Monday, August 25, 2014

Stop Shine in its Tracks

Sooo...I've been pretty slack on blog posts. What can I say, life happens. But in my little hiatus, I have learned some pretty good tips. And this one is about stopping shine. 

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The back to school season makes us all start to look toward fall and all that it brings. But over here, we're still having 100+  degree days, and with that, some serious shine. It happens to all of us, dry skin and oily skin alike. I'm all for achieving that carefree, golden glow of summer, buuut don't want to look like an oil slick. Stop the shine in its tracks!

Stop it before it starts. Use a clay based mask once a week to regulate oil production. I really like Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. Queen Helene Mint Julep mask is a pretty good budget option, too. And by budget, I mean $4.

Try a mattifying powder. My favorites are Benefit Agent Zero Shine and Urban Decay De-Slick. Both go on with a smooth, invisible finish and keep your T zone in check.

Blot it out. Blotting papers are great to keep in your bag for touch ups. I like the old school, blue Clean and Clear ones (middle school, anyone?) and these from Sephora. In a pinch, you can tear off a piece of a toilet seat cover from a bathroom and blot away. I've also found that Starbucks napkins have a very similar texture to oil papers, so I like to keep a stack in my car.

Simple, right? Quick and easy little tricks up your sleeve (or in your bag) to keep you shine free. Because I'm all about showing your shine...just not on your face.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

It Just Got Real

Sooo...I know this is a little late, but somehow this post slipped by and didn't get published. Oops. Even though this liner was released a month ago, it's still my favorite product of the moment. Here's why:

 Y'all. I have never been so hyped about a makeup product before. I'm talking about Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner. Since Benefit announced the launch of this amazing liner, I have been anxiously awaiting it's debut and eager to get my hands on it to test it out. Rocking a subtle cat eye has been my everyday look for years now. It is such a lovely and classic look - not to mention that winged liner gives the illusion of elongated lashes. And my lashes will take all the help they can get. I have tried every kind of liner - pencil, kohl, kajal, gel, liquid and even shadow as liner. But this. This is the holy grail. Seriously.

AccuFlex Tip for precision and great to make super sharp wings

Last month, we had a great event to promote and celebrate the launch of They're Real Liner at Ulta. Our Benefit team is just the best and we had a blast! This is a must have product for and makes lining a snap.

 Action shot. I need a champagne confetti popper for all life events. 

Swag bag and hair flair. I love working with Benefit

I was ecstatic to receive a sample of They're Real Push Up liner from Benefit before the product was released (whoo hoo, my first blogging perk!). There has been a lot of hype surrounding the launch and has had blogger buzzing for weeks now, but the product has been kept under wraps for five years while it was being developed. Everyone was on information lockdown until the announcement was made. Even as a freelancer with Benefit, I couldn't get my hands on it that much sooner than it was launched in stores. But it was absolutely worth the wait.

 BeneBabes and winged liner enthusiasts for life

I love a good gel liner. They give a beautiful line and stay put really well. You can get a slim, precise line, but this requires a bit of practice and some finesse with a liner brush. But I rarely use them because they all dry out so quickly in those little pots (lookin at you, Smashbox Jet Set). So I must admit, I was a little skeptical at first how a gel would dispense evenly from a pen. But it does. And glides on perfectly. One click is adequate per eye. The silicone AccuFlex tip is patented, so you'll only be seeing this from Benefit. This is what makes it so awesome. It's perfectly slanted to allow you to get a smooth and even line, and specially designed to hug the lashline, allowing you to get right up to the lashes with no skin gap. No worries about having to tightline with this one; it does all the work for you. And the pointed tip makes perfecting a sharp wing a snap. Just put the nose of the pen at the angle you want your wing, and gently press to get a guide for where to draw the line. It takes a few times to get the hang of it, so play around with it and practice varying thicknesses on your hand first.

The flex tip makes it super easy to create thin lines
and layering creates a thicker one

Some insider pro tips:
1. Use your lashline as a guide - follow the natural line of where your lashes are and get the liner as close to it as possible
2. Use short, light strokes. You don't have to do one smooth line to get the look of a smooth line. Use short strokes with light hand - the AccuFlex tip does all the work for you.
3. Build from your baseline. Once you've gotten your thin baseline, build up from it, working from the middle out toward the edge.

Have you tried the new liner yet? I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Boozeday Tuesday: Moonshine Edition

Hello, lovelies! I apologize for the brief hiatus in Lady and the Look posts. What can I say, life happens. Anyways, after a few adventures and whatnot, I'm back! And bringing you some boozy treats (well, boozy recipes). Aaaand...what makes these so special is that they are made with moonshine and whiskey right next to my hometown, made by my brother-in-law and a dear friend! How cool is that?! There have been quite a few new breweries and distilleries opening up in the Charleston area, but I am most excited about this, not only because it's close to home and run by my brother-in-law, but also because it's darn good.

Carolina Moon Distillery opened in the heart of the Edgefield square in Edgefield, SC in December of 2013 and has been very well received in the surrounding communities. Their tasting room offers guests three tastes of their various moonshine flavors and tours are available on request. There are also great products from local artisans in the gift shop, featuring some really great one of a kind pottery and jugs for displaying your 'shine. 

