Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Beauty Buzz: Best of 2014!

I'm not sure where 2014 went... such a typical question to pose at the end of the year but it's a valid one. If the events of the preceding year were amazing, then the year surely flew by according the adage "time flies when you're having fun!" If it wasn't so epic, the end couldn't come fast enough. In my case, the former applies and I'm left totally baffled wondering where mine evaporated to! 

So many amazing things happened (like cooking with Carson Daly!; or talking food and wine with J. Lo on the Today show!; or going to Europe for 3.5 weeks!) and those amazing things also kept me from doing everything that I needed to do before 12/31. I did, however, allocate quite some time playing with some of my favorite things in beauty, fashion, tech, travel gadgets and more. And even though I spend most of my time on the road, traversing the highways and skyways, the true fun was experimenting with all of the beauty and makeup that came out in 2014.

I got my hands on at least 300 or so products but the real task was editing down to top 10. I featured some of my favorite finds in the luxe annual gift guide, but of everything I tried from January through December, these here were my favorites based on how quickly I went through them and my reorder. And, they just worked marvelously, honestly. 

Lancome always treat me right. I think they're more on the sophisticated end of makeup, but they work superbly well for every day. Their mascara still tends to be number one. But their new oscillating wand is major. It even converted my sister, the ultimate non-makeup person. She loves that thing. And that makes me incredibly happy.  And the cover-up stick is genius for dabs and dots here and there works natural wonders. I've been mostly using it for under eye and little brown spots after that unkind monthly visit.

Bobbi Brown never fails either. If for nothing else, her packaging and purpose. She is a master at rolling out products that benefit great causes, especially those charitable to women and girls. But her packaging is attractive. Look at her Scotch on the Rocks collection! Oohlala. The lipstick were gorgeous but the eye palette is everything! Have you seen that croc-embossed case?! Yes and yes!

And, noteworthy, L'Occitane's Aromachologie relaxing oil is opulent and luscious. I've been swearing by it since it  launched earlier this year. Among their other collections, which were great (the Almande!), this one just stood out the most!

Oh, and so many other amazing and really effective products made my 'I Love List;' too many to really share here, but these 10 above have been mainstays in my repertoire. Every one of them either enhanced my look, made my application process easier, or just made me feel good. And isn't that what a lot of this is about...

But, let's be real here. Of everything in the world I could possibly try, L'Oreal's True Match Crayon is the best thing ever invented. So much, I am frequently stopped and asked what under eye and spot corrector I use. That little stick is everything in my life. Everything.

There were a good 30 more I could get into (Shiseido foundation, Sothy's lipsticks, Bobbi Brown CC cream, Aerin's perfumes -- every single one of them, Smashbox eyeliner, Artistry Beauty skincare, Laura Mercier caviar sticks, etc..), but these were almost daily hits...even if they came out toward the holidays. 

1. Bobbi Brown Art Sticks
2. Lancome Oscillating Mascara
3. Nyakio Face with Kola Nut
4. L'Occitane Aromachologie Oil
5. Clinique Nutcracker Suite Collection
6. L'Oreal TrueMatch Crayon
7. Bobbi Brown Scotch on the Rocks Warm Eye Palette
8. Les Couvents Gardners' Hand Healer
9. Lancome Gold Glitter
10. Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer (honey)

What were your top beauty prods this year?? 

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where is Santa?!

I stopped believing in Santa Claus super late in the adolescent game. My parents used to go all out, ensuring the five of us had a solid understanding of Santa's existence. They'd fill the chimney with all the perfectly-wrapped gifts and leave milk and Oreos out on the mantle. The trail of snow from the front door to the Christmas tree area was a clear indicator of Santa's entry into our home. Only, we never thought to notice if it had actually snowed for him to leave tracks! Children, I tell you. They'll believe just about anything.

30 years later, as in just last week, my mother showed me the house of our neighborhood "Santa" that used to drop off our gifts! As in, parents would drop off gifts to his house the day before and this burly old friendly man would take on the job of making every kids dream come true. I'm so serious and so tickled as an adult that they'd go so out of their way to keep a little dream alive!

