How to Get the Best out of your Eyelash Extension Experience

19 Apr

So after a year or two of debating whether or not to take the plunge, I finally got them and oh man am I happy I did!!!!! I LOVE MY EYELASH EXTENSIONS!!!!!

Seriously, they make me so happy. I want to shout it from the roof tops. Gone are the days of fussing with mascara, eyelash curlers, and fake strip lashes! I can now wake up and walk out the door without putting anything on my eyes (This was not possible before if you are wondering). They are the perfect solution for anyone who refuses to leave the house without mascara on. And talk about saving time on my daily makeup routine!! My extensions have cut my getting ready time in half! And for anyone who knows me this is a very big deal!!

The key to good eyelash extensions though is a very skilled and experienced lash technician. Eyelash extensions can go very wrong and ruin your natural lashes if your technician doesn’t know what they are doing. We’ve all seen those horrible pictures of botched lash extensions and I don’t know about you, but those pics are what kept me from doing them for so long. But the right person can transform your lashes into Kim Kardashian status in just a couple hours. I have been lucky enough to find that person here in Boston and I seriously don’t know what I’d do without her. When I move back to LA, it’s going to be so hard to find a replacement! For those of you in the Boston area, her name is Cynthia and she is the owner at Lash L’Amour. She does such an amazing job and is great at listening to exactly what you like and then executing it. She really knows her stuff and has been doing it for years so she is great at telling you what will look best and what size, curl shape, etc will work on you.

The first time you go in, the lash technician will go over how dramatic you want your lashes to be and what type of style you are going for-cat eye, natural, wispy, etc. Depending on how dramatic you want them and where you go, the full set can range from $150-$500 and will take about 2 hours or so. I love mine super full and dramatic so I paid $355. Now this is just Cynthia’s prices. She also has a handful of other great technicians that are cheaper in price. I then go in every 2 weeks for a fill. Each fill is $100. This might sound pricey to some but for me it is so worth it. The time it saves me getting ready is enough to convince me to come back time and time again! And each time she does the fill, it is basically like getting a new set on. She takes off any lashes that are grown out and replaces them with new lashes and then she fills in any gaps where lashes may have fallen out. I honestly will only lose about 5-10 lashes on each eye by the time I go in for my fill. I could probably wait longer but I just like keeping them super full and perfect looking at all times. But she takes her time and really makes sure they look amazing each time. Generally, they say a fill only takes about 30 minutes to an hour but she usually spends like an hour and a half on mine because she knows how picky I can be ;)

I’ve had my extensions for a few months now and have definitely learned a few tips to get the best out of your eyelash extension experience…

1. Research, Research, Research before you choose a lash technician

 

Read yelp reviews, ask other people who’ve had them done for referrals, look at tons of before and after pictures. Look to see how long they have been doing them. Obviously the more people they’ve worked on, the more comfortable they are and the better they are at them. Generally, I’ve found that people who specialize in lash extensions and don’t just offer it as one of their many services, are much more experienced and skilled. DO NOT purchase them on deal sites such as Living Social, Groupon, etc!! Usually when they use these sites, it is because they have a new (read: inexperienced) lash technician who needs to build up their clientele. And they won’t spend as much time and attention on you because they will be bombarded with a bunch of new clients trying to get an appointment in.

2. Get a consultation and ask a ton of questions before deciding to get them done

If they seem annoyed that you are asking so many questions, high tail it out of there. I’d be annoyed that someone expects me to drop $300-400 before knowing everything about the procedure. If you usually wear fake lashes, bring them with you so that you can show the technician the general shape and size lashes you usually wear. Ask about the different types of lashes and what is the difference between them. Also let them know how long you like your lashes to be and how curly you like them. (FYI I use the faux mink lashes with a C curl and mostly the 14 & 15mm ones)

3. Experiment with different lengths and styles to find what you like best

 

If the first time you get it done, you aren’t thrilled with the results-don’t write off lash extensions for good. With just a few tweaks, you will probably learn to love them! Each time I went in for a fill, we would use different lengths and try out different styles (when I say styles-think about when you are looking at all the different types of fake lashes, some are super dramatic and thick, some have super long lashes on the outside and then gradually get smaller as you move closer to the inner eye, some are the same general length throughout the entire strip). It took a few times before I was completely satisfied with the result. Poor Cynthia, I can be super picky!! But eventually I found exactly what I wanted and am now thrilled with them! If you are wondering, I like them super full but generally the same length all over with longer ones poking up throughout my lash line. And bring pictures if you are having problems verbalizing what you like.

4. Be gentle with them 

 

Try to not play with them as much as possible and for heaven’s sake, DO NOT pick at them or pull them off!!!  Sometimes there is one crazy lash that seems to be going in a strange direction and I will use a tweezers to pull the fake lash off. But a word of caution, this CAN HURT and will most likely ruin your natural lash but sometimes I just can’t help it because it looks strange. Use a disposable mascara wand to comb through them and tame them if they are looking a little unruly. (And FYI-the longer lashes are the ones that tend to turn and fall out, so the shorter ones will definitely look better longer).

