Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ring in the New Year with a New Look

You’ve drank the champagne and made the New Year Resolutions, but do you still feel like you’re stuck with the 2008 version of yourself? While New Year’s usually signals in a clean slate and heady optimism, it can also remind you of how much the years haven’t been any different from each other either. If you’re craving for a drastic change, one of the best ways to start off is to revamp your look. The physical change will signal the need to overhaul the rest of your life as well. While the make over sequence in your favorite movies seem to take all of three minutes, you have to understand that a new look might take a lot more than a day to achieve. But take your time, do your research and mentally prepare yourself for the gasps that you will be subject to. Are you ready? Read on for a couple of suggestions on how to launch a more fabulous version 2.0 of you.

1.) Get a Head Start on Spring Cleaning

Before you can rev up your make over, take stock of what’s in your closet and make up drawer. For make-up, toss anything that smells funky, or changed in terms of color or consistency. Anything over two years old has to go too. For your closet, get rid of anything that you haven’t used in more than a year, and clothes so old or ill fitting, no amount of repairs can render it usable. Once you’re cleared out some much-needed space, you can finally get around for shopping for new closet staples.

2.) Take Advantage of End of Season Sales

January is one of the best times to stock up because it marks the end of a season, so a lot of items will be on discount. Don’t be finicky about being caught in last season’s items. It’s 2013 and no one really cares if you’re wearing the “it” coat from two seasons ago. As long as it looks amazing on you, and you got it at a steal, you still win. So be on the lookout for sale signs in the designer stores you used to balk at. Remember well made clothing and accessories never go out of style.

3.) Update the basics

The trick to always looking polished is to invest in quality basics that make you look like a million bucks. For fashion, a great pair of jeans and durable pumps are your best bets to making your chic discount top look like a designer find too. If people (especially your parents!) always nag you on dressing sloppily, take it as a cue to invest in more tailored pieces. If you’re a fan of loose band shirts and skinny jeans, throw on a gorgeous blazer over the ensemble to add a bit of polish without sacrificing your personal style.


When it comes to make up quality always trump quantity. You don’t need five different lip-glosses that look goopy on your lips anyway. Invest in a good concealer and face powder, and don’t scrimp when choosing make up brushes. When it comes to pigments, you don’t have to have the entire color wheel at your disposal, focus on investing in shades that suit your skin tone. If you haven’t yet, its also never to soon to invest in skincare. Have a skincare routine, and add in daily sunblock and anti-aging treatment too, just to be on the safe side.


4.) Don’t be too trend resistant.

Yes, everybody has an inner fear of looking like a fashion victim, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stick to the same monochrome palette everyday. Sure you might have curated a style comfort zone already, but deviate from it every once in a while. Go ahead and invest in a luxurious trench coat, and a cute pair of booties as well. As long as you stick to one outrageous piece per outfit, you are still within the realms of stylish.


5.) Trust the Professionals

DIY may be a big trend when it comes to beauty and fashion, but there are times when you have to turn to the professionals to assure a job well done. Don’t even attempt to perm your own hair or to drastically restyle it without the help of a professional. Pay a visit to your favorite salon and try out a new hairstyle to ring in the New Year. A dye job or reshaping your eyebrows can have drastic effects as well.


Start off 2013 with a bang by ushering in a newer and more stylish version of you. Don’t forget to have fun and to stick to treatments and styles you’re comfortable with. Happy New Year to the new you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Best Christmas Gifts for Beauty Junkies

All the stores in the mall are decked with Christmas trimmings, yet there's no doubt that shopping during the holidays is still a stressful experience. While it’s easier than ever to make purchases online and avoid the maddening mall rush, the true dilemma is in mastering the art of gift giving.

You have friends you’ve known for years, but you still have no idea what they’d want to see under the Christmas tree. Rather than buying a gift at random, and including a gift receipt for return, it’s time to flex your creative juices, in the spirit of holiday cheer. Chances are you have a girl friend (or three!) that has been your resident guru for all things beauty related. You just know, that they’d love to receive something they can use to primp during the holidays. Here’s a handy guide on the perfect gifts for each type of beauty personality!

The Classic Beauty

This girl would be lost without her Lacoste Polo Shirt and pearl earrings. She’s a sucker for the no-make up look and prioritizes looking fresh as a daisy all the time. Your beloved preppie would love to get products that are designed to enhance her already radiant complexion. Try out Chanel’s CC Cream (their version of the ubiquitous BB cream) or a good primer such as Smashbox or Laura Mercier.

If shades and skin type are too complicated for your haggard holiday self, your friend will also appreciate tried and tested beauty tools to upgrade her everyday routine. Consider buying her Acca Kappa hairbrushes or the famed Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

The Nature Lover

This flower child might be accused of looking unkempt from afar, but make no mistake, the loosely braided hair and carefully dewy complexion is the result of a bunch of products that are designed to enhance the natural glow.

