Category Archives: Tutorials

How To Do Glamour Curls

deep part glamour curls - to do this look, create a deep side part, apply styling cream from the ear down, and curl hair from the ear down, towards your face in 1 1/2" chunks, holding the barrel pointing to the floor. Do not break apart curls. Spray with a fine mist hair spray and add a little shine serum to ends
Glamorous hair and makeup like this just scream “classic Hollywood screen siren” to me—which is a good thing. It’s polished, chic, and timeless, yet still soft and romantic enough for a date. You might think this look is too fussy to DIY, but when I explain how easy it is, you’ll be doing it in no time.

How to do Glamour Curls
1. Create a deep side part to damp, freshly washed hair.
The deep part is crucial. It’s all about the drama.
2. Apply styling cream from the ear down, and rough blow dry hair with fingers until 75% dry. Do it upside down to really get some lift, or use a root lift spray.
3. Lightly tease front or “bangs” section for some lift right where it will swoop forward over your forhead
3. Smooth hair with a brush, then section the side and back sections off
If your hair is curly or wiry, you may want to smooth it down a bit with a hair straighter, but try not to destroy all that hard-earned lift at the root
4. Next, with a 1.5″ curling iron, curl hair from the ear down, towards your face in 1 1/2″ chunks, holding the barrel pointing to the floor. You want to grab large sections and remember:Do not break apart curls.
5. Finally, tuck the side with the part behind your ear, smooth down any frizz with a dab of styling putty or non-shiny pomade, spray with a fine mist hair spray, and add a little shine serum to ends
and you’re done.

Product Recommendations

Here are some of my personal favorites to re-create this look:

styling creme

Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme, $25
The more you use, the more hold you’ll get, so build up gradually

Helen of Troy Hot Tools High Heat Spring Hair Curling Iron 1.5 Inch Model 1102
Helen of Troy 1.5″ curling iron, $41
This has lasted me FOREVER and I use it 2-3/week

Pic of the Week: Upside-down French braid bun

Enough is enough. I need to learn how to really French braid now. This look is too perfect for the summer.Kayley [pictured] blogs on hair and fashion over at Sidewalk Ready. You should check it out. She and her sexy hubby, Kai, are also amazing photographers. [Yes, I’m drooling over their lives, you know it!]

Upside-down French braid bun tutorial here.


Steal it: Blair’s Gossip Girl Wedding Makeup

I was absolutely blown away by how stunning Blair looked, as usual. Her hair was a little straggly for my taste, but her makeup was flawless. Obviously she took some cues from her idols Grace and Audrey but there is nothing wrong with that. They had great taste and their beauty legacies endure for a reason.

If you have dark eyes, dark hair and creamy pale skin, similar to Blair and Audrey, take some notes because this is your look:

As I decide on my own wedding look, the Gossip Girl wedding of the century could not have happened at a more perfect time. Now I know exactly what I want for my own wedding makeup – classic, simple, pretty.

Blair’s makeup is restrained and elegant, so the beauty of her features hits you and not a “look”. You want “Wow, you look so pretty,” not “Wow, great makeup.” Her sweeping eye brows, her full, pouty lips, and her skin, contrasted with her dark hair and then the light veil are just lovely, and so Blair.

I might use this as my inspiration photo because it details how lovely the soft pink eye makeup is. And goodness look at those eye brows. Lusting over here:

Wow, what a terrible screen grab – it’s off my TV. Apologies.

Truthfully, the simplest looks seem to always have 9 million steps which is why  the term “Natural Beauty” is so ironic. We put a lot of effort into making it look effortless, to paraphrase a fabulous 1998 Allure article from years ago. Note the “we”. It takes a team people, so don’t hate yourself if you try this look out, but think you look like garbage + want to wear a bag over your head. Just try again. And maybe blend a little more.
Which brings me to my last and final point. The key to Blair’s look is that each step is flawlessly executed. Just about every aspect of this look is makeup 101, and we all know the key to mastering anything is practice.  It’s the fundamentals: foundation + eye liner application + eye brow grooming. Master these and you can conquer the world. And re-visit my list of Tips & Tricks for basic guidelines.

Perfect skin + pinky tones + defined eyes + false lashes + groomed eye brows

Create “Perfect Skin”
1. Exfoliate
Gently exfoliate face, neck, chest, and shoulders to remove dead skin.
Try Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, $19 for face and Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish, $38, for body

2. Moisturize
Apply a non-SPF moisturizer while skin is still damp to lock in moisture
Try this $36, or this $30 (my favorite), or one w. hyaluronic acid like this if you’ve got a trust fund.

