How To: Lana Del Rey's Makeup

You know I love Lana Del Rey. I sung her praises awhile ago and now I'm sharing this tutorial with you by the lovely Samantha Chapman (PixieWoo) on YouTube.
(Sorry for those who thought it was me doing the tutorial--- I wish I was as talented as this gal!)


 
 
In the tutorial, she uses brushes from her own line, Real Techniques, to achieve Lana's signature look---long and lush lashes, winged liner and super-plumped lips.
 
 

Real Techniques sent me their shading brush to test out---and though I'm not much of an eyeshadow person (I prefer simple liner for everyday---more Kate Middleton than a smokey eye with lots of different shadows and blending) I have been using the brush to blend out concealer and it's lovely for that.

I actually use various eye makeup brushes to blend out my concealer. Sometimes, the fibers, shape or size of the brush are simply a better fit for a concealing job. Do you ever use any makeup brushes outside of what they are intended for? 

I have one of Real Technique's shading brushes to give away here on my blog (if you're into eyeshadow, you can use it as a shading brush, or, you can be a rebel like me and use it for concealer).
To enter, leave me a comment below with your email address so I can contact you if you win.  One entry per person. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. The contest closes on Sunday, May 6th at Midnight CST.
You can check out more Real Techniques brushes
on Sam's website.
 
xoxo,

Veronika.
 
FTC Disclaimer: One Real Techniques brush was sent to me for consideration and another was sent to me to give away to one of my readers. I was not compensated to write this post, I just like giving away as much as I can to my readers.

Kerastase Giveaway Winners!

634 entries. WOW! You all absolutely blew me away with this giveaway.  I am so excited to announce the 10 winners and can’t wait for them to try the amazing Kerastase Cristalliste line!

Here’s how I selected winners:

  • I removed all invalid comments---either ones that didn’t have email addresses (which were never published) and ones that indicated that the user had removed their own comment, so that they didn’t count as entries.
  • I also removed anyone who entered after the giveaway was already closed and entries that did not leave a comment about what their favorite hair secret was, as I felt it was not fair to those who submitted actual hair secret comments versus ‘please enter me” which was NOT a valid entry for this giveaway.
  • I ended up with 634 total entries and used random.org to select the 10 winners

…and the winners are…….

348:

AnonymousApr 15, 2012 10:04 PM

Great stuff! I try to wash every other day and rarely use any heating elements. Also, a leave-in conditioner has been good for my hair and I almost always let it air dry.
valeriemarie78@gmail.com

0K winner 5

633:

AndreaApr 22, 2012 03:00 PM

Your blog gave me the confidence not wash my hair everyday! My hair is so much healthier and I have more time in the mornings! Dry Shampoo is a must :-)
aelizabeth00@gmail.com

0K winner 2

631:

Lauren KApr 22, 2012 08:17 AM

What a wonderful giveaway! I'm always looking for new hair products!
I have thick, wavy hair - the best thing for it is to wash it every 3 days, and always use a conditioning mask for 5-10 minutes. It may be a lot for someone with hair that is more fine, but for me, it's the perfect amount of moisture!
...Lauren
LaurenK009 (at) gmail (dot) com

0K winner 1

 

619:
AnonymousApr 20, 2012 03:55 PM

Awesome giveaway!! I have color treated hair and use a baby toothbrush to help dye my roots!
Mmsimpson3@yahoo.com

0K winner 6

379:

NalasApr 16, 2012 02:12 AM

I was able to buy some Kerastase products when I visited Paris because I found the prices better there and I loved the products. I am one of those gals that can't go a day without washing it, so I try to keep heat off of it when possible and just air dry :)
nicole.alas@gmail.com

0K winner 4

 

366:

KayleeApr 15, 2012 11:24 PM

I love kerastase!! I would love to try this line, what an awesome giveaway! Best kept secret for healthy hair? Wash/dry (use heating tools) as little as possible. For me, that would probably mean 4-5 x's per week. Hair generally holds better the second or third day anyway, so that's a bonus.
kaylee338@msn.com

0K winner 7

449:

AshleyApr 16, 2012 11:10 AM

I love doing oil treatments on my hair and trying to limit the amount of heat styling on my off days. ashleymagnuson@yahoo.com

