Monday, October 23, 2017

My Beauty Favs

Hey beauty lovers! Thanks for sticking with me and baring my long lapses in between content posts. This year has flown by and it’s almost one year since I launched Love, Lauren Michelle! Can you believe November is next week?

I have gotten a few questions recently regarding my favorite beauty products and what I use to get my every day look! Here is a full review on the products I use most frequently. I also recently got the opportunity to try Mikasa Beauty Techni Brushes, so I included a review on them in this post!
 
Original Photo
Make Up Forever Primer: My first step in any look is to use a dab of the Make Up Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer in my T-zone, forehead and chin. It is the only primer I trust to conceal my large pores and control my oil-prone T-zone!

Image c/o Sephora.com

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation: I swear by this foundation! The oil free base provides the perfect finish - not too oily and not too dry. It is also cruelty-free! My preferred method of application is using a wet black beauty blender pro. My shade is Natural Beige in the winter and Honey in the summer!

Image c/o Sephora.com

Mikasa Beauty Techni Brushes: I had been wanting to try these brushes and when Mikasa Beauty I just had to say yes! I love how soft they are and how easy they make it to apply foundation and other products. The best part is that now I am a part of their affiliate program! You can get 25% off any product listed on www.mikasabeauty.com, including brushes, lashes, hair products, makeup and more! Use code LAUMICHELLE25 at checkout!

Image c/o MikasaBeauty.com
Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara & Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash: This combination of is awesome. I don't use them as much now since I got eyelash extensions. But everyone used to think that I had falsies on when I used this duo. Highly recommend!
Images c/o Sephora.com
Kat Von D Ink Liner: By far, the absolute best eye liner out there! I was known to rock a cat eye daily before my lash extensions. Now, I add KVD's Ink Liner in Trooper to create a dramatic look for a special event. The staying power is incomparable!

Image c/o Sephora.com

MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul: Latest and favorite blush discovery! It isn't super pink, which I love. When I want something a little more pink, I layer in a freebie NARS Blush in Goulue that I got as a gift for becoming a Sephora VIB Rouge member. 

Image c/o Ulta.com

Sephora Collection Bright Future Concealer & Color Correctors: I use Green Color Corrector to block out redness, Melon to block out dark under eyes and Custard Concealer to highlight under my eyes, the bridge of my nose and an inverted triangle on my forehead. 

Images c/o Sephora.com

MAC Studio Fix Perfecting Powder in Medium: An awesome setting powder to lock everything in and mattify my face. 

Image c/o Nordstrom.com

Bare Minerals All Over Face Cover in Pure Radiance: This is by far my best kept secret! I tried this product in a 500 point Sephora reward bundle. I use it as a highlighter, although I am not sure that it is truly marketed as one. Either way, it is a MUST have!

Image c/o Sephora.com

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water: I love this setting spray to hydrate my skin and lock in my look - day or night! You can technically use it before or after you apply your makeup since it duals as a primer, but I prefer after. And since it's oil free, I don't have to worry about spraying it with my lash extensions!

Image c/o Sephora.com


I know this was a long one but I hope it was helpful for those who asked about my beauty favs! 

Original Photo

Don't forget to take advantage of my coupon code and get yourself some new beauty products from Mikasa Beauty!

Original Photo

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Life Lately

Hi friends!! I can't believe that it has been almost two months since my last post! Blogging is hard work!!! Since it's been so long, I thought I would give a quick update about what's been going on in my life lately.

Love
A few months back, I shared my online dating experience. I met some great people, but unfortunately my latest beau just wasn't "The One." So I've been single for about two months now. Honestly, it's nice to have the freedom to focus on myself and my career...

Career
Speaking of, I've also left my current position in fashion accessories and am starting a new career path in the beauty industry next week!I will be working with a luxury skincare brand called Eve Lom and fun, high-end color brand called Lipstick Queen! More details to come!

Closet Additions 
Being on a hiatus between jobs has not been good for my wallet! As I'm sure you know, the Nordstrom early access anniversary sale is currently going on. Naturally, I had to open a Nordstrom card to get myself early access - I just couldn't wait!! Check out my purchases below! And to see how I style these pieces into the fall season, follow me on Instagram: @love__laurenmichelle.

