Swap, Don’t Shop: How to Throw a Successful Clothing Swap Party

Posted 21 hours ago by

Still have that pretty dress that doesn’t fit you right? Did you finally lose those five pounds and now all your pants are a tad too big? Then you should consider throwing a clothing swap party!

Just because you no longer want it, doesn’t mean your besties don’t. Clothing swap parties are also a great way to get a new wardrobe without spending a dime. Below are 8 tips on how to throw a successful one:

manchester clothes swap party Swap, Dont Shop: How to Throw a Successful Clothing Swap Partyphoto credit

1. Curate your guest list

Only invite friends who have a style you actually admire. If most of your friends are preppy, and like to wear colorful clothing, your friend who wears all black and leather isn’t going to have that much fun.

Also, one size doesn’t fit all — make sure you invite people who are similar in size and height. To insure no one’s feelings get hurt, require everyone to bring accessories too. Bags and jewelry look good on everyone!

2. Don’t invite too many people

Don’t invite all 50 of your friends. Definitely keep the number under 10.

3. Set it up right

Make it look as much like a store as you can. Have mirrors out and the clothes neatly folded or hung up on a clothing rack. You can get one for $9 at Ikea here.

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4. Have rules

It can’t be a free for all, it’ll just turn into a mad house. When your friends arrive, have them neatly put their items away on the rack or folded on a table. When everyone is ready to start swapping, have them pull a number from a hat. The number they get dictates the order in which they get to pick clothes. Obviously, the host should go first.

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Below are some more rules that need to be strictly enforced.

- Have everyone bring a specific amount of items.

Just pick a number, say 12. That way everyone leaves with the same amount of stuff they showed up with.

- One at a time

When it’s time to start the swap, the host should go and pick out one item they like and sit back down. The second in line then gets to do the same thing, picking just one item. Once everyone has an item, you repeat the cycle again until everything is gone. If there’s still stuff left, donate it to charity or have the owner take it back with them.

- Quality items only

Make sure everyone is bringing things that are clean, still trendy and not falling apart.

5. Try things on

Once everyone has the items they “think” they want, have everyone try things on!

6. Have a theme

You might assume everyone is going to bring Spring clothes, but you’re going to have that one friend who brings only Winter appropriate clothing. To prevent this mishap just say Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer when you send out the invite.

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7. Have treats

Cupcakes and cake pops would be the perfect addition to a clothing swap party! If your guests are of age, get a bottle of cheap champagne, pour it into wine glasses and put some rock candy in each one. It’ll dissolve and make the drinks a fun color.

If your guests aren’t of age, try one of these delicious and healthy mocktails!

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8. Have fun!

Everyone is hanging out, getting a new wardrobe, eating yummy treats….just relax and have fun. That’s what a clothing swap party is all about!

Have you ever been to a clothing swap party? Let us know in the comments below!


Up Your Decor Cred with These 5 Pieces from BRIKA

Posted 2 days ago by

How you choose to decorate your home and surroundings can really determine your mindset and well-being. Decor has the power to inspire you, energize you, calm you, and even make you happy or sad.

Putting a bright pillow or throw on your couch can give you great energy, while a pillow or throw in a more muted color can relax and soothe you. If you’re trying to revamp your home in order to create a more positive environment, don’t feel you have to spend a ton of money!

Below are five super rad decor items from BRIKA, an curated online shopping site that celebrates American makers, artisans, and designers. These items will make you look like a design connoisseur without the snoot or price tag.

1. Tribal Cross Pillow

A fun throw pillow like this one is the perfect home accessory to brighten up any room. Each shape is hand-painted, traced and cut by Caitlin Parker, the Maker behind Bright July.

brika exclusivetribal1 11 Up Your Decor Cred with These 5 Pieces from BRIKA


2. Bonita Lucite Tray

Bonita, which means pretty or nice in Spanish and Portuguese, is the perfect name for this pattern. Not only is it feminine and fun, it also has a retro feel that reminds us of that unforgettable wallpaper in our Grandma’s kitchen circa 1978.