0K winner 3

 

222:

AnonymousApr 15, 2012 05:22 PM

Hi! I don't wash my hair on a daily basis and I comb my hair before going to bed.
iyah_dmd@yahoo.com

0K winner 9

195:

Ash.Apr 15, 2012 04:44 PM

Hey Veronika,
I stumbled on your blog 2 weeks back and have been hooked ever since-Love love love your blog. My secret for healthy hair is a product the deep scalp follicle treatment by John Masters-I was very skeptical about trying this product but after going through a bottle of this I was a convert-It has really helped my hair grow stronger and faster.My hair feels healthy and I am on my second bottle of this-Love this stuff.
apuroh4@gmail.com

0K winner 10

 

69:

♥ LaurynApr 15, 2012 12:09 PM

not washing my hair everyday. also - not using my hairdryer everytime - sometimes airdrying to give my hair a break is best!
laurynvanrooy@gmail.com

0K winner 8

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!  I am going to contact the winners via email. Please note that if you are not a US resident but you were selected as a winner, the products cannot be shipped to you so I will have to choose another winner.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

xoxo,

Veronika.

30 Day Challenge- Who’s With Me? (Fitness Update)

You can do anything for 30 days, right? 

That’s what I told myself this evening when I signed up for an unlimited month of classes at a local workout studio.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll likely never be one of those self-motivated people who can pump herself up to go to the gym and do a self-guided workout.  As much as it feels like a huge failure to not be able to get the motivation to do that, I also can’t let it prevent me from caring for my body.

I’ve been in denial about my fitness lately. I kept justifying it with “I’m too busy,” or “I’ll join the gym next week,” and then weeks and weeks went by with no action (though I did, miraculously, do a home workout video about 2 weeks ago and I could hardly walk for three days!)

0fit7(truer words have never been written---source: letsbehealthy.tumblr.com)

For the past several months, I’ve worked out, on average, once or twice a week.
Sometimes zero times a week.  I started to notice how weak and defeated I felt and knew I had to do something about it.  All of my clothes still fit the same and I haven’t weighed myself in a long time…but my body just doesn’t feel strong and toned anymore, and I hate that.

I’ve also been making an effort to eat better (though, I am writing this post eating ShaSha Co. Ginger Snaps, but that’s neither here nor there).  I just want to regain that feeling I had when I was kicking butt working out 4-6 days a week.

So I’ve made this commitment to myself---a 30 day challenge, if you will, to get back into shape.  Thank goodness muscles have memory, because I sure had a lot of em’ last year.

0fit(okay, so I won’t be running, but darn this girl is fit!---source: thefitspogirl.tumblr.com)

Right now is the time to start your workout routines ladies.  It’s right before summer and it’s the perfect time to motivate yourself to tone up before we start to wear shorts and swimsuits.  If you’re in the same slump as I am, let’s make May the month of change.

Focus on how much better you will feel.  I haven’t been sleeping well lately, something that has been hard for me because I’m usually a great sleeper. I can’t seem to fall asleep until 11, 11:30 or midnight most nights.  I used to be out cold by 10:30.  I still feel happy and energized throughout the day because I have a job that I love and that keeps me busy---but I would love to sleep better and working out always did that for me.

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(aaaannnddd my abs will likely never look like hers,
but, darn, those are some abs! source here)

So my challenge to you is to join me for these 30 days and let’s see what happens.  Let’s try to eat right, go for walks more often and work out---whether it’s at home, in a gym or taking classes, like me.  Whatever works best for you, let’s get to the end of May with clearer minds and more toned bodies.

Who’s with me?  My goal is to work out six days a week.  This will include as many classes as possible and going for walks in the pretty weather we have here right now.

0fit3(important to remember! source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/fitspo)

It will be a nice reward to go to Toronto at the end of May feeling better than I did as I sit here and type this today.

xoxo,

Veronika.

How I Clean Our Home & My Favorite Cleaning Products

“Is your house always so clean?”
“How do you keep up with it all?”
“Do you have a maid?”


I get these questions on a weekly basis so I decided it would be fun to write a post on my favorite cleaning products and methods.

