Hair To: Alternative Braid by Twist Me Pretty

20130207-143318.jpgWell hello there gals!  I’m Abby from Twist Me Pretty and I’m here to share with you the super easy and chic hairstyle I call the alternative braid.  If these steps are a little bit confusing, have no fear, you can watch my video tutorial here.

altbraidfullresStep one:
You are going to need some type of curling iron.  It can be a wand or an iron, whatever you use to curl your hair will work.  We don’t care so much about the curls here as we do the texture the curls create.  Once your hair is curled tease the roots just a bit to add some volume.

Step two:
Pull all your hair to one side.  I always pull my hair over to the thickest side because I prefer that look more on me.  Either side however works.

Step three:
Split your hair into two sections and twist both sections of hair towards each other with your fingers.  I like to roll the hair around my pointer fingers.

Step four:
Place the two sections of hair you’ve just rolled into your non dominant hand.

Step five:
Take the pointer finger of your dominant hand and wiggle it through the two sections of rolled hair.

Step six:
Use that pointer finger as the guide to split the hair into two new sections.  Then you’re just going to repeat these steps until you get to the end of your hair.  Split, wiggle and twist!

Step seven:
Now this is the step where the magic happens.  You’re going to tug and loosen those strands of hair with your dominant hand while you’re holding the ends of your braid with your non dominant hand.  This is where you will pull your own creativity into the style.  The shape of your braid is completely up to you depending on how and where you tug on the pieces of your braid.  Just keep in mind, the more you tug on your braid the thicker it will be, but the faster it will fall out.

Step eight:
Tie off your braid with a clear elastic.  I purchased my nice stretchy ones from Sally’s but you can get the nice ones from any beauty store.  I would avoid any elastics you get from the grocery store as they are super hard on your hair.

Step nine:
This step is completely optional.  If you end up pulling out too many pieces and your braid starts looking too loose near the nape of your neck you can grab a small section of hair from the front and a small section of hair from the back, as shown in the picture.

Step ten:
You’re then going to fold those two sections of each other and secure the strands with a bobby pin.  Again, these steps are optional!

I’d love for you to stop by my corner of the internet and say hi!  I’m a stay at home mom with the two cutest babes and I blog all about my life and the things I love.  If you’re interested in more hairstyles check out my style gallery and my hairstyle ebook!

You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and instagram @twistmepretty!

See you soon!
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Workout: Ab Challenges

Who wants to partake in this 11 week Boot Camp Challenge with me (aka keep me motivated and accountable) and work on keeping their New Year’s Resolutions to get fit?!?!  Don’t everyone jump at once! 🙂
(via Katie at Hungry Runner)

Boot_Camp_ChallengeBelow are two of my favorite ab circuits at the moment, just wish I would actually do them consistently so I could see the results!  Would love to hear if you try or have tried either of them and what you thought OR if you have suggestions for other workouts I should try!

PlankWorkoutLove this seriously fast yet super effective ab-busting 3-minute plank circuit that includes great pictures and instructions for each and every move via Nicole from Pumps & Iron

300_Ab_ChallengeThis 300 Ultimate Ab and Core Challenge from Random Antics will have your abs screaming (in a good way).  She too provides specific photos and details for each move which I found super helpful!

Hair To: Fishtail Braid

Besides being extremely healthy for your hair and a perfect solution for lazy ladies like me, washing you hair every three days forces you to try other hairstyles (day one: shower/curl, day two: dry shampoo, day three: braid or bun).  Due to multiple blogs posting fishtail tutorials, I assumed (we all know what happens when we assume) everyone knew how to fishtail braid so I didn’t even think twice about posting a hair tutorial to show the simple steps until a few Aussie friends were amazed at the weird braid I was sporting.  So here are the step-by-step instructions for them and for anyone else out there unsure how to do this easy-peasy braid.  Let me know if you have any questions or additional tips for creating the fancy fishtail braid!

Fishtail-6Step 1:  Pull hair to one side and divide into two even sections.

FishtailStep2Step 2:  Separate a small piece of hair from the outside of the section.  Pull it across to the inside part of the other section and repeat with the other side until reaching the end; tie off with a hair tie (my favorite here).

Fishtail-24Step 3:  Using both hands, pull the braid apart to give a thicker messy look.  If desired, pull face-framing pieces out too.

