Stephanie Kibbe Candy Yum Yum

A few months ago, my friend Kibbe went through a super devastating breakup. I tried to help her the only way I knew how – by gathering all of my Back To MAC empties and tweeting my pal Keri Blair (who also happens to be a Senior Artist for the brand) to launch a full scale breakover. Kibbe’s journey to self rediscovery was paved with MAC Candy Yum Yum, a vivid blue pink that has now become her signature color. She loves to Snapchat me from her adventures and tell me how wrong I was about this lipstick’s impact on her dating life. It’s in this same spirit that I’m thrilled to share Kibbe’s story about a girl and her lipstick below.

After a series of events, I recently came back on the singles market. Being the awesome friend that she is, miss Sarah cheered me up in my time of need by taking me to the MAC Pro store for a day of playing with makeup. I have always been timid with lip color, but Sarah pressed me to take a moment and be bold to really make a statement of who I wanted to be as I came out on the other side of my breakup. I had been eyeing Candy Yum Yum all day, which MAC aficionados will know is a bold neon pink, and after much convincing, added that to my makeup haul that day.

With the exception of a few random neutral days here and there, Candy Yum Yum has been on my lips ever since. While Sarah was my Candy Yum Yum champion from day one, when I told her I was going to start maybe dating again, she expressed her concerns that maybe Candy Yum Yum would deter my dates from taking a chance to steal a kiss at the end of the night. I had briefly considered this based on my ex’s feelings towards lipstick in general, but after giving it some thought, I decided that being true to my newfound self was more important than anything else. I was going to be bold no matter the cost.

Yo, being bold is awesome though. It’s almost like wearing a sign around your neck that says, “YEP, I’M ACTUALLY THIS AWESOME.” People gravitate towards me now everywhere I go. As I was getting things ready to move into my new place, the gentleman at the counter in the paint section of Home Depot was tripping over himself to tell me how much he loved my lipstick. He was so embarrassed about how much that he talked about my lips that I even got $5 off each can of paint I bought!

As far as dating goes, Candy Yum Yum has ended up being the exact opposite of Sarah’s fears. Dare I kiss and tell, but let’s just say that Sarah has received many a Snapchat late at night of me giggling into my phone saying, “Candy Yum Yum strikes again!” Sure, a few have made comments about my lip color in the form of a compliment at first, but suffice it to say I’m pretty sure I’m at a 100% success rate of dates where I’ve sported the hot pink hue.

Unfortunately, this isn’t me saying that a lipstick will get a guy to make out with you until he’s sporting your shade. It’s what it stands for. We can’t be strong self sufficient women every waking moment of every day. Sometimes we need a little built in badassery to help us get through our days. Find that thing that helps you be your boldest and be just that. It can be a lip color, a pair of earrings, or even a cell phone case. As long as you’re looking back at yourself in the mirror and can’t help but say, “Hell yeah, I look some kind of awesome today!”, that’s all that matters.

You can get more of Kibbe’s beautiful spirit from her music blog, Some Kind Of Awesome. If you’re interested in the details of the breakover or how to help out your friends with one, leave a comment below and we’ll share our tips in a future post!

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Makeup Monday

Although Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, I know that it’s time for me to embrace the season when I start reaching for all coral everything. The biggest sign this past week was my codependency on Laura Geller’s Love Me Dew lip color in Lychee Glace. I had to wear it every day, even if I was sitting at home in my pjs. The second sign was when I opted to skip mascara (I know, I KNOW) on more low key days. Forget a whole new world – I feel like a whole new girl!

Laura Geller Love Me Dew Moisturizing Lip Crayon in Lychee Glace ($16): It took me a bit to come around to the Love Me Dew formula, mostly because I was expecting it to be something that it’s not. It is not a balm, nor is it a gloss, and it’s not a stain. Know that from the minute you pop the top off one of these unassuming lip crayons and you’ll be ready experience full on color. If you don’t believe me, check out this Instagram pic of me wearing Lychee Glace. At first application, the color is a beautiful pinky coral, but as color builds throughout reapplication, it becomes a gorgeous orange. The formula is definitely moisturizing, but it also has more staying power than you might expect. I’d compare the texture to that of Revlon’s Lip Butters. The price is great and the color assortment is too. I can’t wait to wear Plum Freeze this fall!

NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Portobello ($35): Many moons ago, when I was just started to explore the NARS brand, I picked up the requisite Orgasm blush & lip gloss. I soon branched out to eyedshadow duos, starting with Portobello. The matte brown shadows may look blase to some, but to me it unlocks a world of subtle definition. The two similar, yet different, brown shades look great in the crease, but my favorite use is to sweep them along the lower lash line. Especially in the fall months paired with vampy lip colors, like MAC’s upcoming lip color collaboration with Lorde, it adds definition without taking way from the focal point of your look. My passion for this duo was so strong, that during one visit I convinced my mom that she needed it too. Now that it’s back in my life, I can’t ever imagine being without it again. OTP, me and Portobello 4 ever.

