9 GALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS FOR YOU BESTIES

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Who says Valentine’s Day is just about your significant other? While that can certainly be part of it, I like to spend the day celebrating all of the fabulous gals in my life. Nothing beats getting the girls together over brunch or happy hour and celebrating good old-fashioned friendship!

We’ve whipped up the most fabulous gift guide list for all the lovely ladies in your life – the hopeless romantic, the glam obsessed, the gym bunny, the lipstick-lover, we’ve got something for them all! For the full list, head over to SheKnows & get to shopping!

PS – If you want to win the “best friend” award, we’ve got the most fabulous fool-proof gift of all time!


 

COFFEE AND COCONUT SCRUB FOR FACE & BODY

IMG_0786Well howdy my little winter babes! Hopefully your skin is fairing better than mine this winter, but in case you’ve got alligator skin as badly as I do, this post is for you! Sylvia is sharing her secret to silky smooth skin all season long with her incredibly easy to make coffee and coconut scrub for your face and body. It’s easy, smells divine, and perfect for your morning showers. It’s a dream! See the full scoop below.  – xo, LK
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Hey friends! Sylvia here & today I am showing you how to make the most amazing scrub. This coconut and coffee scrub is absolutely perfect for your face and body when they need a little TLC this winter. Specifically, the scrub helps with the following:

– Exfoliates Skin (brown sugar)

– Diminishes appearance of cellulite and also acts as a mild exfoliant (fresh coffee grounds)

– Moisturizes, hydrates & smooths your skin (Organic raw unrefined coconut oil)

– Cleanses the skin – gets rid of dead skin and blackheads and dark circles! (Almond Oil) *optional* It’s also packed with Vitamin E (great for skin) and very high in antioxidants

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INGREDIENTS:

–  1 cup coffee grounds
–  1/2 cup brown sugar
–  1 cup coconut oil (microwave for 8-10 seconds)
–  2 drops of Almond Oil (optional)

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INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Mix ingredients well so all the ingredients are well blended
2. Take a scoop with your hands and rub into your skin in a circular motion
3. I like to leave it on for a few minutes, but when you are ready, rinse off with warm water & pat dry
4. Voila! Alligator skin no more!
rub into skin in circular motion

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 I highly recommend using this scrub during your morning shower. This scrub can get messy, so make sure you use a towel you don’t mind getting dirty and expect a little clean up.
Get ready for super smooth skin & a happy little caffeine boost to kick start you day! Make sure you let us know how you like it. We would love to see your take on this coffee and coconut scrub, so tag us on Instagram!

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HONEY CINNAMON MUD MASK

9845 copy 2For all my organic beauty buffs, this post is absolutely for you! Sylvia (one of our fabulous photographers) is sharing her secret for finicky skin – a honey cinnamon mud mask. As a self-proclaimed adult acne sufferer, she swears by this masks ability to clear up junk, moisturizes, and reduce pesky scars. Plus, who doesn’t love a good pamper sesh? See the full recipe below & let us know what you think! – xoxo, LK


Hello, friends! Sylvia here & I’m a fan of using all natural ingredients (knowing what’s in the product) versus buying face masks and buying products from stores since I have very sensitive skin. Growing up, my mother would always come up with homemade remedies to fix anything! It would be anything from herbal teas to boost your immune system, to making homemade soaps & moisturizer.9619
This mask is great for 3 things:
– Moisturizing (honey)
– Exfoliating (brown sugar)
– Getting rid of acne & acne scars (cinnamon!)
I’ve suffered with adult acne and to make it even worse – acne scars! I swear that ever since I started using these masks, my scars and complexion became clearer. honey mask

Before you raid your cabinets or go out and get the ingredients, I want to explain why these ingredients are the best & why they work so well!