What I’ve learned since:  Perfect to do on the go without a mirror, looks dressy yet casual, and shows off those beautiful highlights!  I pull the sections at the end too tight (as shown above), which makes pulling it apart to get the messy look difficult, the fishtail is a hairstyle that gets better as the day goes on since it looks so much better messy, and the braid stays together easier when hair is dirty and either naturally dried/styled or curly (straightened hair falls out).

What tips do you have for creating the perfect fishtail braid?

Product Review: Smashbox BB Cream

For as long as I can remember, I’ve switched between drugstore beauty bargains choosing mainly whatever I found on sale that week or a magazine promoted in their “Steals & Deals” article.  Yes, I understand this means I’m not always using the best product for my skin, but I just couldn’t fathom spending hard-earned money on something that was going to need replaced again next month.  Plus, the overwhelming intimidation I felt walking through the numerous aisles trying to decide not only between brands but also between which product type, included ingredients, skin tone/type, benefits received, and colors/shades was enough to make me grab the foundation/powder/lipstain/moisturizer that was on sale and run as fast as I could to the nearest check-out (unless it was Target, then I’d be there another 45 minutes perusing every single department).  Then two days before our big adventure around the world, a light-bulb went off inside my head and I realized I was turning twenty-seven (ugh), needed a quality product for my problematic skin since I was no longer on dermatological prescriptions (yikes!), and needed something small, compact, and multipurpose to minimize space.  It was a lot to ask.  The answer:  Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream with SPF 35.

Product-3WHY?

  • I always wanted to try the raved about Smashbox Primer, but couldn’t afford to pay so much for so little and this BB cream included a primer so it was like getting a foundation and a primer in one bottle for the same price
  • BB Creams were all the talk in recent months (I know people have now moved on to CC Creams and I’m a little behind)
  • First time ever paying over $15 for a beauty product, it had to work.  Right?

The Product Claims:

  • Always be camera ready with this 5-in-1 BB Cream!
  • Prime, perfect, protect, hydrate, and control oil in one step to create a flawless face in a flash
  • Wear alone or under foundation for more coverage
  • Contains SPF 35
  • Come in 5 Shades: Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Dark
  • Active Ingredients:  Octinoxate (UV filter/absorber), Octisalate (UVB absorber), Oxybenzone (sunscreen), and Titanium Dioxide (colorant, UV absorber)
  • Costs:  $39 for 1 fl oz/30 ml
  • Where to Purchase: Smashbox, Sephora, Ulta

How I Apply It:

  1. Apply a moisturizer with additional SPF (this one)
  2. Squeeze a pea size amount on the back of my hand
  3. Apply using a foundation brush (here, here)
  4. Set with finishing powder (this one)

Product-2Pros:

  • Biggest deal (for me):  does NOT break out my super problematic skin (think: a sixteen year old in puberty..awesome, right?)
  • Stays on ALL day.  I can’t even tell you how much this matters especially for someone with problematic skin (me) to not have to worry about coverage all day.
  • Contains SPF 35 (huge deal especially as I notice all my wrinkles more and more)
  • Goes on light and smooth, could easily build to a more full coverage
  • Skin looks smoother and more evenly toned in photos = confidence boost

Cons:

  • Provides a light, full coverage over my normal skin and it’s usual adjoining bumps, but have to use an additional concealer for more prominent red pimples (gross, I know) which negates the time-saving and 5-in-1 promise
  • Would definitely use an additional moisturizer containing SPF benefits especially for dry skin
  • The limited color options are a bit disappointing as other BB creams come in numerous shades – a little nervous if it will still look good when I lose my Aussie tan
  • Pricing is pretty high for the amount of product received

What has been your experience with BB Creams and/or Smashbox products?  Have you ever tried this product or another one that you have loved or hated?

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any products or compensation for this post, all thoughts and reviews are my own.

Hair To: Curl with a Flatiron

Packing space for Australia was so crucial even my curling iron didn’t make the cut (pausing for gasping).  Instead I settled for my trusty straightener/flatiron since I have bangs that would not be tamed by a curling iron.  However, about two weeks into our trip my hair became depressed and longed for my deserted hot tool (just a little dramatic).  What was a girl to do?  I’ll tell you what…learn how to curl hair with a flatiron!  That’s right, my once single purpose flatiron has become both a straightener and a curling iron with just a flip of the wrist!  See the end result here!

Check out my sock bun and braided bun tutorials too!