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Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Pieces

Fall is officially already here, if you want to get technical. Even though in Houston, we're still dealing with weather in the 80s and 90s... but this hasn't stopped me from embracing fall fashion. I haven't been able to keep my hands off of sweaters, long sleeve tops, and and heavier-fabric dresses every time I've been shopping within the past month or so. I've also made a rule for myself that if I'm going to purchase clothes, my first consideration needs to be whether I can wear it to work or not. Lucky for me, I've been finding lots of cute black/white/grey clothes. Here's a few pieces that I'm currently loving...
Left: Forever 21 dress, grey with beading and zipper back. Right: Forever 21 black lace and sheer top with high collar.

Of course I'm still wearing my Jeffrey Campbell Lita booties pretty often. I have them in two colors, and they really are the perfect look for fall, especially with tights.

I can't wait for winter to show itself so I can finally start getting away with wearing more sweaters and jackets. I do love the summer and spring seasons, but fall and winter fashion are when the dressing and the styles get really good! Plus, doing hair and blowdrying all day in a knit sweater isn't exactly the brightest idea when it's already 90 degrees outside. So bring it on, cold weather! I'm ready for you.

Hope everyone's having a fabulous Friday! One more day of work for me, and then my weekend begins!

Natalie Delaine

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Current Favorites

I've been slacking lately, and I need to get back on top of things and show this little blog some lovin'. I've been turning over the idea of starting a new blog that has even more insight into my every day life, but the idea is still in the works, so I have yet to make a decision. It'll be a little bit more of a commitment, which I'm okay with, but I just need to gear myself up for it (please bear with me!). In the mean time, I have a few of my current favorites to share...

Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion: I'm in love with this stuff, and have been for years. On a day-to-day basis, I typically don't wear eyeshadow, but I do wear eyeliner, and putting a small dab of this on my eyelids before I apply my eyeliner keeps it from fading or rubbing off during the day. Obsessed. If you don't use it, you oughta. It's a cult beauty classic.

YSL's Touche Eclat (Radiant Touch) under-eye concealer: I use this til every drop in the tube is gone. Ever since I can remember, I've had trouble finding a product that will brighten my eyes up just enough, and this concealer does the job beautifully. It doesn't need to be re-applied throughout the day, because it's very well formulated. They put lots of love into this product, and you can tell from the very first use.
Clinique Repairwear Intensive Night Cream: It's never too early to start using anti-aging skincare products, so I recently added this to my nightly routine. It's super smooth and hydrating.
MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliner: I was recently turned onto this eyeliner during a recent trip to the Galleria. I was searching for a liquid eyeliner that would last and was easy to apply. Sure enough, this stuff is perfect.

This is a shot of the small side table I have next to my sofa. It's very simple, but I absolutely love curling up with a blanket and a book and reading by lamplight or candlelight. It's super relaxing. I also love the little candle holder I found at Bath & Body Works. And that's a Warm Sugared Donut candle burning inside the holder... my apartment smells DELICIOUS. :) The coasters are a find from Urban Outfitters.

I've saved the best for last today... I recently became a redhead. And let me tell you what a great friend of mine shared with me the other day... Blondes may have fun, but redheads get remembered. That could not be truer. (Thanks, Jennifer, for the little insight!)

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! It's back to work for me! I've got two more clients at the salon and some intense Yoga to get into when I get home! Cheers! 

Natalie Delaine

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Few New Favorites...

A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to the Galleria (surprise, surprise...) and found some great buys. Here's a few of my favorites...
Skirt: Zara; Lipstick: MAC 

I can't wait to wear the skirt with some cute boots for fall. I'm excited because we just implemented a new dress code at work which consists of black, white, and grey, with a pop of color in our accessories. So, this means I can still wear my new skirt, which is black with a grey/silver metallic finish.
Of course I am also obsessed with the new lipsticks I picked up from MAC. Here's a close-up.
Left: Vegas Volt; Right: Speed Dial

I'm already hooked on Speed Dial. I wore it for a week straight, until today, when I switched it up and went with Vegas Volt. I love the pop of color it adds to my otherwise natural daily makeup look.

I also added a little prettiness to my kitchen table yesterday. I picked up a rose from the grocery store's floral department and used a wine bottle as a vase to create a new centerpiece. It's simple, but cute. Side note: the wine was awesome, so if you're into reds, I'd recommend this one. It's called Chain Gang Sonoma County Red Wine, and can be found at HEB.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday night! As for me, I'm about to lie down on the couch and take it easy. Tonight is going to be pretty low-key because tomorrow's going to be a busy day at the salon!

Natalie Delaine

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Skincare

When it comes to beauty products, my weakness is in skincare. I absolutely love trying new things and discovering what works and what doesn't. I want to share with you guys what my routine has been as of late, and give an overview of each step.

