Friday, March 30, 2012

Easiest Moisturizing Trick Ever For Eyes

Lancome Renergie Eye Multiple Action Ultimate Eye Care Duo / Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly
Photos Courtesy Sephora.com / Vaseline.ca
I recently tried something on my eyes that I can't believe I've gone this long in my life without doing... dabbing Vaseline on top of where I've applied eye cream before bedtime. If you've ever experienced that dry, thirsty feeling around your eyes, even after you've moisturized and put on your eye cream, you must try this! Each night, just lightly pat on a bit of pure petroleum jelly right around your eyes and on your lids as the last step of your evening skincare regimen. You'll immediately notice how quenched your skin feels. Even when you wake up the next morning, your eyes will not feel at all thirsty or dry. According to Allure, adding heavy, occlusive ointments like Vaseline on top of your moisturizer is great for boosting absorption. Dermatologists say that dotting Vaseline on top of your face creams and serums can double the strength of the product's ingredients (which I think is awesome!)... so they warn against doing so if the product contains retinoids, Vitamin C, or acids since it can irritate your skin. If you struggle with acne, you should definitely avoid putting Vaseline on your face.
xo, Mary
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Growing Pains: The Truth About Trims

Sweater dress and leather belt: Elizabeth and James
 I finally had to get the ends of my hair trimmed... Something I always loathe when I'm trying to grow it out long. Last month, while getting my hair painted ombré at Bumble and Bumble's upper east side salon in NYC, Stephanie, who was doing my hair, finally cleared the air on what I always suspected to be true about trims... Not trimming your hair is the best way to grow it out really long. This goes against everything so many of us have heard from our hairstylists time and time again... That we need a good trim every six weeks. Trims don't make hair grow longer, but they can make your hair look healthier since they get rid of unsightly split ends and damage. That being said, I don't mean that you need to forget about trims all together if you're trying to grow out your hair. You may just not need them as often as you thought. However, to stretch out your time inbetween trims, you need to start making a conscious effort to prevent hair damage. You really can't be careless about this if you want good results.

Start by doing a damage assessment. Just how damaged are your ends right now? Are you abusing your hair with hair straighteners and curling irons every day? Do you obsessively brush your hair? Do you wash and blow dry it daily?... All of these factors cause damage, which forces you to have to get trims more often. If you're trying to grow out your hair, you need to avoid damaging it as much as possible. I only use heat styling tools 2-3 times per week. I wash my hair once a week, and I try not to brush it too much. I try to be gentle with it.

You may already be at the point of needing a little trim now. If so, ask your stylist to take off half an inch. (In my experience, they always take off more than asked for.) The photo above was taken immediately after I left West Salon and Spa in Toronto, where I got my trim. I was very impressed with their salon. Instead of just blowing my hair out straight,  they took the time to create waves throughout, which saved me from having to do it at home.  Keep checking very back soon for more posts on how to speed up the growth process and what to do about thinning hair (as well as what products will help!).  My personal goal is thick, gorgeous long hair!
xo, Mary
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

High vs. Low: Liquid Eyeliner

Mary's Eyes: L'Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner in Black / Lips: YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Lingerie Pink

Sweater: Elizabeth and James
We've gotten a lot of inquiries from you about product prices... Many of you are interested in learning about good options at various price points, and this is an excellent question! Lindsey and I have a wide range of high and low priced products in our makeup bags, and we know the importance of knowing when it's worth it to splurge and when it's not. Since we have talked a lot about liquid eyeliner in recent posts, we felt this would be a good place to start. In the following photos, I am wearing L'Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner in Black ($8.49). Lindsey and I also have the Lancome Precision Point Artliner ($29.50) in our makeup bags, which is actually very similar to the L'Oreal liner. In fact, the felt tip applicators of the two are almost identical. Both draw an equally smooth line. The only noticeable difference between the two is that the Lancome liner is more pigmented than the L'Oreal liner. Basically, the Lancome liner delivers richer, more beautifully intense color. When using the L'Oreal formula, you may need to retrace your line a couple of times to achieve as rich and even a color. I honestly love both of these products and will continue to use both! If you are interested in trying the cat eye in the photos above, click here: laylonbeauty.blogspot.com/2012/03/cat-eyes-part-two.html for a step-by-step tutorial. Just use black liquid and pencil eyeliners instead of brown.  
xo, Mary
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

YSL's Best Selling Spring Lipstick

YSL's Rouge Volupte SPF 15 Lipstick in Lingerie Pink
My first spring lipstick has finally arrived in the mail, and I am so excited to wear it! This gorgeous shade is Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Volupte SPF 15 Lipstick in Lingerie Pink ($34). It is a hydrating, creamy lipstick that delivers subtle shine with a matte finish. It feels really nice on the lips. The staying power is not quite as good as YSL's Pur Couture lipstick, but I had to have it because I am in love with this cool shade of pink. The Rouge Volupte is highly pigmented, which I always like in a lipstick, so you get full coverage color in just one swipe. I can't wait to try on this lipstick with a tan. You might want to act quickly if you want to buy it... YSL has dubbed it one of it's bestselling lipsticks. Sephora did not have it in stock when I tried to buy it, so I ordered mine from Nordstrom instead, which offers free shipping in the U.S. I definitely recommend it!
xo, Mary
  
