Lauren Snow
 
 
December 28th, 2012

Sparkle is gorgeous.


Beautiful: Sparkle is beautiful. I love when someone's eyes sparkle. I am lucky. I get to see sparkle a lot. On special occasions: wedding days, family portraits, engagment photos, maternity photos, etc. There is something about sparkle that is so genuine. It radiates from the inside and shows in your eyes. It's love, it's happiness, it's excitement, it's bliss. Cheers to a beautiful 2013, may you sparkle more in the coming year!

Gorgeous: I must admit, my sparkle was slowly dimming a few months ago as I was in the middle of a very long and never ending journey to start my website. Everything that could go wrong, did! It wasn't until I met Diana from Diana Elizabeth Photography that I felt like things were finally going in the right direction. Diana is as gorgeous as she is talented! Her work speaks for itself (she did my head shots for my website). It's amazing! Get to know Diana (below) and read her blog to meet her Mr. Wonderful... you will really see her sparkle!

Makeup: To help welcome 2013, here are a few beauty ideas to incorporate into your look while ringing in the new year!

1. Lancome #359 in Frabois Flirt...$42. Details: All-in-one contour, blush, and highlight in one beautiful palette! (image sephora.com)

2. YSL Rough Volupte Lipstick in #01 Nude Beige...$34. Details: In my opinion, one of the best nude lip colors. Goes on so smooth and hydrates the lips! Gorgeous! (image saksfifthavenue.com)

3. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Metallic Shadow in Antique Gold...$24. Details: Cream shadow that has a glisten of sparkle that stays crease-free all day! (image nordstrom.com)

4. MAC Faux Lashes #3...$16. Details: Long, full, natural-looking faux lashes that will add a bit of drama to your New Year's Eve look. (image maccosmetics.com)

5. Tiffany & Co. bow ring in platinum and round brillant diamonds...Price and image at tiffany.com. Details: Every gal needs a little sparkle with the help of some diamonds! Love!

6. Benefit Cosmetics High Beam...$26. Details: This is my favorite highlighter. It creates a radiance on the skin. You can use it as a spot highlighter or add a very, very small amount to your foundation for an all-over glow! (image ulta.com) 

7. Pinch Provisions 'Glitter' Emergency Kit...$24. Details: This is a great little kit to have especially on New Year's Eve! It comes with everything from hair spray to lip balm just in case you have a beauty emergency! (image nordstrom.com)

* Don't Let Anyone Ever Dull You Sparkle by Carrie Loves Design...$16. (image society6.com)

Do something lovely: If you feel like your sparkle is slowly dimming, be sure to put together a list of New Year's resolutions that will help you get your lovely twinkle back! This is your year!

Special thanks to Diana at Diana Elizabeth Photography for helping me get my sparkle back! You made me feel so comfortable in front of the camera (especially since it was right after I had my little darling Dylan). Never stop sparkling. You are a true talent!



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December 19th, 2012

Hope is beautiful.


Beautiful: Hope is beautifuI. I know a lot about hope, especially during this past year. It's the little surprise of goodness that happens in the midst of all the not-so-good stuff. The chance opportunity that transpires into a happy outcome. The meant-to-be meeting that results in lasting friendship or love. What I've learned in 2012 is to never give up hope. It's kind of like a whisper from above saying maybe. Just when things feel completely hopeless, something beautiful always happens to restore our hope.

Gorgeous: This is what I hope for you this Holiday: that you are surrounded with good friends, that you hold your loved ones tight, that you get everything on your wishlist, that you enjoy a good drink, that you indulge just a little too much on sweets, that you listen to good music, that you travel safely, that you take a moment to count your blessings (both big and small), that you laugh really hard, that you stay up way too late talking and reminiscing, that you take a ton of pictures, and that you make every moment count all while looking absolutely gorgeous! Have a very merry Christmas!

Makeup: Silver and Gold always remind me of Holiday time! I thought you might be in a festive mood and want to incorporate these precious metals into your Holiday look. Here are a few of my favorites (I couldn't pick just 5)!

I. Smashbox O-Gloss Gold Intuitive Lip Gloss...$23. Details: I love this gloss! It goes on gold and changes into a pretty peachy-gold shimmer. You can wear it alone or over another lipstick for an added glow. It looks different on everyone! (image sephora.com)

II. Guerlain L'Or Radiance Concentrate with Pure Gold...$71. Details: This is worth every penny! It's a complexion-perfecting gel infused with 24-carat gold that smoothes lines and wrinkles and helps retain moisture. It's so beautiful on the skin. Apply before your foundation to give your skin a glow! Love! (image nordstrom.com)

III. Estee Lauder Limited Edition Zodiac Compact (shown in my sign, Virgo)...$70. Details: What's your sign? It's a gold compact with a birthstone clasp. The compact has Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder in the small refill size. (image neimanmarcus.com)