Topshop Cardigan Socialite Top | Free People Pullover KUT Jeans Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody | Hinge Booties | BP. Scarf

Eyelash Extensions
I recently tried out one of the latest beauty crazes - eyelash extensions - and I'm obsessed! If you know me, you know I am super obsessed with mascara and liquid eyeliner! But as much as I love makeup, I hated how long my beauty routine took each morning. I rarely left home without my trusted combo but now my lashes look great all on their own. The extensions are subtle since my lashes were already pretty long, but very light in color. Now, I can just dab a little foundation, blush, swipe my lips with some color and be on my way!

Before

After | Blue Geisha Lashes

I hope you enjoyed reading as I'm playing catch up on blog posts! As always, my Instagram posts are much more frequent and detail my daily styles, current loves, and personal adventures!



Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May Flowers

Since my last #WeddingWednesday post was about gorgeous rainy wedding day photo ops (April Showers), it's only fitting that for May's post we talk about flowers!

When it comes to weddings, your floral arrangements will literally make or break you. In most cases, flowers are a main aspect of the wedding decor and can also turn out to be one of the most costly. There are plenty of ways to keep your cost of florals down and there are even ways to preserve them after the wedding is over! But first let's explore the best flowers for each month of the year!


Florals by Month

When planning floral arrangements, it definitely helps to know what type of flowers are in season during the month of your wedding. By planning accordingly, you can have the freshest, most beautiful flowers that are also available and affordable.

Some flowers are available all year round. They are: roses, anthuriums, orchids, tropical flowers, lilies and Gerber daisies.
Roses
Image c/o Pinterest

For weddings in December, January or February, try: ranunculi, gerbera daisies, tulips, calla lilies, anemones, kangaroo paws, gloriosa lilies, chrysanthemums or roses. Tip #1: Winter has best choice and prices on cymbidium orchids. Tip #2: Tulips are best in quality and pricing in February.

Calla Lillies
Image c/o Pinterest

Spring weddings in March, April or May call for: lilies of the valley, peonies, tulips, hyacinths, mophead hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, columbines, lilacs, poppies, ranunculi, roses, freesias and violets. Tip #3: Lilacs are only in season during these months so don't expect them in any other season. Tip #4: Lily of the valley can be very expensive and availability is usually limited to May.

Roses & Peonies
Image c/o Pinterest

If you're tying the knot in June, July or August, go with: asiastic lilies, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, delphiniums, gladioli, columbines, larkspur, pee gee hydrangeas, roses, clematis, cockscomb, daisies, garden roses, rudbeckia, sunflowers, viburnum or zinnias. Tip #5: Hydrangeas are best in the summer. Any other season results in inferior blooms.


Roses & HydrangeasImage c/o Pinterest

For fall weddings in September, October or November, try: physalis, amaryllis, bittersweets, hydrangeas, roses, sugar maples, sunflowers, scabiosas or gerbera daisies.

Sunflowers, Daisies, & Roses
Image c/o Pinterest

Tip #6: Gardenias will brown very easily from contact.
Tip #7: Callas are sensitive to cold temperatures and can suffer from frost damage. They have good heat tolerance and retain moisture well.
Tip #8: Stephanotis is extremely delicate. 


Bouquet 101

Now in terms of bouquets, there are varying shapes and sizes:

Image c/o Pinterest

Best Blooms by Color

It's also important to consider your wedding colors when choosing flowers:

Image c/o Pinterest
Floral Fiancials 

When it comes to cutting wedding costs, it is possible to save on your florals. Here are some ways to do so...

1. Work out your priorities - Decide where florals rank on your list of wedding priorities. A general rule of thumb is to allocate 10% of your overall budget to flowers, and significantly more if you want to fill your reception space with elaborately designed displays.

2. Limit your choice - Stick to one or two flower varieties and ask your florist to use natural foliage for added texture.

3. Be flexible - You may need to compromise on specific floral varieties in order to keep to your budget. Your florist should be able to suggest less expensive alternatives that will floor just as great as your first choice.

