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Editor’s Note – May, 2013


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***If you or a loved one suffers from a serious and persistent mental illness, visit NAMI.org for information on how to help your loved one and yourself.***

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Maintaining good mental health is as important as sustaining good physical health!  Whether you are an individual living with a serious mental illness, or you experience many of life’s stressors, there are times in our lives when we have to step back and practice self care.  In observance of Mental Health Awareness month, I will share some luxurious products I enjoy using (primarily beauty related, of course!) to give me that little “pick me up” or to help me unwind from a stressful day.

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Keep reading for more information!  Read the rest of this entry

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Editor’s Note – April, 2013


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Being Green!

Every April we celebrate Earth Day and are encouraged to find new ways to recycle qualifying items, reduce waste, and reuse products in creative ways.  I thought I would provide a couple of beauty-related tips to being “green” and, of course, discuss this year’s Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year: GREEN (emerald, to be exact)!

Tip 1: Reusing Containers
My favorite candle company, AQUIESSE, houses many of their uniquely-scented, luxury candles in thick glass.  After finishing my first candle, I could not bear to toss the glass container, so I cleaned it and started storing my makeup brushes in it.  The smoked color of the glass fits perfectly with my decor and each container holds about 25 brushes (lip pencils and eyeliners also store well).

As a scrapbooker/paper crafter, I have plenty of decorative paper laying around, and as my best friend reminded me this weekend, it can be used to cover coffee/soup cans, or any other container with a smooth surface.  It is an inexpensive way to add a pop of color to your room, as well as organize/store frequently reached-for items.

Tip 2: Shop from Eco-friendly Companies
One of the reasons I continue to shop from MAC is due to their “Back to MAC” program.  For every six empty containers you return, you will receive a lipstick, lipglass, or eyeshadow of your choice (MAC counters in department stores only offer a free lipstick).  Let’s be frank, the mark up on cosmetics is immense, so when a large corporation offers its customers free FULL-SIZED products for bringing back the empty containers, they earn points for good customer service.  I wish more companies would follow suit because it is a simple way to help the environment, as well as show some appreciation for our investment.

Aveda is another eco-friendly company known for charitable contributions and various ways the company “strives to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility.”  Aveda offers liter-sized shampoos and conditioners, which not only “uses up to 66% less packaging” (compared to purchasing four 200 ml bottles), but also saves you 25% per ounce.  I get a little giddy at an opportunity to save money on products I love!

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year!
As I have mentioned in the past, green is a color that makes me smile.  I find the earthiness of it is quite soothing, so when Sephora + Pantone announced this year’s color as emerald, I knew it would be fitting for April’s Editor’s Note.  The easiest way to add this bright green to your makeup look is by popping on an emerald mascare, or lining your upper or lower lashline with the color (keep the rest of your eye makeup neutral so the green shines!).  If you are feeling a little daring, consider washing your entire lid with an emerald green, and use a deep blue in the crease and a shimmery gold in the inner corner to highlight.

If you are not diggin’ the green makeup, consider getting lacquered up with the jewel-toned polish.  Of course, the safest way to follow this year’s trend is by accessorizing with an emerald colored scarf or handbag.  Lastly, If your birthday/anniversary is coming up, then flutter those lashes and beg your sweetie to purchase those Harry Winston earrings you have been eyeing ever since you saw them on the Red Carpet!

So, whether you are trying to find more ways to conserve, wanting to accessorize with emerald, or simply feeling green with envy, this month I encourage you to go green!

Editor’s Note – March, 2013


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Time flies when you’re blogging!

Time Management!

Anyone-a CEO, teacher, mother-will tell you a major component of being successful is time management, and being a blogger (whether as a career or hobby) is not any different!

As a beauty blogger, I have to ensure I allow myself enough time to fully assess products.  Testing the majority of products only requires eight hours or less of wear time, but long-wearing products sometimes need 12, 14, or even 16 hours.  The great part of examining beauty items is having the ability to wear multiple products at the same time, and other than the occasional glance in the mirror (sounds a little vain, I know!) and noting how cosmetics are wearing, it does not interfere with the rest of my day.  It really is the best form of multitasking! The downside is making sure I slap the products on early enough so I am not up at 2:00 AM waiting for a product to crease, fade, smear, smudge, or whatever else it decides to do.

Photographing products and swatches takes precise planning as well.  So far, I have found my best photographs are taken in indirect, natural lighting.  The area I snap shots is exposed to this type of lighting only between the hours of 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.  Eventually, I would like to invest in studio lighting, but until then, timing is key.

Aside from the time it takes to photograph, apply, and wear products, it takes me an average of two to three hours to compose a single blog post.  This includes editing photos, writing and editing text, and formatting the entry.  Sometimes it can take a little longer, particularly if I am having difficulty coming up with the right words to describe a product, but it certainly is not something that can be accomplished in 15 minutes.  I write in the evenings and on weekends, but again, I have to make sure I organize enough time so I am not awake too late.

Through this process, I have developed deep admiration for those who post on a daily basis.  I started writing knowing it was going to take time, but I did not realize how important time management would become.   As with any career or hobby you take pleasure in, blogging is a labor of love.

I would love to hear how you have found ways to be more efficient. Also, what would you like to work into your day that you just cannot seem to find the time to do?

-LAB

Editor’s Note-January, 2013


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What would the new year be without Champagne and Chanel?

Happy New Year!

With a new year comes a new adventure-an opportunity to pursue one of my dreams!  For quite sometime I have yearned to create a blog.  I have always wanted a place to share my creativity, to be a resource for others, and to bask in the little luxuries I enjoy most in life-beauty being one of them!  Unfortunately, the pressure I put on myself of wanting to start out perfect paralyzed me for many years, and instead of trying, because I  feared failure, I did not try at all.  So, the only promise I have made to myself is to try this, and not give up!  I will welcome any mistakes I make along the way and embrace them as learning experiences.

I cannot wait to share the things I love, hate, or feel indifferent about.  I plan to cover everything beauty-related and some extra goodies along the way.  I am eager to strengthen my skills as a writer, to step out of my comfort zone, and to connect with readers across the world.  For now, I will take this new adventure one post at a time.

As far as beauty resolutions: again, I’d like to step out of my comfort zone and wear more color.  I tend to play it safe with my makeup, even though I can pull off just about any color quite well.  It’s all about feeling confident in what you are wearing.

I will welcome all feedback, as my first loyalty is to you, the reader!  Let me know what you want to see.

Cheers to a new year of discovery, laughter, loving life, and hunting down that new, limited edition beauty product that has already sold-out online!  😉

Happy 2013!

-LAB

P.S. – So tell me, What new adventure are you going to embark upon this year?  What are you most excited about doing, and what are your fears?

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