Wednesday, October 29, 2014

With a Little Help From My Friends: Beauty Dish

Ok ladies here it goes! Yes, I do wear a little bit of makeup everyday, sometimes I throw on a bold lipstick. Do I actually know how to do my own makeup, or know what I'm doing for that matter NO.  I was recently getting ready to go to an event and looked in my "pathetic" little makeup case of only 10 items and thought to myself… girllllll you gotta get it together! My bronzer (yes… I said bronzer) was cracked, I barley had any of my go-to eyeshadow left, and I have been wearing the same color lip gloss from MAC for like 5 years. I desperately needed a crash course in all things beauty. I needed to get some core pieces and invest in makeup that can transition from everyday to evening because I am constantly on the go. More importantly, I really needed to sit down with a beauty expert and have them actually teach me how to put it on.  You know the Beatles song "With A Little Help From My Friends",  that's exactly how it went down.  Beauty Blogger/Makeup Expert & Editor-in-Chief of DIVAlicious Lauren Cosenza (and friend) really hooked a sister up. Lauren went through my makeup case with me (yes she reconfirmed my lipgloss is a dinosaur color by MAC LOL),  showed me how to properly clean/take care of my brushes, how to hydrate the skin even before makeup, what products to use, and HOW I should apply. She is literally a makeup God. 

I went to her personal makeup studio in Williamsburg and this is what went down:

Who knew there were so many steps and rules to getting the picture perfect look!? How do women learn all of these things? Lauren broke it down for me, so now I want to share all of the good stuff with you! First of all, you should use a basic makeup remover pad or cloth before you put anything on your skin. Next, you should put on a great moisturizer (Lauren used Lancome Genifique Serum), this stuff is expensive but it's the best and the bottle will last a while because you are only using small amounts at a time.  One of Lauren's most important rules: CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES!  You should be cleaning your makeup brushes every 2 weeks, or at least once a month. You can actually make your skin worse and cause acne and bacteria by not cleaning them. She swears by Cinema Secrets brush cleaner.  The next thing to remember when getting ready to apply your makeup is pair LIKE with LIKE. Meaning, if you are using a powder foundation then use a powder blush, if your are using liquid foundation use a mouse blush. If you mix the two your skin tone will not come out even and it will look blotchy. 

(FYI these pictures are COMPLETELY unedited or retouched…damn she makes me look good!)

It's not 'Transformation Tuesday" but it sure looks like it! 
(Don't judge me when I'm wearing no makeup lol

1. it Cosmetics Ultra Repair Liquid Oxygen Foundation, this product is nice and light so it doesn't feel like your caking on a face full of makeup. 

2. Applied Argan Color Stick "Beautiful" by Josie Maran to cheeks and lips. 

3. Some highlighting & contouring with the Nudes palette by Maybelline

4. Adding in some of the gray and smokey shadows from the Nudes platte, lining under the eye with Victoria Secret Beauty Rush black sparkle liner

5. Creating a smudged cat-eye with Cargo Liquid Eyeliner, adding in lashes (the doubles), and finishing the eyes with Perfect Lash Mascara

6. Darkening/filling in the brow with a brown from the Nude palette, lining the lips with Hourglass long wear liner in red, and the final touch adding Hourglass Icon Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

I left there feeling like a million bucks, all thanks to my amazing beauty expert! This chick is pretty darn impressive. After I got the full beauty makeover I wanted to pick her brian. Lauren has been in the fashion & beauty industry for a long time and leads an extremely exciting life.  Did I mention she was just featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine "10 Ways to reach Your Definition of Success"? (you go girl!

Here is the exclusive scoop:

How did you get started in the makeup & beauty industry?

The joke is that I was born in high heels wearing lipstick. I honestly “started” in beauty/fashion from inception. When I was little, I would tear out pages of magazines and try to recreate the looks using my mother’s makeup stash, which was beyond minimal. I was in second grade when I convinced her to get me my first lipgloss from (now-closed department store) A&S on Long Island. PS, it was a sheer pink from LancĂ´me, even though I of course wanted hot pink. I then started doing friends makeup for events in high school, then college. When I graduated, I didn’t consider a career in makeup. I wanted to work in the beauty, fashion or magazine industry – definitely a visual, creative field - but it was ingrained in me to seek stability in the form of a regular paycheck and benefits post-graduation. I don’t think I fully realized that I could make a career and support myself on my own as a makeup artist and blogging did not yet exist. So I just did makeup here and there on the side. And that all ended up a good thing because I started my career in advertising at McCann Erickson and then went on to work at Cosmopolitan and Shape magazines in beauty. I was Executive Beauty/Fashion Director and Brand Development Director before starting my own company – and the experience I gained, the industry knowledge I absorbed and the relationships I formed could not have been a better springboard for my work now.

When did you launch your blog DIVAlicious and where do you see it going over the next few years?

