Sunday, September 30, 2012

Football Nail Design

this time of year weekend = football in the blushing basics household. from college to NFL we watch it all. Tman and i are fans of OSU after his employment there for four years. now living in the Denver we caught the Bronco fever. Tim Tebow, anyone? 

i know Tebow is not a Bronco anymore but that was our first introduction to the team. now with Payton Manning leading the pack i have officially converted. i heart anything Manning. i am totally intrigued by that family!

a big thanks to Lacey for designing some fall football nail designs. you can definitely see her teams of choice, but these designs can easily be converted to your fan favorite.

thank you Lacey for some football inspo. click here to see more of Lacey's designs.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lipstick Love Notes

lipstick love notes

lipstick love notes by blushingbasics featuring a nude lipstick

if you missed the first few love notes of this series you can find them here: foundation, lipgloss, eyeshadow. is it weird that i write love notes to my makeup? sure. but how else can i really explain my feelings for these products?  besides, it takes me back to seventh grade where you are passing notes with the boy sitting next you asking 'Do you like me? Check Yes or No'. 

  • E.L.F. Lipstick - your prices are ridiculously reasonable but sometimes being easy does make you sleazy. i wish you would stick around a little longer but you don't. seriously, this stuff doesn't stick.
  • MAC - it's a little embarrassing just how much i love all MAC products. you could call me the MAC makeup stalker. i am constantly browsing their counters, checking their status updates and snatching up every last piece of MAC that i can. creepy but true.
  • Tom Ford - you are THE designer of all designers (hello, GUCCI and Yves St. Laurent) and your makeup deserves the hefty price tag. doesn't mean i'll buy you but i'll always loving stare at you with starry eyes.
  • Christian Dior - my first Dior lipstick purchase happened when i was 19. i died for their lipstick tubes. 
  • Revlon Lip Butters - you are the ultimate people person of lipstick. you work the room and you work on everyone.
yes, it is also alarmingly apparent i have an addiction to pink. is there a twelve step program for that?


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc {Superstar Product}

this fall Laura Mercier included the shimmer bloc in their Fall 2012 Cinema Noir makeup collection. my initial thoughts on this product were 'oh good, another highlighter'. i love highlighters as they make all the difference in taking your makeup for plain to POW! little did i know that this compact had hidden powers.

first, the highlighting option is fantastic as you have several shades of shimmer. you can blend all four together or you can mix and match. i like to use the pink portion on my cheek bones, the vanilla shade for my brow bone and the orange shade for down the center of my nose. the brown shade is great for when i am sporting my fake tan and want more of a natural toned shimmer. didn't i tell you this palette was awesome?

even better was that i discovered what an amazing option it was for eyeshadow. you read that right, eyeshadow. with all the traveling i have been doing for the last month i have been limited in my access to makeup. this forced me to think a bit outside the box--or compact in this instance--and look for multiple use products. i had forgotten to pack along a shimmer shadow on one of my trips and quickly used this as a substitute. i LOVED it. not only did it look good, it worked insanely well as an eyeshadow. plus, each shade gave a great option: vanilla for glam, brown for smoky and pink for natural.

a dab of this on your lips gives a great pearlescent shimmer to lip gloss and sparingly brush this on your décolletage for a great evening look.

bravo! Laura Mercier. i have discovered a new product and found it to be even greater than i realized.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Trending September

Trending September

aaaaccckkkk! i can't believe September is nearly over and i haven't even posted my favorite post of the month. without further ado, here is my September trend report:

September is a tricky month because we are technically still in summer season with fall quickly approaching. to make the transition a bit easier i have been loving my maxi dresses. the length keeps my gams warm when the cool breeze blows but it still maintains the look of summer. denim jackets are the perfect accessory as they give any outfit a cool vibe while functionally becoming the VIP of your wardrobe by keeping you warm when the temperatures drop. my Michael Kors sandals have been seeing a lot of mileage and i am sad to be putting them away for fall. till we meet again dear sandals...

makeup makes the transition to fall by becoming less colorful and more nude and natural. my Urban Decay Naked foundation is quickly becoming a new favorite as well as my Urban Decay eyeshadow pots can be found not only in my makeup drawer but also in my purse for quick touch ups. my Laura Mercier shadow bloc for fall is the superstar and will receive it's very own post - tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall 2012 Makeup Colors

yesterday i shared new fall colors and collections for fall 2012. some great collections include Jemma Kidd for Target, MAC Styler Seekers, Urban Decay Naked foundations and Smashbox Image Factory. i have so many great products i can't wait to share in upcoming tutorials!

the best part about this segment would be my near wardrobe malfunction at 16 sec. into the video. yes, my mic base fell off the back of my dress and pulled my dress collar along with it! i panicked and then kept talking because this is LIVE television after all. while i felt like i ended up just rambling, the segment didn't turn out too bad.

check it out for yourself below:


Friday, September 21, 2012

French Accoutrements

chez Blushing Basics recently received some toiletries of European design and loved the memories it revived. at the risk of sound bourgeois, Tman and i lived in England for three years and would regularly travel to 'the continent' for weekend adventures. 

j'adore Paris, my favorite place of all time. where haute couture is de rigueur and creperies grace every street corner, there is nothing like it. when offered the chance to try some French éclat in the form of amazing products i was more than happy to oblige.

Votre Vu gives women the savoir-faire to transforms themselves into their French counterpart. i tried the cheek and lip tint pictured above and it was a universally flattering color. my favorite product of the bunch.

next is TALIKA Skin Retouch in the above photo. this acts as a great pre-makeup (not necessarily designed as a primer) product. it helps smooth skin, improve your complexion and mattifies shine. [Editors Note: mattify /matifi/ 1. a word completely made up by yours truly to describe the effect of a product making skin matte. 2. not actually a word so don't try to use it in everyday conversation]

last was the Leonor Greyl haircare. i can't really say that this product was immensely better than my favorite Fekkai or Pureology product, however it is French. you may be wondering 'what does France to do with the price of tea in China?' absolutely nothing, but you feel so amazingly blasé and cool using it that c'est la vie. why not give it a try?

ciao (a.k.a. xo)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013

Get the Look

i had the opportunity to present the hottest trends i saw at New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2013. above are some of the products to help you get the look. be sure to watch the video below for more information.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Giveaway Winners

i should have posted these winners last week but in the chaos of fashion week, i spaced it. i'll give you two seconds to curse me under your breath and then no more!

the good news is that the Clarisonic winner has gone AWOL which means you have another chance to win.

here are the winners of my most recent giveaways:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

don't be sad if you didn't win, the BBC is putting together another MEGA giveaway. yay!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Jemma Kidd for Target {Step by Step Tutorial}

JK Jemma Kidd for Target just launched their fall collection of colors including two new I-Conic Liners and five new I-Design Mineral Quads (shown below).

i love this makeup collaboration between Jemma Kidd and Target because the color selections fit well with the season trends and the makeup quality is great. neutrals and earth-tones are the trend for Fall 2012 and those are what you will find in the newest line-up of I-Design Quads. 

i put together this eye tutorial because there is something to be said about black liner with a neutral lid. it is a classic look that is always glam.

  1. apply vanilla shade to entire eyelid. 
  2. follow with the lightest of the three colors to contour the crease of your eyelid.
  3. using a pencil brush, apply the darkest brown directly where you would like the most color.
  4. with a fluffy brush and the medium brown shade, blend in the shadow.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Eye Makeup Tutorial {Step by Step}

these eye makeup tutorials are always popular, but this one in particular as it is a great style for young & old and ridiculously easy to achieve. speaking of ridiculous, my MIL braided my daughters hair the other day, once finished my daughter looks in the mirror and says "i look gorgeous. that is ridiculous!" what is ridiculous is that my 3-year old talks like that.
Beauty Blog Backtrack:
my MIL has been great about supporting my blog and passing it on to friends. last week she called me with the suggestion of creating a tutorial for women who have slightly aged. i'm approaching my 31st birthday so i can appreciate that eyelids don't retain that sharp elasticity from your teens, but rather become more and more crepey, and lids tend to droop a bit. here are some tips for creating a stunning eye at ANY age, but particularly for those who may be experiencing some of the aforementioned problems.

makeup tips for MATURE eyes:
  • avoid shimmer shadows. shimmer will only enhance creases. stick to nice creamy mattes. if you like shimmer, try something with a lustre to it, rather than a shimmer.
  • avoid too much black eyeliner. every woman loves a good black eyeliner, but keep it subtle and avoid the lower eyelid if possible. less makeup on your lower eye helps keep a youthful appearance.
  • opt for an eyelash growth enhancer. as we age, our eyelashes tend to thin and not grow as long. there are so many eyelash growth serums on the market there is sure to be one that fits your needs.
  • if your lids are heavy/crepey, concentrate the majority of color near the base of lashline and blend upwards. this will help camouflage any crepey-ness, as well as improve the appearance of heavy lids.
below is a makeup tutorial that will look good on everyone, at ANY age. however, for those of you advancing in years, this will be especially beneficial.

  1. apply a creamy eyeliner from the base of lashes to the crease. don't worry about keeping it perfect as we will be blending over it.
  2. take a fluffy eyeshadow brush and blend eyeliner diffusing color upwards.
  3. follow with a matte eyeshadow blended over eyeliner, again diffusing upwards.
sticking with a dark color will eliminate the need for eyeliner but will still enhance the eyes, giving them a nice smoky look.

note: this looks much more shimmery because it is a smaller compressed image.


Friday, September 14, 2012

{DIY} French Manicure [Beauty Blog Backtrack]

after returning from New York Fashion Week on Monday i hit the road again to spend a few days in Las Vegas with Tman. because the fun and exhaustion of this week has left me wanting to curl into the fetal position and sleep for days, i decided to post a few Beauty Blog Backtracks for relief. this nail post is one of my most popular yet (thank you, Pinterest).

every once in a while i find a product that i LOVE and i cannot wait to share it with you. some past favorites include Seche Vite, Make Up For Ever, and St. Tropez. with that same enthusiasm, i am excited to introduce you to Dashing Diva French Wraps. these tiny little French Manicure tips give you the perfect French Manicure, quickly and easily.

my sisters are always a trusted source for beauty advice, and on my recent trip home to Washington state, my sister recommended these little beauties to me. let me say that they are so easy to apply, and they are fast, but the downside is that they only last a few days. this would make a great solution for Prom, graduation dinners, any sort of special event you may have approaching. with up to 14 manicure applications per box, $1 per manicure is a small price to pay for professional looking nails.

here is how they are applied:

select the appropriate size "housing" for your nail size

add some brush-on glue ONLY to white tip

with the easy grip tab, place housing in desired spot on nail tip. wait a few seconds, then gently remove "housing" and only white nail tip remains.

salon quality french manicure for a fraction of the cost!

so easy, so fast, and inexpensive. those are the key ingredients to a perfect product.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zebra Nail Tutorial {Guest Post}

my girl Lacey is back with another brilliant nail concept. nail art is still a huge trend from the runways to the minivans, everyone is doing it. spice up your nail art trend with a contemporary accent nail, topped with some zebra stripes. i'm lovin' it.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fashion Week Perks

one thing you don't read about in magazines or see on tv are the behind the scene lounges set up by major makeup companies, magazines and brands. these lounges are designed as a respite from the rush of Fashion Week, a place to rest your feet, charge your MacBook and tweet like a madwoman.

inside these lounges are also TONS of goodies to enjoy. below are some pics (apologies in advance for the obscene amount of pictures--i had so much fun!) of the various lounges i stopped by:

Birchbox Sample Stop
 at the Birchbox Sample Stop you could select your own items to create a custom Birchbox. we were like kids in a candy shop and had a hard time choosing which item was our favorite. of course i insisted each sister pick a beauty blender, those things are an essential to any makeup kit.

next stop was the Allure VIP lounge. i stopped by to visit the Crystal Icing boutique and scored the cutest cell phone cover EVER.

these gorgeous products are all works of art using the finest Swarovski Crystals and can be found in the hands of A-listers everywhere.

the apothecary jars filled with perfume samples were just too cute to pass up:

the Daily Style lounge provided some relief from the heat by offering drinks, spray tans and a personal makeup lesson from Petra of Pixi Beauty herself.

Petra Strand 

Alison Brod Public Relations
 a quick stop at one of my favorite PR groups in New York. their office is cute, pink and adorable. candy jars everywhere and the closets of my dreams.

spent a minute or two in the Urban Decay drawers

seriously, imagine these closets within your reach.

Urban Decay was parked outside of Lincoln Center to offer fuel (a.k.a. coffee) for Fashion Week attendees. along with your cup of joe was also a bag of goodies include Urban Decay's newest NAKED foundation. tried it, loved it, will be reviewing soon.

last but not least was the Cocktails & Couture party hosted by Lianne Farbes, my fairy blogmother. this woman helped me navigate my way through my first NYFW and for that i will be forever grateful. after spending 6 hours filming an infomercial together, we bonded for life.

her co-host, Afrobella a.k.a. Patrice Yersik is a beauty blogger pioneer. also pictured below is Aly Walansky, an all-round writing ninja acting as editor at several major websites. i spent the night partying with these awesome ladies and had the pleasure of meeting them for dinner the evening prior. they are amazing, kind and extremely gracious. i love being a part of this blogging community.


Fashion Week Day 3 Altuzurra + Erickson Beamon

backstage at Altuzurra was a loud buzz of hairdryers. perfecting a complicated stern hairstyle were stylists from Fekkai working as duos to create this chic, elegant and equestrian look:

Paul Hanlon, lead stylist for Fekkai designed this look by making sure each portion of hair was fastidiously sprayed, brushed and blow-dried into place. while it took some time to create, the end result is undeniable worth it.

next up was backstage at Erickson Beamon to see what the artists from NYX created. the bold, smoky eye was a strong contrast from the natural faces i had been seeing along the way. this extreme eye created a strong impact and certainly made a statement:

i love NYX cosmetics as they are affordable, accessible and great items from everyday to walking the runway. i'm getting a bit of a Black Swan Vibe from this look. so beautiful.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Edun + Christian Siriano {Fashion Week Day 2}

Tom Pecheux at work
my day started out with a 7:15 a.m. call time and never slowed down. i headed uptown to Lincoln Center to hit the 'tents' (as the insiders call 'em) to visit the Ruffian backstage. once finished i was on my way to back to midtown for the Edun fashion show.

Edun is a line designed by Bono's wife, Ali Hewson, as an ethical clothing line committed to encouraging trade in Africa. while we were hoping to catch a glimpse of Ali Hewson, and keeping our fingers crossed at the possibility of seeing Bono, neither happened. we did however get to take some great shots backstage of the master Tom Pecheux--lead makeup artist for MAC--at work.

going for a clean, youthful vibe with a touch of rock, each model had a dewy glow and well groomed brow:

reinventing their Fluidlines, MAC will be introducing 'brow friendly' shades this spring, bringing the gel liner to the brows:

next i was off to Eyebeam Studios to meet the crew putting together Christian Siriano's show. this guy is fierce:

all smiles and and just a bit on edge, Siriano briefly hopped backstage to check how things were going. he quickly took a pic of himself with lead artist Polly Osmond and then disappeared. Polly described the look they were achieving as a simple, girly look. highlighters and shimmer were key to making this happen:

next i stopped to talk to Aveda Hair lead Antoinette Veenders. she took a moment to run me through the hairstyle they created for Siriano describing it as a ballerina who just finished working out. pulling the hair into a casual topknot was not only quick, it was simple and wearable. (read: i will be putting together a tutorial soon!)

time to hit the Urban Decay booth and then off to a show. loving every minute of this.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ruffian - Fashion Week Backstage

Ruffian Designers Claude Morais and Brian Wolk
probably one of the most crowded shows yet, the Ruffian backstage was buzzing with photographers, videographers, makeup/hair/nail artists and more. the immense popularity of Ruffian could be due to their collaboration with MAC Cosmetics for the Ruffian makeup line. recently released, the Ruffian makeup line was a formal introduction of Ruffian designers Claude Morais and Brian Wolk to the public. key features include the signature Ruffian Red and Nude lip colors as well as elaborate press-on nail design.

John Kaliardos lead MAC makeup artist
 smoking the eyes out in grey and using MAC Fluidline to draw in the brow, lead artist for MAC John Kaliardos kept the face fresh.
Signature Ruffian Nude Lip
my favorite feature of the makeup is the introduction of new nail colors. inspired by 18th century vehicles the colors attempt to capture opulence. i was certainly captured by the filigree nail accessories. gorgeous, right?
New nail colors to be introduced Spring 2013
after seeing John Kaliardos' work back-to-back, which one do you prefer?