5. Only use Non-waterproof Mascara

If you’re like me and need the extra little drama when you go out, you can use a little mascara only on the ends of the lashes but make sure it is non-waterproof. No need for some fancy expensive mascara, I still use my trusty L’oreal Voluminous.

6. Clean them very carefully

 

If you are wearing liner or shadow, use a cotton swab soaked in oil free makeup remover-I like the Almay oil-free liquid makeup remover- and gently place it at the base of your lashes and twirl the cotton swab outwards, removing the makeup but not rubbing against the extensions. It is very important that the swab be super soaked in the remover so that no dry fuzzy pieces of the cotton get caught in the lashes. When cleaning the actual lashes, use your fingers with a bit of oil-free makeup remover on them and very gently rub the ends to get the mascara off. In the shower, be careful not to have the water running over them constantly. It is ok to get them wet but I would still try to limit the amount of time they are exposed to water. When you get out of the shower use your finger to pat the lashes upward and sort of fan them out so they are all going the same direction. Use the mascara spoolie if needed to comb them out.

7. Use a Lash Enhancer/Growth Serum to keep lashes strong & sturdy

 

I went back to using my LiLash but I only use it 2-3 times a week. This keeps them strong and able to hold the weight of the extension. It also allows new lashes to constantly be coming in so they are always full. Remember- the healthier your natural lashes are, the better your extensions will look!! Be realistic-You will never have super full, dramatic lashes if you have only a few sparse natural lashes. Each individual extension is glued to one lash. They do make fake lashes that have two lashes sprouting out from it to add fullness to super sparse lashes but if you don’t have healthy enough lashes, those will fall off from being too heavy. The lash technician can only work with what you are giving her and can only do so much. She isn’t a magician and won’t make more lashes magically appear. So get them healthy before you go in!  But also be careful to not go overboard on the lash enhancer as well because if they are growing too fast, your extensions will grow out at a much faster rate and you will have to go in more often for fills-which means more $$$.

Well I hope this helps if you are thinking about getting eyelash extensions! And I hope you love them just as much as I do!!!

Go see Cynthia at Lash L’Amour if you are in the Boston Area. She is amazing at what she does and I promise you’ll be thrilled with the results. She really cares about her clients and will go above and beyond to make sure you are satisfied.

Thanks for reading!!

xo Courtney

P.S. This is not a paid endorsement for Cynthia or Lash L’Amour. I just found her by luck and am absolutely in love with the eyelash extensions she does on me, that I pay for with my hard earned money :)

5 New Beauty Products to Try

11 Apr

Recently, Beautylish.com, an amazing beauty site packed with great tutorials, tips, videos, and online boutiques to purchase your favorite beauty brands from, held a twitter contest asking followers to tweet their guess of what the next brand sold in their online store would be. So my lucky guess of Inglot was correct and I won!!! Seriously nobody ever wins those contests!!! But I guess it was my lucky day. So by the next day I had already put in my order and received the goodies that same week (their shipping time is ridiculously fast!!). So I thought I’d share my picks with you…

{No flash}

{With flash}

1. Inglot Rainbow Eyeshadows

I absolutely love these shadows. So soft and pigmented and come in a huge variety of colors!! Their freedom system allows you to buy empty palettes with anywhere from 2-20 squares in them. I bought the 2 square palette to put my rainbow shadows in #114 and #118 in. And for all you Z-Palette users, they are in a metal pan so you can just purchase them as is and insert them directly into your palettes. The best part is that the single color shadows are only $6 and the rainbow shadows are only $8!!!!

{Top: By itself; Bottom: Packed on top of glitter glue}

2. Lit Cosmetics Glitter Pigment in Seeing Stars

Lit sells the best glitters on the market!! And there are 52 shades to choose from! The one I got is a black glitter mixed with yellow, blue, pink, purple, and green sparkles. So gorgeous! Can’t wait to layer it over a smoky eye for a great party look!! $13 for a single glitter or purchase 3 glitters and receive a free lit kit

3. Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner 

I’ve never been so excited about a brush cleaner before! The first client I worked on while using this commented on how much they loved the citrus-y scent. I love that the smell gives clients the confidence that I’m using clean, sanitized brushes. I use the spray to disinfect the brushes when I’m in a hurry or on a job but then use the Parian jar to really deep clean them. I love the net in the bottom of the jar because it really allows me to get all that gunk and pigment out of the brushes. And I just love the way it looks-what can I say, I’m a sucker for cute packaging!!
{No flash}

{With flash}

4. Armour Beauty Lipgloss in Edie

Can’t get enough of this highly pigmented, super creamy lipgloss. And the color choices are absolutely gorgeous!! Can’t wait to get my hands on even more of these. Edie-named after Edie Sedgwick is a beautiful opaque beige color. It looks great on all skin tones and compliments a smoky eye perfectly-just like they suggest on their site. 