BECCA Mineral Blush in Gypsy ($32): While I don’t love to wear the BECCA Mineralize Blushes all of the time, they do hold a very special place in my heart. They are incredibly finely milled and only available in the most flattering shades, so there’s no worry about trying a shade that is too far outside of your comfort zone. But they’re also packed with really beautiful, albeit intense shimmer that also doubles as your highlighter. If you’re looking to pair one with a strong eye or a bold lip, the shimmer may be too much, however if you’re going for a glow with the focus on your cheeks, this is a blush you should try. Gypsy in particular is a gorgeous blue-based pink that can sometimes lean a little lilac on me, depending how much sun I’ve seen. Hopefully I’ve piqued your interest enough to give them a swatch or two next time you’re in Sephora. It’s worth it!

Nudestix Skin Concealer Pencil in Light 2 ($24): There’s only a few single concept beauty brands on the market, so when another one comes along I’m automatically interested. Nudestix aims to take the concept of your makeup bag and edit it down to three to five pencils housed in a grown up pencil box (complete with mirror). While I’m still getting a feel for the line, the Concealer Pencil has found a permanent home in my (albeit oversized) makeup bag. The formula is a bit thick and on the drier side, so it makes a perfect spot coverup or lip outline companion. It’s also great for perking up your brow bone, but I haven’t loved it under my eyes. I’m a special case there, so take that opinion with a grain of salt. I love the ease of whipping it out, dotting it on and throwing it back into my bag, plus every pencil comes with a sharpener so you never have to be without.

mark On The Edge Liquid Eyeliner in Cleo ($10): mark recently revamped their iconic Hook Ups, the product that put them on the map when they launched over ten years ago. The revamped pairings now also come with new packaging that makes them just as pretty on their own, but connected they’ll have the same look that you know and love. There’s something about the thickness and flexibility of the brush that sets the On The Edge liquid liner apart. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it lays down well close to the lash line, yet doesn’t flop about as I *try* to gently sweep the brush around the curves of my lid. I also love that it’s available at drugstore friendly pricing and named Cleo, adding yet another layer to my never-ending Cleopatra fantasy.

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Makeup Monday

It’s been almost two months to the day since my last Makeup Monday post. Can you believe it? In that time, I’ve worked my butt off, traveled, and amassed more beauty products than I know what to do with. When I was gathering the standouts from the past couple of weeks, I noticed one key trend – I’ve been all about the lips. Without additional fanfare, here are the six products that have been rocking my world lately.

NARS Bronzing Powder Brush, $52 – While this is meant to be a bronzing brush, I think we can all acknowledge that those are very loose guidelines for brush use (generally speaking). I’ve gravitated towards this beauty for everything from loose setting powder to bronzer. I love the shape of the handle, the domed brush shape, and how well everything blends together after I’ve used it. Some of the bristles got a little out of shape during my recent trip to Seattle, but that’s nothing that a good wash can’t fix.

Anna Sui Lipstick #301, $30 – When you’re a beauty addict and a friend offers you a product that you’ve always been curious about, no matter how many similar products you own, you always say yes. That’s exactly what happened when my friend Cannon was going through a major purge & tossed this Anna Sui tube my way. It looked like an ordinary neutral pink, but it is truly so much more. If you’ve never tried this line, the lipsticks smell like rose water (aka Lauduree macarons) and this color in particular adds a glossy sheen to the lips making them look fuller than they are. The color is a beautiful yellow pink that feels fresh in contrast to the radiant orchid colors that are ever so popular right now. The wear time is pretty normal, but nothing extreme or short-lived. Between the packaging, the fragrance, and the color, this lipstick is pretty much perfect. More please!

Josie Maran Lip and Cheek Oil in Everlasting Honey, $18 – Whenever I walk into Sephora, I make a beeline for the Josie Maran display. Before I’d even heard a peep about the launch, almost every color of the new Lip & Cheek Oils was already sold out. The doll who was helping me made a few samples of colors he thought I’d like, and I happily tucked them into my bag in anticipation of my trip to Seattle. The first time I used Everlasting Honey was on the flight and from the first swipe I was hooked. The is one of those rare products that is as great on the cheeks as it is on the lips, delivering a combo of moisture and lasting color. Honestly, I look forward to reapplying this product, which I can rarely say for so many others that I wear. Everlasting Honey is a warm coral-y neutral, perfect for beach babes (or those that want to look the part).

Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Grege, $34 – After I purchased the Dior eyeshadow quint in Grege, I knew that collecting the rest of the products in the grege line wouldn’t be far behind. After I learned that there is a lipstick of the same name, I knew I had to get my hands on it immediately. When I entered the beauty floor of the Nordstrom flagship in Seattle, I headed straight for the Dior counter. This color is very similar to my beloved NARS Biscayne Park Satin Lip Pencil, although the NARS color is a bit lighter and more pink. The Dior formula is creamy, hydrating, and beautifully pigmented. Nothing beats pulling the Dior packaging out of your makeup bag for touch ups, and when it’s an effortless color like Grege, you can’t lose.

Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush in Rose Epicurien, $40 – YSL has always been one of those lines that has hypnotized me in store, but I’ve purchased very little. I have a couple of lipsticks and the requisite Touche Eclat, but not much else. When my friend Maree from A Little Bit Etc told me to check out the Kiss & Blush, I added it to my mental list but didn’t give it much thought. When I came upon the display in Nordstrom, it was like angels were singing to me. I knew that I had to have color #9 immediately. It’s a beautiful orchid, more purple than pink, with a lovely creamy quality. It’s a little tough to wear on the lips, but perfect on the cheeks. As much as I’ve rebuffed the color of the year & all the hoopla that comes with it, this color is stunning and subtle.

MAC x Proenza Schouler matte Lipstick in Mangrove, $22 – Aside from the obviously beautiful packaging, I felt like the beauty blogger black sheep for not loving the Proenza collection from the moment it was announced. I decided to give it another try, and dug into the stash. At first application, Mangrove took me by surprise. It appears much more coral on the lips than in the tube. It is what I wish Scarlet Ibis (from the Iris Apfel collection) would have been. I received so many compliments on Saturday that I wore it on Sunday as well. Everyone had to know what it was! In fact, a friend swatched it on her hand and after a shower, it still wouldn’t come off. It’s still available online, and perhaps at some local counters, so get it while you can!

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Makeup Monday: Rose Colored Glasses

As buckets of snow are currently pouring from the sky, I’m romanticizing the days when I only need a light jacket and the grass begins to peek through cracks in the sidewalk. The closest I’ll get to rosy pinks and perky flowers are the aisles of CVS, so I patch those feelings by reaching for the cheeriest products in my makeup collection. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve focused on solving problems and not enjoying the process of applying makeup. Learn from me, friends! Don’t just reach for the work horses – grab some show ponies, too!

Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream ($48): You may have noticed a distinct lack of CC and BB cream coverage around here. In all honesty, I’ve reached maximum capacity for these types of do-it-all balms. I still think about my foundation products through an oily skin lens, so there are very few that I feel comfortable with. In the spirit of being open-minded, I grabbed my tube of PTR’s CC Cream from the back of the drawer and decided to give it another shot. I love that it contains vitamin c and broad spectrum SPF 30, plus evens out my skin tone. I also love that some days it is all that I want to wear, but if I feel like I might need more coverage I will add in a foundation and concealer. I don’t feel like it is moisturizing enough on its own, but I mostly prefer to moisturize underneath all of my foundation products. While I’m not sold on the category in general, if I had to pick a favorite CC Cream, this would be it.

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Bright Forecast ($25): Part of the reason that I think everyone swoons over YSL’s Touche Eclat is how thin the formula is. That thinness allows it to blend into the skin seamlessly, concealing imperfections undetected. I have left the MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters sitting in a drawer unloved, but it wasn’t until Karen from Makeup & Beauty Blog’s recent videos that I gave them a second look. Turns out that Bright Forecast is a beautiful peach that is an excellent under eye corrector. I really love that it sinks into the skin and doesn’t leave a tacky surface for my mascara and eyeliner to run onto. Who knew? (Karen, that’s who.)

CoverFX Nourishing Foundation Primer ($38) (note: my bottle is in old packaging): Another one of those products that I reach for only in the worst of winter weather, the Cover FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum is a special kind of product. Squeezing it out onto the back of your hand, it feels thick, but as you rub it in it feels slick, almost like an oil, and then disappears into the skin. It makes the biggest difference in how my skin feels, both to the touch and after being exposed to harsh winter conditions. I can imagine that it would also yield wonderful results for aging skin thanks to an infusion of moisture, peptides, and multi-vitamins. Pretty sure that after reading this, my mom is going to call me and ask why I haven’t told her about it yet. Sorry mom!

Kevyn Aucoin The Loose Shimmer Shadow in Rose Quartz ($29): Emphasis on the rose, this eyeshadow is reminiscent of the rosiest of the rose golds. This isn’t an Urban Decay Naked 3 rose gold, but a more sophisticated warmth that is so complex it almost has duochrome properties. The rollerball packaging can be a bit intimidating, but try rolling a bit of the powder onto the back of your hand and picking it up with a brush. Unblended, the color seems like a shimmering pink, but as it blends across your eye it becomes warmer and multi-dimensional. If you’ve been looking for a rose gold shadow, give this one a try.

