Up Close & Personal : Naked Smoky Palette

Urban Decay Naked Smoky

Since seeing the first sneak peeks and previews of Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette, I have been waiting very impatiently to get my hands on this product. My current Urban Decay collection includes a few of the brands 24/7 eye liners, Naked 2 and Naked 3, so of course I was thrilled to add Naked Smoky to that lineup. Just about a week after being released in stores in early July, I finally got my hands on Naked Smoky – I could hear the hallelujah chorus as I picked up the LAST palette on the Urban Decay display.

No matter what I am purchasing, I always love to see swatches, reviews and unboxings of products. Naturally, I felt the need to spread the word about my latest possession and give my two cents.

So first of all the packaging on this palette is so different from the Naked 2 and Naked 3. The palette itself is sleeker, smaller and features a magnetic closure instead of the previous — what would you even call them — clasps? Naked Smoky is also in a smoky, translucent case, UD founder Wende Zomnir said she was inspired by the look of a ’70s glass coffee table.

Similar to the previous Naked palettes, Smoky features a mirror inside the case and an updated double ended brush. with a smudger dude and a tapered crease brush to create the most smoked-out eye looks. Smoky also comes with an easy how-to guide to make 4 simple smokey-eye looks. UD Naked Smoky Palette This palette includes 9 never before seen shades, 3 palette exclusives and matte, satin and glitter or shimmer finishes. I love the glittery shades, but sometimes I want a matte eye for an everyday look, so I’m thrilled that UD included mattes as well. The colors aren’t organized in lightest to darkest, like previous palettes, but instead grouped in sets of 4 that make it even simpler to create smoky eyes for makeup novices.

Shades: The swatches on the left are in daylight without flash and the swatches on the right are indoors with flash on – the pictures do not do this palette justice. The shades are all really rich and the shimmer shades are dazzling!

Smoky Swatches
Thirteen: Light pink champagne shimmer. This shade went on extremely sheer, nearly nude on my fair skin and works best as a highlight!

Combust: Light, almost rose or orange-hued tan, matte finish.

Whiskey: Bronze-y matte brown.

Password: Taupe matte gray, perfect for crease blending.

Smolder : Deep purple with pewter undertones, satin finish.

Black Market : Dark matte black shade – essential for smokey eyes! Think Black Heart minus the red glitter.

Dagger : Dark gray with blue undertones, satin finish.

Slanted : Silver shimmer with glitter, lavender undertones.

Armor: Cool shimmering dark pewter tone with glitter.

Radar: Taupe-hued light brown shimmering shade with glitter.

Dirtysweet : Warm golden metallic shimmer, satin finish. Similar to UD’s shade Blunt, but more vibrant and much more color payout.

High: Shimmering champagne pink with lots of glitter. Photos don’t do this shade justice at all!

I absolutely love this palette and can’t wait to start playing around with different looks.

I picked my Naked Smoky palette up at Ulta, for $54 and I think it was definitely worth the money, but I am a die-hard UD fan so I may be a little biased… You can also pick up the palette at Sephora or Urban Decay.

Will you be getting smoky with Urban Decay this fall? Also, which shade is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

XO

AC

Fall Denim Preview

Denim Preview
As we make our way toward the end of the summer, we also get closer to football season, crisp leaves, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin-flavored everything. To me, fall also means new jeans. Denim jeans are timeless, but every year designers and stylists create new ways to wear this staple piece. Refresh your denim wardrobe and channel your inner fashionista with these on-trend picks and styling tips. With designer duds pictured on the left and amazing denim deals pictured at right.

Distressed JeansDistressed

Add some edge to any look with distressed jeans. I’m not a huge fan of gaping holes, but I do love the look of frayed seams, razored denim and exposed threads and rips. Express’s Medium Wash Girlfriend Jean, has no holes, just exposed threads and ripped patches, and they feature a wider leg, and an ankle length. ( For $88.00 you’re getting more than one fall trend.)

