Dec 14, 2014

Sephora All A Glow Contouring Face Palette

Ok so I should start this post by telling you, as a makeup artist, and a normal non-celeb human that isn't being photo-shopped in pictures, I'm not really down with all this contouring stuff.  I don't think that young girls should be trying to look like Kardashians (or girls of any age for that matter).  If you're not going to a professional photo shoot that's going to be in a top glossy mag, why on earth would you have all that makeup on your face?  What ever happened to letting your natural beauty shine through?  I love makeup that makes you look like YOU, but better.  Stop trying to look like someone else.     
THAT BEING SAID, this Sephora All A Glow Contouring Face Palette ($34) is awesome.  I'm not encouraging folks to go out and contour their face to the nines, I just think this palette has everything.  This is one of those throw-it-in-your-purse (or desk drawer) and you'll never be unprepared for an occasion.  The kit is about 4" tall by 3" wide when folded, and perfectly lightweight, but unfolded it has all the face products one could need.  
There's 3 creamy concealers, 3 powder bronzers, 4 powder blushes, 3 cream blushes, 3 cream highlighters, and 3 powder highlighters.  It's actually a pretty great gift for a makeup junkie like myself if you have one in your life, but I'd say it's something you can buy for yourself if you're always on the go.  It's rare to find all these products in a palette that's so compact, so travel-junkies can rejoice in that.  Personally, I like that there's so many cream products in the kit, because to me, cream products = a natural look (and, as you can probably tell from my intro, I think natural is where it's at).         

Dec 11, 2014

When Sephora holiday gifts sets toy with your emotions

I'm not going to lie to you, I'm a sucker for a good holiday gift set.  I see a lot of them come across my desk, but I generally only feel compelled to talk about them if I think they're really special.  Sure I might get sucked in to some pretty, sparkly packaging, being the BASIC B*TCH that I am,   but every so often I am floored by the awesomeness of a gift set.  That was the case with these 2 lippy gift sets from Sephora, but for 2 very different reasons.
The first set that I was excited about was this Buxom Lip Gloss Roulette gift set ($59), and the main reason it excited me so was that I've NEVER used one of their lip glosses before.  Never, not once.  It is a rare occasion indeed when I have not tried a brand's products, even some of the most obscure brands you'll find, so it's certainly bizarre that I've never tried a product from a brand this popular. This set of 15 mini glosses (that really aren't even that mini, just a little smaller than the normal size) made me feel a range of emotions.  Sadness that I've never tried them before, excitement at the fabulous range of colors, happiness once I tried them on, nervousness when I felt the plumping tingle (then I relaxed shortly after because I realized it wasn't burning, just a minty-type tingle).  My heart was beating overtime and I'm not scared to admit it.  This is a safe space.        
All 15 colors, just WAITING to be on my lips
My favorite color on the end: Mai Tai
This second set toyed with my emotions as well.  The Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick set ($39) is 9 mini Studded Kiss lipsticks that are, in my opinion, pretty dramatic colors.  This is not the gift for someone who is afraid of makeup.  But anyhoo, the reason I'm so in love with it is for the sheer surprise factor.  It comes in kind of a plain black box, so not something that would normally draw me in like PINK!, or GLITTER!, or SPARKLES!  That's clearly not in the Von D DNA, but if the plain-ish box catches your attention, you'll certainly be psyched at the colors inside.  The adorable minis range from nude (Agatha), to pinks, to reds, to a vibrant purple (Wonderchilde), to an almost-black shade of wine (Motorhead).  I can't decide if the tiny little lipsticks are adorably cute, or cunningly bad-ass, but I'm excited nonetheless.     
Can we talk about this purple shade? 

JINsoon holiday nail collection

Because I make it a point to have every JINsoon nail lacquer that comes out (I'd say I have more than a slight addiction), we must discuss the latest holiday collection.  This collection is all about the shine and fun of holiday season, but also about playing with unique textures.
Here's the lowdown on the colors: 
Georgette (light crepe finish) 

Bijou (gold and white glitter topping) 
Chamonix (black leatherette finish)- please note that I absolutely must have this in my life.  
Motif (black and white glitter topping) 
And here's what you need to know about JINsoon nail colors, in case you don't already:
-Colors are long-lasting with major color payoff. 

-UV filters protect against fading and yellowing.
-Five-free formulas (created without formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor).

Dec 9, 2014

Drink Recipe: Inspired by American Horror Story Freakshow

Lobster Claw Crush
This tequila take on a Bloody Mary has a fun garnish that will also come in handy as a post-cocktail snack

·         1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
·         7 parts tomato sauce
·         1 squeeze of Sriracha Chili Sauce
·         3 dashes fresh black pepper
·         2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
·         Dash of celery salt
·         Dash of paprika
·         Dash of cumin
·         Juice of 1 lemon
·         2 olives, for garnish
·         1 lobster claw, for garnish (optional)
Preparation: In a shaker filled with ice combine all ingredients. Shake well and pour into tall glass over ice. Garnish with olives and a lobster claw (optional).

Twist-tea the Clown
A classic, refreshing drink that will take you back to 1952

  • 2 parts Sauza® Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila
  • 1 black tea bag
  • 4 parts water
  • ¼  cup sugar
  • Sprig of fresh mint for garnish
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Preparation: In a medium saucepan bring water, tea bag and sugar to a rolling boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove tea bag and pour into a glass with lemon. Cool sweet tea in refrigerator for several hours. When the tea is cool, add the Tequila. Pour over ice and garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint. 

