Amazing Black Friday & Cyber Monday Beauty Sales You Don't Want to Miss

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

It's that time of year again, friends! Whether you're in the market to replenish your favorites, stocking up on holiday gifts or using this prime shopping time to indulge in your greatest beauty wants, post-thanksgiving sales are the time to shop guilt-free. I've rounded up some incredible sales from amazing brands, beauty e-retailers, and cosmetics favorites.

ULTA is THE destination for your beauty needs and wants this Black Friday.
Their sale lineup is all kinds of amazing and I highly recommend taking a peek at what's being offered and creating your beauty lists now. For newbies, create your full accounts with card information beforehand as it will be immensely easier to checkout on sale day.

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Along with the Thursday 9 a.m. launch of two 10-nude shade Liquid Lipstick Collections (Light-Medium, Medium-Dark), these 10-shade releases with be offered for $60, $200 value. Additionally, a shocking deal consisting of the new Eye Palette Collection (Soft Glam, Subculture  and Modern Renaissance) will be offered for $90 ($168 value)

Bite Beauty - Now's the time to snag one or a few of their irresistibly beautiful and richly colored Amuse Bouche Lipsticks or stock up on their Agave Lip Masks, a lip-saving, cold-weather beauty must-have.
BLACK FRIDAY; 20% off site-wide with free shipping with code FRIDAY5 | All $35+ purchases  receive a free gift
CYBER MONDAY: 20% off site wide, gift with $35+ purchase with code MONDAY4

Buxom Cosmetics - BLACK FRIDAY: 25% off site-wide with code BFW25 
CYBER MONDAY: Buxom will still host 25 % off site-wide and will include a complimentary  full-size Holographic Full-On Plumping Lip Polish with a  $50+ purchase  with code CYBER

IT Cosmetics - BLACK FRIDAY:  Receive 20% off purchase with code ITFRIDAY 
CYBER MONDAY: Code CYBER25 gets you 25% off a $30+ purchase | $70+ purchases come with a free full-size Hello Lashes Mascara

Laura GellerBLACK FRIDAY: 35% off everything on site with code  SALE35
CYBER MONDAY: 45% off $100+  with code SALE45

Caudalie: HOLIDAY DEAL: $120+ free 4-piece gift set GRAPESGIVING, Featuring great deals on sets and amazing skincare bundles all week long

Korres - HOLIDAY DEAL: Skincare bundles starting at $22, free shipping on all orders

Ardell - For my falsie lovers, load up on your favorite styles all weekend as the site will be hosting 30% off
CYBER MONDAY: 30% off + free gift with purchase, no min

Space NK - HOLIDAY DEAL: Buy one, Get One Half off 
The perfect time to stock up on Diptyque candles and Oribe Texturizing Sprays (which both never seem to be on sale or offer)

Dermstore: Holiday Weekend: save up to 25% off THANKS at checkout (my cart will be seeing some ultra-hydrating winter skin favorites like Weleda Skin Food and Bio Oil)

Hourglass - FRI-MON: $20 ff $125, $30 off $150, $50 off $200+

Jin Soon - BLACK FRIDAY: 25% off your purchase with code  BLFRIDAY25
CYBER MONDAY: getA  free tote bag with a $32+ purchase

Milk Makeup - BLACK FRIDAY: 25% off $35+ purchase, $65+ purchase, get a free full-size lip color
CYBER MONDAY: 35% off $35+ purchase, $75+ purchase, get a full-size Holographic stick

Tatcha - BLACK FRIDAY: 20 % off $100+ purchase, $15 off $75+ purchase, $50+ purchase gets you free tinted lip oil
CYBER MONDAY: 20% off site-wide with code CYBER18 

YSL - HOLIDAY BEAUTY EVENT: 15% off $50+ purchase with code HOLIDAY at checkout, Rewards Club Members 20% off $50+ purchase with  HOLIDAY at checkout

DIOR - LIMITED HOLIDAY DEAL: with a $100+ purchase you'll receive a complimentary 4-piece Iconic Eye Discovery Kit along with overnight shipping

Jane Iredale - BLACK FRIDAY-SUN: 20% off $100+  purchase
CYBER MONDAY; 25% off $150+purchase and receive 9 piece mini gift set with a $150+ purchase

Innisfree - NOW-THURS: 20% off select products


Holiday Ready Hair with the New KISS Gold Edition Curling Hair Styler

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Blazer: H&M | Dress: Zara | Belt: Macy's
Jewelry: Vintage | Sunnies: Banana Republic

With holiday season right around the corner, our social calendars are filling up rather quickly. With so many social commitments waiting for us in the coming weeks, planning beauty and hair looks may seem like a daunting task. I luckily found a solution to your hair worries this season and will have your tresses looking holiday ready in a flash.

I got a chance to preview KISS's newest hair tool, the Instawave 101 Automatic Curler during its press event and discovered this fancy update is the ideal item to have on hand this holiday season. This unique product is such a hair styling game changer. As a fan of glamorous, full voluminous hair, achieving this look isn't the easiest of tasks. Usually involving hot rollers, curling irons and a slew of hair products, I was shocked to see how well my hair turned out with just the Instawave.

