Posts Tagged ‘step by step’

MAPPING OUT FLAT IRON WAVES

photos: kristin ess, post: jessica swanson

photos: kristin ess, post: jessica swanson

So, you can knock out a full set of curling wand waves with one gloved finger tied behind your back? You still had time to ace that smokey eye after finishing bestie’s pull-through braid for Prom? Girl, we know you’re always up for a challenge, so we’re presenting to you our fave flat iron wave tutorial. There’s something just right about the look… not too precious or coiled, with subtle movement for manes both long and short. There might be several versions of flat iron waves out there, but this one gives us life! Here’s how to make it happen:

Before beginning, we prepped towel-dried hair with THICKENING SPRAY, then blow dried straight. This thickening spray helps to create the right amount of texture and a soft, sustainable hold. Keep in mind that once you’ve nailed your technique, it can also be an ideal way to touch up air-dried waves, or can be worked in with OTHER waving techniques.

Before things get heated, take a few minutes to practice with a BEVELED FLAT IRON while it’s still turned off (uh, ps: it’s on SALE! and it’s never on sale!). It’s important that you get the hang of the motions before adding heat, as this trusty iron has only one temperature setting. You’ll want to hit each section only once or twice at the most to avoid heat damage. The beveled edges of the iron are crucial for creating smooth waves, and help to avoid creating kinks in the hair. If you need more guidance on the steps below, go check out our instagram post right here!

flat iron wave tutorial the beauty dept

  1. To begin, hold a section of hair out from your head, and insert the flat iron at a diagonal, just below your scalp. Your waves will have natural, realistic movement if they are created diagonally towards or away from your face, or a mixture of the two. Gently close the iron as you curve it up and back down to form an arc.
  2. Because these waves are created using heat and tension, you’ll need to use a flat finger to hold the form of the previous arc, while you pull in the opposite direction to make your next wave. If your hair tends to slip, use two fingers to scissor the section instead. The second bend will be going the opposite direction, as we are creating alternating peaks and valleys. Just below the first arc, bend the iron down towards your head, then curve back up and release.
  3. complete the wave pattern that now should be visible with another arc curving away from the head, holding the previous bend for tension. You may have more length to wave here, but on this LOB we have reached the finish line!
  4. Slowly tap through the ends instead of bending them inward or too far outward to create a cool, modern finish.

To add just the right level of soft hold and enhance waves, we added a light veil of SOFT BEACH WAVE SPRAY, which while pricey, is just straight up the best! They also have a travel size available if you’re the type to dip your toes first. To truly nail the final look above, try THIS little hair hack after you apply your beach wave spray.

You’re ready to roll out! But maybe hide how good you are at this? Your girls are going to swarm, no doubt.

Don’t forget to tag us when you work those waves! @thebeautydept on insta.

AT-HOME HIGHLIGHTS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

Last week, something fascinating happened; I learned that it IS possible for one to give themselves a mini highlight at home, both safely and beautifully. When I was about 14 I started highlighting all of my friends’ hair at home (oh yah… from a cap.) and somehow it always turned out great, so I suppose my initial confidence in this project sprouted from my experimental younger self mixed with my faith in Dana because she’s a smart girl. Now let me give you a little back story. I get asked about DIY highlights all the time and my reaction has always been the same: “JUST DO NOT.”, accompanied by a look that puts the fear of gawd into the person asking. But when Dana asked me if it was possible to add a little brightness around the front of her hair at home, as much as I wanted to put her on my schedule and offer to do it for her, something told me we should roll with this and turn this into a guide for those of you who really need it.

As a professional colorist, it used to be my NIGHTMARE to see people take bleach into their own hands at home. But in this day and age, I know people are going to do it anyway, so I figure if you’re audacious enough to try, the least I can do (as everyones digital big sister) is guide you through! All I ask is that you not try to do more than what’s easy and safe for you. I don’t recommend doing more than a little face frame highlight around the front because by doing more than that you could easily lose control and things could go very, very wrong. Okay… here we go.

To start, I’ll tell you the same thing I told Dana: please check all allergies (instructions to conduct an allergy test will be on the box), wear gloves, protective clothing and keep bleach off of your skin and away from your eyes throughout this process. Be an adult about this and don’t do things that are unsafe or unclear.

manic panic bleach kit the beauty department

First things first, you will need a bleach kit. I wanted to be as realistic as possible about this so instead of going to the professional beauty supply stores I normally go to, I took Dana to Sally’s Beauty Supply in LA because I know the majority of you will have a Sally’s and you don’t need a license to shop there.

