2/25/13

Reese Witherspoon's Oscars HAIR Tutorial

Happy Monday everyone! I wanted to start the week with a tutorial of my FAVORITE hair look from the Academy Awards last night.
As always, I watch the Red Carpet special before the show to check out all the gorgeous fashion. I wasn't planning on doing a tutorial on anything, but when I saw Reese Witherspoon walk the Red Carpet with her gorgeous side-swept "old-Hollywood" curls look, I knew I had to recreate it. It's actually super easy too! So if you've got a curling iron, you can do this, gals. The style will last all night and it's so versatile. From a romantic dinner, night out with the girls, to prom, to the Academy Awards, this look works anywhere!
Check out my tutorial below for all the details and I hope you love it!


2/19/13

Collective OOTDs... Is it Spring yet??

Hello and happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all are having a great week so far!

So as I do every few weeks or so, I'm coming at you with yet another big ol' post full of collective OOTDs. If you're not familiar with these types of posts from me, a while back I decided  that these would be a great way to share my OOTD looks with you all without flooding my blog with a post for separate looks every. single. day, while still posting my regular content. Makes sense, right? Plus, you can click the "OOTD" label in the sidebar (to tha' riiiight) to see all of these listed! Handy dandy.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram (which you totally should...I'm addicted) may recognize some of these photos. While most of these are on there already, I love doing a collective post on my blog here also because I provide a ton more details about the look and more of my thoughts on it. Even some tips and an extra unseen photo or two.
 I like to keep my OOTD posts on here simple. No fancy photo-shoots- Just my real life photos I've snapped that seem to get the point across and keep it more "real".
And since you all seem to love it, I'll keep it goin'! Hope you all enjoy. :)

Oh and if you enjoy these little peeks into my style and these sort of  fashion-y posts, don't miss my newest  Spring Fashion Haul/Styling video direct from my closet to see more of how I'll style my new items for Spring! (or see the blog post here)


 Love the feel of this outfit. Tough and feminine at the same time. Gotta love pairing a lady-like silk tee and pants with a satin tuxedo-style detailing with a tough leather jacket and accessories.
Tinley Road leather jacket, Club Monaco tee, J.Crew "Pixie Pant", Tory Burch leopard wedges, BCBG necklace, Louis Vuitton Lumineuse Empreinte PM


 One of my favorite looks. A super soft chambray with a mix of girly and tough accessories. Oh and some neon thrown in for good measure.
Club Monaco top, 7 For All Mankind pull-on skinny leggings, J. Crew necklace and flats, hammered cuff bracelets from thecurrentcustom.com, Henri Bendel studded bangle, Forever21 spiked bangle, House of Harlow cat-eye sunglasses, LV Lumineuse Empreinte PM

I call this my "sophisticated casual" look. Adding a blazer with a bit of a unique detail to it keeps the look from looking too blah. Oh and the bag detail.  Yeah, notice how I just kind of slipped in the new LV in the previous descriptions like it was no biggie? ;) Yeah, she needs to be acknowledged. Meet my new baby.
H&M blazer, Club Monaco satin tee, 7 For All Mankind zip ankle coated skinnies, J. Crew flats, Jennifer Zeuner large initial necklace, Henri Bendel stack rings, LV Lumineuse Empreinte PM

 Wasn't going to add this, but this is totally an outfit. This is what I call my "looks like I'm headed to the gym, but I just like to dress this way" look.
Lululemon jacket, target tank, Lululemon pants

 This was my Valentine's Day look. LOVE this red blazer. One of my most-loved items in my closet for sure.
Here's a tip... If you live near a J. Crew outlet store, check there for blazers! J. Crew has some pricey blazers in the regular line. You can score their always fab "Schoolboy" blazers in the previous season's colors at a fraction of the cost. I mean, let's face it, a red blazer is a classic and never goes out of style.
J. Crew "schoolboy" blazer, Forever 21 tee, 7 For All Mankind skinnies, Target boots, Tory Burch earrings, LV Lumineuse Empreinte PM


