Friday, December 21, 2012

Consignment Shops In NYC

I'm so eager and excited to share with my clients, friends and readers the recent opening of Diamonds & Cole, a consignment clothing store located at 22 Greenwich Ave West Village. The hours are Monday -Saturday from12-7pm and Sunday from 12-6pm.
Diamonds & Cole is a dream come true. It's a beautiful store, well-organized where each garment is easy to find. The selection is amazing with a wide assortment of clothing for both men and women.
Here is a quick Q&A with owner Daniel with more information on his store.

What are the different brands you carry?

Some of the different brands that we have at moment include Hermes, Marni, Gucci, Chanel, Rick Owens, Comme des Garcons, Fendi, Chloe, Margiela, Lanvin and Prada among others.
I noticed your selection of clothing are in great condition and I loved the pieces. Who is in charge of choosing the pieces to sell?

The general selection for the store is done by me - however, the quality of the merchandise is dependent on the consignors I have. And I'm terribly lucky to have great consignors with exquisite taste!
What advice do you have for people who are wanting to sell their pieces through you?

There are several things to consider when consigning pieces with Diamonds & Cole, or anywhere else:

1.  Most consignment is done seasonally, so unfortunately you have to decide what you want to sell before the season starts - no waiting to see what you wear and then try to sell it.  I suggest that at the end of every season you edit your wardrobe, create a "sell" bin and hold it until the appropriate season starts.
 2.  Everything should be dry cleaned or professionally laundered before being brought in for sale.
3.  If you're wondering if you should let go of certain pieces the answer is probably yes!  Your gut is always right - if your immediate reaction is "I can't sell it" then don't, otherwise it's probably time to let it go!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hair Product Recommendations From The Drugstore


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

At Home Hair Color Gone Wrong

I was recently speaking to a group of women at a shelter on hair color where an important question came up. The question was why is it so difficult to get good results from an off-the-shelf box of hair color? Great question!

I asked, how many times have we seen our favorite celebrity running across the TV with bouncy, super shiny hair...happy as if she just won the lotto. These commercials claim that "this new revolutionized hair color is easy to use, foolproof and packed with ingredients fit for a juicer," leaving women feeling fabulous and secure enough for the runway.

In real life, customers who purchase the same box of the hair color often experience dramatically differing results. After the color is applied, following the box directions, customers often find themselves sporting red roots, black ends and left feeling very insecure...wondering what the hell went wrong?
Ladies beware. Getting the perfect hair color is very difficult from a box that shows a picture of a color and contains two bottles. Have you ever seen a professional approach you about your desired color?

We ask questions like... Do you want more gold, warm or cool, ashy tones? Do you have gray hair? Have you ever colored your hair? Did you apply a permanent or demi-permanent treatment? How often do you color your hair? Have you ever had a relaxer or a perm? We then assess if the hair is fine, coarse, healthy or dry.  
Sadly most of these questions are not on a box of hair color.
As hairstylists we make lots of money fixing hair color for clients that first tried it at home. For the women fortunate enough to afford us, they can go to a salon in hopes of looking and feeling normal again.

But what about the women (like the ones in shelters) who have no way of getting their hair fixed? Usually their only option is to go and buy another box of color and make a bad color worse. What started off being a good idea has now left a consumer unhappy with no one to blame, while the parent company gets richer.

Ladies all I can say is, it's a case of russian roulette here. You may be very unhappy if you do, or left feeling dull if you don't.

Stay tuned for my next installment of, "How to survive a box of hair color!"


Friday, December 7, 2012

Learning From Our Elders

Recently I stood next to a 93 year old man before getting on a train from Vermont to NYC. He was having trouble locating his ticket so I offered to help. As we got on the train the conductor was able to
quickly sort out the ticket situation.

He was the sweetest little man, well dressed in khaki from head to toe. As I started to eat my huge feast he mentioned that he did not have breakfast and it was already. I was more than happy to share my food with him. I gave him a banana and he burst into song, "but, we have no bananas" he sang, non-stop! It brought a smile to my face:) The people around thought we were both crazy!!

As we started getting to know each other I could see he was having trouble with his memory. He was not getting lost in conversation. when I asked a question he had to stop and think for a while… Then with a jolt, he remembering and answer the question with great detail.

Heres what I found out about my traveling companion.

He was the last surviving member of his family. He travels all over the us by train visiting friends
from his childhood,which means a lotto him.  He used to be a singer and a tap dancer and performed at hisschool. And he still performs at his school reunion. He still skis,plays the harmonica and is starting his own business. He's designing hand making boxes to store small boxes of organic olive oils for his local farmers market. He has an order for 50 waiting for him to make. Well 51, I ordered one:) He said he would mail it to me!!!
To my surprise he did not have a cell phone, Facebook or computer… He has a small note book and a stack on pieces of paper with everyone's contact information.

