Are You Ready for This Change?

By: Jen Shoop

I took about six inches off my hair last Friday, wielding an embarrassingly optimistic handful of inspiration pictures featuring the long bobs worn by Hailey Bieber (see above), Heidi Klum, and Jennifer Aniston. My stylist — the sweetest soul from Venezuela — nodded enthusiastically and then, his shears just inches from my hair, paused.

“Are you ready for this change?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied, as though being asked whether the seat next to me was vacant. That is – unthinkingly, and without inflection.

“No,” he said, and my head snapped up. “Are you ready for this change?!”, issuing a noticeable crescendo in his sweet-tempered voice. I paused. It was as though the universe was speaking directly to me as I barrel towards a season of change. A Magpie reader’s words materialized, as though arrested in a cartoon bubble above my head: Go boldly into your decisions. I looked at him in the mirror.

“YES!” I near-shouted.

“OK then!” he said with a smile.

Coco Chanel said that “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” I left that salon walking straight into the unknown with what can only be described as big summer 2021 energy.

And here we go…!


+I am thinking I might eventually gather all of my NYC recs in one place because I’ve gotten so many one-off inquiries about nanny agencies, cleaning services, restaurants, activities, etc., but let me mention here that Gerardo at Polaris Hair Salon has my entire heart (and my unwavering faith, and he has no idea I am writing this). He is meticulous. He is excellent with cuts and also gave me the best set of highlights I have ever had — I like my highlights with a very fine hand (i.e., not as much contrast, no chunky sections) and I know that takes time and attention. He is an artist! He is also the loveliest man and so easy to sit with for an afternoon. Conversation flows but it’s never awkward if you sort of zone out for a bit. Traits not to be underrated in a stylist!

+Before I discovered Polaris, I used to go to Cutler Salon in Soho, which is also incredible, but I found I was losing an annoying amount of time in transit to/from versus being able to walk down the street to Polaris on the UWS, which was non-trivial for me especially when I was breastfeeding and did not have a full-time nanny and therefore my time to myself was very scarce. (Cutler is also…the coolest? place on earth? I would always come home and tell Landon that the salon must exclusively cater to supermodels. It is always full of beautiful people wearing clothes I do not understand and hair styles I didn’t even know existed. Definitely a good spot if you like to be on-trend. The stylists will know what you want before the thought has even formed in your mind.) I used Adrianna for color (excellent) and Melissa for hair (also excellent), though I believe Melissa has relocated to IGK Salon down the street. She’s worth following to IGK — she is extremely well-regarded and frequently does celebrity hair! She is also a doll. A cool doll. Fun and funny to be around, and I kind of always want to know more about her downtown cool life. I’m telling you, Cutler feels like the wellspring of all things new and trendy.

+You all know I have been in a committed and enthusiastic relationship with my Revlon One-Step for the past year and change. Definitely one of my best pandemic-era buys. I think it single-handedly helped me not descend into despair — it always made me feel pretty, and polished, but required so much less time than any other heating tool I’d ever used. Anyway, I may be changing my tune a bit because my new hair style — more of a blunt/angled bob — does not work as well with the One-Step, which I primarily used to get a smooth, long blow-out with a slight bend at the end when my hair was down to my chest. I now find myself needing to use the one-step and then a flat iron to achieve the effect I want. When I was at Polaris, Gerardo used the much-touted Dyson and I asked him about it and he could not speak quickly or volubly enough about how much he loves the Dyson. He said he loves the texture of the hair after it’s dried by the Dyson, which uses ionic heat and is much gentler, but also more powerful (takes less time)? I don’t know the specifics but I was really hung up on his conviction that hair is much smoother and shinier after the Dyson. Definitely going to be considering this investment in the coming weeks.

+Gerardo also used this Living Proof detangler and protectant on my hair before drying it. I have used many products like it but think I might give it a go after I finish my current bottle of Davines Hair Milk, which I usually layer beneath IGK’s wonderful leave-in conditioner. (My color-treated hair runs on the dry side.) I was so impressed with my blow out!

+While we’re talking hair: I did order one of these well-reviewed wet brushes and will report back as to whether I feel it holds a candle to my Mason Pearson.

+Beauty products I’m currently testing or hoping to test, plus all my favorite beauty buys, and great steals from European pharmacies.

+I shared this a couple of months ago, but I am polar in my shampoo/conditioner regimen: I either use Pantene Pro V ($12 for an enormous duo of shampoo and conditioner) or Oribe’s outrageously expensive shampoo and conditioner. I find Pantene superior to the vast majority of middle-priced shampoo/conditioners, but Oribe just blows everything else out of the water IMO. It is so luxurious and so effective. A reader did tip me off to the fact that TJ Maxx often carries Oribe at a great discount worth considering!

+And speaking of TJ Maxx — it truly is a treasure trove if you have some time to dig. I found some great coffee table books at incredible prices there, including this near-iconic Tom Ford tome, this Vogue, and this Mark D. Sikes. And please do not miss the opportunity to snap up these nearly-sold-out S&L-esque hampers!

+More coffee table decor.

+Farm Rio is just DOING it for me this season. Adore this loud skirt. More statement dressing here.

