Category Archives: Tutorials

Birchbox July 2012 Unboxing Video and Easy Summer Makeup

My Birchbox finally arrived today. I know, I know. You might have already received yours, or don’t care about all this unboxing business. I hope you’ll watch it anyway, because I use the contents of my Birchbox to create an easy/fast summer makeup look.

I hope you’ll realize that it’s hard to apply makeup without a mirror . . . while recording a video and talking off the cuff. It wasn’t easy, but I hope it’s at least entertaining.

I’m always looking for suggestions about specific things to blog about. If you have any ideas or comments, even criticisms, just let me know. I want this to be a blog that’s helpful to you, and fun to check out.

I hope your summer is going well, and you haven’t lost your favorite lipstick to the heat yet. I’m still waiting for my first lipstick casualty. It happens at least once every summer.

Until next time,


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My Favorite Way to Wear My Hair When I’m Rushed: Braids

I love to take the time to do my hair. But because my hair is very thick and naturally curly, I have to wet it down every day, apply product, and then dry it with a diffuser. When my hair is completely dry, I take a 1 inch curling iron to the ends of the bottom layer to make sure they don’t look too scraggly. This process can take 30-45 minutes depending on how nice I want my hair to look.

As the mom of two preschool aged girls, I don’t often find I have time for this perfect hair. I keep my hair long on purpose. When my hair is long I can quickly put it up, and it looks nice. I’ve been rocking a french twist for decades. I also find a low chignon works well. Because of my hair texture, I can’t just put my hair in a ponytail and run out the door. It looks sloppy and frizzy.

My mom taught me to braid my hair before I started first grade. I started with the simple braid, then worked up to doing french braids, dutch braids, and fish tail braids.

This looks uses two adapted french braids and a bun. It’s very pretty, perfect for summer and it only takes me 8 minutes to do. If you’re not an old pro at braids, this might take a bit more time. It’s still worth trying out because it looks much harder than it really is.

Easy braided updo for summer

1. I used two mini Spin Pins by Goody, three regular bobby pins, three clear elastics and one small claw clip to achieve this look.

2. I always start braiding my hair when it’s wet. It keeps me from having to deal with frizz, and I find I can get tighter braids that way. Start with a deep side part.

3. Take a small section at the front, twist away from your face and clip. This will give you a little height so you’re updo isn’t too flat near your face.

4. Right where the clip is, start your larger side braid. This is only half a french braid. When you are braiding, you only take hair from the side closest to your face to add to the braid. Continue until you’ve reached the nape of your neck on the opposite side. (you start on the right side of your head, keep braiding until you reach the nape on the left.) Tie braid off with clear elastic.

5. You should have a smaller section of hair on the opposite side. Make a small half french braid with it. Keep it as tight as possible. When you run out of hair to add, just keep braiding. I found that this is where my extra clear hair elastic came in handy. I have layered hair, and some if it was falling out of the braid. I used one of the elastics to tie it off. I brushed out the rest and started braiding until I got to the end. You might not have to do this. I couldn’t see the extra elastic in the end product, so I didn’t bother me.

6. Once you have both braids finished, it’ time to put them in a bun. I started with the larger braid, and made a bun out of it right at the nape, in the middle. I found it was easier if I gave it a bit of a twist as I was putting it in a bun. Here is where I used those two Spin Pins. They held everything in place. Pick up the smaller braid and wrap it around the bun, making sure to hide the ends. Secure with bobby pins.

7. Spray liberally with the hairspray of your choice. I also removed the claw clip. It was just to hold my hair in place while I braided it. If you use a decorative one like I did, you could certainly leave it in. I have before and it’s very pretty.

This is just what I did today with my hair. I’d never done it before. I braid my hair so often, I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to wear it. The next time I find a new way to braid it, and wear it, I’ll let you know.

Let me know if you try this style, or have any feedback for me on it.


P.S. It’s Sunday, so I’m not wearing much makeup. Concealer, mascara and tinted lip balm. Forgive my casual look.

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