SUMMER BRAID 1

photos/post/graphics: Kristin Ess

Happy Saturday, friends! A week or so ago I had posted a photo of this braid on instgram and it got a ton of tutorial requests so, here it is. It looks pretty complicated but it’s pretty simple if you know how to do a basic french braid and a simple fishtail braid. This is such a go-to braid for summer because it gets the hair off your back and neck but still looks super fancy and fun. Okay, here are the 8 steps…

  1. Create a side part first. Then on the heavier side, clip up a section of hair about the size you see in photo 1. You’ll save that for later to create your fishtail.
  2. Start in the back behind one of your ears and french braid all the way across to the opposite shoulder.
  3. Once you get to the shoulder, turn the french braid into a regular braid that will fall in front of your shoulder.
  4. Next, take down the clipped up section and create a basic fishtail braid. Secure it with a small clear elastic when you’re done.
  5. Take the fishtail and wrap it around your head toward the back. Tuck it into the french braid and pull the tail through (see photo 5)
  6. Now take the tail of the fishtail that may be hanging out and work it into the french braid. Pin it in place.
  7. Gently pull the fishtail braid and the french braid apart to give it a little more texture and softeness. I love to spray my braid lightly with a soft ocean spray like Wella Ocean Spritz before I pull it apart. It gives it a little extra hold so I don’t end up unraveling my whole braid.
  8. Pull out some pieces out around the front to give it a more romantic feel (optional), then do a veil of fine mist hair spray like Oribe Superfine or Elnett.

If you have super clean hair to start, you may want to massage a little water-based pomade into the root and through the middle. That’s my favorite technique for anyone with freshly washed hair. Try Redken Rough Paste or treat yo’self to my ultimate fave Rough Luxury from Oribe. Those are my two go-to pomades.

THE BRAID PARADE

all photos by Kristin Ess

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Instagram was created just for posting braids, right? Okay maybe not but at least that’s what I like to use mine for. Today’s post is less about a tutorial and more a gallery of good good. I thought it would be fun to upload my favorite braid posts from my page so they’re all here in one spot. These aren’t photos that we’ve done TBD tutorials for but many of them can be done using one tutorial + another, which I will specify. I love using these photos for reference when a client is going somewhere fun like a wedding, event or even a hot date. There will be a short breakdown of how I got each look underneath each photo. Most of these are braids I did on friends, sisters, clients, co-workers, etc so may not be the easiest to do on yourself. Show one of these to your best braider friend or hairstylist and let them do their magic! Sound the horns, here comes the braid parade…

This was done on super long hair. First, I sprayed damp hair with beach spray, roughly blowdried it and made two regular fishtail braids. Then I pulled them apart to soften the look and wrapped them into a large bun in back. I used large hairpins and bobbypins to secure.

This one looks complicated but it’s not at all. I  blew the hair dry with a side part, added some waves with a 1 1/4″ barrel curling iron (this will give the braid more volume and texture), did a regular french braid going from the side with less hair crossing the back and down into a regular braid. Then did a regular fishtail on the heavier side and tucked it in and pinned it to the french braid.

Doesn’t this look complicated? It’s totally knot. Ha. Get it!? Okaaaay. Prep damp hair with some beach spray. Take two pieces and tie them into a loose knot and add a bobbypin at the middle where you tied the knot. Do the same thing with the next two new pieces (you take new pieces each time, the way you would with a french braid). Then the next two. Then the next two, etc… I would let mine be messy and each knot be slightly off center to make it look a little cooler.

I mean, let’s be honest… this just looks extra cool because my friend has purple hair. I did a one sided french braid just like the one we did HERE.

This one is fun because the messier the better. Blow dry the hair with mousse. Again, I like to give it some curl to give the braids volume and texture before I actually start braiding, so here I used a 1 1/4″ iron to wave it up before I styled it. Do a french fishtail on each side, bring them together and twist them around each other in the back, then roll them into a bun. I used no specific technique for this part, just rolled it, unrolled it, rolled it back up and pinned it when I thought it looked pretty/balanced. Use large bobby pins and strong holding hairspray to secure! If you have trouble with bobby pins sliding out, try spraying the pin with hairspray before you insert it, that will help!

I did this for Lauren on one of our Kohl’s shoots and it’s my favorite! I prepped the hair by blowing it dry with a volumizing mousse. It’s just two inside-out (somewhat loose/messy) french braids that get pinned into a low fun bun. I pulled out a couple of loose pieces and gave them a little bend with a beveled flat iron.

