Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Fashion: Transitioning to Spring with a Great Blazer


I absolutely live for the time of year when it's no longer cold anymore but the heat and humidity haven't hit hard yet either. Coats and hats get packed away and I pull out all of my favorite lightweight jackets, bombers and blazers like this one. If you thought I had gotten great at vintage shopping then you have yet to meet my mom- the queen of vintage. She finds me all the best stuff. Including this blazer which was a love at first sight situation from the moment she handed it to me. It's DKNY brand (similar here). The suede like material is so soft while still lightweight enough. I typically layer it over a basic v neck Hanes white cotton t-shirt like I did here. I love the casual vibe it gives along with the rolled up sleeves. This time I chose to go for this animal print pencil skirt (similar here, coral shoulder bag (similar here)  and duo chrome aviators (similar here) all from Forever 21. The pointed white flat shoes (similar here) are Charlotte Russe and the ombre' wig is my Irene, pushed back from my face with a rubberized classic Goody, thin purple headband. 

This Spring I plan to play with pops of color to sort of play up my casual every day style. If you've got a simple blazer in your closet, this is definitely the way to step it up and make it alot less boring.








Let me know what you think of the look in the comments form, I love hearing from you! 


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GIGI.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Makeup Brush Essentials: The Ones Every One Should Own & Their Uses



Brushes. They are so essential for a precise makeup application. There are so many styles available to beauty fanatics and makeup artists alike now and it can get really confusing. I mean which ones do you really NEED, right? I remember wondering this when I first got out of makeup school and I think it would have been really helpful had someone pointed me in the right direction. But in the end, through a lot of trial and error and hundreds of makeup looks later I feel I have got a great collection of brushes to rely on for any look I'd like to apply. Today I am going to get down into the nitty gritty and tell you exactly which brushes you actually need so that you can save your hard earned money but still get a flawless makeup application every time. I'll get into my specific favorites and let you know which brands and model numbers I like best in another post soon, in this one I want to focus only on brush types so as not to confuse anyone. Of course I could recommend you a hundred brushes, each to be used for different techniques of makeup application but this guide is meant to save you time and money so I really tried to narrow it down to the real essentials and multi purpose styles. 

1) A Foundation Brush- Everyone needs one of these. You can choose from the stippling style, a beauty sponge or even a painter style brush. The style I prefer on a daily basis is a large round buffer style brush.

2) A Large Angled Face Brush for Contouring, Setting and Applying any powder products to the face- A good one will give you a really sharp contour line but can also be very multi purpose and easily be used to apply blush to the cheeks, highlighter to the tops of the cheek bones and use the baking technique by applying and brushing away loose powder to sharpen things up. 

3) A Flat Shader Eye Shadow Brush- This is great for applying a cream shadow or shadow base to the eyelid before applying any powder eye shadows, it's also an important one for packing color all over the lid. 

4) A Fluffy Dome Shaped Eye Shadow Blender Brush- Blending is key in any eye makeup look and will give the appearance of the colors melding into one another perfectly. This is the eye shadow brush I could not be without because it can be used to softly apply color to the lid, blend different colors layered over each other or blend out the edges as well. 

5) A Small Pencil Style Eye Shadow Brush- Small, tapered and pointed on the end just as a pencil is, these come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your preference but they are most ideal for blending shadow under the lower lash line, in a more precise way in the outer corner of the eye or to create different types of eye looks with small detail work like the halo or a cut crease eye look. 

6) A Thin Eye Liner Brush- Straight or angled depending on your preference, this will be very helpful to a beginner or pro at getting a perfectly straight line every time and it will certainly be useful if you like to create a full on cat eye liner or just a small flick on the outer edge with powder, gel, kohl or liquid liner products. 

7) A Small Angled Brow Brush- This one is similar to that angled liner brush but it will be a bit smaller, a bit more stiff and more packed with brush hairs to fill the brows in very precisely with a powder or pomade product.  

8) A Lip Brush- This will be flat and ovaled at the tip. It can easily double for precise spot concealing but mostly it's incredible for smoothing spreading lip products into every edge of the lips perfectly. Of course there are those that can apply lipstick from a bullet with ease, but a lip brush certainly simplifies the process. 


Extras:

There are a few brushes that I  find extremely useful for more detailed glamorous makeup and personally use on a daily basis but I think are less necessary for those looking to achieve a simple every day look. I still want to mention them because I think to some they could actually be essential as they are to me. So here they are:

1) The Fan Brush- These come in a variety of sizes. I like a smaller one for highlighting with powder, liquid or cream highlighting products. 

2) A Blush Brush- Having one specifically for blush that fits the apples of the cheeks nicely wether straight or angled and smaller then the larger angled contour brush, having this additional brush will make life easier.

3) A Concealer Brush for Under Eyes- These vary as with the foundation brushes. Having one to specifically blend and meld concealer product into the delicate under eye area is very beneficial. There are small beauty sponges, small flat painter style ones and small buffer brushes which are the kind I personally prefer. Each one will fit into the under eye area easily also reaching the inner corners for precise blending without disrupting the rest of the makeup. 

