megan graham beauty: the blog

My favorite personal trainer

posted by Megan Graham on 12/06/17

My favorite personal trainer Boston

my favorite personal trainer Boston

I love beauty as well as fitness.  As many of my friends and clients know, I do fitness competitions and I work out regularly not only for my physical health, but also my mental health.  During my days working with clients we talk about so many things fitness related and they often ask me to train them, but I am not a personal trainer.  My favorite personal trainer is Boston is James Larson ( he works at the Equinox gym on Avery Street).  I send many of my friends and clients to see James at Equinox so that he can help them with their goals….from body fat loss, to healthy pregnancy to gaining strength James does it all.  Don’t let his muscles fool you either, he knows how to achieve the lean, feminine look that women often seek.  (It’s also highly unlikely that most women would ever gain too much muscle anyway, it’s so much harder than you would ever expect!)

One of the things that makes James Larson my favorite personal trainer in Boston is that he has such a pleasant, encouraging and professional attitude.  There’s so much to be said for enjoying your appointment time when you are spending your valuable time and money, and whenever I send James a new client I feel confident knowing that he will take the best care of each person that I send, and do everything in his power to get the desired results.

I have always been someone who really enjoys working out on my own, so when I first started lifting weights I spent about a year with a great trainer learning how to do the movements properly, with the intention of eventually doing my workouts on my own.  For some, this could be a great strategy, while for others…making a concrete appointment with a trainer can be crucial in a successful fitness quest as many people seem to be unable to make the time they need for themselves.

To contact James to learn more about his personal training, please email him at: elitebodz@gmail.com

 

Stay healthy and beautiful!

 

Megan

Best Microblading in Boston

posted by Megan Graham on 11/28/17

 

The Best Microblading in Boston

The best Microblading in Boston

Getting anything thing done beauty-wise that lasts for more than a couple of months can be scary.   Usually if you aren’t thrilled with a haircut or color, it doesn’t take forever to change it…but with a service that is going to stick around for longer such a microblading (semi-permanent makeup ) on your eyebrows, you want to make sure that you and the expert who provides the service are on the same page.  When asked who does the best microblading in Boston, my answer is always Prettyology (18 Newbury Street in Boston).  Julie Michaud had provided amazing training to each and every one of her team members who provide this service, and the results are amazing and natural.  Although I used to be a one brow expert kind of gal, due to an intense travel schedule the last few years I have seen just about every brow specialist, and they are all incredible.

Filling in your eyebrows daily can be time consuming, and a bit of a hassle…so waking up with perfectly shaped brows every single day can be a great time saver, and will also ensure a consistent look.  Although I know that everyone is different, I personally am THE most sensitive person and the microblading itself is something that I find a little painful, so I ask my Prettyologist to use the hand tool to fill my brows with a brush stroke effect.  Some people may not find the process especially painful, I just happen to be someone who does.  I would also not recommend going to get the service done right before having your period or during.  This tends to be a time where women are more sensitive, and you want to be at your best to make the appointment as easy as possible.  At the end of the day any discomfort you feel will be well worth it when you have the gorgeous brows you have always wanted!

I always bring photos to show what I like, and also what I dislike when I go in for a consultation with anyone that I haven’t seen before.  Pictures are such a great way to explain why you want to see…as well as what you want to avoid.  I can confidently say that the best Microblading in Boston happens at Prettyology, and I have never sent a friend or client that was dissatisfied with their results.  To book an appointment, or to learn more about the service call: 617.262.1607.

Stay healthy and beautiful!

Ps.  If you are hesitant to get your brows Micro-bladed, may I suggest that you try the brow tweezing service offered by Prettyology, or a facial?  I promise I’ll never suggest that you go anywhere that isn’t the best of the best:)

Megan

Best Yorkie Breeder

posted by Megan Graham on 11/20/17

Best Yorkie Breeder

Teddy, Lola and Poppy (our frequent houseguest:)

Some people have children, I have a lovely and happy little dog family.  I’ve been in love with the Yorshire Terrier breed for years and never imagined it would be so difficult to find the best yorkie breeder.

