Year End Recap: Lacquer 2014

29 December 2014

We can admit it, we have a nail polish addiction.  We love nail polish and each have a pretty substantial collection and we love sharing our top choices with you.  Linked below are all of our posts this year, picking out our top colors for each season.


Spring 2014

Summer 2014

Autumn 2014

Holiday 2014

If I had to choose one color that was my favorite this year it is Ignite by Formula X from our Holiday picks.  What was your favorite color this year?

-Steph


Year End Recap: Happy Sunday!!

28 December 2014


It's the last Sunday of 2014!  These are a few of my favorite Happy Sunday photos of this year.  You can see all of our Happy Sunday posts here.

Year End Recap: Bloglovin'

26 December 2014

As 2014 is coming to an end, we'd like to recap our year.  We loved a lot of blogs this year.  Here are all of our features from our Bloglovin' series.


January: The Sartorialist
February: A Beautiful Mess
March: I Covet Thee
April: Cindy Loughridge Photography
June: Vivianna Does Makeup and Lily Pebbles
July: Anastasia Volkova
August: Essie Button
September: Free People
October: Nikkie Tutorials
November: Lauren Conrad

You can follow all of them and us on Bloglovin'.  What was your favorite blog this year?

-Steph

December Photo-A-Day Challenge

22 December 2014

The photo-a-day challenge continues! 

Are you ready for Christmas?! Are you sick of hearing that question?!  I'm so not ready. But I have a timeline and lots of lists: grocery lists, recipe lists, cleaning lists, gift lists, and a general to-do list!  That's the only way for me to stay organized and reduce that overwhelming feeling. 

Here is the rest of the photo-a-day challenges. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

22. tree topper
23. candy cane
24. christmas eve
25. christmas day
26. what's in my stocking
27. my favorite gift
28. family
29. quiet time
30. selfie
31. nye

- Steph

Christmas Wishlist

20 December 2014

Unfortunately, we are once again a little late on our Christmas shopping. So while we are running around to get those last minute items to finish up our families wish lists, we thought it would be fun to share what we are wishing for this Christmas!   



As you can see, Stephanie's wish list is all over the map this year but the items really sum up her 2014.  This year she has gotten more into organization as well as baking some gourmet cupcakes and, of  course, expanding her love for photography.  

One of the big items on Stephanie's list is the vintage Canon AE-1.  After exploring the Elephant Trunk  flea market in New Milford this past fall, Stephanie has been dying to get a vintage camera. She would love to experiment with a non- digital camera!




As you can tell, Erica's Christmas wish list is all about make-up.  Items like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit and the Nars Ita brush have been items that she has been waiting all year but have yet to purchase. 

And to follow in her big sister's foot steps, Erica has been itching to get into photography.  She would love to get a Canon Rebel T5i as this camera takes both pictures and videos with a moveable view finder! Perfect for make-up tutorials! 

What would you like for Christmas this year?

Christmas Cookies!!

18 December 2014


It's that time of year to get the Kitchen Aid Mixer out, do some baking, and swap recipes with friends and family.  So, Erica and I got together to bake Christmas Cookies and we wanted to share with you what we baked!

I chose my favorite cookie from "Baking with the Cake Boss" and Erica found a crazy delicious recipe on Pinterest. We typed up recipe cards from www.lovevsdesign.com so you can print out the directions and add these recipes to your collection.

Erica made Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies.


 I made Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.





We hope you try these recipes out.  Happy baking!!

-Steph

Holiday Lacquer

15 December 2014

This time of year everything is about red, green and sparkle!  From the Christmas trees to the lights twinkling inside and out and then the red of tinsel and Santa's suit, we are gathering so much inspiration for our favorite nail lacquers!

(left to right)
Sinful Colors - Holiday Rebel
Sinful Colors - Last Chance

Erica is still in her red nail kick from Autumn but now mixing in both glitters and greens.  One of her favorite polishes for the season is Holiday Rebel from Sinful Colors. It's a pretty red and green glitter polish that can be worn alone or as a glitter coat over your favorite red like The Body Shop's Relish the Moment.

(left to right)

Stephanie has been mixing up her favorite red of the season, Ignite by Formula X, with silvers and golds. Two of her favorite colors are L'Oreal's the Statement Piece and Essie's No Place Like Chrome. The Statement Piece by L'Oreal is an amazing glitter gold that gives texture on your nails. This is a great glitter nail polish that does not need any other polish underneath it, which is always a plus!

And to spread more of our holiday cheer, in the next few days we'll be having more holiday inspired posts including a cookie post!  Make sure you like us on Facebook or Bloglovin' to get an update on when we update!



December Photo-A-Day Challenge

14 December 2014

We are through the second week of December already.  I love this time of year and I'm trying to fit in all of our traditions, family gatherings, and Christmas movie watching. 

