Go-To Dry Shampoos

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Want to know a secret?

I only wash my hair once, maybe twice, a week...and that's all thanks to dry shampoo. It's been life-changing because not only do I save a ton of time, but I can style my hair is many different ways, without feeling like my hair is a greasy mess by day 2!

Here's the low down on how to achieve the same results, and what products I use!

First, you want to apply your dry shampoo at night. I know that may sound odd, but it gives the product time to work for several hours, as opposed to a few minutes.

Second, if you have time, use your blow dryer to heat the dry shampoo a bit. My fabulous hair stylist, Mary (be sure to follow @manetechniques & @mary.t.techniques!), told me about this tip, and it has been a total game changer.

Third, use the right brush. I have a designated dry shampoo/product brush. You want something with bristles because it works the product evenly throughout the hair. I personally use this one by Wet Brush. It's amazing for anyone with extensions, by the way.

In terms of product, I have 3 go-to dry shampoos. I've tried everything on the market, from high end to drug store, and these are what work best for me. For reference, my hair is dark brown (almost black) and is very fine, even with hand-tied hair extension in.

Best All Around/For Everyone 
Living Proof Dry Shampoo
If I could, I'd buy this product by the gallon. Heck, I ordered the largest size available during the recent Sephora sale and have several travel sizes, so I'm never without it. The Living Proof dry shampoo actually cleans the hair, which is amazing to me. I use this several times a week to keep my hair looking and feeling freshly washed. With that, I'm also able to use this the day after a wash for a little bit of texture, without the weigh down, for a more voluminous, styled look.

Best for Extra Oily Hair/Thicker Hair
R + Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo
In my personal experience, R + Co products have been a hit or miss...Their Death Valley dry shampoo, however, is definitely a hit. I use this on the days when there is no turning back, e.g. my roots are super shiny for excess oil production. I've also used this when I've had product build up or shampoo/conditioner was not sufficiently washed out. If you have thicker hair, this will be your new best friend!
For transparency, R + Co did send me this to try, so a big thanks to them for supporting The Sassy Suburbs.

Best Bang for Your Buck/Most Accessible
Kristen Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo 
Available at Target, this dry shampoo boasts all the guts and glory for a fraction of the cost! It's got an amazing scent and does deliver for most; however, if you have darker hair, you really need to work this product into your roots. I've found slight white residue when applied directly to the top of my head. For that reason, I generally only apply it to the under layers of my crown area, or on days when my hair is still relatively clean and I just need a refresh (as the name implies).

Feel free to email or DM me on Instagram with any questions!

Lauren xo 

Quarantine Makeup Routine

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Products Used
*Asterisk indicates Sephora Sale item (10-20% off, depending on status)!

1. Ole Henrickson Vitamin C Cream* {individual jar or set}
2. Beekman 1802 Lip Balm in "Vanilla Absolute" {individual, single flavor set or multi flavor set}
3. Tula "Face Filter" Primer
4. itCosmetics Celebration Foundation
5. Becca Color Corrector {currently out of stock via Sephora // shop now through Ulta or QVC (best buy!)}
6. Benefit "Bo-ing" Concealer*
7. Laura Mercier Secret Undereye Brightening Powder*
8. Tarte "Busy Gal Brow"
9. THE ULTIMATE MASCARA COMBO for a faux lash look: First layer - itCosmetics "SuperHero"*; Second layer - Thrive Causemetics "Liquid Lash Extensions" {shop via Ulta or Thrive's site (better deal with $10 off $50)}
{Be sure to get them both...you'll thank me later!}
10. NYX Sueded Lipstick in "Dainty Daze"

P.S. You can check out my 2019 Sephora Sale Picks HERE! These tried and true recommendations definitely still apply one year.

My Top 5 Work from Home Tips

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Love my hoops? They've quickly become a frequently-worn fave of mine, and I know you'll love them too. You can snag a pair for yourself HERE!

{1} Wear a comfortable, yet put together outfit (and add some light makeup to complete the look! FYI - My quarantine makeup routine will be on the blog next week, but will be uploaded to Instastories today, so be sure to follow along here) - I personally love to wear my lululemon "align" leggings, or these amazon dupes (AMAZING DEAL, btw!), along with one of my Barefoot Dreams cardigans. I'll share more about my obsession with their brand at a later point, but if you've been on the fence, go buy something now! You will not regret it. Below are a few of my top sales picks!

{2} Create a "homey" office space - Regardless of where we're working in our home, we're still working, right? I know my days tend to be just as stressful, if not more-so now, because of our inability to connect and discuss matters in-person. Seeing images of those I love, near and far, give me a sense of peace. Add some of your favorite pictures, a blanket and/or candles to the area, if not already there, to make yourself feel at ease during the day.