Loving the print of this sweater! Scored this at a Banana Republic sale recently. Another J. Crew outlet tip... J. Crew has (again) some reeeally pricey, but GORGEOUS costume jewelry.  I got this bubble necklace at a HUGE discount at the outlet just because it was a previous season's color. Meanwhile, (same with the "schoolboy" blazer in the previous look), they were selling the exact one in different colors for three times the cost in the regular store. Gotta shop smart! Deals like that are like finding little treasures...
Banana Republic sweater, J. Crew necklace (outlet), 7 For All Mankind Skinny jeans, Target boots, Henri Bendel studded bracelet, Tiffany & Co Charm bracelet, thecurrentcustom.com hammered cuff bracelets, LV Lumineuse Empreinte


 Not a full shot of this look, but I decided to include it anyway. Because you get the idea. LOVE these accessories in this one.
Bella Dahl top, necklace from bybellacollection on etsy, Forever21 spiked bangle, thecurrentcustom.com hammered cuff bracelets, Tory Burch leopard wedges (J. Crew phone case)

 My super-soft chambray strikes again! I mean, technically it's made out of something called "lyocell", so not technically a chambray... But it sounds much better than calling it my super-soft lyocell. 
Club Monaco Top, Club Monaco Tasha Sparkle Leggings, Tory Burch flats, BCBG necklace, LV Lumineuse Empreinte


 Super simple. Love outfits like these that you can throw on with some fab shoes and accessories and it makes an otherwise super simple look more interesting.
Krisa jacket, target tank, Lululemon leggings, Tory Burch flats, Tory Burch necklace, Henri Bendel hoops, LV Lumineuse Empreinte


 
 Just when I was getting all excited about integrating a few of my new items for Spring into my wardrobe, the weather decided to change my plans. It was fa-reeeezing this day. But I refused to wear boots. and my feet froze like little ice cubes.
Express trench, LV leopard scarf, 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans, J. Crew Flats, LV Lumineuse Empreinte, Tom Ford sunglases



...Well at least the cold weather gave me an excuse to bust out the fur vest again.
Sabine faux fur vest, Club Monaco blouse, 7 For All Mankind Skinny jeans, Tory Burch leopard flats, LV Lumineuse Empreinte, House of Harlow necklace and earrings


2/18/13

NEW Sigma Beauty Spa Glove Review & Brush Cleaning Demo

To start the week off right, I wanted to share with you all a new and fab product that I've been obsessed with pretty much since the moment I heard it was in the works...
The Sigma Beauty Brush Spa Glove.

They're available in four different colors: Black, Pink, Purple, and Aqua.
So basically this thing is genius. We've all stood at the sink hating life while cleaning our brushes. Mostly because it takes a while to get them totally clean and rinsed completely. However, it's something that must be done regularly to extend the life of your brushes and to safeguard your products and your face from gross bacteria that grows within the brushes.

So this product is awesome because it was made with the brush cleaning process in mind. We've all swirled brush after brush in the palm of our hands, wasting soap and time in the process. This glove is awesome because when you use this to clean your brushes, it's got 6 unique cleaning textures on different areas of the brush where you would naturally wash, rinse, and refine the brushes. The nubs on the brush create a great lather so you don't have to use as much brush cleanser, which is a huge plus for me.
*Don't miss my brush cleaning demo/review video at the bottom of the post!

Even more unique about this product is that one side is specially designed for face brushes...


...and the other for eye brushes.

It's also got a comfortable inner lining for comfort.


So I've been using mine for a while now and I can safely say that I will never be caught washing my brushes bare-handed again. Oh and did I mention you don't even have to get your hands wet? Kind of awesome.

The Brush Spa Glove is available today HERE
Save 10% through April 30, 2013 with code "AAM2013"


Check out my full review video below and see mine in action in my new brush cleaning demo!


2/15/13

New in My Closet! Spring Haul & Styling Tips

Alright guys, so I'm coming at you again... back in the closet.

Those of you that have watched my videos for a looong time will get that reference... ;)

Years ago (wow...almost 5 to be exact),  I started my lil' ol' YouTube channel from the closet in our first place. See, I had my makeup vanity in there so it just made sense. So years later, it's kind of fun to film an actual video in the closet again. Even though it's not the same closet (we moved 3 years ago), I still felt a little bit of nostalgia filming in there.

