All Posts Tagged ‘Makeup Monday


makeup monday: my go-to hair tools.

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OK. So technically, this post is not about makeup. Sorry. Hair falls into the larger category of ‘Beauty’, but ‘Beauty Monday’ just doesn’t sound as good, so here we are. Really glad we covered that.

The topic of hair, however, is one that I am just as willing to spend hours discussing, so I thought sharing the secrets to my good hair day would be helpful to you, dear readers. I don’t use these products and tools everyday (I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those girls who looks like she just left the salon every time you see her), but when I want a great bouncy/wavy blowout look, these are my tried and true.

A good blow dryer: I’m a big fan of my T3 (and not just because it was the key purchase that launched me into the upper echelons of Sephora’s loyalty program), but there are plenty of other ‘professional grade’ brands out there that will do the trick. The price tag might seem high, but if there’s one place to spend money on your hair, it’s here. I find that this dryer takes less time to dry my hair and I get smoother results. If you’re someone who blow dries their hair every day, this is even more important, as it will do less long term damage to your hair. The T3 also comes in travel size, which if you’re willing to live without a few extra features, achieves the same results for less money.

A boar bristle brush: As someone with naturally curly hair, I try not to brush my hair too often, as I find that it creates frizz. When I do brush my hair, however, I reach for the boar bristle brush. Because the boar bristles help to distribute the natural oils in your hair from your scalp through your hair cuticle, it polishes and smoothes the hair to encourage a glossy shine. I also find that it’s a great tool to use to help straighten those little wispy curls around my face. The bristles really grab onto the hair so I can easily get to them with my blow dryer.

A ceramic curling iron: For me, this is what takes my hair from blah to huzzah. After I blow dry, I curl my hair away from my face in 1 inch sections over my entire head. I let my hair cool, spritz with hairspray, then run my brush through it and it’s good to go. This step helps my ‘do stay all day, and I can usually stretch it to day two (or three) with some dry shampoo and a little re-curl of sections that may have fallen flat.

Good quality hair products: When I want a big and bouncy look that will last all day, I rely on three products — volumizing spray, smoothing oil, and hairspray. The volumizing spray, applied to the root of the hair when it’s wet, helps to get good height and bounce as you dry (not, like, Texas beauty queen height, but close enough). The smoothing oil, applied when hair is dry, smoothes (obvi) the hair and helps control flyaways and frizz. This is especially helpful on humid days, aka the entire New York summer. And hairspray, applied at the very end to set the hair, helps keep your style in place all day.

If you’re looking for some tips on how to perfect an at-home blow out, check out this video. With these tips and the tools & products above, you’ll have salon quality hair in no time!


makeup monday: what’s in my makeup case.

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makeup bag.jpg

1) revlon colorburst matte balm in audacious, $6.49. 2) real techniques multi task brush, $10. 3) elizabeth & james nirvana black fragrance rollerball, $22. 4) stila smudge stick waterproof eye liner in tetra, $20. 5) mac paint pot in constructivist, $20. 6) hourglass ambient lighting powder in dim light, $45. 7) maybelline falsies waterproof mascara, $7.99. 8) thisworks turbo balm, $22.58. 9) chanel cream blush in affinite, $38. 10) laura mercier secret camouflage in sc-3, $32. 11) tory burch kerrington tall cosmetic case, $88.

Given my penchant for regular beauty purchases, you can imagine that the contents of my makeup case changes quite often. And that’s completely true. I bought like four new things this weekend alone. However, I do have my go-tos and the above products are what I’m loving right now for the transition from winter to spring. Easy to apply, blendable, and long-wearing; all of them keep me looking fresh and natural with just a hint of spring color. And while most of my products are purchased at Sephora and Nordstrom, I don’t discriminate against drugstore brands — if you find something that works for you, it shouldn’t matter what the price tag is.

I keep them all neatly tucked away in a smart cosmetic case (isn’t she pretty?) so they’re never far from reach for touch-ups throughout the day.


makeup monday: three lipsticks every woman should own.

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Oh, lipstick. I just can’t quit you.

