A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Hair

to bang or not to bang

hairstyles with bangs to the eyebrows

Now, before everyone goes crazy thinking this post is about something it isn’t…let’s be clear that I’m referring to HAIR.

I have had long hair for as long as I can remember.  I think the last picture of me with hair shorter than my shoulders would’ve been at about 6 years old.  Bangs however are something I go back and forth with.  When I have them, I seem to find them more of an inconvenience than they are worth and once they’ve grown out…I want them again.  For a couple of months, I’ve been going around telling people “I think I’m going to get bangs again”.  But here I am still, no bangs.  I recently saw a post on a beauty blog, by a woman by the name of Danae, talking about different styles of bangs for different face shapes.  It inspired me to give this some extra thought and perhaps reach out to all my fellow bloggers and friends for some help with my dilemna…should I get bangs again??

Bangs really can and generally do change your entire look.  But the question is, is that a good thing?

hairstyle with bangs and long brown hair

I have a cow-lick right in the centre of my hairline where it meets my forehead…which results in the beautiful side swept bang being a sort of mini nightmare.  I can never get it to fall the way I want.  This also sometimes interferes with straight bangs as well, but never as severely in my experience.  So most recently (about 3 years ago), when I had bangs I had a straight bang to about my eyebrows.  The only trouble is, my hair grows so fast I can’t keep them at that “perfect” length for very long.  I would need to get them trimmed about every two weeks to keep them out of eyes.  But who has time to go to a salon that often…or rather…who makes time to do that?  So my dilemna always came from them getting too long and I would then pin them back and out of the way…which never resulted in a very attractive look.  As Danae reminded me, there are a bunch of people on youtube with tutorials in regards to cutting your own bangs.  I’m not saying I would just go into the bathroom right now and do it myself…but I would be more interested in the trimming/maintenance side of things.

So I rummaged through and found a few pictures of myself with bangs and some without.  Do you think they suit me, or do I look better without?

With

blunt bangs with long brown hair

Without

long dark hair, no bangs

Let me know your thoughts – perhaps you can help get me off the fence!  Because right now, I can’t tell if I just want a change, or if I actually like the look of bangs.

Thank you in advance for your input – I welcome all kinds of feedback!

xox,

Shannon

 

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Flexi Rods (a no-heat, no-hairspray way to curl your hair)

how to get curls with no heat

I think after my “How to get a full head of crimped hair (in 10 minutes or less)” and “Headband curls (my first attempt and my failure)” posts, I illustrated how much I prefer having crimped or curly hair to my everyday straight and boring hair.  In response to those posts, a fellow blogger, Fancieland, mentioned that I should give Flexi Rods a try.  I immediately started doing a bit of research and was certain I had seen them at Sally Beauty Supply, but didn’t know anyone who had used them.  So, the next time I went into Sally’s I decided to grab a pack and give it a go.

What are they?

Flexi Rods or Super Rollers are a no-heat method for curling your hair…and who doesn’t love that?!  They are soft flexible foam rods that are easily mould-able and can hold your hair in place, which over time create curls without the use of heat.

I purchased the Super Rollers Gray 11/16″ by HairArt, you get 10 in a package.

Super Rollers - 11/16" thick

The website shows them at $8.49 US and I’m pretty sure I paid $11.99 CAD in store.

They do offer other sizes as well if you want an even tighter curl.  At first I was skeptical, but I figured for the price, if it worked out, I would be thrilled.  To be safe, I decided I should also pick up some setting lotion while I was there, as that was recommended in the research I did.  You can grab something like this Lottabody Olive Oil Setting Lotion at Sally Beauty Supply, if you are close by, but if not, Wal-Mart and drug stores also carry different brands that should work for you.

Setting Lotion for using flexi rods

This particular brand (I can’t speak for others as this is the first I’ve ever had) is a concentrated formula and requires that you mix it with water.  So I followed the directions for normal hair and did 3 parts water to 1 part Lottabody.  It states that you should use 5 parts water to 1 part Lottabody for color treated hair.  The best thing I found for this is to just mix it straight in a spritz water bottle.  To measure the parts I actually used the cap to ensure I was using a consistent amount each time of both Lottabody and water.