So since Spring is upon us and the stores are filled with lots of new fun and bright goodies for the new season, I thought I'd share with you a few new items I've picked up from a few of my favorite places recently. Mostly from Forever 21 and J. Crew with a few other places mixed in, of course.  I also share some of my fav personal tips on how you can style what you've already got to bring your wardrobe up to speed for Spring.

Hope you LOVE it!



Oh and if you're curious about how I organize my closet or if you just want a little bit more of a look around, check out my Closet Tour/Organization post here.

2/13/13

Decorating with Mirrors and Mirrored Furniture... At My House.

Hello everyone and happy "hump day". Coming at you with a little (ok, kind of big) post all about how I decorate with mirrors around my home. This post is also full of tips on how you can really open up and glam-out your own space (on a budget) with these reflective beauties.

First things first.  You should change the way you think about mirrors. Yes, they're functional. But if you don't think of them already as decorative objects that can work some major magic, then, well...start thinking of them that way. ;)  You'll be shocked at how a few well-placed mirrors can make a small space seem larger and glam-up any room in a sophisticated way.  Oh and we're not just talking about wall mirrors, guys. We're talking mirrored accessories and furniture too.

So first of all, lets start with mirrors in small spaces. If you've got a smaller room, or a wall that blocks off a space, you can really open it up and make it more visually appealing with a few mirrors.
For example, this wall in our family room.

It kind of blocks off the right side of the room. So to make the wall feel less "enclosing", I added this fun peacock mirror.
 
 You can find (uber expensive) versions of these all over the place, but mine is from Wisteria. It looks super heavy and substantial, but it's just foolin' ya. It's sort of hollow. Anyway, I love how the little inlaid mirrors create a sparkly effect and reflect the bookcase and the rest of the room to give the wall some depth.

Same for our little "sitting room/formal living room/whatever room"

This has always been one of my favorite rooms in our house. It's right off our entry way.  You can see just how small the space is. So this room is dealing with a few things... its small size and the wall on the back (which is an exterior wall) so it makes the house look a bit enclosed.
To make the room look endless, I added this gorgeous mirrored console table (I scored for a MAJOR deal at the Ballard Designs outlet) and three mirrors (which I also scored for an even more MAJOR deal at the same place). These babies were $30 a piece. Usually, well over $200. Told ya. MAJOR deal.

The illusion of the rug reflecting in the table is my fav. It makes the wall and room look so much larger.

Another example of "extending" a room with a wall mirror is in our dining room.
 Yes, this is one of my more "dramatic" rooms. I think you can get away with really fun things and bold colors in a dining room. It's one of those places that should just make you happy. Anyway, this wall just wouldn't be the same without a big mirror. Since the room is painted a darker shade (Behr Cinnabark...LOVE), I added this large beauty and a few mirrored sconces on each side to again, give the room more depth and draw your eye further. Creating an illusion of more space.

Don't get me wrong, I realize that people know there is no more actual space there. I get that a mirror will not fool anyone to think there is more space beyond it. That isn't the point. It's the illusion it creates and how it makes you feel when you walk into a room with well-placed mirrors. Rather than an enclosed feeling, it just gives a feeling of more space.

The same can be done with mirrored furniture in a room. A few pieces of mirrored furniture can be mixed into any type of decor if done sparingly. For example, my sweet little much-loved jewelry armoire from Pier 1 that you all have seen in the background of my videos for the past 3 years.

This is my little filming room/2nd guest bedroom. It's the smallest bedroom in our house, so it needs all the help it can get in the space department. A full set of traditional furniture would definitely not work in here. So I mixed and matched. My fav pieces are my mirrored ones in here. This piece is the only mirrored piece you see when you first walk into the room (my mirrored vanity I film from is on the opposite wall). Anyway, this piece placed at an angle gives the corner some depth and doesn't enclose the space. It reflects the rest of the room in a really flattering way.

Another one of my fav mirrored pieces of furniture lives in our little lofty hallway area. It's not a huge area, but it's not as small as a typical hallway. So adding this piece of furniture is great because it provides some extra storage and pretty-ness without looking intrusive or overwhelming for the space.  I also love the look of these as side tables in a bedroom. I ordered this one from Target years ago at a great price.