Instawave 101 Automatic Curler
Available in both 1" and 1 1/4" barrels, the Instawave easily curls hair without clamps or extra hot bare wands. The stylish tool automatically curls hair around its pearl ceramic barrel with a simple push of a button and allows you to custom create a curled or waved look in half the time required with standard hot curl tools.

You'll definitely need a few test rounds to get comfortable with this style of curler, but once comfortable, curling will be a breeze. I loved how this chic tool waved my hair beautifully without much work. Simply weave a one inch sections of hair between the tongs and push the button in the direction you desire and watch the curler neatly spin your hair around the barrel. Its important to make sure you're always curling your hair away from your face to create that fancy, voluminous look. Best of all, the Instawave heats up to 400 degrees which allows the hair to take shape quickly without much damage. A few seconds of hold results in a perfectly smooth, shiny waves.

Glamorous Hair in Half the Time 
I headed to the event with freshly washed blown out hair. Due to prior styling, my hair was already prepped and primed with sufficient product and texture.

To create this full bodied, waved look, the stylist at the event roughly sectioned my hair and curled each section with the Instawave for a more relaxed, tousled look. The final result was effortless curled waves that went from meetings to after work events with ease without losing its shape or sheen. I did finger comb my hair to break up the curls a bit to give it a more undone look.

The entire process took about 20-25 minutes which is unbelievably quick for my hair. I know I will be relying on this wonderful product during the holidays as it makes for speedy styling and touch-ups and leaves my hair soft to the touch. Best of all, its light-weight design makes it travel-friendly which is a must for this time of year. The Instawave has become a fast favorite and will get lots of use long after the holiday season is over.

Images: Product image courtesy of KISS


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

 New York Fashion Week SS 2019
Designer: Michael Costello
Hair Stylist: Peter Gray
Brand: NuMe

Michael Costello's spring 2019 collection was an absolutely bohemian dream. From the beautifully flowing, vividly colored dresses to the equally brightly-hued accessories, this collections delivered high-energy dresses that screamed bold confidence with dramatic movement. While the stunning voluminous dresses and poppy tropical color palette dazzled on the runway, hair stylist Peter Gray made sure the hair look for Costello's show playfully complemented the thrilling collection in an effortless fashion. 

Using Nume's high-quality hot hair tools, Peter created a hair look displaying bohemian elements while it freely flowed with his beautifully billowy designs. When discussing his inspiration on the chosen hair look, Peter wanted the look to ultimately look uncomplicated. "The look is fun, a modern twist on the gypsy hairstyle that incorporates effortless waves and braids," said Gray. This is how he achieved this look: 

Prior to styling the hair with hot tools, each models hair was primed with NuME Hi! And Dry Blow Dry Cream. Applying the product to damp hair and allowing it to settle in for a few moments helped boost the volume of the hair while texturizing it and adding a bit of lift. 

Once prepped, the hair was sectioned into smaller, manageable divisions for drying. To get an even, smooth blowout, each section was expertly wrapped around a NuMe Ionic Round Brush and blow dried using a NuMe Technique Dryer. Each section was completely dried, starting at the roots and making sure to swiftly pull the round brush away from the hairline with each section. Before moving along to the next section, NuMe Root Werk was sprayed onto the roots for additional body and lasting volume. Once the hair was fully blow dried, NuMe Hair-Fie Ready Finishing Spray was applied to the hair for a touch of sheen, lasting hold and served as a perfect primer for curling the hair.

To style the freshly blown out tresses, the hair was once again sectioned off and curled using the NuMe Octowand 32mm barrel curling wand. As each curl was set around the wand and released, each stylist evenly recoiled each curl and clipped up each to set and cool. Once the hair was curled and set, the hair were let down and softly brushed out with a comb. For an added boho accent, small front-sections of hair were braided and delicately pulled back and pinned. 

The finished look was given yet another layer of texture by rubbing NuMe The Dry Shampoo is Everything into the hair with their hands.The effortless yet chic look was locked in with a generous spritz of NuMe Freeze Please Finishing Spray. Select models sported hair jewelry in the form of gold coins on colored thread for a gypsy element which tied in the essence of the collection.

Images courtesy of Michael Costello, Getty Images, Stephanie BC


New York Fashion Week SS 2019
DesignerSelf Portrait
Makeup Artist; Thomas de Kluyver
Brand: Maybelline New York

Self Portrait's ultra feminine deigns and beautiful use of elaborate fabrics always makes for a memorable presentation. His spring 2019 ready-to-wear show was no exception as it further defined the designer's brilliant vision of the youthful, feminine spirit. 

Stemming from this fresh philosophy, makeup artist Thomas de Kluyver wanted to create a look that complimented the collection while using shades and products in an unexpected fashion. 'I wanted to capture that moment when you're experimenting with makeup in the safety of your bedroom or bathroom," said Thomas. 

