We Put Essie’s New Gel Couture Nail Polish Line to the Test!

EssieGel_FT

Raise your hand if you’re like me and spend way too much money on mani-pedis every other week! I was sick of spending so much time and money on getting my nails done just to have them start chipping off two days later, so I decided Essie’s new Gel Couture polish might be worth a shot! I have to admit that before I even bought the new line of polish I had pretty much already come to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to work and I would be back at the nail salon in three days. Thinking back on every other drugstore nail polish I’ve ever purchased that claimed to last more than 14 days, I couldn’t actually think of one that lasted a full day, never mind two whole weeks!

Continue reading “We Put Essie’s New Gel Couture Nail Polish Line to the Test!”

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Stay Gorgeous on the Sand: How to Wear Makeup at the Beach

BeachM

Summer lends itself to a loosening of sorts…relaxed beauty routines…fewer pieces clothing…lowered inhibition. We all just feel a little sexier in the summer, no? (NO?! Have a few glasses of rosé and get back to me.)

While you’re drinking, let’s talk getting glam for the beach. As much as most of us enjoy going au natural, who doesn’t want to channel a little Brigitte Bardot every now and again, am I right? It’s just fun.

Continue reading “Stay Gorgeous on the Sand: How to Wear Makeup at the Beach”

10 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

10 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

10 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

Summer is officially here and you know what that means – time to hit the beach, enjoy some fun in the sun, and travel on a vacation or two. There are few things quite as glorious as a day soaking up the sun with the waves crashing nearby, and the summer season is the perfect time to enjoy it. If you’re looking to make a full-day trip to the sand, it’s essential that you pack your beach bag accordingly. Forgetting sunblock or water can quickly turn your day from fab to drab. Check out our list of 10 summer bag essentials. Continue reading “10 Summer Beach Bag Essentials”

How to Look Your Best in Pictures!

How to look your best in pictures!

There unfortunately is no step-by-step manual on how to be photogenic, but being “unphotogenic” does not mean that you are not physically attractive. The most gorgeous person in the world could look like an absolute toad in pictures. There is a certain art to taking a good picture. Sometimes it is random, someone just catches you at the right time in the right place. But there are some tricks of the trade that can help you to make every picture a good one. Continue reading “How to Look Your Best in Pictures!”

The 6 Natural Beauty Products You Need to Try!

Natural Beauty

Women want the world to believe that we are effortlessly, naturally, organically gorgeous.

From the once-ubiquitous “I woke up like this” to at least one woman claiming to subsist on light and air alone, we want to appear as though we do nothing more than flutter our eyelids open, splash our faces with morning dew, and bathe in water flown in by birds.

Bathe

Continue reading “The 6 Natural Beauty Products You Need to Try!”

7 Pinterest Hacks That Aren’t Worth It

Pinterest

There are some truly great Pinterest hacks out there. Where else would I go to figure out how to maximize my storage space or fix a broken bronzer? Along with the life-saving hacks out there, though, are the not-so-useful ones that seriously make me question the logic of people sharing their advice. To avoid trying out a hack that might do more damage than good, check out the below list.

 

Use cotton to lengthen eyelashes.

If you’ve ever gotten one of those irritating little strands of cotton in your eye, you’ll know that the absolute last thing you should be coating your eyelashes with is cotton. For the sake of your eyeballs, buy yourself a lengthening mascara and some false lashes and leave it at that.

 

Break off clips from the ends of hangers to use as bag clips.

I guess if you are really desperate for a clip to hold your chips together (is anyone ever though?), you could break off the clips on the ends of your hanger to use, but who really thought that this was efficient? Save your clip hangers for hanging your pants – it will be way cheaper and easier to just get a bag of clips intended for your food.

 

Mix cocoa powder with lotion for an instant fake tan.

I actually tried this one, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that it’s not worth your time. I ended up with completely uneven streaks all over my body and a ruined container of lotion. This might work out ok if you spend hours mixing the lotion and blending into your skin, but you’re definitely better off with using something actually intended for fake tanning.

 

Make grilled cheese in the toaster by turning the toaster on its side.

