Defined Brow Tutorial

Ever feel like instead of looking someone in the eyes, you're looking them in the brows? ME TOO! Brows are back baby, and the more defined, the better. I teamed up with Ulta Beauty to create this tutorial for a clean brow look. Check it out!

STEP 1: Fill in brow with pencil, using short, fine strokes. // Used Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Skinny Brow Pencil in Soft Brown

STEP 2: Dab brush into concealer. Carve out brows by applying concealer above your eyebrow. // Used NYX Cosmetics Concealer In A Jar in Light

STEP 3: Use brush and fingers to blend in concealer. // Used IT Brushes For ULTA Live Beauty Fully Essential Concealer Brush #212 

STEP 4: Work a highlighting pencil lightly into the arch of your brow. Blend as needed, using fingertip.// Used Benefit High Brow



Sleep less, dream more.

beauty blog “AJ where did you go to college?”, Facebook prompts me every few months.

“I didn’t go to college you JERK!”, I angrily think back to my innocent computer.

I’m just so over the idea that college is the only way to success. I’m a little angst-y about it. Obviously.

College was our only option growing up. By sophomore year of high school you had your favorite schools scoped out, at SIXTEEN mind you. By your junior year you’d applied and signed up for all the AP classes you could. By your senior year you were rockin the starchiest, logo-ed, crew neck of your school of choice down the hallways. The hallways that you thought mattered SO much.

Now. Please allow me to make myself clear before you stop reading. I think school is wonderful. College is a magical experience for finding yourself if nothing else. For me though, there was just a VERY different path so clear to me, one that some college students may have envied.

I remember so clearly my peers asking where I had applied and where I’d be living in the fall of 2006. I also remember kind of enjoying their freak-out-faces when I told them I was going to cosmetology school and “not going to college”. America’s Funniest Videos kinda faces. JUDGMENTAL faces.

It wasn’t their fault. We, as a generation, were bred to believe that college, and internships, and grad school, were really the only way. Even the parents of my friends judged me. My teachers judged me. My parents and grandparents were scared for me.

And then I witnessed my parents pressing my little sister more clearly. I think they thought maybe if they had provided me with more direction I wouldn’t make such a mistake. They channeled this learning experience through to my sister. (My sister who now is in grad school with dreams of working for the FBI! —-Who I’m so PROUD of!)

I remember my dad researching the annual income of hairdressers, (this was 2004, and in a small town), and sassily informing me it was $11,000. And I CLEARLY remember sassing back, “Well I’m NOT AVERAGE!”

And I’m not. I am not average. No one who knowingly breaks the mold, is average. No one who follows their dream is average. No one who fights for the anti-cubicle lifestyle, is average.


I really don’t care if that’s being a hairdresser. Blogger. Professional baseball player. Firefighter. Rockstar. Moviestar. Model. Actress. Non-profit badass. Start-up badass. Artist.

And maybe YOU is best being a student. FBI agent. Teacher. Doctor. Lawyer.

We’re ALL in this together. The world needs a little of everyone! 

I believe the most important thing is that we all support each other. The way my family came around to support me with an education through Aveda, and a move to Atlanta to work for Aveda’s busiest salon in the world. Followed by moving me home after a lifetime movie breakup, (becuase we all need one of those under our belt to realllllly grow up), and helping me find my balance again.

I believe in you. And ME! US. People doing what we WANT and what makes us happy.

I hope this letter of expression delivers one lesson. YOU might be THAT person, that is unknowingly being rude when you say, “did you go to college”, or, “does it scare you that you don’t have a degree”, or, “do you think you’ll go back to school?”.


Just support me. Tell me you’re happy for me that I’m going against the grain and doing what I love, or frankly, keep it to yo-self!

Follow your dreams. Quit your job. Move to Bali and pursue yoga. I don’t care! Just. Do. YOU. Nothing else counts.

Love, AJ

Photo by my pretty friend Kina Wicks Photography 


Hi loves! Oh how I've missed the feeling of keys beneath my fingers. October was AMAZING! I need to tell you all about it! PS HOW is it already November?!

