So I Got Fired Yesterday

Yep, I got canned. It’s kind of the worst feeling, and it’s embarrassing, and my first instinct was to not let anyone ever know this really humiliating thing happened to me. In fact, I fibbed to one of my closest friends yesterday when I told her I couldn’t make it to the girl’s night out we’d planned because I’d “quit” my job and was upset about it (really sorry, Shadin).

Then I talked to my husband, who also got fired last year. He decided then not to take his employer’s offer to say it was a mutual agreement, not really a firing. I asked him why he would not take that opportunity to save face, and he said because it’s liberating to tell the truth. The job wasn’t right for him, and he got fired, why sugarcoat it? That got me thinking about my own hesitation to admit the truth of my shitcanning.

Then we picked up our daughter from daycare. As I waited for her caretaker to open the door, I was overwhelmed by the feeling that what’s on the other side of that door is what’s most important. Then it opened, and she gave me that smile and ran to me like I was the the most awesome person on earth.

I see quotes about how failure is good and necessary all over social media every day.

Here’s a great one from Maya Angelou:

“Courage allows the successful woman to fail-
and learn powerful lessons-
from the failure-
so that in the end,
she didn’t fail at all.”

Various outlets publish tons of lists of quotes on failure every year—but hardly anyone talks about their actual failures (Here’s one exception).

While reading the quotes makes me feel not as terrible, facing what’s real feels even less terrible. I want to live up to that awesome-person status, which would seem to require being an honest person. I got fired yesterday, y’all. I did some good writing at that job and I’m proud of my work. In the end it wasn’t enough, and it’s time to move on. So here’s to what’s next… omg what is next? I’ll try to figure that out over the weekend. Check back Monday, won’t you?

The Most Authentic Beach Hair You Can Get Without An Ocean

beach hair 2.

I am actually looking at an ocean right now, but it’s a very cold one, and it’s pouring rain outside. Basically there aren’t all that many occasions when dunking your head into the sea would be worth a coveted harido. Hence the “surf spray” phenomenon. But I never really got “texturizers” and the rest of those products that make sexy-messy hair promises. They all just made my hair limp and heavy.
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This Is My Skin on Technology

Just a picture of me and my face.

Just a picture of me and my face.

It occurred to me recently that my vanity is crowded not only with makeup, nail polish, curling irons, and various skin creams, but also quite a few items that can be reasonably categorized as technology. It also occurred to me that I love not having to go to a spa to use these devices. That’s exactly how lazy I am: going to a spa is even too much work. Luckily, if you throw a little money at the situation (though less than it would likely cost for a few spa treatments), you, too, can use these treatments in the comfort of your own home. Here are my tried and true beauty technologies. Note: when my husband looked at this post, he said: “They all look like pain machines.” I promise only one of them hurts (only just a little).
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Embracing the Gray

Photo via Instagram

Last week I posed what proved to be a controversial question: should I chop my hair off? Here’s another one for you: should I let my hair go white? Would you let your hair go gray, or dye it all the way? I don’t think I have enough white at this point for a thoroughly silver head of hair like the gorgeous Constance Leto, pictured above with her equally gorgeous son Jared. But lord knows I haven’t given my hair an opportunity to go white: I started dying it the moment those first grays, wiry and wild, started to make an appearance.
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I Need a Haircut

haircut Hi my name is KP and I’m a hair farmer. It’s SO long, and getting kind of flat and unruly at this point. So, I have a bee in my bonnet about getting a mid-length (or maybe shorter!) cut. I have an appointment on March 13 with my amazing stylist, Anastasia at Hair Collective (there I am with her above).

I’m not the only one who thinks she rules: Daily Candy SF named her best in SF for ombre just today! Also check out this post I wrote about her and Hair Collective for Racked SF. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many compliments I get about my ombre. I’m not bragging, I have nothing to do with it—it’s all Anastasia. (Have you seen Jared Leto’s ombre, btw? It’s fetching.) And she’s equally fantastic with cuts. My past two haircuts I told her I wanted just a trim, very little off, just to add some shape and get rid of the dead ends. You know, to continue my farming ways. How many times have you said that to your stylist and they cut off three inches? Anastasia listens and she will not cut off more than you requested or try to talk you into something crazy. Which is why my hair is SO LONG right now. So I know if I go in there and say I want this cut… [Read more...]