Yeah, sure, if you want burnt cheese all over the sides of your toaster, go ahead and melt away. There are so many more efficient ways of melting cheese on toast that won’t end up with a mini fire, though, so maybe pass on this one.

 

Put a lighter to your eyelash curler before using for a longer-lasting curl.

Please do not try this at home. When I first heard someone suggest aiming your hair dryer at your eyelash curler before use to heat it up, the thought of hot metal near my eyes got me nervous, but actually bringing a flame to the curler for the sake of beauty? Not worth it.

 

Contour your face with utensils.

Why is this necessary? Aren’t there flat-edged brushes on the market made for this exact purpose? And why does a line so sharp it needs to be stenciled out with metal need to be drawn onto your face in the first place? Your utensils should stay in your kitchen, not in your makeup bag.

 

Create marble nails in water.

This is a nice idea in theory, but I can’t imagine this would end up with anything other than strangely mixed nail polish colors all over my hands… and probably furniture. I’ll leave the designs to the pros.

 

It’s definitely tempting to test out every Pinterest hack you come across, but please try to Pin wisely, and let us know what hacks you’ve come across that nobody should try!

5 Simple Ways to Break Your Nail-Biting Habit

(Image Credit: Freddie Peña)
(Image Credit: Freddie Peña)

Although it is the most common nervous habit, nail biting is actually a bigger problem than it seems at first glance. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also pose several health risks due to damage to teeth and nail beds. Continue reading “5 Simple Ways to Break Your Nail-Biting Habit”

How to Pick Your Natural Blush Color

(Image Credit: lculig)
(Image Credit: lculig)

Looking effortlessly beautiful boils down to looking naturally healthy. A great way to pull off this look is with perfectly flushed cheeks. To get this appearance, we rely on blush to give us that flawless, rosy glow. But with so many colors to choose from, how do we pick the perfect shade to make us look luscious and not clownish? Let’s break down tips and tricks to figure out your perfect shade so you can look sexy and not silly.

Check yourself out after a good workout.

The best way to find out what your natural blush shade should be is to see your skin’s natural blush after a run or workout. Check out your cheeks in the mirror afterwards to see what color they pick up. If you have problems with turning into a tomato all over after a workout, this may not be the best bet, but for anyone who gets a light flush it is the perfect way to see your natural blush.

Pinch your cheeks.

A time-tested way to give yourself a natural blush, pinching your cheeks will make them react to show off what your natural flushed tone is. You don’t have to pinch hard; just a little along the apples of your cheeks will show what color your natural blush is. This is also an easy way to give color to your cheeks if you have no blush in sight.

Visit a makeup counter.

The makeup artists at the counter of your favorite store are trained to tell you the perfect tone for any type of makeup you are searching for. You can trust their judgment; they have hours of training and often times are certified makeup artists. You may also find the perfect new blush for you with their help.

Buy a blush palette.

For some of us, the only way to do things is through trial and error. If you have to see it to believe it, invest in a blush palette to see many shades of blush on your face. This can help you not only find the best natural blush but allow you to create many different looks.

Find a master makeup artist.

If you’re feeling flustered and can’t seem to hit the right shade, try finding a makeup artist who mixes their own products. Many lines of makeup, such as Motives, allow makeup artists to create custom blended products, making sure the shade is just right for you!

Finding the right blush doesn’t have to be such a struggle! With these tips and tricks, you can pick your natural blush color make sure to get the right flush for your face without too much hassle and time.

 

Originally posted on December 2, 2014.

Save Face: Learn When to Toss Your Makeup

(Image Credit: Luca Fabbian)
(Image Credit: Luca Fabbian)

I love trying out new makeup. I can sometimes have three mascaras and ten lipsticks circulating at the same time. There’s no doubt that this makes for a more fun time getting ready, but it can also result in a product I’ve used only once or twice sitting around for a few years because I think that maybe I’ll really need that blue eyeshadow for a future occasion, or even just because I feel like I’m being wasteful if I get rid of it. If you’re anything like me in this regard, you probably have unnecessary clutter around your vanity, but even worse? You’re likely to have expired makeup lying around.