+I spent a small fortune shipping these melamine cups for little children over from the UK. They are a great size for tiny hands and come in the sweetest prints — mini had specifically begged me for a cup with astronauts on it, and this was the only one I could find, and so I bought it and all the other patterns to justify the shipping. I just discovered these cute ones from Rice that would fit the bill! I also love these summery pastel printed ones by the same brand.

+For before you trust your child with an open-top cup: I love these simple Re-Play sippy cups. Come in great colors, super sturdy, non-garish.

+S&L just launched 20% off everything for MDW — this is such a fantastic ottoman/coffee table option, and how gorgeous is this scalloped patterned duvet cover?!

+OMG this cute little straw bag for littles. A beach house!

+I literally gasped when I saw this black tie-appropriate gown. Have it bookmarked for my sister’s eventual wedding celebration, which has sadly been canceled twice! Once for COVID, the second time because the venue she had booked was permanently closed owing to COVID-related issues.

+More wedding guest dresses here, and if you’re the bride — what to put on your registry.

+From the same vendor: you know I can’t say no to a blue and white stripe! Swoon!

+Just the chicest bone inlay mirror.

+Thanks to the input on this post, I have a long list of great shows to watch. We’re going to start “Mare of Easttown” tonight!

+The joy of learning a new word.

+Wondering if this beauty will go on sale as a part of Memorial Day sales…!

+ICYMI in my post last week: seriously eyeing this scallop-edge cover guard to throw on over my swimsuits…

+I wore these Nicholas Kirkwood sandals in silver to my son’s birthday party last weekend and got a lot of questions about them! I actually bought them last season but didn’t have a chance to wear them owing to COVID and now I can’t find them in silver. (But they are on sale in hot pink!). They have a few variations on this theme out this season, including this fun rope tie style and this slightly chunkier white variation (on sale). I just could not say no to the pearl!

+And finally, speaking of pearls, thanks to Emily for finding this incredibly fun pearl-and-raffia purse for $21! I love adding an exclamation point to an outfit with a little bag like this.

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18 thoughts on “Are You Ready for This Change?

  1. FYI there are 2 S&L outlets in the Bay Area, one in Berkeley and one in Vacaville.. Call them if there is something specific you want , I am pretty sure they ship.

  2. We devoured Mare of Easttown over several nights. Gritty but not overly- gruesome. Anxiously awaiting the last episode.

    1. We are consumed, too. Kate Winslet is transcendent in it — I mean, wow. I have to say that some of the other acting is a bit spotty, but she more than makes up for it.


  3. Third recommendation for the Airwrap. I have a lot of fine hair and it’s cut my morning hair prep time in half. And my hair is glossier and smoother than it’s ever been. There’s a tiny bit of a learning curve, but it’s worth it.

  4. I recently bought the Dyson Airwrap and I can tell you it is life changing! An investment for sure but one I am happy I made. I have taken many hair products recommendations from you and I think we have similar texture, fine and thin but a lot of hair and the end goal is always smoothness and volume! The Dyson makes this so easy!

  5. I have a haircut scheduled for next week and I am going to channel this energy!!

    Also, re: Dyson. I bought the airwrap last month and WOW. I didn’t want to love it (because, uh, it’s like half my rent) but it’s a game changer. It comes with a dryer attachment and also a round brush, the curlers, several flat brushes, etc so really a lot of bang for your buck. I have very long, thick hair and it delivers the perfect blowout and loose curl in less time than an episode of The Daily. I also tried it on my cousin who has the cutest straight bob and we felt like it was just as versatile on a short cut. I agree that it totally changes the texture of your hair…mine is so much smoother and healthier and I’m going even longer between washes. It’s like the most fun toy ever.

    1. WOW. I am so impressed with these rave reviews. So interesting how many of you have cited the airwrap instead of the dryer. I will have to look into both!! This is making me very excited.


  6. “Big summer 2021 energy” = LOVE! I am in a similar place – just got the second dose of Moderna last week, about to chop off 8 inches of my hair to donate (!!!), moved 2 weeks ago, etc. What a great feeling of newness.

    Also, thank you for the heads up about the S&L sale! Have been waiting for one to make some home purchases. Is 20% the best it usually gets for their sales based on what you’ve seen in the past?

    1. Hi Megan,

      With regards to the S&L sale, I have not seen a discount more than 20%, but I did get 20% off and free shipping during Black Friday/Cyber Monday last year. The shipping costs for the things I wanted were the same as the discount so it was helpful to get both the 20% + free shipping. It’s a long time to wait though!

      (Hope it’s okay that I jumped in – I’ve been on the lookout for the same sale!)

      1. Thanks, Erica! Did not see this reply before replying myself! (I have a different interface for responding to comments.) Thanks for chiming in!!


    2. Oh girl!! We are on the same page — on to the next! A great feeling of newness for sure!

      S&L — yay! The most I’ve ever seen them do is 20% off and they offer this a couple times a year! What are you getting?!?


    3. Jen and Erica – thank you so much for the additional info! So helpful. 🙂 I’m looking to buy a set of the Tucker chairs!

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