Spotlight: Beauty & Style Apps

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Too busy to fit in that long-over due haircut? Forgot to schedule that appointment to weed-wack the upper lip fuzz? It’s been a busy start to the year but don’t let crazy schedules keep you from pampering and looking fresh!

I want to spotlight a few useful beauty and style apps that can help you stay chic while you’re on-the-go:

StyleBee

Type of service: StyleBee is a team of professionally trained stylists and makeup artists who are available to come to your home, office or hotel room. Before booking, be sure to check out their tips for the best way to prepare for an appointment.

  • Blowouts
  • Style and Makeup
  • Only Makeup
  • Updos
  • Updos and Makeup
  • Massage (in select locations)

Coming soon:

  • Eyelash extension
  • Mani/Pedi

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Why it’s worth a try: If you are super busy or not sure which salon to book with, why not have the professional come to you? Have a party to attend? Inquire about group rates.

Link: https://www.stylebee.com

Beautified

Type of service: Same day booking for beauty and spa appointments. The Beautified team searches for the best partnered establishments to ensure you get the service you want:

  • Haircut
  • Bikini Wax
  • Massage
  • Blowout
  • Manicure
  • Pedicure
  • Brow Wax
  • Facial
  • Makeup

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Why it’s worth a try: Have a last minute interview or date? Never fear being turned away at a spa or salon because you don’t have an appointment!

Link: http://www.getbeautified.com

 

Flink

Type of service: Mobile fashion source connecting you to your favorite fashion and style bloggers and helps you discover and share their style.

  • Follow your favorite bloggers
  • Discover new bloggers
  • Engage with the fashion community
  • Easily share your style inspirations on multiple social media platforms

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Why it’s worth a try: Take your blog roll up a notch and start a dialogue with other fashion junkies. Learn style tips from bloggers you admire and find new bloggers to adore.

 Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id798552697

Styletag

Type of service: A curated stream of the most cutting-edge street style looks you can shop. Create your own Lookbook and follow the streams of fashion designers, models and celebs.

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Why it’s worth a try: Great coverage of Fashion Week trends and simple format for sharing your inspiration. See what fashion influencers are into and buy the looks you love.

Link: http://www.style-tag.com

Have you tried these apps? What do you think about them? What apps do you use to make your day even more fabulous?

XOXO Liz

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My Funny Valentine…

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Ah, St. Valentine’s Day…one of my favorite holidays since childhood. All the reds and pinks and candy. Memories of making valentines for everyone in the class and exchanging candy grams with my friends.

This year I wanted to bring Valentine’s Day back to basics and make my own simple V-Day cards. In case you forgot, Valentine’s Day is this Friday, so you still have time to make your own sweet treats.

For some seriously adorable handmade holiday cards, check out Cherry Blossom Tree Designs!

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Inspired by these handmade beauties, I will show you how you can personalize your valentines this year:

Card #1 Heart of Gold 

Card #2 S.W.A.K.

Heart of Gold

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Valentines don’t have to be romantic or for your significant other. They can be given to friends and family as a token of how much you love and appreciate them. This ‘Heart of Gold’ card is for my parents, since their unconditional love comes from their hearts, which are made of gold.

What you need:

  • Card stock (plain or with preferred design)
  • Mod Podge (I used a glossy finish since I already had it. You can also try Mod Podge in a matte finish for paper products)
  • Foam brush or regular brush
  • Stiff paper to cut out heart stencil (any heart-shaped stencil you might already have)
  • Scissors
  • Gold glitter
  • Gold paint pen

First, select the size of card stock to be used and decide if you are making a horizontal or vertical design.

Take a sheet of thick or stiff paper (I used resume paper) and cut out a heart shape that will fit comfortably on the face of the card. This will create a disposable stencil. You can try the grade school method I show below or use something like a heart shape cookie cutter to trace the stencil.

You can use the cut out heart for another card idea or other craft projects.

