Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Fastest, Easiest, Cheapest (?) Up-Do Ever!

It would not be totally unfair to call me "hair challenged". I have lived in pony tails for most of my life, but as we all know, sometimes a pony just doesn't cut it. Still, I rarely have the time (or patience, or attention span) to spend much more than a few minutes on my hair. Enter the mesh chignon (aka. "hair donut"). Walk into any beauty supply store, and for under $5, you can pick one of these up and be well on your way to a sleek, finished up-do. Here's what you'll need:

1. A hair donut*. Available in several colors and sizes, you'll want the color that most closely matches your own (the match doesn't need to be exact, your hair will hide the mesh when you're done). Size will vary based on the thickness and length of your hair. The black chignon pictured above is the "standard" size. If you have short or very fine hair, you may prefer the "petite" (like the blonde donut in the center of the pic, which is the one I'll be using on my daughter in the tutorial).

2. Hair elastics. I'm using clear ones here.

3. Hair pins. Again, choose the color that best matches your hair. Note that hair pins are NOT the same as bobby pins. There will be a close up in the how-to below.

4. *Optional* A Bun/Chignon sized hair net, in a color to match your hair. This will help to hold hair in place and eliminate flyaways, giving the bun a very sleek, formal appearance.

So, now that you know what to do, how do you do it? Super simple.

1. Pull hair into a pony tail. The pony will be the center of the bun, so place accordingly. Secure with an elastic, then slip the pony tail through your hair donut.

2. and 3. Spread out hair, "Cousin Itt"style, over the donut. You can use a comb or a densely bristled brush to smooth hair over, or just your hands. Make sure your coverage is even and there's no mesh showing through.

4. and 5. Secure another hair elastic around the base of the bun.

6. Begin wrapping the dangling ends of the hair around the base of the bun. If you have thick or long hair, you'll probably want to pin as you go, so read on.

7. This is a hair pin, also called a u pin or even a bun pin. They're much easier to handle, and tend to stay hidden better in the hair.

8. To correctly insert a hair pin, first put the pin down into the bun (hair and a bit of mesh) vertically. The tongs of the pin should come down into the hair on the outside of the hair wrapped around the base.

9. Next, keeping the base of the pin in your hair, move the top of the pin so that it's almost horizontal, going into the bun sideways at the base. Push the pin all of the way in.

10. (Optional: not pictured) To further secure your bun, and smooth down any stray hairs poking out, pick up an "invisible" fine mesh hair net in your hair color. Wrap it around the base of the bun, crisscrossing and looping it over the bun just as you would a hair elastic. Secure the end of the net under the bun with a pin.

That's it! Though my beautiful baby girl modeled for these pics, I just did this on myself- without a mirror I might add- and it only took me 1 minute, 90 seconds!

My favorite part is, you can accessorize your bun tons of different ways. Add a head band, stick in a few rhinestone hair pins (I got the ones below on eBay) or pin a flower- or ring of flowers- at the base (fresh would be lovely). You could even wrap a bit of fabric or lace around the base of the bun. Let your imagination go wild!

* I am 100% aware that doughnut is usually spelled "doughnut". 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Illamasqua Gives Thanks
...and 50% Off!

I've already tweeted about it and posted about it on my Facebook page, but for a deal like this, I need to touch all of my bases! To celebrate hitting 50,000 twitter followers, Illamasqua is having a 50% off EVERYTHING flash sale. And flash it is- those who saw my updates earlier know the original sale was planned for this morning from 12pm-5pm GMT and from 12am-5am GMT this evening. Due to an overwhelming response, Illamasqua has had to shorten the second slot to only an hour.

Use code TWITTER50 from 12am-1am BST (that's 7-8pm for those of you in Eastern Daylight Time) and stock up on your favorite alternate-ego must haves! For those of you who just can't decide what to get, here are a few of my favorites:

Satin Primer
Great for drier skin, or anyone that needs to add a bit of a luminous glow to their skin. There's no shimmer or pearl in here, just a nice hydrating primer. Use it all over before applying makeup, or A mix a drop in to your foundation for a more sheer, dewy finish.

Skin Base Foundation
One of my favorite foundations, bar none. Flawless coverage, seamless blending, long wearing, and a shade range to beat all others. Check out my full review for more details and color swatches!

Nail Varnish in Speckle
Illamasqua's nail lacquers are highly coveted; one look at this dappled lilac and you can see why! I've even seen one particular high-end polish maven dupe these, so Illamasqua must be on to something...

So, did anyone out there take advantage of this morning's sale? What did you get?
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