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Lara Eurdolian, Pretty Connected Beauty Blog

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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.

My Holiday Makeup Tutorial on Avon.com

Use code: LARA25 for an extra 10% off, plus free shipping on orders over $25 on Avon.com
I’m on Avon.com!!!!!!!! I’m so excited to have partnered with Avon for their holiday preview party, where they unveiled some very exciting new products and the look I created for their website. I was going for a modern yet old Hollywood vibe for my custom holiday look. I paired a classic red lip with a bold eye lined in emerald green for some added festive fun.Avon discount
Before I jump into the look, can we take a second to appreciate their limited edition “Iconic Avon” lipsticks? I’d say the packaging is everything, except that the lipstick is equally epic in formula and you can’t beat the price (only $6.99)! They have such rich pigment and glide on my lips so easily and smoothly. I’m wearing the shade Holly Red as seen in my photos. Also, their True Color Glimmersticks (lip liners and eyeliners) are so creamy, pigmented, retractable and only $2.99 – stock up! They are such a score! You can also use code: LARA25 for an extra 10% off, plus free shipping on orders over $25. This is a one-time use offer, so make it count!
GET THE LOOK: All the products used can be found HERE.
FACE:
All good makeup starts with good skincare so I started by prepping my skin with Avon’s ANEW Hydra Fusion Replenishing Serum, followed by the ANEW Hydra Fusion Gel Cream, which I mix with a few drops of Avon’s True Color Dazzle Drops for an overall glow.
TIP: The moisturizer is like water (it’s not heavy) so it’s great to dab a small amount over makeup during the day for touchups if you start to feel dry or want your skin to have a more dewy glow.
Next, using Avon’s True Color Moonlit Highlighting Powder in Topaz as a bronzer. I applied it in the shape of a 3 starting at the temple going along the cheekbone and then down around the side of the face to the chin. Then, using the In the Blush of Dawn palette from the Iconic Avon Beauty Classics Collection 3-Piece Palette set, I used the upper left bronze blush over the cheek bone portion of the True Color Moonlit Highlighting Powder for some extra emphasis. Then, I went back in with the True Color Dazzle Drops above my cheekbone up to my brow bone in the shape of a “C” and blended fully. I also applied about a drop of the product on my finger and dabbed it down the bridge of my nose and blended for a slight highlight.

Our Favorite Honey Skincare Products in Honor of Christopher Robin

I grew up on Winnie the Pooh, so in honor of Disney’s Christopher Robin coming to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on November 6th and our Hundred Acre Wood friends, I’m sharing my favorite honey infused beauty products and benefits. I even dressed Charlie as Pooh for our screening and have been saying “Silly Old Bear”, to him ever since.

This movie made me me so happy and nostalgic for my childhood. It was the perfect blend of fantasy and reality and watching my much loved childhood friends, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Roo, Kanga, Owl, and Eeyore come to life was so special. You’ll probably enjoy it more than your kids… and relate to Christopher Robin; who as an over worked adult misplaces his priorities until he gets some help from some childhood friends. And what’s better than honey, Pooh? Not much when you think about the benefits of both eating it and putting it on our skin. So much more than a delicious treat, it’s used in many beauty products because of it’s anti-bacterial, antioxidant and moisture boosting properties.

Honey also plays well with other ingredients and is a great formula enhancer! Origins took their best-selling Clear Improvement Charcoal mask earlier this year and added Golden Wildflower & Fermented Honey to create Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask. Historically, charcoal masks can be very drying and for more oily skin, however with the addition of honey it’s enabled more normal to dry skin to draw out impurities that charcoal is famous for without the tight, drying feel.

BOSS Series Interview: Jillian Wright, Aesthetician, Creator of Jillian Wright Skincare and Co-Founder of Indie Beauty Expo

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For this weeks BOSS series we have one of the most literal beauty bosses in the industry, Jillian Wright. I really admire woman that create, innovate and evolve. And for me Jillian Wright is the ultimate example of this. She took her skincare background as an aesthetician and spa owner and didn’t just stop after creating her skincare line, she saw a void in the marketplace and had the foresight think bigger and co-founded the Indie Beauty Expo. I went to the first Indie Beauty Expo in New York and from what it started as and to what it is today just shows the growth in this category and the outstanding need for a tradeshow like this! Plus they are taking over the world and have since expanded into LA, Berlin, Dallas and London. It’s no secret that indie beauty is one of, if not the fastest growing category in beauty and she’s a big part of making that happen and giving these small brands a chance to meet buyers, press and beauty lovers to take their business to the next level. The expo has also connected me to so many incredible brands ahem Dope Naturally, Bawdy Beauty, Raw Spirit, Love Sun Body, and so many others… Plus I always look forward to hitting on their videographer. Let’s learn from the master, here’s our interview with Jillian Wright:

