Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Themed Nail Art

Its time for TURKEY DAY!  Don't you want to celebrate it with adorable Thanksgiving nail art?  (No?  Well whatev, just check out the pics then!)

The Dream Team

I like to call Erika (Photographer, aka: Erika DeSocio Photography) and I the "Dream Team" because when we collab - photos and inner beauty come to life.  So what better than a stunning 14 year old girl named Kaitlyn, who is an aspiring model, for us to 'sink our teeth into'?!  Kaitlyn is the niece of a long time friend, and I work with her at many Bridal events (her mother Heather owns Forever Endeavor Weddings) and this girl is just GORGEOUS.  So many people stop and tell her that, and approach her to model, when she tells them she is 14, people go NUTS "How are you 14?!"  Everyone says it.  Finally her mother calls me and says, "Ok, we need some photos."

I did Kaitlyn's makeup, I started with a very youthful peachy glow and we graduated to a thick winged black shimmer gel liner with a red lip.  Having done a few photo sessions myself, I can understand that its a bit intimidating to let yourself go and pose and 'work that camera' but you HAVE to ot the photos are too bland.  As the afternoon progressed, Kaitlyn started to build her confidence.

One of the most inspiring parts of the day was when she really got into some poses and BAM!  The skies opened up and it started to snow ...... a lot!  We quick transformed her into the more mature red-lip look, and we hit the snow.  It was freezing, but Kaitlyn melted out hearts with her maturity and confidence.

Here are a few previews (how amazing is Erika that she made sure Kaitlyn had these shots to share on FB within HOURS?!)

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Beauty Stocking Stuffers!

I've found them!  The best beauty treats pint-sized for the stocking!  check it out!

Origins Charcoal Mask Pods - $8 at Sephora and Origins Counters at Macy's Nationwide
Origins - Clear Improvement® Active Charcoal Mask Pods
This mask delivers amazing clarity by clearing out pores on all skin types, and the pods make it PERFECT for travel!

These $1 Sephora Brand Body Wash Capsules will make your gym-going or travelling lady SO happy this Holiday!
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Creamy Body Wash CapsSEPHORA COLLECTION - Creamy Body Wash Caps
Available in 14 scents, you can fill up her stocking!

The 3in1 Sephora Brand Sharpener is going to make ANY makeup pencil ultra sharp - AND it collects the shavings!  Its $10 and can be found in stores near the makeup brushes or online

Too Faced's Jingle All The Way iPhone Case and makeup Kit $25 at Ulta

(design shown is Ulta design, pink and gold design available at Sephora and

For women with stubborn hair (hello - that's ALL of us!) this "Tangle Teaser" comb is a god-send!  It detangles and is easy on the damage (noting that anytime you brush or pull wet hair you damage it)
Tangle Teezer Salon Elite Styler Hairbrush - Purple One Size
I've found them for $14.99 at Target, $15.99 at Ulta and $13.99 on

Matte Top Coat - $7 Essie (on or in Walgreens Stores)
Product Details
This turns any nail polish into a soft matte velvet finish that it unique and stylish!  Prob something she doesn't already have in her arsenal!

Heated Eyelash Curler - forget the torture device most women have used for 30 years - this gently heated curler wand doesn't damage lashes, and the curl LASTS!

Japonesque at Ulta $25
Blinc Brand on $12

NOTE:  Throw in a set of AAA batteries - these things go through them quick!

A universally flattering blush - NARS "Orgasm" is the flawless peachy-pink dewy blush that works on everyone (and the point is that it gives you that just 'pleased' flush - which makes it an idea gift to go in the stocking from the hubby!)
Product Details
($30 on Amazon, at Sephora stores or at NARS counters in Macy's stores nationwide)

A beauty blending sponge from $5 - $20
Product Details
The beauty blender brand is the most expensive- but it DOES last longer (with typical use and cleaning these things last 6 months tops) used wet these sponges can apply, blend, soften or build color and they are a MUST have!  You can also direct her to the their You Tube Video for a how to!

I pick up several at the time because I go through them so fast, and I get them on
Check this set of 4 out for $10.99 with free super saver shipping

The You Tube Video is here:

A new makeup brush (or two!) I am in love with Bedellium Tools' anti bacterial line of brushes ( you can buy sets, but you can create your own by buying them individually online and the cheapest place AGAIN is Amazon!)
One of my favorites is the Airbrush Effect Kabuki which is great for foundation, creamy blushes, and bronzers!  She will get tons of use out of it!