The topics for week three are...

15.  the tree
16.  8 crazy nights
17.  love
18.  stockings
19.  christmas jumper
20.  gift wrap
21.  sunday roast

I hope you join in and have fun!

-Steph

December Photo-A-Day Challenge

07 December 2014


Week one of the December Photo-A-Day challenge is over already!!  Here are a few photos from the first week.  It's not too late to join in!  And of course, tag your photos with #luphotoaday.

For week two the topics are...

8.  red
9.  green
10. good deed
11. scarf
12. happy hour
13. lights
14. ornaments

Have fun!!

-Steph

Beauty Books

03 December 2014

Before there was YouTube, beauty blogs, and even Instagram, there were beauty books. If you wanted to learn how to master eyeliner or to shape your eyebrows, you turned to a good beauty book. And lately, I have been turning to some of my favorite to get inspiration so I thought why not share with some of my favorites!



Ultimate Make-Up & Beauty by Mary Quant - Mary Quant is a London fashion icon who dived into the make-up world.  My mom gave me this book as she loved Mary Quant when she was a teenager. This book is great for individuals who are starting out in make-up and beauty as it has a simplistic way of explaining how to do everything from contouring and applying foundation to nails and skin care.  

Making Faces & Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin - Every make-up artist needs to own both or at least one of these books. Kevyn Aucoin was a make-up genius and a complete inspiration as a make-up artist. The looks in these books are so perfect and it was amazing what Kevyn could do with make-up. Making Faces was one of the first make-up books I received and one of the reasons I wanted to become a make-up artist.


Lastly, a new favorite is Makeup Manual by Bobbi Brown. This book covers everything and anything about make-up. It gives you the basics about skin care, the different types of make-up brushes, basic make-up applications as well as the business side of being a make-up artist. I'm still reading my way through this book but the moment I flipped through it in Barnes & Nobles I knew it would be a favorite!

I'm always on the hunt for more beauty books to add to my collection. What's your favorite?







Family Christmas Card!

01 December 2014

When a high school friend was looking for a photographer for her Christmas card photos, I jumped at the chance!  We spent the afternoon at Southford Falls State Park and braved the cold and snow!  It totally added to the Christmas spirit.





And we even found a Christmas tree to decorate!





I can't wait to get my Christmas card!





December Photo-A-Day Challenge

30 November 2014



Hello everyone!  We are doing a photo-a-day challenge for the month of December.  Just like our August photo-a-day challenge, I will be posting the daily photo topics in the beginning of each week.  Please join us and if you post your photos on Instagram remember to use #luphotoaday.

For week one the topics are...

1. selfie
2. starbucks
3. bokeh (blur)
4. outside
5. favorite holiday movie
6. town decorations
7. cookies

Have fun!

-Stephanie

Bloglovin' Monthly Favorite : Lauren Conrad

29 November 2014

In November, our guilty pleasure has definitely been Lauren Conrad's site.  Lauren and her team have become this generation's Martha Stewart and her site offers something for girls of all ages.  You can find posts about beauty and makeup to fashion, decor, and crafts.  We highly recommend adding this site to your Bloglovin' feed so you don't miss her next perfect post!





Haul: Sephora VIB Sale

26 November 2014

Sephora recently held their VIB (Very Important Beauty) sale for store card holders who spend a certain amount at the store each year.  We had to take advantage of the 20% off!  I'm lucky enough to have a sister who's a VIB because she also had a coupon for a friend.  That's me!


Steph's Purchases:

Bobbi Brown corrector - this is a repurchase. 

Christian Dior's Crème de Rose lip balm - I tried it, I love it, I'm addicted, I want 5 more.

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment - I'm forever on the hunt for a good eye cream.

And lastly, I wanted a fun holiday gift set and was eying the Ciate Mini Mani Manor Advent Calendar, but I decided to go with Sephora Favorites - Superstars gift set.  This gives you a sample of Sephora's best sellers in all categories.  A lot of these items I've wanted to try.  So, I should be all set for the first half of 2015!  Click through the link for details on all the products included in the set.



Erica's Purchases:

Eyeko Liquid Eye Liner - I'm still on the hunt for the perfect liquid eye liner marker. I found this one and saw that it's an Elle Beauty winner so of course I had to try it. 

Benefit Stay Don't Stray - This is a re-purchase for me.  Absolutely one of my favorite eye primers!

Sephora Crayon Jumbo Liner - I have never really tried an eye crayon so I thought I would give it a try as I saw an eye tutorial with one that I thought looked different than my everyday eye make-up.

Two Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Palette - I have been lusting over this palette for awhile so I thought I would take the plunge. The swatches in the store were amazing and of course, who doesn't love a palette that smells like chocolate!


