Thursday, January 30, 2014

hair extension care

I've had my second set of hair extensions for almost six months now. I've taken care of this set much better than my old set that only lasted two months. While I don't wear my extensions everyday (because sometimes I'm too lazy), I've gotten much better at taking care of them so they stay clean, soft, and blend well. This post is dedicated to my tips on washing, styling, and traveling with hair extensions, with a few tips on blending them into your hairstyle.
First off, I use the Euronext 18 inch set in dark brown from Sally's Beauty Supply, since my hair stylist recommended it. I went into the store to find the shade closest to my natural hair color.
After I took these photos for an outfit post (left), I got the extensions and tweeted this one later that day!
Washing, Traveling, Styling, and Blending Tips:

Washing
At Sally's, the ladies there showed me what kind of products I should be using. (On my old set, I didn't use any products, so they got ruined pretty quickly.) About once a month (since I don't wear them every day) I wash the extensions with this shampoo and spray in this leave-in conditioner. I LOVE that this set smells like a hair salon!

It's up to you on how long you between washing your extensions. I do about once a month since I don't wear them every day, and when I do, I don't always style them with products. When they feel kind of rough and crunchy is when you know you should absolutely wash them!

After washing, lay the extensions flat and on a towel. I wouldn't recommend blow drying them.

Traveling
It can be tricky taking extensions with you when you are traveling. Sometimes clip-ins can get uncomfortable and you don't want to wear them on the plane. For me, when I had my 10+ hour flight to Italy last August, I just wore them the whole way there. Personally, I think clip-ins are pretty comfortable if they're clipped in right. They also did not set off the metal detector going through security in the US, Amsterdam (my layover), and Italy.
If you don't want to wear them on a flight or during a road trip, you can stow them in your suitcase. When I do that, I tie them together with a hair tie, and keep them in a plastic bag. This way, they have less of a chance of getting tangled in other things or getting spilled on from accidental liquid leaks.

If you want to use an actual hair extension travel carrier, this one from Etsy would work and has a fun zebra print. I haven't tried using a travel carrier, but they seem like an easy and safe way to travel with extensions.

Styling Products
My number one rule with styling hair extensions is to always use heat protectant. It's really important to do this to protect the extensions, because even if they are human hair, they're not "alive" and attached to the scalp anymore. Does that make sense? It sounds kind of gross...haha. I spray heat protectant on the ends of my real hair in addition to any part of my extensions that will get heat.

After styling, a leave-in conditioner will further protect the extensions and keep them somewhat moisturized. I use this kind from Sally's.

Lastly, use the lowest heat setting possible on your curling iron or flat iron. My hair doesn't hold curl easily, so I bump it up just a little past the lowest setting.
The lighting/shadows in this photo make my hair look two different shades...it's all the same! Haha, I promise!
Tips for Blending
Curling your hair extensions is the best way to make them blend into your real hair, in my opinion. Especially if your extensions aren't quite the right shade (mine are just a tad lighter), curling will make your hairstyle look more "real." (And also more voluminous!) I use this curling wand.
--Side note: my old set of extensions faded dramatically and it looked like I had ombre hair. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't....so far my newer set hasn't faded in color. You can see what it looked like at the bottom of this post.

Depending on what it looks like, you don't need to wear every piece in the set. My set has four layers with four small side pieces. I only wear two layers with the side pieces because if I wear every piece the extensions won't blend.

If I'm wearing a side ponytail or braid, I don't wear the small side pieces.

A teasing comb just may be your hair extensions' BFF. After clipping in the layers, tease the hair above the clips to hide the clips. You don't want the extension clips to show!

If you have any more tips on hair extension care, let me know in the comments!

xo-ally

Sunday, January 26, 2014

plaid

 Madewell shirt (loving this one) | Chanel sunglasses | Hudson jeans | Max & Chloe monogram necklace | Kate Spade long necklace | Aritzia carigan (similar) | Boots from Italy (similar) | Longchamp bag | Forever 21 belt (similar)

xo-ally

Saturday, January 25, 2014

tumblr saturday #87

Happy weekend! Here are a few of my faves floating around Tumblr this week.
yourfavouritechild:

New Orleans
How beautiful is this?

Cool kitchen backsplash.

Gorgeous photo of an outdoor party!

Puppies in a truck. How cute :)
classycarolinagirl:

😍
Boys that wear bow ties - thumbs up.
whalesandwayfarers:

sailboattotheseaside:

this is to cute

 Beyond adorable.

love this!
Love this American flag cake!

xo-ally

Thursday, January 23, 2014

spend vs. save: midi skirts

I've been a fan of midi skirts since they resurfaced on the runways in the past couple of years, but have yet to try one for myself. I feel like they're somewhat hard to find, but maybe it's because the kind I'm lusting for are the colorful, full midis and not the slimmer-fit calf skimmers. A big, billowy skirt and a pair of heels would be enough to make me feel like a princess for a day, and luckily not blow my budget - thanks to some budget-friendly options. Here are a couple of beautiful, higher priced midis and a few of their less-expensive counterparts (plus, how to wear them).