Denim Deal: Pink Ice’s Industry Ripped High Waist Skinnys are a great alternative for Topshop’s pair at $49.99

An Alternative? Denim DIY with this distressed how-to post from The Every Girl.

Paint Splattered

Paint Splattered

In addition to the distressed trend, paint splattered jeans are also a hot style this fall. Some pairs can offer a splash of color, or a pop of white to your outfit. I love the messy, worn-in look and it shows off your inner creative side. My favorite pair, ASOS’s Dr. Denim Plenty Ankle Skinny Jeans With Paint Splash, are available for $82.00 and have white paint splatters that contrast with darker blue paint against the medium wash.

Denim Deal: Target brand Mossimo has also taken note of the trend. Check out their Mid Rise Skinny Jean available for $29.99

Another option is to DIY a pair yourself! Check out this past tutorial from Refinery 29 all about DIY Fashion and The Splatter-Paint Trend.

High-Rise SkinnyHigh-Waisted Skinny

I’ve always found high-rise skinny to look best on my petite frame, so comfortable and I love the look when paired with a tucked white tee and a comfy oversized sweater. I’m also a huge fan of very dark, almost black, jean washes so this pair is a dream. Lucky Brand’s Olivia Skinny Jean is absolutely perfect, and if you can afford the $99.00 go for it.

Denim Deal: Grab the look for less with H&M’s Skinny High Jeans for $39.95!

Girlfriend Style

Girlfriend Nothing says cool, comfortable and relaxed like a good pair of boyfriend or girlfriend jeans. Girlfriend styles will be more feminine and fitted as opposed to boyfriend jeans, but both styles are hot this season and feature a wider leg. Our go-to for this style is BP’s Girlfriend Jeans. A looser, relaxed fit plus a dark distressed denim at $62.00.

Denim Deal: ASOS Daisy Street Girlfriend Jean for $37.00 offer a plain alternative to the style.

Fitted Overalls  

Fitted Overalls

Yes, yes, yes! A favorite of mine as a child in the nineties, denim overalls or dungarees are getting a major style update! We’ve seen Taylor Swift rocking a similar style to the Lottie Denim Skinny Dungaree available from BooHoo for $52. Keep it on-trend by ensuring the style is fitted, with either skinny or flared legs and pair with a crop top to avoid the farmer feel.

Denim Deal: Steal a similar style for just $44.99 with Mango’s Dark Denim Dungarees.

FlaresFlared JeansThis year’s fashion trends have all been inspired by the ’70s, so of course flared jeans are hot for fall! Our favorite pair has to be Express’s Patch Pocket Mid Rise Bell Flare Jean. Priced at $79.90 it can be quite a stretch for your budget, but currently they’re offering a Buy 1, Get 1 for $29.90.

Denim Deal: Nail the same style with Dollhouse Flared Mid Rise Jeans from Nordstrom for only $44!

I can’t wait to re-stock my closet with these must-have jean styles. Which one is your favorite?

XO

AC

Suede Smooches

suedesmooch

For those of you who aren’t absolutely obsessed with following beauty brands on Instagram, you probably haven’t heard of NYX Cosmetics’s latest product, Liquid Suede. – EEK – I am so excited for this product to become available. NYX has sent some out to some lucky bloggers early to amp up interest in the latest lippie and the envy is real.

Available in 12 shades, this lip color has velvet texture, is waterproof and applies satiny but has a matte finish. Online, at NYX Cosmetics, you can check out all 12 shades, watch videos from Instagram users and sign up to be first to hear about the release of Liquid Suede. Plus you can see swatches of the lippies on fair, medium and dark skintones.

What are you waiting for? Check them out now and let me know what your favorite shade is. I’m torn between Vintage, a plum mauve undertones, and Life’s A Beach, a bright coral.

