N & J's "Flawless Face Week"

When I think of flawless makeup, there is one name that immediately comes to mind- Miss. Kim Kardashian. You look at her on the red carpet (or worse -walking to the gym) and you say “Really? Does she just wake up that way?!” The answer is no, she doesn’t. So I decided it’s “Flawless Face” Week on N & J. Each day I’ll be breaking down the tools, products, and tips that are the best for getting camera ready- just like Kim.

Numero uno – Brushes.

Picasso couldn’t paint without a brush, and neither can we. Here’s what you’ll need:

Brush 1- Foundation: To achieve perfect airbrushed skin, get the MAC # 188. (no sponges, they waste your product!) Apply your liquid/cream foundation first to the back of your hand, then apply light amounts to your face with the brush, using small circles. Blend, blend, blend. $34.00, http://www.maccosmetics.com/

Brush 2- Powder & Bronzer: The “Sephora Professional Platinum Powder Brush #50” won my heart because it has multiple uses. I love this brush for applying powder to set my foundation, but I also love it for applying bronzer. It picks up the perfect amount of product each time and gives a smooth finish to the skin. $38.00, http://www.sephora.com/

Brush 3- Blush: We all remember Miss. Piggy right? She loved a little color in the cheeks, but I’m pretty sure she just rubbed it on with her whole hand. We’re going to use a brush like the “Sephora Collection Professional Angled Blush Brush #40” - It’s the perfect size, texture, and angle to sculpt and highlight your cheek bones using either cream or powder blush. $28.00, http://www.sephora.com/

Brush 4- Eyebrows & Eyeliner: I remember my grandmother always telling me “Don’t touch those eyebrows!!” – well she was partially right. The eyebrows look best full and natural, but they do need a little waxing to shape. The next step is to sculpt and fill using the “Sephora Professional Platinum Angle Liner # 22” and an eyeshadow that matches your hair color. You can also use this same brush to apply your powder / cream eyeliner! $16.00, http://www.sephora.com/

Brush 5 - Eyeshadow: This is where it gets tricky. There are so many different brushes for applying eyeshadows you can go bananas! The 3 brushes I recommend are: The “Sephora Professional Blending Eye Brush” for blending and crease shadow($15.00), the “Sephora Professional All Over Shadow Brush Large #21” for applying all over shadow($15.00), and the “Sephora Professional Platinum Natural Dome Smudge Brush #13” for smudging eyeliner and achieving that smoky eye effect($20.00).

6 – The Eyelash Curler: Shining above all the rest - the “Shu Uemera” eyelash curler. It’s the best $19 you’ll ever spend. http://www.sephora.com/

I’ve listed these brushes individually in case you’ve already started your collection. If you haven’t, you could choose to begin with a set- and one of the best is the “Sephora Delux Antibacterial Brush Set” ($60.00)- it’s $145 value, you get seven brushes, and it gives beautiful results!

Remember- it’s very important to keep your brushes clean! This helps avoid bacteria from building up and gives you the best results. Try Sephora Purifying Brush Shampoo (I get the travel size, $6.00) or you can even use your own shampoo at home! Clean your brushes after every 1-2 uses.

Tomorrow – my favorite products! Love, R

N & J's "Happy Friday Playlist" 9

1. Lady Gaga – Monster
2. Usher (feat WILL.I.AM) - OMG
3. Carla Bruni – Ballade At Thirty Five
4. Gang Starr (feat. Inspectah Deck) – Above The Clouds
5. Boys II Men – Trying Times
6. Immortal Technique – Dance With The Devil
7. Mozart – Serenade No. 10 for Winds in B
8. Maxwell – Till The Cops Come Knockin
9. Amel Larrieux – No One Else
10. Dave Matthews Band (feat. Alanis Morissette) - Spoon

You can listen to any of this music by using free websites like www.grooveshark.com, www.playlist.com, www.youtube.com, or purchasing them on iTunes.

