# braided hairstyles # Charity

Hair & Nails Chat + Milkmaid Braid Tutorial, The New Braiding Handbook

This week we are talking hair and nails. If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you've noticed over the recent months that I've been having fun experimenting with braided hairstyles. I've always loved braids (it's the Madame Bohemienne in me!) so I was excited when Ulysses press recently sent me the new book by Abby Smith, The New Braiding Handbook.

Abby Smith is a fellow YouTuber with a wonderful channel called Twist Me Pretty. This book is a valuable resource because while I usually just wing it and create a hit or miss hairstyle, The New Braiding Handbook gives you great step-by-step instruction on creating new and classic braided hairstyles.

A while back on Facebook a reader commented that she liked the braided updo but felt she might be too old to wear braids. I don't think anyone is too old. If you pick the right age-appropriate look, your braided updo can look very elegant. This braided chignon, from the Duchess of Cambridge is a perfect example:

In this week's video I start off in pigtails (which is an age-inappropriate look for me!) but it's for a good reason... I give you a classic milkmaid braid updo tutorial half way through the video.

The milkmaid braid might feel too costume-y for you but I think you should give it a try. You might surprise yourself with how chic you look and I think it makes a great (easy) formal updo as well. There's something very regal about it even though it is meant for the look of a milkmaid.

Here are some of the braided looks I've shared on Instagram over the past few months. Which one is your favorite?

And now let's talk about nails. I've been experimenting with various colors this spring, some of which are out of my comfort zone. I've found some beautiful ones! But I also realize that the neutrals and classics are still my favorite. These two in particular, Dior's Incognito and Rouge, are particularly divine.

Check out this week's video for the milkmaid braid tutorial and an even more in depth discussion of these topics. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Last Monday I had the honor of speaking at the West Los Angeles support group for Women Heart: The National Coalition for women with Heart Disease. My talk focused on living a fulfilling life even during life's struggles. I was so moved and inspired by the stories and the bravery of the women in this group. Thank you to Alisa Becket and Amanda Daniels for inviting me to speak. For more information on Women Heart visit www.womenheart.org

Pictured with Amanda Daniels (left) and Alisa Becket (right)

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought

Sometimes, for special events, it "takes a village" to get ready and presentable. We trust our hair, makeup, styling and nails to the professionals. But on a daily basis, empower yourself to be your own beauty team. Don't be afraid to try out new hairdos. Practice wearing them at home if you feel unsure about going out in public with them. You don't need to spend a lot of money at the salon each week to achieve a polished look. Try giving yourself a manicure at home this week. Start with the neutral colors so the mistakes aren't as visible. Have fun with cultivating your own style and beauty routine. #lookpresentablealways

This week I would love to know... what are your thoughts on braided hairstyles? Would you ever wear one? What about nails? Do you like classic shades or do you prefer edgy colors? Do you do your manicures at home? Or do you have them professionally done?

Music in this week's video: Etente Cordiale
Royalty Free Music by
Sound Effects by

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Catelijne said...

Love this video!

I like all your updos but the second one, in your emerald green top/dress, the most. I have just cut my hair to weeks ago and I'm not sure if I can still make a proper braid. But I'll give it a try. For me, the updo in the video is not too costume-y. I would wear it if I could again.

Right now I have only four shades of nail polish for all the seasons: coral, brown-red, dark red and bright red. You made me think of adding one neutral because of the ease of wearing it longer without noticing chips. I always do them at home.

Thank you Jennifer for the inspiring video.

Anceeta Martis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer :) said...

I love braids, my favorite in this post is the cascading braid, I've seen that on Pinterest numerous times over the last couple of years, and have tried it several times, usually ending in frustration. I might just have to practice more. ;) I love braids and I do think they can be very chic.

I used to get my nails done during my lunch break at work, in a neutral tone and love that. I'm not working anymore, well, I'm a stay at home mom now! ;) I'm super picky and that way my nails match whatever I'm wearing, so a neutral works best for me. I'm not too keen on the edgier colors. Thanks for your posts and inspiration.

Rita said...

Jennifer, I love all your braids! They're a great look for you.

I love bright nail color, but when I'm doing a lot of work with my hands, it's too difficult to maintain the nail polish, so I just buff my nails lightly. When I was wearing nail polish more, I would remove the polish before I went to bed, then do my nails in the morning. That keeps the yellow from getting out of control. If you get a manicure, take your own color, that way you have it for touch-ups.

McKristie said...

Do you have or use a base or top coat you prefer?? I am buffing at home now but would like to start using polish again (recovering from damage from gel nails).

wild nettle said...

Hi Jennifer :)
I read your book (Lesson from madame Chick) and now I found your blog.
Great book and blog
Congratulations :)

Joy said...

So my question is, how long do your manicures typically last? I have only been to a nail salon twice ever in my life, and only in my 30's!!! I do pedi's a at home a couple times a month, but usually shy away from doing manicures because of how long (read: short) they last.

I love the braids, but I need to devote some time to practicing them. My hair isn't nearly as long as yours right now, though I am growing it out. Any tips for more medium-long hair?

Love your post, as always!

Nana said...

Thank you so much!
I have a wedding to go on saturday and i didn´t know what to do with my hair. Now i do!
Kisses and God bless you

Catelijne said...


could you maybe do an update of your 'what's in my shower' video? I'm very curious!