To be extra thoughtful, take her lifestyle into consideration when choosing gifts. If she’s a staunch vegan, cosmetic products tested on animals are a definite no-no. Opt for organic lines from the likes of Origins, Lush or Kiehl’s, to appeal to her nature loving sensibilities. If she’s the type to get down and dirty planting trees and literally giving nature a hand, consider gifting her with Loccitane’s brightening hand cream to keep her hands soft and smooth.

The Funky Hipster

Never one to become a wallflower, this life of the party likes loud colors that showcase her equally vivacious personality as well. She doesn’t shy away from bold colors or surprising combinations, purple lash extensions anyone?

Almost every party animal worships at the altar of Andy Warhol, so it’s a great excuse to amp up her 15 seconds of fame by gifting her with any of the wonderful products from the Nars x ay Warhol collaboration. The stellar polish shades and the Edie gift set are particular recommendations.

For someone who is out every night, it’s only a matter of time before her skin starts to rebel on her lifestyle. Gift her with the priceless present of prevention by sending her a skin care set, Clinique’s iconic three step program is one of the easiest to follow, so drunkenness won’t stand in the way of her comprehension. If her partying has started to take a toll on her skin, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum does wonders for skin as well.

The Know-It-All

We all have friends who have a habit of rattling off obscure facts or ingredient names of the cosmetics we purchase. This kind of girl knows her stuff, and this means that her taste in beauty products is just as discerning as well.

Try wooing her by introducing her to obscure brands that are known to produce great product. Santa Maria Novella and Diptyque are two specialty stores that you might want to tap if you seriously want to impress her. Another option is to give her beauty coupons for services instead of pre-selected products. This way customer maintains a sense of responsibility to possible delays or modifications in the mechanics.

Happy Christmas Shopping!

Holiday Star Style

For most working women, the holiday season seems to have crept up, leaving our wardrobes unprepared for the dozens of parties happening left and right. Chances are, you’ve exhausted all your outfit options during the first tide of Christmas parties, and now you’re scrambling left and right to come up with outfits without committing the dreaded holiday faux pas: outfit repeating.

So what’s a woman who’s RSVP-ed too much to do? Get inspired and get creative! It's a good thing the Internet has made inspiration only a couple of clicks away. Celebrity style icons are your best source for innovative ways to make your wardrobe holiday appropriate. Celebrities spend thousands of dollars for stylists to make them look positively alluring during holiday events, and you can definitely cop their style at almost no cost.

We’ve chosen four celebrities who have been making rounds in holiday best dressed list for their smart and flattering sartorial choices. Great make-up and accessories are played up to the hilt as well. We’ve listed down elements of their style that you can apply to your own wardrobe, say goodbye to holiday party jitters!

1.) Emma Stone

If you hate the drab colors, Emma Stone definitely feels the same way. This quirky girl is known to inject bright pops of color into any outfit. She’s not one to be draped in uber formal gowns too; most of her outfits are short and sweet which definitely highlights her youth.

To mimic Emma Stone’s style stick to structure bright colored pieces. Pair a skin-tight sweater top with a peplum skirt and top of with bright glossy lipstick. Keep the rest of your make-up to a minimum and try a casual hairstyle such as a loose chignon. This look is best for casual dinners with friends and the occasional night out with cocktails.

2.) Anne Hathaway

Discounting Anne’s recent flashing incident, Hathaway has been consistent in surprising style critics in holiday parties. This girl is all about the dramatic element; her statuesque figure is great for her sartorial picks as well. If you’re looking to make a splash, emulate Anne’s Looks. Her recent black dominatrix themed outfit during the premiere of Les Miserables has definitely been the talk of the town. She’s fond of Ankle length flowy dresses and sequin appliques as well. If you’re planning to dress like her, the golden rule is if you feel like anything is enough, just add one more thing, and the outfit will definitely pop! Of course remember to do your outlandish outfit choices with reference to your body type and the occasion.

3.) Kristen Stewart

The ubiquitous Twilight celeb definitely has nothing in common with her simple dressing character, Bella Swan. The best part about Kristen’s outfit choices is that she isn’t afraid to take risks, and these risks usually pay off, big time.

Whether she’s decked out in a gothic designer number or a head to toe sequin piece, she never loses her affable self-deprecating charm. So if you’re the type who isn’t afraid to tint your outfit with a strong personality, you should emulate Kristen Stewart’s style indeed. Make-up wise, just pile on the eye line for a sexy smoky eye and you’re good to go.

4.) Olivia Palermo

While her claim to fame into the collective consciousness may have been a short lived MTV show, Olivia’s style star has already skyrocketed in the fashion industry. She’s the epitome of classiness, a steely all American girl who would never be caught dead without freshly blown dry hair.

If you want to cop her style without going head to toe designer, just choose dresses in classic cuts such as shift dresses with clean lines and good stitching. While impeccable workmanship doesn’t come cheap these days, you can scour your local thrift store for vintage finds that have stood the test of time. Just keep in mind that Olivia adheres to a strictly minimalist aesthetic, so no gaudy ribbons or rainbow colors!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Opal Stevens' Holiday Giveaway Event! December 17th-23rd

 
Hey girlies! The holidays are now upon us :) So what better way to celebrate than by entering to win A TON of beauty products?! One person will win a large variety of beauty and bath products! Prizes include an e.l.f. Beauty Book - Smoky Eyes, Green Tea & Verbena Hand Cream, a Green Tea & Verbena Bath Soap, a Que Bella Dead-Sea Mud Mask, a Quince Replenishing Coffee Pumpkin Body Butter, a Quince Antioxidant Blueberry, Pomegranate, and Almond Body Butter, and a Sinful Colors' Nail Polish in Sugar Sugar.