Too Faced Radiant Glow Face Powder ($32): Just because Too Faced is known for their bronzers,  don’t discount the less bronzy radiance products. These heart-shaped beads are the perfect answer to the pasty winter skin we’re all experiencing. Equal parts highlighter, warmth, pinks, and peaches, running a brush across the beads and onto your cheekbones will brighten your day. Use a dense brush for more color or a fluffier brush for a more subtle effect. Besides, how could you look at these and not smile?

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Signs of Spring

In true Veruca Salt spirit, I want spring and I want it now! Bring me the pastel polish colors, strappy slingbacks, and iced coffees. For every winter accessory that I pile on, the more I wish that I was on a white sand beach somewhere. I’m pushing away the vampy lip colors in favor of bold pinks and tantalizing corals. I’ve started hoarding them like MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator before it became permanent. I’m going to stop this train of thought before I ramble into summer.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($19): I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this concealer since it launched. I love the formula – it’s the best for covering tough blemishes because the formula won’t transfer or wear off throughout the day. I absolutely hate the packaging – it’s nearly impossibly to dispense a small amount of product. The pump inevitably pours out 3x as much concealer as you need, and making a mess in the process. All of that aside, I keep coming back to the diminutive glass bottle because the product really works. Win some, lose some.

MAC At Dusk Extra Dimension Blush ($25): At Dusk reminds me of the powder equivalent of MAC’s Nymphette lipglass, one of my all time favorites and first purchases from the brand. The Extra Dimension powder formula is a hybrid between a mineralize skin finish and a traditional powder, creating a beautiful satin finish on the skin. At Dusk is a cool pink with a subtle gold sheen that gives the skin a very ‘healthy’ that isn’t overly flushed. Buff it into the skin with a more dense, fluffy brush for an even more natural finish. Gorgeous!

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Palette – 02 ($19.99) – Finding an all matte neutral palette from a drugstore brand was such a welcome surprise. Eye On Neutral – 02 is a wonderful complement to any palette, especially the Naked collection. The second row has three warm orangey-browns that are beautiful in the crease, and the taupey-greys in the bottom are great for adding definition. I don’t often wear entirely matte eye looks, but I love to balance out shimmery shades with a matte to add dimension. If you haven’t checked this palette out in Target, I highly suggest you take a look next time you’re in the store.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Gloss in Raspberry Reflections ($5.17) – Hands down, the Color Sensational gloss formula is my favorite from the drugstore. They smell great and the texture is non-sticky, thin, yet lasting. Raspberry Reflections is a purple-based creamy pink with the slightest silver glitter that I can only see in the tube. The color is as opaque as you would expect a gloss to be, without veering into liquid lipstick territory. If Raspberry Reflections isn’t your kind of shade, check out One Shine Day, a warmer pink.

NYX Lip Liner Pencil in Dolly Pink ($3.50) – The minute I saw this liner in the display at Ricky’s, I grabbed for it like it was gold. I had never seen a color that was quite so perfectly baby pink in a liner, and if you’re a fan of those shades, you know how tricky they can be to wear. Sometimes they end up chalky, sometimes they aren’t quite full color, but almost always they are problematic. Dolly Pink helps to give those colors a bit of depth and lasting power, making it an essential for spring (at least for me).

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Makeup Monday: En Beige

And now it’s time for a breakdown. When I started putting this post together, the En Vogue song My Lovin’, also known as Never Gonna Get It, started playing in my head. It basically sums up how I feel about these particular beauty basics. I can help you find the perfect red lipstick or navy eyeliner, but sometimes the personal and specific nuances of nude escapes me. Regardless, I keep trying every one that I can get my hands on in the hopes of stumbling upon that magical AHA moment. To continue on the quest for the perfect nude makeup, here are the five that are working best for me right now:

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Light/Medium ($30): I thought I knew about bronzers, but Too Faced’s stable of products freed my mind, so to speak. First of all, it’s a matte bronzer, placing it light years ahead of all the shimmery, misguided competition. Secondly, it smells and tastes (yes, I know) like delicious milk chocolate. Last, but certainly not least, the light/medium shade is kinder to my pale skin in these grey winter months. I’ve loved applying it with MAC’S 168SE brush as a contour for a sculpted look.

