How To: The Four (4) Strand Braid

Hola amigos & good mornin! I have a little tutorial for you lovelies today. It is how to do the newly popular four strand braid on yourself! I explain in the video that at first it can be really challenging, especially if you’re good at braiding hair, hah. And I say especially if you’re GOOD at braiding hair because your fingers are probably so used to the normal 3 strand braid that it can be a little confusing for them at first. If you can’t get the hang of it right away, don’t get discouraged! It took me many, many tries before I knew what I was doing. So here it is!

Hope you guys liked it! Let me know if you have any questions or comments. As always, I love hearing from you guys. :] Have a great afternoon & I’ll see ya later for some Tunesday beatzzzz. Kisses.

How To: Face Framing French Braid

Hello lovelies and good morning! About a month ago one of my wonderful readers asked that I post a tutorial on how to do the face framing french braid, A la Jennifer Aniston.

Ok, mine doesn’t come out exactly like hers but let’s be serious, she has a professional braiding her hair. So anyway, check out my latest tutorial with easy step-by-step directions to achieve this pretty look! Hope it helps!

Let me know if there are any other tutorials you guys wanna see! When I get time I am going to post the fishtail braid & the 4 strand braid so keep checking back for those. :]

Subscribe to my Youtube page! & as always, follow me on Twittaaaa and become a fan of my Facebook page. k? Thanks, love you, bye!

Chalk it up to being really bored…

After you read this post, I expect a thank you letter in the mail from every woman in the world. Today I finally embarked on a journey with hair chalking. It was more like the Odyssey to be honest. Homer could have written a story about it. Let me take you through my journey, shall we?

Every girl has wanted to try hair chalking since Lauren Conrad did it with her beauty team a few months ago. It was a trend that was coloring the nation… ha ha, get it? Anyway. Listen, if you don’t have platinum blonde hair, just stop reading right now, close the screen, and forget you ever wanted to try hair chalking. It is a waste of time & money. I mean that in the nicest way possible… I just really wish someone explained that to me first!

If you insist on trying it out, this is what you would need…

Soft Pastels, which you can find at any arts & crafts store like Michaels or AC Moore. I got really excited about trying this hair chalking and I thought I would love it and do it all the time so I splurged on the big box… womp womp. It was only $13, but still. So this is all you really need…. soft pastels.

Step one: Decide how much of your hair you’re actually going to chalk and section it off. I was ambitious with my first attempt… I did the bottom three or four layers of my hair. I started with the bottom layer and sectioned it off as if I was going to curl or flat iron it.

Step Two: Section that section off into smaller pieces and wet the hair. This is especially crucial if you have darker hair color. The chalk will not show up on darker hair that is not wet.

Step Three: Twist the section and begin chalking. This is what it will look like…

NOTE* For darker hair, brighter and darker colored chalk shows up the best. Do not try to use light pastel colors.

Step four: Continue step three to all the sections you wish to chalk. Just remember… this is messy, messy stuff. It’s going to get all over your hands, your face, your back… whatever. It comes right off with a little soap and water so don’t be alarmed, just warned!

Step five: This is really important, and if I had been made well aware of what happens after step four, I don’t think I would ever have chalked my hair to begin with. Your hair becomes one giant knot in an instant. The chalk soaks up any and all moisture that your hair ever had and it begins to resemble a desert tumble weed. There is nothing you can do to avoid this and it makes the rest of the process a real bitch. The “experts” tell you to use a natural boars hair bristle brush to brush off the excess chalk when you’re all finished. And do you know why they tell you to use one of those brushes? They’re typically used for extensions, the bristles do not get caught on the bonds as you brush our your hair. SO ladies and gentlemen (if you’re a guy and trying this out, who knows) they tell you to use that kind of brush because you don’t have a chance in hell of getting a real brush through your hair once it’s been chalked.

Step six: DAMAGE CONTROL. After your hair has been brushed out, and you’ve popped a few Vicodin to take care of the pain, they say to flat iron your hair to seal the chalk in. I flat ironed my hair because I looked like I stuck my finger in a light socket.

Simply flat ironing was not enough, though. My hair was still knotty and still dry so I decided to take styling a step further and use a curling wand. After this long, hard process, this is what I came out with.

