Teach Me

Tutorial: New Darlings Top Knot for Shorter Hair

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I know, I know.  Christina of New Darlings has the best hair ever.  I wouldn’t kill for those long gorgeous locks of super-thick hair, but I could see myself kicking someone.

One of her signature ‘dos is this huge, fan-like bun.  It’s one of those styles that exudes that cool “Oh, this?” kinda vibe, but it can be a little tough to get right.  While Christina does have a tutorial for this style, I’ve refined it for people with shorter, finer hair.  Let’s get started!

If your hair isn’t already straight, it’s not a bad idea to straighten it.  This will make your hair look nice and smooth when you put it up!  I’ve also found that this style works best on next-day hair, so if you can, skip the shampoo for a day.

Gather up all your hair into a high ponytail.  You’ll want it to be right in the middle of your head.  Use a fine-tooth comb to make sure your hair is super smooth.  Take a hair tie and pull your hair through once, then start to pull it through again–but only partway.  Christina suggests taking your hair about halfway through, but if your hair is my length or shorter, you’ll want to pull more through.

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Think of your hair like a slinky at this point.  Pull the ends of the “slinky” down and fluff out your hair a little bit.  Then take a couple of bobby pins and pin the ends down in the back.  Try to cover up some of the loose hairs in the back if you can.

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Next, pin down the front.  Make sure that you hide your hair tie as you do so.  I think Christina uses the sticky-outy pieces to cover it up, but my hair isn’t long enough to do that.

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Once everything is pinned down securely, I like to spritz on a little dry shampoo and keep fluffing out my hair.  Keep going until it’s HUGE!

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And that’s it!  You can use some hairspray to keep it secure, but I’ve never had a problem with it coming undone.

It might take some practice to get it just right, and this actually took me two takes!  Over time, it’ll get much easier, I promise!

Let me know if you try this out–I’d love to hear how it turned out!

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Reviews

What’s in My March Ipsy Bag?

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Another month, another Ipsy bag.  Maybe it’s because I’ve actually bothered to rate my stuff on the Ipsy website, but lately, I’ve been getting some seriously good stuff.  Let’s dive in!

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Eva NYC

Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer

For someone who likes to play around with her hair as much as I do, it might surprise you to know I’ve never used a heat protectant before.  That changed when I started using this stuff.  This spray is supposed to detangle, nourish, strengthen, soften, cut drying time, add shine, reduce frizz, and protect against heat and environmental damage.  Honestly, I’m not sure if this really lives up to all of those claims, but my hair was definitely shiny and frizz-free whenever I used it.  It’s fun to use for now, but I don’t think I’d reorder.

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Mudmasky

Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask

For the last week or so, I’ve been doing the 10-step Korean skincare regimen (day and night!), and masks like this fit in nicely into my new routine.  This stuff works; my skin was very smooth after I used it, and my pores seemed to have vanished into thin air.  It reminds me a lot of the Queen Helene mask, which I’ve always liked.

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Dirty Little Secret

Blush in Kitty Pink

Yes yes yes yes yes!  I’ve been wanting a peachy blush just like this one and now I have it!  The color looks great with my new hair color–I don’t think it would have worked as well if I were still a bleach blonde.  Plus, it’s not super pigmented.  You can build the color to suit the look you’re going for.

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Elizabeth Mott

Blending Brush

I just…I don’t really use eye shadow.  I can’t say if it’s great or not since I don’t use eye shadow brushes anyway!

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Tarte Cosmetics

Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Rose

First off, the color is really, really pretty.  I love rosy colors like this one!  And it’s a nice kind of matte–not too dry and crusty like other matte lipsticks can be.  The only thing is that you have to be careful!  Only use a little bit or else you’ll be licking lipstick off your teeth.

Overall, a great bag this month!  Do any of you get Ipsy bags?  What did you think of yours?

Reviews

What’s in My February Ipsy Bag?

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I know, I know.  A few months ago I went on a long rant about how I was never going to do Ipsy posts again, yet here I am, unzipping a fresh new one.  Well, I’m doing it for you.  I’m not paid to review this stuff, so think of me as your brutally honest friend who’s brutally honest because she loves you.  We all need that friend.