5. Paw Palette

After using this awesome hands-free palette, it made me wonder how I went my whole life without it. Makes me angry I didn’t think of it first! But seriously-it straps right around your wrist and allows you to put all your liquid/cream products onto it without dirtying up your hand. I bought the magnetized one so it allows you to hold eyeshadow pans, bobby pins, etc. Makes working with a client or on set so much more efficient. Comes in a couple different adorable styles/colors but I just went with basic white so that I could easily see the true color of the pigments I was using. 
Well that about wraps it up! Are you excited to try any of these????
xo Courtney 

Playing with glitter at 6am

26 Mar

Sent from my iPhone

Makeup Tips to Take Better Photos

8 Dec

You know the story. Your getting all dolled up for a night on the town and you can’t wait to get all sexified and take some hot pics with your girlfriends. Your anxious to post them all over facebook and show the world what a sexy temptress you truly are. The moment comes when someone pulls out the camera and tells you to “Smile”. You shift into your signature pose and put your best face forward. As soon as its snapped, you snatch the camera to assess the results and EEEEEEEEK!!!!! You look awful!! You start wondering, do I really look like that?! How did I leave the house like this?! Well no need to fret, there are a lot of factors that contribute to a bad photograph that has nothing to do with genetics. Whether you’re doing a photoshoot, taking wedding pics, or just want to look better in those “night out” pics, here are some general makeup tips to take better photographs:
1. Mattify your skin-Nothing looks worse than a greasy, shiny forehead. Use some anti-shine under your foundation if your t-zone tends to get really shiny. Just be ready to run if it starts raining because anti-shine can turn white when it gets wet. My personal favorite is Smashbox Anti-Shine in Neutral.You can also dust loose powder all over your face. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder is phenomonal!! It gives a beautiful shine-free finish without making your face look like its caked in powder. This will make your skin look silky smooth and completely natural. Also avoid liquid luminizer if you have oily skin, it’ll make you look greasy, not dewy.
2. Choose the right under eye concealer-I’m stressing this for a couple reasons. First, for those who don’t think concealer is necessary and have nice dark circles when the pic comes out. When taking photos, use under eye concealer even if you don’t think you need it. No matter what, shadows will always fall underneath your eyes and will be accentuated in photographs. So use a creamy concealer to banish those shadows and make your eyes stand out. My personal fav as I’ve mentioned before is the Amazing Concealer by Amazing Cosmetics . Its super creamy and pigmented and covers even the darkest of circles flawlessly. Make Up For Ever’s Cream Concealer Palette is also great if you want a bigger variety of colors. Second, for those that use a concealer that is waaaaaaay too light for them and end up looking like a raccoon. Under eye concealer should generally be a salmon color. The orange tint in it will help to cut the blue undertones. If the discoloration under the skin is more purple, use a yellow based concealer to cut the color. For darker skinned girls, a concealer that is even closer to a true orange color works great. Make up For Ever also makes a great camouflage cream palette with these colors. Just make sure your concealer doesn’t look whiter than your skin tone. It should blend seamlessy into the rest of your skin and not look like you have any product under your eyes.
3. Choose Foundation that is Titanium Dioxide-Free- Foundations with this ingredient in it will make your face appear lighter than the rest of your body in photos. It’ll give you that “floating head” effect and no one wants that. Foundations with SPF in them will always have this ingredient so avoid them when taking pictures. Make sure your moisturizer doesn’t have SPF in it as well. is a perfect option to use when taking pictures. And of course make sure your foundation matches your neck and chest. Even if your face is lighter, you need to match your face to your body. If you feel like your foundation is too light and you don’t have time to get some more, use bronzer to give yourself some color.
4. Avoid too pale or frosty lipsticks-Pale, barely there nudes and pinks look great in person (sometimes) but tend to photograph poorly. They look white and honestly, just plain weird. If you usually stick with pale pinks and nudes, brighten up the color a tad with a darker hue for pics and you’ll be much happier with the results.
5. Put on another layer of blush-Blush tends to get washed out in photos so to make that color pop on your cheeks, use a slightly heavier hand to apply. But don’t get too carried away or you risk looking like Bozo the Clown. You can even apply a cream blush first, like Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush and then add a powder blush on top. I absolutely love all of Nars blushes. They blend beautifully and come in a gorgeous array of colors. Using this method allows the blush to stand out more  and gives it staying power throughout the day. 
6. Pose with your chin tilted down-Not a makeup tip, but important none the less. Generally, people photograph better when their head is tilted slightly downward and they are looking up at the camera. Try it, it even makes you feel sexier and that comes across in photographs.
Follow these tips and get great results with your photos!!!
Thanks for reading!!
xo Courtney

