{Exterior Design} Deck Makeover

The unofficial start of summer has arrived and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s amazing how happy leaves on trees can make me! One of the many things I love about this home is that when all the trees are in bloom it feels like we are surrounded by a forest and are completely secluded from the rest of the world especially when you’re laying out on the deck in the back of the house.  Last summer I thought about how I could make the deck a more inviting space.  It spans the entire width of the house so it’s quite long.  There are three areas: The dining table, the lounge chairs, and two patio chairs with ottomans.  I decided to make better use of the patio chairs. Here is what the space looked like.

Deck MakeoverThe chairs are good chairs and work well with the space.  The problem with having all of these trees around us is that there is always fallout from them.  From this angle the chairs look fine but if you step a little closer you’ll see that the cushions have seen better days!

Deck MakeoverDeck MakeoverThe first order of business was ordering some new and also thicker cushions. Something else that is all over these cushions is cat hair.  We have an outdoor cat that loves to sit in these chairs and so my plan was to keep the old cushions and place them on the chairs when we weren’t using them so that she won’t ruin the new ones. First, I had to clean these guys up! Nothing that a little soap and elbow grease can’t fix! I hosed them down, put a little Dawn on them and with a scrubbing brush went up and down and rinsed them off.

Deck Makeover

Voila! Like new again! 
The next step was making the space esthetically pleasing so I ordered this Moroccan Trellis outdoor rug from my favorite place to buy rugs- RugsUSA. After clearing out the space I laid the rug down.

Deck MakeoverDeck Makeover

I used some of the planters that we made to hold the edges down.  By the way, I am obsessed with the planter on the right.  We had a bunch of flowers left over from the other planters we did and just put them all in one pot and it is by far my favorite one!

The next thing I wanted to tackle was finding a gazebo that would fit in the space.  Not only would it create this separate space but it would help to keep all of the fallout from the trees from landing all over the deck/furniture! I looked all over and found a few but they were all either too flimsy or not what I was looking for.  I ended up finding an amazing one from Hayneedle. Not only was it so incredibly easy to put up and will be just as easy to take down in the fall/winter but when I called to get some more info on the height of the piece their customer service rep was so helpful and sweet I probably would have bought it even if it didn’t fit! 

So here is what the space looks like now.  A little before/after! 

Deck MakeoverDeck MakeoverDeck MakeoverDeck MakeoverDeck MakeoverDeck MakeoverI even added some string lights around the top so we can hang out at night!

Deck MakeoverDeck MakeoverAnd of course to ensure that our new cushions don’t get ruined we continue to place the old ones on top so that little Miss Asia can still have her spot!

Deck MakeoverDeck Makeover

I also freshened up the rest of the deck and added some more planters.  A few weeks ago we got a dumpster at the house and my boyfriend found these old tool boxes full of nails and he was just about ready to toss them when I looked at him like he was crazy and said we could turn them into planters.  He then looked at me like I was crazy!

Deck MakeoverWe drilled some drainage holes at the bottom and filled them with a bunch of different plants along with some other planters for the deck.

Deck Makeover

Deck Makeover

We also replaced all of the dated light fixtures as well!

Deck MakeoverDeck MakeoverDeck MakeoverDeck Makeover

Such a difference in look and lighting! It’s amazing how much brighter our deck is at night now. I even kept one as a souvenir next to our lounge chairs.  I’m pretty sure someone is going to toss that soon!  
Deck Makeover

And the dining area. I’d love to add a rug under the table and a few accessories but for now I can deal!

Deck Makeover

The whole space has really come together and we find ourselves out here all the time!  If you click on this photo below you can get a real feel for the space!

Deck Makeover

DIY Wedding Crafts

It’s June and wedding season is in full swing! This is always a busy time of year for me since I do bridal hair and makeup.  I love being a part of so many beautiful women’s special day. There is so much work that goes into planning a wedding and while it can be a great time it can also be extremely stressful! I myself have always said that I don’t want to have a wedding but that doesn’t mean I’m not full of ideas when it comes to them! 

One of my closest friends is getting married this July and my other friend and I had this idea to make her a Family Established Sign as a gift.  While putting this post together I thought I would do a round up of all things wedding!

