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The Guide to Picture-Perfect Lashes

This blog post is one that I feel like is long overdue – because when it comes to makeup, eyelashes are one of my favorite things to enhance. Longer, fuller lashes really add a finishing touch to any day to night makeup look.

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Whether you are trying to find ways to naturally promote longer lash growth, picking out the right pair of falsies, or the most effective mascara – this is your go-to guide! Here are some easy-to-follow tips.

Prime Your Lashes

Just like your skin, your eyelashes also need some primer!

Before applying your mascara, it really does help to use a lash primer. A lash primer will instantly boost the impact of your mascara – and ensuring that your mascara doesn’t flake off throughout the day.

A primer also helps to condition your lashes and help them grow longer, healthier, and fuller over time! So you may not notice a difference with one application, but if you continue to apply lash primer every day, you will notice a visible difference!

My go-to lash primer is Subversion by Urban Decay.

Choose the right eyelash curler.

The next step before applying your mascara is to curl your eyelashes.

I was shocked to find that so many of my friends have never used an eyelash curler. It really does boost, plump, and add shape to your lashes – and choosing the right one seriously makes all the difference. The only eyelash curler I recommend is the Tarte Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler.

Get a mascara with all-natural ingredients.

My go-to mascara is the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. It’s formulated without parabens and other chemicals that can irritate sensitive eyes. While boosting and adding volume to your lashes, it also helps condition them!

Last year, I learned the hard way that some mascaras just aren’t right for me. I really loved the popular Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara for its ability to add some serious volume to my lashes, but pieces of the mascara would flake off into my eyes – and made my eyes unbearably itchy and red.

Reading the ingredients of your products seriously makes all the difference. If you notice some sensitivity to your eyes, it may very well be caused by a makeup product you are using.

Wear false lashes for the ultimate boost.

False lashes are fun – and once you get the hang of it, they are super easy to apply!

Check out beauy brand Private Label Extensions blog post on How 3D Mink Eyelashes Changed My Life

Mink eyelashes look the most like natural hair – and the 3-D affect makes your lashes look AMAZING from every angle! This blog post will give you a better idea of just how easy these lashes are to apply – and why they may need to be a staple in your beauty bag!

3D Mink Eyelash

Credit: https://www.privatelabelextensions.com/3d-mink-eyelashes/

Private Label Extensions sells a wide variety of high-quality mink lashes. They look and feel luxurious. Unlike many other eyelashes, they fit the shape of my eyes perfectly – and you won’t need to worry about applying eyeliner to fill the gaps.

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In this photo, I am wearing the Eyelure London Lengthening N. 155 – another favorite of mine. I like how lightweight they feel! I apply my lashes using the Ardell Duo Lash glue.

While I don’t wear eyelashes every single day, I love wearing them to enhance my makeup look every now and then. I always take them off at the end of the day and take extra care in doing so and removing the rest of my makeup.

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DIY: Boost Your Lash Growth 

There are many natural ingredients that you can utilize to make your lashes grow faster. And many of these ingredients you can find at home.

Using the E.L.F. Eyelash and Brow Wand, I apply Vaseline petroleum jelly lightly to my lashes every night before bed. Target sells miniature versions of the full-size product that you can stick in your beauty bag!

Castor oil and coconut oil also are proven to boost your lash growth.  Just be super careful when applying these products to your eyelashes so that you don’t get any of the oils in your eyes – ouch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Outfit of the Day : Casual & Chic

 

“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a women’s outfit.” – Michael Kors

Couldn’t of said it better myself. Seriously, I think ANY outfit can be dressed up with a cute statement necklace, layered bracelets, or the perfect handbag.

I’m also a firm believer that putting a little extra effort into your outfit each and every day can help you to have a better, and more enjoyable day! This is why I have decided to begin sharing my #OOTD, or Outfit of the Day.

The weather outside has begun to get colder and I’ve been looking for different ways to layer up without necessarily wearing a jacket.IMG_3048

On days like yesterday, when it was about 55 degrees outside and slightly sunny, I was able to wear a turtleneck shirt and a poncho. Both of these layers are lightweight but offered me just the right amount of warmth.

