I am the opposite of crafty. I am so very bad at doing things with my hands that I have still-painful memories of sitting self-conscious and frozen in panic watching the other kids in kindergarten capably handle a pair of safety scissors. I can't cut a straight line, sew a stitch, or even color inside the lines. During Play-Doh time, I pity my son for the bum deal he got having a mom who can only make a snake or a ball.
My lack of craftiness definitely means I can't do anything complicated with my hair or makeup -- I never learned how to French-braid and if I want a cat-eye, I go to Sephora and ask the makeup artists to draw one while pretending like I'm going to buy the liquid pencil they're using. (They always use Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, and I already own it.)
I basically am that woman in the infomercial who tries to complete a basic task like chopping vegetables and somehow ends up futilely stabbing at the air or cutting off her own arms before collapsing in a heap and sobbing "THERE'S GOT TO BE AN EASIER WAY!" Enter tools and gadgets that claim to make complicated hairstyles simpler. For instance, how much more bumping is my topknot since I discovered the use of the hair donut?
You can see a donut bun tutorial here. To recap, you pull your hair into a ponytail, and pull the ponytail through the "donut" hole. You fan your hair out around the donut and hold it in place with a ponytail holder. Then you wrap and secure the loose ends with bobby pins. It's simple enough that I had time to throw my hair up with one before a middle-of-the-night emergency room trip a few weeks ago. (Don't ask, kids and fevers.) Inspired by my success, I tried out four more easy hair tools for people with clumsy mitten-hands like me.
As part of my lifestyle, I spend a lot of time washing my bangs in the sink. Bangs pretty much have to be styled every day, which I guess is why people always say they're "high-maintenance," but it takes like five minutes, so be less lazy, I guess? The proper method of bangs styling is an important issue to bangs-ed Americans like myself -- after my sink shampoo, I blowdry using the sweep to the left/then sweep to the right method. I have to blowdry IMMEDIATELY, as any kind of air drying renders them irreparably wonky. I found the Click and Grip Roller at Walgreens where I was getting a passport photo taken and immediately added it to routine. It's basically a handle that you can attach to a self-grip roller, allowing you to curl and smooth bangs as you blowdry.
After your bangs are dry, you leave the roller in your hair for five to seven minutes and go about your business looking extremely cool. My son calls it "my pink," as in "Where's your pink?" whenever I'm not wearing it. This is especially great in the summer, as it keeps your bangs off your sweaty forehead -- a.k.a., bangs enemy number one. I also clip them to the side during my morning commute or else they'd be plastered to my forehead with subway sweat by the time I got to work.
I don't recommend using the additional rollers in the rest of your hair if you are also a nonsense baby person -- I got them stuck in there and had to basically rip the hair out of the curler. My bangs looked great, though!
Another Walgreens impulse buy, the Pompadour comb probably works better if you are bangs-free like the woman pictured on the box. It's super easy to use -- it's just a little foam insert attached to a comb. Separate out a front section of your hair and tease lightly. Then insert the pompadour comb, teeth facing to the back of your head and then pull the hair back and pin it behind the comb. (Bobby pins are included in the box.) I couldn't do a proper pompadour because of my bangs, but I used the comb to make a little mini-bouf in a half-up style:
And a ponytail:
Of course, if you're looking for more height, there's always:
I used to be sort of a Bump-it snob. I would create elaborate bouffants with rats and falls and then be offended when people were like, "Cute! Is that a Bump-it?" Then I bought a Bump-It and realized it was like a million times easier than doing that other stuff. You just pull up a section of hair from the crown of your head and tease it. Then you insert the Bump-it behind the hair and pull your hair down over the insert into the little claws to hold it in place. Spray heavily with hairspray and be prepared for a million people to ask you if you're wearing a Bump-it all day. They come in a few different heights for varying degrees of volume.
This was the most complicated to use -- it took me about four tries to get it to look halfway credible. You pull your hair back into a ponytail using the small loop of the device and then slide the ponytail holder down to the length you want your hair to be. Next, you pull the larger loop over your head around your neck. In the back, you tuck the ends of your hair up and under and then life the large loop over the crown of your head like a headband. That definitely made no sense to you without holding this thing in your hands, but that's OK, it comes with directions.
In the end, I had a semi-convincing bob, but I would be too afraid of the whole thing falling apart to try to wear it for any length of time. Also, remind me never ever to get my hair cut like this. I look like a kindergarten teacher.
Who else is terrible at everything? Share your tips, tricks and hacks in the comments section, please, where I shall absorb them.