The big trend of the summer? Every Pinterest-ing gal has decided to become a mermaid. And really, who wouldn’t want some mer-life? Spending all day in your bikini with permanently shirtless men sounds pretty good to me.
Here are the keys to integrating mermaid fashion and beauty into your landlubber life:
Taste the rainbow! The palette for mermaid style has moved beyond simple teal and is decidedly My Little Pony. It’s a more muted, pastel-y translation of the punky Manic Panic looks of yesteryear. Don’t be afraid of pink, blonde and ombre in addition to traditional ocean colors.
The bad news: to pull this off, you’re gonna have to bleach first. Go to a pro and save yourself the heartache of watching your hair fall out.
Tans fell out of favor for a few years, but they’re back in a big way. Of course, the only safe way is a faux tan – I know, I know, real tans last longer and blah blah – listen, I used to feel the same way. Now I’m in my late 20s and I’ve personally known a few gals who’ve ended up with skin cancer. Your risk goes up by 50% from using tanning beds. FIFTY.
Plus, check out those old ladies at your salon. They look like Richard Dawson’s bent elbow. Is that what you want? Brown wrinkles? SEXY.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox if you promise to only spray-tan. The new ones aren’t smelly or orange like they were seven years ago. I go get a fresh beautiful brown once a week and people always ask me how I stay so tan in the summer. No Oompa-Loompa required.
There’s little more mermaidy than a braid (and nothing cuter than calling them mer-braids, ne?). While all braids seem to have that beach-dream mermaid feel to them, the crown braid and fishtail braid are two common and aquatically suited braids. Combine them for a look worthy of any mergirl!
There’s even a braid called the mermaid braid now:
Wide and flat like a mermaid’s tail, the base braid is a very fine French braid that incorporates delicate strands of hair into the plait as it flows elegantly down the back or over the shoulder. It looks fishtail-y, but it’s much wider.
Look too complicated? Worry not – basically any braid can look mermaidish if you style it right. A great product like Redken Braid Aid 03 ($20) can aid in the process, as it adds grip for easy braiding and helps braids last longer.
Some seashell hair accessories don’t hurt either.
There’s one mermaid accessory we ladies will never get: that big floppin’ fin. So how do we channel Splash while walking around on land? The maxi dress simulates flowing waters for a Daryl Hannah-worthy look we tail-challenged gals can handle.
A few tips for mermifying your maxi: light colors are best (plus they’ll look increbs on that [spray] tan you’re now rocking). don’t fear prints or ombre, and keep romance at the forefront. That means updos should be dripping with strands and messy. Free flowing and Botticelli-esque, as Cher would say.
Here’s some inspiration with different takes on the traditional maxi:
From left to right:
- #2 – similar skirt, $19
- #3 – Victoria’s Secret resort wear
- #4 – Aspired banded maxi by Jets
- #5 – South Coast Wahines skirts (similar – various patterns available, $5-$20)
- #6 – similar
(P.S. There’s a separate silhouette in fashion often referred to as the “mermaid” which echoes the shape of a mermaid’s tail. We’re not talking about that, but rather about styles that evoke the traditional idea of a mermaid. In fact, I find that mermaid silhouettes usually feel quite opposite from a boho-beachy style.)
The beachiest of waves.
The beach-wave — that lazy, my-stylist-is-the-ocean look – is quintessential mer-life. If you find yourself never getting the beach wave quite right, this may blow your mind: the most common mistake is curling or waving too far down the hair shaft. Keep any wave far from the ends.
Try taking two small sections of hair, twisting them, applying a product like Redken Fashion Waves 07 Texturizing Sea Spray, and then flat-ironing on top. Seriously! You’ll be in love with the perfect waves that emerge. We also have a few other great posts on waving it up, including how to get casual beachy waves.
Thanks to Redken for providing product samples for review purposes.