November Lip Challenge – Week 4 & December Mini Lip Challenge — Week 1

Life has been crazy busy with the end of my school semester, various work obligations, the holidays and of course, my personal life.  Because I have fallen behind on sharing the progress of my lip challenges, I have decided to combine the last week of my November Lip Challenge with the first week of my December Mini Lip Challenge (I participated in #7lippies7days on instagram).  Get ready for a serious lip diary!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I woke up this morning and knew I needed to wear something bright.  I remembered picking up Mac Pickled Plum recently and decided to put it on.  I always think that’s a silly name for this color.  Colors with “plum” in the name should be purple shades, not pink.  I also tried out my new T3 Single Pass Flat Iron, thoughts?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Last year, I was discussing my love of red lipstick with a friend of mine.  She told me her holy grail is Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Dragon Girl (she also told me that this is the red Taylor Swift swears by).  The combination of red lipstick and Taylor Swift was too much for me to avoid.  Later that day, I went to Sephora and picked it up.  For some reason this color has never looked the same on me twice, and often looks extremely pink.  Luckily I love it either way.  FYI, this is by far the reddest this color has ever looked on me.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

I haven’t left my house in days, but needed to run some errands. I wasn’t interested in putting on any makeup, but at the last minute decided to apply some lipstick.  I was really excited to receive some Nars Velvet Matte lip pencils from Sephora for my birthday, but always forget about them.  I decided today was the perfect day to put on Cruella!

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Monday, November 30, 2015

i can’t believe today is the last day of November.  I have decided to participate in an additional lip challenge this week, the #7lippies7days ,so I am double counting this picture.  The first prompt for the 7 Lippies challenge is “nude”.  I actually don’t have any nudes, and this is the closest I get: Nars Rikugien Satin Lip Pencil.  Rikugien was the second part of the Sephora birthday gift and I actually like it much more than I thought I would!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Today’s #7lippies7days prompt was “orange”.  While I love the color orange, I do not love wearing orange makeup.  After scouring my lip drawer I came across “Barbecue” from Mac’s Toledo collection and thought it was the perfect choice.  I don’t know why this collection wasn’t more popular, I love a lot of the colors. 

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Today’s prompt, “pink”, was a no brainer for me.  I have been looking for an excuse to pull out Mac’s Girl About Town lipstick and lipglass.  I have a serious soft spot for bright pinks, and although it may not be the most seasonably appropriate color, it is truly one of my favorites. 

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

I love berry lips so I was thrilled with today’s “berry/purple” prompt.  I went back and forth between a few colors before landing on Too Faced Melted Berry.  This was one of my first liquid lipsticks and I think the color is gorgeous.  I had a bit of a feathering issue today, which had never happened before, but I still love how it looked!

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Friday, December 4, 2015

As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait for today’s prompt: “red”.  Obviously, red lipsticks are my true love and I had a tough choice on my hands.  Luckily, I had just received a new one the day before, and I couldn’t wait to try it out: Mary Kay’s True Dimensions Lipstick in Firecracker.  This is the first time I have worn any Mary Kay lipsticks.  I loved the color, it was a great shade and not one I have.  The finish is pretty shiny, which I like, but because of it’s soft texture, it does spread a little bit.  The best part about this lipstick is just how moisturizing it is.  I love lipsticks that also make my lips feel great. 

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

I had been thinking about this prompt all week “gloss”.  I really don’t like to wear glosses on their own, plus I knew I had some holiday infused festivities planned for today, so I didn’t know what to wear.  In the end I decided to layer Mac Tenor Voice lipstick and lipglass.  I know I say this a  lot, but this really is one of my favorite colors.  Anytime I want a real standout lip, this is what I go with.  Additionally, it is a perfect holiday red!  I sort of broke the rules, but oh well, I’m a rebel.

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This completes the November Lip Challenge and transitions me into my December Mini Lip Challenge where I will wear different shades each day for the first few weeks of the month!  Follow my challenge on my Instagram page @Jessicasgoneviral.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015 – Part 2

My previous gift guide (click here if you missed it) included the perfect gifts for all of the hair, skincare and makeup enthusiasts in your life, but what about everyone else? Below are my top ten gift ideas that (almost) anyone would love to receive!

