Can you tell Valentine’s Day is just around the corner? :) Navy polish is easy breezy. It’s like a top knot; it goes with any outfit. Black, brown, warmer or cooler colors. Recently, I stumbled across one of OPI’s Euro Centrale collection that later became a member of the permanent collection. This deep indigo looks great on short or long nails, rounded or square. And it’s a natural go-to in the heart of winter, when some of us are pale as snow.
One Coat Wonder
OPI is known for its rich, opaque formula, but I was still surprised to find that one coat does the job with this shade. I usually apply a second coat anyway for longevity, but with this polish, I skip it.
Matte-ly in Love
Want a little less shine? Navy is a great color to wear matte. I apply Hard Candy’s “Matte-ly in Love” top coat for a luxurious, velvety finish. I do use a regular top coat before I apply the final matte layer. Hard Candy’s matte polish dries within 60 seconds, leaving your hands free to clean, take notes, anything. Honestly, this is the only matte top coat that I’ve tried, but I’ve been satisfied enough with it to not experiment around. Sometimes you find the right one on the first try. ;)
What do you think of the matte nail look? Dull? Amazing? Lemme know. :)
It’s the American woman’s plight to know she’s not French. :D The first time I landed in Paris, I was shocked to see understated beauty everywhere, walking out of a cafe, picking out citrus at a street vendor, reading in the park. Every element of French style seemed immediately in contrast with what I was used to as an American: sometimes stripey highlights, the crazy tan and enormous Miami-style implants, … Snooki. But I don’t need to spend time hating on American style. I’m pretty damn American and other countries do that enough already.
Whether you’re heading out to celebrate with your hubby of 10, your boyfriend of just a few months, or your ladies for a Galentine’s, here’s a guide for your French-inspired Valentine’s Day look.
Skin | glow little glow worm
Parisians believe you should spend most of your time tending to your canvas: the skin. If it’s taken great care of through diet and lifestyle, then you won’t need a face full of makeup.
Prep your face by exfoliating away any dead skin. If you’re really struggling with winter “snakeskin,” rub some coconut or olive oil into your skin, leave for 5 minutes, and then wash off with a mild cleanser. The oil will loosen any dry skin before you use the cleanser and then add a little glow under your foundation. I use this technique when I can’t get my dry skin to budge.
You want to choose a foundation that doesn’t dry completely matte. I love matte, but it’s not the most natural look. Choose a light coverage foundation like Maybelline’s Fit Me. Carefully pat into skin, applying more wherever you need a little coverage. Just use your fingers because they warm up the foundation, which helps it melt into your skin better.
Hair | put it all up
Parisians are more creative when it comes to the definition of sexy. Luscious curls are the obvious feminine route, but your neck is a beautiful, especially sensual part of your body to show off. Pull clean hair into a top bun, spray with a medium-hold hair spray, and then pull a few baby hair wisps free.
If you have a short pixie, just smooth down strays with a finishing clay and sweep any stragglers behind your ears.
Eyes | skip the eye shadow
Leave your lids completely bare and focus on your lashes, especially if you’re someone who usually wears a full face of makeup. Bare lids look delicate and understated.
Use a separating mascara that leaves a natural finish. I’ve been using Maybelline’s Full ‘N Soft lash for years when I’m going for this kind of look. Apply one coat, let it dry, brush through lashes with a mini comb, and then apply a light second coat to just the ends. This mascara is pretty different from basically all other mascaras because it actually does exactly what is says it’s supposed to. It leaves lashes touchably soft and never spider-like.
Bare lids always remind me of just how hot french actress Melanie Laurent looked in the Inglourious Bastards cafe scene. I cropped out her cigarette in the pic above. Don’t smoke, kids. The Parisians are in denial on that one.
Cheeks | Kissed
Pair a lip color with a coordinating blush. You always want to match your lipstick to your blush to avoid clown face, which is just about the least Parisian thing besides jalapeno poppers. Making sure that your lips and cheeks are having the same conversation creates a naturally flushed look because lips and cheeks naturally share similar hues.
This rule really is as simple as it sounds: for cooler more purple lipsticks, choose a cool-toned berry blush, and etc. The only real exception to this rule is straight red lipstick. With red, sweep a little bronzer onto the apples of your cheeks instead. Red blush is its own beast. I included a coral example above. Coral lips on Valentine’s Day are a silent little prayer for spring.
Threads | get colorful
Instead of wearing the dress that makes your rack look amazing, choose something that shows off less but is a color that brings out your eyes and rosy, olive, or deep caramel skin. If you want to wear red or pink, just make sure they don’t clash with your lip and cheek color too much. A little variety is good. A bright red dress and vampy purple lips look confusing and too heavy.
If you’re wondering why you should put your cleavage away for the evening, google the french actress Audrey Tautou. American film makers sometimes put her in ridiculously low-cut dresses. She’s gorgeous and could pull off a potato sack, but after seeing her in French films, where she’s beautiful and not half naked, she just looks cold in American movies.
Blang | spritz, spritz and a ring
Spray into the air and walk through your most luxurious fragrance. There’s basically no other holiday for which perfume is more appropriate. If you picked up a new scent for the occasion, tread very lightly. You can always add more. Finish your outfit with just one statement ring. No earrings, no bracelets, no necklaces. Just the ring.
For Parisians less is more. You should consider your perfume part of your accessorizing and remember that the skin you are showing looks gorgeous on its own and doesn’t need lots of jewelry to accentuate it.
Company | spend time with people who aren’t jerks
This isn’t just a French thing. :) Only spend Valentine’s Day with someone who makes you feel loved. Life’s too short for d-bags, male or female. If you’re single, round up some other singles and go out for a fancy dinner. You look too good to stay in!
I’ll admit the title of this post sounds a bit ridiculous because, as a reader, I might think … do I really need advice on how to NOT do something? True: it sure is easy to get in the shower and just not wash your hair, but this guide will walk you through the tools you need to get your hair to go along with your goal of washing your hair less. I’ll explain how to avoid looking like a little oil ball by midday, the products you’ll need to get you there, and the styling techniques to avoid.
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Imagine THIS bunny watching you real creepy-like as you peruse the shelves of Walgreens. Imagine yourself carefully reading the back of a facial moisturizer bottle and then catching, out the corner of your eye, this little guy watching you. Eerily still. Stoic. Judging.
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This post will be fairly different from most others. Well, the snark level will still be moderate, but this is a serious issue that requires a much more serious tone – one that I genuinely hope has crossed your mind at some point, in either the drugstore cosmetics aisle, or in a Cultural Theory class in college (during your vegetarian phase) … at some point. But it’s okay if the “nude” issue is new to you. I had my “Come to Jesus” moment, too:
Imagine sweet, optimistic (pretty full of myself), 19-year-old me working in a clothing store in the mall in college. I’m so open-minded and enlightened. I’m just sure of it.
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Wanna know if Warby Parker is the way to go for some new, admittedly hipster, specs?
I’m voting yes alllll day
This at-home, spec fitting service is proof positive that some companies are actually listening to what consumers want and to what consumers ain’t got no time (or money) for. Like Netflix, Warby Parker has taken the disruptive route and understands that there may be a distinct difference between what you’re used to and what you actually want. With Netflix, it’s original television a season at a time. With Warby Parker, it’s the opportunity to wear a pair of frames around for a couple days. 5 to be exact.
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