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. 

Shop My Mavatar Cart

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.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

DIY Face Mask

I love a good indulgence, especially of the spa variety. Alas, I was born with champagne taste and I live on a beer budget. Like, a PBR budget. But that's okay. A frugal and resourceful gal doesn't let that get her down, she finds a way to make it happen. I can still indulge in facial treatments - just not at a spa. I treat myself to at-home facials at least once a week. These are easy to whip up and are the perfect way to have a little "me time". Even better, you probably have all the ingredients on hand for your normal breakfasts!  This gentle, but effective yogurt/oatmeal/honey mask featured today is my favorite. After I tried it for the first time, I couldn't believe how soft and glow-y it left my skin!

Monday, June 9, 2014

5 Things for June

Something about the summer season makes me feel more adventurous in my beauty and fashion choices, and I want to try out all sorts of fun and new things. I've compiled my top five things to try in June.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Take Summer to the Max(i)

Changing up your style for summer? When it gets warmer, I start reaching for bronze colors, peachy lip stains and ditch heavy products. Summer is the perfect time to lighten up on your beauty routine and everything else. I practically live in maxi dresses during the summer months because they're comfortable and so versatile. I take mine from a day at work to a casual weekend jaunt around the city. Also, I don't have to shave my legs everyday. There. I said it. Now you know I'm a tad lazy. I'm okay with that.

I've put together a collection of some of my favorite styles for the summer. Shop the styles in my Mavatar Collection below.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Up Your Sunscreen Game


Sunscreen is important. Probably the most important player in your anti-aging routine. But you know that. Nevertheless, I'm going to reiterate it and hopefully help you out in finding the best sun protection for you. There are so many factors to consider and it goes way beyond choosing an SPF. So, let's hit the highlights and get you covered (see what I did there...). Below are the nuts and bolts/everything you need to know about sunscreen. Product recs at the end!

Why you should be wearing it

First of all, sun protection should be a daily thing. Not just a summer fling. Even if you aren't planning on being outside, you still need sun protection because those lovely rays penetrate through windows. So you're exposed on your commute to work and at your desk by that window. Now is the time to incorporate this into your daily routine.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quick Fix for Broken Powder

Disasterrrr. I knocked my Brow Zings off the sink the other day and the powder shattered. Thankfully, it didn't shatter everywhere, but there was still enough damage done to make it unusable without making a mess everywhere. Ugh. 

Thanks to just a little bit of alcohol though, it was a quick fix and is as good as new again. There are tons of tutorials all over the internet about how to fix a shattered powder, but none of them I found actually explained how to make your powder look new again. So after bit of trial and error with past clumsy accidents, I have finally figured out how to make them look good again after an unfortunate spill. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Revamp Your Summer Style

Summertime calls for bright colors, fun dresses and an easy going style. I usually start paring down to the basics - BB cream, concealer, a light wash of shimmery shadow, mascara and a peach or coral lip color...and a fun, flirty dress or flowy top! Here at Lady and the Look, it's not always about makeup, but feeling your most beautiful everyday and exuding confidence in yourself. And there are few things that are better confidence builders than a new dress that makes you feel fabulous. Even better when it doesn't cost you an arm and leg. So let's talk revamping your summer style. 

Enter Lundy's Boutique

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hide Your Post-Holiday Hangover

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Summer is officially upon us. And with the warmer weather comes enjoying the sunshine with happy hours, beach days, backyard cookouts and boat trips...all of which usually involve (sometimes a lot of) boozing. And those of us over the age of 25 know that leads to your body's rebellion against having two margaritas and you wake up with one helluva hangover. Hey, it happens. No one here is judging you. We've all been there. But unfortunately, gone are the days of college invincibility when going out on a Thursday and being able to make it to class or work in the morning was no thing. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Makeup for Girls in Glasses

Thanks for all of your feedback with my new specs! Continuing with the bespectacled theme, let's talk makeup for glasses. I know lots of people who wear their glasses on those days when you just don't feel like dealing with the world, but there's no reason you can't look chic while sporting them! Below are a few of my favorite tips for looking great in your specs.

(bonus tip: avoid bitch face like this)  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Specs

I have to admit, I am a glasses kind of gal. I wear mine at least half of the time, because no matter how "breathable" and "comfortable" contacts claim to be, I usually want to claw them out by the end of the day. I recently had an eye exam and my vision just keeps getting worse and worse. The upside to this is replacing my spectacles on an almost yearly basis. Thankfully, there are tons of options for purchasing inexpensive glasses online, but it's so hard to choose the right pair without trying them on. Enter Warby Parker

Monday, May 12, 2014

Steps to a Five Minute Face

You know that awful, sinking feeling when you wake up and look at your clock to realize you are suuuuper late? Or maybe sometimes you get distracted/caught in a Pinterest black hole and then you realize that, dammit, you have to leave the house in five minutes. Surely, I'm not the only one. As a girl who is perpetually 10 minutes late to everything, I have, out of necessity, perfected a five minute make up routine. It's been cultivated and refined over years of excessive snooze button usage and what my husband likes to call "not having a sense of urgency". The key is having a bevvy of multi-tasking products to cut down number of steps and time.