And just a few years ago, thanks to the new generation of kids in our family, I got hip to Santa Tracker. Santa is this enigmatic figure that never dies. He lives on and on and on. He's got a purpose! And his mission never changes. The beautiful thing about this fantastical hero is the enormity of his job. He's got global reach. He's all over the world, spreading good cheer. Everyone knows Santa! And everyone wants to know where he is the night before! How does he make it to every country in the world in 24 hours?! What's his route? Does he stop for gas? Do the reindeers tire and need a break? 

Who knows, really! But, at least curious minds get to follow his exciting and very energetic path on the Santa Tracker site! My friends at OnStar  -- the most efficient travel and roadside assistance program out there --- along with NORAD -- North American Aerospace Defense Command (fancy organizing, right!) is bringing out the kid in all of us the 6th year in a row! Well, if you're a subscriber, anyway! 

If you have an active account, you can see Santa's trek right on your screen as of tomorrow morning, 7 a.m. (EST) Christmas Eve and through 5 a.m. (EST) Christmas morning. Request an update by hitting your blue OnStar button and an advisor will get you right there with the rest of world, wondering where Ol' Saint Nick is flying off to next! How awesome will your kids think you are by letting them see where Santa is as you drive over to Grandma's house for dinner? 

Or if you're crazy like me and doing some last minute shopping, keep the kids entertained while you try to keep things in order! If you're not near the car... say, you're at home baking, wrapping gifts or watching movies, have the kids call (877-446-6723) in or check his progress online. That's what my nieces and nephews do when they're having with Tia Bren... And since it's the season to be merry and giving, OnStar will donate $1 to United Way for Southeastern Michigan for every call placed and received. Talk about a wonderful Christmas gift.

Thanks to the advent of social media, we can all follow Santa's progress, really when he'll be in your neck of the woods, on Twitter or with the tag #NORADSanta. I mean, Santa is new age cool! 

Share your Christmas story with us! Does your family track Santa? Check out how Santa will be using OnStar this year on their Connected Santa page. He's up to something innovate! 

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This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms blogging program as an OnStar travel ambassador. The opinions and stories are true and my very own, always. Keeping it real!  
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Action... and Other Fabulous Christmas Cheer! {TV Segment}

I'm wondering when the ugly Christmas sweater became so infamous. It's ubiquitous and we just can't seem to get enough of the cheesy garment everyone loves to rock during the holidays. Bubble gum pink sweaters with reindeer antler and bells? Or how about the outdated red colored ones with fake grass and snow flakes permeating the front of the sweater? Yeah, those exist. Even Jimmy Fallon is taking advantage of their popularity! He's been giving them away on his Late Night show this past week. And I've been loving it!

I thought it'd be super fitting to rock one on my my latest TV spot, where I'd be featuring some of my favorite gifts to treat your loved ones to. I admittedly have no sense of humor but I've been in need of injecting some kind of funny in my bones. I knew my mom had a few of these ugly things so I went begging. And bless her heart... she spent a few hours sifting through boxes and boxes of her vintage stuff just to find one for me to wear. And, golden was the moment when the ugliest thing emerged from her closet. I got so excited!

But, it was a size large. The thing was already hideous, so a large would look even more ridiculous. I was so convinced I wanted to wear it, I had her take it in on the side and arms just to make it look a bit more presentable. At least for the camera.

I think the sweater was more of a hit than my fabulous Missoni pumps (paired with classic but edgy fishnets, no less!)... Though the small frames on each side were fun and festive, there's no way that sweater could have been well-received by anyone on your list! My mom loves it and has sworn to wearing it next week.

But, you be judge! Here's the holiday gift segment which aired yesterday on ABC Action News "Positively Tampa Bay!" And, I hope you love the items I featured, mostly my lovely new bags from L & Sons!

Check out more fabulous ideas from the brands I featured on their websites:


Happy HanukkahMerry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and a lovely holiday season to you!