Have a great weekend! Love, R

N & J's "Inspiration"

One letter sent to French Vogue editor-in-chief Michel de Brunhoff at age 16, and at age 21, Yves St. Laurent had been handed the House of Dior. Believe in your dreams and in yourself and the unimaginable can happen. Love, R


N & J's "Happy Friday Throwback! Playlist" 8

1. Timbaland – Oh Timbaland
2. Ginuwine – Same Ol’ G
3. Monica (feat. Treach) – Aint Nobody
4. Mary J. Blige – I Can Love you
5. Goldfrapp – Ride a White Horse
6. TLC – Kick Your Game
7. Pretty Ricky – On the Hotline
8. DMX – I’m Gonna Crawl
9. Case (feat. Foxy Brown) – Touch Me, Tease Me
10. Keyshia Cole – I Changed My Mind

Have a great weekend everyone! Love, R

N & J's "Girl Just Wanna Have Fun"

O.k.- before anyone goes crazy here (MOM) this is not a real tattoo! But at .35 cents for a package of 100 alphabet letters, the look on your face alone was worth the price of admission! Letters, numbers, animals, holidays, bridal – these websites have a selection that will satisfy anyone’s arm candy urges – they’ll even do custom tattoos! Find them at www.temporarytattoos.com, and they’ll ship them straight to your commitment-free door! Love, R

N & J's "Love your Home"

There are some things in life you do and don’t really think about…like washing your hands. Well that all changes when you buy your first bottle of “Coriander & Olive Tree” hand soap by Cucina. For a few precious moments, your hands are flown first class to the aromatic olive fields of Tuscany. It's formulated with extra virgin olive oil to purify and soften your skin, and if you fall in love with this scent like I did - they also make the candle, hand lotion, even countertop cleaner. Find it at www.us.fruits-passion.com $20.00

(And if your hands are afraid of flying, try Bath and Body Works “Eucalyptus Spearmint” hand soap – it’s a spa trip in a bottle. www.bathandbodyworks.com $5.50 or 5 for $15.00)

N & J's "Happy Friday Playlist" 7

1. Ping Pong Bitches – Gatecrasher
2. Lady Gaga- So Happy I Could Die
3. Asobi Seksu – Goodbye
4. The Roots – How I Got Over
5. Damian Marley (feat. Nas) – Road To Zion
6. Alicia Keys – Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)
7. The XX – Night Time
8. Jay-Z (feat. Mr. Hudson) – Young Forever
9. The Beacon – Bomb in a Birdcage
10. Eminem (feat. Rihanna) – Love The Way You Lie

You can listen to any of this music by using free websites like http://www.grooveshark.com/, http://www.playlist.com/, http://www.youtube.com/, http://www.amazon.com/, or purchasing them on iTunes. Love, R

N & J's "Product of the Day"

Kerastase's "Spray Volumactive" - Oh boy, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kerastase. And I call this volume boosting spray "Diana Ross in a bottle!" You'll get big, full, glamorous hair - with guaranteed compliments! Spray it over your towel-dried hair from roots to ends, then style and blow-dry as usual (I blow-dry my hair upside down and then use a round boar-hair brush for an extra boost!) ♥ R

Peek-a-boo lace!

One of my favorite new looks for this summer is to layer breezy, cool tank-tops with a hint of lace! The lace can be found in chic, beautiful colors and the look is easy :) Here’s how to do it:

1. Trade your bra for your favorite colored lace bandeau top- I’ve pictured a few here and you can find them at www.victoriassecret.com , Bloomingdales, Hanky Panky etc.

2. Then layer a flowy “racerback” style tank-top over it - pictured here and found in stores like Urban Outfitters, Revolve Clothing, Nordstrom, Forever 21, etc. Pair the look with some skinny jeans or cut-off jean shorts and you’re set! Accessorize by throwing on a fedora, adding chunky gold bangles, or matching the color of your bandeau top to your nailpolish! ♥, R

N & J's "Love your Home" - CLEAN Warm Cotton Eau de Parfum

CLEAN’s "Warm Cotton" Eau de Parfum – Perfume for your bed? Absolutely! Though this crisp, clean scent is actually meant for your wrists, one spray on your bed-sheets and you’ll be transported to a cloud of fresh, warm, soft cotton. Find it at Sephora!

N & J's Tanning Special!!!!

If you’re like me, you love to have a beautiful, glowing tan! And when I was younger, I would lay in the sun all day slicked with Panama Jack oil until 'ding!' I was done! But now I'm much smarter about my skin. A few years ago I started on a quest to find products that would give me a natural looking glow year-round without jeopardizing the health of my skin, causing pre-mature aging, or turning me into an orange oompa loompa! So just in time for summer, here’s a list of my FAVORITE tanning products that will transform you into a bronzed beauty in no-time! ♥, R

1. Sevin Nyne Tanning Mist & Self-Tanning Lotion Duo, $40.00 http://www.sephora.com/

2. St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse, $30.00 http://www.sephora.com/

3. St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan for Body, $30.00 (comes in Light/Medium or Medium/Dark) http://www.sephora.com/