So assuming you have your mixture already made, I would allow about 6-7 minutes to put them in.  You want to start with dry or slightly damp hair.  The first time I tried to use these my hair was too wet and didn’t dry completely throughout the night, it didn’t work out too well!  This time, my hair was 100% dry when I started.

flexi rod tutorial

Next, you want to grab a section of hair.  You need quite a lot as you only have 10 rollers in a pack.  I was actually worried about one pack (10 rods) being enough, considering my hair is quite long and thick.  But to my surprise, it was more than enough.  As I was doing this, I just tried to imagine my hair in 10 sections, 4 on each side and two in the back.  Once you have your section of hair, spritz it once or twice (depending on how thick your hair is) with your mixture of setting lotion and water.  Take a brush or comb and brush it through that section of hair so it is evenly lightly damp.  Wrap your hair around the centre of the flexi rod and roll it all the way up tight against your head.  Then, simply fold the ends in to hold it in place.

how to put flexi rods in your hair

Repeat all over your head until you look something like this:

flexi rod tutorial

As you can see, I went to bed with mine in, but you can of course do this while you are milling around the house as well.  You just need to leave them in until your hair is completely dry…so depending on length, thickness and size of rod, that will be dependent on the person and the situation.

So the next morning when I woke up, it only took about 2 minutes to remove the flexi rods and I had giant ringlets everywhere there had been a rod.

how to get curls with no heat

So all I did was gently run my fingers through the curls breaking them up and my hair looked like this:

how to get curls by using super rollers from Sally Beauty Supply

I didn’t put any product in my hair at this time and I didn’t use any hair spray at all.  I wanted to see how the curls lasted throughout the day on their own.

curls with flexi rods/super rollers

By the time I got home from work (9 hours later) the curls were much more relaxed, but they were still very evident and added a great deal of body and shape to my hair.

I wish I’d taken pictures for day 2…but I woke up the next day with curls still (much like the 9 hour picture above), brushed them out and enjoyed a nice wavy look for an additional day.

The verdict:

  • Incredible results
  • Quick and easy
  • Inexpensive
  • Much less effort than using hot rollers, a straightner, curling iron or rod to curl your hair
  • Less damaging than using other more common methods containing heat
  • You don’t need hairspray to hold the curls, so your hair doesn’t need to be crunchy all day

The only possible draw back I see:

  • For me, the most convenient time to use these is overnight while I am sleeping…I love being able to wake up the next day for work and having my hair look great without taking me any time at all.  But that means, you have to be able to sleep with these in your hair.  They are a bit uncomfortable obviously, but I found it easy to get used to them and have had no problems sleeping with them.  I have seen some peoples reviews saying they can’t sleep with them.  So keep that in mind when deciding if this product is right for you.

Do I recommend Flexi Rods/Super Rollers?  

Absolutely.  For me, they are a fabulous no-heat and no-hairspray method for getting gorgeous curls.  I see myself using these on a regular basis, once a week.

Tell me, have you tried these already?  What do you think?  Do you have any problem sleeping with them in?

Thanks for reading!

xox,

Shannon


Headband Curls (my first attempt and my failure)

So, I was perusing around on youtube and I found a very cool tutorial on how to get curls by using only a stretchy headband (a no-heat method).  You should all have an idea of my laziness when it comes to hair after my last hair post: How to get a full head of crimped hair (in 10 minutes or less).  So when I saw this tutorial, I just couldn’t wait to try it.

The tutorial:

My attempt:

long dark hairhow to get curls using only a headbandheadband curls

My results:

curls using only a headbandmy headband curls first attempt

As you can see, aside from the hair around my face (where my shorter layers are) and the very ends of my hair, it didn’t do much of anything other than create a bit of a soft wavy look.

I’ve seen reports of other people that have thick hair struggling with this technique as well.  So I am thinking that was my issue.

But if your hair isn’t super thick, I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes!  Lots of people use this daily and rave about the results, so I hope you are one of the people that has success with this no-heat technique for getting curls!

xox,

Shannon

P.S. I have yet to try the sock-bun method for getting overnight curls.  Has anyone with thick hair tried it and had it work for them?


How to get a full head of crimped hair (in 10 minutes or less)

hair after braids are taken out

I think a big part about being human is always wanting what we don’t have…and if we had that, we’d want something else.

I have always had bone straight hair…and my entire life, I yearned for curls.  So much so, that I begged my mother to let me have curly hair…I ended up with a perm from grades 1 to 6.  I was stylish. Period.

The girls who had naturally curly, beautiful, untameable hair, that always seemed to just fall into place so perfectly…wished they could have the straight and easy to manage mane.  The cycle went on and on.  To this day, I continue to meet unsatisfied people that aren’t happy with what they have been “blessed” with.