1. Tell us about yourself and how you got started.

I was a spa owner and skincare expert for 18 years and relied on the unique and hard to find beauty to fill up the white space in my retail environment, which made the assortment interesting and exciting for my clients.  About 10 years into my career, I decided to launch my own luxury indie skincare line. The word “trade show“ wasn’t even in my universe. I realized very quickly that in order to attract buyers and press, I needed to get out there and meet people, but didn’t know where to begin. I started doing research and wasn’t satisfied with my options.  Out of frustration, I approached my then facial client Nader Naeymi-Rad and asked him if he would help me produce a show specific to independent beauty. Without any hesitation, he said yes. Six months later, we launched the Indie Beauty Expo at the Altman Building with 80 brands, all who were in the same boat as me.

First, we extended IBE to two days so there was more time for attendees to interact with exhibitors.  Then we branched out to Los Angeles and Dallas, and now London in October and Berlin, March 2019, enabling more local brands, buyers, press and shoppers to participate at IBE. We then launched Beauty Independent, our digital publication, to provide a voice to all the great entrepreneurial stories out there. We then launched BeautyX, our educational and networking summits, because we saw so many brand founders stumble because they didn’t have reliable sources to help them navigate key business questions and issues.  Finally, with our Retail + Buyer Relation function, we now actively help buyers find the right brands and then help those brands onboard with the retailer.

2. What inspired you/How did you become involved in the Indie Beauty community?

When we started IBE, we had a simple mission: showcase great independent brands in a way that honored the hard work and innovative spirit their founders brought to the table. That was it. After our first show, and all the feedback we received, it became clear that independent brands were going to play a big role in the future of beauty and wellness, but that there were many obstacles and unmet needs that had to be addressed.  So we started to systematically go about building platform to help independent innovators succeed. I teach, lead, write and prevail, all because I didn’t have a platform to do serious business with press and retailers.

3. What is your best time management tip?

I write everything down and make sure my commitments are in my google calendar.  I work hard to not overschedule myself and maintain a disciplined day to day pace.  Since I live in NYC, I try very hard not to spend a lot of time in the car or public transportation, preferring to walk. The stress of traffic and commuting can be bad for productivity and creativity. Not only do I manage my schedule, but I also have manage my kids, so, getting enough sleep and preparing for tomorrow’s tasks the night before are important ways to ensure I make the best use of my time. I approach our lives as a team effort.  We are in it together and this also helps my kids and husband cope with my crazy schedule. I allow myself time to process things and this is important for health and longevity.

4. What is the deal with CBD? I’ve seen incredible reports about the benefits for everything for autism to epilepsy, anxiety and muscle relief but the Internet seems conflicted on if it actually does anything dramatic for your skin or is it just a fad?

It has been proven that CDB is an effective treatment for anxiety and epilepsy, now early studies are even showing it may be used to fight cancer and slow the progression Alzheimer’s disease. Depending on the strength of the CBD product—researchers say CBD creates anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects-—using it for small aches and pains on the forearms, knees, neck or elbows, one can feel a difference racially overnight with the right blend!  In beauty, it’s being used alone and coupled with other ingredients such as frankincense, Korean herbs or Vitamin C. We went from

Marie Claire November Power Issue Feature

When your BOSS rings and Crest smile get featured in The Power Issue of Marie Claire magazine!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just in case you were wondering how I start my day or combat the effects of my coffee addiction (on my teeth), it all comes down to Crest and you can read all about it on page 77 (or just look at the article above…). WORDS CAN NOT DESCRIBE WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME. I know I’ve had some big gets in my career, but this is a truly special magazine and issue for me to be apart of and to work with Crest. The only things I’m really loyal to in life are my dog, family, coffee addiction and Crest so I can’t thank them enough for this collaboration. Mint is my all time favorite flavor so no surprises that 3D White Radiant Mint is my pick on how I start and end the day — so fresh and so clean! I’m also never without their 3D Whitestrips! They have literally gotten me through every major photoshoot and are like little security blankets for my teeth.