{3} Keep your desk clutter-free - I consider myself very fortunate to have a designated home office. Since we had the extra space (for now) and I worked remotely fairly often prior to the pandemic, it was a no-brainer when we moved into our house; however, many of my friends and co-workers do not have the same luxury. I recommend choosing an area in your home that makes you feel happy (see tip 2), but provides for a flat, desk-like surface, such as a countertop or dining table. The first week of quarantine, I actually worked from my kitchen island, and found it to be just as conducive as my office...but I was way too close to the fridge! #Quarantine15... Once you have your space figured out, keep that surface as clear as possible. For example, I know it's tempting to keep that half drunk coffee cup out, but there's a risk it will fall over as you're working. Frankly, the chaos of any extra stuff all around, such as unnecessary papers or random things that belong in other rooms, will just add to the frustrations of the day.

{4} Take frequent, purposeful breaks - This has really helped me to not only cross things off my work to-do list, but my daily, quarantine to-do list. By getting up every hour or so, schedule permitting, I can throw in laundry, address any personal emails, meal prep, etc. I would also encourage anyone who gets a one-hour lunch break to use that time to get a workout in! While I don't do that every day, when I do, it really feels like a huge accomplishment. Sometimes that's the only thing I've accomplished for the day, and that's okay. It's also something I would never be able to do with a normal work schedule, so I love to take advantage. I've tried to apply that mindset to other things I catch myself complaining about during this time, and it has helped me with any anxieties I've had through this process. Hopefully, that tidbit helps you too!

{5} Make your space functional for proper workflow - It's important to assess what is required for you to effectively do your job. I personally need a second monitor and access to a printer. Sometimes,  I just have to review a document the old-fashioned way, rather than on a screen. I don't have many other prerequisites, but you may need a specific computer setup, phone connection or filing system. My point is to do what you can to set yourself up for success within the workspace you've chosen. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to your manager or IT department with inquiries about how to better your workflow. I was able to get a refurbished monitor last year for my home office, at no cost to my company. They were literally about to be recycled, when a coworker told me to put in the request.

Bonus Tip: These are strange, unusual and unprecedented times. Give yourself grace. Give yourself flexibility. Allow yourself to decompress, when you feel necessary. We'll make it through, slowly but surely, no matter what your current day-to-day looks like. 

If you think this post was helpful, please feel free to share! Growing my little online community has been a highlight of this quarantine. I love to connect with you all more frequently. 

Dip Powder Nails at Home

Thursday, March 19, 2020


If you're an avid Instagram follower, you already know that I've been doing my own dip manicure at home since November. I wrote all about my favorite nail technique here over a year ago, and so many of you have come to love dipping just as much. With work schedules becoming more demanding and other priorities taking precedence, I was sick of losing an entire day of my weekend and a ton of money to get my nails done...then I saw an advertisement for Revel Nails...an at-home dip powder kit! Honestly, I was hesitant but it was cheaper than a single nail appointment, so I figured "why, not?" The worst that could happen would be that it didn't work and now I have my own personal powders to bring to the salon. Win-win.

After many months of honing my skills, I'm pleased to share that I'm addicted to my DIY dip. In light of all that's currently going on, I want to encourage you all keep up that social distancing by avoiding the nail salon. Order your starter kit and give it a try - I think you'll adore it, too!

Here's my step-by-step guide* for a successful dip mani in the comfort of your own home:

{1} Wash your hands and dry completely;
{2} Apply an adhesive nail sanitizer to the nail;
{3} Let dry completely;
{4} Apply one light coat of OPI's Nail Envy;
{5} Let dry completely;
{6} With a nail art dotting tool, apply a few dots of UNT Peel Base to each nail, avoiding the edges. This step is very important, if you want to avoid the need to soak-off the product. The Peel Base will cause your mani to essentially pop off within 5-7 days. My nails are so much stronger and healthier because of this!
{7} Let dry completely (wait at least 5-10 minutes);
{8} Apply a thin layer of Base to a nail, not getting too close to the nail bed;
{9} Dip your nail into the powder in a scooping motion (click here for Revel's instructions video);
{10} Repeat on each finger for a total of 3 color dips;
{11} Apply Sealer/Activator all over the newly dipped nail, making sure to cap the free edge;
{12} Let dry for at least 2-5 minutes;
{13} With a high grit curved nail file and buffing block, smooth the surface of the dipped nail. Be sure to go back and check for any lumps or bumps before moving on the the next step. Keep buffing until the desired shape and smoothness is achieved;
{14} Wash your hands without using soap;
{15} Dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel;
{16} Apply another coat of Sealer/Activator, covering the free edge;
{17} Let dry completely (wait at least 5-10 minutes);
{18} Apply one light, quick layer of Top Coat;
{19} Let dry completely (wait at least 5-10 minutes);
{20} Apply one final, detailed layer of Top Coat;
{21} Let dry completely (wait at least 20 minutes);
{22} Apply cuticle oil to rehydrate.

*Please note that this is my personal system and steps {1} through {7} are not required or part of Revel's recommended steps. You can watch my own tutorial on Instastories under my "Nails" highlight.

Feel free to DM me on Insta or email me at Lauren@thesassysuburbs.com.