4. Keep it simple - Time is money. If your florist has to spend hour creating complex arrangements, costs will rise. Simple hand-tied bouquets will keep costs low and are just as beautiful.

5. Double up - Make the most of your church flowers by transporting them to your reception hall. Pedestals and potted trees are easy to move and look fabulous as an entrance display, while pew-ends can double as chair-back decorations. Recycle bridesmaids' bouquets into centerpieces after the ceremony.

6. Be creative - A few statement blooms surrounded by lots of inexpensive greenery can look striking, so consider having less flowers and more foliage. If you've got your heart set on an expensive flower, just use it sparingly - carry just a few blooms in your bouquet so you feel surrounded by it all day.

7. Accessorize - Use mirrors and glass to add the wow factor. A simple tablescape can be totally transformed by incorporating a large circular or square mirror tile. Scatter fresh rose petals and votives for gorgeous romantic display.


Post Wedding 

After the wedding, keep memories of your flowers by preserving them. Here are some suggestions on how to do so:

  • Hang the bouquet to dry in a safe area upside for several weeks or months and they will dry nicely. Store them in a bouquet preservation box.
Image c/o Pinterest.com

  • Press them - can be done professionally or on your own.
  • Use Silica gel - put the flowers in a container and bury the flowers with the gel. After a few weeks, dust off the powdery residue.  This is perfect for sturdier flowers like peonies, roses and zinnias.
  • Freeze dry - this is probably the most expensive, but it does keep the floors looking very close to what they looked like on the big day. The process keeps the color but takes out the moisture.

Tip: All preservation processes must start while the flowers are fresh (so while you're on your honeymoon). Ask a trusted bridesmaid to start the process for you. If you are using a professional, be sure to schedule this in advance. 


Image c/o Pinterest

Though this was one of my longer posts, I hope that it was helpful and informative!


As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Haul Aboard!

Happy Wednesday, followers! Sorry it's been so long since my last post - The days have been getting away from me! Can you believe it's already the middle of May? Although 2017 is almost halfway over, I am definitely ready for some summer weather in New York!

For today's post, I'm going to share with you some items that I picked up on my latest King of Prussia shopping haul.  The weekend before last, I decided to visit one of my favorite brides-to-be and blogger bestie, Lauren from  You Have the Right to Remain Fabulous. She's one of my oldest and closest friends and she's recently relocated to Conshohocken, Pennsylvania post law school. I'm sad that she's far from my hometown of Staten Island, New York but I'm excited for her as she and her hubby, Will, are about to move in with together and begin the next chapter of their lives. 

That being said, we obviously had to get in one last girls' weekend of shopping, eating and toasting her bachelorette pad goodbye! (PS Lauren posted her own blog post sharing the details of her girly girl apartment -  check it out here!)

I decided to use a little bit of my tax return money to purchase a new cross body bag. I was between the  LV Favorite MM and the  Gucci Disco. Obviously, I opted for the Louie and invested in my first Damier piece of my collection. 




Even though after such a purchase I had little to no funds left over, I splurged on these beyond adorable  Sam & Libby for Target sandals! Worth every penny! 




At the recommendation of Lauren, I also picked up  Batiste Hint of Color Dry Shampoo and  Not Your Mother's Blonde Moment Treatment Shampoo from Ulta. I always value Lauren's product recommendations since she's always trying something new. (Another PS - I got the Blonde Treatment Shampoo because I am going a little more blonde this afternoon! Check out my  Instagram for pictures!)



Overall it was a great weekend I am the perfect end to a very busy New York Fashion Accessories May Market Week. But of course I couldn't let you go without sharing a picture of our Sunday brunch from my favorite PA brunch spot,  Silver Spoon! 



Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April Showers

Happy #WeddingWednesday, everyone! Spoiler alert: I'm about to rain on your parade!

Of course, rain on your wedding day is totally less than ideal. BUT I think these rainy wedding photos will actually make you wish that you get a little sprinkle on your big day!!

All images are c/o Pinterest!













Hope you got some good photo inspiration!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

12 Questions to Ask Your Potential Bridal Makeup Artist

#WeddingWednesday is back again! This month, I decided to do some research on what kinds of questions you should ask when booking a bridal makeup artist! I am also featuring one of my favorite MUA's Christina Delfino since she was the inspiration for this post!

