Curling irons fail at giving effortlessly natural waves!

I read an article a while ago about how to achieve waves in your hair that didn’t look super perfect, and avoided the “glamour shots” look that is so not desirable.  For those of you that didn’t grow up in the subarbs around Toronto, Glamour Shots was this boutique/salon/photo shop that briefly set itself up in malls in Canada I believe during the 90’s, or sometime near there.  This was when looking like a model or actress was a female fantasy, and getting done up at the photo boutique was supposed to be as close as you can get to “looking” like a Hollywood siren. Only the makeovers were very laughable.  Just overdone make-up, and very tight spiral curls, and unflattering bedroom clothes that seemed to add ten pounds to your body and face.  Maybe because 10 pounds is close to the amount of make-up they smeared on a client.

Anyways, getting back onto topic, for many years after the fad, I’ve adored texture and wave, and have used curling irons to occasionally fulfill my need for wavy hair drama.  I resorted to using a thicker barrel curling iron, so that the waves would seem more natural.  But the results were still quite done up, and larger curls sometimes meant less defined pretty waves. What I craved was that look you get with hair that is naturally wavy, like you had just gotten out of bed, and it was effortlessly full of texture and drama.  Mermaid waves, as it is called.    This is impossible to get with a hot iron.   The only way I could get mermaid waves was to use sea salt spray (I make my own), then tie my hair into tiny little buns and wait for them to dry.  The problem with this was that it took a lot of time to dry without damaging heat from a dryer.  The solution was to get curls while sleeping, when no one would see me in this altered state of scrunchied strangeness.  By using soft small scrunchies to hold my hair in buns, I was able to sleep after sea salting my hair, and I would wake up with gorgeous flow-y curls that were messy and natural.

How to use scrunchies for natural heatless waves:

1.  Use them to hold your buns!  After spraying sea salt spray evenly in you hair (check out my homemade sea salt spray recipe), twist your hair into a couple of tiny LOOSE buns.  I usually do four buns for more defined curls, but you could also do one big bun…tie down your buns with your scrunchies!

Not a pretty hairstyle at all!  But do at at night when no one is looking!  I made my own scrunchies!
Not a pretty hairstyle at all! But do at at night when no one is looking! I made my own scrunchies!

2.  Go to sleep and let the night do its wonders. Because of a looser bun and soft scrunchies, this curling way is actually comfortable enough to sleep in.

3.  In the morning remove the scrunchies to reveal a natural curly wave, not overly done up and hot-iron looking at all!  I feel this curl looks best after 2 days, when it has had time to relax.  Enjoy the texture and wave, and don’t let anyone know your curls aren’t natural!

After a few days, the curls relax and look uneven and undone.  Like you fell out of bed with wavy hair!
After a few days, the curls relax and look uneven and undone. Like you fell out of bed with wavy hair!

The “no make-up” make-up look for realsies…

Nobody wants to look like a hoochie mama, with thick make-up and colours layered all over the face.  When I was younger, I would wear a lot of make-up, and for some reason, it didn’t age me.  Now that I’m getting more experienced with make-up and looking at it on faces, I don’t think more is necessarily better.  What has been on all the runways, and make-up magazine these days is this minimal, natural, “no makeup look”.  Kind of athletic, and Plain Jane looking, but polished and slightly seductive (think bronzer, defined brows and a nude lip).  The ironic thing though, is that in reality, this “look” relies on tons of concealer, shadows, primers and heavy lipsticks…

runway fashion model close-up
runway fashion model close-up
j-lo also rocking the no make-up look.  but we know she is probably wearing tons!
j-lo also rocking the no make-up look. but we know she is probably wearing tons!

As you can see in the photos above, this look does work.  The problem with the “no make-up” tutorials I’ve seen are that it kind of defeats the purpose of wearing less/no make-up, which is: 1) Speed (getting ready in record time is awesome for gals that like to sleep in).  2) Lightness (wearing heavy make-up, even for the illusion of “no make up” is still gunky feeling if slathered on). And 3) Doesn’t really look like “no make-up”, because it isn’t, far from.

I think the only way to truly have a no make-up look is with minimal and light make-up application.  During the day, I sometimes want a light make-up look, that looks better and more put together than no make-up, and also feels fun and low maintenance.  You know, in case I run into an ex-boyfriend during grocery shopping or something! 🙂 But yeah, to achieve this look, I think you really have to wear less make up, instead of adding more to give an illusion of less.  It helps if you take care of your skin and have naturally nice skin too, that is half the work.

3 kinds of make up needed daily:

1.  Mascara:  Omigosh, this is so important. Without it, eyes can look sleepy, even after 3 cups of coffee, and you are bouncing off the walls.

2.  Blush: I used to always skip blush when I was in college in my early twenties.  I used to think it looked weird on me to constantly be in a state of “flushed”.  But now I can see if done with the right blush colour, and using not too much, it actually looks quite natural and good!

3.  Defined brows!  Brows are most often over-looked by people who don’t wear a lot of make-up.  For some reason, having lightly defined brows, (filling them in with a powder colour) can make a huge difference over the whole look of your face.  It’s like a frame for your eyes, and gets people to look at them!

What can be skipped:

1. Lipstick.  I actually find lipstick to be kind of gross.  Not only is it filled with heavy metals and chemicals, it’s thick and messy to use.  It also dries out lips severely.  Since I stopped using lipstick, my lips never dry out and are in a happy state of pink!  I prefer a tinted lip balm if I want extra colour!

2. Foundation.  I like foundation/bb cream when it’s needed.  For more formal looks or for going out, and for work, it’s a necessity.  Set it with powder.  But for an errand day, I don’t think it’s necessary at all.  It dries out the face, and when used too thickly, looks cakey and can amplify fine lines.  On errand days, I cut it with face cream to moisturize and cover ever so slightly.  I set it with powder if needed.

3. Eyeliner/eye shadow.  The reason I skip this on light days is that overly defined eyes always look heavy and noticeably made up.  Eyes naturally have a way of defining themselves, with lashes, and also with the shape and natural shadow they produce.  Adding liner is not a must, and while it looks great for going out and photos, in daily life, it sometimes feels a bit much.

This is only blush, eyebrows and mascara with a touch of shadow.  I did sneak in tinted moisturizer...
This is only blush, eyebrows and mascara with a touch of shadow. I did sneak in tinted moisturizer and tinted lip balm, but it’s still a really light application!  But it is enough!

Conclusion: While I love make-ups and different make-up looks, sometimes I actually feel wearing too much ages me a bit.  My skin has gotten more delicate and sensitive with age, and doesn’t seem to want to be a blank canvas for me to cover with loads of make-up as I did in my youth.  They were fun times but how about showcasing good skin to begin with?  How about less focus on covering up, and more focus face care options for clean and healthy skin?

Are there any make-up trends that you agree/disagree with?  What have you changed about your make-up routine as you grew up and changed yourself?