May Favorites

Why, hello there, Old Friend! So, It's been a bit since we've chatted and I've shared the beauty and lifestyle goodies that I've been loving. The past few months have been kind of a blur, but even in that blur I've fallen in love with a few things that I have to share with you. 

For those of you that REALLY know me, you'll know that I'm a huge office supply and stationary nerd. After feeling overwhelmed with my "life notebook", a little notebook I always kept with me for notes, lists and rants, I finally gave in and got a proper bullet journal. Bullet Journaling is an analog system for organizing your thoughts and plans. This particular notebook features an index, numbered and dotted pages. Now I can keep track of all of my crazy thoughts....or at least try to.

To help set the mood for a bullet journaling session, I've really enjoyed burning this Velvet Moss & Jasmine candle from Capri Blue. I'm just kidding, I don't "set the mood" for bullet journaling. How much of a nerd do you think I am? Don't answer that. But, I'm in love with this fresh clean scent. It's not too overpowering, yet will fill the room. I suggest repurposing the beautiful mercury glass container as a vase, or a chic way to store spare change. I picked mine up at Raleigh's Blue Water Spa, they have several other yummy scents that I know you'll love.

Time to chat about beauty! I've said for a long time, that I don't see the point in spending a ton on mascara. I can honestly say that this "high/ low" combo has my heart. After forgetting to put on mascara one day, I picked up this NYX mascara at the drugstore. The Faux Lash formula contains fibers to add length and volume, but these fibers don't flake and create a mess on my face. I find it layers perfectly with this volumizing mascara from RMS Beauty. I've recently been exploring Green Beauty and RMS is a name I kept hearing about. And, there's a reason for it. I first do a coat, or two, of the RMS Volumizing Mascara then, to create a false lash effect, I layer on the NYX. The two combined create an extremely glamorous look to the lashes. That being said, the RMS is an amazing stand alone mascara. I love the buildable formula, the full brush, the wear of the product itself, and I love that I don't have to worry about the ingredients in the product at all. If you're interested in elevating your makeup from an ingredients standpoint, and not just by branding, try a few things from them. You'll love them, I know.

During the past few months, I've been playing with different textures of cheek and eye colors. I've been loving how products like Glossier's Cloud Paint and RMS Lip2Cheek meld into the skin. They both create a natural flush to the skin and last most of the day, even on my oily skin. When I want a pinky flush, I opt for the Lip2Cheek in Demure. This product is nice because its perfect to dab onto your lips for a fresh wash of color, I keep it in my handbag for touch ups throughout the day. When I want a little more of a peachy glow, I opt for Glossier's Cloud Paint in Beam. The texture of this cheek color is very thin, but easily buildable and blendable. A little goes a long way with these Cloud Paints, but don't be intimidated, they really are fool proof. Both of these products are perfect for the no fuss makeup girl. They both are formulated to be applied to the skin with your fingers, how easy is that? When I want a bit more "pop" on my cheeks, I top them with Colour Pop Smokin' Whistles Highlighter. This creamish textured product can be used for a subtle highlight or a more statement glow, if you know what I mean. 

After a year of loving my trusty Naked Concealer by Urban Decay, I felt it was time to try something new. I decided to pick up the Glo Minerals Oil-free Camouflage Concealer. This creamy concealer covers discoloration, and even covers dark under eye circles. This formulation lasts on oily skin, and is also perfect for more mature skin textures. Perfecto!

As a hairstylist, my hands are in water constantly. That makes it really hard to keep traditional nail polish on my nails. After hearing Kate, from The Small Things Blog, talk about the Essie Gel Couture polishes, I knew I had to try them. The texture of these polishes is a touch thicker than a traditional polish, and a lot thicker than a normal Essie polish. I recommend using your favorite base coat, then applying two coats of the Essie Gel Couture polish of your choice. I highly recommend letting each coat dry for three minutes before applying the next. Finish with your favorite top coat and you're good to go for days. These polishes are beautiful and durable, what more could a girl ask for? 

I hope that you've enjoyed this look into my favorites. What have you been enjoying? Leave a couple of your favorites in the comments below. Have you tried any green beauty products lately? Share your faves in the comments! I hope you have an amazing day!

