How to Be a Redhead by Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti

How to be a redheadWritten by the founders of the redhead related website, How to Be a Redhead, focuses on fashion, beauty, hair and skin advice aimed at those of us with fiery-toned locks (both natural and by choice), How to Be Redhead is a primer on how redheads from strawberry blondes to those with dark auburn hair can make themselves look their best.

Naturally a brunette, I decided to become a redhead back in the 1990s, and I haven’t looked back since. I may not have been born a redhead but I really do think I was born to be a redhead. It suits my fair coloring and people tell me my redhead makes my baby blues just “pop.” When I found How to Be a Redhead at my local library I just knew I had to read it.

How to Be a Redhead is divided into several redhead-related topics. First the sisters tell their personal stories on being natural redheads, the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly. Often teased for their fiery tresses, he Vendetti sisters are having the last laugh with their successful website filled with ginger-related gems like hair accessories, fashionable graphic t-shirts and tank tops, and beauty boxes filled with redhead-friendly goodies like sunscreen, hand cream, and cosmetics, and of course, their book How to Be a Redhead.

The next chapter focuses on how redheads can gain confidence in a world where redheads are quite rare and most beauty-related companies, websites and books focus mostly on blondes and brunettes. And let’s not forget some of the bullying redheads face even today when the public face of many redheads include beauties like Julianne Moore, Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne and Prince Harry.

Chapter three focuses on the beauty of red hair and why it should be celebrated, especially by those of us who have red hair. Preach! In this chapter the Vendetti sisters include five steps for finding redhead friendly products.

The following chapters focus on various beauty and fashion issues most redheads face, including hair, skin, nails, make-up, famous redheads, and finally, fashion.

Hair tells us the different red hair colors. Cool tones include strawberry blonde and copper. Warm tones include classic red, deep red, auburn, deep auburn and red violet, complete with photos of various celebrities like Emma Watson and Isla Fischer. My hair is a hybrid of deep red and auburn, which features two of my favorite redheads, the aforementioned Julianne Moore and Debra Messing.

Included in the hair chapter tells us how to figure out if our hair is fine, coarse, or frizzy or normal. This chapter also tells of the best shampoos, conditioners, sprays, gels, styling tools and home treatments for redheads. I like the home remedies because they can be made with simple products found at any grocery store like olive oil, eggs and bananas, are wallet-friendly and easy to make.

There is one part of the hair chapter I do have a quibble with, the hair styles. The Vendetti sisters have gorgeous Rapunzel-like locks and the hairstyles shown in this book reveal this. My hair is long but just past my shoulders. Sure, I can rock a chignon or a bun, but I do wish we could see some hairstyles featuring redheads with shorter hair whether a swinging bob or a cute pixie cut.

Redheads often have sensitive skin, and even though I’m a redhead by choice, I also have sensitive skin, so especially appreciated How to Be a Redhead’s chapter on how to best take care of my skin. This chapter tells us how to recognize our skin types, redhead friendly products and treatments, seasonal skin care and the beauty of freckles.

I’ve recently gotten more interested in giving myself manicures and I liked the chapter on nails including hand and nail treatments,

The chapter on make-up informs the reader of the best utensils every redhead should have in her make-up kit, brushes, eyelash curlers, sponges, tweezers, mirrors and pencil sharpeners. My favorite part of the make-up is the focus on cosmetics from foundations to lipsticks to eye shadows. This chapter includes make-up tutorials. While reading this chapter I also found out that rarest hair color/eye color combination is red hair and blue eyes…

Damn straight!

I usually cringe when a book or magazine tells us “how to get the celebrity look,” so I was ready to dismiss How to Be Redhead’s chapter named just that. But this chapter includes make tips from make-up artists who work with Reba McEntire, Julianne Moore and the hairstylist from Mad Men who gave one of my favorite one of my televised redhead, Joan Holloway-Harris, her notable bouffant.

How to Be a Redhead closes with fashion tips including the most redhead friendly colors, including emerald green, plum purple, ruby red (yes, redheads can rock the red) and various shades of blue, including sapphire, peacock and navy blue. As a hybrid of deep red and auburn hair colors like cranberry red, turquoise, and pink mist are great colors for me. Actually, this chapter tells redheads there is a rainbow of redhead-friendly colors including fuchsia, mustard yellow, black and pumpkin orange. Redheads should also ignore silly myths like don’t wear green (too Christmassy), white, or neutrals. Hey, if you’re a redhead and love a certain color, wear it and rock it!!!!

