Thursday, March 30, 2017

How To Apply False Lashes | Sephora Beauty Tips

For a while, I've been meaning to check out the free beauty classes offered by Sephora. I finally attended one yesterday and it was incredible. 

Sephora offers a range of technique classes from contouring to no makeup makeup. I chose a false lashes class at one of the Upper East Side locations. 

Two instructors helped us through the steps necessary to properly apply false lashes. They laid out supplies for us and helped us select lashes [the only item we did need to purchase]. They first demoed on the model [which was me!]. We all completed the rest on our own after learning the proper technique. 

Here are the key steps:
1. Apply eye cream 
2. Apply eyelid primer [to help the lashes stay]
3. Tight line your lash line
4. Take out your lashes and measure the lashes to your own; cut if necessary
5. Apply glue to lashes and allow it to become tacky [wait 30 seconds-1 minute]
6. Place the lashes just above your own and press them in with fingers
7. After the lashes have had a few minutes to dry, cover the lash band with liquid liner
8. Use mascara to coat your natural lashes and make them blend in with the false lashes
9. Use remaining mascara [on the wand] to coat your bottom lashes


There were a few extra tips that made all the difference--

• When taking lashes out/off of the package, press and roll to remove the lashes; this ensures that you do not damage the lashes
• Once you've removed the lashes from the package, wiggle them--they are generally stiff from sitting in the box
• Applying glue to lashes: start in the center of the band, work your way out, and add a dollop of glue to each end as well
• You can reuse lashes 10-20 times [just make sure to clean them properly in between uses with rubbing alcohol]

I found this class incredibly informative. I will definitely be taking more classes in the future. If you stop by the 60th & Lex Sephora, say hi to Danisha and Johannah for me!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wedding Flowers On A Budget

Choosing flowers was one of the aspects of my wedding I was most nervous about. I had no idea what flowers I needed and what I wanted to splurge on. After some online research and discussions with friends, I decided what was important to me and what I really needed at my wedding. 

Depending on your venue(s), you don't necessarily need many flowers. We are getting married on a ranch, which already provides a gorgeous setting and doesn't require tons of flowers to look beautiful.     I've realized that you should only splurge on your must have favorite arrangements. For me, this is my bridal bouquet, flower crown, and bridesmaids bouquets. Consider what you can [relatively] easily create yourself. Also think about arrangements you may be able to do without [flowers at the ceremony?]. Create a list with all the flowers and arrangements you'll need and decide where you'll get each.

Here is my list:

• Bridal bouquet
• Bridesmaids bouquets
• Boutonnieres
• Corsages 
• Flower crown [for my rehearsal]
• Centerpieces
• Roses [cake decor]
• Flower arch
• Rose petals [flower girl]

Florist: I found my florist via The Knot. I considered what I most wanted professionally prepared and what I could easily diy. One of my must haves is a flower crown--I've always wanted one. My dress would look better with a veil so I'm wearing my dream flower crown for my rehearsal. I requested a quote and paid the deposit after seeing that the package would fit in our budget; 75% of my floral budget is going towards our florist. 

DIY Flower Arch: My cousin is helping me with a DIY flower arch. She has been laying out faux flowers [from the Dollar Tree] and homemade paper flowers to create decoration for the platform Joe and I will be married on. More on this project soon!

Bulk Flowers: I will be purchasing bulk flowers from Costco and Von's to create our own centerpieces. I plan to pair white hydrangeas, blush roses, and baby's breath in clear square vases [available at the Dollar Tree and Amazon] for simple decor. I'm also getting my corsages and boutonnieres from Costco [you can even mix and match the colors!]. We also need some roses for our cake and I plan to get those at Von's or their local farmer's market. Fresh flowers will make us 15% of our flower budget.

Amazon: I picked up some very inexpensive faux rose petals for the flower girl and decor. Amazon has a ton of budget friendly wedding decorations.

As we still have a few months until the wedding, I'm sure a few things will change. So far I feel content with our decisions regarding flowers.

If you have any wedding flower advice, I'd love to hear it in the comments!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Self Care Day [Video]

Today I'm sharing the second installment in my Self Care Saturdays video series. Follow me around on a self care day--I think it is so important to take time for yourself regularly. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Travel Essentials: Carry On

Sturdy Suitcase: This one is probably obvious but you need a sturdy suitcase. I desperately want this Raden one. It has two USB ports so you can charge your phone or other devices. It has a TSA approved combination lock on the top. It also has an integrated scale--you'll never have an overweight bag again! 

Packing Cubes: Packing cubes are everything--they help you fit more into your suitcase and keep you organized. I have the Eagle Creek set. They even have a laundry cube that is perfect for your dirty clothes. This cube has two exterior pockets--one with water resistant material and the other with breathable mesh. 

Headphones: Any headphones will do but these wireless, noise cancelling headphones with 25 hours of wireless playtime look amazing!

Eye Mask: Anything that can help me sleep on a flight is crucial. I'm very sensitive to light so I need an eye mask whenever I fly.

Lip Balm  & Hand Cream: Whenever you fly, your skin gets very dry. I pack my favorite lip balm [lemon & shea butter is the best scent!] and hand cream [unscented & not greasy!] to combat this issue.

Fuzzy Socks: Fuzzy socks are a must have for me on any long flight. My feet get a little swollen in the air and cozy socks always make me more comfortable while traveling. These slippers look like a really cozy option too.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

4 Challenges Of A Remote Wedding + How To Overcome Them

Planning a wedding is never an easy task. Often times it can be the most stressful event you'll ever plan in your life. While some brides choose a venue close to home, Joe and I selected a venue in our old home, which is across the country from where we currently live. We wanted to get married in our college town--where we met. As the planning has progressed, more and more issues have come up. Today I want to share some of the biggest challenges we've faced and how we are overcoming them. 

