A Tip for Your Topknot

Elizabeth Mayville Topknot Illustration
{image source}

I like big buns and I cannot lie.

But for a style that looks so effortless, it can be awfully tricky to master the just-messy-enough topknot. Or maybe it’s just me. Anyone else get a cockatoo crest on the majority of attempts?

{Yeah, it’s probably just me.}

In last month’s issue of Allure, there was a feature on How to Get Surfer-Girl Hair. It shared a tip that totally changed my topknot game: Start by working two big handfuls of mousse into your dry hair from roots to ends. The mousse gives your hair some volume and grip, making it much easier to twist into a bun without any weird pieces jutting out.

When you’re sufficiently moussed — don’t be shy; handfuls, ladies —  flip your head and roughly dry your hair with a blowdryer and your fingers. While you’re still upside down, gather all your hair into a super-high pony and secure it to the top of your head with an elastic. Give that pony a good backcombing with a teasing brush, then twist it around the base and secure with bobby pins.

Spritz it with a salt spray or hairspray for extra hold, and you’re done!

And now a confession (judge me if you will):

I used this trick to put my hair into a topknot on Monday evening, when I realized I wouldn’t have time to wash and dry before heading to a friend’s house for her birthday dinner. I slept on it for two nights, only adding a bobby pin here and there each morning to fix any loose pieces.

2.5 days of wear from five minutes of styling? I’ll take it all day and twice on Sunday.

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Little Black Romper

A Pretty Penny | LOFT Romper and Isola Adette Sandals

LOFT Roll Sleeve Romper
Isola Adette Sandals (via Hautelook)
Big Buddha wristlet
JORD Ely maple watch (c/o)

If they weren’t such a pain every time you use the loo, I’d happily live in [tasteful] rompers and playsuits.

“Here, put on this one thing. Ok, good to go.”

I bought this one from LOFT at the start of summer, before it went on sale. It seemed like a big splurge to drop $80 on a romper, but I’ve worn it no fewer than twenty times: dressed up on a date night, dressed down to the shop, over a swimsuit with my Havaianas; it’s one of the most versatile pieces in my closet right now.

Home Sweet Home: My Interior Inspiration and a New Blog Feature

I was 21 when C and I completed construction on our home. Getting that head start was one of the greatest blessings of my life; I count my lucky stars every day for our little hacienda, and if I have my way, we’ll have many more years there.

I didn’t know the first thing about interior design back then (and there was no such thing as Pinterest, if you can even imagine) so I went the safe neutral route: white burber carpet, cream walls, and cream couches from Rooms to Go. We were really young and really broke, so there wasn’t extra cash lying around for accoutrements: besides the red and brown throw pillows that came with the couches and a few matching candleholders from Pier 1, the first several years were bland, y’all.

Over time, we slowly made improvements as we could afford them, including replacing the white carpet that puppy-Doak destroyed with laminate flooring and picking up accessories here and there. Those neutral couches worked in my favor: I could easily switch up the feel of the living room with some new throw pillows and an inexpensive rug.

Now eight years later, our home is an eclectic mix of the first pieces we purchased, some well loved hand-me-downs, lots of bargain finds, and a few special family heirlooms (my grandmother’s cedar chest of drawers is the media console in our living room).

After all that time spent living in floor-to-ceiling beige, I can’t get enough color in our space. Last year we painted a few accent walls in a cornflower blue — which terrified me at first, but now I love it — and started layering in some vibrant greens and golds, bright reds, and small pops of orange.

The trick is finding a balance that makes both of us comfortable — fresh and bright, but not too fussy or feminine — and works with our budget and lifestyle. I just can’t get on board with spending $60 on a throw pillow that C is going to nap on and smoosh (no matter how many times I tell him they’re for decoration) or splurge on an area rug that we’re almost guaranteed to spill on because I’m a big klutz and can’t handle my wine.

While I’m still no expert, I’d like to start sharing some of my favorite home stuff on A Pretty Penny: DIY projects, design inspiration, and peeks at my space. With a budget-friendly focus, of course, because that’s how I roll.

It seemed appropriate to kick things off by sharing some spaces that inspire me: cozy and colorful happy homes that make you want to stay a while.

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life & style. fresh-picked {almost} daily.

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