For blog integrity, this was acutally taken
2 minutes after rolling out of bed. No makeup.
Woof, indeed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Favorite Setting Spray

So, here in lovely Charleston, we got exactly one month of spring. Which was glorious. But it's been in the 90s all week, so it's basically summer, right? Don't get me wrong, I love the summer time. I just hate being hot. And being outdoors when it's hot. Unless there is a boat, beach or booze involved. I am not the outdoorsy type. I'm not alone in this, right?

With wedding season at it's peak, you're sure to attend some kind of outdoor ceremony/cocktail hour/reception. Whether you're a bridesmaid or a guest, you want your special night out makeup to stay fresh from pre-ceremony pictures to sending off the happy couple. And those balmy evenings in backyards with friends or at baseball games, you definitely want to rock a more natural look, but still want your face to stay on. In the southern humidity, you might say this is impossible. I used to think so, too. Just put on your makeup, set with a spray and hope for the best. No longer do you have to leave it to chance. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Quick Fix for a Broken Lipstick

So, in the last post, we talked fixing caked over powders. Now for another quick fix tip to add to your repertoire for when you have a lipstick mishap. 

You know that awful feeling when you go to put on your favorite lipstick, you twist up the tube and disaster! It's broken and a piece falls out. Ughhh. I hate this. And it has happened twice to me in the past two weeks. [Sidenote: This is what happens when you entertain a toddler by letting her play with your (supposedly all closed up) lipstick collection. Teach them about the importance of lip color early. Clearly, I am an excellent babysitter...haha. Sarah, your child is in good hands. But I digress.]

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Piece of Cake: Fix that Caked Over Product

Have you ever noticed some of your powder based products get that caked over look to them? With a gross residue that's taken over, your favorite blush or eyeshadow doesn't give a good color pay off anymore, you don't get the same amount of product on your brush and it just looks unappealing. It happens because the oils from your skin, either leftover on your brush or from your fingers, build up on the product and form a layer on top. Yuck. I noticed this on one of my favorite blushes a few days ago. 

Like an oil residue scab...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Allergy Emergency

I love spring time. I don’t love all of the pollen it brings. Many of us, especially in the South, suffer from seasonal allergies. Runny nose, scratchy throat and red eyes are not the best look. So here are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up to help you combat those histamines your body is producing and to help look your best through it. Allergy season: one of the few times when my medical training and beauty training coincide. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

(***Flawless) Self Tanner Application

Wedding season is upon us. That means weekends full of showers, bachelorette parties and the big event itself. Also, the time to bring your winter legs out of hiding. So let’s break out the self tanner. 

I know that many women have a fear of self tanning. Don’t! It is not a difficult process, and with the right tools and technique, you can get a flawless bronzed glow without setting foot on a beach. Or God forbid, in a tanning bed. Please don’t use a tanning bed. 

I’ve done all the research and testing for you. And trust me, I have tried just about every product on the market over the last few years. Creams, gels, spays, mousse. Everything from prestige brands to drugstore lines. I’ve tried at least 20 of them and nixed all of the ones that are too orange, that stain, that streak. And they all have that awful telltale scent of self tanner. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Steal of the Week: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain

I am a sucker for a good lip stain. Call me lazy, but I want to just put my lip color on once in the morning, maybe again after lunch if I’m feeling especially ambitious. 

One day in the fall, I was perusing the Revlon aisle at Target and decided to get one of the Colorburst Balm Stains because they were pretty cheap and claimed to last the whole day. I figured if I hated it, I could always return it.

 No need. I’ve found my new obsession. I. Love. These. I’ve picked up five since then. Excellent color payoff and they last for an entire day. Seriously. No reapplying. Not even after lunch. And I love that it’s in a chubby pencil like form, so you can easily line your lips for a precise application. 

 A few of my favorites
Top-bottom: Sweetheart (a vibrant pink), Lovesick (a lovely fuschia), Smitten (a bright berry)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lipstick Queen

Alright lovelies, as promised, I am road testing some bright, pretty lip shades for spring. Now that we've talked lip prep, it's time to bring on the color! 