Zara skirt, Missoni pumps, vintage Christmas sweater, bracelets by C.B. Herrera and Jam Jewels. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

B! Inspired Luxe Holiday Gift Guide, 2014

It's that time of year! We're merry, eating well, lighting our home with pretty décor, decking the tree, baking cookies for our neighbors, and checking out the sales, checking off our lists, and wrapping.

I've been so wonderfully busy working, mostly away from my home and office that I've not had much time at all to think about the tokens of appreciation and love I want to get for my family and closest friends. But in keeping with annual tradition of curating some of my favorite things or anyone in your life, I set to making the B! Inspired Luxe Gift Guide, happen! Last year's issue, shared here, was my first digital guide, so I've been really excited to share this one.

And while I wish I had given myself a lot more time to peruse, test, review, and decide on the best things for the discriminating person (because a month is just not enough!), I'm so glad I used the time away in Europe to inspire some of my findings.

From opulent gold accents for the home to high end flying objects for the guy in your life, and $700 gold tip booties for us, I mean mom, I hope you'll love what I've come up... your loved one will grin from ear to ear. I love every section, truthfully, but I love most sharing with you the things I use a lot! Like the L'Occitane products. Perhaps it's because I have a crazy affair with all things France... or just because they're Provencal ingredients are spectacular. They really have something for everyone. And of course,  since I travel 70% of the time, everything from the Wanderlust Life section excites me! Especially the black label Samsonite suite case. Oh, and the SOL Republic wireless earphones. Those things let me sleep real, real well on my 9 hour flight home from Brussels. I don't travel without anymore!

This season is about giving. But! If you have the urge to pick up something for yourself, don't feel bad! Sometimes we have to take care of ourselves just as much.

Tis the season to spread love and cheer! Remember to give and share time with those less fortunate than us! The true joy is in giving, not receiving.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and a lovely holiday season to you!

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List of Retailers: 



*The Maille boutique in NYC is located at 185 Columbus Ave, (Columbus Ave and 68th street); and not Columbus Circle.

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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Avon, Reinvented

Affordable skincare. 
My upgraded Mark Swarovski barrel pendant on C.B. Herrera crystal necklace

Our "Avon Lady" has been MIA for over 5 years now. I know her quite well.... I went to school with her kids. Up until recently, she'd make her monthly visit to my mom's house and offer up her inventory from the global beauty catalog brand. I've not missed her presence so much thanks to the new cult image Avon's going on. Have you seen?

The brand has always been known for affordable beauty basics. And aren't we all familiar with mom and abuela's vintage jewelry -- like the classic owl pill case/brooch -- they kept so well maintained in their original packaging? I have the owl in my robust pin collection. No lie. I've not worn that little guy in forever, but I may allow him to make a cameo.

It's now 2014 and their presence is just as strong if not bolder. Their jewelry now has a name "Mark," appealing to young, sassy women looking for trendy pieces at affordable prices. Who knows... those pieces may be our daughters' coveted collectibles in 20 years. I'm not into trendy trends, so I found a way around their super cute Swarovski barrel from their late Summer collection. I took full advantage of my mom's jewelry studio and made a dainty graduated Swarovski necklace to swap for that lanky chain it came with. It's dressier, classier, but distinguishably Mark. For $50, I have a stunning piece I can wear with most anything.

For beauty enthusiasts wanting to be in the know of all things new and fabulous, their Anew Vitale skincare collection is designed to refresh and revive our skin. I've not tried it out yet but it's received some commendable reviews, especially for daily cleansing and eye depuffing (I'm still looking for the magic cream for dark circles -- though an increase in water intake has helped). My favorite though, remains to be their Skin So Soft body oil (I still have vintage bottles) and their new Haiku perfume which I wore most of late summer. It's the perfect scent for simple every day use. It's not what you want to wear on your first date or a black tie gala -- I'm more for classic scents like Jo Malone (hello, Basil) or Chanel, for those occasions -- but it's so pretty for a bit of dabbing in the morning or Sunday brunch with the girls.

And their lipsticks. Let's talk about that. I won't lie here. I keep one in my car drivers' door pocket. and swear by that tube. It's the perfect color (raisin or something like that) for when I forget my makeup bag -- which happens more often than I care  --- since my two "don't leave home without" prods are gloss/lipstick and mascara. And, unlike most brands claiming to stay on all day, I've had super fab success with their tints having enough pigmentation and strength to stay on at least 5 hours. Coffee and all.

