June 2012

Smooth Lips

posted on: 6.28.2012

One thing that is most certainly never in style are chapped lips. I remember watching that old improv-comedy show hosted by Nick Cannon a few years ago called Wild N Out, and they rapped about how gross chapped lips are. Yes, it is no secret that chapped lips can be a deal breaker for many people. To achieve smooth, sexy lips, you don't need a lot. All you need is a good lip scrub, a disposable mascara wand (or a toothbrush!) and a super moisturizing lip balm.

To get some seriously smooth lips, I apply some lip scrub on my lips, and then take my disposable mascara want and using small, circular motions, I rub the scrub on my lips, exfoliating them. Taking a warm, damp washcloth, I rub the scrub off my lips, also using small, circular motions to ensure I got all the dead skin off. To finish it off, I use Jack Black's Intense Therapy Lip Balm, which is the most moisturizing lip balm I have ever come across (and it stays on the lips for more than six hours!). You can do this every day or as little as you want. It's pretty foolproof though!

If you don't want to splurge on Fresh's Sugar Lip Polish, I showed you how to make your own DIY lip scrub that is just as good a few months ago. Do you have any tried-and-true lip products that you swear by?

Summer Daze: Beach Beauty Kit

posted on: 6.25.2012

I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes when I go to the beach with friends, they insist on going out to someplace nice to eat immediately after we leave the beach, instead of going home and changing. When I go to the beach, I use very minimal makeup and pretty much look like a hot mess. Panic starts settling in, until I remember I brought my handy dandy beauty essentials in my beach tote! Crisis averted. I picked out some great, brush-free, multi-tasking products that every beach gal should have in her beach bag.
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bag from anthropologie
Stila has a fantastic range of multi-use products. There's a shade for everyone! The product above is a great, easy to use stain for both the cheeks and lips. A little goes a long way! Also, if you get oily and want to even up your complexion before leaving the beach, Bare Escentual's refillable brush is perfect and easy to use. If you have dark hair like me, use a dark brown eyeliner pencil (like the Urban Decay Demolition pencil above) for both eyeliner AND as an eyebrow pencil. And of course waterproof mascara is a must, as are blotting sheets and the ultimate beach accessory, sunscreen.

All of these beauty essentials fit easily in the super-affordable ombre beach tote I found at Anthropologie (for only $38!!). Plus, you can also keep all of your other beach essentials in the tote as well. Happy beachgoing, everyone!

Review: Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Eyeshadow

posted on: 6.20.2012

The other day I was feeling quite rowdy and decided that I really wanted to splurge on a luxury makeup item. Like, really splurge. In my head, I associate "splurge" with "Chanel", so I knew I had to make it happen. And conveniently enough, one of my best friends was heading to Orlando for some shopping and brought me with her, so I was able to make my splurging dreams a reality.

Before making the trip, I did a lot of research on luxury cosmetics to see what product would be worth the money and would be the most unique. I decided that I really wanted to get the Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadows that Chanel came out with recently, and with Temptalia's grade of approval, it was pretty much a done deal. The shades were pretty unique and nothing else really compared to it. Now onto my actual review!

Temptalia has a really in-depth review of these eyeshadows, so I'm going to just direct you to there for all the technical stuff and possible dupes. I am truly in love with these eyeshadows. At $36 a pop, it is a bit of a splurge, but I do believe these are completely worth it. These are truly long-wearing, too. I only had them on for about 7 hours, but it showed no signs of creasing or fading any time soon. I am actually more excited to use these in my makeup kit than on myself. I would like to purchase the other four shades exclusively for my kit.

The texture of these shadows are really interesting. These are gel-based cream shadows. They feel kind of springy and sponge-like. There is really no way to accurately describe these shadows in words- just go to a Chanel counter and feel them out for yourself because it is truly unique. The packaging is nice and sturdy- I've always thought of Chanel to have the classiest and sleekest packaging. These shadows also come with a collapsible brush, which is actually pretty decent. These shadows can also be used as an eyeliner as well.
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in 83- Illusoire

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in 85- Mirifique
The two shades I bought were Illusoire and Mirifique. These two colors are really interesting. It's really hard to describe them because they are so multi-dimensional. Illusoire is a taupe/purple hybrid color, and Mirifique is a black/navy/glittery hybrid. Getting a good photograph of the swatches of these colors was extremely difficult! You definitely need to see these in person.

