Friday, December 19, 2014

The Perfect Half Up-Do: Redken for Valentino Spring 2015

The Perfect Half Up-Do: Redken for Valentino Spring 2015

For the Valentino Spring 2015 runway, Redken Creative Consultant Guido created a soft beachy half-up hairdo that I love! It has texture and waves, isn't boring and looks like it would work for a lot of different occasions. That is, if you skip the shell adornments!

“Valentino has a way of conjuring up what women want and this look is about this girl in the sun and in the sea, emphasizing the femininity of the classic Valentino girl," says Guido. "I used fashion waves 07 to create the waves and then used an iron to add additional movement."

What You'll Need:

Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer
Fashion Waves 07 Sea Salt Spray
Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray
Blow Dryer
1 Inch Curling Iron

How To Get The Look:

1. Mist Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer throughout damp hair, followed by Fashion Waves 07 Sea Salt Spray. Using your fingers, create a center part and then blow dry the hair. While drying hair, twist section by section to create waves and movement.

2. Touch up curls in irregular sections using a 1 inch curling iron.

3. Loosen the curls with fingers and spray hair once again with Fashion Waves 07 Sea Salt Spray for texture. Add Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray for hold.

4. The half up look here was created by taking a gold headband and applying it to the back of the head, wrapping hair around the headband and allowing the shell adornments to hide the band. As an alternative, take hair from both sides of the head and lightly wrap it around itself, securing in the back of the head with bobby pins.

The Perfect Half Up-Do: Redken for Valentino Spring 2015

Photos by Lucas Flores Piran for Redken
Nothing to Disclose

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DIY: At Home Volumized Blowout with Conair

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at home blow out for extra volume

I've been asked by quite a few readers about my hair drying process. How do I dry my hair? What products do I use? How long does it take? I have a lot of hair on my head, especially now that I'm almost done growing out my long bob. I dry my hair for speed, to avoid frizz, and to add in volume that my heavy hair will otherwise weigh down.

I can tell you that my hair drying is an ever evolving process, and it rarely is the same one week to the next. I swap out products depending upon how I'll be wearing my hair that day (or even in the next few days), and it will change depending on the time of year. But, the process itself isn't too different!

hair products for an at home blowout

First, let's talk about the products that I use. I always add products one at a time to my damp hair, combing my hair in between applications. While I change out the products I'm using each day, I usually have 2 or 3 products (at least) in my hair, and several of them will offer heat protection. Always heat protect your hair! Having fried my hair once, I will never do it again!

Leave In Conditioner
Because I color my hair and heat style it, I pay a lot of attention to the condition of my hair. If it is getting dry at all or my ends are starting to split, I will use hair masks in the shower and usually add a leave-in conditioner to my drying routine. I apply the leave-in to my hair mid-shaft to the ends, and it is always the first product applied.

If I'm planning on curling my hair at any point in the next 3 days, I'll add mousse. My hair is very slightly wavy, but without mousse and/or high heat, I have a very hard time holding a curl in my hair. I need about the size of a large egg, and I apply mousse from the roots where it will help hold volume, down to the tips where it helps hold curls.

Because of that slight wave I mentioned in my hair, I usually add a straightening cream in to my hair as well. While I can skip this product if I feel like I've already added too much into my hair, the truth is that a cream of some sort will make my hair straighter, softer and I'll have less frizz.

Oh oil... how did we live without you? I really love a good hair oil, and I'm not a girl that is picky about my silicones. I tend to add oil in to my hair for drying just during the winter to help keep down frizz from the dry air. I always add a few drops at the end of styling as well. Mid-shaft and below, too close to the roots makes my hair look greasy.

At Home Volumized Blowout

Drying my hair:
Once I have all of product in place, it is time to start drying! Since I'm after volume, I always dry my hair upside down. This helps to train the roots to go straight up, drying standing up makes my hair much flatter!

When I'm first drying, this is a very rough blow dry. I don't even have a brush, I'm just moving the dryer all around and trying to hit all of my roots and somewhat my hair down to the mid-shaft. I move my hair around with my fingers just to help the process.