K, so you may have noticed the pretty little "sunburst" or "starburst" mirror above the bed in the little armoire photo. These can be so flattering above a bed. Over any focal point of a room, really. Whether it be a mantle, bed, etc... they're fab. Apparently, I have a bit of an obsession with these types of mirrors in our home. You're totally not going to believe me but I did NOT mean to have a version of these above every bed in our house. It just naturally happened when I was decorating. Promise.

Here it is again in that room (2nd guest bedroom)...
Oh, and the mirror is from Target.

and a grouped version in our larger guest bedroom (where guests actually sleep...haha...the "makeup" room above is rarely used for guests)...
These are from Ballard Designs (outlet)


Yeah, this one isn't over a bed, but it's still over the focal point of the room. In my newly redecorated office over my much-loved desk...
To see more of this room and how I basically redecorated without making any big purchases, click here for my Office Reveal post.

and my FAVORITE sunburst mirror of them all, in our master bedroom...
This one was a super lucky find from Kirklands years ago for $50. I've seen similar versions sold for 4 times the price!

You may also notice a few other mirrored pretties in this photo... The pretty "paned" mirrors leaning on our side tables. Seriously, these things weigh like 100 pounds each. When I bought them (another amazing $70 a piece find at the Ballard Outlet in Atlanta), I was hoping to hang them. But the weight scared me. So I placed a small strip of foamy non-skid drawer liners cut to the size of the mirror bases between the mirror and our side tables, so as not to damage them and so that they'd stay put. You can also anchor them in the wall with a wall hook and some picture wire to make sure they don't fall down, especially if you have pets or kiddos running around. Or just for your own safety, let's be honest.
Because I'm pretty sure these would squash me...
Anyway, these made our room look so much bigger! Our ceiling is vaulted in that room, so the wall that the bed is on is pretty short. These make the wall look so much taller and majorly open up the room. Again, it creates some depth for your eye when you walk into the room, since this is the first wall you see.

That's another big tip. In most of my rooms with mirrors on the walls, the mirrors are always on the wall you see when you first walk in. It keeps the room from feeling so enclosed. Not that you should always follow that tip. Placing them on awkward side walls (like I did with my peacock mirror) works great too. Just go with what is visually pleasing to you! After all, you're the one who has to look at it! :)

So speaking of "leaner" mirrors, I've used these in a few other places in our home.

In our little 2nd guest bedroom/filming room/makeup room (it has identity issues), sits this little pretty from Target. You may remember it from this post. Yeah, I caved.



Another leaner that gets a lot of love in our home lives in our entryway...
This 7-foot beauty is another super cheap find from Kirklands. That's another thing. Mirrors can be SUPER pricey. While most places seem to charge for their weight in gold, you can find some great ones if you know where to look!  You may pick up on a pattern in this post. I get a lot of mine from discounted places like outlets or from stores like Target and Kirklands. You can find some gems for amazing prices at those places!

Oh and speaking of not spending a lot, I am LOVING this idea I found on Pinterest (via ApartmentTherapy)

 SUCH a big statement just from hanging a few of those super cheap-o (I'm talking less than $20 each) mirrors that are meant to be hung behind a door. You know, those really flimsy mirrors...  When hung horizontally stacked like this, they create a really awesome statement. LOVING this idea.


Now for some tips on how I placed some of my fav mirrored accessories. A few of these well-placed beauties can change the look of a space completely.

My favorite, the mirrored tray.

This one holds some little apothecary jars full of treats in a corner of our kitchen. I love how it brought in a modern element to the kitchen and of course a little sparkle.  

This little tray in the center of our kitchen table in our breakfast area made our really traditional "farmhouse" style table feel a bit more modern as well.


and finally, this tray I've had for ages from Target years ago. It's lived everywhere in our home at some point, but I LOVE it on the nightstand in our guest bedroom.  It brightens up the little dark side table and mixes well with the dark antique furniture in that room to offset it a bit and give it a more glamorous feel.


I also love throwing in a mirrored picture frame here and there on a big bookshelf full of items. It gives it a little sparkle.  This one is from Target.

and Finally, my little cute mirrored jewelry box and mirrored lamps on our dresser in our master bedroom.
Years back, I removed the mirror that came with the dresser because it was HUGE. I added a little gallery wall of Target frames full of black and white images of landscapes of places we've visited.  Anyway, since this wall is mirror-free, I added some depth with the jewelry box and two matching mirrored lamps I've literally had since my early college days from Wal-Mart (lampshades are from Target). 



