sephora

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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

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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

Must Have Brushes

Published July 2, 2014 by lesleyhope

Yellow everyone! I am alive and doing well. I have a VIDEO for ya! Must have makeup brushes! Yay! Everyone thinks differently and has different needs for their makeup so if you, for example, don’t wear foundation or don’t use eyeliner- don’t think you need the foundation brush I use or eyeliner brush. And always, I never push products so this is just what works for ME. Follow at your own speed 😉

Actually it’s kind of late. I have pictures uploaded and I will hyperlink all these badboys tomorrow. But here is my video for you all:

XOXO,

Lesley

The Power Of The Eyebrow

Published March 8, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hey beauties! Ugh this week has been crazy busy. I finally am home and blogging yay!

Allright, so I think many girls go through a stage where we pluck the $h!t out of our eyebrows because we thought that they looked better really small. Right? Nope? Just me? Okay fine. So I went through a time in college where I think I plucked my eyebrows everynight. Yes, you heard me. EVERYNIGHT. What were you thinking Lesley Hope??? My mom would always tell me, “your eyebrows are too thin” or “you need to grow out your eyebrows”. I had the dreadful eyebrownorexia. They never looked thin enough for me. Fast forward a couple of years and here I sit at my vanity, staring at my eyebrows at night, wondering “why”?

I have gotten past my eyebrownorexia and now prefer to let ’em grow out and hang out as much as possible. I have even taken it upon myself to start DOING my eyebrow makeup (I only thought drag queens did their eyebrows until recently). I stumbled upon a wonderful makeup artist at Sephora who did my makeup for me one day (Rouge VIP what’s up) and she made my eyebrows so beautiful that it changed my entire look! I only thought lipstick could change a look! I thought wrong.

I now use the Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil, Brow Wax Pencil, and Brow Powder Duo all by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I don’t do my brows everyday, but when I do, I feel like a new woman.

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First I apply the clear wax pencil all over my eyebrows (think of it kind of like a primer for your brows). I make sure I go outside of the lines because generally you want to draw them on thicker than what they are and you need a good base down to do so. The wax pencil helps the brow color stay throughout a long day. I then draw the outline of my eyebrow with the brow wiz pencil (again, I make mine start a TAD closer together than my actual eyebrow). This is actually a little daunting if you have never done it, it still is a little weird for me but I just look at it as enhancing your natural beauty. Once I am satisfied with the outline, I fill it in with the pencil as well and darken up the color. When the color of the eyebrows and shapes of both are done, I use the brow powder duo (I have medium dark) and pat it over the pencil like an eye shadow or a finishing powder on your face. Voila! I am done. I would suggest going a shade darker than your hair color (at least) 1) because it’s natural, eyebrows rarely match natural hair color especially for blondes and 2) because it’s SO in right now. Examples below:

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So Rita Ora, Miley, Kate and Emma all say it’s a go. It’s definitely a go. Stunning. It defines your features and bring attention to the EYES which is what you want. I even tried it…

BEFORE

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…. AFTER

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Granted, those are are two different nights this week. But still. You see the dramatic effect it has on my face.

In conclusion, can we just celebrate the woman who started it all? Yes. There is a picture of her hanging in my room. The queen. Not Elizabeth or Beyonce but…

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Marilyn Monroe. Rest in peace you beautiful woman.

Before I send you all off… I have one swatch. It’s OPI, the Gwen Stefani collection (that happens to be a coincidence that she is also blonde with beautiful brown eyebrows).

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4 In The Morning- it’s a satin color. Matte black. I LOVE this color the day of and after I paint my nails but I was disappointed with how it stayed (or how it didn’t stay is more like it). It chipped easily because you’re not supposed to use a top coat and the finish didn’t stay matte for more than 2 days. Great color for a one night party but not for long wearing.

Goodnight beautiful people! Hope you learned something and try something new with your brows!

xo, Lesley Hope

Color Crazy And My Hatred For Yellow

Published March 1, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hi guys! I started this post on Tuesday. And now it’s Friday. Sooo… yeah! I have been a sucky blogger this week. My apologies. I’ve got some great ideas for next week AND I’m taking my beautiful Canon back to Chicago (I’m in Michigan tonight) so I can start taking some good pictures and some videos.

Before I start I want everyone to think about one thing: your favorite color to wear on your eyes (as in eye liner)  and WHY. If anyone picks yellow, please leave a comment I’m dying to have any witnesses back up this ruthless, unforgiving, primary color that I despise so much.

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Tonight we’re talking about some colors. Eyeliner colors. YUM!!! Everyone has their favorite (black being the most common) and everyone has their least favorite (yellow anyone?). I’m going to preach my practice again in this post- not all colors work well alone BUT all colors can absolutely be worn and mixed together to create fabulous finishes (I still have yet to find a fit for yellow).

I swatched my Sephora 12 Hour Wear Waterproof Eye Pencils for you here:

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*Two things I learned about this picture- I need to greatly improve my swatching abilities and colors appear very differently with a flash in photos.*

Colors from left to right:

01- black lace (matte)- Blackest black. Comparable to UD’s Perversion.

35- romantic comedy (glitter)- Fun, bright pink. Great for a pop on a night out over a black liner.

31- purple stilettos (matte)- True violet. Looks crazier than it is. LOVE this color. I did a look below.

33- love affair (shimmer)- Dark plum with some pizzaz.

19- go for a ride (shimmer)- Forest green.

25- galaxy girl (glitter)- Deep bluish blackish teal.

04- starry sky (glitter)-  Darker silvery grey.
03- 5th Avenue (matte)- True matte grey. *one of my favorites*
13- tiramisu (matte)- Dark, chocolate brown.
14- taupe- just that, taupe.
11- Cookie Crunch (shimmer)- Goldish, amber brown.
06- Blonde Ambition (shimmer)- Very light golden beige
02 Flashy Silver- Very light and sheer silvery white.
I like these a lot, especially for their price point of $10. I was going to compare them to Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils ($20) but I have to put my snobby pants on and say the two brands are at two different levels. UD’s are just a step above Sephora’s even though I LOVE both. Sephora’s are super creamy which I generally like in an eyeliner but when it comes to some of the lighter colors, I have to use A LOT to get any sort of color base going on. UD’s  last a little longer and come in more matte finishes which I prefer when it comes to eyeliner but for half the price, I’ll get my fun colors from Sephora.

Now, another trick to eye liners that I like to live by- lining your waterline in a white or beige to make your eyes pop. The ONLY white and beige matte finishes I have found are OCC’s new eye liners and Rimmel London’s (*DRUGSTORE ALERT) waterproof eye pencils. Putting a light color in your waterline, and especially for people like myself that have smaller eyes, makes them pop and brightens them up.

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That’s OCC’s Feathered in my waterline and Sephora’s Purple Stilettos below. Not too crazy huh?

In conclusion, I hope everyone has seen a little piece of my heaven that I look at everyday (those colors!) And I also hope that everyone has contemplated why yellow exists. Ok I’m getting out of hand, I just seriously don’t understand the color yellow. Is it because I never really liked Big Bird or that my beloved Spartan’s rival is Michigan? I don’t know, but I don’t care at this point. I am a color pheen but I believe everyone has the right to dislike one color out of all the colors.

Teaser to my next post…. (and now you know what I do on a Friday night)

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Super good pic, I know. My face has been bearing this bitter cold and it’s starting to wear on my skin. I’ve been experimenting with a few different face products including moisturizer, cleanser, masks, spot treatment, primer, foundation & even concealer. I’m trying to get the perfect combo but haven’t found it yet… TBD.

I’ll leave you with two beautiful nail colors by OPI and ESSIE

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Tickle my Francey on the left. Such a beautiful, classy mauve. One of my favorites I would say.

Mint Candy Apple on the right. It has more blue in person but it’s a light, fun springy teal.

Goodnight pretty people. XO Lesley Hope

Nailed It

Published February 13, 2014 by lesleyhope

Happy Hump Day loves! Thanks for following first and foremost! Too sweet.

So I’ve gotten two separate suggestions to post about NAILS by none other than my former awesome roommate and my current awesome roommate (hi guys!) I currently am working on pictures of my top 5 favorite OPI nail colors but I wanted to enlighten you all a little on my nail routines and how to keep your nails healthy and strong.

I paint my nails a lot. Like one new color a week. Mostly because I love changing it up but also because real nail color (even when you get a professional manicure) lasts tops 10 days without chipping. I have just gotten into using a basecoat which improves color longevity at least 3 days AND helps the color paint on smooth without clumping. I usually use a top coat. The basecoats and top coats don’t have to be expensive or fancy. Loreal or any drugstore brand is great. Now color wise, that’s a different story. I’m a little bit of an OPI and Essie snob. I do notice quality differences with those brands as compared to Wet N Wild and Sinful Colors. I would strong NOT recommend Sinful Colors because every single color has faded to a weird, dirty version of that color after 5 days. So weird but I just stay away even if the $3 price tag is enticing for an impulse purchase. To get the color off, I use 100% acetone opposed to regular nail polish remover. I find it gets even the darkest colors off 5X quicker than regular remover. It is strong and makes your nails, cuticles and hands dry so wash and moisturize after!

I was actually blessed with pretty darned good genes that make my nails grow fast, strong and long. I do find that keeping my nails filed and buffed on a regular basis (once every 2 days or so) helps tremendously with nail health. I keep a buffer block from Sephora or even Walgreens ($1-5) at my desk or in my purse at all times. So when I find one of my nails is uneven, or has snagged a little- I buff it out! Try it. I also keep lotion in my purse and at my desk and every single time I wash my hands, I rub lotion to moisturize my hands. Some people recommend rubbing Vaseline on your cuticles everyday but to me, that’s sticky and gross. I don’t want my fingers all greasy.

So to give you all a teaser on what’s next… I will swatch 10 of my must have nail colors (my favorites & colors that never go out of style). And…. I’m going to teach you all about MAKEUP BRUSHES! What brushes are important, the ones you can do without, the ones you need for a smokey eye, etc etc. Sneak peek…

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I hope everyone has a great night and Thursday!

Xo, Lesley Hope