As a naturally pale brunette from Los Angeles, I can tell you that not all California girls are blonde, blue-eyed, and tan. But when I moved to New York City this past May, I was shocked by how different beauty tastes are from coast to coast—I had to make some adjustments. And I’m not the only one. I talked to the other West-Coast natives in the office to find out how they’ve adjusted their beauty routines.
Nails: In California, OPI is the gold standard for polish — if a salon doesn’t carry it, it’s not worth it’s salt. In New York, Essie is so popular, it prompts conversations with strangers. “Are you wearing Mint Candy Apple?” “Oh, me too!” And when faced with the choice of a manicure or a pedicure, California girls will always choose the latter. “My toes are always showing in California. I’d much rather they look good,” said Editorial Assistant Victoria Cheng. I’d guess that East coasters would pick groomed nails over groomed toes if they had to. (I won’t make any generalizations about who’s more likely to talk with their hands.)
Hair: We wear our hair in air-dried beachy waves all year long in California. If you try that trick in New York, you might end up with icicles in the winter. Instead, many city girls go to the salon for blowouts — a service that is foreign to most of my California friends.
Lips: I didn’t start wearing fuchsia lipstick until I moved to New York. In California, not only does lipstick run in the heat, but it also tends to come across as a little too dressy. Instead, most girls highlight their eyes. “My friends are always experimenting with smoky, sexy shadow, but in New York it’s usually just a quick swipe of mascara and maybe eyeliner,” said Editorial Contributor Christiana Molina.
Spray Tans: In California, a deep, dark tan looks totally normal, but if you’re walking around with one on the streets of NYC, people will think you’re a tourist. Most women here ask for a nice, natural glow — think a weekend in St. Tropez, not Spring Break in Cabo.
Brows: As Beauty News Editor Heather Muir pointed out in a recent post, New Yorkers often choose to thread or tweeze their brows. Waxing is more popular in California, but natural, well-groomed brows are a beauty-DO on both coasts.
What beauty trends do you notice in your city? Are you a beach bum, city girl, or a bicoastal beauty?
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Signature Hair: Chris McMillan