April 29, 2014

Spring Beauty Looks On A Budget

Remember when I had Atlanta based wardrobe stylist Lauren Lefevre guest blog right here on JennySue Makeup? Well now we are doing a little switcharoo and she has asked me to be the guest blogger over at her blog today on a subject we ladies can all wrap our wallets around...Beauty looks on a budget for this spring! 

Here is a sneak peek of 1 of the 3 looks you must try this spring over on editbylaurenblog.com : BRONZE SKIN,  ORANGE LIPS, and BRIGHT EYELINER (Mrs. Timberlake a prime example).  And the great thing about this post is that I give you how to's using only wallet friendly drugstore recommendations of products I have personally used and loved! Who says beautiful has to cost a fortune?? Definitely not this mama.

Click HERE to head on over to Lauren's blog and see how easy I make it to incorporate these looks into your daily beauty routine.  Thanks again to Lauren for sharing with my readers her fashionable advice and I hope we get to collaborate again real soon!

Don't forget to follow Lauren on Twitter, Facebook, and her Instagram is killer and gives you immediate wardrobe ideas!

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April 28, 2014

Monday Beauty Mantra

"I believe in LOVE at first sight.  Because I am a MOM."
author unknown

This weekend was crazy busy and filled with so much fun despite a lingering chest cold I've had for a whole week.  My cousin got married at an outdoor farm and Vivian was the flower girl in his wedding which are what these pics are from.  She made it down the aisle (while my holding her hand, PS- I was not a bridesmaid!), but then decided she'd rather sit down with me than stand up for everyone to see her pretty 'bride dress' as she called it.  Scott and I got to go out Friday evening with just adults...this rarely happens!  We also made an impromptu stop by my best friends new house and hung out with her family which totaled 7 kids between the two of us until late into the night!  Then Sunday enjoyed being outside in the beautiful weather with all of our neighbors while the kids enjoyed the first slipnslide of the year.  

This weekend proved just how much I love hanging out with my kids.  Of course Friday night was glorious for a couple hours away with just me and the hubby, but it was also nice to have had a new babysitter who gave my children glowing recommendations that they were wonderful and she'd come back anytime.  If you're a parent, you know just how hard it is to leave your kids with a new person but when you find someone that seems to like them just as much as you do (ok, not that much!), then you've struck gold.  

This quote is true about love at first sight because when I first laid eyes on them when they were born, it was almost like my heart hurt I was so in love with each one of them.  Funny, I also fell in love with my husband the first time I laid eyes on him as well, but that's another blog post;)  Guess I am a sucker for love. *My lipstick in the picture above is L'Oreal Colour Riche British Red in case you were wondering!*

ONE MORE thing - if you are a mom or soon to be mom, you must watch this YouTube video shout out to all moms from Kid President.  It is a riot and will no doubt make you smile today! "Mom is Wow upside down."

Happy Monday to everyone!  

April 25, 2014

Finding Your Perfect Foundation Fit

{Classic Hollywood beauty, Ava Gardner, 1940's}

There are so many different forms, brands, and types of foundation on the market, that it can tend to make your head swim.  Lots of women I work with say they get so confused as to what to buy, that  they just decide to forgo wearing it all together.  Sad face :( I think as we get older, we could all benefit from some form or another of foundation to even out our complexion, even if just a little which helps reverse the look of aged uneven skin tone.  When I say the word "foundation" a lot tend to think cakey and thick looking makeup.  Not the case.  There are plenty of non-cakey options out there and I'm here to help you navigate through the choices.

There is 1 main thing to consider when figuring out which kind is best for you... What type of COVERAGE do you want?  Minimal, moderate, or maximum? Then of course you need to take into consideration your skin type - if you're normal, you're lucky, you can wear most types.  If you are oily, you need to go towards a formula that is "oil free." And if you're dry, then look for a hydrating formula.

Here's how I would categorize the different foundation options...

