pretty gifty: paul & joe hand cream0

paul & joe hand cream

who: your beauty entourage – hair stylist, masseuse, nail artist, aesthetician etc.

what: paul & joe’s deeply hydrating hand cream, coming in scents like rose, geranium and orange

why: pretty much anything from this adorably packaged and luxuriously formulated line would make the perfect prezzie, but paul & joe’s newly expanded body line is top notch pampering. take your pick – or buy all three!

where: beautyhabit, $15

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wanted: marsala lips2

marsala layering lip collection

you’ve likely heard that pantone’s color of the year for 2015 is earthy, neutral, sophisticated marsala. (yes, it makes me think of chicken, too.) i have to say that i really love it. it’s kind of sultry and subtle at the same time, flattering just about every single skin tone out there. while it’s sure to look gorgeous on nails and even cheeks, my thoughts went straight to lips. consequently, this sephora+pantone universe layering lip collection has shot to the top of my wish list for its ultimate take on the trend. i love the idea of creating a blended ombre look with these chubby, hydrating pencils and cheers to sephora for adding in reservatrol (for anti-aging benefits) and formulating without parabens and phthalates. plus, five shades for twenty-eight bucks is a fantastic value, no?

are you into marsala as the color of the year? think you’ll be adding this red-brown shade to your beauty bag?

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mark. holiday exclusives0

2014-12-15 13.29.00

this time of year calls for two very important beauty essentials: party-ready eyeshadow and a do-it-all balm that solves a range of beauty dilemmas, from chapped lips to flyaways. thankfully, my friends at mark. have us completely covered in both departments with two perfectly pretty new holiday beauty treasures.

to get your eyelids ready for cocktail party after dance floor after glamorous gift swap, look no further than eye divine soft shimmer shadow. these blendable shades are absolutely gleaming, giving your holiday look a beyond-basic boldness. they are glowy without being overwhelmingly glittery and i love that mark. narrowed it down to three seasonally appropriate metallic neutrals – silver, gold, and copper. the silver shimmer (rolling stone) is my absolute favorite!

to help in solving the season’s peskiest problems like hair static, flaky lips, and unruly cuticles, mark. is bringing us sweet salvation with fix me up multi-benefit scented balm trio. these adorable balms are scented with mark’s best-selling bath & body fragrances (plumberry, lemon sugar, and coconut – yum!) and infused with argan oil, aloe butter, vitamins a and e. their petite size is perfect for a tiny clutch, but each one packs plenty of moisture to combat winter’s wickedness.

these cuties from mark. are around exclusively for the holidays, so scoop them up before they’re gone!

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per-fekt beauty lip per-fekt0

per-fekt beauty lip per-fekt

whether you’re on the hunt for a gift for the girl who has everything or you yourself are searching for a gorgeous go-to lip shade, new lip per-fekt from per-fekt beauty is going to make lots of ladies very happy. i haven’t stopped wearing this chubby pencil since it arrived, finding it to be an amazing little multitasker, pulling together my daytime beauty look and topping off evening makeup beautifully.

this moisturizing lip gel comes in a one-size-fits-all natural dusty pink. it’s gorgeous and glides onto lips for a shiny finish, feeling moist and comforting. it flatters absolutely everyone and it has a melty balminess that works to soothe chapped lips in a pinch. when i wear it, i feel polished and pulled together without trying too hard. this shade goes with everything from a tshirt to a little black dress and i have been wearing it everywhere from work appointments to holiday parties.

per-fekt has taken the guesswork out of everyday lip color and i know tons of women who would love to find this little gem in their christmas stocking.

per-fekt beauty lip per-fekt is exclusively at ulta, $17.50 >

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pretty gifty: royal apothic tinties0

royal apothic tinties pink

who: teachers, coworkers, or anyone whose stocking needs stuffing

what: a luxurious lip moisturizer with a hint of color. choose from coral, berry, pink, or nude.

why: these tiny glass pots couldn’t be more adorable if they tried! inside is a formula rich in jojoba seed oil, beeswax, and argan oil so your lips will be protected from winter weather while blooming in beautiful color. best of all, each one comes gift-ready in the most gorgeous little box.

where: anthropologie, $14

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my hair cuttery look0

lara ramos hair cuttery

i cannot even remember when the last time i chopped this absolutely outrageous and unruly mane of mine (thank you, prenatal vitamins), so when hair cuttery offered me a free cut, i cannot tell a lie – i threw caution to the wind and went for it. now, i should note that my hair is not complicated, but much like the rest of the universe, i like it how i like it, and i don’t let just anyone cut it. i should also note that i’m in the habit of paying $75-$90 for my haircuts, which is probably why i only get an average of two per year. the thought of a $24 cut set me a little inexplicably on edge, but i ignored my nerves and made my appointment.

when i settled into the chair at my local hair cuttery, stylist patrick immediately put me at ease. he asked me exactly what i wanted, then asked thoughtful questions about how i part and style my hair, how confident i am blowing it out with a round brush, etc. to decide how he would achieve the desired length and style. while he worked, i learned that he has worked for hair cuttery for six years (impressive in an industry where i feel like people bounce around!) and that he studied at our local paul mitchell school. then, as he was cutting, he checked in with me periodically to get my thoughts and make sure that he was on track which i fully appreciated. once the cut was done, he took painstaking effort to blow my hair out to picture-perfect smoothness.

