A Few of My Favorite Things: Creating a GREAT Holiday Look!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Thanksgiving has come and gone and you know what that means…holiday parties are about to commence! This time of the year always results in a super duper BONUS for my closet and jewelry box. Oh yes, especially my makeup bag! In hopes of helping you achieve a great holiday look, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things that I’m using this season for a festive yet chic’ look!

My Favorite Things:

1. Chanel Le Blanc Moisturizer– Just in case you didn’t know well groomed skin is the foundation to achieving a great look period! For the past five years I’ve used the exact same facial moisturizer and upon moving to New York I decided it was time to branch out a bit and explore some other options. With the help of my spectacular friend, Molly LeBeau, we ventured all the way to Saks on 5th Avenue to the Chanel counter. Needless to say, but the experience was magical! I have always been a fan of Chanel thanks to my mom (I wear Chance by Chanel!) however price has always scared me away! Let’s just say that the Chanel Le Blanc moisturizer is well worth every single cent. It’s light, hydrating and relatively oil free. Within in two days of using this product, I could feel an immediate difference. My face was both smoother and brighter! So as you can guess…I’M HOOKED! Price: $130.00

2. Makeup Forever HD Primer– Holiday parties = lots of iPhone photos! Primer serves as a base before applying your foundation. In my opinion it creates a more even and polished look beneath the foundation. Additionally, primer highlights the face which is PERFECT for picture taking! And the best benefit of primer…helps your look last longer! It’s the makeup equivalent of hair spray. Every girl needs this in her makeup bag! Price:$34.00

3. Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid– It’s liquid shimmer…do I need to say more? I’m really into creating a “glow” effect, so I suggest that you take a tiny bit of liquid shimmer and mix it in with your foundation. This will help you achieve an even sparkle/glow effect. Price:$20.00

4.Lisi Maldives Blush– Blush is just another way for you to jazz up your look! This orange colored blush looks great on a variety of skin tones. It’s a nice color to use if you’re looking for a little spice instead of your traditional bright red or pink. Price:$7.90

5. Two Faced BronzerYES…more sparkle! I like this particular bronzer because it works really well with blending and contouring. Additionally, it’s a dual compact so you have two different shades to pick from. I suggest you brush this bronzer over the apple of your cheeks after you have applied your blush. Price: $29.00

6. Artistry Light Up Lip Gloss– This brand of lip gloss is the BEST of the BEST that comes with a variety of colors. Honestly, I think you could pick any color and you would find lip happiness (I have four different colors)! It’s lightweight with long lasting coverage. Oh and here’s the BEST part…it comes with a light up application stick, which is a dream come true for this girl! Price:$16.50

7. Lancome Fumee Eyeliner– Typically I don’t wear eyeliner or any eye makeup for that matter (with the exception of mascara), but I recently discovered Fumee by Lancome. It’s more of deep gray rather than a midnight black. This is the perfect color to use if you want to achieve a more subtle smokey eye. Price: $25.50

8. Essie Armed and Ready Nail Polish– I’m all about the dark nail polish trend! Considering it’s the holiday season I wanted to find a dark yet festive color. Armed and Ready is the perfect combination of dark and sparkly! All you need is two coats and you’re ready to GO! Price: $8.00

P.S. If you click on the name of the product it will automatically take you to the site where you can purchase it! Wanted to make the potential shopping process a tad easier for you.

And speaking of favorite things, you should listen to John Coltrane’s rendition of this classic song! It is truly one of my favorites. I’ve listed the YouTube link for your listening pleasure: My Favorite Things by John Coltrane

The Birchbox Sample Stop

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

BirchBox Sample Shop

Just a little over a year ago I discovered the “Birchbox” concept while reading my dear friend Emily’s blog (Loftiss Says…yes, you should READ it!). Needless to say but I am completely and utterly obsessed with it.  In a nutshell Birchbox is an online subscription service that delivers a variety of high-end beauty samples each month! And here’s the best part…it’s only $10 bucks per month! That’s a steal of a deal if you ask me.  After testing the fabulous samples you received via your Birchbox, you then have the opportunity to go directly to their website, purchase the actual sizes of products and get Birchbox points.  What girl wouldn’t love that, right?  Oh yes, they even have Birchbox Man. So for all of you handsome studs who desire to be “in the know”  on the latest grooming and lifestyle products…you too should subscribe!

As a loyal customer and follower of Birchbox, I was over the moon when I found out they would be hosting a Sample Stop Shop during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. But my true excitement set in when Emily asked me to be her date since it was an invitation only event! Obviously I said YES.

The best way to describe the Sample Stop Show….Candy Land for beauty lovers! Full of sweet treats and beauty samples.  Additionally they had charging stations for your phones and laptops as well as hair, nail and makeup touch-ups from some well-known brands. As you can imagine I had a blast and even got to experiment with some bright red lipstick thanks to one of the talented makeup artist from Jouer.

Here are a few pictures to give an inside glimpse:

Swank Lounge: Phone/Computer Charging Area

Nail Salon!

Emily’s Makeup Touch Session

And mine! Transitioned from a nude to red lip!

My fab makeup artist from Jouer Makeup

Yay for Birchbox goodies!

Co-founder of Birchbox, Katia Beauchamp

Now swing over to Birchbox.com and sign up! It will truly change your beauty life. And one more thing…take a peep at Loftiss Says when you get a chance.  It’s pretty spectacular also!