HONEY: I prefer using “all natural, organic, raw, unfiltered” honey vs honey that has been processed but it’s totally fine if you use either/or. I just feel that you get more benefits using raw honey. Make sure that it’s at room temperature (easier to smooth onto face). Sometimes I like to warm it up a bit and stick in the microwave for 6 seconds. It’s a natural humectant which acts as a moisturizer & has antibacterial properties that help spot treat existing pimples.

BROWN SUGAR: I like brown sugar versus cane sugar because it’s more gentle on your skin, but both will work just fine! It works great for exfoliating the skin!
CINNAMON: AMAZING smell, but because it’s such a strong spice, it might make your face tingle/burn for the first few seconds. Totally normal! 🙂 Cinnamon stimulates & revitalizes the skin by drawing blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the surface of skin, leaving your skin glowing and healthy! (THIS WORKS!) It also prevents acne.
TEA TREE OIL: This oil is amazing for curing acne and acne scars. It smells and it’s a strong smell, but it works. I usually put in 2 drops, but had to ease into it since the mask is already so strong and tingly.

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INGREDIENTS:

– Honey (2-3 tbsp)
– Brown Sugar (2 tsp)
– Cinnamon ( 1-2 tsp)
– OPTIONAL – 1-2 drops of Tea Tree Oil

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INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Friendly reminder, it’s best to test it on your wrist to make sure your skin responds well.
2. Rub it in, in a circular motion, for about 1 minute & let sit for 20-30
3. This is a great excuse to read, relax, or have a cup of coffee
4. Once your timer is up, wash off with warm water in circular motions. Tap face dry with clean towel & check out your glowing new skin!

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COMBATING ADULT ACNE

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetNo one likes adult acne. It’s the absolute worst. Nothing says “take me seriously, I am a professional” like a big fatty zit on your cheek. Well, thankfully our Beauty Editor is stepping in and helping us combat the nastiness that is adult acne once and for all! See below – xoxo, LK


Acne. Such a dirty, unwelcome word…especially if you’re well into your adult years. What served as a right of passage as a teenager has become an embarrassment that you had hoped would go away once you left high school. Acne can strike even the best of us with strict skincare routines. Sometimes it’s stress, other times it can be those pesky hormones – either way, nothing ruins your day like waking up to a giant breakout.

IMG_6912Being part of the beauty and cosmetic industry, I’ve had my fair share of skin cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, exfoliators, etc. Some work better for my skin than others, but when it comes to breakouts and zits, I always turn to Old Faithful to bring back balance to my face – Proactiv. Since I was about 15 years old this stuff has been my go-to for difficult skin. Today I’m sharing 3 Proactiv products that I still use to this day to keep my skin healthy and acne-free.

First is the Re-texturizing toner. I typically apply this in the evening after washing my face. Using a cotton ball or pad, I’ll sweep it around the areas I’m most prone to break out, such as my jawline, chin, and nose. You can of course apply all over, but because I have dry skin, I try to avoid my forehead and cheeks so that I don’t wake up with dry patches. This toner helps even out skin tone, as well as target those pesky breakouts waiting under the skin’s surface.

Next is the blend-able concealer. When I have a big breakout that I know will take some time to heal, I make sure to tack on a few extra minutes to my make up routine to adequately cover it up. The one thing that always makes me nervous is putting on concealer and clogging that breakout back up. The last thing I need is for a zit to linger. I love that this Proactiv concealer not only medicates those acne flare-ups, but also hides them! Just apply with your finger with light taps until covered, then top off with a blending powder or light foundation.

Lastly, the Blackhead Dissolving Gel – AKA The Miracle Worker. Blackheads are the bane of my existence. Even if my skin is clear of all acne and pimples, I can never seem to get rid of the darn blackheads that surround my nose and chin areas Exfoliating certainly helps, but I’ve never encountered a product that actually minimizes blackheads and my pores until I found this product from Proactiv. I use it maybe 2 or three times a week in the evening just after washing and toning, and right before moisturizer. Simply apply the gel across your face and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. Simply wipe away with a warm, damp washcloth. After a couple weeks I using this I saw a noticeable difference in my skin! Call me crazy, but you couldn’t pry this stuff from my cold dead fingers! A real game-changer for me.


