Thursday, December 20, 2012

How I fight acne, in the car!

I've been using the Tanda Zap for Acne
Tanda - Zap™ Acne Spot Treatment Device
for about a year now, and I just had a great idea
1. Put it in the car and use it daily on my blemishes, its certainly convenient
2.  Buy the AAA batteries in BULK!  (it goes through them quick!)

But seriously, the Tanda is a great product.  Its a bit of an investment at $50, BUT, I'm telling you, it heals blemishes FAST.  If you can use it on emerging blemishes, and keep using it for 2 days, the blemish will be nearly healed.  Really!

I also like that it won't mess up my makeup, so its fine to use in the car!

Fun fact:  it has a loop so it can actually go on a key chain!

For more info, check out

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The REAL reason gel manis are so bad for your nails!

Sure, they look amazing

and basically make real nails indestructible and chip-proof for weeks....

but if you've had even one gel manicure removed, you are well aware that it destroys your nails!  Issues such as

-Brittle nails
-Peeling nails
-Soft nails
-Dry cuticles
-Sensitive nails
-Yellowed nails

Oh yes, I've been fact, my nails were worse after ONE gel manicure was removed than they were when I took my acrylics off after FIFTEEN years!!!  No joke!

I, like most of you, assumed that it was the scraping off of the gel that 'stripped' my nails and made them so flaky and soft

But in fact, I've gotten to the bottom of it...and I'm going to tell you the REAL reason that the gel nails are so harmful to your natural nail beds

Its the SOAKING OFF in the super strong (and at salons, often professional strength) acetone solution!!!

The soaking dehydrates nails to a level that takes out bodies DAYS to even replenish the essential oils and nutrients needed, even in the best circumstances.

Even when using the foil removal approach, or other similar removal techniques

there is still a significant amount of damage done to the nail.

I wish I had a solution, but clearly, to remove the gel, you need to soak or submerge the gel in acetone.  if you can't live without your perfect gel manis (I don't blame you, they are fabulous) then make sure to drink lots of water and take supplements, such as vitamin E and calcium to fortify the nail beds.

PS- peeling off the gel rather than soaking off may help you avoid the dehydration....however, you will strip the nail layers and over time this can lead to infection and sensitivity.

Now you know!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I wore it first!

When in NYC with my fashionista mom in October, she picked out this amazing LBD for me, and once I had it tailored, it fit like a glove!  (thanks to my amazing seamstress!)  I wore it for my birthday party that my husband threw for me in November:

My favorite thing about the dress being that incredible lace-tie neckline and of course, the hottest trend of 2012:  PEPLUM!

So today, when scouring the blogisphere for more fashion and makeup info for my awesome readers, I wanted to look at this past weekend's red carpet looks, and low and behold, Vanessa Hudgens wearing MY awesome dress on the red carpet!
apparently Vanessa liked the tie-neck too!
and she obviously took a style tip from me (yeah, right!) and went with a patterned stocking like I did!

If you love the dress, its available at Macy's

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What I'm Grabbing Last Minute

On a quick run out this weekend, I started realizing that there were still a few things I needed crossed off the Christmas To-Do, and my list might just be what you need too!

When I was running in to grab my predictable Pike Place Roast, I realized that a really nice Starbucks mug and a coffee sampler were just what the hard to buy for Uncle needed...etc.  You can also grab a few pounds to bring as a host gift or for a great co-worker!  Grab a gift card for your postal worker or hairdresser!

I love to do little random trinkets in the stocking, plus this is a great place to stock up on M&Ms and other candies for stockings or gift baskets!

Don't forget to grab any greeting cards you need to get out, there are tons of cute ones that hold gift cards!  They also have some nice ones for above-mentioned postal workers and the like!

Think Popcorn
Everyone loves popcorn and a movie!  I found these great popcorn bowls at Christmas Tree Shoppe

and filled them with movies and movie-theater butter style popcorn from a gourmet food shop (love the ones at outlet malls!) and POP!  You've got a nice gift!  (PS- Put some of that candy you got at Walgreens in there too!)

Gas Station
Lotto Tickets!  They are so necessary, I grab a bunch and have a stash in my car, when I realize that I'm stopping by to see Grandpa, or its suddenly some one's birthday at work - I have a stash ready to give!

Liquor Store
Don't make it more stressful on yourself, make a quick list in the car before you head in, I always seem to underestimate what I'll need if I don't make a list!
Not really sure what type of wine to give?  I have a 'sliding scale approach'

Really Unsure/Random Host Gift - California Cabernet, will have a nice selection in this price range ($7-$14 )
Family Holiday Gathering - Since there will be the standard red and whites, go for Prosecco (a sparkling Italian wine), or even go for an after dinner spirit, like Lemoncello or Sambuca

Boss/Someone to Impress - Pinot Noir is back in fashion, spend about $15-$35 and get something decent (you'll have the best luck purchasing if you go to a larger liquor store) but I really got into Barbera recently, when my boss selected it for a client dinner.  It was closer to a Pinot than a Cab, it will go down well!