Thomas wanted the skin to look youthful and radiant. To achieve that ideal complexion he applied Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation on the skin and used Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer for an extra boost to the skin. The final result looked healthy and fresh.

There was no doubt that the exciting element to the beauty looks at Self Portrait were the unique graphic designs around the eyes. Thomas used Eyestudio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil Eyeliner in Cashmere White to create five unique designs framing the eyes. Strategic lines were placed along the brow bone, tear duct and upper lash line in an almost experimental fashion which highlighted the shape of the eyes. For a more dramatic take on this vision, Thomas created a starburst-like arrangement along the outer eye area as one of the looks.
Backstage Beauty Tip: Thomas explained that the tip of the liner is key to creating this look. He advised a sharpened point helps create clean fine lines where as a blunt tip is best for creating thicker lines and angles.

Once the desired designs were achieved, he followed with mascara. Unlike the traditional application, Thomas concentrated Volum' Express The Falsies Washable Mascara to only the roots of the lashes which created subdued definition.

Girls walked the runway in two looks - bare and bold. Models sporting the graphic white eyeliner designs were sent off with lips coated in Baby Lips in Quenched which created a subtle shine. However, those with bare lids were given a more statement-making pout which was achieved by framing only the upper lip with SuperStay Matte Ink in Romantic. This precision product made application a breeze as its applicator features a tapered, arrow-like design.


Images Courtesy of Maybelline New York


New York Fashion Week SS 2019
Designer: Kith
Makeup Artist; Grace Lee
Brand: Maybelline New York

While subtle beauty look often leave the ensembles as the focal point during a show, I love when models strut down the runway sporting bold beauty looks. This cool, dramatic graphic smoky eye look paired beautifully with the unique and darkly hued designs of the Kith x Versace collection  (one of four collaborations presented).

The collection, which featured an array of personalities, featured multiple beauty look created by Grace Lee, makeup artist for Maybelline New York. This specific look was all about fresh skin, feathery brows and ultimately focused on the ultra cool winged eye look. Using versatile Maybelline products, here's how she created this look:

To avoid any fallout or smudges on freshly applied foundation, Grace began the look by creating the negative space winged eye makeup. Using the Eyestudio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil Eyeliner in Sleek Onyx, she lined the upper lash line and blended the product out into the winged shape.
Backstage Beauty Tip: To achieve that sharp, clean edge, Grace suggests holding a tissue along the outer corner of the eye whilst lining. If that appears to be a bit too challenging, a perfect shape can also be created using the Facestudio Master Fixer Makeup Remover Pen.

Once complete, Grace framed the look by coating both the upper and lower lashes in few coats of Volum' Express The Falsies Washable Mascara in Blackest Black.

Moving on to the skin, Grace wanted the skin to look fresh and flawless without looking heavily concealed. To create that perfect complexion, she simply buffed the skin with Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation. Once applied, Grace wanted to sculpt the face much like the stunning 90s supermodels seen in George Michael's "Freedom! 90" music video and the Versace runway. To create  that iconic, subtle contour, she blended Facestudio Masterstudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick under the cheekbones.

To create the lush, feathery brow look. Brow Precise Micro Eyebrow Pencil was used to fill in the lashes and the final shape was set with Great Lash Clear Mascara.

For the perfect nude lip, Grace blended two shades (Driver and Poet) of SuperStay Matte Ink Un-Nude Liquid Lipstick onto the lips. For a muti-dimensional finish, Shine Compulsion Lipstick by Color Sensational in Baddest Beige was applied atop the nude lipstick blend.


Images courtesy of Maybelline New York

Jane Iredale's Sunny Mission of Giving Back and Making A Difference

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Sunny PlayOn Lip Crayon | Jane Iredale
100% of profits to support various organizations that benefit women and girls

As a major fan of Jane Iredale, a natural beauty brand deeply rooted in philanthropy, I was so excited to get a chance to play with their new fall collection at this year's Indie Beauty Expo in NYC (more on that later). While there, I also had the opportunity to preview the brand's newest philanthropic launch.

The chic lip product, aptly named Sunny, is a lip crayon that softly glides on the lips and leaves behind a beautiful universally-flattering, creamy pink hue.

This product, which is part of Jane's newest charity initiative focuses on organizations which benefit women and girls around the country. It is a brilliantly bright campaign that promotes the positive progression of women through self-confidence and courage. Complete sales of this universal lip product will go towards female-centric organizations, which includes Look Good Feel Better, an amazing program which merges beauty and confidence in such a supportive and encouraging fashion. This exceptional organization is dedicated to women with cancer and helps create a brighter and more courageous future for each through beauty.

This wonderful organization is just one of the noteworthy programs included in Jane's Sunny charitable mission.While Jane's versatile, natural beauty and skincare range helps us put our best face forward, her latest beauty launch gives us a chance to let out inner beauty shine through generosity.

