Monday, April 30, 2012

Sister Love: Rebecca Minkoff Cosmetics Bag + Mint Jeans

Mary's Jeans: Blank NYC Spray On Jeans in Spearmint / Sweater: Theory / Cosmetic Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
 It was about time I got a nice cosmetics bag to carry the nice makeup inside. This adorable striped pouch by Rebecca Minkoff ($65) is a sweet gift from my sister. The black and white stripes are classic. Apart from holding my makeup, I can even see myself using it as a mini clutch to hide my cell phone, keys, and lip gloss at the beach or poolside. As for the mint jeans... You may remember I had my eye on these back when Lindsey and I did a post on candy-colored denim. They are the super skinny's with side zippers by Blank NYC ($88).  Mine are in Spearmint. They also come in Wet Tongue, which is a pretty salmon color. I ordered mine from Shopbop.com last month. The nail polish I'm wearing in the photos is OPI's Skull and Glossbones ($8), which is one of my favorite neutral shades. It is a pretty, subtle gray that goes with everything.

Nails: OPI Skull and Glossbones
xo, Mary
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Neon Nails

Mary's Nails: American Apparel Nail Lacquer in Neon Yellow / Shirt: Elizabeth and James / Jeans: Zara / Ring: Claborn Specialties Boutique
When it comes to neon hues, electric yellow is my favorite. This shade of polish, American Apparel Nail Lacquer in Neon Yellow ($6), is anything but shy. You don't have to have a tan for this color to work for you - it looks great on a variety of skin tones. What I love most about this nail polish is the matte finish. It's not shiny or shimmery. If shiny is what you like, then just use a clear top coat. The formula is a little thick, so you will need a bit of patience as this one dries.

 xo, Mary
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Use Blush to Create Gorgeous Cheekbones

Lindsey's Cheeks:  Bobbi Brown Blush in Pale Pink / Lips: Lancome Color Design Lipstick in B List
Blush is one of our favorite makeup tools. When applied just right, it can really showcase  or give the illusion of gorgeous cheekbones. First of all, it helps to apply it with a good blush brush. Most of the time, if your blush comes with a brush, it is tiny and fits inside the blush compact. A tiny brush is fine for touch ups when you're on the go, but at home, you should start by using a decent brush. Tiny brushes are actually a lot harder to use and make it more difficult to spread the color on evenly. We really like Lancome Cheek Brush #6 ($43) for its excellent, long-lasting quality and the fact that it never sheds hairs onto our faces. A great one we've tried with a lower price tag is Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush, which is about $18 at Target. Like the Lancome one, its head is slightly rounded, which we find to be perfect for blush application.  

Product images courtesy hsn.com, target.com
Once you have a good blush brush, you are ready to get started. Swipe the color just under your cheekbones and upward toward your ear. Most people apply blush to the apples of their cheeks, but this has always looked clown-like and not very flattering on us. If it helps, study the picture above and visualize a diagonal line where you see the blush. Look at where the blush is in proximity to the mouth as well as the ear. Now try it on yourself! Start out by sweeping on the blush very lightly with gentle strokes until you get the desired amount of color. Once you master the art of blush, you may start liking it as much as we do. We love it almost as much as a Kardashian... Almost.
xo, Mary and Lindsey
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

At Home Microdermabrasion That Works

Photos courtesy allure.com, soap.com

If you have never tried an at-home microdermabrasion product, they are basically a grand step up from your typical facial scrub. We like to do them every couple of weeks to slough off dead skin. Our faces always look and feel better, and our makeup looks more flawless afterwards. Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel System ($22 at drugstore.com) and Rodan and Fields Micro-Dermabrasion Paste ($77) are two products we've used and really like. The Olay one is a great one for the price. It's a two step system in which you massage the microdermabrasion scrub first onto your face and then follow with the activator serum, which is applied directly on top of the scrub and left on your face for about a minute. We can always definitely feel this product at work on our faces. You may find it irritating if your skin is sensitive. It slightly stung our faces, but we absolutely love how incredibly smooth it made them feel. The Rodan and Fields Micro-Dermabrasion Paste is a one-step product that gets the job done and feels a lot gentler on the face than the Olay system. If your skin is extremely sensitive you can pat a little water on your face before rubbing on the scrub and it will be less abrasive. We both found this one to be a lot less irritating to our skin. We love how bright and fresh our faces look after using it. The main ingredients in the paste are Vitamins C and E (which we always like to see in a skincare product), and it promises to facilitate cell turnover. Both of these microdermabrasion scrubs made our faces feel amazingly soft afterwards, but we prefer the Rodan and Fields formula over the Olay one since it gets the job done in one step while being so much gentler on the skin. Expect a bit of temporary redness after using both.
xo, Mary
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Primed for Perfection: Our Favorite Primers

Product images courtesy toofaced.com and allure.com
 We like to use primer as the first step in our daily makeup routines because it helps create a nice, smooth canvas for applying makeup. The smoother and more even your skin's surface is, the more natural and flawless your makeup will look. After washing our faces and applying moisturizer, we smooth on a thin layer of primer before applying concealer or foundation. 

