lighten up

how to go from brunette to blonde



I kind of just woke up one day recently and decided I wanted to be a blonde. I’m not sure what sparked the change, really–maybe the increasingly nice weather we’re having has me game for a lighter shade, or maybe it would just be a really fun way to mix things up.


I’ve never been someone who is particularly anal about my hair–I love mixing things up haircut-wise (I even tried bangs once!), and I’ve had color here and there–mostly deep reds, burgundy shades and dark dark brown. One think I am scared of? Bleach. On. My. Hair.


And it’s not an unwarranted fear. Just ask 8th grade me, who thought it was a good idea to put in Sun-In while at soccer camp one summer (while my hair was in a pony tail, mind you), leaving me with two bright orange skunk streaks down the center of my head. Traumatizing, to say the least. Ever since then, I’ve been very (very very) wary of any sort of bleach coming in contact with my hair. After telling a few in-the-know friends about my quest for blonde (or OK, more accurately, blonde-ish) hair, I gathered up my guts and made an appointment with a trusted colorist-of-a-friend at John Frida. I go tonight and I’m so so excited.


For all you fellow brunettes looking to lighten your hair up: balayage is absolutely the way to go. There’s virtually no way you can go super light in one color process session (unless you want crazy-damaged hair), so balayage is a great way to ease your hair into its new life. Not only is it less expensive than traditional highlights (a definitely plus for a broke 20-something like me), but it looks so natural. Essentially highlights that have been “painted” or “swept” on, balayage color can be customized to achieve that enviable sun-kissed, just back from St. Barths look that so many off-duty models and celebs are rocking these days. A bonus for me: I’ve lost a lot of hair recently due to health issues, and balayage hair can help give the illusion that your hair is thicker because the color adds dimension. I’ll take it.


I’ll be heading to the salon tonight with the above hair inspiration–specifically, that second shot down on the right. I can’t wait to show you how it turns out!


DIY moisturizing hair mask (from your kitchen!)

DIY moisturizing hair mask


I’ve put my hair through its fair share of rough patches. I heat style it on the reg, I’ve dyed it on occasion–I even sprung for a Coppola Keratin treatment last summer (which I loved the results of, but in the end it was too $$ and too damaging to continue doing). While it’s in pretty good shape considering, there’s always room for improvement. And one of my favorite ways to usher in shinier, stronger strands? Hair masks.


DIY hair mask ingredients


I have a slew of masks stashed in my closet that definitely get the job done (one of my favorites is this vanilla-scented repairing elixier from Fekkai), but when I can, I like to turn to the natural ingredients I have in my kitchen to mix something up. A winning combo lately? Avocado, coconut oil, coconut milk and olive oil. Get ready from some seriously hydrated hair.



DIY hair mask application


Let me break down why this little combo gets things done: first up, you’ve got the avocado, which is moisturizing and can aid in treating hair loss (something I’ve had a big problem with over the past year or so). Then you have the coconut oil, which can penetrate the hair cortex to improve hair’s strength and flexibility. Then you throw in the coconut milk, which contains vitamin E and fats that promote growth. Finish it off with olive oil, which sits on the top of the hair follicle and adds a ton of shine and smoothness, and you’ve pretty much hit the holy grail.


DIY hair mask



To apply, you’re going to want to first blend 1/2 an avocado in a food processor, eliminating as many of the chunks and making it as smooth as you can. Once that’s done, mix it together with 1/8 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup of coconut oil and 1/4 cup coconut milk (if your hair is longer than mine, you can feel free to add a little extra of everything, just try and keep the consistency the same so it doesn’t drip off your hair). Coat onto dry, brushed hair starting at the roots and distribute evenly with the help of a wide toothed comb. Once your entire head has been coated evenly, twist it up and clip it, allowing the mask to sit on your hair for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with shampoo and condition as you normally would, then style away!




p.s. My robe is from Plum Pretty Sugar in Pink Love Poppy!


your valentine’s day look, simplified




If you could narrow in on the days in a women’s life where she wants to look especially pretty, Valentine’s Day is probably one of them. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, there’s just something about the holiday (at least, I think) that makes you go extra-feminine, extra-girlie and extra-pretty for a few days.