XO

AC

The Buzz on Beauty Subscriptions

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For the past few years I’ve been debating whether or not beauty boxes are worth the hype. If you don’t know, these subscription services send you monthly boxes of beauty samples — think of it like Netflix for makeup. The best part about these services is that you get to try a plethora of products for a fraction of the cost of one full-size product. This is ideal for me since I love staying up to date on cosmetics, but am limited by my budget.

While researching into the different brand of beauty subscription services, it was hard for me to keep track of the pros and cons of each. So of course, why not make an easy guide for my readers to keep track of the differences between each service! We will be looking at Birchbox, ipsy, Glossybox, Beauty Army and, last but not least, Beauty Box Five. Let’s get started…

Birchbox // $10 per Month or $110 Yearlybox-display

What’s inside: Using your unique Beauty Profile, Birchbox includes 5 personalized products from makeup, skincare, haircare and fragrance categories — including cult classics and new products.

What Sets Them Apart: You can get points for reviewing your products that can be applied to your subscription. Review all 5, get 50 points = $5 off your next box!

ipsy Glam Bag // $10 per Month or $100 Yearly Untitled

What’s Inside:  Like Birchbox, ipsy’s Beauty Quiz helps tailor their picks to your personal profile. Included in the box are 5 personalized products from makeup, skincare and haircare categories PLUS a stylish makeup bag.

What Sets Them Apart: This brand was started by YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan, so through this subscription you get access to product tutorials from ipsy stylists and major deals through member-only offers and product giveaways. And did I mention a makeup bag with every box?

Glossybox // $21 per Month, $126 for 6 Months or $222 for 12 Months. stylelab-beauty-blog-glossybox-example2

What’s Inside: A personalized selection of 5 beauty and hair products by brands from all over the world, currently they have over 400 brands, and a detailed description card with how-to guides for the products.

What Sets Them Apart: Glossybox has the largest array of brands and products to choose from — 400 to be exact —and the cute pink box is reusable.

Con: This subscription is pricier, which makes sense considering the range of product samples they have to choose from.

Beauty Army // $12 for 1 Month, $33 for 3 Months, $60 for 6 Months and $92 for 1beauty-army-beauty-sample-service Year

What’s Inside: 6 personalized beauty and hair product selections chosen from your favorite leading brands.

What Sets Them Apart: 6 samples, rather than 5 and the prices get cheaper as you increase your subscription length.

BTW: Although the $12 for 1 month may lead you to stray, it’s the same pricing as the ipsy and Birchbox, $2 per sample.

Beauty Box Five // $12 per Month, $30 for 3 Months, $99 for 1 Yearabout-beauty-box

What’s Inside: 5 deluxe samples and full-size beauty products from leading luxury, drugstore, eco-conscious and vegan brands.   

What Sets Them Apart: Full size products and products chosen don’t focus on luxury brand beauty.

Con: If you’re a bit of a beauty snob *raises hand* you might prefer luxury brands in a beauty subscription box, rather than drugstore brands. Plus this site doesn’t include anything about personalizing your choices.
Which subscription service is your favorite? Hopefully this handy breakdown list will help you decide if you want to commit to a beauty subscription. And hey, if you’re not fully convinced try it for just a month. Also, another key feature I want to include is the fact that all of the aforementioned subscriptions are available to purchase as gifts!

xo

AC

Rebel Yell: Kendall and Kylie’s ‘Las Rebeldes’ Collection

RebelYell

Las Rebeldes, Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s latest collab with PacSun, is officially online and in store! The 27-piece collection features playful prints, fringe, lace and embroidery and strays from the duo’s typical bohemian-inspired collections, since Las Rebeldes was inspired by south-western styles with a Spanish twist. However, Kendall and Kylie’s California-cool style still shines through with several crop tops, oversized hats and on-trend denim — including a pair of black skinny overalls!