Today’s Your Last Day to Win a Month’s Supply of Olay Fresh Effects, and Maybe Become a Superstar

Have you noticed that the use of filters on photographs is kind of out of control these days? Who can resist, right? Everyone seems to look a more appealing after applying the  magic touch of “mayfair” or “rise.” But Olay Fresh Effects, wants to encourage you to embrace your real self, sans filters. 

To that end, the brand has launched a campaign on their Twitter feed: @FreshEffects. Follow them, and share your #nofilter moments (for example, how you unapologetically love Birkenstocks #hippieatheart). One lucky Stylenik reader who submits will win a months supply of Olay Fresh Effects. And get this: the submission that best embraces the #nofilter philosophy will be brought to life in a sketch comedy short by funny girl duo Carly Aquilino and Jessimae Peluso. How freaking fun is that?

The catch is that today is the last day to enter! So get clicking and tagging; I’ll be doing the same! Just be sure to follow and tag @FreshEffects, and use the #nofilter tag. Good luck!

Published with Monogram

Addicted to Ombre Hair

It may be waning as far as trends are concerned, but ombre hair color just might be my go-to, like, forever. It’s just too easy to maintain (I can do the roots myself!), and it looks like you spent a good solid few months in a beachy locale some time in the last few months or–years? Who can get specific it’s all mysterious. My friend Joanna took the above photo tonight, which solidified my feelings towards the ombre. 

More soon on who did my latest color—I’m working on a feature about her and her new San Francisco salon, so stay tuned.

And really I’m kind of burying the lead here. Look at that cute little girl! Love her and her bunny dress even more than ombre hair. 

And in the meantime before I tell you about my new all time favorite stylist, check out the options below, in case you’re inspired to DIY!

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Brows: the Bigger the Better?

Eyebrows. They’re not something I’ve spent much of my life thinking about. I get the wild hairs waxed away when it seems necessary, and that’s about it.Then one day I went to Benefit Cosmetics, and I had a revelation. The first thing that happened was that Lisa, at the spanking new flagship boutique in downtown San Francisco, THREADED my brows. It was my first time. Hair I did not know I had sprang forth from my face with a flourish of pink thread.

And even though the threading was new to me, removing the errant hair from around the eyebrows seemed normal. I mean everyone wants to do that. But then Lisa did something that surprised me: first, she tinted my brows darker. Then she painted them with dark wax, then filled them in more with powder, and then blended it all in with a brush. The woman made my brows bushier and darker. And somehow that looked pretty good.

I couldn’t help but think of Cara Delevingne and her crazy brows. Which one looks better below?

No contest, right? The dark brows are dramatic, I even think they make you look younger.

What do you think? What kind of brows to you prefer? Whether you like a bold brow or a pencil thin version, Benefit has a product to get you there.

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Why I’m Using Monogram to Blog

Photo by Jarda Brych

First thing’s first: yes, they’re paying me. My good and very smart friends asked me to consult for their startup, Monogram, at a time when I had been woefully neglecting my blog Stylenik. The timing couldn’t have been better, because Monogram is a tool that makes blogging way easier, and now Stylenik is back on track with posts going up almost every day. And anyway I’m honest and don’t say stuff I don’t believe, even when money is involved. I mean obviously. Look at this photo of me with my 1-year-old.

Specifically, here’s why I’m loving using Monogram to blog. First, I can connect my blog with Monogram in about two seconds, so that when I publish a post on Monogram, I can also publish it on Stylenik—I can save it to my drafts first, so I have an opportunity to make sure everything is in order before I publish. Or I can just publish immediately, which I’ve been doing because everything is always totally in order. See below on the right, I can just click and connect with Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress (which I’m on), as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Reward Style (more on that in a sec). 
Why would I want to do that? Partly because it’s for real so much easier to create a post in Monogram than in WordPress. Here’s one example: as I write, I am seeing almost exactly what I will see once the post is live. I don’t have to save, preview in a different window, then go back to the previous window to edit. I’m seeing everything, even what the photos will look like, as I write. 