To accessorize, I chose a simple adjustable chain gold necklace. I think the gold in the necklace really compliments the gold on my bag, and is simple enough so that it doesn’t clash with the pattern of the poncho.

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Outfit details

Poncho : H&M

Turtleneck tee: H&M

Jeans: Super Hi-Rise Denim ,American Eagle Outfitters

Bag: Michael Kors

Necklace: Loft

This was the perfect outfit for a day spent walking around Providence and getting lunch with my boyfriend. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and reading inside of the Athenaeum – a breathtakingly beautiful little library perfect for book nerds like me!

 

 

 

 

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October Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal : Tarte & other Treats

Hello everyone! It’s almost Halloween , so it’s the perfect time to get extra creative with your makeup. While most people obsess over what costume they are going to wear, us beauty junkies are busy trying to find the perfect look to create for this fun occasion.

This year, I plan on using some of my favorite Ipsy beauty finds to curate my Halloween makeup look Here’s a peek at what I received this month.

CuteBalms Macaroon Vanilla Lip Balm

This cute little lip balm is ultra nourishing and smells great. I can never have enough lip care products, especially lip balms.

Hey Honey Trick And Treat Active Propolis Cream Concealer

This concealer works overtime – not only covering blemishes and other imperfections but working to gradually improve the overall condition of your skin.

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It’s very light, and easy to blend. Coverage is minimal – so you would have to layer the product in order to completely cover problem areas. I applied this product under my eyes and it had a noticeably brightening affect.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

I always use liquid liners to create the perfect winged liner, so I was a little hesitant to use this one. Although it didn’t work as effortlessly at creating a precise clean line as my go-to liner ( NYX matte liquid liner) , this eyeliner isn’t terrible – it’s just harder to work with. It takes a little more time and patience – mainly because I am used to the ease of a liquid liner.

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This eyeliner did not smudge at all throughout the day. I will definitely be using this product more in the future – and I think it’d be a great product for creating a skull Halloween look like this one by Chrisspy.

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Bronzed Eye Shadow

This eyeshadow has the perfect amount of sparkle and it’s a great shade especially for the autumn season.

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It pairs well with matte shades – especially those found in the Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Palette.

Tarte Lifted Sweatproof Mascara

As you probably know by now, Tarte is one of my favorite beauty brands. So, I was super excited to receive their new sweat proof mascara. I always buy black mascara by default, but this mascara is a dark brown and it still looks amazing – it doesn’t actually look brown once you apply it!

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I don’t typically wear makeup when I go to the gym,  so I haven’t exactly been able to test the ‘sweat-proof’ factor, but I did notice this mascara didn’t budge or crumble throughout the day!

Subscribe to Ipsy now to discover some amazing beauty products every month !

 

 

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Simple Steps for Achieving Everyday Glamour

Do you think that achieving that effortless, glowy, bombshell look is close to impossible? Think again.

There are so many products out there that can work in your favor. At the same time, the selection may be a little overwhelming. But who said it had to be difficult? I have created a guide that incorporates methods and products from my every-day beauty routine.

Prep your skin

Before applying any kind of makeup to your skin, you need to prepare your skin with the right primer. This will help ensure the most smooth application and long-lasting impact possible. I use both the Urban Decay Hydra-Charge Complexion Prep Spray and the E.L.F. Hydrating Face Primer   This helps to moisturize my dry, sensitive skin.

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Awaken your skin 

Brighten up dull skin by using a strobe cream such as Mac Cosmetics Strobe Cream in Pinklite.  I use this as a second step to my primer and find that it really helps give my skin a healthy glow. This product is so versatile that I also use it as a highlighter or mix it with my foundation.

Eliminate dark circles 

The Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Pink is a lifesaver . Before applying foundation, I swipe this product under each of my eyes and blend with a concealer brush.

Seek out a full-coverage foundation

For full coverage and even application, there is no product I could rave about more than The Tattoo Lock-It Foundation by Kat Von D. I have fair skin and I use the shade Light 45 Warm.