Please take note that there is virtually no blue chalk to be found anywhere in my hair…

So that is that. I’m glad I did it… to be honest. Now I have it all out of my system and my dreams of portraying Christina Auguleria in her “Dirrrrrty” days are finally over. So if you still feel the need to try some hair chalking, then so be it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Once this ish washes out you will need about 10 deep conditioning treatments in a row to restore all the natural moisture the chalk stripped form your hair so make sure you have one of those handy as well! I use L’Oreal deep conditioning treatments and you can find them at pretty much any drug store.

If you’re a first time chalkier I suggest trying it out in small sections. I went to get a blow out the other day and my stylist had just the tips of her hair in the front dipped pink, it looked adorable and not over done. Try that out and see how it goes! Let me know if you have any horror stories like mine. ;] Good luck! xo

Weekend Look

Well this past weekend was St. Patrick’s Day, and how did I celebrate? With a taco and fajita night! Just screams Irish pride right? Of course. So I only went to my cousin’s house for a taco and game night, but I haven’t been able to do anything in forever that didn’t involve wearing a football jersey so I figured I’d dress up a little bit. I’ve been doing yoga so my balance is on point lately and I decided I’m wearing heels while I still can. I’ll be wearing them to the hospital probably hah.. Peep my look.

From this angle you’d never even know I had a big ol’ baby bump…. buuuuttttt…

voila! There it is!
Outfit: 
Blazer – Express
Shirt: A Pea in the Pod
Jeans: Indigo Rein
Booties: Marc Fisher

Jewelry:
Earrings: Express
Bib Necklace: H&M
Bracelets: (Left hand)  Skull bracelets in white and gold and black and silver; Molly & ZoeTiffany’s Silver Ball – (right hand) wrap bracelet from Aruba
Watch: Michelle

You will recognize my hair from my how to curl your hair tutorial! I spiced it up by doing a deep center part instead of my usual. I also got new eyeshadow this weekend, which I am obsessed with! Take a closer look at how I did my eyes.

I used Midnight Cowboy all over my lid from lash line to eyebrows and then worked Scratch (both by Urban Decay) into the corners. I added a little solid black into the outer corners and there ya have it. Scratch was the new shade I got this weekend. After I took this picture I added a little bit of my Just Bitten lip stain in Flame from Revlon and that pretty much completed the look.

It’s pretty funny… I’ve always wanted a pair of those bright blue jeans and I wait til I’m pregnant to buy them, hah. So there ya have it, folks. A pregnant girl’s guide to looking somewhat presentable on the weekends. How do you think I did?

How To Curl Your Hair Tutorial – VIDEO!

Hello lovelies. So let’s just cut to the chase, I’ve done a how-to curl your hair tutorial before. But honestly, it’s so much easier to follow a tutorial when you can see it, pause it, rewind it, fast forward through the parts you already know, and whatever else you feel the need to do. So I have re-done my tutorial in a complete video. Just in time for the weekend and any St. Patrick’s Day festivities you may have! Enjoy. :]

Did you guys find this helpful? I hope so! Otherwise, what the hell am I doing it for right? hah – if you want to dress your curls up for this weekend’s festivities you can have some fun with them. Last year after I curled my hair, I did one of those frame-hugging french braids and tied it back with a little green bow. Totally festive – check it out.

Look at how much shorter my hair was a year ago! And darker… holy black or maroon hair. What color is that even? Yikes. But anyway, that’s just a cute little twist you can add to your curls to spice it up and make them more fun and festive.

Pair this with my St. Patrick’s Day makeup and you are good to go baby!

Not All Hair is Created Equal

We’ve all seen the pictures of the models who just “hop out of the ocean” and their hair looks absolutely amazing, and they’re like, “oh, it’s just the salt water.” And yes, salt water does do amazing things for your hair, it’s almost a natural conditioner while adding a natural texture to your hair as well. But let’s be honest, not everyone has hair like a Sport’s Illustrated model after sitting in a hair and makeup chair for three hours after going for a dip in the Atlantic. Personally, I can’t just hop out of the ocean at Little Monmouth and hope for the best, not with my mop.