_______________________________________________________________________________ I got my braces off!!!!!! Actually I got them off in September! More on that later, but in the meantime, check it out!

Beauty Blog

SAMMY CAME HOME! Baseball season is officially over, and while that was bittersweet, we were able to make it to Michigan with just hours to spare to be a bridesmaid and Best Man for two of our favorite lovebirds!

Sam Palace

Sammy's parents hosted a fun dinner and bonfire back home and few things make me happier than our moms being buds!

Beauty Blog

Then we had visitors every weekend! My dear friend Megan came to stay with us and work with me for the weekend! I did her color and extensions and am slightly obsessed with how it turned out.


The following weekend our sweet friends Abby & Greg came to visit! Love them like fam.


My baby sister came to town the next weekend!


Lululemon asked me to come in and style some of their fall pieces as lifestyle wear versus athletic wear! Photos to come this week! (Photo by Eat Pray Photo)


Sammy and I did a juice cleanse. Sammy has assured me he'll never be doing that again... I'll be blogging about my experience with juicing later this week!

Pressed Juicery

I worked an emerald filled classic shoot with my faves. More photos to come! (Photo by Emilia Jane Photography)

View More: http://emiliajane.pass.us/chm-shoot

Have an amazing week!!


Knot Bun // Hair Tutorial

I love a polished, classic style... but I love a perfectly imperfect look even more. Enter the Knot Bun. This look is fun with a little black dress, or a tank and cutoffs. You decide which fits you best!

Knot Bun Hair Tutorial

To get the look, follow these simple steps!

1-2. Divide your hair into two sections that resemble pigtails, then tie them in a knot.

3. Below the knot, tie a clear elastic around the ponytails left out.

4. Below the clear elastic, tie another know.

5. Below the second knot, tie a clear elastic around the ponytails left out. (If you have shorter hair, this look can be done with only one knot, if your hair is especially long, you might need three knots!)

6. Roll the knots upward and pin into place, leaving the "tails" out.

7-8. Tug at the crown and loosen the look a bit.

Complete the look with hairspray. Pictured here is Aveda Witch Hazel which I love for a light hold.

If you try this look, please post and use the hashtags #YSAJtutorial so I can see your masterpiece!!


Photos by Stoffer Photography

Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Challenge 3

I MADE IT TO THE THIRD ROUND OF THE ALLURE BEAUTY BLOGGER AWARDS! This week's challenge was "A Week in Beauty". Pretty broad right?

For this challenge, I wanted to focus less on my personal beauty routine, and more about the lifestyle I lead within the beauty industry. As a hairdresser, and owner of a bridal hair business, my life in beauty isn't about me, it's about YOU.

Check out the video for a little baby glimpse into my world, but more importantly PLEASE head over to Allure.com to #VOTEforAJ.

Two voters will win a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet worth $399. All voters will also be entered for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip to Rancho La Puerta in Mexico, plus $1,000 worth of Revlon products.


When you know...

World, meet Andrew and Rachel. These two hotties met and married in under a year, because when you know you know. There's something so beautiful in waiting for your person, only to find out it was totally worth the wait. I am so inspired by the love these two have, and their outstanding ability to throw a romantic party for their closest friends and fam.

For Rachel's hair, we didn't even do a trial! She just described a little imperfect side updo and had this amazing BHLDN headpiece that stole the show! This look is one of my favorite to date.

OH! And P.S. These photos were captured by the everamazing Stoffer Photography!

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i do


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Love you both so much.


P.S.S. The winner of Wednesday's Spring Dress Giveaway is Erica Kratt!! Congrats girl! Dress will ship out next week : )

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 

Adios February

Sometimes life runs according to plan, and sometimes is doesn't at all. My February was full of surprises. FEB RECAP:

Travel hair I drove down to Florida with Sammy for Spring Training. Hard to believe it's Spring Training when Chicago is getting lambasted with snow right now.

Union Hotel

We stopped in Nashville along the way for a night of live music and authentic BBQ. We stayed at the Union Hotel which I HIGHLY recommend.


Florida was magic. I ate at my same favorite restaurant like four times in a matter of days.


