All curled up

These days, I’m typically always rocking a curled ‘do. When my hair is short, it looks fine styled straight and I usually mix it up between different styles. But now that my hair is getting long again, I really have to make sure it doesn’t look scraggly since it’s so thin and fine (more about that here – thick haired gals, you really will never know the struggle of your ear poking through your hair).

I wanted to give a quick & easy mini tutorial on how I do my hair. One day I’ll get comfortable filming myself, but that day is not today, my friends. There’s no magic trick, but like most things beauty-related, I’ve spent lots of time googling and YouTubing, then practicing to get what I like. Now I’m at a place where I can pretty much always get a good result with this method!

Start by pinning up your hair with a duck bill hair clip (my hair only needs one because it is so thin). I use this heat taming spray first (I’ve been using it for years). Since I don’t have a lot of hair, it’s really important to me to take care of what I’ve got. I also put moroccan oil on the ends when I get out of the shower and comb through my hair, before blow drying. Just lightly spritz a section of hair, let it air dry for a few seconds, and then curl! Or you can spray it all before you begin. I bought this curling wand last year on sale around Christmas time, and it’s a great size for my hair! It is super basic – it doesn’t even have a temperature setting on it – but it does the job!

I have watched a lot of tutorials, and a lot of people hold their curling wands upward. I can only use it pointed downward for whatever reason. I wrap a section around the base of the curling wand and wrap the hair twice around the barrel, moving towards the actual top of the barrel, since it’s pointing upside down. I try to start close to my head to give some lift and volume near my roots. I always leave a solid inch or so out of the heat, and that’s what I hold onto away from the curling wand so I don’t burn myself! I can’t use those gloves that come with it; they mess me up.

After you curl the bottom layer of hair (for me this is just two curls!), let down the next layer by scooting your fingers backwards from your temples and grabbing hair at temple level and up. Re-pin the rest of your hair on top of your head. Repeat the process! I always curl my hair away from my face. You can alternate toward/away from your face each curl, but since I don’t have a lot to work with, that can sometimes look odd on me.

my lipstick is revlon colorstay moisture stain in parisian passion

One trick I use is to let the curls fall straight off the wand, so instead of unraveling them, I just slide the wand back out and let the curl slide off. Another tip I use is not touching my hair until I’m completely finished with my whole head. I like to let the curls set and cool off. If I don’t, it falls more easily. When I get to the last and top layer of hair, I like to curl the very front piece straight back to give it extra volume!

When you’re finished, double check the back of your hair with a hand held mirror. Then, run your fingers through your hair, toss it around a bit, and spray it lightly if you want – I love this hair spray. I also like to use a texture spray sometimes to give more hold and lift – just lift your hair up and lightly spray from underneath as it falls.

Voila! If I want tighter curls or curls that will last longer as they fall, I wrap the hair three times around the wand instead of two. Larger sections of hair = larger curls, and obviously the less meticulous you are about it, the messier and more carefree your curls will look! If you want to see more tutorials/how-tos, let me know!

You already know who shot these photos.

BarePro foundation review

I recently bought the new Bare Minerals barePro liquid foundation from Ulta. I have been a long-time wearer and believer in Bare Minerals products, but for full coverage needs and special events, I love a good liquid foundation. Especially for taking pictures! When I started seeing great reviews about this foundation on Instagram and YouTube, I had to try it for myself. I got the shade “Cashmere 06” and it was a PERFECT match for my fair skin – even though it looks a little off from the shade of my hands in the picture!

This foundation has A LOT of claims. I will spare you all the specific details, but basically this foundation is supposed to give an incredibly flawless finished look, the site says it is amazing for your skin, “so pure you can sleep in it,” good for hydration, pores, texture, and more, great for photos, etc. So clearly I had to see if it lived up to the hype. And I think that, overall, it does!