Bette & Dot  
Just like the twins, this drink combines two different personalities – sweet and spicy – for one delicious margarita

·         2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
·         1 part frozen limeade
·         2 parts pineapple juice
·         1-2 dashes chipotle hot sauce
·         Chipotle peppers for garnish (optional)

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Serve on the rocks and garnish with a chipotle pepper.

Jupiter Juice
Warm and sunny, with a dark twist, just like the famed city where Freak Show takes place

·         2 parts Sauza® Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila
·         2 parts orange juice
·         2 dashes grenadine
·         Lemon wedge for garnish

Preparation: In a glass filled with ice, stir together orange juice and tequila. Pour the two dashes of grenadine down the side so that it settles to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Dec 8, 2014

Get the look: Bombshell waves from the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

It's a life mission of mine to have Victoria's Secret hair.  Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about.  That perfectly tousled, wavy, probably just got home from a really epic night, and am possibly doing the walk of shame, HAIR.  Fortunately I recently learned a little secret, and that is the hot tools that were used on the Angels for the 2014 runway show in London (airing on TV tomorrow night!).  

A team of stylists, led by Akki Shirakawa, used ghd styling tools to create bombshell waves on the girls, specifically the ghd CURVE curling irons.  Each model was given her own "bespoke" look by creating a mixture of different waves using the ghd curve classic curl (1" iron) and the ghd curve soft curl (1.25" iron).  

To make sure the look was properly undone, the ends of each section were left loose and uncurled.  After each girl had the various-sized waves created, the hair was given a quick blast from the ghd air hairdryer to break up the curls and make the look effortless.  So now my dreams of Victoria's Secret hair can become a reality.  I will obviously be trying this look, which seems quite achievable, immediately.

Photos courtesy of ghd 

Dec 6, 2014

Beauty By Benz Approved: Eyeko Brow Liner

I am already a fan of Eyeko products, but was a little scared to try their Brow Liner.  My brow skills are pretty decent, but since my brow hairs are so blonde and sparse, I get nervous about trying anything that 1) looks like a marker, and 2) is a "universal" color.  But look y'all!
It didn't make my brows scary at all!  Quite the opposite in fact.  It gave my natural light brows just a little tint, and was surprisingly easy to use.  I recently learned about this product because it was used on Alexa Chung last week at the British Fashion Council Awards.  Her brows are SO much darker than mine, so I was a little nervous.  But the color is actually self-adjusting, which explains why it can work on various brow colors.  I was also nervous about looking overly-painted because of the marker-like applicator, but if you just use light strokes and follow your natural brow growth, I think it looks super natural.     
Here's it is on Alexa Chung at the British Fashion Council Awards (makeup by Liz Pugh), whose brows are clearly much darker than mine. 
Other products Pugh used on Chung for this look:
-Eyeko Me & My Shadow in Chocolate along the upper and lower lashlines.  
-Eyeko Making Eyes Automatic Gel Liner in Pitch Black super close to the top lashline so it looks like part of the lashes rather than like eyeliner. 
-Eyeko Me & My Shadow in Taupe on the eyelids.
-Eyeko Brow Liner and Brow Gel on the eyebrows.
-Eyeko Eye Do Mascara on the lashes, followed by corner lashes from the Eyeko Lash Wardrobe. 
-Tom Ford Cheek Colour in Flush.
-Nars lipstick in Jungle Red. 


Dec 3, 2014

CoverGirl #GirlsCan at Walmart (and a Giveaway!)

COVERGIRL has a long history of using strong, empowered women as their spokespeople (Hello Pink!), so it’s no surprise that their new #GirlsCan campaign promotes the empowerment of women.  #GirlsCan is all about encouraging women to break down barriers, turning any CAN’T they face into a CAN.  Part of this campaign includes a $50,000 donation from COVERGIRL to Dress for Success®… what is more empowering for women than that?  For those of you who don’t know Dress for Success®, it’s an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing  professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.
Whether you’re tackling an obstacle in your career, or just getting ready for girls’ night out, COVERGIRL wants you to feel beautiful and empowered.  For a limited time at your local Walmart you can find COVERGIRL #GirlsCan displays, containing COVERGIRL Flamed Out Mascara and COVERGIRL Professional All-in-One Mascara and know that you’re supporting a great cause like Dress for Success®.  Check me out below wearing COVERGIRL Professional All-in-One Mascara.  I find that it's nice and lengthening for a day look, while the Flamed Out Mascara is better for me for nighttime glam.  In the look below I'm wearing a simple daytime look for work, using the Professional Mascara, the new Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation, TruMagic skin perfecting balm to combat any shine, and Lipperfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Blush Twist for a little pink on the lips.  Perfect for if you have five minutes to get out of the house but still want to be presentable for work.

Visit to learn more about #GirlsCan at Walmart or check out the video belowto learn more about the #GirlsCan campaign (and get a glimpse of COVERGIRLS (and personal heroes of mine) like Pink and Ellen).

One lucky reader will receive a $25 Walmart gift card to purchase their own COVERGIRL #GirlsCan mascara at a local Walmart.  To enter, comment below and tell me how you turned a CAN’T moment into a CAN moment.  Or tell me about a moment in your life when you’ve felt empowered.  Please remember to leave your email in the event that you’re the winner!  Winner will be chosen at random.  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Contest is open now, and will end on Wednesday, December 17th at 11:59 PM EST.
The Walmart gift cards, product, and information have been provided by COVERGIRL.


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