When I was working at the salon we got this amazing new beach spray in that pretty much cost an arm and a leg. I was super excited to snag it with my employee discount as I had always wanted to try these sprays. I had the bottle in my hands, all excited to go home and take a shower and test it out when my boss flat out says to me, “Rachel, don’t waste your money, that’ll never work on your hair.” womp womp. My hair is naturally curly and frizzy, when I let it hang out in its natural habitat I need about half a bottle of hair gel to keep it under control. And that my friends, is why not all beachy hair sprays will work for me, because they don’t always contain all the ingredients necessary to tame wild, curly, frizzy hair. If you have the same problems I do, I have a solution for you: make your own beach spray! You can literally swipe together some things you have laying around your bathroom and kitchen and make the perfect spray for YOUR hair, because let’s face it, not all hair and beauty products were created equal.

Here’s what you need: 

A spray bottle; I found mine for $1.00 at Harmons.
Oil; I used natural coconut oil.
Leave in Conditioner; I used Frizz-Ease by John Frieda.
Hair Gel; I used gel specifically for curly hair by Pantine Pro-V
Sea Salt.

 

Steps:

One: Fill up the spray bottle about 3/4 of the way with warm (but not hot) water.

Two: Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of sea salt to the water.

Three: Add a few squeezes of hair gel to the water & salt mixture.

Four: Add a few spritzes of leave-in conditioner.

*If you have thicker, curlier hair like myself, you may want to use more hair gel & conditioner. If your hair is thinner and more light weight, go a little easier on those products because they’ll just weigh your hair down and make it look greasy.

Five: Add a drop or two of an oil of your choosing. You can use any oil really that you have in your bathroom… like a hair serum or Moroccan argon oil. I chose to use coconut oil because it is really amazing for your hair. This oil starts out as a solid which will take forever to dissolve in the mixture, so rub it between your fingers for a second to add some heat and make it more of a liquid.

Six: Twist the cap on the bottle (Make sure it’s securely on there) and shake the mixture well. The salt and oil will eventually dissolve and the hair gel and conditioner will blend almost immediately.

Another plus to adding hair gel & leave in conditioner, it makes the whole mixture smell so yummy!

Play around with the components of the spray… you may need more or less of something. Some styling may be required after using the spray too. Let’s just be honest! I hate it when you go to get your hair done and you have all these ideas in your head and your hair dresser waits til the end of the visit to tell you it won’t work on your hair. Fabulous! So this spray may not be all you need, you might need a little blow drying and curling to top off the look perfectly.

This is my hair after using the spray with a little bit of styling – I followed up with blow drying it and using the curling wand (not iron). In the summer I’ll do less styling but in the winter months super beachy hair when you’re not at the beach just doesn’t look super natural. And yessssssss, I do have the ombre hair color now! I got it done last week but I am going to talk all about that later because I need a full blog post to proclaim my love for my salon and colorist. They are angels. 🙂

So anyway! You have all the tools you need now to create your perfect beach spray, so get to it!

Feb Faves

Recently I’ve picked up a few new goodies that I want to talk a little about. I’m loving some of these products and others are well….. just getting me by hah. I’m going to talk about a couple of things that aren’t pictured here as well.

Product numero uno: Milani Baked Bronzer

I am a big lover of bronzers and I have tried them all….. allllll of them! I am actually a big fan of Physicians Formula baked bronzer, but I have recently run out and haven’t been able to find the same one since! I tried a Bare Minerals bronzer recently as well but for the money it runs out kind of quickly. So I saw this baked bronzer and decided to try it. I will say this isn’t as good as my fav Physicians Formula, but it is close! Baked Bronzers are my favorite because they apply so evenly and stick to your skin all day. This isn’t the most expensive product I’ve bought, but I will say it works just as well. It comes in three different shades so you can best match your natural tone and it gives just the right amount of shine to make it look like you’ve been out in the sun all day. Mix it with my favorite blush – Super Orgasm by Nars and you have the perfect glow!