Not planning a trip to Edgefield anytime soon? That's okay, even though I think everyone should go and experience this little Southern gem at least once in their life, if just for a quick distillery tour and a burger lunch at Edgefield Billiard Parlor (more fondly known as the Pool Room). You can pick up Carolina Moon at your local liquor stores throughout South Carolina! If they're not carrying it yet, you can request that they do. CMD is distributed through Southern Wine and Spirits. 

To celebrate this awesome milestone, my husband and I came up with a couple of drink recipes using Carolina Moon Moonshine and Black Betty Whiskey. During our visit home, we picked up a ton of fresh produce (Johnston, SC is the peach capital of the world and I stand firm in the belief that there are no better peaches than Johnston peaches) and whipped up a few batches of cocktails in the weeks since with all that delicious fruit and homegrown (and legal) moonshine. These combine all the best parts of summer and are perfect for porch swinging on a summer evening. Enjoy!! 

Whiskey Peach Smash 


2 oz Black Betty Whiskey 
3 slices of a fresh peach 
6 basil leaves
1/2 oz simple syrup 
Ice cubes

In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the peach slices and basil leaves. Add in whiskey and simple syrup and top with a few ice cubes. Shake until cold and pour into a highball glass. Garnish with a fresh peach slice and mint, if you'd like!

Blackberry Moon-jito

A moonshine take on a classic mojito. A sweet and fruity easy-drinking cocktail.

1 1/2 oz Carolina Moon moonshine
5 blackberries
8 mint leaves
1/2 oz simple syrup 
1 lemon slice

In a cocktail shaker, muddle together mint leaves and blackberries. Squeeze in juice from a small lemon slice (1/8 of a lemon). Add in moonshine and simple syrup. Top with ice and shake until cold. Pour into a glass and add more ice if desired.

The Edgefield

*Courtesy of Carolina Moon Distillery
An Edgefield take on the classic Manhattan 

2 oz Black Betty Whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth 
2-3 dashes of bitters
Maraschino cherries

Pour all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

So, there you have it! Fresh produce and local liquor. If you try any of these, let me know in the comments. I would love to know what you think! And ask your local liquor store to order Carolina Moon Distillery products to try them out! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Ridiculously Easy 4th of July Treat

Happy 4th, lovelies!! I always love this holiday. Beach days, good food, good friends, good beer and fireworks to top it off. I hope you enjoy celebrating your freedom in a fun way this holiday weekend (with plenty of sunscreen, of course!). If you're heading to a cookout or need a (seriously) last minute dessert to contribute, here's a quick and embarrassingly easy patriotic fruit tart.  I made this in seven minutes last night! Enjoy!! 

 So festive...and easy!

My mom made this recipe the last time I was home because we wanted something sweet, but not too decadent. All you need is a store bought shortbread crust (or homemade, if you're feeling especially domestic), some fresh berries, and a few containers of honey Greek yogurt. Or you can use about 1 1/2 cups of plain Greek yogurt and add 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1 tbsp of honey. Whatever you have on hand!

Patriotic Fruit Tart

2 containers of honey Greek yogurt 
~2 cups of fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries - whatever floats your boat)
1 premade shortbread crust 

Evenly spread one container of yogurt in the bottom of the shortbread crust. Add half of the berries to cover. Add the other container of yogurt on top of the berries and spread evenly. Decorate the top with the remaining berries. Let it chill in the fridge for about 2 hours and enjoy!

That's it. I told you it was insanely easy. But nobody needs to know that. Jazz it up with a decorative pattern on top or just throw the fruit on there and dig in! 


We couldn't wait for the 4th, so my hubby and I began the celebration last night and had this for dessert with a Strawberry Blond ale from our favorite local brewery, Frothy Beard. So good. So American.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Celebrate! Sparkle! Shine! Giveaway!

I love a good celebration. Maybe it's because I get an excuse to bake cupcakes and wear bright lipsticks. Actually, scratch that. I never need an excuse for doing those things. Cupcakes and bold colors never need an excuse. But there's just something special about popping a bottle of champagne or toasting with a good beer, sparkles, cupcakes, confetti. All such great and happy things. That's why I love a celebration. And there is no better time to put your best face forward. Getting all dolled up to celebrate is so much fun. Lashes, liner, lips. Whatever makes you feel gorgeous. 
Champagne celebration 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summerproof Your Look - Summertime Swaps

Happy first weekend of summer! Although in Charleston, it's felt like summer for at least a solid month now. I love this time of year. Longer days, beach trips and outdoor happy hours make me smile. Everything seems a bit more relaxed, beauty routine included. Now is the perfect time to streamline your routine, so you can get to all of your summer adventures sooner! It's way too hot for blow dryers, flat irons or too many products that will melt off. Below are a few swaps for your makeup bag to make your life (and everyday look) a little easier for the balmy summer months.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Avoid a {Makeup} Meltdown

It's only June, but it. is. hotttt. This wizened old man once told me that in the summer, you don't walk through Charleston, you wade through it. At first, I didn't get it...was he talking about swamps? history?  ghosts? What?
But now, after living here for five years, I get it. He was talking humidity. When you walk outside and you are immediately enveloped in a hot, sticky blanket of air and it's like wading through curtains of humidity. appealing. I understand why people flock to the Holy City, but just not in the summertime. (Y'all come visit, ya hear?! haha) Needless to say, these are not optimal conditions for makeup and also why we like to lighten up our makeup routine for the summer. But you still want what you've put on to stay. Or if you're heading to a wedding, a hot date or a night out drinks and dancing, you want your face to stay on and avoid a makeup meltdown.