Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beauty: Fish Tales

I’m back with another post about long hair! On rainy days (and lazy days) I love throwing my hair up in a braid. I recently discovered two new and adorable braided hairstyles and learned to make them from YouTube tutorials.

The first is a fishtail braid, which involves dividing your hair into two sections (as opposed to three for a standard braid). Take a small piece from the back of one of the sections and wrap it around the front, adding it to the section on the opposite side. Trust me, it’s easier to do than it is to explain. I don’t know anything about the hair extensions company this girl does marketing for, but she explains the basics of fishtail braiding pretty well:


I haven’t tried this style yet, but the girl in the tutorial also did a video explaining how to create a French-braided “headband” with long, loose curls:


The second hairstyle I’m really into is the Heidi look, which is slightly more complicated but totally worth it. This video tutorial from one of the masterminds behind photography/vintage/DIY site Strawberry Koi is a great introduction:

I couldn’t master the technique of braiding upward along the side of my head, so instead I started the two side braids as close as possible to the nape of my neck and then pulled them up and crossed them on the top. The great thing about this style is that you don’t need ultra-long hair to pull it off—if the side braids are long enough to overlap by a couple of inches at the top of your head, it will look just fine.

My favorite variation on this style is to simply braid all of my hair on one side, pull the braid over and bobby pin it in place, and then use a hair decoration to cover the exposed end:


Next time you’re fighting the elements, switch out your go-to bun or ponytail for a little something unique.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do it Yourself: Flight of Fancy


I found a trio of pheasant feathers at an estate sale that I suspect once adorned a lady’s broad-brimmed hat. Instead of channeling my inner milliner, I decided to use the 20 gauge copper-coated wire I had left over from my vintage button ring project to make one very dramatic earring. I winged it in my design (pun totally intended), so this is a do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do tutorial.

This video by Craftulous explains how to make basic feather earrings in 15-20 minutes, using only beading wire, needle-nosed pliers, wire cutters, and fishhook style earwires. The crimp covers, crimping pliers, and other types of pliers Craftulous mentions are not necessary.



Because I wrapped all three feathers together into one earring, I couldn’t get the wire wrapped around them as smoothly or as tightly as the woman in the video did, and I was afraid they might not be secure. A dab of hot glue on the tips of the feather shafts, at the very top of the wire wrap, solved the problem. I chose long red and brown feathers to compliment my hair’s color and length. Be imaginative; the sky’s the limit!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Odds N’ Ends: Oprah’s Height Report

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Andrea Grant, 6’1”

O Magazine ran a piece in 2009 with tips for dressing a tall figure. Via a slide show of women 5’10” and up, the author Lambeth Hochwald delivered fashion advice to tall women of various body types (how successfully is a matter of debate).

I agree with some of Hochwald’s prescriptions: high-waisted pants and skirts emphasize long legs, a sweetheart neckline flatters a larger bust, and wearing a belt at your natural waist draws attention to your slimmest point and makes curves look luscious. The most creative tip the author offers is to “solve the lanky-arms issue” with a three-tiered sleeve: “Find a tee with sleeves that hit the wrist, then add a cardigan and a jacket with pushed-up sleeves.”

However, I take issue with her suggestions that tall women need to deemphasize a long torso or wear asymmetrical tops to draw attention away from too-broad shoulders. And who says you can’t wear a monochromatic palate or a short skirt? It all depends on your level of comfort and where you are (in the club versus in the office).

The principal issue commenters had with the article is that one of its subjects, Andrea Grant of, is referred to as “voluptuous” and her dress as “svelte” because she’s 6’1” and wears a size 10.  The author suggests that feminine clothes “keep [Grant’s] height from being intimidating.” I’m sorry, but if a size 10 is what O Magazine writers consider plus-sized and unapproachable, they’re kidding themselves. I think Ms. Grant is gorgeous—why is it that fashion publications feel the need to reclassify women who are above a size 6 or 8?

What say you?