First things first, the established sign! I am obsessed with how this turned out!
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Here’s the low down on how to make your own.  My friend Emily got some wood from Home Depot (pine) and used brackets with sheet metal screws to hold the 3 pieces together. Each piece of wood was cut 5 1/2″ tall and about 19″ wide and then when placed together the whole piece measured 16 1/2″ x 19″ 

IMG_4609Next, she painted on the stain and then using a towel, wiped off the excess stain.  We used American Walnut stain by Varathane.
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The next day at work I used my projector in my classroom to project the image that I wanted on the board (thank goodness for recess!) I created the image on Print Shop. If you don’t have a projector you can use this technique here. I simply followed the edges and traced it with a pencil.
DSC08041The next step is starting the painting.  I began with the back letter K.   I used a sample of black paint and made sure to not cover the part of the letter where the last name will go. To make it a bit simpler I traced the letter with a black sharpie then filled it with paint.
DSC08043I did two coats of the black.

DSC08044For the white part I knew using a paint brush was going to be really difficult since the font I used had some very thin parts so I went to Michael’s and purchased a white paint pen.  Just like with the K I followed my trace and filled in the letters with the paint pen. 
IMG_4432The last part to paint was their “established” wedding date on the bottom!

DSC08261At first I wasn’t loving how crooked some of the letters were looking but then I was reminded that it is a homemade gift and aren’t those the best? By the way, she LOVES it! 
***
Here is a round up of other wedding related posts I’ve done before! Click the title under the photo to read the post! 
diy-custom-signDIY Here Comes The Bride Sign

picture-2Customized Wedding Card Holder
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Wine Themed Bridal Shower
10458040_10152490334597230_5498998305254534838_nCork Place Cards

macsTea Party Bridal Showerdsc_04821Love Blocks

 

Blackened Fish Recipe

Happy Hump Day! It’s been awhile since I have done a recipe post so I thought I would share last night’s dinner with you guys! I have gotten into the habit of creating a menu for the week and doing all of my shopping/chopping/prepping on the weekend.  Here is a quick look at this past weekend! 

Blackened Fish Recipe

Blackened Fish RecipeBlackened Fish RecipeBlackened Fish RecipeI honestly can’t tell you enough how beneficial it is to take the time to do this! I know most people will say they don’t have time but I’m telling you that putting some time aside to do all the prep work will make life so easy for you during the week! I cook pretty much 6 days a week and knowing what I am going to make every night and having the majority of it ready for me is a life saver! 

Last night on the menu was blackened fish.  I’ve done blackened fish tacos which pretty much uses the same recipe but I took the taco part out.  Think of it more like an open faced taco minus the shell! This recipe is not only easy but super quick! I made 2 tilapia filets with a side of sautéed spinach and a big salad. Here’s what you’ll need:

Blackened Fish RecipeJust mix the spices all together and rub it on both sides of the filets. 

Blackened Fish Recipe

With about 2 tbsp. of canola oil, cook the fish for about 5 minutes on each side.
Once you’ve done that, guess what? You’re finished! Pretty easy right?!
For a little more flavor I cut up an avocado in a bowl and squeezed the juice of half a lime inside, mixed it up and placed it on top of my fish. This meal is not only healthy but so tasty! 

Blackened Fish Recipe

Adapted from: Host the Toast

If you decide to give it a try I hope you enjoy it! 

Ingredients
2 Tilapia filets
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cayenne pepper

Painting a Chevron Wall

Ok guys I’ve got a great project that was really easy to do and took no time at all which is how the majority of my projects go! It all started when I was moving some clothes into our guest room closet and I noticed how badly the walls inside it needed a paint job.  On the top shelf I had placed these chevron boxes and got the idea to match the chevron print on the wall. I loved the idea of doing an accent wall on a smaller scale and because I wasn’t hanging so many things in there the wall would be able to shine! Now, figuring out how to tape off the lines to do this can be very intimidating but it was super simple! 

Here are some before shots so you can get an idea of what I was working with.

Painting a Chevron Wall

DSC_0303Painting a Chevron WallI started by taping off the floor and adding some builder’s paper to cover the hard wood.

