Ya know that moment when someone walks past you , leaving behind an amazing smell lingering in the air. I absolutely love that moment. I’ve never had the nerve to ask someone what perfume they wear, something about it seems so intimate, because really, no one scent is used in the same combination by two different people. When I first started wearing perfume, I’d spray my neck and then whatever it was that I was wearing from an arms length away. Fact is, that wasn’t very effective, but that was High School, a time to do all the non-effective things before adulthood. Personally, I’m attracted to smells that have a soft warmth and depth. Most smells have levels, all of which incorporate different fragrance blends. I can’t wear strong smells like Chanel no. 5 or White Diamonds. Some people wear them well, but I’d have a migraine within a few minutes of wearing something so strong. Different strokes for different folks though, right? For day four of my beauty countdown, we’re talking all about perfume. I’ve listed four of my favorite fragrances, including the lightest and strongest scents I love.
Think of the body as an oil diffuser: apply your fragrance to the warmest points. Some parts of our body are warmer and constantly release body heat throughout the day. These are our pulse points, hence why you’ve probably learned to apply perfume to the neck and wrists. Some other pulse points are behind the ears, behind the knees, and your inner arms. If you have ave the urge to rub your wrists together after applying perfume, don’t! Doing this can change the original scent and diminish how long your scent lasts.
Perfume loves hydrated skin, so to make your sexy spring scents last their longest, apply after you’ve showered, or after you’ve applied lotion, giving it plenty of time to dry, and settle into it’s mix with the natural oils of your body. The best thing to do is try different pulse points so that you can gauge where you get the most pay off. ”Daisy” by Marc Jacobs has an amazing payoff when applied to my wrists, but not so much anywhere else. “Pure” by DKNY works best for my inner arms, sides of my neck and the nape of my neck when I have my hair down (which is 99.9% of the time). “Turquatic” and “Gypsy Water” have more depth and leave a trail behind no matter which pulse points I choose to apply to!
Lets face it, spring is a pretty wet season, filled with heavy rain clouds, but I learned in elementary school that April showers bring May’s flowers. A more mature version of that saying is the fact that mother nature requires these things, so it’s up to us to compromise in anticipation for hot summer days full of clear skies and glowing skin. Although hispanic blood flows through my veins, my skin doesn’t tan in the sun, it burns. So while my family and friends flaunt glistening golden skin all summer long, I had to either lather up on aloe vera after a day out and/or eat tons of tomatoes (I read research once showing that the catenoids in tomatoes help to prevent sunburn naturally; great for me and my vitamin D levels!). Then I realized, there really is no reason why I should have to miss out on a summer glow, in any season! So for day three of my countdown of beauty products for spring, I’ve put together a list of 8 products to show your cheeks some serious love. The best part is that, highlighters can go anywhere you want some added glow, especially Nars Illuminator in “Laguna”! Mixing just a dap with your moisturizer can turn up the heat! Blending out a highlighter like Benefit Cosmetics “Watt’s Up” over your forearms and legs will give you a subtle, feathered out inner vibrancy every time the light touches your skin.
Lipstick is just one product that I can’t get enough of. Every season, I push the envelope a bit more, and whenever I buy a new lipstick, I force myself to try something I’ve been too chicken to wear before. For a long time, I was terrified of pink lipstick. I’m not sure why, but pink was a shade of lipstick I never owned for myself for years. Now, I can’t get enough of pink and a few other shades. So for day two, I’ve put together a product list of some of the colors I’d like to try more of this spring season! Seeing one of these babies shine back at you in your reflection will be a constant reminder that summer is well on it’s way! And as always, I’ve included a few perfect nudes for the days when our spirits are so robust, there isn’t any need for audacious lips!
One of the things that I look the most forward to every spring season is nail polish. The shelves at the nail salon get completely revamped with all the latest O.P.I and Essie collections for the upcoming season! Everyone begins to buzz (even the terrifying bees) as spirits begin to lift as winers temperatures slowly rise. So in celebration of the end of winter, especially for you lovelies back up north, I’ve dedicated the first day of my Spring 2014 Beauty Countdown to some of the most amazing nail polish colors that you are sure to help you shake off your winter blues and hopefully soon, the many layers you’ve been hibernating under!
Now, I know that not everyone will feel like flowers and rainbows come March 20th, and may not be all that ready for cobalt blue nails. In true new yorker fashion, I’m an all black everything kind of girl, so trust me when I say change between seasons happens languidly. In my book, you can never go wrong with earth-tones, or neutrals, or black! So, for the ladies having a hard time letting go of the vampy reds and O.P.I’s “Lincoln Park After Dark,” a subtle polish change like some of these shades should help shake things up a little.
For the ladies who are eager to jump right into the shocking shades that come with the spring season, here are some of the polishes I’m most excited to try once I kick my current addiction to O.P.I’s “Samoan Sand”. After a long, cold, winter, I think some obnoxious vibrancy is well deserved!