I was back in Chicago for less than a week, but worked two full work weeks in that time. Then, it was off to Vegas for the Project & Magic apparel shows for Bonnie & Clyde. We wrote some fresh new lines, attended seminars, and even had a second to dip our toes in the pool. All good "I miss Sammy" distractions.


While I was out west Kina took some photos of me in the desert! We had too much fun hiking in heels and singing Sara Bareilles as the sun set. Love that girl.


As soon as I got back I spent two days revving up the courage to apply for the Allure Magazine Beauty Blogger competition. Part of the submission asks for a video, so I finally worked up the courage to post a video tutorial after two years of terrifying anticipation.

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The NEXT day I got a call from Goody. They had just seen my video and were interested in shooting tutorials with me in NYC for the weekend. So I refilled my suitcase for the third time in three weeks and headed to the airport with my gorgeous and talented friend Lindsey for the weekend. Friday was a long day of consulting and test shooting, and then yesterday during the awards we recreated looks we saw the celebs rocking and released them right away. You can view them all HERE.


As soon as I was done, I learned my flight for this morning was actually cancelled. I've spent a combined four hours on hold and still won't be getting into Chicago before 9pm. So, I'll make the best of it with amazing coffee and even more amazing spoons. (Photo by #EATPRAYPHOTO)


Ask and you shall receive.

Put yourself out there, you have nothing to lose. Really.

Friendship is weird. In a good way.

NYC has the best latte I've ever had. If you visit check out Happy Bones.

The camera adds ten pounds but I clearly have more than that to lose. Back on the paleo grind effective immediately, but more importantly, excited to get serious about working out. I'm craving that healthy routine and feeling really good and light. Who wants to go to yoga and Flywheel with me this week?

I appreciate Chicago.

My family is pretty awesome. They acted like I was actually a celebrity instead of just mimicking celeb hair.

I'm continuously blown away by Sammy. I have learned so much about life and hard work from that man. So proud of him.

How was your February? Cheers to March!


Balancing "yes" and "no"

Emilia Jane Photography There’s something totally liberating about saying no to something you don’t want to do, and trust me that’s coming from a “yes” person.

I believe saying yes to most things can end in grand opportunity.

I also believe saying yes can end in grand obligation.

We’re all so busy. Rushing around and adding things to our to-do lists. When is enough really enough? When will we have a breakdown? When will we stop pouring 100% of ourselves into our commitments because we’ve committed to too many things?

I have promised myself that 2014 is about my business. I have huge plans for Your Stylist AJ and they require heavier work weeks and less room for social time. But what I’ve had the misfortune of learning, is that people don’t respond well to being “super busy right now”. I feel like people get irritated by it, and that kinda sucks. The thing is, it’s totally okay to say no sometimes, and it's nothing to feel guilty about!

I have CHOSEN to fill my time with my business. I LIKE working. This doesn’t mean I don’t create time to be social and invest in friendship, or prioritize my family, it just means I’m going to skip going out on a Friday, to wake up early for a Saturday wedding.

Because I want to. 

I believe we’re all guilty of taking on too much, or saying yes to things we feel we have to, instead of doing what we really want to do.

This year, I challenge you to be a yes person to the things you WANT to do, and NO to the things that might cause the water to boil over. This is your year, do what’s best for you!


Image of my mom, sister and I by Emilia Jane Photography

Happy Holidays!

Kina Wicks Photography

Hi guys! I miss you!

December kicked my butt! I'm so excited to wrap up the year with only a few more clients and one more class to teach, and then it's party time!

What are you doing for NYE? You're welcome to stop by for champagne!

What I'm most excited for right now is TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN.

I just can't even handle how excited I am to absolutely BRING IT.

Cheers! AJ

Photo by Kina Wicks Photography


Sammy and I are still completely blown away by our Rombello experience. It was absolutely necessary that I unplug from the world for four whole days. The music was incredible, we were in great company, and we got a taste of some nicer weather! If you're a music lover like us, we highly recommend checking out Sixthman music cruises!

belloWe danced. So much. // We were in awe of the performances and small intimate venues!


