BRAIDED HALF UPDO

PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

We love a braided half updo during the fall/winter months because it’s not only gorgeous with that big thick braid, but also leaving half your hair down keeps your necks warm! I think we can all agree this would look amazing any time of year, but today we’re pairing it with a sweater and turning it into our cold weather coiffure!

braided half updo hair tutorial the beauty department

  1. Prep your hair by giving it some soft, loose waves. I’ve really been in love with the piece-y waves I’ve been getting from my  NEW IRON. It’s a 1 1/4 barrel which is half ceramic and half metal. It was an serious hair investment but I’m feelin it! As you know, favorite budget friendly version of this iron is THIS ONE! I curled away from the face and put a couple drops of THIS GLOSS through the middle and ends, which smells ahhhhmazing.\
  2. Next up, create a hairline braid. You’ll want to do it inside-out because you’ll get a fatter looking braid. With a regular french braid, the bulk of the braid gets tucked underneath as you go, whereas an inside-out braid puts the bulkier part of the braid on top! If your hair tends to be really slippery and soft or if you just washed it, try adding a dab of BRAID PASTE or WATERBASED POMADE to the section before your braid. It will help you get a lot more control over your braid without making it sticky or greasy.
  3. Use THIS TRICK to fatten up your braid.
  4. Take a fine tooth comb and tease a very small section in the back of your head. Tease as close to the scalp as you can. This is where you’ll “anchor” your braid, so put it as high or low as you want it. I like to do it right at that bone you can feel in the back of your head, called the occipital bone. It’s a good safe place to anchor the braid if you’re not sure. Use a strong holding bobby pin (and a little strong holding hairspray if you need it) to anchor your first braid to your head.
  5. Repeat the same thing on the other side and then join them together in the back of your head, tucking the second braid into the first braid. Get them to blend together as best you can. I think of it like doing a half knot. I tuck the second braid up, over and then push it into the first braid.
  6. Use a hand mirror to check it from the sides and the back to make sure you have good balance!

Tip: go to a beauty supply and get the strongest bobby pins you can find. It makes the biggest difference with a hairstyle like this! A strong holding bobby pin will not slip and slide all over the place! You can typically feel the difference between the ones you buy at the drugstore and the ones you buy at a pro beauty supply. I love THESE ONES! This links to gold ones but you can get any color and they’re SO strong and fairly inexpensive. Get them, it will be worth it!

ORGANIZATION STATION: BATHROOM + VANITY

NAIL POLISH ORGANIZER THE BEAUTY DEPARTMENT

When you look at your bathroom or vanity counters (or your desk for that matter) and see everything perfectly organized, don’t you feel more productive and more inspired than usual? Even if it only lasts a week or two or three! Every year, I take a quick pause during the last weeks of December to organize, take inventory and give things away from my personal stash to friends I know who would want them. It’s a nice feeling on many levels and gets me just a little more pumped about starting the new year. The last week of the year is when I like to bust out these holiday gift cards and take a trip to organization nation. Target, Amazon, Bed Bath + Beyond, and the Container Store are my personal faves for finding good organization tools– particularly for beauty! Below are 44 very helpful get your stuff together in 2015! Click the names for the links! (I couldn’t find a link to the one above but it’s from Target and it was about $14.)

countertop bathroom storage the beauty department

 

I love countertop pieces because you can load them up and move them. I have a vanity in my bedroom next to a big window where I like to do my makeup if I have time. But if I’m in a rush, I do it in the bathroom where I do the rest of my beauty routine. Moving it back and forth is much easier when it’s all loaded into one or two of these organizers.

  1. LIPSTICK + LIP PENCIL CUBE $13
  2. 12  SECTION LIPSTICK RISER $5
  3. 12″ CATCH-ALL ORGANIZER $12
  4. MAKEUP BRUSH HOLDER $13
  5. 3-SECTION VANITY CATCH-ALL $12
  6. MAKEUP ORGANIZER WITH TISSUE HOLDER $18
  7. MAKEUP ORGANIZER + SLIDING DRAWER $9
  8. POP OF COLOR ORGANIZER $15
  9. COTTON SWAB + COTTON BALL HOLDER $9
  10. EXPANDABLE MAKEUP ORGANIZER $15
  11. 12 SECTION NAIL POLISH RISER $
  12. FLIP TOP BATHROOM ORGANIZER $45

1organizer drawers the beauty department

 

Clear sliding drawers are awesome for pretty much anything. I keep the majority of my jewelry in these because I don’t like my metals to oxidize as much and I’m a lot less likely to lose pieces. Sliding drawers are also good for lipsticks because you can easily group them by shades. I also am obsessed with the one for sunglasses!