Tip: I love practicing safe sun, but SPF can cause a white cast on your face in photos, especially when a flash is used, so skip it for photo-op days

3. Prime face and eyes
Pat on a feature-specific primer to entire face. Use an eye primer on lids, right to brow bone and a plain face primer on the rest of your face.
Try Makeup Forever, $32 and Smashbox ,$16 for face primers
Try Urban Decay, $20 for eye primer

4. Even-out skin tone
Use a foundation brush to apply the tiniest amount of liquid foundation to your forehead, nose, and chin. Blend out and repeat until you have enough coverage that skin tone looks even.
Tip: Go slowly! Let each thin layer dry completely before you add painting.

5. Conceal blemishes and redness
Using a concealer brush, apply thin layers of concealer to any redness or breakouts. The thinner, the better. You can build coverage, but for staying power, you need to let each layer set/dry first. Patience. It’s like 20 seconds!
>I love Benefit’s Boi-ing, $19 in shades 1 and 2

Enhance your eyes
1. Fake lashes
False lashes aren’t easy which is why I would get these professionally done. I’m absolutely lusting after $200 eyelash extensions, but that is for another post/income bracket. If you want to try to do them yourself, take the lash strip and gently cut into it to make the lashes look less fake, then dip in lash glue and apply to the base of your lashes (not on the skin). Keep nudging them off your lid as you set them/initially place them. Once dry, apply  a thick line of black liner to lids, starting a little outside your eye and extending out and up at the edge just a bit. Smooth the line out with a slant-liner brush dipped in matte black eye shadow.

2. Curl lashes
Powder them a bit to beef them up, then apply lengthening black mascara. Note: I do not ever do this in this order, but apparently the rest of the world does. Rake them out with an eyelash comb for separation, but only if you don’t go for false lashes. You don’t want to rip them all out.

Mascara Recs: Literally any formula will do. Honestly.  Maybelline is fabulous.

3. Add some pink
Eyes get 2 colors of matte pink eye shadow go all over lid, with the darker color right in the crease. Blend really well. You want it to look seamless.
Cheeks get a warm pink/berry color on the apples. Blend to temples.
Lips get defined (outlined) with neutral colored lip liner (that means it’s called “neutral” or “spice”. NOT NUDE), and then lightly colored in with the pencil. Apply a pinky lip gloss on top and dab a little shimmery silver shadow right above the “bow” of lips and a little into the center of your smaller lip to make it look a little fuller.

4. Set with a dusting of translucent power on forehead, nose and chin
I love Makeup Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder, $30

Simple. Hopefully you got all that! Leave a comment if anything isn’t clear.

And finally, since I have to know every detail of the Gossip Girl Royal Wedding, here is a fabulous video detailing the gorgeous Vera Wang wedding dresses and Serena’s drop dead Maid-of-Honor dress:

Hope you guys enjoy! xoxo

How To: Cream Eye Shadow

Cream eye shadow is one of my all-time favorite new discoveries.  As much as I adore my makeup brushes, let’s be honest… I love any product I can apply with my fingers!

And not to sound like a broken record, but I am obsessed with the Mary Kay ones!! They’re just so damn versatile and I lovvve that there is an eye primer in them to prevent nasty creasing.   I’m so mad there aren’t more color options, but in a way, their neutrality is the reason you literally cannot pick a “bad” one. I might even I definitely prefer them to MAC Paint Pots. There. I said it.  Here’s a swatch:

Photo courtesy of the *phenomenal* beauty blogger over at Glitter Geek!

(Colors swatched left to right)

Beach Blonde is a shimmery champagne
Pale Blush
is a cool matte pink
Apricot Twist
is a shimmery golden
Iced Cocoa
is a shimmery copper bronze
Glacier Gray
is a shimmery pewter

My favs right now are the iced cocoa and apricot twist, which I am definitely using to try this look out asap for Thanksgiving (minus the spider eye lashes):

I totally understand if cream eye shadow intimidates you. I used to feel that way about REGULAR eye shadow, but just remember that you need to play around with your makeup to find out what you like. That’s why so  many of us rocked BLUE eye shadow as teens. And look, now I’m an adult who just learned how to use cream eye shadow. Huzzah!

Cream Eye Shadow Tips

  •  Use a brush for more control. I love to apply with my fingers for convenience, but a brush can do wonders.
  • Build up color gradually. You want smooth and even color. Mary Kay’s are basically crease-proof, but if you dredge your lids in chunks of un-blended color, let’s be realistic… creases will happen.
  • Use a primer. Eye lids are oily so you need to prep your canvas before you add color to it.
  • Add more to intensify. For a subtle look, just use a little and then intensify to a really deep look by adding more. Remember that cream shadows dry very fast so you need to work quickly when you apply. It’s a blessing and a curse, so do yourself a favor and build your color gradually! It’s easier to add more than risk over-applying and having to re-do all your eye makeup.
  • Use as a base under powder. Just do shadow right on top for a gorgeous look. Blend, blend, blend.

