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Camping + Beauty Routine = Happy Camper??? 

I recently went on my first real camping trip, and by real I mean a tent, no running water to speak of, and electricity… what is that?... Real camping. Now for the girl that always packs a separate bag for toiletries, i.e. hair and makeup, this was a source of serious PANIC. Not wanting to look like “that girl” to the other campers I decided it was time to simplify! And I actually made it an entire weekend without a suitcase full of beauty products. Gasp! The time and effort it saved me was, to put it mildly, liberating. This got me thinking that new moms, hard working professionals, and even busy students might be able to benefit from some simplification of their own routine.

First I thought, “What are my necessities?”…

Coconut oil- I use it for everything, facial cleanser, eye makeup remover, moisturizer, lip balm, the list goes on, not to mention it’s my favorite cooking oil!

SPF- you should not ever walk outside of your house without it on. Period!

Dry Shampoo- I’m so excited about this product Redken just released… It’s called Pillow Proof. My clients are loving it because it extends their blow outs for days and it weathered the test of time on my trip. It’s a two part system (so it did take up a little room in my bag). Part one is a primer, add your favorite styling products next, blow dry as usual and use part two as a refresher (dry shampoo) daily.

Bobby Pins- This may seem a little indulgent but they save my hair daily and if you are ever in a pinch, just channel your inner MacGyver… think of all the things he could’ve made happen with them!

Baby wipes- the possibilities are endless.

For my makeup (yes I wore some… vanity never dies) I prepped with a little coconut oil, a baby wipe and SPF. I dusted my face lightly with a pressed powder. They are great for quick even coverage. The Dollface girls always rely on Naked Minerals. Find it at


I then filled in my brows a bit, added some mascara, a little bronzer around the hairline, cheeks, and chin, and finished it off with a little tinted lip balm. To tell you the truth I’ve continued to keep up this look ever since and I love it, not to mention the time it saves me! I sprayed a little dry shampoo in my hair and pinned it up and I was ready to go for the day. 

Sometimes simplicity reigns!

 Photo by Erin Rene Photography Makeup by Emily Warren, Dollface by Jules So for all of my friends and family that laughed at the thought of me on this venture… I survived! Just because I enjoy makeup and hair and making things beautiful doesn’t mean that I don’t find beauty and enjoyment of nature and natural elements. In fact I think people are the most beautiful when they are natural and being outdoors inspires me. It was nice to be away from technology and the constant beep of my phone. I’m even looking forward to my next camping trip!

I hope this finds you all happy campers!

Until next time,




Red Wine Facial Mask!

What you’ll need:

2 TBSP Red Wine

1 C Green Tea

3 TBSP Plain Yogurt

½ C Oats

2 TBSP Honey

(You can make fun of my gallon jug of wine if you want!  It is literally my very favorite out of all the wines I’ve tried, and at about $12, I’m ok with that!)

Make a small cup of green tea.  Grind oats in a food processor.  Mix in honey, yogurt, wine, and oats.  Apply to face and relax with your own glass of wine for ten to fifteen minutes.  Rinse, then moisturize.


Red wine is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world.  Even the experts agree that a glass a night can encourage well-being in a multitude of ways.  I love it in my belly, but there has been research done that suggests not only does the body benefit from wine internally, but applied topically, can counteract the effects of aging.  Sign me up!

The caffeine in green tea can temporarily tighten the skin, giving a lifted effect to wrinkles and signs of gravity.  Honey is extra moisturizing, and oats are extra soothing.  The lactic acid in yogurt exfoliates rough and dead skin.  Every ingredient in this mask is beneficial!

My experience:

I mixed all the ingredients together except the oats.  They were an afterthought since the other ingredients combined were a bit more watery than I wanted.  In hindsight, I definitely should have ground them up, because instead of being watery, it was clumpy.

I got my husband on board, and we masked for about 15 minutes.  It was almost impossible to keep Dolce off of Jared!  ;)

When the masks came off with a hot towel, I definitely noticed my skin feeling fresh, smooth, and calm.  I’ve been using a new cream from the dermatologist that has made it a little dry and hot, so I appreciated a relaxing change for the evening.