Put it on your coffee table or couch side table and display your knick knacks in style!

bonita tray   plum Up Your Decor Cred with These 5 Pieces from BRIKA


3. Pink + White 7 Inch Bowl

We can’t decide whether this Wind & Willow bowl is more household item or work of modern art! Use it as a fruit bowl in your kitchen to add some color to your counter tops, or use it as a phone holder in your bedroom.

geometric bowl brika Up Your Decor Cred with These 5 Pieces from BRIKA


4. Anything is Possible Print

We can all use a little inspiration now and then! Monorail’s beautiful inspirational quotes are the perfect addition to any room.

anythingispossible Up Your Decor Cred with These 5 Pieces from BRIKA


5. Pink Ombre Vase

Fresh cut flowers are tops when it comes to instantly brightening up a room, but this Exclusive Carriage Oak Cottage + BRIKA Pink Ombre Vase is a (very) close second. Imagine how beautiful a space would look if they were combined together?

carriage oak cottage ombrepink vase brika1 Up Your Decor Cred with These 5 Pieces from BRIKA


Which decor item is your favorite? Let us know in the comment below!


4 Articles That’ll Make You Think

Posted 2 days ago by

I love to read, but let’s be honest: I’m a sucker for romance novels and anything that tells me what I should (or shouldn’t) wear this Spring. But I also like reading intelligent things — articles that make me think and ponder about life a bit. I try to do this at least once a day, as I spend most mornings writing about beauty and fashion. If I’m not writing about it, I’m taking pictures of it.

Below are four articles I recently read that seriously MADE ME THINK! I hope they make you think too.

large 1 4 Articles Thatll Make You Think

1. The Truth about Basic Bitches: They Will Ruin Your Life

This article by Alden Wicker, the founder of Eco Cult will teach you all about the basic bitch, and why you should purge them from your life. We all have had a basic bitch in our lives at some point. You might even be a basic bitch. Read her article to find out…seriously!

The Basic Bitch doesn’t suck because she likes boring things. That’s just a byproduct. Symptoms of the larger problem, if you will. She sucks because she likes boring things, and she is on a campaign to tear down anyone that has the audacity to like interesting, new, different, intelligent, serious things. The Basic Bitch can be most easily identified by her attitude, which is “Ew, what is that?”

Keep reading…

2. What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Lady Gaga’s Career

This article is by Elliot Tomaeno, the founder of Astrsk PR. It’s no secret that Lady Gaga’s career is plummeting. Her album release date came and went, and no one really cared. After reading a great article on Noisey, Elliot compared Gaga’s failures to entrepreneurs.

I found myself reading this article aloud to a few friends, fascinated by the points the author made about why she thought Gaga’s career was ‘drowning’. Half-way through the piece I realized that there were some important takeaways here–not only for the pop music world but also for the tech/entrepreneurial community.

Keep reading…

3. Are Elite Degrees Wasted on Stay-at-Home Moms?

This great (and eye-opening) article was published by Anne-Marie Maginnis on Verily. A stay-at-home mother who disputes an article by Kelly Goff of the U.K. Guardian, entitled “Female Ivy League Graduates Have a Duty to Stay in the Workforce.”

If a woman at home doesn’t need an elite degree, as Goff argues, one wonders, does she need a college degree? A high-school degree? At what point is a woman not worth educating at all?

Keep reading…

4. If You Want To Travel, You Have To Detox First

This article was published on Damon & Jo on a Dime last month, and in a way, it’s similar to Alden’s article about Basic Bitches. Your life ultimately depends on your surroundings. If you hang around people who don’t support your goals and dreams, you most likely won’t achieve them. In this article, Damon and Jo talk about detoxing the haters from your life so you can live the interesting life you’ve always wanted.