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WHY TEA SHOULD BE A PART OF YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE

image2 (1)Hello, beauty babes –  Breann here! The holidays are officially here! With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas just weeks away, it’s hard to not get excited about presents, twinkle lights, and cold weather. While we’re busy with running errands and keeping up with every day tasks, it’s easy to let your health fall by the wayside. I myself have caught one of the worst flu’s I’ve had in years, and it’s had a serious affect on me. Not only have the circles under my eyes grown a bit darker, but my skin a bit drier due to not having enough energy for a decent skincare routine. We all know that beauty starts from the inside, figuratively and literally. Today I’ve teamed up with My Beauty Tea to tell you why tea should be part of your beauty routine!

BEAUTY TEA 11. Stay Hydrated –

We all know that drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated is key for great skin and health. But if we’re being completely honest, sometimes water gets a bit boring, especially during the bitter winter months. Our bodies crave warmth, and what better way to satisfy that craving than with a spot of hot tea? Not only will it keep you hydrated, you’ll feel nice and cozy on that early morning commute. We recommend the Earl Grey for that extra boost of natural energy! You could even give those puffy eyelids a pinch of caffeine by letting some cool tea bags rest on your eyes after a long day of work.
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2. Kick that Cold to the curb! –

When you’re feeling under the weather, the last thing you care about is getting yourself ready for the day. This proves to be especially painful when you can no longer afford to miss work or skip an important meeting. The first place to start is making sure you get a good night’s sleep. We recommend My Beauty Tea’s Cozy Party blend just before hitting the hay. Hot tea not only helps loosen congestion and relieve chest aches, but assists in helping you fall asleep while feeling warm and secure. I love to stir in a splash of milk and a spoonful of honey to kick my immune system into gear while I rest. You’ll wake up feeling good as new and excited to try out that new holiday red lipstick!
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3. Prevent! –

We all know that fresh teas, like the Cranberry Harvest Blend from My Beauty Tea, are full of anti-oxidants! Staying one step ahead of that nasty bug spreading around the office is half the battle. You can enjoy this one iced, or carry individual packs in your purse wherever you go. Either way, staying hydrated and aware of your immune system will keep you out of that sick bed and in the stores to finish up your holiday shopping!

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THE LOW BUN

Need chic hair but your in a massive time crunch? Good thing our resident Beauty guru Breann is showing us how to master the chicest low bun. It takes two steps and about 10 seconds and you’ll look like you’ve lived in Paris all your life. Try it out & see what we mean! – xoxo, LK


My favorite style as of late has been the low, simple bun. This effortlessly chic look will take you just a couple minutes to style. I’ve even done it in my car on the way to work! A similar look was spotted on Jennifer Lawerence at a recent movie premiere, and with her new platinum locks, I couldn’t be happier to call her my hair twin. (P.S. Jennifer, if you’re reading this, let’s just be best friends already. I’ll share my fries with you.) With just a hair tie and a spray of dry shampoo or texture spray, you’ll have celebrity status in no time!low bun 1

STEP ONE:

I prefer second or third day hair for this style because after sleeping on curled hair you get a nice textured look. Spray a bit of dry shampoo on your roots to soak up any oils, and a bit of texture spray on your ends to give your locks a piece-y look.

STEP TWO:

Pull your hair towards the nape of your neck and using an elastic, tie into a pony tail, tucking the end under. You can of course opt for a more messy look, but I love the simple chignon style shown above.

PRO TIP:

Pull a few wispy pieces to frame your face, and lightly pull at your roots for a bit of lift. Finish off with a light hold hairspray.