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Maximize the power of your foundation

For an all-over illuminating affect, I mix my foundation with two drops of PrettyPretty Pearl Illuminating Drops – I actually purchased this in the makeup section at Burlington Coat Factory and unfortunately have not been able to find this product online to provide a link.

If your skin is dry, I also recommend mixing your foundation with two drops of Tarte Maracuja Oil. This can also help make your foundation less thick. This is yet another product that is so versatile it can be used alone to moisturize your skin and even replenish dry, damaged hair.

Invest in some decent brushes – and a blending sponge!

You really cannot achieve a flawless look without the right tools – quality matters! All of my brushes are from Beau Gâchis Cosmetics.  Blend your foundation over your skin with the Beau Gâchis Cosmetics Pro Series Applicator Sponge.

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For a great set of facial brushes, I also recommend the Highlight & Contour Set.  

For 20% off your purchase, use my code LISA at checkout!

Get a contour palette that does it all.

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My favorite contour palette is The Luminizers Palette by theBalm Cosmetics – there’s a shade for bronzing, one for highlighting, and one for adding a subtle rosy color to your cheeks. What more can you ask for?

Find a subtle lipstick that works for you.

Everyone has different skin tones – so a lipstick that might look great on one person may not look the same on someone else!

That’s why you have to test out products before you buy. If the product is only sold online, do as much research as you can – look to YouTube and Instagram for product swatches and reviews.

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Right now, my favorite every-day color happens to be the Candy K lipkit by Kylie Cosmetics. It’s a good every-day shade, and for a matte lipstick, the formula is not excessively drying.

Note : In the featured photo of me, I am wearing Koko by Kylie Cosmetics in the shade Bunny.  

This is more of a mauve-toned matte lipstick.

Select eyeshadows that compliment your eyes, skintone, and personal style

There are so many eye shadow pigments and palettes to choose from.

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Some of my favorite eyeshadow palettes include:

BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Eyeshadow Palette (pictured on left) If you like shimmery shades, this palette is for you. The bronze and copper shades work well with every eye color.

The Tarteist Pro Eyeshadow Palette (middle) This palette is ideal for someone who likes to use mainly matte-finish eye shadows. The selection of neutral and purple tones works especially well for green and brown eyes.

Naked Heat Palette (right) This one consists of warm, deep-toned reds, oranges, and browns. The terracotta tones really compliment blue eyes, and the product is pigmented enough to work well with just about any skin tone.

Set your makeup!

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The last and the most crucial step in any makeup routine – set your makeup to ensure it stays put all day long. I have found that using a combination of these two products – the Mario Badescu Facial Spray and NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray – really enhances the wear of my makeup.

What are some of your favorite beauty tips?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Books to Fall Into : Are You Sleeping By Kathleen Barber

Lately, I’ve fallen into the habit of picking up books, putting them down, and then returning to them days later only to rediscover that the book isn’t as interesting as I’d hoped. The truth is, there is nothing better than having a good book to look forward to reading every day and distract you from your daily mundane activities

In exchange for nothing but an honest review, Gallery Books sent me an E-reader edition of Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber. From the very first page, I was hooked. Finally, I had stumbled across a book that I could hardly put down.

Image result for kathleen barberJosie Buhrman has a haunting past. One that she has kept well hidden for the past thirteen years. Ten years prior, her father was murdered by the neighbor next door.  Afterwards, her mother ran away to join a cult. Josie and her twin sister, Lanie, are then taken in by their Aunt Amelia.

Josie and Lanie were once the best of friends. But after their father’s’ death, they begin to separate from one another .  And when Lanie severely betrays her sister, Josie makes the decision to cut all ties with her. As soon as she graduates high school, she changes her last name, moves to New York, and meets her boyfriend, Caleb.

Throughout their relationship, Josie has fed Caleb nothing but lies about herself, her family, and her past. She tells herself that one day, she will reveal the truth to him. But this day comes sooner than expected when the murder of Josie’s father, Chuck Buhrman, becomes the subject of a mega-hit podcast series called Reconsidered.