Lauren xo

Pictures from 2 Recent Manicures

How to Wear Leopard to the Office

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Back in the day, I was a total leopard-lover. To be honest...I don't know that I ever stopped, but the trends changed and leopard was no longer a pattern loved in yesteryears. That all changed in 2019/2020 when it was on everyone's radar again! It's been all over!

Given my old frame was back in business, I was thrilled when J.Crew Factory came out with one of my favorite work blouses in the pattern! It's currently on sale for $32, if you're interested! Shop via the link HERE. When I first saw it, however, I thought to myself: "Is this work appropriate?"..."Can lawyers wear leopard?" I decided to give it a try and see if I got any negative feedback at the office. I'm happy to report that I received nothing but compliments. I attributed this style victory a few key decisions, which I hope will also help you rock some leopard in the workplace: 

First, keep hair and makeup natural. A vibrant lip or big hair (love on a weekend, btw!) can cause you to look too harsh while in a professional setting. You don't want anyone to think of Peg Bundy when they see you, right? I hope I'm not aging myself with that reference...haha. My favorite neutral lipstick is Honey Love by MAC because it's tonal but lasts for a better part of the day. 

Second, depending on the leopard piece, keep the other aspects of your outfit monochromatic. In my case, I had a leopard top, so I wore black trousers with black matte pumps for a seamless look. This allowed the pattern to take center stage, while neutralizing the remainder of the look. I suggest implementing this tip regardless of the type of piece, whether a clothing item or accessory. 

Third, wear classic jewelry. As similarly noted with hair and makeup, accessories should be minimized. Most days, I wear my diamond studs, engagement ring, wedding band and apple watch. This particular jewelry look goes with everything, so it was the perfect option for a look with a bolder pattern. 

Are you also a leopard-lover? Would you try these tips? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to follow along for your daily dose of sassy over at @thesassysuburbs on Insta! 

Lauren xo 

January 2020: Month-in-Review

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What I'm Loving: January always feels like a time of renewal, so I've been primarily dabbling in new skin care and beauty products. My highlight this month is definitely the GloPro by BeautyBio. This amazing little device has completely altered my skin's texture and tone. I ordered it when we were stuck at the airport in August 2019, as we waited to board the last flight out of Florida with Hurricane Dorian looming. QVC, one of my favorite places to snag great beauty-buys, was having a Today's Special Value ("TSV") and I was able to purchase it on 6 easy-pays. After the second use, I was completely hooked. Now, the GloPro does contain microneedles to facilitate this incredible skin transformation. If you know me at all, personally or virtually, you're well aware that I HATE needles. I literally pass out in the waiting room of LabCorp, before I even walk into the room. My mom was shocked to hear I'd even entertain this product, but low and behold, here we are. You don't really feel the needles. It's much more of a tickle, and I've actually have come to look forward to my weekly treatments (GASP!). The science behind the GloPro is as follows: The microneedles create microscopic, surface-level wounds to the face. In turn, those wounds require the body to heal them, which results in new cell production and a renewed, glowly appearance from increased collagen. After months of use, I've seen a significant difference in those baby fine lines starting to form around my mouth and brows, as well as the texture. Just this week, I had a little pimple on my chin, and after a treatment on Monday, it's almost non-existent.

I had two other beauty favorites this month - Beekman 1802 Cleansing Wipes and Native "Grapefruit + Bergamot" Deodorant. First off, the Beekman wipes are life-changing. Never again will I reach for a Neutrogena or drugstore brand wipe. These wipes are full of moisturizing goat milk and good-for-you ingredients, in addition to being cruelty free and clean beauty certified. I use them in the am to hydrate and cleanse my face from any residue that accumulated on my skin overnight, as well as in the evening, when I need to take makeup off. I will say, however, that these wipes are not the best at removing mascara. I'll still use my holy grail Purity for that.

Secondly, I've been a user of Native deodorants for several months now. I made the switch to natural deodorant long before it was trendy, so I've experienced quite a few duds over the years. Native consistently delivers protection, but I do think you may have varying levels of protection depending on scent. In addition to the "Grapefruit + Bergamot", I adore the "Coconut Vanilla", so if you're looking for a place to start, go with that one. Regardless, I recommend applying it morning and night to ensure happy armpits all day long.

What We Did: This month swooped in with a vengeance because both my hubby and I came down with a stomach bug. His was much worse than mine, but we spent a large portion of our weekends disinfecting the house. Speaking of our house, if you've been following for the last few months, you'd know that we are still living with the kitchen reno from hell. The cabinet company ultimately shut its doors last week, filing bankruptcy, so now we are left to (literally) pick up all the pieces. I am personally trying to look at this as an opportunity to make the kitchen remodel better than it would've been originally. We're working with a new cabinet retailer to match pieces and are interviewing alternate contractors to get fresh ideas on how to rectify, complete and better the project. I try to keep you all update to date on my Instastories, so be sure to follow along here (IG: @thesassysuburbs).

Looking Forward: Happily, we'll be fitting in some travel in February...plus, it's my birthday month! I'll be 29 this year, and boy, do I have a lot to reflect on as I enter the last year of my twenties.
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