"Make your day a Sunny day and support a brighter future for women and girls"
-Jane Iredale

Image courtesy of Jane Iredale

The Beautiful Campaign Shining A Light on CHD Survivors

Friday, August 31, 2018

All proceeds to benefit the last photography chapter of the Scars Are Beautiful Project

As someone who has experienced a fair share of heart troubles, I was blown away when I stumbled upon the Scars Are Beautiful Project

This incredible initiative brings awareness to congenital heart defect (CHD) survivors. Founded by the inspiring Brigitta Zatko, this eye-opening project highlights individuals of various ages around the world who all have a striking chest scar marking life-saving open heart surgery due to CHD. 

The Founder
A beautiful lady both inside and out, Brigitta has created a project where those suffering and beyond can feel both inspired and included. Expanding on her own CHD experience, Brigitta has taken her brilliant photography talents to various cites to chronicle the stories of these brave heart survivors and photograph their beautiful scars. With so much stigma around the appearance of scars, Brigita's Scars Are Beautiful project has created a community that celebrates the signature zipper-like chest scar and gives a face to CHD.

Brigitta Zatko 

With my own personal experience with life-long heart disease and open heart surgery, it is incredible to see this thriving and welcoming community celebrating a scar I was once embarrassed by and reading the stories of fellow heart heroes of every age.  

Her Mission
A strong advocate for this cause, Brigitta's ultimate goal is to photograph 100 unique individuals with CHD who proudly wear their open heart surgery scars and compile these stunning images into a coffee table book. This brave collection of moving images is such a wonderful project that highlights such an important cause while eliminating the shame of scars. 

Brigitta Zatko

Fundraising Efforts
Due to its success, Brigitta has a designed a charming shirt promoting her passion project that is perfectly fitting for all. A fundraising effort that will only be live until September 5th, this darling shirt is a wearable memento that represents so many beautiful stories and raises awareness for CHD. All sales of this shirt will go towards funding Brigitta's last trip (Australia) on her Scars Are Beautiful photography mission. Whilst in Australia, Brigitta will visit four cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane) to photograph thirty individuals for her upcoming tome. A mission worth the spotlight, Brigitta is changing the conversation on scars and CHD by focusing on actual survivors and their unique stories. 

Contacting Brigitta Zatko 

All images courtesy of Brigitta Zatko

Brightening Skin The Greek Way

Thursday, July 5, 2018

With my favorite OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Serum coming to an end, I was itching to find another potent brightening Vitamin C skincare product and stumbled upon a winning rose option by KORRES.

The Brand
A longtime fan of the natural, cruelty-free Greek beauty company, KORRES expertly uses ingredients (wild rose, saffron, pomegranate, etc.) grown in this Mediterranean region and infuses their most beneficial qualities into their vast and multifaceted skincare products. Since first being introduced to the brand by their ultra-nourishing Greek yogurt range (the after-sun cooling gel is a must for summer!),  I've incorporated at least one of their products into my skincare regimen every season thereafter. 

Why Wild Rose
Currently, it is their remarkable Vitamin C Active Wild Rose Brightening Oil which is just as beautiful as it is effective. While the presentation alone is worthy of a purchase (actual wild rose petals are housed in every bottle), this luxurious oil has become a rather fast skincare staple in my growing collection. Unlike most vitamin c-infused skincare products I've used in the past, this skin wonder delivered the quickest results.

With 20 years of backed research and modernized formulation, this antioxidant-rich and ultra hydrating brightening oil features cold pressed wild rose oil, healing vitamin a, a punch of vitamin c and a handful of natural botanical extracts. These effective ingredients not only revive skin and soften fine lines but work towards creating a more collagen-rich, supple and improved skin texture. A universal product, that works beautifully for all skin tones and types, this oil really targets our skin troubles while protecting it against UV damage.

The Results
While these grand claims would charm any skincare enthusiast, I was quite skeptical about using this product. Reading rave reviews touting overnight brightening and various other promises still didn't completely sell me on the product. With such tricky expectations, I still gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Just one night yielded brighter skin, tightened the slight visible pores along by inner cheeks and ultimately saw an overall radiant complexion which sometimes becomes lackluster in this harsh heat. I was even more thrilled that with use, these remarkable results only continued. Best of all, those troubling blemish scars and slight dark spots I've had lingering on my skin have also begun lightening up. It is rare to come across a product this good that also works well.

I've found that this oil is lighter than others I've tried and beautifully melts in as you press it onto the skin. The smell, which can be quite intense upon opening, dissipates and leaves behind a hint of pleasant rose. In regards to application, a little goes a long way so a few drops (two at most per use, if used twice a day) is all you need for the face and a couple more if you're bringing it down to the neck. 

Additionally, this multi-functional oil works well as a companion product to other skincare products like moisturizer (a drop or two blended in for added hydration) or foundation. In the summer months, a couple of drops mixed into my foundation offers a lighter and more radiant finish without sacrificing quality of color or coverage. 