4. Lorac TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer, $32.00 http://www.sephora.com/

5. Lorac TANtalizer Baked Bronzer, $32.00 http://www.sephora.com/

6. Lorac TANtalizer Award Show Glow, $32.00 http://www.sephora.com/

7. Benefit Boxed Powders Collection in “Hoola”, $28.00 http://www.sephora.com/

8. Nars Bronzing Powder in “Laguna”, $32.00 http://www.sephora.com/

9. Sephora Professionel Platinum Air Brush # 55, $34.00 http://www.sephora.com/

10. Mystic Tan, avg. $15.00-$30.00 per session, info at http://www.mystictan.com/

11. Airbrush Tanning, Avg. $30.00 per session at participating local tanning salons (Live in/near Baltimore MD? You have to try “Sun Buns” mobile airbrush tanning, owned by expert tanning artist J.P. Martin! 443-691-3644)

N & J’s Faux Tan Tips and Tricks: Always remember to wash your hands immediately after you apply ANY self tanning product. I bring a travel size Vaseline and use it on/around my nails/toenails before I Mystic or Airbrush tan-vaseline acts as a barrier to keep the color from depositing around your nails! Exfoliate and shave just before going to an Airbrush tanning session or Mystic tanning booth. Remember to bring a hair tie when you Airbrush or Mystic tan to keep your hair in place while your technician is working. Products like St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse and Sevin Nyne Tanning Mist are tinted to give immediate color and easy-to-see application! Mystic tans last about 7 days, airbrush as long as 10- you can extend the life of the tan by moisturizing often with a 24/7 lotion like Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

N & J's Ultimate Indulgence

It all starts in Grasse, France where a unique aromatic selection of flowers and rose petals are collected and infused into this luxurious tonic mist for your face. With regular use, skin appears to be more healthy and radiant…and you’ll smell like roses (but we always do.)

Ole Henriksen "Three Little Wonders"

I'd like to introduce you all to my new FAVORITE skincare line...everyone give a big fat air-kiss to Ole Henriksen-genious! One of their products, "Truth Serum Collagen Booster" recently won (among others) the Natural Health Magazine "Miracle Worker" Beauty Award in 2010. The reviews are in the thousands, and women everywhere (including Kate Hudson, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham) are giving these products an enthusiastic 5 stars. Formulated without any parabens, sulfates, petro-chemicals, GMO, Trocilosan or phthalates, the ingredients are as natural as they come and work miracles on all skin types! I've recently purchased their " 3 Little Wonders" kit that includes the Truth Serum Collagen Booster, the Invigorating Night Gel, and the "Sheer Transformation" Face Treatment. I also got the "On The Go" Cleanser and the "Fresh Start" Eye Cream. After using these 5 products for only 3 days, I can honestly say my skin looks 5 years younger and is glowing! The products smell great, feel amazing on, and seem to be perfect for combination skin. I will keep you all posted over time! ♥, R www.olehenriksen.com

N & J's "Sephora Spree"

Actual text to my boyfriend this afternoon: “I’ve been VERY bad today.................. I went to Sephora.” OHhh yes I did! And the best part about it is that I get to dish about it with all of you! Here's what goodies I got:

Hourglass “Illusion” Tinted Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 15: The sephora girl had me at “Madonna’s wearing it…” Dewy, glowing, anti-aging, moisturizing, illuminating, medium coverage I could NOT live without once I saw it on my face, even at $55.00/bottle. It goes in the basket. Next!

Nars “So Famous” Set: I wanted a combo lipstick/lip liner in a beautiful everyday color, and Nars is the place to look. So the first thing I find is their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Bettina”, try it on, LOVE it, and guess what- sold out! Grrrr. But then I look up and see a new value set that includes the “Bettina” Lip pencil, their famous “Orgasm” Blush, AND “Orgasm” Multiples stick all in one! A $61 value for $44.00. Amazing! In the basket, next!

Lorac “Hollywood Hot List” Collection: I’ve talked about Lorac before…They absolutely are KING when it comes to bronzing. And when my sephora girl used one of their combo blush/bronzers on me this afternoon, I got 4 complements walking around the store! Seriously! Went straight to the Lorac section and what did I find? A new value set that not only included the “Hot & Spicy” Blush/Bronzer Duo she used..but also a mini “Tantalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer”, 3 incredible eyeshadows, and their Couture Shine Liquid Lipstick in “Trendsetter!” $100 value for $29.50! In the basket!