I can't tell you what a wonderful gift this was. He may have thought I was helping him, I was the one being helped. Being thought a priceless lesson. Slowing down, enjoying the simple moments in life can have a lasting impact. In a world consumed by social media a 93 year old man can show us its not the only way to communicate, stay in touch and show love.

As we approached Penn station I quickly turned to him and asked "whats the best advice you can give to me based on your life's lessons" he chuckled and turned to me "remember its not over till its over".. he said.

I can't tell you how meeting him has had an impact on my life.

In this busy world we sometimes forget the old. We forget the road that was paved, the tears that were shed. Lets take this moment and think about our elders and say thank you. Thanks for making all things possible..


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Avoid Your Hair Color From Fading

There's nothing more annoying than getting your hair color done and having it fade on you. No matter how great your hair colorist is, there maybe things you are doing that can hurt your hair color.

Here are a few things to be aware of:

1) Shampooing your hair the day after getting your hair colored is a common mistake. You should always wait 72 hours after leaving the salon. This allows your color to oxidize. In most salons post-color shampoos are used to remove excess color and seal the cuticle. Ask your hairstylist if they use one.
 2) Tanning salons are a huge culprit that no one is aware of. Always cover your hair when tanning.
3) Salt styling sprays, if used excessively on fine hair, can fade your color....especially when used in the summer. So as you can imagine, beware of the ocean! Always rinse your hair with tap or bottle water after swimming in the ocean or pool. Be sure to rinse your hair at the end of the day rather than adding more product on dry hair.
4) Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove impurities and buildup. However on treated hair that tends to fade, it will make it even worse. If you need to use a stronger shampoo because of excessive product use, mix your clarifying shampoo with your regular shampoo. This will help dilute it, making it less aggressive.

5) All naturals oils, when used excessively can fade hair color. Think of your hair color as a fake pigment added to your hair. Oils can seep under your cuticle removing color. This is especially true for blonds that have had lowlights added.

I hope these quick tips are helpful and keep your investment (hair color) protected!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Losing Your Hair

When I first started my career in Trinidad and Tobago I remember seeing the occasional woman with a receding hairline, which always ended in permanent hair loss. This was a result of making poor decisions when it comes to hair care, such as doing relaxers too often, followed by tight braiding and using large amounts of hair grease.

Today, it's very normal to see a woman walking around with absolutely no hairline. When I say no hairline, I mean that she has lost the 2 to 3 inches of hair that's closest to her face, especially on the sides of her head.
And why is this happening? The answer is simple... long hair extensions.

Yes, the biggest cause of hair loss in beautiful black women is caused by extensions. But it affects not only loss is happening to young girls as well.  I am sure you may have seen the occasional gossip magazine making fun of celebrities. But rather than making fun of it, why not talk about the root of the problem and raise awareness.

So let's go deeper into the cause of this epidemic and pinpoint the root causes to blame. Here are 5 points that I hope will be helpful.

1) Let's talk about the old wives' tale that "long hair is beautiful." It's not always the case. We have seen it in the past over and over again, women sporting short hair and turning heads with their natural beauty. The best part about a woman who will wear short hair, is her obvious confidence and security, which is the epitamy of real beauty.

Check out these icons of the short do!

2) Did you know that the hairline generally holds the weakest hair on the head? So whether it's color relaxers or extensions, the hair line tends to be the most damaged part of the scalp. If you bleach the hairline and it breaks, at least you know it will grow back. But with excessive, braiding, stretching and relaxing, the hairline can't withstand the aggression and eventually stops growing. having long hair really worth it?

3) Now with all these wannabes calling themselves celebrities, we are seeing an emergence of people, who are not trendsetters (they only wear expensive clothing). They exist in a very safe realm of what they think a woman should look like, which includes long tresses to hide behind. This group of women will probably never go short in fear of what others may think. Sadly these so call icons are influencing women of all races all over the world!!

Will the secure women step forward!!

4) Hairstylists are next on the list of being part of the problem. Clients count on us to guide them in the right direction, be it for the latest trend to beauty products to how they should style their hair. So when you have a woman whose extensions are making her bald...why not tell her the truth? Can't you say "I am sorry. I can no longer do your extensions because its hurting you." Hairstylists...don't get me wrong. I know if you don't do her hair someone else will. Well I'm sorry, but it's our duty to stand by what we know to be right and forget about the loss of money.