Bite Beauty Lip Lab Custom Experience | New York

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

In today's boundless beauty shops, you can find just about every color of lipstick imaginable. From radiant reds to beautiful berries and every poppy pink and peach in between, any lip color of your dreams is available in an array of finishes and textures. With such grand collections of colors, you'd think my signature shade would already be found. While I have a handful of favorites I've repurchased time and time again, there's one shade I just can't seem to find.

Oh those tricky pumpkin/brunt oranges.

There are certainly a plethora of burnt orange lipsticks currently on the market and it seems I've tried them all. The trouble is the true color of these lovely lipsticks appear differently on my lips due to my natural lip under tone. I often find that every burnt orange or pumpkin lipstick I've tried turns brick red or a variation of peach on my lips. It's very frustrating as the perfect burnt orange tone can only be achieved by layering 3-4 products.

If only I could create my own perfect shade of lipstick. 

I was thrilled to discover that my own custom shade of lipstick could be created thanks to Bite Beauty. Already a longtime fan of the lip brand's Amuse Bouche lipstick range, Bite Beauty's unique Lip Lab invites lipstick enthusiasts to create their very own signature blend. Located in New York's trendy Soho neighborhood, this chic and ultra polished space is truly a lipstick fantasy come to life.

While this dreamy service is a bit costly, there are varied services offered to help you find the best option for your needs. You can either choose a custom lipstick service which can be modified to either one ($55) or two ($80) pigmented shades offered in their vast library of color or opt for the ultimate bespoke lipstick service ($150, pp).

Custom Lipstick Service 
This custom service allows you to choose a pre-mixed color from their extensive pigment library, which contains almost 200 unique shades, in a scent and finish  (sheer, matte, classic, luminous) of your liking. The lovely scents offered by the Lip Lab are quite unique. While you may be used to sweet (vanilla) smelling lippies, Bite Beauty's Lip Lab goes beyond the usual and can scent your personalized lipstick in one of their 9 delectable options: Cherry, Mint, Fresh Citrus, Coconut, Violet, Vanilla, Citrus Mango, Wild Berry and Lime.

Bespoke Lipstick Service
If you want an extra special and extravagant personalized lipstick experience, their Bespoke Lipstick Service is certainly the option for you. All about luxury and personalized service, Bite Beauty's Lip Lab professionals help you create your custom lipstick from pigment to mold as you watch along in amazement.

Prior to choosing your custom shade, your lips will be treated to a Bite Beauty lip scrub and mask. Thereafter, you are in control of choosing the pigments you want and the Lab professionals mix your custom concoction into a lipstick made just for your lips. The possibilities are endless as you can create any shade from opalescent, sheer finishes to intensely colored mattes and every dreamy option in between. It's so lovely how each Lab professional is dedicated to helping you find your dream shade and are committed to creating a signature lipstick you'll truly love.

Along with your two signature shades, you're given a Bite Beauty lip kit which features a few of their superstar lip products (Agave Lip Mask, Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub and Line & Define Lip Primer) in beauty-bag friendly minis.

If you're looking to create a signature lipstick make just for your lips, I highly recommend you schedule a visit to Bite Beauty's Lip Lap. If you're not in NYC, Bite Beauty has two additional locations -- one in trendy Toronto and another in stylish San Francisco.

Life Is What You Make It -- Make it A Positive One

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Top: Equipment | Shorts: Banana Republic | Scarf: Victoria Beckham x Target
Bag: Kate Spade | Shoes: Tory Burch

This week marks one year since the heartbreaking event that changed my life in unimaginable ways. If you know me, I'm no stranger to difficult and frightening surgeries. While my first 2 major life-saving surgeries were filled with incredible happiness and joy, this one was just the opposite. It was unexpected, traumatic and completely heartbreaking -- the year following was a tough one which only strengthened my positive perspective on life and continuously reminded me to seek the light rather than the darkness.

I learned that it is OK to lean on your family and loved ones during a bad time. To depend on their love for a bit and to really take the time to recognize and appreciate those who have helped you build a life you've worked hard for and love. I am lucky to have an incredible support system -- my sweet family always reminds me that I don't walk alone in life. It is important to highlight these encouraging, incredibly caring and positive individuals as they help show you the light on darker days.

I always say you should never make a life out of a bad day. That one bad day is just 24 hours long. Twenty four hours to experience the worst, feel awful and still in between it all, we find the fight to make the following days better. For me that bad day lasted months. My recovery was, in one word, brutal. Every complication and downfall that could happen, happened. But hey, it could've been worse. My life could've ended last April.

It's all about perspective. 

Though you don't need to experience something devastating to appreciate life and to change your daily outlook.  My difficult journey in life taught me the tough lessons early and to really appreciate it all -- good and bad. In the midst of the absolute worst, happiness and peace can be found, its all about  keeping a positive attitude. At the end of the day, your attitude is the only thing in your control. Even on the extra difficult crappy days, know that it'll get better. Just learn to keep your attention on the light.

As someone who has really met death face-to-face on many occasions, nothing upsets me more than hearing absolutely comfortable and healthy individuals go on and on for hours, days, and weeks (yes, weeks) complaining about the same trivial frustrations of daily life. We all endure irritating daily annoyances such as traffic, simple work frustrations, or times when we question "why is this happening to me?" -- well, I'll tell you a simple way to get past it -- it could be worse.