Benefit “Some Kind of Gorgeous”: Believe it or not I just went into Sephora today for a new foundation… What? I got side-tracked! Isn’t that what always happens? Anyway, I tried this tinted moisturizer on BEFORE the “Hourglass” section glazed over my eyes and turned me into person who spends $55.00 on foundation. I loved this one first, and it really did look beautiful. Again, dewy, moisturizing, just enough coverage, felt great. However, I put it back after being seduced by “Hourglass”. Then....in the checkout line..I discovered a MINI Benefit “Some Kind of Gorgeous” for $9.00! And at this point $9.00 seems like nothing and apparently I can just be buying makeup that Madonna buys, so no problem! I grabbed one of those so I could have it all. I’m a happy girl! ♥, R

Take the "100 Pushup Challenge!"

Here's a great way to gain strength and tone your arms and abs! Take the "100 Pushups Challenge!" I've seen a dramatic difference in just two weeks and I'm so excited to see the results when I finish this 6 week program! Who's in?! :)


N & J's "Ultimate Indulgence"

La Mer “The Lip Balm” - At $45.00 for .32 oz of lip balm, this isn’t about being rational. This isn’t about being economical. This lip balm has “miracle broth” in it! (seriously, check out the description on www.bloomingdales.com) It’s about pampering yourself! Include one in a special gift box for each of your bridesmaids, buy one for your summer trip to the Greek Islands, or get one because, “Well….I’m at Bloomingdales… and the La Mer counter is right there…and I did just get paid…” :) This balm is the bomb! ♥

Dr. Brandt "Collagen Booster"

WHOA.... ok, I laugh alot. And lately Ive been noticing some unwelcomed little fine lines as a consequence of that! Well I won't give up smiling and laughing, so I stopped into Sephora to see if they had a product that would swoop in and nip this little problem in the bud. Laugh lines- there's a new sheriff in town!! The skin specialist gave me a sample of the Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster and WOW. My collagen is BOOSTED! After 4 days my face appeared firmer, plumper, and younger looking! At $75.00 a bottle, it doesn't come cheap - but the sample has lasted me two weeks so I imagine the bottle would give at least 3 months of laugh-line butt kicking bliss! Definitely worth a try because laughter is the best medicine! ♥, R

N & J's "Product of the Day"

The new Suave “Rosemary & Mint Conditioner”- I love rosemary, I love mint, I love aromatherapy! And having tried and loved Suave’s professional line of conditioners in the past, I had to buy this new flava’ when I saw it on the shelves at Duane Reade. So I’ve used it for the past week and here’s what I think: It’s smooth, rich, and smells amaaaaazing (kinda like I’d imagine Akon to be) Go get some before it’s all gone! ♥
*Akon’s "Freedom" Album tracks 2,3,6,7,8,9,repeat :)

The Bakers "Victoria" Pump

With so many things to write about and share, where do I even start? So after mulling it over for months (me = procrastination due to perfectionism), I decided to start with something we all love, obsess over, can't get enough of, and it just so happens I got a new pair of today...shoes!!! ♥ One thing you should know about me: I’m 5’1 and came out of the womb wearing 4” heels. I LOVE high heels! Now if you don’t wear them a lot, you may find yourself looking at the computer screen saying “post a darn flat already!” I promise I will do my best! Another thing you should know about me: I always search for the holy grail of purchases- high quality at the best price. I definitely work both ends -I’m not afraid to spend a whole rent payment on a pair of Louboutins, but I also love the thrill of the hunt for a great bargain. So without further adieu, my most recent purchase:

What: The "Victoria" Pump in black suede (the blush suede, gray suede, and blush patent were also contenders)

I like Bakers. They occasionally have a gem. And after reading all the 5 star reviews on this shoe from their website, I needed to check the situation out. So I called the Brooklyn store, they had them, went to the store today, tried on every color and size AND…black suede size 8 gets to come home with me! I'm a 7.5, but there was a very small difference between the 7.5 and the 8, plus the 8’s felt better on my feet because my feet are flat (blame genetics). A cute petite little 7.5 foot would fit true to size. Now, the blush and gray colored suede pumps had little imperfections here and there, little dots of…something! Who knows, it looked like suede that had balled up here and there and possibly could have been brushed off? But you definitely couldn't see it on the black and obviously not on the patent leather. Also, black goes with everything and so I purchased that one first. They look awesome!!!!! DEF height-5 1/4 inches, and with some skinny jeans I'll be jumping for joy! OH- and that's another thing- they're comfortable!!!!! ♥ I'll update after a few wears and post some pictures with them on :)

Where: Bakers 454 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 11201 *no more 34th street store in Manhattan, (866) 454-2062, www.bakersshoes.com, (this shoe sells out very quickly online and in the stores, but they've been replenishing faster lately so don't get discouraged!) Price: $79.95 (TOTAL bargain and very similar to the Brian Atwoods I've been oogling)