How do you TLSP? Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier

I never was a translucent loose setting powder kind of gal. I use my Chanel VitaLumiere Foundation, a little bronzer and Hourglass highlighter and I am good to go. I recently received Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder (Thank you Influenster and Laura Mercier for the complimentary product!) and let me tell you, this setting powder is EVERYTHING. I highly recommend using the “baking” technique to set the powder under your eyes- your makeup does not move and looks great from day into evening. You simply let the powder sit on your skin for ten minutes and then brush of the remaining powder with a fluffy brush. I would definitely recommend this makeup product to any beauty gals out there. The TLSP absorbs oil and reduces shine all day so you’ll never have a shiny forehead in selfies!

Using it is super easy. Simply use the TLSP after you apply your foundation, and then go on to apply your bronzer and highlighter. Boom! You are ready for a night on the town.

Application Technique:

  1. Load your velour puff with TLSP
  2. Fold puff in half, work powder into puff, rubbing both halves together
  3. Tap off excess powder
  4. Fold puff into taco shape. Press and roll, puff onto skin to set foundation.

If you haven’t tried TLSP yet, you should try Laura Mercier’s! I love trying new techniques and when I want a more matte look, this is my jam.

Have you tried it before? How do you TLSP? Let me know!

XO.

Lex

Sweater: H&M

Photography by Brittany Benson.

The Perfect Brunch in Chicago

Brunch in Chicago is more than just your average pancake house. In Chicago, it’s an activity or a full blown experience. 3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware is hands down one of the most classy, delicious, and all around beautiful brunch experiences in the city. You might know Restoration Hardware as an upscale furniture store but here, it is more.

Deeply embedded within the historical streets of Gold Coast, lies a once upon a time all women’s boarding house, with room after room, and a grand atrium in the middle. Now you can walk around this magical space with a glass of rose looking at different interior design decorations while you wait to be seated for brunch. (I recommend getting their early or the wait will be long!) They have a great menu with everything from a delicious scramble (pictured below) or an elevated grilled cheese and burger. So far, I have tried a number of items on the menu and have yet to be disappointed. The service is great and a special thank you to the RH staff for always ensuring a lovely time at 3 Arts Club Cafe.

If you are visiting Chicago, dining here is a must. It has quickly become one of the top things to do in Chicago and even when I live here, this charming experience never gets old. Looking for a cute date spot to get out of the house? Gentleman, you score major brownie points going here.

The Food.
Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago

 

The Outfit.
Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago

Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago
Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe Chicago

Sweater: Club Monaco // Jeans: Topshop at Nordstrom // Boots: Steve Madden // Purse: Steve Madden (similar here and here!)

The Outfit Essentials

Outfit

Shades: Chanel

Questions on a few of my other favorite Chicago go-tos? Comment below and I’d love to share.

 

XO.

Lex

Let’s Play with Eye Shadow Clay by Laura Mercier

I seem to go through phases when it comes to eye shadows depending on my mood. Lately, I go for a peachy sparkle all over my lid for a toned down day time look or a flared smokey eye and shimmery browns to transition from day to night. Recently, Laura Mercier’s Editorial Eye Palette Intense Clays showed up at my door to play with and the palette is just as dreamy as I imagined.

laura-mercier-solo-photo

 

What I love most about these six highly pigmented clay-textured eye colors is that the colors are easily blend-able and you can soften or heighten them depending on what kind of look you are going for. All of the colors are soft and go on as almost a liquid shadow, if you will. Personally, I think they are super smooth and easy to work with- exactly what you want in a palette.

I loved when I first put on the Metallik Platinum color as a base- my brown eyes quickly became bright and fun, a more natural look, but just right if you want a little color on your eyes.

At first glance, I was concerned that the Editorial Eye Palette Intense Clays  shades would be too shimmery or overpowering, but was quickly proven wrong at my first test blot on my arm. I really honed in on blending the darker metallic shades (Metallik Pewter and Metallik Rust) in my crease and on the outer edges of my eye to give it that smokey, intense look. (If you aren’t a pro at blending- here is an easy one brush tutorial that I find easy to follow!) swatch2

I then used the matte clays, Blackened Black Clay and Blackened Blue Clay just in the outer corners and lined the bottom of my eye with the Blackened Blue Clay. It went swimmingly with my NARS Larger than Life Long wear Eyeliner in Rue St. Honor. I used to only wear black on my water line but wanted something a little less intense so I went with this navy blue liner. It sways towards black but when I put it with the Blackened Blue Clay, it has a navy glow and different than the black smokey eye.swatch1

I ended up mixing all of the blackened clays in the corner of my eye by pressing my fingertip into the clays and applied it in a tapping motion onto my lid. I applied the metallics in the crease and outer edges by using a crease brush. As a final touch, I used the Air-light Setting Powder  to prolong the colors and avoid creasing.

finalshot3

I would recommend a deep berry lip color like “Love Bite” from Kylie Cosmetics  or even a dark red/brown to compliment this makeup look for fair skin.

