Au Naturel // Little Seed Farms Giveaway

aunaturalpromoSummer is typically a time where I make every excuse not to wear makeup, with the exception of maybe a little tinted moisturizer (with SPF of course) and some mascara.

“It’s just SO Euro,” – what I tell myself so I can ride a chic little ego wave or something.

Skin care, then, becomes a number one factor in my no makeup confidence. I do my best to use products that are free of harmful ingredients and weird animal byproducts. I’ve found the most effective way to steer clear of those things is to explore natural options.

I present to you my 2014 natural-summer-skincare holy grail:

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Number one is Apple Cider vinegar. Hair health begins at the root, and the root begins at the scalp; After trying a million shampoos and offhandedly taking some questionable advice from Pinterest, I came across this remedy for dry scalps. Before my shower I mix 1 part ACV to 1 part water in an empty water bottle and shake it to mix. After washing my hair like normal, I distribute the mixture throughout my scalp and massage in (as you would with a deep conditioner). Usually at this point I clip up my hair and get out of the shower for about 10 minutes; this is a good time to put on a skin mask or send that email you forgot about until mid shampoo rinse. After letting it soak in get back in the shower, condition the ends of your hair, finish up your routine and then rinse out everything at once.

The bad news: ACV has a PUNGENT foot-like smell. However, once your hair is dry it does disappear. Do your best not to get it in your eyes or mouth; if you do, you won’t be incapacitated because you are poisoned, but you’ll probably hate yourself for not keeping things closed. (Speaking from unfortunate experience).

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Number two is (the one and only) COCONUT OIL. This multi-use product is a current obsession of bloggers and beauty gurus, and after hearing constant raving from my mom of what its done for her skin (bye, wrinkles) and hair I thought I’d give it a go.

You’re going to want to get organic + virgin coconut oil, which is widely available and pretty inexpensive (especially for how much you get/how long it lasts). When you open the container, it’s going to seem solid in consistency; scoop some out and warm it up by rubbing your hands together to melt it down. So far I’ve used it as a deep conditioning treatment, a moisturizer and a makeup remover; you better believe I’m being honest when I say that it has yet to disappoint (also it smells A LOT more delicious than ACV).

Pro tip: when using it as a deep conditioning treatment, don’t use TOO much or your hair will end up greasy after you wash it out; emphasize the product on the ends of your hair and it will naturally work it’s way up.

3aunatural.psdNumber 3, Activated Charcoal Soap. More specifically, Goats Milk + charcoal soap. I picked this up at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and I am actually in love with it. The sweet woman from Little Seed Farm, here in TN, who sold it to me explained how the charcoal withdraws toxins out of your skin that have settled there throughout the day:

Activated charcoal is gifted with the ability to deep clean without drying, chemically attracting and locking in toxins (from indoor and outdoor pollution) that can cause breakouts and irritation. It washes them away without breaking down your skin’s naturally protective mantle, making our Activated Charcoal Bar a perfect companion for sensitive and irritated skin. “

I can see and feel a difference in my skin since I began using it two weeks ago.  Using warm water I work the soap into a lather, massage it into my skin, rinse and then pat dry with a cloth. There is no weird scent or residue left over, just a baby soft face; HIGHLY recommend.

To learn more about this product, or to purchase it, visit the Little Seed Etsy shop here.

G I V E A W A Y // D E TA I L S

I hope this was helpful! I decided to do a little giveaway with Little Seed farm products! They have so many amazing options to choose from and I wanted to share some with you guys.

TO ENTER:

Follow my blog+instagram (@lacunningham), comment below (or on my Instagram) and let me know if you tried any of the products/regiments I mentioned, the product you’d most like to try in the Little Farms shop or if you have any natural beauty secrets yourself! A winner will be randomly selected to receive a product of their choosing from the Little Seed Farm etsy shop! Here is the link again so you can check out their product line. Giveaway closes on May 23, 2014 and the winner will be contacted on the 28.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

 

 

PS: Spain countdown, 3 days!

ZARA | Spring Fashion Inspo

HELPFUL INFO TRUF 1403116000_1_1_1_web 1402008000_1_1_1_web TRUF2 1403111000_1_1_1_web 1402015000_1_1_1_web 1402014000_1_1_1_web 1403109000_1_1_1_web 1402001000_1_1_1_web 1402021000_1_1_1_web1403124000_1_1_1_web 1402013000_1_1_1_web 1403113000_1_1_1_web 1403120000_1_1_1_web 1402016000_1_1_1_web 1402006000_1_1_1_web1403125000_1_1_1_webALL PHOTOS VIA ZARA.COM

Last night I was inspiration hunting for a photoshoot I have the privilege of styling today. The story I developed for the shoot is titled “Runaways in San Tropez.

