Quick Party Curls

I teamed up with ULTA Beauty to create a fast and easy hair tutorial for you!

What you’ll need: Hair elastic Heat protectant Curling wand Hair spray Hair accessory

STEP 1: Start with dry hair.

STEP 2: Gather ponytail at crown at head.

STEP 3: Spray heat protectant on hair.

STEP 4: Wrap one section of hair around the curling wand. Hold for a few seconds and let it fall.

STEP 5: Repeat with three more sections of hair (or more, if you have thicker hair).

STEP 6: Let curls set for 5 minutes.

STEP 7: Let hair down and finger comb curls.

STEP 8: Lock in curls with volumizing hair spray.


Crest 3D Whitestrips Review

Your Stylist AJ How did it take me this long to whiten my teeth!?

If you follow along on Instagram, you saw this sweet gift from Crest a couple weeks ago. I was so excited to play with my new toys, and after only three days, I feel whiter and brighter! I seriously can't imagine how fresh my teeth will look after a couple more weeks!

Forget spending hundreds to bleach your teeth through your dentist! These new Professional Effects strips were nothing like I remember from years ago because they DON'T MOVE a muscle when they're on. I had an entire conference call with these babies in, and they didn't shift or get ooey gooey. Yes please.

PS. This cute tank is available here. PSS. Get your whitestrips here.

Products were gifted by Crest, but the opinions here are always my own : )

Easy Fancy Bun Tutorial

Emilia Jane Photography
Emilia Jane Photography

Hi lovlies! Welcome back to another tutorial! This Fancy Bun is SO easy, but looks just a little extra special than your typical bun. Check it out!

To get the look at home:

1-2. Leaving the "sides" out from the ears forward, gather the back section and place into a low ponytail.

3. Twist the pony and wind it around the base of the elastic.

4. Secure with hair pins.

5. Take the first side section and twist away from the face.

6. Place the twisted section above the bun, and loosely wrap what's left over around the bun, securing with a bobby pin.

7. Repeat on the other side.

8. Rock your Fancy Bun and put it on Instagram using the hashtag #YSAJtutorial


Thank you to Emilia Jane Photography for capturing this look for us!

Women Who Rock // Lauren Ferris

I'm so honored to introduce you to my soul sister, Lauren. This chick is hands down THE strongest, most independant woman I know. That's a BIG statement. I dare anyone to tell her she can't do something.

This amazing mother, talented hairdresser, blogger and bombshell inspires me daily, so I just have to share her with the world. I love you Lauren.




Name: Lauren Ferris

Occupation: Hairstylist & Blogger at A Glass of Sun Tea

Passions: Parenting, painting, thrifting, decorating, renovating, up-cycling and writing.

Inspired by: Music, TED talks

Success means: To me, success has absolutely nothing to do with money. It is not measured by income. I guess I would say that success, to me, can be measured by the quality of life you've made for yourself. There are 168 hours in one week. 40(ish) of them are what most of us spend at work, sometimes far less and sometimes double that. Regardless of the time spent or the money earned, a successful person will be able to go home and live their actual life, emphasis on NOT their work life, to the fullest. Happily, eagerly, energetically, optimistically live their life. I suppose you could sum it up to say that success to me is the capability and willingness to happily and freely build your own person outside of your 40hr a week money maker. To rest your head on your pillow at night with a fulfilled heart and a smile on your face.

Something you're proud of: My darling little boy, our home, myself! woopwoop

A piece of advice: Don't take a single moment for granted. This life, challenging, scary, sad, lonely, cruel as it may be, is a blessing. Make your moments count.

Favorite quote: "The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them."

Photo by Eat Pomegranate Photography 

Honeybuns Hair Tutorial


HI honeybuns! Today I’m psyched to deliver a brand new, and of course easy peasy, hair tutorial. Thank you to my beautiful little sister for helping me create this tutorial! She’s even cuter from the front!

1-3. Begin by taking a circular section from the crown, and clipping it out of the way.

4. Divide the remaining hair into three sections.

5-6. Begin with the back center section and twist the hair into a bun. Secure with bobby pins.

7-8. Continue by twisting the side sections away from the face and into little buns, one at a time. Secure with bobby pins.