What you need to do..  enter the rafflecopter below! Best of luck :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter 2012 Trendy Lipstick Round Up

When temperatures drop, it’s time to up the heat with sizzling lip hues. Bold lips were definitely popular in the fall catwalk, and we've rounded up 4 shades that would guarantee kissable lips all throughout winter. The best part about lipstick is it’s easy to swipe on, yet it has megawatt impact on your overall look. Now, you really don’t have an excuse to get caught under the mistletoe in an unflattering lip hue.

1.) Bright Red

The holidays are the perfect time to bring out this festive color. A bright red pout is just enough to add punch to an outfit without going overboard with color. This season, a popping vibrant red is all the rage. Pair it will flawless skin and a couple of coats of dramatic black mascara and you’re ready for a night out of town.

Our favorite reds include the classic Ruby Woo by MAC for those with bluish undertones. If you want a warmer shade, try Lady Danger a bright red with tinges of orange. Shu Uemura’s limited edition Shu Shu Red from its Karl Lagerfeld collaboration is worth a try too.

2.) Vampy Blackened Purple

If you’re looking for Goth glam, without the Halloween vibe, a blackened purple shade lends just enough sophistication and drama to your look. This shade looks best with pale dewy skin and shimmery eyes. Ship the eyeliner though and keep the rest of the face minimalist so that the focus will be on your dark lips.

Check out MAC’s Rebel or Smoked Purple for a dramatic finish. The new MAC x Azealia Banks limited edition lippie in Yung Rapunxel is a great shade too. A good drugstore find would be Revlon’s Black Cherry, which offers great pigment with a fraction of the cost. If you prefer your lips shiny instead of matte, opt for YSL’s PUR Black lip-gloss.

3.) Orange

Orange has been a color often ignored when it comes to traditional lippies. This year orange came back with a vengeance, with most make up brands releasing an orange hue to be part of its permanent collection. This Popsicle tinged color has a whimsical vibe that is reminiscent of childhood days yet it still exudes an eclectic vibe that makes it irresistible.

Bobbi Brown’s Jenna is a creamy matte orange that’s vibrant without looking gaudy. It’s a great shade to rock everyday too. Dior’s iconic Addict lipstick range has Lucky 536, another flattering orange. If you're not looking to invest in pricey cosmetics, Revlon’s Moon Drops is a great dupe orange that has gained a following too.

4.) Shimmery Nude

While most women shy away from nude, because it has a tendency to wash out, a shimmery shade is a great option if you want to rock smoky eyes. The trick in finding a great nude is to match it with the color on the insides of your lip because this is a fail-safe way to see which color is most flattering on your complexion.

NARS by renowned make-up artist Francois Nars has a couple of shimmery nudes, namely Viva Las Vegas and Promiscuous. Illamasqua, a brand known for its vibrant nail polishes has great longwearing lippies as well. Check out Melt, for a shimmery golden nude that will suit most golden complexions perfectly.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Your Top 3 Winter Skin Problems, Solved!

Cold weather has been known to take a toll on the skin. Sometimes your skincare rituals need to take an overhaul too to accommodate the sudden drops in temperature. If you find yourself waking up to more skin problems than usual, you’re not alone. Men and women everywhere are more prone to allergies, dry flaky patches and even acne every winter. If these problems sound familiar to you, read on for a run down of the most common winter skin problem, and how to solve them.

1. Dry Flaky Patches

What’s Happening?

Chilly winds and indoor heating have sapped the moisture off your skin leaving it parched. You now have peeling skin in patches, and since skin is thinnest on the face, your T-zone looks dull and flaky as well.

How to solve it:

Since dry patches are caused by a loss in moisture, make sure you moisturize every chance you get. Switch to an extra rich body wash, such as Dove Beauty Wash, and opt for luxurious body butters instead of the usual lotion.

Other culprits of dry skin would also be excess indoor heating, and prolonged hot showers. To combat the drying effect of these, invest in a humidifier for the home and shorten your morning showers. Ease up on over cleansing the face as well, since this would strip it of natural oils.

If your skin contuse to flake and shows signs of swelling and rashes, have your doctor check for eczema, a sever dryness of skin that can only be cured through oral or topical steroids.

2. Red Irritated Skin

What’s happening?

While slight redness that come and go sporadically due to chilly temperatures can be ignored, the more persistent kind is often a symptom of skin inflammation. Winter causes red scaly patches or shiny red skin with pimples that seem to never disappear.

How to solve it:

Your irritated skin might just be caused by allergies, so try switching to unscented hypoallergenic products to see if it helps resolve your issues. If redness and blotchiness remains, it might be time to consult your dermatologist.

