Hi everyone! I’m currently on vacation in Aspen. It’s really, really cold here (anywhere between -16 to a warm 20 degrees Fahrenheit). The sun still comes out, so I’m happy that I brought my favorite pair of Celine sunglasses. They really are a necessity in any weather! And it’s very fitting for this week, as my recent post “5 reasons to wear sunglasses year round” was selected for this week’s links a la mode by the Independent Fashion Bloggers network. Take a look at that post and the others selected this week. Thanks for reading!
This year feels especially glamourous, not sure why, it’s just a feeling. And believe me, it’s strange because my personal life is considerably less glamourous on paper, so what’s up with that? Is it the glitter? The sparking lights? The beautiful holiday style? Well, if you take a look at this week’s roundup, we have all kinds of resources for glamming it up this holiday season. From getting a man’s advice on gift giving, to looking sizzling hot at the holiday party. We’ve even got a close look at a real princess. I feel glamourous already!
Links à la Mode: December 5th
It’s the time of year to explore with bolder lipstick colors. The bold burgundy and red colors that are in this season look fabulous but can also be quite messy. A defined lip always looks best, and you want to make sure that your lips look great all night long (especially after a few drinks and bites.) Having red lipstick all over your face from sloppy application is not a good look. Follow these steps to make sure that your lipstick stays intact and pretty all night long.
1. Exfoliate: Just like the rest of your skin, your lips can get flakey and you need to make sure that you’re exfoliating at least 1x a week. Use one like philosophy “kiss me” (above).
2. Moisturize: Apply a thin layer of lip moisturizer or balm (like the Dr. Lipp original nipple balm above) to smooth your lips. Be careful to not apply too much, otherwise your lipstick will slip right off! A balm that moisturizes and dries quickly works best.
3. Prime: This is a step that is often missed, but lightly applying foundation on your lips serves as a primer and also helps to even out the skin tone (above – one of my essentials Bobbi Brown skin foundation).
4. Line: Select a liner is a similar color as your lipstick. Sharpen your liner (MAC Pro Longwear is a personal favorite) and line your lips with short strokes (rather than one continous outline). Then, fill in your lips completely with the liner. This serves multiple purposes: prevents the tacky liner/lipstick contrast, enhances the lip color, and will help prolong your lipstick.
5. Lipstick: Apply your lipstick over the lip liner. (Above: BITE beauty creme lipstick).
6. Blot: As a final step, lightly blot the excess lip color with a tissue. This is in particularly important if your lip curls when you smile; you need to make sure that your lipstick sets so that you don’t end up with lipstick on your teeth!
The next couple weeks are probably filled with all sorts of holiday parties, some on the formal side and others that may just be casual gatherings with friends. For those casual gatherings, I like to bring a dessert and ideally something that is already in individual serving sizes. I realized that mini cupcakes make the most sense since they are already bite size (and most people will end up cutting full size cupcakes to smaller pieces).
This is the first recipe I made with my new mini cupcake pan. I originally wanted to make mini cupcake pumpkin pies, and adapted several different recipes I had on hand to make this. It actually has a strong ginger taste, making it a great holiday dessert. You can add food coloring to give it a more festive feel (I used orange here since I made it for a “Friendsgiving”).
1 can (15 oz) of canned pure pumpkin
1 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
8 ounce (1 package) cream cheese
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mix white and brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg in a large bowl.
3. Beat eggs into mixture.
4. Add canned pumpkin and heavy cream and stir until it’s well incorporated.
5. Add the flour and mix until all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
6. Line a mini cupcake pan with foil liners and spray lines with cooking spray (this is an important step to make sure that the cupcakes don’t stick to the liners).
7. Fill each mini cupcake to just below the top.
8. Bake the cupcakes for 30 minutes.
9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes.
10. To make the frosting while the cupcakes cool, mix softened butter and cream cheese in a bowl. This works best with an electric mixer!
11. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix until completely blended.
12. To make colored frosting, add the desired color of food coloring (only a few drops – I used 2 drops of yellow and red to make the orange color). Mix until completely blended.
13. Using a spreader or a pastry bag, put the frosting on the cupcakes and serve!
Posted in recipes
Beauty products always make a great gift, especially for those who may be actually a little afraid to go outside of their comfort zones. There are so many gift sets out there, it’s become so difficult to find ones worth giving that you may end up going with one that’s just too generic (like scented lotion). I’ve mined through many beauty sets and selected the best holiday sets and products – these are all products that I’ve used and loved.
