Fun With Chalkboards!

Chalkboard paint has gained some serious popularity in the last few years, and I have to admit— I love the idea of reverting back to my childhood and drawing all over the walls.  (Perhaps this has something to do with my graduation over the weekend?)  Sadly, as a renter and as a person who is wary of design fads, I’m not planning on painting a whole wall anytime soon.  But check out these awesome chalkboard accents!

I love this pendant from greendepot.com

And this plywood wall art! (P.S.— I totally have that “K” mug from anthropologie!)

I am suddenly feeling a serious urge to label things, thanks to these cute chalkboard stickers from etsy!

Plus— chalkboard pens for those of you who want to keep things smudge-free.

Have any of you worked with chalkboard paint before?  Which of these ways would you most like to try it out?  (Anyone ever draw on the walls as a kid?)  Spill in the comments!

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Seven Tips for the Perfect Airbrush Tan!

Airbrush tanning is seriously one of my favorite beauty inventions.  It’s slimming, safe, natural-looking (if done well), and it’s a great confidence-booster before a big event (like a graduation, perhaps?)

I got an airbrush tan this week at SilkTan in San Francisco (definitely check them out if you’re in the bay area) and I thought I’d share a few tips for those of you thinking about getting one yourself.

photo courtesy of Evil Erin

Here’s how to prepare:

1) Shave either the night before or the morning of your appointment.  (If you’re waxing, make sure to do it at least 24 hours before your appointment so the solution doesn’t sink into your pores too deeply— you don’t want little brown polka dots on your legs!)

2) Exfoliate thoroughly (especially in places that are rough or dry, like elbows, knees, and feet.)  If you don’t exfoliate properly, the tanning solution will look darker or uneven in those rough areas and it won’t fully soak into your skin.

3) Don’t wear any makeup, lotion, or deodorant when you arrive at the tanning salon.  These all act as barriers, which will keep the solution from soaking into your skin (and apparently deodorant can react with the tanner and turn your skin green!)

4) Arrive wearing dark, baggy clothes to avoid staining and don’t wear undergarments if you can help it.  Anything constricting has the potential to run away at your freshly-bronzed skin.

Once you get your tan, make sure you:

1) Leave plenty of time for it to soak in.  The technician I went to recommends getting an airbrush tan in the evening and waiting until the next morning to shower off.  Otherwise, wait at least 8 hours to do so.  (Use dark sheets if you’re sleeping with a fresh tan to avoid staining.)

2) Moisturize very frequently (at least twice a day.)  This keeps your skin happy, even, and soft, so your tan will last much longer.

3) Adjust your makeup routine… your skin will be darker, and your makeup should reflect that.

Have you ever had an airbrush tan?  What about a spray tan in a booth?  Do you have any special tips for making your color last?  Or do you prefer porcelain skin?  Tell me about it in the comments!


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Frustrating Beauty Lesson of The Week: Leave Waxing to the Pros!

Oh, the lessons we must learn…

In preparation for all of the graduation festivities that will be happening today through Sunday, I decided to get an airbrush tan so that I won’t look quite so pasty in my various grad outfits (more on that tomorrow.)  Most of these looks show some leg, so I figured that instead of shaving, I should wax my legs before getting the airbrush tan to avoid smudging the bronzer and looking streaky.  Smart move, right?

I’ve waxed my bikini line at home in the past, so to save money, I made my way down to the local drugstore and bought an at-home waxing kit for $12.  Double smart move, don’t you think?

Apparently not.  I followed the directions exactly, and after 1.5 hours I had only done the lower half of one leg.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, I was forced to tweeze a ridiculous percentage of the leg hair because the strips wouldn’t adhere to all of them.  And has anyone ever tried waxing the back of your leg?  It’s practically impossible!  I had been hunched over long enough that my back was aching horribly and I finally decided to give up.

That’s right, ladies… I waxed one leg and shaved the other.  Come to find out, shaving is totally acceptable after an airbrush tan, and I basically went through all of that for nothing.  Sigh…

Here’s what I learned:

-Waxing is not nearly as painful as it’s cracked up to be (seriously, my back hurt a hundred times more than my leg did.)

-If you’re only removing a small bit of hair, like the upper lip or bikini line, you could totally do it at home.

-It’s definitely worth seeing a pro for bigger jobs like legs or full bikini waxes!!  Yikes…

Have you ever tried waxing at home?  Do you always visit a pro?  Anyone else have a wax-o-riffic horror story?

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Graduation Hair Ideas… How Should I Wear Mine?

I will be getting my B.A. this Saturday!  I’ve prepared in just about every way: I got a new grad outfit, bought the announcements and the cap and gown, and— oh yeah— spent five years reading/writing/studying/stressing out.  But there’s one thing I still have yet to figure out: my hair!

Here are the three options I’m considering:

OPTION 1: Long and Straight

This is a very classic look and it makes sense with a silly graduation cap (which is why I chose it for my official grad photo), but it’s a pretty boring style overall.  Plus, I run the risk of getting an obvious line imprinted in my hair from the cap, which I’d have to live with for the rest of the night.

OPTION 2: Long and Wavy

Let me note that this is the quick version of the wavy style I would wear (I was a little pressed for time when I styled my hair this way.)  I like that this one has a little more personality and feels more laid-back, but it’s not my natural hair texture and I worry that I’ll look back at the graduation photos in ten years and wish I’d gone with something else…

OPTION 3: A Low Bun

I honestly didn’t think it was possible to wear your hair up with a cap, but it kind of works!  This would obviously be the easiest style to maintain for the rest of the night, but would the photos only look good from one side?  And would I feel dressy enough?

I can’t make this decision on my own, so please help me out by telling me which look you like best!

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Which look do you like best (and which do you think I’ll regret the least in ten years from now)?  How did you wear your hair when you graduated from high school or college?  Are any of you soon-to-be-graduates inspired by one of these looks?

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thumbnail courtesy of j.o.h.n. walker

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Would You Do Your Own Hair And Makeup on Your Wedding Day?

Lately, it seems like every other day I hear about someone I know getting engaged!  There are so many aspects to planning a wedding, but today I want to talk beauty…

Hair and makeup are pretty important on your wedding day, considering all the photos that will be taken and the fact that the bride and groom are the center of attention.

photo courtesy of Foxtongue

Some women are meticulous— they hire hair and makeup artists and book practice appointments to make sure that everything is just right.  On the other hand, I know plenty of people who have chosen to do it all themselves, or have a friend do it for them.

I remember my mom telling me as a kid that she had too much time to get ready on the day of her wedding!  She even tried to stretch the “getting ready” time to 45 minutes so that it would take longer, if I remember correctly!  I love how low maintenance she is— it’s definitely something that she passed along to me.

I’m pretty torn about this issue, personally.  I’m starting cosmetology school in a few months, so when the big day arrives I will definitely have the skills to pull my own look together (hopefully!)  But I think there’s something really special about getting your hair and makeup done professionally… it might make the process of “getting ready” more special.

I see both sides… what about you?

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Are you willing to allocate some of your wedding budget to hair and makeup or would you rather do it yourself?  Whether you’re already married, engaged, or single… let me know what you think!  Did your ideas change once the wedding planning actually started?

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