Lindsey Says:
 I've had great results with Too Faced Primed and Poreless Bronze Tint Skin Smoothing Face Primer ($30). It always makes my skin feel smooth and silky, which I love. It has a bronze tint which is formulated to enhance your natural skin color, while also offering sun protection with SPF 20. It gives my face an airbrushed look worn underneath my foundation. It can even be worn on its own. 

Mary Says:
Lancome La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer ($42) is my primer of choice. It's a clear formula that doesn't deposit any color - just a soft, mattifying finish thanks to its silicones and emollients. I love the primer's lightweight, non-greasy feel and how it makes my foundation look more even and flawless on my skin. A good primer I've tried at a lower price point is Victoria's Secret VS Pro Airbrush FX Face Primer SPF 20 ($18). This one is very similar to the Lancome one in that it's a silicone based gel-cream formula. Let us know which primers you love!
 xo, Mary and Lindsey
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fear Not Hair Oil

Mary's Lips: Lancome Color Fever Lipstick in Red and Sensual Java / In Hair: Kevin Murphy YOUNG.AGAIN Hair Oil / Top: Patterson J. Kincaid
'Oil' is a word that can have a very negative connotation when it comes to beauty, so before you read any further, let go of any such associations you may already have. It's a bad thing in the wrong places - your scalp or your complexion. Used in the right places, it can make a big difference in your overall appearance. Hair oil is something Lindsey and I use daily as part of our beauty routines. As our colorists told us at Bumble and Bumble's uptown salon when our strands were first painted ombré, a good hair oil can be especially nourishing for our color-processed hair. Kevin Murphy YOUNG.AGAIN Hair Oil ($40), is one of the best oils I've ever used on my hair. It is very lightweight and manages to tame my dry, damaged ends into smooth submission. In the photo above, I had just rubbed a few drops onto the ends of my hair, and as you can see, it doesn't look greasy at all. It helps condition and hide my scraggly split ends. Because it protects against heat styling, I always rub a teeny dab of the oil over each lock of dry hair before running my flat iron or curling iron over it. It is a treatment oil, so it's full of antioxidants that prevent damage and breakage... which is crucial since I'm trying to avoid trims! Recently, I revealed to you here how infrequently I get my hair trimmed since I am trying to grow it out. In addition to rubbing a tad into the ends of my dry hair once or twice a day, I also comb in a bit of it on wet hair before blow drying.

Even if your hair tends to be oily, you can still rub a pea size amount in your fingers and put it on the ends of your hair - it shouldn't make your hair look greasy. The goal is to add a little extra polish to your overall look. Just don't put it anywhere near your scalp. If you have super fine, naturally pin straight hair, you are an exception and should avoid hair oil.
Image courtesy KevinMurphy.com

If you want to try more wallet friendly hair oils, I also suggest John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protective Hair Serum and Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Serum (both under $10). I prefer the John Frieda one because it's lighter-weight and protects against heat styling. I've found that the Garnier oil is better for putting in wet hair than dry hair since it's a bit heavier formula. Just remember to start with a pea-sized amount. You can always add more if you need it.
  xo, Mary and Lindsey
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Mint Nails For Cheap

Mary wearing Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Mint Sorbet / Sunglasses: Versace
  This is a pretty shade of mint nail polish that comes with an awesome price tag. It's Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Mint Sorbet, and if you order it from Drugstore.com, it will cost you less than $3. I really love this matte nail shade. The formula is pretty thick, so you might have to wait a long time for it to dry if you don't have a fast-drying clear topcoat. I often use Sally Hansen Insta Dry Anti-Chip Top Coat. I have no patience for waiting on my nails to dry! For those of you who are nail biters like me, you can also try swiping on a clear coat of Bite No More after you paint on the mint green (instead of the Salley Hansen clear top coat). The Bite No More polish also speeds up the drying process. It tastes pretty bad, so it helps me not bite my nails. :)
 
xo, Mary
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Prettiest Pink Shade of Lipfusion Gloss

