Abby Smith is the author of “The Ultimate Hairstyle Handbook” and founder of every braid fanatics favorite website, “Twist Me Pretty”. After spending years of struggling to styler her hair, this mom of 2 decided she wanted to ditch the Shirley Temple curls and fumbling braids, and learn how to create the hairstyles she’d always lusted after.

After spending months watching YouTube tutorials, she discovered she had a knack for doing hair and started sharing what she’d learned with friends. The little blog she started to share her tips with 5 people quickly blossomed into a devout group of followers who were eager to learn how Abby created gorgeous braids in the blink of an eye and hairstyles that were “mom-friendly”.

Today, “Twist Me Pretty” has become one of the premier beauty blogs and is the go-to site for busy Mom’s and everyday Fashionistas who are looking for easy to follow hair tutorials as well as fashion and lifestyle advice.

Read below to find out what beauty product she cannot live without, her secret to creating hair worthy of the red carpet, and an easy way to recreate the texturized ponytail Kerry Washington rocked at the Academy Awards.

Where do you get inspiration for hairstyles and looks?
I get inspired by celebrities and I also love looking through instagram. When I try to replicate certain styles I find they usually morph into their own thing because of my hair length and texture. The exact same hairstyle will look so different on someone with thick hair vs thin, long hair vs short or fine hair vs coarse. It's always fun to see how the style ends up and that's why I love playing with hair, it's just never the same!

What is your go to style when it comes to hair and makeup?
My signature style would probably be a side dutch braid into a low messy bun. As a stay at home mom I'm always looking for quick styles that keep my hair out of my face!! I'm usually lighter on the makeup with a quick highlight and contour and a bold lip.

What’s the best hair advice you’ve ever been given?
Dry Shampoo! When I learned about dry shampoo it totally changed my life!

Who is your red carpet beauty crush?
I always love Reese Witherspoon; she's always so classic and feminine.

What were your favorite beauty trends this red carpet season?
One trend that stood out to me was the pulled back middle part! I noticed a lot of sleek hairstyles and styles that were fairly simple from the front but then had a lot of detail and personality from the back.

Were you surprised by any particular look on the red carpet?
I don't think I was surprised by any particular look on the red carpet but I did notice there weren't many braids. I absolutely love braids and I think that's a huge trend right now in the beauty industry so to see that there weren't many braided hairstyles stood out to me. I'm curious to see how the lack of braids and an increase in more sleeker styles affects the future trends.

What were you some of your favorite red carpet looks at this years Academy Awards?
I really loved Alicia Vikander's half-up topknot and Kerry Washington’s cool ponytail. Chrissy Teigen's soft braid was amazing and Naomi Watts tousled lob was gorgeous.

What are a few key tips for achieving red carpet worthy hairstyles?
It's always very important to have the right texture of hair when styling a specific look. If you're going for something more sleek, you'll want clean hair that's been blown dry and straightened. If you're going for a fluffier braid or tousled updo, you'll want more texture in the hairstyle. Using the right products like texture spray, or serum is key to achieving the look that you're going for!

What’s the key to taking a style from the red carpet and incorporating it into your everyday style?
There aren't a lot of us that can get away with wearing red carpet hairstyles in everyday life! Some of the edgier faux hawks and intricate up styles in years past needed to be toned down and modified to fit into an every day life scenario. For example, turning a full faux hawk braid into a partial faux hawk so hair was left down on the shoulders made for a less edgy and more wearable style. This year I feel like the hairstyles were all very wearable right off the bat... there were a lot of sleek ponytails, easy half up styles and lots of effortless waves.


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