The collection has been available online, but in store is your best chance to nab some sold-out pieces, like the Cutout Side Tank Romper. And with the pieces ranging from  $19.95  to $59.95, it’s only a matter of time before the collection is completely sold out!

Check out Kendall and Kylie’s campaign video and some of the pieces below, then head over to PacSun to get your shop on.

XO

AC

Just ‘N Time, The #NSale Beauty Roundup

I’m a diehard  NordyGirl and Nordstrom’s  Anniversary Sale is my favorite time of the year. Normally, I enjoy perusing online since the sale brings a TON of people to the shops which leads to claustrophobia, anxiety and, later, depression when I realize they don’t have my picks in stock. I stay clear from the utter chaos that is Nordstrom during a sale by shopping online, but first I need to prep a little bit. I’ve been scouring their sneak peeks during cardholder’s early access and I’ve compiled a list of my favorites from the NSale’s beauty exclusives. Some pieces include amazing GWPs (Gift with Purchase), so hurry and snatch these up while you can.

Living Proof ‘No Frizz’ Set ($70 Value) // $45.00

This product is essential for me! Living in the Midwest makes it so difficult to keep my hairstyles frizz-free, this set locks out moisture and keeps your style looking sleek, smooth and shiny.

LORAC ‘The Skinny Palette – Black’ ($133 Value) // $15.00

A neutral palette that adds a pop of purple, a must-have for autumn!

‘Ultimate NARS’ Lip Pencil Set ($81 Value) // $49.00

Hello perfect pinks and nudes with a velvety finish.

Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Brow Studio’ Set ($58 Value) // $36.00

Strong brows are the perfect way to finish your look. This set makes it easy to perfect your arch, available in two shades.

MAC ‘Look in a Box – Style Maven” ($113 Value) // $49.50

This palette incorporates deeper eyeshadow colors with a pop of a berry pink lip shade and a mauve blush. All-in-one, so its easy for touch-ups throughout the day.

‘True NARS’ Lip Pencil Set ($81 Value) // $49.00

NARS velvety finish again, but this time in a bright pink, firecracker red and deep red – perfect for the fall season.

MAC ‘Look in a Box – Basic Travel Brush Kit’ ($170 Value) // $52.50

6 MAC Brushes for face and eyes with a matching neoprene bag. I currently own MAC’s powder brush, so this set allows me to complete my collection for a fraction of the cost.

Philosophy ‘ Amazing Grace’ Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath duo ($66 Value) // $38.00

Escape from stress and soak in Philosophy’s classic scent. This set includes a 32 fl oz. size and an 8 fl oz. size that makes it easy for travel.

Did you stock up at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale? What items did you find? Let me know in the comments!

XO

AC

P.S.  If you can’t make it into the store, Nordstrom offers FREE shipping online, every day!

Steal Her Style: Jenna Dewan-Tatum

Steal Her Style: Jenna Dewan-Tatum

Jenna Dewan-Tatum stepped out in style in this casual blush and nude outfit this past week. Pairing the oversized, distressed and destroyed denim with items like her Celine Phantom Tote and soft pink sweater gives a bit of edge and masculinity to a simply chic look. While some pieces may not be wearable now, like the pink sweater, they will be perfect as we transition into fall!  Jenna’s choice in footwear is perfect for those of us on a budget also, her wrapped nude gladiators are JustFab’s Torria sandals which cost just $39.95 for JustFab VIPs and $49.95 to the public. Get her look for less with these timeless picks:

H&M Oversized Sweater in Powder Pink // $19.95

UNIQLO Slim Boyfriend Ankle Length Jeans // On sale now for $29.90

JustFab Torria Sandals // $39.95 for JustFab VIPs

*Bonus: These are the EXACT shoes Jenna is wearing!

Sole Society Roma Tote // $59.95

Unzip the bag to get a flared shape just like Jenna’s nude Celine Phantom Tote.

zeroUV Round Oversize Retro Sunglasses // $9.99

Charming Charlie Mariota Triangle Studs // $6.00

Just a little something extra I thought the look needed – I feel naked if I leave the house without earrings.

