HIPPIE CHIC: Kate Hudson lets her curls loosely flow (Astrid Stawiarz, Getty…)
If the budget pinch is making you think twice about splurging on a new frock to wear to lavish cocktail parties, Cañon Drive dinners or other exuberant affairs, not to worry. We asked some posh hairstylists to spread some holiday cheer with suggestions for creative DIY 'dos that can spice up a holiday shindig, even if it's just a cozy family potluck or a night of draft beer and vodka tonics with friends at a local watering hole.
Those of you short on time can go for the old standby sported by just about every starlet worth her nonfat chai ice latte by pulling your hair into a low, disheveled-chic bun, says Redken creative consultant Guido. "A little messy knot can transform into an evening look," he says. "Before you go to work, spread thickening lotion into your hair and let it dry naturally and scrunch through the day. Before you go out that night, pull it back tight and smooth out the edges." Carry accessories such as fun headbands and clips in your bag to add to the look, Guido says. But be careful about pulling the bun too tight, advises stylist Liz Denvin of Andy LeCompte Salon in West Hollywood, lest you "start to look like you're going to prom." To kick it up a notch, LeCompte himself says to use grooming cream or a pomade to twist back the sides of your hair and pin them into a bun. Stylist and "Shear Genius" judge Kim Vo suggests weaving in a ribbon and braiding the sides back into a bun. Celebrities with the look: Nicole Richie with a messy bun; Natalie Portman, wearing a bun with twists and braids at this year's Oscars.
"[Wearing your hair] down with the twisted curls is always so great," Vo says. "Twist your hair into five or six 1-inch sections with a curling balm that gets in the hold, but doesn't make the curls so frizzy [Vo uses his brand's Twist and Tame curling balm] and let them dry. A couple hours later, run your fingers through them and it looks very Renaissance and hippie chic." Celebrity with the look: Kate Hudson.
1960s sex kitten
Want to be a bit more naughty than nice? Try what LeCompte did for Madonna at the 2009 Video Music Awards: Put in some volumizing mousse and Velcro rollers and blast your hair with heat. After your hair cools, release the curlers and tease the top "mohawk" section before pinning it back and adding some hair spray. Viola! Julie Newmar! Celebrity with the look: Madonna.
For a quick fix to the everyday office routine, Vo suggests that you break out the curling iron and "sweep the bangs away from the face." He says this lets you wear your hair down, but this "gives it a bit of movement." Celebrity with the look: Nicole Kidman.
Modern-day Veronica Lake
Masters of the hot tools with some extra time on their hands can try a dash of old Hollywood glamour, Vo says. "You're going to mimic a finger wave," he says. "Hold your curling iron horizontally and curl each piece under. Then pull on the curl to release it so it's not like Shirley Temple. Put some hair spray on it, then take a paddle brush and do one little sweep and mold the pieces into each other." Celebrity with the look: Megan Fox.