Stop complaining about minor inconveniences.

How lucky are you to have to your health, to have a job in which earns you a living, to have a car or a paid monthly metro pass to get you to said job, to have a warm bed to sleep in every night and to have caring friends and family who stand by you through the good and bad. Remind yourself of this the next time something bothers you and you feel the need to take up another's time simply to detail these minor troubles. Its all about patience and attitude.

Expanding on these minor frustrations allow them to eat at you and ruin your days. I've learned that seeking positivity on smaller scale helps diminish daily negatively and ultimately makes it powerless.

You are responsible for your attitude and behavior -- there's no reason why you should make a bad life out of a bad day.

An amazing mentor once explained to me that God only gives us the challenges we can handle. The ones that test, question and break us are only given to remind us of our strength. When the big heartbreaking things happen, it's important to remind yourself of this lovely outlook.

Without sounding too much like a fortune cookie -- learn to celebrate life. Life has dealt me a very tricky hand that has tried time and time again to snatch away my life card. We never know when our time will come, learn to COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS and speak of positive things. Negativity only invites negativity.

Here's hoping this beautiful year (and many more ahead) are happy and healthy!

Erdem for NARS Strange Flower Collection

Monday, April 9, 2018

Erdem for  NARS Strange Flowers Collection | Launching at NARS on April 12th, 2018
Designer Erdem to celebrate the launch at Saks Fifth Avenue NYC on May 11th, 2018

A beauty collection of dreams, this new designer collaboration with NARS Cosmetics is all things elegant and chic. 

NARS Cosmetics limited edition, stunning capsule collections have  not only become cosmetic must-haves but have become great collectors items for both beauty and fashion enthusiasts. For Summer 2018, the popular French beauty brand is collaborating with Erdem Moralioglu for a dream-like collection featuring 13 new colors, products and palettes.

Lipstick | $28
Top: Bloodflower | Moon Orchid | Larspur
Bottom: Voodoo Lily |  Carnal Carnation |Wild Flower 

Blush | $30
Loves Me | Loves Me Not

Without losing the classic elegance of the Erdem brand, the Strange Flowers collection beautifully illustrates his feminine and beautifully romantic signature style through color. Using unique bold pigments, this collaboration offers daring yet timeless tones  (bold berry tones, romantic reds/rose and earthy, cool-toned neutrals) which help create versatile looks from demure to bold.
Eyeshadow Palettes | $49
Fleur Fatale | Night Garden

One of most exciting products in this collection is the new Lip Powder Palette. This innovative palette, which is unique to this limited edition collection, includes an array of delicate neutrals and daring rose shades (fuchsia and scarlet, both matte). This customizable palette can be worn in a variety of ways as it consists of a lip priming balm and 4 powders (metallic and matte). To achieve a multi-dimensional, layered look, the stunning shimmery rose gold powder can be applied atop the nude rose, fuchsia or scarlet with the precision-tip lip brush included in the palette.
Lip Powder Palette | $49
Poison Rose

In addition to the stunning color roundup, the packaging of this beautiful collection is just as lovely as one of Erdem's designs. All of the products are housed in stunning, soft-toned cases and feature one of three floral prints Erdem designed exclusively for this spectacular collaboration.

Images courtesy of NARS Cosmetics

Spring Manicures with Morgan Taylor

Thursday, April 5, 2018

All White Now | Heaven Sent | In The Nude | One & Only | Beach Babe

Spring has finally arrived and I'm so ready to take a break from those dark, moody polishes of winter. The light and bright shift of the seasons has me itching to lighten up my manicures and opt for more creamy blush and nude-toned nail lacquers. A forever classic and polished look (and Kate Middleton favorite!), light-colored manicures pair well with all ensembles and are very forgiving when inevitable chips occur. With the royal wedding just a little over a month away (May 19th!), I thought I'd highlight a few pale polishes I'm currently loving from Morgan Taylor.

Before I get right to my favorites, I must share why I can't get enough of this awesome nail brand. While their nail lacquers are toxin-free (formaldehyde, touluene, DBP ), it's their exceptional quality of pigments (major color payoff!) that brings me back to this range time and time again. Whether you're looking for metallics, iridescent finishes, cremes or intense opaque tones, Morgan Taylor's impressive collection of colors does not disappoint. Best of all, MT polishes all deliver an even, smooth coating of polish with every sweep of the brush. Speaking of brushes, each polish is equipped with a great wider cut brush which makes application a breeze.

I've also found that most polishes become thick and sticky with continued use which thankfully does not happen with these high quality lacquers. By the end of the bottle, the formula, consistency of color and fluidity remain exactly as a fresh bottle -- simply excellent.