IV. Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Highlight Duo...$12. Details: Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Good news is this duo is now only $12. Bad news is it is only available on Sephora.com.  Super silky and great shimmer to highlight eyes (brow bone and inner corners). Only problem is the packaging is a bit hard to open. Sad to see it go Sephora. (image sephora.com)

V. Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof in Flashy Silver...$8. Details: This is one of my all time favorite liners! To hightlight and brighten the eyes use it in the inner corners of the eyes. Glides on easy with a gorgeous shimmer that lasts! (image sephora.com)

VI. Bare Escentuals Buxom Lipgloss in Dominique...$19. Details: One of my favorites! Clear gloss that has iridescent micro silver shimmer. The lip plumping polish creates the look of a fuller lip while it's infused with Vitamin A and E. Good news, no parabens or sulfates! (image sephora.com)

VII. Lancome Color Design Infinite in Unlimited Silver...$24.50. Details: Creamy, powdery, eye shadow that is super blendable and has a 24-hour wear! You'll love this metallic silver shadow to help create a smoky eye look! (image macys.com)

Do something lovely: It's not too late do something lovely this Christmas. Even if you give just a dollar to The Salvation Army's traditional red kettles as you leave from your Holiday shopping. Remember, no act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.

Special thanks to Tricia Hope Logston who was the brilliant mind behind the inception of my logo. She used to lend me her compact everyday in 9th grade English class  so I could check my CoverGirl Bronze Goddess lipgloss! She has taught me that time nor distance could ever change true friendship. You are gold, my darling friend!



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December 12th, 2012

Giving is gorgeous.


Beautiful: Giving is beautiful. I was a freshman in college when I can honestly say that I finally understood the true meaning of giving after a group of us volunteered at a children's crisis nursery. I know. I know. It seems a little old to finally arrive at the true meaning of Christmas. But, that's not quite what I mean. I mean giving in the sense that you are willing to lend yourself to others without expectation or assumption that you will get anything in return. It's on your own merit. Not because someone told you that it was the right thing to do or because it makes you feel good about yourself. You do it because it makes someone else feel good at a time of need. It's the realization, that you, as an adult, can help make a difference. Some people arrive at this beautiful moment early and some people arrive late. In my opinion, all that matters is you get there.

Gorgeous: Doesn't it seem like there is always a gorgeous glow on people's faces after they've helped? I would even say they are beaming! I saw it first hand on Saturday as a group of us gathered together at a family crisis center for Help-Portrait. It's a global movement of photographers, makeup artists, and volunteers that join together to take family portraits of those in need during the Holidays. It's a way of giving a family something they may have never had before--a portrait together!

Makeup: Here are some of my favorite gifts that give back this Holiday season. Beauty with heart!

1. Kiehl's Creme de Corps Limited Edition (16.9 oz.)...$48. Details: This hydrating body moisturizer has been a favorite for four decades! This year pop-surrealist artist, Kenny Scharf, has partnered with Kiehl's and you can see his artwork on the label. 100% of the net profits of this limited edition moisturizer will go to RxArt. A non-profit that fosters artistic expression and awareness for young patients in pediatric hospitals. (kiehls.com)

2. MAC Viva Glam Lipstick in Nicki (Minaj)...$15. Details: Since 1994 MAC has introduced a Viva Glam lipstick (6 total) and they continue to do a limited edition color like Nicki (see above). Every dollar from the sales of Viva Glam Lipstick goes to the MAC AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS. (maccosmetics.com)

3. Lush Charity Pot...$22.95. Details: I love this cocoa butter & almond oil body lotion that hyrdrates dry skin especially during the winter. Every penny (excluding tax) goes to fund and support grassroots charities all around the world! (lushusa.com) 

4. Clarins Feed 10 Kit...$40. Details: Clarins is one of my favorite skincare lines and this is a great way to sample their best products! This kit comes with Beauty Flash Balm, UV Plus HP SPF 40 (my favorite!), Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose, and red Feed pouch. The sale of each Feed 10 Pouch will provide 10 nutritious school meals through the Untied Nations World Food Programme. (sephora.com)

5. philosophy green fresh pear shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath...$20. Details: Smells so good! I love this 3-in-1 shower gel. Gently moisturizes, conditions, and cleanses. 100% of the net proceeds go to the rainforest foundation! (philosophy.com)

6. When It Rains Christmas Be Merry Garland...$18. (etsy.com)

Do something lovely: Next year's Help-Portrait worldwide event is scheduled on December 7, 2013. Please consider doing something lovely and helping in any way you can. Even if you're not a photographer or makeup artist, you can donate much needed supplies!

Special thanks to the lovely Stacey Woodward of Dream Photography Studio for coordinating the Phoenix Help-Portrait event. It was so great of you to bring us all together for this amazing day!  Looking forward to next year!



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December 4th, 2012

Reality is beautiful.