Product number two: L’Oreal Paris Ever Sleek Smoothing Deep Conditioner 

I can always use a wonderful deep conditioning treatment. My hair is naturally curly, very curly, and frizzy. I am constantly blow drying, flat ironing, curling, and sometimes my hair just needs a break. This deep conditioning treatment is a god send! Apply to your hair in the shower and don’t be afraid to really paint it on. Leave it in your hair for 3 to 5 minutes, comb it through, then rinse it out completely. You could also leave it on your hair, step out of the shower for a minute, put a shower cap on and put some heat on it with a hair dryer for a minute or so. After that hop back in the shower and rinse it out. This stuff is a miracle worker. It’s the next best thing to actually getting a hair cut and chopping off the dead ends that are weighing your hair down. I use it about once or twice a week, it’s not a daily conditioner.

Product numero tres: L’Oreal Ever Sleek Super Sleek Intense Serum 

This is a great product to use before straightening. It is sulfate free (as well is the deep conditioner) which is great if you have color treated hair, it won’t touch the color. This is a good serum to put in your hair before flat ironing or blow drying, it does a great job of releasing a lot of the frizz and smoothing your hair out.

Product number four: Almay Moisturizing and Hydrating Makeup Remover

I really hate washing my face before I go to bed and I’m not going to pretend like I’m someone who actually does it every night. By the time I’m ready for bed, I am ready to pass out. Brushing my teeth takes enough energy. As I’ve posted in the past, I am a really big fan of Say Yes To… facial wipes. In addition to those, I love this makeup remover. It doesn’t matter what I do to my face, I feel like I can never get 100% of the makeup off, especially in the shower. I feel like I scrub and scrub and I still step out looking like a raccoon sometimes. This makeup remover is fantastic. I put just a little bit on a cotton square and let it go to work. It removes makeup I thought I had already removed. It’s perfect. It can be a little on the oily side though, so when I’m all done, I use a dry cotton square and wipe off the excess remover.

Product number five: Skinny Girl Lip Plumper Gloss

One of my obsessions is the Real Housewives…. of any place. I love them all. Recently Bethenny Frankel launched a cosmetics and beauty product line and I came across them one day. I picked this lip gloss up because I really liked the color, ha. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized it was also a lip plumper. Now… do I think that it’s really plumping my lips up? I don’t think so. It does tingle when I apply it, so it’ll make you feel like it’s working, but I’ve only been using it for a few days and I can’t see any results… so we’ll see. I’ll have to post another update later.

Product numero six: Skinny Girl Mommy Conditioning Belly Butter

This one is for all my other pregos out there. Sorry to everyone else, ha. This is another great product from Bethenny’s Skinny Girl line, only she has a side line now solely for mommies. And I mean, look at her, she’s a hottie, so this stuff has to work! I actually haven’t spotted any stretch marks yet but I figured applying this early on would take care of that if it does become an issue. When I first opening this jar I was like OH MY GOD! If I didn’t know any better I would think it was a little bucket of cupcake icing, it smells amazing! I actually tweeted that with my cravings it would be hard to keep myself from eating it, it smells so good! hah. It goes on smooth and I apply it all over my tummy (and my boobs, cause they’re growing too!) after every shower.

Some other products I feel like are worth mentioning are Dove Heat Protecting spray and Revlon Just Bitten lip stain. I always, always, always have a bottle of the Dove heat protecting spray on hand in my bathroom. I don’t know if it actually works, but after I was my hair and plan on drying it, I drench my hair with the stuff. I truly feel like I’ve seen a difference in the health of my hair when I’m using it versus when I wasn’t. And hey, it never hurts to be too safe with your hair! As for this lip stain, why I really love it is because it’s also a gloss! I used a lip stain on my wedding day and I hated it. It was literally a stain and anything I put over it either changed the color or made it sticky. This is the perfect stain and gloss combo because the gloss itself is super smooth and silky and my hair doesn’t stick to it when it’s windy out. haha.

So these are some of my favorite products so far! You can pretty much find any of these in a drug store and they are all affordable and completely worth it. Get your hands on some and let me know what you think of them! <3 byee.

Coming Soon…

Coming this week: I am going to do a review on some of my favorite beauty products and some recent purchases I’ve made. I”ll be talking everything from hair to skin so check back later in the week for that. :]

On another note… did everyone have a great Super Bowl Sunday? Because I did! My cousins hosted a nice little get together and everyone brought a little food. I made two batches of my buffalo chicken dip because they go fast. I had two choices: mild and spicy! Between the heat of the dip and the anxiety of the game I was a sweaty mess the entire time haha. What a great game though! I’m just glad all that’s over with… now bring on baseball season!

