Cuffed Jeans and The Boots with the Heels

a fashion fanatic, chocoholic, and a DIY devotee


Back to School: Hair Chemistry

I decided to try something new today and write a little about the science of hair and hair care. Let me know if it’s interesting or my engineering geekness is showing ūüôā

Courtesy of Makeup For Life

Courtesy of Makeup For Life

There are three parts of the hair: cuticle, cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle protects your hair from damage and looks like a bunch of scales. The cuticle strengthens your hair; if your cuticle is damaged, your hair will be brittle. One way to test for cuticle damage is by shampooing, conditioning, and then combing. If the hair sticks to the comb and makes it difficult to move, your cuticle has damage. Another thing to take into account is the pH of shampoo or anything going into your hair.  pH is a measure of acidity of a solution. More acidic solutions shrink and stiffen the cuticle whereas alkaline solutions soften the cuticle. Your hair needs to be a balance of acidity and basicity, but studies have shown that more acidic hair is healthier.

The cortex is the biggest part of the hair. It looks like an old school telephone cord. With this structure, it’s more elastic and flexible. (Side note: if your hair is not elastic, that means the cortex may be damaged). When a cuticle is damaged, you might have split ends, or frayed cortexes. The medulla is in the center. This is more common in thicker hair, as it’s just a spongy core.

Is the hair you see actually dead? 

The hair starts underneath the skin in the follicle which is basically this tiny hole in your skin. At the bottom of this hole, there are cells that grow and make the hair. Once the hair leaves the skin, it’s dead as a doornail. So, the part you see (the shaft), is not alive. This means that you can’t really heal your hair once it’s damaged. Unlike a scab on your skin, there is no real healing mechanism.

This picture (and others noted with POI) are from the blog Point of Interest, a really interesting blog about cosmetic chemistry.

This picture are from the blog Point of Interest, a really interesting blog about cosmetic chemistry.

How does my hair get shiny? 

Sebum, or oil, keeps our hair shiny and fills gaps where the hair cuticles have been depleted. Sebum has wax and fats which smoothen the cuticles. When the cuticles are smooth, light can easily be reflected, making it look shiny. Curly hair has less smooth cuticles Рmaking it look less shiny. However, too much sebum and your hair looks oily Рand oil can stick dirt to your hair. Too much oil can also clog the follicle and prevent hair growth. 

Shampoo uses soaps or detergents to get rid of the oil. Detergents are solutions of surfactants. Normally, as the old axiom says, oil and water don’t mix. Surfactants change the properties of the water so that it can first wet the oil. Shampoos with detergent are actually preferable because they are not alkaline and don’t leave calcium deposits, making your hair look dull and lifeless. Too much shampooing and the sebum that protects your hair is all gone, making your hair look dull and damaged.¬†Conditioner on the other hand creates a waxy coating over the cuticle and strengths it as well. By putting a waxy coating over your hair, you’re making the cuticle smoother and making light easier to reflect off of it.

Why is my hair curly? 

Curliness has two factors: the shape of the hair in the follicle and where the keratin proteins are. Keratin proteins make up your hair, skin, and nails. The cortex of your hair is made up protofibrils which is a collection of four keratin proteins. These keratin proteins are attached using hydrogen bonds (bonds of a hydrogen atom to an oxygen atom); this bond is relatively weak. For straight hair, these hydrogen bonds attach to other keratins at the same site, making a very uniform and organized hair. For curly hair, they attach haphazardly, causing bends and twists in the cortex and then in the hair. Since these hydrogen bonds are so weak, water can break them. When the hair redries, the hydrogen bonds will reform.

The hair’s form when dry will depend the form the hair is when it’s wet. If it’s air dried when someone is sleeping, the bonds will bond haphazardly as the wet hair is placed haphazardly. If it’s blow dried, the heat forces the hair to dry straighter. This is the reason braiding your hair when wet makes the hair curlier. The hydrogen bonds are a temporary hair shape determiner, but your natural texture comes from the amount of bridges that connect your keratin proteins are present in your hair.¬†There is another bond that gives the hair its natural texture, disulfide bonds, or bridges attaching keratin proteins. Curlier hair has more bridges, causing the hair to bend to keep these bridges. When you get a perm, you add disulfide bonds to your hair, making your hair curlier.


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Ways to Wear: Overalls/Dungarees, Part 2

I’m back with more ways to wear overalls. I loved finding different ways to pair these pieces. If you haven’t seen part one, click here!

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1. Add a scarf.

Adding a scarf adds some interest to the neckline. This scarf is actually the bottom of a housedress that I’m refashioning. I love the print.

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Shirt: Thrifted

Overalls: Thrifted

Scarf: Thrifted

Shoes: Payless

2. Wear a shirt with an interesting neckline.

Since the overalls length is adjustable, I decided to play with the top. Turtlenecks or the high 90s-esque necklines that are in season add a different twist to overalls.

