I’M FAMOUS (not really at all, but kind of)

I’m featured on the PrettyQuick blog today, and so are my five FAVORITE (read: life-changing and not entirely budget-breaking) products.

hollie prettyquick feature

Click here to read all about it, including some of my favorite non-beauty things, sans these super-sophisticated cat graphics. Just gotta keep some things under wraps, right?

Hollie favorite beauty productsLet me know your favorite always-gotta-stock-up-on-‘em beauty products, PLEASE. I’m begging you. Bonus points if I can get them at my local drugstore or Target. Also pretty obsessed with Sephora, since I can return stuff that doesn’t work for me AFTER I try it.

Any recommendations?


Friday Fave: Listening to this song on repeat while browsing cat fashion (for yourself, not your cat)

My friend Kelly is great for a lot of reasons: She is a walking encyclopedia of dive bars, she’s the best to tag along with at music festivals, and she Gchats me the coolest cat links ever. This week, she introduced me to Meowingtons, because I’m a cat lady and am always looking for the latest and greatest cat fashion … for myself, of course. Not for the cat.

meowington banner omg so cute you guys

Meowtingtons has lots of cat-related things (or kitteh stuffs, based on the previous image) for us to wear, decorate our houses with, and yeah, put on our pets. Here are a few overpriced (but justified, because cats) items I don’t want to live without.

cattyhose cattee cattyhose 2 catshirt catsuit


Is all of this stuff practical? Of course it isn’t – I mean, does anybody actually wear bodysuits in real life? –  and I have a history of snagging tights and pantyhose only minutes after putting them on. But it’s nice to dream of a world where I only wear cat-themed clothes kitteh stuffs, right?

What’s the best tune for cat-clothes browsing? “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off,” of course.

This is a cover by Ella Eyre (you might have heard it in my favorite Downy commercial), but the original by sweet ’80s prince and Chicago native, Jermaine Stewart, is all kinds of perfection. Mark my words, it will make you chair-dance, which is OK because it’s FRIDAY.

Who’s got fun weekend plans? Anybody?

Curly hair products I can’t live without (because most of them are crap)

I have literally (OK, maybe not literally, but close) spent a billion dollars on curly hair products, and none of them work. I mean, I somehow got talked into spending $20 on an 8.5-oz. bottle of Aveda Confixor liquid gel, which I swear actually encouraged my hair to frizz AND made me a topic of conversation on the 56 bus.

Girl: “Ew, what is that smell?”

Boy: “I don’t know, it smells like dirt or grass.”

Girl: “It’s actually making me sick, I’m going to have to get off at the next stop.”

Me: (Silently realize the smell they are talking about is COMING FROM MY HEAD, vow to never wear it again.)

So here’s a rundown of products I’ve tried and (for the most part) hated. Curly gals, I would absolutely LOVE your feedback on any of this. Feel free to tell me I’m dead wrong about any of these opinions, because if there’s one thing I love, it’s healthy debate about curl products.

getting-ready-9Getting my hair did on my wedding day, which basically was just my regular hair products + curl wand touch-ups


For a while, I was on an Ouidad kick because she calls herself the CURL EXPERT and I had to test that proclamation out myself.ouidad

Their products aren’t cheap – $23 for an 8.5-oz. bottle and a whopping $69 for a 33.8-oz bottle – and they’re just OK. Their gels are all liquid, which (in my case, anyway) works fine until a gust of wind comes for me or I step into a bit of humidity, but I’ve got to say I much prefer the Curl Quencher moisturizing gel to the Climate Conrol heat and humidity gel.

The latter, in my opinion, was absolute shit. Don’t get me started on their styling cream.

One really great thing about Ouidad – two, actually – is that they organize their products online by curl type (loose, classic, tight and kinky) and if you buy any of their products in Sephora and end up hating them, you can return them to the store even AFTER you’ve tried them.


I’ve tried DevaCurl products here and there – really just the three-step cleanse, hydrate and define system – with mediocre results. Similarly to Ouidad products, my hair looks fierce and frizz-free upon leaving the house, but goes completely crazy only a few hours later.


OK, hold up, I just realized DevaCurl makes an Ultra Defining Gel and a billion other products … anybody out there use this stuff? Would love to hear your feedback. Clearly I don’t know as much about these products as I thought.

Paul Mitchell

My mom was cleaning out her bathroom closet and found a half-used bottle of Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam (really, it’s just a mousse with a fancy name) and gave it to me to try. GAME-CHANGER, my friends, but only on my dry hair. I mean, sometimes I wake up in the morning with no desire to wash my hair, put a handful of gel in it, and then dig the diffuser out to dry it, and blah blah blah … so I use this stuff.

paul mitchell flexible style

Here’s how it works: Wake up super late because the snooze button is too temping, squirt some of this mousse into my hands, rub into scary bedhead hair, THE END. Ready to take on the day with defined curls and no frizz. Takes three minutes, tops.

I should also note that similar mousses and foams probably do the same thing for half the price (rumor has it Suave mousse is heaven in a $2 bottle), so let me know your favorites in the comments, PLEASE I AM BEGGING YOU.

L.A. Looks

So, here I am, still using the same product I’ve been using since I was a freshman with braces and glasses – L.A. Looks Mega Mega Hold Gel, otherwise known as big-ass yellow bottle. I love this shit. It has the perfect amount of hold, a little bit of crunch when you need it (especially good for me in humidity) and holds up perfectly all day long.

LA looks

A lot of people hate thick gels like this, and I really do understand – the crunch is weird, using too much results in dried gel flakes, it’s not salon-quality – but using a little bit goes a long, long way. Oh, and it’s less than $2 a bottle and you can find it anywhere, SO I MEAN.

And there you have it: A rundown on curly products I love, tolerate, and hate. But curl care is certainly not limited to products – it’s also what the heck you do with your hair before, during and after you throw product in. Here are a few of my favorite curly tips for good measure.

Curly hair hacks

1. If you’re gonna shampoo it every day (or every other day, or once a week), that’s fine. But keep shampoo concentrated on the roots so you don’t dry your ends too much.

2. Same goes for conditioner, but keep it on your ends. Putting conditioner on your roots, especially leaving it sit for a while, really cuts down on volume.

3. Invest in a diffuser attachment for your blowdryer. It doesn’t have to be fancy (I got mine at Wal-Mart five-ish years ago), but it will really cut down on heat-caused frizz and resulting damage.

4. Get yourself a cheap curl wand, not because you need it to actually curl your hair, but it’s great to define wonky or frizzy strands. Especially  helpful for special occasions and big events (you know, like a wedding – see picture above).

5. Finger-comb your hair before using a comb, and think about ditching your brushes completely. Seriously, you won’t even miss them.

6. Find a curl expert near you for all your cut and color needs. Seriously, greatest investment I’ve ever made. Chicago folks, check out stylists at Sine Qua Non or Penny Lane.


Pretty easy, agreed? Feel free to comment with YOUR favorite hacks, and I’ll add to this list with your names and links and everything. It’s all about working together, right?

curly hair gif

Before I go, I want to say one more thing to fellow curly-haired friends. Curls don’t have to be a curse, and we don’t have to fight with and straighten and be annoyed with our hair every single day. And while curl patterns are like snowflakes – everyone is different and unique – same goes for our hair products, and we’re not limited to super expensive salon crap that smells like dirt and grass.

I love you all and hope you’re all having fabulous hair days. Excited to hear what you guys slather on your heads to fight frizz!

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