Living in the city I quickly realized that it was much easier and more manageable to have smaller dogs.  As much as I love labs, they need so much exercise…more than I can give.

When I started looking into adding a yorkie to my family, I knew I wanted to find the best yorkie breeder, but I didn’t know how.  It took weeks (maybe months) of research to find the right breeder.  You might wonder why it is so important to find the right breeder… The right breeder chooses healthy dogs to breed that have good dispositions, and treats them with kindness.  It is not just a business for them, it is a labour of love and they care about things such as: a dog going to an appropriate home that is prepared to care for (and love) a puppy for life, keeping the puppy until it is fully developed and has learned what it needs to know from it’s mom and litter mates, giving the new family help and advice as needed throughout the pups life so that it gets the best healthcare etc.

Be aware when looking for a breeder that just because a yorkie puppy is cute (they all are) it don’t necessarily mean that you should buy it.  Investigate all possible breeders as if they were a potential boyfriend you met on the internet (google away!!)  Many years ago, I went to visit my first yorkie “breeder” and she had a beautiful home, lovely puppies and I wanted one so much!  I decided to go home and make sure that she was who she appeared to be, and guess what?  It turned out that she is a puppy broker who only pretends to breed the dogs.  She gets puppies that are shipped in from the Midwest (under deplorable conditions, many don’t make it) separated from their families at 6 weeks, and bred in terrible, confined spaces which are in my opinion cruel and abusive.  This is in fact, how many of the dogs that you find in pet stores are bred as well.  It is a sad, and awful way to get a dog which we should all protest by never buying a dog through a broker, or pet shop.

These are the things that I would avoid when looking for the best yorkie breeder:

  • Anyone who is willing to ship a puppy to you in the cargo hold of an airplane.  Would you do this to a human baby?
  • Anyone who does not interview YOU and ask you questions about the time you have for this puppy, and how you plan to care for it.
  • The word Teacup.  There is no such thing as a teacup yorkie.  There are some yorkies that are smaller than others…that’s it.  Teacup is a marketing term used by unscrupulous breeders.
  • Letting a yorkie pup leave its family before 12 weeks.  They are tiny dogs and need to be with their families till 12 weeks.
  • Someone that is not an experienced breeder and decided that they “should” breed their dog at least once in it’s life.  (cringe)
  • They sell to pet stores
  • You are not allowed to meet the mom and litter (it is normal for the dad to be off site)
  • You are not allowed to see the breeding facility
  • They advertise dogs with “rare” traits

Doing your research before bringing a new member of the family home is so important.  Although there are no gaurentees that your dog will be healthy forever (just like people) you have a better chance of a healthy, happy four legged member of your family if you get a puppy from an established breeder.

My yorkies came from a breeder that I would not only call outstanding, but has also become a good friend.  When I met Cheryl Kroll of HiHopes Yorkies eleven years ago she taught me so much about the breed, and made sure that I would be able to provide a good home to Teddy.    Over the years she has supported me and given me advice more times than I can count when I needed it.  When Lola broke her leg she sent me to an excellent vet who fixed it perfectly, and she has been happy to help with even the smallest issues.  Cheryl actually kept Lola for thirteen weeks before I picked her up, because she thought that she would need an extra week with her mom based on the fact that she was so small.  She is a Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Breeder (I would always look for this).  She cares for the dogs with love, finds them the best homes possible, and recently tried to help me find another Yorkie (that she did not breed) a home.  I can’t say enough about Cheryl, and would recommend her highly to anyone considering adding a Yorkie to their home as I consider her to be the best yorkie breeder.  If everyone stopped buying pets in pet stores or from websites that ship puppies, imagine how many dogs we could help?  To learn more about Yorkshire terriers from HiHopes Yorkies please contact Cheryl at: 508.341.9142 or HiHopesyrks@gmail.com

 

Stay beautiful, and make the world a better place!

