Friday, February 24, 2012

Multitasking Makeup: BB Creams

 Sephora's BB Cream Collection Photo Courtesy of Sephora

For those of you who don't know what BB cream is, it's a longtime Asian beauty secret that's finally hitting it big in the U.S. It seems to be everywhere now... I personally can't wait to try it! So many cosmetics companies have come out with their version -- Estee Lauder, MAC, Smashbox... the list goes on...  (In case you are wondering, "BB" stands for beauty balm or blemish balm.) What got my attention about BB cream is that it is supposed to be a major multitasker, combining the following products into one easy step: primer, moisturizer, foundation, SPF.  I have to find out for myself if a product can truly be this amazing... Now which one shall I try? Stay tuned and I will tell you what I think!     xo, Lindsey
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dry Shampoo

As promised, here is our little dry shampoo breakdown...

1). Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo- Lindsey introduced me to this one, and it is the best I have ever used in terms of making oil disappear. It is similar to baby powder except the powder is a bit finer. (For any of you who have put baby powder in your hair before, the Oscar Blandi powder is MUCH easier to rub into your hair and make disappear... Visible white powder is so unattractive!) Another thing I love about the Oscar Blandi dry shampoo is that it adds nice volume and body to your hair. I use this stuff all the time and am a huge fan. 

2). Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Shampoo - This formula is invisible and not messy at all. It sprays out in a mist kind of like a can of hairspray would. It smells good and makes my hair smell clean, so I like it. I use this in addition to the Oscar Blandi dry shampoo (but less frequently). It doesn't really cover up oily hair -- just smells clean.

3). Tresemme FreshStart - I bought this one at a drug store while on a trip. It is a foam, which seems to actually clean your hair instead of just masking the dirtiness. You squirt out a dollop in your hand and comb it through your hair with your fingers until it disappears. However, it doesn't really do much to cover the appearance of oil. It is also annoying that the foam makes your hair damp... I really don't recommend this one.

4.) Baby Powder - For me, this is always a trusty LAST resort if I am out of my other dry shampoo. In a pinch, I will sprinkle it at my roots and brush repeatedly until it disappears. A very small amount will do the trick. If you dump out too much, your head will be white, and you won't be able to get it out without washing it. I don't recommend using this unless it is an emergency, but again, in a pinch, it will do the trick.


This is a product that I've fallen in love with! It is a great alternative to dry shampoo. For oil control I tend to turn to a powdery substance, but this dry spray actually absorbs a bit of oil as well. I turn to this product to create incredible volume and texture to my hair when it is feeling flat and limp. I absolutely recommend this spray!

Having brown hair I was ecstatic to find a dry shampoo that caters to brunettes! However this product failed me in a number of ways. First of all the spray was wet, gunky, didn't mask my oil, and weighed my hair down. It also created a bit of a mess in my bathroom. The brown formula stained my walls, shower curtain, and when I washed it out of my hair my tub was brown! Unfortunately this seemingly bright idea was a disappointment.

Here's an idea.... dry shampoo powder for brunettes... I'll be waiting...     xo, Lindsey and Mary
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Making a Blowout Last

Today marks five days since my awesome blowout at Bumble and Bumble, and my hair still looks pretty dang good. I am all about making a great blowout last as long as possible! I certainly don't have the time or patience to wash my hair everyday. Not only that, daily shampooing is very damaging... Especially if you get your hair colored or chemically treated. I'm going to share some of my tricks to keeping my hair looking good inbetween washes. So enjoy giving your hair a break and finding better ways to spend your time! ;)

1). After a blowout or a good wash, style your hair as you please, and then stop messing with it. If your hair has a tendency to get oily, you especially ought to keep your hands off of it.

2). Avoid using a lot of products on it after the first day. If it starts to look flat, flip your head over and blowdry it and then use a little hairspray.
 3). Another thing I do is change my part every day. This a very important step. Flipping your part to a different side or to the middle will make it look fresh and give it the appearance of new volume. You could alternate your part between the right and left each day if you like. Just change it up. For those of you completely opposed to changing the part of your hair, try wearing your hair pulled back halfway one day, and then taking wearing it back down the next.

4). Dry shampoo!!! This stuff can work miracles for your hair inbetween washes. I am addicted to it. There are a lot of different kinds out there, so  Lindsey and I will get into more of those details in our next blog post. Quickly though... If your hair is more oily, use a powder-based dry shampoo instead of sprays or foams.     xo, Mary

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Product Review from Sephora's Hot Now List

I feel the need to write a post on this product I recently got from Sephora. The version of this product for eyes is currently listed on Sephora's Hot Now list, Peter Thomas Roth Instant Firmx Eyes. When testing this product on my hand at Sephora, it seemed to do all that the bottle claimed it would do... the skin on my hand appeared to magically tighten before my eyes. It felt tighter too. I went home, excited to try this new product on my face, and the results were disappointing. I followed the directions and applied a mask-like layer to my entire face after cleansing. In several minutes, my face definitely felt pulled and tighter, like the product claimed that it would... So I splashed my face with water until the product (which looks grayish when dry on the skin) was no longer visible. I patted my face gently with a towel to discover that nothing felt different about my face at all. It seems to me that Instant Firmx product does tighten, but only while it is visible (again, gray and mask-like) on your skin. I certainly did not feel "a gentle firming that will last all day". I hate to give a Peter Thomas Roth product a negative review, especially since I have really enjoyed using the line's sunscreens in the past. I just feel that Instant Firmx is not worth the money.     xo, Mary