Beach-Worthy Makeup Tips

8 Dec

Well the hot weather is finally here in beautiful Los Angeles and its time to hit the beach and those crazy Sunday pool parties. That means getting a little wet and no one wants to get out of the water looking liked a drenched raccoon. But just because you’re at the beach doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with your makeup.  With 4th of July coming up, I thought it would be a perfect time to give some tips on keeping your makeup looking fresh and fun during those pool sessions.
1. Get your lashes tinted-If you are a blonde or redhead and have super light lashes, get a lash tint for the beach season!!!! It will be the best thing you ever did, seriously!!
2. Skip the mascara and use Vaseline to define those lashes-If your planning on just sitting poolside and the only things getting wet are the bottoms of your feet, then fine, opt for a waterproof mascara just to protect your lashes from the sweat dripping down your face. But if you plan on having some fun and actually getting in the water, then skip mascara altogether. Even the most waterproof mascara will tend to flake and make your lashes look super clumpy when you are in water for extended periods of time. Instead curl your lashes first and then cover them in vaseline and clump them together a bit to give them a bit of definition and make them look thicker. The vaseline will stay on even in the water and you won’t even get mascara smears around your eyes. Plus, like I’ve mentioned before, the vaseline is great for conditioning your lashes as well.
3. Use a waterproof cream eyeshadow on your lids-If you want to add a little definition to your eyes or you want a fun pop of color, opt for . They come in 22 gorgeous colors so if you want just a sultry, bronzed look-try Satin Brown or Golden Copper. No need to get fancy or do a bunch of contouring-just swipe the color all over the lid and blend out to give a nice pretty glow. Or swipe a sheer layer of Turquoise or Purple across the lid for a little extra sass. These shadows WILL NOT budge in the water! They were created with synchronized swimmers in mind, so your in good hands!
4. Apply a soft colored waterproof eyeliner to your upper and lower waterlines-I think eyeliner applied on your lid and below your eyes looks a little harsh at the beach, especially in black. But a pretty plum or golden brown color on the inner rims of your eyes gives you some sexy definition without looking like your trying too hard. My favorites are Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners in 1999, Bourbon, and Rockstar.
5. Use Tinted Moisturizer with SPF in it on your face-This will give your skin the hydration it needs, provide sun protection, and give your skin a little coverage with a pretty, dewy finish. If you’re in the water for long periods of time, re-apply the tinted moisturizer as needed. I love Laura Mercier as well as Nars Tinted Moisturizer. 
6. Dust a bit of water resistant shimmery bronzer over your face-It will give you a long lasting healthy glow. Use a light hand when dusting over the face-that way if it starts to fade away, it won’t look splotchy. 
7. Skip the lipstick or gloss & bring a tube of lip balm with SPF in it instead-You can re-apply it as often as you like, it’ll protect those lips from the sun, and will give your lips a pretty, natural sheen. You could even get a tinted one for just a hint of natural color.  
And remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water!!! Have fun and be safe this 4th of July!! With these tips you don’t need to sacrifice your looks for a good time!!
Thanks for reading!!
xo Courtney

How to Make Makeup Last All Day

8 Dec

It can be extremely disappointing when you get all dolled up for a night out or for a big event (like your wedding!) and you take an extra hour to make sure all the details are just right, just to catch a glimpse in the mirror halfway through the night to find your face is melting off. It’s not a pretty sight. Your blush and foundation are streaking, your eyeshadow is creasing, and your lipstick is nowhere to be seen. Tragic. So how do you avoid these midday or mid-night meltdowns?? Here are a few tips and tricks you can follow so your makeup stays fresh and pretty all night long…
1.) Primer, Primer, Primer!!! So important! I’m going to break this into 3 categories:
a.) Face Primer-I’ve gone over the significance of this product in a previous post but I will stress again what a difference it will make. Apply after moisturizer. Can find many different formulas depending on your skin type or any skin concerns you may have. Many have added benefits such as minimizing the appearance of pores, fading lines and wrinkles over time, and counteracting redness in the skin. But all primers will allow your foundation to go on much smoother and will give the makeup something to cling to, so it will last much longer. Some of my favorites: -Great for dry skin but can be used on any skin type, brightens and firms the face, and contains Matrixyl 3000, a polypeptide that actually reduces fine lines and wrinkles over time; Smashbox Photofinish-Contains silicone so it glides on smoothly and is super silky, fills in those fine lines and wrinkles, comes in a variety of different shades and formulas; -Doesn’t feel heavy or oily, works great with MUFE foundations
b.) Eyelid Primer-Crucial if you want your eyeshadow to go on smoother, look more vibrant and stay crease-free all day. With the right primer, shadow literally won’t budge. My fav is -The company’s #1 seller, try it and you’ll understand why, comes in an original formula as well as some fun shades. is also fantastic.
c.) Lip Primer-I’m actually on the fence about this one. I find that many lip primers on the market do a great job of moisturizing and prepping the lips for lipstick or gloss but they don’t necessarily make them stay on longer. I’ve actually yet to find a lip primer that really delivers on the promise of keeping your lipstick on for an extended period of time. I find that using a lipliner definitely helps lipstick from feathering and bleeding, therefore extending its longevity. Urban Decay makes a great clear, wax-like liner that you can apply before gloss or lipstick and I definitely think it helps it stay on a bit longer. The apply lipstick, blot, apply powder, re-apply lipstick trick is an oldie but a goody.  Try a lip stain if you want a sheer wash of color that lasts a lot longer than normal gloss or lipstick. I love
2.) Use Waterproof Mascara and Eyeliner-This will prevent the dreaded raccoon eyes halfway through the evening. Especially if your going to be dancing or just sitting out in the hot sun, this won’t flake, smudge or run. And if tears start to fall, you’re completely in the clear. I love L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof mascara. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils are phenomenal and come in tons of colors, easy to blend but won’t budge after a few minutes
3.) Layer Powder Blush on top of Cream Blush- The gel/cream will give the powder something to stick to, increasing its vibrancy and longevity. No more streaking and melting blush. I love layering Benefit’s CORALista powder blush over MUFE HD Microfinish blush in #5.
4.) Use Finishing Powder over your entire face once all your makeup is applied-This will give your skin a super silky finish and will set your concealer, foundation, and blush. I’m obsessed with MUFE HD Microfinish Powder. Urban Decay Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder also does a great job and gives you a pretty airbrushed finish.
5.) Use a Makeup Setting Spray-This should be your final step in keeping that beautiful makeup looking freshly applied all day. I know I’ve mentioned Urban Decay a lot but its because I just started working there and so I’ve been testing all of their products and they have been blowing me away. I’ve always been an Urban Girl but now I’m a full-blown groupie. So here is another UD recommendation-the is seriously one of my favorite products ever. Just mist over freshly applied makeup and your set for the entire day. It does such a great job at keeping my makeup in place all night long and it has yet to break me out or irritate my skin. They also have formulas for dry and oily skin, which I’ve never personally used, but the youtube girls have spoken and they have nothing but good things to say about them.
So go out and have some fun knowing you don’t have to worry about your makeup all night!!
Thanks for reading!!
xo Courtney