Beautiful: Reality is beautiful. I know what you're thinking...is she serious? Yes, I am. I'll tell you exactly why. There is something truly freeing about getting to point in your life when you accept all of the things about yourself that make you uniquely beautiful. It's your reality. Here's my reality checklist:

1.) I will never be able to pull off a nude lip color (I've tried a million times...I just look so awkward). Instead, I have found that a more pink-brown color works for me. It's my version of a nude lip!

2.) I will never be able to pull off a smokey eye look. I love the look on so many people but just not on me (gray & black eye shadow just make me look like I need to catch up on sleep). Instead, I customize the look by using shades of brown. Who said browns can't be used to create a smokey eye look?

3.) I will never (ever) be as tall or thin as Gwyneth Paltrow (even if I ate one cracker and drank one glass of lemon-water everyday for a month, it would never happen). Instead, I own what I have and thank my body everyday for giving me my two greatest gifts...Dean & Dylan.

4.) I will always have a ton of hair (seriously, ask my stylist Kameron, she has to thin it out every couple of weeks). I have embraced it and I'm currently growing out my hair for Locks of Love (10 inches here I come!).

Whatever your list looks like, I hope you own it and know that your reality is beautiful!

Gorgeous: As you can imagine, I have met so many gorgeous people working in the beauty industry. Models, clients, photographers, stylists, aestheticians, other makeup artists, the list goes on and on. At one point, you start to realize that everyone wants the same thing...to feel gorgeous and beautiful. I once had a conversation with one of my clients, who literally is as tall and thin as Gwyneth Paltrow, she told me that she always wished she was petite and had more curves. We laughed when I told her about my reality checklist (see above). This conversation brought me to the point I'm at now. Which is, own what you have, love what you got, and do what makes you happy! The "gorgeous" will always follow!

Makeup: I thought it would be very fitting to review the new Khroma Beauty Collection by Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian. The collection is available exclusively at ULTA and launched just in time for the Holidays. Diane emailed me before Black Friday to ask if I had tried the Khroma Beauty Collection and I hadn't. So, I decided to pick a few items from the almost sold-out collection to review. Diane - this is for you!

If you are a fan of the Kardashians, I think you will really enjoy Khroma Beauty. It's all the makeup looks that they wear at an affordable price point!

Pros: Affordable, easy to use, faux lashes are fun, blendable and highly pigmented eye shadows, mascara is volumizing

Cons: Limited colors, mainly golden tones, nude honey lip gloss is highly scented, mascara may flake, eyeliner is not soft, eye shadow applicator is not a good tool

Expert advice: Kim Kardashian's nude lip and smokey eyes are two of the most requested makeup looks that I hear. I think it's great that the Kardashian sisters have come out with easy-to-use products for their fans. Just know that this is fun makeup for the price point!

1. Khloe's Kardazzle Face Palette...$12.99. Details: This palette includes eight golden tone eye shadows (4 matte & 4 shimmer) and also includes cheek color, highlighter and bronzer. For the cost, I was pleasantly surprised that the shadows blended fairly easy and the colors were pigmented. The shadows seemed to last. The bronzer may be a little light for some skintones.

2. Stroke of Midnight Faux Lash Look Extra Volume Mascara...$9.99. Details: This is a volumizing mascara that did the trick. It did tend to flake a bit as the day wore on. Overall it was good.

3. Lash Dash Faux Lashes - Gaze...$6.49. Details: The faux eyelashes may look a little over-the-top, but they actually look pretty on! I would consider these as a less expensive version of MAC faux lashes. I would note that the base of the faux lashes it very thick. If you are not that experienced with applying faux lashes, it may take you some time to use eyeliner to cover up the glue at the base of your eye lid.

4. Nude Lip Set Au Naturel...$14.99. Details: This 3-step set has a dual sided pencil that has a nude lipliner on one end and a nude lipstick on the other end. Add the honey flavored nude gloss over it to complete the look. Overall, I felt that it was just okay. If you do not like scents, I would advise not to try this product since the honey flavor is layered over a strong lipgloss scent.

5. SheBang Eye Transformation Kit...$14.99. Details: This kit contains a shimmering eye palette, faux lashes (with glue), eye shadow applicator, and black kohl eye liner. The shadows go on smoothly and blend well. It was nice that a eye shadow applicator is included but is not the best tool for applying shadows. The smudge-free eyeliner did not last very long and could have been a bit softer. The lashes in this kit are super fun!

* all images from ULTA.com and picture of the Kardashian sisters from khromabeauty.com

Do something lovely: It's time for a lovely reality check! Ask someone who is close to you what they love most about you. I will guarantee it will be things that are on your reality checklist. Isn't it the greatest gift when someone loves you for the real you?

Special thanks to Julie who has been my real friend since I was 19. She always jokes that she's going to pitch the idea to the networks that my sisters and I should have our own reality show. She claims we're hysterical to watch and she'd tune in! I guess that would make her the aborable BFF that makes cameo appearances, right?



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