We got THIS EXACT BLEACH KIT for $10. If that sells out, it’s also available RIGHT HERE for a couple dollars more. I’m sure there are other great at-home bleach kits, but I wanted to make sure we got one that is widely available! (bonus: this kit also comes with a pair of latex gloves!)

highlight brushes at home highlights

I think it’s important to have 2 brushes: one to apply the bleach and one to blend. Dana is going to use the application brush from the kit as well as a “spoolie” brush which is a small brush made for brows and lashes. It’s basically a disposable mascara wand. You can grab those at any beauty supply or if you don’t have that you can use an old toothbrush that you will then need to throw away.

at home highlights the beauty department

Next steps are going to be grabbing your SECTIONING CLIPS, putting on your PROTECTIVE CAPE, and clipping one side of your hair back. I encouraged Dana to part her hair where she normally would (she chose a subtle side part), and then push everything back on one side so she could focus on one side at a time. (By the way, it is SO fun and entertaining to watch and guide someone through this process!!)

thebeautydepartment.com at home highlights

Now you have to find the exact pieces you want to highlight! I asked Dana to look at her hair and find the key pieces that she thought would look best highlighted when her hair is styled. OHHHH! I should mention– I also asked her to do this on styled hair so she could see where the lighter pieces should fall with the way she normally wears it. I think that is very important! In the right photo above you can see the pieces she chose. I think each piece you choose should be no bigger than a regular shoe lace.

beauty dept at home highlights

Once you have your pieces out and the rest of your hair securely clipped out of the way, it’s time to mix your bleach! Follow every little tiny instruction on the box. I told Dana to mix half of the contents first and apply to one side, then go back and mix a fresh batch when she was ready to do the other side. Otherwise your bleach can oxidize and get weaker as it sits out.

diy highlight the beauty department

Time to applyyyyyy!! On the left you can see that she applied from the middle to ends. Do NOT even try to go higher than that, please. You’ll end up with problems. We want to keep this as easy and safe as possible, so pleeeeease don’t go up high with your bleach. Apply middle to ends on each thin section.

thebeautydepartment.com face frame highlights at home

Once you apply with your applicator brush from middle down, use your spoolie to soften the transition between the dark and light hair. You don’t want a harsh line where the bleach stops so lightly drag your spoolie up and down where your bleach stops and soften the look! Once you feel like you’re in a good place with your blending, put the colored strands in either saran wrap or HAIR COLOR FOILS to keep the color from drying out. (ps: I had Dana put one extra foil above that one just to be safe and keep it away from her eyes on the side that’s heavier. She’ll only need one foil on the less heavy side.)

Keep in mind, bleach works very differently than hair color. Hair color stops, bleach does not. You will need to check your hair from time to time inside the foil/saran wrap to see how light it’s getting. Since this is a 30 volume bleach, it moves quickly and you should keep an eye on it. Don’t try to make the pieces platinum, use your best judgement and follow the instructions. You just want a subtle highlight.

at home highlight tutorial the beauty department 1

Dana has very dark, very coarse, strong hair. I felt it was safe for her to section, mix more bleach and apply the second side while the first side was processing in the foil. But if you have dry, damaged hair, previously bleached hair or light hair naturally you should do one side at a time, start to finish because you may need to take side 1 off sooner than you think.

the beauty dept diy highlights

Keep an eye on both sides as they process. One will be lighter than the other as you go because you applied one side first. Do not apply heat when doing this at home. Things can get too out of control too quickly! Slow and steady definitely wins the race! In total Dana kept her foils on for 20 minutes per side but her hair is super dark and very strong. I would say the average is going to be 15 minutes give or take. Remember: Dana’s first side was put on 10 minutes before the other side so that time counts as processing time! In other words, her first side will be ready 1o minutes before the second side.

toning at home highlights the beauty department

When the hair is ready, you’ll rinse, shampoo and tone. For this Dana shampooed with THIS, then applied THIS TONER, then THIS CONDITIONER. What tone you like is really based on your own personal taste. When you go into your beauty supply, talk to someone who works there about what tones you like and tell them you’re looking for a toner rather than a permanent color. Toner is like a sheer-colored top coat for the hair. It can cut out yellow, add warmth, add pink tones, whatever you want. So since I don’t know what you’re going for, it’s best to get advised by someone who works there. If you’re not sure what tones you love, check my tone guides here: ASHY, NEUTRAL, GOLD WARM TONES, HINT OF REDRED. With Dana, she wanted to make it more neutral so she used an ash toner. She applied it and left it on for 6 minutes and rinsed when it looked ready. Remember to keep the rest of your hair clipped back and away from all this color. Only apply the toner to those few pieces you’ve lightened, otherwise it can mess with your hair color and it can create extra unnecessary work for your salon colorist if you apply all over.

at home hair color highlights kristin ess

This was the final result once the hair was dried and waved. I think she did an EPIC job, especially for never coloring her hair own or anyone else’s hair ever before. She slayed the game and I was like a proud mom when all was said and done. Too bad she doesn’t want to do hair! Ha.