My 5 Favorite Makeup Looks from NY Fashion Week Fall 2012

8 Dec

New York Fashion Week has finally come to an end and it definitely did not disappoint. For all the beauty addicts out there, such as myself, the makeup took center stage. The runways were flooded with flawless skin, bold liner, and sexy, colorful lips. Absolutely gorg!!! And totally wearable! There were so many amazing looks that the makeup artists created this year but here are 5 of my absolute favorite….

1.) Rodarte 
I gasped when I saw this photo, so obsessed!!! I love that the artist used bronzer on a larger portion of the cheeks, in and above the eyebrows and in the crease of the eyes. It makes the girls look like they’ve spent the day in the desert, basking in the sun and maybe rolling in the sand a little bit. Paired with white shadow to highlight the inner corners of the eyes, a hint of pink shadow along the lashlines, and pale pink lips, this look could not be more amazing. So angelic and effortless.

2.) Carmen Marc Valvo 
This look immediately reminded me of Mila Kunis. I cannot get enough of the smudgy black eyeliner and bare flawless skin. It just screams, “Yeah,I’m gorgeous but I don’t give a f@#%!”  I love that all of the emphasis is on the lower lash line with heavy, smudged out liner and that they kept the eyelids softer with taupe shadow blended out towards the temples in a soft wing shape. The darker shadow in the crease adds just the right amount of definition without being too dramatic. The look is kept polished with smooth, dewy skin absent of any blush or bronzer, thick, defined brows and a hint of pale pink gloss. Perfection!
3.) Jeremy Scott 
You may be thinking wtf?! but these bold, blue lips are one of my absolute favorite trends to try. Not everyone may be brave enough to sport these crazy hues in the daylight but try rocking them out to your favorite after hours spot and I promise you’ll be the life of the party. I wore this look a few times just for shits and giggles and they got a surprisingly positive response. And they made me feel super sexy in a futuristic, kinky space alien kind of way. I love that the artist kept the eyes super simple and the facial jewels just add to the crazy feel of this daring look. I can’t wait for the day when rocking blue lips is the norm. Loves!
4.) Badgley Mischka 
This breathtaking makeup looks like it’s straight out of a Tim Burton movie. Its edgy, modern goth with a whimsical twist. I’m absolutely loving the matte, burgundy lips paired with the bold, plum shadows on the eyes. I am so sick of the dark lips with no eye makeup look. This strong eye, strong lip is so refreshing and pretty. I love the gold liner under the eye as well, it adds to the sort of fairytale element of this look and offsets the harshness of the shadow. And her face is left bare, accentuating her perfect pale skin. To wear this in real life, I would tame down the shadow just a bit, not extending it all the way to the brow bone. And that hair is stunning-Werk!!

