New Year's Eve Nail Art - Pink Tuxedos and Tiaras

December 30, 2020


My family and I usually spend New Year's Eve together and celebrate by having dinner, listening to some great tunes and having some sparkling champagne when the clock strikes 12.  My sister, my mom and I do our makeup together and dress up in festive clothes; as usual, I try to dress up my nails  for some additional glitz and glam.

This year I decided to create some nail art inspired by a ball, thinking specifically of tuxedos and tiaras, giving this girly nail art a fun spin. I used OPI's Ridge Filler as a base coat, Sinful Colors Easy Going, Revlon's Timeless, and Zoya's Pixie Polish in Tomoko (currently on sale!) for a pop of sparkle.  When painting the half moon scallop design, I recommend painting the pink first, the gold half moon on top, followed by the grey scallop - I would paint a pink line under the grey and on top of the base polish to clean things up if the grey or gold edges are not so straight.

I hope you try this nail art yourself and that you have a safe and fun New Year's Eve!

Stay pretty, Mackenzie M.

Pantene: Want that Hair - Holiday Hairstyle Tutorial

December 23, 2020



As part of the Pantene: Want that Hair campaign, my sister and I had the opportunity to brainstorm some ideas for lovely holiday hairstyles.  Because Christmas is all about adornments, I opted for a gold and white ribbon accessory and a high ponytail - this no-fuss hairstyle looks messily 'polished' and at the same time, festive (plus, the process only takes a few minutes which gives us more time to enjoy hot cocoa and snowflake cookies!).

By using Pantene products, my hair has volume, shine, and hold - basically, the perfect trifecta.  The Pantene Pro-V Pantene Stylers Heat Protection Spray ensures that my hair is healthy and protected through blow drying and using the flat iron. The Pantene Volume Root Lifting Spray Gel adds volume, and I don't have to worry about the hairstyle becoming flat - this product works wonders.  To resolve any frizz issues and strengthen the hold, I also used the Pantene KeraGloss Oil Mist (the scent is also very light). Pantene has created a wide range of products that are basically suited for the salon but at a fraction of the cost.  From ease of application to high quality ingredients, Pantene products are a must for holiday party hairstyles (and make great gifts!). Hope you enjoyed this easy hair style tutorial and share with us any look ideas for the upcoming celebrations!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Pantene: Want that Hair - Holiday Style Inspiration

December 23, 2020


The holiday season is a whirlwind - from spending time with family, to cooking, decorating, wrapping presents, and shopping, there's not a lot of down-time to plan your beauty routine and style picks.  I often find myself having to get ready in record speedy time - while my makeup is somewhat easier to finish, picking and finishing my hairstyle takes a long time and involves a ton of trial and error (and extensive Pinterest "research").

Through the Pantene: Want that Hair campaign, I was able to try new salon-quality products from Pantene.  Pantene delivers a wide range of products that help create beautiful and easy hairstyles, all while also protecting and treating hair damage.

No matter what your hair type and hair concerns, Pantene has you covered - products offered include: Pantene Advanced+ Keratin Repair KeraGloss Oil Mist, Pantene Smooth with Argan Oil Shine Serum, Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Silky Moisture Whip, Pantene Stylers Extra Strong Shaping Hairspray, Pantene Root Lifter Spray Gel, Pantene Volume Triple Action Volume Mousse, Pantene Stylers Heat Protection Spray (so a lot of options for everyone!).  Daily habits like blow drying or using a heat curler can compromise the state of my hair, and over time, hair becomes dull and brittle.  I've become more mindful about caring for my hair and regulary now use the Heat Shield Shampoo, Heat Shield Conditioner, and Heat Potion Serum. For styling, I use special products like the Advanced Keratin Repair Oil Mist which increases the overall luminosity and lusciousness of the hair (in fact, this is one of my favorite items from Pantene).