I had so much fun playing with this palette and would recommend it as a versatile palette to create an abundance of looks! You can easily find the Editorial Eye Palette Intense Clays at Nordstrom or Sephora.

laura-mercier-group-shot

 

XO.

-Lex

 

 

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You Know You Like It: Kylie Cosmetics

Kylie Lip Kits

I can’t believe I am supporting the business of a 19 year old teenager BUT I have to. You guys, Kylie Lip Kits are actually great and I’ll tell you why. Matte lip sticks are notorious for drying out your lips but I really haven’t had that problem with these. Overall, the matte colors by Kylie don’t dry out my lips, they stay on FOREVER, and the colors are just fab. The deeper reds are perfect for Christmas parties and the days leading up to New Years Eve. When I am walking through Chicago in a white Christmas fashion (or slushy snow left and right), I love having some fun with a dab of color on my lips!

 

The Colors.

The shades are really made for anyone and you are bound to find your go-to color from her collection. As you might see from my photos in other posts, I wear Moon and Dolce K all the time because they go with anything and can be worn day into night. When I first got them I thought they were a nude color but maybe it’s my skin tone because it’s a more tan/light brown with a hint of grey at times. And I LOVE it. It is a color I never thought I would wear but I get compliments all the time. “I love your lip color” isn’t a compliment you hear everyday but I swear, from the nice lady at Target to a sweet compliment at a client meeting- people notice!

 

I don’t have all the colors (that would be a little too intense) but I do have a few I can chime in and give my two cents on!

Kylie Lip Kit

Dolce K

My first color I bought and always my go to if I am in a rush or just need something to spice up an outfit. To me, it is a year round color. Not too brown and not too light. My mom tried Dolce K and she loved it too and got one! Try being in Forever 21 and the cashier compliements how cute it is we both have the same color lip on and how good it looks. Too funny.

In any case, the liner for all of Kylie’s colors goes on smoothly and really helps bring out the richness of the colors. If you are going to try her products, highly recommend going with the Lip Kits no doubt.

DolceK

Moon

Moon is from Kylie’s fall collection and I fell in love right away with it cause it is a little darker and sexy. But the cool thing is it’s a “sexy/sultry” look again you can wear during the day or night. I would more so wear this on the weekends during the day or at night. Work.. eh. People might think I am going on a hot date every day if I wore this on the daily at work.

moon

Love Bite

Thee perfect go to color for a night out. This is a more purple/gray color and it is dark but goes with any outfit and it the perfect pop of color to make something a little more bold. I would recommend this with reds and neutrals (black, tan, gray, white) as it seems to really POP when my outfits incorporate those colors in some form or another.

LoveBite

Spice

Oh how I love a good berry color. This color is fun. Pure fun. I love wearing it when I am out and about with girlfriends.. perfect to wear shopping or brunching and it is just a fabulous color. Spice comes from Kylie’s fall collection as well and it is definitely made to wear during the day. It doesn’t move from my lips (I can sip my Chai Tea Latte in peace!) and I usually like to wear it with a shimmery light brown eye shadow and chunky jewelry.

Spice

Leo

Definitely a once in a while color when I am feeling ultra bold. It is a deep deep red.. almost Vampire Blood status. Since my skin is rather pale (womp.) I love my berries and my deep colors, so this is perfect for a fancy or special occasion. I wore this on Halloween where the theme was Victorian/Steam Punk themed and the color was a perfect fit- dramatic but fierce.

Leo

Vixen

Part of Kylie’s Holiday Collection comes one of my favorite reindeer names: Vixen. To me, Vixen is similar to Leo, with a little bit more of a brownish/red tint and sparkles. I wouldn’t probably buy this color again because I am content with Leo BUT if you are looking for a Christmas Party color.. you won’t be disappointed!

Vixen

 

I hope this helps if you are looking for a new lip color to try, I would 100% give the Kylie Lip Kits a shot! I will be sure to do another post in the coming weeks with them on, but let me know what your go-to color is. Always looking to try new colors!

Kylie Lip Kits

Happy Holidays!

 

XO.

-Lex

 

‘Tis the Season to Love Your Skincare Products

Korres

I have been a dedicated Chanel makeup fan since high school (I hear my friends giving me a good chuckle in my head). But when it came to budgeting, I figured I needed to explore new moisturizers that kept my skin from being dry, one that really paired well with my foundation, Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua, and one that was quality but within a reasonable price. There are a few things I still purchase from Chanel because let’s be honest, the quality is amazing and you can splurge here and there on things you love and most importantly, WORK.