9. Unclip the section from the crown and divide it into two sections. Now, cross those two sections, one over the other.

10. Spin each of the sections away from each other and into more little buns. Secure the two new buns with bobby pins.

Try it. Nail it… and then change it! Vary how many buns you use, where you pin them, how much volume you want, etc. This style looks gorgeous, but as you can see can be done if just a few short steps. We photographed the whole thing in under five minutes!

This is also a great option for you short hair ladies. Itty bitty buns are cute too ya know.

YSAJ hair tutorials 5 buns-36
YSAJ hair tutorials 5 buns-36

I’d love to see your honeybuns! Tag your looks on insta using #YSAJtutorial : ) It’s been so fun to see you all master the Messy Side Bun tutorial this week, thank you for sharing!


Thank you Emilia Jane Photography for your time and talent!

Messy Side Updo Tutorial

If you know me, there's no doubt that I have no problem striking up convo with a stranger or being extremely outgoing. Heck! I talk to fresh faces on a 45 minute rotation at the salon every day.

So why in the world has it taken me two years to make a video hair tutorial?


Now that I've crossed making my first vid off my career bucket list, I'm psyched to deliver a million more. I'm JUST getting started. I learned so much through this process: film during natural light- duh, don't say "like", slowww down and practice prior. But I can only get better from here, so get excited.

I hope you learned a new fun and super simple style to incorporate in your hair routine. Let me know know what you think!

What tutorials would you like to see next?



Hair Tutorial // Half Up Headband

Bobby pins aren't for everyone, so grab the nearest elastic headband and you can have a gorgeous half up style in seconds! I recently posted this pic on instagram and you asked for a tutorial. Get ready, it's SO easy.

Your Stylist AJ Hair Tutorial

1. Begin by placing an elastic headband over your head. Play around to find your comfy spot! The gold headband I used is from Urban Outfitters, but I've done this look with an inside out Under Armour workout headband and it looked dressy too!

2. Take a section of hair from the right side of your head just above your ear and wrap towards the left.

3. Tuck the section into the headband from top to bottom. No pins required!

4-5. Repeat on the left.

6. Rock your look and soak up the zillion compliments you'll get all day!

Your Stylist AJ Hair Tutorial

Feel free to leave questions or comments below!


Top is from Anthropologie

Thank you to the amazzzzing Emilia Jane for the photography!

Wavy Hair Tutorial

Welcome to YSAJ 2014! Get ready for a heck of a lot more tutorials! Girls with straight hair often want curly hair, and girls with curly hair often want straight hair, but where does that leave girls with wavy hair? Wavy hair is tough, some days it air dries like a Victoria's Secret model, and some days it just looks homeless.

Enter: Your Stylist AJ! When Chicago wedding and lifestyle photographer, Christy Tyler, posted on Instagram about discovering she had some natural wave/curl but didn't know how to style it, I invited her to come into Thomas West Salon. I taught Christy how to easily embrace her natural texture and rock it!

You will need:

  • a Wet Brush or comb
  • curl enhancing products // we used Aveda Be Curly (even Chloe pup digs it!) and Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse (both available at Thomas West Salon)
  • curling iron or wand (optional)

products used


Lets get started! (In my best aerobics instructor voice!)

1. Shampoo, Condition from ponytail down, and towel dry hair. Comb through, and towel dry again. If too much water is still in the hair, it will actually create a barrier for the product. Add your curl enhancing product to your palms, and rake fingers and hands through your hair, beginning at the ends, and using what's "left over" on your roots. curls step 1 2. Comb large sections of hair up at a 90 degree angle, and begin twisting away from the face. Twisting with the 90 degree angle ensures you get plenty of volume. Work your way back section by section until all hair is twisted. curls pic 2 twistIt should look a little like this!


3. I suggest doing steps 1 and 2 at night, and sleeping with your damp twisties either down or in a messy bun, from there you can wake up and shake it out! How cute is Christy!? If you prefer to shower in the morning, I suggest air drying.

shake it out pic 4 4. Most girls with natural texture have the most wave in the ends, I recommend touching up just a few pieces on top for added polish and volume. You can do this using a regular curling iron, curling wand, or by curling with your flat iron. (BONUS TIP: You can use your curling iron like a wand by not opening the clamp!) wand pic six5. Add a finishing product and work through to add volume and extra dimension. Hair spray is great here, but I like breaking the rules and using mousse sometimes! mouse pic 6It's that easy! If you sleep with your wet twisties, all you have to do is wake up to shake and add a lil product! Plus skipping the step of blow drying gives your hair a break from high heat!