From left to right:

boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil
I've been using this as my nightly cleanser for about six months now, and I am OBSESSED. I have never found a product that removes my facial makeup and cleanses my skin so well at the same time. I was skeptical to try it at first, because it actually is an oil and my skin doesn't react to oily products very pleasantly, but this leaves my skin feeling incredibly clean and refreshed. I was hooked after a week.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
This cream is a miracle moisturizer. I've had eczema almost my entire life, and it's been a pain trying to find moisturizers for my hands and body that don't cause irritation or worsen my eczema when I have flare-ups, but this stuff is formulated specifically to hydrate parched, cracked skin, and it protects against environmental irritants. I use the Repair Cream daily on my hands, and it's so relieving after a busy day at the salon when my hands are in and out of water. Love this stuff.

Sephora Smart Dual Action Exfoliator
I use this twice a week as a regular exfoliant. It has two different steps inside the tub - one side is white and one side is green. First, I use the white exfoliant on my whole face after I've finished using my basic cleanser, rubbing in small circles. Then I use the green exfoliant directly on top of the white, but I only place it on my oiliest areas (the T-zone) and rub that in for a few seconds. To finish, I use a warm washcloth and wipe the exfoliant off. My skin always feels so smooth and polished afterward.

Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant
This sugar-based, peppermint lip-exfoliant is awesome. I use this only as needed, because it is a tiny tube, and it's a little on the pricey side ($18 for a 0.75oz tube), which kind of bums me out, but in my opinion that is literally the only downside. I wear lipstick daily, and when my lips get dry in extreme heat or extreme cold weather, the lipstick starts to look dull and almost clumpy. However, if I use the exfoliant in the morning before I put on my lipstick, my lips look smooth and soft all day long.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
I love anything that makes my skin radiant, and let me tell you, this stuff did to my skin exactly what it says it will do. I noticed a big difference in even skin-tone and my face looks so much more glowy and radiant after a few months of using the serum. This one is very pricey ($79 for a 1oz bottle), but I was lucky enough to snag a sample-size (which is almost .05oz) for free in a Caudalie gift-package from Sephora when I saved up my Beauty Insider points a few months back. It pays off to spend so much time in that store! I use just a few drops of the serum on my face every night after using the MakeUp BreakUp cleanser. I'm addicted.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
This classic moisturizer by Clinique has been a staple in my beauty routine for a long time. I use this every morning and every night as the last step before putting on my makeup or going to sleep. It's very gentle and light, and my skin stays moisturized all day/night with this lotion.

boscia B.B. Cream
At the beginning of summer, I started seeing lots of other bloggers post about B.B. creams, which I had never heard of. I did a little bit of research and found out that B.B. cream (also referred to as "blemish balm" or "beauty balm") has been around for years, but it was mainly sold in East and Southeast Asia. There are lots of different types of B.B. creams, most containing SPF and some sort of antioxidants that improve the skin. Lucky for us, B.B. creams are all over the market in America now, and I was excited when I discovered that Sephora started carrying one from boscia. I decided to give it a shot, and so far I actually really like it. It contains SPF 27, is oil-free, hydrates, and firms the skin. The best part is that it comes in a universal shade that adjusts with your individual skin-tone, and it gives a flawless, smooth look. I love wearing this when I'm spending the day outside, because it gives just enough color and it has SPF, so I know I'm protected from the harsh rays in this Houston heat. After I use up this B.B. cream, I want to try a few other brands' creams, so I'll update on those later on down the line.

All of the products above can be found in Sephora stores or on the Sephora website. I promise I wasn't set up to endorse any of these products, but I absolutely love them all, and my skin does, too! 

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Tuesday!

Natalie Delaine

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend...

I've been a busy girl lately, so I'm taking some time to sit down and share a little bit of what's been going on this weekend! 
On Saturday, at work, I was surprised when my boss informed me that I am being promoted to Senior Stylist! I couldn't be more grateful for this new chapter in my career. Later that night, I went to a dear friend's wedding reception. Here's a shot of me and the beautiful bride. It was so amazing to see and feel the love that was present in that room. I wish you guys the best, Serena and Chase!

Sunday afternoon, I attended my niece's third birthday party. A good time was had by all. There was even a moon bounce - I couldn't resist jumping for a while myself. And of course, little miss Seppy had a blast at her party. I love that little girl so dearly! Here she is in her tiara about to blow out her birthday candles.

Today is Labor Day, which is a holiday for most of us, but it feels like a normal Monday for me, as we stylists are always off on Mondays. I did take advantage of the day, however, by cleaning my apartment and baking some cupcakes with my new mixer that I purchased this morning. 
I chose the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer. It comes in 27 different colors (incredible and almost a little overwhelming - I know), but I decided Pistachio was my favorite. It's very vintage-looking. I love this thing so much, and I've had my eye on it for a long, long time. Finally seeing it in my kitchen makes me so happy.

I baked homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and coconut.

They turned out perfect! I'm about to head over to my boyfriend's house to share these treats with his family. I can't wait to eat another one. :)

Hope everyone is having a relaxing Labor Day, and if you worked today, go have a cold brew - you deserve one. 

