Archive for the ‘Styling Products and Hair Care Sets’ Category

Two different takes on the timeless top knot

       
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Two different takes on the timeless top knot

Hair style trends come and go, but the top knot appears to be here to stay. Some of the hottest celebrities from Emily Blunt to Rachel McAdams embraced this look in 2013, rocking it on the red carpet or just in everyday life. That’s the beauty of the top knot: It’s effortless enough to look casual but can also appear impossibly elegant. It works year round, and for a variety of occasions, making it a chic and easy option when you just can’t deal with having your hair down.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to try this trend in 2014. Take some inspiration from your favorite stars and follow these steps:

Bedhead beautiful
A top knot can come in and save the day when you just don’t have time to shower. In fact, this messy version looks best on a ‘do that’s one or two days old.

Start by applying dry shampoo on your scalp and combing through to soak up any excess oil and give your strands some texture. After fluffing your hair to enhance its natural body, sweep it back with your fingers into a ponytail. To ensure the pony isn’t too tight, tug at the top and sides a little. If you’re going for maximum volume, back-comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb and mist with hairspray. Begin twisting your tresses about halfway down the pony and then coil onto your head into a half ballerina bun.

While holding the half bun, grab the rest of the hair that’s hanging loose and spread it out over the bun to create a mussed up, tousled look. Secure an elastic around the entire bun, twist it and pull it over the top a second time. For bigger impact, tug some strands out of the bun.

Sleek and sophisticated
The key to a polished top knot, like the one seen on countless runway models this year, is first getting the perfect neat ponytail. Apply a shine serum to your strands and brush them back, securing with an elastic near the crown of the head.

Next, divide your hair into two sections and start twisting them around each other to create a rope braid. After you’ve reached the ends, twirl the braid around the elastic at the base of your ponytail. If there are any wild pieces sticking out, carefully tuck them into the braid and under the elastic. Finish with a generous application of strong-hold hairspray to keep your ‘do locked into place and flyaway-free.

How to have healthier hair in 2014

       
Monday, December 30th, 2013

How to have healthier hair in 2014

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to make a few New Year’s beauty resolutions. Hopefully you learned some lessons this year, and now you can apply your wisdom toward better habits, starting with your hair. If you’ve always wanted healthier, softer and shinier strands, there are certain tools and tactics that can help.

Follow these tips and you’ll bring out the best in your tresses:

  1. Be gentle – Don’t rub at your locks too vigorously when shampooing or drying your hair – they’re in their most vulnerable state when wet. When you step out of the shower, squeeze excess water out by blotting with a towel. Not only will you experience less breakage, but you’ll also see reduced frizz.
  2. Shampoo sparingly - Lathering up too often strips your strands of their essential oils, which will leave them dried out. Gwyneth Paltrow’s stylist Peter Gray told The Daily Express that he recommends only shampooing once a week if possible, but if your hair is especially oily, opt for twice or three times at most. A dry shampoo is a lifesaver for those times when your locks start to look greasy in between showers, as these powders can soak up any excess grime and leave your hair smelling cleaner. Also, you can always simply dampen your hair with a spray bottle of water to refresh your hairstyle.
  3. Blowdry with caution - Instead of immediately reaching for a hairdryer after stepping out of the shower, give your tresses a chance to air dry. Kristina Barricelli, a celebrity hairstylist and a co-owner of the Gemini 14 Salon, in New York City, explained to Real Simple magazine that not only do you add on extra minutes to the process by blowdrying soaked hair, but you also put your strands at a higher risk of breakage because they’re in a weakened state when wet. So try to wait until it’s about 80 percent dry before you start blasting it with heat. Also, be sure to apply a heat protectant product prior to styling.
  4. Take your vitamins – You are what you eat, and so is your hair. Make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids so your strands have a healthy shine. If you aren’t eating natural sources like salmon, mackerel, walnuts and avocado, consider taking a supplement. Dr. Roopal Kundu, MD and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, advised in The Huffington Post taking vitamin D, fish oil and a general multivitamin with the daily recommended value of iron. Additionally, she noted that biotin is an ideal supplement for strengthening the hair so it’s less prone to breakage.

