Braided top knot (click-through for the tutorial)Want a fun challenge for yourself? Try making your favorite braid while upside down, or at least with your head flipped upside down. Bonus: the challenge will also yield a cute new hairstyle and twist on your favorite top knot or ballerina bun. Or at least that is what I kept telling myself as I tried to learn this hairstyle with all the blood rushing to my head and my braids falling apart! But as with everything, it's just a matter of practice makes perfect, so keep at it even if you're initially struggling. It's really no harder than a traditional Dutch braid. It's just a different angle that makes things a little more difficult at first.

Braided top knot (click-through for the full tutorial)Step One: Flip your hair forward and brush thoroughly; I like to keep my brush handy and continue to brush small sections as I go along.

Step Two: Take a small section at the nape of your neck and begin your braid.

Step Three: Add small pieces of hair to each section as you braid; tuck each section underneath the other sections for a Dutch braid like mine. (detailed tutorial on a Dutch braid here)

Step Four: You can stop adding hair to your braid when you reach your ears.

Step Five: Gather all of your hair and twist into a simple top knot; secure it with an elastic and a few bobby pins. 

Braided top knot (click-through for the full tutorial)As always, I like to pancake my braid a bit for a fuller look – I'm addicted to thick braids! A smaller, tighter braid or even traditional French braid in this style is great for active days. I wore my hair like this for a hike recently, and it didn't budge an inch. I don't usually wear my hair in a top knot, but now that I've mastered this style, I might wear my hair like that more. I'm already imagining more ways I can dress it up; maybe with a little braid around the bun or even a bit of ribbon... Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. 

Emma Chapman Bw graphic dress LB purse Black and white portraits SpinningAlthough I know we still have plenty of warm days left where I live, I can't help but feel that summer is winding down. Mainly I know this because all my friends who work at schools are starting back within the next few weeks. Where did the time go?! Instead of lamenting the end of the season, I thought I'd rather put together an end of the summer bucket list of things to do before my next favorite season (autumn!!!!) kicks into full swing. But first, in mid-May we wrote about our summer to-do lists in this Sister Style post. Let's see how we did:

-hiking + take pictures (lots of pictures!!!!!) Yep, did this some. Would love to go again in the Ozarks before it gets too cold. 
-camping (s'mores!) Nope, haven't gone camping yet. Ah!
-a boat day or canoeing/rafting Not yet, but Trey and I have a day scheduled with friends in a few weeks. So I will get to do this. 
-sip a few Radlers (my favorite summer beer) Done. But I could probably buy a few more to take on the aforementioned boat in a few weeks. :)
-a trip to Kansas City with friends Yes. It was awesome! We saw Flight of the Conchords in concert. Had some great ramen and went to a couple cute bars (including the Ship). 
-a trip to Crystal Bridges (art museum) for our anniversary Done – and that was a great trip. Very relaxing and great to spend time together, just us. 
-get my parents to go to a pizza night at the Millsap farms (they have a brick oven, and it's amazing!) Yes! We did this late June, and it was warm but delicious!

So basically, even though it feels like summer totally flew by, I still got to do so many wonderful summertime things. Man, glad I reviewed this. I feel really thankful! 

Emma Chapman Tie belt dress Emma Chapman  Emma's Wearing: Dress + shoes/ASOS, Purse/Zara, Sunnies/Oui Fresh

I think the main thing I'd like to do before summer is gone is work on fixing up our backyard. The (very simple) landscaping needs some TLC, and we've just never put the space together in any intentional way. It would be great for me and Trey to work on this some so we can enjoy our backyard this autumn season. Maybe we can have some friends over to make s'mores and sip cocktails. 

What about you, sister? Any end of summer bucket list items? How'd you do on your summer goals? It's been a good season, and I'm looking forward to the next!

ElsieElsie  Elsie  Elsie  Elsie  Elsie's Wearing: Dress/Everly (past season), Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens, Necklace/Sunday In Color, Bag/Domino, Sunnies/Wildfox, Hat/Moorea Seal

Hmmm... Honestly, I think maybe our goals are aligning. We've been ripping out a bunch of dead bushes and getting quotes for exterior paint (bet you can't guess what color?!). We're not fully diving into our outdoor renovation yet, but I wanted to complete phase one (pretty much just painting and adding some prettier plants to the yard before it gets cold). I will definitely share some before/after photos once we get going. :)) 

xx- Elsie + Emma 

Credits // Authors: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson. Photography: Janae Hardy and Amber Ulmer.

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial) Summer can be a bit tricky with hairstyles. It's too hot to have all your hair down and in your face, but you're tired of keeping it all up everyday. So what's a girl to do? How about a half-up-half-down option to the rescue?! I just learned how to do a reverse French braid (aka inside out braid, boxer braid, Dutch braid), and it's been my go to move to keep my hair out of my face. For a more romantic look, I thought it would be pretty to do just the top half in braids and let the bottom hang in some soft, loose curls.

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)    For this style we're excited to partner up with NuMe Products! I used the 32mm Magic Wand because the larger barrel gives a looser wave as opposed to a tighter curl, but they have several options depending on what type of curl you are wanting. If you've been looking for a great styling wand, NuMe is offering ABM readers any Classic or Magic wand for $29 (retails up to $149) plus a free bottle of Argan oil! (NuMe Argan oil retails at $49.) Just visit this link and the code ABMCURLS will be added at checkout. This special promotion is only available through July 31st!

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial) 1. First you'll want to brush all your hair and remove any tangles (very important for braiding). Spray the top of your head with a smoothing spray to keep any fly aways from popping up.
2. Separate the front 3" section of your hair. 
3. Separate the section into three equal parts.
4. Take your front section and pass it under the middle section so that the front becomes the middle and the middle becomes the front.