Well that's it for this haul.  What beauty products have you purchased lately?




Photo Shoot: Jen + Jaelynn

24 November 2014


We got together with Jen and her daughter Jaelynn for a fun afternoon of painting!  Jen wanted to make this all about Jaelynn and her soon-to-be little brother or sister. 


Jen had so many paints and Jaelynn took her job as artist very seriously. 


Congratulations to Jen and her family on their new baby! 

-Steph + Erica

Happy Sunday!!

23 November 2014


Holy moley!  I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week.  This entire year has gone by so fast, anyone agree?  I'm going to try to savor this week before the Christmas craziness starts.  Which I'm so excited for.  Seriously, I have to hold myself back from breaking out the Christmas decorations. 

-Steph

The Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendar

15 November 2014


Advent calendars are so much fun.  We always have a couple in the house each year to help us count down the days 'til Christmas.  We have one from when I was little where you move the little Christmas mouse on the clothe board from pockets 1 to 24, and we always purchase a chocolate one.

Well this year I had my eye on The Body Shop's Beauty Advent Calendar.  It has a beauty treat each day in December leading up to Christmas.  Such a cute idea.  When Erica and I saw that you couldn't purchase them online, we panicked!  But Erica made some calls and it turns out the Body Shop at the West Farms Mall was stocked up.  We headed down the same day and grabbed ours before they sold out, even though they had plenty.


Now it's sitting on my dresser just taunting me.  I don't know if I can wait until December 1st to start opening the little compartments.  We'll try to be good and wait to open each little door on the day and do a little review for you.

Something I learned was that when you purchase the advent calendar and other gifts from the Body Shop, a portion of the proceeds go towards education for children in need.  That's so awesome! 

There are so many cool advent calendars out there from Benefit, Tarte, TopShop, and even Starbucks.  Do you buy a special advent calendar each year?  Or maybe you make your own?  Let us know.

-Steph


Make-Up Series - Where to Start? Benefit

06 November 2014

I thought it would be fun to start sort of a series on the blog about different brands and what are good starter products to buy. With so many brands out there with great range of products, some times it can be difficult to decide where to start.

In this series, Where to Start?, I will be highlighting a specific cosmetic brand and what I think are great starter products.  Also since I haven't tried every brand yet, I thought it would be awesome to even blog about the starter products I chose and my thoughts. To get started with the series, I decided to pick Benefit as it's one of my favorites and started by two sisters.  


Benefit was started by twins, Jean and Jane Ford, in 1976.  These models and make-up artists opened a storefront in San Francisco named, The Face Place, and one of their first products was called Rose Tint (known today as benetint). After a decade or so, The Face Place was renamed to Benefit and, as they say, the rest is history!  Today, Benefit is one of the top make-up companies in the world and sold online, in their store fronts, make-up and department stores. 

Benefit offers a great line of make-up so it was hard to decide which ones I thought are great starters. This brand has everything from foundations to eyeshadows, mascaras, and liners even a skincare line.   As starter products, I strongly think that their Hoola bronzer, they'reReal mascara, and benetint cheek stain are the best starters for someone who has never tried any Benefit products. 

(left to right - Hoola $28.00, they'reReal $23.00, benetint $30.00)

Hoola is an amazing bronzer. It's the perfect color, not too dark or too light, and a great shade for most skin tones. I love pairing Hoola with their cheek and lip stain, benetint, in most of my daily make-up routines. And, the third item I thought is a great starter is they'reReal. I can not say enough about this mascara.  It's a perfect formula and the wand has bristles all around so you can use the tip to get into the corners of your lashes to really get them all covered.

Stay tuned in the future for other Where to Start? posts and leave a comment below if there are any brands you would love to know where to start!

Also check out an eye look I did with the Hoola bronzer - http://www.lovelyusct.com/2014/02/bronzed-eye-featuring-hoola-by-benefit.html 



Happy Sunday!!

02 November 2014

 

Happy Sunday everyone!!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Between the rain and the wind it seems the weather has just been telling us to "stay inside" this weekend.  Well today I'm making turkey chili in the crock pot and roasting pumpkin seeds.  What are you up to this weekend?

Bloglovin' Monthly Favorite : NikkieTutorials

18 October 2014


For October, I have been completely obsessed with Nikkie over at NikkieTutorials. She is a Netherlands goddess who can create some of the best make-up looks I have ever seen.  On Nikkie's website, you can read about make-up collection releases, reviews, and information about her YouTube videos. Her videos are one of my favorite things as she recreates and creates some of the best looks.  She is a huge inspiration as a make-up artist!

Definitely, check Nikkie's website out and follow her and us on Bloglovin' to stay up to date on posts!