CoverGirl TruBlend FixStick in Fair (around $6): Although CoverGirl is the latest beauty brand to jump on the concealer stick trend, their version is a real contender. The packaging feels substantial thanks in part to a sturdy plastic lid that lasts beyond the first use. The concealer itself is thicker than I expected, but blends seamlessly. It also sets, unlike a lot of other concealers that I’ve tried. I’ve loved using it under my eyes and to highlight the high points of my face without shimmer or to touch up on the go. Nice work, CG!

Paul & Joe Glossy Lip Color in 01 ($29): 01 is such a special gloss color. A bit rosy. A bit beige. A bit peachy. This combination ends up creating a color very similar to my natural pigmentation, but the sheen from the micro sparkles in the gloss helps to enhance the natural curve of my lips. It’s the quintessential definition of ‘my lips but better’. I realize that cliche is as played out as Keep Calm & Carry On, but #sorrynotsorry – it applies. The gloss also isn’t sticky and melts into my lips so well that I almost forget I’m wearing color. For those days when you don’t want to look like you tried to look alive, 01 is a great choice.

Benefit Gimmie Brow in Medium/Deep ($22): While at the Birchbox pop-up during last NYFW, I had the chance to make a couple of custom boxes from the selection of samples they had on display, and every time I grabbed another tube of Benefit’s Gimmie Brow. I initially thought that it was a sample size, so don’t be confused when you bring this home and it’s the size of Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara. Tube size isn’t the only thing these two products have in common. They also have the same size wand, which allows you to really focus the tinted brow gel on the parts of your brows where you need it most. The magical part of Gimmie Brow is that the gel also contains fibers to help fill in those sparse areas. For me, I can use too much if I try to keep building the product, but after a pass or two they look just right, like Goldilocks. Maybe I can be Goldibrows?

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Silver Dawn ($19.50): With a name like Silver Dawn, I was not expecting an extremely cool taupe, but the color is gorgeous nonetheless. I applied it with the Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush and the dense fluffy bristles helped me to get a really soft, diffused smokey eye with just this shadow. In the pan it can look a little silver/brown/purple/khaki depending on the light and the color can definitely be enhanced with an eyeliner one way or another. The Extra Dimension powder formulation is special, so don’t let Magnetic Nude pass you by without checking them out.

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ankle strap pumps

Finds of the week:

Industry news:

Smart reads:

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Kicking NYFW off for me was the perfect trifecta of beauty – Gregory Arlt for MAC Cosmetics, Danilo for Pantene and Keri Blair for MAC (nails). Although Desigual isn’t my style, the fact that this particular collection was designed by Christian Lacroix is pretty tough to ignore. It was the brand’s first show in New York (previously shown in Europe), so it was very clear that they were here to make a big impact with a high energy show designed to entice the buyers and build buzz, more so than any other show that I saw following.

Desigual Makeup SS2014

To create the ‘effortless beauty with a pop of color look’, key artist Gregory Arlt used MAC’s Casual Color in Out For Fun on the lips and buffed into the cheeks. You might remember this multitasking product from a few seasons ago, but it will be back in new shades for SS2014. To create this look now, try MAC’s Neon Orange lipstick.

Desigual Makeup SS2014

A bit of Cream Colour Base in Hush and Pearl was used to highlight the high points of the face on top of Face and Body Foundation.

Desigual Makeup SS2014 Gregory Arlt

You might know key artist Gregory Arlt’s work on his celebrity clients like Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese, Minnie Driver, and Michelle Trachtenberg. He’s also one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Find him on Twitter & Instagram (DO IT).

Backstage Beauty Desigual SS2014 Nails by Keri Blair

The nail look was created by Keri Blair, who you might also recognize as one of the creative powerhouses backstage for MAC. A twist on the classic French manicure, the dot of color was placed at the tip to look like it had almost “popped” onto the nail. To create the look, she used MAC polishes in Steamy, Fiestaware, and Impassioned.

Backstage Beauty Desigual SS2014 Nails

For more of Keri’s amazing work, find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Backstage Beauty Desigual SS2014 Hair Test

Backstage Beauty Desigual SS2014 Pantene Keratin Repair

For the hair, Danilo created a look that was about the undone elegance. To prep the hair, he used AquaLight Weightless Conditioning Shake (one of his all-time favorite products)  for detangling and conditioning. For texture, he applied Pantene Ultimate 10 BB Cream and polished the hair with Advanced Keratin Repair Keragloss Oil Mist before parting the hair down the center and pulling into a low ponytail with a round elastic. Then he folded the ponytail under and half wrapped the ends around the elastic, securing the ends with crisscrossed bobby pins.

Backstage Beauty Desigual SS2014 Hair by Danilo

Backstage Beauty Desigual SS2014 Danilo

For more Danilo, follow him on Twitter.

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Sarah Conley MAC Retro Matte All Fired Up

For more on my outfit and accessories, please visit On The Plus Side: NYFW Day One.

