For the last year I’ve been growing my hair out, past the usual below-shoulders length I’ve been at for the last 5 years. I have thick hair, but the hairs are individually fine and fragile, which has made the process very frustrating (unintentional quasi-alliteration, I swear!). And why have I been aspiring for long hair? To look like a mermaid, of course.
But there’s hope for us medium-haired girls. You can look like a mermaid right now, all it’ll take is a curling iron and some teal eyeshadow. Check out the step by step photos below!
MERMAID EYES: TEAL TO NAVY SMOKEY EYE
When I’m working with bright colors, I like to do eye makeup first. If you’re working with a soft, finely-milled eyeshadow, you’ll probably have to clean up some shadow from below your eyes. Let me know in the comments whether these step-by-step photo collages are helpful – the hope is that you can see what changes between each shot. Here are the 5 steps that correlate to each images above:
- Apply a teal eyeshadow all over your upper lids and along your lower lash line- it’s ok to be messy and imprecise. We’ll clean up the border later. I used Urban Decay’s Deep End, but a great cheap alternative is the eyelid shade in Wet and Wild Blue Had Me at Hello palette, which gives you 6 quality shadows for only $5.
- Dot a navy shadow along your outer edge and crease. I used UD’s Evidence, but check out NYX in Casablanca, which is one of Temptalia‘s favorite for only $7.
- Blend the crease with a clean fluffy eyeshadow brush, and add navy liner like Cover Girl’s Exact Eyelights in Radiant Sapphire. It’s very pigmented and long-lasting for $5.50.
- Apply several coats of black mascara on your top and bottom lashes. With this much eyeshadow, you really can’t go overboard (unless it gets into spider territory, and even then you can claim Gucci trendiness).
- Clean up any misplaced shadow, and buff the edges in with your blending brush. Brush your eyebrows through with clear mascara, and add brow powder if you need extra oomph. Now look up and smile, you’re done!
With intense eyeshadow, all else you need is peach blush and lip balm. I love the warm-cool contrast of peach with teal; I think it pairs much better with peach than with a cool pink.
MERMAID HAIR: TOUSLED SEA-SOAKED CURLS
For this hair, you’ll only need one tool: a curling rod. The difference between a curling rod and a traditional curling iron is that it doesn’t have that annoying clamp which gives you weird creases. More talented people work well with curling irons, but I’ve found curling rods to be a lot easier and more intuitive.
The curling rod that I use is insanely cheap: $15 on Amazon Prime. I like it a lot, but I’m not elitest about hair tools, and probably use it twice a month max. I’d rather put that money toward some high-quality eyeshadow (as you can tell from all my posts), but it’s all about personal priorities. If you want to “invest” in something fancier, a very well-reviewed, high-tech curling rod is Sultra’s The Bombshell Curling Rod, retailing for $120. (No beauty purchase is an investment, but factor in per-costs uses, which may justify a more expensive product. Lord knows I have too many cheap eyeshadows I never wear).
To curl hair with a curling rod, all you need to do is hold it upside down (narrow end on the bottom) and curl your hair away from your face. Along the back you can reverse the curl occasionally for a more natural look, but make sure your face-framing pieces curl away. Otherwise you’ll be dealing with hair in your face all night. After you curl all of your hair, spray it with a strong hold hairspray like L’Oreal Elnett. Because I use hairspray so rarely, I just have a tiny travel size that was only a couple bucks.
Now this is important: let your hair cool completely before you rake your fingers through to soften the curls. This will help your curls last longer, which is especially important for fine-haired ladies like me.
If you have naturally curly hair, you could just skip all the curling and use some beach spray for the authentic mermaid hair. But Ariel had lots of thingamabobs, which probably included lots of eyeshadow and curling irons, right? That’s the mermaid story I choose to believe in.