~Shana

What's in Her Bag? ~ Lena

If I had two words to describe Lena's makeup routine, they would be "Glam Girl." She rarely leaves the house without her signature winged liner and lipstick. That's why I knew I had to dive into her makeup bag. Little did I know, that I would find some of the most coveted beauty items on Youtube in her stash. 

Lena uses MAC Cosmetics Lightful C Tinted Cream to even out her complexion. This new-age CC cream contains a radiance booster and vitamin C to help the skin now and over time. It, also, contains SPF 30, which is great since we are coming into Spring and Summer here in the South. To keep her eye shadow in place, she swears by the MAC Prep and Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base. It keeps her shadow in place throughout the workday and into the evening. Isn't that every girl's dream? I thought so....

Most of Lena's eye looks are created using the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. This palette truly is perfect for creating anything from subtle day looks to dramatic date night eyes. She creates her signature winged liner with a MAC 208 angled brush and Pro Longwear Fluidline in Black. Fluidline is a great product for winged liner because its longwearing, while also being inky and dark. To finish her eye looks with drama, she layers two mascaras on top of one another. She loves how Benefit's They're Real Mascara adds length to her lashes, and she can't live without the curl and lift that Benefit's Roller Lash gives her. 

Now, on to how she gets her signature glow! Lena defines her facial features using the MAC All the Right Angles Contour palette in light, which includes a cream highlight, a shimmery powder highlight and a cool toned contour shade. When she wants the tops of her cheeks to have a little more "pop", she gives them a sweep of MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skin Finish. This gilded, peachy, bronze shade has a cult following on Youtube, and for good reason. It is buttery soft, and can be used as an eyeshadow and highlighter all over the face. To give the apples of her cheeks a fresh flush, she swears by MAC Peach Twist blush. It has a natural, pinky peach color and adds a soft amount of glow to the skin. When I saw this in her collection, my first words were "I may need this." EEK!

Remember how I said that Lena rarely leaves the house without lipstick on? Well, I wasn't kidding. If she's feeling a matte, stay all day kind of lippie, she's going to go with her favorite liquid lipstick. Kat Von D Lolita 2 is a long wearing, terra cotta nude shade. If she's feeling a little more rosy of a lip, she reaches for Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang lipstick. Even though this is a more traditional lipstick formulation, it gives the lips nourishing color and wears off naturally. For a more everyday, natural lip, Lena lines and fills her lips with MAC Staunchly Stylish lip liner, then tops it with MAC Cremesheen Glass in Just Superb. Just Suberb is perfect for layering  and provides tons of moisture to the lips. It's the perfect topcoat for any lippie combination!

I'm so happy that I got to share my sweet friend's makeup bag with you! I haven't used a lot of MAC products in the past, so it was really nice to see what new things they've come out with, as well as play with some cult favorites from their line. What are your favorite products in your makeup bag? Any that you couldn't live without? Tell me about them in the comments below. Thank you so much for spending a little bit of your time with me, and I'll see you next time! 

~ Shana

Photo of Lena taken by Silverfeather Studios

Photo of Lena taken by Silverfeather Studios

3 Ways That Apple Cider Vinegar Can Make You More Beautiful

I know what you're thinking. Apple cider vinegar? Yes, apple cider vinegar. ACV as some call it, and yes, Pinterest will back me up on that too, is a common household product that you'll find near the back of your pantry. Until recently, I always had ACV because it was always needed in obscure recipes. Now, I seem to be burning through it, because I've recently worked it into my beauty routine 3 different ways. 

The First way that I incorporated apple cider vinegar into my routine is with this hair rinse. In a reusable sports bottle, combine 1 cup of water with 1/2 cup of ACV. After you've shampooed your hair, I recommend using the Wella Elements Shampoo, pour the mixture over your scalp and ends. Let it sit on your hair for about 3 minutes, then rinse, and follow with your favorite conditioner. The Wella Elements Conditioner is perfect for adding light moisture back into the hair. This rinse has so many benefits. Apple cider vinegar helps balance the pH of the scalp which can help keep dry skin at bay, and it also adds shine by locking down the cuticle of the hair. This rinse is especially helpful for removing product buildup, and locking in your hair color. 

The Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse pairs perfectly with Wella Elements Shampoo and Conditioner 

The Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse pairs perfectly with Wella Elements Shampoo and Conditioner 

The Second way that you can use ACV in your beauty routine is by diluting it with water to make a toner for your skin. I recommend using the same ratio to water as above, 1:2. Saturate a cotton swab with the mixture and apply it to your entire face, not including the eye area. This toner helps tighten the skin and helps treat and prevent breakouts. Love it! And, yes, it smells funky at first. However, it does go away once your skin dries, so just try to tough it out.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Baby!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Baby!

The Third, and possibly most startling, way to use ACV is as a mouth wash. Once again, dilute with water in a 1:2 ratio. This pre-brushing mouthwash can help fight chronic bad breathe and help whiten teeth, without damaging your enamel. I recommend swishing it around for 10- 15 seconds before you brush your teeth, then you can enjoy your perky smile! The taste is aggressive, strong, heinous even... but you do get used to it. And, if my ratio is just too strong for you to handle, just add water!

In the past year, I've been shifting my beauty products to the more natural, simple, and ethical side of things. I love that I can incorporate something that is already in my pantry, and that is affordable, into my routine. Have you used ACV outside of the kitchen, yet? Maybe around the house.... Let me know how you use this multitasking tonic in your life in the comments below!

~ Shana 

My Morning Skincare Routine

For many years, the concept of a skincare routine baffled me. When I was young, I was extremely oily and acne prone, and as I've gotten older I'm still pretty oily, but I turn combination in the colder months. Fortunately, I've grown to appreciate my oily skin, I realize that it keeps my skin hydrated and may help me age a little more forgivingly. Even if that is the case, I do think it's important to use good skincare. I started dabbling in "anti-aging" products in my early twenties, my thought was that if I was going to freeze my face at any point, thats probably the time to do it. The quality of my skincare was elevated when I met two of my friends who are aestheticians, someone who specializes in taking care of the skin. These two introduced me to most of the products and brands that I continue to use today. 

I think it's important to cleanse, moisturize and protect the skin daily, so that's what I do. Most days I use the Clarisonic Pro Cleansing Brush along with my Glo Therapeutics Purifying Gel Cleanser to cleanse my skin in the morning. This cleanser is perfect for ridding the skin of dirt and excessive oils, however, I never feel that it strips my skin of moisture. I have pretty tough skin, so I can get away with using my Clarisonic Brush once a day. When I feel that my skin needs a little more of a pick me up, I also exfoliate with the NIA24 Physical Cleansing Scrub. I know it sounds aggressive, however, the particles are very fine and gently exfoliate the skin without aggravating it. Once I've cleansed my skin, I move onto the lotions and potions... 

thehuelifestyle skincare

If I have any residual eye makeup on, I use this Pevonia Botanica Eye Makeup Remover. The solution is very gentle and has never irritated my eyes. I like to apply an eye cream during the day, and I've used the Vital Eye Cream from Glo Therapeutics for years. They recently starting packaging it in this convenient tube situation which seems much more hygienic and easier to use. Jeremy and I have used Glo Therapeutics Oil- Free Moisturizer for years as well, its lightweight and has never made me greasy. I think its funny, though, because I've started adding 2 or 3 drops of Beauty Counter's Balancing Facial Oil to my daily moisturizer, which makes me think my concoction isn't oil free anymore. The Balancing Oil heals and lightly nourishes my skin, and it absorbs quickly into the skin.  The oil is the newest addition to my routine, and I think I love everything about it, from the scent to way it moisturizes my skin. It makes my morning routine feel a little more luxe.

Thehuelifestyle

We all know that investing in our skincare is well worth it. And, having a quality morning skincare routine can truly add that extra pep into your step... and your skin! 

What skincare products do you use in the morning, to prep your skin for the day? Share your tips in the comments below.

~ Shana

What's In Her Bag? ~ Hi, Felecia!