Image c/o christinadelfino.com

1. What is your rate? Do you require a deposit?
Of course, you will wan to know how much your makeup artist is going to charge. Do they charge per hour or per person? It might seem unnecessary but you will want your MUA to have a contract that details all the services being provided so there is no miscommunication! 

2. Are there any extra costs involved?
Eyelashes? Touch ups/products for touch ups? Travel fees? Parking at the hotel? Some artists tack on a “location fee” for any wedding venue, no matter the driving distance, while others include a range from their home or studio included in their service fee.

3. How long will you take per person?
This is a very important question! MUA's can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour and depending on your bridal party size, you will need to factor this into your wedding day timeline! Tip: over an hour, even for the bride, is too long to be sitting in a chair!

4. What is your background? 
Although a portfolio should hold more weight than a certification, it is important to make sure that whomever you are working with has sufficient experience and hopefully some education!

5. Are you the artist who will be there on my wedding day? What happens if you can't make it that day?
You will want to know if the MUA you are speaking with is going to be the one that is actually there on your wedding day. You don't want someone showing up that you haven't met before! Tip: Be wary if the artist doesn't have a back up plan!

6. What brand of makeup do you use?
If you have sensitive skin, this is an especially important question as you want to make sure that you won't have a funky reaction to the MUA's preferred brand of makeup. Also, you want to make sure that the makeup he or she is using is of good quality! Tip: Variety of brands is actually key here. As any makeup artist will tell you, no one company does everything "right."


Image c/o christinadelfino.com

7. Do you have a website/blog? May I see your portfolio?
This can help you determine the level of dedication of your MUA to his or her career. This will also help you see what kind of work this MUA has done before. 

8. Can you duplicate a look I like from a magazine or website?
You're planning a wedding. Pinterest is obviously your best friend. You are definitely going to show some pictures of the look you are going for and you want to make sure that your MUA can duplicate them! Tip: Try to get a picture of a woman with similar skin coloring and facial features as yourself. And remember that every face takes make up differently. 

9. Will you stay though the night/ceremony for touch ups? How can I keep my makeup looking fresh if you aren't there?
Some MUA's will stay through your ceremony/pictures, although this will most likely cost extra. Professional products will stay fresh looking for many hours longer than most consumer-grade products. Many artists will also provide products for touch-ups at her cost or include it in her services.

10. Can we do a trial run? How much will that cost and what is included?
The Trial Run or Preview Session is so important to ensure that the makeup your artist provides on Your Day is everything that you want.  It’s a good idea to take a camera with you to preserve the look she creates for you. But remember, no one ever shoots pictures of you at less than four feet away, and with a flash, except when they are trying to get details of your makeup! 

11. How many weddings/brides have you done?
You will want to make sure that your MUA has sufficient experience! Working with brides is a delicate task. A good bridal MUA can work anywhere, adhere to a tight schedule and be able to calm some pre-ceremony jitters!

12. How many events are you working on my wedding day?
This is often an overlooked, yet crucial, question to ask before booking. If you're running late, you need to know that your MUA will not be leaving before all the bridesmaids are done, just because she has another wedding that day. You also want to ensure you won’t be the third bridal party she’s worked for that day and arriving at your venue with dirty equipment and physically tired. 
An artist who books only one wedding  a day will give you and your bridal party their full attention, best work,  and be more likely to stay until the job is done, regardless of delays. However, an artist who works this way may also have a minimum booking requirement, especially on weekends. Smaller bridal parties may need to recruit additional family members to have services in order to make that minimum, or pay the difference.

Image c/o christinadelfino.com

























Professional makeup artist Christina Delfino specializes in bridal makeup application, for weddings and events, serving New York City, the Hudson Valley, Westchester, Rockland & Putnam Counties, New Jersey & Long Island. 
Contact her at delfinomakeup@gmail.com!
For more of Christina's work, you can also follow her on Instagram: @cosmicdelfino
PS, if you're lucky, you might catch a peek of her adorable new baby, Mia!


Have another question to ask a potential MUA? Tell me in the comments below!


Thanks for reading! 


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