New Year, New Lashes

New Year's eve lashes

You know those Instagram/Facebook contests you never think you’re going to win? Well I totally won one right before Christmas for a full set of eyelash extensions at Lash Lab SF!! Of course I was beyond ecstatic and made an appointment right away for December 30th so I would have a fresh set of Kardashian-esque lashes to ring in the new year (see above, my New Year’s Eve lash selfie!).

Now, I’m no newbie to lash extensions or Lash Lab – I had gotten a set of lashes right before a trip to Greece back in September. And let me tell you, that was one of the best decisions I made beauty-wise when it came to traveling in a hot and humid climate. I was immediately drenched in sweat every time I left the hotel there, so makeup wasn’t an option. Besides, who wants to spend precious vacation hours putting on makeup? But the lashes were like wearing permanent eyeliner and mascara – I always looked put-together and wasn’t afraid to take #nomakeup selfies at all of the sights. My lashes are normally super short and stick straight out, and the extensions were permanently curled and long and gorgeous!

(Left) Right after getting lashes; (Right) Two weeks later in Greece and still going strong!

(Left) Selfie after getting lashes; (Right) Two weeks later (and sweaty) in Greece and still going strong!

To those that aren’t familiar with lash extensions, the lashes are applied one at a time by a lash artist using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate the eye nor damage the natural lash. The whole process takes around 1.5-2 hours for a full set. Lashes at Lash Lab are either silk, faux mink, or real mink, and length is determined by your artist after accessing your natural lashes (I usually go with a mix of 11-13mm).

Before and after lashes

Before (top row) and After (bottom row) lash extensions

They don’t come cheap – a set of natural looking lashes from a master artist at Lash Lab starts at $219. And the lashes have to be filled in every 2-3 weeks ($75 within 2 weeks, $99 within 3 weeks). I chose to fill every 3 weeks because I was being very careful with them and wasn’t losing too many lashes. Check out all of the lash options at Lash Lab and their pricelist here.

Here are some of the tips I’ve taken away from my experience with lash extensions:

  • Be prepared: you can’t get your lashes wet for at least 24 hours (I try to go 48). Plan ahead and either buy some goggles for the shower, or work the dry shampoo look for a couple of days and go shower-free to allow the glue to fully set on your lashes.
  • Same goes for eye makeup remover. If you’re planning a big night out and want to do fun eyeshadow etc, it’s best to get your lashes done a couple of days before so that you can use makeup remover without fear of removing your lashes! Though you always have to use water-based removers, no oil!!
  • Your skin also produces oil, so after those 24 hours of no water, make sure you always wash your eyelids to get rid of the excess oil which can cause the glue to break down. I suggest using baby shampoo/wash to gently wash your eyelashes. Brush them out afterwards so they dry correctly.
  • To brush your lashes, use a clean mascara wand. Most lash places will usually give you disposable spoolies to use, but if not, you can find them at most makeup stores (like these).
  • When you get lashes done, they often use gel pads placed under your eyes to make sure your bottom lashes don’t get glued to the ones being applied. These bothered my eyes and made them water, so instead they just used medical tape to tape down my bottom lashes. If you have sensitive eyes and the gel pads bother them, be sure to ask for just the tape!
  • Sleep on your back if possible and don’t rub your eyes! If you’re a side sleeper, you might find the eye of the side you sleep on loses lashes more quickly than the other eye.

Have you tried lash extensions? Do you have any additional questions? I’m happy to answer!

xoxo,
Veronica

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Winter Skin and Makeup Routine

I hope you all had a fabulous New Year. It has been pretty chilly here in the North Bay the last few weeks and it just keeps getting colder. With all this cold weather and rain, I’ve noticed my skin getting dry and rough. That being said, prior to heading up to Oregon for Christmas (which is about 18-20 degrees during the day and night) I purchased some things to help keep my skin hydrated and my face looking [almost] flawless.

I mentioned this product in my holiday gift guide and I just can’t say enough good things about it. Renewed Hope in a Jar by Philosophy ($16–$47) has done wonders to my dry skin. I usually apply after washing my face or jumping out of the shower and let the cream hydrate my skin. I apply twice per day.