  1. Hunter Boot Socks — I love my Hunter boots, but what i love even more are the socks that you can buy to wear with them. They are made specifically to wear with your boots, fit comfortably inside and keep your feet perfectly toasty! They come in a variety of colors and styles. I love pairing my cream sweater socks with my red boots!Hunter Socks
  1. Lulu Guinness Umbrella — This is one of those items that I never wanted to purchase for myself, but once I finally did I loved it. It is adorable, easily fits two people and doesn’t turn inside out when it’s windy. These umbrellas are such conversation pieces, people always ask where I found it and how they can get their hands on one! If you don’t find one you like on their website, head to Amazon and Ebay for even more choices!lulu guiness
  1. Ugg Slippers — I was slow to jump on the Ugg slipper bandwagon. There were two main reasons for this: 1. As their name implies, they are ugly and 2. I really like slippers that cover my ankle (due to various ankle injuries, I am basically a robot and have various bits of metal in there that don’t respond well to the cold). I finally gave in and purchased some this Fall and realized what an idiot I was, these things are incredibly comfortable and super warm. There so many styles, there is certainly a pair for everyone on your list! ugg slippers
  1. Starbucks Tumblers/Mugs — Earlier this fall, I became obsessed with the new Starbucks Dot Collection tumblers. I rarely drink hot coffee, and somehow ended up with 5 tumblers and a coffee cup. They are super cute and selling out fast. dot collection
  1. Novelty Flash Drive — I am a firm believer in making even the most boring items (i.e. flash drives) exciting. Last year I needed a new flash drive for school, so while avoiding some homework I had to finish I decided to do some online shopping. It was at this time that I came across a USB that looked like a piece of sushi. I obviously had to have it. If sushi isn’t your thing, Amazon and Ebay have tons of options more your style! Flash
  1. Hulu Subscription — If you read my Thanksgiving post (if you didn’t, click here), you know that I am thankful for Hulu. Let’s be honest, Hulu is Netflix’s redheaded step child, but it is awesome. With Hulu, you are able to catch up, commercial free, on current seasons of your favorite shows. It’s one of those gifts that you can totally live without, but why would you want to? Hulu-Plus
  1. Touchscreen Gloves — One of my favorite Winter fashion accessories are gloves. For some reason, they make me feel as though I am in a snowy wonderland, rather than Texas. Like most people, I have a smart phone which makes gloves a burden. Last year I finally purchased some tech gloves, which allow you to use your phone while also keeping your hands warm! These are a must for anyone with smart phone!touchscreen-gloves-91-624x624
  1. Cashmere Throw — My mom is an incredible gift giver (and an even better stocking stuffer). Many years ago, she saw on the Today show that cashmere blankets are an incredible gift for the travelers in your life, so she purchased some for our family members. The Today Show was right, they do make fantastic presents and wayfair.com has a bunch on sale right now! cashmere
  1. Kendra Scott Earrings — Much like the Ugg slippers, I was slow to jump on the Kendra Scott bandwagon. The main reason was that I didn’t want to have accessories that everyone else had, but I have found some seriously cute items that not many other people have. My current faves are these ear cuffs, which come in multiple colors! caralyn-earring-gold-jewel
  1. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling — I have a not so secret obsession with Mindy Kaling. Not only is The Mindy Project one of my favorite shows, I loved her last book (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?) and couldn’t wait for her latest to be released. As expected, I loved it. Personally, I purchased the audiobook and listened while driving to and from work and school. This book actually made me look forward to my commute, rather than dread it like most days! mindy-kaling-why-not-me

That completes my 2015 Gift Guide. Stay tuned for my personal wish list. Happy Holidays (shopping)!

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 — Part 1

I am a total sucker for holiday lists. As soon as they start popping up all over my social media accounts, I excitedly click through them discovering items that I never knew I couldn’t live without. This year I am creating my own list for all of the beauty loving, techie, fashionistas in your life! These are my very favorite products that make me happy and make me, “me!” I am starting off with my favorite beauty and skincare products, stay tuned for part two!