 

My must haves by Chanel when it comes to my skin is the Lotion Confort Toner and Creamy Milk Cleanser. I use the Lotion Comfort every morning before putting anything else on my face to make sure I get any dirt off my skin and to really wake my skin up! The milk moisturizer is great two-three times a week just as a creamy, soft cleanser. My skin loves it and I am always feeling revived after using it!

 

Then I had a friend recommend Korres. And let me tell you, the greek yogurt base is just what my skin needs to make sure it is well nourished all day long (and to get me through this cold winter!). The Wild Rose Line is my favorite so far! The Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil serves as my base serum (always recommend a serum before your moisturizer) to really lock in the moisture and then I use the 24 hour Brightening and Moisturizing Cream. My skin feels soft and ready for the day after I start with these two.

Korres 24 Hour Brightening and Moisturizer

 

At night I use the Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial and WOAH. I kid you not I wake up in the morning and my skin is so bright! Korres is affordable and really great for all skin types. I recently gave its Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir Serum a try (Thanks to Sephora!) and I thought it was great on my skin, but the Rose line is my overall favorite so far. Korres is my all time essential especially living through oh so famous Chicago winters. I also use Fresh Sugar Lip Polish once or twice a week when my lips are feeling super flakey and dry.. they always feel great the next morning!
Beauty Products

I encourage you to go into Sephora and ask for a few samples and give Korres a try. Let me know what you think!

 

XO.

-Lex

 

 

All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Foreign Skincare Takes Off In The US

Photo: R29

Photo: R29

Skincare overseas, for example Korea and Japan, is serious business. It is a daily essential that involves many, many steps and is quite exhaustive. Yet, in the US, we are still trying to figure out what the wonder is behind Korean skincare. Beauty blogger Coco Park recently discovered Korean beauty care in her Korean-American boyfriends parents bathroom, and decided to check it out for herself. She went from using only a few products a day…to 17. On her blog, she says that she saw an immense difference in just three weeks, and her red spots and pores have essentially disappeared.

When you think about it, the invasion of Korean beauty products started a while ago. More specifically, in 2011 when companies started introducing the originally based Korean BB cream. BB cream is said to be an all in one product that will take care of the skin. Soon, American companies started producing their own versions, and we have BB creams, CC creams, and so on. As it turns out, this was just the Americanized version of Korean skincare because in the US, we like to keep things simple. In reality, we should also be scrubbing, moisturizing, cleansing, and treating.

Now that the beauty obsessed in the US are starting to reap the benefits of foreign beauty traditions, other interesting new treatments are starting to pop up. Two weeks ago, I got my monthly facial. I was surprised in my sleepy state of mind when something ice cold rolled around my face…under my eyes, down my nose, on my neck…it never seemed to stop. While reading Refinery29 this morning, I discovered that it was an ice roller. Essentially, this is a fancy substitute for throwing some spoons in the freezer. The ice roller can swiftly clean up the look of tired eyes, redness, puffiness, and minor bruising. My first question is…where do I get my hands on one?

For more information on best Korean beauty products, I would check out:

A Beginner’s Guide To Korean Makeup

Soko Glam

Peach and Lily

Photo: R29

Photo: R29

 

For The Beauty Obsessed: The Gift Guide

 

beauty gift guide

1. “The Little Black Box,” Dream Dry. 2. Rodin Body Oil. 3. Honey Mask, Fresh. 4. Kyril Lipstick, Tom Ford. 5. Santa’s Lip Scrub, Lush.

The Skinny On Dark Circles And How To Fight Them

Photo: Robert Kneschke

Photo: Robert Kneschke

No matter what we seem to do, dark circles never seem to go away. We have all had the moment of looking in the mirror, and thinking “Holy crap…I look so tired.” One of the problems with having dark circles as a problem area, is that the skin is thinnest in the eye area and therefore harder to manipulate back to normal. The two largest problems with the eye area, are puffiness, and dark circles.

Puffiness

Puffy eyes can be caused by a whole host of things, some large, some small: a nasty sinus infection, crying your eyes out before bed, or simply eating a salty lunch. One of the best things you can do, is drink a lot of water throughout the day to flush out some of the build up.

Sleeping on your side of stomach can cause build up around the eyes. If you wake up with chronically puffy eyes, sleeping on your back may be a quick fix to perfect peepers.

Try not to rub your eyes throughout the day, which can cause the thin skin around the eyes to become inflamed and irritated. This breaks tiny blood vessels around the eye and causes discoloration.

How to fix it:

-Stick two spoons in the freezer. After a solid ten minutes, take them out and slather them in eye cream. Apply under eyes and watch them instantly de-puff.

-A cooling eye mask works just as well.