Now to The Colors -- 
While I love a nice opaque pale pink or creamy beige, Morgan Taylor's silky sheer polishes are some of my favorites. These luxe sheer colors deliver a hint of color that can easily be intensified with additional coats without the dreaded, uneven streaking. Two coats are sufficient for a beautiful flush of color and my current favorites include a creamy ivory (Heaven Sent), a pale ecru/nude (In The Nude), and a ladylike light cafe pink (One and Only). As a fun alternative to the common pale whites and pinks, I had to add Beach Babe to my updated lights collection. This pale peachy creamsicle polish has a subtle iridescence swirled throughout which is just stunning and feels extra fancy every time I wear it.

With the sun shinning (and even when the April showers hit), treat yourself to manicure with one of Morgan Taylor's stunning polishes, your nails will thank you.


Get The Look: Adriana Lima's Glamorous Beauty Look Using Maybelline

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Celebrity: Adrianna Lima
Makeup Artist: Patrick Ta
Brand: Maybelline 

The perfect complement to her dramatic and ultra-glamorous Alberta Ferretti gown, Adriana’s makeup look to the Vanity Fair Oscars Party was the epitome of Hollywood Glamour. Celebrity Makeup Artist Patrick Ta created a striking beauty look for the Maybelline New York Spokesmodel that was centered on a stunningly vibrant red pout. Here’s how he created this stunning look:

SKIN: As with all glamorous makeup applications, starting with a clean face is essential. The initial step in prepping the skin was to provide ample hydration with facial oil. Opting for a hydrating oil rather than a cream gave Adriana’s skin a subtle luminous finish while instantly reviving the complexion and creating an even base. To increase the radiance of her skin, Patrick followed with Gigi Hadid x Maybelline East Coast Glam Liquid Strobe, concentrating it on the high points of her face to give it a flawless, dimensional look.

FACE: Moving onto coverage, Patrick wanted Adriana’s skin to look healthy and youthful and didn’t want to diminish the glow with a heavy foundation. Using Gigi Hadid x Maybelline West Coast Glow Tinted Primer, a lighter and fresh alternative to a full-coverage foundation, he applied the tinted base onto her skin. To sculpt the face and provide chic definition, Patrick used Maybelline New York Master Contour Face Contouring Kit to define the cheekbones, enhance the jawline and slim the bridge of the nose with a fluffy angle brush. For a flush of color, Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush in 'Mauve” was applied to the apples of the cheeks with the same brush and diffused into the contour. To frame the cheeks, and the high points of her face, Patrick lightly dusted Maybelline New York Master Chrome Highlighter in 'Molten Gold,' along the tops of her cheekbones, and down the bridge of her nose. To brighten up the eyes, highlighter was also applied to the inner corner of her eyes.

EYES: Using the Maybelline New York Total Temptation Palette, three key shades were used to create her elegant eye look. First, Patrick blended the medium-brown shade into the crease and blended the shade upwards to brow bone. The same medium shadow was buffed onto the lower lash for a soft smoky look. Using a clean fluffy brush, he went over the freshly applied shadow to soften the look. He then saturated the eyelids with the iridescent pink champagne shade with a clean flat brush. Lastly, the inner corners of her eyes were further brightened by layering the lightest shade of the palette onto the highlighter that was previously applied. Patrick framed the look by coating her beautiful lashes in a few layers of Maybelline New York Total Temptation Mascara. To ensure Adriana’s brows were flawless, any sparse spots were filled with Maybelline New York Eye Studio Brow Define + Fill Duo and set the desired shape with Maybelline New York Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara.

LIPS: The striking focal point of the look was a perfectly bold red pout. Adriana’s luxurious red lip was achieved by using Maybelline New York Python Metallic Lip Kit in 'Passionate,' a stunning duo of lip color and metallic lipshadow. Patrick began by meticulously layering her lips with the poppy red lip color from the palette. To intensify the color and add a touch of dimension to the lip, he applied the rose gold lipshadow atop the red lip product resulting in a subtle sheen that further highlighted the bold look.


Artist You Need to Know: Catherine Stenhjem

Monday, April 2, 2018

Mon Petit Chou! - By. Catherine Stenhjem

I'm always on the hunt to find beautiful, stylish art. The kind of work that will complement both my bold spirit and space and will guarantee a wide smile every time I glance at it.
Luckily, I recently stumbled upon an image (Mon Petit Chou!) that was everything I was looking for -- equal parts whimsy and stylish -- this piece was stunningly done and I needed to find the artist behind this lovely painting.

The artist who created that painting was Catherine Stenhjem, an incredible artist from Arizona who beautifully illustrates awe-inspiring images both imagined and present. Much like the fashionable painting that initially sparked my interest in her work, her collections of paintings each vividly portray striking imagery that leave you wondering more about their backstory. Bold, regal animals like big wild cats (panthers, lions, tigers) and strong horses and more, along with fantastical folklore-inspired styles are common motifs in her work. Having spent some time living abroad in Iran, the warm and classic elegance of old Persia can also be seen in her paintings. Whether creating fancy fantasy worlds or striking portraits, Catherine's style of art is certainly captivating.

Catherine Stenhjem

The Beautiful Gypsy Girl & her Fairy Friends - By. Catherine Stenhjem

As a personal fan of majestic wild cats, I was struck by her style of incorporating these beautiful creatures in her flawless portrait work. Vividly illustrating both, Catherine's unique skill of meticulously perfecting every detail is what sets her work apart from most artists. The results are extraordinarily lively images that are sure to enchant every viewer. Her impressive attention to fine-tuning the details of every piece, while creating an almost multi-dimensional layering of color, Catherine's intense passion for art and storytelling with her paintbrush is wildly evident in every one of her pieces. When I received my very own Catherine Stenhjem painting, I soon learned that this luxurious style of painting was even more magnificent in person.

A Golden Spirti - By. Catherine Stenhjem

So Dreams The Lotus - By. Catherine Stenhjem

With impressive versatility, Catherine's artistic talents extend beyond the finest of papers. She also paints her exquisite signature designs on leather accessories with the same vibrancy and expert technique seen in her paintings. Additionally, Catherine's special collection of  original paintings can be purchased as cards. Using high quality paper materials, Catherine has taken classic greeting cards to the next level. A gift itself, her beautiful art cards feature an original hand-painted piece of art along with a blank insert to detail your personal messages -- all of which are presented with a chic ribbon closer and beautiful envelope. While these fancy art cards are beautiful on their own, these smaller works can also be framed.

It's rare to see an artist exhibit their unique works in such a varied fashion -- Catherine expertly does it without sacrificing quality or authenticity.

Catherine Stenhjem Art Cards

While admiring her work from a far (aka stalking her consistently impressive instagram), I received a message from Catherine herself. She generously offered to paint my portrait and I was just incredibly honored to become one of Catherine Stenhjem's Enchanting Girls. Already a major fan of her style and just blown away by her creative interpretations of all her previous portrait models, I knew my very own portrait wouldn't disappoint.

I've only had my portrait done once before by an amature student in my college drawing class and was pretty horrified by the results. Every feature I've always been teased about or troubled by was highlighted in a very unfortunate fashion. To now have a chance to have my portrait redone by a professional, I was hopeful that those feelings would not be revisited.

The final result was something I'd never imagined. Coupled with her signature regal black panther, Catherine not only painted my face with exceptional accuracy and depth, but created a sharp richness with every stroke that was beyond stunning. It was bold, it was intense and simply mesmerizing. Both interpretations illustrated a beautiful story: a royal pairing of a strong beauty with her equally fierce cat companion. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I believe that's what Catherine's work expertly does. It immediately captures your attention and speaks volumes. Each stroke of her brush paints an emotion that frames each piece's unique story. For me, Catherine made me royalty, and I couldn't be more appreciative.

Beloved - By. Catherine Stenhjem

A Golden Time Royalty - By. Catherine Stenhjem

The kindness she extended to me through this unique experience and gifting me a lovely pair of portraits will be remembered for a lifetime. These paintings (along with a collection of her other work)  will be enjoyed and cherished. These vibrant works have lit up my home in so many ways. Her love for painting enchanting faces and capturing their essence is a she's mastered through her many years as an art professional. It also highlights how she truly connects with her subjects in such positivity  and light.

In my  chats with her I soon learned that Catherine is much like the work she creates -- beautiful. A beautiful individual with equally stunning heart, Catherine's philosophy on art is one that many can appreciate. She explained that while original art is luxury, it shouldn't only be available at steep price tags. In effort to share her work with more of her passionate and art-loving audience, she has lowered the rates of her work and will often host giveaways of her work on instagram. Additionally, she has generously chosen to sell all of her art, especially her  folkoric art series which centers around fantasy and fairies with each piece depicting a unique story. 

Catherine Stenhjem 

In learning more about her work, I was very moved by her contributions to animal-centric charities. Having an immense passion for the welfare and protection of animals, this connection is seen throughout many aspects of her work. She continues to support such charities with a bulk of the proceeds of her art sales going to animal rescue organizations, her favorite being Rancho Relaxo

Catherine's professionalism coupled with her passion and dedication to creating and delivering high quality original designs make her a unique and noteworthy artist. 
Though, it is her kindness and generous, inspiring spirit that make her a truly lovely woman.  

Thank you, Catherine. It was such a great experience getting to speak with you about art, the world and outstanding women making a difference in their respective fields. 
I cannot verbalize enough how much these personal pieces of art mean to me and how much they are appeciated and loved. Your work is truly magical. 

Catherine's work beautifully embellishes a space and are sure to become fast favorites! From her beautifully bold and consistent high quality work to her stunning, original designs, I couldn't recommend her more! She's just brilliant! 

Contact Catherine Stenhjem

About Rancho Relaxo
Upon rescuing a lovely mustang named Halona, Caitlin Cimini was unaware that her heartfelt rescue would soon lead to her to a lovely farm she'd ultimately transform into Rancho Relaxo, an animal advocacy nonprofit. Caitlin's story is pretty incredible as is the terrific work she and her team are doing to better the lives of animals. 

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