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.

A MAGIC CLIP FOR LOBS AND BOBS

photos: kristin ess, post: jessica swanson

photos: kristin ess, post: jessica swanson

While your lob/bob is super cute and chic, there are still days you may envy the girls who can effortlessly throw in a top knot and go about their business. Usually those are the days you want to crash at the local “Cooling Center” because the temps hit record high. So while recently cruising the air conditioned aisles of H&M, I was thrilled to find THIS versatile and easily-workable clip, that is as attractive as it is helpful in a short hair updo. We worked two looks with this clip, but no doubt you could create many more. Here is one for our BOB girls and one for ladies who LOB:

While this first look (up top) seems slightly complex, it really breaks down to being a simple three-step process. We first worked some texture into the hair with THIS iron and THIS technique, which helps the clip to grip better and hides potential frizz from the heat and humidity. Then we pulled the hair from the top of the head and crown back into a bun just above the occipital bone (the bone in the back of your head that sticks out slightly), and tied it into a bun with a HAIRBAND. Then we repeated the previous step with the hair left underneath. Any hair that doesn’t reach (in this case, the hair above the ears) can be twisted back in between the two buns, then slip the clip in horizontally to hold those pieces and anchor the overall look. You’re done! Treat yourself to an iced coffee.

the beauty department hair clip short hair

For our second look, utilizing the textured waves from the previous style, we pulled a small bit of hair back from above the ears in a slight twist, then slipped the clip in horizontally. Voilà!

We want to see your creativity! If you recreate the looks from above, or invent your own way to use this clip, tag us on IG @thebeautydept.

MAKEUP TEST

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

I love experimenting with makeup probably more than anything. And I’ve noticed that one day I’ll layer two lip colors on a client then the next day I’ll pre-mix two colors… all depending on my mood. But I was curious how different the end results are, if at all; hence this experiment! One model, two lip colors either mixed together or layered on top of each other, same lighting, same skin tone. I think I covered all the possible variables! Here’s what I found:

TOOLS:

It’s easiest to do this experiment with liquid lipsticks, lip stains or lip glosses, but you can certainly use two classic lipsticks. You’ll just have to slice off a sliver of each to do the pre-mix version.

TBDALipExperimentMIXED

MIXED:

  1. Squeeze a pea size of the darker shade onto a palette, your countertop or the palm of your hand.
  2. Add the same proportion of the lighter shade (to keep the experiment as fair as possible).
  3. Mix the two together by swirling the solution with a lip brush or spatula.
  4. Apply the new solution all over the lip area with the brush.

TBDALipExperimentLAYERED

LAYERED:

  1. Apply the darker shade straight from the tube with the applicator wand.
  2. Continue covering the entire lip area.
  3. Now add a layer of the lighter color on top. In this case I used a lip brush.

TBDALipExperimentVOTE

I have a strong feeling I know what your votes are going to be… but humor me please and vote below! And for those of you that are fashion obsessed, this is the printed silk dress that you can only see a peek of on Penelope above but I’m so obsessed with it, I wore it on Good Morning America a week ago with Lauren Conrad!

APPLES VS. CHEEKBONES

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

We were just curious… do you apply your blush to the apples of your cheeks or your cheekbones? It’s a preference thing obviously, but it creates a different outcome, even if it’s subtle. I have clients that only want blush on the apples of their cheeks and others that want only want it high on their cheekbones. Here’s the difference: if you have strong cheekbones with a deep hollow in the cheeks, applying blush only to the apples softens the face and makes it less angular, while applying it only to the cheekbones reinforces the angles. If you have a rounder face, applying blush only along the cheekbones helps contour it and make it appear less round, while applying it only to the apples will reinforce the roundness. Make sense? Most of us don’t have super angular faces, so the cheekbone route is a good one to take. Otherwise, it can be a mood thing… how you feel each day and how you want to play with your face shape! Either way, just stay high on either, meaning apply the blush on the upper half of the apples or the upper part of the cheekbones for the most flattering looks.

TBD SPLURGES & SAVES:

  • Favorite Cream Blushes: We die over this one and we die over the price of this one!
  • Favorite Cream Blush Brushes: This one is a staple in my kit and this one fits my budget.
  • Favorite Powder Blushes: This one has the prettiest texture and color payoff and this one gives you instant cheekbones at an amazing price.
  • Favorite Powder Blush Brushes: I’ve only used this one to apply powder brush for at least five years now. This one is by far the best quality of the inexpensive ones out there.

APPLES:

Smile in the mirror so your apples pop out. Hold the smile while you swirl the blush along the top half of it. Make sure not to go too close to your nose and stay directly on the apple.

CHEEKBONES:

Suck in your cheeks so your cheekbones pop out. Sweep the blush along the top side of it. Make sure not to go too close to your eyes and stay directly on the cheekbone.

TIPS FOR BOTH:

  • When you load up your brush in the blush, don’t ever go directly from the product to the face. If it’s a powder blush, first tap off the excess against the compact or against your countertop. If it’s a cream blush, first swirl it on the back of your hand to smooth it out and eliminate the excess.
  • Choose a cream blush if you like to blush before your powder, or if you don’t powder at all. It creates a natural dewy glow.
  • Choose a powder blush if you use mineral powder foundation or if you like to powder before you apply blush.
  • If you want it to last for hours, use both! Apply cream blush first, then apply powder blush on top to set it.