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Easy, Instant Eye Opener Trick


Eyes: Diorshow Mascara in Black / Lancome Artliner in Noir / Dior Lipstick
Here's a simple pick-me-up for eyes that can have a huge impact on the rest of your face. Go for full drama on your upper lash line, as seen here on Lindsey, with thick, wing-tipped eyeliner and several coats of black mascara. Leave the bottom lash line absolutely bare. (Scroll down to older posts for a how-to on the cat eye). We love the overall lifting and brightening effect this has on the face. Plus, the angle of the cat eye extending upward and outward makes the lift effect even stronger. She looks awake and bright-eyed. Try it next time you need to banish tired eyes... or if you just want to shake up your routine! Happy lifting!     
xo, Mary
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

DIY Intensive Peppermint Foot Scrub

 I don't know about y'all, but when the weather is cold, I tend to forget about my feet. It's easy to slack off on getting pedicures when your feet are hidden in winter boots everyday. Now that it's gotten warmer, mine need attention asap. I whipped up my own exfoliating foot scrub using ingredients straight out of my pantry to get rid of all the rough and dry spots. This intensive scrub is easy to make and will leave you with smooth skin. If your skin is at all sensitive, then this one is not for you.

All you need is honey, olive oil, Sugar in the Raw, and a drop of peppermint oil. The vanilla extract is optional... I found that the scrub doesn't really need it since the honey makes the smell so sweet. Start by squirting two dollops of honey into a small bowl of sugar. Add about a teaspoon of olive oil and stir well. It will be a little sticky and clumpy until the olive oil is well blended. Add a touch more olive oil if you need it. Just don't add so much that the scrub becomes runny. (Otherwise, the oil will end up separating from the honey and sugar). Finally, add a drop of peppermint oil to the mixture and stir again.

I scooped my scrub into a couple of empty Lancome moisturizer jars. Glass baby food jars work well too. Just use a shallow container. When you're ready, rub it all over your feet, concentrating on the heels and any other dry areas. Then work it over each toe, one at a time. After you rinse it off, slather on a rich moisturizer. Enjoy how much better your feet feel! Let me know if you have any good DIY scrub recipes :).

xo, Mary
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Joy of Smart Splurging




Cape: Rag and Bone

Today marks the official first day of spring, and it's finally starting to become lovely outside in Toronto. I trust that by next week, I will be putting away the winter clothes for good... And finally parting with my best investment piece of the cold season -- this stunning cape by Rag and Bone. I bought it right at the start of winter, and it has gotten me through every occasion imaginable, which brings me to the topic of smart splurging. I believe in getting yourself at least one good investment piece for every season... A smart buy that you constantly reach for no matter where you're going...  Something that will turn heads and make you feel fabulous... Something of supreme quality and fit that will last you for years. This turned out to be a great smart splurge because it took so many of my outfits to the next level, thus I found myself reaching for it constantly. It's definitely my best F/W 2011 purchase. Whether running errands or going out at night, this is my go-to coat.

Here's what you need to know when it comes to smart splurging:

1.) It should be something you wear often (not a sparkly cocktail dress, obviously).
2.) It should be something that is easy to dress up or down - take you from day to night.
3.) It should be something that can spice up a simple outfit, like jeans and a plain sweater or tee... Something that elevates your overall look.
4.) It should be comfortable... This should be a no-brainer, but sometimes pretty shiny (not so comfy) things at Saks can cloud our judgment :)
5.) Last, wait and get a second opinion if you're unsure. Ask a fashionable friend you trust if it's worth it.

I'm finally about to begin my spring shopping... Just keeping my fingers crossed the snow is over in Toronto! Just remember that you can always justify buying nice, quality pieces if you're smart about it. Happy shopping!      

   x, Mary
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Hottest Shade of Red Lipstick Ever


Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Couture SPF 15 Lipstick in Rouge Vernis
 We have to do a post on our favorite red lipstick of all time, Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Pur Couture SPF 15 Lipstick in Rouge Vernis. Voted Best in Beauty by Allure Magazine, we are apparently two of its many fans. What we love about this lipstick is how highly pigmented it is, delivering bold, full color with a chic matte finish. A lot of matte lipsticks we've tried in the past feel dry and uncomfortable on our lips... but not this one. If applied carefully, you can even skip the lip liner. Also, the SPF 15 protection is a nice bonus. We always get so many compliments on this lipstick and highly recommend it. 

Photo Courtesy yslbeautyus.com
xo, Lindsey and Mary
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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Daytime Cat Eye

There is no reason why you shouldn't have gorgeous eyes everyday if you want them. This comes from someone who religiously wings out her liquid eyeliner. I mean, honestly, who doesn't want to exude the sexiness of screen sirens Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot? Yes, a lot of it has to do with attitude, but those eyes... winged liner perfection. And knowing you look amazing can definitely affect the way you feel and act.