How to Be a Redhead is a fun read, while also being informative and charming. I just know I’m going to make some of the home treatments found in this book and take a gander at the Vendetti’s website more often.

 

 

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Book Review: Copygirl by Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa

copygirlI’m not usually the biggest fan standard-issue chick lit featuring hapless, yet hopeful heroines working in “glamour” industries like fashion, PR, show business or advertising usually in New York City. The cover is usually some shade of pink and features one of the holy trinity of chick lit graphics—statement handbag, high-heeled shoe, or fancy cocktail.

Copygirl, authored by Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa, features a pink cover the shade of a rather attention grabbing shade of fuchsia. However, there was no handbag, shoe or cocktail to be found on Copygirl’s cover. Furthermore, Copygirl was described as a hybrid of The Devil Wears Prada and Mad Men. I actually liked The Devil Wears Prada, who hasn’t had a nightmare boss? And I just finished binge-watching Mad Men and related only too well to copywriter Peggy Olson, so I decided to give Copygirl a whirl.

Meet Copygirl’s protagonist Kay, after finishing college where she studies advertising, she follows her crush Ben to NYC where they both get jobs one of the city’s hottest agencies with the unfortunate of initials of STD. While in ad school, Kay thought she would write memorable copy like “Think Different” and “Just Do It.” She also thought she’d get romantic with Ben. Sadly, none of those dreams seem to be coming true for our heroine. Instead, Kay is dealing with the STD’s overlords who make Pol Pot look like Mr. Rogers and is writing hapless copy for accounts her much cooler hipster co-workers reject outright. As for Ben? Right now he’s sleeping on Kay’s couch, not her bed.

STD is riddled with egotistical tyrants, high fashion hotties, pretentious creatives and one Diet Coke-obsessed intern with the last name of Bouffa. Bouffa may not have the schooling or experience for this particular internship, but she does have something deemed more important—family connections.

Kay feels completely out of it at STD with her family connections from the Midwest, her wardrobe of sneakers, jeans and hoodies and her low-key, modest and easily intimidated personality. Will she ever measure up and find success? And will she find love with Ben or will she lose him to the office hot girl?

To appease her battered and bruised sense of self Kay makes wax dolls and films them in absurd situations. The main character of Kay’s magnum opus is a doll named Copygirl who warns everybody “Don’t be a copygirl.” Kay shares her videos with her best friend who is currently studying in France. This best friend starts uploading Kay’s videos for the world to see and they become a huge sensation, making Kay feeling both awkward and proud.

Meanwhile, Ben moves out and Kay is convinced he is having a fling with the office hottie. However, Kay finds this hottie is more than a pair of designer boots and a killer wardrobe, and though Bouffa may have family connections, she is also willing to work hard and is pretty nice kid. And then there is suit-wearing guy who might be more than what he seems.

Kay struggles daily with writing appropriate copy for the latest, hippest soda trying to grab the much-wanted Millennial market only to be treated with contempt by her fellow creative co-workers, clueless clients and tyrannical agency heads. Will she find the secret sauce to come up with the right lines that will be iconic as such classic ad copy she dreamed of writing? Or will she be fired with only her wax dolls to keep her company?

Ultimately, I liked Copygirl. It was a fun and breezy read, and I rooted for Kay throughout the book even though at times I wanted to shake her. Spending time in the copywriting trenches I could totally relate to her daily struggles, pretty much dealing with the same obnoxious behavior she dealt with even though I come from Milwaukee. And I also know how creative “me-time” activities Kay indulged in helped alleviate her stress and gain her both kudos and confidence.

But what I really liked about Copygirl was how it didn’t focus so much on romance, but on Kay’s growth in her career and how she forges strong bonds with her female co-workers rather than seeing them as competition both professionally and personally.

In the end Copygirl is a fun read, both fluffy and profound, and I think most working girls will be able to relate to Kay’s plight even if your Devil wears H & M, and your place of work is a mixture of both Mad Men and Mad Women.