Favorite Facial Masks - Makeup Wars

When it comes to skin care, I am very picky with what I put on my face. Since there's no hiding imperfections should a reaction to a product happen, I always do my research on ingredients and check out my fellow beauty blogger reviews. One of my favorites types Read more

Perfective Ceuticals Divine Brightening Mask

As much as I have enjoyed summer and am sad to see it come to an end, I was not enjoying how dehydrated my skin looked and felt thanks to a lot of time spent outdoors celebrating summer in all of her sunny glory.  I want to welcome fall and all the Read more

Vegan Cuts Leaping Bunny Fresh Start Kit

Vegan Cuts, an online marketplace and beauty box curating site of the best vegan products, has teamed up with Leaping Bunny (the grand master of cruelty free certification) to create a specialty starter kit to help you discover some great cruelty free brands. Up front I'll tell you that I Read more

Eumora Facial Bar Review

If you are part of the sisterhood that is combination/oily skin, then you'll want to learn more about Eumora, a facial bar made of moor and HmA. For as far back as I can remember, my skin has never been gifted as "normal" and transitions from combination in the Read more

Aqua Spa Body Cleanser Review

I strongly believe that one should make time spent in the shower as relaxing and enjoyable as possible...even if it's one of those two minutes showers that seem to be occurring with more frequency as we are all continuously pressed for time. One of the best ways to turn shower time Read more

real beauty

What is Real Beauty?

“True beauty is not related to what color your hair is or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass.”

What is real beauty? Something that is not only aspirational, but inspirational. Read my story on real beauty.

Growing up I always wanted to be like my older cousin Kelie. She has gorgeous skin, the biggest brown eyes that always seemed to sparkle with light, her hair never seemed out of place, when she smiled her dimples gave her this innocent quality, she could wear a face full of makeup or go bare faced and still looked like she could grace the pages of a magazine, and she was physically fit. Because we didn’t live too close to each other, in my younger years I would only see her at large family gatherings, mainly when my family would vacation down Prudence Island. (We had quite the family compound there.)

When I knew I would have a full week down the island, I would literally absorb every moment I could with her. From being the third wheel with the guys she dated, to hanging out in her house watching her do her hair and makeup, to going down to the docks at night with the rest of the vacationing island teenagers. I practically suffocated her with my presence almost as if somehow being near her would make me as beautiful as she was. When we didn’t see each other, we’d write letters (yes, the old fashioned in the mail kind) and I would soak up every word, oftentimes reading the letters over and over. To put it bluntly, Kelie was and is my muse. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty 4 Comments

Deborah Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas

Back in July while at Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure (seriously) of meeting Deborah Lippmann. She took the time one morning to sit down with about 20-25 beauty bloggers and talk about how she creates colors for her collections, the chaos of working on set with celebrities and backstage at fashion week, as well as running a business with her husband. She honestly was one of the most down to earth and approachable beauty experts I have ever met. And best of all, I was lucky enough to get to sit right beside her as she spoke to the group (and we were both speakers on panels that week too.)

So I was totally stoked when I recently won Deborah’s Waking Up in Vegas one #ManiMonday on Twitter from @RealBeauties. What are the chances? I met her in Vegas and I win the nail polish she created from her time there.

The color is gorgeous. It’s described as a “putty” color. Although, I do find it curious that a polish named after Vegas was a subdued color and not one fraught with pizazz. I think of show girls and all of the glitz and glamour found on the strip. Regardless, it really is a beautiful shade and I even wore it when I was on PA Live.

Two of my readers had previously submitted questions for Deborah, which she graciously answered as well:

From Cady: After years and years of biting my nails, they just won’t grow anymore! How can I get my stumpy nails looking stylish (and kid proof)?

Deborah’s answer: A weekly manicure, even for short nails is key. Keeping the nails groomed is so important – nails snap and break when edges are rough, so keep them smooth by lightly buffing nails every few days with a tool like my Smooth Operator. The rough edges are also what make people want to bite the nail, so that’s another reason why keeping them groomed is important. You can also use a product like my Hard Rock Top and Base Coat to hydrate, strengthen and protect – put a layer on nails every few days to help them grow. You can also use polish on the nails, you don’t have to wait for them to grow to use polish. Sometimes people think that polish can hurt the nail, but, depending on the formula, it can actually help the nail with nourishing ingredients.

From Andrea: Is a base coat really necessary? All I get are bubbles and it doesn’t seem to make my polish last any longer than if I skip it?

Deborah answers: Always apply a base coat. The perfect technique is to apply one thin coat with 3 strokes down the nail, and 1 stroke across the tip to seal the lacquer. Never shake any nail product vigorously because it will cause bubbles and streaks in the finished manicure, instead roll the bottle gently between your hands.

Do you wear Deborah’s polishes? I’d love to hear about it.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Nail Polish 2 Comments