Remember honesty and quality brings quantity and in the long run, the truth is good for business…

5) Now ladies, I too have my insecurities, (we all do). So I know it's not easy to step away from long hair. It looks good, it can be sexy and men like it. Well short hair looks great. It's also sexy and if your man wants long hair tell him to grow his!!

It's up to you to break the cycle, for the sake of our girls… We cannot continue demonstrating it's acceptable to lose our hair permanently in the name of beauty.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blondes And Breakage

More and more I'm seeing women suffer from hair loss and it's effecting all age groups. When it comes to blondes who are too blonde, it almost always leads to major breakage and hair loss. Blondes have more fun, but at what cost?

Women who are obsessed with being blonde usually end up with major breakage. The problem is so widespread, it is now even affecting teenage girls. How could teenage girls be losing their hair already and who is to blame?

If we start pointing fingers, everyone is guilty, from hairstylists, parents and the media to the clients themselves.

What causes hair breakage for blondes?
*Highlighting too often
*Having fine hair that can not withstand bleach
*Using too much heat when being processed

*Poor beauty regimen when it comes to looking after their hair
*Doing keratin too often on bleached hair
*Using the wrong brushes, combs and clips
*Too many heat-related tools on their bleached hair
The list is endless…Once hair starts breaking, they are unable to style it, so they instead start getting frequent blowouts. If that's not enough to keep them looking perfect (in their eyes) they then resort to extensions at any cost (literally)...
I can safely say that damaged hair and extensions are not a good combination. Especially when your sales man is the one above:)

Parents beware not to pass on your bad habits to your kids. If a young girl is pushed too soon into coloring her hair, it could turn into a disaster waiting to happen...not only for her hair but it could leave her with a lack of self-esteem, leaving her to depend on her appearance.

How can I treat hair breakage?
Consider going back to a natural brown color, at least until your hair is healthy again.
Avoid having it colored too often and opt for a more natural blond than a Christina Aguilera look (which is all extensions and wigs anyway).

Ask your hairstylist to avoid putting you under any hooded hair dryers. Heat speeds up the process and leaves the hair stylist with little damage control.

Avoid overuse of flatirons and curling irons

Do regular oil treatments and hair masks
Your image is important, but not enough to lose your hair. For additional questions, please feel free to write for more tips.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Best Gray Coverage

Hello Antonio,

I'd be very grateful if you'd answer my question.

I've got a few premature greys, which seem very resistant to color. I've been getting my hairdresser to cover only the greys in my natural black-brown color, whilst applying highlights all-over. Despite my hair taking on both the various blonde and red colors used to high/lowlight, the greys don't seem to take on color at all! The only time they seemed to do so was when I was put under a heat lamp. I've been using permanent color all along. My hair type is fine, dry and frizzy, with a scalp tending towards oiliness.

Many thanks.

Thank you so much for writing. First of all, this seems like a lot of work for premature gray hairs. Not only is it an expensive process, it seems like it may not be the best approach...

Let me say it’s hard to give advice without seeing your hair but I can still provide some direction.

Generally, when we approach a "few grays" it’s with a demi-permanent color (maybe even semi-permanent) . With heat it can provide some coverage without being too harsh on hair. 
However for certain hair types even a few grays can be very hard to cover so permanent color might be the right choice.

The other challenge is transforming your hair so it’s as dark as your natural color. There's one problem, your hair now has some gray in it, so taking your hair dark is only making those few grays stand out even more. (I guess this is why you are doing highlights.) I recommend staying away from highlights for about four months and just making your single process color lighter. It will be up to your hairstylist to formulate a color that can control the orange tones, it can be done. The advantages are as follow...

1) It’s cheaper than highlights
2) You won't have to highlight as often because your hair will be lighter.
3) It’s way more gentle on your hair.
4) And your grays will be less noticeable.

Wouldn't it be great to just go in to the salon every 4-6 weeks for a single process and every 12 weeks for highlights?

Next the permanent color under the heat lamp concerns me.... It already has ammonia and peroxide so it should cover your gray, if it’s not covering it means the formula or color brand may need adjusting. Although some permanent hair color's can be used with heat, I just don't use them...

Overall the care of your hair is most important. So you may need to accept that your natural color may not be the best color to aim for. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Stay tuned for the responce and feel free to continue asking questions.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Hair Gel

Why is it a simple product, like a good hair gel is so hard to find? Well that's why you have me, to be your human guinea pig and test what works and what does not.

I bring you the Phyto Strong Sculpting Hair Gel.  
I have fine, wavy hair that’s curly in some parts and tends to get frizzy along the sides. So I’ve been looking for a product that can even out the waves, holds well and leaves my hair shiny, minus the flakes.  As a hairstylist I am very picky with products and like you…it’s annoying to use products that make promises they can’t keep.