Since their brand is pretty much all things feminine and basic necessity (with some fashion thrown in there), they've got something for vegan lovers and budget conscious. Their latest tote is a carry all suited for all the holiday and Christmas shopping we're doing. Compartments were the best thing invented in handbags. Lost keys and cell phones during an already stressed shopping environment is enough to make me stop for coffee ... in the mall... and who has time for that?!

Avon, reinvented. Gotta love classic all American brands that support small biz owners. Give your local Avon Lady a call and bring her some sales this holiday! There's something for everyone. I'm sure of it!


I love this little guy...via Etsy!

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

B Chic! With These Fall 2014 Hat Trends

I had a moment this morning. I woke up thinking about my lifelong hat obsession. I started wearing them when I was 3 or so and have since then become a collector  of the head accessory. From flapper style from the 30s, to traditional church hats, to cocktail pill boxes, to masculine fedoras, and my mom's hand knit collection, I have a hat for everything. There was a time I had over 200 styles. And wore them all. I talked about it in this post with great passion! I've scaled back in the last 2 years but only because my hairstyle is changing and evolving. And if you know hats, you know you can't rock a hat with every hair style. Fortunately, I've got a hat head, so I've been able to get away with just about any style. 

And while my hair is the shortest it's been in almost 20 years, I'm committed to rocking my hats the way I love and used to. I was known as the "hat queen" about 10 years ago. I want that name back! 

Here are some classic and haute styles en trend this season as seen on tons of runways during fall fashion week; all of which we can don this fall. There's something for everyone. If you don't have a hat head or the guts (especially the big crowd attention grabbers -- the 15" fedoras and such) to pull off a larger than life brim, there's a topper for you. Even if it's a pretty knit one for every day wear. Sass it up. Make it yours. 


The quintessential French hat. I was just in Paris two weeks ago and noticed ubiquitous this ultra chic hat is still worn. Woman and young girls make this their uniform. And somehow, they make it work with everything from pant suits with a crisp white collar shirt to jeans and fabulous wedge sneakers. If you're on the edgier side, opt for a sequin one. Don't forget to droop it to the side. It's modern swag. Or the way it's always been done. 

Rodarte F/W '14


This is definitely for the bold-hearted. It doesn't go with everything nor does it belong on your "grab and go" hat stash. Reserver it for big days where you don't want to play dress up. Let this sky high fashion forward style carry the entire look. Colours like chartreuse are pretty but subtle enough to draw the right kind of attention. Long hair or oval-shaped faces look great in this topper. However you wear your hair, just don't be afraid to get the some stares. It's inevitable. Some cities in the US just aren't ready for this fabulous style. Carry on.

Tia Cibani F/W '14

I get it's not for everyone, but fur hats are the epitome of high fashion, glamour and luxury. I personally love the few I have and don't mind the crazy warmth they give. Old vintage styles were demure and paid attention to simplicity while modern design add extra oomph with ear flaps and extra large sizes, towering up to 6". In all their glamour, they are a staple in any fall wardrobe. Lanvin's '14/'15 runway show exemplified their trend by fusing furry accents into other styles. No matter how much of it, the fur trend is here to stay. 


This is the IT hat for anyone and everyone. Wether your'e into the fancy, feathered out styles or the more basic everyday ones, these are super easy to wear. Beanies, triangle types, flirty pompoms or slouchy looks snowboarders have popularized, knits are the basic basic. Consider it a starters'  hat. Totally effortless. Chic. No fuss. 


Channel your inner Downton Abbey character with a well-designed cloche. This is classy at its best. The all Americana vintage style never goes out of style and offers a level of femininity few other styles do. As with most hats, let it speak for itself. No need to adorn yourself with much more. It's a beautiful statement piece. And in cream... it's screaming, "timeless!"

Via Etsy


Fret not the bold look. The juxtaposition of  structured and bright just work. It completes an already beautiful look. This woven Marni hat, with its close resemblance to the famed Russian fur topper, is all about confidence and boardroom chic. 

