Hair Extensions

So I’m going to start out by saying that Nicole is going to be zero help in the hair department. You ask why... Well that’s because the hair gods so kindly blessed Nicole by giving her basically the most amazing hair on the planet. For real though. It’s thick, soft, grows fast, holds a curl like no other, and requires basically no product to keep it all this way... for days. When we lived together in college there’d be times I’d ask her, “Uhhh, when was the last time you washed your hair?” Because I know her and I know that the reason it looks better than it did the day before, her answer would be… “I don’t remember....” Seriously. I’d say this as I’m killing our ozone with an entire can of dry shampoo.

Needless to say, Nicole can give all you other hair goddesses tips on how to make your hair look better by doing less than what you already do-- nothing. Everyone else, come with me.

My hair grows sooooooo slow. It’s ridiculous. This is because, well it grows slow, but also because my hair is super fine and super thin, so it breaks super easily. I’m so thankful for my friend Halley at The Studio Hair Artistry because I can be overprotective about my hair with her and she just smiles and nods and doesn’t make me cry when I get in my car because she knows exactly what I want!

I’ve always been a little self conscious about how thin and flat my hair is, and for pete’s sake, I just wanted long hair!!! So after Tyler and I got engaged I decided I wanted to invest in some clip-in hair extensions for at least our engagement pictures, and our wedding depending on how I was going to wear my hair (I ended up not using them since it was up). Tyler was so sweet and ended up getting them for me as a engagement/wedding/I love you gift. Thanks, hon!

I did a bunch of research on different blogs trying to figure out which brand was best, but when I came across Kristin Ess telling me that I should go with Laced Hair Extensions, the search was over. I mean she does Lauren Conrad’s hair, do I really need to keep searching??

So I (really Tyler, hehe) bought them. I ended up going with the 4/8 color for $270 (pricey, but worth it!). When I got them I was freaking out, thinking they didn't match, and not wanting to take them out of the nicely sealed bag incase I wanted to return them… But alas, I made the jump, took them out and they matched perfectly! They even have some highlights, which I didn't think I'd like, but non-committal me, loves being able to add a little "lightness" when I want. I took them to Halley to have her trim them up and not look like a horse’s mane. My goal was not to look like a magical mermaid with hair down to my butt (sorry "bottom"--we were just talking the other day how our mom would make us say bottom instead of butt when we were little haha!). I just wanted some length and added thickness!

 
 

After having them for a while now, here are some tricks of the trade I have learned. Mind you I am no expert, but this is what has worked for me so far!

1. It took me a while to figure out that in order to get that layer of natural hair at my neck that’s much shorter than my extensions from sticking out and not blending well with my extensions, I needed to braid it and pin it up. I section off my hair where my ear lobes start, braid it and then wind up that braid and pin it to my head. It’s so much more natural looking, and you don’t have to keep hiding and tucking away those little pieces. Now my hair is almost the same length as my extensions, so I don’t have to do that. But in the picture below, instead of clipping that first weft into my straight hair, I’d be clipping it into a coiled up braid.

2. Don’t tease your roots! This is something I read up on, and it’s very true! Those clips are little, but powerful. You don’t need to tease the part your clipping into in order for them to stay secure. You also don’t need to clip it exactly at the part, it’s okay if it’s a little off.

3. I have yet to wash my extensions... not really advice, and probably not the best practice, but I just want to keep you informed! I know there are specials shampoos and certain processes on how to wash them. You may want to consult Kristin Ess or Amber Fillerup on that. I just try to take really good care of them. Now granted I don’t wear mine every single day, so if you do, you’ll probably want to get yourself educated on how to wash them. But that is why my extensions are already a little bit wavy, it's from brushing out the previous curl (you can see how well they hold!).

4. I only curl the wefts after they are attached to my head and do so layer by layer. It makes it easier to make it look like it’s part of your natural hair when you curl/straighten it together. However, you have to hold down the clips while curling to prevent from any tugging and make sure they stay secure. I spritz a little bit of hairspray on each layer and they hold really well. I curl it by section, combining the weft and my actual hair.

5. Now I just recently discovered this… I normally use a one inch curling iron. But now that my hair is getting a little bit longer, I wanted to try use a 1 ¼  inch iron. While that doesn’t necessarily “curl” my natural hair, it does give me a pretty awesome fake blow out. However, when I use the 1 ¼  inch iron when I have my extensions in, it does actually curl it, and makes it look much more natural and blended. I actually didn’t wear my extensions for a while because I was having hard time figuring out how to blend the very top layer of my hair with my extensions (my extensions stayed very curled and coiled during the day, and my top layer of my hair did not). So what I started doing is curling everything except for that top layer with my 1 ¼  inch iron, and then my very top layer with my 1 inch to give it that more “curled” look. I don’t know what the scientific magic is behind it, but it works for me!

