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Lara Eurdolian, Pretty Connected Beauty Blog

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Fempower Beauty Lipstick Launch

Empowering messages, chic packaging and strong, beautiful pigment lipsticks… welcome Fempower Beauty Virtumatte Lipstick. A range of four universally flattering lipsticks with black magnetic packaging, strong pigment, that go on matte with just a touch of sheen.

Left to right swatches: Lilith (red), Eve (pink), Adam (nude brown), Serpent (true brown).

I love a bright pink and what I call a “happy red”, one that pops my lips but isn’t too dark so I look all vamp. I’ve been rocking these two shades nonstop!


The brand circles around empowerment, strength and giving back. Check them out at fempowerbeauty.com

Nest Launches New Body Care Collection Exclusive to Ulta

First came candles, then fragrances and now NEST Fragrances has launched a new range of eight innovative products exclusive to Ulta. NEST Fragrances innovative, new body care line boasts patented technologies to deliver a long-lasting fragrance experience to shape and elevate a mood. And are formulated free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colors, and mineral oil.

The range features four scents: Bamboo & Jasmine to help you stay balanced, Ginger & Neroli to invigorate, Grapefruit & Verbena to elevate happiness and Ocean Mist & Coconut to calm.

Each set of fragrances is available in Body Wash (10oz/$22), Body Lotion (10oz/$26), Body Mist (3.4oz/$38 and 0.27/$20), Hand Cream (3.4oz/$18), Lip Balm SPF 15 Sunscreen (0.15oz/$16), Water-Activated Foaming Cleansing Towelettes ($22/pack of 10 individually wrapped), and Fragranced Body Wipes ($22/pack of 8 individually wrapped wipes).

Makes a great gift! How chic is a Body Wash and Body Lotion set? Bamboo & Jasmine is my favorite.

Check out the full range at ulta.com

Pretty Connected Camera Straps launch at Urban Outfitters!

Huge news! Our Lara Chain and Lara Mini Chain has launched on UrbanOutfitters.com! The only difference between the two is the length, otherwise same chain, same hardware. Of all the straps I launched in my shop, I only named one after myself and go figure that was their favorite. Which makes it extra surreal to see my name (Lara) + my brand (Pretty Connected) on their site! While the chain was originally intended for cameras, we’ve since discovered a million other handy uses for it.

fashionable camera strap

1.Rock it as a necklace

The infamous SC star Kathryn Dennis showed us how it’s done! She rocked it as full string, while Chelsea March looped the chain necklace pairing it with others.

2. Best water bottle holder ever!

Water bottles can be a pain to hold if you’re bagless or want your h20 by your side. Any water bottle with an open whole cap makes it easy to slide through and take that water bottle from annoying-to-carry to a fashionable accessory.

3 and 4. Flip flop holder and cell phone holder

How genius is it to throw around your flip flops so you don’t have to carry them by hand on those long walks on the beach!?! If you have a cell phone case to support, like those Bandolier ones, you can use the chain as a replacement strap. For anyone that doesn’t, I am launching these easy silicone cases soon with the strap on my shop, so stay tuned!

5. Bag strap

Probably the most obvious use… a replacement bag strap. We have some makeup case bags in our shop these work amazing with (photo of the ones in our store above). We’re all about DIY and customizing so if you get a bag add some patches or pins and make it your own.

6. A lanyard!

Lanyards are never cute at conferences. I go to a lot of fashion and beauty ones and no way am I wearing those promotional ones that just get thrown out. I just say I brought my own, which also happens to be a way more eco-friendly option.

7. Bag/belt decoration!

Get glam with it! I love it around some belt loops or the way @thebowtiegent tied it around his Hermes for some added bling. It doesn’t have to always be functionable when it’s this fashionable.

8. Add it to a keychain or wristlet. Patricia Field will show you how it’s done!

Sometimes you just don’t feel like holding things, like your wallet, or wristlet, or keys! Or in Patricia’s case her collaboration MCM wristlet she takes everywhere. Just strap it through! To help show how easy it is, we’ll have the SATC, Devil Wears Prada, Ugly Betty, Younger, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Murphy Brown… costume designer and fashion icon, Patricia Field demonstrate in the video above. Please do note this is the sister chain to the Lara Chain, the Patricia Chain, named after this boss, who is my sista from another mista, and all around favorite person.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 does not require the connectors while the Instax SQ6

Lastly, I wanted to share some other camera shots since it works with most camera brands, Instax, mirrorless and point-and-shoot styles. With all orders at Urban Outfitters they come with connectors so if your camera doesn’t support a clip, you can use the special connector, which holds up to 3 lbs. It will work with lighter weight DSLR’s, but anything too heavy I recommend some of our fabric straps with bigger hardware.