For the makeup enthusiast in your life

I haven’t been wearing makeup that long (roughly a year and a half), but in that time I have researched, tested and reviewed countless brushes, palettes and products. Below are a list of my very favorite products that any makeup lover would love to add to their collection.

  • Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush. I am absolutely obsessed with this brush. If I could take only one face brush to a deserted island I would quickly pack this one away. It smooths out my cc creams and foundations with such ease and smoothness. I haven’t found another brush that remotely rivals this one!

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  • French Kisses Melted — $25 Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Too Faced Melted Lipsticks. The colors! The shine! The length of wear! I love them. Too Faced has released this set 4 of minis which is the perfect way to try them out.

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  • Butter London RSVP Set — $29. Nail polish is my first love, and Butter London has always been one of my favorite brands. This spring they released a new 10x Shine formula and it is fantastic. Polish stays shockingly shiny (and stays put) for days and days. This set includes minis of 4 classic shades.

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  • Urban Decay Naked Palettes — $29 – $54. I love the UD Naked collection. I have every full size palette, basic palette, even Naked on The Run. My personal favorite is Naked 2, but everyone has a strong affinity to a specific palette based on their skin tones and preferences. If you aren’t sure which one to grab, go for the original. It’s a classic!

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  • Sigma Basic Eyes Kit — $77. I know many people rave about Mac brushes, but personally, I prefer Sigma. I have slowly acquired most of their eye brushes, and this set includes all of my faves. This set includes 7 brushes that will help you achieve all of your favorite eye looks!

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  • Benjabelle Daisy Brush Tree — $19.99. This is one of those items that you don’t know you need until you have one, and can’t believe you lived so long without it! Cleaning your brushes is one of the downfalls of loving makeup so much and it is important to dry your brushes upside down so that you can make them last. This stand fits brushes of various shapes and sizes and removes wasting time trying to find ways to keep your brushes upside down!

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For the hair/skincare enthusiast

  • Clarisonic — $99+. When people ask me about improving the skin, the first thing I ask is if they have a Clarisonic brush. For me, it was the most essential part of my skincare routine. Not only does it get my face incredibly clean, it also exfoliates! There are always promotions for these brushes during the holidays, so snatch one up!

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  • Aztec Clay Mask — $9. This is a little set that I have started putting together for gifts. It is no secret that I love face masks, but my absolute favorite is the Aztec clay mask. I mix a little with some Braggs apple cider vinegar and wait for the pulsating to begin. When I take it off, my skin is the softer than it has ever been. For the holidays I would purchase the duo and put a pretty bow on it!

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  • The Face Shop Living Nature Face Masks (Set of 15) — $16. With the increased awareness of Korean Skincare routines, paper face masks have become extremely popular. I have tried multiple brands and my favorite remains The Face Shop. Each mask is soaked in natural essences, smell incredible and soak nicely into my skin. One of my complaints with face masks is how they slip around, so I use a mask cover ($3.50)to keep it in place!

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  • Boar Bristle Brush — $12. Boar bristle brushes are an essential component of my weekly hair routine. They help diminish my natural frizz while also massaging my scalp (to reduce dryness). Everyone should have one!

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  • Silk Pilowcases — $10 each. For years I heard about the benefits of sleeping on silk pillowcases. They reduce wrinkles and keep your blowouts from getting out of control while you sleep! This summer I finally purchased some and my hair has never looked better!

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This completes my beauty and skin care gift giving guide! Stay tuned for my favorite gifts for all the fashionistas in your life.

November Lip Challenge – Week 3

This week I completed the third week of my November Lip Challenge (if you missed week one and two of the challenge, just click here and here)! As hard as it’s getting to choose new colors each day, it’s shocking how many favorites I haven’t worn yet!

