how to get the perfect bun + apply eyeshadow without looking like a clown

There are two things that make a cold, dreary day a little happier: frivolous pretty things, and free things. I hit the jackpot with free frivolous pretty things! (Thanks, Influenster.)

Today, for your reading pleasure, I review two of the fun items in my Beauty Vox Box.

1. Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins

What it is: Two metal springs that keep your hair in a bun, sans hair ties or bobby pins.

First thoughts: Cute idea, but totally not going to work in my layered, fairly thick hair.

How it works: Twirl your hair into a bun, then twist the pins into your hair. Done.

Tips: In the photo, I’m rocking a side bun. (For some reason I dubious about wearing a bun that I can’t see from the front. It feels like I have no hair. Is anyone else this neurotic?) The side bun didn’t hold up throughout the day, but I think that’s due to layers and running errands in the wind. To get my hair out of my face, I pulled my hair into a higher top knot, which stayed in place post-nap and into the evening.

The verdict: It took a couple tries, but it was a success! Perfect for achieving a pulled-together look in about a minute. I look forward to playing with the pins in the future for different looks. I’d rate the pins a B+. They’re $7.29 at your local store.

2. NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact

What it is: Eyeshadow compact with four eyeshadows, one illuminator and one primer.

First thoughts: This stuff is cheap and isn’t going to stick!

Tips: I received the compact with a black/gray color palette. While I normally wear black eyeliner and mascara, I stick with easily blended neutral shadows. The first time I attempted a smokey eye with this compact, it was disastrous. I seriously looked like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. Yikes. It came off easily, thankfully. Don’t put these on heavy handed! The next time I applied, I stuck witha light gray and a tiny dab of black smudged in the corner of my eye. Much better. I wore with Lancome eyeliner and Clinique mascara.

The verdict: For $5, it would be a fun way to add a little drama to your makeup bag. I really like the primer (it helps the shadow stay), and the gray is good for blending. The silver highlighter is a little too middle school for me, and it’s easy to go overboard and end up looking like a Kardashian after a long night out. I’d try it again in a more neutral color palette — the shadow is pretty pigmented, which isn’t always the case when it comes to drugstore makeup. Still, I think quality over quantity applies, which means I’ll probably spend a little more for one shadow and less chemicals rather than less for more shadows and more chemicals. I’d rate it a B-. It goes for $4.99 at most chain retailers.

new fave blog: oh so lovely vintage.

Through some Instagram stalking, I recently found myself at Oh So Lovely Vintage. I am now officially obsessed, and if I lived in Canada, I’d go into their shop every day until we became besties. Is that creepy?

The blog/shop/mobile vintage shop in a renovated 1956 camper trailer is exactly what I would dream + design if I were talented enough to do so. It’s ran by two ladies who are just a year older than me (youngsters, unite!), and they really have an eye for pretty things. I wish they’d come decorate my casa!

Lately we’ve hit a bout of bad bumps, and the site has offered me a blissful break from the bummers that life seems to be bouncing my way lately.

The sunnyside up is that I now feel inspired to craft a post about a few of my favorite things, vintage edition. I don’t want to get you too excited, but it does feature everything from an orange estate sale chair to vintage Scandinavian-ispired pyrex I scored at an auction.

Anywhoozle, the site really covers lots of my likes, and you should check it out and then go thrifting with me.

Also, I’m wearing polkadot shorts today. And my fringe looks like this:

So I’m chalking this day up to a win.

the big bang theory.

A gazillion Google searches on my quest to find the perfect bangs have drummed up a few ideas.

The star of my bang inspiration board is Zooey. (Shocker.) I think the thickness of her fringe would work well for me (i.e weigh down the cowlick). Right now, my hair color is closer to JLo’s, but her bangs are a little wispy for my taste. I also want  face-framing pieces + then longer layers — making it cute to throw up (2, 5, 8). My favorite look is 1, because I’m not a huge fan of bangs being piecey (though I know that’s kind of inevitable.)

Okay, so what do you think? Seriously…I want to know. Please tell me.

i need hair help!

I’ve had sweepy side bangs for a year. And now, ladies and gents, I’m ready to go all in (and finally forget the thick, cowlicky mess I rocked in 1997). The last time I had bangs, I heavily relied on butterfly clips, so I’m going to need some help in the hair department. Justine utilizes the blogosphere to combat hair woes + has inpsired me to do the same, especially when it comes to achieving the thick, straight-across fringe I’m stressing about dreaming of. But before I post on stresses about my future tresses (see what I did there?), here’s a glimpse into my year of half-bangs. What do you think? Does any of this give any clues as to how to procure the perfect cut for summer 2012? Help?!

  1. When: February 2011. Where: Spoken fundraiser show. Color: Dark Auburn. Bangs: Short, thin fringe. They always got piecey in a weird spot — see photo.
  2. When: April 2011. Where: My baby shower. Color: Dark Auburn — lightened from the sun. Bangs: Thicker and fuller, fairly styled.
  3. When: June 2011. Where: Ashley’s wedding. Color: Lighter Auburn. Bangs: Very thick, blown out + styled.
  4. When: August 2011. Where: Lagos, Nigeria. Color: Light brown with thin ombre highlights (Hard to tell in the pic.) I loved them. Go to Amber and have them done. Now. Bangs: Growing out, parted to include layers for a look of thicker bangs.
  5. When: September 2011. Where: Family pics. Color: Light brown with thin ombre highlights. Bangs: Side-sweep, trimmed + styled.
  6. When: October 2011. Color: Ombre highlights growing out, looking more golden. Hair lighter from sun.
  7. When: November 2011. Color: Looking even more golden, longer, roots darker. 
  8. When: December 2011. Where: Natalie’s wedding. Color: Highlights getting to the point that bangs are barely colored. Parted far to the side for a sweeping look to accompany a twisted up-do.
  9. When: Today! Color: I recently did an at-home cool, medium brown color to get rid of the brass. Bangs are growing out.

thoughts on princess hair.

A friend recently recounted her experience at a salon. The story, which is copied from an e-mail, is too sweet not to share. :)

The mom was a Nordic redhead, and the daughter was totally adorable, clearly “biracial,” and about 8 years old. Mom is getting married tomorrow, and the hair stylist was working to make young Emma look like the princess she is. I listened while they all came to an agreement about where to part her hair, how to style it, and which barrettes to use.
The result? Oh, I wish I had a picture, because she looked so darling! I asked for mom’s and daughter’s permission and peeked at last to see sweet braids framing her face like a tiara, and a fluffy, bouncy gathered ‘fro in the back.
I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, and turned totally bubbly. She has great hair and looks like a princess, and I told her so. Then, I grinned at her mom, and was reminded of how important these things are to little girls, and the image issues we all have, because mom looked almost tearful and mouthed a warm “thank you."
Soooooooooo pretty! Little Emma practically floated out the door on a magic carpet of confidence & beauty that echoed her spirit. God forbid she should find her full identity in things like this, but all the same, she’s precious in God’s sight, body and soul.

[Note: The photo is just from a quick search via Google images. Taken from this blog.]