Line the heart stencil on the face of the card and make sure it is centered. Since I folded the paper to cut my heart stencil, I used the center fold as my guide.

You can tape the stencil paper onto your table or place weighted items on the corners to help keep paper in place.

Grab a generous amount of Mod Podge on your brush and apply an even layer of glue over the heart stencil. Try to keep the application even on the edges of the heart, otherwise the glue can bleed under the stencil and warp the shape.

Let the glue dry for about 20 seconds so it becomes tacky. Then apply your glitter over the glue. Try to apply the glitter evenly.

Let the glitter sit on the glue for another 20-30 seconds, then use your clean finger to gently press the glitter onto the glue.

Allow the glitter to adhere to the glue for 15-20 minutes (follow drying instruction listed on the bottle).

Once the glitter has rested for the necessary time, you can carefully shake off excess glitter and clean the edges with your clean finger, tissue or clean brush.

Then, realign the stencil over the heart. Try to be as exact as you can so the edges match up.

Dip your used brush into the Mod Podge and gently apply another even layer of glue over the glitter. This layer will seal the glitter and avoid fall out.

Allow the top layer of glue to dry for 15-20 minutes.

Once the top coat is dry, brush off remaining loose glitter and proceed in using the gold paint pen or marker to write the text.

*You don’t have use the same text or glitter color. Go ahead and use whatever colors and text you want!

S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss)

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The ‘S.W.A.K.’ card was inspired by one of my favorite stationary and sticker sets from Lisa Frank (remember her?).

This card can be as cheeky, sexy or sentimental as you want. For my version, I will include a personal message listing a few ways kissing a certain someone is my favorite thing to do!

What you will need:

  • Card stock (plain color may allow the lipstick to pop more)
  • Your favorite lipsticks
  • Pen or marker of your choice
  • Hairspray (optional)

This card is so simple, yet so cute. The idea is to have your own kisses fill the card like love confetti. You can do a random pattern like I did, or if you have more space on your card you could do one kiss per reason/written line.

To begin, I went ahead and used a gold paint pen to write the main text (you can leave space on the inside to write a personal note).

Once the ink is dry, get to smooching!

I chose a mix of pink and red lip colors that were vibrant and matte (Sonia Kashuk & Maybelline are awesome). I wouldn’t suggest using a moisturizing lipstick or lipgloss, as the color can transfer and smudge very easily.

Apply a thick layer of lipstick to your lips, adding extra pigment to the center.

Pucker your sexy pout and plant that sucker straight onto the card. Hold and press your lips then gently rock the card side to side to capture your entire lip.

Write your message and remember to seal the envelope (and your special someone) with a kiss!

Optional: To help seal the lipstick, I applied a light mist of Moroccanoil hairspray. The hairspray acts as sealant that dries instantly. Please DO NOT use a heavy spray or gel hairspray. Only use a hairspray that has a fine fist and low alcohol content. And of course, do not allow this card or hairspray to come into contact with heat or flames!

*You do not have to use pink or red lipstick. If you have a signature color that will drive your special someone wild–use it!

*Before you KISS, click here: Try a homemade lip scrub to make sure your lips are smooth and hydrated!

The most important thing to do for Valentine’s Day is have fun and celebrate L.O.V.E!

XOXO Liz

DIY: Alice’s Tea Cup Candles

Alice's Tea Cup Candles

Alice’s Tea Cup Candles

It’s February and I am on a crafting kick, fueled by inspiration from a few special occasions coming up this month.

My recent project is transforming vintage inspired tea cups into candles. The tea cup is the ultimate dainty, feminine and whimsical accessory. Whether you choose to use it for tea time or as a decoration, who doesn’t love a cute cup and candle?

My sister gave me my first miniature Barbie tea set when I was really young, and I was stoked. The little set was legit and made me feel like such a lady. And then my fascination with tea time was born!

