My Skin Care Routine

Published December 30, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hi friends!

As I was in the middle of my skin care routine tonight, I thought I would shed some light on what I do, what I use, what I love, what I’ve found useful, etc. I am the first to say that I did not take care of my skin as I should have when I was younger. I tanned, I didn’t put on sun screen, I got burned- what in the world was I thinking?! Well, 5-10 years later I am now kicking myself in the butt for it. I think now at 26 years old, I have caught myself early enough that I can at least SLOW the wrinkles and damage. I can’t emphasize enough to younger girls: DO NOT TAN!!!, take your makeup off at night!, put moisturizer on!, start using anti-wrinkle cream earlier than you think, and get a clarisonic.

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Anyway, let’s get into my routine because it’s pretty lengthy (but all so worth it). I’ll break down each step with what I do, what I use and what I think of my current products.

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Step 1: remove make-up. This is crucial to pre-cleansing the face. There is so much dirt, oil, make-up, sweat that builds up on your face throughout the day. I used to make the mistake of using my Clarisonic  TO take off my make-up and it was not efficient. I use a dollop of Dermablend Long Wear Makeup Remover on a cotton pad and rub it all over my face. It almost melts onto your skin and takes all the makeup (or most of it) with it on the cotton pad. Your skin will NOT feel clean afterwards, it almost feels slimy but it definitely doesn’t have as much crud on it. I really like this product- this is my second bottle of it. I tried Sephora’s Waterproof Makeup Remover Gel and that was a bust. It didn’t work nearly as good as this stuff. It’s $22 at Ulta. You can also use Makeup Remover Wipes- Target has a brand called up & up which are $4 there BUT there are only 30 of them in there. I sometimes take my makeup off twice a day or have to go through them more than that and this bottle lasts me about 6 months so it’s more feasible to buy this.

 

20141229_210930Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash

 

Step 2: clean yo face! I’ve gone through a lot of cleansers and I like this one the most. I put a pump on my Clarisonic and turn that baby on. I like the cleanser because it fights acne and oiliness without drying out my skin. I live in the tundra of Chicago so I know all about that dry face. This feels awesome on my skin and isn’t too harsh. If you have very sensitive skin, you might want something that is a little more gentle on your skin but I like this for combination skin. If you want to know my thoughts on Clarisonic- check out this post of mine. P.S. Dermalogica is $36 for 8.4 oz and it has lasted me… for-ev-er. WORTH IT!

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Mary Kay Purifying Freshener

Step 3: Tone! I’ve had this toner forever too. I use it just to get around the edges of my face and clean up any makeup or oil that I couldn’t reach with the Clarisonic like on my hairline and on my neck/ears. It’s pretty simple, it freshens the skin just as it says. I bet you can find other toners out there that are drugstore brand that do just as good of work but until I run out, I’m using this bad boy. It’s $13 the only problem is I don’t have a Mary Kay rep anymore- anyone know one in Chicago that won’t try and get me to sell makeup???

20141229_211051Step 4: remove eye makeup. Ok, this step used to be my arch nemesis. I NEVER could find a good enough eye-makeup remover that didn’t make me squirt like 5 times on the cotton ball to get off all of my makeup. Guess what, Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover does the JOB! It is pricey, yes. I have tried all eye-makeup removers under the sun. From Johnson and Johnson Baby Oil (cheap but makes my eyes too oily and the oil sits there) to Mary Kay (one of the better ones) to Target brand (really poor), I couldn’t find one! I went into Sephora a couple of weeks ago and asked for the best remover and this pointed me to this bad boy. It’s $28 but you need a small amount on a cotton ball then you put the cotton ball to your eye and hold it there for about 10-15 seconds, when you lift it, ABOUT all of your makeup will be gone. It absorbs all of the makeup into it, it’s great! It takes a little longer but there’s no rubbing involved and no product wasted in the process.

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Step 5: MOISTURIZE!! I have been using Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair every night and I swear to goodness it’s been working. The lines around my eyes have gotten filled in a little and my skin is all around smoother. This is $21.99 at Ulta. You could probably use any moisturizer or night cream but again, just telling you what I use. I also rub about a half a pump on my neck as well as my face.