Minimal Coverage
1. Tinted Moisturizer - precisely what is says, a moisturizer with a little bit of color added to it.  All skin types can wear this because even oily skinned gals need moisture, just get the oil free kind. If you're new to the foundation game, this is an easy way to transition into it.  I put it on just like I would my moisturizer, with my hands and rub it in.  Most popular : Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $43.

Funny lady Tina Fey without & with foundation.  She seems perfectly happy bare faced but looks absolutely radiant and fresh faced with a little bit of coverage!
 (Photo from Usmagazine.com)

Medium Coverage
1. BB Creams &  CC Creams - BB stands for beauty balm and I consider it the "mom of makeup" because it multitasks.  It's got a got moisturizer, SPF, and a primer added all in one.  It is the ultimate skin perfecter.  I apply this also like I would a moisturizer, with my fingers and all the way down my neck.  Most popular : Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, $39.  CC stands for color corrector and is very similar in finish and function to a BB but it promises to address issues over time like redness and discoloration and can tend to have a bit of a lighter feel than a BB when on the skin.  Most popular :  Clinique Moisturize Surge CC Cream, $35.
2. Powder Foundation - This is what I started on as a teenager when I was first introduced to makeup for my skin.  It's easy, compact, and can be applied with a powder puff for fuller coverage or a brush for lighter coverage.  They can be pressed or baked -  the baked ones are lighter whereas the pressed types gives a more opaque finish.  Most Popular : I still use MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation, $27.
3.  Mineral Foundation - This product is literally minerals grounded up to become makeup and usually in the powder form (however they do now make liquid ones).  These are typically good for sensitive skinned ladies and those who tend to breakout easily. Beware- some claim it's natural enough and good enough for your skin to sleep in it -  no, no, and no.  No makeup is good enough to sleep in, bare skin is where it's at.  Most Popular : L'oreal Paris True Match Naturale Mineral Makeup, $16.

Maximum Coverage
1. Liquid Foundation - Like it claims, it is liquid in form and is what we all typically think of when we hear foundation.  It can come in multiple finishes and forms for all skin types - from mattifying to sheer, from oil free to hydrating.  It can also easily be layered to give you the full amount of coverage or not.  I don't think there is any right way to apply it, I say go with what looks best and feels best for you.  Some use their fingers bc the warmth of the fingers makes it melt into the skin (I find that messy), some use a foundation brush (this is how I do it on my clients), and personally I use an egg shaped sponge!  This is a hard category to decide on the most popular so I've included the brand I use on all of my clients in my makeup kit bc they have a great range of shades : L'Oreal True Match Foundation, $12.
2. Cream Foundation - This is basically a thicker or more opaque form of a liquid foundation.  It is typically good for drier skin (I love a cream foundation bc my skin is super dry) and comes in a jar or compact form.  I like a sponge and foundation brush for this type of application.  Most Popular : Maybelline Dream Smooth Ultra Hydrating Cream Smooth Mousse, $9.

Do you wear foundation and what is your favorite?

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April 24, 2014

The #1 Reason Why Lupita Nyong'o Is People's Most Beautiful Woman

I know exactly why Lupita won the coveted People Magazine's title of Most Beautiful Woman 2014...

...that SMILE.  I feel like every time I see her on tv, on an awards show, or in photos, she's usually smiling from ear to ear.  And nothing makes me like a person more right off the bat and makes them appear prettier, than seeing them smile.  It gives her the kindest looking eyes which makes you immediately want to be her friend.

Oh, and her ability to wear bright and bold makeup colors.  Most of us would end up looking clown-like when breaking the cardinal rule of pairing a bold orange lip with a bright blue eyeshadow, but she makes it look super sophisticated!  She also never over-accessorizes.  Her styling seems to always showcase her amazing figure and features in whatever outfit she has on.  She wears the clothes and jewelry, they definitely do not wear her.  Also, can we talk about her beautiful glowing skin every time? Apparently that is thanks to the Hawaiin "kukui oil" that she slathers on her face.  So of course I immediately went searching for something of the sort, and you too can get your own kukui glow with this coconut vanilla scented Malie Organics Beauty Oil.