I've found that the ends of my hair get hit enough by the dryer that I don't need to worry too much about them until my hair is about 80-90% dry, when I'll break out a brush. Now I'll tip my head a bit to the side and will go through my hair all the way to the ends with the brush to help smooth everything out.

I only stand back up when my hair is completely dry! First, I do a cool shot all over my head while still upside down. Then I'll stand back up and part my hair, looking to see if I need to do any smoothing. I usually have smooth hair and can just call it quits. However, if my hair needs any smoothing, I'll use my brush and just do the very top layer of my hair, trying to stay away from my roots. I want my volume to stay put!

Conair Infiniti Pro 3Q Brushless Motor hair blow dryer review

The dryer I'm currently using is the Conair Infiniti Pro 3Q Brushless Motor dryer. It's brand new, and I'm kind of in love! Why?

First, this thing is pretty fast. I mentioned my crazy amount of hair. It's no joke, I have about 4 heads worth of hair on my head. I need a pretty powerful blow dryer to dry it in under 15 minutes, and even then there is usually quite a bit of heat involved. This dryer gets the job down in about 12 minutes with less heat. It's nice not to be sweating like crazy while I dry my hair!

Second, it's very quiet for a blow dryer. Yes, it's still a blow dryer, but it really is much quieter than other dryers that I've used. I've cut her out of the pictures, but up above where I'm drying my hair? There's a sleeping 6 week old in a bouncy seat just out of the frame. Yes, a sleeping baby was present for those pictures.

Third, it's a Conair. I always come back to Conair for my blow dryers, they last a lot longer for me than other brands, and they're at a much lower price point. This particular dryer is brushless (more info on why brushless motors are cool), which is something typically found in much more expensive dryers, easily 4-5x the cost of this one. It uses magnets and electronics to power the motor, which results in much less wear. It should have a much longer life than other blow dryers!

How do you dry your hair? Do you have any tips for adding volume that I've missed?

Product Sent for Review Sponsored Post
Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q is the world’s first hair dryer featuring a brushless motor available at mass retail. The dryer’s name is derived from three of its key benefits, all of which begin with the letter “Q:” quick, quiet, quality. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Conair. The opinions and text are all mine.

Get the Look: Edgy Braids Worthy of Pinterest from the Marissa Webb Spring/Summer 2015 Runway

Edgy braid tutorials from the Marissa Webb Spring/Summer 2015 Runway

If you're like me, you drool over the intricate braids over on Pinterest. I try to follow some of the directions, though I fully admit that I'm only really able to follow my friend Christina's directions over on Hair Romance (and yes, I was totally name dropping there. I know Christina. She is super funny and sweet and yes, has the best Aussie accent ever.)

Anyways, I love that these braids have directions that are easy to follow, they used TRESemmé products to create them for the runway, and they're more edgy than many other braids out there. Not so Bohemian, these would be perfect for going out at night (New Year's Eve?) Both looks were created by TRESemmé Stylist Jeanie Syfu.

What You'll Need for Both Looks:
TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Mousse
TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Hair Spray
If you need added volume, they used extensions by Beauty Works Online
 as necessary.

Braided Pompadour Tutorial

Braided Pompadour:

1. Apply TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Mousse on damp hair and rough-dry ends for volume and texture. Finish blow-dry using a round brush to create fullness through the top of the head and the hairline.

2. Using the end of your comb, section off the center portion of the hair three-fourths of the way down and clip up.

3. Create a Dutch braid (in side out or reverse French braid) on both sides of the head using the loose hair, beginning at the temple and working your way to the nape of the neck. Braid the remaining lengths, leaving ends out, and fasten with a clear elastic.

4. Mist top section of hair with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Hair Spray and lightly brush along the part.

5. Begin French braid, leaving additional volume at the front and base. Gather hair along the part, working 90 degrees from the head, and finish braiding lengths of the hair leaving ends out. Fasten with clear elastic.

6. Gather all three braids and twist into a low bun, leaving ends loose.

7. Brush the completed French braid upward creating a wind blown effect and spray with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Hair Spray.