Miroslava Duma in Marni hat

A fur felt fedora can be a girl's best friend all season long. A  causal or structure fedora will you your look a punch. It's that masculine touch we're all attracted to. It's a bold hat without being too dressy or laxidazy. Take a chunky knit swear or a light blouse with some skinny jeans and accessorize with a neutral fedora. Lotus green works too well with any outfit. It'll spice up any everyday look. I wear mine when I just feel like a fantastic accessory. It never fails me.  

Eric Javits fedora via Saks Fifth Avenue

Ronja Furrer for Vogue


A bit over-styled here, but the boho look is perfect for the floppy hat. It's so fabulously 70s. And so fabulously feminine. If you had to ask, it's probably the most beloved modern day hat. It's sexy, glam, and just all around perfect.  Maxi skirts work best with the iconic hat.  For fall, a fur felt or wool in neutral colors like cream, burnt orange, black,  or gray will go a long way. Go all the way glam or boho chic. 

Blogger featured in Vogue Italia

What's your hat style?! What are you loving on this fall?! 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Best to Travel With For Long Trips {A Continuing Learning Experience, Part I}

I do this to myself every time I get ready to travel: I pack, unpack, repack, analyze, unpack, repack. And somehow,  I always end up with a ludicrous amount of extra baggage I never needed. It just doesn't fail.

On a recent trip to St. Thomas, I thought I was doing super-well when I managed to get everything in a carry on. Everything for 5 days, including a laptop, my digital camera, all of my toiletries, 3 hats, 2 sunglasses and a crazy number of shoes. I was so excited. So proud. I had finally conquered that need to take everything and more.

But, it was the islands. And the weather was hot. I didn't need much.

So perhaps, not a practical success; more of a personal victory.

But I'm now in Europe, traveling through the continent and totally regretting not having edited down my traveling wardrobe. I have only worn 60% of my packings, though I've committed to wearing each pari of shoes for the sake of not feeling like a complete tool for bringing so much. And even more disappointing is that I've only needed 20% of my toiletries and makeup. So even though I brought three (and more) of everything, I have managed so far to stick to a few that have just worked marvelously every day, no matter the weather (because as you can imagine, every city has dished out something wildly different) or occasion! And that minimized the amount of times I mulled over which products to use.

So now that I consider myself graduated from the school of proper packing for extended travel, I'm going go share what are the perfect essentials to travel with which allow you to get by for a month! It'll free you from over-packing and being that weighted bag lady!



Facial wash: This is the only thing I don't bring in travel size because with all the walking around and exposure to the elements, I figure I'd be washing my face a few times a day... I didn't picture it but Aveeno's Skin Brilliance skin brightening wash is glorious with its super smooth feel and gold sparkle.

Toner: A small bottle could do tho I ran out last week! I typically keep Artistry Beauty's travel size stocked up but it's so good I go through it too fast. Set the face for everything that's too come.

Moisturizer/SPF 50: A must-have no matter where you go! Keeps you protected from the sun even tho it could be cloudy. I've been swearing by Artistry Beauty's Ideal Radiance SPF 50 from their latest skincare collection. It offers great protection and a great base before applying my makeup without that cake-y white opaque look others do.

Skin Smoother: This is something relatively new in my regimen and I'm now swearing by it. After I apply my SPF, I run a quick layer of L'Oreal's Youth Code Texture Perfector to give me a super- supple effect. Next to their Miracle Blur gel, this is everything! This is the regular size and fits your ziplock bag if you're forced to put everything in one of those.

CC or BB: This isn't totally necessary but it's been extremely helpful when I want to go super-light on makeup. Peter Thomas Roth's CC cream has been magical! It's given me a great even toned layer before a bit of blush. Even after the SPF and Code Perfector, it's still light enough to not feel over done. I skip pressed powder when I use this yummy stuff. The travel size is enough for a month! A bit a day will go a long way!