Psoriasis and Rosacea are two skin conditions that are aggravated by cold weather. With the former, large red scaly patches often appears on skin, most especially in one’s extremities. Since psoriasis is chronic in nature it’s easier to treat with early detection. Dermatologists usually recommend medical creams. In rare cases phototherapy might be recommended to manage the skin condition for good.

Rosacea on the other hand is a common skin condition that just happens to rear its ugly head once winter rolls around. It’s characterized by extreme redness with occasional pimples and rough skin. While it’s harmless by nature, it’s also very noticeable. A lot of topical drugstore creams can alleviate it’s physical symptoms very well.

3. Acne

What’s Happening?

If you think you’ve said a permanent goodbye to acne problems when you reached your 20’s, you might be wrong. Cold weather is notorious for causing sudden breakouts. Pores become blocked by excess oil and dead skin cells causing pimples to appear. Stress from all night holiday parties, binge drinking and fatty Christmas foods can also contribute to the worsening state of your skin.

How to solve it:

While freezing temperatures may not be to blame for your breakouts, it definitely contributes by fostering an environment where bacteria on skin can thrive. Switch to an oil cleanser such as Shu Uemura’s cleasing oil. It gently removes grime from your face without stripping it of natural moistures.

Don’t be so hasty with those drying gels that worked so well during your teens, adult skin doesn’t react the same way to those harsh chemicals anymore. Opt for topical treatments that contain chemicals less potent than the familiar Benzoyl Peroxide.

While you’re at it, keep your partying in check too. Allow for enough snooze and healthy exercise in between your holiday fetes. After all, maintaining flawless skin is a must if you want to be the belle of the ball in those parties.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Injecting Bright Pops of Summer Color in your Winter Wardrobe



When the temperatures start to drop, your color choices automatically turn frigid too. Your happy yellows and bright pinks somehow seem inappropriate for the somber seasons. So you unhappily put your acid colors in storage in favor of the blacks and browns that everybody seems to be wearing. While colder climates are scientifically proven to dampen spirits, wearing dull colors definitely won’t help in your battle against the cold weather blues.

Good thing that fashion rules are practically made to be broken. You entire summer wardrobe doesn't have to gather dust till next June. A lot of colorful pieces can be easily incorporated to your roster of winter coats. Aside from that, bright hues bring a lot of impact, so an acid colored clutch or a bright orange cocktail ring can do wonders for your look too.

Read on for a few tips to escape the dreary winter wardrobe spell. The sun might not be shining as brightly these days, but that doesn't mean that you can’t up your own wattage to compensate!

Don’t be so hasty with storing your summer dresses 

Dresses in light airy fabrics can be layered over thicker solid dresses to keep it temperature appropriate. You can also wear these dresses with fun printed tights to make a fashion statement. Great pieces should be shown off, gone are the days when being bundled up means resigning yourself to looking frumpy.

With fashion relying largely on creativity, you’ll be saving a few bucks too if you recycle pieces from previous seasons. Think out of the box too. Your favorite beach cover- up can easily turn into a fall scarf. Save yourself the effort of having to face the holiday crowds to update your wardrobe, everything you need could already be in your closet.

Balance bright colors with cold weather friendly fabrics 

If you can't resist the new collections, you’ll be glad to know that most designers are staying away from drab colors this fall. The racks are now filled with shades of electric blue and magenta. Choose fall trench coats in vibrant colors, so you can easily stand out.

Whites are also big this season, and a lot of high street brands seem to be stocking up on this color. H&M’s recent Margiela collaboration has elegant white pieces in luxurious plush fabrics that will keep you cozy but stylish as well.

When in doubt, layer 

Layering gives brand new life to your favorite pieces. If you’re a fan of lightweight cardigans and tank tops, you can layer them with basic colored Henleys and make them fall friendly. Top it off with a printed scarf and boots, and you’ll have an endless array of wardrobe choices, at a fraction of the price.

Don’t shy away from print! 

Prints were particularly popular in the Fall 2012 fashion runway. If you’re not up to solid bright colors, you can inject pops of color in your print choices as well. Look out for military prints, baroque or oriental patterns, since these are definitely in trend right now. If you’re more of a girly-girl invest in a couple of floral print blazers as well.

Beautiful shoes will always be appreciated 

If you prefer to stick to the basics for fall, your accessories can become your statement pieces instead. Opulent shoes or ankle boots never go out of style. Jewel colored flats or Red Pumps are style staples that can add the much needed oomph to your classic dresses. If your style sensibility leans more towards punk, Neon colored Doc Martens are guaranteed eye catching footwear as well. Aside from shoes, neon colored necklaces or clutches are your best bet in keeping your outfits looking fresh without too much of the 80’s vibe.

Add colors to the details 

Lastly, nails and make-up also have great potential in adding more color to your look. An all black outfit can easily go from serious to playful if you pair it up with a hot pink lippie. Nail art and strategic hair highlights are also a great way to inject color, without going overboard. The best part about this is that it’s cheap and easy to change to suit your mood.