Painting a Chevron WallThe box to the left in the closet is a laundry chute which I love!! For the walls and chute I used Benjamin Moore Regal paint in White (Flat).

Painting a Chevron WallI applied 2 coats and left it to dry for 24 hours.

Painting a Chevron WallAt this point I referred to my “plans” hehe

Painting a Chevron Wall

The idea was to create a grid. The wall itself was 74″ wide and 61″ tall. I made 5 horizontal stripes 10″ apart and 7 vertical stripes 10″ apart leaving me with 10×10″ boxes. Since the wall isn’t exact the bottom stripe was 1″ thicker and I also made a 4″ vertical stripe on the end. Since these parts of the wall won’t really show it didn’t bother me all that much.  If I were doing this on a bigger scale wall I would have evened it out by doing a 2″ vertical on the left and the other 2″ on the right.

Painting Chevron Walls
I used my level to make the lines straight.

Painting a Chevron Wall

The next step is now making the chevron stripes. To do that all you have to do is draw a diagonal line from the top of one square to the bottom and vice versa.
Painting a Chevron Wall
In order to make the diagonal lines I needed something that was long enough to reach from one end to the next and also something that was flexible for when I was on the edge so of course I went with none other than a ginger ale box.

Painting a Chevron Wall

Painting a Chevron Wall

Next came tapping.  I used the Frog tape. This part is pretty important. You need to decide which parts you’re going to paint and which parts will stay white.  The parts you will be painting will have the tape on the outside of the line you drew. You’ll see in the picture below that the thicker shape is where you are painting and the thinner part is what you’re keeping white.

Painting a Chevron Wall

Now we need to seal the tape. This is the secret to getting the most perfect straight lines! In order to do this you want to take the base color of your wall, in this case the flat white, and go over the edge of the tape where you will be painting. Here’s a photo of what I mean.

Painting a Chevron WallBy doing this, you’re allowing the base paint to bleed through and seal the tape to the wall. I know that all of these tapes claim to not bleed through but I’m working with black paint here so I am not willing to take any chances!  Once that is all dry you can now take your accent color and start painting your chevron stripes!

Painting a Chevron WallI used a high-gloss black latex paint. I brushed along the edges and rolled inside.

Painting a Chevron WallLook at that shine! I decided to do high-gloss because I wanted it to really stand out against the flat white.

Painting a Chevron WallPainting a Chevron Wall

I did two coats to make sure it was a nice deep black! As soon as I did the second coat on one stripe I pulled the tape off before it dried.  I continued this with each stripe.

Painting a Chevron WallPainting a Chevron Wall

I put the shelf back and put up the boxes that inspired the whole idea!

Painting a Chevron Wall

The next thing was to add some more storage. I purchased an 9 drawer Alex unit and hung up the clothes that I will keep in here. Let’s just say I never want to keep the doors closed!

How to Paint a Chevron WallHow to Paint a Chevron WallHow to Paint a Chevron WallHow to Paint a Chevron WallHow to Paint a Chevron WallHow to Paint a Chevron Wall

I wish I could say that is my whole jewelry collection but I would definitely be lying! I have plans to lay some velour inside the top 3 drawers to store the rest of my jewelry in.
Well I hope this inspires you to try out an accent wall somewhere in your home!
Remember even the smallest of spaces could have a big impact! 

How to Paint a Chevron Wall

xo

Ikea Vittsjo Makeover

Happy Monday everyone! I’m sensing some spring in the air and I’m super excited! I’m currently on spring break and enjoying the time off. I’ve got quite the to do list and I’m slowly checking everything off starting with some things around the house.  One thing I’ve been wanting to do in our living room is add some shelving in a corner that was crying for a little love. I’ve always had my eyes on the Ikea Vittsjo shelving unit.  I’ve loved all the hacks I’ve seen and thought it would be perfect for the space! 

Up until about a week ago the area housed a bar cart.

Ikea Vittsjo Makeover

Ikea Vittsjo MakeoverIkea Vittsjo Makeover
I had plans to sell the bar cart but once I took everything off and cleaned it up I realized what a great piece it is and so it’s now making its home in the dining room, pics to come soon! 

For the shelves I purchase 2 of the Vittsjos.

