be reporting on how not to let yourself fall into the hands of the wrong doctor, because no one needs a face frozen for weeks, with a mask of wide-eyed amazement cemented across your features.
Afraid of needles? 2018 promises a new crop of needle-free Botox substitutes and plumpers, like medical-grade collagen facials that plump enough to temporarily look like filler. Topical creams won’t last as long as injections, but like all good things, they’re not meant to last forever ...
On the flip side of Botox and fillers is the farm-to-face green-chemists movement that’s turning things around for women seeking go natural and be chemical-free tip to toe. My latest obsession for natural skin care is Patyka, a brand born in France in the 1920s. Today, it’s the first ever eco-certified luxury skin-care brand. Based on the Japanese skin-cleansing ritual that lasts for hours, Patyka reduces the routine to a five- to 10-minute, four-step skin-care regimen using 99 percent organic and 100 percent natural ingredients with excellent results—because none of us have that kind of time on the regular, but we all want those kinds of results. My hope is to go greener and cleaner throughout 2018.
Speaking of which, I got down and dirty on the ketogenic diet this past year. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s part of the wave of no-carb diets, high in good fats like avocado and coconut oil. You can’t have a doughnut or bread more than once a week, but you can have steak, nuts, dairy or red wine anytime. In a single month, I lost a good 2 inches all over. I eventually made it six months, and it was great while it lasted ... but as I said, not all good things are meant to last—otherwise you can’t make room for new adventures.
Those are my 2018 beauty resolutions. Tell me, where would you like The Glow Up to take you in the new year?