 Whew.... I told you it was going to be a big post! Hope you guys enjoyed seeing how I decorate with mirrors and that you picked up a few helpful tips along the way! Like I always say where decor is concerned, there are no absolute rules. Do what makes you happy and what makes you feel good!
Where are your fav places to find mirrors or mirrored accessories?

2/11/13

My Current Everyday Makeup Look & Tutorial

Hello and happy Monday everyone!

Thought I'd open the week with a much-requested tutorial...  My go-to (and super easy) EverydayMakeup Look has been my favorite way to wear my makeup as of late. It's a super flattering look that can be taken from day to night. That's what I love about it. It's always appropriate and fabulous!  It's also what I'll be wearing for Valentine's day. Hope you all love it!



Products Used:
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
Defining Eyes Palette (save with code "TIFFANY")
Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara
NARS Laguna bronzer
NARS Madly blush
Maybelline Vivids Lipstick in Pink Pop
Sigma Brow Powder Duo in Medium






2/5/13

MAC Archie's Girls Collection SWATCHES

K, so you all have no idea how fun this collection is for me. A little story for ya... When I was little, I was obsessed with getting those thick little Archie Comic digest books at the grocery store. I loved them. So much that my car is named, ahem, Veronica. Yeah I have no shame.
And I name my cars.

Ok back to the makeup... I think this is such a cute collection idea. The sweet, girl-next-door shades in the Betty half of the collection are offset by the deeper, more vivacious colors in the Veronica half.  Just in time for Valentine's Day.

The packaging is absolutely presh. With the likeness of either Betty and Veronica printed on their correlating products. Little sweet hearts and the comic likenesses of Betty, Archie, and Veronica make for such fun and happy packaging, reminiscent of the 1950's. SO cute, I can't even take it.

So while I was (obviously) instantly charmed by the collection itself and the packaging, the products and colors are the most impressive part. Which I have definitely not been able to say about a MAC collection in a very long time. Let's face it, the quality of the products IS the most important part.

Since I wanted to keep this post all about the swatches and photos, I'll save my specific thoughts for my video review which you can check out here or at the bottom of the page. So don't miss that if you want more of my thoughts on this collection and my must-have items.

So without further ado, here's the swatchy goodness...

*Keep in mind, this is not the entire collection, just the products I received.

MAC Archie's Girls
Available at all MAC locations February 7, 2013- April 4, 2013 

 lipstick, $16.50

 (l-r) Daddy's Little Girl, Boyfriend Stealer, Ronnie Red

Betty Bright
 


 Lipglass, $16.50
(l-r) Strawberry Malt, Feelin' So Good, Kiss and Don't Tell, Summer Sweetheart
 


Powder Blush, $22.

 (l-r) Cream Soda, Prom Princess
 


 Pearlmatte Face Powders, $30
 (above) Flatter Me, (below) Veronica's Blush

 (l-r) Flatter Me, Veronica's Blush


Eye Shadow x4 in Caramel Sundae, $44
(l-r) Cheryl Chic, Dreammaker, Caramel Sundae, Showstopper


Eye Shadow x4 in Spoiled Rich, $44
 (l-r)Pin-Up Purple, Spoiled Rich, Ron Ron Run, Gravel


Pigment, $23

 (l-r) Magic Spells, Black Poodle


(l-r) Lucky in Love, Cheers My Dear

Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner, $16.50

 (l-r) Black Swan, Patrol Blue, Designer Purple, Lord it Up

Opulash, $17.50
 Comes in original formula, Optimum Black (Betty), and a more volumizing formula, Bad Bad Black (Veronica)


Nail Lacquer, $17.50
 (l-r) Comic Cute, Pep Pep Pep, Past Curfew, Double Trouble


Yours Forever Tote (online only) $49.50


So are you more Betty or Veronica?

 Don't miss my "first thoughts" video below!



Products provided for consideration by MAC Cosmetics with no agreements or obligations to feature on my blog or videos.