Hair How To: The Perfect Curls [Tutorial]

I learned a few great tricks while working as a receptionist at a salon. I got to spend a lot of my down time watching the stylists and absorbing some helpful tips. The best thing I learned? How to curl my hair correctly. I was the worst at curling my hair. Literally, the worst! My hair is naturally curly so I was always told after blow drying, my hair should be able to hold a curl. Well it never would. Not only would they not hold, I couldn’t even get a curl in my hair to begin with. I found out I was making a very common mistake that was embarrassingly easy to fix. Once I caught on, I was finally able to curl my hair like a pro. And with these helpful tips and instructions, you will be able to as well!

First, let me just tell everyone the mistake that I was making… I was holding the curling iron at the bottom of my hair, instead of at the top, towards the root. Fix this step and the rest quite literally falls into place. Let’s get started. :]

Here’s what you’ll need:

[Comb, clips, curling iron, and hair spray]

*Note: The larger the curling iron the looser your curls will be. I prefer an inch to an inch and a half iron. If the iron is too big your curls really won’t hold at all.

Start with day old blow dried hair. In this series of pictures I’m working with hair that had previously been flat-ironed. Truth be told, these curls won’t hold well or for very long. Flat ironing your hair takes most of the ability to hold a curl away. Next day blow dried hair is the best to work with for curling. It has a little grit in it and the texture is perfect for absorbing a curl. So let’s continue.

Step one: Section your hair into 2 parts; everything in front of the ear and all the hair behind the ear. Clip the front section on top of your head.

Step two: Separate the hair behind the ear into two sections as well. This time, everything from the top of the ear and up clip on top of your head. You’ll be working with all the hair from the top of the ear, down. See the image below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step three: From the back of your head working forward, take a one inch section and wrap it around the curling iron, closest to the root as possible working your way down with the iron.

Step four: As you work your way forward, alternate directions in which you hold the curling iron. In doing so your curls will be more separated and they won’t mush together and will actually have much more volume. Not sure how to alternate directions? Don’t worry, I thought of that too!

Watch this quick [literally quick] video! My hair is already curled and this curling iron isn’t actually on, but it’s all for instruction purposes.

The first step in this video is with the clippy part of the iron in the back. Hold it this way and curl it towards you. The next step; the clippy part is in the front. Hold the iron this way and curl your hair away from you. Keep doing this every time you curl a new section and viola! You are alternating directions. It’s so much easier to describe via video rather than trying to sit here and type out instructions. Mainly because I never really got it, until I actually saw it. So I hope that helps you! Let’s continue.

Repeat these steps in each section. I do the bottom section behind the ear, then the top section behind the ear. After I do the bottom section in front of the ear and the top section in front of the ear. When you get to the pieces around the crown of your face, curl your hair away from your head to create a wind-swept look.

Repeat all these steps on the other side of your head. When you’re done you’ll have a great head of curls! Be sure to spray with some hair spray. For extra volume, spray your hair with your head upside down.

 

 

 

 

Also, don’t be discouraged if as your night goes on the layer of curls on the bottom starts to fall out. The friction of your clothes against your hair basically eats away at all the hair spray and causes all the curl to loosen no matter how much you sprayed them. Literally, you could put a whole bottle of hair spray on that bottom layer of your curls and that son-of-a-bitch friction will still do its job. So no worries, you are not a curling failure! I hope these tips help you guys like they helped me! Try this on your next night out and let me know how it goes! Eventually you’ll become a pro and be able to curl your whole head in about 10 minutes, no jokin. Good luck! <3

Why getting pregnant was the best thing I ever did… for my hair.

