Stripes all over manicure ft Julep Maven It Girl box

Welcome to July!! This month I’ve partnered up with Julep, a Seattle-based nail parlor that also offers a monthly subscription box for the trendiest new polish colours based on your style quiz results. If the Julep Maven program sounds familiar, it’s probably because I’ve posted about my very first experience with them before becoming a partner.

This month I received the It Girl box (I opted for the Bombshell for my first box) and received the most vibrant colours for the summer:

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From left to right: Sasha (subtle coral), Daisy (bold yellow), Lily (bright fuchsia)

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Using Sasha and Daisy, I’m going to teach you how to do a super easy manicure with stripes! Start off with a base coat and a single coat of yellow (I used Daisy).

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Wait for the base coat to fully dry before moving on to the next step. This can take up to 30 minutes depending on how thick of a layer you use. I waited an hour just to be on the safe side. ;)

Next, cut a strip of tape (this can be as thick or as thin as you’d like it to be) and place it on the middle of your nail. Make sure that the edges are stuck down tightly with no air bubbles. This will ensure that you get clean lines when you remove the tape later.

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Paint a contrasting colour over top of your nail and tape. I used Sasha for this step as it both contrasted while complimenting the bold yellow. While the nail polish is still wet, remove the tape from your nail and you’re 99% done! All that’s left is a top coat and voila! A super easy way to get stripes on your nails.

Let me know if you guys try out this tutorial! I’d love to see your end results!

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The mane event

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Spring Soiree in Seattle hosted by Mane Blow Dry Bar and Cascade Ice. The evening consisted of mingling with other local bloggers, enjoying some delicious mixed beverages, and of course getting our hair did. The blow dry bar is a new concept to Seattle (but apparently very popular in LA), where all the stylists specialize in blow-outs and up-dos. Instead of having to pay a ton of money to get your hair styled at a regular hair salon for a special night out/event, the option to go to a blow dry bar is now available.

mane event
mane event

To prep for the event, everyone was asked to come with freshly washed and dried hair. This is basically my nightmare! I have extremely thick hair (especially since it’s been almost 5 months since I’ve had a haircut) and was tempted to straighten it before showing up. My selected style was a half up-do with loose curls. Look at these thick locks we started with:

mane event
hair

You can see a bit of how the transformation took place in the two photos above. Without the use of any additional product, my hair was curled using a flat iron (!!!) in about 15 minutes. From there, the top half was sectioned off and teased for a naturally voluminous “poof”. I couldn’t believe that my hair was held so securely with a special twisting method of pinning the hair back. I don’t even want to know how hard those six bobby pins had to work to hold my thick hair down!

mane event

Kate (on the right) was the sweetheart responsible for my adorable hairdo! She was such a doll throughout the whole process and taught me how to protect my hair when flat ironing it.

All whilst people were coming and going from the styling chairs, Cascade Ice was being served on the other end of the hair bar.

mane event
mane event

I learned that a regular margarita has upwards of 600 calories (thanks to the sugars in the drink mixes) and got to try the Cascade Ice version of a margarita with only 10 calories. As someone who enjoys the occasional mixed beverage, I was shocked by how much sugar is in a regular margarita. Who knew that having one of these beverages was almost the equivalent of a McD’s hamburger?! I didn’t!! The best part of these drinks are the fact that they’re locally made in Washington! Now I can get my hands on as many margaritas, cosmopolitans, or pina coladas as my little heart desires without being on a sugar high for the rest of the day.

There are also non-alcoholic, sparkling flavoured waters made by Cascade Ice (Strawberry Lemonade was my fav!). No one told me this while I was there, but after looking online for more Cascade Ice flavours, I found that the company offers a bunch of fun drink recipes on their website! Summer can’t come fast enough– I want to try all of these!

mane event

Long story short long, I had a really great time at the Spring Soiree. It was great to get out and meet other bloggers from the area and find a fun place to get all fancied-up!
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Hair tutorial: braided bangs

I’m just waiting to (finally) sync my phone to my laptop to get my photos from the weekend to finish off my Coachella recap, but until then, I thought it’d be fun to so a quickly hair tutorial!