Monday, November 16, 2015

I woke up this morning exhausted, freezing and with no lippie inspiration. At the last minute I decided to put on one of my favorite summer collaborations. I put on Mac’s Steam Heat lipstick with Hot/Cold lipglass from this summer’s Wash and Dry Collection. Each time I wear these colors I remember that I love the packaging more than the actual lip color.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

 Dallas had crazy weather in the middle of the night so I have been up since 3:45 this morning waiting out tornado warnings and never got back to sleep. While not my most overall polished look, I do feel like a walking Christmas tree between my green plaid cape and my red lips! Today I opted for another Mac LE: Charlotte from the Giambattista Valli collection. When this color was released this summer, I thought the shade of red was way too dark, but now that Fall is (finally) here, this may be my very favorite red right now.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

 It is not uncommon for my friends to invite me lipstick shopping when they are looking for a new color. Usually, these trips end with me purchasing a new color. That’s how I ended up with this beauty. While shopping for the perfect “brick red” for her, I randomly tried on Lancôme Rouge in Love 383N Midnight Crush knowing I don’t have “any” similar shades! I thought it was a pretty color but was especially impressed with how it felt on. Today was the first time I wore it. It’s not a “wow” for me (I just really love bold colors) but it feels amazing and lasted all day!

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Friday, November 20, 2015

 I was busy working on loads of end of semester papers, presentations and projects yesterday so I never left my house, let alone put on any lipstick (this also explains why I look part vampire today). I am back today, and decided that I was not in the mood for my Friday wardrobe (my terrible school spirit shirt) so being the rebel I am I wore real clothes and opted for Tarte’s Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Tulip. Not my fave, but it works!

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That completes the third week of my November Lip Challenge. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I could easily continue this challenge into next month. Follow my challenge daily on my Instagram: @Jessicasgoneviral and share your own looks with the hashtag: #NovemberLipChallenge

November Lip Challenge — Week 2

November Lip Challenge — Week 2

I can’t believe I have already completed the second week of my November Lip Challenge (if you missed week one of the challenge, just click here)!  I will admit it is getting harder for me to pick out my daily lip look.  I am definitely taking more time picking out my outfits so I can make sure I have an unused color to coordinate with.  This week I used a variety of bolds and neutrals, a few I forgot I even had!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

This summer I was browsing in Nordstrom’s beauty department and a salesperson from Smashbox offered to give me a makeover.  I was killing time so decided to let her.  I’m not a huge fan of their products (aside from their primers) but loved the lip stain she used on me, Beet  It.  I love this color on me, and am always surprised by just how much I love it.  It has fantastic staying power but tends to feather on me, even if I use a reverse liner. 

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I was really in the mood for a soft look this morning so I didn’t think twice about my lip choice!  I combined Mac’s Creme de la Femme lipstick with Nymphette lipglass.  I discovered this look last year when I had my makeup done before the Jay Z and Beyoncé On The Run tour and it has remained part of my regular rotation ever since.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I love wearing bold lips with black dresses.  I realized that I haven’t really worn any berry lip colors this fall so I decided to pull one out.  In February, Make Up For Ever released a limited edition lip set to coincide with the release of the 50 Shades of Grey movie.  The set included a lip liner, lip stain, clear gloss and berry colored gloss.  For this look I used the liner, stain and clear gloss.  FYI, this product has a funny “taste” to it.  I don’t typically taste my lip products but it is kind of hard to miss sometimes!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Earlier this year I became fixated on finding the right “neutral pink.”  I spent way more time than I am proud to admit looking at various swatches and adding them to my wish list.  Quickly I moved on to another color obsession but when Mac announced their Some Enchanted Eve holiday collection, I instantly recognized Please Me from my wish list.  I obviously picked it up and realized I needed a lip liner to go with it so I also grabbed Rosy Rim.  I still don’t think this is the right color for me, but it’ll do until I find it!

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Friday, November 13, 2015

I don’t know how I made it ten days into this challenge without wearing my favorite lip color: Too Faced Melted Ruby.  Those of you who read my very first blog know that this is where my love of makeup started.  I love this color and I have a soft spot for it.  It wears beautifully as long as I wear a lip primer and reverse liner!

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That completes the second week of my November Lip Challenge.  My container of used products is filling up and there are some I will definitely miss during the next few weeks.  Follow my challenge daily on my Instagram: @Jessicasgoneviral and share your own looks with the hashtag: #NovemberLipChallenge

Helluva Heel

I have always had a soft spot for super high heels. Unfortunately, bad feet and terrible balance make wearing heels a bad idea but that doesn’t stop me from wearing unsensible shoes most weekends. In order to survive a big night out, I have developed a routine (shocking I know) to prepare both my shoes and my feet!

