Signs of Spring

It’s Spring in New York. It’s still chilly, but the sun is glowing in all its glory.

Signs of spring are popping up everywhere in fashion and beauty, which means there are so many new items to covet and try. Below are a few items on my Spring wish list!

To get you into the mood for the season, here’s a Spring To-do List from Glitter Guide:

unnamed-1

 

 

Other things I’m loving for Spring?

A burst of sheer energy: High-performance Naturals set in Energy from Tarte ($10.00, what a steal!)

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.55.41 PM

Natural Radiance: The Forever Nude Makeup Palette from BH Cosmetics (it is now on sale for $11.95!)

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.33.58 PM

 

 

Lavender, Rose and Sugar Pink: Esmeralda Bubble Statement Necklace from Olive +Piper ($36.00)

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 4.04.36 PM

Mix of translucent and lucite accents: Mini Ombre Links from BaubleBar (for a limited time, $20.00)

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 4.09.09 PM

Earthy Statement pieces: Tortoise Monaco Collar from BaubleBar ($46.00)

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 4.11.01 PM

Black, White and Yellow: Vintage-inspired jewelry from Catbird (prices vary)

unnamed-2

 

The new T-shirt dress: T-Shirt + Pencil Skirt + Strappy Sandal from H&M Spring 2014, feat. Miranda Kerr (prices vary)

miranda-kerr-for-hampm-spring-summer-2014-L-HNKEA4

 

 

What are you lusting for at the moment?

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 2.32.57 PM

Advertisements

My Funny Valentine…

2014-02-11 14.49.37

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!

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 1.51.07 PM

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

2014-02-11 14.39.49

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)

2014-02-11 14.54.09

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:

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 1.32.29 PM{Photo Courtesy of The Find}

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!

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 1.58.47 PMGwen-Stefani-9tumblr_m144neOsV11qb68o8o1_500

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 9.31.26 PM_MG_3314

{Click on the photos above for the original links}

XOXO Liz

Pin Point: How to Upgrade Your Bobby Pins With Nail Polish!

bobby pins 1

It’s time for an upgrade. Banish boring bobby pins and embrace one-of-a-kind style. I will show you how to personalize these hair essentials…with nail polish.

Personalizing bobby pins (or any hair accessory for that matter) is so easy that I have actually been doing this since middle school!

All you have to do is paint your bobby pins with nail polish, add any embellishment you want with super glue and voilà! You have instant updated hair flair. (On the flip side: Use the longer tip of the bobby pin as a nail dotter/nail art tool.)

This is a great, inexpensive way to revamp old pins or create a custom look. This DIY tutorial is simple and goof-proof enough for children to do as well.

What you will need:

  • A piece of paper or thin card board to secure bobby pins and catch excess paint
  • As many bobby pins as your heart desires
  • Your favorite nail polishes (My fave right now is anything from Julep. The more variety, the better!)
  • Any embellishment you want. (I like to use rhinestones (new or ones that have fallen off other things) or broken pieces of jewelry)
  • Super glue to adhere embellishments (optional)

Steps:

  • Slide bobby pins onto paper or cardboard, flat side facing you. The wavy side should be worn underneath the hair, facing the scalp. The bumps are what grab the hair so the pin will stay put!
  • Line bobby pins up at least half an inch apart (to avoid pins sticking together).
  • Select the nail polish color you want and make sure the paint is not dripping off the brush.
  • Gently sweep the color along the flat side of the bobby pin. If you like, you can create multi-colored designs.
  • Once the bobby pins are painted, let them dry for about five minutes. You do not need to seal the paint but feel free to use a top coat if desired.
  • If you wish to add embellishments, wait for the nail polish to dry completely. Apply the super glue (I prefer the gel formula) to the embellishment first and then press it on to the flat side of the bobby pin. Allow at least three minutes for the super glue to dry.

2014-01-26 16.14.152014-01-26 16.15.352014-01-26 16.17.142014-01-26 16.18.492014-01-26 16.21.562014-01-26 16.23.042014-01-26 16.26.33

Julep Colors: Winona, Eva, Valerie, Oscar

2014-01-26 18.42.522014-01-27 08.41.35

Perfect Match:

I bought these gold and ivory bobby pins a while ago from H&M and transformed them into little match sticks by adding a some red (Julep color Sheila) to the tips!:

2014-01-27 10.10.08 2014-01-27 10.11.292014-01-27 08.39.27

*You can try different types of paint if you have them handy. I use nail polish because I have loads of colors to choose from, they dry quickly (you could literally do this project anywhere, on the go) and it’s been my tried and true method for nearly 20 years. Wow, that sounds like a long time!

*For glitter/translucent shimmer polishes, you might want to paint a base coat with a complementing color to help make the finish more vibrant.

*Try updating office supplies and other accessories with nail polish (i.e. Color code keys, makeup brushes or paint plain paper clips and thumb tacks). Yes, I have used bobby pins as substitute paper clips and ear bud clips!  

*You can even create a red bottom tape dispenser like I did below:

2014-01-27 08.35.342014-01-27 08.36.33

You can find this tape dispenser from Staples.

Bobby Pins Tips

XOXO Liz

Just for YOU: 20% Promo Code for Cherry Blossom Tree Designs!

Promo LizXO20

Birthday in a Box has launched–what better way is there to say “happy birthday” then sending that special someone a mini surprise party?

Elizabethology fans can enjoy an exclusive offer from Cherry Blossom Tree Designs!