5.) Anna Sui 
I am so in love with thick, colorful winged eyeliner and I couldn’t be more ecstatic that this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is one of my favorite looks to wear and always manages to make me feel pretty. Anyone can pull this off. It instantly brightens your face and adds such a fun element to your overall look. With this bold hue lining your peepers, you can keep the rest of your face bare, making this a relatively quick makeup application. All shades of blue are super in right now but don’t be afraid to try other gorgeous hues like purple and green. This bold look is sure to turn heads and score a ton of compliments.
I hope you guys were as inspired by these looks as I was. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out new things-create your own trends!!
Thanks for reading!
xo Courtney

It’s All About the Glitter…

8 Dec

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was scanning the various departments in Marshall Fields when I stumbled upon the most exquisite display of makeup products I had ever seen. The packaging had this futuristic feel and exuded a coolness only supermodels possessed. It was like candy from outer space or at least what I imagined Fun Dip to resemble in an extraterrestrial setting. And just as I could never pass up a big bag of powdery sugar, I was unable to walk away from this exhibition of striking eyeshadow, lipgloss, and of course glitter! This display belonged to none other than the now discontinued (tear…) Tony and Tina brand!! That day I snatched up two glitter pots, a lipgloss, and a bold green eyeshadow pigment. I would return several times to get my fill of these gorgeous, eye catching products. And thanks to my strange addiction to buying beautifulthings not for actual use but to display on a shelf and admire for years to come, I am the proud owner of several of these discontinued gems. The glitter pots were amongst my favorite of the collection and were the inspiration for this post. I just can’t help but get a little nostalgic when I pull them out. If you don’t already have them in your possession, Ebay may be your only hope. But no need to fret, glitter has been a staple in many of the most trusted brands’ collections.

Glitter brings out your fun side  and used sparingly, it can really add some sexy glamour to your look without the risk of resembling a teenager. Glitter is no longer reserved for New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and any event featuring a disco ball. Here are some of my favorite glitter products that you can incorporate into your makeup routine to bring out your inner shine:
1. -These are my all time favorite and I own quite a few of them. Use over eyeshadow or eyeliner to really make your eyes pop. Some of my favorite combinations are:
#1 Gold Glitter over black or purple eyeshadow
#10 Black Glitter over jet black eyeshadow-adds a cool multi-dimensional look

#12 Pink/Purple Multicolored Glitter over purple, pink, or gold eyeshadow. This is my “Katy Perry” glitter and I am obsessed!!

(Feel free to mix glitter with eyeshadows that don’t match but my favorite combinations involve glitter layered over an eyeshadow of the same color)
2. -Love to apply these on inner corners of the eyes or under the lower lash line to make your eyes literally sparkle. Glam Rock (silver) and Air Guitar (Baby Blue) are two of my favorites. This stuff is also great to smear over the entire lid because the gel in the liner will keep the glitter in place. It also fixes the problem of glitter falling over your entire face, which is a common concern with loose glitter. (Say glitter again…Glitter!!)
3. -The Reflects Gold looks gorgeous over any shade of brown or gold. Honestly this stuff is super versatile and can be worn over pretty much any color combination.
How to Apply Loose Glitter on Eyelids:
1. Use the Ben Nye LiquiSet  and those sponge applicators you get with those cheap drugstore eyeshadows. You can buy packs of those sponge applicators at a local makeup supply store.
2.Spray the LiquiSet on the back of your hand and dip the sponge applicator in it. Just make sure its not too wet or it will be super messy on your lid.
3. Dip the sponge applicator into the glitter and then apply directly to the eyelid or on the lower lash line.
4. Re-apply as many layers of glitter as possible to achieve the look you want
(You can use Make Up For Ever Eye Seal instead of the LiquiSet but it is much more expensive and I think the LiquiSet does just as great of a job)
Some things to remember when dealing with glitter:
1. Stick to glitter on one area of the face-if you’re going for sparkling lids, skip the glittery lips or you risk looking like Ke$ha.
2. Use a setting/sealing liquid so glitter doesn’t fall over your entire face and you end up looking like a human disco ball.
3. Use clear tape to remove excess glitter that may have fallen on unwanted parts of your face or off your pillow after a long night of partying
4. Have Fun with it!! Sprinkle glitter on your hair or even in your lotion to add some all over sexy shimmer!
I hope this post inspires you to go out and experiment with all sorts of glittery looks!!
Thanks for reading!!
xo Courtney

5 Favorite Highlighters that Guarantee Radiant, Glowing Skin

8 Dec

I’ve been busy job hunting the past couple weeks so I’ve been quite the slacker when it comes to new posts. I’ve been looking for a stable makeup counter position and that has led me to researching a lot of different lines and learning even more about some truly fabulous products. I’ve been especially excited about an opportunity to work for Urban Decay since its one of my all time favorite lines and interviewing for them has given me an excuse to buy even more of their products, for “research”of course :). So I’ll be doing a lot of upcoming posts on Urban Decay products since I’ve fallen in love with each one I pick up. Who knew they had such a fabulous mineral foundation?!! Anyways…I picked up their Cream Highlight in Sin and I can’t get enough. I love using highlighter to really brighten up my face and give it that sexy luminous glow. I always apply it by starting under my eyes and curving it upwards towards the hair line. I love when it glistens on top of my cheekbones and blends beautifully into my blush. I also apply it on my brow bone. With creams, I usually just use my fingers to apply and with powders, I use an angled highlighting brush. It really adds dimension to the face and just looks so pretty! I love experimenting with different highlighters, both cream and powder versions and picking up this newest UD highlighter inspired me to do a post on my five current favorite highlighters…..Enjoy!

