Friday, December 30, 2011

beauty school: rose gold glitz eye tutorial


rose gold glitz // i'm a bit behind, but still in time for new year's eve! this is the look i came up with -- i was thinking of doing something super glittery like a lot of the other new year's eve looks i've seen so far, but it came out a little more subtle. which maybe could be a good thing! if your outfit and accessories already shine more than the sun, you may want an eye look that isn't super glittery. read on to see how i got the look!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

best of 2011

goodbye, 2011!











best of 2011 // here are some of my favorites from this past year! even though i just started my blog a few months ago, i'm really thankful for the opportunity to blog and for all of you who read my blog as well! i'm looking forward to next year -- hopefully a nice, full year of blogging! :)

happy (almost) new year!

sephora mineral foundation review



sephora mineral foundation review // a few weeks ago i picked up this pressed mineral foundation from sephora. the foundation i typically use is bare escentuals' bareminerals foundation, but it was starting to run low, so i decided to give this a try. read my full review after the jump!

Monday, December 26, 2011

photo diary: christmas-gram




"what's a christmas gram?! i want one!" -- buddy the elf. :)

just a peek at my christmas festivities through instagram. hope everyone had a lovely holiday! i'll be back in the next few days with some makeup looks and/or reviews!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas!


if you're celebrating christmas, hope you have a wonderful holiday! 

<3 grace.

beauty school: snowfall manicure


snowfall manicure // here's a close-up of the nail look i had on from yesterday! after i took this photo, i decided to change my ring fingernail color..so i did a layer of sheer plum polish right on top of the glitter, which gave it a really interesting effect, that's why it looked different in the outfit photos :) this was sort of an experimental thing, but i like how it turned out, and it definitely reminds me of a snowfall.



how to get the look after the jump!



Friday, December 23, 2011

zippers & wine



top: zara, jeans: forever 21, belt: h&m, flats: payless
necklace & pearl ring: forever 21,  banded ring: nordstrom bp

zippers & wine // i don't think it's going to snow anytime soon..which explains why i'm standing outside without a coat or even a sweater on! i took this opportunity (mid-50 degree weather in the md/dc/va area!) to put on this lovely wine-colored top, which looks best when you can see the back. i picked up this top from zara about a month ago, and loved its zipper detail, which i thought made it different from any other long sleeve top.

i'll also put up a close-up photo of my nails tomorrow, with a little step-by-step on how i did them! very festive, with the hexagon glitter -- it'll be a great holiday party nail look :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

a matter of change

surprise! it looks different, doesn't it? :) i've been wanting to give my blog a makeover to match my portfolio, and so i took some time today to work on it. i've also changed out my twitter background to match, so everything has one cohesive look.

i also re-named my blog -- i loved the word avalon, which means paradise, but i thought that gracefuls was a bit more unique, and it's been my username for many things on the web, so i thought i'd just run with that.

hope you all like it! it's a lot more clean and intuitive, just like the rest of my design work, so why shouldn't this be as well? :)

i'll have a style post for you guys tomorrow! yay! happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

dusty pink

dusty pink slouchy cardigan: loft, top: target, pants: forever 21, 
bracelets from top to bottom: h&m, forever21, luna boutique

dusty pink // a little peek at the styling from the other day. i love tucking in my tops just to one side, so that you can see the belt (although my belt isn't visible in this photo). it just adds a little interest to the outfit. oh and rolling up both sleeves of my cardigans a little differently too, so it's not exactly symmetrical. it's definitely the little details that make the outfit :)

i've been behind on my style posts! hopefully i'll be getting some up soon :) i'm also going to try to get some photos of the christmas happenings around my house this week, since i'm home for the holidays :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

style sheet: styling tights for winter weather

it's definitely not fall anymore, so you might be thinking that you'll have to store your tights away for the winter. there's good news -- you may not have to, depending on how cold winter gets where you live.


this post is also for those girls who insist on wearing a skirt or dress even if it's 20 degrees out...you know who you are. (beauty is pain, right?) :) read on for a few tips on styling your tights for the winter!



Friday, December 16, 2011

photo diary: creative freedom

two different looks christina did on me


two looks i did on christina. my favorite is the one on the left :)

creative freedom // my lovely friend christina is one of the people who first inspired me to start with makeup. she does some theater & stage makeup, and is just an all-around awesome artist, so we had some fun painting on each others' faces and just really seeing the whole face as a canvas with no limitations. this is what we came up with! :)

sometimes it's nice to just take a break from doing everyday makeup and play with more creative designs, right? let me know what you think!

happy friday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

eye look #11: dramatic & edgy turquoise


eye look #11: dramatic & edgy turquoise // back with a new eye look! this one's really fun, but definitely more dramatic and something to wear at night (even though i ended up wearing it during the day because i was experimenting and it just came out like this..haha)

to get the look, follow the steps after the jump!



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

creamy chicken & potato soup

delicious. i left the skins on my potatoes because i like them that way. :)

here's another way to stay warm this winter! i made this soup a few nights ago, so i thought i'd share the recipe with you all. i didn't use a recipe when making it, so i wrote this one up afterwards, just for all of you :) [disclaimer: i did not intend to steal anyone else's recipe, in case this does look like another one out there. the entire recipe was written based off what i just put together on my own. and also, please do not copy without permission. thanks!]

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creamy chicken & potato soup

3 medium sized russet potatoes
1 or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 15.25-oz can of corn
2 stalks of celery
1 small onion, or half of a large onion
1 14.5-oz can of chicken broth
salt
pepper
butter
milk and/or heavy cream, if desired

[1] peel and wash the potatoes. cut into 2 inch chunks and transfer to a medium sized pot. fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes, add 1 tsp salt, and place on stove top. set to high heat to boil. once the water has come to a boil, turn it down to medium heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

[2] while the potatoes are simmering, chop the rest of the vegetables. cut the celery and onion into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.