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AUTUMN BEAUTY HAUL

Oh, hello! Fall is one of my favorite times for many reasons, but one of them is that I seem to get an itch to overhaul my life. I clean out my clothes, organize my shoes, and re-vamp my beauty haul. Thankfully, Beauty Editor Breann is here to show us what is good to keep, where to splurge, and why the cheaper item might be better! Check out her recommendations – especially the brow tools! They are fantastic. – xoxo, LK


Hell0, beauty babes! Breann here and today is going to be really fun. Now that we are past Halloween and all the fun makeup experimentation, it’s time to start preparing for those dreaded dry winter months! I’ve been researching some new products, and maybe spending a little too much money at Sephora, to share some of the best products for hair, skin, and makeup!

So pull out those baskets, drawers, and trays of blush, bronzer, skin serums, and hair product – it’s time for our autumn beauty overhaul!

MAKEUP

IMG_6615Guys, you know brows are serious business around here. Finding the right filler could mean the difference between just an “okay” or “fabulous” day! From color to consistence, most of us won’t hesitate to drop a little extra coin for the perfect product. I knew that Anastasia Beverly Hills was the favorite filler brand for brow enthusiasts alike, but having used their Brow Whiz and not liking it, I was hesitant to give another one of their products a whirl. I decided to try their Dip Brow Pomade and man oh man did it change my world! Not only does this stuff glide on like a charm, it’s waterproof and lasts for hours! No more worries about sweating or smudging! The only thing I would tell you to beware of is to put the cap on the product between brush dips. Since it’s waterproof, it’s meant to dry quickly – so if you don’t keep everything closed up you could start to get some clumps.

Just as important as the actual brow product is the application brush. I splurged a little and picked this 266 brush from MAC. It’s the perfect angle brush for brow application, or even cream eyeliner if you’re so inclined. Just make sure to clean it off between makeup applications to avoid build up.BEAUTY1

Now I know I’ve talked about it before, but I can’t get over how much I love the Studio Fix Fluid from MAC. It has incredible coverage and looks flawless! The application is very smooth and when it dries it has a great matte finish. If you’re looking for more of a dewey glow, I recommend using a setting spray or highlighting powder afterward. If your skin is on the drier side, I would use a good moisturizer beforehand, otherwise this product has the potential to look cake-y.

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 SKIN

I’ve never been a huge fan of facial cleansers because they either don’t clean my skin as much as I’d like, or they just dry my face out. This Purity cleanser from Philosophy is hands down the best I’ve ever used! I discovered it when I was in New York traveling with my friend Laura. I desperately needed to wash the sweat and makeup off my face and wasn’t about to use hotel bar soap. So I stole a little bit of this dreamy stuff from her (Sorry Laura!) and was hooked! In the humidity of the east coast I didn’t need to follow up with a moisturizer after using the Purity cleanser, but here in the desert I use one to battle the arid climate. I think my favorite thing about this cleanser is a little bit goes a very long way! This is a travel size bottle that I’ve been using for over a month and it’s not even halfway gone!BEAUTY2

Bloke Body was kind enough to send me this package of their limited edition Island Coconut body scrub. The only thing that makes me sad about it is that it’s limited edition! Bloke makes hands down the best body scrubs, there’s no arguing it. This scent will whisk you out of the chilly wind into a warm coconut heaven. You better believe I will be rationing this stuff throughout the fall and winter months until it comes back!

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HAIR

Lastly, hair care. Most of you have probably seen that in the last month I’ve gone from being a light golden blonde to icy platinum! I am so in love with my hair transformation and finally feel like I have the hair color that suits me. What I haven’t loved is the damage and maintenance it takes to keep my locks the same color as Queen Elsa’s. Bleach damages hair – it’s a hard truth nobody can change. Luckily, my favorite hair care company, Living Proof, has the best moisturizing shampoo and conditioner on the market. The Restore line has saved my hair from drying out after washes, and it’s color safe! That means I can stretch out the time between toning a little bit longer. Plus it’s light citrus scent will surely make any shower better!