Did I mention Kerry Washington is on the cover? It also profiles 50 incredible girl boss’ that are such inspirations, especially to budding entrepreneurs like myself.  Marie Claire/Crest also did me a super solid and featured my BOSS rings as part of the feature. Do you see it? Right there in silver hanging off my leg? AHHHHHHH I’m dead!

This is the part where I retreat to my room and do an embarrassing happy dance…

Thank you Crest for helping me smile extra bright this month!

Laniege Slumber Party + Chloe Kim wore my Boss Rings!

Chloe Kim and Lara Eurdolian

Earlier this month, I got to join Laneige and one of the most BOSS babes on the planet, Olympic Gold Medalist snowboarder, Chloe Kim! Who by the way won at age 17, making her the youngest woman to win a medal. Major fan girl moment below, especially since I gave her some of our BOSS rings from the Pretty Connected Shop and she put them on! #dead, but back to Laneige, who we all came together to celebrate their 1yr anniversary at Sephora!

And what a year it’s been! Chloe blew out the candles of the dreamy LANEIGE x SEPHORA cake. It’s been an epic year for the brand, their Sleep Lip Mask wins literally every beauty award, including Glamour’s Beauty Awards which I judged and is one of my favorites! I sleep with it on and use it as my everyday balm during the day as well. It’s so smoothing, thick but not heavy and magical. My other favorite from them and Allure Best of Beauty Award winner is theWater Sleeping Mask.

The 2018 Streamy Awards with Milk-Bone CorresPAWndent, Charlie!

As many of you saw, Charlie, my little senior rescue Pomeranian got his first big job this week being the official Milk-Bone Red Carpet CorresPAWndent for the 2018 Streamy Awards!

The annual event brings together the biggest names in YouTube and social stars (we’re talking Patrick Starr, Niki Demar, Vardan Antonyan, Charo, Sofie Dossi, Nia Sioux, Paula Galindos, and so many more) for a night of celebration, and of course the award ceremony. Video above!

The Streamys historically only honor people for their great acts and content, and Milk-Bone, who uses the hashtag #dogsaremore wanted the same recognition for our four legged friends. Fortunately, the Streamys agreed so this year for the first time ever, three outstanding dogs were nominated, and Charlie and I had the great pleasure of interviewing them! Watch the video above to see!

The nominees: We had Louboutina (@louboutinanyc), the Golden Retriever who gives hugs, Pierre (@pierry_dont_care) the loving, and oh-so-fashionable French Bulldog that volunteers as a therapy dog and Todd (@toddaz), The Hero Dog that saved his owner from a rattlesnake while on a hike. And yes, I got a hug from Louboutina!

BOSS Series Interview: Adriana Botti of Little Words Project on How to Grow Your Business + 15% off

Interview with Adriana Botti of Little Words Project. Use code LARA15 for 15% off any purchases on littlewordsproject.com

For most of us starting a business is scary, especially if you’re self funding. You have a great idea for a product, but bringing it to life is intimidating at best, especially if you have limited capital (say under $20k) and have the goal of expanding it into a real business. Adriana Botti started with even less that that, had no outside investment and succeeded to hit a $1 million in sales #goals year 4 of your business of starting Little Words Project. If you’re not familiar, Little Words Project is that super cute beaded bracelet brand that has positive messages on them. They are beyond uplifting and spread kindness and joy everywhere they are worn. You can also register them and wear and share them with your friends who need a little encouragement and track the journey of your bracelet from wrist to wrist. We sat down with the superstar to talk business, growth, pricing and advice!

  1. What verticals do you offer and what has been the most lucrative in growing your business?

We do everything from Facebook/Instagram sales to corporate gifting to college campus events and sponsorships for partner events. We have found that the most lucrative of them all is the collegiate ones because not only do they all buy upfront but continue to spread the word making it a really great marketing opportunity for us moving forward! 

2.Pricing. Many of us struggle with pricing. Should it be based on a perceived value or based on your Cost of Goods (COG)?

Here’s the thing- you want to do your best to price your product at a price that will serve your needs (make you a profit and keep you open for business) while at the same time matching perceived value- that’s how you know you’ve found the sweet spot price point. Every industry and company is different, but for us,