A Happy Closet makes me a Happy Girl Thursday, Mar 21 2013 


Vector-girl-fashion-perfume_1440x900Well, it’s that time of the year…it’s Spring! Time for bunnies, beaches, and bikinis, also gym time. It is time to polish those toes and tan those legs. I love transforming my closet for this season. Getting rid of the sweaters and boots, making room for flirty skirts and sandals. All the colors of the rainbow in stock from every store and accessories boutique. Oh, how I missed you pretty florals and ruffles, to the eyelets and lace in my wardrobe. I will admit I’m a control freak when it comes to organizing my wardrobe and accessories. I have a closet that has sections to where I can separate my blouses, skirts, and dresses, all color coordinated. Now, this is an all day season transition. So be prepared: turn on some Sex and the City episodes, pour a mimosa, and make a day of it. Here are a couple of ideas to make this an easy transition:
•make a list of staple items you need to complete your Spring wardrobe.
•try on every item, sort out articles that need cleaning, donate, or trash.
•color coordinate your wardrobe that way it’s easier to see what you have on hand.
•separate your coordinates : blouses, pants, skirts, and dresses. Gives you a better idea on how to plan your outfit of the day.
•rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in the last year or it doesn’t fit, discard it. It just means more room for new pieces.
•don’t forget those shoes, boots, and sandals. Any scuffs use a shoe polish, get a credible shoe repair to repair any caps, heels, or repairs. Any damage to shoes that cannot be salvaged, donate! Always look polished from head to toe…
•Accessories include handbags, scarves, and hats. Inspect all items to keep or discard.
•jewelry should be cleaned and repair if needed, discard any pieces broken if need be.
•I am a big fan of donating all my items to a women’s shelter or good will.
Lastly, not sure to what to do with pieces of clothing and accessories…have a swap party. You heard me, invite our girlfriends over with their items to swap out, chill some wine, prepare some finger foods and dessert. Set out all of you and girlfriends goodies and swap out your items. You never know what you may not love anymore could be a girlfriend’s most beloved.
Happy Springtime…
xoxo,
Nolagirlscocial

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Beauty: Blush nail color Friday, Sep 30 2011 


I think the blush colors are very natural and becoming, like this shade, try it out!

A Nail Polish Idea to Try Now, Straight From the Spring 2012 Runways
All-natural makeup and no-fuss hair (maybe a little too no-fuss, but that’s a different topic) was a big beauty statement at spring 2012 New York Fashion Week, and along with it came nail polish colors in pretty whites and creams. The expression I kept hearing backstage was “milky,” and ladies, I’m kind of obsessed. Here’s a look at the trend.

It’s not a brand-new idea per se (truth be told, we’ve been loving these shades since Jen Aniston debuted the look on the red carpet early in the summer), but it was so well-matched with the sporty-meets-girly vibe on the runway, and so downright healthy-looking, when I saw it on the models’ hands, it felt like a nail polish idea I’d discovered for the first time.

I’m totally going to work this inspiration into my mani rotation. My hubby might not be able to tell the difference between Sally Hansen for Alexander Wang’s Parchment and my standard sheer pink, but that’s OK. I will! —Megan Gustashaw

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Essie nail color in Allure

Beauty: Fall Nails Colors by Essie Thursday, Aug 11 2011 


Ok Dolls, I’m so excited about the Fall season approaching. Even though right now it’s kind of hard to feel it when it’s 100• outside. But, never the less, I will start will the new color palette by Essie, The Handbag Collection. Try something different and fun with these colors…

ESSIE’S BRAND NEW BAG COLLECTION
Essie’s new collection, inspired by the chic and serviceable handbags of the 1940s, comes in fetching ladylike tones such as dark green and mulberry. Grab a “Carry-On” or a “Power Clutch” to complete your new look.

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The Best Ways to Test Makeup—Safely! Saturday, Aug 6 2011 


Here is some helpful tips when you’re shopping for all your beauty goods.