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SOO AE

Sheet Mask Duo – Purifying Black Charcoal Mask and Nature Green Tea Collagen Essence Mask

I’m still trying to get into sheet masks.  They’re slimy and hard to unfold, and then it’s a challenge to align them with your eyes, nose, and mouth.  And for what?  I’ve never really noticed a difference in my skin after using a mask, and these were no exception.  Let’s be real: the only reason my skin looks so good right here is because Snapseed is a gift from God.

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JAPONESQUE

Coconut Solid Brush Cleaner

As someone who regularly cleans her makeup brushes with dish soap, this was a foreign concept to me.  Now that I’ve been civilized, though, there’s no going back.  This cleaner smells really good, but what’s more important is that it does a great job getting all the gunk off my foundation and blush brushes–and it leaves them softer than a baby’s butt afterward.

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NYX Professional Makeup

Butter Lipstick in Ripe Berry

This lipstick, guys.  The color exactly matches its name, and that pretty raspberry tint lasts a long time (it was even there after my daily McMuffin!).  The best part is that it’s so jam-packed full of hydration that I don’t have to reach for my Chapstick when I have it on.

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Absolute New York

Nano Liner Ultra Fine Precision Liquid Liner in Black

Whenever I try to wing out my eyeliner, it usually takes me about five or six tries and ends with me sadly tossing a used makeup wipe in the trash along with the remains of my dignity.  You know how many tries it took me with this liner?  ONE.  The tip is so precise that it’s almost impossible to screw up.  And it lasts all day!

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Marsk

Mineral Eye Shadow in You’re Toast

Dear Lord, I hate loose eye shadows.  The tiniest breath of air will send shimmers through the air, and not in a cute way.  In a “crap, now I have to clean the sink again” kind of way.  I also didn’t really like the color (too orangey/peachy for my skin).

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So that’s it!  Have you guys tried any of these products?  What do you think?

 

Extras, Teach Me

Tutorial: Easy Double Twist Bun

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I was playing around with a version of this style that has braids instead of twists, but you guys!  I’m getting tired of braids!  I came up with something quicker that’s just as pretty, and I bet it’ll be perfect for that holiday that’s coming up in a couple of weeks…

2017-01-22-01.26.08-1.jpg.jpgStart by sectioning off the top half of your hair.  Leave it like that, throw it in a bun, whatever–just keep it out of the way.

Next, take a strand of hair from one side and start twisting it away from you.  As you twist, add more hair.  Stop when you get to the middle of the nape of your neck, and hold it in place with a bobby pin.  (I finally got blonde ones! So excited.)

2017-01-22-01.26.05-1.jpg.jpgDo the same on the other side.  This time, when you get to the middle, take the twists from both sides and pull them into a ponytail.

Repeat the last two steps on the top section of your hair.

2017-01-22-01.26.02-1.jpg.jpgFinally, gather up the top and bottom ponytails and twist them into a bun at the nape of your neck.  And that’s it!

What do you think?  Is this something you’d like to try?  Remember, you can mix it up by using braids instead of twists!

 

 

 

Teach Me

Tutorial: Triple Dutch Braid

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I’ve been playing around with triple braids lately.  You know, where you braid three sections of hair and then braid those together–a braid within a braid, if you will

The thing is, my hair isn’t long enough to really pull it off.  Personally, I think it looks best if you have long, long hair, and mine’s only long.  Still, I think I found a way to make it work.

Enter the triple Dutch braid.  By Dutch braiding the center braid, there’s a little more interest at the top of my head and less on the rest of the style.  Here’s how to copy this look:

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Starting at the crown of your hair, Dutch braid the middle section of your hair.  If you’re not familiar with Dutch braiding, it’s basically an inverted French braid.  Instead of pulling the outside strands over the middle one, you pull them under.

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Next, braid the outside sections of your hair.  Secure with elastics and gently tug on them to fatten ’em up.

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Finally, take all three braids and, you guessed it, braid them together as you normally would.  That’s it!  At this point, you could leave it as-is, or you could wrap a section of hair around the elastic to hide it.  Or, you could also stick a pretty bow at the end…

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Have you guys ever tried triple braids?  And is there a style you’d like me to show you next time?

