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BEAUTY MUST-HAVE: A CLEAR STICKER THAT MAKES ACNE DISAPPEAR

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Spot-treating blemishes has never been a discreet or on-the-go act. The whole process, of having to commit to a night spent with pink or white drying lotion dotting your face and flaking on your pillow just to shrink a pimple in a day’s time, was in desperate need of an upgrade. Thankfully, it’s finally gotten one—in potent sticker form. Tear open a sheet of the treatment dots and peel them off like you would those old-school Candy Buttons, then slap them anywhere you have acne or feel inflammation brewing and leave on for eight hours. The patch locks the salicylic acid, tea tree oil and hyaluronic acid in and delivers it deeper into your skin to fight flare-ups faster than traditional methods.

My only caveat, what makes those ugly pink drying spot treatments so effective is the sulfer and other ingredients that all the other acne shelf products don’t contain.  Bottom line, if salicylic acid works for you, this is a genius product.  Personally it does nothing for my skin.  Everyone is different!

Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots, $30, sephora.com.

BEAUTY MUST-HAVE: AN INTOXICATING FLORAL SUGAR SCRUB

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​I fall in love with a lot of body scrubs, it’s true, but I’m not being hyperbolic when I call each one “the best.” The thing is, they all satisfy different needs: This one wakes me up in the morning like no other beauty product can, plus its cleansing agents eliminate the need for body wash; This one does the work of a spa-grade service and is my go-to before self-tanner application. And when I want a heady dose of perfume along with my exfoliation, I reach for & Other Stories Floral Memento Body Scrub. “Dusty violets settling among bergamot trees and peony dreams” is the poetic scent description given; to me, it smells like hundreds of delicate flower petals have been muddled into a vat of sugar. It’s so intoxicating that I find myself using it just as much as a calming aromatherapy treatment outside the shower, opening it just to breathe in deeply.

 & Other Stories Floral Memento Body Scrub, $15, stories.com.

BEAUTY MUST-HAVE: THE BEST EXFOLIATOR FOR SOFT, SMOOTH, LINE-FREE LIPS

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     Dedicated lip scrub—if I had to guess—is not something most people have in their showers or medicine cabinets. Lip exfoliation just isn’t talked about the way body or face exfoliation is; you probably just grab a cheap toothbrush or washcloth and rub it against any flakiness in the winter or when your lipstick isn’t going on smoothly. And that’s fine, but once you find a really great lip scrub—one that has just the right mix of gritty, grainy texture and softening oiliness, plus smells and tastes so good you won’t be able to help eating a little of it (and that will be okay because it’s made with natural ingredients)—you’ll wonder how you ever went without it. Sara Happ’s is that one. I’ve been using her scrubs almost daily for years and every time I run out, I feel anxious, like a key step in my routine has been thrown out of whack. Peony, the newest flavor, is the first that isn’t fruity or sweetly gourmand—it just might be my favorite.

 Sara Happ The Lip Scrub in Peony, $24, nordstrom.com.

BEAUTY MUST-HAVE: THE BEST-SMELLING TEXTURE SPRAYlandscape-1432745643-hbz-beauty-must-have-dry-shampoo-article

For the last few months, I’ve been on a quest to get those perfectly gritty, textured, model off-duty waves without ever taking a curling wand to my head. For a while, I was going to sleep with two pigtails and unwinding them in the morning, but too often it led to weird kinks and cowlicks. Sleeping in a French braid gave better results, but a little too much volume up top. Then, I made the breakthrough tweak: Instead of pulling my hair back and beginning to braid back from the top, I part it down the center and start the French braid at ear level, mist it with Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray and wake up to rumpled waves that start at just the right place and hold all day. It sounds like nothing, but I’ve never gotten so many compliments on my hair.

 The thing with Oribe is this: Editors rave about it constantly for a reason—it really is one of the best. And though the signature scent alone has a cult following, so much that there’s a perfume version, it’s just too overwhelming for me. So when I ran out of it recently, I decided to hold off on replacing it and instead try every other dry shampoo and texture spray in the beauty closet. The clear winner was Toni & Guy’s Matt Texture Dry Shampoo. First, it sprays on 100% clear—something many promise, few deliver. Second, it does the oil-absorbing, hair-refreshing work of a dry shampoo, but also creates the tousled, messy texture you get from a great salt spray. Finally, the scent is so clean and light and citrus-y that it really, truly does make your hair smell freshly washed days later. The true sign? I spray it on like crazy at the office and instead of complaining of headaches, everyone comes over to borrow it.

Toni & Guy Casual Matt Texture Dry Shampoo, $15, target.com. -MarieClaire

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

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After weeks – more like months – of travel, I am home.  And so happy to be where I belong.  What a beautiful weekend it has been… weddings, photo shoots, many reflective walks on the beach and the gathering of my dearest friends – over red roses, candles, drinks, hilarious costumes and most importantly, the celebration of my beautiful friend’s birthday. Today is church and brunch with close friends, and on this beautiful and bright Sunday, nothing could be more fitting or more evocative of the day’s mood . . .

Side note: We fall often, for the striking and extremely beautiful sights of flowers in photos. I want to encourage you to go out and buy some for your home, wether that’s romantic roses or bright colored orchids! I recently read an article about a study done at Harvard, showing that people with fresh flowers in their home are more empathetic, happier and positive.  I was having a hard day yesterday, so I went out and bought some flowers.  Now, every time I look at the bouquet by my bed, my mood lifts and I smile. Guess it’s true! Though… I knew it all along 😉

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“Make today count, you’ll never get it back”

“Never allow waiting to become a habit, live your dreams and take risks, life is happening now.”2625312fd5dc519ced37523b85e662c6

Happy Saturday!

