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Though semi-formal events do not require full formal regalia, they usually call for a polished appearance. And, once the right outfit, shoe and accessory combinations are assessed, the look should be polished off with a chic hairstyle. After all, why go through all the trouble of dressing flawlessly, only to let you hair die a mundane death? Luckily, there are many sophisticated hairstyles to choose from, including elegant updos to red-carpet-ready blowouts -- no expensive trip to the salon required.
Every now and again a cocktail party calls for a more conservative hairstyle. The sculpted French chignon can provide an air of sophistication, in a very old Hollywood way. Start by separating the bangs, from temple to temple, before sweeping the rest of the hair back into a high pony tail. Secure the ponytail with a hair elastic and loosely wind the hair around its base, before pinning it in place. Next curl the bang section with a curling iron with a 1-inch barrel. Use your fingers to sculpt a wave around to the side of the head and wrap the bangs' ends around the bun.
Popular with celebrities, the side-swept bun is a romantic option that has graced the heads of many red-carpet trotters. Create this look by curling the hair with a large curling iron (1-inch barrel), grabbing 2-inch sections at the front of the head and working towards the neck’s nape. Once the soft waves are intact, sweep the hair to one side and twist the curls into a loose bun covering one ear. Keep the knot in place with bobby pins, before misting the coif with hairspray.
For a ‘60s-inspired hairstyle, create a messy beehive. Section the hair around the crown of the head, starting at the temples. Gather the rest of the hair at the base of the head, then twist it up into a French bun, pinning it at the crown. Backcomb the loose hair at the crown, using 2-inch sections. Smooth the hair at the front hairline over the teased hair gently. To finish the beehive, tuck the hair into the crease of the French twist and pin it in place, then apply hairspray.
A luxurious blowout is a chic way to show off healthy tresses — if you got it, flaunt it. Achieve the look by applying thickening moose to damp strands. Use a flat paddle brush to pull and bend the hair tautly while blow drying it. Next, set 3-inch sections of hair in 1-1/2 inch Velcro rollers, so that the locks curl as the hair cools down. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes to set. Brush the curls out with a flat paddle brush and finish with a healthy dose of hairspray.