how to

Formal Hair How-To

August 19, 2015

Today, I’m going to teach you how to trick people into thinking you’re really ridiculously good looking and that you moonlighted as a hairstylist in a previous life. First seen here, this updo will cost you close to nothing and take about 10 minutes.

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle

What you’ll need:

First thing’s first. Don’t be overwhelmed. You can do this. It might not take you 10 minutes the first time you try, but it’ll get done. This is basically just a side bun with twists shoved into it. Glamourous, right? 

This style becomes easier, the messier your hair is: because of the curl and because of the dry shampoo build up. But, omg, that’s so gross. No one’s going to be running their finger’s through your hair when it’s up. Let’s all just calm down.

Start with Day 2/3ish hair. Throw some loose curls into the mix if it’s not already a little wavy/bedheady. Secure a low-side ponytail, leaving out a few chunky pieces around your face.

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle 2



Pull a little from your roots, so the ponytail isn’t shellacked to your head…

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle


It’ll end up looking something like this:

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Loosely twist the hanging hair on the far side of the pony and secure near the base of the ponytail…

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle



Then do the same with the other side. Make sure it’s secure but that the hair is loose. Like. Not smashed against your head. Think ethereal and flowy and dainty and beautiful. K, great. Note: Leave about an inch of hair hanging in your face (do not pin this back). We’ll get to this later.

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle




Keep loosely twisting and pinning those twists around the base of the pony…

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle



Tuck the pony part of the ponytail into itself aka make one of those buns you wore everyday in 6th grade. Note: When you start this process, you CAN choose to make this bun then, within the hair tie. I chose not to since I wanted this to look at loose as possible. If you bun at the beginning, make sure you pull and fluff and tease the bun. The fluffier the better.

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle




Tuck the pony. Leave a few little wisps out. Secure with pins…

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle



It’ll look like this. You’ll feel defeated. Like you’re a complete failure. There are at least 72 bobby pins in your hair right now and you can see all of them. You’ll want to rip them out. But don’t. You’re almost there…

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle



Take the remaining waves that have been annoyingly hanging in your face, loosely twist them, and pin them back across the bun mess you’ve just made. This piece will completely hide those bobby pins you were just freaking out about.

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle



Pull a few baby pieces out for that disheveled look. Add an unnecessary amount of bobby pins to make sure it’s secure or spray with hairspray. I tend to stay away from locking in with hairspray these days bc I want it to fall throughout the night but if this isn’t your jam, spray that bad boy. The end. You’re a hair wizard.

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle



Congratulations. You just won life.

Formal Hair How To District Sparkle


Laura Metzler Photography

How To Stay Fresh Faced Throughout the Day

March 25, 2015

It might be common sense to some, but keeping my skin hydrated is something that escapes me from 9-5. Products aren’t readily available, I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off, or I just… don’t care. Insert one of those monkey emoticons here. To be completely honest, until about a year ago, skincare was something I hadn’t ever really given any thought to. And then I looked in the mirror one day when I was getting my hair done – you know – in those gigantic mirrors that forgive ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I saw dry, drooping, wrinkly skin. Hello, panic attack. So from that moment on I vowed to hydrate my skin at every effing moment of the day including, but not limited to, those 8/9/10ish hours you’re at work every day.

Stop whining. It’s not that hard. And it won’t cost you much. You know what? Scratch that. It doesn’t matter how much it costs. It’s the well-being of your skin. It doesn’t matter how much it costs. Pick up the cutest cosmetics pouch you can find, (I’m obsessed with these) fill it with these essentials, toss it in your work bag – or even better, keep it in one of your desk drawers – and call it a day.

Not only are these products that I actually use on the daily, they’re products that I swear by i.e., won’t shut up about. Do your skin a favor and invest in it now. Say it with me, “PREVENTATIVE SKINCARE”. And I swear to God, if you’re not applying SPF daily (whether it’s in your moisturizer or you apply separately) I’ll hunt you down.