Ikea Vittsjo Makeover

Unfortunately these shelves only come in black and thats not what I was looking for so out came the spray paint. I used Zinsser oil based primer and Rust-oleum Metallic paint with the gold top.  I assembled the pieces first before spraying. For each unit I used about 1 1/2 cans of primer (2 coats) and 2 cans of the metallic paint.  

Vittsjo Makeover

My best advice for this is once you think you’re all done bring the piece outside. Even though I was working inside the garage with the door open it was amazing how many spots I saw that I missed once I brought it out in pure daylight! There are a ton of sections that you are spraying so having someone else take a look can also help make sure you haven’t missed any spots! 

Once they were all sprayed I brought them inside. The majority of the unit has glass shelves except for the top and the bottom piece which are dark wood.  Since that wouldn’t go with the look I had going on I ordered some contact paper that looked like marble.  I ordered mine here

Ikea Vittsjo MakeoverIkea Vittsjo MakeoverIkea Vittsjo Makeover

I ordered one roll which was only able to cover two of the shelves so I had to order another roll for the two top shelves.  Since I don’t necessarily need the top pieces to put it together I grabbed my knick knacks and decorated the shelves.

Ikea Vittsjo Makeover

Ikea Vittsjo MakeoverIkea Vittsjo MakeoverIkea Vittsjo MakeoverIkea Vittsjo MakeoverIkea Vittsjo Makeover
I still have to add the tops on, change up some pictures in the frames and adding some more items. I’m thinking there is a trip to HomeGoods in my immediate future! 

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo

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Skin Care Routine

After sharing my current hair routine I thought I’d come back and share the skin care products that I have been using lately.  This cold winter has been wreaking havoc on my skin! Usually I am a normal/combination skin kinda girl but once the weather gets colder my skin becomes so dry.  It’s always this time when I reevaluate my skin care products.  What works for me during the warmer climate is certainly not what’s going to work now.  My goal with my skin care right now is focusing on keeping hydrated but also working on evening my skin tone. My skin is far from perfect but I have definitely seen an improvement! Some products have remained in my routine from the last time I posted about my skin care but I have switched up a few products.

First let’s start out with my tried and true:

Skin Care Routine @ Made2StyleClarisonic Mia
I use my Clarisonic about once to twice a week.  Too much use can irritate my skin so I stick to using it when I know I need a good deep cleaning. 

Skin Care Routine @ Made2Style Neutrogena Face Wash
I’m still using my Neutrogena cleanser. I love how simple and gentle it is yet it completely cleans off all my makeup.

Skin Care Routine @ Made2StyleSkin Ceuticals
Sometimes I will use this Skin Ceuticals cleanser when I feel like my pores need some deep cleaning. The Salicylic Acid works well to help prevent any breakouts.

Skin Care Routine @ Made2StyleBiore Pore Strips
These stripes have always worked so well for me so whenever I feel it’s necessary, I’ll lay this right on any trouble spots.

Skin Care Routine @ Made2StyleMario Badescu Facial Spray
This facial spray has been a life saver with my dry face! I spritz it all over right before applying my moisturizer, both day and night. I’m not the biggest fan of the rose smell but it doesn’t linger so I deal. It is so refreshing and I love that my skin isn’t so dry before putting on my moisturizer.

Skin Care Routine @ Made2StyleNia 24 
I read a ton of reviews on this product right here and so many people said that they saw immediate results. I had to give it a try and while it was a bit pricey I’m so glad I did.  I didn’t see immediate results but I definitely have seen a change in my skin as I have been using it.  I’ve noticed that my dark spots have lightened and my overall skin tone has begun to even out. I only use this product in the morning underneath my makeup.

Skin Care Routine @ Made2Style Cerve
For night I chose the CeraVe PM lotion.  I didn’t want anything too heavy on my skin while I sleep. I feel like I just need a lightweight product to allow my skin to really breath and this does just that. I always shower at night and once I am out I spray my facial spray all over apply this to my face and neck.