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After applying my moisturizer (and letting it absorb into my skin and dry completely) I spray my face with Urban Decay’s B6 Complexion Prep Spray ($33). This product has worked wonders on my skin since purchase. Before applying my foundation primer, I spray this all over my face and it minimizes pores, absorbs excess oils and reduces redness. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

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Once the complexion spray dries, I follow my usual routine of applying primer (I use the Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Primer) then foundation. Prior to Oregon I switched my foundation. I was using the bareMinerals BareSkin foundation and was finding, even after my moisturizing routine, my skin would look cakey and too powdery. After watching numerous makeup videos on YouTube (my go to: NikkieTutorials), I thought I would try Too Faced Born This Way foundation in warm nude (I have a golden undertone to my skin). It has rave reviews on Ulta and Sephora (and its own website, too) and provides medium-full coverage that looks so natural.

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I have to say that I am in love with this foundation and will never go back. Either apply with a beauty blender or your foundation brush.

Finishing off my makeup routine is the usual eyeliner, eyeshadow (if I feel like it) and a rose colored blush. Powder is an “if I feel like it” kind of thing, but it does set the foundation in place if you use a little bit.

Side note: If you’re looking for a hand cream that won’t leave your hands feeling oily, then check out Soap & Glory’s Hand Food (found at Ulta or online in regular or travel sizes). 

That’s my winter skin and makeup routine. What’s yours?

xoxo,

Leigh

Star Wars: CoverGirl Makeup Collection

Star Wars makeup collection - CoverGirl

It’s almost here…the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (opening in theaters this Thursday). Leigh and I both share a mutual love of the movies, and decided to pay homage this week by transforming the look of our blog and writing about all things Star Wars! First up, I’m talking about Star Wars inspired makeup.

CoverGirl recently released a limited-edition collection of makeup inspired by Star Wars. The collection includes 6 lipsticks, 3 nail polishes, and 2 mascaras (waterproof and regular in Very Black). The lipstick shades are a little out there for my personal taste, but I could see myself wearing the Nude 70 (last one, below) and maybe the Red 30 (3rd one, below).

Star Wars lipsticks

All three nail polish shades are very wearable and perfect for this time of year in the colors (left to right): Speed of Light 200, Red Revenge 180, and Nemesis 195.

Star Wars CoverGirl nail polish shades

For a little inspiration, Iconic makeup artist and CoverGirl Global Creative Design Director Pat McGrath has created seven intergalactic beauty looks to go with the collection. See all of the looks and the face maps explaining the colors and techniques used for each below. I love the soft neutral palette for the Jedi look – definitely the most wearable of the bunch. But a less theatrical take on the “Droid” or the “Chrome Captain” looks could be fun for New Year’s Eve!

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My question is: are you on the light side…or the dark side? I might be a little of both 😉

xoxo,

Veronica

 

Holiday Party Attire (and Makeup!)

Veronica and I have our work holiday party tonight and I thought it would be a great time to share my outfit and makeup with you all today. I am obsessed with the blue feather dress I got from Express on Black Friday and am super excited to wear it tonight. Here’s my outfit (and makeup) for tonight:

Feather Print V-Neck Bell Sleeve Dress

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Kelly & Katie Macaw Boot from DSW

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Crystal stud earrings from Macy’s Fine Jewelry (wore these at my wedding!)

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My makeup will be simple, subtle and holiday-ish. With parties like these I tend to not go overboard with my glam, but am sure to add a little sparkle to my face with eyeshadow.

bareMinerals Pure Brightening Serum Liquid Foundation in Bare Beige 08 from Sephora 

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Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette from Sephora

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After using Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer, here’s how I layer these colors:

Eyelid base: “Limit”

Eyelid color: After wetting the brush a little bit I use the color “trick.” Wetting the brush prior to grabbing the color allows for the glitter in the shade to stay on the brush and not get all over your foundation.

Brow bone color:Naked Lunch” by MAC.

Then blend with a blending brush.

Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner Pen in black (I apply a thin line along my lash line)

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Benefit Cosmetic’s “They’re Real!” Lengthening and Volumizing mascara

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MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Blush in Rosy Outlook

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After I apply all my makeup, I apply Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long-Lasting makeup setting spray.

There you go! Now you have a sneak peek of my look for tonight’s shindig. Veronica and I will be sure to take a selfie tonight (as we always do at these things…) and share our looks with you all on Instagram.

xoxo,

Leigh

 

Leigh’s Holiday Gift Guide

Whether it’s for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Years or any other winter holiday you celebrate, holiday shopping can be tough if you really don’t know what to get someone. I know I’ve been there numerous times, standing in a section of a department store or beauty store just trying to think of what someone would enjoy receiving as a gift. I’ve compiled a list of 10 gift ideas under $100 to help ease the process for you. Enjoy!