6. Laced In gives you a ton of wefts, but I usually only use three of the wider ones. Again, my hair is pretty thin so I don’t want to over do it. In the pictures you can see me sectioning off my layers in three spots: at about my ear lobes, the middle of my ears, and lastly right at my crown.

7. If this is your first time wearing clip ins, I would suggest only wearing them for a few hours at first. It takes a few times to get use to them, and your head may need a good massage after the first full day. But at this point I can easily wear mine for most of the day and not notice them!

I also included what I use to prep my hair with and how I finish it off...

When my hair is straight out of the towel I spray some It's a 10 in it. I love it because it detangles and protects my hair. After it's air dried for a few, I put in this Paul Mitchell mousse and root lifter--total game changers. 

However I've spent way more money on Kristen Ess' news products at Target than I'm willing to admit. All of it's amazing (especially the dry shampoo!).

After all my extensions are in and everything is curled, I will add some of this Big Sexy Hair Powder Play to my hair. Use with caution! This stuff is hard core!! Because my hair is so flat I need some serious business to keep my top roots from going all "wet cat" on me. This stuff is the answer to my prayers. It goes on as a power and turns to a "paste". You only need a tiny bit!

I hope you got some use out of these easy tips and tricks for wearing and using clip in extensions!

 

Valentine's Day Lips

Let’s be honest--the best part about Valentine’s Day is dressing for Valentine’s Day, and finding ways to add little pops of pink and red into your already gorgeous ensemble. Well ladies, look no further--we’ve got a couple options for all of ya'll!

For starters, I rarely wear lipstick because my lips just have too many grooves and don’t seem very smooth, and after an hour I feel like the joker with dry crackle-y lips. I’m also not a big lip gloss person either. But now I’ve found a few great lip wears that, if they work for me, must work for you!

 
 

The first is Melted Matte by Two Faced. It’s a liquified matte and it’s basically the most amazing thing ever. Two Faced has an original version that has a “lipstick sponge” applicator, and a newer version (I also have the color linked) that has an applicator identical to what a lip gloss would look like. I have one of each and both are great, but the one I’m talking about for V-Day is their original liquified long wear lipstick in Peony. Raise your hand if you’re obsessed with peonies like us. So obviously I saw this and thought, “Yes. This is a must.” It’s the perfect shade of pink to make your lips pop, without making you feel like your 85 year old grandma. And it holds up pretty dang well through a meal! Because of course, my life centers around when I'm eating next...

Moving on… my next suggestion is a true and true lipstick. But not just any lipstick. I’m talking MAC. It feels like I’m putting velvet on my lips, if that’s a thing. I have the color Diva, and it’s such a classic red. However, because it’s a lipstick and not a stain, I usually don’t wear it when I know I’m going to be eating soon. And my husband knows to stick to “cheek kisses” for the night--unless we want to end up looking like Rizzo and Kenicke from Grease...

Our third option, all you ladies should love because it's a chap stick. You heard right. It's a Baby Lips chap stick. I love it because I have so much control over it--I can swipe once and have an ever so soft pink shade, or I can really lather it up and make them pop! My lips are always so chapped, that sometimes I put this over other lip colors I'm wearing already! It's amazing.

Saving our favorite for last… this option is a little more subtle and soft, and a lip wear that’s more for “everyday”.  For my wedding I wanted something soft and natural that I wouldn’t have to worry about at all, like a stain but not so intense. I found the perfect lip color from Smashbox called “Always On Liquid Lipstick”. You put it on, let it sit for a while and as it absorbs naturally, it leaves your lips this perfect soft color. And like I said, my favorite part is I can put chapstick over it because it’s stains my lips without clumping. 

I also used it for my wedding (and our pics up top!). It’s amazing and I only had to reapply it maybe twice--after our ceremony in the car and after dinner. It doesn’t clump, doesn’t dry, isn’t sticky--perfect huh?! In the pictures both of us had actually dabbed some of it off to make it even more soft, so you could definitely lay that stuff on thick and have it really pop! Unfortunately they changed the line a little bit and they don't have the exact color you see here, but we would suggest try their Big Spender color, or Dream Huge--both are lovely pinks!

Let us know your faves on our Instagram!! Happy smooching ;)