Didn’t know cosmetics have expiration dates? Many people don’t, but unfortunately it’s the truth. If you look on the bottom of a product, often times there will be an indication of how long it is okay to use. For example, you might see “2Y,” meaning two years, or “6M,” indicating that you need to toss it after six months. If your cosmetics don’t have clear expiration dates on them, check out this list as a general guideline to when you need to say goodbye to your beauty products.

Mascara: I’ve always heard that mascara should be used no more than about three months. You don’t want to mess with bacteria that might find its way in, and it tends to get dried out and clumpy after that point, anyway.

Lipstick and lip gloss: From a quick glance at my most-used lip products, the general suggestion seems to be to toss after one year.

Foundation and concealer: These are typically fine to use for a year, but sometimes the advised expiration date is after only six months.

Eyeshadow: Mine range from one to two years, which is pretty painful since I’ll never make it through an entire eyeshadow palette in that time.

Face powders: Like eyeshadows, the rule of thumb is one to two years. This means setting powder, blush, bronzer, and the like all need to be used up in 24 months.

Liners and pommades: Six months to a year is the time frame you should stick to. Not only are they also more prone to bacteria since they are used around the eyes, but they are some of the quickest to dry out and stop working properly.

I know it hurts to throw away that beautiful, ridiculously overpriced Chanel foundation, but expired products just don’t work like they should—I can’t be the only one who’s shaken up a separated foundation in hopes of giving it new life. On a more positive note, this gives you every reason to make a Sephora trip without an ounce of guilt! It’s time to toss that forgotten makeup pile and get shopping.

5 Easy Tips for a Natural Makeup Look

(Image Credit: Denis Komarov)
(Image Credit: Denis Komarov)

The ‘au natural’ look has been and will always be a classic look in the world of beauty.  To me, there’s nothing better than letting your own beautiful features stand out. We are currently deep into a time of some really cool, edgy makeup trends, which are awesome, but not every occasion calls for a dramatic winged eyeliner, contour, and eyebrows on fleek. Instead, here are some tips to achieve that “I woke up like this” look for the more dressed down occasions. (If you already wake up looking like this, major kudos girl, but for the rest of us, take notes.)

Start with a Light Base

Going au natural does not involve using ‘full coverage’ anything. Instead you’ll want to use a light to medium coverage (preferably powder) foundation to gently sweep across your face. A tinted moisturizer, CC or BB cream is perfect too. With a light base, we are aiming to cover any imperfections, redness, and color correct without layering it on. Freckles and beauty marks should still be seen! Test the color on your wrist—that skin is the most similar to your face so you’ll get the closet color match for a natural base.

Born-With Brows

Many of us have suffered from having OPB at some point of our lives. That’s “Over-Plucked Brows.”  They never grow back the same and definitely leave patches that we must fill in, right?  Going au natural means none of that airbrushed, perfectly even brow game we’ve been playing.  Use a brow powder and brush or a brow gel (one with added fibers is even better) to lightly brush through your natural brow shape.  Always use a shade lighter than your brows. Brush brows upward and secure in place with clear mascara. The messy look is super cute and remember, they’re sisters—not twins!

Eyeshadow

Keep the colors simple and light on your lids – as close to your natural skin color as possible, with no sparkles or shimmer. Go a little lighter on the inner lid and then a couple shades darker in your crease. Blend!

Simple Liner

Use a shade of brown eyeliner (black if you have black hair) and brush it gently along the lash line. You will barely see it, but this will fill in your lashes and add a subtle finish to the eye. A thick line will not do and be sure to keep the bottom lash line clear!

Lashes

Use a lash curler and a lighter shade of mascara (black if you have black hair).  Apply one coat on the top and one on the bottom. We’re not going for dramatic lashes here.  We’re not going for dramatic anything, really, just beautiful, natural you. This will give a little fullness to your lashes and extend them without being too much.

Sweep of Color

Gently brush a baby pink blush or a light matte bronzer on the apples of your cheeks. This works to bring out a little color in your face that looks like a natural glow.