Mary's Lips: Lipfusion Infatuation Gloss in Angelic / Blush: Bobbi Brown in Pale Pink / Photo Right courtesy hsn.com

Lipfusion Infatuation lip gloss ($29) is a great product that I find worthy of a post since I constantly find myself reaching for it. Angelic is my favorite shade and the one I am wearing in the above photo. The color is a gorgeously flattering shimmery rose with tiny flecks of gold in it. It is not at all sparkley. Apart from being a beautiful shade, I love this lip gloss's lip plumping abilities. It feels a little tinglely, which I really like. Again, this shade of pink is extremely flattering. It looks great on a variety of ages and skin tones. I always put on some lip liner before swiping on the gloss because the liner helps it grip to your lips and last a lot longer. 
xo, Mary
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Top Foundation Picks

Lindsey's Foundation: Clinique Superbalanced Makeup / L'Oreal True Match Naturale / Blush: Nars Blush in Orgasm
 Thanks to your many requests and questions, this post will be all about our favorite foundations. I will start by talking about the one we both love and have in our makeup bags - Clinique Superbalanced Makeup ($23), which I am wearing in the above photo. It is a great oil-free foundation that is amazing for combination skin. It absorbs oil really nicely and leaves our skin looking fresh and dewy. It stays on all day and also holds up really well against perspiration. In the photo, I'm also wearing a light dusting of L'Oreal True Match Naturale mineral powder foundation ($12.99 at drugstore.com), which Mary and I have been wearing for a long time. We always have it in our makeup bags in at least two shades - a lighter one and a darker one. It's such a fabulous product - just apply a very light layer of it so that it doesn't look cakey. Thick powder = looking old. Because we are total product junkies, of course we have multiple foundations in our makeup bags for various seasons and times of year. Scroll below to see our other favorites!


Lindsey Says:
My other two favorite foundations are by Laura Mercier. What I love most about the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Liquid Foundation ($42) is that the formula is buildable. I can smooth it on lightly for a sheerer look or I can apply it with a heavier hand for more coverage. The Laura Mercier Foundation Powder ($40) is excellent for my oily skin. Not only does it take care of my shine, the compact is easy to carry around with me and isn't messy to pull out at all. The mirror is handy for touch-ups.

Mary Says:
My favorite foundation is DiorSkin Dior Forever Liquid Foundation ($47). I love the long-lasting formula for its weightless feel and flawless finish. The first day I wore this foundation, I was immediately complimented by my dad and a good guy friend of mine that my face looked really pretty. ;) Again, the Dior formula stays on and blends in really nicely. The Clinique Superbalanced Makeup is also a wonderful foundation that I always keep in my makeup bag.

A final word of wisdom... Nothing looks worse than thick, caked on foundation. We cannot emphasize this enough. We made this mistake throughout high school and college. Apply your foundation with a light hand. You will look younger, we promise!
xo, Lindsey and Mary
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

We Heart Shea Moisture


We must tell you about a new body lotion we've tried that we absolutely love. It's by Shea Moisture, an organic bath, body, and haircare line that is quickly growing. The two lotions in the photo are our favorites, the Raw Shea Butter Lotion with Frankincense & Myrrh and Argan Oil and Raw Shea Lotion. The Shea Moisture line offers quite a variety of different lotions, including a lavender scented one as well as coconut & hibiscus. What we love most about these lotions are how amazing they smell. Seriously good. They also feel wonderful on the skin -- very moisturizing and not greasy at all. The Argan Oil and Raw Shea lotion is a slightly richer formula but still has a nice, lightweight feel. At just $10 a piece, these are a great buy. Shea Moisture products are available at Target and Walgreens. We might just have to give their soaps and shower gels a try as well!
xo, Lindsey
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Our Favorite Multitaskers

Photos: Left, Courtesy C.O. Bigelow; Right, Courtesy Elle.com
We have an affinity for beauty products that go the extra mile. Despite being product junkies, we love it when we find one that delivers on multiple levels, which brings us to discuss two of our favorite multitaskers, C.O. Bigelow's Rose Salve No. 012 and Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Here is what we love about both...

The Rose Salve ($5.50) is a fabulous all-purpose formula which we find ourselves reaching for all day long. We dab it on our lips, elbows, and any dry patches on our skin. We especially love rubbing it on our nails and cuticles. It seriously hides dry, peeling areas around the fingernails and instantly makes our hands look so much better. We even use the Rose Salve to tame hair flyaways and frizz. It smells wonderful and feels wonderful on the skin. Because it comes in such a small tin, it hardly takes up any space at all in our bags (and doesn't weigh us down!), which is great if we're carrying a small purse. Just be sure to only use a dab so that it doesn't look greasy.