I’m a little OCD/Type-A about cleaning (okay, more than a little) so I like to keep a pretty clean house---but it definitely doesn’t stay perfectly clean all week. Like everyone else, my counters get dirty, my floors and furniture get dusty and I leave clothes on the floor of my closet (more often than I care to admit.)

My goal is to have my house spotless by Sunday so I can wake up to a clean home on Monday. It feels so much better to come home from work on Monday to a clean home than one that is chaotic.  In fact, I don’t even know how people cope when their house is really messy. It gives me anxiety.

Part of keeping a clean home is not having STUFF everywhere.  I’m talking closets, storage closets and garages full of stuff you “might use one day".”  I assure you, you will not.  I purge several times a year by donating things we don’t use to the Salvation Army.  We even donated our old couch.  I hate having clutter around---even if it’s hidden, it bothers me to know that something I’ll never use again is taking up space in my home.

I will admit that I’m much more obsessed with keeping this home clean than our last one. It’s probably because the floors are so dark that they show every spec of dust. Or maybe it’s because I just love this house so much and want to keep it beautiful (I loved our last house too, but you know what I mean!)

I have considered hiring a maid, but I have promised myself I wouldn’t do that until we have kids. I don’t hate cleaning and I find it provides stress relief---plus, it’s a great workout and it saves me money to do it myself.  So I’m not saying I would never get a maid, I just don’t need one now.

Here are my top “clean house” tips:

  • Clean during off hours--- this past Saturday, my H and I were at a crawfish boil (I don’t eat them!) and we got home at about 10PM. I put on my sweatpants as soon as we walked through the door and got my clean on. I dusted my floors, cleaned countertops and cleaned my entire bathroom. I was up until past midnight but the next morning was bliss---it always feels amazing to wake up to clean home.  I will sometimes even clean on a Friday night so I don’t have to over the weekend. It just depends on the mood I’m in.
  • Get rid of clutter---if it didn’t register when I said it above, donate or sell stuff you don’t need anymore. If you haven’t used it in a year or two---will you really ever use it again? If it no longer goes with your décor scheme, will you really every bring it back? Either find a way to make it work (like repainting a dresser you love) or get rid of it. People worry they will feel regret---but I always feel a great sense of relief.
  • Get the right tools---I’m going to share my favorites below---but having the right tools makes cleaning easy and enjoyable (well, for me it does, some people still hate it, but the right tools make it bearable)
  • One room at a time--- If you hate to clean, try doing one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and like it will “never get done”
  • Team work---if you have a partner or roommate, tag-team your cleaning efforts. I’ll often ask my husband to quickly dust something or Windex something as I’m cleaning the house. He also does chores that I can’t stand, like taking out the trash and unloading the dishwasher.
  • Establish a routine---I have such a routine going that cleaning feels easy now. I keep the products I need to clean my bathroom under the sink so they are easily accessible. I have a whole routine for cleaning my hardwoods too. Once it becomes routine, it will get easier and you’ll be able to do it more quickly.
  • Take it off---of your countertops, that is. I remove everything from my bathroom countertops before I clean them (and the mirror) because it is so much easier and less time-consuming than trying to work around it all. Plus, then you can also clean the things that go back onto the counter before you place them there.
  • Clean when you’re angry or upset---I know this sounds crazy, but my most successful cleaning sessions happen when I’m super stressed or upset about something. You kind of have to channel all of that anger into something and it’s almost a relief to clean and organize things because it kind gives you an outlet to have “control” over something, even when life feels out of control.
  • The light at the end of the tunnel---I can clean my house pretty well in 2-3 hours. It’s totally worth it and I never regret spending the time cleaning it. I’ve had weeks where I skipped cleaning and let the house become a disaster and it makes me pretty grumpy. So when I clean, I think about the mental clarity and calm that it brings me and that encourages me to stick to it.

Now that I’ve shared my very obvious cleaning “secrets,” I’ll share some of my favorite tools and products:

0clean1

Left- Bona Microfiber Mop; Right- Swiffer Sweeper Vac

I am in love with the Bona Hardwood floor cleaning system. The microfiber pad is removable, reusable and machine washable. I use it with Bona Hardwood Floor cleaning and it works like a charm. I first use either a vacum cleaner OR my Swiffer Sweeper Vac to remove dust and then I use the Bona mop to clean the floors.

