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Lara Eurdolian, Pretty Connected Beauty Blog

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6 Things You Can Do Right Now To Better Yourself From Home

To everyone that spent the past decade telling me I’m so lucky I get to work from home, welcome to my world. Grass is always greener, hair flip for keeping my sanity. If you’re feeling a big stir crazy, take a moment and use this time as an opportunity. Here’s 5 things you can do right now to better yourself:

6 Things You Can Do Right Now:

Outfit details: Veronica Sheaffer bow headband, Eliza J Jumpsuit, Valentino Sunglasses c/o Sunglass Hut, Lagos Apple Watch, Roxanne Assoulin bracelets, LarAllan bag
  1. Try on everything in your wardrobe, see what fits and figure out what you want to keep, donate or sell – maybe it’s time to start that @ebay + @poshmark account. Also playing dress up is really fun! The only people that saw this outfit were on the balcony with me. Balcony fashion show for party of 2 anyone?
  2. Try a new workout. @toniquemethod, @janedo, @305fitness, @dancebody, @rumble and most every other studio is creating some type of at home option. Free trials galore right now. Also @womenshealthmag is doing live workouts as well! Get in on it! Also a fun activity with kids.
  3. Make a vision board/to do list. Include big goals like create a media kit, update your resume, start a business, podcast… or in my case research the children’s book world – agents, publishers, and general people in my network I can reach out to for advice. Considering everyone for the most part is self quarantined this is a great time to DM strangers or reach out over linkedin for help. Phone calls are the new ask a stranger to coffee.
  4. Organize your taxes – I’m mostly talking to myself with this one because I need to get the ball rolling. But make that to do list of everything you’ve been trying to accomplish and take advantage of the downtime to do it.
  5. Call/FaceTime your friends and family. Text people you’d love to reconnect with and check in on them. I’ve never had a ton of free time to do this and catching up with old friends and calling my parents everyday has been such a blessing. For me this is a morning activity as I have my coffee and a great way to start my day.
  6. Enhance yourself! Take a class, Brit.co/learn (code SELFCARE) is comping all classes on their site, painting, photography, investing courses… So much to choose from! Join a book club, both Book Babes and Marie Claire have virtual ones, download a podcast, mediate (@calm @journey @headspace all come recommended also spotify has a ton for free. Take a cooking class off YouTube. The world is your oyster, or at least the internet makes it feel that way.

Ask for recommendations. I’m currently accepting all TV, podcast, and general fun/life enhancing recommendations. Leave a comment or DM me @prettyconnected, would love your advice!

Drew Barrymore Launched Blue Light Glasses for $20

Blue light glasses are the new sunblock for our eyes. And Drew Barrymore just launched a chic line of blue light-blocking glasses as part of her ever growing Flower empire, welcome Flower Eyewear. Exclusive to Walmart, the pairs are under $20. And since we’re all on lock down glued to our phones, computers, TV’s… and other blue light omitting devices this might be a good time to invest. It’s hard to believe I took this photo less than 3 weeks ago at her launch party, back when we were allowed to workout together, hug… time really is a funny thing. Check them out at Walmart.com.

My Thoughts on Beauty Mailers, Gifting and Sustainable Packaging.

Am I laughing over how many beauty mailers I get in a month or crying for the environment? What you’re seeing in the above photo is a ‘normal’ amount of unsolicited mailers arriving from beauty brands I get in a month. Some of them are from events I attended but the majority comes from brands having me on their automatic new product mailing list. It’s a very conflicting dilemma. On one hand when you judge as many beauty awards as I do, get regularly asked for quotes by magazines, do trend reports, consult in beauty, on-air segments and are on NewBeauty’s council it’s important to stay current and see all the new launches. On the other hand the amount of guilt over my carbon footprint and when I take out my trash from all the packaging is enough to make anyone sick. I still favor going to events over getting mailers. It’s my chance to learn about the product in a way a press release doesn’t offer, ask questions, try the product before taking it home and meeting brand founders to get more unique insight into the launch but alas there’s only so many hours in the day and realistically I have limited free time.