I wouldn’t say that the foundation lives up to every single one of its claims necessarily, but I am really loving it! It sits on your skin softly, without feeling greasy or thick, and gives coverage throughout the whole day. With my job teaching high school, I need to be able to put my makeup on at 6 in the morning and then not look at it again until about 4pm, and I can do that with the barePro foundation!  You can use as little or as much as you want – it is very build-able. And I love that if I’m too tired at night for a full skincare routine, I can just use a makeup wipe to clean my face and put on my moisturizer, because there’s nothing in the makeup that will clog my pores or cause a breakout.

For school days or special events where I really want a full face of makeup, I use 3-4 drops on a foundation brush or damp beauty blender. For a quick daily face, I use 2 pumps on my fingertips and spread it on my face like a moisturizer. I finish setting it by dusting my favorite powder of all time over it with a brush, and then I complete my look with whatever else I want to use that day!

here’s my before, with just mascara on & a big shiner hanging out on my chin

beauty blender (i got mine cheap from target but there are nicer ones)

I run the beauty blender under water for a split second, then squeeze it out and pump my foundation on it. I start with 2 pumps, because this foundation is pretty liquid-y and it runs! I dot the foundation all over my face with the sponge – a few blobs on my cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. No rhyme or reason, just spreading the love.

always make sure to look super glamorous while doing this

Then blot, dab, blot, dot, dot, and before you know it, you’ll have a full face on! Try not to rub the makeup around, because then the sponge will absorb it more than your skin. You’re just using a stippling motion to set the foundation nicely on top of your skin. Then, finish with the rest of your face!

my daily face lineup

if no one is around to take 5 million photos of you, use a tripod and clicker

let your dogs steal the show for a minute, as always

and there you have it! makeup is done and now you have selfies galore

I think what I love most about this foundation is that it just looks so natural and soft – in real life and in pictures! I hate feeling like I have a cake face or like people think I look like a totally different person with my makeup on, so this foundation does a great job of bridging that gap without going too overboard. It’s a win for me!

For a less expensive foundation, I’m a longtime fan of Revlon ColorStay for combo/oily skin. It lasts FOREVER and gives a really full-coverage, flawless finish without looking cakey. But for now, I’ll keep enjoying this Bare Minerals liquid foundation until it runs out!

Favorite shades for summer nails

I love nail polish. I always keep my nails painted, and when I’m getting regular paychecks during the school year, I love to get a nice gel manicure here and there. I have a huge basket in my bathroom for all of my shades of polish, and I’m also a tad obsessed with the names of nail polishes. I mean, someone has that job! I’ve always loved a good play on words, so in my mind I’d love to name a nail shade “Mauve-elous” or something, but I’m sure someone has already come up with that one.

I digress.

Anyway, if you love nail polish as much as I do, I’ve rounded up a bunch of my favorite summer shades to share! Some of these are long-time favorite staples, and some I’ve just picked up this season. I’m loving the Defy & Inspire brand of nail polishes (they’re available exclusively at Target). For a while I got into a big Sally Hansen gel polish phase, but I find that no matter what, my polish tends to last only a few days before starting to chip. So my favorite brands these days are Essie, OPI, and the Defy &  Inspire brand! I also love the Essie gel polish line (pictured above).

What shades are you loving this summer? I feel like there’s not enough time to use them all before it’s fall and I feel like I need to switch over…but I’m going to give it my best shot!

All photographs courtesy of my best friend at J Parker Photography

Thin hair, kinda care.

if your locks are thin and scraggly like mine, this post is for you.

You know, there’s a lot of hype out there about being thin. But there’s one situation in life where I feel that being thin just isn’t in:  My hair. Why can’t my body be effortlessly thin and my locks be thick and voluminous, instead of the other way around? It’s a question we will never have the answer to. A cruel, cruel joke. (Of course I’m not bitter about it or anything…)

All exaggerations and jokes aside, I have had thin, stick straight hair my entire life and have had to learn some tricks of the trade. For instance, how to pull your hair back without having bald spots where there’s not enough to cover your skin? How to give the illusion of life to limp noodle hair when you need to dazzle your audience? How to look casual and cute while wearing a baseball hat without your ears sticking straight through your hair on both sides? These are legitimate concerns.

this is literally all of my hair.