I have very straight hair and I almost never blow dry my hair.  I go out the door in the morning with wet hair and it dries perfectly straight.  Possibly best depicted here:

long dark brown hair

I still curl my hair often, when I want to get dolled up and feel pretty.  But whether I use a straightener, hot rollers or a rod, it is time consuming…and sometimes I just don’t have the time.  Best case scenario it takes 20 minutes to get curly locks with hair as long and as thick as mine…usually I need to commit at least half an hour.

So, knowing that, I want to share a favourite of mine…especially for this time of year.

In the evening, before bed (will work best with damp hair) quickly throw your hair into two braids (french or dutch) before going to sleep.  Give it a quick spritz of hairspray and conk right out for the night.  This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and that is with giving your arms a quick rest in between.  You don’t have to worry about having a perfect part or anything like that, afterall, you are just going to bed.

double dutch braids

When you wake up, simply take out the braids, give your hair another spritz with the hair spray and you are good to go all day with a look that has texture and volume.  My favourite part of all of this is – when you have that busy morning and you are trying to get ready for work or for school, your hair is already done and absolutely hassle free.  And you’ll have a fun, flirty hairstyle that lasts all day.

adding texture to bone straight hair

You can also get this look with your hair by using a triple barrel curling iron.  For hair my length and thickness, I believe the one and only time I did it, it took about an hour.  The end result looks so similar to the braided result, that I don’t feel it is ever worth the time.  Unless of course, you want that specific look and didn’t make the plan the night before to braid your hair.  Take a look at two pictures below, using the two separate methods.

Triple Barrel Curling Iron:

perfect crimped hair

1 hour styling time: using a triple barrel curling iron

2 French Braids:

hair after braids are taken out

10 minute styling time: going to bed the night before with two french braids

What do you think?  Do you see a big difference between the two methods?  What are your secrets for creating a quick hairstyle that adds some body and texture to your hair?

xox,

Shannon


A Look for Spring

soft spring updo for long hair

My husband and I had a date night planned last night for a simple dinner out.  I felt like doing some experimenting with both my hair and makeup.  I came up with this very soft and feminine look that I think is perfect for Spring.

spring makeup and hair

As I sat down at my vanity I thought pastels would be a nice change for my eyeshadows and promptly realized my options were limited.  So I pulled out my Sweet Dreams Palette by Too Faced and found a couple of shades there that would do the trick.

Sweet Dreams Palette swatches and review

makeup look using Sweet Dreams palette by Too Faced

The four shades I used for this look are In the Buff, Peach Fuzz, Cut the Cake and Cop a Teal – which you can see on my swatches below:

swatches of Too Faced eyeshadowsToo Faced eyeshadow swatchesToo Faced Sweet Dreams Palette - review and swatches

How to get this look for your eyes:

peach and purple eye makeup

  1. Start out by filling in your eyebrows so you can see the area you are working with.  I used Mystery eyeshadow by MAC Cosmetics.
  2. Prime your lid all the way up to your brow bone.  I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
  3. Dust Peach Fuzz eyeshadow all across your lids.  (Any nice peachy shade will work for this step.  Something like Naked Lunch by MAC would work.)
  4. Then, take Cut the Cake eyeshadow and blend this shade through your crease and at the outer edge of your eyes.  (Again, any soft lilacy purple will do the trick here.)
  5. Line your upper lash line and waterline with a black liner.  I used Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC.
  6. Take a nice dark contrasting colour to smudge into your lower lashes.  I used Cop a Teal for this step.
  7. Highlight your brow bone and very inner corner of your eye with a soft, sheer white shade.  I used In the Buff eyeshadow for this.
  8. Finish with Mascara on both your upper and bottom lashes.  I used Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara.

how to create a soft pastel eye makeup look

This really does create a soft and subtle makeup look with just enough colour to keep me sane.  🙂  There is nothing overpowering about this look and is something that would work for anyone, no matter how you feel about bold colours.

peach and purple eye makeup

To complete my look, I used the following:

For my Skin > Erase Paste by benefit as my under-eye concealer, Makeup Forever HD Foundation in shade #118, topped with MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in shade “Light Plus”

For my cheeks > Sweet Pink blush by Too Faced

For my lips > Buxom lips bareEscentuals in shade “Leslie”

curved dutch braid and messy bun hairdo

For the hair I wanted to try out a look that was shown off recently by Brittany and Amber over at Makeup Geek.  They put up a complete picture tutorial on how to create this look.  You can find it here.