Beauty trends to toss and try in 2014

       
Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Beauty trends to toss and try in 2014

As the year draws to a close and 2014 rapidly approaches, we’re all looking forward to new makeup and hair looks to try out. However, there are some trends that simply aren’t worth embracing – or have had their time in the spotlight and no longer look as eye-catching. Just because something becomes a fad for a brief period doesn’t mean you should stick with it. In fact, some of the most popular crazes in the beauty realm aren’t universally flattering.

Aiming to update your appearance for the new year? Here’s a guide to which tired trends you should avoid, and which new looks you should adopt:

Hair
One thing’s for sure – you saw a lot of ombre in 2013, from hair to manicures and even on lips. While there’s definitely a convenience factor when it comes to this trend as it allows you to grow out those highlights without worrying about your roots, there’s a slightly different twist that’s emerging for 2014. Glamour magazine called this new technique “Ecaille,” or “Tortoiseshell coloring.” The method was developed by the London-based colorist Jo Hansford, and has been seen on both Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson. It’s a slightly softer look than the high contrast two-tone ombre. The finished effect is multi-tonal, meaning darker shades fade more naturally into lighter hues on the ends.

Those with wavy or curly hair will rejoice in the fact that it’s time to put down the straightening iron – the pin-straight look is getting a rest this year. 2014 will be all about volume as opposed to flat ‘dos, which can tend to look a bit boring. Embrace your naturally tousled texture with the right hair products and you’ll look effortlessly beautiful.

As far as hair colors go, you can say goodbye to rainbow hues. Kyle White, the lead colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon, told StyleList that he is seeing fewer clients ask for pinks, blues and other bright hair colors – which is probably a good thing as these pigments tend to fade after just a few washes and look less than stunning. Instead, he noted that more women will be opting for platinum hair. As Miley Cyrus, Elle Fanning and even the traditionally brunette Kim Kardashian are going for a cooler blonde, White expects more women to try this trend.

Makeup
Not all pink lipsticks are created equal. While bubblegum may have had a major moment in 2013, a new shade will be taking its place this year: fuchsia. As The Huffington Post pointed out, bubblegum is not flattering on many skin tones, but fuchsia can complement any complexion.

While dark lips were everywhere this year, Glamour noted that in 2014, more women will be reaching for rich berry shades in a sheer tinted formula. The advantage of these products is that they provide slightly less pigment so the final look isn’t quite as intense. Still, you can layer them if you want more drama. This is a subtler approach to the trend that is far more wearable than the grungy effect we saw in 2013.

Also, 2014 will be the year to lay off the bronzer a bit. This doesn’t mean you’ll be ditching your glow, it’s just that everyone is stepping away from the overly tanned look. For a natural radiance, try a light-reflecting tinted moisturizer and only use a bronzer that’s one to two shades deeper than your skin tone.

Although nail art isn’t completely out this year, it will be going through a major transformation. Instead of over-the-top graphics, try out some simpler designs like stripes, color blocking and a half-moon take on the French manicure in neutral lacquer hues.

The lowdown on the low pony

       
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The lowdown on the low pony

Sometimes you just don’t feel like going through the effort of creating an elaborate ‘do. You’re tired of flattening your hair into submission with your straightening iron, but you know that leaving it alone just won’t cut it. That’s where the hottest hairstyle of the moment comes in: the low ponytail. It looks stunning, but it’s surprisingly simple to achieve.

Ready to rock this effortlessly elegant hairstyle? Follow these steps:

  1. Start by making a middle part down your head with a comb. One way to make sure your part is perfectly centered is to place the comb at the tip of your nose and glide it up toward your hairline.
  2. If your hair has some unruly pieces around the hairline, use a flat iron to quickly smooth them down.
  3. Next, apply a shine serum to give your locks a glossy, lustrous look.
  4. Pull your hair back into the low ponytail, making sure that you can tie it right at the nape of your neck.
  5. After securing the pony with an elastic, use a pomade to slick down any flyaways.
  6. A mist of medium hold hairspray is an essential final step for making sure your pony looks polished all day long.

