Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Get the Look

If you’re a beauty dreamer, there’s no doubt you’ve had your product-envy moments. Sometimes we simply can’t afford to invest in the things we covet. But with Avon cosmetics, you get a different experience–excellent quality and a variety of colors at a price that keeps plenty of room in the budget for that daily latte.

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The latest celeb look from Avon is on one of my personal favorite fashionistas, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The blond stunner looked absolutely amazing at this weekend’s LACMA Art & Film Gala, thanks in part to the creative genius of celebrity makeup artist Lauren Anderson. Here’s what she used:

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Avon Ultra Glazewear in Tickled Pink

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Avon Mega Effects Mascara in Black

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Avon True Color Eye Shadow Quad in Chocolate Sensation

Check out their site for where-to-buy info.

Forbidden Fruit

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With Halloween behind us, wintry glam is here to stay. One of my favorite trends for the season is a glossy red lip. Don’t be shy. I’ve done the testing for you–all you have to do pucker up.

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A creamy formula on the pinker side of the red spectrum — MAC’s Sheen Supreme lipglass in Gwi-Yo-Mi is divine. $20, maccosmetics.com

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For the lipstick girl who prefers highly pigmented colors, this stick from NARS is perfection. Add a clear gloss over it for megawatt shine. Lipstick in Heat Wave, $26, beauty.com

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In a hurry? Tube gloss is for you. DuWop Venom Gloss in Tulip also creates a fuller look for super-luscious lips. $18, beauty.com

Booties for All

I’ve always been anti-ankle boot. Throughout my teens and early 20′s I found the style tended to truncate the leg, making women look shorter and thicker– who wants that? But it’s always been one of those things I wanted to like, so I’m thrilled that with this year’s moto boot, it’s happening. Bonus: these short boots inherently use less leather than high styles, so they often cost much less than standard boots of the same brand.

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Hers are from Giorgio Armani. Photo from lookbook.nu

In desperate need of black boots, I hightailed it to Bloomie’s on Monday and was sad to discover that the only pair of high boots I liked were over a thousand dollars. Oops. However, tons of shorter styles were everywhere, so I decided to try them.

In my quest, I discovered that I personally do not like anything with too much hardware, or a label. That ruled out Tory Burch, Marc by Marc, and a few others. But I did find a pair from Kelsi Dagger for a reasonable $200 that I loved. When I slipped them on, I noticed the looser style actually made my legs look thinner–not quite swimming in there but plenty of room and easy to tuck jeans into. With leggings? Perfection.

Sadly, my favorite pair were too large and there were none left a size down, but I promptly found a similar style on the website and had them overnighted. Can’t wait to try them on! Here are some styles you might want to try:

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Suede with fringe brings a fun, cowgirl-esque appeal. Sam Edelman “Louie” booties, $160, bloomingdales.com

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Rough-and-ready with buckles and a solid construction. Frye “Valerie” sheepskin moto boots with shearling lining, $428, shopbop.com

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A hidden wedge adds subtle height. Nine West “Metalina” booties, $109, piperlime.com

Expert Makeup Tips: A Glamour Editor Weighs In

Andrea-Pomerantz-Lustig

Gorgeous, glowing skin is such a coveted commodity… but it’s not easy for everyone. Many of us watch television commercials with eyes glazed over, wondering if we are supposed to be buying each product that’s pushed for women our age.

Here to help you decode the mystery is author and Glamour Magazine Editor Andrea Pomerantz Lustig. She has shared her advice on shows including The Today Show, Oprah, Entertainment Tonight and E! News. In her book “How To Look Expensive” Andrea shares some of celebs most secret beauty weapons of choice. (Buy it here).

She asserts that you can have celebrity-quality skin on a budget. Tell me more!

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Cleanse:
Andrea suggests using a cleanser twice daily– once in the morning and again before going to bed. She likes products “without the drying surfactant (soap) ingredient, sodium lauryl sulfate that do not strip your skin and make even oily skin feel dry.” Try Le Couvent Des Minimes: Rinse-off Cleansing Cream $17

Treat/Moisturize:
Apply moisturizer daily in the morning and before going to bed. Pick a cream that has anti-oxidants to replenish and revive the skin. Try Skin & Co. Roma: Truffle Gommage Anti-Aging Face Exfoliating Cream $32

Protect:
If your moisturizer does not contain an SPF, make sure to always apply a sunscreen on top of your moisturizer to prevent pre-mature aging – yes, event in the winter! Pop this stick in your purse for all-day, on-the-go protection – Sun Bum: Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 30 $10

For more awesome tips on looking expensive, check out Andrea’s fab book!

