National Lipstick Day | 10 Steps to the Perfect Pink Pout

10 Steps to Apply Lipstick Flawlessly

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Happy National Lipstick Day, friends! Did you know women have been wearing lipstick of over 5,000 years now? If you’re hoarding tons of tubes, you’re not alone! Lipstick’s ability to decorate, protect, and transform the lips is why it tops the list of makeup essentials for many wearers.

All beauty products perform their best when the surface you’re applying them too is healthy, hydrated, and prepped for long wear. Makeup is also easier to apply precisely when you’re using the right tools. Sure, you can swipe on this summer’s most popular lip shades and go (that’s about all I have time for most days) but if you really want the perfect pout– lipstick that lasts and dazzles, you’re going to have to put a little more into it!

They key to long lasting lipstick wear is maintaining the health of your lips in the same way you would cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate the rest of your face.

Here’s how to apply pink lipstick in 10 steps with some of my favorite lip specialty products:

STEP 1: Cleanse- The best way to remove all pigment and residue from previous lipsticks and other products you’ve previously applied for a completely clean palette (not to mention ensuring you don’t leave traces of product on your pillow at night) is to cleanse with a gentle lip cleaner like Bliss Fabulips Foaming Lip Cleanser.

STEP 2: Moisturize- Face and lip cleansing, as well as the elements, can dry out your lips and cause chapping. I’m obsessed with lip moisturizers to keep my lips healthy and flake-free. Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy is a great option to hydrate and prevent chapping. Apply before bed and wake up to softer, smoother lips. I also love this tinted lip balm.

STEP 3: Exfoliate- Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub is my favorite lip exfoliant. It made my 25 Beauty Products to Try This Summer and is one of Lush’s most popular products. It’s made of all natural ingredients and smells like bubble gum.

STEP 4: Revive & Rehydrate- Serious about healthy lips? Try a lip mask once a week like Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask to instantly soothe and soften lips. It’s 99% natural, nourishes, and moisturizes lips with a bio-active blend of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, and vanilla CO2 extract. 

STEP 5: Prep your canvas- Once your lips are clean and hydrated, use a lip primer to ensure your lip color wouldn’t smudge off or end up on your teeth or napkin. A quick application before applying your favorite lipstick will guarantee that your lips stay perfectly covered all day long. My favorite is Too Face Lip Insurance Primer.

STEP 6: Apply Lip Liner- Phew, you still with me? Pick your favorite shade of lipstick (I love pink for summer but here’s a list of Amazon’s most popular lip shades this summer) and find a matching lip liner. I especially like to line my lips when I’m using darker shades of lipstick to provide guidance and prevent bleeding.

STEP 7: Use a Lip Brush- Oh, I know, more products?! But I promise, once you try a lip brush, you won’t go back. Lip brushes provide more control and their angled brush tip helps you to apply lipstick more precisely so that it doesn’t feather or bleed. The brush also helps you control how much lipstick you’re putting onto your lips and allows you to blend into the lip liner more seamlessly. Convinced? I love my Bobbi Brown brush and have my eye on this retractable one.

STEP 8: Apply Favorite Shade- Using the lip brush, sparing apply lipstick starting at the center of the lips outward towards the lip line and blend into the lip liner. Have a Q-tip or concealer on hand to “erase” any blunders. I have quite a few go-to shades but right now I like Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in “Loveable” for a soft summer pink, day or night.

STEP 9: Smile- What’s the perfect pink pout without a bright smile? Rembrandt Deeply White + Peroxide 2 hr Whitening Kit has long been a favorite. Just four 20 minute sessions gives a noticeably brighter smile. The formula doesn’t make my teeth sensitive and the trays are super comfortable.

STEP 10: Freshen Breath- Keep bad breath at bay easily with a breath freshener like Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips. The strips dissolve quickly leaving breath as fresh as it would feel after brushing. The tiny packs are easy to carry even in the smallest of clutches!

Tell me your favorite pink shades!

{Some samples provided for review.}


Back-to-School Trends {& a Target Gift Card Giveaway}

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When I think back to the start of each new school year growing up, the aroma of new school supplies and pristine leather shoes comes to mind. Uncertainty countered by excitement. My mom usually took us on two trips to prepare for the new year: one to buy the requisite school supplies and another to the shoe store in the village we lived to acquire a new pair of black or brown shoes (I wore a uniform throughout my early education).