$14.50 (free shipping with super saver shipping)

Check out a set of them, like their 'Eye Defining' set for under $60 that comes in a leather roll:

How about the HOTTEST new palette on the market right now - Naked3
This $52 palette is ALL the rage of this season - the Naked collection by Urban Decay started with the original palette - which was meant to be marketed as nude and neutral shadows that you can create ANY look with!  Demand was intense, and fans DEMANDED more!  Now, several years in the making, their is an entire collection of makeup items in the Naked line and JUST launched (in time for xmas of course) is Naked3!
12 brand new shades, all in rose-tones are so sensual and fabulous - you just can't get enough!

A look at all three palettes (which would be a SUPER generous stocking!)

There - now you have some awesome stocking stuffer ideas for the lady in your life - you're welcome guys!  LOL!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Best Cosmetic Gifts for Teens

I've got a beauty gift idea for the teens and tweens in your life, broken down by their interests here! Nearly the entire list is from Sephora - mainly because they are super easy to shop online (free shipping over $50 AND tons of free samples) or easy to swing into Destiny Mall and get assistance - their staff is the best! check out my list!!!

For the girl who loves makeup:

This adorable blinged out Sephora makeup brand palette has a little bit of everything!  Its stylish, the colors are nice, the quality is acceptable for a young teen AND its only $16!  Perfect for the stocking!
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Plum Daze Blinged Palette
Add on: a higher quality eye shadow brush for $20

If she LOVES perfume:
This gift keeps on giving even after opening it, because not only does she get 5 scents to travel with and try - but she takes the gift card inside back to Sephora to exchange it for a full size rollerball!
Sephora Favorites - Fragrance Rollerball Sampler For Her
Is she's ready for a REAL brush set?  this $60 set is not only high quality that will last, but the bristles are coated in anti-bacterial coating that will help reduce the chance of infection in case her girlfriends share!  (a huge no-no)
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Luxe Anti-Bacterial Brush Set

Is she into getting dolled up?  This adorable 'love' themes set from Benefit is packaged so cute you'll want one for yourself!  Its full of this complexion enhancers that will give a sweet glow!
Benefit Cosmetics - Little Love Potions!
(also available at Sephora)

Does she travel a lot with the team?  Sporty girls on the go will LOVE this $15 Mini-Emergency kit that comes in an adorable dotted bag!  Its got anything and everything needed to deal with a beauty emergency on the go!
Pinch Provisions - Minimergency® Kit For Her - Fuchsia with Gold Dots

Is she WAY to obsessed with straightening her hair?  I tell the young gals ALL the time - STOP with the straightening on super high heat every day!  AHH!  Well, with a T3, there will be much less damage, it doesn't even offer scalding heat AND its 'one pass' technology means, one gentle swipe = lasting pin straight hair!
This $160 gift set is exclusive for the Holidays (different version avail at Ulta) that includes some Living Proof Products - which were developed by scientists and considered the most advanced no frizz technology out there!
T3 - T3 x Living Proof SinglePass & No Frizz Styling Set

Is she always running late?  She can save those few precious minutes in the morning with Drybar's "The Morning After" kit which includes a shower cap and their incredible dry shampoo that instantly refreshes hair!  (see obsessed with straightening for another great gift - perhaps the two together will keep her from ruining her hair all together?)
Drybar - The Morning After Kit
$35 at Sephora and

Does she struggle with troubled skin?  Then she needs a Clarisonic (see my post last week on how to properly use a Clarisonic - for severe acne it may not help)

The Clarisonic Mia is THE skincare product of the century
Clarisonic - Mia2™ Detox Kit
Sephora has a nice "Detox" Set for $150 (the normal cost of the brush) that comes with detoxifying products to clear up troubled skin

QVC also sells the MIA for $136 in this limited edition leopard print that is TOO cute AND its on easy pay which makes it even more a$uslarge$
Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Cleansing System with Fresh Cleanser

So there you have it - my top teen and tween beauty gift pics this Holiday Season!  Ok FINE, I've got one more that will be SURE to blow your mind!

The $250 Sephora Blockbuster Train Case
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Pro-Blockbuster Traincase
Not only does it have well, has everything!!!!  The 16 adjustable compartments in this super durable travel case that locks is stuffed with makeup, skincare, nail products and hair tools that will wow any woman - especially your teenager!