Back in the Act

If you thought this sweet little blog was dying, you were not alone. I, too, had my doubts. With so much more interest in the bridal blog and a slew of deadlines upon me (not to mention, you know, getting married) it’s been a crazy fall.

But now that my brand-new husband and I are settled in our new home just outside Washington, DC, and I am no longer working full-time… it’s back.

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Many things have changed, but you know… Dolce still hangs out in boxes.

Sparkles and Fun has been my little running diary, starting in the always-cold apartment on 100th street where I used to type away into the wee hours after working a full day (more than a full day) as a publicist. It’s been an outlet for exciting news on the fashion and beauty fronts, and even some of my adventures in cooking. (I’ve gotten better, Mom. I swear!). I am just not willing to give up on the glitter! Moving forward we will be stepping it up. Stay tuned for plenty of sparkles, and lots more fun.

Try Something New: Bye Bye Blackheads

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we love keeping easy-to-use beauty products on-hand for weekend adventures, like our anniversary staycation in dallas this july.

Summer does a number on my skin. You, too? And the frequency with which you wash your face is something that needs to be carefully planned. Over-washing or excessive exfoliating can end up leaving you even more blackhead- and pimple-prone than before. Sigh!

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But if you’ve got those pesky black spots and need a quick fix, this beauty blogger highly recommends a blackhead removing wipe. Joey New York offers a fantastic addition to their blackhead-geared line of products. And it doesn’t get any easier than a wipe you can take on-the-go. Infused with Young Green Coconut Water that’s packed with potent antioxidants and essential minerals, these soothing wipes store easily in your purse or beach bag and help improve the look of your skin. You’ll find a decrease in the appearance of blackheads, tightening of your pores, skin hydration and even makeup removal in one awesome sweep.

clearskinI highly recommend the entire line of skin aids from Joey New York, and these are a great place to start. You can purchase a pack for only $18 here or here

Major Metallics

There’s nothing this girls loves like a little pop of metallics. Summer is still here, and we’ve got a few solid months remaining to sport those floral dresses, cut-offs, and bright neon nails. But before we commit to a fall-friendly wardrobe of black tights, great boots, and plenty of hardware-embellished handbags, let’s give an early nod to metallics that work at any time of year.

I like to think of mine as the new neutral. You don’t need to be wearing any particular outfit in order to make a gold-tone or silver-tone detail shine. As you know from previous posts, I’ve been living in these BCBG gold bow-detail sandals for much of the season. They add a bit of polish to a casual look and dress down more formal frocks, making them great for work, play and everything in between.

_6725384I’m also a massive fan of Tory Burch’s cardigans, and all of mine feature pretty gold buttons down the front. These are just slightly dressier than your average buttons and make your cardi more of a statement piece than a throw-on.

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limited edition “Delight” polish by CHANEL. $27, chanel.com

At my glamorous New York City bachelorette party last weekend, we got manicures at an upscale salon. Usually greeted by only OPI and Essie at my salon here in Dallas, I of course opted for Chanel as my polish selection. The gold hue I chose is something I would normally reach for in fall months, but I just absolutely loved the subtle shimmer of the color and knew it would look divine against a tan. Bonus? Gold polish looks great with literally everything in your wardrobe.

Also, don’t shy away from non-jewelry accessories of the metal variety. A shiny clutch brings any black dress to the next level, and Urban sells some fantastic “goddess” headdresses that are sure to turn heads everywhere you go. Embrace metallics and remember that they do not have to “match” in order to work. Avoid heavy metal but drip yourself in silver, gold and copper tones for enviable style that will carry you right from this season into next.

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mandalay flower goddess chain headwrap, $19, urbanoutfitters.com

Easy Tip: Iced Coffee Cubes

Someone you know has been very busy planning her wedding, participating in bachelorette shenanigans, and prepping for a cross-town move. Apologies, dear readers, for letting Sparkles slip this past month. I am back! And with a fun new Easy Tip share.

-2I’m going to guess that if you’ve ever sidled up to the counter at Starbucks and requested an iced coffee with “light ice,” we have a lot in common. I absolutely cannot stand when my ice melts, making the coffee watery. But when you do order an iced coffee without ice, you’re risking it not being cold enough. You’re also spending about 5 bucks on something you could make–better–at home.

Josh and I are addicted to Starbucks coffee and we often brew ours in the one wedding gift he’s letting me use before the big day. But with the summer heat blazing, my beloved has found himself letting his cool and then throwing ice cubes in an hour later. Classy! How about we make our own iced coffee at home, on purpose, and fix the melted watery mess problem?

cubeThe iced coffee cube cools your drink to the desired temp, but when it melts, it tastes like coffee! Score.

