11.28.2014

November Ipsy Plus Coffee & Chit Chat



Well, happy post-Thanksgiving y'all. How was yours? I had a big ole post planned for yesterday, but I have not felt well at all. I'm currently wrapped up on my Mama's couch as I type this. Anyway, before I came down with this nasty cold, I filmed this month's chit chat. I love making these--it's been almost a year since my first one--as it's a way for me to chat with y'all, as well as a document of that month in my life. Please check out the video below:


Inside you'll hear about:
  • what am I drinking? It's coffee, but what flavor? #excitement
  • mug of the month
  • my month in review
  • my 2 fave posts--I've felt frustration lately and I talk about it here.
  • my fave DIY of the month
  • my NEW monthly initiative--please join in my Just a Little Something!
and I share my Ipsy bag. Here's what I got for November:

Want to subscribe to Ipsy for $10 a month? Click here. 
Let me know how your month was! Did you do any Black Friday shopping? Also, I'm getting caught up on visiting your blogs, so please leave me your links.

Thanks for watching! I'd love it if you subscribed here to my Youtube channel! Have a great weekend! Be safe, behave, and be well. Love, Elle

Giveaways:


11.26.2014

How To: Zodiac Constellation Sparkle Nails


Hey you! I have not done a nail tutorial in forever, so I thought I would share one that has a special meaning to me, and is perfect for the holidays. My Grandmother has been doing hair and nails for ages, and when my sister and I would spend the night, she'd do our nails. She would give us a special manicure with one rhinestone on a nail--the original accent nail but in the 80s! Anyway, I just thought it was the most glamorous thing as a little girl. Thus, my love affair with sparkle began. Plus, a certain 5 year old I know is fascinated with constellations--current phase. She asked me for constellations and stars on my nails--and she loved how this turned out. It made the approval of a 5 year old, and hopefully yours too.

I wanted to keep this really easy and give you lots of options. I gope you give this a try!
You'll need-
  • base and top coat
  • polish (I chose this dark navy)
  • Sharpie marker in silver or white
  • silver glitter polish


-Apply a base coat to protect your nails and allow to dry.
-Apply a coat or two of your chosen nail polish. I used navy here, but I have also done this with black. Allow to dry.

Find your (or your beloved's or your kids') zodiac constellation online. I'm a Libra, by the way. Not a zodiac fan? Choose any constellation you like or a random pattern of stars. Now comes the fun part! Use your Sharpie to add dots to create your constellation. It is so easy! You can do an accent nail and leave the rest blank and it looks so chic, as pictured above.



If you're like me, you just need some more sparkle. From here you can add a silver glitter top coat. You can use your Sharpie--the white marker I had is double-ended, with one end having a fine tip--to connect the dots, to make it look more like the shape of the constellation. Add a top coat and you're done!

Tips:
  • Make this nail look your own! Keep it as simple or fancy as you'd like.
  • Sometimes when using a marker on a glossy nail, the marker can wipe off, depending on the marker. To combat this, I just add a matte top coat before applying the marker and then using a top coat (matte or glossy).
  • Markers will make it easier, but feel free to use polish, and a dotting tool of some sort, like an actual nail dotting tool, toothpick, bobby pin or straight pin.
  • If you're feeling especially fancy, use small rhinestones, individual glitters, or sequins.
  • You can do the constellations of your loved ones or your crush too!
Giveaways!

11.25.2014

This or That: Naked Basics Vs. Naked2 Basics

So a few weeks ago I did a HUGE haul, and asked what products you wanted me to review, and the Naked Basics palette was the winner, hands-down. I used to do a This or That series on here, and when others started doing This or That, I stopped. But I'm bringing it back, and I've got some comparisons each week to show you. Time for this week's This or That:


The biggest complaint I've heard is that they are the same. Here they are compared with the UD Naked Basics 2 on top.  While a couple of the shades look similar in the pan, they are different.

And swatched here they look similar, but they are different. I chose to swatch them on white paper because the lightest shades are hard to see on my skin. Let's explore them individually:

The original Urban Decay Naked Basics palette--this is another in the series of Naked palettes. This one has one satin and five mattes, full of basic colors that will complement any palette or shimmer/satin shadows you have. It's sleek and compact and includes a mirror for $29. The shadows are lighter in color and don't swatch as well as others. The shadows are smooth, minus crave which does have a bit of fall out when swatched.

Released this year is the follow up: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics. This features shades that are a bit cooler in tone, that are on the taupe end of the scale. Five of the shades are brand new, with Skimp being the only shade with a slight satin finish. It swatches much better than the original version and the shades are more pigmented. The cooler-toned Undone, which is nearly a slate grey, does feature fall out. Some have commented that this one has more fall out, and maybe I got a good one, because that doesn't seem to be the case for me. It is $29 as well.

