Oh JoyOh Joy

what i'll tell my daughters someday…

Oh Joy daughters

When I was growing up, any and all of my insecurities came from what I thought I wanted to look like but did not look like. My mom was the most encouraging woman I could have asked for and always told me how beautiful she thought I was. But it took a really long time for me to see that for myself. Especially in my pre-teen and teen years, I obsessed over beauty rituals and went through phases of trying to find the perfect products that would make me look just right or wear an obscene amount of concealer to cover up what I thought my imperfections were.

When I was a child and my mom told me I was beautiful, I thought that she was just telling me that because she was…you know, my mom—and that’s the kind of stuff moms tell you (like when they tell you that you can sing but you really can’t). But what I realized now is that she really believed I was beautiful. And she wanted me to believe it, too.

Now in my mid-30’s, it’s taken me a while to really be comfortable in my skin. I’m not 100% there yet, but I'm the most comfortable I’ve ever been. As a mother of two girls, I think about constantly how I’ll convey the idea of beauty to them and how I’ll make sure they feel beautiful no matter what they actually look like. Here are a few things I think I’ll tell them…


10 family-friendly natural body products...

10 Family-Friendly Natural Body Products

I really never cared too much about what body products I used until I had kids, and now I'm all about using high-quality natural products for our bodies as much as possible. Here are a few of my favorite natural beauty/bath/body products right now (with something for the whole family)...

1. Ilia lipstick, 2. One Love Organics Coconut Salt body lotion, 3. Babyganics night time baby lotion, 4. Honest laundry detergent, 5. Tubby Todd orange bubble bath, 6. Tata Harper hydrating floral essence, 7. Priti soy nail polish remover, 8. Babyganics dryer sheets, 9. One Love Organics gardenia and tea body serum, 10. MOP basil mint unisex shampoo. 

P.S. I have updated the description of these items to be called "Natural" vs. "Organic" as not all of them can be considered organic.

fruity lips...

Homemade Tinted Lip Balm Using Natural Ingredients

It's not drugs, it's not alcohol, but there is one thing I've been addicted to for much of my adult life...lip balm! So when our beauty guru, Danielle, mentioned that she makes her own tinted lip balm from all-natural ingredients, I was intrigued. Here's how...

Homemade Tinted Lip Balm Using Natural Ingredients

You'll need these supplies:

-1 double boiler (or) a 12oz pyrex measuring cup and medium sauce pan
- 1 fine mesh strainer (we used a mesh tea ball)
- 0.5 oz lip balm jars (we used these)
- coconut oil
- cosmetic grade beeswax pellets
- beet powder
- freeze dried raspberries
- tangerine oil (for flavor/aroma)

If you want to make a small batch enough to fill 2 -3 containers, you can follow these portions:

- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ tablespoon ground freeze dried raspberries or beet powder (add more if you want a stronger color)
- ½ - 1 teaspoon beeswax (more for a firmer consistency)
- 3 drops of tangerine oil

Homemade Tinted Lip Balm Using Natural Ingredients

Here's how:

1. Grind raspberries/beet powder in coffee grinder until you have a very fine powder.

2. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax over low heat. Once the two are completely melted together, stir in the finely ground raspberries/beet powder. Add more powder for a richer color. Stir the mixture non-stop for about 3 minutes. Add 3 drops tangerine oil. 

3. Using your strainer pour mixture into your containers (this removes any grit from the finished balm).

4. Place lid on the jar and put in freezer to help solidify. They only need about 10 minutes in the freezer until they’re completely solidified.

A few tips:

As the balm cools it will solidify and the powder will start to settle at the bottom. In order to prevent this, I recommend putting your empty containers in the freezer before you’re ready to pour in the mixture. This way, the mixture will solidify faster and there is less time for it to separate. You’ll have to move quickly, so I recommend getting everything laid out in order of the process.

It has a subtle berry color as shown on me above. What do you guys think? Would you make your own lip balm? I think this could be a fun thing to make in large batches and give as gifts for sure!

{Photos by Casey Brodley and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy. Lip Balm recipe by Danielle Walch}

in the mirror...

Giant Photo Booth Photos

The other day, Ruby wanted to play dress-up and asked me for a princess dress to wear (yes, the dreaded princess phase has started!). Since we don't have any play dress-up clothes, I pulled out a flower girl dress that was sitting in the back of her closet that she had never seen before. Her eyes lit up as I helped her put it on. She immediately walked over to the mirror and stared at herself for a good five minutes. She didn't know I was listening, and I overheard her saying...


in a {hair} rut!

Oh Joy Giant Flower

Hair is such a funny thing to me. Some people can change their hair cut, hair color, and general hair vibe every month. And some people (like me) can have the same old hair style for years. My hair is that comfy pair of shoes that you wear every single day. I don't think much about it, I just go with it. But it's way boring which is why I've been playing around with ways to do new 'do's.