Okay, so maybe that's more like 4 reasons she got the honor, but either way, I think it was a good choice.  Way to go Lupita!  Can't wait to see what you wear on your next red carpet walk!

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April 23, 2014

Purple Pout

Purple is one of those shades that when used as an eyeshadow, compliments most skin tones and eye colors.  But what happens when you try for a purple mouth?  I put a few shades of purple to the test on my pout.

Lip products used from left to right:
MAC Pro lip palette "The Plums." I used "Cyber" (bottom right darkest shade), $16

Other products used:

Purple has always been the rich shade associated with royalty throughout history, so why shouldn't I want to embrace it?  Us mamas are queen's of the household right?!
I started off in the top pics with just the dark purple lipstick "Cyber," and felt like a real tough girl sporting that color.  It gave me a certain edgy feel I'm not used to when I wear my nudes and pinks!  Then I decided to see what would happen when I added a bright fuchsia lipstick (that leans more on the neon lilac side if you ask me).  This shade on top definitely brightened up my dark mouth and really brought out the purple.  Both of these lipsticks had a similar creamy formula so they worked well together.  And to top it off, I then added the Pantone color of the year, an orchid-like shimmer gloss, "Sugar Violet." This is one of my current favorite glosses  and looks really good and subtle even when worn alone.  I must say, I'm pretty passionate about the way this purple pout turned out.  I will definitely be sporting this look again.  

Would you wear purple on your pout?

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April 21, 2014

Monday Beauty Mantra

"The more we say thanks, the more we find to be thankful for. 
And the more we find to be thankful for, the happier we become."
Douglas Wood, The Secret Of Saying Thanks.

I hope everyone had a wonderful family filled Easter weekend!  I am sharing this video of a prayer that little Vivian said for us before dinner last night.  Warning - it's pretty long (Over 2 minutes).  And if you're not her mom/dad you might not understand some of what she says (it's a gift us parents have to understand our kids mumbled words!), and you'll hear little giggles from her brothers because it went on, and on, and on with her thanking God for literally everything! Excuse the very beginning where I have to get onto my youngest son before the prayer began - he was getting a little cray cray- HA!! Not unusual.

But bless her heart, this prayer shows that the more we say thank you, the more we realize how much we really have to be thankful for.  Especially the little things, like right down to "mommy's pretty eyeshadow" (about a minute into the prayer), ice cubes, and banana popsicles at the end.  I love how she always prays with her eyes open and her Thank You's sound like "Jank You".  I hope as she gets older that she always stays so positive about how much there is to be thankful for. 

Enjoy the start to your week and make sure to say thank you for something each day.  Even if it's for your go-to lipstick that you can rely on works every time!

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April 18, 2014

Guest Post :: 3 Ways To Take Denim From Day To Night By Lauren Lefevre

I am thrilled to have guest blogger + wardrobe stylist Lauren Lefevre, share her fashionable wisdom with all of my readers today!

I luckily got hooked up with Lauren when after the beauty event I hosted at Bloomingdale's back in February, her agent approached me and basically said she thought our blogs should meet and collaborate together because she knew our audiences would benefit from each others speciality in fashion + beauty.  Fabulous...I love meeting creative new people!  Not only is Lauren incredibly talented style wise but she is also a mom to twins, a boy and a girl (her sons name is Jack just like mine, so instant connection right??), and she's also a fellow UGA grad, so she's a bulldawg like me! Woof Woof! 

It's always refreshing to have a new spin on my blog, especially when it comes to a subject I don't typically touch on - STYLE.  What better way to start the weekend off than with advice on How To Style 3 Types Of Denim : Skinny, White, and Boyfriend.  Take it away Lauren...

As a wardrobe stylist who works with a host of women in differing ages and life stages, and as a mommy to three-year-old twins myself, I have a passion for creating versatile looks with key wardrobe pieces. In my opinion, the most fundamental wardrobe piece a woman can own is a great-fitting pair of jeans!

With that in mind, I have created 3 day-to-night denim looks, featuring three “must have” pairs of jeans for Spring :: a dark-wash skinny denim, a white jean and a boyfriend jean. On busy days, when you are quickly trying to transition from a casual daytime ensemble to a fun evening look, swapping out shoes and accessories can quickly and easily do the trick.