Thankfully, by using a customized combination of products from Pantene, I no longer have to be worried about sacrificing style for healthier hair (to use a holiday example, I can now have my cake and can eat it too!). Stay tuned for Mackenzie's post on creating a lovely look using Pantene goodies. And if you'd like sneak peek, see below for our ribbon hair style inspiration - pretty ribbons are perfect for holiday parties!

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Smokey Cranberry Makeup Tutorial - Elf Burnt Plum Baked Eyeshadow

December 22, 2020


Since party season is in the air, I thought I would share with you a look that I wear on nights out, especially during the fall and winter time.  It's a colorful, glam eyeshadow look inspired by Kristen Steward's makeup - this makeup would look amazing on hazel, blue and brown eyes as it either contrasts or brings up golden tones in your eye color. 

Ball Beauty, a beauty supply store located in Los Angeles, was kind enough to send us some Sigma brushes perfect for this glammed up look.  The Sigma F82 Round Kabuki brush (c/o) is densely packed and applies foundation to achieve a flawless complexion.  The Sigma E35 (c/o) is a fluffy blending crease brush that smokes out eye shadows and builds up color nicely - I seriously use this everyday so thank you Ball Beauty!  I've always wanted to try Sigma brushes but didn't feel confident ordering them online without seeing them in person first (call me old fashioned).  Ball Beauty is a store that carries Sigma brushes and a wide array of OPI and Essie polishes (which are on sale!), and a ton of other beauty and hair products - you can visit the store in LA or go to ballbeauty.com! Ball Beauty also has a blog to share tips and tricks using products they sell, which is a nice and friendly online beauty source.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and try it out yourself.  I'm thinking of planning ahead for some New Year's Eve make up looks, so let me know of any ideas I should try.  What makeup look are you planning to wear this Christmas?

 Tutorial:

1.  Since this is a smokey dark look (and things can easily get out of control), I applied tape to create a defined cat shape for the eyeshadow.  Applying a transition color (something skin toned under your brow bone and above your crease) will ensure your dark crease color will blend seamlessly with your brow highlight.
2.  Next, I applied the Elf Baked eyeshadow in Burnt Plum all over the lid and under the eye lid.  Dipping your brush in water and then tapping it in the product will intensify the pigmentation; also using your finger to apply the eyeshadow will give you more color and metallic shine pay off.
3.  Using a matte dark brown shadow, I darkened up the outside corner to lift the eye and intensify that cat eye we created by placing the tape.
4.  I applied black eyeliner on the top lid and waterline to really darken things up and emphasize the eyes.  Using a brush and dark eyeshadow I "smoked it out", as in fuzzied up the edge so the eye shadows look effortlessly blended into each other.
5.  Once I removed the tape, I used the Sigma blending brush to blend the cat eye edge, and applied some golden eyeshadow in the inner eye corner and on the middle of eyelid to brighten the look up.
6.  I left applying my concealer last so I could clean up any fall out in the meantime.  Last step was to apply mascara and Voila - a rich and smokey elegant eyeshadow look! Cranberries not included.

Stay pretty, Mackenzie M.

Ipsy Glam Bag December 2013 Review

December 19, 2020


December 14 was the day I was flying out of New York for my winter break; trust me, I couldn't wait, but I was pretty bummed I hadn't received my December Ipsy Glam Bag yet.  I knew my sister already received hers and I wanted to get some makeup goodies to try for the holidays.  But lo and behold as I was stepping out the door, the pink little package was there and I literally squealed with excitement (yay!).