Above are camera examples that don’t require the connectors, that applies to Sony camera’s and Instax styles like the Mini 70 (which comes with rings). For camera’s that don’t have rings attached, the black attachers included with all UO order will come in handy. These work amazing for all Instax cameras from the SQ6 to the Mini 9 as well as all point and shoot camera!

Don’t forget you can even add your own charms and customize them! All you need are charms, pliers and 7mm jump rings. Especially when you wear it as a necklace it looks sick with some initials or lightening bolt charms hanging down!

If you have any questions, you know how to find me. xo @prettyconnected and @prettyconnectedshop

Until then check me out at urbanoutfitters.com/brands/pretty-connected

Mario Badescu Favorites Launches at Sephora

I love Mario Badescu, if you need a great facial, hit their spa in NYC. Which is why we were so excited to see they have landed on Sephora.com!

While I was anticipating just their “favorites” which incidentally I have a very long list of them: The Drying Lotion to zap them pimples, the Facial Spray, that every makeup artist has in their arsenal and is way underpriced (it’s also the best afternoon pick me up when you’re feeling dry) and the Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30 which got me through my 20s, but it’s all amazing.

Check it out for yourself at sephora.com/brand/mario-badescu

BoxyCharm January Box Featuring Tatcha, Tarte, Briogeo, Ofra and Starlooks

BoxyCharm really impressed me this month with gifts from Tatcha, Tarte, Briogeo, Ofra and Starlooks. I’ve always thought BoxyCharm was a great value but swayed a little younger and not all the products resonated and maybe only a few at best excited me. That all changed this month! The January box features:

It’s the perfect mix of mainstream and indie brands with all products I’ll actually try and use. Of all of these brands Starlooks is the only brand I’ve never tried and because they picked a black liner, I’ll actually give it ago! Also I’m so excited about the Tarte palette, I find that generally the palettes included are really bright colors and skewed for a younger audience. This one is so neutral and would look good on anyone. Also Tatcha!!!! Love their products, so excited to see them in this box as well as Briogeo. I’m in love with their detox scalp product and mask so I’ve actually been meaning to try more products from their line. Generally I find in boxes I often get random shades I’m not as interested in trying where this box felt very versatile and was a great way to start the year.

In case you’re not familiar with BoxyCharm they are a subscription box service that offers 4-5 full-size products worth over $100 for only $21/month + free shipping. This months box is valued at $111.

Learn more at boxycharm.com

SPF Talks with Dr. Terry Zickerman, Founder of Love Sun Body

Love Sun Body SunscreenMy family calls me the SPF police, because no matter the season, if you’re outside while the sun is out, I will hound you to wear sunblock. It’s the #1 anti-aging product you can use to protect against wrinkles, dark spots and skin sagging — yes the sun does all that damage on top of putting you at risk for skin cancer. I understand there’s a lot of confusion about what the difference between a chemical and physical sunblock, UVA vs UVB rays, and what SPF number you should be wearing (spoiler alert it’s an SPF 30 or 50) and that you only need to wear it in the summer — major false, YEAR ROUND!

Here to clarify all the above points and teach us everything we need to know about sunblock is Dr. Terry Zickerman, Founder of Love Sun Body, the first 100% natural origin mineral line of sunscreens to be internationally COSMOS-certified. Meaning they exceed the world’s strictest ingredient, safety and manufacturing standards and take clean beauty to a whole other level (learn more in the video).

Also you can catch Charlie’s epic cameo and question on if they are cruelty free — which they are! Made up of 10 ingredients they are certified Peta Cruelty Free and Vegan, and ranked 1 out of 10 by EWG!

  • Sun damage happens in the first minutes your skin is exposed to the sun and is accumulative, year round, so don’t think that quick dog walk or coffee run makes you immune.
  • UV light emitted by the sun steadily effects skin year-round despite the season — no matter if it’s sunny, snowing, cloudy or raining. Most people think winter is a time when you can tone down the SPF but that’s a mistake. The two UV rays UVA/UVB, while UVB is lessened by the clouds, UVA rays can penetrate glass and clouds meaning no matter the season, if you’re going outside or sit near a window (whether it be at home, in the car or in office) a SPF is a must!
  • 90% of skin aging comes from UV rays so basically sunblock is the #1 anti-aging skincare product you can use.
  • Make sure the sunscreen you use is “broad spectrum” meaning it protects agains’t the sun’s UVA AND UVB rays.
  • If you’re exploring coral reef make sure your SPF is non-chemical and coral reef safe, like Love Sun Body.
  • Make sure your SPF is between a 30 and 50, anything above is just marketing since an SPF 30 block 97% of UV rays, and SPF 50 block 98%. And anything below isn’t effective enough. (We talk more about this in the video and what the numbers mean and when you want to wear which).

