Spring Preview! Faves & Recommendations

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.37.45 AMChicago in February: 60º one day, blizzard the next, then back to 50º. Nothing says “spring is coming” like this bi-polar weather cycle! After last weekend’s sunshine, I wanted to share with you all some of my all time favorite items that make my springtime makeup routine special. Click on this link to check out this video to see my top spring picks. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you never miss a video!! xoxo

Products mentioned:
* It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50, $38 (Ulta)
* Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, $68 (Nordstrom)
* MAC Powder Blush, Pink Swoon, $22
* Too Faced Love Flush Blush, I Will Always Love You, $26 (Ulta/Sephora)
* Laura Mercier Caviar Stick, Copper, $29 (Nordstrom/Dept Stores)
* Colourpop Shadow, Weenie, $5 (colourpop.com)
* Makeup Geek Eye Shadow, Peach Smoothie, $6 (makeupgeek.com)
Makeup Geek Eye Shadow, Poppy, $6 (makeupgeek.com)
* Makeup Geek Eye Shadow, Stealth, $6 (makeupgeek.com)
* MAC Eyeshadow (pro line), Coral, $10
* MAC Cremesheen Lipstick, Creme Cup, $17
* MAC Cremesheen Lipstick, Coral Bliss, $17
* MAC Amplified Lipstick, Vegas Volt, $17
* Urban Decay Glide On Lip Pencil, Bang, $20 (Ulta/Sephora)
* MAC Lip Liner, Rosy Rim, $16.50
* NYX Butter Gloss, Apple Strudel, $5 (Ulta/Drugstore)
* Essie Nail Polish, Blossom Dandy, $8.50 (essie.com)

Makeup Tutorial: Too Faced Natural Mattes

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! Mine was filled with friends and laughs and lots of adventure at our second annual Galentines weekend in Indianapolis.  (Leslie Knope is my spirit animal.)

Due to popular demand, I have uploaded a makeup tutorial using the Too Faced Natural Matte palette. Check out this link to view the video. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you never miss a video!

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PRODUCTS USED:
* Too Faced Natural Matte Palette
* Kat Von Dee Liquid Eye Liner in Mad Max Brown
* MAC 217 Blending Brush
* Morphe M441 Blending Brush
* Morphe E14 Oval Shadow Brush
* Makeup Geek Pencil Brush

ADDED OFF CAMERA:
* Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation
* Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
* Too Faced Love Flush Blush in I Will Always Love You
* Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlight in 001
* NYX Brow Mascara in Chocolate Brown
* Nars Audacious Lipstick in Raquel
* Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

What’s in a Name?

If you have a blog or know a blogger, you know that coming up with a catchy blog name can be tedious, stressful, and downright impossible. I read about 1.5 million tips on how to name a blog, most of which only added to my level of anxiety over making a decision. I knew I wanted it to be tied to myself and my content, but “Laura Ferdinandt’s Beauty and Lifestyle Blog” didn’t really roll off the tongue. Here were some other front runners:

  • BeeYouTiFul (people would constantly spell that wrong)
  • Listen To Meeeee! (I mean, that one’s kinda good)
  • Laura Loves Lovely Looks (no way. that one is terrible)

Clearly, I wasn’t really coming up with Grade A titles. If you take a good look at my life, I haven’t been very good at naming most anything important to me. My first car was a small black sedan named “Little Black”. I named two of my favorite stuffed animals from my childhood “Hound Dog” and “Clown”. Any guesses as to what type of stuffed animals they were? #mystery #CIAlevel

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Pictured (left to right): Clown. Hound Dog.          Not Pictured: Brown Bear.

After much deliberation, I finally settled on Secrets from September. Why, you ask? Well, I was born in September and I like sharing secrets. Beauty secrets, to be exact. And everyone loves a little alliteration, or at least that’s what all of those blog tips told me.

This title may not be the easiest URL to type into a search bar (www.nordstrom.com was already taken, dammit). It may not provide a punny hint as to the contents of my blog. It may not evoke feelings of euphoria in everyone who reads it. But let’s all just be thankful that I didn’t name it “Blog.”

Blogging 2.0

Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all this time you’d like to meet.

My name’s Laura and I suck at blogging. (That was Adele’s first lyric version. I wonder why she changed it…)

Looking back at my blog, you’d think I joined a hippie commune or something eight months ago and completely disavowed the internet. But alas, I just stopped making blogging a priority. Recently though, I have been pushed encouraged by some friends to dust off the old keyboard and get back in the game. So this is my recommitment to you, my seven readers, that I will try my hardest to write more, diversify my content, and generally fill your eyeballs with Pulitzer-worthy writing.

