Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Great Budget-Friendly Holiday Party Hostess Gifts!

I am sure you have a holiday party, or two, to go to this year. Maybe it's an old friend, maybe someone new, or a even a friend or co-worker of your spouse. You want to bring that perfect thank you for extending the invitation your way!

I found some great gifts that are inexpensive, yet super cute! Any hostess would be excited for any of these fun items!

First off, if you don't already know, Neiman Marcus has paired up with Target to give us some great gifts for this holiday season! Known designers (DVF, Jason Wu, etc.) have designed special clothing and products (from dresses and sweaters to stationary and letter openers) at Target prices!

Amongst all the goodies, one of my favorites, at $40, is the Tracy Reese Dessert Plates (set of 4). They are cute, designer, and fun for any one. Being that there are 4 different patterns, they can be used as dessert plates, accent plates on a decorative table, or for serving cookies or tea bags. LOVE!

Another great gift, for under $25, is the Mine Design Chalkboard Candle! It's a candle where instead of being in a glass jar, it has a chalkboard exterior! You can write names, saying, greetings, table numbers and more! The hostess can use the candle in the future with their own sayings.
Just like a regular chalkboard, you wipe off and can re-write whatever comes to mind!

If you were interested in getting something consumable (because maybe you don't know what they like, or you don't know the decor of their home), great chocolate is another way to go!
Instead of going to your local Lindt or Godiva francise, if you are in Westchester County, NY, or the surrounding area, Chocolations in Mamaroneck has even better chocolate and way better prices! Owned by Maria Valente, you can purchase handmade chocolates of all kinds! She is known for her chocolate barks and truffles, but she has everything from snowman marshmallow pops to plain bars of chocolate shaped in numbers, letters, baseball bats, wreaths, and more! Unless you need something specific, or need a large quantity of items, you don't have to order in advance! Her shop is always filled with goodies for yourself or others!
We BOTH Won Best of Westchester for 2012!!!!

Maria Valente, the owner and chocolate guru herself! =)


Chocolate Dipped Pretzels top left, Truffles in center

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tuesday's Tip of the Day: Estee Lauder's Double Wear Powder!

This powder is any one's saving grace! I use it on EVERYONE! And if anyone asks me to recommend a great powder for every day - or for an evening out - I say Double Wear!

Estee Lauder has their Double Wear line, and if you aren't familiar with it - you need to be! Every product in this line lasts 8-10 hours. They have liquid foundation (great for oily skin), foundation powders (pressed and loose), eye liners, lip liners, etc. - and you will be happy with all of it. I especially love their Double Wear Pressed Foundation Powder. It is what I use everyday and is always in my makeup kit!

It is exceptionally great for people with oily skin (it negates all shine and won't slide off from the oils on your skin), but it also fantastic for normal to dry skin, because it doesn't flake - ever! (as long as your skin was properly hydrated beforehand - which it should be)


As long as you have properly hydrated your skin after cleansing it, and I recommend using a primer as well, apply the powder with your favorite brush and your skin is ready for the day. You can use this powder alone for every day, or on top of foundation tinted moisturizer, or BB cream to set it for a night out or special event. It evens out skin tones, fills fine lines, and leaves a flawless canvas for the rest of your makeup! And the best part, it's under $35 - you can't beat it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jene Luciani's Hair Color - Love the Changes!

Jene Luciani - my good friend and client - LOVES change =) She is the author of The Bra Book, as well as a fashion and style expert & bra guru!!

Jene on BravoTV's Mad Fashion

Anything new and fun, she is totally in - and I love that about her - and since I do her makeup and hair, I always get to go along for the ride!

Fun Photoshoot with Lynda Kwartler Photography
Hair and Makeup By Me =)

Apart from her normal blonde in the summer and warmer brown tones in the winter, not long ago, she opted to turning into a redhead for fall - LOVE that, because no one expected it (I think it was even a last minute decision for her!)

LOVE RED! So Pretty <3

Now that is getting to be winter, even though the weather here in NY may think otherwise, she decided to do a warm reddish-brown - which looks amazing! (We just did it yesterday, so photos will follow!)

As you can see Jene has a light to medium skin tone with olive undertones. No matter what skin color you have, you can try different hair colors, you just have to make sure it's the right shade and tone for your skin and eyes. Work with your hairdresser to come with something new ~ especially for the New Year! It's always fun to try something new!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tip of the Day: Holiday Makeup Quick Tips!

Instead of one tip today, I thought I'd give a few quick tips to great makeup! Holiday parties are creeping up upon us (some may already had one already), these tips will help keep your makeup fresh all night long!

1. If you are doing a full face of makeup, you want to fill in your brows a little. Unless your brows are super dense to begin with, you want to shade in parts where the hairs are sparse.

2. If you aren't used to doing your eye makeup, your eyes may tear or get irritated from all the touching. Use eye drops to help clear them out. But remember, use a brand you have used before, so you don't have any sudden reactions to something new.

3. You need blush! Even if you feel your cheekbones feature themselves enough, you want to accent them to finish the look. Apply a subtle pink or warm bronze to feature them some more. Your makeup will look incomplete without a little pop of color on those cheeks.

4. Use waterproof makeup. Any product that can be purchased in waterproof, should be - liner, mascara especially. If the party you are attending has dancing, or may be warm due to the amount of people in a space, you want to make sure your makeup doesn't melt down your face - not attractive!

(I know this is a little dramatic, but you know what I mean)

5. And lastly, do your eyes first, then your face makeup. Any makeup you use on your eyes, especially shadows, the powder will fall onto your cheeks. So much easier to clean up when you haven't done your face makeup yet. So save yourself the time and energy, do your eyes first, then face, then brows!