Thursday, October 27, 2016

how to {do your own blowout}

Blowouts are all the rage. And for good reason… having someone else wash your hair and give you the smoothest, most voluminous style (with no effort!)… Yes please! If you love getting blowouts and have wondered how you can achieve the look at home, look no further!

The lovely Ally from Lark Blow Dry is breaking down the how- to of a blow out. Step by step we will show you how to achieve that coveted "fresh from the blow bar" look! 

{for the purpose of this post, this blowout is brought to you Bumble and bumble and I will be referencing their products; please feel free to use similar products when trying this out!}

1. Post washing, prep hair with a detangler/primer all over your damp hair. For this demonstration, we used Bb. prep spray, which I must add… smells amazing! Next, your hair needs to be combed out and detangled. Ally, who is a professional,  and I (who simply swear by it) HIGHLY recommend investing in a Wet Brush for this step. This brush will change your life. If you have long hair, especially, do yourself a favor. 

2. Next, your hair needs to be rough dried before you can start the blowout process. Rough dry means that approximately 75-80% is completely dry. Ally tip: blow dry your hair going the same way as the hair shaft. Meaning, keep the blow dryer pointed away from your roots. From roots to midshaft, Ally recommends applying a styling cream to create volume. For bottom half of your hair, a thickening mousse is key. While blow drying, use your hands or the brush, but make sure you REALLY get your roots dry. 

Don't mind my mad face, ,just very focused!

3. Once your hair is about 75-80% dry, split into sections as pictured. To split your hair, always start with the top. You can measure this by going from the outside of your eyebrows and back. Measure the section by using the round brush of your choice. The subsections should be roughly the size of the end of the round brush. (Is everyone learning a lot? Ally is wealth of knowledge. I had no idea!) When you finish you should have 4 large sections. 

4. Blow dry each section with the blow dryer under the hair shaft. Ally tip: tension is key! Using the round brush, pull the strand at a 90 degree angle away from the head. For the bottom section, which is where you will start, this is not necessary. But as you move up your head, and want more volume, the direction you pull the hair from your head will determine volume. Pulling the strand straight up while brushing away from the head will create the most dramatic volume. Roll the round brush while pointing your blow dryer down on the hair shaft. 

5. Repeat each section moving up to the top. Remember, the crown of the head (the two top sections) are where you want the MOST volume. Ally tip: Use the heat AND cool shot on your hairdryer to set each section. 

6. Use your fingers to break up the waves. Ta da! 

You just completed your first at home blowout. Does your arm hurt? Most likely. Especially if your hair is long! But it's totally worth the results. 

Do you do your own blowouts? What tips do you have? Let me know in the comments!

If you are in Omaha, and haven't experienced an in-house blowout, contact Ally at Lark! You will not regret it! Plus, she is a wealth of knowledge and will send you on your hair with beautiful hair AND information. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

lash extensions {a dream come true}

I am so excited to be writing this post - for several reasons. ONE… because I have been completely off the map lately, and TWO… this is probably the most excited I've been about a post in a while. If you follow along at Sweet and Modern, you know I love trying out new products and bringing my favorite reviews to my readers. 

I've mentioned before that I've been dying to hop on the lash extension train, but wasn't sure if it was an affordable habit that I could keep up. Fast forward, and I found out that Tara @ Serenity Skincare is now doing lash extensions! Tara did my pre-wedding facial and also hooked me up with my current skincare line, TAO Organics (you can read more about that here!) In short, I trusted her with my lashes! 

The biggest appeal for me in getting eyelash extensions was to cut back on getting ready time, as well as looking (effortlessly) like I had put on make up. I am pretty sure every woman can relate to that! During my consultation with Tara, we discussed that mascara is not needed with lash extensions. In fact, it is discouraged as to lengthen the life of your lashes. Seriously, when was the last time you felt like you could go out without mascara on? For me, I draw the line at quick errands and working out. Otherwise, mascara is a staple. It makes me feel human, awake, and put together. So the thought of not applying it every morning? Yeah…super appealing. 

I admit, as much as I love a dramatic eye, I was a little nervous that I was going to roll out of my appointment looking like a Kardashian. Granted, sometimes there are occasions where this would be great! But for everyday work life, it's not really the look I am going for. Also, if you've ever had a bad experience with strip lashes, the though of having something semi permanent on your eyelashes can be daunting. Rest assured, having eye lash extensions is NOTHING like wearing fake eyelashes! 

Tara assured me that she would be doing a classic set on me. This means that there would be no volume enhancements, and it would simply be a lash for lash extension. The extensions are silk, light, and natural feeling. They are black, therefore they are able to darken up your current lashes as is. I was so impressed with Tara's knowledge of this art. It completely blows my mind how tedious it is, yet how easy she made it seem! (Note: there are options for volume with lash extensions)

A full set took about 2 hours long. I couldn't believe how fast the time flew by! It was painless... and the hardest part was laying on the table for 2 hours (which I really didn't mind…forced relaxation). Tara kept me up to date on my progress and explained what she was doing the whole time. In case anyone is wondering, your eyes are closed the entire time. No scary tools coming at your eyeballs! 

As the time dwindled down, I was getting super excited to see my lashes! At the end, Tara made sure my lashes were combed out and in mint condition before I could see them. Here is my before and after shot…

And here is a photo several days later! 

And… I'm not wearing mascara. Which is my favorite part!  :) 

It is safe to say that I am obsessed with having the extensions. I haven't worn mascara in days…which has literally cut at least 10 minutes out of my routine in the morning. The lashes are super easy to maintain (Tara gives you brushes, cleaning supplies and detailed aftercare instructions) and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner!

Which brings me to this… I am SO ecstatic that Tara has decided to extend the most amazing special to Sweet and Modern readers. From October 3-31st, readers can book a classic full set PLUS a 2 week fill for $110! Ladies…this is a crazy good deal. A standard full set is regularly $135 and a 45 minute fill is $45. If you've been dying to try lash extensions, now is the time!

To book for a full lash extension set, contact Tara on her Facebook page and mention that you would like to book a full set under the Sweet and Modern special. You can also contact her by phone at (402) 215-7288. 
A BIG thank you to Tara for giving me such a wonderful first experience…and even more for offering readers this amazing deal! 

And to all of my readers, it feels great to be back in the blogging world! :) 

Serenity Skincare by Tara is located inside Salon DeMarco (Gretna, NE)
$110 must be paid at the time of the full set and fill must be scheduled at that time as well