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Airbrush Tans

Painting my toenails in Ulta's Envy
Sweater: Elizabeth and James

I should've posted about this sooner, but I got my very first airbrush tan thanks to my sweet and generous sister! I got it done at Faux Glow, on the upper east side, during my New York trip. I chose to go "Dark", despite the advice of the woman who sprayed me, who suggested I go "Medium Dark".  The darkest shade you can select is "Very Dark". (I would not recommend choosing "Dark" if you don't have any olive tones in your skin -- it won't look natural at all). I know it may be ridiculous to be this tan in the middle of winter, but it was so much fun to take a break from being pale! I got sprayed on Wednesday, and it has stayed on amazingly well. I have always used Mystic Tan and VersaSpa Spray Tan booths in the past, but the tan never looks this good days later. That's why I felt that I needed to post this picture of my tan today. Also, the obvious benefit of airbrush tanning is that since a person and not a machine is spraying you, they can cover all parts of your body evenly (no white spaces between your fingers and toes!). On a side note, I recommend asking the person who is spraying you to do a slightly lighter mist on your face, which is what I did... this will prevent muddiness, which is not attractive!     
xo, Mary
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Back to Toronto

These gorgeous flowers were waiting on me when I arrived back from New York, thanks to my thoughtful husband. I am so obsessed with pink and purple flowers right now! (... how did he know that?!)  How girly and pretty is this combination? Somehow, it takes me back to when I was a little girl, when these were my favorite colors. I'm definitely inspired by these hues right now.     xo, Mary

Vase: Monique Lhuillier

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ombre Transformation

 I did it finally. I went ombre. As of late, I have been ready for a big change with my hair. I wanted it to be striking. I wanted it to stand out. Change is exactly what I got at Bumble and Bumble's uptown New York salon, and I must say, I am very pleased. My sister has been rocking this look for over a year now, and looks fantastic with it, and she insisted I get it as well... (her treat!). Having ombre hair is so much fun... when I left the salon, I got a lot of double-takes from people. There is something powerful about ombre hair... it is confident, unapologetic. You get to have the fun of being a blond, without saying goodbye to being a brunette. My clothes even look newer, fresher. Plus, it looks a lot longer now (which is what the stylist told me would happen with blond on the ends). This is definitely a look worth trying if you are ready for big change! However, if you happen to have very naturally straight hair or wear it straight every day, you might want to avoid this look. Also, you might want to do some research when it comes to choosing the right salon to get this done. You definitely want to go to someone who has experience doing ombre hair. I absolutely recommend Bumble and Bumble.    xo, Mary
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello, New York City!

We weren't ready to say goodbye yet!... I spontaneously booked a ticket back to New York with Lindsey. With all the cold weather and traveling, our skin is both dehydrated and in need of a good exfoliation. To try to keep my carry on as light as possible, I didn't pack any of my skincare products... so I got to try Lindsey's! We both used Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish once we got to her apartment. We then slathered on Boscia Recharging Night Moisture.     xo, Mary 
Photo Courtesy Boscia
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Toronto Wrap-Up

Here is a little summary of our weekend!

There is no one in the world I would rather take shopping with me than Lindsey. We rarely get to, however, since we live in different cities! So this past weekend was such a treat. We perused a few vintage stores near Ossington and Queen. I got a cute leather bag from I Miss You -- we both loved the front closure detail. For dinner, we headed to Guu, an amazing Japanese Tapas bar. So much fun! We loved the fried brie and scallop and enoki mushrooms. I will definitely be back.

We woke up to a city blanketed in snow. So pretty! Lindsey and I bundled up and set off to do a little more shopping... We were both on a mission to get some fun colored jeans but didn't find exactly what we were looking for. Instead, we picked up a few things at Aritzia and Zara. For lunch, we went to Wvrst and loved the "Dirty Fries"... extremely messy and spicy! That night, we had a fabulous dinner at Terroni. My pizza was to-die-for... a delicious combo of mozzarella, gorgonzola, mascarpone, mushrooms, and Italian ham. Yum!     xo, Mary

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lindsey Arrives in Toronto!

Lindsey has made it to Toronto! Right now it is the coldest it has been since I moved here, but the snow is beautiful. One of the fun parts about having a sister who loves beauty and fashion as much as I do is that we get to swap all our goodies when we get together! Here, she is bundled up in my James Perse wool sweater... I know I will be borrowing her black one this weekend. More beauty details to come... We have a lot of shopping to do!     xo, Mary
Lindsey in DiorShow Mascara /  Lancome Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner in Noir
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Welcome to Our New Beauty Blog!

Laylon is our personal e-diary of all things beauty. We are two sisters who are passionate about skincare and makeup, and we thought a blog would be a fun way to document new looks, tips, tricks, and beauty innovations. We love learning and trying new things, so always let us know if you have secrets you'd like to share! We'd love your input.     
xo, Mary and Lindsey
Lindsey applies eye makeup to our awesome mom, Gwen
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