Why do you need these palettes?
-for a natural, matte look
-to complement shimmer, satin, glitter shadows
-for blending
-good basics to have
-could possibly use for brows or for contouring

Do you need both?
-Unless you are a makeup fanatic (me) I don't think you do.

Is the quality good?
-Minus the black shades, the shadows are smooth. Matte shadows are generally harder to make, because it is hard to get good quality out of them. I have been pleased with these palettes.

This or That:
A quick search deems that both are pretty close, with the original palette as the winner. In my opinion, I believe the 2 to be better in pigmentation and have been really pleased with it. If you are looking for warmer shades and lighter colors, chose the original. Medium and olive tones might like the 2 better. There is no true winner here for me--it comes down to personal preference. My personal faves for high-end mattes are from LORAC.

In the spirit of being thankful, I want to thank YOU for taking the time to read this post. I am offering a few giveaways here on my blog as a token of that thanks. Please consider entering them by clicking the links below.

11.24.2014

Fast & Easy Hair Styles


This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone.

How was your weekend? Mine was fun! I finally felt well enough to get some much-needed errands done. I also went to a really funny (read: adult humor) holiday play. The dress was casual, and for my hair, I wanted some everyday looks. I used a few fun tools that I recently purchased at Walmart:

Because I #HeartMyHair, I got the Infiniti Pro by Conair® Curl Secret®
and Infiniti Pro by Conair® 3Q™ Brushless Motor Dryer.

11.22.2014

How To: Thanksgiving Makeup (All Drugstore)

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Happy weekend! What! I'm mixing it up and doing a post on a Saturday! It's an annual tradition for me to do a look for Thanksgiving. It's my Mama's favorite holiday, so I always want to look nice. I mix it up the looks every year, and I decided to use only drugstore makeup for this version. And there's a video to show you how.

Can't see? Try here: http://youtu.be/ngYeg6H-kHQ 




In the video, I did my foundation first (because c'mon, who needs to see me without foundation for majority of the video?) but normally I do my eyes first. Here's what I used:

  • L'Oreal Pore Vanisher (see review here). For pics, I use the Miracle Blur to give me that airbrushed look and hide any imperfections.
  • L'Oreal True Match (best for dry skin and applied with beautyblender...watch video for a demo)
  • Sonia Kashuk concealer palette
Onto the eyes--my fave part! I used two palettes here, but really both aren't needed.
  • Maybelline Designer Chocolates
  • Wet N Wild Knock on Wood
  • Sonia Kashuk pen liner
  • ELF eyelid primer
  • Maybelline Brow Drama (review here)
  • Covergirl Flamed Out mascara (tutorial here)
I've got a closeup so you can see the shades a little better.
  • I applied the ELF primer--see more reviews on primers here--because I have veins on my lids and since I'm doing this purple-mauve-cranberry color, I don't want to enhance them.
  • Using a flat shader brush, I applied that shimmery mauve color on my lids.
  • In the crease, using a crease brush, I applied the brown. I blended it out using a fluffy brush.
  • Using the brown from the WNW palette, I applied it in the outer corner with a crease brush and blended it with the fluffy. 
  • I smudged that dark brown under my lower lashes using a pencil brush.
  • Next was eyeliner on my upper lash line and mascara.
Here are the brushes I used:
  • Sigma E40
  • Sigma E35
  • Sigma E60
  • Sigma E30
  • BeautyBlender

Here are the eyes (before the liner and mascara)--it's a still from the video, so the quality isn't the best, but it was the only pic that turned out! #bloggerprobs

I sometimes use powder and sometimes I don't, since I have dry skin. I used ELF HD powder and then applied Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Mauve. Dry skin will love this since it gives such a natural flush. For lips, I used Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick in 107. It's a matte color between red and berry--that's the best way to describe it. This is my second tube of it. Oh, and if you like red lipsticks, I've got a post coming soon on my fave ones.

And here's the final look! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, tell me your plans!

PS: Thanks everyone for your comments on this post! I was really surprised at the support and glad y'all laughed at me as much as I did!

Giveaways Galore (thank you for entering):

11.21.2014

J.Jill at Avalon (Plus Giveaway!)


Last week I had the privilege to check out the J.Jill store and view their November collection at the new Avalon shopping center just outside of Atlanta. And y'all let me you--this place is gorgeous. But let me back up a bit--have you heard of J.Jill? They're a clothing store for all women that's not exclusive to Atlanta: J.Jill is for all women. They have clothing, accessories, and footwear, and view fashion with a relaxed approach to style.








The design concept of this new J.Jill store is simple: to uncomplicate the lives of women by delighting their sense of personal style, inspiring confidence, and thoughtfully guiding their shopping experience.

I absolutely love that. 

I'm crazy busy and leave shopping for clothes at the bottom of my to-do list, because it's something I don't enjoy doing, believe it or not. I know a lot of you feel that way too. But my experience at shopping at J.Jill has changed that.  It was so easy, with a welcoming, engaging staff. I wasn't stressed, I didn't feel pressured...and it felt so personalized.

I love how to store is easily laid out--the mannequins have the styles on and the table with those items is right in front of you--no searching around. Again, the staff is super helpful, and the dressing room features those basic items that you need to style on with the pieces you choose (think basics, like button up white shirt, black skirt, tights, etc).

I also love how each store works with a different charity. To celebrate the opening, J.Jill will be making donations to their Alpharetta-based Compassion Fund Partner: Atlanta Center for Self-Sufficiency. When I visited the store, I got to learn more about this and think it's a wonderful, helpful idea, just like the J.Jill philosophy. Programs like these focus on skills, education, and transitional means to help disadvantaged and homeless women to become self-sufficient.


But let's go back to the clothes--J.Jill features styles that are comfortable and that are made for real life. like this cozy and stylish sweater and tights. It's not often that I can find clothes that work for my day job as a nanny--where I run after two little girls (ages 5 and 8 months) for around 12 hours a day. And J.Jill has clothes that can carry me through blogging events I might have at night, or for meeting up with friends. There is truly something for all women, including petites, tall, and women's sizes (available online).

Check out J.Jill on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

What items would you like to try from J.Jill? Cozy sweaters? Stylish tights? Let me know in the comments section below for a chance to win a $100 J.Jill gift card!

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. 
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/21/2014 – 11/30/2014.

11.19.2014

On Why I'll Never Be A Cool Blogger

To be read with a sense of humor. :)

I was having a discussion with a new acquaintance, and as those things go, the topic of employment came up. I mentioned I'm a nanny and a beauty blogger. And once I explained what a blogger is, specifically a beauty one, I got asked about the name of my blog.

"Elle Sees...I've never heard of it."

To which I awkwardly blurted out, "It's because I'm not cool."

Let me explain. Yes, it's true and I'm convinced it's why I don't have more followers, despite the beauty knowledge I have. Today I'm sharing 100% TRUE STORIES that have happened to me at blogging events:

Cool bloggers are young, gorgeous, and are a size negative 0. They often are found holding Starbucks (I need some as I write this), wearing an expensive ensemble, and looking slightly to the left with a mischievous smile. They look like they just came from a magazine editorial shoot (they probably did). I am in awe. Cue amazing hair flip:


Then there's me. I arrive about an hour late to the event because of my day job. Usually I have to change my pants and shoes in the car. I always wear black pants because they're great at hiding stains. Everything is from Old Navy or Target--no fancy expensive stuff here. Today, I brought burgundy pants (#trendy color for fall) and actually have time to change in a public restroom. I get the pants on and then slip on the wet floor from a leaky toilet. I now have black wet spots on the back of my burgundy pants. I want to hide. I instead immediately tell everyone on Facebook:

I have also slipped and fallen during the local news before. #sexy
I have baby food on my shirt. I find a leaf in my hair from playing outside with the 5 year old--remove. I find Legos in my purse--keep. I want to leave. I take a deep breath since I have social anxiety, and walk in, failing at not looking nervous:

There's a wardrobe malfunction coming. Keep reading.

I have Resting B**** Face, so I smile at all times not to look mean and look approachable (if we meet in person, please talk to me! I swear I'm nice). Sometimes I'll instantly see other bloggers I am friends with to talk to. If not, someone usually comes up to me and introduces herself. She tells me her blog name and I recognize her, but once she says she loves my blog and that she follows me on Instagram, I get embarrassed, I can't remember anything, and I always blank out (with a smile):


Oh, and all conversations with people always happen when I am eating, so I try to be cool but realize later that I look like this:

Hi, I'm Elle.
There's a celeb guest that comes up to me. I have the craziest celeb encounters. When I get 2000 followers, I'll tell you my Lil Wayne story. Anyway, I try to make small talk and attempt to take a bite of my dessert with powdered sugar, which I end up somehow blowing all over her like this:


I've also had food go flying and drinks spill on others. Let's skip ahead. It's now nearing the end of the night. I'm in a group of fellow bloggers and it's going well. I'm actually talking! I think they like me! I'm spouting off my best beauty tips, proving my beauty knowledge, that I'm legit. And then I look down and see this:


Yes, all of the following have happened to me mid-conversation: cupcake icing in hair, food in teeth, lost earring, broken nail, necklace breaking in half, double-stick tape exposed, double-stick tape in my hair, things popping out, body parts revealing themselves, and the worst--my period starting right then and there. I'll definitely never be a cool blogger, but at least I can laugh at myself. That's cool, right? And my hair and makeup will be on point!

And who knows, maybe one day I'll walk in and look like this:

Hi. I'm Elle.

Disclaimer:

All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.




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