Your mom won’t let you #31 Go Bungee Jumping in Costa Rica because you could get hurt and your friends laugh at you when you want to #8 Go Vegan for a Month. Your attempts to #22 Learn Another Language are thwarted because your conservative family believes they shouldn’t have to press 1 for English. You’ve always wanted to #57 Start a Rock Band, but someone told you “there’s so much competition” and that “it’s not realistic,” so you settled for something more realistic like #58 Dance on a Bar, but even that is hard to cross off without your friends thinking you’re a lil’ slutty slut.

You begin to realize that the life you want to live is not happening due to the people around you.

Keep reading…

I hope you enjoyed these articles as much as I did!


7 Things You’ll Want to Wear This May

Posted 3 days ago by

April showers bring May flowers. True dat! We’re a little bit more than half way through April, which can only mean one thing: Summer is that much closer!

Below you’ll find our favorite budget-friendly fashion bloggers wearing the hottest trends of Spring 2014.

Happy Shopping!

1. Blush Pink

Have you always been a bit afraid of wearing pink? If so, it’s time to overcome your fear! Ease into it by wearing blush pink. Blush is extremely subtle and very sophisticated. We love how Genie, the blogger behind Brunette Braid, wore it in a recent post.

She amped up a simple black and white look by wearing a blush blazer that she found at a thrift store!

blogger brunette braid 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

2. Full Skirts

Full skirts are ultra girly and could easily replace your form fitting maxi skirts this season. We love how Nydia, the voice behind A Girl Named Nydia, went for a monochrome black and white look.

blogger nydia full skirt1 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

  • Black Midi Skirt: $69.90 via Express
  • Necklace: via Baublebar (similar)
  • Crop Top: $29.90 via Zara
  • Sandals: via Zara

We also love how Charlotte Bridgman, the fashion blogger behind Winston & Willow, wore her full skirt from H&M.

blogger winston and willow 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

 3. Sporty Chic

Straight from the Spring 2014 runway, this is a must try trend! Wear a pair of sweat pants and dress them up with a pair of heels like Nadia Aboulhosn.

blogger nadia aboulhosn sporty chic 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

 4. Florals

Floral prints are a necessity every Spring and Summer! They look good on everyone, and there are hundreds of different ways to wear them. Floral prints can work in a business casual office, on a date, and even to a rock concert or music festival.


Emulate Charlotte Bridgman by wearing a floral pencil skirt and nude heels.

blogger charlotte bridgeman1 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May


Wear your favorite pair of floral pants with a striped shirt, nude sandals, and a statement necklace to tie everything together. Check out Kendi from Kendi Everyday for some inspiration.

blogger kendi everyday florals 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May


Now that it’s music festival season, pair a 90′s inspired floral dress with a wide-brimmed hat and a cardigan like Alice from The Mow Way.

Screen Shot 2014 04 12 at 4.51.07 PM 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

5. Pleats

Pleats have been a part of fashion for centuries, but pleated skirts haven’t been popular since the late 60′s. Well…pleats are back and we’re not complaining! We love how Lulu from Simply Lulu Style wore her pleated maxi.

blogger simply lulu style pleats 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

For a more work friendly look, consider getting inspiration from Linda, the blogger behind Trendy on a Budget.

blogger trendy on a budget 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

  • Pleated Skirt: Jason Wu for Target
  • Printed Blazer: $74.58 via LOFT

6. Kimonos

Everyone needs to have a printed kimono on-hand this Spring and Summer! It’ll add some pizzaz and style to your overall boring jeans and a t-shirt look. Jessie from Velvet Daisy decided to wear her paisley kimono with a white sundress.

blogger velvet daisy kimono 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

We also love how Mackenzie, the blogger behind Easy, Lucky, Free, wore her black and white kimono.

blogger easy lucky fre3e 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

7. Metallic

Last, but not least, metallic. If you don’t already own something that’s metallic, now’s the time to consider it. Wear a pair of metallic oxfords with an all-black look or a colorful sundress. Either way, you’ll definitely be noticed! Let Liz from Hashtag Liz be your inspiration:

hastag liz metallic2 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

blogger hashtag liz 7 Things Youll Want to Wear This May

What trends are you going to try this May? Let us know in the comments below!


Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

Posted 7 days ago by

Hair chalking is still super trendy these days, and so the Broke & Chic team decided to make a short and sweet tutorial on how to chalk your hair in pretty pastel colors for Spring!

hairchalkingtutorial copy Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

Of course, you can chalk your hair in any colors you’d like, but pastel hair will make you stand out — every girl wants it. The best part: hair chalking isn’t permanent and it works on all types of hair: from straight to curly, and blonde to black.

If you’re still having trouble, watch our video!

1. Gather all your supplies

  • Soft pastels
  • Water bottle
  • Clips
  • Gloves
  • Comb
  • Blow dryer
  • Flat iron

whatuneed Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

2. Pick your colors

We decided on these pretty pastels. If your soft pastel set doesn’t have any pastel colors, chalk the hair with white first and then immediately after, go over it with a purple, red, blue or yellow.

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3. Section off your hair

HC 1 640x426 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

4. Spray with water and chalk

Spray a 1-inch thick strand with water. Then, grab the chalk color of your choice and rub the strand until it’s fully saturated.

HC 2 640x426 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

5. Blow dry

Blow dry the strand for about 20 seconds.

HC 3 640x426 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

6. Flat Iron

Flat iron the strand using the lowest setting. This dries and sets the chalk into your hair.

HC 4 640x426 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

7. Section off top part of hair

Once you finish the top of the hair, section it off so you can focus on the bottom.

HC 5 640x426 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

HC 6 640x426 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

For more detailed instructions, watch our video below!

Final Look!

HCfinale2 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

To remove the hair chalk, just shampoo!

HCfinal1 Hair Chalking Tutorial: Perfect Pastel Locks for Spring

Submit your hair chalking results to hey@brokeandchic.com and get featured!


Shop Our Coachella Inspired Boutique — Great Buys under $60!

Posted 7 days ago by

Weekend two of Coachella is days away! If you’re not going to be there, you may be wishing you could be. If so, embrace the boho vibe of music festivals around the world and shop our Coachella inspired boutique. Everything is under $60!

You’ll find chic kimonos, unique sunnies, crop-tops, cut-out booties, and of course, floral crowns.

Happy shopping!

shopping loader Shop Our Coachella Inspired Boutique    Great Buys under $60!

For more info on festival fashion, go here.


Give Your Hair Some TLC with These Deep Conditioners

Posted 1 week ago by

Do you blow dry, straighten, or curl your hair everyday? If so, your locks may be dry and frizzy. If your hair is chemically treated, your strands may even feel a bit crunchy. Not a good look.

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For smooth locks that even Blake Lively and Kim K would be jealous of, turn to these nine affordable deep conditioners. These conditioners can be found at your local drug store, and if used on a regular basis, can reverse damage, moisturize and prevent split ends.


Do you have a favorite deep conditioner? Let us know in the comments below!


Give Yourself a French Makeover for Spring with Promod

Posted 1 week ago by

French retailer Promod has FINALLY opened shop in the United States. It’s about time! Promod reminds me of a smaller, and more intimate Zara. Think office friendly attire, European denim, and extremely stylish accessories. Like Zara, most items are under $100.

If you’re bored with your current look, consider giving yourself a French infused makeover! We reached out to our pals over at Promod to give you the three most popular spring trends that you should consider trying this April.

Pretty Florals

After a fierce winter, any sign of subtle warmer temperatures has us thinking of spring. And what better way to identify that than with wearing floral prints? As just seen on the runways, Promod has floral prints that come in a variety of arrangements—find pretty pastels hues to chic dark tones.

