Posts Tagged ‘at home’

AT-HOME HAIR GLAZING

POST/PHOTOS: KRISTIN ESS

Glazing your hair is really important, particularly if you tend to go an extra long time between cuts or colors. Hair gets dull and luckily there is an at-home solution to lackluster locks– glazing. Think of it like a topcoat for your nails, but instead it’s for your hair. Glosses and glazes help seal the cuticle down and increase shine, big time. I put a color glaze on every single client after I do their hair because it seals in all the hard work we’ve done. Luckily, many companies have started making glazes that you can buy and do on your own at home without having a pro license. 10 years ago I would have said it was a bad idea to do this at home without the supervision of a pro, but the new glosses are completely user friendly. You can see the difference in Katie’s hair below. We used a gloss that had a golden tone to it. It warmed up her hair and left it super shiny.

For this tutorial we used Redken Shades EQ Crystal Clear + Shades EQ Processing Solution. Admittedly, the bottles are kind of expensive, but you’ll get many uses out of each one. For Katie’s hair we used 2 ounces of the Crystal Clear and 2 ounces of the Processing Solution. If you have the same amount of hair, you would get 8 treatments out of both bottles combined.

A more accessible and user friendly at home glaze is John Frieda color glaze. ($10) available in several shades. (For this one you shampoo and conditioner first as opposed to the one we applied to dry hair.)

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POST-BLOWOUT FRIZZ FIGHTER

photos/post/design: Kristin Ess

One of the worst things I can think of is blowing out your entire head of hair only to find it getting puffy + frizzy by the time you’ve put your makeup on and gotten dressed. Obviously the curling iron or flat iron can help but sometimes you just want to wear a smooth, bouncy blowout. We get a lot of emails asking how to eliminate the puff. Here’s what works best.

  1. Blow your hair out as usual. Use a good serum to help you control your frizz.
  2. Once you’re done blowing your hair out split it into two sections. Twist both sections BACK (away from your face) starting up near your temples. Don’t laugh– tuck one side into your bra strap while you do the other side.
  3. Join the two sections together under your chin using a rubber band as you see in photo 3.
  4. Go apply your makeup and get dressed. I know you may look like a little wierdo, but WHO CARES! We’re fighting frizz!
  5. Once you’re dressed and ready to roll, take the rubber band out and put a drop or two of your favorite serum. We love THIS ONE and used it for this tutorial!
  6. Put a little serum where you need it and you’re good to go!

Have you ever tried this??

FLORAL WATER SPRAY

photos/post/design: Kristin Ess

What’s the best thing about Spring? Flowers, obviously! Especially the ones that can be bottled up and sprayed all over. Today were going to show you how to make your own floral water.

You will need: A large metal pot with glass dome lid, a ceramic ramekin, flowers, cutting board, knife, bottled water, turkey baster, ice.

  1. In the center of your large pot, place ceramic ramekin as your “catch bowl”. This is where the floral water will fall. Some people use bricks below their catch bowl but I’ve always thought that makes my water smell a little dirty. Instead I use a ceramic ramekin that can withstand higher heat. I’ve never had a problem with the ramekin getting too hot and “cooking” the fragrance. But if you want to put a brick under as a buffer, go for it!
  2. Pull the petals off of your flowers and give them a little chop. Not too much– I just do it to help release the fragrance.
  3. Pile the flowers around the ceramic ramekin as you see in photo 3. Add 1 1/2 cups of water for each cup of flowers. Note: Depending on where you live, I suggest using bottled water. If there’s any unwanted bacteria in your tap water, you certainly don’t want to bottle it up. Could get gross, fast!
  4. Place your glass lid upside down on the pot. Add a tray of ice on top. Without going into too much detail- the cold temperature of the ice will help procure condensation underneath the lid.
  5. Place it on the stovetop on low. I used a turkey baster to clear away the ice as it melted. Watch your flowers– once the color is gone from the petals, lift the lid. You should end up with a small amount of clear liquid inside  your ramekin.
  6. Use a turkey baster to transfer the floral water into a bottle. You may have to repeat the process to get an entire bottle full. Tighten the lid and spray away!!  

Here’s my hilarious little illustration of how the process works. Uh– don’t judge.

My favorite flowers to use:

  • Rose (particularly Sterling Silver if you can find them)
  • Jasmine
  • Chamomile (any tea for that matter)
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Orange blossom
  • Honeysuckle
  • Champaka
  • Sage
  • Verbena
  • Coconut
  • Peony
  • Frangipani

Sadly I haven’t been able to make gardenias work for this yet, but luckily all of the ones above have worked really well.

REMOVING GEL NAILS AT HOME

PHOTO/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

You can’t plan for everything. A few nights ago I realized a couple of my gel nails were lifting at the tip and one was splitting on the side. They were just about to hit their expiration date. I had 2 parties to stop by that night. Couldn’t get in to see my manicurist because the whole world was getting their nails done last week. I made the decision to take them off at home and wear my natural nails for the next couple days and then go in after the first of the year to have them put back on. I did everything the same way my manicurist does in the nail salon and it turned out pretty well. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you’re in a pinch like I was, but the alternative is ripping them off or going to someone else (which I will not). I did one hand at a time and had no problems. Here’s how…

You will need: a piece of paper (I used a paper placemat), pure acetone, 5 cotton balls, 10 pieces of foil (I tore mine into 3″x 3″ squares), a wood or metal orange stick, nail file, nail buffer.

  1. FILE: Use a coarse nail file to scratch the surface. You have to break through that clear coat they put on top last in order to get to the polish below. You don’t have to go crazy, just enough so that the acetone has a place to seep in.
  2. SOAK: Tear 5 cotton balls in half so you have 10 pieces total. Soak them in acetone and lay them on the nail. Wrap your foil square around the finger and let it sit. I let mine stay on for about 7 minutes after I finished the last one on my first hand. You can really only do one hand at a time.
  3. SCRAPE: Start scraping the gel nail off with your orange stick. It should fall right off. If there’s some that seems hard to remove, put it back in to soak longer. NOTE: When you pull the foil off, don’t unwrap it, just pull it straight off the tip of your finger so it stays “cupped”. That way it stays the same shape incase you need to slide your finger back in it for a few more minutes. I had to do this with 2 of mine. You don’t want to file or peel any of the gel off. Better to put it back in and let it sit for another minute or 2.
  4. FINISH: Once you’ve removed all the gel color, you’ll most likely be left with little bit of a spotty clear layer. That’s where the primer and first clear coat meet and it doesn’t come up with the acetone. I washed my hands thoroughly, then took my 4-sided buffer and smoothed it all out. I actually like it because it kind of serves as a “spackle”– once I buffed my nails they were smooth with no scratches or divits. I then shaped my nails, rinsed the dust off and painted them as usual.

I know that soaking your fingers in acetone is crazy, but we do it until there’s a better alternative with gels. I hope this helps some of you the next time you’re in a bind. And please– DON’T PEEL OR BITE YOUR GELS OFF! xo