Below is the most similar image I could find that resembles my first tea set:

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What’s great about this DIY idea is that while the candle burns, it actually looks like a cup of tea and once the candle is done, you can clean out the soy wax and re-use the cup for real tea (or to hold jewelry, candies, flowers)! It’s also a fairly easy process and can be inexpensive if you shop around for the materials and are clever with items you already own.

The cute factor is sky-high and they make sweet, thoughtful gifts for a housewarming, birthday, party favors and even Valentine’s Day.

Bright Idea: As a gift, I would pair the tea cup candle with a tin of tea or tea cakes and macarons.

Another inspiration comes from my birthday a few years back, when I planned a grown-up Alice in Wonderland theme (including libations served in tea cups). I would have loved to have made tea cup candles for all my guests!

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Tick Tock, Tick Tock…It’s Tea Party Time!

I purchased the main materials (soy wax, wicks and fragrance) from Michaels (approximately $15.00). I picked up a few tea cups from HomeGoods (average price $8.00 per cup and saucer) and I also recommend checking out your local thrift store or ask friends and family members if they have any tea cups they can part with to help lower cost.

I prefer soy wax as it tends to burn cleaner and longer than regular wax. I suppose you could try to repurpose chunks of left over wax or melts, but I would suggest that you stick to one fragrance or make sure the fragrances you combine will complement one another and that the colors will not clash.

Since this was my first attempt, I decided to go ahead and buy wax at the store with a 40% off one item coupon instead of ordering online. Going forward, I recommend checking online to buy these items in bulk and for a better deal. Trust me, one pound of soy wax was just enough to fill three tea cups. If you decide to do try this project with young ones, please make sure to monitor them and the stove!

What you will need:

  • Tea cups of all variety (the more the merrier and a tea party you will certainly have!) *Make sure the cup can withstand a heat range of 120° to 160°.
  • At least one pound of Soy candle wax (or any type of wax you prefer) *You will need to use more wax than you think.
  • Waxed wicks *Make sure to measure the depth of your cups, bowls or containers and use a wick at least one inch taller.
  • Fragrance/Scent (optional)
  • Wax Dye (optional)

To Melt the Wax:

  • Double boiler (optional) *I will show you how I used a tin can and metal milk frothing jug.
  • Old saucepan with spout (optional) * If you choose to use an old pan, make sure you are okay with dedicating this for candle making only as wax can damage the sauce pan. You can probably purchase an old one at a thrift store for minimal cost.
  • Candy thermometer (optional)
  • Pair of tongs with rubber/silicon grip
  • Heat resistant glove
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick to adhere wick to bottom of cup

What I had at home instead of a double boiler or a pan I could “damage”:

How to make a Tea Cup Candle:

First, you will need to clean and dry the cup.

Use the hot glue or a temporary adhesive to allow the tab of the wick to stay in place.

Fill the saucepan about half way with water and begin to boil. Once you achieve a strong boil, you are ready.

I had to experiment with the amount of wax to place into the tin can. I learned quickly that you will need to double, if not triple the volume of wax as it will melt to about 2/3 the original volume.

I did not have a candy thermometer handy, so I used my best judgment on the status of melted wax. If you do have a candy thermometer, pay attention to the heating instructions on the soy wax. Soy wax tends to be softer so the melting point could range from 122° to 160°. The wax I purchased was microwavable, but I chose to use my stove top.

I used a saucepan and 14.5 oz clean green bean tin can to create a double boiler effect. The double boiler essentially uses the heat from the boiling water to heat the wax in a separate container (not all waxes can or should be melted in a microwave), and this is the quickest way to melt the wax.

Once the wax begins to melt, use a disposable chopstick to stir the wax. Once the wax is completley melted in the tin can, change the heat setting to low and allow the wax to cool slightly (about 30 seconds). Once the wax has cooled you can add dye or fragrance if desired (read the instructions for each).

I used the chopstick again to mix in the fragrance into the wax. I used my tongs to grab the middle of the tin, squeezed it tight and carefully poured it into the milk frothing jug.

