Cutting off the Claws

by: Katrina

Happy Manicure Monday everyone! After weeks of growing my nails to what to me is “claw” lengths, the saddest day came when I had to cut them off. 😦 Having long nails definitely made me feel pretty, more girly, and all that good stuff- plus they looked amazing! But from scratching myself by accident to getting caught in random things- I just couldn’t take them anymore. How do you ladies do it?! Sam also had to trim her claws down. It was a devastating week for both of us but if you can’t even work a copy machine because of your nails- its a problem. Are we just being dramatic ?

Left: Last picture of my claws in American Apparel “Office”

Right: Post claws in Essie’s “Meet me at the altar”

Sam’s Mani: ” Up Front & Personal” by OPI

Nail Salon: Inwood Nail 4963 Broadway (between 207th St & 211th St) New York, NY 10034

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Kim’s Mani: “Where’s my chauffeur?” by Essie

Nail Salon: Spring Sun Nail Spa 221 W14th st New York, NY 10011

Kim is still fortunate enough to have her beautiful claws!

Kim is still fortunate enough to have her beautiful claws!

Do you ladies prefer long or short nails ?

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Beauty & the Beach

By: Kim

BBQs, beaches, burgers and (in Katrina’s case) bonfires all come to mind when we look back on our 4th of July weekend festivities. Although we couldn’t be together on the 4th, Sam, Katrina and I always look forward to getting dolled up for holidays & special occasions. At the pool, on the beach, and in the sun, we wanted to take the time to share with you all our beauty picks for the 4th of July!

Kim: I’ll be honest–I’m having full fledged regrets about attending 4 BBQs in 4 days. From Queens to Brooklyn to Jersey and back to BK–my 4th of July weekend was nothing short of a journey. My makeup choices varied slightly from day to night, transitioning from a sparkly eye (Sephora collection Silk blush/bronzer duo (used as shadow) no longer available :() and nude lip (Buxom’s Full Bodied Lipstick in “Nudist,” $21 at Sephora) during the day at the pool to a muted eye (Loreal Telescopic mascara in blackest black $8.49 at Target) bronze cheek (NARS blush in “Super Orgasm”) and a bold lip 👄 (“Heaux” by Rihanna for Mac). Snapping pics only on the 4th, the rest of the weekend was a beautifully FULL-filling blur, lol.

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Also check out pics of my friends/ family and their beauty choices 🙂

Katrina: How was everyone’s 4th of July? For the week, My brother (who’s usually away–he’s in the Airforce) was in town so my celebration lasted from Sunday- Friday (and tired isn’t even the word to describe me right now!) After many exhausting but fun adventures in the city and spending time with family all week, I ended my July 4th pretty low key-which is very unusual for me. My Thursday began with shopping and ended with great food, great company, fireworks, and a bon fire. After living in a city all my life, it felt like my friends and I had a serious case of suburbia; who sets up a bon fire on the sidewalk, makes smores, while sitting around the fire in 90 degree weather?! We did. And I enjoyed every second of it! (The smoke also kept the bugs away, so my legs were spared that night.) Also, from what I can remember, my partner Kimmie and I were beer pong champions- I could be wrong though lol. Hope everyone enjoyed as much as I did! Now its back to work ::crying::

My make up choice was pretty similar to my everyday look – just a little extra eyeliner and coats of mascara . I’m obsessed with nude lips !

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Eyebrow powder: Anastasia brown/brunette

Eyeliner: Sonia Kashuk – black onyx longwear eyeliner

Mascara: L’oreal Telescopic Blackest black

Blush: Estée Lauder X Michael Kors deluxe blush compact

Lipstick: Kate Moss for Rimmel London 113

Nail polish: essie – Butler Please

Sam: For the 4th, I spent the weekend at Long Beach. I was super excited because it was my first time being at the beach this summer! I like to plan outfits so I don’t over pack and end up not wearing things I packed–especially for the the fourth of July. I worked my makeup around this blue tank dress with stars from ASOS. During the day I was wearing Buxom’s Big & Healthy Lip Cream in Cherry Flip ($19). It’s the perfect poppy red. I’m starting to really love lip gloss(or anything from Buxom) because it gives off that girly, playful vibe. I’m not always looking to be so severe during the day. Then at night, I opted for a red lipstick. I bought Dolce & Gabbana‘s Monica Voluptuous Lipstick ($33 in Italian Monica) specifically for July 4th. When I looked at this color I thought it was the most beautiful red I have ever seen. The warm red color is perfect for my light olive skin tone. To complete both my day and night lip looks, I paired it with NARS Blush in Luster and my go-to mascara from Buxom. Here are some pics of my beauty look for July 4th and more 🙂

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Skinervention

By: Sam

There comes a time in every girl’s life when your skin doesn’t want to cooperate. Whether it’s a hormonal breakout or one honkin’ zit…we’ve all been there. When this happens, panic and stress ensues and you try to find any and every possible remedy. Desperate times call for desperate measures: heavily medicated spot treatments, face masks, experimenting with high end, all natural, or over the counter skincare products, or a top of the line facial. In recent weeks I’ve been dealing with more than just breakouts, I would call it an outright rebellion. Rashes, irritation, bumps you know, the skin apocalypse! I also was experiencing some stomach pains, nausea, and physical weakness. What gives?! After about a handful of meltdowns, I decided to see a dermatologist.