Slicked back: How to get Hollywood’s hottest hairdo

       
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Slicked back: How to get Hollywood's hottest hairdo

There’s one hairstyle that’s sweeping Hollywood, and it’s not your typical ‘do. From Lea Michele and Khloe Kardashian to Miley Cyrus, fashion-forward celebs in every industry seem to want in on this trend. All of them have proved that this look is stunning on the red carpet and surprisingly wearable for everyday occasions, too. Not only that, but designers like Catherine Malandrino, Alexander Wang and Donna Karan had their models strutting down the catwalk with ultra slick hairstyles. The best part about this trend? It works on hair of any length or texture, from tumbling long curls to a cropped pixie cut.

Ready to take the plunge? This look is surprisingly simple to achieve. Just follow these steps to get the dramatic ‘do yourself:

For high intensity
If you want the wet look that Miley has been rocking, you need to start with wet hair. Celebrity stylist Aubrey Loots told HollywoodLife.com that after combing through your locks, you should reach for a styling cream or gel. Smooth it throughout all of your strands, combing through to ensure the product is evenly distributed.

Next, pick up a large barrel round brush and use it to pull back the top section of your hair. Turn on your blowdryer and blast the air in a backward direction, holding the round brush in place. This will give you the amped up volume you want while making sure that your ‘do stays polished. Finish with a mist of high shine hairspray to ensure your look is flyaway free.

For a subtler effect
Lea Michelle went for a decidedly less intense look. Her style was still slicked back, but had a certain understated elegance that works just as well for a formal affair as it does for a casual event.

To get the same effect, start with hair that has already been blow-dried or air-dried straight. Then, Loots recommended rubbing some styling cream into the palms of your hands and applying it only to the top and sides of your hair. Then spread the product using a fine-toothed comb, but make sure that you leave the ends dry. To make the hairstyle more laid-back, you can always secure your locks into a slick ponytail, too. Of course, a spritz of strong hairspray is crucial for ensuring your look stays locked in.

The most important thing to keep in mind with this ‘do, though, is that you need to be confident to pull it off.

Ways to protect your hair in winter

       
Monday, November 11th, 2013

Ways to protect your hair in winter

There are some things you always do to prepare for the cold winter months: buying a new parka, sliding on some boots with a sturdy tread and stocking up on warm, comforting foods. So you should also be taking certain measures to keep your hair happy despite the frigid temperatures and dry air. The changes in climate can be harsh on your hair, and if you don't tweak your routine, you could end up with dull, straw-like strands.

Here are a few tips to make sure your tresses stay healthy until spring:

Be wise about washing
The lack of moisture in the air means your hair is far more likely to appear brittle. You're not sweating as much as you were in summer, so it's OK to skip a day or two of shampooing. In fact, Nicholas Penna, Jr., owner of Boston's SalonCapri, told Teen Vogue that washing once every three days is ideal. Be wary of using too much product, too. A quarter-sized amount is sufficient for average length hair, and using any more will strip all of the oils out so that your hair feels and looks parched. Try to turn down the water temperature to lukewarm, as hot water is harsh on hair. Dry shampoo can help you to keep your locks looking grease-free between showers.

Also, try to put down the blow​dryer now and then, or at the very least, let your hair air dry almost completely before blasting it with heat.

Condition constantly
Leave-in conditioners and rich hair masques are a lifesaver during this time of the year. Consider a deep hydrating mask once a week to repair and fortify your strands so that they stay shiny and smooth. Plus, Penna pointed out that these products can act as a shield between your hair and heat from your styling tools, thus minimizing damage and breakage. You could even make you own DIY mask by warming up a few tablespoons of coconut, avocado or olive oil and mashed bananas and leaving it on your tresses for 20 minutes before rinsing. 

Wear a hat
Putting on a hat in winter won't only keep your head warm, it'll save your strands. Opt for one in a soft fabric that won't snag or break your hair, and also consider styles that won't completely flatten your 'do. Struggling with static? Greg May of Greg May Hair Architects in Toronto told Elle magazine that it's best to look for alcohol-free hair styling products formulated with lanolin, which naturally fights flyaways.

Making waves with minimal effort

       
Friday, October 11th, 2013

Making waves with minimal effort

Just because summer is long gone doesn’t mean you have to abandon those carefree waves.