You can’t go wrong with making a mask from scratch in the kitchen!  Try to use the purest forms of the ingredients you can find, and do some research on the products you have in your pantry.  It is so much fun!  Let us know if you have any great recipes for DIY skin care!




Nail Polish: Everything is prettier in PINK!

Spring is finally arriving, and I could not be happier! I have been craving sandals, pastels, and weather in the 70’s since the beginning of February. I was also getting a little burnt out with winter nail colors, and am SO ready for all of my favorite shades of pink! There are so many different brands of nail polish, and not to mention the never-ending list of colors for each brand. Over the years I have tried out a massive amount, from extremely cheap to a bit pricey. Since I change my nail color every week. (I know that might sound crazy) I have found my favorite pinks for every occasion!

OPI in La paz-itively hot: This has been my favorite hot pink nail polish since high school. To me it is the perfect ‘Barbie pink’ and probably my favorite color in general for any occasion. OPI makes great, thick nail polish and is my preferred brand for darker shades. You can get away with only painting one coat with their polish, but I always stick with two for the richest color.

Essie in Fiji: I discovered Essie nail polish about 5 years ago when a fashion blogger I followed blogged about it. I love all of Essie’s colors, but especially their lighter shades. A lot of the time with light pinks and nudes, the actual color doesn’t show up on your nails, however with Essie they always do! Fiji is the perfect pinky-nude color that always looks clean and classy. I definitely suggest two coats, and to let the first coat almost dry completely before painting the second.

 Sally Hansen in Rosy Outlook: This is my go-to rosy pink color. Sally Hansen’s ‘Complete Manicure’ polishes are my preference for this brand. They paint on nice and smooth, and have good quality brushes. I love a rosy shade when I want somewhere between a nude and a hot pink, it’s a nice subtle color.  On a side note, Sally Hansen’s top coat is my all time favorite! 

Butter London in Rosie Lee: Last but definitely not least is a glittery pink! Glitter is always a yes in my opinion. You can do just an accent nail, or go ahead and paint them all glittery! This polish is even prettier then it looks once it’s on your nails.

I hope your trip down the polish isle is quicker and easier now that you have four fun pinks to narrow down your search! I mean everything really is prettier in pink. 

 <3 Mandy


Beauty Looks for Spring 2014!

With the 2014 Fall Fashion Week in NYC wrapping up just as I write this and cabin fever from this winter storm setting in, I was inspired to refer back to the 2014 spring shows from this past fall to get in the mood for brighter days ahead. Fashion Week is such an exciting time for me not only because I’m a fashion junky, but also because I love love love watching the new trends in hair in makeup. Here are a few of my very favorite beauty looks for spring 2014!

Jason Wu

Makeup artist Diane Kendal designed this look by using a bronze shadow across the lid complemented with a dusting of rose gold glitter in the center. Long pony tails with a center part finish this elegant look.

Rebecca Minkoff

Braided halos were created by hairstylist Jeanie Syfu by roughing up hair, plaiting three different pony tails, wrapping them around head, and pinning them in place. Hair was then pulled to loosen braids and give a messy undone look.


Monique Lhuiller

Dry hair slicked back with a wet-finished gel puts the face front and center, allowing the lips to bring in a bit of drama to this look by using a “diffused blotting of a matte stain” in red.

Rachel Zoe

A deconstructed French braid designed by Antonio Corral compliments the free yet girly makeup. Hair was braided and pulled apart to create a frizzy, fuzzy, imperfect look.


Christian Siriano

A rough and knotted pony tail with a braid wrapped around the base of each to add dimension was the perfect contrast to fresh skin and popsicle-stained lips. Hair was created by teasing the Mohawk section hair, smoothing it over, and pulling it up in a pony tail. More texture was added by teasing the base of the pony tail again.

 After reviewing the Spring 2014 Fashion Week I am excited about warmer weather and a new season. This one promises to be a good one, with lots a style ahead! Reoccurring beauty tends we can certainly expect to see this spring are lips with a bright pop of color, faux bobs, undone updos, and soft touchable ultra sexy hair.  Think grunge meets glamour.