The Best Ways to Test Makeup—Safely…

When I was in junior high, you could find me and my friends cruising the mall makeup counters on most weekends. We’d swoop into department stores and jam our fingers into the cosmetic testers, hoping not to attract the attention of the saleswomen, who might pressure us to actually buy things, or, worse, inform us that teal eyeshadow might perhaps not be the most appropriate look for 13-year-olds. I cringe now thinking about the garish colors I wore, and also how I applied it—with my hands, straight from the grubby testers, without any regards to hygiene.

So, are those in-store testers just kind of icky or can they actually be dangerous? To find out, I asked Elizabeth Brooks, a professor of biological science who ran a Rowan University study on makeup tester germs. Turns out, the news is not good: “More than half of all testers were contaminated, and we found staph, strep and E. coli bacteria from feces,” she says. Not only is that disgusting, but it also means that by trying an eye shadow or lipstick, “you can contract pink eye, infections or even viruses like herpes or hepatitis,” Brooks says. (Herpes, people!) But since we know that no one wants to buy makeup without seeing how it’ll look on, we found out how to do so safely:

Ask the salesperson to prep the tester. For lipstick, he or she should dip it in alcohol, then scrape off the top layer, and use a new, disposable applicator—not his or her finger—or a brush sprayed with alcohol. Since all of the contamination is on the surface layer, sharpening works for lip- or eyeliners. Powders can be just as germy as creams, so you can try bringing your own makeup alcohol wipes to clean them (we like Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes), though Brooks says to make sure you wipe the entire surface of the tester, and that you still have the salesperson scrape it afterward.

Shop on weekdays. Brooks took samples on different days of the week, and Saturdays were the most contaminated days, presumably since there are more mall shoppers on weekends. The least-germy batches were Friday morning and Wednesday morning, since the nights before tend to be low-traffic.

Quit the pot. Don’t try anything that comes in an open jar people dip a finger into, such as lotion, lip gloss or loose eye shadow, because then the contamination isn’t just on the top layer—it’s throughout, so there’s no way to clean it, says Brooks.

Get cheeky. It’s fine to apply foundation, blush, or any other products to the back of your hand, cheek or jawline, since “the worst thing you could catch is a zit,” says Brooks. But unless you know you’re getting a clean sample, avoid applying testers to your eyes or lips, which are direct entry points for germs and can lead to infections and viruses.

–Sarah Wexler, Writer
Glamour.com

Do you think about germs when you try on makeup? Will you follow these tips after hearing the kinda gross results?

Photo: Thinkstock
by Allure

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My Life at ( just breathe and say it fast ) ) 40… Wednesday, Aug 3 2011 