Ok NOW you have my comprehensive list - you can't go wrong here!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sephora Favorites Sets

Each year Sephora comes out with these 'favorites' sets for different products, like mascaras, fragrance, eyeliners, etc and they choose the products based on customer ratings on their site!  So they really ARE favorites!

They make incredible gifts because they are reasonably priced, perfectly packaged, and they give OPTIONS!

Here are some of the sets they have:

$30 Eyeliner Favorites
Sephora Favorites - Draw The Line

$45 Mascara and Lash Set!  11 pieces will last them for months!
Sephora Favorites - Lash Stash

$45 Glam Kit that has an assortment (best for a gal that you aren't sure what she'd like) and one of the best parts is the gorgeous clutch bag it comes with!  Its unique, and not the typical black or gold plain bag!
Sephora Favorites - Glitz & Glam
The eight items range from blush to false lashes!

I also LOVE their new $24 option for fragrance, which has 5 fashionable scent samples AND a gift card inside to redeem for their favorite one in a rollerball (read: purse size)

In their Men's and women's $65 fragrance sampler, you get 14 incredible deluxe samples AND a card to go back to Sephora and redeem for a 1.7oz of your favorite from the set!  This is the perfect gift for someone looking to get a new scent but isn't sure what they like!
Sephora Favorites - Fragrance Sampler For Her

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Curl-1-1 on Heated Eyelash Curlers

Ladies!!  the day is HERE!  You can throw away your medieval torture device knows as the eyelash curler

in exchange for an easier and less damaging solution - the HEATED Eyelash Curler!

These super compact wands heat up with the flick of a switch (usually take a AAA battery) and they comb through lashes and give them the perfect natural curl

Now, you might wonder if they are very hot - but they aren't even so hot that you cant touch the coil with your finger - you don't have to worry about burning you lids.  But there is a enough heat to curl the lashes by holding sections for 5 solid seconds

I've been using the Blinc brand curler
Just $12 on!!!

But you can find a Sephora Brand one at their stores and the Japonesque brand one at Ulta stores

Can you use the heated curler after you put mascara on?
You can but I don't think you'll need to - plus, you don't want to ruin your curler by clogging it with mascara - cause you can't wash them under water

Another great use?  
You can use them to blend you lashes into false strip lashes for special occasions by curling them into the false lashes once mascara and glue is totally dry

So give it a try and skip the damaging pinching of the traditional curler!  You'll love it!  (MAKES A GREAT STOCKING STUFFER!)

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Best Scented Dry Shampoo on the Market

I recently spotted this dry shampoo when I was strolling through a Sephora, and since there were testers, and I WAS rocking second day hair...I decided to give my hair a boost.  What I wasn't prepared for was the incredible scent of this product and the SHINE!  I had the most amazing SHINE with no residue!  WHAT?!

It was Alterna's Cleanse Extend Dry Shampoo in Mango Coconut

$22 at Sephora and at Alterna retailers

Also available in the scent "Sheer Blossom" which is more flowery and musky

This dry shampoo was perfect to boost shine, make my hair SMELL incredible AND its totally clear - so there is no powdery residue - which is great news for those of you with darker hair!!  At $22 I don't think you'd want to use it every other day (I use a LOT of dry shampoo) but you'd love it for coming out of a smelly restaurant (oh the joys of Asian cuisine) or as a refresher as you head to happy hour.

Its def worth a look!!!  Try it the next time you're in Sephora!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

18k Gold Nail Polish? Oh Yes!

It was only a matter of time before they came out with 18k gold nail polish!  And this one is amazing because its more of an accent polish and top coat to wear with your favorite deep colors!

OPI has launched several successful ventures with Mariah Carey over the past 2 years, including the liquid sand collection, and this is a special top coat made with REAL 18k Gold Flakes that makes an incredible gift for the lux diva in your life!!!

Because really, who other than Mariah Carey would have come up with this? :)

It's retailing for $30 at Ulta but I just picked it up at Beauty Plus Salons for $20! (for those local ladies - 2nd floor of new section at Destiny)

Here is a look at the gold top coat being used over several of the OPI Holiday shades

You'll notice its just a fleck and a shimmer - but it IS very lux and special - it makes a great gift for the girl who loves her nail polish!