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3 SIMPLE TIPS TO GET NATURALLY GLOWING SKIN

BREANN0013Hello, hello! Who doesn’t want naturally glowing skin? I know I do, especially in these colder months. We’ve talked about how to mimic the look with makeup, but Health & Wellness Contributor Natalie Canizares is showing us three simple steps to getting glowing skin naturally! See what you think! – xoxo, LK


Natalie here! We all want glowing skin, and luckily there are tons of products on the market that can help us achieve that look. But chances are if you want to glow with your makeup on, you probably still want to be glowing after you take it off. This is something I struggled with personally for years. I wanted to so badly to have skin that looked healthy and dewy all of the time but it just wasn’t the case for me. When I discovered the power of diet and lifestyle I started to see a huge change in my skin without even (consciously) trying! Although my skin isn’t 100% perfect all of the time, it looks a whole lot better now that I take care of myself from the inside out. As overwhelming as it may sound to add more self-care into your routine, it’s actually pretty simple. The big game changers for me were actually small tweaks that took very little effort for me to make. When people ask me how to get glowing skin I always give them these three simple tips:

TIP ONE: DRINK WATER

How many times have you read an article that tells you to stay hydrated? I’m willing to bet it’s been more than a handful of times and that’s because it’s so darn important! Really! Your body is made up of 70% water. Most of us don’t drink nearly enough water to allow our bodies to thrive. The general rule of thumb is 8, 8 oz. glasses every day- if you’re drinking that, you’re safe, but a little more certainly won’t hurt. My best advice to getting more water into your daily routine is to always carry a bottle of water with you whenever you leave the house. It’s a lot easier to remember to drink water when you have it with you. Being hydrated is key for your overall health and it effects your skin immensely. After a few days of drinking plenty of water you’ll start to see a change in your complexion, so get drinking!

Want some fun ways to drink more water? We’ve got a delicious recipe that will keep you filling up all day!

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetTIP TWO: NO MORE PROCESSED FOODS

Eliminate or avoid highly processed foods- Eating a diet high in processed foods is often the culprit of lackluster skin. There was a time when I was always on the go and constantly reaching for the low calorie “healthy” option. Therefore my skin was less than bright. You don’t need to completely cut out processed foods to notice a difference in your skin, just cut back at least 50%. Highly processed foods tend to be super acidic and can often lead to inflammation and skin irritation. You should start to see (and feel) a difference within a week of doing this, so give it a few days before you call it quits. 

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TIP THREE: TAKE YOUR VITAMINS

Get your daily dose of probiotics- I absolutely love probiotics. They are my number one (not so secret) weapon for so many things! The why behind probiotics making your skin glow isn’t as important as the fact that they do, but if you’re curious it’s actually pretty simple. Probiotics feed the “good” bacteria in your gut, making it easier for your body to actually digest and absorb the nutrients you are eating. Since your skin is the last organ to get nutrients, it’s really important to be able to absorb them properly. A lot of times just from living an averagely healthy lifestyle in today’s world our gut bacteria gets weakened or damaged because of chemicals in our foods and excessive amounts of sugars and wheat, so probiotics are really a life-saver. I give this tip a lot because I have experienced such positive results from incorporating probiotics into my own diet… especially when it comes to my skin. Sauerkraut, Kombucha, and high quality yogurt are all great ways to get that good bacteria into your diet. If you’re more into supplements than you are into adding new foods into your diet just make sure you buy probiotics that are refrigerated, they are way more powerful than the ones you buy at room temp. 

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Implement these tips and you will start seeing the glow come back to your skin within no time. Even just doing one of these things consistently will result in a positive change; add all three together and you’ll light up the room! 


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EASY HALLOWEEN DEER MAKEUP

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Halloween is juts a few days away! If you are like us, there hasn’t been a second to plan your costume and plans are still getting worked out. Luckily, we’ve got an adorable deer makeup tutorial that will turn you into a foxy fawn in less than 15 minutes & won’t distress your skin! Plus, it’s adorable. See what I mean below! – xoxo, LK


Woodland creature makeup is all the rage this season! From foxes to owls, they are a super low key way to get dressed up for Halloween. I’ve completely fallen in love with the fawn makeup look, probably because it still focuses on really feminine features and is simply cute! I’ve seen lots of different deer makeup tutorials but it seems most of them require some sort of Halloween face painting kit.