Well, I was thinking about how today was the first time I said my age out loud when asked from the police officer who just pulled me over for a lame traffic violation. See, I just turned 40 years old literally 6 days ago and was slightly sad about this because I thought how did 40 run up and sucker punch me without some kind of warning! I know I’m a little dramatic. But, I have always been conscious about my appearance. No, it’s not that I am vain, but the opposite. In the last two years my weight has yo-yo up and down and is definitely not where I want for it to be ( maybe a good 30lbs to be slightly happier ) so when I leave for work or a function, I make sure I always look presentable because you never, ever know who you will run into! Trust me, you will run into someone you are least expected to see at anytime of the day. I have ventured out my house several times and could kick myself for doing this. But I think it’s just for a quick stop here or there and with no make-up, hair dirty ( pulled back with a headband ), and maybe not where the flattering of outfits. And I see how I look in the mirror, but I’m rushed to run a quick errand, I mean who is gonna see me, right? I think whatever and go. Wrong, of course, it is always at those rare occasions you run into an old boss, an ex-boyfriend, that cute guy or girl you have been crushing or maybe that one evil person ( its alway a girl trust me ) that just always gets under your skin, that spots you from afar or maybe up close and I think to myself “what the hell is my problem leaving the house looking like some crack whore”. It never fails, so after my last appearance as a C.W. when I ran into a previous owner of employment, I decided never again will I attempt to walk out the door without at least looking good ( maybe a cute hat, a pair of sunglasses, and throw on a cute sundress ). So, what I’m trying say ladies take my advice, look in the mirror before you leave the house. Don’t think it won’t matter because it will.
The reason I’m saying this is, if my insecurity about my +30lbs is visible to others who have not seen me in a while, than I will make sure to focus on my other beautiful features to feel good about myself. And see, I won’t give a crap to whoever I may will run into, because I look good and feel good about myself.
Now, I said I just turned 40 last week. I never have been a stickler about my age like my mother is. When I was growing up, I was the short girl with the young looking face. I remember getting my first fake I.D. when I was 16 years old, I memorized every bit of information on that I.D. ( see growing up in Nola, the legal drinking age at that time was 18 years old, so faking it out at 16 years old didn’t seem to be a far fetch ) but at 16 I didn’t even look it. I had such a baby face, and didn’t pass for 18 or even 16 years old. Growing up, my mom and Aunts would all say “when you are older, you will appreciate your youthful appearance” . And they were right, whenever someone would ask my age I told them and I always would get the same reply that they thought I was so much younger. Now, I totally appreciate it, because I definitely look like a young 30 year old. I think in the last 10 years I have maintained the skincare regime: always moisturize my face, use the fine line serums, apply sunscreen, no fake and bake ( but I do spray tan or use a sunless tanner ) and wear my make-up in a fashionable way. I think the last time I was carded in the French Quarter for dinner a few months ago, the server asked for my I.D. I was so joyful and excited. So, take pride in your skincare regime early because girls, trust me later in life all the sun damage, going out, and stress will catch up to you and age you in a heartbeat.
On my birthday last week, I woke up went to the bathroom, showered, and washed my face. I must have looked in the mirror for a good ten minutes wondering how did I get so old. My pores are slightly larger, no fine lines or wrinkles, yet ( as I knock on wood ), I have a herniated disc, and I spot a single gray strand of hair. But, here I am and I am just going not stress about it, I thought to myself I am freaking 40 years old, where did all the time go too! I mean today I was actually excited when my period came, not because I thought I could be prego but for the thought I am grateful for another month that I am not going into “the pause” ( I mean menopause but renamed it ). You maybe laughing at the fact that I think this, but it will come on early I have a feeling that it will be Mother Natures way of stabbing me in the heart because the pause will happen and that is just another sure sign of aging so called gracefully! We as women have to suck it up and take pride in our appearances, not because we are vain but we are judged based on first impressions. I mean look at all we have to go through: going to the gym weekly, fake and bake or spray tan once a week ( if you want to have a nice glow, not Snookie glow ) get our hair fix either by cut or color every 6 weeks, manicures/pedicures ( weekly or biweekly ) teeth whitening, skincare ( facials or led light therapy ) and whatever else floats your boat to maintain a certain youthfulness. The public eyes you up and down and has place judgement on you based on your initial meet, not even having a clue as what my intellect or interest might be. I too, have been guilty of this crime but now I have learned that I or any person has a lot to offer besides being judged on our looks. I know what you’re thinking it’s a double end sword, you’re damned if you or damned if you don’t. We have to basically market ourselves just to keep up with all the other women and men in the world. Now, some of you may have natural beauty and feel like you don’t have to participate in all that the plain janes of the world have to go through to look and play the part. I applaud you and jealous all at the same time. Not because I’m jealous of their natural beauty but it is that they don’t have to work at it as hard as I do to maintain certain appearances.
So, I guess that’s all and a big thank you to all the skincare, body, and haircare products being advertised or marketed in my head for making me, me! After all my mom doesn’t look a day over 50 and she is, so I guess I am thankful that I inherited her youthful genes. Thanks, Mom!