So don’t feel stuck with the somber side of the color wheel. With a little creativity and fashion bravado, you can stand out from the pack with playful colors that will tide your fetish for bright hues till spring season comes along.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

FREE Blogger Sign Up! Holiday Giveaway Event Dec. 17-23


Hey Bloggers! The holidays are now upon us :) So what better way to celebrate than by giving away A TON of beauty products?! One person will win a large variety of beauty and bath products! Please join in this awesome giveaway event hosted by Opal Stevens which will run from December 17th – December 23rd! Everyone who signs up to host this giveaway on their blog gets either a Facebook or Twitter link on the Rafflecopter FREE!

What you need to do.. 

Make sure to post on time! Anyone participating must post on time. If I don't see your post up by 1am after the start of the event, you will be removed from the Rafflecopter until you do.

I will send emails to keep you updated about this event and I will make sure to send you the html a week or two before the start of the event. You get one FREE entry.

Your choices of entries are: 
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
GFC
Email
RSS Feed

If you'd like more entries in the giveaway widget, it would be $3 for an extra entry or $5 for two extra entries. You can send payment through paypal (as a SERVICE) to opalstevensblog@gmail.com. Make sure to include your email and what entries you'd like in the paypal message.

If you have any questions, please email me at samishoe795@gmail.com or drop a comment below. Thanks! 

IMPORTANT!!!
On the linky: For NAME put either your Twitter handle or your Facebook link. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MAC’s Russian Red Lipstick Review

MAC's Russian Red has been a cult favorite for a very long time and after purchasing it, I can see why! MAC lipsticks are sold for 14.50 for .10 oz, and I think the price is a perfect mid-range that is appealing to all budgets. The cool tone of the red makes this lipstick very appealing as it is dark enough to be worn in the day and night, it is the perfect "mid-tone neutral red". The coolness of it also makes it nice to wear because it makes your teeth look whiter ;)

MAC's Russian Red is a matte finish lipstick that is mostly a mid-tone red but it does appear cooler against my warm skin tone, the undertone really depends on the person. It is very opaque and the staying power is amazing, although a bit drying. I usually apply a lip liner all over my lips and then apply the lipstick, this ensures the lipstick will stay all day.

The lipstick is part of the permanent line and I would definitely recommend it if you are on the lookout for an amazing red. MAC also offers Russian Red lip glass, which is this lipstick but in lipgloss form.
I would recommend applying this lipstick for the perfect pin-up look or also with a subtle smokey eye to create the sultriest look....


This is one of my favorite MAC lipsticks and it is a must have! It is definitely a 10/10 in texture, longevity, pigmentation, and overall product. Let me know your thoughts on it and if you plan on purchasing it.


Here I am wearing it on 4th of July! I received tons of compliments!
Marla

Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Post: Michelle Obama Style 2011

Best Dressed First Lady with attainable Style Michelle-Obama-magazine-covers-2011 
Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States appears in Glamour, Reader's Digest and Essence in 2011.

Michelle Obama, our current First Lady seems to easily transform herself, a shape changer if you will, to fit the mood or occasion. More than any recent First Lady, Michelle Obama has embraced fashion on all frontiers.

Michelle-Obama-Reclining

She has made "off the rack" fashion cool, she is not afraid to "re-wear" clothes, she supports many American designers, yet she will "cross the pond" and wear other non-American Designers as well. Michelle Obama is a smart, Harvard educated lawyer who embraces the role of First Lady, supporting her husband, rather than upstaging him. She uses that keen intelligence when travelling in our nation or abroad to present the First Lady role in an elegant light. Yet, she is not afraid to exercise,

First Lady Michelle Obama Attends World Record Jumping Jack Event
(Michelle Obama kicks off a Guinness World Record Jumping Jack Event on the White House Lawn)

Michelle-Obama-2011
(Michelle laughs on the phone, deplanes with her mom, watches the White House Easter Egg Roll with daughter Milia, and celebrates July 4th with husband, President Barack Obama in a Red and Blue Sophie Theallet design dress ($995))

Here's some of Michelle's outstanding dresses/gowns from 2011.
Michelle-obama-gowns
(1st photo: Michelle wears Black Ralph Lauren from his Fall 2011 to meet with Queen, 2nd photo: Michelle wears a Doo Ri Chung gown to a State dinner with South Korean President and his wife, 3rd Photo: designer unspecified).