Look 1 :: Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans. The most essential jean you can own. The Paige Skyline Skinnies are my current go-to for comfort and flattery.
Shop The Look:
Day : Top | Scarf | Tote | Sandals
Night : Top | Necklace | Cuff | Heels 
 Look 2 :: White Jeans. I tell my clients that trying on white jeans can feel as time-consuming as finding a swimsuit. Don’t give up if the first few pairs you try aren’t flattering! There is a pair for everyone, and it often takes multiple tries with different brands to find the perfect pair. Many of my clients are loving this pair by Hudson this season.

Shop The Look:
Day: Top | Earrings | Necklace | Flats
Night : Top | Earrings | Clutch | Wedges 

Look 3 :: Boyfriend Jeans. A comfortable, laid back denim option, like these Rag & Bone ones, look as stylish with flats as they do ankle booties and heels.  

Shop The Look:
Day : Top | Earrings | Purse | Sandals
Night : Top | Necklace | Clutch | Heels 

Hope you are inspired to have fun experimenting with creative ways to style your denim. Don’t love your arms, or need a layering piece due weather? Simply layer a fitted jacket or blazer {I am particularly loving linen blazers as well as denim jackets this season} to these looks.

Stylishly yours,


Thank you so much Lauren for giving me and my readers multiple ideas of how to style our denim this weekend!  And even though Lauren and I haven't gotten to meet in person yet, I know just from obsessing thru her Instagram and blog site, that we would be fast friends.  Hopefully one day soon we will get to hook up maybe through a Georgia football game or a weekend shopping trip to Atlanta! 

Don't forget to follow Lauren on Instagram (@laurenlefevre) and her blog on editbylaurenblog.com.

April 17, 2014

Is This The Non Surgical Miracle Your Under Eye Circles Have Been Waiting For?

Concealing my under eye circles is very necessary so that I don't scare people when I walk out in public.  No one likes seeing zombies walk around in real life...
So what if there were finally a miracle product that could truly help erase those puffy, ugly, dark under eye circles some of us encounter as we age?  What if you were able to hide them without having to figure out the makeup artist tricks of contouring, concealing, and picking the right concealer color?? 

Introducing Neotensil, which is being touted as the "Spanx for eye bags."  It's made by the company Living Proof (partially owned by super beauty celeb Jennifer Aniston), and is supposedly an eye treatment that will improve your bags IMMEDIATELY with no lasers or needles necessary.

Here is the full scoop on this fascinating innovative treatment from Fashionista.com.   My bullet points from reading this article and watching the few tv blurbs recently on it:
  • It's expensive - $500 for a 7 week supply.  My priciest concealers cost around $38 and last at least 6 months.
  • You can't wear your own makeup below or above it.  Or you have to buy one of the Living Proof makeup powders on top, which again you're spending more money on.
  • You can't get it from your local drugstore or specialty makeup store.  You gotta go to the doctor to get it.
  • It's a film that takes 3 hours to activate and work.  So if you've got to be at work by 8am, you best get up at 5am to start the process.
  • It's temporary and isn't a long term fix.  But that's ok, because neither is concealer and I really haven't found that miracle eye cream that truly performs an absolute  miracle on dark circles or puffiness.
I saw this video segment from Good Morning America HERE that is a great visual on exactly how it works.  But wait until the end when one of their anchor women tried it on and you see her after look.  Of course they don't get real up close on her because you can see even from far away, it's almost TOO good and obvious she's got something on under her eyes.  You'll see what I mean if you watch til the end.

What do you think?  Would you try this treatment over surgery, or would you stick with cosmetics to cover the circles? Personally, my pocketbook is going to have to stick to good ole peach toned concealers and cold spoons!

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April 15, 2014

Smoky Brown Eyes With Stila In The Light Palette

Step By Step:

1. All over lid in "bare" 2. Lash to crease in "bubbly"
3. Highlight crease and lower lash line with "luster" 
4. Line entire eye with included pencil in '"damsel"
5. Smoke out and soften the pencil by adding "gilded gold" on top of liner. 
6. Apply "kitten" right in the tear duct area.