I get asked about which brush styles I recommend quite often so I'm glad I was able to put  it all together in one post for reference! Please do feel free to leave your comments, questions and recommendations in the form below or send me a direct message on any of my social media platforms and I will gladly respond and try to assist you on the subject if I can. I will also try to do a post possibly along with a video to follow this one pretty soon with all of my updated makeup brush favorites  with specific brands and model numbers.

Thanks so much for stopping by! 


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 Gigi.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Loreal Infallible Silkissime Liners

Loreal is one of the brands at the drugstore I can say I've delved into quite deep over the years. I've tried dozens of their liners, lipsticks, foundations and shadows as is reflected in my  past reviews. They have so many different eyeliners and mascaras to choose from, and every time I think I've tried everything they have to offer, they release something new! Did you know they even have their own range of face masks now?

These Silkissime liners are not new to me. In fact, there was a cobalt blue one I cherished and destroyed at one point, you may even recall me using it in a makeup tutorial or two. A few months back I decided to go for two more colors, one called Pure Purple which is a real royal purple and another in rose gold called Highlighter. With just 10 shades in the range, it wasn't too difficult to pick these out. 


Considering they are titled infallible I was expecting them to be really long lasting, budge proof pencils. That they are not.  My trick is to layer them with powder products so that they have something to adhere to. This really works to seal them in and keep them in place since they are overly creamy in formulation.They are indeed silky smooth pencils and go on super easily and they don't tug or pull on the lash line or waterline as they are applied either.  I'd hoped to use the rose gold one as a waterline eye brightening product but I've found that the don't last long enough in my waterline. For reference, I have pretty typical, non oily lid or watery eyes. They do very well under the lower lash line and on the upper lid, so I still get alot of use out of them. What makes these liners really different is that they come in different finishes, some are more matte while others are bright and shimmery and even metallic.



Although they glide right on and the color selection is stunning (I'm eyeing the teal and silver ones right at this very moment) I'm on the search for a liner creamy enough to apply to the waterline but a bit more budge proof once set. Something that has greatly interested me was a recent Marc Jacobs try that went on creamy, didn't move around and twisted up. Just the fact that it didn't need to be sharpened like these and most pencils do, set them apart from the rest.  That's still in testing stages though so I'll keep you apprised.


Do you own any of these specific Loreal liners? If you don't and your curious about them, they are under $7.99 online as well as at most local U.S. drugstores, so they are definitely worth a whirl!. 

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GIGI.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Easy Weeknight Chicken Piccata Recipe


Your weeknight chicken dinners just got better! Chicken piccata may look intimidating, but it's actually quite simple and packed with great flavors. It's not extremely high in calories either and could easily be baked instead of fried to lighten it up even further for those trying to keep it a bit more healthy. I was actually shocked by how simple in preparation but also easy to please this dish ended up being. Try it at home and you'll see. Here's my recipe:


Easy Weeknight Chicken Piccata 

Ingredients:

2-3  Large Chicken Breasts, Halved
1/3 Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Bread Crumbs 
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 Fresh Lemon
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Jarred, Capers

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Pound the pieces of chicken cutlet with a meat mallet until flattened quite a bit and set aside in a dish. Squeeze half a lemon over the pieces of chicken flip to coat. Allow them to sit in lemon juice.

3. Combine flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped very small, mix well and pour into a shallow dish. Remove  pieces of chicken from lemon juice and dip each one into the flour mixture, coating well on both sides.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat, lower a bit once sizzling. Drop each piece of chicken into the skillet and brown for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Once done remove to a 9X13 pan or baking dish and place in the oven for another 15 minutes or so or until completely cooked through on inside. 

5. In a sauce pan combine chicken broth and the juice of the other half of the fresh lemon. Heat it over medium heat until simmering, then shut the heat and allow to cool a bit and toss in the capers. 

6. Plate the chicken and pour the prepared broth over the pieces of chicken immediately before serving or serve to the side if you prefer.  Place the slices of lemon on the plate overlapping one another for a nice garnish. Toss some additional capers over the top of the chicken and add some chopped fresh parsley as well. 


I really hope you will give my Easy Weeknight Chicken Piccata a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! Criticisms and advice are welcome too! And feel free to tag me on Instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

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GIGI.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Rose Gold Eye Makeup Tutorial (Video)


My looks are usually pretty smokey or colorful and sometimes a bit intricate with several shadows, brushes and steps. I decided to try and simplify that with this look while still keeping it glamorous with a bit of glitter. This look can be kept really natural without the glitter and lashes so keep that in mind if you decide to give it a try. See exactly how I got this eye look from start to finish in this weeks video linked here, or read until the end of the post where it will be inserted as always.



Now for a full list of products & brushes used:


Brushes:


If you liked this video please let me know by giving it a "thumbs up". You can also subscribe to my youtube channel here

 

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GIGI.
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