To the uplifting feelings spring is sure to bring,
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When I was in High School, my favorite part of the day was the morning train ride to school. It was the perfect display of seemingly fabulous New Yorkers in rare form; everyone is tired, hair is wet, women are swiping blush across their cheeks in compacts while keeping balance and others are using the reflective materials of the trains doors to apply lipstick. One thing that I admired most about these women that I watched every morning, were their hands. I’d stare at hands holding onto the standing pole I was also holding onto, watch hands as they danced across the keyboards of blackberry’s and iphones. I admired the hands that always seemed to be perfectly manicured, and I couldn’t help but wonder, how do they keep them looking so nice? Do they not wash dishes? Wash their hair? It all seemed so effortless, but I grew up to learn a few tricks of the pretty hand trade.
Skin plays a huge role in how healthy our hands look. I didn’t pay much attention to my cuticles in high school, outside of the occasional manicure. In the winter, my hands are always super dry and in constant need of moisture. Outside of the weather cold weather fact, I couldn’t understand what I wasn’t doing that it seemed these women sharing my 7am train ride, were. Some cuticle TLC was the answer.
Moisturized cuticles help prolong manicures, as well as prevent broken skin and hangnails. Most cuticle oils can be applied as needed, or twice a day, whichever you feel is necessary. My hands become dry after washing them, so I always have a hand cream in my bag to re-moisturize and since my cuticle epiphany, I’ve added a travel size of Lush’s “Lemony Flutter” Cuticle Butter to my bag to use after each wash also! Here are my top five Cuticle Savers!
Ya know how every woman is obsessed with finding the perfect Little Black Dress?
Well, I’m obsessed with finding the perfect Nude Lipstick! I go through seasons where I really love a nude color for a while and then one day its just too pale, or too brown. There are really one two nude colors that I’ve stayed true to in the high end cosmetics arena, and both are made by MAC Cosmetics. One is them is “Blankety” and boy is she a beauty. The perfection of this shade, for me, is the depth that it provides the lips. What you see most often with nude lips is a layer of gloss on top, because the lips tend to go too flat after applying most nude shades. Since I’m not a big fan of putting gloss over my lipstick, at least not for everyday makeup, I need something with some built in sheen, and leans away from pale and towards mauve for a little bit of umph! These dupes provide the same effect and fact that I’ve found two lipsticks that resemble blankety for under $6 is amazing! So lets jump right into it…
From Left to Right: MAC “Blankety”, Wet N’ Wild “Bare It All”, Rimmel Londons Kate Moss “Rosetto”
Dupe number one is Wet N’ Wild’s “Bare It All” Matte Lipstick for $1.99. This lipstick is a deep nude color, with a velvety matte finish right from the start. Given it doesn’t reflect nearly as much light as Blankety, you might feel compelled to dab a tiny bit of gloss on top to get the same effect. Due to this fact, this lipstick may technically be more of an alternative than a dupe, but really it’s all about making the same end product possible!
From Top to Bottom: MAC “Blankety”, Wet N’ Wild “Bare It All”, Rimmel Londons Kate Moss “Rosetto”
From Left to Right: MAC “Blankety”, Wet N’ Wild “Bare It All”, Rimmel Londons Kate Moss “14-Rosetto”
Dupe number two, the most similar to Blankety of the two, is Rimmel London’s “14-Rosetto”. In the pictures above, all three lipstick look practically identical in their tube despite their swatch difference. When applied, 14-Rosetto has more sheen, and is a bit less opaque than Blankety in the first swipe, but I like the option to layer and build color.
You can’t go wrong with any of these lipsticks, but if you’re still on the hunt for your perfect nude, its nice to know there are options under $6!
What’s your perfect everyday color? Comment below!
About a week ago I read a survey in a magazine that asked women if they thought blue was a wearable lip color, which most answered “no”. I was expecting that answer in a way, but the thought has been lingering. I wasn’t thinking about the survey when I did this look, at least I don’t believe I was. Maybe this look was more than a product of coincidence, but subconscious thoughts surfacing. In the middle of reviewing pictures of this look and obsessing over this obsessive lip color, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Did that silly magazine survey really bother me that much?”
While most beauty experts will lecture you about appropriate tone for everything ivory to ebony (guilty!), some things just aren’t created with a specific level of flattery in mind. When I wear blue lipstick, I’m not looking for anyone to tell me how perfect it works for my skin tone. Most of the time others are envious of my ability to “pull it off” and ask how I do it. Truth is, like most things in life, we “pull it off” when we believe we can.
Many say that people who wear bold anythings are confident, exuberantly social, and have an all around robust personality which match their choices in how they look. Am I capable of a such social robust-ness? Yes. Does it come natural to me? Not really. I can be shy, and I’m sometimes terrified of approaching people I don’t know, regardless of how social my look says that I am. I’m also a victim of the resting bitch face which I attribute to being a New York City native, so I sometimes have to survey my approachability. Still I’ve found that wearing lipstick like the one here makes that whole “Hi, I don’t know you but I’ll talk to you anyways” process a little bit easier. People will strike up a conversation just because of my lipstick color! The ever more wild part of this revelation is that I’ll do that same! The power of lipstick, although highly exaggerated because that’s just me, is truly a powerful force in the social parts of my life.