The Aquaphor Ointment ($14) is a slightly more intensive formula that does healing wonders for really dry skin. It's a great product to keep on your bedside table because you can put it on your lips, feet, and hands before going to sleep, and you'll wake up to much better feeling skin. If your heels and feet are especially dry, really slather it on thick and then put on socks. It is also good for small cuts or scrapes. If we use this product on our skin during the daytime, we often rub whatever product residue is left in our hands on the ends of our hair. It's great for smoothing down frizz and hiding split ends.  
xo, Lindsey and Mary
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Airbrush Tanning at Home

Mary's shorts by Free People, Top: Patterson J. Kincaid, Bracelet: Claborn Specialties
I recently had a cool experience with airbrush tanning that I must share! I called up Tan on the Run in Toronto and set up an appointment to get sprayed, not realizing that they are a mobile airbrush tanning company would be coming to me to do it. I was excited to find out that they would be spraying me in my own home… total celeb treatment! Nicole, who does airbrushing for Tan on the Run soon arrived to my apartment with a cart of tools, which included a large pop up tent. She quickly set it up in my living room and assured me that there would be no trace of the tanning formula on the walls or floors of my apartment, which was obviously a big concern. Then, she sprayed me inside the tent. The whole process took about 20 or 25 minutes (the same time it takes to get sprayed in a salon). I had the option of choosing regular or dark color. I chose the dark shade. I absolutely loved my tan. I didn’t look orangey at all (as you can see from the photo above, which was taken a day after). It was a great formula, and the color lasted nearly a week. The cost of the tan was $60. It was nice being able to let my color set in and dry in the comfort of my home. I didn’t have to worry about getting dressed and sitting down in the car to drive back home. I highly recommend trying a mobile airbrush service if you've never done it! There are several services with good reviews across the US, including Solar Dimensions in Atlanta, La Viva Glam in NYC, A Glo 2 Go in Birmingham, AL, and Tan2U, which offers mobile spray tan services throughout the country.
xo, Mary
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mother Nature's Best Exfoliator

This is a guest post from one of my best friends, Syrah Gilley, of The Pièce de Résistance, a chic sweets boutique that prides itself on using amazing farm fresh ingredients! She brought me the naturally grown loofah in the photo below over her weekend visit to see me in Toronto. I tried it and really loved its exfoliating abilities! Read below to see how easy it is to grow one of your own!


 First of all, I am so honored to be doing a guest post on Laylon!  It is my absolute favorite beauty blog, filled with excellent tips and honest product reviews by two very talented sisters. Thank you! I am one of those girls who is obsessed with exfoliation. I don't feel completely clean unless my skin has been buffed smooth of the grit and grime from the day.  I've always loved naturally grown loofahs because they aren't too abrasive but get the job done.  There's a natural, spa element they bring to your bubble bath that a lot of the synthetic kinds you buy in stores just don't deliver. I love growing my own because I can grow as many as I need and the idea of living off my land is so alluring to me.  I also love knowing they haven't been sprayed or treated with any chemicals I'd disapprove of.

I'd like to say I planned on creating my own homemade loofah and sought out ways to make that happen, but I didn't even know where they came from until about a year ago.  I was casually perusing the seed section at my local gardening shop, picking out my favorite herbs and veggies, when I came across a pack of Loofah Gourd seeds.  You can grow them!?  I just couldn't resist the thought of having these unique little scrubbers growing in my own garden. I planted them with the rest of my newly purchased seeds along the edge of my garden so they'd have space to spread out - though I didn't know how much.  Over the summer about 6 plants crept over  a 4' x 6' area in our yard.  By fall I had 8 magnificent Loofah Gourds and oodles of minis that didn't get quite enough time to mature.

In most climates you can wait for the first frost to kill the plant and just let them dry on the vine. Once they are completely dried, you can crack off the thick skin and voila - you have a loofah.  It will have plenty of seeds inside that you can shake out and save for next spring. I'm in Alabama though and our falls are pretty damp, which can cause them to rot before they get a chance to dry.  So after the first frost I cut them off the vine and peeled them like you would a butternut squash.  Once peeled you can "wring them out" under running water - there are seeds and a "melony" fruit between the fibrous mesh that you want to completely rinse out.  Finally, you set them in a dry place, I prefer out in the sun to whiten them a bit, to completely dry out. Scrub up! 