If I want to create a link, I highlight the word I want to link to, and a series of wysiwyg icons shows up (including bold, italics and other formatting options) right next to the word. I don’t have to hunt for the icons at the top of the page somewhere. Voila:
And then if I want to upload a photo or embed a YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram or Vine video, there’s another icon I can use right next to where I’m typing: 

And this might be the best part: I can upload a photo directly from my Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or Dropbox account. Check it out: 
I just uploaded this photo straight from Instagram: That took two seconds. And yeah those treats were as yummy as they look.
The other reason to use Monogram is because you can add shopping to your blog posts like a boss. Like as if shopping were your job. Literally. If you’re also a style blogger, or are in any way connected to the online content world, you’ve probably heard about affiliate services bloggers use to make money. Bloggers use a personalized link to products they like, then if their readers use that link to shop, the blogger makes a commission. One of the most popular affiliate services is Reward Style, which I use, but their search can be a pain in the neck. I have to go to a new browser window, log in, search for products (which can be slow and have weird results), then I have to copy the link, then go back to my blog post and paste the link. But with Monogram, I can link my account up directly, search within Monogram using a much more efficient interface, populate my post with merchandise with a few clicks, and I’ll still get all my commissions. I don’t even have to leave this page. I just use the “Search & Add Products” field at the bottom—here’s what it looks like: 
Say I’m writing a post about maxi skirts. I type “maxi skirts” in Monogram’s search field and get a slew of results from RewardStyle (if you don’t have a RewardStyle account, you can also shop using ShopStyle, another shopping search engine). Then I click on the ones I want my readers to be able to shop from my post, click submit, and they’re added without ever leaving this page. Voila:
Below, you can shop those maxi skirts. Cool, right? 

One last thing I want to tell you about is Monogram’s bookmarklet. Say you do the above search for maxi skirts, but the particular one you had in mind isn’t showing up in the results. Just go to a page where the skirt’s for sale and use the Monogram bookmarklet to upload it to your post. You can download the bookmarklet by clicking on your profile photo at the bottom left of your screen, then clicking “Get the Bookmarklet.” 

Just follow the easy and superfast installation instructions (you just drag the icon to your bookmarks menu) from there. Once it’s installed, go shopping (in another browser window) for the item you’re interested in. Say it’s this awesome black David Michael skirt at Totokaelo. From that page, click on the bookmarklet. You’ll get a choice of images to use in your post that looks like this:  

Click on as many images as you’d like your readers to see in your shopping listing (Make sure they’re all the same item. You can only clip one item at a time), then click submit. You’ll get a pop up that lets you add more information, including price: 

Make sure to click on which post you’d like to add it to, then click “Clip to Monogram.” The item will join the rest of your shoppable items in that post. Check it out below, it’s totally there. 
And on top of all of this awesomeness, you can repost other peoples’ posts, like them, follow people, and just browse all the other super-stylish content on Monogram. And there you have it! Why I’m using Monogram. It’s really cool.  
Published with Monogram

Science of Style Friday: Don’t Get Tan for Vitamin D

Last year when I had my annual physical exam, my doctor took all the typical blood tests. I got a letter in the mail a couple months later saying I was quite healthy except for one thing. I’m vitamin D deficient. I was so… embarrassed! Am I really that much of a nerdy, antisocial homebody who stays indoors in front of my computer so much that it’s making me unhealthy? The ultimate irony, it seemed, was that a year previous we had just moved to the BEACH. I can see the ocean from my house—my Instagram feed proves it. If I’m not getting enough sun now, something is seriously wrong. I know what you’re thinking: it’s foggy in Pacifica. But 80 percent of the sun’s rays shine right through the mist, OK?

So I did a little research (read: Googling), and it turns out, instead of being embarrassed, I should have been concerned for my health. Since vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, a study in the July 10 issue of Science found that people with vitamin D efficiency not only have bones that are less dense, but that are also more brittle. A study that came out in Science in June found that a lack of vitamin D coincides with more flu cases. Coincidence? Probably not. And there are plenty more worrying studies where that came from. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the best way to get your recommended daily dose of 600 IU (or 800 for people 70 and older) per day is by eating oily fish, fortified dairy products and cereals, or by taking supplements. Sunlight is indeed a good way to get your vitamin D, but the cancer risk associated with that isn’t worth it.

So, it’s time to start eating more oily fish (I mean, salmon steaks, twist my arm. Here are tons more types if you don’t like salmon). Fortified cereals can also help, as well as supplements. So I’m going to keep wearing my hat, sleeves, and sunscreen (yes, even in the fog)—and I will continue my dedicated use of self-tanner. I may not be a spring chicken but I’m too young for brittle bones. 

Just in case you needed a little more encouragement to use suncreen or other protection, here are some protective hats, shirts, and sunglasses to keep you safe and gorgeous. 
Published with Monogram