If there’s one thing in the world that makes me feel instantly pretty and pulled together (even when the rest of me might look ‘a fright,’ to quote my college roommate), it’s popping on a little lipstick. It’s also one thing I notice that many women don’t use, whether that be because they just can’t find the right shade, they don’t want to worry about upkeep throughout the day, or they don’t like the look of a ‘full on’ lipsticked lip.

Well, ladies, I’m here to help. The greatest thing about lipstick is its versatility. It comes in every color under the sun at every price point and in a variety of different finishes, from matte to shiny to sheer. So with a little work up front, you can find the right shade and the right finish at the right price for you and be done with it. It’s so simple! If you’re like me, however, you’ll never be quite ‘done with it,’ it’s just too much fun. Aaaaand, there goes my paycheck again.

And while I have a lipstick collection that rivals the most in-demand makeup artist at fashion week, all any modern day lady might need are these three trusty go-tos.

The Nudenude lipstick

When to wear it: This is your everyday lipstick. Wear it to work, wear it to cocktails, wear it to pick up your dry cleaning. Because its purpose is to enhance, not alter, your lip color, it’s perfect for any occasion and is the definition of low maintenance beauty.

How to find your perfect shade: A nude lipstick should be as close to your natural lip color as possible. It’s you, but just a teensy bit better. The best way to find your shade is to try, try, try. Grab a friend, take a trip to your local beauty counter, and get down to business. If you can try on shades in natural daylight, even better, as that will ensure you get a shade that looks natural. When trying out different shades, apply the color on the middle of your lip. If it disappears, it’s the right color. If it looks pasty, it’s too light, and if looks orange, it’s too dark.

What I have in my makeup bag: Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita, $26,

The Redred lipstick

When to wear it: If it was up to me, I’d apply the same rules to red lipstick as I do to a nude shade. I just love it that much. However, for ladies who don’t have the deep, border-line inappropriate relationship with lipstick that I do, the rules might be slightly different. For you, a great red lipstick should be a special occasion go-to. Whether it’s a night out on the town, a friend’s wedding, or a big presentation at work, red lipstick works anytime you want to feel sexy, confident and powerful.

How to find your perfect shade: Is there a more discussed topic in the land of beauty than how to find the perfect red lipstick? I think not. Which basically means there are no hard and fast rules to this game. There are the orangey reds, the pinky reds, and the blue-toned reds, and in my opinion, everyone can wear all three. While you should take into account your skin tone and hair color when choosing the right shade for you, it’s really about finding one that makes you feel beautiful. Trying shades with different undertones will help you understand if you prefer a classic true red or a more statement orange red. If you’re not ready to commit to a full-on red just yet, try a sheer formula for just a hint of color.

What I have in my makeup bag: YSL Rouge Volupté in 17 Red Muse, $35,

The Brightbright lipsticks

When to wear it: Bright lipsticks are perfect when you need a little boost or when you just want to have some FUN. They are playful, flirty and full of energy. If you’re having a bad day, popping on a bright lip color is the perfect way to turn that frown upside down.

How to find your perfect shade: Similar to red lipsticks, bright lipsticks come in a variety of different tones, so it’s best to try a few to see if you prefer a pink shade or more of an orange one. Bright lipsticks are also the perfect opportunity to try out different formulas — you might find you like the shine of a gloss or you might prefer the staying power and matte finish of a liquid lipstick. No matter what shade you choose, keep the rest of your makeup minimal so your lip color really pops (and so you avoid looking like a clown).

What I have in my makeup bag: Tom Ford Lip Color in Wild Ginger, $49,; Stila Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro, $22,; Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Fever, $30,

At the end of the day, the best advice I can give you about finding and wearing the right lipstick for you is to have fun with it, don’t let it stress you out (it is only makeup, after all). Whether it costs $5 or $50 and whether it’s nude or red or orange or green (ok, maybe not green), choose a shade that really feels like YOU. This will ensure that you actually wear it, which means you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck. And remember, you’ve got the goods already; lipstick is just there to pump up the volume (dance, dance).