In Reconsidered , investigative journalist Poppy Parnell re-opens the Chuck Buhrman case, one that was ‘solved’ years ago. Is the man who was convicted for the murder actually innocent? If so, then who is responsible for the death of Josie’s father?

Highlighting just how quickly rumors can circulate and information can spread through online news and social media, Kathleen Barber puts an interesting spin on your average psychological thriller – incorporating podcasts, news articles, and tweets about the murder. Her novel takes readers on a fast-paced ride – and one that will always keep you guessing.

I will always enjoy a good thriller, but this book has stood out to me in more ways than one.  More than an addicting mystery, the novel is also a family drama – as details from their family’s past resurface, Josie is forced to reunite with the sister that she left behind. It’s interesting to see how their relationship progresses through time and how their interactions feed the subplot of the novel. The author incorporates lots of flashbacks and strong characterization that make it possible to truly explore the minds of each character.

Barber has all the makings of a successful author. Are You Sleeping happens to be her debut novel – and I am utterly impressed and highly anticipating her next release. If you’re looking for a great book to read this season, I couldn’t recommend this one more. 

kathleen-barber-2117221097Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband.  

For more information, please visit https://kathleenbarber.com/

 

 

 

 

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Fall Fashion Must-Haves and Where to Find Them

Fall is here!  Bring on the cool nights, crazy Halloween costumes and makeup, the apple picking, the spooky attractions, and of course – the  pumpkin everything!

Although you may be ready for fall, is your wardrobe prepared? Here are some staple pieces for the new season – and shopping destination suggestions that won’t break the bank!

Ankle Boots

The past few weeks, I’ve been sooo busy hunting for the perfect pair of riding boots with absolutely no luck. Then, I thought about what other shoes are ideal for transitioning into fall, and pretty much every season…

Booties. There are soo many available right now, in a variety of styles and colors – and this falls trendiest shades include muted grays, taupes and browns. Some have high heels, while others are made with a low heel for every-day wear.

Where can you get them? For under $40, there is a wide selection of name brand booties available at Off Broadway Shoes. A selection of Sam Edelman booties are available at T,J. Maxx and Marshall’s. For online shoppers, I recommend checking out Zulily or Zappos.

The ‘Cold Shoulder’ Sweater

The Cold Shoulder puts a little spin on your basic sweater – and makes all the difference. Pair a white cold shoulder sweater with a pair of dark jeans, brown booties, and a patterned scarf for a simple every-day look. I purchased this sweater from the Loft Outlet – and it’s quickly become one of my favorites!

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Or, amp up your style with this cold-shoulder sweater dress – this piece is so cute and pairs especially well with tall boots and tights!

Layered Necklaces

Minimalist jewlery is in – these pieces are simple and oh-so-chic. Layered necklaces are cute and easy to pair with just about any outfit you can imagine!

Shopping tips from a jewelry addict : The LC Lauren Conrad jewelry collection sold at Kohl’s is my go-to source for simple pieces. I also really like Stargaze jewelry, which sells really unique necklaces and chokers you can layer together yourself for a one-of a kind look!

The Perfect Utility Jacket

A jacket that isn’t too heavy is totally necessary for fall. That’s why military/utility jackets are perfect – and they come in a variety of colors this season including green, navy blue, tan, and maroon.

They pair well with just about any outfit. Wear a feminine lace-trimmed top underneath, light wash denim, and brown booties. On cooler days, pair with your favorite sweater or flannel, thick leggings, and tall boots. Top it off with a patterned scarf, and you’re good to go!

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The great thing about this jacket is that it can also be worn in the spring season – so it’s definitely worth the purchase!

Where to buy : For a wide selection, Macy’s. Gap and Old Navy are your best bets. Also take a look at Revolve, NastyGal, and Free People.

The Everyday Tote

You can’t go wrong with a bag that does it all – and has room for your every-day essentials whether you are going to class or work.