 

 

Extras

What’s in my October Ipsy Bag?

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Halloween is almost here, and I’ve already gotten some treats!  From magic wands to powerful potions, my October Ipsy bag was chock full of surprises.  Did all my goodies put a spell on me?  Or did some of them leave me disenchanted?  Read on…if you dare.

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Indi Beauty

Buttercream Antioxidant Lip Scrub

When it comes to lip scrubs, I’m a Lush girl through and through.  Made almost entirely of sugar and flavoring, it’s fun to scrub my lips and then lick up all the excess crystals.  Unfortunately, this scrub by Indi Beauty is not edible.  (Minus ten points from Indi.) And while it does have some shea butter and Vitamin E for hydration, I just wasn’t wowed.

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Trust Fund Beauty

Gimme Good Face Primer

So…this is a primer for aging skin, which I apparently have now that I’m over 25.  It’s supposed to fill in wrinkles and fine lines, which would probably be great if I actually had them.  As it is, I didn’t get much use out of this stuff.  I don’t normally wear a primer (I use CC cream instead), and my skin just felt greasy by the end of the day with this.  I’ll be sticking to my normal routine.

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Kokie

Nail Polish in Heavenly

While I absolutely despise this color, I LOVE this polish.  It went on super smoothly and coated my nails very evenly.  And so far, it’s done a great job of staying put.  I don’t have any chips or cracks yet, and it’s been half a week so far.

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The Balm

Hot Mama Blush/Eye Shadow

This was…okay.  I used it as both a shadow and a blush, and I can’t say I’m thrilled with the color.  It’s way too pinky/pigmented for my taste, but if that’s your thing, great!

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Ciate London

Fierce Flicks Eyeliner

I wanted to love this eyeliner.  I really did.  It’s like a felt tip marker, which made it SO easy to use.  Normally when I try to wing my eyeliner, I have to give it a few tries, but this one went on perfectly right from the get-go.  And it’s nice and dark, which I love.  Unfortunately, I have a super greasy face (ick, I know), so it slid off halfway through the day.  Oh well.

Teach Me

Tutorial: Braided Hairband for Growing Out Bangs

wp-1476228797184.jpgI mentioned last week that after roughly 26 years of bangs, I’m taking a little break and growing them out.  The thing is, growing out your bangs is a notoriously tedious process.  Those little wisps that once looked so cute across your forehead are now an awkward fringe that makes you feel just as dorky as that weird bob you had in middle school.

When I tried growing out my bangs at age ten, my strategy was to part my hair straight down the middle and clip half my bangs to one side and half to the other.  Luckily, I’ve learned a little more about hair since then, and I’ve been experimenting with a few ways to keep my bangs under control.  This braided hairband is my current favorite, and it’s so easy!  This is perfect for those of you who are in the same boat as me–but it also works for just about everyone else, too!

wp-1476229031829.jpgStep 1: Pull back a small section of hair from your crown on one side, then pin it back out of the way.

wp-1476229031827.jpgStep 2: Leaning forward, braid a 1″ section of hair right above your temple.  Leaning forward will make it lie flatter when you stretch it across your forehead later.

wp-1476228797185.jpgStep 3: Thicken your braid by pulling gently at the edges.

wp-1476228797203.jpgStep 4: Pull the braid across your forehead, pushing back your bangs.  Secure it on the other side with a bobby pin or two, then tuck in any stray hairs.

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And that’s it!  It’s such an easy style, and it keeps my bangs back like a charm.  Now, if your hair isn’t as long as mine, you can make a second braid on the other side and pull that over to meet the first braid–it’s the same concept as milkmaid braids, really.

What about you? If you’re growing out your bangs, how are you keeping them tamed?

By the way, I’ve been using the Winter Blend shampoo from Maple Holistics lately.  It smells amazing (eucalyptus and mint and bergamot, oh my!), but more importantly, it’s been calming my frizzies and soothing my dry, bleached-out scalp.  I have found that my hair tangles a little more easily when I use this, but other than that, I really like it.

If you want to get your hands on some free samples, check out their site right here!