[3] when the potatoes are tender, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the potatoes and transfer to a blender. do not drain out the potato water! you'll be using this as part of your soup base. blend the potatoes with a little of the water at a time until it reaches a consistency similar to mashed potatoes. add 1 tbsp of butter, and a splash of milk, and add more potato water if necessary. discard the remaining water.

[4] fill the now empty pot with enough water to cover the chicken breasts. bring to a boil, and season with 1 tsp salt. place the chicken breasts inside the pot of boiling water, and reduce to medium heat to let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until chicken breasts are completely cooked through. using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken breasts from the water and let cool on a plate or cutting board. the water remaining in the pot may be used as chicken broth, or you may use a canned version. if using the one just made, set aside.

[5] in a larger pot, add 1 can of chicken broth, the celery, onion, and corn (not necessary to use all the corn if you prefer not to). bring to a boil, and then reduce to medium-high heat. cook until the celery is tender, stirring occasionally. scoop the potato mixture into the pot a little at a time, adding more as necessary to thicken the soup to your liking. if desired, add heavy cream to thicken soup even more. season to taste with salt and pepper, and lower the heat to medium. (if you have extra of the potato mixture here, you can turn it into mashed potatoes by seasoning it and adding whatever else you like to it!)

[6] shred the chicken breast, using a fork to help you if necessary. add the shredded chicken to the pot. simmer for another 10 minutes on medium heat. serve with a piece of warm, crusty french baguette or garlic bread. serves about 4.

Monday, December 12, 2011

guest post at gracelaced: diy pearl statement necklace


guest post at gracelaced: diy pearl statement necklace // you know the necklace i love wearing, and that goes with almost every outfit? i finally wrote up a tutorial for it, and am pleased to share it with you all. if you are just not a DIY kind of person, or don't have the time to make one, please contact me, and i'll gladly make you one and we'll talk pricing as well!

my lovely cousin ruth has a wonderful blog, and has graciously allowed me to feature my pearl statement necklace tutorial today! this tutorial took a lot of time, so i hope you all enjoy it and put it to good use! a special thanks to my friend margaret for helping me take some of the photos from the tutorial!

please head on over to ruth's blog, gracelaced, to check out the tutorial!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

style sheet: layers upon layers

is your top and cardigan combo not cutting it for winter? or have you been trying to figure out how to wear your pretty warm-weather tops during the winter? -- time to layer up :) if you're like me and live in a super cold place (ahem...chicago), you're definitely going to want to take note of these layering tips!


check out my styling tips after the jump!



Friday, December 9, 2011

mustard yellow

lovely mustard yellow portfolio clutch from asos

mustard yellow // i ordered this oversized portfolio clutch from asos a few weeks ago, and was just able to get it, but it was so worth the wait. in case you guys didn't know...i love this color :) it's definitely bigger than i expected it to be (about the size of my 15" macbook pro), but i guess it doesn't bother me too much. the best part was that it was only about $20 when it was on sale! hopefully it'll make some appearances in my future photos!

if i could have chosen any clutch on that site regardless of price, it would have been this one below. it's actually on sale right now for $65.45, which is amazing, considering it's usually around $109. if you have $65 to spend, i'd definitely recommend getting it!

suede and metallic mix portfolio clutch from asos


do you own any portfolio/envelope style clutches? i'd love to see :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

topshop, olivia palermo, & refinery29

olivia (on the right) talking about how she styled the models


i got my hair did by diana, the salon director of kelly cardenas salon in wicker park &
i met shani from refinery29!


one of my friends that i went with (her sister took this picture)


us & olivia! she's so lovely. (picture credit: iris)


topshop, olivia palermo & refinery29 // last night i attended olivia palermo's styling event at topshop in chicago, also hosted by refinery29 (which is one of my favorite websites, btw, please check them out!). it was so much fun! got to meet and chat with some wonderful people, get my hair done by diana, who's the salon director at kelly cardenas salon in wicker park, and see olivia's picks for holiday styling. looking forward to the next event :)

holiday makeup, featured by thebeautydepartment.com!

one of the steps from the tutorial


if you haven't heard already, my glitter holiday makeup tutorial was featured today by thebeautydepartment.com! i'm super excited to share this with you guys and with all the readers on TBD. thanks to amy nadine, kristin ess, lauren conrad and their team for featuring me! :)


head on over here or click the image to see the full post!

Monday, December 5, 2011

eye look #10: midnight line


eye look #10: midnight line // not as simple as it looks, but definitely is good for those days when you don't want to look like you put too much makeup on :) i'm sure a lot of you know by now how to turn your eyeshadow into a liner (wetting the brush and painting it on), but here's just a few things to keep in mind when you do it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

weekend moodboard #3

sparkler skirt in tinsel lace from j.crew, chocolate chip cheesecake-filled devil's food cupcake from project foodie, simple blue glitter eye look from katarzyna on beautylish

weekend moodboard #3 // i haven't done one of these in a while! here are a few picks for the weekend, a couple things i found on the internet that i love! and wanted to share with you all -- i love love this skirt. and how amazing does that cupcake look?! and lastly, i think i'll be trying out that eye look soon as well, just need to go get some blue glitter and a white eyeliner pencil!

have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

links a la mode feature #2, courtesy of IFB

links a la mode feature #2 // thank you to IFB for featuring one of my posts again! the post on necklace necessities was featured this week, so don't forget to check it out if you haven't already. and if you get a chance, support the other bloggers on the list by looking at their links as well :)



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