  1. SUNGLASS DRAWERS $20
  2. 3 DRAWER ORGANIZER $15
  3. CLEAR STACKING BOXES $30
  4. BEAUTY STATION $150
  5. 3 DRAWER LINED BOX (WIDE) $20
  6. 3 DRAWER LINED BOX (NARROW) $22
  7. NARROW 4 DRAWERS $18
  8. 6 DRAWER ORGANIZER $60

POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

 

If you’re working with a small space, you need every inch you can get. Grab one or two corner units to maximize on that space. Also stackers are awesome because they’re like little tiny bleachers for your bottles. As they stack up gradually, you can see labels and colors. I love to use things that were intended for the kitchen to organize my products. Always check the kitchen section!

 

  1. CORNER ORGANIZER $10
  2. NAIL POLISH STACKER $10
  3. CORNER ORGANIZER WITH HALF MOON MIRROR $20
  4. ACRYLIC RISER $8
  5. ROUNDED CORNER RISER $13
  6. 40 BOTTLE NAIL POLISH RISER $18
  7. 3 TIERED RISER $10
  8. CLEAR CORNER SHELF $13

white makeup and beauty organizer the beauty department

 

Some peeps don’t like to see everything through clear containers, and that’s fine! Or maybe you have a white bathroom and want your beauty storage to match or give contrast. Here are lots of the same items in white!

  1. 3 DRAWER ORGANIZER $18
  2. BEAUTY CADDY + DRAWER $11
  3. SPINNING COSMETIC ORGANIZER $30
  4. HIGH RISE ORGANIZER $9
  5. VANITY ORGANIZER $12
  6. NARROW 4 DRAWER ORGANIZER $21
  7. WIDE DOUBLE DRAWER $20

drawer and cabinet organization the beauty department

 

It’s just as important to organize the things you can’t see and you’re a lot less likely to lose things if they have a specific home. Here are some of my favorites for under the counter and in the drawer! I love using a lazy susan in my lower cabinets so I can just spin it versus getting down low on your knees and knocking every single product over on your mission to find that one.

  1. COTTON SWAB HOLDER $4
  2. IN-DRAWER ORGANIZERS $5
  3. 20 SECTION DRAWER DIVIDER $5
  4. 12” X 12” DRAWER DIVIDER $12
  5. 5 SECTION TOTE $20
  6. BLOWDRYER HOLDER + ORGANIZER $15
  7. LAZY SUSAN $7
  8. WIRE BLOWDRYER + THERMAL TOOL HOLDER $20
  9. UNDER-CABINET BLOWDRYER + ACCESSORIES HOLDER $20

HOLIDAY HAIR ROUNDUP

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

If you’re planning on getting glam for any remaining holiday parties, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve combed through tons of our hair tutorials and selected 12 hairstyles that will keep you all aglow! Links to each are available below!

  1. FAKING A BLOWOUT: This one is great for pretty much any hair type. If you want to wear your hair down and polished looking, this one’s for you!
  2. BRAIDED CHIGNON: As long as you know how to do a dutch/inside-out french braid, this is easy. This hairstyle always gets lots of attention and you’ll likely be telling everyone how you did it all night.
  3. SIMPLE FRENCH TWIST… WITH A TWIST: This is do-able on long or short hair. This tutorial was done on collar bone length hair so don’t fret! Click on the link to see how to secure shorter lengths in an updo.
  4. SHORT HAIR HALF UP: I loooove this half updo for shorter hair. Mostly because you can add any gorgeous accessory to the back.
  5. THE INFINITY BUN: This quickly became a favorite around here. I just made this up out of no where a while ago and have now used it so many times. It’s a great way to get a more voluminous bun.
  6. THE BRAID-Y BUNCH: An oldie but a very goodie!
  7. SHORT HAIR CHIGNON: This was done on very fine, short hair and it’s honestly easier on finer hair. It’s a bit difficult to do on short thick hair because you have to be able to tuck the ends into each other before pinning. The thicker it is, the harder it can be to conceal the ends and make them blend in.
  8. ROPE BRAID BUN: So romantic, so chic. Perfect for a holiday date… a holi-date!
  9. FRENCH FISHTAIL BRAID: Calling all cool girls. This braid has a casual vibe but also shows that you put a bit of effort into your look.
  10. NATURAL TEXTURE CHIGNON: So much volume to work with when it comes to natural hair! This perfectly full twist/bun combo would look stunning with almost any dress, to be honest.
  11. VOLUMINOUS PONYTAIL: Speaking of volume. Learn the trick to this big ol’ pony right here!
  12. WILD WAVES: Get better, longer lasting waves for your holiday party and get them easily by adding this one little trick to your regimen!

