THAT’S A WRAP!

photos/post: Kristin Ess

It’s Sunday funday and you’re hopefully not headed to school or the office, so why not try something different to tie off your dutch/french/fishtail braid for the rest of the weekend? This little wrap detail is something I’ve been doing to my clients for a little while just to make things look a little more interesting than normal so thought it would be fun to share. The great news is you only need one tool! A thin ponytail holder. With all the fun braid tutorials we’re putting up this summer, like THIS ONE, THIS ONE or THIS GEM, you should definitely give this a shot!

All you’re doing differently when you tie off your ponytail is READ MORE…

QUICK TIP: CONTOURING

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

We’re getting really technical today, ladies! I know a lot of you still don’t feel like it’s worth taking the extra step to contour. Or you are intimidated by all of the overly-exaggerated contouring photos floating around Pinterest and Instagram! But I can’t stress enough 1. how important it is and 2. how easy it is! Foundation makes a blank canvas. That can actually make your face photograph heavier than it is! You have to go back and add dimension back in. And you do it quickly and easily with cream foundation one shade darker or bronzer. Revisit my Contouring 101 Tutorial to fully understand the technique. Now for the biggest tip I can give you!! When editors or clients ask me what’s the number one contouring tip, the answer is always the same… READ MORE…

SUMMER BRAID 4

photos/post/graphic design: kristin ess

All summer the subject of braids will be a big one around here. Last week we talked about a trick for bulking and voluminizing your braid. Many requests rolled in for a tutorial on the actual braid that was done in that post. Well here it is! I have to be honest, when I asked Nora to sit in on this post I had completely forgotten that we chopped off her hair a few months ago. It was up to her chin and now it’s around her shoulders. But I still wanted to do the tutorial on her head because it leaves me a great opportunity to show you guys how to cheat a dutch braid (aka: an inside-out braid) on hair that is between the chin and shoulders. I’ll show you how we did it, but I split up our normal tutorial so you could really see detail in the larger individual photos. Here we go… READ MORE…

SUMMER BRAID 3

PHOTOS/POST/DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

Okay, I know this isn’t an actual full braid tutorial but I felt like I needed to throw this in as part of our ongoing “Summer Braid” series because it’s a pretty epic tip. Anyone with fine, thin, straight or super healthy hair that tends to slide right out of a bobby pin will definitely need to grab a bottle of this stuff, STAT. It’s called texture powder and it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to updos and braids. When I first tried this stuff a few years ago, I was terrified. It felt too starchy and dry when I put a light layer of it all over my long hair. I like soft shiny pretty hair and I felt like this made my long hair look matte and dry. Well it’s supposed to! It was designed to “bulk up” the hair you have and give it additional volume so I should have only been applying it at the root. Once I figured out the deal with texture powder, I started using it to get bigger, fuller braids and my hair kit hasn’t been without it since. A lot of products are like that– you just have to find the right way to use them!

So here’s what Nora’s braid looked like before adding the powder. As you can see, it’s gorge and there’s nothing wrong with it so if you prefer to wear it like this then that’s amazing. But trend-wise, we’re always craving a bigger, messier, more textured looking braid than before. All of you pretty peeps who say “I wish my hair was that thick” or “I wish my hair was that long”, should know that Nora has a fine head of hair and it’s cut just above her shoulders, so at least give this a shot!

So here’s how I like to use the texture powders…

Shake a decent amount onto a dry braid. Don’t put it on wet hair. Don’t worry about it looking like a George Washington wig… it fully blends/disappears with the next step.

Once you apply your light layer of texture powder, tap, tap, tap it into your braid. You’ll see your visible powder magically disappear.

Now pull the loops of your braid and that’s it. No, joke it’s that easy. There’s no crazy skill involved. You’ll just instantly have fuller braids that won’t slip out of place while you’re pulling on them to get volume.

There are many brands making texture powders now and here are some of my current faves…

  1. OSiS- Dust It
  2. Bumble & bumble.- Pret-A-Powder
  3. Batiste- XXL Plumping Powder
  4. Big Sexy Hair- Powder Play

Seriously though, if you’re having trouble getting big braids, invest in one of these little game changing bottles! This isn’t the same as a dry shampoo so don’t get them confused! If you do this, hashtag your photo with #TBDbigbraids so we can see yours!