Entries Tagged as 'News'

The Big 3-5! Here’s to 10 Years of (Questionable) Looks


Renee DeSantis

Today I turn 35 *shudder*, and I’ve been reflecting on how much I’ve changed and grown in the the past 10 years. On my 25th birthday, I was just kind of coasting through life. No real vision in sight and unsure of myself.  When I think about my life today, I’m incredibly grateful for the love, stability, happiness, and passion that are a part of my day to day life. And my hair thanks me as well.

During those “wondering” years, my hair changed with each life change–a breakup, a new job, graduating, you name it. It was until I met my husband, my rock and my center, that my look became consistent and more like me.

So as I embark on a journey into a new age bracket, enjoy a few of my hair raising highlights over the past decade!

brazil2007 edit2008editsmileedit

IMG_0666 edit

2013 edit


Down For 30edit




Having it all: How I balance everything from beauty to babies


beauty blogger, mom blogger

Picture above is from a photoshoot I was trying to do at home…in between toys and toddlers

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nissan via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nissan.

Happy Holidays! I hope that all my readers have a happy and healthy holiday season with their loved ones!  I’m looking forward to some down time with the family and gearing up for a busy and best year yet in 2015.

As a mother, wife, full time worker, Philly.com blogger, A Beauty Loft blogger, and editor for the South Jersey Chapter of Jack and Jill, my plate is definitely full and more time than not, chaotic. But love for what I do keeps me going. Time management, organization, and a supportive husband and family are key to getting the job done. As impossible as it may seem, we can have it all and accomplish our dreams–whatever they may be!

That’s why I love hearing about inspirational women that are doing it now, like celebrity interior designer, Cathy Hobbs. Hobbs not only runs her own successful design business, Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes, but also appears regularly on TV for shows such as “The Nate Berkus Show”, HGTV, and more.

Below is a video of Cathy showcasing her NYC home and providing some fabulous design tips, as well!

T4_Red_ITE_4C_340Note from our sponsor: With its stylish looks and premium interior, the Nissan Altima is just as much as an individual as you are. Not fitting into one mold is what makes the Nissan Altima not only unique, but very exciting!

10 for $10! Last minute beauty gifts that won’t break the bank



I love buying presents during the holidays and according to my credit card statement, I have a tendency to go overboard and over-budget.  So when I agreed to participate in my office “Secret Santa”, I didn’t realize until after the fact, how hard it is to find gifts with a price limit of $10. At that price point, even Ed Hardy perfume wasn’t an option.

But, with a little research, I came up with a great list of 10 beauty gifts for $10.


Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Duo

Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Duo:  Since I love Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum, this is the perfect gift for glowing skin. It contains 10 x The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths: Brightening  and  1.5 oz African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. $10


Alterna Caviar Moisture Trio:   Yep, your hair shows signs of aging too! Altering gift set contains shampoo, conditioner and leave-in CC Cream. $10


Bliss Lemony Trinkets: – I love the scent of lemon! Get a lemon scented cleansing body wash and body butter from Bliss. $10


Burt’s Bees Beeswax Bounty – Classic Mix: Can’t go wrong with a classic! Set includes 4 count multipack of 100% natural lip balm in 0.15 ounce tubes and bonus change purse. $9.99


NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipgloss Sugar Rush Set:  My favorite drugstore line has some great gift sets. I love their butter lipgloss and this set contains 3: featuring Cherry Pie, Cupcake, and Sugar Cookie. $10


BECCA Online Only Complexion + Perfection Sample Pack: Each collection includes a sample of Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème in two of the most popular shades allowing you to trial the formula multiple days and discover your shade. Also included is a deluxe sample of Shimmering Skin Perfector. $10


Clinique Happiness in Colour Gift Set: Love this set filled with minis for only $10! Clinique Happy Perfume Spray, A Different Nail Enamel in Juiced Up, Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Oversized Orange. Bag included!

_9757324Lulu Lip Gloss Set (Set of 4) (Juniors): Great set of gloss from Nordstrom’s junior section for your little sis, niece, or yourself! $10


Vaseline Gift Set: I love the Vaseline line of moisturizers. This set gives you the body lotion, spray lotion, classic vaseline, and vaseline lip therapy. $9.99


Philosophy Purity Made Simple Ornament: One of Philosophy’s cult favorite products, this facial cleanser melts away all makeup and gently cleanses the skin. $10  (now on sale at Nordstrom.com for $9)


BCA Lip Balm & Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquer – Pink 2 Pc: My favorite lip balm with a side of OPI? Yes, please! $9.99

Contouring Palettes: What Are They and Do You Need One?


Anastasia Conturing Palette

Blame Kim Kardashian. What was previously reserved for theatre, high fashion editorials, and drag queens, the skillful art of makeup highlighting and contouring became main stream with a simple Instagram photo.  In the midst of a major glam session with celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes, Kim posted the below pic with the caption, “Wanna see how @scottbarnes68 contours?!”

photo credit: Kim Kardashian's Instagram

photo credit: Kim Kardashian’s Instagram

While men, makeup novices and children were frightened at the tiger-like streaks of makeup on her face, makeup aficionados’ curiosity peaked and thus began a multitude of diagrams, blog posts, and youtube tutorials outlining their version of the ‘Kim Kardsashian Kontour’ (sorry about that—I had to).  After all, her makeup looks are the most searched on the internet.

Realizing that the trend isn’t going anywhere, beauty retailers are cashing in and products specifically designed for contouring and highlighting are hitting the shelves. But is this a trend you should skip or jump on?

Let’s get to the highlights:

  1. What is conturing? Simply put, using a shade or two darker than your complexion you can contour your facial features to minimize areas you want to appear smaller. On the contrary, you can use a shade or two lighter than your complexion to highlight features you want to stand out. When put together, you can fake cheekbones, a nose job, a smaller forehead and more. The placement of the highlight and contour is crucial to pulling the look off. If you need a refresher,  Danielle covered highlighting and contouring in depth here.



  1. What is a contour palette or kit? A contour palette or kit will have both your contour and highlight together in one kit. Some have just one color for the contour and one color for the highlight. Others, like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit featured below, have more than one shade of contour and highlight.
Anastasia Contour Kit

Anastasia Contour Kit

Anastasia Contour Kit

The top row are highlighters and the bottom row are used for contouring

  1. Do you need one? If contouring and highlighting is something you want to try for yourself, chances are you probably have what you need already. A bronzer and concealer will do the trick.  I like to use Guerlain Terrecotta Bronzing Powder in 08 and NARS Illuminating Concealer in Custard. But if you are little unsure of what to use, a contour palette might help. A palette with more than one highlight and contour color can allow you to mix your way to the perfect shades. Here’s a list of some contour palettes worth checking out:

contouring, before and after, how to contour, contouring for darker skin tones

Whatever route you go, my best tip when it comes to highlighting and contouring is to blend, blend, and blend!! What do you like to use to highlight and contour?




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