Last week, my husband and I had some friends in town from Santa Barbara, so we took the day off to play tour guide around the city. We walked past Pink Dot Beauty Bar and I decided to lead the tour there. I mean, my husband usually tries to steer clear of any beauty related jaunts that I go on, but in the company of others, I figured he couldn't say no. Naturally, I got taken in by the lovely decor and huge array of excellent (and much sought after, hard to find) products. The staff were above and beyond helpful and we had mini makeovers, while the boys went on to explore and do whatever they pleased. My kind of day. 

 My friend Natalie from Santa Barbara, Becca, me and Demi 
at Pink Dot Beauty Bar 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lip Prep for Bold Colors

Sorry for my absence, lovelies. I have been out of town tending to my dad, who was in the hospital last week. He's on the upswing now, thank God. But after a stressful week of caretaking and enforcing doctor's orders, I needed a little pick me up. I cashed in on some Ulta points and got a gorgeous new lip stain. More on that later this week. 

Point of the story, I love to rock a bold lip. Nothing makes me feel more confident and ready to take on the world than a perfect shade of red or pink. Rainy or gloomy days, big presentations, or rushed days when I don't have time to put on much makeup, a bold lip makes me feel put together and just makes me feel better. Maybe even a little sassy. After a rough day, I can usually be found rationalizing why I need a new lip color. We all have our vices. It could be worse, right?

So many women have told me that they "just can't pull it off". False. You absolutely can. Attitude and confidence is half the battle. Own that color. Wear it proud, girl! Just make sure you do a little prep work first. When you make your lips the focus of your look, nothing can ruin it faster than flaky, chapped lips. Here a few tips that I've found are the best way to beat the dryness and get your pout ready. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Steps to the Perfect At Home Manicure

Confession: I paint my nails every two or three days. I get bored with a color pretty quickly, or see another one that I want to try. It’s my own little 20 minute ritual of “me time” that’s become an indulgence. As much as I love to get a salon manicure, I can’t really justify paying for it, since I’ll probably want to change it in a couple of days. So, I have perfected the at-home manicure. Follow the steps below for salon quality tips at your kitchen table.

You Will Need:

 The power players

Polish remover, Cuticle oil, hand cream, base coat, color (pictured is CoverGirl Stay Brilliant in Coral Silk), 
top coat, fast drops, buffer, cotton, nail brush, 
clean up brush, emery board, cuticle pusher, cuticle nippers, 

Easiest Way to Remove Nail Polish

Y’all. I have a problem with commitment. To nail color. I change my nail polish at least two or three times a week. Last week, it was four. What can I say? I like to change it up. Needless to say, I have had quite a bit of practice with at home manicures…and removing them. I hate going through two or three cotton balls that get all gross and can even deposit color residue on a clean nail. So after stumbling on this method on Pinterest one day, I played around with it and made it the most effective way for me to get old polish off my nails.  Here are a few tips on the easiest ways to get rid of polish and get a blank canvas for your next masterpiece. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Five Tips for Smudge Free Nails

Spring is finally here! And we had our first sunny day in like a week. Clearly, this calls for a spring manicure.

I love all these happy, springy colors. However, the urge to paint my nails always seems to strike about an hour or so before bedtime. You know how this goes: you spend 30 minutes filing, buffing, polishing and top coating, you don’t touch anything until you’re positive that your nails are dry, only to find a smudge a few minutes later. Or worse. Sheet marks the next morning. Ughhhh. So frustrating. I’ve been there. It’s the worst. But worry no longer, ladies. I have tried just about every trick I could possibly find on the internet and have the (thoroughly tested) answers. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Homemade Coconut Sugar Scrub for Winter Skin

I don't know about you, but I am so ready to see the end of this winter. Is it just me, or has this one been considerably worse than others? I think it's because these winter storms are getting their own names and this "polar vortex"  nonsense. I mean, we got snow in Charleston. That never happens. Gross. As I write this post, it is currently dreary and 45 degrees. Yuck.

Anyways, this prolonged winter weather has wreaked havoc on my skin, but especially my hands. I have eczema, which always worsens in the winter, as eczema tends to do. My cuticles are pretty out of shape and terrible too. So, today, I decided to whip up a quick scrub to show my sad, flaky skin a little TLC. It took three minutes to make. So easy.

At home/DIY scrubs are super easy to make and you likely have everything you need already in your kitchen cabinets. There's practically no excuse to spend money on body scrubs anymore. I prefer sugar scrubs over salt scrubs, but you can use either. I also like to use coconut oil, but olive oil works well too. 

You will need: 

1/3 c sugar (I prefer brown sugar, white granulated sugar works just fine too)
3 tbsp coconut oil
Lemon (or lime) zest
*Note: it's not advisable to add lemon juice to this little concoction. Citrus will find any tiny little cut or opening and make you wish you had not opened that lemon. Stick with just the zest (or don't, I just like the added scent)

Scrub ingredients

To make your scrub:
1. If your coconut oil is not soft and easy to stir, heat it up in five second increments in the microwave until it's soft.
2. Combine the sugar, coconut oil and lemon zest in a bowl and stir together until everything is incorporated. 
(That's it. Seriously). It should look like this. 