If you don’t have a Swiffer Sweeper Vac, you should run to Target and buy one, like now.  It was recommended to me once by someone with kids, so I knew it was going to be good.  Basically, it has a Swiffer pad that you attach to it (you toss it when you’re done) and that collects every morsel of dust on your floor. It also has a vacuum function so you can pick up larger bits of dust and other stuff that accumulates on your floors.  It’s as light as a newborn baby and it is PERFECT for cleaning stairs because it’s so easy to maneuver.  Thank you God for the Swiffer Sweepet Vac.

 



 

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Method Daily Granite Cleaner---this stuff smells yummy and makes my kitchen countertops clean and shiny.  What more can a girl ask for?

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Here’s the aforementioned Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It doesn’t have a strong smell and gets the job done. Plus, it’s supposed to be super gentle and okay to use frequently.  Another floor cleaner I love that I only use once in awhile (but I love it) is Orange Glo’s cleaner. It is ultraviolet colored and kind of smells a little strong…but it really makes floors shine. I’ll use it once every 4 weeks or so and use the Bona weekly.


0clean4

My mother-in-law gave me this awesome stainless steel cleaning spray. It’s like a miracle for stainless. If a stainless fridge was like a face, this product would be its facelift. It seriously removes every single smudge with no residue and no streaks. It’s called “Perfect Stainless” because the company is clearly just being honest. It really is perfect.

 

0clean5

Ahhh trust o'l’ Windex.  Every house needs a bottle of Windex. For mirrors, windows and other surfaces you want to clean (like my perpetually dirty $30 IKEA coffee table), it just works like a charm.

 

0clean6

If I could write a love poem for it, I would.  The Swiffer duster is like a little cleaning caterpillar.  It picks up dust anywhere and actually holds it in place. I use these to dust all of my furniture, ceiling fans, everything. I don’t even understand what people did before these were invented.


0clean7

We have lots of Travertine in our home. Pretty, but it’s a sensitive stone.  That’s why I love 409’s Natural Stone Cleaner.  It’s gentle and effective. I use it on my bathroom countertops and floors. It doesn’t have a strong smell either which is great!

 

0clean8

Okay, this isn’t a cleaning product, but I’m obsessed with CALDREA linen spray. It smells so good I wish they made a soap, body wash and perfume in this scent. I just want to douse myself in it and smell like that forever. SO good. I spray it on sheets, towels, my duvet. Even my clothes sometimes.


0clean10

We have a glass shower so it gets pretty icky in there. Soap and body wash reside abounds. That’s why I love Tilex Fresh Shower spray. The last person who showers (usually me) sprays it on the glass and tile and it basically cleans your shower without you even touching the glass. It’s like cleaning for lazy people.


0clean11

No bathroom is complete without some Lysol. I use the 4 in 1 Bathroom Cleaner to clean my sinks. It has a strong smell, but it’s quite nice and makes sinks look fresh and shiny.


0clean12

Method All-Purpose cleaner smells great (just like their granite cleaner) and works for all kinds of surfaces.  I usually use it on my mirrors and faucets.


What are your best cleaning tips and favorite cleaning products?  Do you have a maid? If so, how often does your maid clean your home?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

xoxo,

Veronika.

FTC: I purchased all of these products with my own money and am raving about them because I’m a clean-a-holic.  Are you? I  am using affiliate links in this post. I get a teeny tiny percentage by using affiliate links…but this post took me about 2 hours to write and find all the links (so you wouldn’t have to)…so I deserve a few pennies, no?

Ladies Who Brunch

One thing I love about Houston is that we have the most incredible brunch places.  I am a huge fan of Eggs Benedict and get them nearly everywhere I go. 

It’s also a city with a lot of incredible bloggers and we like to get together from time to time to chat.  It’s a gorgeous day here in Houston so we made reservations at Backstreet Café and enjoyed mimosas, brunch foods and conversations galore!