1. Urban Decay Cream Highlight in Sin-Super creamy and glides beautifully over the skin. Adds a gorgeous shimmer to the face. Feels super lightweight and makes my skin look like its glistening in the light. My fav color is Sin because its the most universal and will look good on practically everyone. I also love Brown Sugar for people with a darker complexion. Moonshine has a pink pearlescent finish that I’m not crazy about but would look great with a more dramatic makeup look. Oh and the packaging is super cute!!


2. Nars Albatross Highlighting Blush Powder-Best powder highlighter out there (in my opinion)! Looks like its super white in the packaging but when applied, it leaves a beautiful natural-looking sheen on the skin. It has a slightly pearlescent finish without looking chalky or heavy. It blends perfectly and lasts all day. Also, if your not a fan of shimmer or actual sparkle in your highlighter, this is your savior. Just adds that perfect glow for day or night. I own the new Nars Blush/Bronzer Trio compact which includes this highlighter and I never leave the house without it!
3. Make Up For Ever Uplight-This is a luminizing gel that comes out of a pump. Gorgeous color selection!! So many to choose from and all are so pretty! Super blendable and a little goes a long way! Gives a lot of sheen to the skin. Can mix into foundation if you want for an all over glow but be careful not to use too much or you’ll look like a shiny mess. Also avoid using on entire face if you have oily or mature skin. Gel and cream highlighters, in general, are great for dry skin. These when blended out correctly actually look very sheer and natural!

4. Smashbox Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion in Flash-Super sheer and easy to blend.Beautiful pearlescent finish. Can also add to foundation or moisturizer. Good for the skin since it contains ginkgo biloba and japanese green tea. Comes in easy to use pump dispenser
5. TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer-A pressed powder that glides on flawlessly and is super silky. Love the soft glow it leaves on the skin. Can use as highlighter or all over the face.
Hope you have fun experimenting with a few of these! You are guaranteed radiant, glowing skin!!
Thanks for reading!!
xo Courtney

Eyelashes…The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

8 Dec

From mascara to lash tinting, perming, and extensions to eyelash care and maintenance, there are so many topics related to eyelashes that I could literally spend hours discussing them. Who knew those wispy pieces of hair meant to protect your eyes would become the ultimate beauty accessory for millions of women all over the world. I for one have the biggest love-hate relationship with my precious lashes. I spend so much time and money trying to make them absolutely perfect that I literally drive myself to insanity at times. Now if your like me, when it comes to lashes, there is no such thing as too long. The longer and thicker and blacker, the better!! And no one does it better, in my opinion, than Kim Kardashian. That girl just nails it. Nothing frames the eyes and opens up the entire face better than a great set of lashes. They instantly make your eyes look wider and sexier. Just thinking about them gets me excited :). My eyelash obsession dates back to middle school when I’d spend hours in the mirror coating each individual lash to perfection until they were so thick that I looked like I had spiders on my eyes. Not exactly the look I was going for but nonetheless, I knew I was on to something. I’d rush out to try all the latest mascaras that promised the cascading lashes I could only dream about. As the years went on, I discovered false lashes and my days of yearning for that sexy fringe were now a thing of the past. With these gorgeous falsies I could now achieve that perfect look I’d always wanted. With a lot of practice and after glueing my eye together a few times, I finally mastered the art of fake lashes and my life would be forever changed. I just felt different. Prettier, more confident. I felt sexy every time I put them on. The only problem was that wearing falsies every day really took a toll on my natural lashes to the point where they were almost non-existent. And now, here we are in the middle of 2011 and lash enhancers and growth serums are all the rage. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered I could have those bigger than life lashes all on my own just by adding one more step to my bedtime routine. But little did I know at what expense. This obsession has definitely led me to some less than desirable experiences through the years and after much experimenting, I have learned a few things along the way. I’ve actually had a much healthier relationship with these beauties in the last few months due to my coming to terms with the notion that healthy lashes are more important than long lashes. So with this post, I am going to go over some of the different lash enhancers and share my experiences with you. I will also go over some common lash services that I’ve tried and offer my opinions. Let this serve as a lash guide and I’ll warn you, its not always so pretty….
1.) Talika Lipocils-Used this for a couple months. Definitely saw some growth. It wasn’t super dramatic but my lashes definitely looked thicker and longer than what I started with. Made my eyes a little red and itchy. Did not like the applicator at all but the newest versions, I believe, come with a new and improved applicator that is much more user-friendly. Only used this for a few months before trying something new…
2.) LiLash-Oh my. Where to start. I used Lilash religiously for about a year. After a week I already started to see some growth. After about a month, my lashes were longer and thicker than I had ever dreamed about. Everywhere I went people asked me if I was wearing fake lashes, and of course nothing made me more proud than boasting, “Nope, they’re all mine”. After a few months is when things started going downhill. My eyes were so red and itchy that I was literally applying eye drops every hour to avoid looking as if I’d just come back from smoking Cheech’s entire stash. The skin around my eyes was so dry and irritated that applying eye makeup was becoming a painful chore. And then the peach fuzz on my cheek right below my eye began to sprout due to the product running down the side of my eye as I slept. Now your probably asking why I continued to use LiLash despite all of these issues…….for those long, gorgeous lashes of course!!! I just couldn’t bring myself to giving up those beauties. But eventually my friends convinced me it was either the lashes or my vision, so after much consideration-ha, kiddding!-I decided it was in my best interest to give it up and go back to falsies. Well after about a week of not using it, my eyes started to go back to normal and I could finally put that bottle of eye drops away. And then, the worst thing that could ever happen, happened. One by one, each one of my precious lashes started to drop like flies. Without even barely touching them, they started to fall out in clumps. As I helplessly watched every last lash fall out, the only thing I wanted to do was cry. It took about 4 weeks for literally every single lash to make its way to my garbage can. It was a catastrophe. And I was left with feelings of shock, sadness, and utter confusion. Thank god for my falsies or else I’d never have gotten through it. After several months, they eventually all grew back. Keep reading to find out what was my ultimate savior.
3.) Mavala Double-Lash-I used this after my Lilash tragedy in an attempt to make my poor lashes grow in a bit quicker. The lady at the beauty store highly recommended it and said it was one of the first eyelash enhancers created. It definitely helped and really made my lashes stronger. I used it for about 2 months and it never irritated my eyes. No redness, dryness, or creepy cheek hair growth. I definitely felt like it made my lashes come in quicker but they were definitely no where near the length or thickness they had once been with Lilash. I started using this more sporadically rather than every night once my lashes came in, and soon after, these lashes also started to slowly fall out. I was beyond confused but I don’t blame Mavala, I feel like my lashes were just still adjusting to the Lilash drama. But regardless, I swore off lash enhancers and went au natural.