While those kits are certainly useful, the paints are typically greasy and not great for your skin. Not to mention, hard to control once you start putting it on your face. Sort of the last thing you need, especially when you don’t want to spend hours getting ready for an evening out.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetI wanted this look to be one you could create with all the products in your cosmetic bag, save one or two. The only thing you may need to pick up is a super light concealer, and a highlighter of choice.

STEP ONE:

Start with your normal makeup base of concealer, mascara, brows, etc.

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STEP TWO:

Apply bronzer liberally across your forehead, sweeping down the temples. Also sweep from the top of your cheekbones to the apples of your cheeks. I’m talking super dark everyone!

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetSTEP THREE:

Next take your concealer and apply under your eyes, trying to blend as best as you can into the dark bronzer. You’ll also apply down the bridge of your nose, lightly blending slightly up towards your forehead.

fawn makeupSTEP FOUR (OPTIONAL):

Next, and this is totally optional if you want to have a matte look, apply some white highlight powder in the corners of your eyes and down the nose on top of the concealer to really make it pop.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetSTEP FIVE:

Fill in your brows dark and bold (here is how we do it), then bring that brown filler in two lines down the sides of the bridge of your nose – similar to contouring.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetSTEP SIX:

Take some black eyeliner and paint on a cute little button nose. Give yourself a cat eye, and bring the liner slightly downward in the inner corner to really make your eyes look bigger. You can apply a bit of liner to the crease of your lower eyelid to give the illusion of doe eyes.

fawn makeup 2STEP SEVEN:

Finally apply little dots of your light concealer across your forehead and cheeks. Finish with a pink or nude gloss.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetFOR ANTLERS:

For antlers, I stuck some little twigs and branches in my hair.

fawn makeup 3VOILA! You my dear, have just become a gorgeous deer!

I think what I love most about this look is that it only took me about 15-20 minutes to complete it, and I didn’t have to spend any additional money on paints and other makeup supplies that I’ll only use once for Halloween. Not to mention, it really brings a lot of attention to your face, without being overdone.

The only thing I will warn you about is you may need to wash your face a couple times to get it all off!

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetYou know the drill – try it out & tag us! We (seriously!) would love to see your adorable deer looks, so make sure to use #LKBeauty and/or tag @laurenkelp

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VAMPY HALLOWEEN STYLE

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve been trying to find ways to sneak some Halloween style into your every day routine. Whether it’s home decor, food, movies or makeup, it’s never a bad idea to really get into the holiday spirit. One of my favorite looks lately has been to incorporate a vampy style into my beauty regimen. Since I work during the day, it’s still important that I keep everything office appropriate. Today I’ve got three products that’ll be sure to put a bit of spook in your step this October!

First is the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Scarlet Red. This is honestly the best matte lip color I’ve ever used. Although it’s a bit pricey at $26, the quality is hard to beat. The color is super pigmented and it glides on smoothly for a perfect vampire style lip!

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Second is the Rocky Horror Picture Show” set of nail lacquers from Morgan Taylor. I love that these guys are so little, but pack a powerful punch. The red lacquer, “Pretty Woman”, is the perfect shade to match your lip color. However the black is my favorite this time of year. It says “Halloween” without being over the top or inappropriate. Top any one of these colors with a clear top coat or even the glow in the dark lacquer the set comes with.

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Lastly, and I’ve shared this before, is this MAC highlighter. Now Twilight totally ruined vampires with the fact that they “sparkle”, but there’s something to be said for having a nice glow. Simply sweep this on the tops of your cheekbones for a more defined face, or dust all around your eyes to really draw in some attention.vampy3


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