-Try a targeted eye mask for instant results. After applying eye pads, under eyes are left brighter, smoother, and perkier in minutes. The hydrating pads help to restore water where there may be done, causing puffiness. Plankton extract in these pads has an instant tightening effect.

-If you are a fan of salty meals, try snacking on bananas to balance out the affects of the sodium.

Dark Circles

While dark circles are usually attributed to a late night, they can be causes by much more, and sometimes hereditary. As we get older, dark circles are inevitable no matter how much sleep we get: the skin thins around our eyes, therefore showing more of the discoloration underneath. The elasticity in our eye area begins to lose mass, and shows the outline of the bone underneath, making it look hollow and dark.

Dark circles can take on make different tones, but one of the most common is blue. This is caused from blood pooling around the eyes, and will be most visible in the morning but become less perceptible throughout the day. Brown circles can also be a sign of this. Experts recommend using a soy or citrus bases brightening eye cream to combat this over a few weeks.

“You can fight the good fight on a daily basis by applying night cream. Products with hyaluronic acid will plump the area, hydrating the skin and pushing it up and away from the blood, whereas those containing retinoic acid will thicken the skin to conceal the darkness.” [The Stylelist.]

How to fix it:

-Make up. Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone. Make up artists will tell you to go a few shades lighter, but most of the time, it is not a good look.

-Try using a eye cream with caffeine, which will tighten and lift the eye area. quickly.

-A cold compress or cold spoons will always provide a quick fix.

Four steps to cover it up:

1. Prepare the skin with eye cream. This will bring moisture to the skin and keep it plump, therefore making it a tad bit easier to cover up the veins.

2. Apply your concealer. Choose a concealer with a yellowish undertone to counteract the blueish tinge around the eyes. Dot concealer around the eye area with a small make up brush.

3. Dab concealer. Dab your concealer to blend opposed to brushing it on. This helps to avoid further irritating the gentle skin around the eyes.

4. Apply a powder. Applying a powder to the concealer helps to set it into place. This will help hold the concealer from slipping into wrinkles or fine lines, and prevent shininess throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

DreamDry Brings Their Styling Expertise to Lincoln Park

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Via Racked NY

 

Rachel Zoe may be small in size, but she has no shortage of style to go around. This past Wednesday, Rachel Zoe and Robin Moraetes, co-founders of DreamDry, took the windy city by storm for the opening of their latest location in Lincoln Park. The opening party was just as chic as you would think a Rachel Zoe hosted soiree would be: Moët & Chandon kept the bubbly flowing while Vosges Haut-Chocolat served light, delicious bites. Zoe wore a gorgeous black jumpsuit, and large gold Chanel earrings.

The first feature I noticed at DreamDry was the crazy zig zag floor. The whole space is decorated in black and white, and reminds me of classic glamor. Zoe and Moraetes recently talked to Suntimes Splash, and explained who DreamDry will serve: “We wanted to come up with a solution for the busy professional, the busy mom, to have a more upscale, affordable luxury experience. DreamDry really is a destination.” [Suntimes Splash]

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DreamDry does not just offer a blowout, but a full experience. I had the pleasure to experience a DreamDry blowout last week, and was pleasantly surprised at the difference between DreamDry and other blowout salons I have tried. As an avid blowout bar junkie, I appreciate the small things. My stylist immediately handed me an Ipad fully loaded with the different hairstyles available. I settled on the “Stevie,” a bouncy blowout with loose curls. My stylist gave me a phenomenal scalp massage while washing my hair, and then gave me a mini Ipad stacked with all the latest magazines to keep me occupied during my appointment.

I left with shiny, voluminous hair that lasted for three days after my blowout. My verdict? I would go back in a heart beat.

Blowouts and braids start at $40.00, but with the impeccable service and long lasting effects, it’s well worth it.

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Lush Lashes

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They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so why not make sure you take care of your lashes too? False lashes seem daunting, but with the right tips and tricks, are shockingly easy and will have you looking doe eyed in five minutes flat. A few lashes placed on the outer corner of your lids will give impression of wide eyes.

Making lashes look natural is key, so go small strips or stick to individual falsies. When using strips, I recommend this helpful tutorial from Beautylish.

Need a little more guidance? Here are our four steps to getting the perfect fringe:

Curl: Curl your lashes before applying your fake lashes or mascara.

Apply Mascara: Choose a lengthening formula so your natural lashes blend in with your falsies. Apply one to two coats, and keep it thin. This prevents clumping and will help your false lashes blend in. For added perfection, use a small brow comb to go through your lases before applying falsies.

Line: Smudge a charcoal black liner thinly along lids. This way, in case there is a gap between your fake lashes and your natural lash line, the smudges liner will hide it.

 

SSC picksChanel Professional Liner Duo. MAC Individual Lashes. MAC Half Lashes. Diorshow Mascara.