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Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Ananda Chicago!

Congratulations to Jessica Schleinzer on winning our 183rd High Five Giveaway and thank you to all who entered!

Our next High Five Giveaway is for a $50 Gift Certificate to Ananda Chicago.

About Ananda Chicago

Ananda Chicago specialize in handcrafted jewelry with semi-precious stones, fresh water pearls and crystals. Ananda Chicago offers items for everyday wear as well as original statement pieces for special occasions. Thousands of items on display including handcrafted fashion jewelry, fine Italian silver, handbags, clothing and a complete bridal section.

Ananda Chicago is located at 1 West Wacker Drive. Visit their website at

Contest Question

What was the name of the dog that was XEX’s Facebook Pet of the Week on December 13?

Click here for the answer!

Now, just add a comment to this post with the right answer to be eligible to win! The winner will be announced on Monday, January 15. Entries must be received by midnight on Sunday, January 14.

All individuals 21 and older are eligible, whether you are a client of XEX or not. Must be able to pick up the gift certificate at XEX, 35 West Wacker Drive, Chicago. Must pick up gift certificate within 30 days. Leaving a comment opts you in for the XEX email list, which is sent out 1-2 times per month. You may unsubscribe at any time.
December 15, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: High Five Giveaways

Winter Hair Trends 2017-2018

The year is slowly rolling to an end and the winter season has just arrived here in Chicago. With a brand new season that ends with a brand new year, there are all sorts of fresh trends hitting the scene. From cuts to wild color, 2018 has got every taste and style covered. Read on to find out what’s hot this winter.

Keeping it Natural

Last year, we saw a ton of length especially when it came to extensions. This year, we’re keeping it simple with a more natural approach. For this look, keep hair at a length that works for you- something you can style with little effort. This look is all about air-drying your hair and embracing its natural texture with a little bit of finger styling to help movement. Bets products for this look are dry shampoos like MoroccanOil or Verb. These will eliminate any oils from your hair but will help add volume on non-wash days.

Shag is in!

If you’re someone who is stuck on short hair or is in the process of growing out that shaved cut from last year and needs something new, look no more. This year, we’re taking bobs and we’re giving them a little edge. The shag is back in full swing this winter. Taking inspiration from the 80s, creating extremely short layers up top while keeping the ultimate length long will have you feeling like a rock star. This look gives you movement and versatility. Grab some Grooming clay to help add a piece-y texture throughout your hair.

Sleek it back

This look went out of style a couple of years ago, but its back with a vengeance. Slicked back styled hair is coming around in 2018 as seen on the red carpet. This simple style gives volume and fierceness which still looking relaxed and wearable even in every day wear. A mouse such as MoroccanOil’s Volumizing Mousse can help blow-dry your hair back while adding volume. A lighter hairspray like Aveda’s Air Control or a light pomade such as Aveda’s Pure Performance Pomade can help style the hair and keep it slicked back.

Looser Curls

Last season, the look was more coiled when it came to curls. This winter- along with trying to keep it natural- looser curls are in. Curls that are relaxed and natural feeling are perfect especially through the cold weather. All you need is a one inch or larger barrel curler if you don’t naturally have curly hair. Instead of pinning the curls to allow them to cool, let them hang and run your fingers through them to loosen them up. For natural curly hair, add a curl enhancer like Aveda’s BeCurly Curl Enhancer or MorocanOil’s Curl Enhancing Cream. If you’re looking to keep curls in your hair, MoroccanOil’s Curl Enhancing Spray is perfect for hold and extra oomph.

Release your Unicorn

We’re finally stepping away from the ‘granny’ trend and moving back into the Technicolor dream; however, instead of bright neon, we’re going back into softer pastels. Pastel colors let you get creative with your hair without feeling overbearing. The look is soft and delicate with the room to be as wild as you can dream. Looks like Opalite Hair, Rose Gold and Lavender will be coming back into the seen just in time for Spring! Keep in mind: Pastels can be a process if you’re not already blonde. You will need to talk to your stylist before taking the plunge since it can be a long process.

