Yesterday, armed with this picture of Audrina Patridge's fishtail-braid/mohawk hybrid hairstyle and a whole lot of hairspray, I offered my hair up to try the new web-cam-based beauty tutorial service HiLove.ly. The idea behind the service is that for $30, users can sign into a web chat with a beauty pro who'll walk you through a 30-minute DIY process of your choice (3-Step Polished Eye, Makeup Bag Intervention, Lips & Cheeks, Foundation & Contouring, or Hair Updo, for example). Here's what happened.
First, before my appointment, I was sent a list of nine suggested products to have on hand before we started, including hairspray, bobby pins, dry shampoo, and a curling iron. Since my artist didn't know what look I was going to ask for, having a bunch of stuff at the ready was key. I gathered up the supplies and signed on.
We both entered the chat room pretty easily (it's just a matter of clicking on a link and signing in). Then we had a quick consultation where I showed her a picture of the hairstyle using a very sophisticated method called "holding my phone up to my laptop web cam."
After asking a few questions about my skill level, my pro quickly assessed that a fishtail was going to take a lot of time and struggle and asked what I thought about keeping the vibe but changing the braid to a French braid. I agreed. I like to keep frustration low when I can.
Then, she proceeded to not just talk me through the steps but to show me every single one by doing it on her own head, allowing me to mirror her. She had me tease the front and pin it, then create a French braid down the middle of my head before going back and using a hairpin to pull sections out to make it puff up a bit down the back of my head.
This is what I ended up with:
Not quite an exact replica—mine has a little hint of a Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm vibe to it. And, yes, you can see some of my bobby pins. But it's not bad for a hairstyle created by the two hands of a non-professional in a half an hour in a phone closet in her office at 2:00 on a Tuesday! And although I think I could have managed something similar without instruction, having her reassurance that everything I was doing was going to be OK was worth the price of admission alone. And, true story, I got compliments on it all day long. Overall, I found the whole thing really fun and helpful, and I'd be really into it the next time I have to create an updo for a weekend wedding in the middle of nowhere.
A few things to keep in mind:
-Having as many products on hand as possible can be helpful, but the artists are very creative in a pinch. When I didn't have texturizing spray on hand, mine improvised by having me mist my hair with hairspray before teasing it.
-Positioning your computer in front of a mirror is key. I didn't think to do this, so my only method of seeing what I was doing was via the image projected by my web cam. Not the best.
-Though it's great if you have sometime specific in mind, you really don't have to come with ideas. I found my artist really creative and fun—and she even offered to just brainstorm hairstyles I might like.
-As mentioned above, they offer their services for makeup, too, and you can get time slots seven days a week.
Photo by Getty Images, Emily Kemp
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