[PICTURE THIS]: It’s the 1990’s. Three Parisian twenty-somethings longing for a holiday at the sea finally escape the buzz of the city by fleeing to the south of France. They desperately want to fit in with the effortless elegance of the glamazons gracing San Tropez with their presence, but no matter how hard they try they can’t completely subdue their draw to all things grunge.

I want it be a juxtaposition of the glamourous style of the sixties (think: Audrey Hepburn) with, say, the staple styles of the 90’s (Drew Barrymore & Kate Moss circa 1994). Thus, when I ran across these Zara lookbooks (both their women’s line and their Trufaluc line) I was truly smitten.

(I should’ve just called this post Parentheses)

The silhouettes of these looks aren’t only something I hope to channel in my styling today, but also in my personal styling throughout the upcoming seasons. It’s hard to go wrong with solid colored, staple pieces…especially cropped ones. The whole Parisian closet movement is about all those things? Right?

The nineties shouldn’t be a period of fashion that we shake our heads at, but instead one that we nod to with a peep of skin, a good cut and a straight, maybe even slightly oversized, silhouette.

I, on the other hand, will be striving to look like a member of the Babysitter’s Club at all times. If you guessed Claudia, you’re right.

 

 

Speak to you soon!

 

x

Fashion Week Catchup // Wednesday-Thursday

My mind is actually blown that I’ve ended up in New York for fashion week this year. Luckily enough, I got here after much of the snow has subsided and have just been hitting pop up shops and promo parties like they are two-for-one Tuesdays in Nashville. MBFW is real, guys.

JK I’m actually wrapped up in an afghan, hair in a post-shower top knot and trying to downplay the sincerity of my late night hunger pains by aggressively clicking through every show available to me on style.com in real time. The glam factor is here, everyone.

Seriously though, there are a lot of shows and I don’t know how any normal person is supposed to keep up with them, so I thought I’d post a few of my favorites from fall/winter 2014 thus far. Here. We. Go.

Rachel Roy
Rachel Roy FW 2014 Rachel Roy FW 2014 Rachel Roy FW 2014 Rachel Roy FW 2014

BCBG Maxazria
BCBG Maxazria F/W 2014

Whit
Whit F/W 2014Whit F/W 2014Whit F/W 2014

M. Patmos
M. Patmos F/W 2014

M. Patmos F/W 2014

M. Patmos F/W 2014

Wildfox
Wildfox F/W 2014

10 Crosby Derek Lam
10 Crosby Derek Lam F/W 2014

10 Crosby Derek Lam F/W 2014

10 Crosby Derek Lam F/W 2014

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up so we can all benefit from being current.

“Oh my GOSH, did you see that Wildfox line? Flowers in the boots?? Kil-ler”
-Me, the next time I want to sound like an asshat I know everything when I’m out with my friends.

Speak to you all soon!

x

 

 

photo sources: style.com and wwd.com

Jan Faves

Riding out that last week of January was a struggle. Between avocados being out of season and the influx of polar burrrs vortexes I didn’t think I was going to make it. But the impossible was made possible and here we are in February: the month of love, Harriet Tubman, and swimsuit season awareness (it’s coming–and it’s coming fast, ya’ll). 

Although I didn’t particularly care for January (note: except for the part where I was traveling in Europe) I did have some favorite new things pop into my life via Christmas and favorite old things that are officially broken in after being my uniform during the coldest month of my life. One of which being the hair straightener I got as an angsty 16 y/o and now can’t seem to put down. It’s chrome. Who am I even? Let’s start.

janfavesFrom top left to right: Free People boyfriend jeans (similar hereherehere), 100 Foods to Stay Young by Charlotte Watts (amazon), Moleskin 2014 Day Planner (here), Chi hair straightener, Capri Blue mercury glass jar candle (anthropologie), Vintage bracelet (thanks mom),  MAC Creamsheen Lipstick in Sunny Seoul (here), my sweet succulent (local nursery), white high top Converse (here), Twinnings English Breakfast tea, and Merona tote bag from Target (here).

