Prepare your hair for heat styling. For a more light and whimsical look, start with a dab of heat-styling serum smoothed evenly through your tresses. This product will protect your locks without weighing your hair down. If starting with wet hair, apply the serum in sections before blow drying. If working with a dry mane, finger-comb the serum through for even distribution. For more polished waves like Lucy Liu showed off in "InStyle" magazine, start by running a small amount of sculpting gel evenly through your hair. Let the product dry naturally before pulling out your curling iron.
Curl a one-inch section of hair from tips to roots, holding the curling iron vertically while rotating the barrel inward. "Cosmopolitan" magazine suggests taking your newly formed curl, rolling the section around a finger and securing with a bobby pin at your crown. Don't worry if the pinned section sticks out or looks messy -- you're just holding the curl's shape while you work on the rest of your locks.
Curl the next section of hair, using the same method as the previous step but rotating the curling iron in the opposite direction. According to "Cosmopolitan," curling all of your hair in the same direction causes curls to get caught on each other and pull themselves straight. Continue curling and pinning hair in sections.
Apply a light misting of hairspray once you've finished curling sections. Let your hair dry for five minutes and then remove the bobby pins.
Finger-comb your curls to loosen them up a bit. Curls are supposed to be cute, but tight Shirley-Temple-style ringlets are a bit much. The amount that you comb through your coif is up to you. Running your fingers through a bit more creates a look that's more romantic and carefree, a la actress Marion Cotillard featured in "InStyle" magazine article "1 Bob, 6 Ways -- Make the Most of Your Cut." Keeping curls a little tighter will give you a 'do more like Sandra Oh's. Once you've got your curls styled to perfection, add another coat of hairspray.
For an enchanting evening up-do, pin up your curls in the back and let your tresses at the front hang loose.
You don't need to style your entire head to benefit from the beauty of curls. Curling just a few sections at each area of your head -- near your hairline, around the middle of your head and close to the nape of your neck -- adds a bit of glamor without looking too uptight.