Have you ever had one of those traumatic hair cut experiences that reduces you to tears and makes you swear you’ll never leave your house again? I have. When I was a sophomore in high school. And until this year my life has never been the same. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. Maybe it was just my hair that was never the same, but come on, when you hate your own hair for years it affects your life, right? That’s what I thought. This is me when I was younger; Beautiful, blonde, curls that seemed to go on and on. I loved my hair. I still say to this day that if I have a girl I will never cut her hair. Ever. Especially if as she gets older her hair starts to look more like mine did as I got older. The softness in my curls disappeared and I was left with a rat’s nest that only looked somewhat decent when I used about 3 quarters of a bottle of hair gel a day. This picture was taken about a week before the dreaded hair cut took place. Please note how absurdly curly my hair was… like from the root. It made straightening my hair a day-long process that even paid professionals would sometimes not care to participate in. My hair was a disaster, but as long as I kept it long, we were good. Well. Then one fine day as I was preparing for homecoming I thought, I’ll get a haircut and a blowout. The girl who did my hair first straightened it, and then cut. Anyone with curly hair knows that’s a red flag. Hair shrinks when it goes back to its natural, curly, state. And I kept begging my hair stylist to cool it with the scissors because even straight, it was approaching my shoulders. By the time she was finished, my hair, brace yourselves, was above my shoulders. The next day when I washed it and it was curly again, it didn’t even reach my chin. I was devestated. Honestly, I don’t even think that’s the right word. I cried for two straight days and wouldn’t leave my house that weekend. My mom felt so bad for me she paid for me to get my hair relaxed after school that Monday. Although it wasn’t miracle grow, it took a lot of the natural curl out of my hair and helped it reach my chin. I slowly recovered, but sadly, my hair never did. Even years later it never reached the length it was right before it was chopped. I remembered a horror story some girl told me in high school. Apparently her mom had the same kind of hair cut trauma, but it was cut so short that her hair went into shock and never grew again. I had seen her mother and her hair really never passed her shoulders. Now, I mean, I’m older and have enough sense to realize it’s because she bleached the hell out of it so often I’m pretty sure her hair just broke off every time she laid her head on a pillow, but when you’re 14 it’s a horrifying thought. So anyway, long story short. My hair, since that terrible day, had never grown back to where it was before I got it cut. I was religiously against hair cuts from that day forward hoping that not cutting would allow it to just, grow. Then, towards the end of college, I worked at a salon and they kindly explained to me hair cuts were healthy and actually helped hair grow faster. So I finally mustered up the courage to get underneath some scissors. I think it started to help but I still wasn’t satisfied. I heard about the hair, skin, and nails vitamin, biotin, and figured, why not? So I bought a bottle. I took three every day (I have no idea if that was the recommended dose or not). Now, let me tell you, my nails never looked better. They were growing faster and getting stronger, it was fabulous. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I was seeing anything in my hair, at least not the hair on my head. :\ Eventually the vitamins started giving me really bad head aches and I had to stop taking them.

So anyway. I knew prenatal vitamins did amazing things for pregnant women’s hair. Naturally I was excited to start taking them, not only to get my baby all the nutrients and vitamins they need, but for my hair too! Matt and I found out I was pregnant in early October and we went out and bought over the counter vitamins that night. After my first doctor visit in early November they put me on a prescription for this prenatal vitamin called Vitaful-1. And let me tell you, it is doing wonders for my head. My hair is not only back to where it was before, we’ll just call it that haircut, it’s better. It’s thicker, healthier, longer, and growing literally every day. I’ve put together some pictures from each month so you can see the amazing progress. Check it out.

Look at the jump between November and December. I have a jacket on in the November picture so it’s hard to tell, but my hair is just above my boobs basically. I started taking these vitamins in November and I would say my hair is growing an inch for every month. I’m loving it! I’m almost positive Doctor’s will write a prescription for prenatal vitamins even if you’re not pregnant, for the sake of the biotin they contain. The best part about this vitamin is it doesn’t make me sick! Like I said, when I was taking vitamins that only contained biotin I had a head ache every day. I’m sure over the counter prenatal vitamins will have same affect on your hair so give it a shot. It can’t hurt. :]

And now, speaking of my baby, it’s a bell pepper this week! Each week Baby Center (an amazing website for mommies-to-be) sends me an e-mail about the progress my baby is making. They always compare the baby to a food so you know how big it is that week. It’s seriously something I look forward to every Tuesday. I’m at 18 weeks this week and my baby is a bell pepper. I love it! On Tuesday we find out if we’re having a boy or a girl! Super exciting stuff!! I will be sure to keep everyone posted, of course! Now go out and get yourself some vitamins, k thanks love you bye!