Wednesday, May 30, 2012

time for toes

feet first

I officially pushed my favorite boots to the back of my closet last weekend. Strappy sandals, sky-high wedges and colorful flats have prime placement these days. And you know what that means. Time for a pedicure... at home, of course!

It's always a good idea to start with a rough body scrub to remove dry skin from your feet. Follow up with a yummy-smelling foot lotion to lock in moisture. Before you pick out a polish, make sure your nails are filed down and even — sidenote: how cute is this nail file?!

The hardest decision? Picking out the perfect polish! I never match my finger and toenail polish, but that's just a personal preference. Two of my favorite summer shades are Ratin Jot by NARS (part of their partnership with Thakoon!) and Action by essie.

What color are you painting your toes this summer? Leave me a comment :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

date night makeup

date night

Getting ready for a date — whether it's your first or your 21st — is so exciting. There's even more to look forward to now that it's summer. Sundresses, colored denim, cool pastels... and, er, a wider variety of date spots. Almost forgot we were talking about dates.

Anywho, let's get on with it. Above you'll find my fave date-approved cosmetics. And an amazing pair of earrings that just seem date appropriate to me (I would pair them with a tee and jeans).

Here's my rule of thumb: Use the same products you would to get ready for a night out... and then tone them down. A fresh coat of concealer and/or foundation is essential for a clear complexion. Don't overdo it on bronzer or blush — just a hint of each for a wash of color. Mascara and a super light smokey eye are perfect for dinner or a movie. I would use this purple eyeshadow palette to create a colorful smokey eye to add more depth and dimension to my eyes.

The finishing touches? A great neutral lipstick, a spritz of perfume and a stand-out accessory! Oh, and a date ;)

Friday, May 11, 2012

primed and proper

Primer is a tough cookie to crack. When do you wear it? Is it for daytime or nighttime use? Should you use it every single day?

There isn't a correct answer for any of these questions. I've found that it's more of a personal preference. Here's what you need to know: Primers create a smooth base for makeup by filling in lines and pores — without clogging them. Moreover, primer helps keep your makeup in place after it's applied. It can also bring out the true colors of eyeshadows and lipsticks. Cool, right?

Here are a few primers that get excellent marks. I've tried or sampled almost all of them, except the Mary Kay lip primer. Enjoy!

a. bobbi brown lip balm with SPF 15, $19. Any lip balm can act as a primer. It helps lipstick and lip color go on smooth and last longer. Plus, you don't have to worry about the color feathering around your lips.

b. mary kay timewise age-fighting lip primer, $22. This lip primer  helps diminish fine lines on and around the lips while keeping lipstick in place.

c. urban decay primer potion, $20. Urban Decay's primer potion is a cult favorite. Use this right before applying eyeshadow for a super smooth surface. It helps brings out pigmented colors for an extra pop. Plus, your shadow won't crease.

d. clinique lash building primer, $14. I don't use lash primers often, but I've tried samples and am pleased with the results. This one coats your lashes with a conditioner that latches to your mascara for extra-long wear.

e. make up for ever hd primer, $34. This is an all-over primer for your face. If you ever see it at Sephora, I definitely recommended testing it out. It fills in lines and pores and creates an even surface for foundation and concealer. It's a must if you want your makeup to stay picture perfect all night.

f. benefit lemon aid primer, $20. This yellow-colored eye primer is perfect for correcting redness around your lids. Puffy eyes, be gone!

g. laura mercier foundation primer, $30. Similar to the make up for ever primer, this product can be used all over the face before applying foundation. This one is water-based (rather than silicone), so it creates more of a dewy finish.

Monday, May 7, 2012

dianna agron inspired makeup

dianna agron
When I spotted this picture of Dianna Agron at the 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards, I couldn't stop looking at it. Her makeup and hair are flawless, with lots of attention on the eyes. I attempted to recreate the prettiness with drugstore finds. Enjoy!

1. Foundation with a matte finish is best for a clean, simple look like this one. Try Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse.

2. It's always a good idea to prep your lips before applying lipstick. While your foundation is setting, rub lip balm onto your lips. I love this one from Smith's. How cute is the mint green tin?

3. A black eyeliner, like this one from L'Oreal, is perfect for a light smokey eye. Smudge it out with a Q-tip for a sultry nighttime look.

4. Eyes open up with a shimmery golden eyeshadow. For extra drama, use a small makeup brush to line your lower lash line with the same shadow.

5. Every smokey eye needs a few coats of mascara. My fave is Maybelline's Great Lash in Very Black.

6. Dianna's lipstick isn't too saturated. Use your fingertips to apply a rich cranberry lipstick.

Friday, May 4, 2012

DIY nail polish necklace

Remember when Anthropologie put out those beautiful tear-drop glass necklaces last year? No? Well, that's not too important. I decided to make my own version of the pricey piece last weekend. You need three bottles of nail polish and an old necklace that needs some sprucing up. I decided to use gradient shades of purple from OPI and a necklace I got on Etsy (try searching vintage necklaces - this one was under $15).

1. Gather your materials and line a surface with newspaper/magazine pages. 
2. Every necklace will be different, but I would recommend starting at the top. That way, your hands and palms won't be in the way when you work your way down. 
3. Paint the second tier. 
4. Paint the third tier. 
5. Voila! Wasn't that easy?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

april favorites

I can't quite believe it's May. It's already starting to feel like summer in Los Angeles (except for the occasional rainy day). The last few weekends in April were spent wandering around the Hollywood Farmer's Market, venturing out in Venice Beach and running errands around the city. Here are a few tried and true beauty products I used all month. Enjoy!

{winning combination: clarisonic mia + pangea organics facial cleanser}

{skinfood nail decals - pretty little bows}

{colorscience primer that instantly brightens skin}