Tips for Your New Year's Night Out!

Happy Friday, y'all! 
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I've been enjoying some time off of work by stepping away from the computer and just enjoying a break! But today I wanted to share a few tips I'll be using on New Year's to help my makeup last all night long.

My friends and I have a fun night out planned for New Year's Eve. I'm looking forward to being with my friends-- getting ready, doing our hair & makeup, and seeing how much glitter and sequins will cover the floors of our hotel room by the time we are ready to leave. Even if you aren't planning to do anything on December 31, you can use these tips for any night out! 

Exfoliating Face Wash
The first step is starting with a fresh face. Use an exfoliating face wash. I prefer to use the Neutrogena Deep Clean daily scrub. It contains rice protein, which soaks up excess oil and keeps you shine-free for hours. 

Foundation Primer
I feel like I can't preach the benefits of using foundation primer enough. Primer is key for helping your foundation adhere to a fresh face. Without a primer, your foundation can more easily fade away throughout the day/night. Especially if you have oily skin. I recommend Smashbox or Prestige primer.

 Eyeshadow Primer
Just like foundation, your eye shadow also needs a base to stick to in order for it to last. Many brands make an eyeshadow primer. Urban Decay primer potion (in Eden) works best for me. It has a light neutral color to it, which cancels out redness and discoloration on my eyelids, and creates a nice base for eye shadow. Using a lighter colored base will also help your vibrant, shimmery shadows pop just a little bit better. Another tip-- apply a little primer under your lower lashes to keep eyeliner in place.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
If you wear a liquid foundation, you should set it with a powder to “lock” it in. This powder will instantly mattify your foundation and concealer without it looking cakey. Do yourself a favor and pick up Rimmel Stay Matte at your nearest drugstore if you haven't already! 

MAC Fix + (or just plain water!)
MAC Fix + is a versatile product. Its most popular use is as a setting spray after you've applied all of your makeup. However, if you plan to use glittery eyeshadow and want to prevent major fallout, I suggest spraying your shadow brush with MAC Fix +, then pick up the glitter, and apply to your eye lids. You can get a similar effect by just wetting your brush with running water. 

Makeup Setting Spray
The last step to ensure long-lasting makeup is using a setting spray. Urban Decay makes the All Nighter spray that you can get at any Ulta or Sephora. Just spritz a little bit all of your face after your makeup is done and you're good to go. 

What should you keep in your clutch? 
I'm not one to touch up my makeup throughout the night. After using a few extra steps in your makeup application, you really shouldn't have to! But I do like to pack just a few things in case I'm in the restroom and need to do a quick touch up. You just never know! Aside from the usual necessities, I'll have my NYX blotting sheets to keep oil at bay, my favorite lip balm, lip stick, eyeliner and some mints! 

What products or tips do you use for long-lasting makeup?
What kind of NYE plans do you have? 

Have a great weekend and... Happy New Year! 


happy friday, y'all!

It's.finally.Friday. I'm looking forward to quality time with my friends and family over the next couple of weeks. It's much... much... much... needed. 

1. This week marked two years since I became an LSU grad. And today is the day that my Kateepal comes home for the Holidays from London. If I could type my excitement, it would looks something like this: aslmfiwje;po!!!!;lasjfpwioej!!!palpqpajwfvl;qweior!!ahhhhhh!!!!!!!! Okay I'll stop.

2. There's something about getting a fresh mocha from a cup and saucer that just makes it feel so legit and necessary when it's cold outside. Thank you mother nature for finally realizing it's December. 

3. 'Tis the season to eat gingerbread cookies for breakfast for a week straight, right? Oh... it's not...?

4. As if Target wasn't the amazingness that it is already, all of the Neiman Marcus collection is 50% OFF! In stores and online. I took advantage of this and got the Tory Burch "printed container/thermos/what the hell is this" for $12.00. This sale is for a limited time only, so if you had your eye on something and couldn't justify the price, now is the time to check it out! 

5. How did this little guy get in here? In all seriousness, after the Newtown tragedy last Friday, I am loving on this boy more than I thought possible. I can't wait to spend Christmas with him and the rest of my family. 

I hope you're all having a wonderful Holiday season! We have a lot to be thankful for. 
What kind of plans do you have for the holidays?!

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog!

xo, Mal


December Birchbox

theBalm Hot Mama Blush
My favorite product in the box. I love anything from theBalm. This blush reminds me of NARS Orgasm. It’s a peachy-pink color with golden shimmer. It’s a pretty popular blush, so I’m excited that I’m able to try it out.

Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo
I use a clarifying shampoo once a week, so this was a nice sample to get. It’s a good size and I can’t wait to try it out.  

Frownies Eye Gels
These are one of those products that I don’t buy, but like having for those nights when I want to pamper myself or try a new product. I'll be trying these soon!

Ahava Dermud Enriched Intensive Foot Cream
I’m kind of over getting foot creams in my box. Mainly because I just don’t use them...

Cartier Baiser Vole Eau de Perfume
This is not a perfume for me. It was nice to see a different brand name not usually seen in Birchbox, but the smell is pretty awful, in my opinion.

Cartier Declaration D’un Soir Cologne
This was an extra. If you didn't know, Birchbox makes a line for men, too. After being disappointed in the perfume, I was hesitant to smell this one. Surprisingly, I love it! Too bad I can’t wear it, but I’ll gladly hand over to my boyfriend.