1. Dry Bar Morning After Kit, $35 at Sephora because every girl needs to be using dry shampoo to extend their great hair days but too many complain about second day oil.
2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Crystal Limited Edition, $120 at Sephora because Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is one of the most popular floral scents and how can you beat this beautiful packaging?
3. Benefit ‘let’s glow, lovely” gift set, $50 because Watt’s Up is is an amazing highlighter that lights up the face (review here) and it comes in this amazing limited edition tin.
4. Lulu bun gift set, $14 at Nordstrom because a good bun is a save for a bad hair day.
5. MAC pigments & glitter set, $32.50 at Nordstrom because these violet and silver glitters can be applied on the eyes, cheeks, or as a highlighter and are fun to play with for any occasion.
6. Deborah Lippmann Space Oddity set, $29 at Bloomingdales because every girl needs at least a few good long lasting nail colors for at home manicures.
7. Diorshow Backstage Hero kit, $49 at Sephora because not only is Diorshow one of the best selling mascaras, this kit has all the eye makeup to make the eyes standout.
8. bliss let it glow $75 at Sephora because these Triple Oxygen skin products will give your skin a glow between facial visits. I can’t stop raving about this mask – you will notice a difference in your skin immediately.
The Pantone color of the year for 2014 was announced earlier today and it’s a color called “Radiant Orchid” – as they describe it, “an expressive, creative embracing purple with fuschia, purple and pink undertones”. There are so many ways to wear this color – makeup, nails, hair, fashion. As you’re in shopping mode this holiday season, here are some ideas to get an early start to wearing this color family. 1. Marc Jacobs nail lacquer in magenta violet
2. Benefit Cosmetics BADgal mascara in plum
3. Nordstrom cashmere infinity scarf in purple orchid
4. Bumble and Bumble Spraychalk in lavender
5. BITE Beauty high pigment pencil in lavender violet
6. Topshop purple wool coat
7. Make Up Forever eyeshadow in vibrant matte lavender
8. Zara draped back blouse
beauty and sass was once again (4th week in a row!!) for the IFB’s links a la mode (their weekly round up). This time it is for one of my favorite posts to date – 5 simple hairstyles for lazy hair days. These are some styles that will keep you looking polished even when you don’t have the time or energy. Aside from the headband tip in this post, you can also do any of the other 4 styles and add an embellished hairband (like this DIY rose hairband) to add more style to your look. Also check out some of the other blogs that were selected – they include some great tips for the holiday season.
“Grace” has many meanings. Whether you’re saying “Grace” at the dinner table today with your friends and family for Thanksgiving, or you’re talking about the elegance of “grace,” or heck, maybe you’re talking about Grace Coddington, no matter what if you love fashion, you’ll be thinking about “grace” this holiday season. This week’s roundup the IFB Community has put a lot of thought into their posts, with super smart tips and tricks to get you through the season. Going into the science behind autumn colors, the difference between plaid and tartan, how to shop Black Friday, and even how to style your hair for going out or staying in. It’s everything you need, so grab the mug of spiced cider read these links!
Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup
SPONSOR: EastDane, PJ Luxe, Lady Grey, Endless Rose, Kate Spade NY, MCM, Sally Lapointe, Morgan Lane, Castaner, & Karla Spetic, Time’s Arrow, Tom Dixon
Hair accessories are great for both lazy hair days or just adding a bit more style to a look. I realized that lately I’ve been pulling my hair back into a side braid or pony, and my boring black hairband was just not enough. I found these felt red rose embellishments in the craft section at Michaels and decided they would be a great addition to my side braid/pony. This is a seriously easy DIY, even for the least crafty people. 3 supplies needed, 2 steps, 1 hairband.
the red flowers (a pack of 4 at Michaels for $3.99 – in the crafts section)
the supplies: hot glue gun, felt roses, and hairband
step 1: take a rose and apply hot glue to 2 of it’s petals. press two petals from the other rose to glue the 2 roses together firmly.
step 2: apply hot glue to the hairband. place hairband in the center of the flowers and press until dry. The excess glue pulls off easily once dried, or you can use scissors to carefully cut off the excess (which makes it 1 more supply, but whatever works).