 

Megan

 

Holiday Fitness

posted by Megan Graham on 11/07/17

Holiday Fitness

Holiday Fitness

Most of my clients in the salon know that my passion isn’t only for hair color, fitness is a huge part of my life.  During all of my appointments at the salon I help many of my clients with their nutrition, figuring out how to stick to a gym schedule, or what the best training method for them might be,

As the holidays approach, I always get excited….I love the decorations, time with friends and delicious food.  Unfortunately, just like everyone else I tend to eat more than I need, and have usually gained a few extra (and unwanted) pounds after the holidays.

Since the same things tends to happen every year, and I don’t want to spend the entire month of January worried about potentially ripping my jeans while I’m wearing them….I’ve started being proactive.  I do a few weeks of more intense training (and focused nutrition) in early November, so that I can be extra fit and lean.  This gives me some leeway to enjoy my holiday parties and overeat (a little:) so that I still feel great when the holidays are over.

It’s easier for me to make sacrifices and to work a little harder when I have a specific goal in mind, so I try to be as concise as possible when getting really for the holidays.  If I lose 2 pounds before the holidays I have a bit of flexibility in my diet, and can enjoy my time with family and friends that much more.  While some may thing I’m a maniac for planning this carefully, I know myself, and I’d rather watch my holiday fitness than pay the price in January.

Starting at the beginning of November I:

  • Track my eating
  • Get 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day
  • Add two walks into my week (30 min each)
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Don’t eat Sugar, Candy, Cakes, Cookies or bread
  • Drink at least 3/4 of a gallon of water a day
  • Always have a snack with me
  • Complete all scheduled workouts

It’s not as hard as you’d thing to stick to something, especially if you only need to stick to it for a few weeks.  The holiday season is the time that many of us gain weight and some keep it on for a lifetime.  Just my personal opinion, but I feel happier and more energetic when I am fairly lean.  I’m willing to put in some extra effort to stay that way.  Stay happy and heathy and have fun with your Holiday Fitness:)  xoxo,  Megan

 

Almond Milk Recipe

posted by Megan Graham on 11/06/17

With every passing year, I have looked for more natural and home made options as I have learned more about all of the preservatives and additives that go into the foods that we eat every day.  At first when a friend sent me articles on organic things I was resistant and thought that it was a little over the top…but the more that I read, the more it made sense to me.

Part of the reason that I have learned to gravitate toward more natural and simple options is that I feel better and have fewer stomach issues when I eat things that have very simple ingredients.  I noticed that the gums and thickeners that are added to man of the commercial almond milks really upset my stomach, and also caused bloating which can be a real day ruiner!

Making your own almond milk is quick and easy, and it tastes so much better than the stuff that you can buy in the store.  Follow my almond milk recipe and you won’t be disappointed.

I soak a cup of raw almonds overnight in fresh, filtered water.  After soaking overnight I rinse them in a colander or strainer.  Place the almonds in a Vitamix (or whatever powerful blender you use) and fill the blender 2/3 of the way with filtered water.  Blend till creamy (you’ll know!) and then pour through a strainer into a bowl.  Note:  some recipes will tell you to use cheesecloth, don’t bother…it’s slow, messy and ineffective and you’ll never want to make your own almond milk again because it takes solo long.  After staring out the “pulp” I rinse out the blender and pour the almond milk back in and add a splash of vanilla, a bit of sea salt and honey to taste.  I store my almond milk in glass milk jars that I bought from whole foods and just keep re-using.  They sell them on Amazon too but it’s much cheaper to just buy them at Whole foods.

Once you try this recipe you won’t want to go back to the store bought stuff.  Stay healthy and beautiful!

 

Horseback riding

posted by Megan Graham on 10/25/17

horseback riding

horseback riding

I try to share a little bit of everything in my blogs for the salon.  I’ve always believed that the true secret behind all beauty is happiness, passion and fun.  Without all of these things beauty is a bit shallow.  Sometimes I talk about beauty, but many times I share my favorite experience on my blog.

Growing up in a small town in New Hampshire I learned to love horses at an early age.  My sister had a pony named Sugar, and I rode her for the first time at the age of 4.  My friends and I all loved horses so much and we carpooled to HoneyLane farm every week for our riding lessons.  I wasn’t the most polished and fancy rider around, but spending time with horses was my happy place and my way of remembering who I was and where I came from.