The video also covers chemical vs mineral sunscreens and the best way to apply. Yes, most people put on too much of a mineral sunblock and don’t apply it correctly.

TRU NIAGEN: Kept Me Going and Going and Going

It’s been six weeks since I posted this photo on Instagram announcing I was testing out TRU NIAGEN, and I’m happy to announce the results today!

As many of you know, I had a milestone birthday this year and one of my commitments was to take better care of mind and body. When TRU NIAGEN approached me, I did a ton of research including consulting my Naturopathic Doctor, Dr Nadia (@_drnadia). She encouraged me to try it, telling me that NAD research was fascinating and her clients have had great results. And believe me, I’m excited about TRU NIAGEN.

With stellar reviews (I mean if you Google it, the internet is obsessed), TRU NIAGEN is an ‘age better, live better’ supplement that contains a unique form of vitamin B3 proven to increase NAD levels..  

NAD is essential for healthy cellular function and aids in our body’s metabolism (converting food to energy at the cellular level). This molecule helps our cells produce energy to keep them functioning at their best. As we age, our NAD levels decline due to certain stressors. TRU NIAGEN is clinically-proven to safely increase NAD levels. And an added bonus is the pills are vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, and caffeine-free.

Beauty Gifting 411: Our Favorite Holiday Sets (As heard on the Michael Yo SiriusXM show)

The best holiday beauty gifts

I had the best time sharing our top holiday beauty picks on Michael Yo’s SiriusXM show today. Here’s a quick breakdown of tips and sets to have on your radar, that makes gifting stress-free and most importantly FUN! Here are the questions Michael asked and links to the products mentioned (with a few added bonus products in the mix). I attempted to stay under $50 for all my picks.

Our Favorite “It’s Winter, I have Dry Skin” Skincare Sets on a Budget.

To overly simplify moisturizers, there are two types of people, ones who like cream moisturizers (your standard cream formula), and ones that like gel moisturizers (that’s more of a watery gel texture). If the person you’re shopping for has more oily skin then they will generally opt for a gel moisturizers. Don’t worry if you don’t know their skin type or texture preference, I picked universal favorites for both categories that are almost-all skin type friendly!

Our picks for winter skincare regimens that includes a hydrating cream moisturizer:

Our picks for winter skincare regimen sets that includes a hydrating gel moisturizer: 

OTHER WINTER FAVORITES: The Mario Badescu facial sprays linked to below are such a deal and an amazing pick me up when your skin is feeling dry, tired and needs a pick me up. Dr. Jart Ceramide is perfect if you’re super dry and their Cicapair collection is for anyone that gets red. LaNeige lip sleep mask is another amazing pick and has an epic cult following. Their new Sleep Mask kit includes some limited edition flavors we rarely see and for only $28 for the whole set, it’s a steal. Lastly we LOVE Drunk Elephant, we went over budget with this set but it includes their Babyfacial which is our favorite! Lastly, Aquaphor or as I like to call it Aqua-for-all, makes a great stocking stuffer. You can use it for everything winter chapped skin and lips. It’s also great on cuticles, dry patches… While I don’t recommend it as a moisturizer, it is an awesome barrier if you’re combating wind, especially while skiing/snowboarding and can be used over your moisturizer/SPF when you need a shield. 

Our Beauty Lover Picks

You can’t go wrong with any of the NARS holiday gifts. Their palettes to makeup sets have the coolest packaging. Our favorite no-brainer pick is the NARS Orgasm Infatuation Palette ($42, $62 value) featuring their top selling Orgasm blush, Laguna Bronzer and the new Orgasm Highlighter, also the Infatuation Palette is great if you’re into blush. Other favorites include Becca highlighters (our must-have is Becca Mini Macaroon set featuring 4 mini highlighters). The ‘It Palette’ of the season is the Urban Decay’s NAKED Cherry palette. We’re also partial to Benefit Cosmetics Sweeten Up, Buttercup! Makeup Set ($39, $109 value) featuring our favorite mascara, brow gel, bronzer and primer from the brand. There isn’t a shortage of It Cosmetics holiday that isn’t on my list, but their brushes are a great pick for any beauty lover, also the BeautyBlender makes a great stocking stuffer — you literally can’t have enough. Milk Makeup also has the cutest mini’s! Their Meet the Fam set is epic, so is the fact that they collaborated with Wu-Tang on a lipstick collaboration (although that may be lost on some of you) makes us so happy! 

