“Do I look cray-cray?”
If you’re a smoker, you may already have one of these in your purse, but if you’re not, dash on down to the drugstore, and pick yourself up a cheap, disposable lighter. These brightly colored, flame-producing confabulations are absolute wonders in the beauty world, and one so few casual artists seem to own.
These little wonders are absolute godsends with pencil eyeliners. Now, you might be thinking, “Gee, Sam, something about heat and my eye just doesn’t sound smart.” And you’d be right. Please, kind ladies and gentlemen, the lighter should not get anywhere near your actual eye with this (or any) trick.
Now, flick that little lever to get your lighter lit, and wave the tip of your favorite eyeliner right through the very top of the flame. One…two…three times.
At this point, your eyeliner is gonna look a little sad and…amorphous. No worries! If you want a fantastic kohl-like application, go straight ahead and draw that line (you may want to test it on the back of your hand first, without blotting, to make sure the tip isn’t too hot). Now, blot the tip on the back of your hand (I would suggest using a tissue, but you don’t want to pick up any fuzzies) to remove any excess and to test the heat level. If it feels too hot, keep it away from your eyes for another second or two, and test again on your hand (NOTE: this means you left it in the flame too long).
What you do next depends on the effect you want. If you want a gorgeous, crayon-like application that you plan to smudge a bit, let it set for 3-5 seconds, and then apply. If you simply want a longer lasting, precise application, blot off the rest, let it set for 5-10 seconds, and apply.
2. Butterfly Clips
I know that only a few of you are going to trust me on this one, but it really does work wonderfully, so I hope you give it a try.
For this tool to work effectively, you’ll want to blow dry your hair until it’s completely bone-dry, and hopefully with some sort of product in it (I’ve found a texturizing or setting lotion works best). Do you know those butterfly clips that people tend to keep in their kitchen drawer? The ones for closing unfinished bags of almond granola or sour cream and onion crisps? Grab an armful, and haul â€˜em up into your bathroom. These are going to help you create a perfectly even and not-so-perfectly disheveled wave in your hair (you know, the kind that one of your friends has naturally, and it’s just not fair!).
Starting at eyelevel, take a clip (I like the medium-size ones) and a section of hair, and, using a finger, push this section up and into the clip (the “teeth” should be parallel to the floor and close to your scalp). Do this on the other side as well.
Next, do the same thing at jaw level on either side. Each of these should create a section roughly one-fifth of the total of your hair. Section out a fifth directly on the back of your head, and place one clip up near the crown of your head (remember to pull the section up and into the clip to avoid flatness) and one at about eyelevel.
At this point, you should have two “un-clipped” fifths left. Add a clip on both of these at the eyelevel line only to create a believable wave. This pattern is going to give you that slightly rough, modern look with a wave only through the mid-section.
Lastly, grab your blow-dryer, and on low speed, but medium to high heat, blow over the clips for a good 3-5 minutes. Then, hit the hair with the cool setting for a few seconds before removing the clips. Run your fingers through your hair a bit to settle it, and add a smoothing lotion or light setting cream to set the look. All done!
This final often overlooked beauty tool is perhaps a bit bourgeois, but effective. Give Lunchlady Doris a call and ask for her hairnet. This semi-crude piece of work can do wonders for eliminating the frizz that often accompanies heat styling. For short hair, after applying product to damp hair and styling as desired, slip this piece on before blow drying to keep every hair in place, and to make sure that gorgeous look stays in place all day long.
For long hair, this thing can work magic when used with the previous clip trick. Simply wrap it around all of the clips to help keep those waves in check, sans the awful flyaways.
With these three rather odd, often overlooked beauty tools in your kit, you’ll undoubtedly have your friends asking where you found the time for that bangin’ blowout, and what new brand of eyeliner you’re using.
Ah, if only they knew…