I have no idea where to begin. Life has been non stop — relationships, work, moving…  its been quite a journey the past six months.  For a long time my heart was too broken to pick up the pen (so to speak) and do any kind of writing.  But as time passed, it allowed me to slowly heal enough to be able to gain back my voice and finally get back to normal. Sincerest apologies for the long hiatus. I look forward to sharing all of the exciting things that have happened as well as so many wonderful things that are currently in the works.  I am so blessed to be doing some incredible photo shoots with wonderful teams and magazines. I can’t wait to post them! For now, wishing you a gorgeous weekend filled with everything beautiful that you dream about and wish for, including those simple pleasures often taken for granted.  Wether that be a relaxing night of sleep or a steaming cup of fine coffee, may you appreciate it all and take time to smell the roses, everyday.

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“We have to remember that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. The notion that it is too late to do something is comical.  We must not lose the sense of possibility, because in the end, it’s all we have.”

– Marina Keegan

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From bridal to Vogue, the past two weeks have been a flurry of photo shoots. Each day was filled to the brim with beauty; gorgeous models, rainbows of makeup colors, hair tools strewn about, stunning wardrobe and accessories that would make any fashionista jealous! The fun, down to earth, humble and extraordinarily talented team, each an expert in their field, worked together so that everything ran smoothly and was a real collaboration.

I had the great pleasure of working with one of the most talented and amazing photographers ever, Josh Green, the crazy talented guy responsible for all of the incredible images pictured here. And Mish Mucho — the queen of style, who not only styled every single look at each shoot, but also did all of the model’s hair — she is a miracle worker, beautiful soul, and the best hair stylist around. Lastly, the amazing makeup artist, 😉 Couture Makeup, (yes, that’s me!!) Don’t worry my head has not swelled up, I simply felt lucky to be there contributing my skills and passion for the art of makeup by beautifying the girls for each look. With such an incredible team at my side, I truly had the time of my life. (insert Dirty Dancing song) 😉

There is another shoot to come that is stocked FULL of amazing pictures with a totally different vibe, but I can’t post those until the magazine goes to print, so until then, consider this your teaser!

I had such an amazing time working with this team, from each beautiful model, to our “dream team” of professionals that truly joined forces and worked together to make each shoot a success. There was even a moment when we were losing the sun so Mish and I lighted the shot with our iPhones! And the picture turned out amazing! Haha! Cheers to team work and the absolute pleasure of creating art.

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Photography: Josh Green http://www.joshuaallengreen.com/ IG: @iamjoshgreen
Styling and Hair: Mish Mucho http://www.mishmucho.com/ IG: @ms_mucho
Makeup: http://www.couturemakeup.com / IG: @couturemakeupca and @mskatylynn
Models: IG: @nicolekayclark, @kaylenalyssa, @elighmoon

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More details including the spread to follow! Pick it up on News stands today.

The perfect wedding toast is a challenging but doable task.  Public speaking in general, is an art form in and of itself.  Wedding toasts can’t be too short (cheers!) nor can they drone on and on. It has to be funny but still sentimental. And so, if you’ve been tasked with toasting newlyweds, prepare to prep — and whatever you do, avoid these toasting faux pas!

 

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1) Don’t be afraid to roast the bride or groom but know when enough is enough.

There’s a fine line between poking fun and being vulgar. So, don’t talk about how drunk they got at college and what trouble they used to get into. For starters it’s unoriginal, but mainly because grandma and the in-laws are in the audience too. You want the other member of the couple to feel touched emotionally, not embarrassed!

2) Don’t tell private jokes.
It doesn’t matter how funny you and five other of your friends think something is, if half the audience doesn’t know it, you’re excluding them and they’ll stop listening… and laughing, which equals awkward silences.

3) Don’t dwell on touchy subjects.
Avoid talking about differences in religion, race and especially exes. These topics are totally irrelevant to this day and it will make everyone feel super uncomfortable.

4) Don’t tell us how your friend is like your sister (Maids of Honor, this one’s for you).
We know you adore each other, that’s why she gave you the job. Tell us why you love her, why she’s so amazing and why she makes you laugh. If she has a sister who isn’t the maid of honor, don’t insult her.

5) Don’t just use adjectives to describe the person you are talking about.
You need to back up your descriptions with stories. The more specific you are the better the speech.

6) Don’t be overly sentimental.
Try for at least 70% humor and storytelling. When was the last time you left a wedding talking about an amazing speech that was all tears and ‘I love yous’? If you think back over all the time you’ve spent together you’ll find the juicy details about your friend and the humor.

7) Don’t speak for longer than 5 minutes.
It’s always better to leave the guests panting for more than wishing you’d stop.

8) Don’t get hammered at the open bar.
If a glass of wine or a shot of tequila gives you a bit of confidence then go for it. But no more than one until you’re done!

9) Don’t talk about yourself.
Yes you’ve shared hundreds of adventures with your best friend or sibling, but you are best man or maid because all those stories make you an expert on them. Look through your speech and count the ‘I’s.

10) Don’t let nerves get the better of you!
You’re about to deliver the best gift to your friend you’ve ever given them – it’s exciting and you should be looking forward to it. If you spend the whole speech freaking out, you’ll regret it afterwards and you only get one chance so enjoy every moment of it.

I am thrilled to see Couture Makeup featured in the Spring issue of Exquisite Weddings Magazine!!  It was a beautiful shoot designed by The Posh Knot that was truly breathtaking! I modeled in the shoot and did makeup and styling for the two other models. It was a wonderful day filled with laughter and some of the most amazing and talented vendors in San Diego. Pick up your copy on news stands today! Later this week I’ll post tons more from the shoot along with some behind the scene details!

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