Wavy hair is just as appropriate for cozying up to the fireplace as it is for basking on the beach. Plus, it’s simultaneously laid-back and romantic, meaning it works for nearly any occasion, from a casual coffee date to an elegant affair. Creating the perfect style doesn’t have to take a lot of effort, either – after all, the idea is to look effortlessly stunning. Ditch the styling tools and use these tips to achieve flawless, fuss-free waves overnight:

Braids
You may already know that braids are big this fall, but were you aware that un-doing this technique can also make instant waves? After washing your hair and combing it out, pat it dry and part down the center. Then begin weaving it into two braids while it’s damp. Looser braids will make for gentler waves, while tightly wound braids will produce a more crimped effect. You can also change the look with the number of braids: One will produce a subtler curvature, and three or four of them will make high-intensity waves. Secure the ends with an elastic and leave them alone until dry. Doing this a couple hours before bedtime is ideal, as you can wake up and quickly finish styling them.

Once your hair is dry, unbraid it and use your fingers to comb through your strands, which will help to create a natural look. A spritz of strong hairspray will provide the hold you need to lock your waves into place.

Buns
Another supremely simple way to get whimsical waves is by twirling your hair into multiple buns. While it’s still damp, smooth some shaping cream over your strands and twist it into coils on top of your head, securing with bobby pins. As with the braid method, more buns will make for a drastic finished look. Unpin them once your hair is dry and shake your tresses out to get a tousled effect.

Headband
There are endless possibilities when it comes to wearing a headband, and one of them can create perfectly sculpted waves. Using a soft elastic headband, wrap your hair section by section around it, using pins to secure the ends. Once all of your strands have been wound around the headband, leave it to dry, ideally overnight. After unpinning every section, scrunch them with some texturizing mousse for extra oomph.

Fresh hairstyle ideas for fall

       
Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Fresh hairstyle ideas for fall

Your beachy waves were just fine for summer, but you might be getting bored with your hair now that autumn is here.

Something about the changing leaves, cozy sweaters and richer colors in your wardrobe may have you itching for a change in your coif. If you don't have the funds – or the guts – for a dramatic transformation, don't fret. There are plenty of ways to shake up your hairstyle without a ton of time or effort. Here are a few ideas to consider for your new 'do:

Fetching fringe
Even if you've been too timid to try bangs, sideswept fringe is flattering on a variety of face shapes, and can be relatively easy to maintain. Feeling bold? Elle magazine noted that blunt bangs are a major trend this season. The source recommended using a heat protective spray on damp hair before blowdrying them. A shine serum can help to eliminate frizz, and a spritz of hairspray ensures they stay in place.

Still, you might not be ready to take the plunge. Fortunately, Harper's Bazaar reported that the side faux bang is an ideal alternative when you can't commit to the real thing. Redken creative consultant Guido told the magazine that all you have to do is part your hair farther to the side and sweep it across your forehead to give the illusion of bangs. You can use a bobby pin to secure the section in place.

Deconstructed bun
While a neat bun always looks elegant, a messier version is on trend this autumn. Fortunately, it not only looks chic but also takes considerably less time. Refinery 29 explained that the first step is spraying your strands with a thickening product that will boost the volume. The key is not to overbrush your hair to keep the tousled texture. After rough drying your hair, pull your tresses up the top of your head and tie in a ponytail with an elastic. Fold your hair through the band to create a loop, and then twist the ends that are sticking out around the base of the pony to build the bun. Keep playing around with it until you're happy with the undone look, then pin the ends in place.

Wet and wild strands
You might be surprised, but hair that looks soaking wet is actually a major trend this season. Harper's Bazaar explained that models for Prada, Oscar de La Renta and Roberto Cavalli all sported this sleek look on the runway. Don't leave the house just after showering, though, especially as the temperatures are starting to drop. Instead, get the same effect with hair oil, which creates a high shine finish.

How to get a magnificently messy mane

       
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

How to get a magnificently messy mane

While a perfectly polished blowout can be inarguably alluring, there’s something about an unkempt ‘do that’s effortlessly sultry. Ever since Brigitte Bardot sported a mussed up hairstyle, women everywhere have sought to get bedhead that’s somehow chic instead of grungy.