Mine tend to last a few months before I switch it out for a new one. This year I have started them after the last frost so they have plenty of time to grow and mature before the first frost in fall. Hopefully I'll harvest at least twice as many as last year (note: you can cut these big 8" long gourds into 2-3 loofahs if you prefer a petit size.) I've seen seeds at Lowe's every now and then, and you can always find them online. Happy planting!
 xo, Syrah Gilley
www.pdrsweets.com
Syrah and Mary outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Product Review: Garnier Fructis BB Cream

On Mary: Garnier Fructis BB Cream in Light/Medium
A friend of mine recently let me try her new Garnier Fructis BB Cream, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. Lindsey and I both have it in our makeup bags now. What we love about this product is that it disappears completely into our skin. It is so easy to blend in, and there is no trace of visible makeup left on your face. The result is you -- only better. This beauty balm is quite lightweight and similar to tinted moisturizer. It doesn't crease, and it gives a slightly dewy finish. If your skin is oily, you might prefer a more mattifying formula, but we've found that this product is not greasy. It also hides redness quite nicely. We've also noticed that we really don't need foundation with it... just a few dabs of concealer. For those of you who need fuller coverage, you may find this bb cream to be too sheer on its own. You can definitely add a little foundation on top. A bit of loose powder also works well over it. We've both gotten compliments that our skin looks healthy while wearing it. The Garnier BB cream will run you about $13 in the U.S. and $21 in Canada... not bad at all considering just a dab of the product goes a long way.

Photo courtesy goodtoknow.co.uk
xo, Mary and Lindsey
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Dry Shampoo Answer to Prayer

Coppola Keratin Complex Volumizing Dry Shampoo Powder / Photo courtesy KeratinComplex.com

I am so excited about a product I've stumbled across that's something I have been wishing for a while now... a dry shampoo powder for brunettes. In a recent post, I talked about different dry shampoos I've tried (click here to see it). I've used white powder formulas (Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo) as well as a colored formula that sprays out for brunettes (Bumble and Bumble Dry Shampoo). I am so excited about trying Coppola Keratin Complex Volumizing Dry Shampoo Powder for Brunettes (because it is one of the only colored dry powder formulas that does not spray out that I've seen on the market. I've noticed that most dry shampoo formulas that spray out from a can are sticky and aren't the best at covering up oily hair. The Keratin Complex dry shampoo comes in a shade for blondes as well as brunettes, so you'll no longer have to deal with trying to blend white powder into your hair. It's a little on the expensive side for $34 a bottle, but I feel that any product that will help me stretch out my time in between washes is well worth it. In the end less washes are better for my hair's color and overall health. I will let you know what I think about this product!
xo, Lindsey
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rimmel's Best Shades of Nude Lipstick

Mary's Lips:  Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Crush / Sweater: TEXTILE Elizabeth & James
 I must confess that I absolutely love Rimmel lipstick... particularly their range of nude shades. Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick feels really nice on the lips and stays on for hours. I often skip lip liner with it because the formula has such great gripping power. It never slides off around the lips. The nude coral hue I'm wearing in the photo above is Crush, the Rimmel shade I always get the most compliments on. At about $5 per tube, you don't have much to lose by trying it! Below are my three favorite shades. Because of the lighting, they all look pretty similar, but they are actually quite different. The color on the far left is Crush (which, again, I am wearing in the above photo.) The tube in the middle, 003, is a medium shade of nude from the Kate Moss Lasting Finish Collection. The color on the far right, Airy Fairy, is another one of my favorites. It's a cool nude pink.

Here is my only word of wisdom when choosing a nude lipstick... If you are unsure about which one to choose, try to avoid nude shades that are dull, muddy or ashy. Instead gravitate toward shades with a bit of pink or coral in them, which will be more flattering. Happy shopping!
xo, Mary
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm a 'Fool' for Lipstick

Lindsey's Lips: Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Mysterious Mauve / Photo on right courtesy dior.com
In the spirit of April Fool's Day, I had to do a post on one of my favorite lipsticks... since I consider myself a 'fool' for lipstick. Just one glance into my makeup bag would reveal tube after tube of gorgeous color. The shade of purple I'm wearing in the photos above is Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Mysterious Mauve, #786. This highly pigmented lip color has an amazingly smooth feel and a subtle, volume-enhancing finish. It stays on really well, so there's no need to worry about constant reapplication. This glamorous purple shade is all about drama. Wear it this spring if you want a look that is unexpected, yet beautifully striking. Hope you have a happy holiday! What are you a 'fool' for? Let us know!
xo, Lindsey
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