My Instagram is going ablaze with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Literally people are losing their minds. While I’m definitely seeing the fashion side go bananas the beauty end is not to be ignored. Tons of exclusives and mega discounted products and sets from MAC, Charlotte Tilbury, La Mer, Mario Badescu, NARS, Beautyblender, Sigma and so many more! Like literally hundreds of brands spanning hair, makeup, fragrance, skincare, tools and everything in between. They also have Beauty Stylists that can help you online or in store to help you tailor each brand and product assortment for you. Think stylist but for beauty (and it’s a complimentary).
I’ve always wanted to do the drive from LA to Las Vegas, and frankly hit some of the top nature destinations surrounding Vegas. This year when Cosmoprof invited me to their beauty conference (beauty lovers you should know about them, it’s the worlds biggest and best beauty trade show), I decided to drive from LA and partnered with Volvo to test out the S90 for the week — skip to the bottom of this post for the full review. Sans traffic it’s about a 4 hour drive and a beautiful drive surrounded in dessert, mountains and Joshua Trees — or at least it is when you hit Nevada. Once you’re there isn’t a shortage of natural wonders and national parks and recreations. With only a few days in town we opted for day trips about 30 minutes to an hour outside the city. It’s amazing how quick you can go from Sin City to natural wonder.
Seven Magic Mountains (30 minute drive)
It took 4 years to build this $3.5 Million public art installation by Ugo Rondinone which is 7 pillars of color blocks in the desert. It’s a visual paradise and fashion bloggers dream for a backdrop. It’s an easy drive 20 miles south — about a 30 minute form Las Vegas, free and open to the public without restriction.
Okay hello teenage nostalgia! Just the mere site of Manic Panic’s packaging takes me back to middle school and shopping Hot Topic. When it came to funky hair dye there was only Manic Panic and maybe it’s below par alternative of Kool aid in my time! The iconic brand recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, or as the founders dubbed it, their “manniversary.” Founded by punk rock visionaries, sister duo Tish and Snooky who hello used to be backup singers for Blondie!!! The bad-ass sisters, Tish and Snooky proudly rung in their fortieth year of creating iconic hair color and bold color cosmetics.
I’ve been following them for some quite time and actually missed the big celebration last week in New York, but got my fan-girl moment out this weekend at Cosmoprof in Las Vegas during the ICMAD CITY Awards where I was one of the judges. I obviously knew in advance that they were one of the winners but not that they would be accepting the award in person so that was epic for me — And they are every bit as fabulous as you’d expect.
I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced anything as magical as the Rodarte Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show during Couture Week in Paris. The Mulleavy sisters really brought it for their first showing in Paris. No detail was left unturned.
For this trip I was with the nail sponsor for the show, Morgan Taylor Lacquer, and had the pleasure of joining in on the nail tests and getting to watch their lead artist, Tracylee Percival in action. I’ve known Tracylee for years, she’s the best of the best but getting to watch her vision come to life… she’s a genius and an incredible artist. Just look at this look she created using real flowers — and my small part in bringing her vision to life!
Paris for Couture Week is like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve done Paris and New York Fashion Week on repeat. For this trip I was with the Morgan Taylor Lacquer team, who traveled to do the nails for Proenza Schouler and Rodarte’s Couture Week shows. Here’s a quick video from behind the scenes and also at the show for Proenza Schouler (I’ll have a video up soon on Rodarte!). It was really cool to be apart of the nail tests, which is when the nail team joins the hair and makeup team before the show at the designer’s studio they they can test and make the final decisions on the beauty look.
We did our beauty test the day before the Proenza Schouler show. Based on the designers vision, Morgan Taylor lead artist, Vu Nguyen along with Taylor Daniel (or as I like to call her THE Taylor of Morgan Taylor), put forth some dark reds and burgundies, as well as some variations of nudes with different top coats. Ultimately they settled on their deep burgundy, “Take the Lead” shade for some of the models and the others were met with just a single coat of “Matte’s A Wrap” over a well manicured nail for a more minimalist look.
It was a modern take on a minimalist look with the matte top coat, while the deep burgundy choice was all about going against the grain for spring (move over pastels) and challenging tradition.
Then came show day, and right down to the invitations the show was gorgeous (see photo above and shop my jewelry HERE). Set at the Lycée Jacques-Decour, a school built in the 19th century, the label sent down beautiful prints, slim fit dresses with cut outs, straps, and texture down the runway to a dramatic beat (I’m sorry I had to cut the music, Youtube is a challenge with any music you don’t have the rights to), but you can catch the show finale in the video above.
I can’t believe it’s only a week until Cosmoprof in Vegas! Earlier in the month Cosmoprof hosted a preview party at EZ Studios in NYC for a sneak peek at some of the hair, nail, skin, and makeup. We got to mingle with the brands and play with some of the products (pictured above). I’m very much looking forward to the event next week, especially since I was one of the judges of the ICMAD CITY beauty awards, which were announcing the winners during the show!