With my post-baby hair shedding and just a general feeling that I need a change, I think it's time for a legit hair cut! And not just my usual "Oh, just trim off a couple inches" thing. Something new. The last time I made a major change was when I brought back my bangs about five years ago. I'm pretty sure those bangs are staying, but I want to change up the rest of it. Shorter? A lob? Some color? Some wave? I feel like options are limited with my super straight thick hair but I'm trying to be open-minded.

Here are five inspiration photos I'm loving...

wavy lob with bangs

1. I love the slight wave and the angle to this cut. It seems flirty yet not-too-perfect. Plus, her eyeliner is on point! (via Brit)

Cute cut!

2. A shorter, layered bob that might help make me look cool and French. This might be too short for my face shape, but it sure does look cute on her! (via Forum)

Lauren Conrad

3. Lots of layers and texture like LC. (via Kristen Ess)

Emma Stone

4. Emma Stone's straight and sleek lob with long layers (via Huffington Post).

Gary Pepper

5. A super short bob with some beautiful, full waves. (via Gary Pepper)

What do you guys think? Any other styles I should check out?

{All photos credited above. Wallpaper in top image by Juju Papers.}

a modern bouffant...

Oh Joy / A Modern Bouffant

I've always loved the look of 60's hairstyles but have always been too shy to try and recreate the 60's look on myself. So I asked Danielle to help me come up with a fun way to inject a touch of 60's into a modern hairdo that I could actually do myself. So take a look at our fun and flirty 'do that I like to call The Modern Bouffant. This hairstyle is simple, stylish, and takes less than 15 minutes!

Oh Joy / A Modern Bouffant

1. Nothing says 60's style like a severe side part and swept bangs. So take a comb or rat tail comb and part your hair on either side of your head.

2. Starting about halfway back from your hairline and towards the back curve of the head, take 1 inch sections of hair at a time and and using a teasing brush (which can be found at any beauty supply store) and tease, tease, tease, until you've created some volume in the back. The more height you want, the more you’ll need to tease. If your hair doesn’t like to hold a tease like mine, try sprinkling Osis Dust It hair powder by at the roots before you tease.

3. Smooth over the teased part of the hair by lightly brushing the surface of the hair only. You could stop here if you want and go for a sexy, side-swept look. Or...

4. Slightly twist a small piece of hair from each side of the head...

5....and gently secure each with a hair pin.

6. The final touch: a little hairspray around the pins for hold, and voila!

I love how different the side-swept part made me look, and it works even if you have bangs (like me)! The bangs just get hidden in the part.

P.S. Something else you can do with overgrown bangs...

{Photos by Casey Brodley and hair tips by Danielle Walch for Oh Joy. My top by Whit.}

what to do with those overgrown bangs...

French Braid Bangs and Bun

I love having bangs and will probably have them for the rest of my life. But sometimes (eh, often) I need a bang trim...badly. Weeks pass and before I know it, I can't see from underneath my fringe, and my hair salon doesn't have an appointment available for another couple weeks (I know I should try and trim them myself but I feel like I would totally mess it up and hate myself for even trying). So what do you do when you're overdue for a bang trim or maybe even growing out your bangs?

Here's a sweet little 'do I tried recently— with Danielle's help—that helps tame those way-too-long bangs. It also makes me look like a totally different person but in a very fun "let's look like a different person" kind of way!

Here's how...

What to do with those overgrown bangs

1. Section your hair from ear to ear, separating the back half of the hair into a ponytail.

2. Using a hair brush or comb, brush your bangs backwards towards you ponytail blending your bangs in with the rest of the front section of your hair. Start french braiding the front section of your hair towards your ponytail. You can braid on whichever side you prefer. My bangs tend to go a little off to my right side, so that was the better side to braid since the hair is going that direction anyway.

3. Once you’ve braided up to your ponytail, gently lift one loop from the elastic that’s holding your ponytail, and pull your braid through, joining the remainder of your braid with your ponytail.

4. Twist your ponytail into a bun, and secure with a second hair elastic or hair pins.

French Braid Bangs and Bun

What do you guys think? Would you do this in-between bang trims or when you're growing out your bangs?

{Photos by Casey Brodley and hair tips by Danielle Walch for Oh Joy}

a makeup bump-up...

A Makeup Bump-Up

A Makeup Bump-Up

With the little time I have these days for myself, I'm always looking for quick ways to enhance my daytime makeup to something that feels more festive for night time. So, if you're headed from work to a holiday party or out to dinner with friends, here are two super easy ways from my beauty guru, Danielle Walch, to bump it up with a simple eyeliner trick (using a business card) and a sparkly gloss (using makeup grade glitter)!

A Makeup Bump-Up / Eyeliner Flick

A Makeup Bump-Up / Eyeliner Flick

Eyeliner Flick 

Here's an easy way to add a kitten eye if you're nervous about doing it by hand on your own. Using cream eyeliner, a small angled brush, and a business card...align the card under your bottom lashes, angling it up towards the corner of your eye, and press the edge flat and firm against your skin. Dab your angled brush with a tiny bit of cream liner and with a steady hand, draw your flick to line up with the card's edge. Repeat the same technique on second eye. And, voila, you have quick and easy kitten eyes!