Prepare your shoes

 I have been cursed with a wide foot, which makes most heels feel incredibly tight and uncomfortable. When I know I am going to have a long night on my feet ahead of me I prep my shoes by stretching them out a bit. To do so, I put on some thick socks and wear the shoes for about thirty minutes. Typically I do this before I’m really getting ready because I like to see if there are any red spots on my feet so I can prep my feet for the tightest spots. You can walk around in your socks and heels or just kick back and watch a show (which is what I like to do do)!

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Prepare your feet

 About a year ago I was reading somewhere that applying liquid bandage to your feet will prevent blisters when you wear new shoes. I kind of laughed it off but decided to try it out, and it really does work. 30 minutes before I leave, I spread the concoction on the back bone of my foot, the bones along the front sides of each foot, across the back of my toes and then at the knuckle of my toes. If I notice a red spot after stretching my shoes, I apply an extra coat to that spot. I apply a final coat right before I put my shoes on for the night.

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These simple tricks have helped me go one year blister free!  Follow my Instagram @Jessicasgoneviral for additional tips and tricks!

Weekly Blowout Routine

It has been a loooong time since I have blogged but between work, school, family and friends something had to give!  Luckily I am almost back on a routine (plus I have a detailed outline for a manuscript I’m writing due on Thursday and I am procrastinating) so I am back.  To kick off this homecoming I am going to fulfill a request I received this summer from my friend Amanda…my hair care routine.

When I was young I hated my hair with a passion.  It was big and frizzy and I never knew what to do with it so it went in a ponytail until my mom would bribe me to cut it.  Then I was really stuck with some helmet hair!  I will always remember coming home from school during my sophomore year in high school and sitting down with my mom to watch an episode of Oprah.  She was giving hair makeovers and one guest was sharing her horror story which involved someone using thinning shears on her hair.  She warned people to run away if a hairdresser ever pulled them out around you.  Her warning had the opposite effect on me; I ran towards them and never looked back.  My current (and phenomenal) hair dresser always jokes that I lose more hair in a thinning than most do in a cut.

Now that I am older and have a better idea about how to handle my hair I love it!  I am blessed with the fact that I only need to wash it once a week, which is great because I hate blow drying it.  Like most things in my life, my hair routine* is fairly consistent.  Luckily most people don’t even realize that I style my hair in specific ways on specific days (until now).

Day 1 — Sunday

Sunday’s are reserved for hair washing.  Sometimes this switches to Saturday’s and once or twice a month I go to Dry Bar, but typically Sunday is the day.  Because I have purple hair right now, some products and procedures are specific to maintaining my color.

  1. Thorough clean.  This week I used Redken’s hair cleansing cream shampoo to really cleanse my hair of product build up.
  2. Vivid cleanse.  I use Pravana Choromosilk color protecting shampoo and conditioner to maintain my purple.
  3. Violet cleanse.  Violet shampoos are great to use if you are blonde and want to keep brassy tones out of your color.  I have tried a few but always go back to Joico Color Endure Violet.
  4. Hair mask.  To keep my hair soft I use Kerastase Nutritive Masque.  I was wanting to add a masque to my routine and chose this particular mask because it is made for thick/coarse hair.  It’s fantastic and leaves my unruly hair soft and shiny.
  5. I thought the purple in my hair hair needed a little boost this week so I decided to apply Overtone’s Go Deep Vibrant Purple Weekly treatment.  I’ll be doing a full review of the product at a later date.

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With freshly cleansed and colored hair, the drying process begins.  I begin my pulling out the three products I use:

  1. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Treatment
  2. Kenra Blow Dry Spray 
  3. Tressemme Curl Activator

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I begin by spraying my hair evenly with Its a 10.  I brush through it with my Wet Brush.  I then spray the Kenra and Tressemme and brush through again.  I part my hair into three sections (right, left and bottom) with simple clips.  Beginning with the bottom portion of my hair I rough dry using my T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i (I opted for this version specifically because my hair hair is so thick).  Next I bring down the right side to rough dry, the left side and then use my Olivia Garden finger brush to bring my hair to a complete dry.  That’s all I do on Sunday’s.  I like to get a good sleep on a silk pillowcase before styling the next morning.

Day 2 — Monday

I am my most energetic on Monday mornings which works out well because when I wake up Monday, my hair needs some work!  I typically wear my hair straight at the beginning of the week so before I start my eye makeup, I plug in my Instyler and spray my hair with Tresseme Heat Tamer Spray.  Once my makeup is done and my tool is warmed up I part my hair into three sections, just like when I blow dry.  Taking 1-1.5 inch sections, I slowly glide my hair through the Instyler.  The Instlyer can be used in various ways, but I like to use it to straighten my hair and gently curl under the ends.  After my hair is complete, I run a single squirt of BedHead After Party through my hair.

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To prepare my hair for bed I use a Spornette’s boars’ hair brush and brush for about two minutes (roughly 65 strokes).  I then throw my hair into a high ponytail on the very top of my head (think Pebbles Flinstone) with a 1990s throwback scrunchie.

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Day 3 — Tuesday

Tuesday morning looks a lot like Monday.  I pull my hair down, brush through it and go over kinky pieces with my Instyler.  Once I do that, I am out the door!

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Typically my hair is still in good shape Tuesday night, so I brush with my boars’ hair brush and just throw it back up for bed with my trusty scrunchie.

Day 4 — Wednesday

Wednesday mornings are rough!  I am groggy and my straight hair is boring me.  Often this leads to an undo of sorts.  Today I decided to include a small fishtail braid into my look.  Using my rat tail comb, I section of a large chunk of hair near my face and rub some Redken Braid Aid into the piece.  (While this product isn’t essential, it really helps me keep fly aways in place).  I pinned it back with my mega bobby pins and put my hair back with a clear elastic (Blax are fantastic if you have thick hair).

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Usually by Wednesday night, my hair is starting to show signs of age.  I applied Living Proof Night Cap Overnight Perfecter to bring the shine back and Redken’s Pillow Proof dry shampoo to add some volume and eliminate any traces of oil.  After letting everything absorb I throw my hair up with my scrunchie and go to bed.

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Day 5 — Thursday

I have class on Thursday nights so I tend to wake up a little bit early and refresh my look so I look nice in class (it’s a mental game I play with myself so that I don’t dread going quite as much).  I love my hair curled, and have a ton of curling irons, but my favorite remains the T3 SinglePass Whirl Conical Curling Wand.  Before I start my eye makeup, I spray my hair with Chi’s texture spray, plug in the wand and by the time I am ready, it is all warmed up.  Because of the density of my hair, I usually warm it to about 430 degrees.  I start by dividing my hair into three sections (right, left and bottom).  Starting with the bottom section I curl 1-1 ½ inch sections in alternating directions, starting away from my face.  Once each section is finished I apply Chi’s firm hold hairspray.  I leave the curls to cool and then release them when I’m ready to leave for work.

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By Thursday night, my scalp begins to show signs dryness so I apply tea tree oil to my finger tips and massage into my hair.  Once complete, I put my hair up and go to sleep.

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Day 6 — Friday

My hair holds a curl pretty well so on Friday’s I simply spray my hair with TIGI Spoil Me Restyler and re-curl a few pieces of hair.  I add some hair spray and I am good to go.  Because of some rainstorms in Dallas I planned to spray my hair with Big Sexy Weatherproof Spray but I couldn’t find it and I was in a hurry!

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Friday night was pretty boring.  I knew I was going to have a low key Saturday so I didn’t bother trying to preserve my hair, I simply put it up and went to bed.

Day 7 — Saturday

It was raining Saturday and I didn’t have much going on.  For a quick and simple style I did a side fishtail braid and called it a day!

This is a typical week for my hair.  Of course, it isn’t always exactly like this, but it’s usually pretty close.  One final tip: I always sleep on satin pillowcases; not only do they make me feel like I’m sleeping at a fancy hotel, they also prevent frizzy hair (and wrinkles)!

For extra beauty ramblings follow my Instagram @jessicasgoneviral

*I have linked each product for purchase.  Each product mentioned I purchased for myself based solely on word of mouth and intuition.  I have linked each product to an online retailer but do not receive any compensation if you choose to purchase from them.