For day one of NYFW, I had third day hair from my just refreshed Original & Mineral color (more on that soon), so I knew that I had to keep it up and in a top knot. I loved the contrast between the military details of my vest and the topknot, so I decided to keep the face as powerful as possible with feminine details. Here’s what I used to get the look:

Sarah Conley The Beauty Edit NYFW Day One

Face

Foundation (not pictured): Revlon Colorstay

Concealer (under eye only): NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey

Blush: Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Poppy

Eyes

Shadow: NARS 413 BLKR eyeshadow

Top liner: Aqualilies for Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner (limited edition, permanent product available here)

Lower waterline: NARS Larger Than Life eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte

Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies in Very Black Waterproof

Brows: Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brow Pencil in Brunette

Lips

Primer (not pictured): Too Faced Lip Insurance

Lip liner: MAC Pro Longwear in More To Love

Lipstick: MAC All Fired Up Retro Matte Lipstick

Hair

I used The Wrap Up from Sarah Potempa, a tool that is similar in concept to a hair doughnut, but in my opinion is much easier to use to create an updo. After my hair was wrapped and secured, I sprayed Redken Forceful 23 Hairspray and used the side of the can to smooth back any whispies.

 

Photo by Megan Zietz of TFDiaries

Most products were provided for editorial consideration by the brand or an affiliate retailer. All opinions are my own.

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Inspired by my friend Maree (who I was also meeting for brunch), I tried to be a little more relaxed. I’ve documented how uncomfortable dressing down makes me, but I took subtle cues from her style, like a less fussy handbag and more of a low maintenance makeup look. I’m absolutely in love with the fit of this SimplyBe colorblocked dress and how sporty it feels while still looking polished, but I always have a difficult time pairing it with a handbag that feels right. I opted for this Wonder Woman tote from the MAC collection (circa 2011) because it has a mint background paired with a really fun Wonder Woman comic and shiny gold handles  – just like her lasso.

What do you wear when you dress down? Do you have a formula? Let me know in the comments below!

Outfit details:

Colorblocked dress: SimplyBe

Leggings: Teggings by Re/Dress (not currently available, coming soon)

Leather jacket: Roaman’s

Earrings: Marni at H&M (no longer available, check eBay)

Pointy toe flats: Nine West from Barefoot Tess (try these from Corso Como)

Tote: Limited edition from MAC’s Wonder Woman collection (no longer available, check eBay)

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Photos by Maree from A Little Bit etc.

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Where Ive Been Volume 5

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks! I’m heading to Chicago for 10 days a week from today, plus I decided to take on the daunting task of redesigning my site (welcome!) and moving blog platforms. I hope it’s a better experience for you and ultimately easier to maintain. To bigger and better things!

I’ve seen a lot of great products, met really cool people, and had my hair touched a lot over the past two weeks. Here’s the rundown on what happened, clockwise from the top left corner to center:

Henri Bendel Fall 2013 Accessories Preview: In a big step forward, Henri Bendel hired a new creative director to oversee the accessories collections. Pina Ferlisi’s impressive resume – think McQ, Gap, Perry Ellis, and Marc By Marc Jacobs – accounts for the positive changes that we’ll start to see from the brand. Fall 2013 is her first collection, and it did not disappoint. My favorite were the array of tech accessories that really take what we know about the intersection of fashion + tech to the next level.

Wei To Go: I’ve always heard lovely things about Wei from Felicia at This That Beauty, but I’d never given the line much of a chance. After having a lovely chat with the line’s founder, Wei Young Brian, I am absolutely enamored with her spirit and journey. I won’t gush too much, but I do want to point out how genius the Wei To Go line is, packing two weeks worth of product into the most travel friendly of containers.

Post-It & Scotch: Have you ever been in a room filled with brightly colored paper and printed tape used to create art? It’s overwhelming in the best way. Scotch used their wide assortment of patterns and colors to create a hopscotch grid and DIY projects, while Post-It mesmerized me with a super jumbo size (bigger than Lola!) and a diamond pop up dispenser. There’s even a travel dispenser for when you want to keep Post-Its in your bag. They really think of everything!

Elle Women In Music with Cover Girl: Elle’s Women in Music issue is always one of my favorites, celebrating kick ass songbirds that are in heavy rotation on my iPod, so I was excited when Cover Girl asked me to join them at the party in celebration of the issue. The party also included performances from Martha Wainwright, Rita Ora (who is surprisingly talented), and the incomparable Kelly Rowland. We even received these snazzy interactive bracelets that pulsed with the beat during Kelly’s performance. So fun!