Curved Dutch Braid

This was my first time trying this look out on myself and I think it turned out okay for my first attempt.  Because I don’t have bangs but I didn’t want my face completely bare, I decided to leave out a couple of small strands to curl so I could still have a soft frame around my face.

soft spring updo for long hair

updo for long hair

I am one of those people that has had long hair their entire life and I like to wear it down 99% of the time because it is how I feel “pretty”.  I’ve never liked how I look with my hair pulled back in a pony tail or into a bun.  But with a soft messy updo like this, I can keep my hair up and off my neck (which is amazing for hot days outside) but still feel pretty and feminine.

How about you?  What is your favourite makeup look this Spring?  How do you deal with your hair in the heat?

xox,

Shannon


Feeling Flirty?

Aloha Limited Edition Set from MAC

A few weeks ago, soon after falling in love with the “Butterfly Party” pigments from MAC’s Vera Neumann Collection (see my review and swatch here), I just had to go back for seconds.  I picked up the Aloha set as well, which only leaves me with Strawberry Patch missing from my collection.  These pigments are so nice and easy to work with and of course have beautiful colour pay off…I might just end up grabbing Strawberry Patch before this limited edition collection is gone.

Aloha is certainly the most neutral set from the collection featuring brownish gold shades with tinges of orange and pink.  I’ve only just used them for the first time in a look last night, but absolutely loved them.

Aloha Limited Edition Set

And as I mentioned before, I absolutely love the packaging of these sets.  They are beautiful, easy to use and convertible to a tower of 4 as shown above, or two sets of two.  So…let’s take a look inside!

Aloha Limited Edition Set from MAC

Aloha Limited Edition Set from MAC

From Left To Right: Aloha, Shifting Sands, Lantern Light and Campfire Crushed Metallic Pigments

As I mentioned before with Butterfly Party, they have a really creamy texture, glide on easily, blend beautifully and are true to colour.  Just look at this swatch:

Aloha, Shifting Sands, Lantern Light and Campire Swatches

From the same Spring collection, I want to talk about the Pearlglide Intense Eye liners that are to die for.  This is my first time using an eye liner from MAC that isn’t the Fluidline product, but the artist in the MAC store was sporting it and I couldn’t stop staring at her eyes.  This purple is so vibrant!  These eye liners slide on so creamy and rich!  I can’t tell you enough how much I love them.  You can smudge the Pearlglide Intense Eye liners when you first apply them, but after about a minute, they really set in place and become smudge-proof which is fantastic for your everyday wear giving you a really long wearing product.  Check out MAC’s website for other colour options and from what I can tell, even though this product is new, it is not limited edition.

Undercurrent and Designer Purple by MAC

Designer Purple and Undercurrent Swatches

So for my look last night, I was 100% inspired by that MAC artist and paired the light neutral shades of Aloha (specifically I used the Shifting Sands and Aloha crushed metallic pigments) with this vibrant Designer Purple eye liner.  I never would’ve thought of using these together, I always seem to gravitate towards black liner when using brown shadows.  But pairing neutral shadows with an intense bold eye liner looks like something I will be doing more often.

Aloha Shifting Sands Look with Clinique High Impact Mascara

Brown eye with purple linerFame Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss and Clinique's High Impact Mascara

***For filling in my eyebrows, I used MAC’s Mystery eyeshadow and I used Clinique’s High Impact Mascara on my lashes.  On my face I used MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus.***

I do have one more product I need to show you from this MAC haul before I call it quits.  Shop MAC – another spring collection out right now resulted in a Kissable Lipcolour purchase.  This product is limited edition and you can see all colour options here.  I went bold and chose Scan-Delicious.  I couldn’t pass up the deep berry fuchsia with gorgeous rich blue undertones.  So here we are:

Limited Edition Kissable Lipcolour by MAC

Swatch of Scan-Delicious by MAC

I love this colour – A LOT!  But I didn’t think it was the right look for the makeup and outfit I’d put together.  So I went a few shades lighter opting for Smashbox’s Lip Enhancing Gloss in Fame.

I stumbled across this hair style on youtube the other day and just had to try it.  The 5 strand braid is actually really easy and I got it my first try.  Once you understand the concept, it is easy going all the way down.  This tutorial is fantastic and you will be a pro in no time at all:

I hope you have as much fun with this as I have and enjoy this fun, soft, flirty look!

xox,

Shannon

Aloha eye shadows with Designer Purple Eye Liner