You may ask why this is neccessary. I think we all have very different lives and different priorites and before anyone slams the idea of me sharing this info with the general public, we need to remember that we’re not all the same. This world is big and we don’t all have access to a great colorist, not all of us have money to spend in the salon and frankly some just don’t have the time. But we have access to information by the click of a button and that’s what this is. That being said, would you have the courage to brighten a couple little strands at home?

THE UN-DONE BRAID

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS

THIS is one of my favorite looks because you almost cant do it wrong. It’s a braid so haphazard that even someone with little to no skill could hook it up! This reminds me so much of those kids you see on a playground who have run around for so long that their braid starts to come apart. I often feel like as it falls apart it becomes more beautiful, kinda like me after an Adele song. Anyway. Here’s how we created this look…

the beauty department the undone braid

Let’s not front. There are extensions in this hair. There are 4 thin tracks clipped in. Emily has fine hair and the extensions help to bulk it up. This looks best on longer hair but it can absolutely be done on medium lengths as well (you just need a little more patience and skill for that!)

If you have “slippery” soft hair, spray in a little OCEAN SPRITZ for grit. A light layer on dry hair will do! It’s the same one I mentioned in my last HAIR POST.

  1. Separate the center section and make a large french braid. In other words, take big pieces for your french braid rather than small. Leave out the sides from your ear to your front hairline.
  2. Split each side section into two pieces.
  3. You want to grab a piece and weave it through the main braid once or twice, leaving the ends out.
  4. Do that with all 4 side pieces.
  5. If any of them slip, you can use a tiny MICRO CLAW CLIP behind the braid to hold your section. Remember how we did that right HERE? Your pieces will stay put with those if you need them.

Again, the whole point of this is to feel very informal and un-done, so don’t overthink it and don’t make it too perfect. Add a light veil of strong holding hairspray at the end if you feel the need!

Do you guys like this kind of look? I have a few more of these types up my sleeve. Or is it just too messy for you? Would love to know your thoughts!

THE BEST GROOM GIFTS EVER

POST: KRISTIN ESS

POST: KRISTIN ESS

 

There are some things on this list we didn’t even know existed! But they do and your fiancé, best friend, brother, father may need these gems if they’re saying “I do” soon.