Visit the shop, Customize your order & Enter promo code “LizXO20” during checkout.

This offer will expire on October 13, 2013, so happy shopping : )

There are many options to choose from…here’s a few examples of adorable customized goodies you can request:

birthday box 2

birthday box 3 birthday box 12013-08-30 17.54.57

2013-08-30 17.48.382013-08-30 17.53.32

Love what you see? Well, CBTD will be introducing customizable boxes for many more occasions…but probably not this kind!

dick in a box

XOXO Liz Signature

Sneak Peek: Birthday in a Box

2013-08-30 17.56.42

My mom’s birthday is tomorrow, but she lives more than 2,000 miles away. Sending her a present is standard, but what if I could send her a whole birthday party in one box?

Well, it is now possible to send anyone, anywhere their own Birthday, Party or Celebration in a Box!

This idea comes from my sister, who is also the creator of Cherry Blossom Tree Designs (CBTD). CBTD specializes in handmade paper goods to celebrate every occasion~from personalized invitations, greeting cards, banners to cake toppers, treat bags and so much more.

My sister couldn’t come to NY for my birthday last month, so she created my very own Birthday in a Box. I was beyond thrilled to find this miniature box of joy and wanted to share this with you!

Starting next week she will be adding this one-of-a-kind box service so you can spread the joy as well (pricing and shipping details will be available soon).

Website: http://www.cherryblossomtreedesigns.com/

Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/cherryblossomtrees

Each box can be personalized with a theme and you can select different kinds of treats based on the occasion and person for whom you are curating a box. The boxes are small enough to decorate someone’s office, cubicle, locker, car, coffee table, vanity–basically anywhere a mini party can be displayed!

Here’s what my first Birthday in a Box included (prepared to have a cute-attack!):

Keepsake Box

Personalized Card

Mini Cupcake Magnet

Pink Polka Dot Balloons

Mini ‘Happy Birthday’ Banner

Gold Glitter Clothespin Magnets (to hang your banner high!)

On-the-Go Confetti Pack

2013-08-30 17.45.17{She also gave my a beautiful Ted Baker watch and a mustachioed Hello Kitty tin!}

2013-08-30 17.46.592013-08-30 17.52.002013-08-30 17.54.572013-08-30 17.48.38 2013-08-30 17.49.012013-08-30 17.49.372013-08-30 17.50.102013-08-30 17.51.362013-08-30 17.52.552013-08-30 17.53.322013-08-30 17.51.042013-08-30 17.51.252013-08-30 17.51.422013-08-30 17.54.22

2013-08-30 17.55.52

You can’t deny how cute and clever this idea is and there is a box for any reason and special person (congratulations, best wishes, get well soon, I miss you, care package, farewell, good luck, thank you, thinking of you, happy anniversary, will you marry me, will you be my bridesmaid, baby shower, bachelorette party, party favors, employee or teacher appreciation, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Happy New Year, and etc.).

Just one week until you can celebrate and commemorate one box at a time…here’s how:

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 1.33.28 PM

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 1.37.15 PM

Happy Bday CBTD

XOXO Liz Signature

J’Adore: Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil

2013-09-07 11.34.42

{Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil}

JAdore...

I’ve been a big fan of Clarins skin care products for a while now. I believe it is necessary to start with the best canvas (aka healthy skin) for your makeup to be radiant and enhance your features and I have not been let down by this product line.

When I was in college I worked briefly at Sephora and one brand clients often asked about was Clarins. I would explain my philosophy that putting effort into a solid skin care routine will ensure the best possible face. After all, makeup on blemished or tired skin tends to become a mask, rather than enhancement.

Many clients were hesitant to try it because of the price tag but after trying samples and seeing the results, they understood the quality of the products make it a worthwhile investment.

I’ve been experimenting in facial oils and surprisingly, I love them (main staple is Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil). The facial oils help balance natural face oils by sort of tricking the pores into thinking they have produced enough oil so your face won’t keep producing them,  which too much oil can clog pores and cause breakouts. I used oils during the summer and thought they would make me super greasy in the humidity, but they actually kept inflamation down and brightened my skin.

So I decided to try the Clarins version and I am loving the Lotus Face Treatment Oil. Ive been using this for about two weeks and I have noticed better retention of hydration and softening of dry patches (mainly around my nose and mouth).

Oils in general feel so luxurious and elegant, dahhhling. The Lotus oil is infused with rosemary, geranium, camomile and of course lotus extracts (100% pure plant extracts) and has a rich, earthy fragrance.  The description claims the rosemary and geranium combo helps reduce sebum production, which should mean fewer breakouts. The lotus extract is supposed to refine the skin.

I generally prefer my skin care and cosmetic products to be fragrance free; however, I rather like this fragrance. The only downside is it is strong and if you happen to dislike the fragrance in general, you might be disappointed when you apply it.

I use this as a nightly ritual after taking off makeup and washing my face I apply about three drops on my fingers. I lightly rub my fingers together to heat up the oil and apply on my face. I gently massage the oil onto my skin and allow it to absorb fully before making contact with my pillow.

I wake up with a slight glow, educed dryness and a more supple feeling (victory!). I expect this will be a savior during cold weather, which temperatures are already starting to drop!

Available: Sephora

Retail: $50.00 USD for full size (30 mL or 1 Fl. Oz.)

Have you tried this or a similar product? What are your thoughts or questions–Let me know!

XOXO Liz Signature