Tried & True Beauty: VIIcode Oxygen Eye Mask

To say that my skin care routine took a back seat once I had kids is a drastic understatement. To be honest, I was never that committed to a routine to begin with. To be even more honest – I was that annoying friend in high school who never washed her face, and for the most part didn’t have the same skin problems as my peers. Since then, I’ve had the occasional hormonal acne and fine lines as much as the next gal, but one thing is for sure – nothing says “Hi, I’m a mom” more than dark circles.

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Secrets of the Universe: Streicher Sisters x Bobbi Brown

“And now folks, introducing the 4th member of the Streicher Sisters” (crowd goes wild)…or at least that’s how it went in my dream. For months now, all I kept reading about was how these three sisters, Jenn, Kristie, and Ashley Streicher are taking LA by storm via their insane makeup, brow, and hairstyling skills – check out their monthly column on Violet Grey.

Now I know what you’re thinking – yes they are actually sisters, and no the name is not made up (contrary to my husband’s popular belief). They are just that cool. So when I heard my favorite girl band (seriously, would it not make for a killer band name?) would be hosting an event at Nordstrom at The Grove, introducing the launch of Bobbi Brown’s “Secrets of the Universe” – I sweet talked the hubs into watching the munchkin (aka chasing him around The Grove) while I got my fill of girl time.

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Tried & True Beauty: They’re Real, I Swear

How does the saying go? Good things come in threes? Well, I never thought that could apply to mascara, but apparently Benefit Cosmetics knows something I don’t. They generously gifted me with a set of they’re real! lengthening mascaras in three killer colors, and I couldn’t wait to try them. I was already sold on their jet black shade, after trying it a couple years ago when it first came out. So I was excited to try the Beyond Brown and Beyond Blue shades to see just how daring I could be. As if I wasn’t hooked enough, they totally got me with the quirky Sharknado 3 promos “Oh Hellllll No!”

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Tried & True Beauty: You’re Stila the One

You’re gonna have to pardon my cheesiness this one time – I promise it’s for a good cause.

Remember your first kiss? Course you do. If you’re like me, it was at some “party” in front of a bunch of prepubescent classmates as a result of a thrilling game of Truth or Dare (is that still a thing?). Well, when I recently had the chance to get a sneak peek at Stila Cosmetics’ summer 2015 collection, it brought back so many memories of my first lip glaze I ever bought with my own money. Stila, for me, is like that first kiss – you never forget it. So I was seriously stoked to be able to test out their new line of Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush, and…wait for it…HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara – which, I was told by the brand’s Artistic Director, Sarah Lucero, is literally life-changing. Lucky for you, as of this week it’s now available online at Ulta (6/28 in stores).

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Tried & True Beauty: Beachy Waves

The weather here in LA lately has me day-dreaming out my window, wishing I was laying on a towel somewhere along Santa Monica beach. Alas, career and mama duties have me resolved to just playing the part of full-time beach bum via my go-to hairstyle – beachy waves.

I’ve always been a fan of wavy hair – ever since my cooler, older cousins rocked the “body wave” in the 80s (think SJP circa “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun“). As fate would have it, my Italian genes came through and gifted me with a natural wave to play with. These days I’ve been sporting the ever-popular “mob” or “mom lob” (yah, just made that up), and have become an expert at manipulating my hair into thinking it’s having a good hair day.

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Top 5 Pins of the Week: The Nominees for Best Hair Are…

I don’t know about you, but unlike any year before, this awards season I’ve been blown away. Not by the fashion – but the hair, oh the hair! Between J Lawr (who makes growing out a bob make you want to cut a bob, just to grow one out), and Keira Knightley (who has been my hair muse since, well, forever) – I can tell you now folks, it’s gonna be stiff competition come Oscar night.

I’ve narrowed down five of my top picks from this past week’s awards shows, and have recreated the looks on moi-self – click thru the slideshow to see my tips on how to nail each one. Also check out my “American beauty” board on Pinterest to see more contenders, plus weekly beauty inspo 🙂

And the nominees are…

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Tried & True Beauty: Put Your Face On

Every now and then, my inner southern grandma comes out and I mutter to my husband to just “give me a few minutes while I go put my face on”. Now, anyone from the south knows that learning to put your face on is like a right of passage. For me, that was around my early teens, when I’d take my copy of YM magazine (the best teen mag back in the day) and stand in front of the mirror trying tirelessly to copy whatever makeup trend the models were wearing that month.

In the early 90s, I was all about the brown lip liner and clear gloss (c’mon, you know you did it too). Then, in college you realize that you’d rather trade the time spent in front of the mirror for just one more hour of sleep. And this my friends, is where I first learned the art of the 10 minute makeup routine. In fact, I’ll never forget the roommates I had from East Texas, whose grandmas I’m pretty sure coined the term “put your face on”. Their make-up tips were simple – a little concealer here and some mascara there, and voila – face on.

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Tried & True Beauty: No Fuss Hair Essentials

Ever since I was a little girl, when it came to my hair, I always wanted what I didn’t have. In the ’80s I wanted a perm, to look just like my older brother’s girlfriend Kara (I’m still kinda jealous of that perm). When I was on the verge of teendom, all I wanted was to dye my hair – which was out of the question by my very traditional European father. But the most memorable hair moment had to be when I was five, and decided to chop off all my hair exclaiming to my aunt who caught me in the act “don’t tell mom and dad!”…Let’s just say, I went from hair down to my butt, to looking like Dorothy Hamill – needless to say, they noticed.

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Tried & True Beauty: That’s so Fresh

This week Fresh announced their newest Sugar Lip shade, drumroll please….Tulip!

Now, one would think 6 shades of lip balm is plenty for one girl to handle (see line up of shades gracing my desk at work) – but when I saw the first teaser posted to Fresh’s instagram, I was like a kid at Christmas who couldn’t wait for the big reveal. Which, btw if you’re not following, you need to. stat.

Needless to say, they did not disappoint. Tulip promises to be that one perfect shade of tween pink that I’ve pined for ever since I saw it on the perfect pouts of the Pretty Little Liars cast. Seriously Lucy Hale, stop it.

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