Moving somewhat quickly, I used the milk frothing jug to transfer the wax into the cup. Pour enough so the wax reaches about half an inch from the rim. I placed another chopstick across the cup to prop up the wick to keep it straight.

Allow cups to cool undisturbed for at least 4-6 hours before burning.

Cut the wick to about 1/4 of an inch and enjoy!

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I cannot wait to include one of these beauties as part of a tea party themed bridal shower this weekend! If you are in New York, you might be familiar with the lovely brunch spot, Alice’s Tea Cup (there are a few locations, each one a “chapter”).

This is the perfect venue to indulge in tea time and exchange your personalized tea cup candles!

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{Click on the photos above for the original links}

XOXO Liz

Mod Podge & Glitter Mason Jars

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What am I doing this Super Bowl weekend? Mod Podging, of course!

In particular, I am dressing mason jars in gold glitter. I love the simple, rustic look of a mason jar and I appreciate how functional they are. This type of jar has been around since the 1800s and can be used to store food, homemade sauces and preserves, used as a cup to drink from, candle holder, pen holder, money jar–the possibilities are endless.

I recommend having a few small and large jars in the pantry just in case. You can buy them or you can repurpose pasta sauce and jam jars.

For this project I purchased a few of the classic Kerr and Ball jars from Michaels. They were fairly inexpensive (about $1.49 for small clear Kerr to $2.49 for large clear Kerr jar and $15.00 for a box of six antique blue-tinted Ball jars) and the best part of shopping at Michaels is you rarely have to pay full price.

If you sign up for their email sales circular or download their free app, you will receive at least one %40 off one regular item coupon (among others) every week. Sometimes they include coupons on your receipt–so make sure to check your receipt before you file to toss it! Essentially there is no need to pay full price at Michaels.

Michaels Coupon

If you do not have a Michaels or local craft/kitchen supply store, check online and you can probably find a good deal there.

Okay, so I am new to Mod Podge, the amazing water-base glue and sealant. This stuff is not Elmer’s glue, folks, although it is easy for young people to use as well. I’ve heard of it but never thought I would need it until I saw pictures of beautiful, shimmery glittered jars. I immediately bought myself some jars and a bottle of Gloss finish Mod Podge and got to work.

Now I am hooked!

I didn’t know where to start, so my sister sent me a link to this incredible Mod Podging Pro: Mod Podge Rocks Blog. This blog is filled to the brim with tips, tutorials and DIY inspiration. You can also check out Pinterest and YouTube for some great guides.

Below are some tips on how you can Mod Podge and glitter your jars (cups, bowls, picture frames or whatever you want!). These make precious center pieces and gifts, too!

Proceed with caution: This DIY project is messy, sparkly and addictive!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 bottle of Gloss finish Mod Podge
  • 1 medium and 1 small sponge brush (regular paint brush is optional, although it might be easier to re-use and dispose sponges)
  • Glitter (I used fine gold glitter from Martha Stewart Crafts)
  • Painter’s tape if you want to create lines or angles
  • Any item that could use some sparkle
  • Old newspaper or magazine to catch excess glitter and rest wet brushes

Whether you are adding glitter to the inside or outside of the jar, first apply a generous, even layer of the Mod Podge.  If you are adding glitter to the inside, you can pour some Mod Podge first, rotate the jar to spread it and then use the sponge brush to smooth it out.

You can also try dampening the sponge tip for a smoother application.

Once you have added the Mod Podge to the desired area, tap plenty of glitter all over and rotate or move the jar side to side to ensure glitter comes in contact with the glue. You do not need to tap off the excess glitter unless you want a very light coat.

One thing to note is a thin layer of Mod Podge can dry fairly quickly, so try to work at a faster pace if you are covering a large area in one application. Otherwise, you can glue and glitter one area first and then finish the rest at another time.

Let the glue dry, as directed in the instructions. Once the glue has dried, you can apply another top coat of Mod Podge to work as a sealant.

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XOXO Liz