Evian Facial Water Spray

I always thought women who used water spray were high maintenance. Like, why don’t you just splash your face with water? Uh, because then your makeup will come off and you spent far too long applying it to mess it all up now. You know what I learned from hating on these women? That haters gonna hate and I was missing out on a super refreshing mid day beauty hack.


M61 Hydraboost Eye Cream

I’ve been using this miracle worker as my eye cream for a few months now but only recently added it to my work day refresh repertoire after hearing Bluemercury owner Marla Beck uses it as a mid-day pick me up on top of her makeup. Obviously, I tried it and fell hard and fast for the technique. Skip that 4th cup of coffee and instead apply it as you would regular eye cream over your makeup for a dewy look.


Marula Oil Lip Stick

Where to start with this lip stick. It’s marketed as a hydration balm and unlike typical marketing scams that lie their faces right off this stuff is actually a super kick ass hydration stick. I have one on my nightstand and one in my purse. Wear it alone or under lip color for extra moisture. You can also use it to heal dry patches on your face – just remember to apply it before you apply your makeup.


Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion

My love of Vaseline knows no bounds and this intensive hand cream is no different. It’s fragrance free and super light. This is another one of those products I have multiples of lying around my house. Sah good.

bbBlotting Papers

I was never a fan of blotting papers until I found these from Bobbi Brown. These are a lifesaver around 3pm when I’ve been running around and I’m sweating like a lumberjack. It takes away that shine without taking off your makeup. That being said, in the interest of completely honesty, I don’t have a super oily complexion so I’m not sure how well these will work if you have that skin type.


And last but certainly not least: H20. You should be drinking 8 ounces of water per day. That’s a half gallon, ladies. I like to drink at least double that and I get it done by filling up a monster water jug a few times a day. Of course it’s Notre Dame football themed. Why are you even asking? Healthy skin starts from the inside out but because I know some of you can’t put down those diet cokes, these hydrating products will have to do.


Tired of wasting that precious morning time on a face full of makeup? Get ready in 5 minutes by following my 5 Minute Face tutorial!

How To Take Care of Your Skin this Winter

February 27, 2015

It’s come to my attention that not everyone hydrates their skin. Mostly because a few readers reached out to me after this post thanking me for reminding them to moisturize.



If you’re not moisturizing in the morning before you put on your makeup and at night after you remove it, you’re doing it wrong and you’re going to have an intimate relationship with the local botox lady by the time you’re 35. NOT INTO IT.

If you’re anything like me, you spend an obscene amount of money trying out new beauty products to help cover your imperfect skin. That stops today. From now on, you will spend your money on improving the quality of your skin via SKINCARE and makeup. But, it’s always so expensive. Don’t talk back to me. Stop spending hundreds on miracle lotions only to use $9 drugstore foundation. Those days are over. There is inexpensive makeup that helps to improve your skin. The Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Cream Gel is my favorite and a great place to start.

Every time I wash my face, morning and night, I apply a serum (this Marula Oil is a game changer), then a moisturizer, then eye cream. OMG that’s so excessive. OMG you’re being cray; enjoy your wrinkles at 30. My AM moisturizer has SPF in it because hello, appropriate skin care regimen.

I’ve also become one of those super high maintenance women who spritzes her face with Evian during the day. Why? Because it’s effective. Hello, refreshing. And I’d rather look a little unhinged with my aerosol water can now then look 70 when I’m 40.  Hate away, haters. For an additional pick me up, I dab on a little of that eye cream I use in the morning. Yes, right over my makeup.

I’m also a big fan of hydrating gel eye pads and face masks. Every Saturday morning I slap these bad boys on my dark circles for 20 minutes and every Sunday night I detox my face with these masks. Yes, they’re pricey but totally worth it. I also really like this cream mask during the week.

Interested in masks that do more than just hydrate? Sephora breaks down their favorite masks by treatment type.


+ Spend money on increasing the quality of your skin not the quantity of your products

+ Drink 2 liters of water per day

+ Moisturize day and night

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