So this month's bag is appropriately titled "Celebration" and the products included are perfect for the holidays, New Year's Eve or any party this time of year.  This month's bag was delivered in a beautiful and sturdy black, quilted makeup bag that I'm excited to continue using.  I received a Pop Beauty sample eyeshadow trio in "Smokin Hot" - the colors are pretty and swatch nicely, but they are not must have original shades.  I believe Wet n Wild has a similar trio, "Don't Steal My Thunder".  The NickaK polish in "Ripe Apple" was a pretty blue toned red that is opaque and dried really fast.  The Be a Bombshell Beauty The One Stick in "Flustered " is an interesting product for the eyes, lips and cheeks that I could see perfect for traveling or my gym bag.  The color is red with lots of gold sparkle, and it blends easily into the skin and sheers out evenly if you're using it on your cheeks.  Ipsy included a full size round NYX lipstick in "Soft Pink" - it's pretty sheer and really moisturizing, but the cool pink, frosty color doesn't flatter my skintone at all (I'll be passing it along).  Lastly there were two deluxe perfume samples (for him and her) from English Laundry in "Signature" which I'm excited to wear and share with my boyfriend.

That was it for this month's bag!  I was really happy with the Bombshell stick, the polish and the perfumes and for $10 - Ipsy continues to deliver great value bags and I look forward to trying more makeup brands through their service.  Let me know what you received in your bag in the comments and what your thoughts are on the Ipsy subscription so far.

If you would like to sign up for the Ipsy 10$ a month beauty subscription service, please use my link and do so HERE.  Also, make sure you check my previous Ipsy bag reviews for November, September and July if you want to make sure this subscription service is something you'd want to try.

Stay pretty,
Mackenzie M.

Christmas Nail Art - Mix 'n Match Designs

December 13, 2020


Christmas time is definitely here - we've all been shopping, decorating, finishing up school or attending lots of holiday parties - and doing all of it under the charm of the Holidays.  So of course when my good friend Gina asked me to decorate her nails in anticipation of Christmas parties to come, you know I was all aboard and giddy with excitement.

After researching lots of designs on Instagram (hello #Christmasnails) and online, I had some favorites and decided to incorporate them all, while keeping the colors cohesive.  I chose a snowflake, a plaid design, a sweater stitch design, some mistletoe and of course the cute and easy to recreate candy cane.   One tip I have for doing mix and match nail art manicures, is to choose one or two main colors, and then have one or two accent colors that you use throughout to tie the designs in.  Then again, there are absolutely no rules in nail art, but I have found coordinating the colors keeps a busy design cohesive, elegant and wearable.

I used lots of colors, but I recommend you use relatively opaque colors so you can easily cover or fix your designs if necessary.  My red was Essie Snap Happy, the green was Revlon Posh , the white was Sally Hansen White On, the nude was Essie Topless and Barefoot, and the glitter accents were from Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in Shoot the Moon.

What designs have you tried lately for Christmas? Let me know of any other nail art ideas, there's still so much time left for pretty Holiday manicures.

Stay Pretty,
Mackenzie M. 

Top 5 Best Lipsticks for Interviews - Interview DOs and DONTs

December 10, 2020

Adding to my series of interview advice posts, this post will focus on the top five lip products for a professional interview.  (Read about the best interview nail polishes here and interview suit advice here.)  As I mentioned previously, I recently graduated from law school, took the bar (and passed the bar!), and am now working full time as an attorney - my advice is based on my experience.

With interviews, less is always more. An interview candidate should stand out for her qualities, work experience, talents, and overall personality - with professional settings, a conservative look is always the best option (we can still save the latest neon coral lipstick for other occasions!). A successful interview candidate will pay attention to the details - from clean, manicured nails to appropriate lip colors and impeccable suiting, it's the small things that can make or break an interview.  Catch up below on some interview lipstick "do's" and "dont'ts" and let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions or advice. 
Do wear a flattering shade that suits your skin tone - think "your lips but better."

Do choose a long lasting lip balm with a flattering tint - I recommend Maybelline New York Baby Lips Balm Electro, Strike A Rose and Tarte Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Tint.

Don't wear a sticky lip gloss (ultra shiny lips and thick lip products may not be the best choice).
Don't wear colors that are too bright or too dark - lipsticks shades like hot pink, dark red, or neon violet tend to be too distracting.