A Makeup Bump-Up

A Makeup Bump-Up / Sparkle Lips

Sparkle Lips

Using makeup-grade glitter, squeeze a dollop of lip gloss onto a palette, and sprinkle with glitter of your choice (we used gold). Mix with lip brush and apply for a subtle touch of festive sparkle! 

P.S. You can see more from Danielle at Inside Out Beauty and her website right here.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, floral styling by Julia Wester, and hair tips by Danielle Walch for Oh Joy. My top by J.Crew.}

a holiday floral updo...

a holiday floral updo

With the holidays fast approaching, we thought it would be fun to come up with a wintry update to our floral updo from the spring. My hair guru, Danielle Walch, taught me how to create this loose and pretty bun that can be worn on it's own, but feels even more special with a few blooms added. Here's how...

a holiday floral updo

1. Curl your whole head of hair. This helps to give the hair body which will make it easier to pin later. We used a 1" barrel curling iron.

2. Tease the hair at the back of the head where bun will be, section off some hair from both sides of your head, nd put the rest of the hair in a ponytail in the back.

3. Pull out about 1/4 of your hair from the ponytail and wrap the remaining 3/4 of it into a bun. Secure the bun with 2-4 hair pins (depending on thickness and length of hair).

4. Once your bun is secure, separate the remaining lock of hair into five sections, and loosely twist each one into the base of the bun and secure with a pin. Separate the remaining hair that’s left in the front into a few uneven strands, loosely twist and pin into your bun. By wrapping smaller sections of hair, it gives a more loose and wavy texture to the bun. 

5. Finally, add flowers. We made small bouquets (almost like boutonniere size) ahead of time so that it was easy to tuck the set into the hair all at once. Simply use some washi tape to keep a few stems together. Secure the mini bunch of blooms with hair pins in at least two places so that it rests nicely on the hair and stays put.

a holiday floral updo

a holiday floral updo

One thing to keep in mind is there is no need for perfection here. The looseness of the bun and the asymmetry of the florals in the hair is part of it's charm. I hope you'll try this for your upcoming holiday festivities (which would look great with a red lip)!

P.S. You can see more from Danielle at Inside Out Beauty and her website right here.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, floral styling by Julia Wester, and hair tips by Danielle Walch for Oh Joy. My top by J.Crew.}

4 ways to wear red lips...

4 Ways to Wear Red Lips

I've come around to wearing brighter lip colors in the last couple years, but I tend to stick to my same berry shade. I've always wanted to try wearing red lips and since it's a classic color that looks so pretty on every skin tone and instantly perks up your face. And, with the little sleep I'm getting these days, I sure could use any perking up I can get! 

4 Ways to Wear Red Lips

To figure out what shades and items to try, I turned to my makeup guru, Danielle Walch, who does my hair and makeup for my video shoots. She's always really good at keeping me looking natural, but adding a little extra to make me feel fresh and glowy. Here are some of Danielle's tips about wearing red lips...

When choosing a red lip, there are several options, and you don't necessarily have to apply anything in full concentration to get a beautiful red effect. 

4 Ways to Wear Red Lips

1. Lip Tint—There are lots of great tints out there these days like this Fresh tinted lip balm. They're low maintenance, so you don't have to look in a mirror to put it on, and unlike lipstick, a tint will wear off evenly as the day goes on. Since tints are sheer, they pick up a bit of your natural lip shade making each tint slightly different on whomever wears it.

4 Ways to Wear Red Lips

2. Stain Stick—If you want a little more color, lip stains have a bit more pigment, and are more like a cross between a lip tint and lipstick. Here we used Tarte's fiery stain stick which still accents the natural lip color with a bit more saturation. 

4 Ways to Wear Red Lips

3. Lip Gloss—A gloss can be on the sheer side but offers shine for a more glam effect. This Bite Candy Apple gloss, provides a great, low maintenance way to fancy it up a little. 

4 Ways to Wear Red Lips

4. Lipstick—Now if you really want a bold and true red, lipstick is the way to go. But if you're still feeling a little timid, try this technique instead. Using a very pigmented lipstick—like this Nars Annabelle shade—use a lip brush apply a very sheer amount of lipstick. Then take a cotton swab, a firm eyeshadow brush, or your finger, and carefully, smudge any sharp lines on the edges of your lips. This creates a softer and less dramatic effect, but you still get a nice pop of red.

In the end, there are no set rules for wearing a red lip. Don't be afraid to experiment and try these the baby steps to wearing red lips! I know it's made me more excited about it!

P.S. You can see more from Danielle at Inside Out Beauty and her website right here.

{Photos by Casey Brodley and makeup tips from Danielle Walch for Oh Joy. My top by Loyal Hana.}