Again, I was surprised that I still needed a bunch of things!  Anyone who knows me well knows this is me the day after Thanksgiving:

(all ready for Christmas!)

But these quick stops made it all come together for me, hope this helps!

Amazing Hair Kit $35, with unique tool

I recently got a sample of Oscar Blandi texture and volume spray, and I decided to give his $35 kit a try, which also includes a dry shampoo

These are both full size products that retail at $45, so its already a deal, but what intrigued me was the unique hair tool and How-to book for great hairstyles!

The 'pronto' styling pin is really amazing actually!  Usually these things don't work in my thick long hair, but I was able to create every style in the book easily!

My favorite style to do is this one from the look book:

So far I am really into the texture and volume spray, and the dry shampoo is just so different from my go-to 'Batiste' I guess I am just getting used to it!

And as it turns out, you can buy just the pin on for $12, and it comes with the look book!

Makes a great gift for any of your girlfriends with mid-length hair, they will be able to replicate these looks easily!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My latest Emerald Obsession

Ever since Pantone (THE leader in all things color) released the 2013 'color of the year' (obvi...its emerald!) I have been searching the net for great tops and makeup in all things emerald!

One item that I tried not to lust too much after, was Tom Ford's eye shadow quad in Emerald Lust ( how was THAT going to work?!)

This incredible quad of colors is exactly what you need to create the perfect emerald eye look!  I can't stop thinking about it, so I had to indulge!

I first noticed it in magazines (who obviously had the inside scoop on the 2013 color of the year announcement prior to printing!)

and I had to look into it!

its available at Bergdorf's for $75:

I loved the way he used it in his ad campaign (right)

but you don't have to go dramatic with it, you can keep it simple

Its worth checking out!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A great hair deal in stores now!

Bumble and Bumble, an amazing styling product company

has a great promotion going on wherever their products are sold (I shop Sephora for their products!)

If you spend $25 or more on any of their products, you get a style card that entitles you to a free blowout or updo at a Bb participating salon!  For my girls in the Syracuse area, that would be Industry Salon on Walton St in Syracuse!

WHY is this such a great idea?
1. You'll love their product, so the free style card is just a great bonus!
2. Its Holiday party time,it will be a perfect way to get a classy chignon for FREE and show up to your party in total style
3. The Bb stylists are trained in 3 different classic updo's in advance of this promotion, so they make quick work out of making you fabulous

WHAT products should you try?

For the girl who likes her hair 'undone'  try their Undressing Creme:

which you just smooth into hair and go!  its so simple but it keeps undone hair actually looking healthy and NOT frizzy!

For the girl who wats SUPER smooth locks:
Check out their ConsenSTRAIGHT treatment, that smooths the hair follicle and ensures that you'll have straight hair for days!

For the color-conscience gal:  you have to try ANYTHING in their Color Minded line:

My fav is the styling creme, it has a UV filter in it!  (read: sunblock for hair)

For your style, of course a blowout if perfect if you don't have any event you want to dress your hair up for, but hey - who needs an event?  When I went in, I went for the classic french twist and I was amazed at how she got ALL my thick hair up with no problem!

The look is so classic and timeless!!!!  I really recommend it!

Fashionista Tip:  Make sure to TIP your stylist what you would if you paid full price, which would be about 15% of $80, or $12.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do I have the guts to cut my hair?

I have to share with my readers my latest obsession, its the desire (and the terror) to cut my hair, and not just a trim folks, I'm talking a Mia Farrow makeover!  HAHA!

I am LOVING this (somewhat) versatile

The evolution of her hair started with this buzz for Les Miserable

(her starting length is just like mine now)

During filming she was able to style it a bit, even with barely any length

Look how fab with the cat-eye glasses

Now that she was able to let it grow, her extra inch or so is really giving her some style, and this is the length I love!

I keep thinking of this cut and how fun super-short hair would be, but I am too scared to take the risk, AND to just 'cut' away all those years of growing it and taking care of it!  Ahhhh!

Thoughts from my readers?

Hot Les Mis Style from the Red Carpet!

There is prob nothing I like more than an Amanda Seyfried and Anne Hathaway fashion-sandwich, so I had to share their amazing premiere looks from last night's red carpet!


I'm obsessed with her incredible hair do that is more modern than milk-maid, and her EYE MAKEUP?!?!  Amazing!

although suggests the Sephora Baked Palette for this eye look, the focus should be on the coppery shade that is the inner-corner accent, like this hot shade from Kat Von D
Shade Shifter Eyeshadow
as much foiled or as much shimmer as you can find will make the eye pop, and then I would use a more matte black to create that gorgeous wing in the outer corner, using only eyeshadow and not a liquid or pencil liner, which would be too drastic. 

The look is simply fabulous!

