Product Spotlight : ORIBE Soft Dry Conditioner

Oribe Dry Conditioner Dry Shampoo? Been there, need that. But Dry Conditioner? That was new news to me!

Allow me to introduce you to my new BFF, Oribe Dry Conditioner. At first thought, it's gimmicky and overpriced, but spray this velvet onto your locks and you'll begin buying this in bulk. This is my hands down favorite product for my dry blonde ends, and a great alternative to greasy Moroccan Oil, (which I'm SO over).

This ultrafine mist applied from midshaft to ends of hair, will leave you smelling delicious and feeling insanely soft. I've been walking around creepily petting my own hair.

Treat yourself! Or gift a gal pal a bottle for Christmas! (Available at Thomas West Salon, and HERE.)


Update & Giveaway!

Beauty Box Giveaway Well to say it's been a while since my last blog post would be stating the obvious. I miss you guys!!

June and July kicked my butt! I had six weddings in June alone, and worked overtime in the salon, traveled to see Sammy, and the blog just naturally fell to the back burner.

As I gear up for August, I'm implementing healthy changes. I'm excited to say that I will no longer be working more than 40 hours in the salon. Between weddings and the salon, I have been logging in 60-80 hours a week, and though I LOVE my job, with it comes physical stress. That physical stress has left me waking up in tears from joint pain, and with little to no time left over to fit in exercise.

It's time to make myself a priority. I don't want to get burnt out, I want to work as long as it makes me happy, and I doubt that time will ever run out, IF I take care of myself.

One of the blogging perks, that hasn't slowed down even though I haven't been posting, is smell-good-snail-mail! I am blown away by the generosity of the beauty industry! I've finally taken the time to try out a bajillion products, and would love to share what I think of them with you! But first, I'd love to give you some to try yourself!

I'm psyched for this Beauty Box Giveaway! In it one lucky lady will receive:

  • Color WOW Shampoo and Conditioner (HOW have I never tried these products before. Just wait 'til I share they're Root Cover Up with you!)
  • Real Chemistry Luminous 3 Minute Peel AND Environmental Rescue Mask (The best face mask I've ever used. Period.)
  • Muk Argan Oil Shine Spray (Fancy!)
  • Murad Refreshing Cleanser (I'm jealous of whoever wins this.)
  • Soften Her Exfoliating Pads (Ingrown hair - beware. These lady exfoliant pads are magic.)
  • Aveda Energizing Body Cleanser and Volumizing Tonic (Lovely little travel buddies.)
  • Crest 3D Whitening Mouthwash (Fresh breath AND whitening. Double. Whammy.)

Stay tuned for my full reviews and tutorials coming soon!

You have until Friday at 9am to enter the giveaway! To win, you must leave a comment below with your Instagram handle, and follow @YourStylistAJ on Instagram. The winner of this $250 value Beauty Box will be announced and shipped on Friday!


Crest 3D Whitestrips Review

Your Stylist AJ How did it take me this long to whiten my teeth!?

If you follow along on Instagram, you saw this sweet gift from Crest a couple weeks ago. I was so excited to play with my new toys, and after only three days, I feel whiter and brighter! I seriously can't imagine how fresh my teeth will look after a couple more weeks!

Forget spending hundreds to bleach your teeth through your dentist! These new Professional Effects strips were nothing like I remember from years ago because they DON'T MOVE a muscle when they're on. I had an entire conference call with these babies in, and they didn't shift or get ooey gooey. Yes please.

PS. This cute tank is available here. PSS. Get your whitestrips here.

Products were gifted by Crest, but the opinions here are always my own : )

Messy Side Updo Tutorial

If you know me, there's no doubt that I have no problem striking up convo with a stranger or being extremely outgoing. Heck! I talk to fresh faces on a 45 minute rotation at the salon every day.

So why in the world has it taken me two years to make a video hair tutorial?


Now that I've crossed making my first vid off my career bucket list, I'm psyched to deliver a million more. I'm JUST getting started. I learned so much through this process: film during natural light- duh, don't say "like", slowww down and practice prior. But I can only get better from here, so get excited.

I hope you learned a new fun and super simple style to incorporate in your hair routine. Let me know know what you think!

What tutorials would you like to see next?