I’m definitely not one of those people who thinks you should dress or look a certain way for a guy (like wearing your hair only the way he likes it, etc.), but I do feel like it’s very easy to go over-the-top on Valentine’s Day (or any other date night really). Red lips, red nails, fake lashes, lots of bronzer! Next thing you know, your guy thinks he’s cheating on you because he’s at a romantic dinner across from someone he barely even recognizes. This Valentine’s Day, keep it soft, pretty–and most importantly, you. Here’s how:


valentine's day makeup inspiration

What’s that saying? Keep it simple, stupid? Well yeah, do that. Let’s face it, your guy isn’t going to notice if you spent four hours highlighting and contouring in the mirror (unless you’re late for your dinner reservation), so skip the hoopla for the evening and save it for a night out with the girls. Your date wants to take you out, not you and your entire Sephora collection, so any makeup you use should stubtly play up your best features. I love starting with a highlighting primer, like Make’s version, for a little bit of a glow. Bring some dimension to your face (and call attention to your gorgeous eyes) with a little brow action and some mascara (Eyeko’s version is seriously amazing…I always get compliments on my lashes when I wear it!). I’d even make a case for a bit of a cat-eye with a felt-tip liner…just nothing too crazy (think more Emma Stone, less Alexa Chung). Finish things off with a bright cheek and pretty lip (Laura Mercier makes the best lipsticks–so hydrating!).



valentine's day hair inspiration

Now, let’s talk hair! You know that very audible hairspray “crunch”? Yeah…we don’t want that. Besides making sure you don’t have a heavy hand with the spray nozzle, focus on whipping up a ‘do that makes you feel pretty without the high-maintenance every half hour mirror check. I love going for loose waves–they’re pretty and romantic while staying out of that “too dolled up” category. I love starting with Fekkai’s Coiff heat protectant before I blow dry (plus it smells amazing), then I focus on creating loose, pretty waves with my Jose Eber wand (you’ll want to wrap hair with a lot of space in between the spirals on the barrel–that will ensure more of a wave, less of a ringlet). After finger combing my hair to give it an intentionally messy look, I finish with a combo of Living Proof hairspray and Bumble and Bumble’s thickening spray at the roots. Oh! And don’t forget perfume–that always makes me feel prettier and pulled together. Lately, I’m loving Issey Miyake’s “Florale” scent.



valentine's day fashion inspiration


Finally, the best part–the clothes! I love the idea of a pretty, girlie dress for a special Valentine’s Day date (with your guy, or your girlfriends!). Liz’s Red Valentino frock is amazing (I mean, pretty much my dream dress), and hits the perfect note between just-fancy-enough while still young and fun. You could go with a pale pink like this Tory Burch to stay holiday-themed, or opt for a sexy black cut out number.  I love the pretty blue lace on this Alice and Olivia dress, the pattern on this Peter Pilotto for Target one, and the Olivia Pope-ness of this black and white one (doesn’t it remind you of the dress from this scene?).






top image via

jose eber hair curling wand [+] giveaway



If you caught my tutorial yesterday, you know that I’m pretty much obsessed with my Jose Eber curling wand. I’ve long wrestled with my naturally curly hair, and it wasn’t until I bought a Jose Eber wand about a year ago (in pink, naturally) that I really got my method for loose, undone waves down pat. The great thing about their newer tripple barrel iron (which I use now) is how straightforward and easy it is to create whatever style you want–beach waves, tight ringlets or loose curls. One styling session with this baby, and I promise you’ll never go back!


The crew over at Jose Eber is generous enough to give one lucky reader of The Glossy Life their very own Trio Clipless Curling Iron–simply enter for your chance to win in the rafflecopter below between now and May 8, 2013. Can’t wait that long? No worries! Head on over to their site and pick out a few goodies for yourself–everything is 15% off with the code GlossyLife15!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

short waves hair tutorial

Loose Waves Tutorial from Alyssa Longobucco on Vimeo.


As you can see from spending a little time around here, there’s a hairstyle I tend to stick to quite often, and that is loose, messy waves. Ever since I was little, I’ve had very curly hair, so styling it into smooth waves seems at once more polished and still true to myself.


I did a tutorial about a year back on how I did my hair when it was a bit longer, but my strategy is different after the big chop–as every short-haired gal knows, it’s important to conserve length when you can, so that’s my number one aim while curling my hair now, while still giving it body and texture.