lara ramos hair cuttery after

when all was said and done, there’s no denying: this is a good haircut! the layers are soft and even, without any harsh lines and the length frames my face exactly how i like it. i am one happily surprised customer.

my collaboration with hair cuttery is in celebration of an upcoming feature to their blog called #myhclook. this feed, generated by hair cuttery fans, will provide easy access to the latest styles provided by its stylists and will serve as inspiration to fans around the country. i love a brand embracing social media – and what’s more fun than showing off a confidence-boosting cut?

about hair cuttery: hair cuttery is the largest family owned and operated chain of hair salons in the country, with nearly 900 company-owned locations on the east coast, and in new england and the midwest. a full-service, value-priced salon, hair cuttery offers a full complement of cuts and styling, coloring, waxing and texturizing services with no appointment necessary, as well as a full line of professional hair care products. hair cuttery is a division of ratner companies, based in vienna, va. you can keep up with hair cuttery on facebook and twitter, and you can find the closest hair cuttery to you by using the salon locator.

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tarte colored clay bronzer blush0

tarte colored clay bronzer blush

i am far from a kardashian when it comes to contouring, but that doesn’t mean that i don’t love a little artificial shape and lift as much as the next girl. when i first landed eyes on this stunning palette from tarte, all i could think was how beautiful of a blended shade those little individual leaves would create. when i researched a little deeper, i learned that beyond color, tarte has created a skinvigorating formula made from nourishing mineral powders rich in nutrients and clay that protects against free radicals and restores balance. there was no question that this little compact would have to be mine.

now that i’ve been using it for a couple of weeks, i’m finding that the benefits here are way more advanced than your average blush or bronzer. i use this brush* to pick up pigment from the middle’ish row and pop it onto the apples of my cheeks for one heckuva gorgeous glow. i can’t really describe the instant contouring that this powder provides. it gives lift and definition without any special strategy or precise placement. all i can say is that its awesome. you can easily build and customize coverage for your specific skin tone and it’s easy to play around with color combinations on different parts of your face for one amazingly warm and natural finish.

i’m going to go ahead and call this one a must-have. i have a feeling that it won’t be around for long, so i would scoop it up at your earliest – and trust me when i tell you that you won’t be sorry.

tarte colored clay bronzer blush, $30 >

*hopefully it’s back in stock soon! it’s my favorite.

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glossier phase 1 set1

glossier phase 1

i’ve been following emily weiss closely ever since this happened, and whether you watched her on the hills or you’re a fan of her internet empire into the gloss, the truth remains that she really knows her stuff when it comes to beauty. so when emily and her team launched their own modern beauty brand called glossier, of course i had to get my hands on the goods.

all of the products in the glossier repertoire work seamlessly together for ultra gorgeous skin. we all know that my skin has a tendency to freak, but i fully trusted emily, her experience, and her obsession with skincare to take good care of me – and i wasn’t wrong.

the first step in her process, the rosewater face mist is hydrating and refreshing, the perfect gentle toner. i spray it onto a cotton pad instead of directly on my skin and sweep it over my face after cleansing. it doesn’t leave my face dry or tight and there’s nothing greasy left behind, everything just feels balanced and healthy.

step two is glossier priming moisturizer. (it was kara’s review that first sparked my curiosity in glossier!) it’s lightweight, soothing and calming, with the perceived effects of de-stressing my entire face, and it makes a beautiful canvas for glossier perfecting skin tint. skin tint reminds me a lot of the serum foundations (like this one and this one) that we have seen crop up lately. it brightens and blurs imperfections, giving a simple glow and polished look to my face. it’s not as much coverage as foundation, but it takes the edge off naked skin and feels so breathable that anyone with generally good skin won’t need much else and anyone who needs more coverage will find that it’s a nice booster for underneath your favorite foundation.

as a final note, glossier balm dotcom has quickly become my favorite lip balm. i slather it on morning and night for its moisturizing and conditioning effects. it helps all of my lip color to lay (and stay!) more evenly and has completely eradicated any unsightly flakes.

in case it isn’t clear, i’ve been highly impressed by every single one of these products. i shouldn’t have expected anything less than greatness from emily and i can’t wait to see what this girl does next.

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pretty gifty: rosie jane votives0

rosie jane votive set

who: gracious holiday hostesses

what: set of two soy wax candles, scented with coconut, gardenia, and pineapple in beautiful reusable glasses.

why: who doesn’t want a tropical holiday? split ‘em up or gift them together (or keep one for yourself!) – either way, these make any room smell absolutely gorgeous!

where: anthropologie, $38

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pretty gifty: we see beauty matte dew x beauty bag0

we see beauty matte dew

who: your socially conscious bestie, or anyone who needs a skin-perfecting finish and an extra pretty place to stash her beauty essentials.

what: wee see beauty’s mattifier and moisturizer in one, matte dew, paired with a graphic hand-woven zip-top beauty bag.

why:  33.3% of all sales on weseebeauty.com is donated to the we see beauty foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the cooperative movement.

where: weseebeauty.com, $45

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