Makeup products used on this look:

There's no look I like better than an easy to wear smokey brown eye.  It goes with practically every outfit and is sexy without being too over the top.  This palette by Stila is the ultimate collection of 10 very wearable neutral shades that can help you to create a simple eye look to a dramatic smokey eye with a combo of 4 matte and 6 shimmer shadows .  I have created a look somewhere in the middle with 6 of the 10 shadows.  If I had used the dark black and charcoal gray shades, it could have gone much more nighttime drama!  The waterproof pencil included in this palette is ah-mazing and goes on super soft without having to drag or pull the lid.  It deposits rich dark espresso brown like color that has awesome staying power.  Of course this palette includes Stila's best selling shade, Kitten, which is a most beautiful shimmery champagne shadow.   It's one of those colors that looks good on everybody!  

I cannot wait to play with this palette more and see what other looks I can come up with!  Luckily you can use all of these shadows wet or dry depending on whether you want a soft or more striking look.  I like using these wet if you want to create an eyeliner look without an actual liner.  

Have you tried out this Stila palette yet?

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April 14, 2014

Monday Beauty Mantra

"The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away."
William Shakespeare

Happy Monday everyone! Have you ever thought about what your "gift" is?  I believe that I have 2 IMPORTANT GIFTS to share...  

1. After having children, I realize that motherhood is my first true gift.  They are my purpose in life, and they deserve to have an involved, loving, and supportive mother to help guide them through their own lives.  So my gift requires me to be that mother they need who is a mentor, good listener, and leads by example, but also makes the journey of life, a super fun one!  I certainly don't consider myself the perfect mom by any means, but that doesn't mean I can't try to be the best one I can be.

2.  My second gift I was given, is the art of makeup.  After every makeup job I perform, I realize it is truly is a gift I give to my clients to make them feel like their most beautiful self.  I owe this all to my husband who encouraged me over 6 years ago to start my own freelance business because he realized I had a gift that could be turned into a business.  I was very doubtful in the beginning I could pull it off because this idea came about right after I started to have kids.  Although becoming a mother for the first time was super overwhelming, I realized that I needed that creative outlet for "me time" and it just happened to be an added bonus that that outlet, could make money.  Every time a client looks in the mirror after I'm finished and they smile from ear to ear because they like what they see, then I realized I gave away my gift.  And it feels amazing.

*The photo above is over a year old, but is still one of my favorites that combines my 2 gifts - motherhood and sharing my love of makeup with my own daughter!  Thanks to my friend Abbey of Dylan Blue Photography for capturing this.  (She is also a mother of 2 who shares her gift of photography with me and all of her clients!)*

What is your gift? 

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April 11, 2014

Chic Spring Manicure Color Combo : White + Gold

I  mentioned in yesterday's post that one of my spring essentials was going to be WHITE  NAIL POLISH, so I went ahead and practiced what I preached.  Although I don't quite have the spring/summer tan I'd like to be sporting white nails with, I did it anyway bc I'm 1. impatient (at times) and 2. I love to paint my nails different colors every week!

The magazines, blogs, and runways have been filled with lots of white paired with gold accents when it comes to clothing and accessories.  So I figured, what better way to sport this sophisticated color combo, than on my fingernails?

My L'Oreal white is now hard to find, but you can get the look with this Nars white and my Julep gold.  Y'all know I love a good accent nail so it's hard for me to go all 10 nails the same color these days!  But that issue actually works out great in this instance!  And how chic would it be to carry around a white leather tote for spring?  I found this beautiful structured Michael Kors one at Nordstrom.com.  White is such a crisp and neutral shade that could go with everything in my closet!  Looks like I'll be on a white kick this spring.

*Flashback* Do you remember my white eyeliner trick I did?  This would look super fresh paired with my new mani don'tcha think?!