My secret weapon? The Jose Eber curling wands. You guys, these things are no joke. I’m pretty sure every girl needs one in her beauty arsenal–they create lasting curls that look super natural, without damaging my hair. I’ve been a fan since my first tutorial (that bright pink baby was the best thing I’ve ever bought!) and the folks over at Jose Eber were kind enough to send me over another iron to try out, so that’s what I’m using here. The great thing is it comes with three different sized barrels, so achieving just the right wave for your style is pretty much a given.


I hope you guys enjoy the tutorial! I tried to make it as simple, helpful and least dorky as possible (not sure if I achieved that last one). Any questions about products you see or tips you hear, just let me know! And if you have a great tip you didn’t hear here, do share–I want to know!

Also, head on over this way and enter for a chance to win your own Jose Eber Curling Wand!

By the way, I’m using: Jose Eber Curling wand (℅) | Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo |  Fekkai Coiff Defense | Fekkai Sheer Hold Hair Spray




spring (hair) awakening

spring hair accessories


If there’s ever a time to accessorize your noggin, it’s the months between April and August. Not only are the options extra cute, but they’re so fun to wear that you might even forget you hair is a greasy, frizzy mess (or maybe that’s just me).


The trends this year are a little hippie-chic, a little downtown cool. Grab a fedora for a beach weekend with the girls, a printed head scarf for a Saturday wander ’round the flea market and a floral crown for an upcoming music festival–that’s the one I have my eye on for sure, I’m just waiting for my floral crown moment (what’s that you say? Every moment is a floral crown moment? Music to my ears). Between the inspiration above and the pieces below, there’s no way you’re missing out on spring and summer’s hottest hair accessories.


spring hair accessories

one | two | three | four | five | six

What hair accessories are you going to be rocking this spring and summer? Are you a floral crown gal or a floppy hat lady?

short styles: the neon bobby



As some of you may have noticed (and sweetly commented on!), I recently chopped my hair–big time. With over seven inches gone, it soon became fairly evident (over a few blow-drying freak outs) that some of my go-to styles were no longer possible. I sadly waved goodbye to my ol’ faithful top knot and ventured into the great unknown.


And so began the quest for cute short hairstyles, past the typical undone wave look I do. Because there’s not a ton out there for short hair, I figured I’d share anything good I came up with on here on the off chance that some of you short haired gals are in the same pickle. Enter my first ‘do–the neon bobby.




You’ll need:


  • 8 bobby pins, preferably in a bright color (I picked these up from Sephora)
  • Patience
  • Skillful bobby pin mastery




Insert the bobby pins rigid side down (did you know that’s the way it’s supposed to go?!) into the front part of your hair, pining back the area where you either have bangs, or bangs would reside.




Create a row of three, evenly spaced, and then add an additional bobby going diagonally across the trio.




Move toward the back of your head about one inch and create an X with the bobby pins. Repeat again another inch back.





And there you have it! All it really consists of is a few bobby pins, but it’s a fun way to jazz up your hair when the length doesn’t allow for something fancy like a double fishtail tripple axel twist top knot. You know, that old thing…






be a date night beauty


source: Liz Von Hoene for Nordstroms 


We’re going to talk about date looks, but trust me when I say we’re not going to talk about the whole “here are beauty looks guys like so do this” thing. I’m a firm believer in wearing and rocking what you like–trust me when I tell you the guy you like will love it either way.


We are, however, going to talk about not overdoing it on Valentine’s Day–or any other date night. It hurts my heart when I see otherwise gorgeous girls caking on the foundation and piling on the bronzer for a night out with their guy, only to find that the cute-in-the-movies head on the shoulder moment turns not so cute when your guy’s shirt becomes orange. This Valentine’s Day, opt for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ like this:



Romantic, Retro Waves: These pretty curls are a step up from a normal straight or tousled look, but they stay out of that “too dolled up” territory. Keep ‘em soft and simple, and please–go easy on the hairspray. No guy wants to hear a distinct crunch when they go in for a hug! If you’re looking for a simple, easy tutorial, The Beauty Department has a great one. I plan on trying it myself for the blog once my hair grows a few inches (sigh!).



