Friday, June 27, 2014

Manhattan South

Lindsey and I recently had the pleasure of being involved in a joint collaboration with Manhattan South boutique in Birmingham and locally based photographers Rachel and NoahRay EcholsEveryone was such a treat to work with! We love the boutique's selection, and Rachel and NoahRay were a blast to shoot with. In this post, Lindsey and I are wearing our top picks by Hunter Bell and Annie Griffin Collection from Manhattan South. We'll show you our Annie favorites first, our favorite of all being this first look. Love the color and feel of these bright coral pants, paired with this white zipper back top. The fit is amazing. Also available in a bright print at Manhattan South

 This long printed maxi dress is another favorite of ours. Appropriate for so many summer occasions! 

 We also loved the neckline of this pink Annie top. A very flattering and flexible piece - easy to style different ways and for different occasions. Love! (By the way, worn here with my fave Jess Leigh Jewels pendant - scroll down for 30% off discount code on her jewelry for Laylon readers!)

Our favorite Hunter Bell design from Manhattan South is this little black number. We adore the fit n' flare shape and the cutout/eyelet/exposed zipper combo. 

Our other Hunter fave is this sheer printed caftan, which is a wonderfully flexible piece. We like it best worn loose, as seen here. It also looks adorable belted and could be worn as a swimsuit coverup with the slip removed. It even looked great worn as a top, tucked into the front of skinny jeans. Love! Definitely check out Manhattan South in Cahaba Heights and also online to see more great selection.  Hope y'all have a fabulous weekend!!

Photos: Birmingham based Rachel and NoahRay Echols

Limited time discount code for Jess Leigh Jewels designs for Laylon followers!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jewelry Designer Crush: Jess Leigh Jewels

 If you've been following us on Instagram or the blog as of late, then you'll probably recognize some of these adorable pieces of jewelry we've been sporting the past few weeks. The necklace I'm wearing in this first photo, and the other lovely pieces throughout this post are one of a kind designs created by New Orleans designer Jess Leigh Gholston of Jess Leigh Jewels. Lindsey and I adore her handmade designs and became immediate fans when we saw some of the chained body pieces she crafted for NOLA Fashion Week (see here, here and here, and swoon). So naturally, we were thrilled when she sent us some of her affordable pieces in the mail! 

This first Butterfly pendant necklace is my favorite Jess Leigh Jewels piece - it's an antique escutcheon plate from the 1800's, used to cover a door keyhole at one point. Just adore it! I love its sexy Egyptian vibe. It works with everything which is why Lindsey and I keep reaching for it. We wore this piece in a recent photoshoot so you will be seeing more of it. ; )

 Another favorite piece of ours is the round vintage button ring that Lindsey is wearing below. We love the pop of white in the middle for summer. This ring looks awesome with a relaxed chic look.

 Another piece Jess Leigh sent was this adorable threaded ribbon tie bracelet. We love it worn on the ankle. Looks great with this slinky Helmut Lang asymmetrical skirt (and also looks good with cut-off jean shorts).

Finally, we adore the raw lapis stone on this last pendant necklace, dubbed the Adventurine (love the name : ). The natural beauty of this piece is striking. Obsessed. This long pendant has been the answer to a lot of our basic summer tanks, and it matches with everything. It may be bright jade, but we consider this natural rock a neutral. You'll be seeing more of this necklace from our recent photoshoot. : ) 

As a special treat for our Laylon followers, Jess Leigh is kindly offering 30% off of her designs from now through July 10! The discount code is:  jljandlaylon 

Definitely check out her designs on her website and on Instagram here

FYI, here are a few of our faves:

 Large Arrowhead Gold Necklace (The arrowhead is 5 and a half inches long) #need |   The Raw Druzy Agate necklace  |  Small Agate Sterling necklace  |  Faceted Turquoise Rectangle necklace

Happy Wednesday to y'all! 
x, Mary

First outfit: Free People top and skirt | Second outfit: Show Me Your Mumu blouse, Helmut Lang Skirt | Third outfit: Bobi cotton top, Coach bag | Fourth outfit: Free People top and skirt
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Monday, June 23, 2014

How To Draw A Winged Cat Eye: Step By Step

 The cat eye is a special look for us. It's an emblem of our blog's beginnings, as it was our first post ever to go live on Laylon in March 2012 : ) (see it here). So we are very excited to share a brand new, more in-depth tutorial on this look! We had the treat of working with Birmingham-based photographer Kate Tully of Tully House Photo, whose lovely shots capture how we create a cat eye from start to finish. Hope y'all enjoy!

Start by priming your bare lids with a eyeshadow primer (we like Urban Decay's formula). Follow all over with a neutral eyeshadow. Don't be tempted to skip this part and go straight for the eyeliner -- slick or greasy eyelids can work against you, causing smears and smudges. Once the lids are prepped, you can reach for your pencil eyeliner. I'll get to the liquid liner in a minute. 

