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Behind The Hair - Sarah Potempa Blog
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How-To: Perfect Your Banana Bun

The banana bun (a close relative of the über chic French twist) is the ultimate cool-girl style. It’s timeless, elegant and one of the most versatile looks—dress it up (it’s the perfect bridesmaid ‘do) or down (is it just us, or does it pair perfectly with a fuzzy fall sweater?)so we’re thrilled it’s back and trending for fall.

Below is our version of the classic banana bun. Tuck in the ends for a formal vibe, or leave them out for a more casual look! Here's how it's done. 

1. Curl hair with the Beachwaver S1, then brush through the curls with an On Set Pro Brush for soft waves. Pro tip: for extra shine, spray your brush with a flexible hairspray before brushing. 

2. Pull all hair to one side and twist the top third inward, then secure with large bobby pins.

3. Roll the next third of the hair inward, slightly below the first section. Secure with large bobby pins, and gently pancake the bun for volume.

 

4. Roll the last section upward, and pin. Tip: For a more casual, daytime look, leave out about an inch of hair at the bottom.

5. Spray with a flexible hairspray, then Beachwave the front pieces once more if desired.

 

6. Brb. Trying this right now and every day this season. 


 

How-To: Topsy Tail Faux Braid

This stunning topsy tail updo by hairstylist Diana Giannini (@lzhouseofhair) may look super intricate, but, trust us—you can totally master it at home. To find out how, we visited Diana—an OG Beachwaver user—during one of her recent coloring and braiding classes, where she was demoing the Beachwaver Pro 1.25

“The Beachwaver really is the only iron I ever use!” shares Diana. “It cuts down on styling time, and it’s great for hairstylists because it keeps our alignment straight, which takes pressure off our wrists.” 

Want to try this look for an upcoming summer wedding, prom and—let’s be honest—EVERY special occasion in between?! Follow Diana's steps below to learn how to create your new favorite ‘do.

1. For the perfect foundation for the style, Beachwave all the hair at a slight angle using a 1.25” barrel. Use a smaller barrel (like the Beachwaver S.75) around the face. Spray hair generously with a dry texture spray.

 

2. Take a small section from the top, and twist inward and back. Holding the ends with one hand, pinch and pull (pancake) the surface to add volume. Repeat on the other side, then secure with a clear elastic slightly right of center and slightly below where you want the pony to end up.

3. Repeat step 2, but this time secure slightly left of center (Pro tip: crisscrossing the ponies this way conceals the elastics).

4. Repeat this process on the left, then right, then left, etc. As you work, take a small section from the underside of each pony, and pull gently to tighten.

5. Once you reach about halfway down the head, continue to take hair from each side but do NOT twist. Instead, secure with an elastic, then open the pony, and pull the hair through (create a topsy tail). 

 

6. Once you reach the end (you can go as far down as you want—Diana chose to leave a few inches out at the bottom), secure, then spray with dry texture spray. Pancake any pieces that feel tight to add volume. Tease the ends with a comb or your fingers.

Voilà! Now you're ready for any special occasion the summer season throws at you! 


 
 

Meet #beachwaverbabe Cara Fries (@marvelousinthemidwest)

Since The Beachwaver® Co. is based in the midwest, we couldn’t wait to sit down with founder of the popular blog “Marvelous in the Midwest,” Cara Fries (@marvelousinthemidwest). After trying out the Beachwaver® for the first time, Cara was a big fan—and we were big fans of Cara! Keep reading to learn what she loves about the midwest, some of her favorite beauty products and more!

Beachwaver: How did you get started as a blogger?

Cara: I started two and a half years ago. I originally graduated with a marketing degree, and I decided I had the resources to start a fashion blog. All my friends were pushing me into it. I was always a huge shopper—always wanting the newest and best things out there. It started as a hobby, but it’s grown and become almost a full-time job.

Beachwaver: You grew up in Wisconsin, and your blog is called “Marvelous in the Midwest.” What did you like best about growing up in the midwest?