One of her most astonishing gowns for 2011 was worn when she met the queen, because of its remarkable resemblance to another first lady's "Meet the Queen" Dress (Jacqueline Kennedy).  Can you see the similarities between the Tom Ford designed white gown for Michelle Obama and Hubert de Givenchy's pale ice blue gown for Jackie O?
Jackie-Kennedy-Michelle-Obama-White-Dress-Queen

I admire Michelle Obama's ability to show reserve as much as I admire her ability to display bold style. As is the case below:

barack-obama-michelle-obama-2011-9
Michelle Obama wears a simple black Byron Lars for the 10 year 9-11 Memorial Observance

While it would take a book to showcase all the fine clothing Mrs. Obama wears to various functions, this piece would not be complete without featuring Michelle in this Alexander McQueen gown that stole the show at a State Dinner on 1-19-2011.

michelle-obama-alexander-mcqueen-2011

Chief Blonde
This feature was provided by The Chief Blonde from Still Blonde after all these YEARS, a blog for Women over 45 (and their younger friends) with Giveaways for ALL, ALWAYS over $50! Still Blonde after all these YEARS hosts the largest Fashion Giveaway on the web. Signups for the Spring Fashionista Event are going on now. The event with 115+ bloggers is scheduled to take place March 2-7!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest Post - Skincare 101: Epsom Salt

Hey Girls! I have been researching about the natural benefits of Epsom salt and I was surprised to find that it is not only beneficial for our skin but also for our nervous system. Epsom salt is made of the mineral magnesium sulfate, which is known to be absorbed through the skin and draw toxins from the body. As well as sedating the nervous system, reducing swelling, and relaxing muscles. It is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more.

 Muscle Tension or Dry Skin..
Add a cup of Epsom salt to warm water in the tub and soak in it for at least fifteen minutes. After you get out make sure to moisturize. This is called Talassotherapy, and it is proven to help psychological problems and help you sleep better.

 Get Rid of Those Toxins Girl!
 Living in the twenty-first century can take its toll on our body, not only are we exposed to chemicals in the air, we also have very tempting unhealthy food around us always. Epson salt works in marvelous ways to detox your body and take out all the bad stuff. Before you shower make a paste out of Epsom salt and water and rub it into your body, focusing on your thighs, midsection, and arms. In the shower massage it in and then wash it off, not only will this detox your body it will also exfoliate it.

Exfoliate!
As said before rubbing a salt paste can help not only detox but also to exfoliate. Make sure that the salt is not too coarse or grainy, you do not want to hurt your skin. Making a paste with the salt you can exfoliate your face once a week. You can also make a face cleanser, by mixing salt with almond or olive oil. Apply it all over your face and massage in upward strokes. Afterwards just rinse it off.

Acne?
Epsom salt has also been used to cure acne. Add one tablespoon of salt to a cup of water and then soak a cotton round in it, dab the solution onto your skin. You will see a gradual change in your skin. It can also cure eczema.

I hope that these simple home recipes help you solve any skin problems you have. Personally, I have found that exfoliation with salt has given a new glow to my skin. The Epsom salt baths have also helped me feel more relaxed and less tense.

Try it out and let me know :)

Marla xx

Spongeables Pedi Scrub Review & Giveaway

Spongeables® Pedi-Scrub™ is the best thing to happen to feet since Manolo. One side is soft and gentle, infused with soap and aromatic botanicals to leave feet clean, fresh and sweet smelling. But the other side is where the action is. It’s pure bliss.  Made to buff away dry, rough skin on heels and soles, shine up the toenails, and exfoliate dry skin, Pedi-Scrub’s scrubby-texture provides a stimulating massage that revives tired feet and leaves them tingling. The perfect antidote to stiletto pumps!

Two appealing fragrance choices -- aromatic Lavender & Tea Tree Oil (pink Pedi-Scrub™), or revitalizing Citron-Eucalyptus (green Pedi-Scrub™), provide a touch of aromatherapy rejuvenation, leaving a hint of clean, herbal freshness on the skin. Pedi-Scrubs™ are available at drug, discount and chain stores around the world (MSR $6.99) or visit the website at www.spongeables.com


The pedi scrub is an amazing product that will cleanse, exfoliate, massage, and moisturize your feet. The lavendar smell is not too powerful, but smells amazing nonetheless. I make sure to use it before I paint my toes. It does a really great job at cleansing and exfoliation. Pedi-Scrub gurantees at least 20 uses. 


Make sure to connect with Spongeables on Facebook and Twitter.


Win It: One lucky reader will win a Spongeable Pedi-Scrub of their very own! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway ends on January 27th, 2012, at 11:59 pm EST and is open to residents of the US only. Once a winner is drawn via Rafflecoper, I will contact the winner through email. They will then have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response, I will draw a new winner. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Which Would You Rather Wear? Wednesday

Zoe Saldana

 Ashley Greene




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Beauty Blog Hop 1/17






I just ask that you follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow this blog (I will follow you back! Just please leave a comment below letting me know that you are following me!)
  2. Try to follow as many people on the list as possible :)
  3. Feel free to let the followers of your blog know about this blog hop! (you can copy and paste the code above and put the image in your sidebar or somewhere on your blog)
  4. Please only link up the network that is being hopped that specific day
  5. No spam please. It will be removed.
  6. If someone follows you please feel free to follow them back!
There will be a new list every Tuesday, so check back! :D

Friday, January 13, 2012

A New Year, New You with Alpha Hydrox Skin Care

Battling sun damaged, dry, wrinkled, aging skin and acne is easy and extremely affordable with Alpha Hydrox. Alpha Hydrox alpha hydroxy anti-wrinkle skin creams, lotions, oil-free formulas and body washes help to prevent and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and creases. They also even skin's tone and unclog pores, helping to banish acne and problem-prone skin. At a fraction of the cost of discount and department store brands that aren't even close to being as effective, Alpha Hydrox will help your skin look & feel younger, fresher, smoother, softer, clearer, more radiant and healthier.

