Wednesday, January 16, 2013

[DIY Inspiration] Fleece

A while back, I was digging through the remnant bin at my local fabric store, and couldn't resist a length of pink and white paisley fleece. I loved the bright colors and the buttery soft fabric, but had no idea what to do with it. We've all seen the knotted-edge fleece scarves and blankets a million times, and we've all made fun of our friend who wears a North Face jacket in Southern California like a serious adventurer, but I didn't have enough fabric, even if I did want to add another kitschy blanket to my snuggly little collection. I wanted to find a project that would make even my wild-patterned fleece look chic. The answer?
Troll Pinterest. Duh.
Here are a few projects I found that don't involve adding animal ears to something:
Heart-Shaped Hand Warmers [Tutorial Here]
Rosette Scarf [Available for Purchase Here]
Ear Warmers [Tutorials Here]
Ruffled Bow Scarf [Available for Purchase Here]
Boot Liners [Available for Purchase Here]

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

[How To] Make Cheap Jewelry Last Longer

I'm an addict. A costume jewelry addict. I love giant fake rubies, blinged out giraffes, giant faux-pearl encrusted flowers. The only problem with these bodacious baubles is that they turn me green. Yeeeuch.
This color changing extravaganza happens when certain metals reacts with the acids on your hands. Many of these metals are used as a base or mixed in the alloy that covers the base-- and not only in cheap jewelry! Although this green transfer isn't harmful, it is super annoying. I've tried using nail polish to coat the outside of my oxidizing rings, but it usually ended up flaking off after a couple of wears and took forever to dry. This method works much better!
You will need:
Your cheap jewelry
Spray can of clear glossy finish
newspaper or other dropcloth
Lay your newspaper down in a well-ventilated area and lay your jewelry out with plenty of space in-between each piece. Following the directions on your spray can, spray a light even coat on your bling. Wait at least an hour and turn your pieces over to spray again. Wait 24 hours before wearing or storing your jewelry. You may have to reapply every few months, depending on how often you wear these pieces.

Monday, January 14, 2013

[DIY] Floral Headbands

Although we don't really have seasons in San Diego, it is noticeably colder from November to February...if 50 degrees is cold? Brr! Anyway, who couldn't use a reminder of springtime every now and then? Florals will be rampant again this spring, so I decided to get a jump start on some cheery spring hair decor using leftover supplies to make more wearable versions of THIS DIY from last summer ;)

You will need:
Headband 1-
Small Fake Flowers (I used about 12 from a large bunch)
Skinny Plastic Headband

Headband 2-
1 Large Flower
Elastic Headband

For both-
Hot Glue Gun
To make the first headband, cut the small flowers off of their stems, as close to the actual flower as possible, leaving no stem. Put a dot of hot glue on the top center of your headband and push one of your flowers into the glue.
Glue a flower to each side of your center flower and repeat until you have the look you want. Try your headband on between every couple layers of flowers to determine how many more to add.
 A super simple runway look for next to nothing!

 For the second headband, take your large flower, and cut off the stem to make your flower lay completely flat.
 Separate the layers of your flower and discard the green plastic backing. Glue the layers back together, only putting glue in the centers of the pieces. Make sure to match up the holes so that you can fit your middle piece back in.

 Put a big glob of hot glue on the back of your flower and press your headband into the glue. Don't go easy here, I'm talking a GOOD amount of glue. You want there to be glue around the sides of the headband to help keep it in place. It should dry within a minute or two.

Now you have two floral headbands to cheer up your winter and help you jump-start into spring!

Friday, January 11, 2013

[DIY] Travel Cold Cups

This was a super quick DIY derived from THIS easy tutorial I posted back in November. Instead of travel mugs, I used cold drink travel cups from the dollar store, similar to the popular Starbucks travel cups. I used the same E6000 glue and rhinestones, covering the outside of the cup. As opposed to the Starbucks version, this bright DIY is much more cheerful and unique!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

