In preparation for this month’s Step and Repeat theme, we’ve given a lot of thought to what we love about red carpet looks. And after hours of Google Image digging (we know, our jobs are so tough!), we’ve come to the conclusion that nothing is more fun than tracking a celebrity beauty chameleon who isn’t afraid of changing things up every now and then (think big-screen beauties like Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Kerry Washington). With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of fun ways to update your look, from the chin up. And the best part is, you don’t need to have a Hollywood hairstylist to tackle these looks; just some time, creativity, and (for some of our suggestions) a bit of nerve.
If you have long hair, one of the quickest ways to spice things up is with a braid. And no, we’re not talking about your high school librarian’s basic spine-skimming knot. Browse the thousands of creative tutorials on YouTube and have a hand at some of our own creations, like the waterfall braid, the Birchbox-coined brunch braid, and the braided crown.
Between Beyonce’s soaking-wet locks at last month’s Grammys and the slicked-back styles we saw on the Spring 2014 runways—there’s definitely something about the wet look. Try the look out yourself by soaking just-wet curls with a hefty helping of Beauty Protector’s Protect & Oil and finishing with a spritz of TONI&GUY’s Casual Sea Salt Texturizing Spray. Prefer the sleeker, slicked back look? Brush hair back with a dime-sized dollop of Number 4’s Firm Hold Hair Gel.
If you’re sick of stick-straight locks, shake things up with some texture, be it curls, waves, or (only for the bold) crimps! Follow this tutorial for our co-founder Katia’s amazing waves, or staffer Whitney’s shorter-length curls. And just because your mom has a set, don’t underestimate the transformative power of hot rollers. We have a tutorial to help you navigate this seemingly intimidating (but mostly just time-consuming) process and come out looking like Amy Adams in American Hustle. For a hair texturizing DIY, sleep in French braids to wake up to a head of perfectly crimped hair. (Pro tip: You may want to try this style on the weekend to see how your hair reacts.)
There are a few ways to go about coloring one’s hair: you have the professional route (the safest bet, we’d say), the DIY at-home dye kit, and the no-commitment comb-in-wash-out products like Manic Panic’s Dye Hard Hair Color Styling Gels. If you want to do it yourself, we say go for it, wild thing! Cover your bases by sticking with a trusted at-home coloring kit like the ones from Madison Reed.
There’s nothing more empowering (and, yes, terrifying) than a major hair transformation. If you’re looking to make a dramatic change, take a note from brave celebs like Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Hudson, and Pamela Anderson, who all made the chop last year. Looking to hang on to your length? Give lower-impact changes like bangs and layers a try!
Lest you’ve forgotten, accessories are not limited to the hands, neck, and ears. And here at Birchbox, we’re big fans of bling. Try sweeping your hair back in a brightly-colored Under Armour headband or the boho-chic L. Erickson Interlock Italian Turban. Trick out an updo or pretty braid with girly accents like the gem-encrusted Ban.Do Crystal Crush Bobbi Set and glittery Sparkle & Shine Bobbi Set.
When it comes to changing your look, the strategy with possibly the lowest-commitment (and highest probability for fun) comes in the form of fake hair. Yes, we’re talking about wigs! Start experimenting by heading over to your local party store (if you’re in NYC, Ricky’s will do the trick) for a selection of both naturalistic and rainbow-colored styles. (We’ll always be partial to Scarlett Johansson’s pretty-in-pink bob from Lost in Translation.)
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Burt's Bees addict. Watches way too much TV. Has never turned down a french fry.