Draw a thin line along the top lash line, staying as close to your lashes as possible. We recommend a pigmented formula that delivers, nice strong color like Chanel's kohl pencil, which I'm using here. The pencil eyeliner step is important. It makes it easier to trace the liquid eyeliner on top of. Trust me on this one.

Grab your liquid eyeliner and trace directly on top of the pencil line you just drew, starting from the inner corner and working outward. I prefer felt tip liners, such as the Maybelline formula I am using here on Lindsey. Brush tips are good too - it's really a matter of personal preference. When drawing the line, take your time, especially if you are new to using liquid eyeliner. Try to keep the line as thin as possible to start with.

Now, for the winged part. You'll notice in the above photo that the line I extended outward doesn't curl up a whole lot. It's more like a subtle upward curve. You can play with how far you extend the wing part, but for beginners, I recommend a small one. For a beautiful, sleek cat eye shape, you'll want the outer tip to come to a thin point. A dampened pointed Q-tip can save you if you need to correct any smudges or unevenness.

Here is another view of the slightly curved winged tip. A subtle arc upward looks elegant. An overly curled up outer tip can look clownish.

 Our favorite way to wear this look is along the top lash line only - with no liner at all on the bottom. It looks youthful and is daytime and office friendly.

For a more dramatic look, you'll apply the same method you just learned for the top lash line to your bottom lash line, starting with a swipe of pencil liner, as Lindsey applies to herself below.

 Then, apply the liquid formula directly on top. I recommend applying it with a light hand, so that the line is as thin and a little more subtle. Here, I barely grazed it over the line of pencil eyeliner.

 You'll notice from the picture below that I extended the bottom line outward, meeting the top one, in that upward arc shape. Again, the best advice I can give is to take your time! Work slowly and use pointed q-tips for touching up the outer wing. Good luck, and happy winging! : )

xx, Mary

Stunning pics: Tully House Photo
Lipstick: Kismet Cosmetics Velvet Collection Lipstick in Crushed Coral | Neck bling: Shopshals | Ring, right hand: Camplandon Connect Ring | Ring left hand: Jess Leigh Jewels
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Sunset 45 Little Luxuries Lavish Box

Earrings and bracelet: LAVISH box

Hello, weekend! We'll be stepping into Friday night wearing pieces from our latest Sunset 45 little luxuries boxes, which Lindsey is showing off in this post. These accessories are from the latest "LAVISH" box. Last week, I showed you the accessories from our Sunset 45 "CLASSIC" box (see here). It's tough to pick a favorite between the two boxes -- we love the jewelry and sunglasses from both! Like we mentioned last week, we're loving the elegant pearl, gold and black theme. So classic. So easy to blend in with looks in our closet, instantly upping the sophistication factor. If you love jewelry and accessories, we definitely recommend subscribing to receive these little boxes of goodies each month. The items in the latest "LAVISH" box, worn in this post, include a pair of earrings, a bracelet, a necklace, a pair of sunglasses (adore these!), and relaxing essential oil. Leave a comment and let us know what you think! We can't wait until next month's boxes arrive!

Sunglasses and necklace: LAVISH box

For more on Sunset45 little luxuries boxes as well as giveaway opportunities, follow SunsetShop on Instagram here. Have a lovely weekend! : )
x, M

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pretty in Pink

Nothing quite cheers up and brightens the face like the color pink. Every woman should have pink in her makeup palette. It is flattering and feminine, and it looks beautiful in the summer. Pink makeup just looks and feels pretty, which is why Lindsey and I wear a lot of it. Here, I am wearing it on my eyes, cheeks, and lips. I love it all together! If you are cautious about wearing this much pink, that's okay! : ) You can always opt for one shade on the face. See below for the products I'm wearing!

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Cream Eyeshadow in Emerveille (a light shimmery pink that works on everyone) - applied all over the lids. I used an old Lancome powder eyeshadow in a medium shade of purple in the crease. 
Maybelline Line Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Liner
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara 

Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush in Electric Pink (one of my faves!)
(I applied it generously for this look. Just tap a brush into the formula once and sweep onto the cheeks for a softer look).
*If you prefer a warmer shade of pink, try Pink Ingenue, also by Estee Lauder.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Intense Long Wear Lip Colour in L'Ecletante (we love this matte formula!)

Happy Wednesday!

x, M
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Date Makeup

Several of you commented on how much you liked the makeup I wore in Monday's post on our latest Sunset45 boxes (see here), so I wanted to fill you in on the products I used. 

I think this is a perfect summer date look. The thick liquid liner on top is kind of sexy, but I kept it tame with neutral gold eyeshadow and a light coat of mascara on my upper lashes. All I used along my lower lash line was a touch of a white pencil highlighter. Dark eyeshadow and layers of eyeliner on the bottom and inner rims of the eyes would have been too much. You don't want to look like you're trying too hard! ;) Pink on the lips and cheeks is pretty and approachable. See below for the products I used!