Tip: Go from desk to dawn–Pair a great floral dress with a cardigan or jacket for day, then transition to evening with fabulous accessories.

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Bold Brights

Be decisive and brave! This spring is all about bold hues and prints, so if you really want to POP, add some brightness to your wardrobe.

Tip: If you’re intimidated by loud splashes of color, try putting together one of Promod’s bold statement dresses with neutral accessories and a cardigan.

promod3 Give Yourself a French Makeover for Spring with Promod


Delicate Pastels

Now in tradition, light hues are what spring is all about. Despite the brights, there were plenty of pale pastels on the runway; a little different from the typical Easter egg shades. If you like pretty pinks and minty greens, those are right on par for spring 2014 fashion too.

Tip: Look for pastels with a bit of sheerness and pair with a neutral pant or skirt to avoid being overdone. Add some bold or sparkly jewelry and voila!

1510429 367882820020886 480494032 n2 Give Yourself a French Makeover for Spring with Promod

Promod is currently available in New York and Massachusetts. Happy shopping!


10 Great Ways To Spend Your Tax Return

Posted 1 week ago by

Taxes are due today! Meaning you’ve probably gathered all of your W-2′s from 2013 and filed already. Unfortunately, filing your taxes is a tedious task, but for most of us…there’s an award…a HUGE tax return!

Now what to do with it? Of course, putting it into your savings account and leaving it there is obviously the wisest decision. But, if you’re eager to spend it, follow our guide below!

1. A Gym Membership

Have you wanted to join a gym for the past few months but found you never had the extra funds? Well, now’s your chance! Remember, clothes are nice, but your health and well-being should be the first thing on your mind.

 10 Great Ways To Spend Your Tax Return

2. A Personal Trainer

Already have a gym membership? Hire a personal trainer for a session or two. You’ll get the most bang for your buck when you actually know how to use the machines. They’ll also teach you the best way to achieve your fitness goals.

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3. Experiences

Take a good look around your room. Do you really need more stuff? You probably don’t. Go sky diving, go to Europe, go to the Bahamas. These experiences are definitely costly, but you’ll mentally and emotionally get so much out of them. Don’t forget to to check out travel deals on Groupon!

You should also check out a few budget-friendly travel bloggers. We love Damon & Jo!

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4. Pay Off Debt

I know, this one’s a bummer. But you’ll thank yourself later on when you aren’t affected by interest too much.

hundred dollar bills 1 640x287 10 Great Ways To Spend Your Tax Return

5. Go To The Doctor

If you don’t have dental, medical or vision insurance, you might want to consider making a few appointments. Of course, only go if something’s bothering you. Perhaps signs in the distance are starting to look blurry?

Before making the appointment, ask the receptionist what they charge for patients paying out of pocket. That way you won’t be shocked at the bill when all is said and done. Definitely shop around too. One doctor might charge you $100 for an exam while another might charge $300.

eye exam 10 Great Ways To Spend Your Tax Return

6. Re-decorate Your Room

Decorating a room can get costly, and many of us don’t have the funds to just spend a few hundred dollars on something so “material” with one pay check.

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7. Quality Shoes

As girls, we have a habit of buying multiple pairs of cheap shoes throughout the year. Budget retailers like Forever 21, H&M and Charlotte Russe just make it so tempting. Yes, the shoes are trendy and stylish, but they are extremely bad for your feet. Now’s your chance to purchase quality shoes that will last years to come!

First, buy only the essentials: running sneakers, oxfords, black heels, ankle boots and flats. These are the type of shoes you can wear everyday. Just make sure you pick colors that will go with everything. Once those are purchased, buy a funky pair you’ve been coveting if your wallet can handle it.

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8. New Bras

Good bras are expensive. But lets be real, the cheap ones don’t really do much. It’s interesting that we wear bras daily, yet we only own two or three. Don’t you think?