[How to] BIG Hair

One thing I constantly get a lot of questions about is HOW I do my hair. I have naturally wavy hair, but I normally wear it straight with lots of layers and pumped up in the back. This tutorial is crazy long, but hopefully its descriptive enough for you to re-create this look yourself!
 You will need:
Teasing brush or comb
Freeze-It "Original Freeze" Hairspray (any hairspray will work, but this brand works THE best!)
Flat Iron
Heat Protecting Spray (I use Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Flat Iron Protector Straightening Mist with Argon Oil, mostly because it has the longest name in the world)
Start with clean or one-day-dirty hair! This is my natural wavy hair with zero product. Blehhh frizz!
First, using your heat protecting spray, straighten your hair. It should be suuuuper straight, so even if you already have naturally straight hair, iron yo-self completely flat.
Supah straight!
Separate out your bangs (its way past time to trim mine, eek!), and find a section less than an inch thick across your crown from ear to ear. Pull this section straight up.
Now spray the back of that section with hair spray and let it set for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Then, tease the daylights out of the back of that section by combing backwards, from top to bottom starting about 4 inches up from your scalp. This is the part that is really bad for your hair, so I don't suggest doing this hairstyle every day!
Flip the first section to the front, over your bangs and out of the way. Pull out the next section, less than an inch thick, from ear to ear, and repeat. If you are going for a TON of volume, you can back-comb the front and back of each of the sections after the first one.
Flip the second section forward and repeat again. By now, there should be a fine layer of hairspray covering the entire room and working its way through the O-zone layer.
Okay, one more time. I usually do about four layers, but it depends on how thick you do each layer and how much volume you want. Lots of thinner sections with more back-combing for insane beehive volume, and less layers for just a little bit of oomph.
Cousin It status.
Now flip the whole mess back over your head. Don't worry, we aren't finished quite yet!
Use your brush to smooth your hair back and shape it into a round-ish sort of deal. It will lose volume when you do this, so make sure you do enough teasing in the previous steps to get the heighth you want. You can always make your bouffant smaller, but its a much bigger pain to go back and re-tease the layers you already did.
So there you go, big hair! No bump-its here!
Add a bow or a headband to make your hair stand out even more, as well as support the shape throughout the day!
 If you have any questions, or if you have any back-combing tips, leave them in a comment on this post!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tehran Street Style

A street vendor selling wigs to women in the bazaar in Tehran.
As many of you know, I recently returned from a trip to visit family in Tehran, Iran (see my post on it HERE). The culture in Iran is very different from what we are used to in more Western countries. Because Iran is an Islamic Republic, they operate under Islamic Law, which includes a strict modest dress code. The Visa application website lays down these specifications:

Hijab- the traditional dress code of Muslim women, can also refer to any of the pieces of clothing this involves
Roosari- scarf or hat that covers the head and neck
Manteau- a loose cloak or mantle
Chador- a large piece of dark covered cloth wrapped around the head and body leaving only the face exposed
These women are dressed in the standard Islamic hijab. The college-aged woman on the left wears a roosari headscarf and manteau jacket. The middle-aged woman on the left wears a longer, more conservative jacket. Many women choose dark colors like these,  but it is not mandatory.
The women behind me in this photo are wearing chadors. This is often worn by middle-aged and older women who are very religious. Some places, like certain mosques, require that a chador is worn by women entering. If this is the case, there will usually be a small booth right outside where you can borrow or rent one.
Here I am in my roosari. Don't mind my knitted hat underneath, it was cold! I chose to use a rectangular scarf wrapped around and over...
...while some choose to fold a square scarf into a triangle and tie it under the chin. My mom prefers this option because she feels the scarf doesn't slip around as much.
Mens street style is obviously very eclectic. Many of them have very well-groomed eyebrows and spiked hair. Almost all of the jeans, men's and women's, have this sort of acid-washed effect.
Here is another example of a roosari and manteau, worn by my sister. She was wearing walking shoes, since we were sight-seeing that day, but many of the girls in Iran, especially in the winter time, wear skinny jeans tucked into boots, or thick black opaque tights. Although it is supposedly against the rules, makeup and nail polish are also very common, as well as opulent gold jewelry.
Brand names are VERY popular, but because of the cost, as well as the current sanctions,  it is difficult to obtain some things. Knockoffs are readily available, especially for popular brands like Nike, Puma, Adidas, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, and Dior.
Here is my sister posing with one of her purchases, a very fake Gucci bag that came out to about two American dollars after conversion. You can also see a more popular way to wear a roosari, slightly pushed back off the crown with a little bit of hair showing. Many girls also wore their hair piled on top of their heads, or wore a plastic "bump-it" type of thing to make their scarves tent above their heads. If you don't want to call a lot of attention to yourself, it is suggested not to wear a lot of green, as that is the color being used to represent the revolution.
While visiting the Golestan Palace, we found a booth where you could dress up in traditional Iranian clothing and they would take your picture with the palace grounds as your backdrop. My sister and I had fun dressing up in the beautiful brightly colored clothing.
The Islamic dress code is enforced everywhere outside of the home, but it is not acceptable to be alone with members of the opposite gender who are not family members. We visited in the wintertime, so it wasn't difficult to stay covered up, but having been previously during the summertime, it can get very hot. In the summer, it is acceptable to wear sandals, and I would recommend wearing a lighter fabric roosari and manteau. You also don't need to wear anything under your manteau if it is very hot outside. Nobody will know the difference! 
Underneath the hijab, people dress about the same as they do in America. When traveling to an Islamic country, it is better to err on the side of modesty, but above all, dress in clothing that makes you comfortable and expresses your personal style.