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Step 6: Take care of the finer things! Eyes and lips! So important to your skin care routine. I use a TINY bit of Lucas Papaw Ointment and rub it on my lips. Check out the link right there. I bought this at The Makeup Show Chicago for $10 but I believe you can purchase at Beautylish or Amazon. It’s this incredible, all natural remedy that has all these uses. I have used it on sun burns, my hair, rashes, I sometimes use it under my eyes for added moisture. Really neat stuff. Then last, my beloved Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24. I purchased this from Sephora ONLY because I had a $20 coupon so, it made the $55 cream that much better. I know some of you are sitting there shaking your heads but skin care is SOOOO worth it!!! Also, you need such a small amount of this cream that it will probably take me 2 years to get through it. So, in reality that’s like 55 dollars divided into 730 days… 7 cents per use. Or, even if you wanted to use it in a year that’s 14 cents per use. In my mind, so worth it to keep your skin looking beautiful.

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And there I am with my skin all clean yay! Hey Grandpa! Also, big shout to my mom for always stressing the importance of skin care! I hope I learned early enough and look like her skin when I am her age!

xo, Lesley Hope

Holiday Night Out Transformation

Published December 24, 2014 by lesleyhope

Merry Christmas Eve! 

I went out last night and decided to take pictures throughout my routine. I came across a few products that I really think are essentials (at least they are for me).

I recently purchased BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfecter at Sephora- I believe this was a mini tube or something because I can’t find it on BECCA’s site or Sephora. It would make sense because it was around $19-22.

I used it as a primer last night to get that glow-y look. You can see that it DEFINITELY makes your skin shimmery. PS- Do you guys also like my teal robe? It’s super comfy and warm (Target).

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Products used: Lush Skin Drink Moisturizer (PS I am almost out! Need suggestions for another good one otherwise I’m repurchasing!) and BECCA Shimmery Skin Perfecter Cream.

Don’t fret… I did not go out looking like this. I next put L’oreal True Match Lumi Foundation in W3 (Nude Beige). I purchased this at Ulta on Black Friday and had to get a little crafty with testing the foundation on my skin without anyone seeing. Why don’t they have testers for drugstore foundation!?! Anyway, I decided on this one- it was between the N3 and C3. This color is a little darker than my skin but it’s not a heavy formula and you can really build it up so I thought I’d go for it.

20141223_185707Products used: everything I used in my last pic + L’Oreal TruMatch Lumi Foundation W3

Ok now this is where I get to TWO of my go-to products. I used MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 under my eyes and set it with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. Let’s just talk about these two products for a quick second- I have tried DOZENS of concealers for under my eyes and it’s a different beast. You need something that is thick/matte enough to actually set and lighten, but something creamy enough you can blend out without dragging your skin and rubbing. MAC Pro Longwear is hands down the best I’ve used. I do believe that getting color matched plays a huge role so I would not suggest anyone purchase this on the fly. Go to the MAC counter and talk it over with the artists about what you’re looking for, what you’re looking to accomplish and have them match you based upon that.

Moving on to Laura Mercier… this powder. I have also tried many translucent setting powders and finishes and they all come off chalky and white looking. You don’t want that ghostly monochrome look on your face (at least I don’t). This powder has little crystals that seem to reflect light and set what you already have on. I love it! See from the pic below how it evens out my skin tone under my eye and mattes where I set on my forehead, nose and chin.

 

20141223_190016Products used: Everything in the pics before + MAC Pro Longwear Concealer & Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

Well now this is where I ran out of some time and had to put on the rest of my makeup without taking pictures in between. So I basically go from 0-100 but it took like an hour and I’ll try to list all of the products/colors I used. ** Note: MUG Eyeshadows were used (HOLY GRAIL).

Viola! Me! Done!