How to Score Amazing Dollar Store Deals….. Wednesday, Aug 3 2011 


Hello Dolls, question: Where do you purchase all your beauty items for face care, body, and hair? I can say that there are a variety of places to get your goodies from, especially from the Dollar Store. I know what you’re thinking but in the economic times that we are all in, why not score amazing Beauty Steals. Save on the tools and other items and splurge on the more costly beauty treats. So, i read this article from Allure.com and they have some amazing Beauty Steals from the Dollar Stores. Hope these tips help out, it has for me…

When some retailers need to ditch an excess of beauty products, they sell it to these deep-discount shops—and that means savings for you. The stock can be old, but follow these guidelines, and it’s easy to nab real deals.

       Allure.com

BEWARE OF HEAT DAMAGE.

It can diminish a product’s performance and tends to be an issue with ones that have spent time in a hot warehouse. Lipsticks and liquid and cream foundations are especially susceptible to heat damage, though powders and lip glosses tend to fare well, says cosmetic chemist Ni’kita Wilson.

 

LOOK FOR SEALED PACKAGING.

“I wouldn’t buy any product that didn’t have a seal, on the box itself or around the bottle or in the cap,” says Francesca Fusco, professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “Otherwise, you don’t know if it’s been opened and exposed to air, which degrades the efficacy, or if someone has sampled it, which could introduce bacteria.”

GIVE POWDERS THE SHAKE TEST.

Pressed versions can be dropped and broken. To weed out the damaged ones, gently rattle the container next to your ear and listen for the sound of crumbled bits, recommends makeup artist Maria Verel.

STOCK UP ON TOOLS.

Basics like nail files, wooden cuticle pushers, foot buffers, mirrors, sharpeners, and hair brushes are ideal picks because the quality doesn’t vary much, says Verel

CHECK THE TESTERS.

Many dollar stores don’t offer testers, but when they do, look to see if they’re clean (for heaven’s sake, don’t use them). If they are, the products should be, too. “It’s a sign that the makeup hasn’t been there for too long,” says Verel.
 

MAKE SURE YOU CAN READ THE LABELS.

No matter how tempting or cheap a skin-care product is, bypass it if you can’t read the language on the package. “I’ve seen a few foreign skin-care products that looked interesting, but I had no idea what the ingredients were,” says Fusco.
 

SKIP HAIR APPLIANCES WITH DAMAGED BOXES.

“Chances are high they’ve been dropped, and with something like a blow-dryer, you can’t look inside to check for visible cracks,” says Fugate.
 

MAKE REPEAT VISITS.

The selection is nearly constantly changing, so frequent stop-ins are the best way to grab deals.
 
 
 

Confessions of a Shopaholic Quotes Tuesday, Aug 2 2011 


This is one of my favorite movies and then I started to read all the books by Sophie Kinsella. This is a quote that I totally believe in….

“I love new clothes. If everyone could just wear new clothes everyday, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.”

— Sophie Kinsella (Confessions of a Shopaholic)

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Sephora Offers a Cool New Nail Service Tuesday, Aug 2 2011 


This is so awesome, I am a huge Sephora junkie and very rarely do I walk out of the store without a purchase. But now add nail art service to the agenda, this is a great idea. I know where I’m getting my mani with nail art this weekend. I will try it out and let you know what I think of this in my weekend blog. So Dolls do you think you want to add this to your shopping agenda?
Here is the article from Allure.com

Sephora Offers a Cool New Nail Service
BY HEATHER MUIR, BEAUTY NEWS EDITOR

Shopping at Sephora just got even more fun. Along with perusing aisles packed with the latest beauty innovations, getting your makeup professionally done, and having your brows groomed, you can now snag a super-cool manicure in the store, too. In response to the huge nail-art trend that we’ve all seen on the runway and on celebrity fingers, Sephora is partnering with XpresSpa to offer nail art—no appointments necessary.