What do you think of the look? Let me know in the comments!

XO

AC

Calm, Cool and Collected : Beat the Heat with These Summer Essentials

Summer Essentials


The summer heat can be your skin and makeup’s worst nightmare. With the humidity and sweating, your face may feel like it is melting right off, not to mention the possibility of sunburns. How can you beat the heat? By keeping it simple!

Summer makeup is all about looking fresh. During the day, stick to the basics. I like to keep my makeup to a minimum by just using mascara, a quick sweep of a shimmery eyeshadow and a light dusting of matte powder foundation with SPF to keep me from looking shiny. On extremely hot and sunny days — like today, hello 95 degree weather — I like to keep my face bare and just use a moisturizer with SPF built in. My favorite is Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 30 Moisturizer, it’s the least greasy of all the products I have tried.

For my exposed arms, decolletage and legs I like to use a spray sunscreen that is lightweight, non-greasy and doesn’t have a harsh smell. My latest pick is Coppertone Clearly Sheer Spray. It sprays on quick and evenly, is unscented and isn’t greasy or sticky. Other SPF advice, always use at least 30, use waterproof when at the pool or beach and reapply every 1-2 hours for the best protection.

A nice body mist is always great for a refreshing pick me up during the day as well. I love Evian Mineral Water Spray for when I’m feeling a little sticky, just mist some on your face to feel rehydrated. (This is perfect for sun-burned skin as well.)

Speaking of sunburns, always make sure to hydrate your skin after staying out too long in the sun with some aloe vera lotion or gel. If you’re looking for that feeling of a cool gel to soothe your burn and revive your skin, while smelling delicious, look to Bath and Body Works’ latest product. Bath and Body Works Signature Cooling Gel Lotion is lightweight and delivers so much moisture. I’ve been using it daily and since getting a little burned this past weekend, it has been AMAZING. (I keep it in the fridge so its extra cold when I apply it.) Plus, it comes in amazing scents like Mango Tango Twist, Cool Melon Kiwi, Pink Lemonade Fizz and Iced Coconut Coolada.

Also as an obvious reminder, stay hydrated! I often need motivation to keep up my fluid intake, so I flavor my water by adding some slices of fruit to it. I love mixing in strawberries and lemons, or keeping it light with some cucumber and mint. Satisfies your sweet tooth without added calories or sugars. To make it even easier you can get an infuser bottle, like Ad-N-Art’s Flavour It Fruit Infuser.

Let me know how you like to keep cool during the summer in the comments below!

XO

AC

Pastel Perfection : Kylie’s Latest Look

Pastel PerfectionKylie Jenner is no stranger to dramatic hair changes. The reality star, model, author and fashion designer ( did I forget any titles?) has experimented with color, extensions and blunt cuts just within the past year, but the most recent look is definitely our favorite. Kylie debuted her latest style, long icy blue hair, Thursday evening on her Instagram and we are OBSESSED. We got an even better glimpse of her icy locks after images from the event for  Kylie Hair Kouture by Bellami Hair were plastered all over the internet. She looks like a magical pastel My Little Pony, but somehow this is one of her most mature looks, also note the exact shade of blue on her tips as well – this girl knows how to use color.

uhh;h

Want to get the look?

The best way to achieve this is by using a 3-step system from Manic Panic, the cult classic brand behind vibrant hair hues.

First, start out with the Flash Lightning Bleach Kit. For Kylie’s look leave about an inch of your roots exposed. Next, mix their Pastelizer with a jar of High Voltage dye in Atomic Turquoise — the amount to mix will depend on what shade of pastel teal you want so be patient while mixing! Apply the mixture, wait and rinse out to get Kylie’s latest color treatment. These products are available online and in Sally Beauty Supply.

Let me know your thoughts on the look in the comment section below!

xo

AC