Thursday, February 26, 2015

Preemptively Pinch Proof:
Double Cross Green Dress + The Mint Julep Giveaway

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep



Yes, I realize it's still February, but every year-- without fail-- I forget to wear enough green to completely eliminate myself from the candidate pool of possible pinchees. My friends can vouch for this; I don't like being touched at all, so the painful act of pinching is equivalent to grueling physical torture, similar to tickling. Of course, this aversion of mine provides even more of an incentive for people to unjustifiably target me (rude), so this year I'm overcompensating with a pretty 100% St. Patty's Day-approved dress from The Mint Julep.

This green Double Cross dress is everything. Not only is it the most gorgeous shade of forest green, but the cut and design are incredibly flattering for any body type. And since I'm such a huge fan of The Mint Julep and all of their adorable inventory, I've teamed up with them to bring you a $25 Shop the Mint Gift Card Giveaway! Giveaway widget and full outfit details below.


Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep

Double Cross Dress, The Mint Julep

The Mint Julep, Double Cross Dress

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep


Since we only have so many more days of less-than-scorching weather here in Florida, I decided to wear my dress with brown heeled riding boots, my go-to chestnut Tory Burch Robinson dome satchel, and gold tortoise accessories. Also, Starbucks-- but I feel like that's a given.


Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep

Riding Boots, Nine West

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep



And now for the giveaway! The contest, which is unfortunately only open to US residents, starts now and will run for a week. The winner will be chosen on Saturday, March 7th and emailed their $25 gift card from The Mint Julep. Good luck, loves!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Oh, and Happy {almost} Friday!
xo


♥ Stephanie

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Don't Be Shy, Be a Star:
Shine On with The Shine Project

The Shine Project, This Is My Year


Yes, for those of you curious, the title is absolutely a reference to the Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan "Lifesize" movie. On a much more serious note, if you've never heard of The Shine Project, I highly recommend you take a peek at their mission statement. An emulator of love, sacrifice, and change, The Shine Project is a cause-driven business that changes the future of at-risk youth. They are paid fair wages for the bracelets they make, and in turn, they're able to pay their way through school. Even beyond financial support, your belief in them is a symbol of hope and trust that they can achieve what previously seemed impossible. By purchasing Threads, the name of this project, you are wearing more than just a piece of jewelry; you're wearing change. 

Their purpose is to inspire you to live the highest quality of life possible, while also motivating you to join their efforts in making the world a better and brighter place. When I saw this "This Is Your Year" shirt, I knew it a) epitomized the official mission of The Shine Project and b) spoke to me in a strangely personal way. Should I need to physically wear a reminder that life is all about attitude? No, but it's strangely motivating. Full outfit details at the bottom of this post. 


The Shine Project, This Is My Year

The Shine Project, This Is My Year


In addition to the fabulous cause and message at hand, this top is adorable and pairs perfectly with jeans. You can dress it up with heels and a blazer, as well, which is exactly what I did this past weekend. Add some sunglasses, like these $18 "Faye" beauties from Fantas-Eyes, and you're a walking vision of charitable chic. 


This Is My Year, The Shine Project


The best part about their tees? This isn't the only one. You'll find a variety of adorable "Be Kind" and "Shine" inspirational tees and sweatshirts on their Threads website. Plus, who could forget about the hand-made jewelry, including some of my very favorite styles of necklaces and bracelets? Fabulous and philanthropic all in one. 


The Shine Project

The Shine Project, This Is My Year


Top: The Shine Project | Jeans: Express | Heels: LC Lauren Conrad | Bag: Coach (No Longer Available), Similar Here | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Sunglasses: Fantas-Eyes


Shine on, lovebugs!
xo


♥ Stephanie

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Simple Elegance:
Academy-Inspired Red Carpet Makeup Tutorial


Q-Tips Precision Tips, The Oscars, Red Carpet Makeup


It's officially award season! To celebrate, I've decided to create a tutorial for my kind of red carpet glamour, which can only be described as classically simple and elegant. Sure, it's your prerogative to bedazzle your eyelashes and wear an artistic amount of clown paint, aka stage makeup, but I think true elegance is best represented with simplicity. One or two pops maximum of bold color, whether you choose your eyes, lips, blush, etc., can go a long way. Red lipstick is a given for me, and its application is easier than ever thanks to my ultimate new beauty secret weapon, Q-Tips Precision Tips

I think the best way to prep for red carpet makeup application is to choose your products wisely, and all my go-to favorites are below. Also, it never hurts to have fresh flowers in sight for inspiration either.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, The Oscars, Red Carpet Makeup