Hostess Gifts

Whether it’s a hostess gift, Secret Santa or little something something for someone in the office you don’t know well enough to guess their favorite beauty products, candles, hand cream sets, pretty lip balms and liquid soap + moisturizer sets are always a safe bet. Basically anything that’s practical but also pretty that bonus they can re-gift if the don’t it it or use to stage a beautiful bathroom for guests to admire you can’t go wrong with. Plus they

Weekend Getaway: Woodstock Way Hotel + Woodstock Guide

If you’re looking to get out of the city for a weekend (or for life), Woodstock could not be a better destination. Cute town, fresh air, top notch restaurants, spa and if you’re looking for the most epic, pet-friendly, prime location Woodstock place to stay, I can’t recommend Woodstock Way Hotel enough.

Located in the heart of Woodstock, Woodstock Way is steps from the town center (like literally 10 steps), next to a waterfall — I mean how is that even possible? The hotel features 12 rooms divided along the property with a chic interior and the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on. It’s paradise, especially since they have a full coffee bar in the lobby, and like really legit, good coffee, and cappuccino’s (you know I’m picky). The decor… I mean I had a tub in my living room, and also a balcony to over look the waterfall. I didn’t want to leave.

The location doesn’t get more prime, the staff is so friendly, we loved the owners, and the stay could not have been more comfortable. The had the fire pit going at night, and Charlie (my pomeranian), made himself right at home and was so welcomed.

While in Woodstock, we had lunch at Oriole 9, delicious, healthy eats, also great for breakfast and located on the main drag. Dinner at Cucina, a stunning, romantic, Italian restaurant that lives in a restores farmhouse a mile or so up the road. Relax at Glo Spa, for facials, a massage, it’s amazing. Also on the main drag with all the shops is Euphoria Yoga if you need to stretch out. When you’re done with the town, drive to the town of Kingston for some very cool antique shops. Woodstock Way Hotel can also help with planning your itinerary, they have some great links on the site on what to do: https://www.woodstockway.com/woodstock-way-of-life/

BOSS Series Interview: Dineh Mohajer, Creator of Smith & Cult

Interview with Smith & Cult creator Dineh Mohajer and Hard Candy

This weeks BOSS series features one of my all time beauty hero’s, Dineh Mohajer. She’s the original founder of Hard Candy, back when they had that chic rectangular packaging with a plastic ring on top (I used to wear them on my pinky) and introduced pastel nail polish into the industry. I used to shop them Urban Outfitters in high school and will never forget seeing Alicia Silverstone on the David Letterman show (scroll to 4min 28seconds) rocking her Sky Blue polish and being obsessed!!! Since selling the company she re-entered the nail polish industry starting another iconic nail polish brand Smith & Cult, which has legendary packaging and art direction and has grown it to a full makeup line featuring lips, eyes and face. She is wildly creative (follow her @dinehm and @smithandcultmy), my spirit animal, and can’t be more excited for her to be sharing her awesomeness and advice with us in this weeks BOSS series.

  • How do you describe yourself?

I think my friends would describe me as kind, passionate, cuckoo for cocoa puffs, loving, warm, guilt-ridden, ADHD, germaphobic, neurotic-ish, silly, funny, fun, having good skin, obsessive-compulsive…my husband would use seven words: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful, Sneezy.

  • After you sold Hard Candy, what made you want to jump back into nail polish? And then years later expand into a full makeup line?

I never returned because I never really left. After Hard Candy was acquired by LVMH, my partner from Hard Candy, Jeanne Chavez, and I created, developed and sold another baby, called Goldie, to the Limited Brands. Smith & Cult was just another step in a natural progression for me.

  • How has the industry changed since you launched Hard Candy vs Smith & Cult. What resources make your life easier/harder?

Some aspects have remained identical at the core. The underlying motivation to feel happier, healthier and prettier is still intact. The joy of discovery, experimentation and success regarding product, packaging, imaging, education and branding has also remained the same. Our technological advancement has changed the manner in which we do all this, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worse. For me, technology has allowed me to better articulate my creative vision more quickly and fluidly.