Finding Vendors: Vendor selection is tricky, as most of us have never been involved in planning a wedding. I used The Knot and Yelp to find most of our vendors. We also got recommendations from our venue owner for the caterer. Our DJ was also a recommendation from our photographer. It can be fun to shop around for the perfect caterer or florist but unfortunately, we had to go with our gut. This also means you can't stress too much over selecting vendors, which can be nice. I spent a lot of time searching through recommendations and reading reviews. If you know anyone in the area, ask them for recommendations. Also look for a bridal group online, I'm in two bridal groups on Facebook--they are great resources for wedding and vendor-related questions.

Wedding Gown Storage and Alterations: I went wedding dress shopping on two separate days. I went once with my maid of honor at an overpriced boutique in San Francisco [just for fun]. I also went with my mom in New York. We went to David's Bridal, where I ultimately chose my dress. I had the dress shipped to my parents in California. They are storing it until the wedding. I am flying to California next month for another wedding and doing my fitting that same weekend. The week before the wedding I will go back and try on/pick up my dress. We will drive the dress down for the wedding. It is a bit crazy but I'm also happy not to have to store my dress in my tiny Manhattan apartment!

Bonding With Bridesmaids: This is a tricky one that I haven't fully figured out. Obviously it would be much more fun to have regular dinners or at least be able to bring them wedding dress shopping. For me, this wasn't an option. I've seen two members of my bridal party since asking them and I won't see any others until my bachelorette party. Although this is a bummer, here is how I've kept up with them: texting, Skype, phone calls, and social media (mainly InstagramFacebook & Snapchat). I have a private Bride Tribe Facebook group for my ladies. I also reserved our lodging starting two days before the wedding. Some ladies will arrive on Thursday so we'll have Thursday night and Friday night to bond.

Wedding Vendor Experiences: One of the disappointing aspects of planning a wedding remotely is missing out on experiencing vendors and shopping around. As I mentioned earlier, we found most of our vendors online. The majority of our communication with them has been by e-mail or phone. Joe and I reserved a few days last summer to go visit and meet with several vendors. We did our menu tasting, venue site visit, engagement photos, and cake tasting. It was a jam packed three days but we made it work. We booked our DJ and florist recently so we haven't even met them and won't until the wedding. I recommend scheduling some time to visit your venue and meet with your vendors if possible, even if it requires a flight [as ours did]. 

Although wedding planning can be really stressful, it will ultimately lead to a beautiful and memorable day. Nothing is ever perfect but it will be amazing and wonderful. 

Best of luck, brides-to-be!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bridal Shower Dress Picks


Welcome to another Wedding Wednesday!

This week I've started to consider what I'll wear for my bridal shower [in June]. I definitely want some sort of flowy dress, possibly a maxi dress. My first choice color is blush but I'll just see what looks best! 

Today I've rounded up ten bridal shower dress options for brides-to-be. These are perfect for a spring or summer bridal shower. 


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

DIY Natural Cleaning Products [Video]

In addition to my closet declutter, I also want to share some simple DIY natural cleaning products that you can easily make at home.

 I never realized how effective and easy natural cleaning products are to make. I've started making my own sprays and using things around my home to disinfect my space. 

I also like that I'm not using harm chemicals, especially with our little [fur] child running around. 

Please share any natural cleaning product recipes in the comments!

Closet Declutter | Spring Cleaning

Over the weekend it hit me that spring is just around the corner [even if it doesn't feel like it in NYC].  I got a sudden burst of inspiration to clean out my closet and went with it. Manhattan closets are notorious for being tiny and mine is no exception. 

Here are a couple of things I did to start decluttering my closet:

Sell and/or Donate Clothes: I take my used clothes to Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange. Both companies have locations across the United States. You can sell clothing in store [normally you will need to wait in line to sell] or mail in your clothes. For mail in, you can request a bag on either of their websites; they'll send you a pre-paid bag [it's all free to you]. They will send you a check for whatever they take, however, if you want any of the unwanted clothes back, you will need to pay for shipping. I've done this option once before and just let them donate those unwanted items. 

My preference is to attempt to sell my clothes at Crossroads first then walk to Buffalo Exchange. I've found that Crossroads is more selective but they pay you more for your items [50% in store credit or 33% in cash]. Buffalo Exchange tends to take more items but they only pay 25% in cash [or 50% in store credit]. These percentages are based off the price they will charge customers for these items. It is also important to note that these percentages are what I've gotten in New York City; they may be different elsewhere in the country.

Fortunately, in Manhattan, Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange are only a block apart. I tend to hit up Crossroads first then move on to Buffalo Exchange. Whatever I don't sell at either, I generally donate [there is a Good Will one block from Buffalo Exchange too!].

I also will offer clothes to friends if I know they are the right size and potentially their style. I'm bringing home a few items that don't fit me right for my best friend next month. 

Utilize Closet Space: I find that I don't wear items that I can't see. I've start hanging my belts. My goal is to hang my purses next with shower hooks. I also use clear stacking drawers for my workout clothes [honestly there is not enough space in my one drawer under my bed]. I like to label these drawers--but that is definitely not necessary.

I plan to continue sharing posts as I work through my spring cleaning but I hope this gave you a little inspiration to start cleaning your space!

© Modern Mollie | New York City Lifestyle Blog. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.