“Why did she include that tea?”

Listen, spend two weeks in England and tell me you aren’t enjoying (and now expecting) to have between 2-3 cups of hot English Breakfast tea in a day. Twinnings sells a box of 50 bags for like 6 bucks, so I suggest you locate your nearest grocery (Whole Foods has it) and purchase.

janfaves2Whenever I smear (delicately smear) on my Sunny Seoul lipstick from MAC I know that spring really IS coming and it can’t be that far off. It is a super creamy formula, and the most perfect pink-coral hybrid I’ve ever found. It lasts a long time, especially if you blot right after application, and I would imagine it to look good with most skin shades.

janfaves4This book is the COOLEST. I’ve been really into nutrition recently, so when I was  trying to decide what to spend my B&N gift card on I was lucky to spot this baby. I’ve only made it through the first quarter of the foods, but I am hooked. I understand all of the nutritious proteins and enzymes I chose to pretend didn’t exist when I was taking AP Biology in high school. Now that it seems more relevant–I care. It’s super affordable and well worth picking up if you are trying to get your body to reach it’s full potential (inside and out).

Birthday countdown: 4 days. 

Speak to you all soon!

x

Prepare for takeoff

Happy Sunday, friends! As 2013 comes to a close, I’m find myself reminiscing over what a big year it’s been. For instance, I graduated college (BFA in fashion design & minor in graphic design, aka the hardest 4 years of my life), my brother got married, I met so many great new people in Nashville, my career path started to unfold, and I consumed more than one entire pizza with no regrets. Also there was whiskey. A lot of whiskey.

Let’s march onward to my last installation in my travel beauty series before I board my transatlantic flight, shall we?

|PART V: HAIR

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Products: Conair curling iron 1″, Pureology Reviving Red Shampoo, Moroccan Oil LIGHT Treatment, Kevin Murphy Hair Resort spray, Batiste dry shampoo in Blush, a gross understatement of how many bobby pins and hair ties I actually brought

Oh, hair. My hair is something I understand about as much as I understand complex math. I get how it is SUPPOSED to work–I’ve watched the tutorials, I’ve read the articles, I’ve purchased the miracle products. However, when it comes to me actually USING the knowledge and trying to produce the effortless curls that I marveled at on Pinterest, they look less “Beach Chic” and more “Sassy Ramen.” It’s the worst.

Though I am far from having a lot of great hair days, good hair days are easier to come by because of the stellar bunch of hair products I’ve found within the last few months. The Pureology shampoo is the newest addition. It is 100% Vegan, free of sulfates and other harmful bits, contains a lot of beneficial oils (Jaljala, Coconut, and Olive to name a few)  and boasts an antifade complex that it will make my red hair last as long as possible. It not only makes my hair feel great, but also my scalp. HIGHLY Recommend.

After towel drying my hair, I apply about a dime sized amount of Moroccan Oil (also known as, hair salvation) starting at the roots and then throughout my hair. I, then, spray the Kevin Murphy texturizer through my limp locks. Putting these products in before drying allows them to really sink into the strands of hair as they are being heated. After blasting hot air at my head for about five minutes and fighting frizz with my paddle brush, I have a soft, voluminous, and not-too-straight mane of hair.

Lastly, the dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is the answer to not wanting to wash your hair as often. Batiste and I are best friends. We go everywhere together. Affordable, effective, and not overly fragrant, dry shampoo makes my days between washes (often times there is a beanie involved) a lot more bearable, and a lot less homeless looking.

|PART VI: IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

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I thought I would include some tidbits that I couldn’t bear to leave home without.

  • First of all, my arm candy (did that make me sound like a member of the fashion elite?) Most of them are simple silver bangles, courteusy of my sweet mom, and there is also a beaded one I wear which mom wears as well–we’re close.
  • The next item is hashtag CRUCIAL. This red lipstick is the most wonderful, matte, long lasting red lipstick I have ever worn. Write this down: MAC. MATTE FINISH. RUBY WOO. All thank you notes can be sent to my email inbox.
  • I’m bringing along two mini O.P.I. polishes, in Vampsterdam and You Don’t Know Jacques, because I like to think that I am going to keep my hands looking manicured while I’m traveling. But if we’re being honest, I’d probably rather spend that time scouting out Europe’s best macarons. Aim high, Lauren. Aim high.
  • Perfume says a lot about a person. I enjoy tricking people into thinking that I’m a big deal, so I typically spritz on Miss Dior eau de parfum. If you want to have the same scent as I imagine Aphrodite did, wear this.
  • The last item is a necklace I purchased from a small designer named Cynthia Rybakoff while at the Chelsea Market in New York. She not only designed it, but is a gemologist and was able to tell me the qualities of the moonstone in my necklace. What a lady.