Oh yes, here’s the skinny on my look!

Orange Asymmetrical Top and Layered Bead Necklace: Sweet Tea Boutique; Burgundy Crop Pants: H&M; Thin Cheetah Print Belt:Express; Platform Sling Backs: Carlos Santana

The Guide to a Successful FNO Experience!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

For as long as I can remember I have always dreamed of attending the “famous” Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week(MBNYFW)! Well in case you didn’t know…it takes some rather HARD WORK to get a seat at any designers fashion show. So being the “Candace” that I am, I researched some other fun fashion week events that didn’t come with such an exclusive guest list..which explains my FNO experience!

Fashion Night Out (primarily known as FNO to all New Yorkers and Fashionistas) serves as the kick off event for the MBNYFW Spring Collections.  Retailers all over the country create the ultimate shopping experience for their shoppers.  And yes, that includes everything you could dream of…extended hours, cocktails, celebs, live Dj’s and of course an incredible sale! Needless to say I was in RETAIL HEAVEN. Though I had the time of my “fashion” life, I did learn a couple of key things in regards to FNO.  So here’s my run down of things that every guy or gal should consider prior to attending Fashion Night Out in New York City…I would like to call it “The Guide to a Successful FNO Experience!”

Here’s the list:

1. The Planner: FNO can be a tad overwhelming…ok, it can be AMAZINGLY overwhelming.  So take the time and check out the official website of Fashion Night Out and decide which stores you would like to visit.  After creating your list then take a little time and place them in order from greatest to least importance. Once you have completed that consider mapping out your travel from location to location.  Believe me this will help you remain stress free and enjoy the evening!

2. Less Is More: As you can already imagine, the fashion for FNO is both spectacular and dreadful.  In the words of Style and Beauty Expert, Emily Loftiss “NFO in NYC is the night when all the fashionista-wannabes come out.” And I couldn’t agree more! I mean a fur vest is just too much for the first week of September…even in the city.  Since you will be amongst many people, I would suggest that you wear something a little more form fitting (NOT TIGHT..complete difference). Wearing clothing that isn’t “SO BIG” will allow you to move more freely between people because it will be crowded!  Also, I would suggest that you carry a clutch rather than an oversized handbag like I did.  It just gets in the way! Plus you don’t want anyone to get anything on that precious beauty so just leave it home.

3. Charge and Ready to Go: Oh the World of Social Media…I cannot imagine life without it. Ok, that’s a little to dramatic, but you catch my drift. Prior to going out for the evening make you are charged and ready to go.  Between all the texting, instagram photos, and HopStop checks your battery will be drained in a jiffy. Avoid lots of use prior to heading out and even let the charge exceed 100% by just allowing it to sit on the charger..trust me it works (Jason shared that tip with me…thanks love!).  But to be super safe feel free to take your charger or power mate plus just in case!

4. Food = Essential: In order to stay peppy throughout the entire evening make sure you eat prior to leaving the apartment.  Though most of the shops will be serving finger foods and such, the lines will be insanely long. And nothing is worse than being a fatigued and hungry shopper.  If you plan on grabbing a late night bite once you have completed your shopping consider making a reservation or simply finding a restaurant on one of the side streets! But be sure to check the menu display outside because you don’t want to spend a fortune.

5. It’s All About the Benjamins Baby: Save your moo la leading up to the big event! You want to be able to enjoy the evening and make a few carefree purchases! Most stores will be hosting some incredible sales that you will not be able to resist.  And if you want to really save some money checkout the websites to the shops your going to and see if they have any additional coupons. If so, simply print those bad boys out and throw them in your clutch (or back pocket if you are a guy) for some extra savings!

Here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Style & Beauty Expert, Emily Loftiss of Loftiss Says

Shopping Buddies for Fashion Night Out!

A Little Headband Action at Henri Bendel! Who Doesn’t Love Feathers?!

 Monogrammed Jeans from C.Wonder…I think YES : )

Wardrobe for the Evening! Casual Chic.

And there you have it… 5 easy things to remember for  a successful FNO experience! What are some of your shopping “best practices”? Please share below. I would love to know!

P.S. Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2013 Collections is rapidly approaching…eeeekkk! Can’t wait for February.

FINALLY…

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

After 50,000 years my blog is finally LIVE : ) The page still has a few kinks, but I just couldn’t delay sharing any longer! So please just bare with me as I work through them and make this blog more exciting and interactive for YOU.

But enough of all of that…WELCOME TO LIVE, LOVE AND READ! Words really cannot express how excited I am about this blog. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to discover a way to marry fashion, art and entertainment. After much research and thought, I decided that having a blog was the best way for me to share my insight with the World. With that being said…I anticipate posting a blog each and every Wednesday about a variety of things. My primary focus will lifestyle-sque (that’s a Candace word..feel free to steal it as long as you give me credit!) ranging from pop-culture/entertainment,travel, DIY and of course the latest in fashion! I am personally convinced that all of these topics are “typically” swarming around in the mind of a young woman. So why not create a fun, carefree, and relatable place where she can find all of those things? Or at least that’s what I think!

Again welcome to Live, Love and Read! Stay tuned…I have lots of exciting things coming your way…starting TODAY!

– CH