$50 Gift Certificate to Rent the Runway
I thought this was pretty cool. I had never heard of this website, but after checking it out, I really want to try this. Some of the things I would be interested in "renting" are dresses from Badgley Mischka and Diane Von Furstenberg around the $70-$100 range, so this gift certificate could come in handy if I decide to give it a shot! 

What did you get in your December box?
Hope you're getting all of your Christmas shopping done! 

xo, Mal 


Happy Friday, Y'all!

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

1. Had a little date at the aquarium on Sunday morning. 
I liked seeing live versions of Finding Nemo and Happy Feet. 

2. I love taco nights. 

3. Pacific Blue is back! This is easily one of my favorite polishes. 
I wrote more on it here if you're interested. 

4. Christmas cards mailed. :)

5. I enjoy the Glee cast version of Christmas music on repeat.

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 


holiday decor!


 I just wanted to share the holiday goodness around my apartment. This is my second Christmas here and the most exciting change since last year is my fireplace mantel. I have my amazing father to thank for that fine piece of craftsmanship. There's something about a decorated fireplace mantel for the holidays that just puts me in the spirit. 

Here's a list of where most of it is from, in case you're interested. 

Wreath: Target
Mirrored Mosaic Trees: Target
Reindeer Stocking Holders: Hobby Lobby
Jennifer and Fritz Stockings: Etsy
M & B Stockings: Bed, Bath & Beyond
Martini Glasses: Target
Mirrored Tray: Target
White Feather Tree: Target
Ho Ho Ho print: Target (it's a Christmas card)
Noel Towels: Target

xo, Mal


caring for your brushes

Some may be thinking "Duh, I always wash my brushes." Others may think its a-okay to never wash them. When I did my sister's makeup recently, I cringed when she said "Wash them? I've never washed my brushes." Sorry Linz :)

It's important to wash your brushes and take care of them. As cheesy as that sounds. Cleaning them gets the bacteria out, which is good for your skin, and it will give you a more flawless makeup application. It will prolong the life of your brushes. And if you're like me and have invested in good brushes, a longer life is necessary. 

There are tons of brush cleansers out there, but I prefer using good 'ole Johnson's baby shampoo for a few reasons: it's a very gentle cleanser, a large bottle lasts a long time, it's cheap, and it gets the job done.  

So, here are the steps I take to give my brushes a good deep clean:

Washing your brushes is the same method as washing your hair. First, get the water to a good warm temperature. Then lightly wet the bristles and pour some shampoo on your fingers. Then  just massage the bristles into the shampoo for a good lather until you see most of the product coming off. I usually repeat this step a couple times for the denser brushes like the one in the photos. Small brushes usually only require one shampoo. Just use your own judgement. Once the water runs clear, the brush is clean. Mold them into their proper shape if you see that some bristles have gone astray, and then lay them flat on a towel to dry. I let my brushes dry overnight. 

You'll notice above that I always keep the brush pointed down. There's a reason for that. 
You never want to let water get into the ferrule. 
A little makeup brush anatomy: 
Always keep the brush pointed downward to prevent water from dripping into the ferrule. The reason for this is the glue that holds the bristles to the handle is inside the ferrule. If water gets in there, over time it will ruin the glue and can cause the handle to break away. No bueno. Basically, never turn that brush upside down... ever. Don't even dry your brush with the bristles facing up. Laying them flat on a towel is your best option. 

You should wash your brushes once a week. However, I get lazy and usually get around to doing it after two weeks or so. I have quite a few though, so I never use the same foundation brush for 2 weeks straight. I usually inter-change them until they're all dirty. If you only have a few brushes, once a week is a good routine to get into. 

Something extra...

What I have above is the Sigma Dry N' Shape. It's made for dense brushes that have a specific bristle shape that need to stay in place, and it helps them dry quicker than if you just left them on a towel. Dense brushes can take a long time to fully dry. The Dry N' Shape dries brushes in 4-6 hours. 

The brushes I've shown in this post are the Sigma Sigmax collection. I use these for foundation and concealer. Sigma offers many different brush collections. 
If you use code DEC2012 through Dec 31, you get 10% off your order. 

I hope this post helps you out a little when it comes to caring for those precious brushes. 
Clean brushes are the foundation of good makeup application. 

Do you have a different method for cleaning your brushes? Let me know! 

xo, Mal


Happy Friday, Y'all!

It's been about a week since my last post. My bad. I have no excuses, other than I've been shopping doing things in my spare time that I need to get done! :)

1. I ran my first road race last weekend. Hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? I gave myself two goals: do not walk, and finish under 40 minutes. I was excited to see my time of 31:07 at the finish line. We had so much fun! Can't wait to do another one. 

2. Everyone deserves a Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning. In this case, it was a Bloody Mason.

3.  I finally found the Essie holiday collection. It was like Heaven's gates opened as soon as I spotted them. I picked up Leading Lady and Beyond Cozy. Both scream "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" I'm in love. 

4. My sister loves to borrow just about everything I own. Here she's wearing my shirt, shoes, makeup, and nail polish. But I think she looks great :)

5. I reached 10,000 pageviews this week! Thanks everyone who checks out my little blog, whether it's on a regular basis or just something you've stumbled upon in the blogosphere. 'Preciate it! 

Check out more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone! 
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