In fact, a hairstyle that’s not flawless can add some edge to a prim and proper ensemble. By sporting a wild mane with a ladylike dress, for example, you’ll never look too fussy. Still, achieving this look takes more than jumping out of bed in the morning. Ready to take the plunge? Follow these steps and you’ll look divinely disheveled.

Bun
This not your typical tidy ballerina bun. The hairstylist behind the always flawlessly unkempt Alexa Chung, George Northwood, told Refinery 29 that the key to getting her look is roughly drying the hair, but leaving it 10 percent damp. Next mist some hairspray onto your roots and comb from the back of the head forward. Pull your locks into a loose ponytail that sits haphazardly on top of your head and comb forward toward the hairline again. Northwood noted that this back combing technique is key to creating a messy effect. Finally, coil the ponytail around to create a bun and use bobby pins to secure it. Another shot of hairspray will lock the style into place.

Ponytail
This pony is far more punk rock than preppy. StyleBistro explained that in terms of styling products, it’s important to opt for solutions that mimic your hair’s natural texture. For example, a defining cream is ideal for curls, while pomade can do wonders for waves. Start by twirling your strands into four tightly wound top knots to enhance body. Next, flip your head upside down and use your fingers to comb hair up into a ponytail either low or high, depending on your preferences. If you’d like more lift, you can tease your hair at the crown.

Braid
Braids have been everywhere this year, with an overwhelming amount of starlets rocking them both casually and on the red carpet. For this mussed up version, apply a texturizing cream and weave your hair into a braid that starts low on your head, close to the nape of the neck. After tying with an elastic, pull horizontally at the braid from top to bottom, widening it and loosening it up. Finish by pulling out a few stray pieces of hair in the front.

Caring for curly hair: Essential tips

       
Friday, August 16th, 2013

Caring for curly hair: Essential tips

While you may have battled with your curly coif your whole life, you’re likely the envy of most of your friends. In fact, some straight-haired women spend hours trying to get the same bouncy, voluminous tresses. The question is – how do you discipline your ‘do? With these tips and a powerful combination of products, you’ll be able to keep curls under control.

Comb carefully
The more you brush curly hair, the greater the frizz factor. So before you step in the shower, use a boar-bristle brush to make sure the natural oil from your scalp is evenly distributed throughout your hair. Tommy Buckett, celebrity hairstylist for Garnier Fructis, noted to Glamour magazine that curls tend to get tangled and knotted. In the shower, use a wide-toothed comb to brush your conditioner through your strands from roots to ends. Buckett explained that color-treated curls are extra thirsty and require a deeper conditioner. Opt for a weekly treatment like the Fekkai Advanced Essential Shea Ultra Rich Mask, which enhances hair’s strength and manageability. Once you’ve rinsed out the conditioner, avoid wringing your hair, rubbing it with a towel or putting it in a turban. Instead, lightly squeeze the moisture out with a clean towel, encouraging your curls’ natural shape.

Style smarts
This is a key step in your regimen, whether you have kinky ringlets or looser ones. While hair is still damp, work a reasonable sized amount of de-frizz serum or styling cream into your locks, scrunching as you go. Finer hair can benefit from the lightweight Leonor Greyl Algues Et Fleurs Curl Enhancer, which uses seaweed and other film-forming proteins to restructure the curls so they maintain their shape. Thicker, coarser curls should opt for a heavy-duty product that can tame and relax the hair, like the rich Hamadi Shea Hair Cream.

Whatever product you use, don’t go overboard as too much can make your hair greasy and weigh it down. Air drying is your best bet for avoiding poofiness, but if you’re jetting out the door, blowdry your bangs and roots. It’s helpful to pop a diffuser on your hairdryer, which can distribute the heat more evenly.

Sleeping beauty
Waking up with flattened or frizzed out locks? The way you style your hair before you go to sleep can have a big impact on how it looks in the morning. For a better bed-head, pile your hair high on top of your head in a  neat knot. You’re less likely to have a tangled mess in the morning, and more importantly, you’ll avoid the risk of breakage. Buckett also recommended in Glamour purchasing a silk pillowcase, as it won’t cause as much friction on the hair fibers as a cotton one.