20141223_194849Products used on eyes: Ardell’s Curvy Lashes, MAC Paintpot in Soft Ochre, Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil in Dark Brown (might not be my right color but I got it as a gift and left my Brow Wiz in Caramel in Chicago so it’s been working for me), MUG shadows in Frappe, Creme Brulee, Bitten and Corrupt (GRAILS), mascara is Urban Decay Fatty Mascara (I never use brand name mascara but Ulta had a great Black Friday deal on this baby). Face: MAC Sculpting Powder in Taupe (only available at Pro stores FYI), an unknown blush from one of my z-palettes (the only bad thing about z-palettes). Lips: MAC Blankety and MAC Chili mixed together (mixing colors is really my thing).

I hope you guys enjoyed! Leave any questions at the bottom and have a fabulous day! Let it snow!!

Xo, Lesley Hope

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Fever

Published December 23, 2014 by lesleyhope

It’s been a longgggg time since I’ve last posted. Blame it on life going really, really well. Let’s see… since the last time I’ve posted there have been many things that have changed in my life. 1) I have gotten to do makeup for 2 real events and have REAL clients (pretty cool). 2) I have changed so many things in my makeup routine. 3) I have winged eyeliner down pat- I will write a how-to post shortly. 4) I tried Makeup Geek eyeshadows out and… I. Can’t. Even. I will begin this post with MUG…

I’m a makeup phene- but I have been in this game long enough that I know the difference between low quality and high quality. The MUG eyeshadows I purchased are the best quality shadows I have used. I got a variety of colors and I did buy only matte finishes. Matte, to me, is the hardest kind of finish in shadows to find a GOOD quality. These are creamy, none of them chalk, highly pigmented, unique colors, I could go on and on… To sum it up, I’m highly impressed with Marlena and her squad and I HIGHLY recommend these shades below.

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Left to right starting in the top left hand corner… Barcelona Beach, Peach Smoothie, Creme Brulee, Frappe, Latte, Preppy, Chickadee, Cupcake, Unexpected, Simply Marlena, Bitten, Corrupt.

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I am very pleased with the colors that I chose which are mainly pinks and neutrals but I needed good matte colors to put on my crease for everyday looks, smokey looks and nights out. These all hit it out of the park. I can use ANY of these (besides Corrupt) in my crease for whatever kind of look I am going for. I am beyond satisfied. The colors are all extremely versatile and just so great.

This post was weak, I know. It’s almost Christmas and I’m just excited to be able to post! Maybe I’ll swatch these better on my arm and update this. Maybe I won’t. I will blog at least one more time this week.

I hope everyone enjoys time with their families and friends.

Xoxo, Lesley Hope

False Lashes

Published October 14, 2014 by lesleyhope

These are an important aspect of any big event. It’s crazy to think how much they transform your eyes and your face for that matter. No wonder all the youtube/instagram girls wear them all. the. time. Not to mention Kim K, Katy Perry and Twiggy who started the phenomenon! It’s such a difference compared to regular mascara!

I don’t wear falsies on the regular (thank goodness). But I have a few pairs that are just “voluminous” or “natural” looking so I thought I would shake some cobwebs off my skills and wear them a few times this past weekend. I didn’t have a party or anything crazy to go to- I wore them to cocktails with the girls, then to Gone Girl the next day (don’t judge me). I probably was the most fabulous looking chick in that movie theater. Nah, probably not- but I did wear my Nike high tops which are pretty dang bomb. Back to the point- I’ll go through each of the phases and steps to successful falsies.

1. I first put the lashes up to my natural lash line. Normally for me, I always have to cut them with tiny scissors or nail clippers a TINY bit because they are a tad longer than what fits on my own lashes. I didn’t know this at first and would always just try and go for it. Don’t try it, doesn’t work. Clip them if you need to where they fit along your own line.

2. Take both edges of the lash and bend inward to create a “C” shape, and hold for a couple of seconds. This is the easiest way to ensure smooth application and make sure the lashes match the natural curve of your eye.

3. Put on one coat of mascara. Doesn’t have to be crazy- just a normal coat so the lashes can adhere to your own better.

4. Apply the glue that came with your lashes OR you can buy glue such as DUO Eyelash Adhesive. If you have a steady hand, you can squeeze straight from the tube onto the strip. Usually the glue comes out bubbly and streaky for me so an easy trick: put glue on the reverse end of your tweezers and glide it across the strip. Be generous at both the inner and outer corners so the glue won’t unstick when you blink.

5.  So once the glue is lined along the false lash line- wait about 10-20 seconds. I do this just so it gets a little thicker/stickier and makes it easier for it to stick to your lashes.

6. K, ready for the toughest part? You can either use tweezers for this or your own fingers. I prefer tweezers because I personally don’t like touching the false lashes and clumping them. If you’re using your hands, place the lashes on the base of your lashes right on top of your own lashes. Tweezer method: Take your tweezers and pick the falsies up on the opposite side of the strip, right in the center of where they will adhere to your lash line. Place them in the center of your own lash line, as close to the base of your natural lash line as possible but not touching the eyelid. Now, most will have a natural curve to them so they might just fit perfectly on yours without you having to do anything. Great, welcome to the 1% of times that has ever happened to me! The other 99%, I usually have to make sure once the center is in place and not going to go anywhere, take the tweezers, grab hold (lightly) to somewhere to the right or left of the center and push the falsies onto your own lash line. Sometimes I have to hold it there for a few seconds and make sure everything is staying in place. Be light about it and be patient!

7. Once the false lashes are on, they will feel weird if you haven’t worn them before (and even if you have, they always feel a little weird to me, like a wig on my lashes or something). They feel kind of heavy and I always think everyone is staring. If they are staring- it’s probably because your lashes look fantastic. Apply one coat of mascara to your new and improved lashes. I always feel like this is sealing the deal because it brings everything together.

8. If the false lashes didn’t get applied directly right onto the lashes, a thin application of black liner or black matte eye shadow as a liner to cover and blend everything together. This also helps the glue dry more quickly.

9. Voila!  Now that you’re done, look in the mirror and admire! Bat those babies and practice your smile!

Good luck! Lesley

Vamp It Up For Fall

Published October 1, 2014 by lesleyhope

Let’s start it off today… 5:45AM. Alarm goes off. I wake up. NOPE, not happening. I go back to bed. Set my alarm for an hour from now. 6:45AM… I’ll wait 10 more minutes. Well, 10 turned into 30 and I was officially running SO behind. Luckily I had my outfit all picked out (burgundy button down, navy pinstriped pants). I pull on my clothes, brush my hair (before you start judging HOLD THE PHONE- I showered the night before chill). Now it’s 7:20AM- ok, 20 minutes to do my makeup. Damnit, I usually prefer a good 30 to take my time but oh well. I go into my normal foundation, bronzer, face routine and have to skimp on the eyes but I swear, a little medium matte brown in the crease and a creamy shimmer on the lid- good to go. Now it’s the lips. Shit, it’s 7:38AM. I’ve got 2 minutes to get the heck out of there otherwise I’m going to be mad late. I could swipe on a nude- nah, too plain. I could put on the color I wore yesterday- nah, too plain. If you know me- you know I love color, I love lipstick and I LOVE switching it up. Ok… hurry, quick. AH! One of the OCC lip tars from their new fall collection, Unknown Pleasures? YEP! Winner winner! Technopagen to be exact. Yes, it’s dark AF. Yes, it’s purple with some shimmer. Yes, it’s vampy. Yes, I put it on and rocked the hell out of it. Ok fine, I put it on then mixed it with NARS Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero which is a peachy pink just to soften it a little.

Fast forward to work. I’m pretty confident rocking different colors but this Technopagen. My goodness, it’s really extreme. I am honestly surprised I chose it. But the things you will do to get your coffee on time… So work, yes. I get into work and people aren’t looking at me much different. Whew. Ok. I’m good. My friend comes up to my desk “Oh my gosh, your lips.” “yeah?” “Awesome!” That was all I needed.

Throughout the rest of the day, I was complimented not only by several women but men too! They were straight as well. They liked that my lips matched my shirt (kind of- dark burgundy, dark purple, I’ll give it to you). The moral of this story is YOU CAN. YOU CAN YOU CAN YOU CAN wear dark lip colors. Especially this fall! I Actually really like when people coordinate their lips with their outfit in some way (green shirt, red lips ALWAYS because they compliment each other). So go for it ladies!

2014-10-01 11.04.20 (1)Xo,

Lesley Hope

Pageant Interview Tricks Unveiled!

Published October 1, 2014 by lesleyhope

Well, I’m am officially morphing into a pageant girl for the next 6 weeks! I will dedicate at least one blog post per week on my tips for a pageant (when it comes to makeup at least). A lot of the “tips” I talk about can be applied to anyone, anyday- in a pageant or not. So here’s the thing- there’s such a difference between day makeup and night makeup. Those words are also interchangeable for interview and stage makeup. When I first started learning about how to do a cat eye and contouring, I would practice in the mornings before work and sometimes I probably looked like I belonged on the street corner instead of my cubicle. I’ve learned a lot since then, to say the least. I have picked up a few tricks of the trade for owning your interview makeup. Here they are:

-Self tanner. It’s a plus. But not for day of. I like to use Loreal Sublime Bronze for about a week or two before the day of an interview to get a nice glow going on. This builds on itself so you don’t need to use it everyday. I would say once every other day or two days. I would highly recommend going lighter on the color opposed to darker- nothing worse than streaks or pumpkin-esque skin tone. I recommend this one because it is subtle enough, but it does have enough pigment for you to start seeing changes. I’ve used it for years with little to no orange situations.

-No false lashes. None. Those are for the stage or a night out. Never during the day. There are many great mascaras but I’m going to let you in on my little secret: these. Too Faced Better than False Lashes. This is an interesting product- but I love it. It comes with a mascara and another tube of nylon lash fibers. You put the mascara on as a base coat first (I would suggest doing one eye at a time so it doesn’t clump or dry too fast). After that is on both the top and bottom lashes, you use the nylon lash fibers over it. These come out in a spidery, wispy texture so it’s odd the first time. Just go with it. Put enough on so you can see the little white fibers over the base coat. You can probably skip the bottom as the nylon fibers tend to clump and look a little messy on shorter lashes. After that is done, put on another coat of the mascara. Go thick with this. You will see that the white fibers turn black and act as extenders to your lashes. Put on a decent 1-2 coats of the mascara and you will look like you have LONG, voluminous lashes- that are real! Warning: this product is fairly expensive ($35 at Sephora). An inexpensive option that has long been my go to is Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black. It’s $3.99 at Target and you cannot go wrong with it. 2-3 coats and your lashes will be just beautiful!

-Eye shadow colors. Don’t try new tricks for an interview. I will go more in depth about what colors look good on skin tones and eye colors, hair colors, etc but stick to neutral colors- the pictures attached are the color families you should stick to for your eye shadow. I would consider many of these “transition” shades. And by that, I mean shades that can be applied in the crease either alone or with accent colors. You could also call them versatile shades. You can see that some of them have a little shimmer finish but the rest are matte. They are all in the mauve/nude/brown/pink or green shade range- those colors look good on everyone no matter what your skin tone.

 

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The swatches are all without primer and if anyone needs details I can give you the actual colors later (they were all individuals in my Z palette- Inglot, Too Faced & Mary Kay).
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For so long during my younger years I wanted the brightest, most shimmery, glittery shades (ok let’s be honest, I still do- moderation is key!) but as I’ve gotten older- you can’t wear that stuff all the time at a big girl job! I have discovered transition shades are my favorite types of eye shadows because you can use them with anything, any look, anytime. For the interview, I would put a medium color (at darkest) into your crease and blend it out. Along with a lighter shade on your lid, that is all you need to give depth to your eyes during the interview. You want the judges to see your natural beauty and not be distracted by that cat eye or iridescent highlight underneath your brow.

-Lipstick colors. Again, save the brights and the bolds for the stage. Stick to medium pinks, nudes, browns and matte finishes are a plus because they are subtle enough to flatter but are not overly distracting. Pictured here are a few I would recommend along with the shade and name.

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Lydia, Ophelia, Melange, Marion (ALL OCC LIP TARS in matte finish of course). NYX Matte Lipstick Euro Trash and Butter (enticing names I know).

-Blush colors. A little will go a long way in natural lighting so pick a color that compliments your coloring and brush over the top angle of your cheekbone. Don’t place it only on the apples of your cheeks- big misconception. You should start the brush on the very top of your apple and blend it upwards towards your ear with the product applying evenly. Go light handed on this as well. If you are unsure of what color looks best on you- peach tones are universal for all skin types i.e.

Nars Orgasm ($30) IMG_0271

OR Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso – don’t have a pic for this sorry ($7.50 at Target/Walgreens/CVS)

-Blend blend blend! Blending is one of the things that has been my savior for makeup. After you make sure your foundation is a good match to your coloring and tone, blend it into your neckline so there are no harsh lines. Blend bronzer (MATTE ONLY!!!!) into your hairline and the angles of your face to frame your beautiful face. Blend your eyeshadow so there are no edges to see where color starts/ends.

-Last, skip the eyeliner all together. Dip a small, angled brush in chocolate or black shadow, lining your eyes as close to the roots as possible. The thinner the brush the better.

Example here: IMG_0265

These are a few of my tips for a flawless interview look! Remember, soft and subtle is good! You want your personality to shine and your beauty is just a backup for it 😉

Xo, Lesley Hope

Make a Stunning Entrance… Into Fall!

Published September 30, 2014 by lesleyhope

So it goes like this. I check the weather on my phone this morning: high of 73! Walk to work in my cute skirt with flip flips (brought my heels obvi). Go about my day… work, spin, sauna. Come outside in my workout clothes and flip flops: HELLO FALL! I could feel it on my skin, I could smell it in the air, hell, I even could taste it when a leaf blew into my mouth. Winter takes no prisoners, especially in the Midwest. BUT, winter gives us this beautiful thing called fall and I am going to breakdown what you need to make the easiest and classiest transition. Warning: this list does not include zip ups, Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Uggs.

1. Matte. Everything. (Almost) all of the time. I am not condoning shopping sprees but if you cannot go into your makeup bag and pull out a medium matte brown eyeshadow a medium matte any color eye shadow, I highly suggest you hop on Sephora.com, makeupgeek.com or go to your nearest Ulta. You need those mattes in your life. Especially the medium shades for everyday. We’re done with the corally shimmers and golds for a little bit right now. Put them away for like a week. Then you can get them back out. My favorites? The Naked Basics Palette sold online and in stores a Ulta and Sephora. It’s great for beginners. If you’re a tad more advanced or already have it, try the Lorac Pro Palette from Ulta. Awesome range and what a great bang for your buck.

2. More Matte. Everything. But now I’m talking about lips. And let me be more specific, matte browns and nudes. YEP I said it. This woman of color has said it and there is no going back. This summer was all about the color but this winter is about them warm toned shades. I can’t get over these colors because they were the colors I wore when I first EVER started wearing makeup. The mocha shades, the berry colors, the muted roses. I went to Ulta yesterday and NYX is PACKED with these type of colors- they are $3.50 too! My favorite shades and MUST HAVES for anyone are Whipped Caviar, Maison, Butter, Euro Trash. MAC has some awesome colors as well: Pink Plaid, Kinda Sexy and Velvet Teddy are a few.

3. Last but not least- I have talked about matte this and medium this. I am leaving you with ONE last item that you will need this fall. A true bold ass lip color. And maybe a little haircut or style. But definitely a bold, daring, dark or vampy lip color. And not for everyday- hold those horses. For the night you go out for dirty martinis with your girlfriends, or the day you pull on your sweater and sunglasses and go window shopping downtown, or the night you go on a third date to the pumpkin patch or haunted house (I swear I’m not naming these from experience). Really though! Get on that dark purple, those dark jeweled tones and get a little lose. But wear your pearls. Check out this new collection from NYX that I’m about to obsess over. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Those are pretty crazy but there are tons of other deep, rich colors that will do the trick just fine. Suggestions: MAC Cyber, OCC Anita, OCC Vintage, Loreal Lip Crayon in Petite Plum. Do it.

I am dedicating the next month and a half to….. The MISS SJ 2014-15 Pageant! I have been asked to do the make up for it and I could not be more excited!

I also have a bomb project I have been working on for Halloween… the 7 Deadly Skins. Can’t wait to show you guys!

Lots of love,

Lesley Hope