I rocked a pixie cut for the five years following high school and would have kept it that way had I not moved abroad. The anxiety of going to a salon in Germany and being unable to communicate just how I liked my cut was the catalyst that caused me to grow out my hair. And despite now having fairly long, unruly locks, I’m still stuck in the mindset that it’s still too short to do anything with.
But the braid. Oh, we saw it on runways and celebrities, on the straight-A student and that haute blonde. Editorials say they’re sick of it, but I’m going for fashionably late. All I want, really, is to master that fishtail braid.
And maybe the reason why I’m so desperate is because I’ve tried it before and sucked. Be it my damaged, wavy hair or my inept fingers, all I managed to create was a real fancy knot. I had a friend justify my failure by saying that the braid is easy in concept but difficult in execution.
So I’m giving it a second go, mostly because I’m titillated by the idea of having a fishtail while I’m on a cruise ship next week… Cue Lonely Island.
And the thing is, I actually did a decent job! I started off by throwing my hair into a side ponytail (left photo). I just wanted to get a feel of what the new braiding pattern would be like and this helped to keep things together. By the mid-section, you can clearly see the result of my impatience as I began to cross over larger sections of hair, making it look uneven.
The second time around (photo right) I tried to start it without the rubber band, though the lumpiness that ensued was just indicative of my nil-skill level. However, this time I ran my hair through with Bed Head’s After Party serum to help smooth down the frizz and flyaways. There’s actually an impressive difference in shine between these two photos.
In truth, the fishtail braid is manageable, though here are a few things that I wish were highlighted to me when I first gave it a go:
1. It’s going to take a long time. Expect to spend 15 minutes on this single braid, especially as a beginner.
2. The hair from the OUTSIDE goes to the hair on the INSIDE of the OTHER side. (Whaa?)
3. It doesn’t even remotely resemble a fishtail braid until half-way so stop redoing it.
Why don’t you give the Fishtail Braid a go and let me know how it goes. Here’s the video I watched to get the hang of it:
Now tell a braiding padawan, have you any tips for mastering this do?
I’m leaving on a two-week vacation with my family next Thursday, and while I’ve traveled extensively in my past, I’ve never been able to afford to do so in style. I would stare longingly at the unique sets of luggage at airports and train stations, wishing that my own plain suitcase would be a little more indicative of my personality. Featured below are the heartthrobs of travelers, many of which are too good for common adventurers like myself, but still too sexy not to turn away.
6. TopShop Lime Green Woven Suitcase Bag, discontinued
When it comes to luggage, it’s best to just have your eye out for a good deal. Making do with a comparatively cheap, vintage suitcase is much better than trolling around a thousand-dollar suitcase that would induce the vapors if it ever got damaged.
Investing in a snazzy carry-on or weekender is a good start to establishing your jet-setter style. I toggle between a grey and pink tweed Samsonite bag and an aqua Panam flight bag which I both snagged second-hand for a couple bucks. I hope that these serve as little indicators that attest to my taste despite my otherwise boring luggage.
What do you do to spice up your travel experience?
I’ve always been a fickle fan of makeup, mostly because I was never sure how to apply it. In high school I just caked my lids in a solitary shade of brown or black, and in college I called it a day with some eyeliner. If it ever impulsed me, I’d purchase eye shadow as long as it came as a palate with some kind of color-by-numbers picture on the back.
And then the strangest thing happened. I applied as a contestant in a local cultural festival – essentially, a pageant – and placed.
Keep in mind, my beauty skillz had in no way manifested themselves, but being so often in the seat of a makeup stylist caused me to pick up a few of the basics. I suddenly had to reapply lipstick in the middle of the day and keep my new eyelashes faithfully glued on. I was both disaster and eager student until, eventually, I moved on to advanced-beginners techniques, like darkening my eyebrows and putting wings at the tips of my eyeliner.
And after nearly a year of needing to wear makeup, I’m still just learning things that kids in high school have long ago mastered.
However, I recently attended a MAC makeup session that managed to enhance my makeup knowledge while simultaneously (albeit gracefully) assaulting my bank account. The attendees circulated through three makeup stations that had looks focused on fresh and natural, drama and color, and “suburban urban.” With my minimalistic history, I was sold on everything that was demonstrated to us in station 1. Here’s what I walked away with:
The brow finisher I bought to restock my dwindling supply at home. It’s a wax-like stick that helps to keep brows (and the shadow I use to darken them) in place while also giving them a bit of health and shine.
Brush 224 is a blending brush and everyone at the event raved on how it would do all the hard work for me. I’m one of those kids who blends with my pinky finger (do not confess this to MAC personnel or people who are generally more fabulous than you) which works fine if you like the “I just rubbed all my eyeshadow off” look.
This big 187 brush serves multiple purposes, but I bought it as an applicator for the studio moisture tint. I’ve had a real tumulus relationship with foundation because I have freckles and love them to a fault. Foundation, in most cases, tends to cover them up and make it very obvious that I’m wearing makeup. MAC’s moisture tint, however, gave my face invisible coverage that provided much needed daily moisturizer and SPF – essential for a girl with freckles in Hawai‘i. I was told that I shouldn’t apply this foundation with my fingers (another silly question) and so I picked up that fancy brush to ensure I did things right.
Because I was wearing lipstick so frequently, I learned the hard way that I had dry lips. The prep + prime lip base is a type of lip conditioner that I picked up to replace one that I bought at Sephora, which left my mouth feeling like I had caked petroleum jelly on it. The lip base goes on smooth and preps the lips for lipstick or gloss. Without something on top, it feels a little waxy, but I had this on during my pageant night and it kept my color from feathering out.
Then of course, there’s concealer. This is probably something that every woman should own, at least for use in emergencies (ie. a pimple). I like a product that has multiple uses and I was won over when my stylist used it to cover some redness around my nose and those dark circles under my eyes. Tying in to my aversion of foundation, I stayed away from concealer for the same reasons and didn’t own any until this class. An atrocity! While most of my blemishes occur outside of my befreckled zones, by magic, it doesn’t conceal them either.