So during fashion week, I was given this gel to try and was very skeptical. But having liked other products from Phyto, I decided to give it a try.

I now use this gel religiously and I love it. After coming out of the shower I apply a quarter size of gel and comb it through.
If you have thicker hair, feel free to use more.

What I like about this gel is it will not make my hair rock hard, but the hold is great (no helmet hair). Then to change the look, I can easily brush my hair, breaking up the gel and have a softer look that still works with my haircut.  I like the ability to change my hairstyle at the end of the day before going out without having to wet my hair.

If you want it to last it last all day long (and into the night,) use the Spray De Coiffage to further lock it into place. Not to worry…you can still brush it for a softer look if you like. 

And to top to top it off, this gel is infused with a potent combination of revitalizing ginseng, vitamins B and C and a natural UV filter.

Loving it!!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

How To Survive A Plague

I first heard about this movie from a post on the wall of a Facebook friend. On his wall was a photo of a man named Rob Rafsky, one of the activists from ActUp (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power). There was Rob, chained to a gate covered in fake blood. This image together with what "my friend" wrote about the movie, really had my attention.
How To Survive A Plague is a documentary about the survivors and activists of ActUp, an organization that brought awareness around the AIDS epidemic in the 1980's.
What started as 41 known HIV cases in Greenwich Village, the disease quickly spread at a speed that was taking the lives of hundreds young men by the day. People who were exposed to the virus were beaten or turned away by hospital staff. (St Vincents being one of them…..)

With footage captured by activists, men and women came together to plead for help from the government to spend more resources on stopping the spread of this insidious disease...and in the process stop their loved ones from dying.
Meanwhile back in Trinidad and Tobago we first learned about AIDS in the late 1980's. The public had no idea what was happening and saw it as a gay disease. Some thought it would not affect them because of of their ethnicity. Some thought if they ate a bar of soap, it would cure them. At a clinic the nurses would say that people coming in were not afraid of the virus, it was not in their genes…

As three to four of our friends started dying every couple of months, we all became terrified. The people who were infected had no where to go. Families would disown them. They would be beaten and evicted, then die alone on the streets.

My coworker Phillip died on the streets. My neighbor hung himself in a tree because he did not know what to do. I remember the entire village came out to see it. Families turned their backs, or hid the bodies of their loved ones from their friends and partners. Not all though... some families stood by their loved ones and their partners. Some rallied together to raise money to pay for funerals for their brothers and sisters. But this was not before we lost so, so many friends.

To stop the widespread panic,  brave people like actor/playwright/proud Trinidadian, Godfrey Sealy
started becoming more educated by following what was happening in the U.S. Inspired by ActUp, more people began raising their voices asking for help from the government.

This brings me back to How To Survive A Plague. This movie is the most inspirational movie I have seen in years. It shows us a real sense of community and empowerment, how to take on a government that is neglecting its people and the right for survival.
Thank you to the many heros of ActUp, dead and alive, gay and straight for prolonging the lives of so many. From beginning to end one message was clear, "Act Up, Fight Back, Fight Aids!!"

As one activist said, "This fight was the greatest achievement by the gay community till this day…."


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RuPaul Drag Race All-Stars!!!

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, kitties and poodles, get ready for the latest from our sister RuPaul, in another season of RuPaul's Drag Race. This year however, it's not just any old's the All Stars Drag Race!!!
On Rupaul Drag Race All-stars you will get great fashion that will make Lady Gaga look like she's going to church. Get makeup tips that will make Sephora look like it caters to toddlers. And talent that will make Britney Spears look like she's auditioning for the church choir in Ohio!!
Come to think of it, dowe really need to see tacky, entitled ladies in reality shows? Or the exploitation of children to make adults laugh!! If it's entertainment you want, get ready for a drag extravaganza that will keep you on your tippy toes!!

I don't know about you, but this is real TV to me, with contestants showing their uniqueness, nerve and raw talent and competiting for fierce prizes. And baby when I say talent I mean Boong-shalakah- talent, coming from the heavens of creativity to us with love (and some glitter).

So tune in to logo TV and watch the first episode Monday the 22nd of October at 9pm and see some real TV!

Oh and yes...I will be blogging about it too!!!

You better Work!!!!!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Making Of The Video- The Hidden War


Monday, October 15, 2012

More From A Hidden War


Saturday, October 13, 2012

My Recent Work- Ladies This Is The Hair For Fall



Friday, October 12, 2012

My Bridal video/Tips On Lovepost


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