I don't know if you're as nosy as I am, but I LOVE to go through people's makeup bags. I like seeing how simple or elaborate their day-to-day makeup routine is. And, I'm often surprised by my friends collections, even though they claim to be "easy" or "low-maintenance". That's why I wanted to start a new series where I feature the makeup bags of the beloved ladies in my life. I want to see what they are using, what they are loving, and if they have any secrets that they are keeping from me. 

I have a diverse group of friends, and I love it! I've got the singles, the moms, the low fuss, the fussier, the hippies... They're all over the place. I thought it was fitting that for my first feature friend, I'd introduce you to Felecia. She's a 27 year old mother of 1, who does administrative work for She and her husband's companies, family photography and runs her own blog. That's a pretty busy lady! Felecia describes her makeup routine as " Fast and Furious" because she's always on the go. That's something that we can all relate to, right?

Felecia's Everyday Makeup

Felecia's Everyday Makeup

Felecia perfects her complexion with Lancôme Tient Idole Ultra, which doesn't clog her pores. She uses MAC Studio Finish Concealor to cover dark circles, without creasing. To add definition to her eyes, Felecia swears by the Tarte Energy Noir Face Palette. The fresh blush and the purple toned eye shadows make her eyes pop! She finishes off her eye look with this Marcelle Mascara, she discovered it through Birchbox, and likes that it curls and lengthens on the first pass. Who wouldn't love that? Her last step is to add a natural amount of color to her lips and for this she uses Lancôme Color Design Lipstick in The New Pink. Felecia loves this lipstick because it's her perfect "My lips, but better" color.  

Photo of Felecia by Aria Images

Photo of Felecia by Aria Images

I loved peering into my friend's makeup bag, and I'm honestly inspired to up my makeup game. What are your must-have beauty products? Leave your favorites in the comments below, and keep an eye out for our next installment of "What's in Her Bag?"

Ooh la la Lips!

A little over a year ago, the beauty world got a whole lot fancier. The legendary Shoe Designer, Christian Louboutin, launched a decadent range of lipsticks. The range includes sheer to matte formulas, and colors from classic nudes to bold reds. When I saw the packaging, my jaw dropped. I had never seen such a stunningly beautiful lipstick bullet in my life. They look like a beautiful blend of a pendant and a weapon. But, in a good way! The packaging is obviously a stunning home run, but what about the actual product? After all, this is a lipstick that retails for $90... yea, 90 buckaroos! That price tag scared me, shocker, but I was able to get my hands on a couple this past Spring. So, I gave them a spin.

Christian Louboutin Silky Satin Lip Colour in Tutulle

Christian Louboutin Silky Satin Lip Colour in Tutulle

I figured that if I was going to splurge on a lipstick, I should get a shade that I'd really use. So, I went with an everyday nude, Tutulle. Tutulle is a balanced, true nude with just a touch of pink. I don't even need to line my lips when I use this because it's so creamy and melds into your lips beautifully. The silky satin finish is creamy, and extremely comfortable to wear.

Tutulle is perfect, easy everyday nude.

Tutulle is perfect, easy everyday nude.

And, because sometimes I'm daring, I also picked up the famed Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Louboutin.

Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Louboutin

Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Louboutin

Hubba Hubba, am I right? This classic red shade mimics the iconic "red bottoms" of the Louboutin heels. This shade is a balanced red, in my opinion, meaning that it's not overly warm or cool. Which means that it can be flattering for most complexions. The velvet matte formula isn't drying at all, like a lot of matte lipsticks can be, and is actually quite creamy to apply. I would recommend wearing a liner with this shade and formula, because even though the velvety texture makes it comfortable to wear all day, you could notice a little bit of feathering toward the end of your day.

Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Louboutin

Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Louboutin

So, I'm sure you're asking yourself "But, are they really worth it?" And, the honest answer is... Yes. The quality of the packaging, and ingredients is superb. And, truthfully, I feel like a glam Boss Babe when I put either of them on. But, it's not a necessity, if you're not a lipstick junkie these may not be for you. However, if you're a makeup lover and are in the mood to "Treat yo Self" go for it! Makeup should be fun and make you feel bold and beautiful, and that's exactly what the Christian Louboutin Lip Colours do!