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Shirt: Espirit

Overalls: Thrifted

Belt: White House|Black Market

Shoes: Payless

3. Wear a button-down shirt.

Buttoned to the top or with a few open on the top, adding a button-down shirt adds some glam. Watch out to not wear anything too striped or you might look like a farmer.

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Shirt: Thrifted

Overalls: Thrifted

Shoes: Thrifted

4. Make it really girly.

By adding this girly pussy bow blouse, it breaks up the boyish shape of overalls. I love the look with one strap off the shoulder.

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Shirt: Forever 21

Overalls: Thrifted

Belt: Forever 21

5. Edge it up.

With a pair of combat boots and a hat, this outfit changes up the youthful look of overalls.

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Overalls: Thrifted

Shirt: New York and Company

Hat: Thrifted

Shoes: Thrifted

6. Add a skirt.

I know this is a little weird, but I think with a blazer and flouncy skirt, the overall top peaking out is very interesting. I would love to know your thoughts!
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surprise there are overalls underneath

surprise there are overalls underneath

Overalls: Thrifted

Shirt: New York and Company

Skirt: Express

Blazer: New York and Company


I think the best advice for styling overalls is to have fun with it! They’re not a super serious clothing item – so enjoy the days you wear them!

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Trends at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards

I’ve always loved the Teen Choice Awards fashion because it’s very different than normal award shows fashion. The outfits are very summery and more casual – and therefore, provide a ton of style inspiration.

Pastel Above the Knee Dresses with Soft Embellishments 

Very cute, very summery. These ladies showed off some leg with these pastel dresses.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Carly Chaikin- Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Brittany Snow – Jason Merritt / Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, trends 2013 teen choice awards

Troain Bellisario


Gabby Douglas - Getty Images

Gabby Douglas – Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Katie Cassidy

Katie Cassidy

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Anna Camp-not a huge fan of this one, but still a part of the trend – Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Jumpsuits & Men’s Suit Inspired

Shay Mitchell- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Shay Mitchell- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev

Demi Lovato- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Demi Lovato- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Crystal Reed- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Crystal Reed- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Tamara Mowry-Housley- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Tamara Mowry-Housley- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sundresses with Quirky Prints 

A lot of these outfits have a Modcloth vibe to them.

janel parrish, teen choice awards 2013, janel parrish teen choice awards, teen choice awards trends

Janel Parrish- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards 2013, kerry washington teen choice awards

Kerry Washington- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice award trends 2013, hailee steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld- Steve Granitz/WireImage

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice award trends, maddie hasson teen choice awards

Maddie Hasson

Matching Separates 

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends

Chelsea Kane

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends

Naya Rivera

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends, cher lloyd

Cher Lloyd

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends,

Host Lucy Hale- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Taking the Surfing and Beach Theme More Seriously 

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice award trends

Bella Thorne- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends

Lilly Collins- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, rebel wilson teen choice awards

Rebel Wilson- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Which look was your favorite? Which trend was your favorite? Who are your worst and best dressed celebs? 


The Sunday Edition: Links of August 11, 2013

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1. Can you solve these 10 of the most difficult logic problems?

2. Did you know that this is a coffee berry. Here are 25 things you never knew about coffee.

3. This random book dispenser is literally so awesome. You’d need to go 112 million times to collect all the books.

4. I love this baby and his selfies.

5.¬†I’m seriously addicted to crepes and here’s a¬†good recipe¬†to make them without being in France.

6. These hats are so cool; I especially like the zipper one.

7. A DIY girly bow tie!

8. These once in a lifetime shots are incredible. I love the kids with the Pepsi and mentos explosion.

9. These are some secrets learned at makeup school.

Song of the Week: Straw Hat by the Ceremonies 

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A Day in the Life: Overall, it was a good day

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a cautious driver always looks at the road ahead…


I went into New York City for the day. First, we checked out the New York Public Library. They had a really interesting exhibit on the importance of children’s books. They had a lot of representations of old children’s books and an entire section about banned books.

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all banned in the us

We then checked out Strand, a bookstore with over 16 miles of used and new books. They had a great selection and we spent a lot of time checking out the numerous titles.

books on books on books

books on books on books

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While returning to Grand Central, we checked out the visitor’s center. I love visitor’s centers more than the average person because I think they’re a great way to find interesting things to do in cities. I really liked that you could write your wishes for 2014 on confetti from the Ball Drop on New Years Eve. I thought that was a really cool idea.

Wishes for 2014

Wishes for 2014

And I wore overalls, my favorite summer trend. I love how comfy they are! I paired it with a grey v-neck. I decided to go “glam” with the accessories and paired it with a black necklace and a black mustache ring. To fit everything and add a pop of color, I used a red clutch.



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stache some treats for later

Shirt: Forever 21

Overalls: Thrifted

Necklace: Thrifted

Ring: Thrifted

Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Bag: Thrifted



crazy driver

crazy driver bids you readers adieu

How do you wear overalls?