1. Brew a large pot of coffee. Then, switch off the machine allowing the pot to cool to room temp.

2. Pour into ice cube trays. I used these star-shaped ones we got at West Elm.

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3. Place trays in freezer and put the remaining coffee in its pot in the fridge. You’ll be drinking that later!

Once frozen, pop a few in a cup and pour yourself an iced coffee with flavor that will last.

Want some other easy tips? These blend up beautifully into your morning protein, banana, and almond milk smoothie. Yum!

Another Hot Day in Texas

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Red lips and massive sunnies serve as a great summer accessory pairing for any casual dress.

As my East Coast friends post endlessly on Facebook about the ridiculous temps, I can’t help but think, Now you know my pain! When we landed in Texas, Josh and I had been warned about the summers but we figured we’d get through it by racing from one air conditioned space to the next. And so far, we have. But yesterday… oy!

This jet-setter (I’ve been to two weddings on the East Coast in two weekends, and arrived home super-late this past Sunday evening) did not feel like a dress Monday morning. Instead she reached for the only clean jeans around, a skin-tight pair with polka dots. Being gone the past two weekends also means being out of dry cleaned and/or recently washed summer tops so it was slim pickings. I ended up in a white Theory button-down (long sleeves) with a black American Apparel tee over it. Ferragamo skimmers.

I nearly died.

The more I’ve looked around my dress code-free office in recent weeks, the grander my “Toto, you’re not in Manhattan anymore” realization has become. There is no need to wear endless mounds of black, smart little shoes, and very carefully curated hemlines. While I miss the daily runway show of Wang, Posen, et al. on the New York City subway each morning, it is more than a little bit freeing to know that I am now fully justified in showing up at work in a little, breezy sundress and platforms, or even (gasp) shorts.

No, the shorts have not happened yet. If you’ve ever seen me in shorts, you know that my collection belongs nowhere near a professional environment. I will likely need to purchase a longer pair before I can show up at work in them. And, um, I don’t really want to do that!

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This liquid jersey maxi from J Crew is a lovely choice for the office or the weekend. But, lose the hat! ON SALE for $55, jcrew.com

So, to keep things classy, I’ve been reaching mainly for sweet sundresses and comfortable flats or platforms. I’m also loving the look of a black or gray cocktail dress in an airy chiffon or silk, paired with great heels and a cardigan. And while the walk from the parking garage to the inner sanctum of this frigid building remains grueling, at least it’s hot enough (everywhere) in Texas that you don’t mind baring your legs in the AC. That delicate balance is one thing I definitely don’t miss about home.

Got some cute summer style tips? Email me at sparklesnfun@gmail.com and share!

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Tuck a shirt into a longer pair of shorts and swap out her flats for a pair of heels. You will look fantastic! Caslon shorts, nordstrom.com, ON SALE for $29.90

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Jonesing for a splurge? These amazing graphic stilettos in black and white from Manolo Blahnik are just to thing to amp up your summer duds and keep you utterly on-trend for fall. $655, saksfifthavenue.com

Treat Your Face

Close-up of beautiful faceAs you can imagine, I have tested myriad face products in my day, and there are countless ones left on the imminent and eventual roster. But this month I’ve discovered a really cool line from the makers of Proactiv, called Rodin and Fields after the doctors who created it. The products I like most are aimed at women in their 20′s and 30′s who are suffering from the onset of wrinkles. Hello and welcome to my 28-year-old madness.

Let’s start from the lips up. I honestly don’t believe we give our lips enough love, which you can read more about here. The lip serum is a lovely, antioxidant-rich product that comes in capsule form. You apply to your lips to help them retain their natural moisturizing factors, while smoothing the texture and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. I use it at night and even as of Morning One, I noticed a plumper appearance and ultra smooth finish on my pout. The REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum comes in a package of 60 capsules for a mere $53 and you can purchase here.

redefineAnother of this acne-prone girl’s favorite standout products from the line is the UNBLEMISH Spot Fading Toner. In addition to helping clear up the bumps you have now, it aids in the healing of your skin to help fade the marks that former breakouts left behind. This has been a big problem for me in recent months and I’m glad to find a solution that is finally working!

sootheI could carry on and on about this incredible product line, but here are the basics of what you need to know. It was developed by dermatologists who understand the delicate balance of your skin and create each product with real improvement in mind. The mid-range pricing makes it easier on the wallet than a lot of the designer skincare regimens out there, and the solid results I’ve seen from these products in a few short weeks has me going back for more.

You can hook up with a specialist through their website. I highly recommend mine, Ursula Fahrendorff whom you can reach by email at ursula.fahrendorff@gmail.com.

From soothing to enhancing, unblemishing to reversing the effects of aging, there is a suite of products for your every need, and plenty of ways to mix-and-match. Check out their site today and start getting your face, neck, and hands back to their former glory.