We spent the trip hanging out with our favorite musicians. Getting to know them personally and snap some pics made the trip for me!


Having a couple you love enough to travel with is pretty amazing.


I did yoga with some of my favorite artists. On stage. Like a boss.

musicI obviously had the time of my life.

loveWith the love of my life!

I had some anxiety at first about taking off a day at the salon and turning down weddings to take this trip. I have no regrets. As cliche as it is, life is too short, and I deserve time for me, and my relationship. Whatever you're doing with your life, I hope that you take out your calendar and look at the dates you could reward yourself with a break. It's important. Mandatory even.


Women Who Rock // Jes Palace

Jes quote I am so excited to share with you one of the most inspiring women in my life, Jes Palace! This new Women Who Rock series has me pretty amped up.

Jes is my boyfriend's sister, but she's also become one of my favorite human beings. She oozes passion, has a strong sense of self and has a voice that would give Janis Joplin a run for her money. She hiked the Appalachian Trail SOLO for three months this year for crying out loud. I'd be crying by night three, (okay night one), so she's got my attention!

Passions/ Occupations: Currently I am obsessed with my yoga practice. My usual lifestyle consists of being constantly on the move, challenging myself in new and absurd ways and throwing myself into new situations. Unlike the usual, however, yoga allows me to calm my mind and designate the proper amount of "me time" required for my sanity! To me, it is not about the advanced poses that I can now hold in my yoga practice, but more so about treating my body the way it was meant to be treated and learning how to be healthy in mind body and spirit. I am currently studying to become a yoga teacher. The feeling I get from showing someone a way to love themselves and leave feeling confident and happy is the best reward of all, and helps me stay dedicated to my practice and lifestyle.

What does success mean to you? : To me,  success means to find happiness in your purest most natural state. It means to strip your life of all the unnecessary materialism,  emotional attachments, and societal expectations and to constantly thrive on change. To constantly seek challenge and self-improvement. To come back from all experiences, positive and negative, with new eyes.

What are you inspired by? : I am inspired by traveling and meeting other travelers who have stories and experiences that are totally different from mine. I'm inspired by experimenting with and living alternative lifestyles such as the culture that exists at Black Rock City. Black Rock City is a city that exists for only seven days out of the year as Burning Man, and I have attended two times. It is based off of 10 basic principles including some such as gifting or being radically generous. The idea is that if you give more than you take, everything will be okay in the end, no money is allowed. Other principles include being self-reliant and self expressive. Non-attachment is a huge concept here as well. At the end of the week a lot of the art sculptures are burned. This is to symbolize letting go as well as the constant change and non-permanence that surrounds us. The most inspiring part for me is the celebration for the things that go unnoticed in normal everyday life. An example of this would be the sunrise. Every morning 68,000 people watch the sun as it emerges over the earth's beautiful landscape of mountains and we celebrate the start of the day together. The experience inspires me so much and restores my faith in humanity. I live to spread this playful innocence and gratitude every day.

Something you're proud of: I think what I am most proud of is my trek on the Appalachian Trail this past spring.  I took a bus to Amicalola State Park in Georgia by myself with the intent of hiking about 500 miles to Damascus, Virginia.  When I got there, I decided to keep hiking.  I changed all of my plans of coming home to a steady job and loving, supportive boyfriend, and I hiked a total of 962 miles to Front Royal, Virginia, almost half of the entire trail.  It took me about two and a half months. I think I am most proud that I did it by myself.  I met some amazing people while I was out there who I hiked with, but I made my own decisions with no influence, for the first time in my life.  And I lived in the woods! I can't want to return to the simplicity of that lifestyle, and one day I will. I think my next big goal is to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail!


A piece of advice: SAY YES. The one thing that I've learned in the past couple of years since I graduated from college, is that NOW is the time. I always used to say "I wish I could do that" or "I wish I could live that lifestyle" but the truth is I can! And I am. We all can live the life that we want to live. And we can do it now. The only thing holding us back is ourselves. We only live once in these bodies and you cannot live your entire life saying I wish I would've done this or I wish I would've done that. Let go of any guilt or self-consciousness and just go with the flow. Say yes without reason! You will be amazed at the quality of life that you are creating for yourself.