Violets are in

Alongside pastels colors, the color of the season is violet! Whether you’re looking for a deep, jewel-toned plum or a soft lavender, you can’t go wrong with this color trend. Violet is a pretty simple color to achiever whether you have dark or light hair, just know that there may be some time and lightening involved getting the look. Since violets have such a wide range of tones, don’t be afraid to talk to your stylist and have them help choose the perfect shade for your skin tone.

Welcome the warmth

There have been a lot of cool colors on trend this year from gray to icy blonde, but we’re stepping away this year. Trends like ashy browns and gray tones are still in; however, we’re seeing a lot more warmth to the hair. This ranges from buttery blondes, to coppers. Even darker tones are adding coppery red undertones to their hair to create deep mahoganies and chocolatey brunettes.

With all the trends bringing us into the New Year, some from last season are here to stay such as balayages, rooty blondes and ashy tones. Don’t forget to consult with your stylist on any major change you’re looking to get done for your hair, they’re here to help! We can’t wait to see what spring and summer will bring in 2018, but for now, we’re ready for winter!

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:
December 14, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair

Holiday Beauty Tips

The holidays can be a stressful time. Between the end of October to the beginning of January, we’re all running around prepping, attending holiday parties and shopping all while trying to get our beauty sleep. There’s no reason why your skin should begin to suffer as we triumph through yet another year. Read on to find out how you can give yourself the gift of fresh, rejuvenated skin this holiday season.

Cleanse before you Sleep

There are a lot of events going on the last few months of the year and most of us are probably sporting a little extra makeup than our everyday look. Even though removing your makeup before bed is a must, it’s important to cleanse your skin before you sleep as well. Taking your makeup off can still leave behind trapped dirt and oils in your pores. This can rub all over your pillow case and stay there for the next time you rest your head.

To avoid break outs, you should develop a nighttime skin routine to refresh your face. For a basic routine that’s quick and easy, start with a face cleanser like Aveda’s Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser. This helps remove dirt and oil from the surface of the skin. Follow by Aveda’s Toning Mist to even out the PH balance in your skin and finish up with Hydrating Lotion to seal in moisture and keep your face from getting dry.

Hydrate Once a Week

Between blistery winds and a face full of makeup, your skin is bound to dry out. You should moisturize your face daily to keep it soft and supple; however, it won’t be enough against all that extra drying. During this time of year, it’s a good idea to use a hydrating mask once a week such as Aveda’s Intensive Hydrating Mask. This will allow your skin a little extra hydrating boost and prevent any over dryness or cracking that may occur. Just apply the mask after your toner, then moisturize after! It’s that easy.
Help those Tired Eyes

Scheduling, holiday shopping, cooking, these things are endless and tiring during the holidays. Even though we’re losing sleep, we’re still trying to put our best face forward. To help you with those under eye circles you may develop, invest in an under eye cream such as Aveda’s Eye Firming Cream. Products like this help tighten and brighten the area underneath where dark spots form resulting in a more awake appearance. Apply the eye cream after your moisturizer and let it set before you move onto makeup. You can also apply this product at night before bed to help your under eye bags as you rest.

Don’t Forget to Exfoliate

To make sure that you’re really diving deep into your pores and getting out any dirt that may be trapped, you have to exfoliate. Depending on your skin type, you should exfoliate once a week to scrub away any extra dirt and dead skin cells your cleanser doesn’t clean away. For those with dryer skin, once every other week will be enough and those with oilier skin can exfoliate twice a week. It all depends on what you deem necessary. When it comes to wearing a ton of makeup, stress or what have you- exfoliating can help your skin stay clear while you’re juggling between family and friends on your shopping list.

If you’re a big fan of lipstick, make sure you don’t skimp out on exfoliating your lips too! During the winter, we all know how dry and cracked our lips get. Exfoliating your lips should be a daily ordeal. When you’re done brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush and some lukewarm water to gently scrub away any dead skin and reveal soft, plump lips underneath. Then, moisturize with your favorite lip balm like Aveda’s Lip Saver and apply the lipstick of your choice.