Natalie Delaine

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's Cookin'?

Within the past month or so, I realized just how much money I was spending on going out for meals. The options at restaurants also aren't always exactly the healthiest choices out there, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start limiting myself to one restaurant visit per week. This means that I've been cooking every other meal on my own at home. It's been a major change for my busy lifestyle, but I've loved the results. My bank account is a little cushier and I feel much healthier. I have so much more energy now. 
One of my favorite things that I've been reading lately is Mario Lopez's book Extra Lean. It teaches you to re-evaluate your eating habits and improve them. I haven't been following the plan to a T, but I've been using lots of the recipes in the book. I want to share with you guys one of my favorites, a beef stir-fry. The recipe in the book serves only one person, so if you're going to be sharing this meal, I'd recommend doubling the amounts. 

1 tsp canola oil
4 oz thinly sliced flank steak
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp teriyaki or hoisin sauce

1. Heat oil in a skillet or wok on medium-high heat, add beef and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add garlic, ginger, broccoli, pepper, and onion; cook, tossing continuously for 2 minutes.
3. Add soy sauce and teriyaki sauce and cook for an extra 2 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp-tender.

This is probably one of the easiest and best tasting things I've ever made at home. Not to mention the fact that it doesn't take very long to cook. I modified the recipe a little bit the second time I made this dish, because my boyfriend was having dinner with me. I removed the broccoli and onion from the recipe, added yellow bell peppers to the mixture while cooking, and added spinach leaves after it was all done cooking. 
Measuring out the flank steak
Diced bell peppers... I actually love those raw, too.
Soy & Teriyaki
During the cooking process
and... voila! The finished meal! It was delicious. I love that this meal only has 333 calories total, and it's got some good protein. For spicy lovers, I'd recommend adding a little bit of chili sauce!

Although this next part may be a little contradictory to the topic of this post (healthy cooking at home), I still have to share with you guys a little bit of goodness that my man surprised me with the other day. My favorite chocolates - Godiva Dark Truffles - and two red velvet cupcakes from Crave Cupcakes in Houston. I was definitely spoiled with all these treats, but my sweet tooth will never go away. It's impossible for me to resist indulging every now and again.

I'm about to relax with a cup of coffee and the latest issue of Lucky Magazine. I considered stopping by the mall for a few things I need to pick up from Sephora, but upon remembering that this weekend is "Tax-free weekend", I figured it's best to steer clear of the mall unless I feel like getting trampled by back-to-school-shopping moms and teenagers. No thanks. 
Hope everyone has a happy Sunday!

Natalie Delaine

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Las Vegas

Greetings, pretties! I haven't disappeared, I promise. I have been so busy lately at the salon and at home -  trying to play catch-up after the Vegas trip was a bit much for me. But! Now I'm settled at home and I can finally take a moment to sit down and share some photos from the trip!

Me and a couple of co-workers of mine getting ready to head to the NAHA ceremony. I was so happy with the way my outfit turned out. The unexpected contrast of my bright, girly BCBGeneration dress with my tough, edgy Jeffrey Campbell platforms was exactly what I was wanting. The shoes were definitely a head-turner - I even had strangers telling me they were a hit. I strongly advise every female reading this to go out and buy a pair for yourself. I promise you'll feel at least a little foxier. And that's never a bad thing!

Me and Bre waiting for the awards to start.

This was taken during the opening of the actual awards show. It was fantastic this year. For those of you who aren't familiar with NAHA, it is the North American Hairstyling Awards. Held annually in Las Vegas, it's basically the Grammys of hair. Stylists from all over the US and Canada send in their latest and greatest portfolio photos to be nominated in several different categories. It was awesome to see so many of the stylists' takes on the newest trends, and there was so much amazing work this year. I definitely left with strong inspiration and even more excitement and gratitude for being part of such an incredible industry. I can't wait to see what's in store for next year.

Here's a shot of me and the wonderful, handsome man in my life. I was super stoked that he got to travel with me, even though it was a business trip for the salon. I loved having him there. <3

These two shots were taken outside of the NY, NY hotel and casino. Unfortunately, I didn't ride the rollercoaster while I was there, but I was a little too busy checking out the AllSaints store in the Cosmopolitan during my downtime... I couldn't help myself! I even found an amazing leather messenger bag that was on sale. I fell in love. (pictures to come!)

Of course when we were there, we had to hit up In-N-Out burger. With extra sauce. I promise only one of those burgers was mine! :)

And here's one last photo to round up the Vegas post! Me on the strip, feeling pretty and enjoying the evening after NAHA ended. If only my shoes were captured in this picture... but Lord knows you guys have already heard enough about those bad boys.

I hope everybody's having a happy Thursday! Next time, I'm going to share what's been going down in my kitchen as of late... and I'm pretty stoked about it. So keep checking back for more! 

Natalie Delaine