SPEND:


SAVE:



HOW TO WEAR IT:

jacket, skirt, top, clutch, sandals

I'm in love with this tulle midi skirt. The princess-y feel of the skirt calls for balancing out the look with an edgier motorcycle jacket and a mock neck crop top. A bright envelope clutch adds some much needed color and the heeled sandals (always wear heels with midi skirts) add some height and make the legs look taller despite the skirt's longer hem.

xo-ally

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

windowpane

J. Crew top (on sale!) | Marc Jacobs sunglasses (similar) | Italian leather jacket (similar) | Nordstrom arrow bracelet | J. Crew enamel link bracelet (similar) | GJG jeans | Tory Burch flats | Laurenly ring | Longchamp bag

Anything checkered/gingham/windowpane/whatever has always been my favorite pattern (stripes are a very close second). Bold, graphic windowpane patterns have caught my eye for a while and when I saw this black and white top from J. Crew, I knew I had to add it to my wardrobe. I added shiny and sleek accessories (leather jacket, Longchamp, and Tory Burch patent Revas) with a couple pops of pink to complete the look.

xo-ally

Monday, January 20, 2014

tumblr monday #86

Happy...Monday! This weekend's Tumblr Saturday is a little late, but here are a few of my faves floating around Tumblr this past week!

Colorful macaroons (making me dream of Southern France)
Love these
Love these sandals in this shade of pink!
Leighton Meester mixing prints

Love the simplicity of this outfit.
rogerwilkerson:

MLK - August 28, 1963
Happy MLK Day

xo-ally

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

spend vs. save: geometric sunglasses

I've had my eyes on a pair of geometric sunglasses for a while now. Sharp, angular sunglasses take eyewear to a modern level, while traditional shades like black and tortoise keep the look from being too "out-there."

Spend:



Save:


How to wear it:
What is your take on geometric sunglasses - would you try the trend?

xo-ally

Monday, January 13, 2014

alla prossima, italia

Alla prossima, Italia...
I just got back to the States a couple of days ago and have been trying to recover from pulling two all-nighters, plus a 9-hour time difference. Jet lag is back once again!

While I'm very excited to be back in my hometown and get some time to catch up with some friends I haven't seen in a while, I will still miss some things about living in Italy.

There are plenty of other places in the world I have yet to explore and am just dying to see. (Thailand? South Africa? Australia? Yesssss.) I do hope to make it back to Italy at least once more in my lifetime though! 

xo-ally

Saturday, January 11, 2014

tumblr saturday #84/85

Happy weekend! Here are a few of my faves floating around Tumblr the past two weeks. (I have had very little internet access the past week due to traveling and tech issues - will be posting more regularly soon!)
Polka dots & bows
Gorgeous home - the walkway, the trees, the windows...beautiful!
Okay, this ring is SO pretty.
Let's cover the world with glitter and pearls...
Cool photo.
Cute boy ;)
I love the blue chairs at the kitchen table.

xo-ally

Saturday, January 4, 2014

and...it's already january 4th!


I cannot believe it's already January 4th! When did this happen? I've had so much going on these past few days that it is hard to process that it is even actually the new year. It is crazy how much happens in a year, and how little changes over time turn into big changes looking back.

Some highlights of 2013:

It was my last semester of college. 2013 was always "the big year" in my mind, when I would eventually finish school. My last semester went by so fast. I enjoyed my last performances with Gonzaga Dance Team, taught zumba classes every Monday and was extremely busy with being a full-time student in addition to internships, group projects, yearbook, and plenty of other things. Oh, and applying to post-grad jobs...and writing my senior thesis (which was on public relations and fashion bloggers)!



Going to Las Vegas for the first part of Spring Break was a huge highlight of my senior year! Spring Break was always the most-needed break every year, and senior year especially. After Vegas, I spent the rest of the week in Colorado with my best friend Jenn.



The rest of my senior year still flew by, and during all the craziness I managed to have a lot of fun spending time with my friends, whether it was going to the Florida Georgia Line concert on campus, social club for the away games during basketball season, baseball games when the weather got a little nicer, Easter brunch together on Easter weekend, and Senior Ball in April. On the night of graduation, I revealed myself as the anonymous person behind @gonzagaproblems, which was interesting. I actually thought a lot more people knew it was me, but guess not! Haha. It was a fun, humorous Twitter account I made my junior year that somehow caught on.


I miss my apartment :/



After college graduation, the most bittersweet day of my life, I went back to Seattle to look for jobs. Only two weeks after graduation, I was employed! Working in DC (and New York) for the summer was an amazing experience. I need to get back to DC somewhat soon - I loved it.







Then, in August, came Euroadventures. I was able to live my travel dreams by working for a travel company in Florence, Italy. I went back to the city where I studied abroad and was able to meet some awesome people and go to some awesome places. While I decided not to stay an extra semester, I am going to miss it a lot. (And get serious FOMO when the Munich and French Riviera trips start up again).











In a few days I'll return to the States. As of now, I really don't know what is next for me. I'm doing the job hunt once again and hope to find an awesome, creative job that I am passionate about! Or at least something I enjoy doing. I hope to somehow find a way to keep dancing, start teaching Zumba again, and hopefully continuing to travel. We'll just have to wait and see!

Did you have a great 2013? What are you looking forward to most in 2014?

xo-ally