Drag Race screening with Bob Mackie: During a recent event, my friend Lorna of The Fabulous Report very casually mentioned that she was attending a screening of Drag Race at the Bob Mackie offices and I basically invited myself. The Bob Mackie team welcomed me in and I had a pretty amazing time. PS – there’s a Bob Macke Barbie with bananas that shake. You’re welcome.

MAC Cosmetics Spring 2013 Master Class With Gordon Espinet and Lyne Desnoyers: We hear about so many “trends” and innovations that it can often get overwhelming to find the truth, which is why I love listening to MAC when it comes to the latest in beauty from fashion weeks around the world. They brought their artistry and knowledge to the students at FIT so they could get a jump-start on understanding how the relationship between beauty and fashion works.

Hourglass Cosmetics Lip Oil: I’ve had this product less than a week and I can already say with certainty that I’m obsessed. A 24k gold tip dispenses a creamy, ultra moisturizing oil balm in a way that makes you feel like you’re visiting the future during application. The product is a bit expensive at $42, but on my holy grail list for eternity.

Weekend beauty: I’m not very good at being ‘low maintenance’. I love a full face and coiffed hair, but sometimes it’s not realistic. When I try to be more relaxed, I reach for Josie Maran’s Protect and Perfect, Maybelline’s Baby Lips, Avon’s 24 Hour Eye Moisturizer (with SPF!), and a comforting vanilla fragrance. The new Marrakesh Instant Vacation fragrance from mark reminds me of my beloved Bohista from many years ago.

Mirror Mirror at Carol’s Daughter: Formerly known as The Back Room, Lisa Price has turned the rear area of her flagship Carol’s Daughter store in Harlem into Mirror Mirror, a brand new salon experience. Rooted in an individualized salon experience, Mirror Mirror focuses on giving each woman the education she needs to have the best hair of her life. My hair was seriously damaged from a bad at home color experience and the steam treatment brought the shine back to my hair. More on the services coming soon!

Avocado toast (!!!): In my few years in New York, I’ve always heard about “avocado toast”. On a basic level, it doesn’t sound particularly exotic. Avocado on toast? Seems simple. The way the staff at Cafe Gitane mixes the avocado with chili flakes and lemon juice to create a buttery mixture that is to die for. I’ll be trying to DIY it, but I’m sure it won’t be the same without the ultra hip atmosphere.

Tarte’s Aqualilies Collection: The Tarte collaboration with Aqualillies has to be the winner of the prettiest packaging award for Spring 2013. Vibrant corals and vivid turquoise are overlaid with hatched gold patterns. Plus, the products are pretty great, too. The Bronze and Glow combines a liquid version of the Park Avenue Princes bronzer with a shimmery peachy-pink blush to create a summer essential.

Shu Uemura launches Hair Essentials Kit at John Barrett: Combining two star products, Shu Uemera has created the Hair Essentials kit with a travel version of Essence Absolue and Volume Maker. I consider both products essentials, with both products treating very different issues that I also seem to have simultaneously. Your makeup bag isn’t just for makeup anymore!

Sally Hershberger and the biggest hair of my life: Earlier this week, I attended an event celebrating the additions to the Sally Hershberger product line and the latest summer hairstyles. From the minute I sat in Travis’ chair, I knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary styling event. Before I knew it, my hair was teased into a mountain (see Dina’s pic for proof) of amazing that combined Marge Simpson, Mad Men, and the B52’s. It was so well constructed that it even managed to look exactly that good the second day. Travis, I solute you!

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“M·A·C Fashion Sets flash forw ard with bold and beautiful brights – shades that pop with a vivid edge and modern vibe. Four distinctive sets feature five impactful ways to wear Lipstick, Lipglass, Lip Pencil, Eye Shadow and Nail Lacquer. Brilliant colourways set the tone for a season of sophisticated looks that stand out in their allure. From the bright orange apricot of Ablaze to the fuchsia flash of Embrace Me – the overall effect is stunning in its deep, rich infusion of powerful pigments.”

LIPSTICK

Heroine Bright violet/purple (matte)
Ablaze Bright apricot cream (matte)
Silly Bright pink cream (matte)
Embrace Me Bright fuchsia cream (matte)
Suggested Retail Price $15.00 US/$18.00 CDN

EYE SHADOW
Heroine Bright cobalt blue (matte)
Ablaze Mid-tone coral (matte)
Silly Clean blue pink (frost)
Embrace Me Soft pink (satin)
Suggested Retail Price $15.00 US/$18.00 CDN

LIPGLASS
Heroine Bright purple (cream)
Ablaze Bright orange (cream)
Silly Bright pink (cream)
Embrace Me Bright fuchsia (cream)
Suggested Retail Price $15.00 US/$18.00 CDN