Cara: Definitely the people. Everyone in the midwest is super nice. And I love having four seasons—it’s nice to get a mixture of warm and cold weather.

Beachwaver: What’s your favorite thing about Chicago?

Cara: I’m a huge foodie, so I love the food scene. I love the deep dish pizza (Lou Malnati’s is one of my favorite spots). And the shopping scene. I live right off Michigan Avenue, so I’m near every store you could possibly imagine.

Beachwaver: Who’s your beauty or style icon?

Cara: I would say Lauren Conrad. Growing up in the days of Laguna Beach and The Hills, I was always into her style, her hair, how she did her makeup. I think she’s flawless!

Beachwaver: If you could only take one beauty product on vacation with you, what would it be?

Cara: Definitely mascara—I can’t leave home without it. I love all of Benefit’s mascara, and I also use L’Oreal Double Extend Lash Extend primer.

Beachwaver: What is your typical hair routine?

Cara: During the week I normally wear it straight, which is my hair’s natural texture. But on the weekends or any time I do a blog shoot, I’ll curl it completely and brush out the curls.

Beachwaver: As a first-time user, what did you think of the Beachwaver®?

Cara: I love the Beachwaver®! I’d never used it on myself, so it was really cool to get to try it out and realize it’s not as intimidating as it looks. It made my hair a different kind of curly than my other tools, and it’s a lot easier and quicker than some of the other curling routines I’ve done in the past.

Beachwaver: When you need to, how do you unplug from social media?

Cara: That’s a hard question because I’m constantly on social media! One thing I would say is that my phone is on low battery a lot, so I think the best way to unplug is just to put it in the other room and let it charge, and this gives me time to focus on other things like my fiancé, or other work I need to get done or watching one of my favorite TV shows.


 
 

Meet #beachwaverbabe Aimara Mayorca (@waysofstyle)

We loved hearing Chicago-based fashion and lifestyle blogger Aimara Mayorca’s (@waysofstyle) story when we met her at a Beachwaver® event in downtown Chicago. We were so inspired after sitting down with Aimara, we decided to share her story with all of you! Learn more about Aimara—like what she did before becoming a full-time blogger, the best advice she’s ever received and what she thought of the Beachwaver®—below!

BeachwaverTell us about your blog—how did you get started? 

Aimara: When I moved to Chicago from Venezuela four years ago, I had a lot of people saying things to me like, ‘I love your outfit!’ or, ‘Where did you get your shoes?’ I was following some bloggers at the time, and I thought, ‘Maybe I can do this, too!’ At first it was just a hobby—I was going through a divorce at the time, and it began as a kind of escape. A year later, a brand approached me asking for my media kit, and I was like, ‘What’s that?’ I started Googling it and realized people were making money [by blogging]—like real money! So I started to take it more seriously and eventually went full-time. I actually just survived my first year as a full-time blogger! 

Beachwaver: Before blogging, you worked in the oil industry. Tell us more. 

Aimara: When I graduated high school, my Dad told me, ‘You have to be an engineer.’ That’s what you do in Venezuela—you go into the oil industry. So went to engineering school, and then business school. After I graduated, I accepted a job offer from an oil company in Venezuela. I managed drilling contracts and had to be on-site—sometimes I would be covered in oil from head to toe! But any time I went into the office, I dressed up in high heels and dresses. Those were the only moments I felt like myself. I worked there for three years, and it was a great experience, but it made me realize I wasn’t living the life I wanted. So that’s when I moved to Chicago to study English.

Beachwaver: What are your favorite places to shop in Chicago? 

Aimara: My blog is about making the most out of what you have in your closet already, so I actually don’t shop that often, believe it or not! I’m a bargain hunter, so when I do shop, I shop the sales at Express, Loft or Nordstrom. And that’s probably only three or four times a year! 

Beachwaver: What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago? 