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)      5. Take your back section and pass that under the middle section so they switch places too.
6. With your thumb, grab a small section of hair near your front section and add the hair into that section. Pass the front under the middle again. Grab hair near the back section of your hair and add the hair into that section. Pass the back section under the middle section again. Try your best to keep each section as tight as you can and pull the braid tighter as you move sections around. I've noticed that as long as I keep two sections pulled tight, I can let go of the third to readjust or grab more hair and it won't all fall apart.
7. Repeat process of adding more hair to the front and back sections and passing them under the middle section until you have braided down to the middle of your ear. Use a clear hairband or bobby pins to secure. Repeat the braiding process down the other side of your head.
8. Sprinkle some plumping powder onto the braids and gently pull on each braided section to pull out each section and make the braid look thicker (hold the base of your braid as you pull each section). You can always use a bobby pin as needed to push in any pieces that are out of place.

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)       9. Heat up your curling wand and wrap your hair around the wand starting near the base of your scalp and winding down to the end. This curling wand is great because it heats up very quickly and has precise temperature controls so you use just the right amount of heat for your hair – it's really versatile, plus the curls hold for a long time! I usually wrap my hair towards my face, but you can wrap away from the face, and it would look about the same.  Spray the waves with your smoothing spray, and you're done!

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)The ins and outs of the braids compliment the soft waves and give a bit of that festival look without going "full Coachella." For me, this would be great for a summer date night look or a cute brunch with friends. And if you feel like you aren't good at braiding, keep practicing! When I first started, it took me several times of doing this braid before it started looking like anything actually pretty. So don't give up! Happy braiding! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Elsie Larson.

Summer Glow Tips              Summer Glow TipsFirst, let's point out the obvious. I have VERY fair skin. I don't/can't tan... and tried numerous things in high school to get that glowy tanned look to no avail. Over the years, I've learned to really embrace and love my skin for what it is... instead, focusing on how I can naturally enhance what I have. While I won't be the one with a tan during the summertime, I absolutely WILL rock a beautiful glow! ;)

I'm so excited to share some of my best tips with you for a gorgeous summer glow. You can do all or a few of these tips to achieve a beautiful and soft luminosity this summer. These will all work perfectly for every skin tone too! 

Tip One: Try a dewy skin mist! This mist from Tatcha is my secret weapon. It's perfect for all skin types too! I love spritzing this all over my face before applying foundation OR just using a little and not applying foundation at all! You can also apply a few sprays after your foundation routine or directly to your makeup brush to combine with your foundation. It leaves such a soft, healthy glow on the skin. Side note, the next photo makes me laugh because I always get a little nervous using face sprays, and you can totally see it in this picture... it's the anticipation! 

Summer Glow Tips   Summer Glow Tips        Tip Two: Use an illuminating foundation. Matte foundation can give a flat look to the skin. So to add a glowy dimension, I love using a foundation that is more reflective and natural looking. This Vibrancy foundation from Josie Maran is a favorite. You can apply lightly for a more natural, sheer look or build it up a little more while still maintaining a gentle glow. I LOVE suggesting a beauty blender for foundation application; it gives such a beautiful, natural look and makes it SO easy to blend out your foundation perfectly. 

Summer Glow Tips  Summer Glow Tips       Tip Three: Another trick that I LOVE is mixing in a luminizing primer to my foundation. The Lumi Light Infusing Primer is a great, affordable option, and you can add it to your favorite foundation to give your skin luminosity. I just add one pump to the back of my hand and mix it together with my foundation before applying. 

Summer Glow Tips    Summer Glow Tips      Summer Glow Tips         Tip Four: Bronzy-Champagne Eyes! When I'm wanting a more glowy look, I always reach for my shimmery champagne and bronzy eye shadows. These colors also make any eye color pop! My favorite tip is after doing a super natural eye, apply a light champagne shade to the center of your eyelid to give it a soft dimension, and then finish off the look by blending out a pretty bronze shade to the lower lash line. I love this shimmery champagne shade from Alima Pure in Venus. They are a natural brand that I definitely recommend checking out! 

Summer Glow Tips     Summer Glow Tips          Tip Five: Find a bronzer that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone and lightly dust the bronzer over your skin, neck and shoulders. This will add a nice warmth to your skin. I also love using bronzer as my blush to add a little bit of a sun-kissed finish to my cheeks.

Summer Glow Tips
Tip Six: RMS Beauty makes a beautiful luminizer that catches the sun beautifully and is perfect for all skin tones. It leaves such a gorgeous natural glow! I love applying this to my cheekbones, highlighting the inner corner of my eyes and adding a little to my brow bone. 

Summer Glow Tips
Summer Glow Tips            Tip Seven: Don't stop with just your face! One of my favorite tips is to add a highlight to my shoulders and collarbone. This looks especially beautiful if you are wearing a tank top or off-the-shoulder top. When the sun catches your glow, you will look like a goddess! 

Summer Glow Tips             Bonus: Shimmery/Metallic lips are very in right now. Just add a little highlighter to the center area of your lips after applying your favorite lipstick to get a light, metallic look. Nudes and pinks look especially beautiful with this trick! 

Summer Glow Tips               I could probably talk about highlighters and makeup all day if you would let me. Anyone wanna come over for a slumber party and stay up watching movies, eating treats and playing makeup?! I've been really wanting to watch 13 Going on 30 again! ;)

Alright, babes! Time to glow and slay EVERYONE with your sensuous luminosity! Lots of Love, Sav.

Credits//Author and Photography: Savannah Wallace. 

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