I was joined by Magen from MMMStyle, Monica from Classy & Fabulous, Katy from Sugarlaws, Shasie from LiveLifeinStyle and Bethany from Southern Chic Style.  Magen’s gorgeous little twin girls joined us too---they were definitely the cutest gals there!
So, what does a gal wear to brunch with other stylish ladies…in hot temperatures?  A maxi dress, of course! Easy, breezy and so comfortable.

Here’s a photo from our brunch (thanks to Katy @sugarlaws!)

0bloggerbrunch

For anyone local---I highly recommend the mixed berry mimosa there---YUM!  I hardly ever drink alcohol, but when I do, it’s almost always something with champagne (I also occasionally drink Riesling wine).  I also want to recommend the blood orange mimosa at Benjy’s on Washington and the pink champagne with the hibicus flower at Coppa---probably the best champagne drink I’ve ever had in my life.

Anywho…here are some photos I took of my outfit before going out for brunch (I can already tell this dress is going to be a summer staple for me!)



0maxi40maxi7
0maxi2

Dress- Charlotte Russe (a steal at $26.99! but got it awhile ago)
Wedges- Cynthia Vincent for Target
Necklace- Regina Pierallini
Bag- Kate Spade “New Bond Street Florence”
Belt- came with the dress

What do you wear to brunch? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Job Interviews & Building Your Work Wardrobe: The Basics

What should you wear to a job interview, how can you build a wardrobe full of great basics when you're entering the work world and how can you still show off your personal style in the workplace?


If you are interested in the answers to these questions, well, my friend, this post is for you!

If you follow me on Twitter (@veronabrit) or Facebook, you'll know that a couple of months ago I was asked to give a presentation to students at the University of Houston who are members of the PRSSA.

The topic was how to dress for job interviews and in the workplace. I gave an overview of what you should wear to a job interview, how to build a basic work wardrobe when you're just out of college and how to dress stylishly in the workplace---using a handful of my favorite bloggers as style examples.


I also want to give a big THANK-YOU to my Facebook page members---they really helped contribute so much to my presentation and offered wonderful tips.


I am going to include excerpts from my PowerPoint presentation as well as screenshots of some of the visuals I used.

First off, job interviews:

•Always wear a suit (there are very, very few exceptions to this- research the company)

•Women can wear skirt suits or pantsuits

•Wear black shoes- women’s heels should stay under 4 inches, no open-toed shoes

•Don’t wear a strong fragrance

•Make sure hair is well groomed/not too fussy

•Make sure nails are well-groomed and if painted, choose a light, non-offensive color
(I like OPI’s “sweetheart” it’s a great neutral)

•Tuck in your shirt to your pants or skirt

•Keep jewelry simple and minimal

•Wear natural looking makeup (no red or bright pink lipstick or smoky eyes)

Examples of appropriate interview attire:

0interview1

Next up, I talked about building a working wardrobe and I stressed the importance of waiting for stores like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor to have 40% off sales and buying basics at that time.  These stores have 40% off sales at least once a month, if not more often. Sign up for their emails and check online for promo codes.  See Chloe Shop is also an incredible resource to find out when all of the sales are happening.

Here are some work wardrobe essentials I think are a great start for going from college student to working gal:

0interview2

•Black pencil skirt and black dress pants

•One pair of black pumps and one pair of nude pumps

•One black, navy or neutral colored dress

•A few shells

•A few blouses

•Some classis dress shirts (I love the J.Crew “perfect shirt”)

•Cardigans for layering

•A great fitted blazer (black and navy tend to be most versatile)


Some of my favorite places to shop for work essentials:

•Ann Taylor

•Banana Republic

•GAP

•Nordstrom

•LOFT

•J.Crew

•Zara

•Macy’s

•Dillards

•Nine West

•JC Penney

•Nordstrom Rack

•Old Navy

•Express


The most fun part of the presentation was talking about how you can infuse your own personal style and trends into your work wardrobe. Here were a few guidelines I shared:

 

•Watch your hemlines- just above the knee is okay---mid-thigh is not

•Never show cleavage at the office---wear a camisole under a blouse or dress if needed

•Don’t wear platform heels to work- if you’d wear it to a club, it’s probably not the best choice for the office

•Use accessories, color and prints to infuse fun into your work wear

•Dress for the job you want, not the job you have---look to your peers for cues on what to wear---this doesn’t mean dress like the CEO, but try to dress appropriately to your work environment

•Dress for your day---dressier for meetings and important events and more casual if you’ll be in the office all day

•Look to your superiors for guidance on how to dress

•No flip flops, sweat pants or shorts, please!