Living and working in the city is a far cry from the farmhouse at the end of a dirt road that I grew up in.  It’s beautiful in Boston, but I don’t get to be outside as often as I’d like to be.  Recently I asked my friend and mentor Joanna if she knew someone who could take me out  horseback riding and she suggested her friend Amy Tissera of Equestrian Countryside Rides https://www.facebook.com/Equestrian-Countryside-Rides-and-Lessons-for-Children-Adults-256106914832977/

Amy is an amazing equestrian, but she is also such a kind person who makes you feel comfortable and at home as soon as you meet her.  I was nervous to ride again after so much time had passed, but Amy made sure that I felt confident and gave me tips along the way as needed.  She put me on Simba, the sweetest, happiest and most easy going horse.  It was so relaxing and fun to spend time with Amy, and being in my natural element with horses again was so refreshing.  She also takes students on beach rides and teaches lessons at a stable.  I’d highly reccomend Amy if you (or your child) would like to go horseback riding.  If you’d like to contact Amy you can reach her at: amy.tissera@yahoo.com

 

Stay beautiful!

 

Megan

With Sugar and my mom in 1986

With Sugar and my mom in 1986

Back to School

posted by Megan Graham on 07/29/17

Back to School

Back to School

To me, September has always been the start of the new year, even more than January.  As this summer comes to a close our hair has been through so much.  Swimming, traveling and staying in places that may or may not have the best quality hair products. For many of my clients who have been in Nantucket or traveling in Europe, they may not have been able to touch up and maintain their color.

From August 1, to September 1st Alyssa Satmary will be offering a student special (valid for students of all ages with a valid student ID) to get you ready for back to school  A partial foil, haircut and Kerastase treatment which would usually be three hundred and fifty dollars booked without the promotion will be 300 dollars when mentioning this offer.  If you know someone that would be interested in having this experience please feel free to share this email.

This offer doesn’t include a single process or corrective color, so if your hair needs a complete makeover it may not be the perfect fit, but if it needs moisture, health and a gorgeous influx of color this is perfect for you!

Some tips for replenishing summer hair:

  • As the summer nears to a close, and I feel the ends of my hair desperate for moisture, I love to leave a little Olaplex treatment in the ends of my hair when I spend time outside.  Whether exercising, spending time on the water or relaxing, I can give my hair the moisture it needs at anytime.
  • For many of my clients who spend time in Nantucket I see quite a buildup of minerals.  Using a Malibu treatment to cleanse the hair of unwanted minerals and unsightly tones will preserve your highlights tones for a longer amount of time.
  • Although I know it can be tempting, please don’t put wet hair up into a ponytail.  It’s more damaging than you can imagine to wrap an elastic around wet hair, and will cause a great deal of damage in the end.

Pure Glow Boston

posted by Megan Graham on 07/24/17

Pure Glow Boston

Pure Glow Boston

I don’t know about you, but I look like a totally different person when I’m tan.  Sometimes something seems off and I can’t put my finger on the problem.  No outfit seems to fit, I feel less in shape than I usually do.  The root of the issue always seems to be that I need a little more color,  Unfortunately, many of us have realized that the sun isn’t the best thing for us.  Although I do try to get a little vitamin d on my walk to work, I get my color by airbrush tanning.

For the longest time I did my own tan at home.  It seemed easier that scheduling, and what’s more convenient than doing it at home?  Except there was a bit of a problem, unbeknownst to me, the tanning solution tanned the grout in my shower too, and no amount of Soft Scrub with bleach, or good old-fashioned elbow grease would remove it.

Recently I made an appointment at Pure Glow Boston to have an airbrush tan done.  It’s in a convenient location in Boston at 176 Newbury Street, there is online booking which makes it easy to schedule an appointment, and the solution look very natural and has a pleasant, almost sugary scent to it.

Victoria did my tan, and she is very professional as well as thorough. Upon my arrival she explained everything about the tan, as well as the various color choices I could make.  She suggested walking home without a bra to avoid tan lines which was probably a great idea, but it feels awkward walking around that way.  I think I might just take the lines next time.