NAIL LACQUER
Heroine Bright violet cream
Ablaze Bright orange cream
Silly Bright pink cream
Embrace Me Bright fuchsia cream
Suggested Retail Price $16.00 US/$19.00 CDN

LIP PENCIL
Heroine Bright purple
Ablaze Bright apricot
Silly Bright pink
Embrace Me Vivid pinkish fuchsia
Suggested Retail Price $15.00 US/$18.00 CDN

Available North America April 4, 2013 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and http://www.maccosmetics.com. International May 2013 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and http://www.maccosmetics.com

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9665c261bf9b25bc_Spring_Lacquers_MAC.previewWhen you think of MAC Cosmetics, you may not always think of nail polish, but you should. In recent years, MAC has made great strides in the nail department. From two trend collections with Jin Soon, to Senior Artist Keri Blair doing nails backstage at Fashion Week, the brand’s got a new outlook on tips and toes.  With the release of the Cook MAC, Shop MAC and Vera collections come three gorgeous polishes that are right on trend.

Al Fredo: Named after the over-indulgent pasta sauce, Al Fredo is a buttery bright yellow cream.

Salad Dressed: This shade reminds me of what might happen if you mixed mint green with a true deep teal. The result is a gorgeous, spring-ready light teal shade that doesn’t feel pastel.

Play Day: A bright coral cream, just want for the pastel-loving romantic in all of us.

MAC Nail Lacquers retail for $16 each.

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When I said that this past Fashion Week was going to be better than previous seasons, I truly had no idea how special it would be. I was blessed with the opportunity to film my backstage experience for MAC, clearly one of my most beloved brands. The above video is hosted on their YouTube channel (a must subscribe), plus on a dedicated Facebook tab.

Watch the mania that is otherwise known as backstage, including stunning designs by Naeem Khan and Christian Siriano, plus appearances by some of my favorite artists – Keri, Romero, Chantel, Gina and Gordon. I can’t thank the MAC team enough for being able to participate in this special program.

Hope you enjoy!

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Since I’ve been attending New York Fashion Week, the Ruffian show has produced some of the most spectacular, most buzzed about beauty looks. Of course, This season is no exception.

James Kaliardos, the key makeup artist, described the look as an 80’s socialite who likes to spend money on dinner and is adventurous with her makeup. The skin was prepped with the super special secret foundation being released this fall. The intense eyes were created by combining two MAC Paint Sticks, a pink & a purple, and the pushing Vibrant Grape eyeshadow on top. The look is intense, especially against pale skin, but oh so fun.

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The look, including the clothes, at Vena Cava is absolutely 90’s. I don’t know how I feel about the 90’s coming back, but I know that I won’t say no to a glitter party. This amazing creation was created with Shine Mixing Medium and 3D Silver glitter with Gunmetal pigment. No mascara was used.

The foundation is a new product slated to be released in the Fall that gives a glowy, dewy finish without looking like you’re wearing foundation. For the lips, Petting Pink and Underground were used.

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Key artist Lyne Desnoyers used MAC Cosmetics to create a look inspired by fabrics, knits, and textures from the collection. The look was designed to be worn in, very beautiful, but with an element of untouchable. The skin was breathable, dusted very lightly with Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, and highlighted with a metallic shadow to add additional texture to the skin.  To keep the look distressed, Lyne play with pencils and stains, adding intensity in very specific shapes, while adding highlights described as “little touches” where light would hit. There was no mascara used to create the look.

The complete list of products used:

Eyes:
smolder
phone number
print eyeshadow
myster eyeshadow
caviar dreams eye shadow
mink brow set
facinating eye kohl
Cheeks:
dalliance mega metal
pro sculpting cream in cheek
Lips:
concealed out
dalliance mega metal

Photos by Lesley Forrester

 

Style IT’s Spring 2011 New York Fashion Week coverage is proudly sponsored by Torrid:

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Beauty expert Charlotte Tilbury for MAC Cosmetics talks about creating the makeup looks backstage for the L.A.M.B. Fall/Winter 2010 show. “The feeling was 1930’s prostitute,” Tilbury said in a statement. “Trampy, smoky eye, deep ‘rougeoir’ lips and beautiful pale skin.”

Get the look:

EYES
Eye Kohl in Smolder and Fluidline in Blacktrack, blended and smudged around and into the eyelid for a feline-shaped eye. Lip treatment dabbed on eyelid over eye kohl for a wet look effect

FACE
Face and body foundation, applied all over face to give pale, doll-like skin

LIP
LipMix in Crimson (Pro only) and burgundy, blended together and applied to the lip. Lip pencil in burgundy, applied around the lip to give an over-drawn shape to the mouth

 

NYFW coverage proudly sponsored by IGIG.

Save 20% on orders now through March 10, 2010 by using code styleit at checkout.

Happy shopping!

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