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Let’s shop : For high-quality designer bags that won’t break your budget, shop off-brand retailers such as Marshall’s and Nordstrom Rack. Outlet stores such as Michael Kors and Kate Spade are another great option. Online bargain shoppers will love the selection at BeyondtheRack , Gilt, and Tradesy.

What fashion statement do you hope to make this season?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal – Mac Cosmetics, Tarte, and more!

Happy Fall everyone!

With the arrival of fall, get ready to welcome some new and exciting beauty trends – and no, I am not talking about the ‘wavy brow’ trend. I’m talking about the really awesome shades of the fall eye shadow looks – burgundy, rose golds, and metallics. This season, long lashes are an absolute must, and bold lips and glowy skin are all the rage.

Luckily, with my beauty subscription to Ipsy , these trends are effortless to achieve. And it’s a great way for me to experiment with new products – I don’t want to get stuck in just one boring every-day makeup routine.

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I used my Mac Cosmetics Strobe Cream from my Ipsy bag to create a subtle glow that is noticeably visible in all lighting.

Makeup is fun – let’s keep it that way. As the heat of the summer cools down into cozy fall weather, you don’t have to put as much time and effort into constantly setting and re-applying your makeup. So, this season, I challenge each of you to spend a little of that extra time experimenting with new looks.

What is Ipsy?  Every month, I receive five sample and full-sized products from high-end, luxurious brands as well as independent emerging beauty brands!

This month, I received a product from one of my favorite beauty brands – MAC Cosmetics ! Keep reading for a full review of this product, as well as the other items I received. 🙂

Teez Cosmetics -Eve’s Ready to Wear Lipstick in Romantic Red

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This particular brand is sold by luxury fashion retailer Lord & Taylor, and this particular item retails for $22.

The lipstick I received is full-size, and comes in super cute packaging. I was a bit wary of the shade – it’s been a while since I rocked a bold red lip.

But a red lip will always be in style – its classic and elegant. This shade is stunning, and the formula is super hydrating. It’s a nice change from my usual matte lipstick!

Pixi by Petra – Fresh Face Blush in BeachRose 

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I’m picky about blushes – many just don’t appear natural and look too bright or pink for my moderately fair skin.

I love this shade ! BeachRose is a  really pretty nude peach shade that can almost work as a bronze for lighter skin tones. For darker skin tones, this is a very subtle blush.  I honestly have been using this every day since I got it.

Note: This is an Ipsy-exclusive product so you cannot purchase it by itself online except possibly through reseller sites.

MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite

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I used this product to apply a soft, glowy highlight across my cheekbones. It looked so pretty – Pinklite looks even more amazing in the  sunlight!

I thought this product was just a highlighter, but upon doing some further research, I learned that its really so much more! It can be used as a primer to hydrate, moisturize and prep your skin for makeup application. It can be mixed with your foundation to create a natural glowing affect. And, it can be worn alone to awaken dull skin and create a natural glow.

I really just love the versatility of this product – and how how the product felt on my skin and how truly subtle it looked. I honestly cannot recommend this product more, and I will definitely be purchasing a full-sized version ASAP.

 

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

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This is one of the mascaras I always go back to – time and time again. And it’s as though Ipsy read my mind – I’m definitely due for a new tube of this mascara!

In combination with Tarte’s eyelash curler, this mascara is a show-stopper. Seriously, it adds the perfect amount of volume and length to my lashes. I curl my lashes, and then apply mascara, and repeat until I have achieved the desired affect.

Skin Food Black Sugar Mask

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I’m a huge fan of naturally made, dye free cleansers, masks, scrubs, and basically anything sold by LUSH Handmade Cosmetics. But I am always down to test out beauty brands that I’ve never before used – especially when they are made with some of the same, all-natural ingredients as the skincare items I love most.

This product has a simple, no-nonse packaging and delivers some serious skin results. The scrub left my skin feeling refreshed and smooth to the touch. Best of all, it smells amazing!

I really don’t have anything bad to say about my Ipsy bag this month – I am truly happy with each of the products I received. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next month!

To my fellow Ipsy subscribers, what kinds of goodies did you get this month? What are your favorites? Comment your thoughts – I would love to hear what you think!