A little background info about Cosmoprof North America (CPNA), for all you beauty lovers! This is the leading beauty trade show and a industry go-to for finding the newest and most exciting brands launching into the market. This three day event is held in Vegas and boasts over 33,000 attendees and 1,154 exhibitors from 38 different countries. Those attending CPNA can expect to discover unique brand launches, product innovations, new channels for distribution, and form key relationships with top industry professionals and retailers. So basically, it’s a mecca for people in the beauty industry.
From the NYC preview party here are a few brands to have on your radar:
Mullein & Sparrow
Based out of Brooklyn, Mullein & Sparrow is a luxury vegan beauty line created by founder Anit Hora. Her brand offers a variety of skin and hair care products as well as candles and gift sets. Her skin-firming and hydrating body oil, which is packed with antioxidants and organic essential oils is formulated with lemongrass mint, which gives off a very distinctive and citrus-y smell. I really loved the way this product felt on my skin, it was super smooth and not too oily, but the smell was intense.
Bonjour from Paris! It’s been an incredible few days exploring the city with Morgan Taylor Lacquer. They are doing the nails for the Rodarte and Proenza Schouler runway shows at Paris Couture Week. I’ve been behind the close door of Rodarte with the designers, hair, nail and makeup team come together and all I can say is this is a show that beauty lovers aren’t going to want miss! The nails are being led by my girl, and literally my nail queen, Tracelee (Links: blog + Instagram) — if you don’t know her, you should. And if you’re wondering why I’ve put her on a pedestal, I don’t give crowns out easily, just wait until you see her nail look! Couture shows, deserve couture nails so get ready! And this Morgan Taylor look is not to be missed! You can follow my adventures in Paris on Instagram + Instagram Stories, we have the 2nd nail test at Rodarte today, Proenza Scouler tomorrow and I’ll be backstage at both shows and the actual runway shows on Sunday, so stay tuned for an exciting weekend! In the meantime GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!!!!!!!
I’m giving away my travel must haves on my Instagram today, which includes this grey Love/Hate Rodarte Shirt in size medium ($133), LeSportsac Travel set in black including the Global Weekender bag ($130), 3-Zip Voyager Backpack ($165) and hanging organizer ($60) which I’m willing with 6 top Morgan Taylor nail lacquer shades ($54)! Total value of the giveaway is $542 so head to Instagram.com/prettyconnected and stay tuned today for this to go live!
You’ll be winning everything described and pictured above and below in these shots:) Also how amazing is this Rodarte tee!?! It says J’aime Rodarte on one side and Je Deteste Rodarte on the other. Translation, I love Rodarte, I hate Rodarte (said no one ever).
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of OLAY LABS. The opinions and text are all mine.
A few years back skincare tape was trying to make its mark on the beauty industry. You’d basically take this shaped tape and apply to your forehead or smile lines as an effort to slow down wrinkles. While it had some merit it never really made it mainstream, probably because it was missing something…
The magic touch? Or a product that could be used under the tape to seal in the skincare so when you wakeup lines are plumped and filled in. Welcome, the newly-launched Olay Labs Forehead Reset System, a pioneering skincare product from Olay Labs, the team who pushes the boundaries of innovation and continues Olay’s mission to keep women ageless. For all of you that think you need a needle to smooth out forehead wrinkles, try this first!
As a big fan of Olay, literally Regenerist Multi-Sculpting Cream is usually my go-to when I need my lines plumped (you can read the full review HERE), I’m so excited about a Botox alternative to getting my forehead wrinkle-free. I have an impossibly small forehead so I am not a good candidate for Botox anyways, plus I’m not there yet. Being preventative with my forehead wrinkles (wearing SPF and addressing my lines in my skincare regimen) is very important to me. While I’m big on aging gracefully, being in front of the camera so much, I want to minimize my lines as most women do. And some of us don’t want fillers (including the price tag!) but struggle to find a good topical that works long term.
This is what’s so cool about the new Olay Labs Forehead Reset System! You get a 28 day supply, which includes a topical Forehead Cream and 4 packs of Forehead Strips (each pack contains 7 Strips). It’s really easy to use!
Extra, Extra! I had so much fun teaming up with Sunglass Hut and EXTRA to share the must have sunglass style of the season with host, AJ Calloway. We had a blast shooting and lets just say Sunglass Hut makes it very easy to find on trend and basically any sunglass style you could ever way. With so many styles and brands including Prada, Miu Miu, Ray-Ban, Persol, Dolce & Gabbana and so many more, it’s the ultimate destination for sunglasses. Plus they have a million locations so they’re easy to find!
Check out the segment above and below are the trends I talk about that you should have on your radar: