Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring over to J.Crew for something new !

If these new pieces from the Spring J.Crew Jewelry collection doesn't make you excited about Spring I don't know what else will !!! I'm in LOVE!!!! I want it all !!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Naked . Flawless . Skin . How to achieve a Barely There Face Inspired by Beyonce's "Ghost" Video

One of my favorite looks from Beyonce's visual album is the barely there naked makeup look in the Ghost video.  This "natural" look entails more than what meets the eye , luckily for you I've provided a detailed step by step process with product suggestions on creating this look which I like to call : Naked. Flawless. Skin.

You need to have a good skincare regimen ... or begin one.  
A quick cost-friendly "pick me up" is Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask . Infused with natural charcoal, this thermal mask opens pores and draws out dirt. It finishes with a cooling sensation for tingly-smooth skin in just one minute.  You can also follow with the Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser throughout the week .
For your nighttime routine "not so cost friendly but WORTH every penny" .  I like the use of Tarte Pure  Maracuja Oil along with the C- Brighter eye treatment.  You will see the difference in your skin as well as your eye area with continued use , and because the formulas are so potent a little goes a LONG way.  For your daytime routine, I suggest Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk or the 100% Pure Argan Oil or 100% Pure Argan Oil light ( if you want a lighter feel) . Your skin will be be beyond hydrated and you can begin your "Ghost" inspired look .

Weightless Liquid High Definition Foundation
We're just going for the Naked look, but we are not taking it literal...  So a liquid coverage is the BEST way to go.  Just blends into the skin and you wont have the Matte powder "made up" look.  You want a "smooth glow" .. I really like  Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Makeup , and Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation are my two suggestions.Both provide full coverage, really feel weightless , and your skin really will look great in photos as well as in person. Both provides great shades for Darker tones too -

Glossy Lids 
Beyonce has been know to sport this for years now, but this is a old trick done by all of the Pro's .  You can use Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream alone on the lids or over a shadow ( other looks) and since the lids have powder as a base its very easy to remove.  A little goes a LONG way. For the Naked look , I would say add a little bit on just the middle of the lids and you can use a very sublte bronze / light brown shadow as a base .  Another trick is to use just a clear gloss (one that is not too thick or sticky) on the lids . A good recommendation is Josie Maran High Gloss Lip Quench. ** You can fill in your brows sparingly with a brown pencil , followed by a sweep of brow gel over the brows**

Dark Defined Lashes 
Since everything is toned down, your lashes really take the lead. You really don't need to apply false lashes, but you NEED a good mascara.  Mally Beauty Instant Impact Duo magnifies the lashes , without adding volume and "clump" giving the lashes a lightweight feeling -  exactly what you're going for. You will not be applying to the bottom lash line ( although I LOVE to do that - , just not for this look) .

Highlight the Eyes 
My favorite part of this look is the lower lash line.  I love how the eyes are illuminated , yet in a subtle way. You can achieve this with Mally Beauty Lightwand Eye Brightener.  You can also highlight the inner rims of the eyes with the sponge applicator side of the wand.  This works wonders !

Natural Flushed Cheeks 
A hint of color is all you need. You definitely need a cream blush/ cheek tint texture.  I really like Tarte Cheek Stain and Josie Maran Argan Color Stick as choices for the cheeks.

Barely There Lips
A nude glossy lip is key.  Mally Beauty High Shine Liquid Lipstick Pen in "Deep Nude" , "Natural Nude" or "Light Nude" -  depending on your complexion / your preference.

There you have it,  a detailed step by step breakdown on how to achieve this flawless look,  enjoy!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Matte Shadow sets for Dark Skin Girls : LORAC PRO Palette vs. Tarte Be MATTEnificent Amazonian Colored Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette

I have done a lot of research on reviews on certain palettes / eye shadow colors on darker skin and a lot of the time the swatches shown are complexions way lighter than mine - so I'm still left with ..... NOTHING.

I really don't rely on reviews as I am always willing to try new things out on my own, but I've realized that many other Dark Skinned girls who may not be as makeup savvy as I would run into a problem determining if its worth giving a try.  First thing first -  both sets are a neutral / nude tone based set so of course the color range will be in creams , whites, browns and beiges.

First up, LORAC PRO Palette -  I really LOVE this collection 16 shadows .  8 Matte and 8 Shimmer colors to choose from.  You also get a Mini Behind The Scenes Eye Primer!  What I've been noticing in many palettes till recently with ( Naked Basics and Be MATTEnificient) , palettes tend to be predominately shimmer/ satin shades with 1, 2, maybe 3 tops of shadows with a Matte finish.  So I LOVE that we get an equal range.  I've been a bit obsessed with a Matte eye ( think 90's supermodel  makeup) .  So I really appreciate LORAC for giving us this equal opportunity.  

The Mattes (Top Natural Light , Bottom Flash)  :  White , Cream, Taupe, Lt. Pink, Mauve, Sable, Espresso, Black .

As you can see the pigmentation is pretty great ( certain brands you need to have on primer to get the color to appear on darker skin - not a issue here) , and even on my dark skin you can tell the difference in the different light shades.  The white looks like white and light pink looks like light pink.  Taupe really blends into my skin tone - would be a great option to use in the crease when you want to do a light dramatic eye.

The Shimmers (Top Natural Light , Bottom Flash) : Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lt. Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple, Slate

The shimmery shades compliment the matte ,  practically the shimmery counterpart to each color in the other row. I love that "Slate" is like a Charcoal shade , and honesty "Black" ( Matte) reads like a Charcoal ( at least on my skin) .  "Gold" and "Garnet" and "Pewter" are very pretty and "Nude" "Champagne" and "Lt. Bronze" are great for the inner rims of the eyes as well as lower lash line to really make the eyes "pop" .  Especially on us Darker skinned girls , dabbing a little bit of a shimmery Nude shade to the inner rims really does something for us -  just try it !!

Conclusion : This palette is everything I thought it would be and more. At $42 dollars this is a steal for the amount of colors you get and I LOVE that there is 8 MATTE shadows , and if you ever find yourself being "over" the whole MATTE thing you have 8 Shimmery shades waiting for you!!

Tarte Be MATTEnificent Amazonian Colored Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette ( Limited Edition , not sure if it is still available for sale )  - first, I'd like to say that Tarte gets a bad rap for not providing range and color options for Darker Skinned girls.  This is not true , although there could be MORE, I would not say that the brand does not cater to us at all .  There is many products that Dark Skinned girls can use , from the concealer , foundation, lipsticks, blushes and cheek tints. 


Natural Light 

Eye Shadow Colors From Top Left :  "Sand out from the crowd"  "Peach for the Stars" "Two Plums Up" "Dream in Chocolate" Blush Color : "Elevated"
Eye Shadow Colors From Bottom Left : "Pink outside the box" "Rose to the occasion" "View from the Taupe" "Don't Stand Black" 

Shadows : These have really good pigment (as you can see) and even on my dark skin all of the shades are showcased independently.  This is all WITHOUT primer, so imagine on the lids how these colors will just POP! You can differentiate "Sand out from the crowd" from "Pink outside the box", they all don't just look "white" on me - which is a plus.  The shadows all have a velvety smooth texture which I love. The two shadows which are intended to act as "liners" could easily be used in the "crease" as well - but only for Dramatic looks.  I really love this range of nude Matte colors with the contrasting plum shade which isn't your "typical" brown or black in the crease. Especially for spring "Two Plums Up" is going to be very pretty on the lids. 

Cheek Color : There is no way I can wear "Elevated" as a blush color , there is just NO way.  It will read as as me being "ashy" . This is the only factor not making this palette perfect I would just use the cheek stain as a eyeshadow - multi purpose!!  

Conclusion : This is a great palette , despite nay sayers -  this CAN be used on Dark Skin.  Colors read very well on Dark Skin.  The Blush color is the problem .  This shade is NOT universal , it will not look great on Darker Skinned girls.  I have used many Tarte Blushes , so I know that they offer cheek colors that look great on me.  I can't say this is a perfect palette due to this one factor, BUT I suggest it 100% because it is an all MATTE palette and you can't ever have enough Matte shadows and this range will transition great into day and night looks.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rise by Beyonce ...... My First Impressions

Beyonce Rise Eau De Parfum  ( 1.7 FL oz / $44) is the latest addition to her collection of fragrances.  In her own words Beyoncé said  "The spirit of RISE encourages women to be all that we are,”.  Rise is described as a rich and intoxicating luminous floral that leaves a lasting impression. Also as the scent of empowerment, which features Beyoncé’s favorite flower, the Orchid. 

What I got from Rise was a very clean citrusy scent.  It reminds me of being on the beach , very summery type of scent.  My honest opinion is that this would not be on my top list of perfumes to get for myself.  I was a bit disappointed in this scent honestly -  I have to give an HONEST opinion.  I was expecting this to be so much more. I generally don't like the floral / citrus / fruity scents.  So yes "Rise" encouraged me to be who I am , and that is a woman who knows what types of scents suits her best , and sorry Bey  as much as I want to LOVE this parfum ,  its just "ok".  If you are a girl who loves citrus / floral scents , "Rise" is the right scent for you !!  

For more information on "Rise" and other Beyoncé scents go to www.beyonceparfums.com


Spring is 15 DAYS AWAY!!!! Although it does not feel like it here in NYC.  I wanted to put together a list of items that YOU MUST have for the upcoming season.

  1. Mirror Pumps - From Jimmy Choo to J.Crew these MUST HAVE heels are practically available almost everywhere.  They look amazing with jeans as well as skirts. 
  2. Fun Jewelry -  Play around with pieces. Bangles, Cuffs, Statement Earrings,  just pile the jewels on!! I love the idea of tons of rings, and bangles - but it has to be done right.  If you have no idea how to start, look to pinterest or instagram for some inspiration. 
  3. Mermaid Waves - I love long hair for every season and I love the idea of transitioning into a mane of long waves that just remind you that Summer is not that far away.  Sultra Bombshell Cone Iron gives amazing results. The trick is to hold the hair on the iron longer to make a tighter more defined curl.  
  4. Sexy Scent - Lady Gaga Fame ( Macys Stores)  is an amazing choice.  I was not sure what to expect from Gaga but this is NOT the typical fruity scent most celebs attach their name to, I was pleasantly surprised.  Great for a night out and not too overpowering for day.  
  5. Orchid Lipstick -  Radiant Orchid is the official color of the year, and I just love LORAC Lip Luxe 8 Hour Lipstick in "Orchid". This lipstick is not only pigmented but also very moisturizing as well.  Looks great on darker skin tones.  Check out the swatch below : 

As you can see "Orchid" is very pigmented and vibrant on my dark skin.  The top photo is natural light and the bottom is flash.  This color works well with a nude soft eye color story.  

***Honarable Mention*** 
Although I said a Orchid lip is a MUST for Sprint , but I can't let go of my "PINKS" !!! I LOVE a pink lip still and LORAC Lip Luxe 8 Hour Lipstick in "Hot Pink" is amazing!  This is going in my list of favorite pinks.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Statement Hair : Sleek Straight Ponytail

Sleek Straight Ponytails are timeless and classic.  So it was of no surprise to me that this style re appeared as a Fall/Winter 2014 hair trend at the Kate Spade show here in NYC a few weeks back.  I love this style whether it be high at the top of the head or even low at the nape of the head.

If your natural hair is not long enough to create this look you can always "fake it till you make it" . My best suggestion is the 23inch Wrap by HairDo  . Although this ponytail comes with a slight wave/curl , this hair is heat friendly fibers so you can use your flat iron to make it stick straight.
If you're not into wearing pieces,  give your natural hair a growth BOOST with Toppik Hair Nutrition 2-in-1 Capsules , a few months of these plus regular trims you should see some hair growth due to all the nourishing vitamins in these capsules.  I'm still a fan of extensions -  Instant gratification and the option of ever-changing hair styles ,but the pay off from taking vitamins are greater.

 Below is a step by step tutorial on how to achieve this look  (even with product recommendations)  as explained by Garnier Fructis Style Celebrity Hair Stylist Tommy Buckett.  Enjoy !