Having thin hair is kind of like dressing for your body type – there are some dreams you’re just going to have to let go of.  So I’ve had to test the waters. I’ve watched tutorial after tutorial and tweaked and tweaked until I’ve come up with a few of my own tried and true thin hair go-tos. Here are three styles you can typically find me rocking:

1. The messy bun for girls with thin hair.


The trick here is bobby pins, my friends. You can’t see any in these pictures (I think) but there are three bad boys in there. The bobby pins give me the freedom to create an illusion of more hair than what’s there by pulling hair around or tucking it under other hair, or fanning out some of what I do have without it being see-through. My messy bun can look so ugly in the messy bun at first, and still be fixed up with bobby pins (I also sometimes buy these little guys to use, too!). I buy mine in the blonde shade so they blend in better. If you get your bun pretty tight, you can use your fingers to loosen the rest of your hair that you pulled back. That way, it looks more full and more like, “Look how easily I just threw up my hair and it fell just perfectly like this.” Even though you didn’t just throw it up and it would never just fall that way because it is limp and fine and thin and slips out of your fingers and you have to work hard to make it look this easy. Sigh. Let’s move on.

2. Curled and tousled.

Granted, my hair is never going to look like the big, thick curls that I dream of. I can live with that. But curling my hair gives it so much more volume and lift. I use either this curling wand or my sister’s bigger one (it’s a Bellami 1 1/2 in. hot rod curler but I think it’s discontinued?!). I also have a 1 1/4 in. hot tools curling iron that I love. I love this dry shampoo (or splurge) to ‘rough up’ my hair and give it a little more hold and lift. I have been using this hairspray from following Kate Bryan’s blog for years – I really love it. It is just enough hold + give, and it doesn’t make your hair crunchy. And it lasts forever!

3. The low side bun.

my man bruno making a cameo appearance this time

The exact same principles from the messy bun apply, just at a different placement. I like to pull mine behind my right ear to balance out my left side part. Again, the bobby pins here really come in clutch. I also like to keep some hair out in the front (my baby bangs that always seem to be there). This style definitely works better with curled or textured hair because it tends to look more full and carefree.

Now, I know the grass is always greener on the other side, blah blah, you hate your thick hair, if only I knew how annoying it is, how hot it is, how your hair dresser has to thin it out and it takes an hour to dry, etc. but for us thin-haired gals, you thick-haired ladies will always be the lucky ones. I have come to love my hair for what it is (because that’s life and I have to), but I’d take a happy medium if someone could figure out how to actually thicken hair naturally. It’s 2017 and we still haven’t figured out some of life’s most daunting mysteries.

Happy hair styling to my thin-haired sisters out there. Fake it ’til you make it! 🙂

 

FriYAY feels!

Finally Friyay!

This week flew by. I was off Monday and Tuesday, and on Monday I worked for hours agonizing over my budget and how I can save and plan better next school year so I won’t need to have a summer job. Reality check. I also made a goal to really focus on being active this week, and I stuck to it! Small victories.

I mentioned my Fourth of July plans earlier this week, but it was such a great time! The food came out perfectly and it was so nice to just relax and kick back a little bit. We didn’t end up going to the baseball game, but it was nice just to stay home and be near the dogs and take it easy!

filet mignon, honey lime ginger grilled scallops (adapted from here), garlic rosemary sweet potatoes, and grilled balsamic brussel sprouts (andrew had brats and burgers like a true american)

I got my hair done last Saturday and I am loving it! It’s always nice to get a little refresher from Jamie at the Parlor. (I’ve been going to her for like 10 years, no joke).