My brilliant friend Daniela Ciocan, founder of Unfiltered Experience recently interviewed me for Beauty Packaging to talk all things beauty mailers, packaging and sustainable packaging. “Insta Factor” refers to what brands are doing to get influencers/editors to post their products to Instagram, which often includes excessive packaging and gifting. A few things I didn’t get to elaborate on and some points I want to make is this…

  1. Editor/Influencer Gifting vs extra packaging – maybe creative gifts were always a thing, maybe it became big because of unboxings (the term used when individuals open a box of product, generally on Instagram to show their audience what’s inside). Whatever the reason brands started to allocate budget to them. For example three brands launch an SPF and they all have $50 – $100 in gifting to send the product with. Brand A might include a portable phone charger, beach bag, towel… and do a cute mailer with ‘beach essentials’ and include their SPF product. Brand B does an extravagant laser cut box holding the product with some sand inside. Brand C donates $50 – 100 to cancer research in your name with the product to educate audiences further on SPF being a must to protect against skin cancer. All three brands spent the exact same on the mailer, but which was the best use of their budget? In my opinion everyone loves a gift (something they’d reuse, nothing junkie or promotional) or a charity tie in making Brand A and C creative mailers in my opinion. Personally, I think were all over custom packaging that just gets trashed after you open it. If you can make it pretty or fun in a non-wasteful way, that’s lovely, but what editors are complaining about is the volume of products they receive where the packaging isn’t eco-friendly or reusable. Everyone loves a gift, everyone loves creativity, but we’re all over the large amounts of trash. I’m always asked what gifts I loved. And I’ve received everything from Frette towels, MZ Wallace bag, portable phone chargers, jewelry, gift cards, (all my favorite things and beyond). I’ve also received a lot of weird things, like fish bowls, inflatable rafts (which might have been interesting if I had a pool or came with a pool pass), and an obscene amount of yoga mats and water bottles — the marriage of fitness and skincare is real. One of my favorite, on brand gifts though was for Chirstmas, Caudalie gifted small, planted trees with their products and also planted one in every guests names. As a sustainable brand that has planted over 4+ million trees and is committed to giving back to the Earth this stood out and was very inspiring AND on brand for them. And in case you don’t know, trees cleanse the earth by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Wonderful messaging. I implore brands to look at their product and get creative with their ingredients, and brand messaging when doing mailers.
  2. Eco-packaging and creative packaging – I recognize a lot of consumers are confused with the packaging controversy editors talk about, and to clarify it pertains to press mailings. Not the actual brand and their packaging which you buy at the store or online which is a completely different conversation. I was asked which brand had innovative packaging, I think new comer Victoria Beckham Beauty (although it’s a little heavy) did a gorgeous job. And Pat McGrath and the new Hermes lipsticks stand out for their packaging/branding. It’s not Eco-friendly but original. And in the eco-friendly space I love that brands like Kevin Murphy switched over to 100% ocean waste plastic. More brands need to look at what they are doing for the environment and follow suit. All of Burt’s Bees packaging can all be recycled (even their lipsticks, which most brands use magnets making them non-recyclable). You’d be shocked by how many beauty products you can’t recycle because of the packaging or pumps, hidden magnet and beyond. Burt’s is also experimenting with excess cotton salve from tshirts for their face wipes, which is super cool. I’m also all on board with brands examining their current products and figuring out how to update the packaging for more sustainable practices. Erno Laszlo is also making strides this year and exploring a more sustainable supply chain and now use parchment paper instead of plastic wrap for their best-selling Cleansing Bars. Other brands that are very environmentally conscious that have great packaging is Youth to the People and also Kiehl’s. I’m not big on jars because they require you to put your (sometimes dirty) hands inside the jar and also have air exposure getting who know what into the formula. I gave my sister the Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream which is in a jar and I promptly took it back as soon as she opened the lid and it has a pump attachment as part of the jar sealing it that is GENIUS! I’m all for innovation in this space and brands learning from each other to up the game when it comes to the environment.