Aimara: I die for Italian food, and I recently went to this restaurant called Ella Elli in Lakeview. It’s a small, Italian restaurant—perfect for date night. It’s the best food I’ve had in a while, by far.

Beachwaver: What are some of your goals for 2018? 

Aimara: I want my blog to grow even more—by 50 or 60 percent. And I want to work with five or six brands I’m really passionate about and create long-term relationships with them. I’m also planning to travel around the world for two years, so one of my goals is to save for that this year.

Beachwaver: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Aimara: One of my sisters gave me two really good pieces of advice. One of them was, ‘Don’t be afraid to be different.’ She also told me that I should always have ‘Good eyes.’ Meaning, in any situation, you have to learn how to look on the bright side. A couple years ago I was going through a rough time, and I made it a point to apply this advice and find the good in every situation. Now I’m super positive and optimistic because I see the good in everything.

Beachwaver: What do you think sets you apart from other bloggers? 

Aimara: Well, I call myself a fashion blogger, but I’m not really a fashion person. I never know what’s going on during fashion week or what’s trending this season. I just stay true to my style, which is usually very classic, so I rarely fall into trends. I also think my account has grown so much because I post consistently, every day in the same way.

Beachwaver: This was your first time using the Beachwaver. What did you think? 

Aimara: I curl my hair all the time, and to find something that will cut my styling time down to 10 minutes—and make it look shiny and wavy like this—is amazing! And it’s super easy to use. I’m really excited to play with it and do a Beachwaver® + Ways of Style post!  


 
 

Meet #beachwaverbabe Ginger Lu (@gingerrlu)

We met Chicago blogger Ginger Lu (@gingerrlu) at a Beachwaver® event in downtown Chicago and were instantly obsessed with her high-fashion, cool-girl style, so we sat down with her at the Peninsula Hotel to learn more about her style and her blog, mei-mei, and invited her to test drive the Beachwaver®! 

Beachwaver: You have a super successful, midwest-based blog—how do you set yourself apart from other fashion bloggers in the area?

Ginger: I think in the midwest, fashion is inspired by the aesthetic of brands like J.Crew and Lilly Pulitzer, but I pull most of my fashion inspiration from New York and L.A., so I think that sets me apart. But I think the biggest thing is that I’m really into streetwear—brands like RSVP, Virgil Abloh and Off-White. I started reading Hypebeast when I was in high school, and since then I’ve stayed up-to-date on all the cool fashion coming in from Europe and Asia…and I think that sets me apart because my style is a little edgier and a little more ‘street’ than some midwest bloggers.

Beachwaver: What are some of your other hobbies and talents?

Ginger: I play piano. I’m super into photography. I’m also designing a line of streetwear with my sister. And I have a podcast called ‘Ghosted’ about millennial dating and hookup culture.

Beachwaver: It’s freezing in Chicago right now. What are some of your style tips for getting through the winter months in the midwest?

Ginger: Layers, layers, layers. I usually wear a puffy jacket with a denim jacket underneath or a furry turtleneck sweater. Sock boots are also really in right now. I love really furry winter boots you can pair with leggings. I think being comfy in the winter is most important thing, because if you’re comfy and warm, you’re happy.

Beachwaver: What are some of your favorite places to shop in Chicago?

Ginger: That’s a hard one! I love everything in Wicker Park. I go to RSVP [Gallery] a lot. St. Alfred, Una Mae’s. And I’ve been going to Suki + Solaine recently, and Nordstrom for everyday pieces.

Beachwaver: What’s your favorite Chicago activity? 

Ginger: I just like being outside and exploring. There are so many cool things to do in the city. You can go into a coffee shop and meet really cool artists and musicians..I’ve met some of my really good friends just out at events or exploring the city.

Beachwaver: Today was your first time using the Beachwaver®—what did you think?!

Ginger: OK, I’m terrible at doing my hair—all my friends can testify to this. And [the Beachwaver®] is honestly the easiest tool I’ve ever used. It’s super easy, and my hair looks awesome right now. Plus, if I can use it, anyone can.