My family is going on a beach vacation in August, which I am so excited about! I am looking at these and these. Also loving this coverup and this coverup that could also double as a cute summer dress!

Finally, I mentioned my best friend’s wedding in this post, and a couple of weeks ago we ordered our bridesmaid skirts and tops for the big day! I absolutely can’t wait to see how everything comes together. When I put on my outfit and imagined everything on the big day, it suddenly became really real to me that this is happening! I’ll be crying like a baby when Whitney walks down the aisle (what else is new?).

That’s all, folks! Happy Friyay!

 

Apartment tour // bathroom

shower curtain & bath mats from Marshall’s, rolling cart from IKEA

Moving in to my new apartment with my sister was really exciting except for one small issue:  the bathroom connected to my bedroom has very little storage. I knew I’d have to get clever.

I started searching for a rolling storage cart. I felt like that could be cute and affordable without being clunky like a cabinet or a unit with drawers. I went to my usual hangouts – Target, Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx. I found a few, especially a mint colored one that I loved, but couldn’t believe the prices! We are talking $80 and up for a 3-tier metal cart with wheels. I couldn’t justify it. I started looking online and found this IKEA rolling storage cart. I scooped it up – it was the perfect solution! I was able to order it online, it was much less than the ones I had seen at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, and it was easy to put together (although I have to admit, Andrew put it together for me. I’m sure I was busy doing something very important, like petting the doggies). I also love this mint colored one from Michael’s, that of course I’m just finding now, months later, when I already purchased my beige one. No hard feelings or anything, of course.

I rolled up some towels on the bottom tier of the rolling cart – my other towels are on a shelf in my closet, but these are there when I need them or if I have guests. I also made sure my bath items were easily accessible, because I do have a big garden tub perfect for soaks! I love Dr. Teal’s bubble bath and epsom salt soak. I keep a pretty good stash of toilet paper in my bathroom, too. I don’t have the space for it under my sink, so I had to find a way to make it look nice just sitting out. At least a guest will never have to panic when the toilet paper runs out! Finally, on the top rack of the rolling cart, I have my daily faves and things that I use constantly when getting ready or getting out of the shower:  My favorite lotion, nighttime skin care cream, deodorant, lip balm, brush/comb, argan oil for my hair, q-tips, makeup brushes, and hair ties/bobby pins. The beat up old vanity chair was my Nana’s. One day I might re-cover it, but I kind of love the cracked seat and aged look; it reminds me of being a little girl at my Nana’s house, dreaming of sitting and doing my hair and makeup like a grown up one day.

At my sink area, I like to keep things pretty clean and simple. I just have a tray on the edge of the counter with my perfumes and a small tea light candle. The vase is old from anthropologie and it holds the first rose Andrew ever got me! My perfumes are Kate Spade Walk on Air, Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs, and Lolita Lempicka, which I have worn on and off since college, maybe even high school. The soap container I have is from Marshall’s a long time ago, but I love the way it looks and I love the fact that I can just refill it and it looks nicer than a regular old soap bottle.

In my under sink storage (not pictured), I have stacked storage on metal racks from the dollar store. It is a lot of bins:  All of my cleaning supplies, my travel supplies and makeup bags, all of my nail polish colors and manicure/pedicure tools, etc. I have a long rectangular bin that holds all of my hair supplies – flat iron, hair dryer, curling iron and curling wands, hair spray, mousse, etc. Then I have my two drawers full of extra shower gels, sunscreens, lotions, toothbrushes, and my makeup.

my daily face + all my other makeup

And I can’t forget my favorite bathroom item, Bruno! He loves to lay down on the cold floor and watch me get ready wait until I’m not looking so he can chew the corners of my bath mats.

not as innocent as he looks

That’s it! Both hanging items on the walls were gifts, and the long white shelf and picture frame are from Target. I’m so happy with the bright shower curtain and pops of white!