The Sephora Nail Studio Art + Lacquer offers the newest polishes from Sephora by OPI, Illamasqua, Nars, Dior, and Nails Inc., plus hundreds of designs to choose from: Think glittery ombré, animal prints, edgy metallics, and girly florals (some are done using regular polishes; others are achieved with nail stickers). Each design is rated according to level of difficulty so you can watch the manicurists work their magic, and then, if you want, re-create the look at home (you can, of course, purchase all the products as well). It took me a little while to narrow down my design selection. I went with a stars-and-stripes theme using dark navy and white polish, along with two black and silver star nail stickers on my ring fingers (that’s my hand next to my friend’s citrus-themed choice). After 15-minutes, I had intricate, eye-catching nautical nails and a crowd of 10 shoppers surrounding me, asking how they could be next in line. The service starts at $15 for simple designs and goes up to $75 for the most complicated ones. The nail bars are popping up this week in New York City (5 Times Square) and California (San Francisco’s Powell Street), and if there is a demand will roll out in a bunch of other locations across the country.
Would you take a beauty shopping break to have your nails done in Sephora?

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Beauty: Beat the Heat Saturday, Jul 23 2011 


Hello Dolls, it is a HOT HOT summer so far. This weather isn’t the nicest when it comes to our hair, skin, and health. So I read this today on: thebeautydepartment.com

BEAT THE HEAT

photo: Christian Dior

Seasonal Summer Makeup…
For most of us, summer is our favorite time of the year… no school, half-day Fridays, pool parties and late sunsets… but unfortunately it doesn’t bring with it carefree make-up. Between humidity and heat, you can look in the mirror an hour after you’ve applied your make-up and it has either traveled across your face or it’s gone. Or perspiration has caused tiny sweat blemishes. And if you’re spending all day in an office with recycled air conditioning, your skin and lips are dried out, even though it’s humid outside. So this is the season to simplify your routine by going sheer and waterproof. Here are some tips to get you through in style:
After applying sunscreen, skip foundation or switch to an oil-free version, a mineral powder foundation or a tinted moisturizer.
Spot conceal any blemishes with concealer and immediately spot powder them to set it.
Skip powder on the rest of your face as it can get cake-y with humidity and perspiration. Use blotting papers instead. (Check the ingredients listed on the papers to make sure they do not include mineral oil which could clog your pores and cause breakouts).
Switch to a waterproof eyeshadow (ask a make-up expert at the beauty counter to show you the different cream shadows that are water resistant; there are so many gorgeous ones out there) or skip shadow and do a cat eye with a waterproof liquid liner or gel liner. For a refresher in how to do winged eyeliner, Lauren shows you how in our Get Catty tutorial.
Finish your eyes with a waterproof mascara. Skip the bottom lashes if they tend to smear on hotter days.
If you’re already sporting a tan, all you’ll need is to swirl a cheek stain on the apples of your cheeks (avoid cream blush as it won’t last in the heat). If you’ve been protecting your skin with a hat and sunscreen, fake it with bronzing powder by applying it with a wide-head bronzing brush everywhere the sun would hit your face: top of your forehead, your nose, cheekbones and chin, then don’t forget your neck and chest.
Avoid a sticky gloss and opt for a sheer lipstick or if your lips are dried out, use a tinted lip balm. You’ll find there are tons of really pretty corals, pinks and red lip balms at your drug store or department store once you start to look for them.
So even though summer make-up is more high maintenance, once you’ve switched to waterproof and sheer products, you should be able to have fun in the sun and not worry about it. But carrying a small compact mirror in your beach bag to keep an eye on things every now and then never hurt…

XO Amy Nadine

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Beauty Nails Tuesday, Jul 5 2011 


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WHAT IT IS:
A warm coral polish

WHY WE LIKE IT:
The apparent absence of orange in this pinky coral keeps it from looking old-fashioned.

—Sophia Panych
Allure July 2011

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