Braid Tutorial #3: Classic French Braid

Our last braid this week is a simple, classic messy French braid, tucked under for a fancier look. It looks amazing with Ali’s ombre, and in fact all braids look great with any kind of highlights in your hair. For this one I braided Ali’s hair, but I do this braid on myself all the time, so you could attempt it yourself or grab a friend. A note about braiding your own hair: I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, so just remember: practice makes perfect! Don’t be discouraged.

Classic French Braid
Recommended supplies:

A wide tooth comb
Clear elastic bands, like these
Bobby pins – if you can get them, these Japanese pins are the best, you can also get them in Japanese beauty supply stores
Optional: a teasing brush, like this
Tips: Dirty hair is better for braids! Greasy? No problem, it will hold better.

Ali has finer hair, so she gives a great tip for starting a braid on this type of hair – backcombing. Hold a handful of hair straight up and comb the back of it down – basically teasing it lightly. This will give your hair texture to help it stay in the braid better, plus give it a little bump on top. However, this braid looks great messy, so don’t worry about strands coming loose or it being perfectly smoothe. You could also prep your hair with mousse or gel. For this braid we started a few inches back – starting a classic French braid too close to your hairline will give you an alien-like look. Braid all the way down to the nape of the neck and tie it off with an elastic band. Because Ali’s hair is shoulder-length, we pulled the elastic down a bit to loosen it and flipped it under the braid, pinning it in place. This is a pretty way to finish the braid and hides the little stump of hair that shorter braids result in.

A bonus shot of how short people braid hair. This stool is my best friend and I take it on photoshoots as well!

Film photos, #1 & #3 by Kate Miss, taken with a Mamiya 645. Tutorial photos and photo #4 by Laure Joliet. Ali’s lipstick is by Wet ‘n Wild (yes!) and necklace by Kate Miss

Credits: (please kindly include if you re-blog, pin or put on tumblr)
Photos: Laure Joliet & Kate Miss
Model: Alison Brislin (twitter/instagram)
Braid by: Kate Miss

Braid Tutorial #1: The Ali Special

Recently Laure, Ali (twitter/instagram) and I spent a lovely morning braiding our hair and taking photos with the intent of making braid tutorials, doing three different braids, one for reach of us. We decided that these tutorials aren’t going to teach you how to French braid hair – you should look for a more technical tutorial on that and practice on friends and your own hair, and then take those skills and apply them to these ideas. This is an incredibly thorough tutorial. A day with lady friends braiding hair could not be more fun; I highly recommend it.

Today we’ll start with the first braid on my blog, the second on Wednesday over on Laure’s blog (but I’ll be sure to share a link here), and then the last braid we’ll both share. We hope to do more in the future as well. Let’s go!

The Ali Special Braid
Recommended supplies:

A wide tooth comb
Clear elastic bands, like these
Bobby pins – if you can get them, these Japanese pins are the best, you can also get them in Japanese beauty supply stores
Tips: Dirty hair is better for braids! Greasy? No problem, it will hold better. This hairstyle is especially perfect for traveling – this is Kate’s go-to hair for plane rides and long car rides as you can lean your head back flat without messing it up too much.

Part hair down the middle and make sure it’s mostly tangle free. Tie off one side so that it’s out of your way. If you don’t have bangs you can start your braid fairly close to the hairline, if you have bangs start behind them. French braid down the curve of the head, close the scalp and as close to your hairline as possible – all the way down to the tip. Tie the end off with an elastic band. Now move onto the rest of the hair on the other side and do the same. At this point you can either cross the braids over each other and pin them on the other side, or pin one braid higher and one braid lower (as shown on Laure). You may need to flip the braid over to make it curve nicer. Tuck the end of the braid under your hair and pin in as many places as you need. This braid looks great a little messy, so dig your fingers into the braid to loosen it and pull a few strands out. A crochet hook is great for this if you have one on hand.

All photos by Kate Miss, top and bottom photos taken with a Mamiya 645. Laure’s dress is from Mohawk General Store and necklace by Kate Miss

Credits: (please kindly include if you re-blog, pin or put on tumblr)
Photos: Kate Miss
Model: Laure Joliet
Braids by: Alison Brislin (twitter/instagram)

Weekly Goods: Beauty Products

I thought it was time for an update to my original beauty post from a year ago. I’ve really become more of a tried and true kind of person with the products I use, but a huge difference in my life from a year ago is my financial situation – starting your own business means that splurging on fancy products at Sephora will make you feel guilty for weeks – so they better either be totally worth it (hello, Clarisonic) or you need to find cheaper alternatives. I haven’t found a lot of cheaper alternatives so far, but some.

1. Sephora Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain – last year I was using Benetint, the $30 bottle that made my cheeks perfectly rosy. But that bottle of liquid gold was the most expensive beauty product I used, so I tried the Sephora cheek stain and never looked back. It’s only $12 and seriously lasts forever- since the summer I’ve only replaced it once and I use it every single day on my cheeks. It’s terrible as a lip stain for me, but so was Benetint. I also really like that it’s a gel, which is easier to apply and less messy than liquid. I use Pinot.

2. Organix Coconut Milk Weightless Mousse – a lot of you have asked me what I use for my hair, and my position on hair products hasn’t changed much since last year – my hair is so “normal” I’m not loyal to anything and don’t care about hair products much. However, my new haircut requires some styling product or I look like I belong on Three’s Company. So far I love this mousse because it smells amazing and isn’t too crunchy or sticky – plus it’s affordable and I can get it at the drug store. I run it through my damp hair, scrunch and then let it air dry.

3. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm – I know a lot of people have been singing the praises of this lip balm for a while, but I finally tried it and love it. I have it in Tiger Lily and it’s just a tiny bit of peachy color and shine on my lips for every day use. Also an affordable drug store buy.

4. Clarisonic Mia – OK, this is the splurge. You’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about this, and for good reason. It’s a miracle worker for me. I use it once a night with my Boscia face wash and my skin has never been clearer, my pores smaller, or my skin softer. Like any beauty product it’s not for everyone, but if you break out or your face peels, try the sensitive brushes before giving up. I have relatively sensitive skin and I haven’t needed them, however.

5. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock – This is my latest cheaper version discovery. I was never one to wear SPF every day on my face, but since moving to LA and all this cancer business, I don’t leave the house without it. But I have super oily skin and it’s hard to find one that doesn’t feel greasy. I was using Boscia, which is fantastic for those of us with oily skin, but it’s only SPF 15 and not affordable. I tried some other pricey options at Sephora before finally realizing that I should try out some drug store options. This Neutrogena sunblock is the absolute best – it goes on like a moisturizer but immediately absorbs and you don’t even know it’s there. It also doesn’t smell like sunblock one bit. $10 miracle.

Phew! Ok, that’s it. So, any new products you guys are using? Any cheaper alternatives you’ve switched to that you love? I could talk beauty products forever, it’s one of the few things I’m quite “girly” about.