 Coconut sugar scrub. In two easy steps. Boom.

Take a big ol' dollop and scrub your hands to your heart's content. Or for about a minute. I like to rinse my hands off a little at this point and then keep scrubbing for a bit so it's all nice, and scrub-like. Rinse off completely. You know how to use a hand scrub. 
Now for the pampering.

My arsenal against dry, gross hands 

Next, I slathered my hands in my favorite creme from L'Occitane, Almond Milk Concentrate. This smells absolutely heavenly and makes skin so incredibly soft. It is also $49 for a 7 oz jar, so a sample every now and then has to suffice. I'm a maven on a budget.

Then I added a generous amount of Egyptian Magic to my cuticles. Have you ever used this stuff? Ah-may-zing. For absolutely everything. I slather it on my face every night and it has made a huuuuge difference in my dry skin. I'm hooked. It's a bit of an investment up front at $30 for a 4 oz jar, but it lasts forever. Trust me, totally worth every cent. I bought mine over a year ago and am halfway through it. I think I can (and will) do a post for this on it's own because it's that good. Because you need this in your life. Anywho....

Socks for gloves

Put some socks over your hands (or the fancy gloves that you get for this specific purpose. Again, I'm a maven on a budget, so I used a clean pair of socks) and relax for a while. I would suggest doing this after a bath and sleeping in them, ideally. That makes me feel too constricted, so I kept them on for about 45 minutes while watching Parks and Rec. My skin is soft and smooth and my ugly eczema patches are no longer angry and red and itchy. Hooray! 

Keep the rest of your scrub in an airtight container and enjoy whenever you need a little extra glow.

Now, winter, please kindly leave. And leave us alone. 

Loooove, Natalie 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patty's Day!

I. Love. St Patty's. This holiday is definitely in my top three favorites. What's not to love about wearing ridiculous green outfits and accessories, drinking Irish whiskey and, you know, revelry? In college, my friends and I would always go to Savannah to celebrate. Now, we keep it closer to home. 

 Shenanigans with my hubs and friends at a 
St Pat's beach pub crawl this past weekend 

Since I already did my celebrating this weekend, I wanted to share my essentials for an everyday, but still leprechaun friendly, look. 

 Green essentials for today

First off, this lovely green nail polish in Hedge Fund from Ruffian. I love this little sample I got in a Birchbox a few months ago and it's perfect for being festive on this green holiday. Also, a gold glitter polish for an accent nail. Whatever. I'm still a huge fan of an accent nail. Especially a glitter one. 

Since a Monday St Pat's celebration calls for something a little more toned down than a weekend pub crawl, I opted for a subtle hint of green with Urban Decay's 24/7 Liner in Stash, a darker metallic green perfect for a pop on the lower lashline. For a little extra oomph, I paired it with Stila's Kitten smudge crayon and brought the Stash liner up into the outer corner and blended. (Sorry for no pics of the makeup look, spring time allergies caused me to rub just about all of my eye makeup off today before I could snap a photo).

And finishing off the look with this great pair of emerald earrings I snagged from Target last year during Emerald's reign as Pantone's Color of the Year in 2013. 

Happy St Patrick's Day lovelies! What's your favorite way to show your inner green goddess?

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Hi, I’m Natalie. 

I love makeup. And pretty things. And seeing people’s confidence expound when they feel lovely. So, I decided to join the blogger world to share some lovely things that make me happy; makeup that makes me feel confident, like I can take on the world; lovely lifestyle things; tips and tricks to make you feel beautiful and confident. Because, honestly, have you ever tried to tell a woman wearing red lipstick that she can’t take on the world? It’s more than just a beauty enhancement, it’s a state of mind.


I do this in the hopes that these things will also bring a little loveliness and a smile to your life. And maybe even a good beauty tip or two to add to your arsenal. I have worked as a makeup artist and still dabble in freelance work for special events. I grew up with a mom who is an interior decorator and she instilled in me early the appreciation for a good piece of furniture and I like to think that I inherited her eye for beautiful things and her touch for making things pretty. I’m excited to share tutorials, quick tips, favorite things and my expertise with you on all things lovely. 

So there it is. My introduction to you all. Even though I’m sure that right now, those of you reading this are my friends and family whom I have told about this (hi Mom, glad you finally worked the internet to find this). I hope you continue to follow along with me on this new adventure. Please bear with me as I navigate the technicalities of making a blog and please let me know of any topics you'd like to see covered here. Can't wait to see where it goes!