So I guess you could call this reverse psychology or something. On the days when I’m feeling most introverted, I make myself appear to be an extrovert (in a very subconscious way) . The conversations I have with random strangers and people I know about my makeup become other conversations, and before I know it, I’m pulled from the land of loners and into a place where interaction with people I do and don’t know isn’t so hard.
So while there is some truth to hiding behind makeup and clothes, I’ve found that bringing to the surface what we might otherwise hide is also true. Life is about knowing what works for us, and experiencing what it is to be ourselves, because nobody else can. I’ve just learned that there’s a difference between the girl with lipstick on and the girl with lipstick off. A good difference. No magazine survey can tell me otherwise.
Foundation: MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Liquid Foundation in NC25
Contour & Highlight: MAC Cosmetics Extra Dimension “Double Definition”
Lid: NYX Cosmetics Eyeshadow in “Nude”
Crease: MAC Cosmetics “Vivah” & “Folie”
Liner: Milani Liquid Eyeliner
Mascara: Maybelline’s “Define-A-Lash”
Waterline Eyeliner: MAC Cosmetics Pencil in “Fascinating”
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with creating eyeshadow looks with smokey inner and outer corners paired with metallics. The great part is that this look is super simple!
Just apply a metallic shade that you love in the center of your eyelid, then apply a darker matte shade like Mac Cosmetics “Carbon” with a fluffy blending brush onto the inner and outer corners and blend inward towards the center of your lid. Then add a little more of that metallic color onto the center lid again, to make it pop again after all that blending.
To get the most impact, keep all of your shadow just under the brow bone, so that the natural shape of your eye adds depth.
Here are some shadows that are perfect to create this look!
MAC Cosmetics “Carbon”
Maybelline Color Tattoo in “Silver Strike”
L’Oreal Paris Infalliable Eyeshadow in “Bronzed Taupe”
They’re amazing, especially during the winter when your skin gets dry and needs the added moisture. The only issues I have with most body scrubs is that they usually have a ton of crap in them that my skin doesn’t need. I’ll never understand products that have alcohol in them that are designed to moisturize skin. So I’ve figured, the only way to really know and control what is in the products I use, I should try making some of them at home. Now I don’t have to be stingy with with product because I’m saving the money I’d usually spend on a small jar. So allow me to show you how you can make a Coconut Oil & Sugar Body Scrub that will exfoliate the dead skin and moisturize for a legitimate 24 hours plus!
Here is what you’ll need!
1. Coconut Oil
3. Storage Container
If you feel like getting fancy with natural fragrances or things that will remedy certain skin conditions, you could always add a few drops of an essential oil. Cedarwood is known to work well for dry skin and acne. If you’re wanting to balance your combination skin with an added “anti-aging” effect, use Clary Sage. Adding Jasmine can sooth dry, sensitive skin (like my hands). Lavender, is sort of a universal oil, that most everyone can use and it smells amazing. Remember, if you’re trying something new, always try a “test spot” on a small area of your skin before going all out!
Now, to make this scrub. It’s really simple!
Step 1:Fill your mason jar or storage container with coconut oil about halfway, that way you have room to stir!
Step 2: Add in your sugar. Regular granulated sugar will yield a more abrasive exfoliation and brown sugar will be a lot less abrasive.
Step 3:Whip together using a spoon, fork or spatula.
Step 4: Take a small dollop of scrub and rub it between your hands to test if you’ve added enough sugar. If you like how much exfoliation there is, then no need to add more! If you prefer a bit more, than add more sugar to the coconut oil.
Step 5: If you’re getting fancy with essential oils to target your skins needs, this would be the time to add them!
Step 6:Whip everything together until you’ve reached a desirable texture. I like for my scrub to be velvety smooth, that way when the coconut oil hardens again, it’s smoother and easier to remove from the jar.
This is the finished product!
I keep my jar of scrub in the shower and use it every other day. I use it on my face after cleansing with my usual face wash, once a week. Doing so helps a lot with dry skin I sometimes get on the bridge of my nose and the top of my cheeks.
Let me know if you try this and how it works for you!
Wishing you soft moisturized skin without breaking the bank this winter ;
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but when I find a gift that fits someone’s personality so perfectly, I literally wish it was Christmas the second I wrap it so that I can see the union of the perfect gift and its future owner unfold before my eyes. I take too much pride in being a gift giver; everything down to the meticulously picked wrapping paper has to be a reflection of “A Gift from Alyson’Marie”. That’s just how I roll. Unfortunately, I don’t know many people who are obsessed with Hair and Makeup products the way that I am, and so in an effort to let out all of the amazing gifts I can think of for a fellow beauty aficionado, I’ve put together this gift guide. Hopefully this helps you find the perfect gift for the hair and makeup lover in your life. Happy shopping!
We beauty fanatics are more than just fans of pretty packaging and velvety textures. We are collectors. This 5 draw transparent acrylic case makes organizing and displaying that collection, a dream come true!
Red Cherry lashes are raved within the Makeup community because of their quality and amazing price! Style #43 is my personal favorite for any look from casual to super glam, but there are plenty others to choose from!