With this Blog Reboot in mind, I thought I would start out by sharing with you another little reboot I’ve been working on. Since moving into my apartment almost two years ago, I have loved decorating and redecorating it over and over again. The vintage of this apartment, along with its close proximity to some of the cutest antique and vintage stores I’ve ever been in, have really helped me find my personal style and hone in on what makes me happy.

About three months ago, my mom brought over some old pictures and knick knacks to see if I wanted any of them. As I sorted through her pile of goods, one photo caught my eye:

IMG_7006This is a picture of my mother’s grandma, Theresa. I don’t think it’s possible to have a more beautiful portrait! It’s feminine and striking and delicate and looks like it was made for my apartment. It also reaffirms that I was indeed born in the wrong decade. Instagram’s got nothing on the portrait art from the early 1900s. I snagged the portrait and started brainstorming how to feature it in my sunroom (aka makeup room). Fast forward a few months and a few amazing Christmas gifts later, and voila!

IMG_6999Every single item in this picture brings me joy. Many of them serve a function (#somanybrushes), but some of them simply evoke a feeling of nostalgia, remind me of a good travel memory, or serve as a memento of a casual afternoon stroll through my chosen city.

I suppose if I look closer at my reason for taking a blogging hiatus, it’s that I didn’t feel like my blog was deep enough. It seemed a bit vapid and shallow, both words I hope no one ever uses to describe me. But in the past year of learning more life lessons than I will ever be able to count, I realized one thing in particular: don’t shy away from what makes you happy. Don’t be ashamed if it’s something small that brings joy, just be happy you’ve found it.

So while my greatest joy comes from the people I love and the experiences I have, I’ll happily use this blog to share some of the little things that bring me joy. And who knows. Maybe those little things will someday add up to something big.

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This eyelash mug is everything. So was my first trip to Temecula with friends.

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300 brushes. Because, beauty blogger.

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I snagged this vintage fan in Bozeman, Montana. After a rewiring tutorial from my dad, we got it to work again! The books were found at an antique store in Northern Wisco. And there’s no better place to brunch with your BFF on her birthday than Sea & Smoke in Del Mar, California.

Wine Delivery? Yes, Please.

What a lovely package to come home to!

What a lovely package to come home to!

The internet knows me better than I know myself.

I have an ad blocker installed on my computer (thanks to my BIL Karl). This ad blocker greatly improves the state of my pocketbook, since my life before it included lots of tempting little sidebar messages from Nordstrom, MAC, and Zappos. I thought I was safe from the temptations of retail world. Au contraire, mon frare. Twitter got me, and it got me good.

While scrolling through my feed the other night, my eyes latched onto a story about some MIT grads who are changing the wine world. I love educational stories! I love wine! This story was clearly written for me! Basically, these wine pioneers have combined their mathematical know-how with everyone’s love of wine. By answering a quick, six-question survey, these geniuses will figure out your taste buds and provide a selection of unique, hard to find wines that are right up your alley.

At first I treated the quiz like one of those ridiculous Facebook quizzes that claim to tell you what state you belong in or which “Friends” character you are or some other, non-scientific craziness. Soon, though, I found myself totally sucked in! They took my six answers and totally figured out my taste buds. Crisp, citrusy whites from New Zealand or South Africa; complex, smooth reds from Argentina or Australia. Obviously, I had to sign up so that I could test it out and share my opinions with you. {You’re welcome.}

So, here’s what happened after I signed up: Bright Cellars (the MIT genius wine-o company) hand selected several wines that are hard to find at the local grocery store or corner market. I then got to choose the 4 I wanted in my first box. They wrapped them up in adorable packaging and sent them by way of carrier pigeons or drones or FedEx. The wines got delivered right to my door in only 2 days, which was completely unexpected and totally necessary (a girl can never be out of wine).

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Could this packaging be any cuter? (Clearly, I’m a Chandler.) The sticker reads, “There comes a time in the day when no matter the question…the answer is wine.” #truthtime

I can’t wait to crack open the selections for this month. Bright Cellars chose for me a cabernet/merlot blend from South Africa, a Chardonnay from Southeastern Australia (they promised it had no oak, so I went for it), and two Savignon Blancs (my total favorites). While I normally would shy away from trying out products that DSC00022are hard to find, I feel like wine is a bit of a different beast. I love trying new wines, but I am not afraid of leaning on my old standbys when needed. Most of all, I am excited to have some wine selections to add to my repertoire. Who knows, maybe I will even become a Chardonnay fan! (My mom would love that.)