What’s the best museum exhibit you’ve ever been to? ¬†



Tips for Thrifting: When to Go, What to Bring, and How to Find Great Stuff

When to Go 

-I’ve found that¬†earlier weekdays (Mondays & Tuesdays) during work hours¬†are the best times to find great stuff. There aren’t a lot of people and you can usually get a dressing room easily. However, not everyone has the liberty of a student schedule, so then I’d suggest avoiding the weekends. I’ve found that it is much more crowded on weekends than after work on week days.

Pay attention to sale days!¬†At Goodwill, each week, different colored tagged clothing is 50% off. If you go at the end of the week, most of the colored tag items are gone. Going in on Sunday or Monday will allow you to get the most stuff with colored tags. At Salvation Army, they have bigger sales on Wednesdays. Most of these sales are on the chain’s website or at the store itself.

Don’t go thrifting if you’re tired.¬†Thrifting can be overwhelming and requires time and effort. When I’m tired, I tend to look at the clothes haphazardly. I also don’t feel like waiting in lines or trying things on when I’m tired which impedes the process.

The earlier in the day, the better. This applies especially to sale days.

What to Bring 

A belt.¬†There have been so many times that I’ve tried on a dress and wondered if it would look good with a belt. Sometimes, options for belts are limited at thrift stores, so it can help if you bring your own that fits you just right.

An outfit that is easy to put on and take off. I suggest bringing an outfit that is loose, but neutral, so that it is easy to try on with finds. I also suggest wearing an outfit where you can easily try something on without going in a changing room. Leggings work well for trying on skirts and tank tops are great for trying on blouses or suits. 

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A dress/skirt/shirt that is your perfect size.¬†In some stores, they don’t have any fitting rooms. By bringing a well-fitted garment, you can have a better estimation if something will fit you or not.¬†

A patient friend.¬†I’m someone who spends an hour or two in a store when I’m on the thrifting prowl. A friend can be an invaluable resource while thrifting as they might find/suggest pieces that you didn’t consider. However, if you have friends that don’t want to spend an hour or two at the thrift store, it’s a good idea to come early, so that everyone’s happy! ūüôā

Other Tips 

Check the¬†tried on rack outside of the fitting rooms.¬†These can be a treasure chest. You can find interesting pieces as it’s almost like going through other people’s closets.

Start small. I usually like to start with dresses or shoes before going into t-shirts or blouses. This allows me to get into the thrifting mindset and prevents me from getting overwhelmed.

Have a goal in mind.¬†This is a weird tip, but I always like to have target pieces in mind when shopping. It stops me from being overwhelmed by giving me a concrete goal. Normally, I don’t find the piece, but I like the others that I found along the way.

Go up and down sizes. Vintage sizing is very different than the sizing we have today and a medium at Forever 21 is vastly different than a medium from another store.

Don’t just look for designer goods.¬†I know some people who only buy things that are designer or on brand. Thrifting has exposed me to so many brands that I’ve never heard of before and that’s part of the fun!¬†

Think not what the garment can do for you, but also what you can do for the garment.¬†If you have some sewing skills, feel free to pick up pieces that don’t fit you completely. With cuts and stitches, you can transform a piece. Here are two examples: The Renegade Seamstress¬†and Buttons and Birdcages.

Have fun! Try on things that you think are ugly- they might turn out to look great off the hanger! Try on lots of pieces and laugh at the strange t-shirts that people donate. Talk to the cashiers- they have great stories. Enjoy the world that is thrifting!

i doubt i'd be that happy without my thrifted fish bag

i doubt i’d be that happy without my thrifted fish bag

Do you have any tips for thrifting? 


Outfit of the Day: The Goldilocks Skirt

I have been searching for the perfect chiffon maxi skirt for about a year. I’ve tried on numerous skirts to no avail. I tried on skirts that were too tight and hard to walk in. I tried on skirts that were too loose. I tried on skirts that were too shear. When I tried on this skirt, it felt “just right”. I love the color – even if it’s a little brighter than I usually wear. The length is exactly what I wanted – short enough to wear without heels and long enough to wear with heels!¬†The best part was that it was thrifted. I searched everywhere for it, but found it for $4 at the thrift store! Just goes to show, you can find amazing things at thrift stores!

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hi blog readers!!

hi blog readers!!

The top is from Threadless – a company that produces designs on shirts and hoodies of popular user-submitted art. It’s great fitting and the airplane on my shirt is made up of tickets, but the tickets are all jokes. I got it about five years ago, but I still love it.


For jewelry, I decided to layer a bunch of old charm bracelets. I love mixing metals!

Shirt: Threadless (Exact)

Skirt: Thrifted

Belt: Thrifted

Shoes: Payless

Bracelets: Claire’s, Charlotte Russe, and Kohl’s (these are from about 7 years ago though)

Watch: Gifted