SO CUTE! This is such a fun topknot and looks a little different than the average one. Make a high ponytail on top of the head, use a little waterbased pomade to get better hold, do a regular fishtail, then coil it into a bun and pin! Hairspray was key with this one to keep it from loosening up.

This is obviously for a fun occasion like a football game, soccer game, whatever sport you like, it would be fun to do it with your colors. I applied the chalk to large sections of damp hair (do it on dry hair if you’re blonde so it won’t stain), then did two dutch braids and pinned them as I went along into a curved shape. As it dries, the chalk becomes more apparent.

If you’re a bad a** braider, then you’ll probably have no problem doing these but like I said up top, these are likely going to be braids you’ll want to enlist a beauty/braid loving bestie to help you out with. If you try any don’t forget to TAG US, duh. @thebeautydept on the gram. Also follow me + Amy Nadine on our personal instagram accounts for extra behind the scenes beauty photos like these! I’m @Kristin_Ess and Amy Nadine is @AmyNadine13!

KEEP UP YOUR BLONDE

 

Our last hair tutorial was dedicated to all of our stunning redhead + brunette readers, but today we’re highlighting the blondes (pun intended)! As many of us know, if you have blonde hair, or even blonde highlights added to brunette or red hair, that fresh, clean bright blonde can turn brassy real fast if it’s not properly maintained. Our friends over at John Frieda’s Destination Blonde have worked really hard to develop a special formula called Everlasting Blonde to keep your stunning shade right where you want it from day one.

  1. It’s important to start any hairstyle with a clean canvas. Use a generous amount of John Frieda Everlasting Blonde Shampoo. Work up a nice lather and make sure you really get into the lower/back of your head. People often make the mistake of missing this section which can lead to limp locks.
  2. Speaking of locks, next you’ll apply John Frieda Everlasting Blonde Conditioner to lock in moisture and tone by closing that cuticle!
  3. Once out of the shower, towel dry and comb through.
  4. Blow dry and follow the tutorial above to create a long lasting, classic curl.

Whether you wear your hair curled as Lauren shows us up top using a 1 & 1/2 inch barrel curling iron and setting clips, or wear it up in this super cute fishtailed topknot (tutorial coming soon), you can finish off the look by using John Frieda Crystal Clear Hair Spray to keep that beautiful blonde protected.

Hashtag #myblondelife on Instagram so we can see just who are blonde bombshell readers are! Then check out keepupyourblonde.com – a destination for all types of blonde hair (and maybe some exclusive photos of our lovely Lauren Conrad!).

(TBD is proud to have partnered with our lovely friends at John Frieda to bring you this post.)

FAVORITE TYPES OF FLAT IRONS

Kristin Ess

There are about a gazillion flat irons on the market. Every time I go to a beauty supply I’m baffled at the number of flat irons with crazy features that have been introduced in the last few years. Today, I thought we would go over the only four flat irons that you could ever possibly need (no matter what your budget). We’ve also been asked about our must-have irons in regards to THIS post.

  1. The Beveled Iron: GHD – This has quickly become one of my favorite flat irons. The reason is, I use it to get those gorgeous, natural, beachy looking flat iron waves. It has a curved edge which is how I get those subtle dips and bends without it looking like I used a curling iron. This might replace the curling iron for me… at least for the whole summer.  (Link to my favorite one HERE)
  2. The Slickest: Croc –  This is my go to flat iron for really straightening hair. No matter what your natural texture is, it gives you the shiniest, smoothest, silkiest finish. I also use this for keratin treatments because it glides through so easily. (Link to my favorite one HERE)
  3. The Cheapest: Remington Pearl – In my opinion, this is one of the best flatirons on the market for someone on a budget. You don’t typically see this kind of shiny finish to the hair with a less expensive iron. Even though it’s budget friendly, it definitely competes with some of the more expensive irons out there. (Link to my favorite one HERE)
  4. The Tiniest:  Conair Mini – I love this for girls on the go. It’s so tiny and great for touch-ups after work before a hot date because it fits perfectly in your purse. Also great for anyone with bangs that need straightening, as larger irons can make that task a bit more difficult. (Link to my favorite one HERE)

So now that you know our favorites, it’s only fair that we know yours! Any specific brands/models that we just have to know about? We want details! Leave us a comment below!