beauty school sunday: hair doughnuts done right

FRANCOISE DORLEACI test out a lot of great beauty products for my freelance gigs, and goodness knows, I’m never going to complain about that. But my busting-at-the-gut, linen-turned-beauty-product closet? That’s definitely worth a gripe or two. I’ve gotten to the point that when it comes to my stash, if it’s going to take up more than a square inch, it better do as Britney says and work.

One item that’s been gathering dust happens to be a hair doughnut I got for $5 10 months ago that’s been used, oh, about zero times. I’ve given it a try a time or two, but every outcome is this this overly polished, 8th-grader-by-day, ballerina-at-night, twee-type of situation. (Like of like this.) Definitely not the Françoise Dorléac vibe, pictured at top, I aspire to. So, I decided to dig up some looks that are more up my alley.

doughnut5Photos c/o: unknown // Washega Valley Farm // unknown

The majority of examples I was drawn to places the doughnut at the back of the head, versus plopped awkwardly on top. They’re a little retro and a little messy, just like I like ’em.


Photos c/o: Ruffled // Amateur Couture // Best Hair // Latest Hairstyles

The tutorial below, from Strawberry Koi, is more polished than what I typically go for, but it’s so elegant, right?

Armed with a few (less prissy) examples, I’m resolving to make that dang doughnut work in the next week, no excuses. If you have any good ideas for me, please do leave a comment! And tell me, are there any items in your beauty stash on the chopping block in 2014? Use it or lose it, is what I say!



beauty school sunday: success with at-home hair dye

7640251978_440a27fd42_zIt’s been approximately one million years since I dyed my hair at home. But with the new year around the corner and a looming list of home improvement projects on the horizon, I’ve got saving money on my brain. And so when the familiar itch to brighten up my color came around this weekend, instead of booking a salon appointment, I looked into drugstore options.

When it comes to going blonde at home, there’s no one I entrust more than Lady Clairol, so it didn’t surprise me to discover glowing reviews for Clairol’s Perfect 10, which retails for $10-12 and is available in the aisles at Walgreens, Target, CVS and Ulta stores. After doing some reading, I settled on shade Lightest Blonde, a luminescent light blonde.

Box dying your hair takes practice and to brush up on the basics, I turned, of course, to You Tube. The found the video below super helpful.

  After watching the video all the way through once, reading two more how-to articles (one and two) and the instructions in the box of dye, I took the plunge. Thirty minutes later (start to finish), I had perky golden locks I’m really pleased with. And with only a $20 investment (I used two boxes since my hair’s long and thick!), a fraction of what I normally would spend on salon highlights, I had money leftover to spend at my favorite brewery. (Pay no mind to my static-y bangs and weird beer grip!)

photo(31)Are you resolving to spend less on beauty expenses in 2013? If so, tell me what you’ve got planned, smarties!



Top photo source: Flickr.

beauty school sunday

Quick background: I’ve spend many an indulgent Sunday morning propped in bed, surfing You Tube and Pinterest for cute beauty tutorials to try in the upcoming week. Along the way, I’ve found some helpful gems which I’ll be sharing here with you on the odd Sunday. 

Late this summer, the French twist was top on my list of hairstyles to master. It’s a polished style that’s works well with second-day hair, making it an ideal ‘do for weekday mornings when I need to look nice for work, but don’t have time to shower and blow-dry. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but bits and pieces from each of these tutorials were helpful so I figured I’d share ’em all.

I found this how-to via Capital Hill Style, a good blog to follow if you work in a formal-ish professional environment. This gal’s non-traditional twisting method wouldn’t work with my thick hair, but if you have shorter or thinner locks than I, it could be a winner.

I loved the messy, fuzzy end result of this Beauty Department tutorial, but found the chopsticks element totally unnecessary. The tip I did steal from this how-to was no. 5: teasing the middle ends of your hair before you roll it up makes for a meatier, bulkier twist.

And last but not least, the tutorial that made it all click! I’ve shared this link with a few friends who were wondering how I fixed my hair…I think what makes it super easy to get is the clear shots of the back of the model’s head.

Some other Frenchy tips I’ve picked up along the way…

Using the correct pins will make doing this ‘do so much easier. Make sure to track down big (three-four inch) bobby pins (for running vertically up the back of your hair) and open hair pins for securing the roll.

It’s better to tease too much than too little when you get started. You can always comb out extra volume, but adding it after you’ve started smoothing and pinning is a pain in the rear.

A handheld mirror will be your best bud when you’re learning this style. Use it to make sure the back’s not looking too ratty or bumpy and that your twist is centered and even.

Don’t sweat it if it takes you a few tries to get the twist down. Give yourself plenty of time to mess around while you’re learning, i.e. don’t try it out for the first time if you’re on a tight schedule or worse, running late.

If you do this right, you shouldn’t need to use a ton of pins or hairspray. I usually do a quick spritz of Extra-Strong Elnett and get on my way.

Do you have any tried-and-true tricks for French twisting to share? If so, leave a comment and let me know! I hope you all have had fabulous Sundays so far. I went to a dear friend’s baby shower this afternoon and now I’m off to hop on a bus to see this dreamboat.

Heck. Yes.



P.S. The beautiful Bruce photo’s from here.