Photos from Google Images
For those of you who may be skeptical of wearing a cat eye during the day or at work, you can pull off this look and still look appropriate. So what does a daytime cat eye look like, you may be wondering... This look was nailed at Dolce and Gabbana's and Ruffian's Spring 2012 runway shows. The models at Dolce and Gabbana looked so fresh and bright-eyed. There is something so pleasantly subtle about the winged eyeliner at this show. The look is sexy, but in a natural, youthful way. If you are shy about sporting the cat eye, you might feel more comfortable trying a cute mini version, as seen below. The liquid liner was thicker and more winged out at Ruffian, but the rest of the models' faces were simple and natural. Gorgeous.


Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 (above) & Ruffian Spring 2012 (below), Courtesy Stylebistro.com

To get the look, start with a natural matte eyeshadow. A little shimmer in it is okay if you prefer. Next, line your upper lash line with a pencil eyeliner in brown, black brown, or a soft black. Stay as close to the lash line as possible, and don't draw too thick of a line. Also, don't draw a winged out line with the pencil! You will only do that part with the liquid liner. Now, carefully draw a line directly on top of the eyeliner pencil with a brown liquid eyeliner. A felt tip will make drawing a precise line easier. Slightly extend the line on the outer edge until you are satisfied. Only use the liquid liner along the top lash line. It will be too much if you do it on the bottom... and not daytime appropriate. If you must, it is okay to lightly line the inner lash line with the pencil eyeliner. Finally, and most importantly... it is not the end of the world if you can't draw a perfectly straight line. That will come with practice. Just make sure that the rest of your makeup is minimal! It looks so much fresher that way. Now all you need is a little bronzer on your cheeks and a touch of gloss on your lips. Happy lining!



What I used:  Eyes: Lancome Artliner in Brown / MAC Eye Kohl black eyeliner pencil / Estee Lauder Pure Color EyeShadow in Wild Sable
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Mascara in Black / Cheeks: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer / Lips: LipFusion Lip Gloss in Angelic
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Cat Eyes 101


We've been playing with our blog for the past few weeks, and now we're making it public. To kick off our first public post for our readers, it only seemed natural to do it on the cat eye. For anyone who knows Lindsey and me, it is sort of our signature. We've been sporting the cat eye for a loooong time now. It seemed a timely blog topic since the look was on so many F/W Fashion Week 2012 runways. We're excited to see our go-to eye look become such a big beauty trend! 



1) We like to use liquid eye liner as opposed to eye liner creams or pencils. Liquid liner is best for a sharp, clean line, and it stays on just about all day, depending on the brand you choose. There are a lot of waterproof formulas which we really love. Eyeliner creams and pencils will come off a lot quicker.

2) We use liquid liners with felt tip applicators... The tip is important when it comes to drawing a precise line! They are the easiest to use when it comes to doing the winged part of the cat eye. For a more dramatic look, we use an eye liner pencil on the inside corner of the eye and along the lower lash line. We don't use the liquid liner on our lower lash lines. Brands with felt tip applicators: Lancome Artliner (our favorite), YSL Eyeliner Pen, Bobbi Brown Ink Liner, and wallet-friendly L'Oreal Lineur Intense. I will get into the applicator tips more in a different post.

3) It takes practice, so be patient! It took me a long time to get it right... If you are new to liquid liner, forget doing the winged outer edge until you are comfortable lining the top lashes. Start out with a super thin line as close to the lash line as possible. 

4) The winged tip: If this look is a new experiment for you, try to avoid winging the edge out high, or curving it too far upward. (You don't want to look like a mime.) Extend the line out straight, slightly from the outer lash edge (as seen in our pictures above).
 

Check back soon for a post on "daytime" cat eyes...
 xo, Mary & Lindsey 


Mary (Left) and Lindsey (Right), both wearing Lancome Artliner Liquid Eye Liner in Noir / DiorShow Waterproof Mascara / Lancome Color Design Eye Shadow in Filigree /Nars Blush in Orgasm / Lancome Color Design Lipstick in Coral Goddess
 
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Smooth, Sleek Hair Now



I love being back in the South, but there is one thing I could definitely do without... the humidity. Lately, I've had to make a more conscious effort to keep it smooth. Here are the products I trust to get the job done...

1. Before blow drying my hair I spray Oscar Blandi Protein Styling Mist to strengthen my strands.

2. Then ALWAYS apply a heat protecting product - I'm using Blow Pro Heat is On Protective Daily Primer at the moment.

3. After drying I work Bed Head After Party through my hair to smooth away any frizziness.

4. To control unruly fly-aways I always reach for Nick Chavez Angel Wings Ultra-Light Styling Paste - a little goes a LONG way!

5. Finally, I spray my styled hair with Nick Chavez Plump 'N Thick Thickening Hairspray. This stuff really holds up!

Happy Styling! xo, Lindsey
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