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Updos In A Minute

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Emily Ratajkowski photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Hung Vanngo. Hair by Jennifer Yepez.

December has its ups and downs. On the one hand it’s December: Parties, presents, and travel commitments are everywhere you look. On the other hand [now say it slowly with an air of grumpiness] it’s December: Parties, presents, and travel commitments are [insert a long, exaggerated sigh here] everywhere you look. You hardly have a minute to spare. No time for elaborate makeup schemes and wild hair construction for parties, especially—you’re a regular person, not Susan Lucci playing Erica Kane. But oh those festive shindigs! They’re calling your name, so here’s a wild thought: Instead of not thinking about how you’re going to pull off your next party beauty look until the absolute last minute, and then briefly agonizing about it before settling on something that communicates “untag me” on Instagram, you could engage in the much more pragmatic exercise of amplifying what you already know how to do well. Starting with your hair, where the ultimate evening ponytail is only minutes away. Same goes for a bun that doesn’t look like you came from the gym, or an updo held up with simplest of accessories. Let Emily Ratajkowski, Kérastase spokesmodel, and hairstylist Jennifer Yepez show you how. Hurry up now—the clock’s ticking.

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In 2 Minutes: The Sleek Pony

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Grab a brush and spray that bad boy like you mean it. With hairspray (Jennifer used Kérastase's Laque Couture). Brush your hair and pull it up then down, to minimize bumps while adding height. Jennifer brushed Elixir Ultime Original Oil on the ponytail itself to add shine. And that’s it! Don’t get caught up in trying to make your hair super straight like Emily’s. A curly ponytail is beautiful! Just make sure to use a brush with extra stiff bristles to smooth out everything on top.

In 5 Minutes: The Low-Lift Chignon

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This is a case of working with what you’ve got. Grab the closest butterfly or claw clip within reach. Doesn’t matter if it’s a goofy-looking one, you’re going to anchor it with a non-goofy style—a low bun. An easy classic that’s getting some new love in this century (thanks Alexander Wang). Start with a middle part. Leave a few pieces out in the front, and gather the rest into a low bun, leaving the ends out for a more modern feel. Clasp it with your clip and bobby pin as needed to prevent strays from popping out. And then make sure it stays in place all night by giving it a healthy spritz of hairspray (again Jennifer used Laque Couture). If you have curls, don’t worry about straightening all of your hair. Just focus on the front pieces by blow drying them straight, followed by a quick run with a flat iron.

In 15 Minutes: The High Bun

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For controlled messiness, texture is key. Working with natural curls or waves? Great, you’re already a step ahead. Straight hair requires some mousse, either a strictly volumizing one, like Kérastase’s Mousse Bouffante, or a volumizing one made especially for thin hair, like Densimorphose, says Jennifer, who used Densimorphose on Emily to execute this look. Once the mousse was brushed through, she parted Emily’s hair down the middle, lifted it into a high ponytail, and wrapped it into a pin-secured bun. Leave a few pieces dangling in the front to keep this look comfortable. Jennifer gave those danglers a bit of movement by wrapping them around a curling iron, making sure to not curl the ends to keep up with the easy, undone theme. If your hair is curly, blow dry the front pieces first before giving them a whirl around the curling barrel. No hairbrush required (or allowed, for that matter).