The not-so-great perk of having side swept bangs is the fact that they seem to grow out super quickly. If you’re like me and only get your hair trimmed every two or three months (sometimes I’m really rebellious and wait five months!), you probably know exactly what I mean when I say my hair is in my eyes. :P

Since I’m working on growing out the rest of my hair, I decided to try something new with the bangs while keeping the side-swept look. Here’s a quick tutorial for how to make a braided headband that incorporates your bangs without losing the framing of the face that side swept bangs makes. We’re going for this look:

hair braid

For those of you who have naturally straight hair (lucky you!!), you can skip this first step. But if your hair has a bit of a personality of its own (like mine), you will need to prep your canvas. :)

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Step 1: Straighten your hair, including your bangs.

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As someone who straightens their hair almost every other day, it’s really important to have a good straightener that won’t damage your hair. (Side note: I’ve been eyeing one from the gdh Peacock Collection for a few weeks now. I’ve heard really good things about their ceramic hair straighteners and the versatility of using it for curling as well, which I’ve never been able to do with any of my current straighteners. Don’t even get me started with the colours… they’re just so fun and cute for the spring! The purple one is my fav of the collection!)

Step 2: Section off parts of your bangs that you want to incorporate into the braid.

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Step 3: Begin braiding from the left side (or the right, depending on which direction your bangs sweep in). This will help to anchor your braided bangs to maintain the “sweep” shape.

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Step 4: Incorporate your bangs using a French braid method. Little by little, braid in small strands of the bangs that you sectioned off in Step 2. Try not to braid too tightly towards the scalp. Since we want to maintain the side-swept look, braid in a downward direction away from the scalp without pulling too tightly on the strands of bangs.

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Step 5: Secure the braid in place. A lot of people like to use small rubber bands to hold braids together, but my hair always gets knotted in those so I try to avoid them as much as possible. I’ve found that using two bobby pins and pinning in an X shape holds the braid really well.

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TA-DA! And you’re done!!

Hope you enjoyed this simple hair braid tutorial! Let me know if you end up trying it! I’ve been wearing this ‘do at least once a week and love how something as simple as a braid can make a (usually boring) look so much more fun!

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Joining the Julep Maven

Just to disclaimer upfront: this is not a sponsored post. I decided to join the Julep Maven on my own and absolutely loved the introductory box I received. After joining, I also found this AWESOME deal where you can sign up for your own box for just $0.01 (so cheap!!) and shipping’s free, so you basically get to try out some nail polishes and hand scrub for less than the cost of a Big Mac (yes, that’s how I compare the value of things… to McD’s menu items).

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I thought it would be fun to share with you the unboxing of this package. It was a real delight to have such a chic, classy looking package (did I really just describe a cardboard box as being classy?) waiting for my in the mailbox and I didn’t know what to expect in terms of presentation and packaging when I opened it.

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After taking the Style Quiz to determine what box I would get, this is what I ended up with:

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I love how beautifully everything was packaged. The hand scrub was in a separate box from a fuchsia pink bag (wrapped with a black ribbon bow) that held the two nail polishes. There was also a nail file that came tucked neatly under the bow, which all sat beneath the cute Welcome cards at the very top of the box. I absolutely love the colours of the nail polishes I received. I got Oscar, a sparkly gold glitter, and Natasha, a vibrant orange/red.

If you love nail polish as much as I do, I definitely encourage you to try this. I signed up for a single introductory box, but I’m thinking of extending my subscription so I get a box every month. I love the idea of getting new nail polishes that are catered towards my personal tastes without having to stand in front of an overwhelmingly crowded shelf of colours trying to decide for myself.

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Coupon code: COLOR2012 gets you a Julep Maven introductory box for only $0.01 (regularly $19.99) and free shipping!! Now, when I signed up for the Julep Maven, I thought I was getting a deal since I found a coupon code for $14.99 off the price. With the coupon code above, you can get the box basically for free (just pay for taxes which are like $2?). Not too shabby for two bottle of nail polish and hand scrub!

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