White highlighter: Estee Lauder Intense Kajal Eye Crayon Duo (White Sands) - discontinued (see a great drugstore alternative I'm wearing here)

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Highlighter (down the bridge of my nose, along my temples and the tops of my cheekbones 


By the way, I'm wearing my Snakebite necklace from at Sunset45 shop little luxuries box. If you remember from Monday's post, I wore it as a bracelet. Love this versatile little piece! Check out that post for more on Sunset45, and follow Sunset45 on Instagram (here) for weekly giveaways!

Happy Friday!
x, M

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sunset 45 Little Luxuries "Classic" Box

Necklace and cuff bracelet: CLASSIC box

I'm an adventurous spirit, so I love surprises. I always have. Life is full of them - good and bad - so it's a good mindset to choose. Fun ones are the best, of course, though. : ) When Lindsey and I received our latest 'surprise' Sunset45 boxes in the mail, we were elated! The concept of Sunset45 is similar to Birchbox... except, instead of receiving a box of beauty samples each month, Sunset45 subscribers receive little boxes of full size fashion and beauty accessories in the mail and have the option of choosing a "CLASSIC" or "LAVISH" themed box. Such a fun way to keep your look fresh and regularly updated with new pieces. In last month's post, we showed off the colorful jewelry we received in our Sunset45 boxes (click here to see). The new pieces from our most recent boxes, which I'm wearing in this post, had a sleek, strong feel, which we love! Black, gold, and pearl. All very smart. In this post, I'm wearing pieces from the "CLASSIC" box. Items in this box included two necklaces, a cuff bracelet, a pair of sunglasses, and essential oil. (Stay tuned for pics of Lindsey wearing the latest pieces from the latest "LAVISH" box.)

Cuff bracelet, chain necklace worn as bracelet, and sunglasses: CLASSIC box

Sunglasses: CLASSIC box
Check out Sunset45 on Instagram here, for more on the little luxuries boxes and also giveaway opportunities from this new company. Remember to stay tuned to see Lindsey showingoff pieces from the latest LAVISH box.

Happy Tuesday! 

x, M

Black skirt: Elizabeth and James Ashlyn skirt | White skirt: Leona Morgan skirt | Cropped top: Urban Outfitters (last summer) | Bag: Coach Pin It

Friday, June 6, 2014

Eye Brightening Trick For Tired Eyes

Long nights call for eye brightening makeup for the following morning! Our first game of kickball season was last night, and we ended up staying up late for the after party. Didn't get much sleep, so my eyes needed a little pick-me-up this morning. I used a white eyeliner pencil along my lower lash line, which always saves my eyes after a long night! Instantly makes them look brighter and more awake. I used Revlon Photo Ready Kajal Intense Eyeliner + Brightener in Carbon Cleopatra. One end of the pencil is white, for brightening, and the other end is black. The formula has a nice, rich pigment. Such a great little drugstore find! 

I tend to like a bold lip whenever I don't have time to fix my hair. Looks a bit more polished. Here, I am wearing another little drugstore love of mine - Maybelline Vivids Color Sensational Lipstick in Electric Orange. This lipstick grips to the lips nicely and feels good on - not many touch ups are needed throughout the day. As for the rest of my eye makeup, I'm wearing Lancome's Liquid ArtlinerChanel Le Volume Mascara, and Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Cream Shadow in Emerveille (this shimmery pink is also a great eye-brightener!). My tangerine nails are painted with Chanel's Mirabella nail polish.

 By the way!... the lovely necklace I'm wearing here is from Shals, one of my fave online boutiques. This style is the Stella (just $24! - craziness!). Lindsey and I adore Shal's affordable and fun pieces. Right now, the Tal necklace (see here) is FREE with any Shals purchase. Offer is good until Sunday. Here is a pic of me wearing it in a previous blog post. Her home decor pieces make wonderful gifts, too. You should def check out more on her Facebook page here

Happy Friday!
x, M

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Saks Beauty Week Picks: YSL Baby Doll Mascara, Glossy Stain & Sisley Eye Mask

 Since today is the last day of Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty Week, I wanted to share a few more items we've tested that you'll want to know about if you're planning on swinging by Saks today for the beauty deals.

This mascara has redeemed itself... I tried it on my lower lashes today and love how it makes them look. As I mentioned in last week's blog post, the formula has good separating and defining capabilities. For my top lashes, I prefer a formula that delivers a little more oomph. Lindsey and I recommend Chanel Le Volume Mascara if volume and thickness is your goal.
I am also wearing my Sisley Eye Contour Mask underneath my makeup that I never washed off this morning.  Lindsey and I love the luminous sheen of the mask so much that we haven't been washing it off! We agree that it makes the skin around our eyes appear brighter. Love it!
Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Rouge Gouache  
This is a lip gloss that truly stays put (see yesterday's Glossy Satin shade here). Loving this dramatic shade. TIP - keep the look youthful with a shimmery, neutral cream eyeshadow, as I have chosen here. Soft pinks or soft champagne golds will pair best.
See yesterday's post for my feedback on this product.

(used down the bridge of my nose and along my temples and tops of my cheekbones)

x, M

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