4.) VASELINE-My savior!!!!! My friend who has the most perfect, longest lashes I’d ever seen always swore by this cheap beauty trick to achieve her fringe. I figured I had nothing to lose so I began taking off my eye makeup with vaseline and also coated my lashes and the base of my lashes with this fabulous medicine cabinet staple. Wow! My lashes slowly began filling in and then it was like they kept coming and before I knew it, I had a gorgeous, thick set of healthy lashes!! They were definitely not as long as the Lilash had made them but they were strong and sturdy. It’s been about 3 months and I have experienced little to no lash fallout. I continue to wear my falsies whenever I go out or just wanna feel extra sexy and I haven’t experienced any breakage whatsoever. I truly believe my lashes are healthier and fuller than they’ve ever been and to think I had the answer stored away in my bathroom closet the entire time!! Oh vaseline…how I love thee :) 
Lash Services
1.) Lash Tint-Love it! If you are a blonde or have light lashes, this is the best solution ever. I get mine tinted jet black and I couldn’t be happier. I love waking up to dark, defined lashes. Also great for when you go swimming and want a little definition but don’t wanna bother with waterproof mascara. Perfect for women on the go! Usually between $20-$30. Lasts for several months. I’ve also heard when you tint your lashes, it opens up the hair cuticle, allowing lash enhancers (if you wanna take that route) to penetrate and work even faster. If your in the LA area, check out Skin Camp. Christy Camp performs lash tints as well as a myriad of other beauty services from the comfort of her own home. $25 for a lash tint. She is the best!! #310-753-3442

2.) Lash Perm-I liked this but didn’t love it. It is meant to give you a nice curl that lasts for several months. It definitely gave me a perfect curl that didn’t budge or straighten, even after swimming and using all my crazy lash products. Definitely make sure they use a bigger rod so it isn’t a super tight curl. Although my curl was very natural and pretty, I felt like it made them look shorter. And obviously length is very important in my book. I would have liked it if it was only curled at the base but the ends seemed to curl backwards a bit, which is what made them appear shorter. But this is a great option for someone who cannot for the life of them get their lashes to stay curled and who doesn’t mind losing a little length. Just make sure the curl isn’t too tight or else your lashes will end up looking like a jheri curl. Eek!
3.) False Lashes (Strips or individuals)-These are honestly my favorite option when it comes to achieving those perfect eyelashes. Whether you want long and wispy, super thick, or even rhinestones, there are hundreds of styles to choose from. Use a strip for a more dramatic look or individuals for a more natural look. The options are endless. And now you can get special glue that will make them stay on for days. This is also the cheapest option for getting those ooh-la-la lashes. Experiment and have fun with them!
(I wish I could comment on lash extensions but I’ve never actually gotten them. But believe me, I will write up a long, detailed review once I do!!)
Alright this is all I’m going to offer on lashes for now. Congratulations if you’ve actually read this entire post, ha. Just remember to be very careful when trying out the newest products on the market! Just because they are available doesn’t mean they’re safe!! For now I am sleeping soundly knowing my lashes are healthier and stronger than ever!  
Thanks for reading!!
xo Courtney