Go to Victoria’s Secret and get a proper bra fitting (so many of us aren’t even wearing the right size). Once you know your true size, invest in a black, white, tan and strapless bra. Again, if you think your wallet can handle it, buy one or two pretty ones that’ll make you feel sexy.

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9. Car Repairs

I know, another bummer, but now’s the time to give your car some TLC.

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10. Plan Ahead For The Year

Do you know for a fact you’re going to need a black tie appropriate dress for your cousin’s September wedding? Moving this summer? Whatever it is, put that money aside now so you don’t get stressed and panic when the time actually arrives.

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What are you going to spend your tax return on? Let us know in the comments below!


The Go-To Hues for Prom 2014

Posted 1 week ago by

Have you found your prom dress yet? The color of your gown could be everything. Every year, the color trends for prom change slightly. To get in the know, we asked our friend’s at David’s Bridal what hues they think will be trending for prom 2014, from pretty pastels to the brightest brights.

prom dress davids bridal1 The Go To Hues for Prom 2014

Pastel Palettes

Soft tones of blush pink and shades of mint green are the coolest color choices for prom girls when it comes to the dance of the year.

8420Y039SIT PROM 11S The Go To Hues for Prom 2014


 Coral Craze

David’s Bridal predicts that every prom fashionista will be clamoring for a coral-colored stunner!

DB20 MCORALBLK SHA68152 The Go To Hues for Prom 2014


Nuts About Pistachio

Shades of green, from light honey dew to radiant lime, are making their way onto the dance floor this year.

XS5482 MMINT SHA69219 The Go To Hues for Prom 2014


Out of the Blue

Blue hues, including aqua and turquoise, make a statement this school season.

8420A90D MTURQLIME SHA68924 The Go To Hues for Prom 2014


Natural Beauty

Prom-goers are beginning to opt for combinations of ivory and champagne to complete their prom queen-worthy look!

10630 MNUDE SHA74754 The Go To Hues for Prom 2014


Orange Crush

Shades of orange are everywhere this year, from tangerine and mango to neon orange and apricot!

8882 MORANGE SHA67786 The Go To Hues for Prom 2014


What color will your prom gown be? Let us know in the comments below!


Drugstore Cheat Sheet: Generic Vs. Name Brand

Posted 1 week ago by

We’ve all been there – standing in the beauty aisle trying to decipher the difference between the name brand product and the less expensive generic brand. When two products have similar ingredient lists and product designs, it’s hard to tell the difference.

Today 800razors.com, the burn-free razor company, wants to share a cheat sheet for when to splurge versus when to save on seemingly similar beauty products.

drugstore beauty Drugstore Cheat Sheet: Generic Vs. Name Brand

1. SAVE your shave – Razors from the drug store have become increasingly expensive over the years, as Gillette has monopolized the market. There is no need to spend a fortune on “name brand” razors. 800razors.com makes American-made razors that compare to the Gillette Venus and Fusion Pro Glide, but cost about half the price!

2. SPLURGE on Moisturizers – Many skin care lines can be quite pricey, but if you opt for the generic versions, you could be cheating yourself out of hydrated skin.

Many generic brands will water down their ingredients in order to charge lower prices. When it comes to hydration, particularly for your face, go for the products with low water content and a quality ingredient list.

3. SAVE on Polishes – Some nail polish brands will charge almost twice as much as other companies, making people believe there is something better about the quality. The fact is, you shouldn’t need to pay more than about 5 dollars for a bottle of polish. Anything more than that, and you could be getting ripped off.

4. SPLURGE on hair coloring – Ok, we know the salon appointments can be pricey but in the end, it truly is money well spent. Box dyes and highlighting kits are not only harsh on your hair, but can end up looking far from the photo on the box.

In the end, you’ll likely end up back at the salon to fix the damage anyway. Look for online deals from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial for hair treatment discounts in your area! If you live in a city, check out Salon Apprentice.