If you’re anything like me and you like trying new libations, I would highly recommend that you check this company out. Click on this link to get your first box of 4 wines for only $30! That’s a complete steal! And just think, you’ll never be empty handed if a friend (me) invites you to a last minute BYOB picnic in the park (anyone free Tuesday?)! You can keep your membership going and get a new shipment of bottles delivered to your door each month, or you can cancel at any time. Bright Cellars is shaping up to be the subscription box of the century. Cheers!

My Winter Skincare Routine

Like many people in cold climates, my skin suffers from dryness and dehydration in the winter months. I have really struggled to find products to help treat the dryness while also catering to my sensitive skin. Check out this video to find out about some standout products that have helped keep my skin looking healthy and youthful! Don’t forget to comment on my blog with any suggestions you have for future videos. Also, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss a video!

PRODUCTS MENTIONED (links to online-only products):

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser (Sephora)
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Moisturizer (Sephora)
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (Sephora)
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (drugstore)
Michael Todd Blue Green Algae Antibacterial Toner: http://www.michaeltoddusa.com/skin-type/sensitive/blue-green-algae-antibacterial-toner.html
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel: http://www.skinceuticals.com/hydrating-b5-gel-635494117004.html#start=10&cgid=skin-condition-dehydrated
Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream (Sephora/dept. stores)
Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment (Sephora)
Lush Fresh Face Mask (Love Lettuce & Oatifix – in store only)
Boscia Makeup Breakup Cleansing Oil (Sephora)

MAKEUP:
Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation (color: 3.0)
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (color: Brightening)
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (color: translucent)
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette (eyes)
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara
MAC Blush (color: Modern Mandarin)
Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencil (color: Turn On)

Dramatic Neutrals: New Year’s Eve Makeup Tutorial

Well, I bit the bullet. Many of you wanted a video tutorial, and now you’ve got one! This look showcases my favorite fall/winter eye shadow palette, the Lorac Pro Palette. I love this palette because it combines all the colors I love in the winter time. It’s highly pigmented which means you don’t have to use a lot of product; it blends very easily which means you don’t have to be a pro to use it; and the results range from subtle to over-the-top. Check out the video and leave your comments below for any future looks that you might want me to do. (Side note: The video is flipped which means the words appear backwards – sorry. I know how to fix this but I didn’t have 100 hours to do it. UGH technology!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR, LOVIES!

Products used:

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation (color: 3.0)
  • Maybelline Age Rewind (color: Brightening)
  • Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (color: Translucent)
  • Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
  • Benefit Rockateur Blush
  • Benefit Gimme Brow (color: Medium/Deep)
  • MAC PaintPot (color: Painterly)
  • Lorac Pro Palette
  • Kat Von Dee Ink Liner (color: Trooper)
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara
  • MAC Creamsheen Lipstick (color: Fanfare)

Brushes used:

  • Beauty Blender
  • Laura Mercier Concealer Brush
  • Morphe G3 Foundation Brush
  • Real Techniques Powder Brush
  • Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush
  • Morphe M433 Blending Brush

Bridal Makeup: Neutral Classics

Classic beauty

Jess Burbey’s fall wedding had all the makings of a romantic, classic affair. The bridesmaids wore  beautiful shade of a dusty navy and Jess’s dress had a little bit of bling, a little bit of lace, and a whole lot of style. Jess wanted her makeup to accentuate her bright blue eyes while also echoing the classic simplicity of her wedding style. I concentrated on creating depth and dimension by layering smokey grays and blacks into her crease and corner while lightening up her inner corner with soft peach hues and my favorite MAC pigment of all time: Naked. We popped on a few lashes, added a subtle winged eyeliner (per her dad’s request), and topped off the face with coral blush, contour powder, and a delightfully mauvey nude lipstick. The final look gave her the perfect mix of neutral and pop, which is just what she wanted!

I also had the joy of working with several of her bridesmaids, many whom I know from past weddings I have worked on. I love it when ladies come to me with an open mind because it allows me to stretch my creativity and create a look that is unique for each person. These lovelies were willing to try any look I suggested and walked away looking glamorous and happy!

Thanks, Jess, for making this experience such a great one from start to finish. Best of luck to you and Frank in your new adventure as a married couple!

A few of Jess's bridesmaids

A few of Jess’s bridesmaids