Super Cute Hair in 30 Seconds!

Happy Memorial Day, lovelies!  I hope your weekend was excellent.  I had a girls day with my friend, Marina, on Saturday, and I flipped over her super adorable hair.  When she showed me how fast an easy it was, I was shocked.  So, obviously, I had to share it with all of you!

First off, here is the look in question from the back:

And from the front:

I love that this is a new take on the very trendy side braid that every celeb under the sun has been rocking this Spring.  The twist is unique and way more interesting than a plain old pony.  The best part?  This complicated-looking style is easy to master!

Here’s how:

Step 1) Use an elastic to create a low pony (bonus points for wearing it a little to one side!)

Step 2) For maximum hold. run some mousse through your ponytail.

Step 3) Divide your pony into two strands and simply wrap one around the other, like Marina is doing in the photo.

Step 4) Secure the bottom with another elastic.

Step 5) Put a dab of silkening gloss on your fingers, and gently rub them over the twist— this will keep your hair extra-shiny, plus it will help manage any flyaways.

Perfect for those days when you’re running late or when your hair is misbehaving!

What do you think of Marina’s style?  Ever tried hair twists on your own?  Do you have another cool hairstyle that you’d like to see featured on the blog?  Send photos to kim@blendingbeautiful.com!

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Print Adorable Stationary at Home on the Cheap!

We’ve talked about stationary before, but I just had to share these gorgeous designs from Pinecone and Lola.

After the graduation festivities, I was looking for some cute thank you cards.  With a limited budget, I was worried about finding 20+ cards at an affordable price.  Fortunately, I stumbled upon Pinecone and Lola on Etsy, who lets you purchase their designs and print them at home!

For only $5, I received PDF’s via email with two different thank you card designs along with matching note cards and envelopes.  I printed them out (and get to keep the PDF’s forever!) and sent them to family and friends!  Here’s the design I chose:

They also have other cute printable designs… this one is also only $5 and would be cute if you’re looking to say hello to someone:

Check out their Etsy site for other cute cards and prints!  (Or check your mailbox if we’re related, and see for yourself!)

Have a lovely weekend!

What do you think of these designs?  Would you consider saving money by printing cards at home?  Got any fun plans for the weekend?  (Travis and I are buying a car— woo!)  Tell me all about it in the comments below!

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How To: The Perfect Daytime Smoky Eye

Yesterday, I showed you how to conceal those nasty under-eye circles.  Today, I’ve got another how to that every woman should know: the coveted smoky eye!

Most women assume that the smoky eye look is only appropriate for nighttime, but I’m here to tell you how very false that is!  This look is all about definition— it makes eyes pop and adds and interest to your makeup look.  I don’t know about you, but I’d like depth and interest all the time, not just at night.

Interested?

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: After your dark circles have been concealed and your lids have been primed, sweep some highlighter along your brow bone.  If you’re using a cream (like one of my favorites, High Beam by Benefit), rub it along the underside of your eyebrow.  If you’d prefer an eye shadow, I totally recommend CoverGirl’s eye enhancers in “Champage”.  Go ahead and sweep this all over your lid and continue up and onto your brow bone.

Step 2: Select your color palette.  This is the important aspect that changes this look from day to night.  I chose a grey palette because it looks good with blue eyes and it’s not too dark for daytime.  People with green eyes look great with purple shadow, and if your eyes are brown, try brown or gold shadow (although just about any color can look nice on brown eyes).  You will need to choose three shades in your palette: the lightest will go on your lids, the darker color will be for shading, and the darkest color will be used for liner. Here are the colors I used:

………….Lightest………………..Darker………………….Darkest

Step 3: Sweep the lightest color over your entire lid.  Make sure you’re using a soft brush with long enough bristles, so the color isn’t overly concentrated.

Step 4: Use either the same brush or a slightly shorter-bristled shadow brush to apply a slightly darker shadow into the crease of your lid.  Start slowly— you can always add more as you go— and work your way above the crease until you reach the desired shading.  Be aware that for daytime, you want to define, but you don’t want to go too over-the-top.

Step 5: Use the same color to blend the darker shadow along the outer corner of your eye.  Start at the crease of your lid and work toward the inner corner of your eye.  Don’t go too far… you want to see both the lighter and darker shades.  Here’s what it should look like when you’re done:

Step 6: Take the darkest color and line your eyes using a small, flat eyeliner brush.  You can wet the brush, or not— it’s up to you.  Here’s a tip for those of us who don’t have super-big eyes: Make sure your upper and lower liner lines connect at the outer corner of your eye and make sure the lower lid isn’t lined as heavily as the upper lid.  This will keep your eyes from looking smaller and boxed in by heavy liner.

Step 7: Sweep a little bit of your highlighter along the inner corner of your eyes to make them pop.

Step 8: Curl your lashed and apply a couple coats of mascara to finish off the look.

There you go, the perfect smoky eye!

(I’ve chosen to show you a smoky eye look that is appropriate for daytime, but if you’re looking to take this look up a notch, go for darker or bolder colors, but keep the same technique, and you’ll be ready for a night out on the town!)

Are you a fan of the smoky eye look?  Have you already perfected it, or do you struggle to do it yourself?  Any favorite shadow palettes you’d like to share? Tell me about it in the comments!

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How To: Concealing Those Pesky Under-Eye Circles

I realized that it has been a while since I’ve done any how-to’s, so get ready to beautify your eyes (stay tuned tomorrow for a how-to on smoky eyes!)

I have battled under-eye circles forEVER, and regardless of how much sleep I get, purple-ish rings have become a permanent fixture on my face.  I can’t believe I’m posting this on here, but I suppose you have to see a before photo in order to see the difference.  Here I am without any makeup:

All I can say is: thank God for concealer!

Here’s how you can fix your own circles:

Step 1: Moisturize.  It’s important that the under-eye area is fully hydrated— this will help the concealer go on smoothly while keeping it from settling into fine lines.  I use Boot’s Expert Sensitive Hydrating Moisture.

Step 2: Wait until the moisturizer has fully dried, then use a small concealer brush (it has almost the same feel as a lip brush) to apply an even layer of concealer along the entire under-eye circle.

Step 3: Use a cosmetic sponge to dab the concealer into the skin.  DO NOT rub— this will just wipe it off.  Simply blot until the concealer is fully blended.  (If the blotting does not easily blend the concealer, it means you’re using the wrong shade.)  If you can still see dark circles, repeat steps 2 and 3.

Step 4: Use a foundation brush to blend powder foundation over your concealer.  (I don’t wear foundation on my face, but I never skip this step— it helps to smooth and mattify the creaminess of the concealer.)

Here’s the finished product:

Ta-Da— beautiful eyes, no caffeine necessary!

Do you suffer from under-eye circles?  Do you have any other special tricks for hiding them?  What is your favorite concealer for under your eyes?

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Chip-Free Nail Polish Finally Exists! (And it Lasts!)

I was floored when I came across this story about CND’s Shellac nail polish, which guarantees a chip-free manicure for fourteen days.  Check out the results of the user-test:

Joanna Douglas is a blogger on Shine, who recently posted photos of her CND Shellac experience, starting with Day 1:

Apparently, the polish goes on just like any other manicure (base coat, two polish coats, and a top coat), but the difference is that each hand is dried under UV light while the other hand is being worked on.

Check out her polish after a few days (during this time she washed dishes and cleaned the bathroom with bleach):

Here are her nails after she scraped them along a brick wall in an attempt to chip them… still no luck:

By Day 14, she had zero chips and her nails had grown significantly!

Normal nail polish remover won’t even get rid of these puppies, but ten minutes in the nail salon with their special acetate wraps will do the trick!

I am totally blown away by CND Shellac!  This mani will cost $40-$45, but with the hassle-free, long-lasting color, it just may be worth it…

What do you think of CND’s chip-free polish?  Would you throw down some extra cash for this kind of guarantee?  Anyone think they might be tired of the same nail color after two weeks?  And how often do you get manicures (either professionally or at home)?

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