Q-Tips Precision Tips, The Oscars, Red Carpet Makeup


Once you've chosen which products you prefer for long-lasting glamour, be sure to start with a clean face. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Next, ensure that your makeup stays matte with a quality anti-redness primer.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, The Oscars, Red Carpet Makeup

Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Now apply your foundation. You can choose to use a brush or your fingers for application, and although all the makeup experts will tell you a brush is the unwritten right way to go, I opt for my fingers. I find it's easier to blend that way. Make sure your foundation is an accurate match to your skin or you'll risk looking like a tanning salon advertisement, which is definitely not red carpet. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, The Oscars, Red Carpet Makeup


Once you're primed and covered, conceal and highlight-- and contour if you're feeling feisty-- with a full cover concealer, like this one. I typically only stick to concealer and highlighting, though, since chiseled cheeks aren't a super good look for my heart-shaped face. Where and how much you highlight is a matter of preference, but make sure you don't skip this step altogether.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, The Oscars, Red Carpet Makeup

Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Add some ambient light to your already matte skin with a great finishing powder. Find a formula (like mine) with opalescent, sheer white powder, which will be the nightlong BFF of anyone anticipating taking pictures. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Add some color to your base with a great blush and bronzer. Yes, for big events, I do use both, and it makes a world of difference. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Now light up your eyes, which really are {although cliche} the windows to the soul. Find the perfect palette of pigment-rich taupe and gray-beige neutrals, like this one, to create a sultry smokey eye.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Smokey eyes have never been a forte of mine, since my hands are fidgety and like to spasm right when I'm trying to blend the darker shades, so I always come prepared with eye makeup remover and Q-Tips Precision Tips handy in case of otherwise irreparable mistakes.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars

Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


If you do make a mistake, you're not alone {obviously}. Tap a few drops of eye makeup remover on a Q-Tips Precision Tip and virtually erase your mistakes like whiteout. I highly recommend taking a stab at this strategy; it'll save you a lot of sweat, tears, and makeup remover wipes. Guaranteed. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, The Oscars, Red Carpet Makeup

Q-Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Once your red carpet eyes are under control, be sure to embolden your brows. This is my favorite instant spell of makeup magic. A great brow pencil, like this one, is a God-sent, so if you're still on the hunt for a fabulous brow pencil that comes in a variety of shades, test this one out. If you already have a favorite, make sure your product is smear-proof and leaves your brows looking natural and polished with ease.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Even with a functional spooley, sometimes my eye brow hairs have a mind of their own, so I choose to stay on the safely controlled side with colorless brow gel, like this one. You can also find brow gels in tinted colors, as well, but I'm preferential to the clear


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Next, be sure to curl your clashes before you apply mascara to give your eyes the biggest and brightest appearance possible. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Apply a few coats of volumizing black mascara to your lashes. If you're wanting extra drama, I recommend opting for fake lashes, although I usually reserve the fake lash appearances for awkward indoor and/or fluorescent lighting. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars

Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Lastly, attempt the pièce de résistance-- the bold red lip. Be sure to choose a quality red lip liner like this one to lock in the color and prevent feathering.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


If you've ever donned bold red lips before {and if you haven't, you totally should}, you know how much of a pain it can be to correct mistakes. It's like red lip liner is secretly permanent marker, and a handful of sneaky preschoolers quietly laughs at you every time you miss your mouth. Q-Tips Precision Tips are my ultimate secret weapon for all things lips, nails, and eyes. They have tapered ends to make it easy to achieve a bold and detailed look with precision. Plus, they're light and portable for beauty on-the-go, and they're a convenient and cost-efficient {$3.29 for a 170-count pack} alternative to a handful of different-sized expensive makeup brushes. Use their gentle pure cotton precision tip to do any lip liner, lipstick, or gloss touch-ups with ease. 

Also, if you're on the hunt for some fabulous red carpet glamour tips, check out the Q-Tips Pinterest boards for inspiration. From red carpet to fun Halloween looks, they've got some surprisingly fabulous content up for grabs.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars



Once your lips are cleanly lined, put on your lipstick. Try and find a shade, like this one, that holds its bold and rich color all night long... without you having to worry about re-application every ten minutes. That's never fun. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Now add a red gloss for extra shine. This liner-stick-gloss trifecta will make your smile pop like never before.


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars

Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars


Lastly, show stop in style on the red carpet. 


Q-Tips Precision Tips, Red Carpet Makeup, The Oscars



Hope y'all are enjoying the show, or at least the pre-show fashion segments, as much as I am! Who am I obsessed with, you may ask? Um, Anna Kendrick, Anna Kendrick, and Anna Kendrick. Whose look were your loving?


Happy Oscars 2015!
xo


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


♥ Stephanie
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