The Glycolic Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) used in Alpha Hydrox products are advanced natural exfoliants that gently and gradually “peel away” dead surface skin cells, allowing fresh, new cells to emerge. AHAs, particulary glycolic, are recommended by Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons throughout the world because they actually improve the skin.


Great skin begins with great cleansing. This non-drying formula gently cleanses away the toughest makeup, dirt and environmental pollutants while maintaining skin's moisture level. Does not strip skin but leaves it looking and feeling soft, smooth and fresh and prepared for the exfoliating action of Alpha Hydrox anti-wrinkle treatment products.

- For All Skin Types
- Contains Citric-AHA
- pH balanced
- Fragrance, alcohol-free, soap-free, oil free
- Will not dry or irritate skin
- Gentle enough for eye makeup removal
- Leaves no irritating residue 

This cleanser is great! It's perfect if you want a deep cleanse that won't dry out your skin. 



Proven to significantly reduce and delay the onset of fine lines, wrinkles, forehead creases, crows' feet, laugh lines and more. With 10% Glycolic AHA at an effective pH 4, Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion effectively and safely lifts dead cells from the skin's surface, revitalizing & helping restore younger, healthy, more radiant-looking skin. Renews moisture, refines texture, improves elasticity and skin tone.


- Contains 10% Glycolic AHA

- For Dry to Normal Skin

- Effective pH 4
- Fragrance Free
- Contains rich moisturizers & Vitamin E

This cleanser is not only great for getting rid of and preventing wrinkles, but it's also helps those that suffer from acne. This enhanced lotion prevents future breakouts by unclogging pores. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Guest Post: Favorite Beauty Products of 2011

2011 was filled with much joy, surprises, and some sadness... It went by so fast, just like every other year. In this post I will be sharing my favorite or most used beauty products of 2011.

SKINCARE
Philosophy Purity Cleanser: 
A non-foaming one step facial cleanser. It removes makeup, cleanses your face, and is also a toner. This cleanser was love at first use for me, I received it in my Birchbox and immediately went to Sephora to buy another bottle.





Clarisonic Mia: 
I received my Clarisonic Mia and immediately fell in love, I use it along with the Purity cleanser and I have never felt my skin so soft. The fast moving bristles help to clean your skin and wash away impurities.





Sweet Pea Body Spray: 
Bath and Body Works has released many new scents but Sweet Pea will always hold a special place in my heart. It is the first scent I think of when thinking of B&BW, this year I went all out and I bought the whole set (body spray, lotion, and body wash). Smelling like Sweet Pea makes me happy :)




DENTAL CARE
Colgate Optic White Toothpaste: 
This toothpaste is seriously AMAZING! Not only does it leave my mouth fresh and clean but it also has whitened my teeth. I will never go back to any other toothpaste...best $5 I have spent.




MAKEUP TOOLS
MAC 217 Brush: 
This brush is a must have in any person that wears makeup. You can use it to define your crease, blend your eyeshadow, or apply concealer...The uses are endless. I can do all of my eye makeup with this brush only!




Essence of Beauty Concealer & Foundation Brushes: 
These brushes are of amazing quality! You can find them at CVS Drugstores or online. I use them for applying foundation and have never gotten such great application. A must have in my collection!





MAKEUP
Benefit’s The PoreFessional Primer: 
I discovered this product towards the end of the year but immediately noticed a difference in the wear of my makeup but most of all in the way my skin looked. It looks flawless when I wear this primer.





Revlon ColorStay Foundation (150 Buff): 
This foundation means some serious business, it is a full coverage matte foundation and is one of the best I have tried. They offer a variety of colors and it lasts all day! I could not imagine myself without it!







Almay Smart Shade Concealer: 
This concealer adapts to your skin and gives you medium coverage, I love it for the days when I do not feel like wearing foundation. I use it just on blemishes and it stays on all day.




Jordana Blush in Rouge:
I love all the Jordana Blushes but the color Rouge has been my favorite, it is a bright pink that gives the perfect pop of color to my everyday makeup looks.
ELF Eyelid Primer:
For just one dollar this primer is an ASTOUNDING product, it not only gets rid of redness on my lid it also prevents my eyeshadow from creasing. AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING.


Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara: 
I prefer to wear eyelashes when I do my makeup but for days when I want to wear mascara I reach for the Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara. It lengthens and separates my lashes making them look super long.


MAC Lipsticks in Amplified Finish: 
The amplified finish is intense color, and strangely all of my MAC lipsticks are in this finish. I have bold colors ranging from orange to purple and I love each one of them. I definitely recommend this type of finish to those girls that like bold lips and like to venture out of their comfort zones.

These are all my favorites for 2011, I hope this gave you some suggestions to what new products you want to try.

What were your favorite products?