Wishing you many good hair and makeup days ahead!




DIY Pedicure (Like the Pros!)

An at-home pedicure is definitely more time consuming and not quite as relaxing as a professional salon service, but doing it yourself can save a pretty penny.  I also have to say, when I do my toes myself, I am generally happier with the results (and quite relaxed when I combine the experience with a glass of wine).  These are the steps I take to give myself the perfect pedi, and in Savannah, we truly need to be ready for sandals all year round.

Gather base coat, your polish of choice, and a top coat, along with toe separators, nail clippers, a cuticle pusher and trimmer, and an emery board.  Set these on your coffee table.  This is my favorite place to do a pedicure because the height is perfect when sitting on my couch.  (Essie’s Poor Lil Rich Girl is the beautiful oxblood color I went with.)

And my best advice:  Do your toes before you paint your nails.  Fingernails are a great ally to the perfect pedi because of their ability to quickly and precisely remove mistakes.


Head to the bathroom, where you will remove your polish with acetone and gauze (ideal because it doesn’t leave any fuzzies like cotton balls do).  After that I like to jump in the shower, because the hot water softens nails and cuticles.  Shave your legs and toes, then exfoliate the calluses with a pumice stone.  When you’re done, generously apply lotion to your legs and feet.  (I’m in love with St. Ives 24 Hour Deep Restoring Body Lotion!)

At   At this point, I’m heading to the living room, pouring a glass of something delicious, and flipping on my current Netflix obsession.  Now we get down to business.

  1. Clip toenails in a straight line. Rounding them out isn’t pretty or healthy. The straight shape is  attractive and also helps to prevent ingrown.  Leave just a little bit of a tip.
  2. Push cuticles down gently. They are already soft so you won’t have to be rough. If there is some  weird skin that’s stuck, turn your cuticle pusher to the side and gently scrape the skin from the nail.   None of this should hurt.
  3. Trim the dead skin that you’ve pushed from the surface of the nail. Again, this shouldn’t hurt.  Your cuticle is there for a reason, so hacking away at it is going to do more harm than good. Simply pinch off what obviously doesn’t belong there.
  4. File your toes. Keep them in the straight line you clipped them in.  The reason you don’t do this immediately after clipping them is because filing requires dry nails, clipping requires soft nails.  The two steps between clipping and filing give your nails an opportunity to dry out. I also like to file the sharp corner down just a bit, so it’s not poking my skin.  It’s a personal preference, and it keeps the nail from irritating my toe.  After filing, I like to turn the board so it is pointing towards my foot, and quickly drag it down the tip of the nail to file away any excess residue or snaggly nail that filing may have created.
  5. Use acetone and another piece of gauze to wipe each nail down, finishing the drying process and removing lotion, powder created from filing, and flecks of skin.
  6. Put on your toe separators. Apply a base coat.  Remove any errors with your fingernail as quickly as you see them happen.
  7. Apply the first coat of color.  Again, removing errors with your fingernail quickly will prevent a mess at the end.
  8. Apply the second coat of color.  Same thing about removing any slips.  Then, my next trick is to take the almost wiped clean brush and apply it to just the tips of my toenails.  The spot between the top of the nail and the skin.  If you think about it, when you just paint the toe as a two-dimensional object, you’re only getting the top.  When you are in front of someone though, the whole front of the toe is visible.  It just looks much more, ahem, polished, if you paint the tip of the toe too.  Fun fact:  This will also help your pedi last much longer because you are sealing up any loose ends.
  9. I recommend waiting about half an hour before applying the top coat.  Your nails have enough paint on them it will take a bit to dry, and you don’t want to overload wet layer after wet layer.  The top coat seals and protects the paint job, so it also makes it more difficult for those underlayers to dry.  Follow the same technique with removing any mess-ups immediately. 

I guard my toes with my life for an hour or two, so it’s a good thing I only have to do this about once a month.  I try to stay out of my own way, and I leave the toe separators in just to remind me to be careful.


I hope this helps you with your own at-home pedicure experiments.  It’s taken years to get it down, but I love this process because it delivers the prettiest results!  I’d love to hear your questions or see pictures of the results!