From a makeup artist's standpoint, these shadows are so worth it. They are extremely versatile for a makeup kit and will work on just about everyone (depending on the shade- obviously). Plus, I believe it is pretty important to have some luxury cosmetic items in your kit for clients- but that is a post for another time (coming soon!). From an average consumer's standpoint, these definitely aren't necessary but if there's a shade that speaks to you, it is totally worth it. Plus, these shadows will look wonderful on the bathroom counter and add a bit of luxury to your life. If you have $36 to spare, check these out. I plan on getting the other four shades to add to my kit!
Illusoire on the left; Mirifique on the right

Summer Daze: 6 Simple Summer Makeup Looks

posted on: 6.15.2012

When summertime rolls around, I get *super* lazy when it comes to my makeup routine. I compiled a list of this summer's makeup trends and created six makeup looks (ranging from super easy and lazy to still pretty easy but a bit more involved) that anyone can rock during the summer. Even if you don't have the makeup products I used in the look, you can use whatever you have. Let's get started!
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  1. Natural & Glowy- This is hands down the easiest look of the bunch. I used a rosy pink cream blush (Bite Lip Rouge in Geranium) and a highlighter on the top of my cheekbone (Benefit High Beam). On my eyes I tightlined with a black kohl liner (MAC Smoulder) and applied mascara (Makeup Forever Smoky Eye). On the lips I applied Revlon Colorburst lip gloss in Sunset Peach, and applied a very light dusting of powder in my T-zone area only.
  2. Natural With a Bright Lip- This is the same makeup as above, but with a bright lipstick applied instead (I used Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in 27). I also contoured slightly with MAC MSF in Medium Deep.
  3. Winged Liner & Coral Lips- This is a very on-trend summer look that is also relatively simple, but a bit of practice is needed. The makeup is the same as the look in #1, but I also contoured the crease of my eye with MAC Espresso eyeshadow, and used a black gel liner to make a thick, winged liner (Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink). I also contoured my face with my MAC MSF in Medium Deep, and for the lips I used MAC Vegas Volt as a base and contoured with Urban Decay's Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Punch Drunk.
  4. A Pop of Teal- This is one of my favorite looks! Adding a touch of teal or turquoise to eye makeup this summer is very trendy, and fairly easy to do! For the eyes, I applied Yaby's Magic Timber eyeshadow all over the lid, and then applied MAC Wedge & Espresso eyeshadows into the crease to contour. I used a black gel liner to apply eyeliner on the upper lashline and winged it out slightly. On my lower lashline, I applied Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Electric on the outer 3/4 of the lower lashline, and then used Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On Pencil in El Dorado on the inner corner. On top of the Electric eyeliner pencil, I applied Sugarpill's Junebug loose shadow to create a teal effect. On the cheeks I used Tarte Blissful Amazonian clay blush and contoured with my MAC MSF in Medium Deep. For the lips I used MAC Lovelorn lipstick and applied L'Oreal's Le Gloss in Nude Touch on top.
  5. Golden Eyes- This look is also a bit more involved but still extremely wearable and light for the summer. For the eyes, I used Urban Decay's 24/7 Pencil in El Dorado all over the lid, and blended it out with my finger. On top of the liner I applied a light, shimmery peachy shadow (MAC Evening Aura- Limited Edition), and then Ben Nye's Aztec Gold Loose Shadow on top of the peach shadow. In the crease I used MAC Wedge and Soft Brown eyeshadows to contour. On the lower lashline I used MAC Handwritten eyeshadow. For eyeliner, I simply used MAC Smoulder Eye Kohl. On the cheeks I used Bite Lip Rouge in Geranium and Urban Decay's Baked Bronzer in Baked. On the lips I applied Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 39 with Makeup Forever's Lab Shine in S2 on top.
  6. Summer Bronzed-  If you're like me and are super pale, bronzer becomes your best friend. You definitely don't want to overdo it either, because looking like an oompa-loompa is never attractive either. On my eyes I just used MAC Soft Brown and Espresso eyeshadows to contour, and used a black gel liner and winged out my liner very slightly. On the cheeks I contoured with my MAC MSF in Medium Deep, and for a blush I used the Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Baked. I also applied some of this on my brow bone. On the lips I used Revlon Colorburst lip gloss in Sunset Peach.
This was a bit of a long-winded post, but I hope you enjoyed it! Have a great weekend everyone, and let me know if you try any of these looks out!

A Public Declaration For My Love of Toms Shoes

posted on: 6.14.2012

Toms shoes: you either love them or hate them. Me? I'm fricken obsessed with them! I own two pairs and I'm ready to expand my collection. If you've never tried on a pair of Toms, you need to go to your nearest Toms retailer and slap a pair on your feet because they are the comfiest shoes I own. It's like walking on a cloud! I love wearing them whenever I go to Disney because of the comfort they provide. Now Toms has come out with ballet flats and strappy wedges! This is not helping my online shopping addiction at all.
Not only that, but it's for a good cause! With every pair of shoes purchased, Toms donates a new pair to kids in need in Africa. They also just came out with strappy wedges which I am absolutely in love with. Don't judge me but I don't own a pair of casual wedges (I know!) so I think the Toms wedges will be creeping their way into my shoe collection very soon. Anyone else own a pair of Toms and love them as much as I do?

Also pictured above: Toms Classics & Toms Nautical Biminis

The Caviar Manicure Trend: Hot or Not?

posted on: 6.13.2012

If you've been around the online beauty scene for the past few months, you will have noticed a new trend: caviar manicures. The people over at Ciaté cleverly packaged a three-dimensional nail kit- the first of its kind, really- and made it easily accessible to the masses. Some people loathe it, some people love it.