Have fun! XO AJ

Photos by Christy Tyler Photography 


As easy as 1, 2, 3! (really!)

You just got off work after a long day...You hired a babysitter.... You're squeezing in "you time" on your lunch break... You have a blind date tonight... Your rehearsal dinner is tonight...

... and I spin you around in the chair for to you see the UHmazing full voluminous sexy blowout you have. And of course you say, "Uhg why can't I get it to look like this!"

You can.

The trick to a beautiful blowdry isn't my fancy brush, dryer, or biceps, it's the appropriate prep, foundation and finishing products.

blowout1. PREP. Using a prep product like Bumble & Bumble's Tonic on clean wet hair is often a skipped step. Tonic equalizes the porosity from root to end ensuring the foundation product is evenly distributed, your hair is less tangly, and it's also great for your scalp. Other great prep products include: Moroccan Oil, Aveda Damage Control or Pureology Miracle Filler. (This all depends on hair type, please let me know if you're in search of the perfect prep product for you!)

2. FOUNDATION. Once you've rough dried your hair about 80% of the way, (yes, almost all the way!), evenly and thoroughly apply your foundation product from root to end, and not just on the top section missy! I love the Aveda Volumizing Tonic for medium hold, workable movement. Once applied, section and roundbrush. Other great foundation products include Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray, Pureology or Kerastase Mousse, or Aveda Phomollient.

3. FINISHING. This is the fun part. Flip your head upside down, or look up toward the ceiling once your round brush is complete. Apply a finishing product, most commonly hairspray, and let dry before touching. Other options include Bumble & Bumble Grooming Creme, or Aveda Defining Whip, but I'm a sucker for a great long lasting, smell good hairspray!

Go play!



Bookshelf to Bar

For years I admired the tall storage piece that displayed jewelry in our boutique. I was annoying about it, and was vocal that I wanted it to be mine someday. When I got my first big girl apartment, my mom agreed to give it to me!

In my last three apartments I used it as a bookshelf. It was cute, served it's purpose, I think at one point I was storing vases on top and taxes in the drawers...

When we moved into our new apartment this year, I really REALLY wanted a bar cart. You know the ones. Gold. Wheels. Fancy.

There just wasn't an appropriate spot for a bar cart, mostly because my bookshelf fit perfectly in the nook where a bar cart would potentially live. SO. We made our bookshelf into a bar. Priorities.




What do you think? Wanna come over for a drink?



Martha to the Rescue


I'm the first to admit, I am by no means a Do It Yourself-er. I'm pretty self sufficient, and am willing to try and fail at lots of things, but let me just say this is no tutorial.

That being said, WHAT AN UPGRADE!?

This mirror was one of the first really nice things I ever owned, it's moved with me so many times, and my style has definitely changed since I got it.

The contrast it delivered above the fireplace was so harsh, and the brown/red tones were too rustic for our clean aesthetic. I was so excited when I had my gold aha moment. Gold upgrades everything, and goes with the rest of our apartment!

I thought I'd simply buy a can of gold spray paint. Um no. The city of Chicago doesn't allow the sale of spray paint, so my local Home Depot suggested I buy the brush on Rustoleum equivalent. I brushed it on, and all I got was a 100% sheer high gloss lacquer. Annoyed, I went back to Home Depot, and they said they had NO other gold that would work on metal. They suggested I go to Michael's and buy acrylic paint. Like I said, I'm not a DIYer, and this isn't a tutorial of the "right" way to do things, so...

I bought Martha Stewart Precious Metals gold paint intended for WALLS. As in, never to be painted on metal. I've never been one to follow the rules, and I'm so so happy with the result!

What do you think?


Makeup Makeover

I love a good crush! 

Just getting home from work, I’ve been stuck between going for a run, or running to Molly’s Cupcakes. I settled on blogging and today want to talk about finding a solution for my most frustrating moment… broken makeup.

We’ve all been there, whether you pull your makeup bag out of a suitcase after two flights and a cab, or you drop your compact in the sink, or magically it’s now a loose dusty mess imbedded in your bathroom rug.

Tossing our shattered $30 hues is extremely frustrating, so instead I’ve started collecting them all in a jar. Everytime one breaks, I crush it into a fine dust, and add it to the jar. If they don’t all match, it’s totally okay, think of it as creating your own custom blend!