Here are some of the examples I used to showcase work-appropriate attire with style:

0interview3

L-R: Gal Meets Glam, The Chloe Conspiracy

0interview4

From L-R: The Chloe Conspiracy, The Daybook Blog, Hello Framboise!

0interview5

From L-R: Atlantic-Pacific, Running on Happiness, The Chloe Conspiracy

0interview6

From L-R: Gal Meets Glam, The Chloe Conspiracy, Atlantic-Pacific

0interview7

From L-R: The Chloe Conspiracy, Extra Petite

0interview8

From L-R: Extra Petite

 

I hope this post is helpful to anyone who is just starting to build their working wardrobe. If you have any questions, please ask me on formspring or on Facebook---you will get your answer much more quickly!

xoxo,

Veronika.

(By the way, if you are one of the bloggers above and do not wish to have your photos in this post, please email me at veronabrit at gmail dot com and I am happy to remove them.)

Customize Your iPhone Case! Fullerton Photographics Giveaway!

My iPhone is one of my most important tools/accessories. It's with me at all times---at work, on my nightstand (I use it as my alarm) and in my handbag no matter where I'm going. If I could implant it to myself in some way, I probably would (just kidding... but let's face it, that's pretty much the future)

So when Fullerton Photographics asked me if I wanted to create a custom iPhone case, I jumped on the chance to create a case that was "me" and pretty to look at.

Here's the design I created (pssstt I've seen cases like this sell for $40 at Nordstrom!)


(on my actual phone)

(just the case)

It was really easy to create and they have lots of pre-made templates or you can use a completely blank one like I did.  I selected two images I found online (thank you, Google!) and then I played around with them and was able to adjust placement and image size all in one browser window with an easy to use program that's right on the website.


I love that my new case matches my purse too (both my hot pink Marc Jacobs and my new lilac colored Kate Spade).  Women always carefully choose a wallet that goes with their handbag---so why not have your iPhone case coordinate as well?

As I said in my video where I talked about this iPhone case, it makes a great treat for yourself but also for friends, family members, bridesmaids, anyone!  I love the idea of using your own wedding photo, a favorite quote, your child's photo, a monogram---the best thing is that ANY design goes---because  it's all completely up to you! You can select a background and forground image as I have, just use one images, use five images---it's all up to you!  Check out all of the different design templates here.

The case itself is durable---a nice plastic that is not at all flimsy (my last iPhone case was really cute, but it was a super thin plastic and it did over time start to scuff).

Because Fullerton Photographics is awesome, they are going to give away 2 custom iPhone cases to the lucky readers who win this giveaway. Please note this giveaway is open to US Residents ONLY.

Here's how to enter (3 ways to win!)
1.  Leave me a comment telling me how you might design your case if you win (a family photo, graphic design, monogram, etc---anything goes!) (ONE ENTRY)


2.  Visit the Fullerton Photographics Website at www.fullertonphoto.com  (ONE ENTRY)


3. "Like" the Fullerton Facebook Page  (ONE ENTRY)

Please note that you should leave only ONE comment and indicate in that comment how many times you've entered.  Please note that entries without a valid email address will be deleted and disqualified.  You must leave a valid email address in your comment where I can reach you if you win.

Please remember my comments are on moderation so if you don't see yours right away, do not re-enter, just wait for it to be published.

For those of you who just can't wait to see if you're one of the lucky winners, Fullerton has generously provided a promo code for you to use--- you can enter "veronika5" at checkout for $5 off of your $25 or more order, which brings the cases down to $20---an incredible value for something you get to design yourself!

You can also visit Fullerton's Spring Preview Sale for other custom items including iPhone cases. Since the iPhone cases are on sale UNTIL THE END OF THIS WEEK for $15, you can use the promo code to get 2 cases for $25 (an incredible deal, I might do this one myself!) A fun way to do it would be to split with a friend or buy the second one as a gift!