Skin Care Routine @ Made2Style Glycolic Acid Pads
These have been new to my routine.  I’ve been using these pads for about 2 weeks now. If you’ve ever heard of a glycolic peel these pads are pretty much the at-home version of that.  My best friend got me into these and I really love them.  I use it 3x times a week. Each pad has exfoliating benefits to it so it really scrubs and gets rid of dead skin as well as minimizing pores and fine lines and works at reducing sun damaged skin.  I use this after I’ve cleaned my face, leave it on for about 20 minutes and then rinse off. After 3 weeks of use there is no need to rinse off and as long as you build your skins tolerance you can up the % in your next jar. It does have a little tingle when it’s on your face but that just makes me feel like it’s working!

s1121797-main-Lhero Josie Maran Argan Oil
Whenever my skin is in need of a little more moisture I will squeeze a few drop of this into my moisturizer and mix it before applying to my face.  I know what you must be thinking, oil on your face? Trust me guys, this stuff is lightweight and doesn’t clog pores or cause any breakouts. It simply adds a soft glow and your thirsty skin will absorb it right up! 

604-357571-indulgentcoconutmilk_tripplebuttersBW_300x300 St. Ives Body Wash
Let’s talk body now! I love this St. Ives body wash! It smells like the beach and doesn’t leave any type of residue on my skin. I’ve used other body washes that leave my skin itchy and crying for lotion afterward but this stuff is so moisturizing! 

beautycounter-glow-sugar_scrub-495x650Glow Sugar Scrub
I love me a good body scrub. Anything that is going to get rid of dead skin while leaving me feeling so soft I am down for! This particular scrub is from Beauty Counter. If you haven’t heard of them you need to educate yourself! Beauty Counter creates products that are toxin-free and only have the safest ingredients! It’s pretty scary to think about all the chemicals that go inside the products we use! Lucky for me one of my really good friends is a consultant so I can order straight from her and lucky for you so can you! Just click here to read more about their amazing products and to order some of your own!

Skin Care Routine @ Made2StyleHydrate Body Lotion
I’m loving this body lotion! It has a great citrus smell and is so lightweight! It goes on so easily, and is quickly absorbed which is key for me.  I don’t know about you but I hate when I put a body lotion on and then try to put on my clothes and everything sticks to me because the lotion is too creamy. This leaves my skin feeling soft and definitely moisturized! 

Skin Care Routine @ Made2StyleTan Physics
Last but not least let’s talk sunless tanning, a must have if you ask me during the winter months! I’ve been using Tan Physics for about two years now and I really love it.  It doesn’t leave me orange rather a nice bronze and it also doesn’t have a strong smell like most sunless tanners do. The other great thing about this product is that it seriously makes my skin so incredibly soft! I even apply it on my face and have had absolutely no issues with it.  It lasts roughly about a week and spreads perfectly without any blotchiness!

So there you have it! Every lotion, moisturizer, oil and what have you that I slap on this face and body! Now tell me, what are your go to skin care products? Have you ever tried any of these and had success/failure? Anyone else feel like they are constantly working toward an even skin tone? 

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Hair Care Routine

So is anyone else completely sick of winter? I’ve been walking around like a white girl from the valley on my “I Can’t” rants! I’m so ready for it to be Spring but in the meantime I will do what I can to deal with the cold.  A few things I always find myself really focused on this time of year are my hair and skin care routine.  Today I thought I would share my hair care.  When the weather is warmer I find that I don’t apply as much heat to my hair as I do in the winter.  I guess I don’t mind air drying my hair when the air isn’t 5 below! I recently chopped off what was a substantial amount of hair off my head. 3 inches to be exact. Now I know most of you are rolling your eyes at me because what’s 3 inches but to me that’s a whole lotta hair! I have always had long hair and I love my long hair but every once in awhile I need a good chop. I personally love my hair.  I am always trying new ways to style it and have fun with it. As far as coloring it goes you will pretty much find me in the hair salon every 3 weeks as about 70% of my hair grows back gray. bummer. With all the color that goes into my hair it’s really important that I take care of it or else it will really dry out and will become quite brittle. I’ve always managed to keep it healthy and so I thought I would share some things that I do.  Keep in mind these aren’t how things should be done or products you have to use, rather just what I find works for me! 