Do wear a lip stain if you are not comfortable with wearing a lipstick to an interview - I recommend
YSL Glossy Stain and Stila Convertible Color.

Do exfoliate your lips the night before your interview (you'll be doing a lot of talking so your lips shouldn't be dry).
Do wear a lovely shade of pink and a hydrating formula - I recommend Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Lip Color in Chintz and Maybelline New York Color Whisper in Petal Rebel.

Don't choose a matte lipstick - matte formulas wear off easily and in patches and may emphasize dryness.

Do make sure you have no lipstick on your teeth (that's never a good look).  Check a mirror before your interview and ensure you didn't overly apply the lip product. (Thank you to reader KFC for this tip!)
Do add some defining shine - I recommend my new favorite "grown-up" lip gloss from Laura Mercier (this lip glace hides feathering and creates a lip volumizing effect - Macy's is selling a Bare Nudes set here).

Don't wear a nude lipstick that washes you out - the nude lip looks best with heavier eye makeup (and you shouldn't be sporting a smokey eye in your interview).

Do wear a long lasting lip color that will not fade - I recommend the Too Faced La Creme lipsticks which are lightweight yet have lasting power.
Don't wear lipstick if you are not comfortable with it, haven't found the right color, or don't usually wear lipstick (you should be comfortable during your interview and you know what works best for you!).

Do still wear a clear lip balm (lots of talking and dry lips don't go together). I recommend the eos Sweet Mint Organic Lip Balm and ChapStick Hydration Lock.

Do be confident (if you're doing this research, you're more than prepared!). Good luck!

Reader Recommendations: Comment with some of your own do's and don'ts and let me know what you'd like to read in the next interview series post!

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. 

Radiant Orchid Pantone Color of the Year 2014

December 5, 2020


There was tangerine, emerald, honeysuckle, and turquoise. Now, there's radiant orchid - a captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones.   Since 2000, Pantone has picked a "color of the year" and for 2014, the color of the year is Radiant Orchid.  According to Pantone, radiant orchid blooms with confidence, evokes beguiling charm, and emanates joyful warmth.

Started as a printing company in the 1950s, Pantone provides color palettes for graphic industries, interior design, and fashion textiles through a specialized color matching system.  What probably started as a marketing strategy has now become a small tradition - every year, Pantone picks one color that tents to be in sync with the fashion and beauty communities. Sure, Pantone cannot tell us our favorite color but it can spark the imagination.  More recently, Sephora has teamed with Pantone to release "color of the year" collections so I'm looking forward to the new releases (I don't know about you, but a muted pink and purple toned lipstick sounds like the perfect addition to my lipstick collection).

Previous colors have been all kinds of bright, so Radian Orchid is the perfect shade with the perfect balance for everyone - cosmetic companies, start taking notes for your spring and summer collections!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

Resolutions for the Holiday Season

December 4, 2020

Every time November and December come along, I am surprised that the year has passed so fast. Because I am now working full time, I want to focus on fully enjoying the holidays - this whole month is filled with events, wedding planning, traveling, holiday parties, and new projects.  But I realize that I need to stop and appreciate everything happening around me.  With Thanksgiving already past, I also celebrated my nine year anniversary and my birthday - next up, I'm celebrating Christmas, New Year, my sister's birthday, and my one year engagement (people celebrate that, right?).

From baking treats, meeting with friends and family, watching cheesy movies, and wrapping presents, I am making my pre-new year's resolution to savor every holiday moment.  Of course, this will also include some online 'window' shopping for new beauty goodies - holiday collection releases are among some of my favorites (think creative items like Paul and Joe cat shaped lipsticks, Essie Encrusted Treasures textured glitterDolce & Gabbana Sicilian Jewels blue lipsticks and Stila Cosmetics metal foil eye shadow).

Let us know in the comments what are some of your favorite holiday traditions and how you prepare for the busy holiday season!
Stay Pretty, Miranda M.