You can also visit Fullerton's Pinterest Page or follow them on Twitter---but those do not count towards entries in the contest.
Good luck!
xoxo,


Veronika.

PS--- guess which iPhone case I'm creating next?

The Best Kept Secret for Long Hair! Kerastase Cristalliste Giveaway

One of my favorite things to do on this blog is to share with you all my favorite, most holy-grail- worthy hair, makeup and skincare products. 

That's why when Kerastase contacted me about trying out their new Cristalliste haircare line, it felt like a dream come true.  I'm a longtime fan of their products and have over the years used products from the pink, green and orange lines and have loved each and every one of them.

I've said this before, but I truly believe that Kerastase is one of the few haircare lines where they products consistently meet or exceed my expectations.  They do what they say they'll do and they are extremely targeted by hairtype for optimal results.

When Keratase told me their latest line was created especially for women with long hair, I was hopeful that they would be products that would help with my damaged lengths and ends, dryness, breakage, and so on.  Here's what Kerastase says about their new Cristalliste line:

Cristalliste contains a perfect proportion of care and cleansing agents to treat and embellish the hair, making it radiant from the roots to the ends. Cristalliste solves all the problems of long hair leaving hair purified at the root level while leaving ends moisturized, smoothed and polished:

· New generation of high foaming cleansers
· Hair is perfectly clean
· Roots are left pure and weightless
· Evenness of the hair fiber’s cuticle is restored
· Eco-friendly conditioning care agents
· Lengths and ends are smooth and polished
· A concentrated dose of amino-acids and vitamins
· Features Aloe Vera: a powerful natural moisturizer
· Enhances natural hair glow and shimmer

I have been using the line for more than a month now and I'm extremely happy with the products. Here's a breakdown of what I think about each product:

Cristalliste Shampoo- (Bain Cristal Fine or Bain Cristal Thick)
This shampoo is silicone, paraben and colorant free and safe for color-treated hair.  It is clear and smells really nice, which is always a bonus.  I feel that this shampoo cleanses well but doesn't strip the hair which is important for someone like me who struggles with dryness from coloring and styling.  I also love that even though it helps smooth the hair, it doesn't weigh it down whatsoever.   This shampoo really cleanses the roots and nourishes my ends, but I'm still going the same amount of time between washes as I was with any other shampoo I was using, which is wonderful.


Cristallliste Conditioner: (Lait Cristal Conditioner for Long Hair)
You know how your hair can get that "slip" feeling when you rinse out conditioner?  This one definitely delivers in that department. It is also silicone, paraben and colorant free as well as safe for color-treated hair.  I expected the formula to be richer or creamier for some reason, but it has a more mikly consistency.  This consistency, however, has not prevented it from delivering moisture to my ends and making my hair feel softer and smoother----it's supposed to leave your hair free-flowing and give it weightless shine and it really delivers.


Cristialliste Lumiere Liquide: (Luminous Perfecting Essence For Dry Lengths or Ends)
This is the standout product to me from the line. First off, it smells amazing. It kind of reminds me of waterlillies.  Very feminine and pretty. Even the bottle is pretty and it has landed itself a permanent space on my glass tray from West Elm because it's too pretty to hide in my drawer.  I apply two pumps of this to clean, wet, brushed-out hair.  I apply it from the nape of the neck, downward, focusing most on my ends.  This serum helps me achieve a soft, smooth blowout.  What surprises me most is that you cannot at all tell you've used a serum in your hair because it doesn't add any weight and there is no "residue" feeling that you sometimes feel with other products.  For some reason, you just don't get that "serum" feeling on your hair...but you get all the benefits of one, especially with how much smoother and easier hair is to style.




Kerastase Fibre Architecte:
This product was not sent to me, I purchased it from the Kerastase website, but I wanted to mention it because it is now a part of my blowout routine.  I use the Fibre Architecte on hair that is 80% dry.  I apply one or two pumps from the nape of my neck, down, again focusing on the ends of my hair.  Then I blow out my nearly-dry hair in sections with a roundbrush and set in velcro rollers.  This products helps to smooth and "seal" split ends and damage and also helps protect the cuticle of the hair from heat---it is a heat activated product so results are best when you apply heat to your hair immediately after using it.  I have also used this prior to curling my hair.