A Few of My Favorite Things

The month of April has not only brought some beautiful weather to North Carolina, but has also brought me a huge amount of creative and business inspiration. I wanted to share a few things that I've been loving this month that I've found motivating and, of course, a few makeup gems that I couldn't keep my hands off of.

My first favorite has to be British Vogue's YouTube series The Future of Fashion with Alexa Chung. This series explores the backbone of the business of fashion, and really shows the science behind the scenes of major fashion houses in the industry. It's a beautiful documentary that shows how important hard work is and that things don't actually happen over night. Success of any type takes time and hard work.

On a much lighter note, I have pulled out my In The Balm of Your Hand palette again. This palette is the perfect full face palette, it contains stunning shimmering eye shadows, blushes and a killer bronzer. My Third love for this month has to be the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara. I love the slightly hourglass shaped brush and the gorgeous volume that it gives my lashes without being clumptastic. It's the perfect mascara for the hot, humid days to come.

My last two favorites have to be these fabulous sunnies from Ray-Ban. I like the Erika style because its classic, but the slightly oversized shape gives them a little glamour.

As I stated in the beginning, I've found a lot of motivation creatively this month. One of the blogs that's helped with that is Career Girl Daily. This blog covers all of the bases for female entrepreneurs. Whether it's what to wear to an interview, tips for finding creative inspiration or how to wind down after a busy work week, they have you covered.

For more details on my favorite products for the month, check out our latest YouTube video!

Make today amazing!

~Shana

An Evening With Kate

One of my favorite bloggers and YouTube beauty guru's is Kate from The Small Things Blog. She's relatable, and loves sharing hairspiration, and yes, I'm making that a word. The icing on the cake was when I found out that she was based in Raleigh, N.C. I was so happy to see a local hairstylist sharing her knowledge and passion with the rest of us. Last year, she started offering hair styling classes in area salons. When Jamie, my co-worker, and I saw that she was offering an up-do class that fit into our schedules, we signed right up!  This was a perfect opportunity for some quality girl time and some new up-do ideas and tricks. After class, I was able to sit down with Kate and ask her a few questions on life, work and, of course, beauty.

Jamie, Kate and I after the class

Jamie, Kate and I after the class

My first question was "What inspires you creatively?" She humbly responded that she gets much of her inspiration from other creative types in the industry. She gains inspiration from what others are doing, not in a competitive manner, either. Kate truly appreciates that we all have different styles of doing hair and believes that we all benefit from sharing knowledge.

Kate wears many hats as an entrepreneur, blogger and mother, so I asked "How do you set aside time for your family?" She tries her hardest to stick to specific, set work hours, so that when she's not working she can be completely present during family time with her two busy boys and supportive husband. She believes that there is a bit of give and take when finding the right balance to work life and family. Which I'm sure many of you totally understand.

Some may assume that beauty guru's are full glam all of the time, but Kate is busy working mom, too. So, I asked her about her REAL beauty routine. Kate says a must for everyday is under-eye concealer and a cute fabric elastic to tie her hair up into an effortless ponytail. If she has a little more time she curls her lashes and adds a coat of mascara, a fresh lip color, a swipe of blush and a quick fill-in to the brows.

Those of us in the beauty industry naturally have an over-abundance of hair products, and you know what? We love each and every one of them. That's why I love asking people this: "You're on a desert island and you can bring 3 beauty products with you, what are they?" Kate would stay fresh and glam by bringing her Dior Addict Lip Glow in Coral, Benefit Roller Lash, and Kenra25 Hairspray.

Kate using Jamie as her model. Photo by Jordan Maunder

Kate using Jamie as her model. Photo by Jordan Maunder

I loved sitting down with Kate and being able to get to know her a little bit more. And, if you're able, I recommend signing up for one of her styling classes. She's a doll and a very patient educator. No matter your skill level, you'll learn so much and I know you'll love her style as much as I do!

Here are a few more pictures from our class at Parlor Dry Bar.

All of the ladies after our up-do class     Photo by Jordan Maunder

All of the ladies after our up-do class     Photo by Jordan Maunder

Parlor Dry Bar located in Lafayette Village

Parlor Dry Bar located in Lafayette Village

Kate with one of her gorgeous models, Jamie.

Kate with one of her gorgeous models, Jamie.