A mascara-in-my-bangs kind of Monday

Things are getting crazy busy with my part-time job starting up and I have been zipping out the door with an embarrassingly bare face. (I won’t even touch the lack of hair brushing that is happening.)

There is nothing wrong with wearing minimal makeup, but I’m not even slapping some concealer or mascara on and it’s getting ugly.

When a friend texted this AM, that she’d gotten mascara in her bangs, (how the heck do you get that out?!) it became clear that the summer to fall transition is just not going well and we may need a “Back-to-school” refresher course before we abandon our jobs for the beach. So, without further ado…

Tips for a 5-minute face

1. Splash some cold water on your face to get some blood flowing. Dab dry, but not completely and apply your moisturizer; oil-free or moisturizing. Whatever your skin type needs. I like ones that have some SPF, but I’m not going to preach on that. This is a 5-minute face, but your skin is the canvas, so prep it right.

2. Use your finger to dab a nickle sized blob of liquid foundation in the center of your forehead, on your nose, on each of the apples of your cheeks, closest to your nose, and your chin. Blend, focusing on the T-zone, where the most unevenness and redness tends to be. (*If you have perfectly even-toned skin, skip this step but picture me flipping you off. Bitch!)

3. Dab your finger in a little creamy concealer and dab on any blemishes, under-eye circles, around the nose and mouth where there is usually redness or, in my case, some sun damaged skin that’s freckled under one eye. Don’t blend too, too much. (If you have anything particular beastly to cover up, bust out a concealer brush and set with powder.)

4. Depending on how much concealment/magic you just performed in step 3, you will add some blush or bronzer in one of two ways…

– Lots of cover up: Grab a powder blush and a fluffy blush brush and delicately apply on the apples of your cheeks.
– Little cover up: Grab a liquid tint blush, gel bronzer or cream blush pot or stick and use your fingers to blend on the apples of your cheeks.

5. Apply black eye liner pencil to your upper lashes only. Don’t smudge it in. Curl your lashes and apply black mascara. Grab a pink-y colored lip gloss and apply on your way out the door.

Extra credit: Scrape your hair into a low ponytail, parted to the side and grab some diamond or pearl stud earrings. Tame any flyaways with a little styling cream and you’re classically polished without putting much effort into it. BAM!

I could go on and on about the importance of drinking plenty of water, getting lots of sleep, using an eye cream at night, exfoliating a few times a week, and always wearing sun block, but seriously, who is that good?

…actually, you definitely MUST wear sunblock so you don’t look like a leather bag in your old age. So please try!

For the tremendously time-strapped or the extremely lazy
If you do nothing else in terms of prep, just apply self-tanner to your face every few nights. You’ll wake up with a bit of a tan, which makes everyone look better. There. You know ALL my secrets now.

Hope you guys enjoy!

Quick Tutorial: Giselle-inspired waves

*Edits in blue – 9/5/11 – thanks to Michelle for asking good questions!
Hope this clarifies!

I’m obsessed with hair. Particularly, big, fat bouncy curls. They’re hard to get. I love using huge hot rollers, but they are tricky to master so my go-to curling contraption is usually a curling iron. I like to vary the size for more natural looking texture; specifically a  1 1/2″ and a smaller 1/2″ iron. But really, my technique comes down to these 3 factors:

1. Hold the curling iron straight up and down (I prefer to point the top down)
2. Most people clap down on the hair and roll it, but I keep the clamp shut and wrap the hair around the barrel (*try to not twist the hair itself as you wrap, you want it to lay flat on the iron)
3. Curl the hair away from your face, not towards it (or wrap it away from your face)

Here’s a pic:

loose, Giselle-inspired waves (I think my fiance here is a fan)

Other things that help the cause:
– working on slightly “dirty” hair  (holds the curl better)
– prepping hair with a medium hold gel or curl cream *before blow drying (or letting dry naturally)
– blow drying after prepping the root with a volumizer
– hair spraying lightly as you go if  your hair is very fine
– not curling the entire piece of hair (in the above pic, I started 1/2 way down for a looser look, and stopping 1/2 before the end)
– sleeping on this makes it look even better, just remember to spray it a bit!
– using the right size iron for your hair length and type (smaller iron for thinner or very long hair = tighter curls. They’ll “fall out” so it’s best to start with a tight curl OR a fatter iron for medium thickness hair and looser curls)

Not really a Giselle fan? Maybe you’re more of a Victoria’s Secret Angel-type? The only difference is a little mussing and teasing. Take a fine-tooth comb and tease the middle of the curls here and there and massage the crown of your head in little gentle circles. Does it look like you slept on it? Perfect! Now hair spray it and your good!

That's me in the green necklace, at my friend Shawna's wedding rehearsal where I debuted my "Victoria's Secret" mussed waves