Pouty Lips

Find a tinted gloss or tinted balm in a shade similar to but just a touch darker or pinker than your own lips. Along with the simplicity of makeup, this will make your lips appear pouty and luscious.

All of these techniques call for gentle and subtle touches.  Remember, you are just highlighting the natural beauty you were born with.  Stick to neutral shades and matte finishes.  You will be surprised at how quickly you can achieve this look that this might turn into your new go-to makeup routine.   Good luck, beauties!

The 5 Best Products for Shaping Your Eyebrows

(Image Credit: Miya227)
(Image Credit: Miya227)

2015 has been the year of the eyebrows. Everyone seems to have suddenly remembered what great things eyebrows can do for your face! A strong brow really does frame the face — anyone who’s seen edited photos of celebrities without eyebrows would agree — and can seriously change your look for the better. Check out these products to see which options might be right for you!

 

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

A brow pencil is the most obvious choice. There are lots of different shades to choose from, they’re easy to control, and they can look as natural or artificial as you want. This pencil by Hourglass is one of my favorites because of its shape; since it’s already on an angle, you don’t have to put too much effort into creating hair-like strokes.

 

Benefit Gimme Brow

This kind of product is perfect for someone who wants to achieve a quick, natural look. Gimme Brow is a tinted gel with fibers that volumize the brows. Comb through brow hairs, focusing on areas that need a bit more filling in. You’ll get added volume without looking like you’ve spent the last hour painting product on your face.

 

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade

If your goal is to have a flawlessly executed brow, look no further than this brow pomade. You’ll need to pair it with an angled brow brush, and make sure you go easy on the product application! With a light hand, fill in spaces with tiny brush strokes to mimic hairs. Once you’re done, comb through with a spoolie to spread the product evenly. This will last you through a day at the office or an intense cardio session at the gym.

 

Sigma Brow Powder

This product is also a great one if you’re going for a more subtle look. Like the brow pomade, you’ll need an angled brush to pick up the product and mimic brow hairs with small strokes. However, this option isn’t as “permanent” and is a bit easier to control and fix up if you make a mistake. Plus, each duo comes with one light and one dark shade, so you can focus them in different areas depending on how intense you want your look to be.

 

NXY Control Freak Eyebrow Gel

If you want to set your look in place, or if you just want to keep your natural brow hairs from moving around too much, using a clear brow gel is the way to go. It will keep everything in place without the appearance of adding on any more product, and this one won’t leave you with a shiny coating.

 

Be sure to let us know if you try any of these out, and comment below with other brow products you’ve been loving!

The Fall 2015 Beauty Trends You Need to Know!

(Image Credit: Soup Studio)
(Image Credit: Soup Studio)

As hard as it may be to admit, Summer 2015 is quickly coming to an end. While a lot of you might be most excited for pumpkin everything, what I’m looking forward to is the new wave of fall beauty trends. Put away your neon lipsticks and dark bronzers and check out what new makeup looks we’re eager to try this season! Continue reading “The Fall 2015 Beauty Trends You Need to Know!”

The 5 Best Makeup Primers

Primers

Perfecting your makeup means nothing if it doesn’t stay looking fabulous all day long. The way to ensure your makeup stays in place is by using a primer. A primer will help makeup go on smooth and last all day so you look great no matter how long it has been on. We’ve narrowed it down to five must-have primers to help your makeup last longer. Continue reading “The 5 Best Makeup Primers”

Featured DIY: Temporary Tattoos by The Homesteady

(Image Credit: Sara Fenerty)
(Image Credit: Sara Fenerty)

Have you found yourself constantly going back and forth between whether or not you should get a tattoo? If you’re a commitmentphobe like I am, you probably often find yourself wondering whether or not you would get sick of something permanently inked into your skin and wish that there was a way to test out your new look before going under the needle. Well, great news! The folks over at The Homesteady have come up with a great DIY method to do just that. My sister and I have both been contemplating getting tattoos and were eager to test out this do-it-at-home version. Continue reading “Featured DIY: Temporary Tattoos by The Homesteady”