I launched my blog DIVAlicious in October of 2007 while still at Shape under the personal handle LDiva -- which for good or bad, has stuck. It was kind of a college nickname, the backstory is on my About LDiva page on the site (, and I used it rather than my name at first. I started the blog originally for industry insiders because on so many of my meetings, people would ask how I did my makeup a certain way or how I put together a look. I was never shy of anything bold or daring in terms of style – I live for color and texture and self-expression and personal style – so I was also asked about confidence a lot. So ultimately DIVAlicious was created to give women (and now men) the confidence and permission to be fabulous. 

You only live once, so why not be a smokeshow?
There are a bunch of exciting things in the works for the next few years, some of which I can’t comment on publicly just yet, but you will definitely see more faces and voices on the site as it transforms from my own beauty blog to a full-on style community that I will oversee and curate and as well as contribute to. This is so important to me because beauty is universal and for that reason, the site must be inclusive and representative – from ages, races, genders, styles and so forth. With the common denominator, of course, being the Diva (or Divo) attitude. (The site tagline is “serving up style, with a side of attitude.”)

What is a typical week of work like for you?

There is nothing typical, routine or normal in my life – and this extends beyond the professional. Lol! But for real. And thankfully, that’s how I like it.

What was the best experience of your professional career? 

Since leaving publishing to start my own company in early 2010, I have worked with the biggest and best beauty, fashion and magazine brands on the planet. And each experience tops the one prior in terms of being amazing and memorable. Sometimes I have to stop and just be thankful and present in the moment. But as an entrepreneur and businesswomen, I always believe the best is always yet to come.

What’s in your “everyday” makeup bag/ the 1 product you could not live without?

 Girl! The one product I could not live without? This is like asking a mother of 5 to pick her favorite child. On the record. I don’t know if I could say just one!!! And new stuff is sent all the time. But in my makeup bag, right now, this very moment is:

-        YSL Le Teint Touch Eclat Foundation
-        Cle De Peau Beaute Concealer
-        Bodyography Radiance Boost Highlighter
-        Mehron Cheek Cream
-        MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Medium Plus (powder)
-        Maybelline Brow Drama Brow Mascara
-        Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes Mascara
-        Lancome Le Crayon Khol Eyeliner
-        A rotation of Make Up For Ever cream and powder eyeshadows
-        A rotation of NYX Matte Lipsticks, including Hippie Chic, Indie Flick and Pure Red
-        Brushes from It Cosmetics and Jenny Patinkin (a new discovery)

Obviously I don’t pair all this together for an everyday face, but this is what I’m currently pulling from for my own makeup.

Other new brands I’m loving right now are MAKE and Rouge Bunny Rouge, which are sprinkled into my personal collection and pro kit.
For all my favorite beauty products, and the list is extensive, I have a DIVAfaves page on my blog. I update it regularly as new faves and brands pop on my radar.

What advice do you have for someone starting out in the beauty industry?

Really my advice is for starting out in any career. Take risks. Take a chance on yourself. Never listen to doubters or haters. Silence the background noise. Don’t follow any path but your own. Passion over paycheck. Listen to your heart. Dream BIG. Then dream BIGGER.

Most importantly, what makes you feel beautiful? 

Waking up to my boyfriend smiling at me. Affection and kindness. Making others feel beautiful. Giving back. And of course, more conventional things -- like a fresh, glowing complexion. The perfect shade of lipstick. Lashes for days. A bombshell blowout. Luxurious fabric on bare skin. It’s a mix.

Hope you enjoyed this beauty adventure with me! Until next time. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

My Fall Essentials

Black Cotton Knit T: Cushie B 
Navy Blazer: Zara | Leather Skirt: Forever 21 | Shoes: Enzo Angiolini | Jewelry: Freida Rothman

My favorite trend I am bringing to Fall'14 is mixing black and blue. Growing up I always thought that you shouldn't pair the two together and it was kind of taboo. Now,  I think it is extremely chic (your style changes over the years).  A lot of people may not be into it but I never ask for opinions when it comes to my personal sense of style.  I think starting your own trends and staying true to yourself is what it's all about.  Here are my essentials! 

1. Cropped Navy Blazer 
2. Leather/Pleather Skirt 
3. Pointy-toe Kitten Heels 
4. Classic & Comfortable Black T-Shirt 
5. Rose Gold Accessories 

This is going to be my wardrobe staple for the next few weeks! All of these pieces are easily transitional from work to cocktails, weekend to date night.  Bring on the black and blue! 

On another note, I have had quite a few things going on in my personal life over the past few months and I am proud to say that positivity, courage, and determination got me through the hardest times.  Whenever there are rough obstacles in your life you really find out who will truly be on your side.  I've learned that you can not please everyone, and not everyone will understand or like you for the person you are.  (and if they don't, it's their loss) The only BS I'm concerned with is BAGS or Shoes.

"Life is too short to spend in negativity. So I have made a conscious effort to not be where I don't want to be." - Hugh Dillon


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween Couture Costume Inspo!