Sebastian is starting Kindergarten this year and for the next almost two decades, back-to-school will again be a very important time in my life filled with the same anticipation and trepidation. Do you remember when Sebastian started nursery school? It feels like just yesterday but now a bus will be coming to take him to school for half the day.

I don’t know for sure what the transition will bring but we’ve been talking a lot about it and now that August is nearing, we got a jump on back-to-school shopping at Target, which has gotten this little Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-obsessed shopper very eager for the new school year. He loved picking out his own supplies from the enormous selection and I of course love the unbeatable value and overall shopping experience. I was even able to kill two birds with one stone and get some grocery shopping done:

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Beauty Buzz | Summer’s Hottest Lipstick Shades


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The most glamorous of holidays, National Lipstick Day, is this coming Tuesday and our friends at Amazon looked at lipstick sales and search terms to determine the most lipstick obsessed cities in the United States as well as the most popular lipstick shades summer 2014.

Would you believe that people in Miami, Portland?! and Atlanta buy more lipstick than in any other cities in the US? Looks like NYC has to up its lipstick game!

Be sure to pop by next week, I’ll have a fun pink lipstick how-to.

Momstrology | The AstroTwins’ Guide to Parenting {Giveaway}


When asked about my sons’ personalities, I will almost always mention that they’re Virgos and were born the years of the ox and dragon in the Chinese zodiac. I think those little tidbits says so much, even to those who only dabble in astrology.

While I don’t exactly live my life by the moon and the stars, I’ve always found astrology fascinating and am intrigued by the idea that different aspects of our nature are affected by our zodiac signs and birth charts. As such, I was super excited to read Momstrology: The AstroTwins’ Guide to Parenting Your Little One by the Stars, and am still thinking through all the thoughtful advice it provided me as a Leo mom (with a Scorpio fourth house ruler). Momstrology is loaded with sign-specific advice to make sense of parenting from an astrological point of view accounting for the strengths and weaknesses of each sign between mother/child and father/child, whether you’re new to astrology or really into it.

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Beauty Buzz | NEW from CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club

cvspharmacy beauty club summer 2014

A big box of new beauty arrived at my door last week from CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club. If anything jumps out at you, use your CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club membership when stocking up new beauty products to earn $5 ExtraBucks Rewards for every $50 you spend!  There’s a neighborhood CVS/pharmacy within 3 miles of almost everyone in US so if you’re going to beauty binge anyway, why not earn some money back?

Here’s what’s new:

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Zio Ziegler for PBteen {Review}

Last month PBteen launched an exclusive collection of bold, street-style bedding, backpacks, and wall art with contemporary artist Zio Ziegler. We got a first look at the collection and face-time with Zio himself at I.S. 289 Hudson River Middle School in Manhattan where he unveiled a custom mural for the students.

The bold graphic collection is currently available at PBteen and includes room decor from pillows to wall art and back to school favorites like lunch bags and back packs.

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You’re Invited | Long Live #SearsSummer Twitter Party 7/14

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Summer is in full effect and temps are heating up but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice cool style!

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Mode Monday | Jill Zarin’s 2nd Annual Luxury Ladies Luncheon

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Inside Edition | Beach Bag

It’s not easy to stay refreshed and stylish in the summer heat but thanks to our friends at Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee, I’m sharing a peek into my beach bag with the products that keep me energized on the go:

Beach Bag Essentials
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DIY Mason Jar Pendant Light {Guest Post}

With summer in full force and outdoor entertaining at its peak, I’m happy to welcome Rheney Williams back with a DIY Mason Jar Pendant Light project that’s sure to get your creative juices flowing and brighten up any outdoor space:

DIY Mason Jar Pendant

Addressing the lighting in and around your home is one of the quickest ways to dress up drab spaces and add a pop of brilliant luminescence to even the most mundane of areas. Many times, you can incorporate your personality and style in a single fixture. And even if your home is fantastic as it is, there’s always room to glam it up a notch!

That’s just what I’ve done with these simple DIY Mason jar hanging pendant lights. I’ve taken an ordinary product and enhanced it by combining a few equally commonplace items to create something truly extraordinary. The best part is that you can make your own with little to no DIY experience and minimal cost.

Start by gathering your materials. You’ll need:

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