Two of my older sisters swear by Bobby Buka’s work with their respective skin issues. When they saw that my skin was in need of professional help (lol), they recommended that I set an appointment ASAP. I made an appointment with Dr. Amy Spizuoco and I found out more than I had bargained for! First and foremost, the office downtown (214 Sullivan St. New York, NY) is G O R G E O U S, very hip and modern, (no anxiety filled white walls or clinical feel). Anyway, I told the doctor my skincare history, including my most recent purchases and she even asked about my eating habits. After this, she called in a facial specialist to take a closer look at my skin. After basically being dissected, it turns out I am allergic to dairy. 😥 After reading about all the symptoms that come from a dairy allergy, all of my past boughs of illness and weird digestive behavior finally made sense. Dr. Spizuoco was very sweet and helpful and quickly knew what to prescribe me for my skin: Epidou & Tretinoin:

Epidou– An antibiotic-free, topical treatment. Contains 0.1% adapalene (a retinoid- a vitamin A derivative, great for anti-aging and scarring), and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. It is designed to get rid of any kind of breakouts you’re working with and keeps them away by unclogging blocked pores and penetrates beneath the surface of the skin. Results may vary and can be seen anywhere from 4-12 weeks. Epidou also as an APP to track your progress and to remind you to apply the cream/gel when needed.

Tretinoin– another vitamin A derivative used to treat acne and all that comes with it, dark spots, wrinkles, and sun damage. Can also be used to treat inflammatory red bumps (yes those pesky, painful hormonal breakouts on your chin and jawline!)

The facial specialist was equally as helpful, advising me to use a mild cleanser from Neutrogena or Cetaphil, use SPF 30+, and a night moisturizer that does not combat with the medications (no AHA or Glyolic acid). Also she told me to stop exfoliating and using toners 😯 , because the Epidou basically takes care of those functions. She also enforced the importance of using face masks at least once a week, preferably all natural. She was kind enough to write down a facial recipe for me to use:

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Basically, you make organic oatmeal using soy milk and purified water and when it is ready you put it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Then, you leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse and proceed with your nighttime medication or moisturizer.*She advised I alternate between essential oils: Licorice oil for brightening properties for tired or dull looking skin. Calendula oil for its healing properties. (Both can be found at health food stores) You can also use honey in place of agave nectar in this recipe.

Here is a slideshow of my new and improved skincare routine:

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Overall, my experience at the dermatologist was an eye opener. After spending money on countless products trying to fix my own skin issues, I feel like getting insight from a professional is exactly what I needed to get on the right track.

Tell us! What is your favorite face mask? Have you ever needed a skinervention?

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“Millennials on a Mission”: Thirteenth and Hudson

Chasity Cooper was kind enough to feature and interview us on her blog. Please check it out on chasitycooper.wordpress.com ! It was a pleasure.Thanks so much for the love and shoutout! 😀

CHASITY S. COOPER

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope that you all have enjoyed this first wonderful week of summer. It’s hard to believe that next week will already be July! But I’m so excited for today’s installment of “Millennials on a Mission”. To kick it up a notch, I’ve decided to also spotlight groups of millennials are doing amazing things together (because as we all know, teamwork makes the dream work.) This week’s post is about three young ladies that have taken their amazing friendship to new heights and collaborated to share their love for all things beauty-ful.

I’d like for you all to meet the ladies of Thirteenth and Hudson.

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Kimberly, Katrina and Samantha  met their freshman year of high school ten years ago at Notre Dame School, a Catholic girls school in New York City. After high school like most friends, they each took different paths: Kim studied journalism…

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Do You Smell Me?

By: Sam

I have a confession: I hate my body chemistry. It seems like a weird thing to nitpick but this has caused me some major problems in the fragrance department. Recently, I read an interesting article on the relationship between body chemistry & fragrance. However, it’s not so much that I can’t find a scent that I like (trust me there are many) but it smells seems like nothing actually stays on my skin. How do I fix this? I can’t buy a perfume based on a scent I like for 5 minutes when my main concern is how it’s going to smell (if at all) in the next hour. Even so, nowadays it is a little daunting to tackle the issue of fragrances with so many options: parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau fraiche, perfume oils, and solid perfumes. Then once you jump that hurdle, you have to decide whether you want a scent that’s “fresh and clean”, “feminine and floral”, “spicy” and the list goes on… eau de oh no!

Before we get overwhelmed, let’s B R E A K D O W N these fragrance choices! Shall we?