Night Face Oil: I can't get enough of Orico London's Superico Face Oil! I need supersize bottle of this stuff! This is now my 3rd bottle. I use it only at night to revive my pores after a super-long and stressful day of moving around so much! It's like butter on your face! And it smells like the best spa you could ever be treated in. Its $43 but so worth the effect. I've written about it here and here Treat yourself to this. You will not be disappointed.AT.ALL.

Eye Cream: Only necessary if you're moving 100 miles a minute and traveling to 5 countries. Your eyes will show the tiredness. A light but effective eye creme will revive the happy look.

Travel Size Perfume: Because I'll never make the mistake of carrying a full size bottle of my favorite perfume again. I did that in 2006-- and left a $300 bag full of makeup on the plane in Nice, France. I learned my lesson good and well. Little sample tubes are perfect! Plus, they don't occupy space or add on weight. Take three: one for day, one for night, and one to switch it up. Jo Malone is ideal.

Hair Elixir: Matrix has you covered. Curly, straight, textured, or processed hair is in good hands with their Exquisite hair oil. This isn't a travel size but it's such an essential to keep your hair looking bright during the stress of on and off planes, trains, cabs, hotels, apartments, etc... Not to mention the changing climates! Trust me on this one. It's almost like having a little bit of gold in a bottle! A smaller bottle would have been better but they didn't have one. SO.... you know I did bring a 2nd option, better sized, but it just hasn't been as wonderful as this. Stick to what's good!


Never leave home with 10 lip glosses. Or 5 tubes of lipstick. Ever. We've established I'm carrying way too much so I've narrowed down what works just perfectly on an long trip! You just can't go wrong with these selections for every day. There are a few things here and there I've left out... but that's mostly for contouring and a more dramatic look in the event you have a cocktail party or black tie soirée to attend.. and I did which is another reason I'm overloaded. But who's to tell a girl that too much makeup is too much?!

Mascara and lipgloss are like water. We just need them. Don't ever leave the house without! Where'd I'd typically defer to L'Oreal's Voluminous mascara I pulled out the fancier stuff since I had some fancy events to go to. Lancome's new and ultra sexy Grandiose mascara is full of drama for night. But it's lovely for day, too, since it gives a bit of daily umph we don't always go for. It stays on ALL day and doesn't run. That's what counts.

10 glosses is too much. Seriously. But it's what I brought. After trial and error the first few days, I realized all I really need is a good red to act as bold at I need to at night. A good and pretty pink for all day. A rose-y balm for in between the selfies. And a great dark mauve for evening on nights you're  taking a break form the cherry red. I left out a neutral colored gloss, but it's essential. It tones down any color. Lancome's mauve gloss is super-yummy and lustrous for night fetes. Aerin's new red gloss is perfect for black tie. Her rose balm is even more practical. Artistry's plum pink from last year is a fab option for all day. I've done well without proper lipstick.

Going light on these long trips will also keep you free from going mad trying to have different looks. Make it easy for yourself.

One blush. One eye palette. One eye liner. One pressed powder. You already know I bought a few of each. And you already know I found the perfect one of each for every day.

Lancome's new Color Design 5 Pan eye palette in Bronze Amour is more than stupendous for a fall look. You have all the colors you need to go light, bold and sexy. Clinique's latest chubby stick for the cheeks in a soft mauve is gorgeous and last longer than powder blush. And finally, Aerin's Essential Brown liner from her latest fall collection pairs well with any look you go for.

This is all tried and true. I'm on Day 20 of this fabulous Eurotrip and I've fared oh-so-well with these! Trust a traveling girl!

A few more essentials I've found super-helpful that you may want to consider; and also avoid having to buy while on the road -- like $11 for a small bottle of nail polish remover! Yup. Had to do that.

Nail polish- two colors max : Nail polish remover wipes : Tweezers : Nail file : Chapstick : Hand sanitzer : tissue : travel size hand lotion : makeup remover wipes or facial wipes -- Korres makes a really great one : Aspirin or Tylenol (trust me on this one!)

I'll address perfect travel essentials for your wardrobe!

Check out these other travel posts and series:

Winter Travel Essentials...The Beauty Edition
Chic Essentials for Winter Travel
Holiday Travel
Chic Essentials for Travel in 24 hours!

