How To: Side Swept Formal Hairstyle

Sunday 2 December 2012

My side-swept style
I know December has only just landed at our doorsteps, but this weekend, I've been feeling quite Christmassy all of a sudden!

This Sunday was one of those beautiful, golden and frosty mornings where the air feels like champagne. I went for a long, chilly walk along the misty river bank with my Mr, amaretto latte in hand. And then after story time with our niece and baking my signature Jack Daniels mince pies in the afternoon, and best of all, seeing the Coca Cola Christmas ad (commercial, I know, but it seems like its not the festive season until its on air), I've really begun to feel like the holidays are fast approaching!

In that spirit, I tried out a new hair style that I'm planning to wear to my work Christmas do, which is quite a glamorous, black-tie event. I'm wearing a full length gown, and I wanted a hairstyle that would be quite dramatic and 'Hollywood' to balance it.

Usually, I make a trip to the hairdresser before big events, but I thought the style I wanted to achieve would be fairly simple to create by myself, so I decided to have a go and see if I could try it myself. This saves my pennies and also gives me more time instead of rushing back and forth to the salon, can't go wrong!

I based this style on these gorgeous, romantic side swept styles with soft curls modelled by Eva Longoria, Penelope Cruz, Taylor Swift and Diana Agron. It was really quite simple to create and I love the overall effect!

Products and Tools:
Paddle brush (mine is from Tresemme)
Tail comb
Dry shampoo or a Volumising hair powder- I used Clynol Play
A curl spray - I used Umberto Giannini Old School Setting Spray
Flat irons or curling tongs- I used my GHDs
Strong hold hairspray - I used Umberto Giannini Rock n Roll Extreme Hairspray
A shed load of hair grips

How to create it:

1. First of all, smooth out your hair with the paddle brush to make sure there are no nasty knots and tangles- your hair needs to be super-sleek for this to work. The style is best created on 'day old' hair, as it has a bit more grip and guts than silky, freshly washed tresses.

2. Spray a dry shampoo into the roots or massage in some hair powder to plump up the roots and give the hair more hold.

3. Use your tail comb to section the hair into a low side parting. For the most flattering part, I traced a line up from my eyebrow and section off a two-inch piece at the front. Clip this to the side, out of the way.

4. Go in with the tail comb again and section off the piece of hair at the crown. Backcomb this piece at the roots, spritzing with a strong hold hairspray to fix. Use the paddle brush to smooth over the top section and clip this pouffed up piece out of the way.

5. Section the remaining hair off into pieces about an inch thick. Spray each section with a curl spray or a setting lotion that will help to lock the curl in place. Using your tongs or your flat irons, curl each piece and spray with hairspray.

6. Unclip the crown section and curl the ends. Push the 'pouff' upwards on itself and fix with hairgrips to lock in the volume.

7. Take the top few curls from the less full side of your parting. Twist and pull diagonally across to the other side of your head. Use two kirby grips crossed over to fix each piece securely and leave the tail of the curl dangling free.

8. With the bottom section, sweep it over to the opposite side, rolling it up as you go. Fix the bottom of the twist into position with more criss-crossed grips. This pattern really locks the style in place.

9. Seal the whole thing with more of the strong hold hairspray

10. If you have any, adding some jewelled combs or grips to the top of the low twist at the back can really add some glitz to this look.

And there you go! A very easy, quick half up half down, side swept look that's perfect for weddings, parties and any occasion you want to look pulled together quickly!

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