  1.  SWISS ARMY HANGING TRAVEL KIT.  He’s going to need something to put all his new fancy stuff in. Also… easy to zip up and take on the honeymoon. Men need baggage, too!
  2. HAIR FIBERS. I’m obsessed with these little bottles and have them in every color. I use this on both men and women for photoshoots. If there’s a weak spot/thinning patch on someones head, I shake these tiny little hair fibers onto the scalp and boom– no more see-through patch. Doesn’t look powdery and no one has ever been able to detect these fibers. They also stay put throughout the night, dancing and sweating and all. This stuff is amazing. I’ve used these on more grooms than one could imagine. Particularly those grooms who are a lil insecure about potentially seeing a thinning patch in a photo. Problem solved.
  3. MEN’S NAIL CLIPPERS. If your guy isn’t down for a mani in the salon, grab him a set of these. They’re made particularly for men. They’re wider and easier to handle and they’re also incredibly sharp compared to most fingernail and toe nail clippers.
  4. CLIPPER + EDGER SET.  Of course the groom is going to get his hair cut before the big day, but what if someone in his dude lineup didn’t get a chance to ? Maybe have a set of these on hand for any last minute touch ups. Most guys know how to clean up another guy’s hairline and if not, hopefully there’s a pro on site who can take a second to help out.
  5. ANTI-REDNESS CREAM. I actually used this for a little while because I was having some rosey little flare ups on my cheeks. Until I could find a more permanent solution, I used this. If your guy tends to have some redness issues in his skin, get him a jar of this and have him apply a few min before the wedding or photos.
  6. PRE-SHAVE OIL (for sensitive skin). If your dewd has issues with shaving due to sensitive skin, get him to try this out. It’s an oil, applied before shaving, which softens and conditons the skin before going at it with the razor. It’s a bit of a buffer between the skin and the razor.
  7. ANTI-FATIGUE COOLING EYE ROLLER. Who knows, maybe he had to work up until the last minute or really partied hard at the rehearsal dinner. Pop one of these in the refrigerator and tell him to roll it under his eyes for a few before walking down the aisle. I have the women’s formula and it’s amazing.
  8. DE-PUFFING EYE BALM. Similar to the cooling eye roller above, this relieves any sign of sleepy under the eye. This one is a balm geared specifically toward puffiness so you would want to do this the morning of the wedding, not right before walking out. I would suggest giving this a couple hours to do it’s thing.
  9. CLEAR BROW GEL. A lot of men have untamed brows. Ask your guy to check those wild ones at the door on your wedding day. This is an undetectable clear brow gel. No one will be able to see it. It won’t make or break a photo if your guy’s brow is out of place, but it will just be nice not to have to think about it either.
  10. BEARD BOX. This is awesome and every bearded bro I know would LOVE this. It’s a box containing everything a guy could need to maintain a beard. And it’s all packaged up inside a gorgeous black walnut box. Such a gorgeous gift.
  11. OIL CONTROL MATTIFYING MOISTURIZER. No body ever sets out to be “the shiny guy”. Eliminate an oily face, hairline or even bald head with this mattifying moisturizer.
  12. R + CO CONFORMIST HAIR PASTE. I find that the most common men’s product these days is a water-based mattifying paste and this is a great one. It keeps the hair from looking overly shiny which is great for photos.
  13. ENERGY BUBBLES. All the energy of an energy drink, no jitters. Lots of vitamin B! Your groom will be socializing and celebrating all night, so make sure he has the stamina to handle all those hugs and kisses and long convos with your whole family (and vice versa!)
  14. MEN’S CONCEALER. His face gets an occasional zit, blemish, ingrown, razor nick, whatever. No one is asking him to put on a full face of makeup, but let’s say he does get a razor nick or an ingrown on his neck from his new cut… You don’t him or anyone else distracted by it, so grab a tube in his tone.
  15.  PRO-GLIDE POWER SHAVE SET. If your Dapper Dan is not going in to get a professional shave before the wedding, let him give himself one. This kit is a collaboration between The Art of Shaving + Gilette so it’s a classic for sure, but it’s also not 500+ like some of the shaving kits out there. Eek.
  16. MEN’S EXFOLIATING FACIAL SCRUB. Encourage him to get any flaky, dead skin off with an exfoliator scrub. If you haven’t heard of Baxter, I’m OBSESSED. They make the greatest men’s products, they’re totally affordable and they work! Way into this brand for men. Anyway, have your guy do this once or twice before the big day.
  17. EXFOLIATING BODY BAR. Swap his soap! He’ll thank you because this will get any remaining flaky skin off the rest of his body.
  18. LASER HAIR GROWTH COMB. This is always a touchy subject. I couldn’t care less if my guy was losing his hair. But what if your guys does? If it’s something he’s concerned with an you want to point him in the right direction or help him out, try a hair growth comb. It uses low-level laser light energy to stimulate hair follicles at a cellular level to promote new growth. It’s an investment, but 93% of patients in their clinical studies experienced significant new hair growth, so it’s worth a shot.
  19. TEETH WIPES. This is genius and I didn’t even know these existed! Let’s say you guys are red wine peeps. And let’s say you’re drinking a lot of it at the rehearsal dinner or wedding. You don’t want to be the purple teeth people in your photos. Keep these on hand or in your purse and check your teeth when you hit the restroom.
  20. NOSE + EAR HAIR TRIMMERThe struggle is real, people. Have a chat with him about nose and ear hairs if he has some creeping out. Just ask if he’s interested in trimmin’ it back. If so, grab him one of these. Doesn’t matter how old you are or how hairy you’re not, these rando hairs creep out on every guy I know.
  21. CHAPSTICK + SPF. If you’re having an outdoor wedding and celebration, remind him to keep one of these in his pocket. Making out on your honeymoon will be so much better when his lips aren’t chapped.

In addition to this guy guide goodness, I found this amazing graphic on men’s hair while on pinterest the other day and thought I would share. It comes from a super cool men’s hair site called hair HairStyleOnPoint.com If you’re having the wedding hair talk with him soon, this website could be incredibly helpful and so could this graphic!

men's hairstyles groom the beauty department