Pillow Talk

Looking for an inexpensive way to refresh your home? I recently purchased some pillows and pillow covers from Society 6, and a month later I'm still totally in love. Every time I walk by our couch, I'm happy to see what we've done with it. I was apprehensive at first, the price point was almost too good to be true. I'm pleasantly surprised with our new pillows, and highly recommend them! PS. They make great gifts too!


Check out the hundreds of options here!



Moroccan Oil Scalp Treatments

M.O. Treatments  

The shift in the weather's temperature and moisture leaves our skin, and more specifically our scalps, dry. A dry scalp can be uncomfortable and itchy, not to mention embarassing when you can see it!

It seems like all my clients have been asking for a dry scalp solution lately. Having a dry scalp does NOT mean you have dandruff. It doesn't mean you should be using a dandruff shampoo either. BUT, it does mean you're the perfect candidate for an in-salon scalp treatment.

The entire treatment takes 10 minutes, and can be added on to your haircut/ color services anytime. I begin by applying the magic potion to your scalp in fine sections. Once your scalp is saturated with the good smelling, nourishing treatment, I give you a TEN MINUTE SCALP MASSAGE. If you ask me, that's $40 well spent.

Here's the thing you guys, this treatment WORKS. Prior to using it myself, I never found a solution for my wintery dry scalp. If you have any questions or are interested in making an appointment, you can always find me at!




As easy as 1, 2, 3! (really!)

You just got off work after a long day...You hired a babysitter.... You're squeezing in "you time" on your lunch break... You have a blind date tonight... Your rehearsal dinner is tonight...

... and I spin you around in the chair for to you see the UHmazing full voluminous sexy blowout you have. And of course you say, "Uhg why can't I get it to look like this!"

You can.

The trick to a beautiful blowdry isn't my fancy brush, dryer, or biceps, it's the appropriate prep, foundation and finishing products.

blowout1. PREP. Using a prep product like Bumble & Bumble's Tonic on clean wet hair is often a skipped step. Tonic equalizes the porosity from root to end ensuring the foundation product is evenly distributed, your hair is less tangly, and it's also great for your scalp. Other great prep products include: Moroccan Oil, Aveda Damage Control or Pureology Miracle Filler. (This all depends on hair type, please let me know if you're in search of the perfect prep product for you!)

2. FOUNDATION. Once you've rough dried your hair about 80% of the way, (yes, almost all the way!), evenly and thoroughly apply your foundation product from root to end, and not just on the top section missy! I love the Aveda Volumizing Tonic for medium hold, workable movement. Once applied, section and roundbrush. Other great foundation products include Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray, Pureology or Kerastase Mousse, or Aveda Phomollient.

3. FINISHING. This is the fun part. Flip your head upside down, or look up toward the ceiling once your round brush is complete. Apply a finishing product, most commonly hairspray, and let dry before touching. Other options include Bumble & Bumble Grooming Creme, or Aveda Defining Whip, but I'm a sucker for a great long lasting, smell good hairspray!

Go play!



Obsession Confession

revlon I've never been a big drugstore beauty girl, but Revlon has undoubtably won me over. I'll be a consumer for life.

For about two years now, I've been using Revlon lip color over all my previous favorites. I once loved the shades that MAC offers, but they make my lips dry, which makes the color look less smooth by the end of the day. I love the NARS and Tarte lip crayons, but they don't allow enough control during application for me. Most lip gloss colors I've ever swooned over, are sticky and goopy.

Revlon lip butter "lipstick" is smooooooth and feels luxurious. The lip glosses feel even better. The liners last and glide.

My absolute favorite gloss, that I wear nonstop, is Revlon Colorburst, "Crystal Lilac". It looks amazing on all skin tones, and is just a touch pinkier than your favorite nude.


Colorgloss: Sunbaked//Colorgloss: Crystal Lilac//Colorgloss: Sunset Peach//Lip Butter: Raspberry Pie



GP For months I’ve been working as the Director of Style for goldplaited, and I’m finally able to tell you all about it! Goldplaited is the marriage between a blow dry bar and makeup studio. Umm… perfection? That’s what I thought too when the LA sisters behind the idea asked me to join them in bringing it to life right here in Chicago!

I have helped to create the service menu, style for photoshoots, select premium product lines, and now, I’m ready to help audition and train Chicago talent to create the best team around.