Marla
Marla
Marla is just another girl in love with makeup & she wants to share it with the world. With her blog she has been able to share looks, life lessons, and most of all love.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Which Would You Rather Wear? Wednesday

Lauren Conrad

Jessica Alba




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Beauty Blog Hop 1/10




I just ask that you follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow this blog (I will follow you back! Just please leave a comment below letting me know that you are following me!)
  2. Try to follow as many people on the list as possible :)
  3. Feel free to let the followers of your blog know about this blog hop! (you can copy and paste the code above and put the image in your sidebar or somewhere on your blog)
  4. Please only link up the network that is being hopped that specific day
  5. No spam please. It will be removed.
  6. If someone follows you please feel free to follow them back!
There will be a new list every Tuesday, so check back! :D

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Reads Giveaway

New Year New Reads Giveaway Event!

Welcome to the New Year, New Reads Grand Prize Giveaway!

Sponsored by HowardComputers.com

Hosted by Formula Mom, Tales From the Nursery, & ShePromotes

How to enter:
  • You must fill out the Rafflecopter form to be entered to win. You must complete the referring blog (who told you to come?) entry but the rest are optional extras for liking, following, and entering the giveaways of the participating bloggers, and tweeting.
  • Only one set of entries will be valid.
  • All participating blogs are using the same Rafflecopter form, so you only need to enter once on one blog.
  • Only 1 winner per household.
  • Open to US and Canada, 18+.
*Please note that only the three hosts are ineligible to enter. Bloggers cannot self-refer.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Post: E.L.F Essentials Lipstick Review


“This moisture rich formula hydrates conditions and softens on contact for silky smooth lips. Instantly beautiful, healthy-looking lips designed, formulated and tested by our professional team of makeup artists.” 

The description E.L.F provides is pretty much dead on! I am in love with the formulation of this lipsticks. They glide on smoothly and feel like butter on my lips, and at only $1 they are a definite steal. 

E.L.F offers a variety of 12 colors, 6 of which are new. I own two: Gypsy & Classy. Gypsy is a beautiful berry colored pink, while classy is more of a cool toned natural pink. I have bought Classy two times because I love it so much, it is one of those colors that looks like my natural lip color...BUT BETTER :)



You receive a total of 3.5 g of product and it comes in your average lipstick twist-up tube. The container is made of plastic but I have found that it is resistant and does not break easily. The color pay off is great and these lipsticks have just enough pigmentation. I would say the finish is comparable to MAC’s satin or creamsheen finishes.Throughout the day the formulation hydrates my lips and does not dry them, but I find that the product is not SUPER long lasting, although it does leave my lips stained with a bit of color. 

Overall, I am definitely impressed with the E.L.F lipsticks. :)
PACKAGING: 5 out of 5
FORMULATION: 4.5 out of 5
FINAL THOUGHT: 4 out of 5 

My final thought is based on the fact that the lipstick does not last a long time and because not all colors are readily available at Target, only online. 

Would I repurchase and do I recommend? Definitely!

GYPSY IS ON THE LEFT, CLASSY IS ON THE RIGHT :) 

Have you tried the E.L.F Lipsticks? What are your thoughts? 

MarlaMarla
Marla is just another girl in love with makeup & she wants to share it with the world. With her blog she has been able to share looks, life lessons, and most of all love.



Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bloggers Wanted for the Valentine's Day Week Giveaway




Are you looking for a great way to quickly gain some blog exposure? Then please join Opal Stevens and 100 other bloggers from 12:01am EST February 12 until 11:59pm EST February 18th as we give away major beauty related prizes during Valentine's Day Week!
Current Grand Prizes:
What you can expect:
  • The event will be promoted to the fullest.
  • You'll gain new Facebook, Twitter, and G+/GFC followers!
  • A Facebook group to allow you to communicate and connect with other participating bloggers before and during the event.
  • Questions answered and detailed instructions.
  • A linky that will contain all participating blogs in the event.
What we expect:
  • A giveaway post specifically for this event.
  • A small paragraph (2-3 sentences) about the main blog sponsor (will  be announced soon!)
  • The event button and linky in your giveaway post and it's suggested that you put the button in a prominent place on your blog to help promote this event to the fullest
  • Giveaway entries should be quick and simple.
  • A valid email address to contact you with updates.
  • We hope that you will actively promote and participate to give as much exposure  as possible to the event. 
  • Communication. If we contact you, please contact us back at your earliest convenience
  • The event button either in your sidebar and/or events page of your blog 
What You Need To Do:
  • Please send $5.00 payment via Paypal to opalstevensblog@gmail.com. This fee is to ensure participation, help cover some of the costs to promote the event, and is non-refundable. Two participating bloggers will get a chance to win a nice sum of cash after the giveaway event!!! :D
  • Fill out the Google form below.
  • Add yourself to the linky after you have sent the payment. 
  • Ask to join the event's Facebook group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/308222169208189/
  • Your blog will be approved and added to the linky in the order payment is received. 
  • During the week of the giveaway all you have to do is write up a post that includes the giveaway button, 2 or 3 sentences about the main sponsor, and the Rafflecopter code which will be given out in the Facebook group and through email. 




 
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