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April 10, 2014

5 Must Have Spring Beauty Essentials

I think I can safely say, that spring has finally SPRUNG here in Georgia (crossing fingers no more cold snaps!)  And that means it's time to welcome in some new beauty products, but also bust out some trusty oldies for the season!


(Products from left to right from photo above)

1.  Signature Spring Scent.   Sonia Kashuk Purple Seductia Eau De Toilette, $19.99 :  I bought the spray body oil in this same scent a couple months ago and just recently purchased the eau de toilette bc I wanted to pack some more punch in how good I will be smelling this spring! Although this tends to go slightly musky (bc of the patchouli) which kind of feels fall/winter, the addition of the hints of rose and pomegranate give it a punch of spring flowers and fruits!  This fragrance is in a word 'sultry' and when I wear it I feel like I don't smell like anyone else.  And it's super cheap compared to the rest of the fragrances I typically wear since you can get it at Target!

2. White Nail Polish.   L'Oreal Nail Color in "I will", $5.99 :  Nothing screams warmer weather like the color WHITE!  Remember the old rule of "no white before Easter and none after Labor Day," then Easter is right around the corner and bring on the bright white! Once my hands get a little more color to them (maybe I'll speed it along with some self tanner) this will be a winning color and go with everything I wear! I love a crisp white nail and how sophisticated it looks.  The one I own above seems to be out of stock most places so here are some similar shades - fancy version | cheap version.

3.  Colored Lip Balms (1 bright and 1 pastel).   I have 2 shown here, Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in "Wild Watermelon" $6.49 and L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in " Pink Satin" $5.99.  I'm actually wearing the pink satin in these photos.  You'll notice that in the spring I try to lighten up on my products and wear ones that are more sheer (such as my foundation below).  My clothes get lighterweight in the warmer weather and so do my makeup products.  These L'Oreal Balms and Revlon Lip Butters are perfect for keeping the lips feeling hydrated with pretty color during the sunny days.

4.  A Liquid Highlighter.   Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer, $28 :  The two pics up top show the beautiful highlighting job that this Josie Maran product can do you for your cheekbones - they glow without being too harsh or disco-y!  I absolutely adore this champagne based shade and it seriously works on pale skin to dark skin.  And just a dab will do ya!  I apply a few drops right underneath my foundation on the tops of my cheekbones and center bridge of my nose.  You could also apply it right on your brow bone to make it pop!

5.  Lightweight Foundation.  MAC Face and Body Foundation, $27 :  I wear color N2.  When warmer weather comes around, I don't feel the need to wear such heavy makeup, especially foundation.  This one by MAC is one of their most popular formulas and it is a build able product that gives the most amazing dewy skin finish.  Just FYI, this wouldn't work for someone who wants full on coverage or has many skin issues to hide.  Luckily I was blessed (thanks mom!) with pretty decent skin that hardly breaks out, so finding this foundation was a big win for me and it will get used often this spring.  

I am excited to bring these essentials into rotation now that the gorgeous colorful flowers are in bloom like my peach Gerber daises above!!  Now if I could just find a peach lip balm to match them.
*Oh, and my blue eyeliner is THIS ONE*

What are your spring beauty must haves?

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April 8, 2014

First Haircut

Vivian just got her first legit haircut in 3.5 years of life. I have been reluctant to let scissors touch her hair because I have realized from experience with my two boys, once their hair was cut for the first time, it made them look so grown up.  And in some weird (possibly delusional) way, I wanted to hold onto not making her look older!!  But as you'll see from these pictures, it was time.

Needless to say, Viv thoroughly enjoyed her first big girl salon experience.  She seriously got the royal treatment and the staff took such great care of her.  I must admit, her hair looks SO much better that I'm wondering why I waited so long!!  I really can't believe my baby girl is old enough to go to mommy's hair salon and sit so patiently through the shampooing, blow drying and cutting.  Next stop, mani-pedis with mom!! I love this little girl and it was such a fun experience.

BIG THANKS to my favorite salon in Athens, Ga, Republic Salon, and to Lyric who is a master at what she does.  Mine and Vivian's head of hair thanks you for our impeccable cuts.