Ok ladies it's literally crunch time, nothing like a little last minute pressure.  It's Saturday, October 18th and Halloween is right around the corner. You have thought about your costume over and over again, and your just sick of buying something slutty and typical… am I right? You want to be a little more creative without spending a ton of money. Well I will be the 1st to tell you, I NEVER buy my costume from a Halloween store. (for me that would be a total cop out as I'm in fashion and being creative is what I do).  You will be surprised with how much you can work with in your closet, a few accessories and some makeup goes a long way. Don't stress, you still have time to get it together! Here are some great inspirations for you. All of these will take a trip to your local craft store, a hot glue gun, and a little creativity. Feel free to alter some of the ideas and really go for it.

I hope this helps! 

Come on, we all LOVE to hate her. She's amazing and who wouldn't want to be her for a day! 
This is what you will need:
1. Little Black Flare Dress
2. Bib Collar Necklace (tweed blazer if you have) 
3. Large pearl earring studs 
4. Jackie O style round sunnies 
5. A copy of the September issue of Vogue Magazine 
6. The most important… the hair! Pin your hair under to make a bob and get the clip on bangs OR if your really into go for a light brown bob wig

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
Totally re-living our childhood memories! This lady is stylish and totally on trend for fall. duhh
This is what you will need:
1. Red trench coat (rain coat will work too!)
2. Red/Purple/Burgundy color floppy hat
3. Black pants and plain black shirt
4. A mini globe to hold
5. Black gloves
6. Yellow ribbon to go around the hat
*Wanna get really creative? Hot glue pieces of a world map to an old clutch so it's functional throughout the night*

Mail-Order Bride
I think this one is hilarious and will be the hit of a party. If you decide on being a mail order bride then you have to go for it full force with an accent and all HA! I especially love this one for my international friends.
This is what you will need:
1. USPS envelope slips
2. Fedex boxes
3. Bubble Wrap
4. White corset with white shorts or skirt
5. Fake flowers
6. Stamps

Starbucks Latte 
Who doesn't love a good latte? This costume is cute and supper easy to make. 
This is what you will need:
1.  Tan dress 
2. Starbucks logo computer print out 
3. White boa
4. Gold Ribbon 
5. Thick head band 
6. Green felt 

Energizer Bunny 
Can you keep going and going all night? Then this costume is totally for you!
This is what you will need:
1. A pink tank top or short and pink shorts (or a pink dress)
2. Pink *footless* tights OR pink leggings
3. Blue flip flops
4. Black Ray Bands or wayfarer style sunnies
4. A round hat box OR circle box from the dollar store (cover it in white craft paper)
5. Blue masking tape
6. 2 small red plungers
7. Bunny ears

This year me and my man will be dressing up as milk & cookies! (against his will of course haha) But It's going to look really cute and I can't wait to share pics. If you use any of these costume ideas share the pics with me! #BlazersandBellinisHalloween 

Cant wait to see what you all come up with! 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Muted Tones

Sheer Back Top: Umgee USA 
Tribal Leggings: Forever 21 | Cut-out Booties: Forever 21 | Necklace: Eklexic, Crystal Ladder 
Rings/Bracelets: Freida Rothman

There is something to be said about a casual understated daytime look. This light blue sheer back top by UMGEE USA goes with just about anything in my closet.  I also like how it is a little bit longer in the back (for us curvy girls), it accentuates our best features and is a perfect fit. The 3/4 sleeves are a must for fall, and it's light weight enough to layer. The tribal print leggings are from Forever 21, naturally, I love anything tribal print.  I also have to mention this amazing statement "Crystal Ladder" necklace by a fab designer & friend Eklexic. This is such a statement piece and draws attention every time I wear it.

I love finding beauty in odd places, straying away from the typical or ordinary perception.   

"People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. -Elisabeth Kulber-Ross


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Uptown Attitude

"Thats So Fetch" Moto Jacket & 199X Tank by Living Doll LA 
Black Bangle: Kara Ross NYC | Watch: Michael Kors | Sunnies: Ray Band 
Black Pave Ring:  Exclusively at the Freida Rothman Flagship Boutique, 248 Mott St NYC

I consider this my "business casual" look juggling my life between working in a corporate fashion company and being a blogger. It's my lets meet halfway fusion of fashion and sophistication of course with a little twist. This "that's so fetch" printed blazer is by Living Doll LA, it's comfortable and functional for a board meeting/travel (wrinkle resistant which is a big one for me since I hate ironing) or a casual shopping date with friends.  The 199X Tank brings a little humor and playful fun to my style.  My close friends know I'm completely obsessed with all things 90's related, including my taste of music. I love how it says, "199X KID" because I was born in the 80s but as a kid grew up in the 90s....genius! I paired it with these great plum & leather trim leggings from Forever 21+, it was a purchase I made last year and still love them for fall. I finished it up with these classic black suede pumps, a statement necklace, classic ray band sunnies, this gorg black bangle from Kara Ross NYC and a stunning black stone pave statement ring by Freida Rothman (available in the Freida Rothman Flagship)

Here is a little hump-day inspiration for you! 

"People tell you the world looks a certain way. Parents tell you how to think. Schools tell you how to think. TV. Religion. And then at a certain point, if you're lucky, you realize you can make up your own mind. Nobody sets the rules but you. You can design your own life." - Carre-Anne Moss