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  1. Nadri framed skinny cuff at Nordstrom, $58. This is a great accessory that can be worn again and again. It comes in gold and silver.
  2. Vanilla Sugar Ring Candle by Diamond Candles, $24.95. This candle not only makes your home smell cozy, but there’s a ring in every candle!
  3. Bosca “Executive ID” Nappa Leather Wallet at Nordstrom, $100. Sometimes men need an upgraded wallet, especially if they’ve had one for a while. Here’s a great leather wallet that will surely last another seven years.
  4. S’well “Love” water bottle at liefshop.com, $35. For those who are constantly drinking water, this stylish water bottle keeps things cool for 24 hours. 
  5. Hand Food by Soap & Glory, $8. Great for keeping hands moisturized during the cold months and not oily. 
  6. Cat Study Mug at Anthropologie, $14 each. For those cat lovers in your life…
  7. Renewed Hope in a Jar by Philosophy, $47. Great moisturizer for all skin types.
  8. Eternity Now for Men by Calvin Klein at Macy’s, $80. Men are hard to shop for at times, but here’s a great cologne gift set from Calvin Klein.
  9. Hudson Marble Mortar Pestle at Pier 1 Imports, $39.95. A must-have kitchen essential for combining herbs and more.
  10. Amazon Kindle at Amazon.com, $80. Who doesn’t love a good book and a glass of wine on those cold winter nights? Kindles make reading books 10x easier.

I hope you like these picks. Let me know if you purchase any of these in the comments below!

xoxo,

Leigh

Veronica’s Holiday Gift Guide

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  1. Customize a cozy sweatshirt for your bestie (they also have sequined emojis and fun icons you can add-on for free!).
  2. A luxurious candle in a universally pleasing scent and the prettiest glass jar.
  3. Shimmering drop earrings perfect for holiday parties or a night out.
  4. An ingenious and stylish bracelet that keeps hair ties handy.
  5. Hilarious tear-off desk calendar featuring funny e-cards.
  6. This chic Bluetooth compatible speaker will please any music lover (also comes in black, white, and turquoise).
  7. Party-perfect nail polish set in travel-ready mini bottles and fun, festive colors.
  8. This cosmetic bag lays flat to display makeup, then drawstrings closed into a portable clutch (I’m obsessed with mine!).
  9. For foodies, a gourmet sampler pack of six delicious oils and vinegar (any combo, your choice). Lime is my personal fav for cooking seafood and Mexican food!
  10. A sleeping bag for your feet, literally. I live in these slippers during the winter months!

Hope you liked my picks! Almost all of the items I own and recommend, or they’re on my wish list. Do you have any favorite gifts to give or receive? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Veronica

Spray On Nail Polish?!

Nails Inc Paint Can

When I first heard about the Nails Inc. Paint Can (aka “spray on nail polish”) I was highly skeptical. How on earth could that not be horribly messy, and how do you apply it without getting it all over your hands?

However, being the beauty junkie that I am, I was intrigued. And when I started to see major beauty websites and blogs reviewing the product, I knew I needed more info. The basic gist of the product is that you are able to spray on an even coat of nail polish in just seconds, and with a quick wash of your hands to remove the excess paint, you’ll have a perfect manicure! But is it really that simple? After reading several reviews (like this one), I’ve observed some similarities in advice and have put together the following tips:

  • Use an old towel or newspaper (or something similar to that) to cover the surface you will be spraying on, as it can adhere and damage the surface.
  • The particles from the spray can float in the air, so also be careful of the outfit you’re wearing.
  • You must apply a base coat first for the polish to adhere to (otherwise it will just wash off). However, it doesn’t have to be the Nails Inc. base coat – any will do.
  • Don’t paint the base coat on your cuticles, or the polish will adhere to your cuticles as well.
  • It works best to wait approximately 2 minutes for the polish to dry before washing off the excess.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get my hands on the product (it’s currently sold out everywhere), but you can sign up here to be on the wait list to be notified when more stock becomes available (currently there are only two colors offered – bright pink and silver). It officially launches in March 2016 in the US, and Nails Inc promises to have more colors available at that time. I’d love to see a pale pink and an opaque white for spring, and a deep red is always classic.

What colors would you like to see? Have you tried this product? I’d love to hear from you!

xoxo,

Veronica