I personally feel like the world is falling apart and we need to look to brands to help solve this issue. As consumers we can only do so much but if we use our voices to get brands to change the impact can be huge! Read my interview with Beauty Packaging HERE.

Teddy Coats and Sequins

First off I can’t believe it’s February and I’m torn between wearing teddy coats and crop tops — or in this case both. But alas Global Warming… Here’s a fun transitional outfit I wore during fashion week that can easily go from winter for spring (just remove the jacket).

Outfit details: Ann Taylor Teddy Coat, Eliza J Sequin Floral Skirt, Susanna Chow Sasha bag, Yali Couture custom top + SKIMS Body Tape and Maristella Bianco Sequin ballet flats.

As a closet 34D to 34DD I’ve turned over a new leaf of going for fitted zipper in the back crop tops that double as a bra. I had a few made while in Vietnam from Yaly Couture and it’s been a game changer. I also discovered body tape after my friend Makeda from Glamazon Diaries raved about them. And as someone always on the hunt for tapes and hacks for busty women, I gave it a go with this look for an extra lift.

SKIMS Body Tape

Being recently engaged, I want to try any type of shapewear, corsets, body tapes and beyond before my wedding day. So many wedding dresses have a low back that I want to start experimenting now with what can lift me and work with my future gown.

Have any good shapewear suggestions for me? Drop me a comment or message me on Instagram @prettyconnected.

Women’s March 2020 Invite: Hear Me Raw

2017 Inaugural Women’s March in NYC

I’m so excited to announce I’ve joined the Women’s March Artist Council. I marched in 2017 at the inaugural Women’s March, which inspired hundreds of women to run, millions more to vote, and dozens to win elected office. That’s why I’m proud to partner with the Women’s March 2020 and to be hosting some events in NYC and put together a team so we can #RiseUp together!

SIGN MAKING EVENT will be Thursday, January 16th, from 5-8pm at Wildfang, 252 Lafayette Street, NYC. I’ll be there with my girls @khrystyana + @glamazondiaries helping make signs. All supplies + refreshments will be donated/supported by Hear Me Raw skincare that’s all about sustainability and women’s empowerment. Come, sample the Hear Me Raw clean/sustainable skincare products, bring a friend, have a drink and craft with us! [email protected].

1/18, WOMEN’S MARCH at Foley Square is Saturday, January 18th, we can meet at Think Coffee in Tribeca (350 Broadway) between 10:30 – 11am (leave promptly at 11am to march). We’ll be marching with the Hear Me Raw (@hearmerawbeauty) team will get us coffee and have extra supplies, hats for anyone that needs. [email protected] for more info.

The Women’s March focuses on everything from equal pay to climate action, reproductive health rights, immigration justice, and freedom for everyone.

We’ll be live from NYC but if you’re in the DC area, here’s a comprehensive list of events and activities: http://womensmarch.com/2020-march-info

Follow along @prettyconnected @womensmarch #WomensMarch2020 #WomenRising #WomenRiseUp

The Must Have Beauty Gift: NewBeauty Gold Tube

NewBeauty Gold Tube featuring $525 valued beauty box for $99! Use code: Lara10 for $10 off!

We all know NewBeauty as the authority in beauty. It’s the Vogue of beauty magazines but what many don’t know is that they were the first to do subscription beauty boxes aka TestTube as well. Just in time for the holidays, NewBeauty has released a Gold Tube filled with their editor picks, which is a $525 value for $99 and free shipping (plus an additional $10 off with code LARA10) and some of my favorite products ahem Foreo ($49) and Grandelash ($120)!!

I mean it’s a 6 month supply of GrandeLash MD which is one of my favorite lash growers and the entire box is cheaper than that one product. I’ve also been dying to try like Knesko but I haven’t been ready to shell out $45 for a sheet mask, so I’m so excited to have it in the box. I’ve also been curious about the StriVectin SD Advanced Plus Intensive Moisturizing Concentrate ($79), which is an updated formula of their cult favorite stretch mark cream that turned anti-wrinkle phenomenon that is now more concentrated than ever. Plus there’s additional gifts from Dr. Rogers, Amika, Mimi Luzon and Juice Beauty making this an incredible steal.