Now that you’re fresh-faced, you’re ready to take on the holidays! Don’t forget to be thankful for the life you have and let everyone know how much you appreciate them. Oh, and don’t forget to tell them how your skin looks so perfect after the fifth corporate event this month.

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:
November 30, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Hair, Inspiration

Win Free Admission to Howl At The Moon!

Congratulations to Melissa Cobban on winning our 182nd High Five Giveaway and thank you to all who entered!

Our next High Five Giveaway is for free admission to Howl At The Moon.

About Howl at the Moon

Howl At The Moon Chicago is rocking the River North neighborhood! Our high-energy dueling pianos and amazing events make us the coolest spot for Chicago nightlife! From company outings to happy hour with friends to bachelorette parties in Chicago, the party’s always at Howl at the Moon. Contact the Chicago Howl team at any time to book your next dueling pianos outing.

Howl At The Moon is located at 26 West Hubbard Street. Visit their website at

Contest Question

Where is our holiday benefit on December 7 going to be held?

Click here for the answer!

Now, just add a comment to this post with the right answer to be eligible to win! The winner will be announced on Friday, December 15. Entries must be received by midnight on Thursday, December 14.

All individuals 21 and older are eligible, whether you are a client of XEX or not. Must be able to pick up the gift certificate at XEX, 35 West Wacker Drive, Chicago. Must pick up gift certificate within 30 days. Leaving a comment opts you in for the XEX email list, which is sent out 1-2 times per month. You may unsubscribe at any time.
November 15, 2017 | 5 Comments »
| Posted in: High Five Giveaways

Sweet Potatoes: The Ultimate Beauty Food

Sweet PotatoesHappy Holiday season! October has passed and now we enter the joys of the holidays. Thanksgiving is a day where we hang out with family, gorge ourselves on delicious food and immediately regret that second helping of sweet potato pie. But what if we told you that sweet potatoes have a crazy amount of benefits? Not only are they delicious, sweet potatoes bring a ton of health benefits to the table. Read on about how sweet potatoes benefit your hair and skin.


Have you ever used a sweet potato for a topical use? Well, it’s time to start doubling the amount of sweet potatoes you’re going to boil this Thanksgiving! Mashing up boiled sweet potatoes- after they cool, of course- and applying a teaspoon to your face can help oily skin. Leave the mask on for a half hour and rinse off. After you’re done with your mask, why not tone with them too? The water you boiled your potatoes in makes a great toner for your face. Sweet potatoes can absorb impurities in your face while offering a deep clean and soothes any irritation.

The reason why these vegetables work so well as topical treatments is because they’re chop full of vitamins and nutrients. Your collagen improves from the Vitamin C inside which is great for elasticity. Cell damage is also repaired thanks to the antioxidants inside. Oh, and you’ll also get some Vitamin E as well which is great for the overall health of your skin.


Sweet Potatoes not only make a great face mask, but they work wonders as a hair masque as well. If you have dull, rough hair, mix some mashed sweet potatoes with a little bit of honey, yogurt and olive oil to bring some life and shine back into your locks.

With all of those vitamins and nutrients, digesting sweet potatoes can work on your hair from the inside. Vitamin A is amazing to promote healthy hair growth. It’s not a ‘miracle product’ that will grow your hair overnight, but it helps maintain stronger hair that’s less likely to break off


Now that we’ve covered the beauty aspects of sweet potatoes, it’s time to talk about the health benefits. There’s a lot of manganese found in these root vegetables which helps your metabolism and blood sugar levels. Remember all that vitamin C we talked about earlier? Well, aside for being amazing for your skin, Vitamin C is also essential in boosting your immune system- just in time too for the winter! Sweet potatoes also carry a fair amount of iron. Iron can help the production of white blood cells which also reduces anemia or the thinning of blood.

There are so many ways sweet potatoes can impact your health. From topical treatments to being jam packed with essential nutrients, it’s an amazing food to add to your Thanksgiving menu this holiday season. Oh, and don’t feel bad about going back for seconds.

November 2, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair