Grooming 101

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When you think about grooming you probably think of it in the most elaborate of ways. You imagine the hundreds of dollars spent on dying your hair, makeup, etcetera. This can be true, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, a red lip and sleek hair do is your iconic grooming, but elegance is also about simplicity.

Hair
You can dye it if that suits your fancy, but really it’s just about: getting it trimmed so you don’t have split ends, brushing or styling it, washing it. That’s it. In the shower, I use shampoo and conditioner, out of the shower I run a little bit of argan oil through the ends. Nothing crazy or time consuming about it. It looks great, it feels great and it takes no time at all to get ready.

Skin
Regardless of if you wear makeup or not, skin should be a priority. You can do something like the five step morning routine or more, but something must be done. People always are baffled by the morning face washing, do not skip this step! In your sleep you sweat and produce oil and if you leave all that on your face, you are going to look less than fresh. With amazing skin, less makeup is required anyway.

Nails
Polish is a great, affordable way to participate in the makeup trends. Its not as tricky as applying liquid liner and even if you work at a conservative job like a bank teller, you can wear fun colors. A fresh coat of lacquer isn’t required to be elegant though, just clean, maintained finger nails. They must be all the same length. If you have long nails and one breaks, they all go. Keep your hands moisturized. Trim hang nails and dry cuticles.

Fragrance
This doesn’t have to mean perfume. It could be a perfume oil, a body mist, or just your shower gel. The key is not to stink. If you suffer from body odor, you need to know this about yourself and correct the problem. If people can smell you, they will not want to be around you. Even worse, you do not want to be known as the woman who stinks.

Hair removal
This is non negotiable. A lot of the things on this list are up for interpretation, this isn’t. If you’re wearing a sleeveless top, shave under the arms. Skirts and shorts – shave the legs. There are lots of ways to achieve the goal of hair removal. If you are less likely to want to do it, go for something like electrolysis.

The Five Step Morning Skincare Routine

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Everyone loves a morning routine. Coffee. Check your email. Blast the music and dance in your underwear. Skincare. As the years pass it becomes increasingly more important to pay attention to what you are doing and putting on your face. The steps listed below are the bare minimum, but feel free to add whatever bells and whistles tickle your fancy.

1. Cleanse: A gentle cleanser is best. You need to be kind to your skin. There is no need to strip everything from your skin every time you cleanse. You risk over producing oil since your skin thinks it’s dry.

2. Tone: An essential step. Designed to balance the ph of the skin and remove any lasting traces of impurities. Always use a non-alcohol version, the goal here is not to dry out the skin.

3. Treat: Depending on your skin needs there are serums and oils to target everything from dryness to dullness. Unsure what to go with? An antioxidant serum is a great choice.

4. Moisturize: Never skip this step, even if you’re oily. If you have problems with oily skin, a lightweight gel cream will do wonders for you.

5. Protect: Sunscreen, never leave home without it. An SPF of 30 with zinc protection is the powerhouse of all sunscreens and is even great for sensitive skin (Bonus: It’s a dream team when paired with antioxidant serum).

Sophisticated Polish

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Any nail polish can be sophisticated. All you need are clean nails – filed down short, moisturized hands and a color that flatters your skin tone. That being said, there are some colors that just ooze sophistication. I have listed them down below if you want a nice starter kit.

  1. Zoya – Olivera When you think of classy nail colors you think reds, pinks, nudes, but it doesn’t have to stop there. This blue/purple/green combination shines differently depending on the light. A real unexpected stunner.
  2. Deborah Lippmann – Naked A sheer jelly cream nude. The perfect polish to complete any outfit.
  3. NARS – Nightbreed  A spin on classic black think more along the lines of black diamonds. This is glitter all grown up
  4. Essie – Wicked The most beautiful red/purple blend. And the name is to die for.
  5. China Glaze – My Lodge or Yours This mauve screams sophistication
  6. Butter London – Fash Pack Everyone needs a taupe in her arsenal. This one is a must have.

The Hair Comb

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Elegance is in the details. We love a good hair elastic, it’s quick and dirty and you can stash it on your wrist. They’ve even made jewelry dedicated to it. However, elegance is about stepping your look up. Enter the hair comb. You can pin your hair up the same way but it looks so much chicer.

Brand Spotlight: Aquaphor

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This multi-tsking miracle product will be your secret weapon (if it isn’t already). This salve first was introduced to me for tattoo care, however I quickly found it did more than just that. Add a dot to your eyes or cheeks for a dewy look. It is the most amazing lip balm I have ever tried. This beats every foot and hand cream out there(although I would only use it at night, otherwise you tend to leave a mess everywhere you go)… Use a little to keep your eyebrows in place, hair dye off your skin, the list goes on! What do you use yours for?

The Custom Palette

DSCN0372.JPGI am quite picky. I will be the first one to tell you I am. You know how I see it though? I know what I want. You see all of these collaborations where someone you look up to picks the eyeshadow shades they can’t live without and we buy these palettes not giving it one thought. I am one of those people who always hates at least half the colors in an eyeshadow pallet. One day I was like, I’m not famous, but why can’t I do the same thing? There are some great brands out there for you to pick from like Anastasia Beverly Hills or the lesser known Inglot(my favorite). Urban Decay is also a possibility, but depotting them is less than pleasurable and you risk cracking them.

Signature Scent

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Scent is a powerful thing. It creates memories. Smells are like songs, they transport us to a different time. So when you are shopping for your perfume, keep that in mind. Do some digging. Find something that is unique to you, that will leave a lasting impression when you meet people. I live in California and the scent I wear can’t be purchased here. So I know the chances of finding someone who has the same scent are highly unlikely. Everywhere I go I’m asked what I’m wearing. People smell my fragrance and now it is associated with me. If they smelled it and I wasn’t around, if I have encountered that person, whether they want it to or not, they will think of me. So when you are shopping for your fragrance. Keep that in mind. Mix two together or better yet, make your own. That is the beauty of the signature scent.

Brand Spotlight: Zoya

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If you are looking for the most amazing nail polish ever, this is it. Zoya nail polish is both long wearing and toxin free. With a color collection like that of Essie or OPI, you will never miss out on the color you crave. Many nail polishes claim to be three free. Zoya is five free (toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP)

The Smokey Bronze Eye

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  1. Start by applying an eyeshadow primer from the lid to the brow bone and on the lower lash line.
  2. Dust a matte nude eyeshadow with a fluffy shadow brush in the crease, extending in a cat eye shape.
  3. Layer a matte warm taupe over the nude.
  4. In the outer v, blend a chocolate brown matte blend into the taupe.
  5. Taking a deep metallic bronze shadow, place all over the lid.
  6. Go back with the crease brush and blend the taupe into the crease so there is a seamless transition.
  7. Follow with the nude shadow, blending over the taupe onto the brow bone.
  8. With a deep brown eyeliner, line and smudge the lower lash line. Layer a deep brown shadow over it.
  9. High light the inner corner and the brow bone with a matte vanilla shade.
  10. Prime lashes.
  11. Finish with several coats of mascara.