Here’s what’s in the box: 7 full size products, plus a $100 gift card + sample from Mimi Luzon, $99 ($525 VALUE). Use code: Lara10 for $10 off ($89 total).

  1. amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner, 8.45 oz, Retail Price: $22
  2. Doctor Rogers RESTORE Healing Balm, 4 oz, Retail Price: $66
  3. FOREO LUNA play plus, device, Retail Price: $49
  4. Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-MD Lash Enhancing Serum, 4 ml, Retail Price: $120 (six-month supply)
  5. Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Satin Lip Cream, .11 oz, Retail Price: $24
  6. KNESKO Skin Nanogold Repair Natural Collagen Face Mask, 1-time use mask, Retail Price: $45
  7. Mimi Luzon 24K Pure Gold Hyaluronic Super Serum Sample + $100 Gift Card, Includes: $20 sample, Full size retail price: $299 full size
  8. StriVectin SD Advanced™ PLUS Intensive Moisturizing Concentrate, 2 oz, Retail Price: $79

Shop it at https://goldtube.newbeauty.com/

Sunday Forever x Pretty Connected Good Vibes Chain Necklace + Strap

Wearing the Sunday Forever x Pretty Connected Strap + Sunday Forever The Henry Kimono

If you follow me on Instagram you know the obsession with Sunday Forever is real. Which is why I’m freaking out to announce we have collaborated on a limited edition Pretty Connected x Sunday Forever Good Vibes Multi-use chain ($88)! My classic gold Lara Chain, adorned with Sunday Forever’s signature Evil Eye, Red Tassel, Horseshoe and Classic Spike charms. Wear it as a necklace, use it as a camera strap, bag strap, water bottle strap… and beyond!

Pretty Connected x Sunday Forever Multi-use Strap (pictured with Dagne Dover bag)

Sunday Forever also has a blog called “The Sunday Issue“, and every week they share an interview with a different muse on “How I Sunday“, catch me in this weeks issue babbling on about my favorite day of the week (HERE)!

Also because the holiday’s are upon us I should tell you that Sunday Forever is my go-to site for gifts. Their Sage and “Go Sage Yourself” lighter combo ($20) I buy in bulk and give out for housewarming’s, birthday’s and just about anything…

I literally own their entire line. I travel in their kimonos (pictured above). I spray their air detox ($12) and light their 11:11 candle when things don’t go my way. And at all times I have multiple red string bracelets with their evil eye, tassel, horseshoe charms for good luck. Like I said, I’m a SUPER FAN! And I’m so excited to be collaborating with them!

Shop our strap on sundayforever.com

Makeover at Macy’s Episode 7: Holiday Lip Gift Sets

Talking holiday lip sets at Macy’s

In this weeks of Makeover at Macy’s Episode 7: Lip Gift Sets, we’re talking holiday sets from MAC, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Dior, and Buxom, plus some fun Truth or Dare. Check it out!

The Episode is available on Macy’s Youtube and IGTV, check it out: HERE

Patricia Field x UGG

It’s been almost a year in the making but I’m so excited to announce that Patricia Field is partnering with UGG Australia for the launch of Nordstrom’s NYC store to create two limited edition UGG boots!

As many of you know Nordstrom recently opened their first flagship store in NYC and to celebrate they launched Perfect Pairs, an exclusive collaboration with 14 customer favorite brands, each pairing with a muse and for UGG, that muse is Patricia!

Makeover at Macys featuring me!

And we’re live! Kicking off my debut on Macy’s “Makeover at Macy’s” series that’s available on Macy’s Youtube and IGTV featuring the lovely Ciara and me! Talking about Macy’s 4 Step Skincare Routine! Their pillar skincare categories are: Cleanse, Prep, Nourish and Protect! Take a look at the products we’re loving in each category and why you need them in your life!

Also I share my 3 cardinal rules of skincare! 1) Don’t sleep with your makeup on, 2) Invest in a good moisturizer (and use it), 3) Wear an SPF 30-50.

Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/macys