Five Strand Braid tutorial

Five-Strand Braid:
1. Prep damp hair with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Mousse and rough-dry the lengths with fingers for texture and lift. Finish blow-dry with a round brush at the hairline for a soft, airy perimeter of wisps.

2. Once hair is dry, create a deep side part on the right side of the head, then back-brush hair for extra volume and spray lightly with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Hair Spray.

3. Divide hair into five equal strands at the nape of the neck and begin weaving the farthest right section over and under each part, working your way to the left.

4. Take the furthest left section of hair and weave over and under each part, working your way to the right.

5. Repeat steps four and five until braid is complete, leaving ends loose and fasten with a clear elastic.

6. Loosen braid by gently pulling apart and leave airy wisps to frame the face. Mist finished look with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Hair Spray.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Erin Fetherston Spring 2015 Runway: Glowy, Pretty Makeup

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Erin Fetherston Spring 2015 Makeup

The makeup at Erin Fetherston's Spring 2015 Runway show was created by Lottie Stannard, Key Makeup Artist for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC), and was inspired by Kate Moss in the 1990's, and then updated. This is the bit where I admit that I do not not what that means. I think the makeup was mostly pretty neutral and pretty, and that it could mostly be applied with your fingertips, making it easy to replicate when you're in a rush!

Erin Fetherston Spring 2015 Runway: Glowy, Pretty Makeup

To create the look:
Cosmetic Colour Pencils in Feathered (white), Pennyroyal (mid-tone brown) and Tarred (black) were used to create the eye look. Pennyroyal was over the entire lid, Feathered was applied as an accent to the inner corner of the eye, while the eye was lined with Tarred. Dune Stained Gloss was patted over the lid to add a bit of shimmer.

The face was prepped with the OCC Tinted Moisturizer and imperfections were fixed with Skin: Conceal. Créme Colour Concentrate in Newt was applied to the cheeks as blush and Metallic Lip Tar in Pris was used as a highlighter.

The lips were prepped with Lip Tar Primer and then Lament Matte Lip Tar was applied.

The manicure was created by Gina Edwards for Kiss Nails, and it was a crisp white, classic oval shape nail with a thin gold stripe at the tip.

Photos: David Phelps for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Photos: Rocky Luten for Kiss Nails
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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Best At Home Peels

Product Sent for Review I Bought It Myself Affiliate Links

The Best At Home Peels via

1. Boots No7 Advanced Renewal Anti-Aging Glycolic Peel Kit (Boots Gentle Glycolic Peel Review)

This is a bit more intense than the other peels shown here, but it is still gentle enough for my sensitive rosacea skin! After just one use, 86% of women found their skin felt smoother.

2. StriVectinLABS Weekly Glycolic Peel

This is a 2 step process, and it includes glycolic acid to exfoliate your skin and StriVectin's NIA114, their proprietary Niacinamide derivative. It's gentle enough to use 1-2x/week.

3. Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

It says it is a peel, but really it feels more like a hydrating mask that just happens to leave you with super smooth skin. It also has Vitamin C to help fight aging!

4. Freeze 24-7 'Skin Smoothie' Retexturizing Glycolic Pads

Very easy to use, just wipe on. I can use them about once a week without any irritation.

5. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

This is a strange green goo, that feels a little like a scrub without enough grit. I like to use it in the shower, you just need to apply a light layer, wait about 30-60 seconds, then rinse off! It is gentle enough to use a few times a week.

6. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

These are super easy to use! Just wipe over your skin at night, and your skin is gently exfoliated. The glycolic and lactic acids are released slowly overnight, so there isn't any irritation, just smooth skin.

7. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula

This is an amped up version of the cult favorite Alpha Beta Peels. It has a ton of active ingredients to give you smoother and more even skin (Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, Retinol.... there's a huge list).

8. Ellen Lange Retexturizing Skin Peel Kit (review)

This is a 10% Glycolic Acid peel, and it comes with everything you'll need for 8 peels at home, which is a pretty great deal!

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