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caravan stylist studio.

with awards season underway, i wanted to share a little peek at the process that gets celebrities red carpet ready.  back in october i visited caravan stylist studio.  the studio, housed inside the carlton hotel, offers full styling services to get celebrities and tastemakers ready for events.  the space is packed with dresses and accessories to lend clients. they also offer hair, makeup and nail services - i got all three! 

when i visited not only did i get one of my favorite manicures of all time (with zoya polish; see above), i left with a braided updo, and a vampy kryolan makeup look (see below).  amazingly, the whole process to took under 3 hours.  i also took home some products that have become absolute favorites over the last few months.  i would be remiss in not sharing three favorites that i discovered because of through caravan stylist studio:

{new favorites}

  1.  bullet acne aid - this clear spot treatment is comprised of a unique blend of oils (so it's all natural) and works in a matter of hours! 
  2. healthy sexy hair soy renewal beach spray - this product combines my two most important hair needs, volume and a very sexy scent.  
  3. simple eye make-up remover pads -these are actually an established favorite-- but a genius idea nonetheless.

{my finished look}


review: NARS all day luminous weightless foundation.

{building a foundation}
NARS all day luminous weightless foundation is serious (read: full) coverage.   this is the sort of foundation i'd wear to a wedding, or to meet the president.   any occasion that is, by definition, formal.  for day to day, i usually stick to a lighter formula that lets some of my imperfections peek through (who knows why i would want that, but the heart wants what the heart wants, what can i say?).

this foundation offers the wearer the opportunity to say "see you later" to freckles and acne scars, which will all be well-hidden once it's applied.  the formula also boosts a 16-hour wear time, which i can attest to -- i applied it early in the morning and it did not budge until removed it late that night.  one would think with all of that it would have to be somewhat thick and heavy, but most surprising of all is how light-weight it is - it's not noticeably thicker than any of my lighter coverage favorites.

available in 20 shades, i wear mont blanc (the 2nd lightest hue).   $48 at narscosmetics.com


review: maybelline creamy matte lipsticks.

{from left to right: daringly nude, divine wine, mesmerizing magenta, craving coral and ravishing rose}
maybelline reports that matte lips are back, based the makeup looks from spring 2014 fashion week. to me, they never left.  matte lipstick is cool-girl sophisticated.  shimmery and shiny lips can end up looking sloppy and smudged, while matte stays defined.

the key to a good matte anything (lip, nail, skin-finish) is avoiding look dry and chalky -- hence the brilliance of a creamy matte.  the formula is hydrating enough that it looks satiny, rather than powder-y (which would exaggerate my already-cracked, dry, winter lips).  plus, the pigment rich colors have pretty good longevity, i got a few hours of wear from one application.

even though i love the formula, my favorite thing about the lipsticks are the colors. the variety of shades are so vibrant that it looks like barbie's lipstick collection!  available in 10 colors,  $7.49 at mass retailers.

{maybelline creamy matte in divine wine}


review: NIVEA in-shower body lotion.

NIVEA in-shower body lotion is basically a body conditioner.  after cleansing with soap or body wash, one gets to lotion up in the shower, and rinse.  which is a very good thing!  

the idea of a body conditioner is not new.  it's been offered by various niche brands in the past.  i've tried versions from ted gibson and lush cosmetics (both of which i loved).  however, this is the first i know of it being offered by mass brand. 

NIVEA in-shower body lotion is available in 3 varieties - nourishing (with almond oil), hydrating (with sea minerals), and smoothing (with shea butter).  over the weekend i started using the nourishing version (with almond oil). my absolute favorite thing about body conditioners is that i don't have to apply lotion after showering, which is both a freezing and annoying task.  the product allows me to actually lotion up daily, something i end up skipping many days because of the hassle, but need to do because my skin gets so dry this time of year.  i also like the soft, buttery finish this version gives my skin, and the very light but lingering scent - a clean, non-cloying, almond.

now available in stores for $7.99.


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