Kerastase Elixir Ultime:
This is not part of the Cristalliste line, but it's one of the products I have come to really appreciate because it has a multitude of uses.  I am using this once a week at night (on a night before I wash my hair the next morning) as a moisturizing oil treatment for my dry hair.  I can always feel a difference when I wash my hair after I've used it.  The smell is still something I'm getting used to as it's a bit stronger than the other products in the line, but it's not an unappealing scent either.  I also use this oil (just a teeny, tiny pump) on third or fourth day hair.  By this time, I've styled and re-styled my hair a few times with heat so my hair can start to look dry and lose it's shine from using dry shampoo and hairspray.  Applying just a tiny bit of this oil revives my hair a bit and restores shine and gloss to my hair so that it can last me another day before I need to wash it.  Less is more with this product, unless you are using it as a treatment.  I still plan to try it on wet hair before a blowout as I've heard that's a very popular application technique for this product. 

And now, the most awesome part of this post---Kerastase is generously giving away 10 full-sized bottles of the Cristalliste Lumiere Liquide ($42 value each) on my blog! So 10 of you lucky ladies will get to try out one of the incredible Cristalliste products.

Since I've shared one of my best-kept secrets for healthy hair---to enter this contest, I want you to tell me, in the comments below YOUR Best Kept Secret for Healthy Hair.

To enter:
1. Leave me a comment on THIS post about your best kept secret for healthy hair
2. In that SAME comment leave me a valid email address where I can contact you if you win---IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT, I AM GOING TO DELETE IT AUTOMATICALLY. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR EMAIL TO AVOID BEING DISQUALIFIED.  I have already had to delete a bunch of entries because the person did not leave their email address and I want everyone's entry to be counted so please make sure you leave yours!
3. Update: My sincerest apologies, but I have just learned that Kerastase cannot ship the Limiere Liquide internationally as it is considered "hazardous"---not the product itself but the glass bottle and that it's a liquid). The contest can now only be open to contiental US residents. I am very sorry to anyone who may have entered who lives outside of the US and I thank you for being a dedicated reader of my blog.



Please note you may only enter ONCE. Duplicate entries and/or entries without valid email addresses will be disqualified and deleted.

I will keep this giveaway open for one week and announce winners after it is closed. I will select 10 winners using random.org.

Good luck!

xoxo,


Veronika.

PLEASE READ THIS: MY COMMENTS ARE ON MODERATION. IF YOU DO NOT SEE YOUR COMMENT DO NOT POST ANOTHER ONE. IT WILL BE PUBLISHED WHEN I AUTHORIZE IT FROM MY INBOX. PLEASE DO NOT POST MULTIPLE ENTRIES BECAUSE IT MAKES COUNTING THE ENTRIES AT THE END OF THE GIVEAWAY MORE DIFFICULT.


FTC Disclaimer: I was sent the above products from Keratase, except for the Fibre Architect, which was purchased with my own money.  These are my honest opinions about a brand whose products I have personally used and purchased for a long time.  I am not being compensated for this review and/or giveaway.

What I Wore: Weddings Galore!

I just looked back on my blog and realized I haven't blogged since Monday. This week has been one of the busiest in recent memory so my apologies I have been MIA.  I have TWO great giveaways coming up next week to make up for my absence---one is an iPhone case giveaway (and promo code!) from Fullerton Photographics and the other is a Kerastase giveaway.

Here's a breakdown of my week:

Thursday night---Candice and I attended Simon Fashion Now at the Galleria Houston. We meet up with the lovely Monica from Classy & Fabulous, Lynette and Magen from MMM-Style.

It was a great show, as usual and I always love checking out the spring and summer styles! Here are a few shots of us from the event.

The dress I wore is Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent (got it on myhabit.com):




On Friday, we attended the wedding of my husband's friend and it as so fun!  The venue was really intimate and pretty and the ceiling was full of chandeliers (yes please!)


 
I wore my green Zara dress:



(Hubs and I)


Saturday (today) we went to another friend's wedding and we had a blast!  I wore my black Jean Paul Gautier for Target dress that I've had for several years now:



Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

xoxo,

Veronika.
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