We’re looking for passionate, fun, talented hair and makeup talent to launch the flagship location: 2803 N. Sheffield Ave. (Sheffield & Diversey)

If you’re interested, please send your resume and cover letter to soon, as auditions begin next week!


Lately's Lessons

xtensions Sammy showed up at our apartment Saturday and totally surprised me so I went four days of forgetting I have a blog, or that anyone besides Sam Palace exists. My bad. Now I'm playing total catch-up and have to move over to my inbox, but first must share some of the lessons I've been learning lately...

Keep a clean house. We're adults, you never know when someone might pop on over, a friend is locked out and needs to crash with you, or your long distance boyfriend surprises you!

Lonely isn't a dirty word. Loneliness is forced upon us and sometimes it sucks, but it makes company so much sweeter.

Wash your face EVERY night. No matter how tired you are. My sheets are sad.

Look cute even on your day off. It's your time to feel awesome, and you won't have an awesome day if you don't feel great.

Dry shampoo is underrated. Shampooing and styling is hours spent you'll never get back.

Extensions, (done right), are also underrated. I do extensions on so many girls and I'm still always shocked by how magical they are. What are you waiting for?

Flower yourself. I've been buying flowers for myself every week of 2013, and it's money well spent.

Flower someone else. Just because.

Listen. No one wants to hear about you as much as they want to talk about themselves. Let them.

SAVE money. So when you find your dream kitchen table and couch in the same week you can get them. Wait, that's not exactly saving then...


What's in my shower?


My shower product roster is always evolving, but I'm loving the line up right now.

1. Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo (available at Thomas West Salon)

I've been using this shampoo on and off for seven years. It neutralizes brassiness and prevents build-up. I SWEAR by using liters of shampoo in the shower. One pump is exactly the amount of shampoo you should be using, and it's just easy. AND if you're using Aveda liters, there's a great price cut. One liter of shampoo or conditioner contains the same amount as four small bottles, but for the price of three. Oh, and there's less waste. Yes please! (P.S. This shampoo doubles as an amazing Jewelry cleaner!)

2. Pureology Perfect for Platinum Conditioner (available at Thomas West Salon)

Jam packed with protein, chamomile for softening, lemon for brightening, Coriander for nourishing. If you're blonde, you need all of the above.

3. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel (available at Thomas West Salon)

A no fuss cleanser. I have sensitive skin and this cleanser is gentle yet totally productive. It removes all my makeup and a little goes a long way!

4. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (available at Thomas West Salon)

UM! Microfoliant is my JAM! I get spooked by exfoliating with hard scratchy scrubs. Something tells me if it FEELS rough on your skin, it IS rough on your skin. This microfoliant sprinkles into your hand in powder form, rubbed together with water it becomes a creamy paste. TRUST ME... this makes your face feel like you're eight years old. It's fairy dust I swear.

5. Trader Joes Refresh Body Wash (available at Trader Joes, and

Inexpensive, pure ingredients, totally affordable, refreshing fragrance. I feel so fresh and so clean after loofahing with this stuff!

6. L'Occitane Shower Oil (available at

If you follow the blog you know I'm obsessed with this liquid gold. If you missed me raving about it check this out!

(I know it's confusing that I have two body washes. I use the body wash to clean, and the shower oil to shave.)



1. 2. 3. 4. 5.6.



If Chris Angel had invented a brush, it'd be this. YOU GUYS, this brush is seriously incredible.

The Wet Brush can glide through even the tangliest, (yeah tangliest is a word), of hair. If you have fine hair, damaged hair, lots of hair... this is your new best friend. I know a lot of you are product junkies and love adding tools to your toolbox... I, am not.

Everyone in the salon was buzzing about this "Wet Brush" and I wanted nothing to do with such a gimmicky tool with a less than creative name. But after about two weeks of hearing about it, I tried it.

First I tried it on my client at Thomas West Salon, and we were both "wtf"ing. She purchased it on the spot. Fast forward to the next morning, I tried it on myself. I have extensions and my hair isn't unmanageable, but I spend a few minutes combing through it. THIS TOOK SECONDS. So I, like my client, purchased it.

I'm telling you guys, it works and it's cheap. Also great for kids with tender little noggins.