By Sheryl George
Updated Jun 18, 2015 @ 5:30 pm
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Bobby pins do all sorts of behind-the-scenes work in a red-carpet hairstyle—but they've also become a standout accessory in their own right. Case in point: the gorgeous looks created by celebrity stylist Mark Townsend for clients Elizabeth Banks, Ashley Olsen and Elizabeth Olsen, which owe their style and staying power to the (not so) humble hair tools. Here's how to recreate each pin-teresting do.

To get Ashley Olsen's look (above) pull hair into a half ponytail before twisting it into a bun. Underneath the base of the knot, crisscross bobby pins ($3; to create an X-mark. "Half-up isn’t the most glamorous style—but having the bobby pins here really elevates the look,” says Townsend.


"I’m obsessed with these pins from Japan ($42;," says Townsend of this chicer take on the utilitarian tool shown on Banks. "Even just adding one brought a little something, without being overboard."


Ready to make even more of a statement? Up the ante by accenting a simple chignon with three large pins. "Just throw your hair back into knot and then add the pins on the side. They aren’t being used for function, it’s to give something for the eye to look at." When it comes to placement, Townsend says, "stacking them in an odd number creates visual interest.”