HAIR SERUMS

hair serum the beauty department

Recently I realized that we’ve never really had a specific chat about hair serums. There are so many different formulas from silicone-based, to alcohol free, to natural, to curl enhancing, etc… All of them promise to deliver mega shine on the driest, dullest hair. But there’s more to it than that. I thought it would be fun to break down 8 of my favorites (each being my jam for a different reason), tell you what I’ve experienced with each and tell you who I would recommend them for. I tend to apply some sort of serum on almost every head of hair that I curl which I think is a major contributor to why my curls get so perfectly piece-y. I think the only real way to gauge your love for a hair serum is to put a drop in your palm and try it on your hair! But this may be helpful in directing you to the best bottle for your specific needs.

 

hair serum roundup the beauty dept

 

1. Josie Maran Argan Oil: I tried Josie Maran argon oil for skin along time ago. Loved it and even would put a little in my hair from time to time even though it wasn’t specifically formulated for that. Then I decided to try the actual hair are going to oil. Argan Oil is a superior source of antioxidants, vitamin E, and moisture. I find that this one penetrates into the hair very naturally and never leaves any kind of residue. I would recommend this for all hair types.

2. Kerastase Lumiere Liquid: since the day I tried this I have been obsessed and never worked without this in my kit. It has a heftier priced tag but even when I use this on almost every client, I will still have a bottle for nearly a year. You need one to two drops for most hair types. A little goes such a long way. This is the first serum that I have ever seen that gives EXTREME glassy shine and is literally weightless. I love to put this in a clients hand, have them wrap around in their palms, and see the shine while they feel absolutely nothing. I am baffled by this product. I would recommend this for anyone wanting insane shine with zero weight.

3. Kiel’s Silk Groom Serum: I love this stuff for straightening curly hair. It’s pretty weightless. I apply it on wet hair before I blow dry and I can still get volume but it also helps give a little slip to the hair which helps minimize tangles in the blowout process. I also like this one because I can put a couple drops on before I blow dry and a couple drops on after I blow dry without feeling like it’s too much. I would recommend this for those with curly hair who like to blow their hair out straight with volume, also for defrizzing finer hair because it’s very lightweight. I also love to put this on the ends when I air dry! 

4. Bumble + Bumble Thickening Serum: this stuff is very interesting to me. When you put it on wet hair overnight, it works to “plump” up the hair making it appear thicker and fuller. I love this for when you have an event the next day or for a day you really really really want big hair. But this is not something I would say to use all the time. I think this stuff is so cool but I’ve noticed with repeated use the hair starts to feel a little dry. I think this is an incredible product on the right occasion. I would recommend this for anyone with superfine hair who wants a boost of density and volume.

5. Ouidad Shine Glaze SerumThis brand specializes in curly hair and I have found that girls with curl need their own special formulation. Curly hair needs a little weight but nothing too heavy. This particular little bottle provides the right amount of of shine, weight and curl encouragement through moisture. I don’t typically use this on freshly washed curly hair. I apply it on day two or three when curls start to feel a little more dry and start breaking up, causing frizz. I twirl it in from middle to ends but I avoid putting it at the root. I also love to apply this to curly hair before an updo because it makes sections easier to pull apart. I would recommend this for girls with strong wave, light curls, tight curls and kinky curls.

6: L’Oreal EverStyle Smooth + Shine SerumThis is an awesome budget friendly alternative! It’s super affordable and I love that it’s alcohol-free. Let’s say you have over-processed highlights and you’re trying to repair your hair… You’ll always want added shine but you’ll also want to stay away from anything alcohol based. So this is your bottle. It’s moderately light-weight, it rinses clean with just water, it creates shine and it protects your hair from the elements. I would recommend this to anyone who trying to defrizz and add shine, but wanting to stay under $10.

7. L’Oreal Sleek It Serum SpraySome people who sit in my chair are just not great with product application, and that’s totally okay. Luckily this stuff came out! It’s a serum in spray form so all you have to do is push the pump down. It’s super easy to apply and comes out in a fine mist so you can spray it and then brush it through with a soft boar bristle brush, ensuring an even application. It soaks into the hair nicely and it’s less difficult to over-apply than drops. I’ve never had it feel greasy but I’ve only used this a few times. I really just love the application. I would recommend this for anyone with fine hair who tends to get a greasy look when applying serums. I also love it for a super shiny sleek flat iron look.

8. Kenra Blow Dry SerumI’ll be honest… I bought this one because I liked the way it smelled! But I was pleasantly surprised when I started using it on clients who tend to heat style the heck out of their hair because this stuff seriously protects! Sometimes a client will come to get color/highlights and skip a haircut. It always seems to be the ones who blowdry and curl every day. If the ends are dead and split and I can see that with my eyes, it kills me. But this stuff helps me sleep at night because I apply it to the hair before (and even a drop after) heat styling and it conceals/bandaids dead dry ends. Those white, crusty split ends are virtually impossible to find after this is applied. And even though I know they’re still there, not seeing them or feeling them helps a lot. I would recommend this to anyone with dry ends, anyone stretching out their haircuts, and anyone who tends to heat style every day.