I am counting down the seconds until I am on my first flight. I am not counting down the meals I have left before I get to treat myself to one of those airplane premade feasts. Please, Lord, let there be a pasta option. If there’s one thing that can get me through a nine hour flight…it’s carbs.

Speak to you all when I touch down in the U.K.!

follow me on instagram @lacunningham to see what I’m doing in real time!

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That’s Cheeky

Today on: What’s in the Travel Beauty Bag? I’m going to show you the cheek products and borderline excessive eye products that I’m taking along with me on my trip across the pond. How much packing have I gotten done otherwise? That’s like asking me how much of the Christmas leftovers remain.

Spoiler alert: The answer to both questions is none.

| PART IIV: CHEEKS

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Products: Real Techniques multi task brush, MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Sun Kissed -I think-, and Wet ‘N Wild Blush in mulled wine)

Without my cheek products, I think people would be unsure if I was completely alive. Though I have recently been able to climb the foundation color scale from “Ivory” to “Buff,” I believe I still qualify for the “White People who are Pale as Paper” clubs. As I said before, prior to putting on any cheek product, I let my foundation set for around 2 minutes and then put the thinnest layer of finishing powder on top of it.

Because I’ve watched about six hundred tutorials about contouring my face, I think I can do it now in a way that doesn’t make me look like I’ve rolled in a clay pit. Using my Real Techniques brush (I think it’s called the multifunction brush or something like that) I trace my cheek bones, my temples, and around the crown of my hair line and chin with the bronzer (if you are pretentious and enjoy technical terms you might call this the “3 technique”). I use a MAC bronzer and highlighter because their mineralized powders are holy grail for me. The consistency and color pay off is great. If I was typing this on my phone I would’ve put an appropriate emoji…here.

I brush a single swirl of my Wet N Wild blush (in mulled wine) over the apples of my cheeks, and then hit the highest points of my face with my MAC mineralized skin finish in Soft and Gentle.

Fact: The best way to make yourself look like a damn fool is to use too much blush and bronzer. A light hand is not always a bad hand.

|PART IV: EYES

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Revlon Lash Curler and Tweezers, Maybelline Falsies mascara (brown and black), Loreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil eyeliner (brown and black), MAC Cream Colour Base in shell, Real Techniques domed shadow brush, SOHO blending brush, angled brush (not sure what brand), and Benefit Gimme Brow brow gel in Medium Dark

When I said excessive, I don’t think I was exaggerating. The issue is that I’m going back and forth between “90’s grunge-barely there” eye looks and the ever present addiction I have to winged eyeliner and a defined crease. I’m really into defined brows right now, too, so I definitely couldn’t have left behind my tweezers and brow gel.

I also couldn’t have forgotten my tweezers because my brows go from “groomed” to “abstract topiary” in mere days. The benefit brow gel is a new product, but I’m really digging it so far. It keeps my brows in place and tints them, too. Brows frame the face–get bold about it (but for the love of god please don’t draw them on with a pencil).

I have been using solely my NAKED palette since it was gifted to me last Christmas, and you can believe me when I say that I’m still not over it. This year I decided to pick up the basics palette–which is six perfectly matte, neutral shades–and, based on the love I feel for it thus far, I feel like I need to give it it’s own post after I’ve been using it for awhile. TO BE CONTINUED.

As far as eyeliner and mascara go, they are interchangeable for whatever look i’m going for. Brown liner+Mascara are for days when I want my eyes to be a lot less of the focus (probably because I’m wearing the loudest lip color you’ve ever seen). Black liner+Mascara are for looks that are just the slightest bit more dramatic in the eyes and toned down in the lips.

As the time is winding down before I take to the skies, I should really probably get a move on trip preparations. I leave for Europe tomorrow and I cannot wait to share everything going on with whoever is reading this.

The last post of the Beauty Travel Bag series is tomorrow and it’s focusing on hair products and miscellaneous beauty products that accidentally found their way into my carry on.

follow me on instagram @lacunningham to see what I’m doing in real time!

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