Soft, Pretty Makeup: When in doubt, go natural. A guy is out on a date with you to see you, not you and your entire Sephora collection. Choose a glow-y foundation (I love Make Up Forever’s Invisible Cover Foundation), a touch of blush and a good dose of mascara and you’re set. If you’re a perfume girl, spritz it on, don’t soak in it. And because I’ve never met a guy who looks good with a red lip (unless it’s from a 7-Eleven slushy), don’t rock a serious shade if you plan on a little kissing (which uh, you should). Go natural with a light cream lipstick or tint–something like Revlon’s Just Bitten Stain in Sweetheart is perfect!


What are your date beauty do’s and don’ts? Do share!


making friends with hair oil

From L to R: Oscar Blandi|Shu Uemura|Organix|Ojon|Josie Maran

I’m here to tell you this: forget everything you thought you knew about oil. It’s not the enemy (shocking, I know). If you’re worried that using it will lead to you looking like a huge grease ball, don’t be. Oil is actually your saving grace.

I wasn’t always so sure about my feelings for hair oil. Like a 8th grade girl with her first crush, I waffled between loving it (and subsequently writing I <3 oil all over my notebooks), to rejecting it. I attribute this to a heavy hand (because yes, too much WILL make you look greasy) and an underdeveloped knowledge of how to use the product.

It wasn’t until I asked my hair dresser how to properly use it that I really started reaping the benefits. Turns out, these products to quadruple duty, protecting, nourishing, scenting and saving your hair. Here are some tips:

-Dime-sized amounts when styling are perfect. Any more, and you’ll risk over-saturating hair, which is a big no-no.

-If you’re applying when your hair is dry, go light on other products such as straightening balm and frizz tamers–the oil will already do most of the work for you, so no need to round the bases twice.

-When applying after styling, stick to the ends. Your roots already receive the most natural oil from your hair.

-Don’t care about looking silly for an hour? Do this: Work the oil through your hair and scalp (you can use a bit more when doing this), then pin on top of your head. Wrap your hair in Saran Wrap (I’d told you you’d look silly) and run a small towel under warm water. Wring until it’s moist but no longer dripping and wrap around your head. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Repeat the “steaming” towel portion again. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water and wait a day to shampoo.

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites, above. Some are more pricey than others, but all are worth it, especially the Oscar Blondi and Josie Maran picks (those two never are NOT in my house at all times). Do you have a favorite brand I didn’t include?

easy (and pretty!) braid tutorial

How did you learn to braid? If you were anything like me, it was probably with your American Girl dolls (I couldn’t decide whether I liked Samantha or Molly better) and at slumber parties–and to be honest, I never really came out a pro. If I needed my hair french braided, my mom would take care of it for me. Obviously I can handle a simple three-piece braid, but my fingers become all sorts of twisted when trying to fancy up my own hair.

Luckily, I have my friend Carolyn. I swear, name a braid and she’s mastered it; crown braids, fishtail braids, waterfall braids, reverse braids…there’s no end to her braid talent (amongst other talents, obviously!). When I told her how smitten I was with soft looks like this one, she offered to show me an easy way to pull it off myself. Never one to keep fun knowledge to myself, I had to share!

Start with your hair parted down the middle (or slightly to either side, depending on your part). The great thing about this braid is that it works for any length hair. Carolyn’s is just past her shoulders!

Tie hair off to one side and brush out the other until smooth.

Begin by pulling up the front-most section of your hair and dividing it into two pieces. Twist over each other, like shown, and then gather hair from the top and bottom respectively (as you would with a french braid) and twist again. Keep gathering and twisting, maintaining an even amount of hair in each of the two sections.

Continue until you reach the base of your neck, then gather the remaining hair and secure with a ponytail holder.

Repeat the same process with the opposite side of your head. Use the goldilocks strategy when doing these braids; too lose, and you’ll just look sloppy, but too tight and your face will look like it’s attended one too many Real Housewives reunions. When you reach the base of your neck and are satisfied with the briad, gather all the hair from both sides into your hand and create a messy bun.

There you have it! I absolutely love pretty, simple styles like this (I bet it would look great with a piece of hair jewelry added for a night out!). Do you have any styles you’re dying to master? Fill me in–I’m always looking for new inspiration to pin!