  • Parfum: Contains 15 to 30 percent of the essential fragrance and is the most expensive kind of perfume. It is also called “extrait perfume”. Joy Baccarat Pure Perfume by Jean Patou retails for a whopping $1000!
  • Eau de Parfum: Contains 8 to 15 percent of essential fragrance and is less costly than parfums. Dot ($89) by Marc Jacobs is an Eau de Parfum and smells lovely don’t you think?
  • Eau de Toilette: Can cost equal or less than Eau de Parfum but contains 5 to 8 percent of essential fragrance. Eau de Toilette is not meant to stay on the skin for long periods so make note of that ladies! One of the newest Eau de Toilette fragrances is Anna Sui La Vie De Boheme ($78).
  • Eau Fraiche: Lighter than Eau de Toilette containing about 3 percent or less of the essential fragrance. Chanel’s Chance ($90) has an Eau Fraiche version of the fragrance.
  • Perfume Oil: Is applied by massaging fragrance onto the skin and contains a stronger scent than alcohol based perfumes. Perfume oils contain 15 to 30 percent of essential fragrance. Perfume oils can be pricey such as Creed Acqua Fiorentina Perfume Oil ($160) or there are less expensive options from The Body Shop and LUSH.
  • Solid Perfume: Made with beeswax or petroleum jelly . It needs a carrier oil as a base and essential oils. Designer perfumes have made solid perfume versions of their fragrances such as Oscar de la Renta’s Espirit Doscar Solid Perfume ring($65) (how cute!). I also found a DIY recipe for solid perfume.

After you decide how potent you want your fragrance to be, the rest is up to your personal taste. 😉

Since I’m starting from scratch with perfumes, it doesn’t make sense (right now) to break bank on a light scent that will subside once I break a sweat. I’ve started using Devil’s Nightcap Perfume Oil ($59.95-139.95) by LUSH. It contains bitter oak wood, oak moss, clary sage & ylang ylang, which gives me a dark, mysterious, and earthy scent I’m looking for. I took the time to test out the scent at the store and browse their beauty products while the scent settled onto my skin. I love how they literally let you smell the coffee (they have coffee beans!) to refresh your sense of smell while trying out their various perfumes. I’m diggin’ it so far and have already received compliments :).

Tell us! What’s your favorite perfume?

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Review: Masking & Toning with Mario Badescu

Let’s face it, with millions of lotions, toners, masks and cleansers available, trying to choose the product that is right for you has become an increasingly difficult task.

With skincare, purchases are usually on a buy and try basis, as our skin is constantly changing with the weather, our hormones, and (dare I say)… our age 😕. Since changing skin equals the inevitable change in skincare, I was more than eager to update my regimen when Samantha offered some Mario Badescu products for me to try.

The toner and mask both came at the perfect time, as I’ve been feeling as though my morning & nighttime cleansing routines were a little…well…lacking. Simply washing and moisturizing didn’t seem to be enough for my annoying combination/ oily skin. So the Cucumber Cleansing Lotion provided the perfect balance and base I needed to prep my over-zealous pores after cleansing and before moisturizing. I’ve used toners before, but they’ve always left my skin feeling too dry. Infused with cucumber extract astringent, this lotion is intended for oily/combo types looking to calm redness, unclog pores and deep clean to prevent acne)

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When it comes to masks, I am far from experienced, but I recognize that my skin craves that extra deep cleanse every once in a while. The Flower and Tonic mask is refreshing, lightweight, and moisturizing. Most importantly, it doesn’t dry out your skin & the smell us simply intoxicating!

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I’m loving that Mario Badescu products (available online or at the Mario Badescu salon in NYC) guarantee results while being pocket-friendly. Tell us, what toners and masks are you trying for the summer?

Kim

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Breakouts Be Gone! – Bianca

by: Katrina

Hello everyone! Today I want to introduce my beautiful little sister… and her not so beautiful bumps (lol). For the past 23 years I’ve been lucky enough to not have bad breakouts (knock on wood) but my teenage sister unfortunately is experiencing them. She has gone through various facial cleansers and moisturizers. Many would clear up her face but nothing would KEEP the pimples away. Worrying and stressing over it made it worse so she finally got some help from a dermatologist. He prescribed her 2 topical medications:

1. FINACEA – first and only gel approved by the FDA to treat the bumps, pimples, and rosacea. It contains azelaic acid (AzA), a naturally occurring ingredient. It comes in a water-based gel (fragrance and alcohol free) and helps to limit allergic reaction and dryness

2. DIFFERIN- comes two ways: two different strengths, one gel and one lotion (doctor determines which is best for you). Bianca uses the clear gel which is for more challenging acne. It works under the skin’s surface to unclog pores, clear pimples, and most important – keep them away!

Name: Bianca

Age: 15

Skin Type: Oily

Skincare Routine: “When I wake up in the morning I rinse my face with cold water then dab it dry with a clean towel. Afterwards, I apply Finacea in pea size drops on my pimples and any marks on my face. Then, I apply Differen- pea size drops on my forehead, one on each cheek, and one on my chin and massage onto my face. I do this before I go to bed and sometimes after school if my face feels dirty.”

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Now my sister is acne free and enjoying life ! hahaha

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Tell us! How do you treat your breakouts?

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