As much as I love a fancy dress or twirl-worthy skirt for the holidays, my family tends to keep it pretty casual. So I’m always looking for ways to feel festive but not overly done up. And let’s be honest – after a round of seconds and dessert on Thanksgiving day – I’m adding the casual dress code as yet another thing I’m thankful for.
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I picked up this neutral, metallic thread sweater for just $20 the other week and while it adds a fun touch of shine – it’s essentially just as comfortable as wearing a sweatshirt. Same goes for the relaxed fit, cropped jeans that I paired with these leopard print kitten heels(see how I dressed them up here). And then – to make the whole thing feel like I put in a little effort – this velvet turban headband and loose waves (full holiday hair tutorial here). Put together enough for a group photo with family/friends at the table, but could also handle a post turkey-coma nap. Now pass the pumpkin pie.
A few weeks back on Instagram stories I took a poll and so many of you voted that you’d like to see more hair and beauty ideas. I consider myself pretty amateur in those departments so I was fairly surprised that you wanted advice from yours truly – but then I realized maybe that was the point. To get style tips that you felt like were actually achievable by a regular, non-expert, non-famous You Tube beauty blogger, real life lady like myself. Well ask and you shall receive.
I teamed up with my favorite hair stylist Sarah Rappolt from Wonderland Beauty Parlor to bring you 3 easy holiday hair styles. None of them took more than 5 minutes and all of them made me feel way more put together than usual. Perfect for any holiday occasion you’ve got on your agenda this season.
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CASUAL AND CUTE: Loose Waves with a Velvet Turban Headband
Perfect for Friendsgivings, casual family get togethers and ugly sweater parties. This hair style is way cuter than your typical ponytail or hair down look but not so perfect that you’ll feel bad taking a nap on it after you’ve eaten a big meal.
1. Start with clean, dry hair and add plenty of texturizing spray for volume and to help hold shape.
2. Use a 1″ curling iron or wand and wrap random sections horizontally, holding each section for a few seconds before releasing.
3. Apply a light coverage of hair spray then brush through and tousle.
4. Create a deep side part and set headband just behind ears, leaving 1-2 large strands of hair untucked. Swoop back and pin just behind the base of the headband. Done!
SIMPLE AND CHIC: Half Up Twist with a Velvet Hair Bow
Perfect for tree-trimming parties, meeting your new boyfriend’s family and your office holiday party. It’s sweet but not fussy and festive but not overly formal. Basically the goldilocks of holiday hair styles.
1.Begin with clean, dry hair and again – apply plenty of texture spray to get a good grip (especially if you have fine or smooth hair like I do).
2. Brush your hair straight back to hide your part, then grab two 1″ sections of hair from along your right temple.
3. Twist the two together, adding in additional small sections to the top section until you’ve twisted to the center back of your head. Pin in place then repeat on the left side.
4. Secure the two twists together with a thin ponytail holder. Then pin in your velvet bow. Done!
EFFORTLESSLY ELEGANT: Undone Up-Do with Crystal Bobby Pins
Perfect for a fancy holiday dinner, winter wedding or even New Years’ Eve. This look is deceptively simple but makes such an impact. Plus, since the look isn’t pin perfect it’s fine if it loosens throughout the night. Overall it feels special and sparkly – just like the holidays.
1.Start with clean, dry hair and apply hair powder to your scalp in 3-4 places. Then finger comb through. Add extra texturizing spray if your hair easily falls flat or is naturally very straight.
2. Create random, loose waves using a 1″ curling iron then brush through. You should be left with allover waves that feel natural and not too bouncy or perfect.
3.Loosely pull all hair back to the nape of your neck and secure into a ponytail (not too tight!).
4. Separate ponytail into two equal sections and twist together then secure at ends with a small ponytail holder.
5. Twist the twisted ponytail around into a bun shape and pin the side of the bun so that they stay in place.
6. Pull hair upwards lightly at the crown and allow loose pieces to fall to frame your face. Spray allover lightly with hairspray.
7. Insert 3-5 smallcrystal bobby pins leading along one side of your head back into the bun. Done!
P.S. If you’re in the New York area and interested in having Sarah (my hair magician) cut or style your hair this holiday season – she’s generously offering 20% off her services with code STEELEMAIDEN20. Contact her here.
**Be sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of this post for a $1,000 Nordstrom gift card giveaway! Just in time for holiday shopping as a thank you for following along!**
Sorry (not sorry) guys – but I’m suddenly in full on holiday mode. I honestly think it may be the fact that the world feels pretty troubled right now, but I find myself wanting to really savor the holidays and celebrate with loved ones this year more than ever. Which of course, also translates to plenty of blog posts that inspire you all to do the same. On board? Good.
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While we’re still slightly too early in the season for bright red, shiny dresses there are already plenty of events on my own calendar coming up that call for something slightly festive. Which is why I love black and white holiday style. With special touches like pearl details on this tulle skirtor a big ruffle on this off the shoulder sweater – they definitely feel fun but don’t feel like I’m wearing full out tinsel. Plus, the fact that they’re separates means I’ll get extra wear out of them throughout the season (this sweater will go to the office with me when paired with skinny black pants and suede loafers. And the skirt would be so cool with a denim jacket and stacked heel booties. A little bit holiday, a little bit everyday.
P.S. We shot these photos in the veryyy posh Kensington Park neighborhood in London. Those stoops!
’tis the season to give back!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, to make your holidays just a little bit sweeter!
Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until end of day 11/20.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!
*this giveaway is in no way sponsored by Nordstrom.
Now that it’s officially November, I think it’s fair to start throwing the world ‘holidays’ around, right? I picked up this emerald green jumpsuitfor our trip (specifically for our time in Edinburgh, Scotland – because if we’re being honest I pack really strategically with outfits inspired by each place) but once I wore it realized immediately how perfect it will be for holiday parties this season.
One of my favorite things about Fall fashion are all the luxe textures. And this outfit from Talbots I wore on our first day in Edinburgh checks off all my favorites. A classic cashmere sweater, velvet jeggings and faux fur vest. Not to mention plaid on plaid (when in Scotland.. do as the Scots do, right?).
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I like that all together it feels simple but because of the mix of rich textures it also feels super chic. It’s exactly the sort of thing I would wear to the office and then straight out afterwards for an event or holiday drinks this season. Plus, the fact that they’re separates means that you could also add any of them to a more casual look to elevate the whole thing. And can we talk about these velvet jeggings?? I know, I felt skeptical at first too but then I tried them on and proceeded to wear them on 3 separate occasions during our 10 day trip. They come in a bunch of colors but I’m loving the ivory color. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing an entirely different way to wear them.
P.S. This area in Edinburgh was called Dean Village and was truly like stepping back in time. Can’t wait to tell you more about our short but sweet time in Scotland.