 I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week.
Now some people get grossed out to hear that a person doesn’t wash their hair everyday but doing so is really not good for it.  By washing it everyday you are stripping the folicles of their natural oils.  Now, with that said I understand their are women out their that have fine hair and it gets very greasy very quickly and for you I would recommend using a dry shampoo to absorb the extra oils. I have pretty thick hair so I can go a lot longer before my hair reaches that “greasy” stage.

Vitamins
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I take Biotin everyday to help with hair growth. It also helps with keeping my nails strong and with my skin.  I know there are all kinds of supplements out there for hair growth but I can never tell if they are legit or not so I stick with what I know!  

My current shampoo:
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I am always trying out new shampoos and looking for something that will keep my hair soft and manageable.  This right here does just that.  My hair literally feels like silk even as I’m washing it out in the shower. As much as I like it I’m not married to it and almost at the end so I’ll have to see what will come next. The Organix line is another favorite of mine as well as Wen.  The one thing I love about Wen is that even though there are no suds (sulfate free) it leaves my hair feeling so clean and so soft.  Most shampoos that leave me with the clean feeling fail in the soft department.
As far as the act of shampooing, I always do 2 shampoos. You know how it goes: lather, rinse, repeat. I also make sure to use the flat part of my fingers rather than my finger tips/nails when scrubbing my scalp. 

Conditioner

51ESouAv4JL._SL300_This right here is my holy grail.  I have been using this stuff for years. I’ve tried to give other conditioners a shot but I always come back to it.  Not only does it smell like something I want to eat but my hair is ridiculously smooth, silky, and shiny every time! After I apply it, I clip my hair up and leave it in for about 5 minutes. When I rinse it off I usually turn the cold water up a tiny bit to cool the temperature of the water.  I try not to wash my hair with very hot water and whenever I remember I try to end with a cool rinse.  This helps to close up the cuticle of the hair and results in a bit of extra shine ;) 

Wide Tooth Comb

tbp6365493_v0_lI keep one in the shower at all times!  After I apply my conditioner I use the comb, and starting from the bottom work my way up.  It helps to evenly distribute the conditioner and even better it detangles my hair and helps a great great deal with the amount of hair I pull out! If I don’t use this comb I literally think I could make a wig with the amount of hair that falls out! 

Microfiber Towel
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These are fantastic! There are about a million reasons why I love my hair towel. 1. It’s so thin and keeps my hair wrapped nice and tight. 2. It absorbs so much moisture from my hair which makes blow drying go quicker. 3. Because it’s not terry cloth but a smoother fabric it doesn’t frizz out my hair at all. 4. It comes in really cute prints ( mine is pink with white hearts). I mean really I could go on and on.  I always felt that when wrapping my hair in a towel it was so heavy and when I took it down I would always rub the towel in my hair which is a big no-no! I have no reason to do that with this towel. It. is. perfection.

The Wet Brush
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This brush is a game changer.  It doesn’t matter how unmanageable your hair is this will make it’s way through it like butta! If there is one thing I hate it’s combing my hair out of the shower.  Wet hair is so susceptible to breaking if you aren’t gentle and this brush makes it so easy to smooth it out.  I even use this as I’m blow drying! Don’t forget that when you are combing your hair (wet or dry) to start at the bottom and work your way up.  This is help to eliminate breakage. 

Split End Remedy
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Before I blow dry my hair I squirt a pump of this into my hands and work it through my hair concentrating on the ends.  I’ve been using it for about a month now and my ends are still looking as fresh as they did when I cut my hair! 

Blow Dryer
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I pretty much alternate between these two blow dryers. One is the T3 Featherweight Luxe 2 (in white) and the other is the BabyBliss Pro. Both of these dryers use technology that quickly dries your hair without all the added damage. The T3 is all about healthy drying…not sure if that’s a real thing though.  Either way I love them both.  

Hair Mask

urlI do a hair mask once or twice every 2 weeks. My go to is the coconut oil mask. It has yet to fail me. It leaves my hair so soft and crazy shiny! To see how I use it you can check out my post by clicking HERE.

So that’s pretty much it.  Unless I’m doing a specific style in my hair I tend to not put much product in it.  Now you tell me, what are your favorite hair care products? Do you have any techniques that you have found that work? I’d love to hear!!
Hair Care Routine @Made2Style

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