Overall I would definitely reccomend Pure Glow Boston.  One thing that threw me off a little was that when you make a purchase you are not offered an itemized receipt was was a bit odd.  I thought I’d get one in my email, but I’ve yet to receive one.  I wrote to request one and will update if it is received.

Tips for airbrush tanning.

  • Wear loose, dark clothing
  • exfoliate well several hours before your appointment
  • moisturize at least once a day after a spray tan with an unscented, oil free moisturizer
  • wait 8-10 hours to shower
  • avoid getting wet after a spray tan
  • prepare to look amazing

It’s so much easier (and healthier) to get a spray tan than to spend the time, and create the damage that the sun (or worse) the tanning beds will give you over time.

Last but not least, if you do make an appointment take note of the salons cancellation policy.  You can change or cancel a spray tan up to 12 hours before your appointment time.  Just my opinion, but I think people can be disrespectful of the dedicated time that businesses set aside for them, and act as if cancellation policies are ridiculous.  This is a business, and it’s setting aside a special time…just for you.  If your schedule changes constantly, or at the last minute….you should make your appointments at the last minute to avoid being charged.  You can find out more info at www.pureglowtanning.com or by calling: 617.267.4455 Stay healthy and beautiful!  Megan

What to pack for St. Barths?

posted by Megan Graham on 07/12/17

My godmother always told me that people are happier to see you when you arrive for a visit with less baggage.  Although I do believe that to be true, packing light isn’t the easiest thing for me..but it’s something that I seem to have gotten more skilled at with time and experience.  Packing light for St. Barths is easier than you’d think.  Here is what to pack for St. Barths.

  • Swimsuits. 4 is a good number, you’ll wear them all the time because it’s incredibly hot.
  • dressy sandals
  • leather flip flops.  (because you don’t want to look like a slob)
  • One pair of dressier wedges (or skip and just wear sandals)
  • Rompers.  I brought two and barely wore anything else
  • Sunglasses
  • hair ties…it’s hot.  You’ll want your hair up
  • A sunhat
  • two pairs of shorts
  • Several tee shirts
  • pajamas
  • As little makeup as possible.  Did I mention it’s hot and humid?   There is no way that I could wear my normal foundation there, don’t bother bringing it.
  • Clean and clear oil blotting papers

Things you’ll want to wear more than once.  Bodysuits are great for this too.

Things I wish I hadn’t brought:

  • A jean jacket.  I was never cold
  • A long maxi dress.  Too heavy and too hot.
  • Anything too dressy.  It’s very casual, and you’l want light things that breathe well.
  • My computer.  I was too busy having fun to work.

Pack as light as possible, and if you forget something, they’ll definitely have it there.  Your hotel most likely has a laundry service and you’ll be able to pack so much less if you launder it when you’re there.  Sunscreen and things that that are so much better to buy there so that you don’t have to lug them on the plane.

The importance of a great men’s haircut

posted by Megan Graham on 06/13/17

I have always been a little bit puzzled by men that put little thought into their haircut and style. Although I often hear women lament about the fact that our beauty routines are longer than what men have to do, I think we actually have a distinct advantage, and that is that we have more variables that we can control….one thing I think is often overlooked?  The importance of a great men’s haircut.

Men really only have a few things that can change and enhance with their look. Physical fitness skin care, apparel and a great haircut. I think all of these things are equally important, but a good haircut is something that I rarely see on a man.

Even my own beau, whom I have to say is dashingly handsome…. has been known to get a bad haircut in the past and I have to say it made a big difference. When the right person cuts his hair it looks amazing, when the wrong person cuts his hair.. Let’s face it, it’s awkward.

Yes, it costs more to get a great haircut but it something that you enjoy every day. If not for your own enjoyment, the people around you will surely notice. The will most certainly appreciate the importance of a great men’s haircut.

Alyssa Satmary does great men’s haircuts and takes pride in doing the most flattering design and style. She has a way of looking at a men’s facial structure and bringing out his best features while minimizing flats. I truly don’t believe it’s vain to care about your appearance, as appearance is part of your physical body and we should take care of each facet. To book a men’s haircut with Alyssa please call the salon at 617-236-8100