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*All prods on counters now! If you want specific colors, leave a comment and I'll let you know! 
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Friday, November 07, 2014

{Beauty Bloom} TV Prep Makeup Looks

Host of CBS's "Atlanta Plugged In" and me after our 1st set

Every now and then I have to do my own makeup for appearances. Just every now and then. And when I do, I tend to freak out, tho only initially. I love having my makeup up done, but over the years I've come to quasi master a technique and look that works for me for any situation. I try my best to go light, but I've mentioned before how much of a makeup junkie I am.

I follow trends, new looks, runway face charts, colors, etc... but when I'm stuck on something, there's little that'll get me to break from that regiment. And with all the reviews I get to do, I always find something that screams "amazing!" Mostly, it's a foundation that did a super magical trick...that's been L'Oreal's True Match line for the last 2.5 years or so.

But a break is good. Real good. So when my MUA in Atlanta had to cancel last minute before 3 appearances, I threw a little sparkle dust, thanking myself for always, always carrying a bountiful stash of goodies JUST.IN.CASE.

For a simple look but natural look that would cover up the blemishes (that monthly "attack"is such a mother!") I quickly played around with a few new prods which I'm now fully loving on. They did every bit of the trick and more.

For priming, I stared with Lancome's 'La Base' primer. The bomb.dot everything! Silky and just perfect. If I had to, I'd wear it everyday. It literally gives you (at least the wrinkle-free, closed pore skin type) a lovely smooth canvas to work with.  I'm obsessed.  Laura Mercier's foundation primer was everything, too. Creamy, but light with a noticeable slither of shimmer created a lovely starting base of makeup. It was fluffy soft and evened really well. Much lighter than L'Oreal's True Match which I never thought I'd be able top. I applied with my index and middle finger an it was good. Wondering if a foundation wedge would work better. But, it worked so well, I didn't need foundation, per se. L'oreal's True Match Crayon remains to be my daily go-to for under eye coverage and any one rebellious brown spot that won't lighten.

For that segment, I used Laura Mercier's Golden Bronze pressed powder. It's not mineral based, but it also applied super evenly and didn't cake up. It's funny how we stick to what know and is easy but not until we try something totally different, do we realize so many other options can work well. I'm loving this combo by LM. Their blush brush is perfect for any of their bronzers. I used a lighter bronzer just to touch up some areas that needed some highlight.

I'm still good and faithful to Estée Lauder's eye shadow palette form about 2 falls ago. Love it. Great colors that won't ever go out of style. But their latest Pure Color palettes are great for every day w/out looking intentional. This shade set worked well since I wanted to go bolder on my lip. So the eyes were tamed down but still I created a bit of creasing.

I love focusing on my eyes, though. So if I don't go hard on the shadow, I'm all about some great eye liner and mascara. No can do without mascara. Bobbi Brown's Kohl liner and Aerin's new fall '15 collection has a lovely liner in "Essential Brown" -- more on her new line later... it's gorg. L'Oreal's mascara never fails me, even if I wear falsies, so I stick to that! I went with their butterflies effect one. Loved it, but not as much as their Voluminous stick.

And for lips, EL's Pure Envy full line is robust and rich-colored. The "Intense Nude" was great as a base was a bit too matte for TV...Thank goodness for I happened to be carrying Artistry Beauty's "Plum Glaze" lip gloss. Love that stuff. Nice amount of shimmer; not too much to interfere with with studio lights. Stays one for a least 2 hours. Just enough time to go live twice and can another!

It was a good look over all. Not cakey at all; lasted the entire day -- at least enough to carry through to an early dinner. And felt honestly clean. Now I'm looking for the next look I'll play with, especially  since my makeup look is dictated by how I wear my hair. I went curly this time, but my winter/holiday segments I'm going all the way straight. Still not used to this short curly do... but that's another story!

Wash your face, girls. So key in keeping a healthy glow, especially after a day of "heavy" makeup.

Check out the segment here! And the taped will will air on Monday the 10th! If you're in Atlanta, check it out at 12:30 pm!

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