Favorite quote:

“The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.” Ram Dass



Refinery 29 Fall Bridal Feature

Did you just catch the Refinery 29 bridal segment featuring yours truly?! ohmygoodnessgracious. 

Well as psyched as I am for the feature, I'm also so excited to finally share the beauty captured by Emilia Jane Photography, with makeup by Shannon O'Brien, and hair by moi!

Enough chatting, see for yourself!

blonde anthro updoView More: http://emiliajane.pass.us/fall-bridal-beauty-shootbraid crownView More: http://emiliajane.pass.us/fall-bridal-beauty-shootflower crownView More: http://emiliajane.pass.us/fall-bridal-beauty-shoot


If you haven't seen the full feature on Refinery 29, check it out here!


Life as of Late

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I've been playing around with my new camera a bit. Really excited to bring more profesh images to the blog!

Having Sammy home is just TOO fun, but it's been hard to blog with him here. He'll be gone on a boy's trip this weekend, so I'm determined to get some rockstar posts prepped.

We have been FULL forced paleo bandits! Meal prepping like crazy, three trips to Trader Joe's a week. Obsessing over paleo blogs!

I have been spending the majority of my time on extensions and updos. So. Many. Gorgeous. Brides.

It's only September, and I'm already pale. Time to whip out the spray tan.

I have a hot date planned for Monday, and kinda can't wait!

Coloring my hair this weekend, it's SO overdue... even for ombre.

Because work has been so demanding lately, I've become quite the morning person. AKA, I've been spending my month's rent in Starbucks.

Leaving my birthday cards up until my birthday month is officially over. Every time I walk by them all lined up and perked open, I feel special.

I hope you're having the best week ever!


Good Morning!

HI GUYS! I miss you!

Allow me to introduce you to a LIFE CHANGING SHOWER EXPERIENCE. L’OCCITANE products are ALL dreamy and luxurious, but THIS SHOWER OIL is purely decadent.

I was skeptical. An oil? In the… shower? Doesn’t oil repel water? I started imagining myself panicking trying to rid the never rinsing oil in my shower and slipping around like Bambi on ice. But THIS oil, turns into a silky lather when mixed with water. IT SMELLS LIKE A DREAM, it is razorburn’s worst enemy, it is the best way to start your morning.

Now hear me out, this is a $24 body wash essentially. I know that’s a lot of money compared to your Dove, Suave or Bath & Body Works that are full of fillers and nasty overpowered fragrances. This is the most justifiable $24 I’ve ever spent. Do yourself the same favor, you deserve it! ;)



There’s something about the word change that ignites me all over. The way it begins and ends with this strength against your tongue as you say it. Cchhaannggee.

Change is a neat thing, because we all have our own relationship with it. Some people love change- encourage it! Others fear change- get nervous about it.

Personally, I think change is healthy and empowering. (So much that I have it tattooed on my body.) For me it brings newness, which I associate with feeling fresh and rebooted!

This time of year everyone feels a little blah. The holidays are long gone, but Spring is nowhere to be found, in the midwest our skin+hair=DRY. We’re searching all depths for some sort of pick-me-up.

Maybe that’s why all my clients are eager to chop their locks. Whatever the reason, for the first time in my 7 years doing this, it seems like EVERYONE is looking to go short. Typically, I’m ultra conservative with length, and ask a zillion questions before proceeding… “How long have you been thinking about this?” “Did you guys just break up?” etc… but lately, everyone who wants this refreshment has brought in a printed photo or pulled up their Pinterest, eager to invite the newness. In that case, say no more… lets do it!

If you’re looking for a fresh start, I say go for it! What’s really stopping you? Just let go, it’s liberating!

Your Stylist, AJ

(sorry sis! couldn’t resist using these photos!)

Emilia Jane // Sammy & AJ

One of my dearest friends Emilia documented the love I have for Sammy, and the love he has for his guitar ; ) Emilia not only captured our love, but had some SUPER sweet things to say about us on her blog with more images!

Thank you for the sweet photos Em : )