If you live in the US like I do, you can get these at your local Sephora for $25, and it includes a nail polish, the caviar pearls, a funnel, and a tray. There are three options available: black pearls, mother of pearl pearls, and rainbow pearls.

The whole concept is very interesting to me. I kind of have mixed feelings on this trend. On one hand, I think it creates a stunning and editorial effect, and looks awesome in photos. On the other hand, I think this trend only belongs in editorials in the glossy magazines- it seems really impractical for everyday wear. I suppose this would be cool to sport at a special event, but it seems really time consuming and, in my opinion, not worth it. With all the time you spend on this manicure, I would think that the pearls would fall off fairly quickly.

I pulled this straight from Sephora: "This cutting-edge manicure lasts at least 48 hours. To ensure your new manicure last even longer: seal the free edge of your nails with a top coat to ensure durability, make sure you allow the pearls to set for at least 15 minutes, and work on one nail at the time while nails are still wet." Yea. This is a little to complicated for my liking. But to each their own!

So, although I do think the finished look is pretty awesome, this is a trend I will definitely be holding out on. What are your thoughts on the caviar manicure trend? Have any of you tried it?

Summer Daze: 10 Sundresses Under $50

posted on: 6.12.2012

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today I am debuting a new series especially for the summer, called "Summer Daze". This series of posts will go through this month and next month, and will be about various trends, ideas, and tips that are related to summer. So to kickstart this fun summer series, I present to you 10 sundresses under $50!
From left to right: [one] [two] [three] [four] [five]

From left to right: [one] [two] [three] [four] [five]
One of my favorite things about summertime is the abundance of sundresses I see. There are so many beautiful, casual dresses out on the market today, but sometimes it is difficult to find affordable and cute dresses. I also have a bit of an issue with people who say a $100 sundress is affordable. I don't think so! So I made it my goal today to find ten dresses under $50, five of which were under $25.

Most of my all-time favorite sundresses come from surf brands. In my opinion, surf brands come out with the most adorable and beautiful sundresses I've ever laid my eyes on, and are way more affordable than most non-surf brands. A few of my favorite surf brands are Roxy, Billabong, and Hurley. Of course, checking flash sale sites, such as Ruelala, Hautelook, Ideeli, and Gilt are sure to be filled with designer frocks for a much more affordable price. Happy shopping!

Look of the Day // Mochi Mochi

posted on: 6.08.2012

I think it's funny that when I first started getting into makeup, I tried piling on as many colors as I could- just to go to the grocery store. Now, I can barely be bothered to wear much more than winged liner and a bright lip. However, a few days ago I finally got my hands on one of Sugarpill's newest shadows, Mochi, and I couldn't not put it on. It looks really washed out on camera, but it's a beautiful minty blue shadow that is so ridiculously pigmented. I didn't buy the whole Heartbreaker palette because I have dupes for the other three shadows in the palette, but if you don't have dupes, you should definitely check it out.

I though Mochi would pair beautifully with a gold liner, and maybe a night chartreuse eyeliner across the lower lashline. It's still using a lot of color but still being completely wearable. I kept the rest of the face nice and simple, and voila! I had a beautiful look for the day.
Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Baked
Stila Convertible Color in Peony

Sugarpill Pressed Shadow in Mochi
MAC Shroom
Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in El Dorado
MAC Kohl Pencil in Smoulder
Makeup Forever Aqua Pencil Liner in 17L (Pistachio)

Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon


posted on: 6.05.2012

It feels like it was just yesterday I was typing out a spring essentials post... And alas, summertime is pretty much already here! I still refuse to believe it's already June. How time flies by! Now that the summer season is here, it is time to start looking at beauty products for their longevity, because the summer heat can be brutal. Lucky for you, I've rounded up eight waterproof products that are perfect for the summer.

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 I've noticed that brands are really stepping it up a notch when it comes to waterproof products. Some reputable waterproof brands that everyone should look into include Makeup Forever, Urban Decay, and even Stila. Do you have any waterproof products that you swear by? I'd love to hear!

New Work

posted on: 6.04.2012

As most of you know, besides blogging, I also freelance as a makeup artist. I recently met a photographer in my area whose work I really admire, and I am ecstatic that I had the opportunity to work with her. I am absolutely thrilled at how beautiful these photos came out! The photographer I worked with is Michael Switzer, and you can check out her blog here.

The model's name is Hanna, and she just recently graduated from high school. Isn't she beautiful? Michael wanted a grungy smokey eye, so I went in with my NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean without a primer so it'd be really smudgy and creased in, but sexy. Then I took a mascara wand with gel liner and created smudges where I winged out the eye pencil for an extra dramatic effect. If you ever need to create a creased eye look, use those NYX pencils- they crease like crazy without a primer! Then towards the end of the shoot, we wanted to add glitter, so I used OCC's glitter in Mirrorball. It was beautiful!

I don't really post my work here on my blog, but I'm really proud of how this shoot came out! I am going to be working with Michael more in the future, so you can be sure to expect more posts of my work soon! Happy Monday everyone!

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