Then there is the ever-chic Anne Hathaway, who's cropped cut stole the whole red carpet show for me! 

Not only was her deep side part and those ultra shiny locks a total trend in the making, but she perfectly wore a deep burgundy lip, which is really a signature look for her! 

oh, and can we get a look at her whole Tom Ford for Gucci getup?  Those gladiator shoes are amazing!

Loving the styles that these ladies are wearing on the carpet to promote what is sure to be, an incredible film!  I will SO be stealing that hair do Amanda!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How to apply red lipstick

With so many Holiday parties coming up, starting as early as this weekend, its time to start thinking about what makeup look you'll be sporting!  You might be tempted to wear red lipstick, the color of the season, but if you're unsure how to apply or what shade to buy, I've got the guide for you!!!!!

What shade to choose?

I LOVE this little classic guide to picking a red lipstick:

Once you've decided on your shade, you have to create your look, applying the lipstick near-to-last.

What to wear it with:  After applying foundation and a bit of bronzer LOW on the cheeks, add some red-orange blush to the apples of cheeks (you have to go a bit overboard on the blush to balance the red lips!)

Apply an eyeshadow base and use neutrals in shades of tan and black to build up a mid to heavy smokey eye

Don't apply color higher than the crease, this will ensure that you aren't over-doing the makeup.  Alternatively, you can just go for a thicker black liner with a 'wing' at the end, which is VERY classic

make sure you define your brows with a brow pencil, it will really add to your look!

I like to use Maybelle define-a-brow pencil, it is self-sharpening and super thin for easy application!

Now that you have created your 'canvas' its time to prep the lips!

STEP 1:  Exfoliate!!!!  Dry or dead skin on your lips flakes off, and your gorgeous red color right with it if you don't prep the area first.  The easiest and cheapest way to exfoliate is to use your toothbrush!  Be sure to WET your lips and LIGHTLY and gently 'scrub' the lip area and PAT dry with a soft towel

You can also wet lips and use a lip polish, like this all natural version from fresh, which is a sugar based scrub that gently removes all dry dead skin, you just use your finger and rinse off, then pat dry!

If you have extremely dry lips, apply a bit of lip balm with just the tip of your finger, it should hardly create a layer moisture.  Then give it several minutes to fully absorb into the lip area.  If there is too much residue, the lip color will not last as long.

Step 2:  Lip liner!  This is optional, some people really don't like lip liner.  I consider it an essential for the initial application of red lipstick.  You have 2 options here, if you can find a red lip liner that is almost exactly the shade of your lipstick (at least matches the cool or warm tone of the color) then use that.  If you aren't sure or you don't want to invest in a red lip liner, you can use a nude liner instead.

when you line lips, don't be afraid to 'draw outside the lines' a bit and make your lips appear a bit fuller,
or perhaps you want to accentuate your 'cupids bow' more (the top point of your upper lip)

Step 3:  Use a lip brush!!!!  This is the only step I am going to tell you that you can't skip, you have to use a lip brush for the INITIAL application of the lipstick.

Preferably a synthetic bristle with a short, small tip

WHY?  because applying directly from the tube does not distribute the color evenly, which results in fading and feathering (that nasty thing that happens when the color bleeds)

get some product on the lip brush, start from the fattest part of the lip and blend towards the corners.
The first thing you'll notice is that the color is softer and not as vibrant as it might be when you apply it from the tube.  You can add more product to increase the boldness of the color.

I SUPPOSE that if you absolutely can't get your hands on a lip brush you can substitute your ring or pinkie finger.  Just don't apply from the tube.  Better to dab on with your tiny finger than apply directly!

Step 4:  Blot.  Ah ha....I'm about to dispel the myth that you blot like this:

because that's the WRONG way!!!

When blotting, lightly 'tap' the lip to get the access color, never rub!

Step 5:  Apply a gloss.  This is optional of course, you may love the color just as it is.  And truthfully, applying a gloss might make the lipstick fade faster.  I prefer to do a combo of the option and only apply gloss to the very center of the lower lip.  This reflects light and makes the lips appear fuller, and helps the color last better than if you applied gloss all over

Leaving the center of the lip with less color is an ole' makeup artist trick!  Oh yeah!

Step 6:  Touch-ups!  Yeah!  Now you get to use your tube to lightly dab lips (avoid heavy swiping) to brighten up the color as it wears down.  The glossier your color, the more you'll need to re-apply.

The best lipsticks for longer wear that won't make your lips dry out:

1. Chanel Rouge Allure, this semi-matte lipstick has good staying power and the colors are incredible
2. Revlon Kissable Balm Stain (in Romantic)
3. Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick (at Sephora)
4. Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge, this is a double-ended lip product with the gloss built in

Complete your look with some false lashes for drama, and swipe on just a bit more blush, and you have a classic look for any holiday get-together!

I'll end here with several of the inspirations from my 'red lipstick' looks