Become a Makeup Pro With These Tips!

So, you want to become a pro at makeup. Whether you want to become an actual pro or a metaphorical pro, the tips in this guide will help you. Read on for loads of tips that will help you to improve your skills to no end:


Make YouTube Your Best Friend


YouTube really is a godsend when it comes to makeup. There are reviews and tutorials of all kinds on there, so you’ll definitely find whatever it is you’re looking for. Whether you want to get flawless foundation or the perfect cat flick liner, you can find it. Not only that, you’ll find multiple ways of doing it. There’s bound to be a way that will suit you. You can even practice and get ready along with the videos.


Practice, Practice, Practice


The more you practice, the better you’re going to get. If you can practice a technique every day, you’re bound to get better at it. Practice things you’re not so confident with until you’re better at them, then move on to something else. Make sure you feel positive about it. Thinking negatively about your skills will only hinder you. You CAN do whatever it is you want to do!


Do a Course


If you feel you want to learn some pro skills and get one on one instruction, do a makeup course. There are a number of makeup courses that will cover a range of skills. Whether you want to learn the basics or something more complicated, there’s a course out there for you.


Practice on Other People


If you want to consider yourself a makeup pro, you should be able to transfer your skills over to other people too. Can you do these things on others? Do you know how to flatter different face shapes and skin tones? When you start getting used to this, you’re pretty close to calling yourself a pro.



picture source


Research the Best Products


Having the best products isn’t necessary, but they can definitely help. You can find some dupes and cheap makeup that does the same job, but having high end makeup usually produces a better result.


Use Tools to Help You


Having tools to help you create professional looks is a must. You’re not 13 anymore, so you can’t use your fingers to blend everything. It just won’t work! You need brushes and sponges to get the best effect possible!


Read Books


There are plenty of books on makeup and makeup looks to inspire you and give you amazing ideas. If you’re ever stuck for inspo, get your hands on a book or two. They’ll show you some gorgeous looks and you’ll always have something to turn to before a night out.


Anybody can become a makeup pro, whatever your skill level. It doesn’t matter if you can’t apply your lipliner straight at the moment, with these tips and plenty of practice, you’ll get so much better. Makeup is art, so get creative and have fun with it. Thanks for reading!

Sweater Season is coming

As I am summer baby it is true that May-August has always been my favorite time of year, but as I get older I can feel that changing. This year in particular as I trudged through the streets of Manhattan in 90 degree heat I found myself longing for my leather jacket and oversize plaid scarf. In fact, I have already started buying  jumpers! *Gasp* The only question that remain is: What will my fall style be called this year? I have been doing a lot of background work and embracing my new career as a real estate agent so I need pieces that are versatile and can take me from a quick lunch with a friend to an apartment showing – and fast!

Here are some styles from SimplyBe that I am obsessed with right now (they have a great collection of  Women’s Jumpers)


I love a vest! This draped one not only has pockets but would look great belted over a t-shirt and jeans combo or a little shift dress.



A chunky knit sweater  is always a winner and this one is a little sassy with cut out shoulders in this great deep green color.


I’m obsessed with the retro vibe of this striped turtleneck. I am a big fan of anything that looks 1970s and this would pair perfectly with a suede pencil skirt (as pictured) or tucked into a great pair of dark wash skinny jeans.

What do you guys have on your fall wish list?

Vintage Fall Trends

One of my most favorite things to do at the start of every season is to go through some of my favorite websites and scope out what trends I am loving and see if I can re-create them with the stuff in my own closet (of course I am always looking for every excuse I can find to supplement my closet as well.) Going to London last week was certainly just what I needed to awaken and inspire the little stylist inside me  so I immediately  headed over to ASOS marketplace to check out some of my favorite vintage and vintage inspired items for fall.

1. The Party Dress: I love anything with cutouts and the bow detailing on this dress is amazing. With the holidays coming fast I am always looking for stuff to wear to parties – or just because.

2. Leather Skirt: I am still on the hunt for one of these. They are so cute and rock n’ roll at the same time – kind of like me.

3. High Waist Disco Pants: I am loving black skinny pants right now and High waist looks awesome with a cropped t-shirt

4.  Vintage Jackets/coats: I am loving Camo and denim right now. I am always looking for an excuse to keep every single one I find – I am also all about this studding trend and I think it looks so fresh on both denim and camo jackets.

5. Rompers & Jumpsuits: I am back on the shorts and tights bandwagon – this time I am incorporating rompers and jumpsuits into the mix.

6. Simple and durable Accessories: You can never go wrong with a leather satchel bag and some Dr. Marten Boots. Chic and stylish.

Collecting Refrence Material is Genetic?

Both my parents are artists and have folders and folders full of reference photos from all kinds of magazines they have collected over the years.
Today my dad had the below Jill Sander ad out as he was using it as inspiration for some project he is working on. The romper in the photo caught my eye as it is just what I have been looking for. My dad tells me the photo is pretty old and might even be from the 80’s. Figures.

Also sometimes I forget where I live – until I pass things like this on my walk to the subway.

How To Create A Pretty Home For Fall

As the seasons change, so do trends. Fall brings with it typical scenes of warm, berry-like tones, wool and fur and general coziness. But don’t let this trend be purely restricted to your wardrobe. There’s nothing like a warm, inviting home when the weather starts to cool and the nights get darker. In fact, cozy nights spent in your home with a good book and a cup of tea are one of life’s little pleasures. Read on to find out how to turn your home into a fall-inspired haven.


Image source

Keeping it warm

Unless you live in the sunshine state, it’s fairly likely that the weather will start to get colder for you around October. Ideally, your home will already be pretty well insulated. Double glazed windows, for example, are a must for keeping your home safe from the elements. But if you’re still feeling a chill during the evening, there are steps you can take to keep yourself toasty. If you are feeling a draught come through any of your windows or doors, install a thick, heavy duty curtain across the offending area. When you pull it across, it will shield you from any draughts and subsequently keep your home warmer. Plus, they can look pretty decorative too. Velvet is a good option for this. Blankets and throws are also an essential for fall, and you can combine different colours and materials for that rustic look. If you’re really feeling the chill, consider getting an electric blanket.

Image source

Perfect your lighting

Harsh, white lighting doesn’t tend to scream ‘cosy’. The brighter the light is, the more likely it will keep you awake – not ideal when you’re trying to wind down before bed. Avoid using a ceiling light (which will be designed to light up the whole room) and invest in some small table lamps instead. With the use of a discount, such as a Bealls Promo Code, you can get some cute lamps for reasonable prices. That way, you can control the amount of light you have in your room, which closely relates to the ambiance. Candles are also a great option during fall and can make your house smell great. They really set the scene for a night of pampering. Both tea lights and larger candles are great for decorating a room and you can get some beautiful holders for them too. If you’re wary of the dangers posed by a naked flame, consider getting an electric candle instead.


Image source

Get cozy with cushions

There’s nothing quite like having a comfy sofa to sink into after a long day’s work. Pick an autumnal colour theme and stick to it when buying some new cushions, or cushion covers. Warm colours such as reds, oranges, pinks and browns tend to work best for this look. The good thing about fall is that less is not necessarily more – so you can mix and match your cushions to your heart’s content. Additionally, having an excess number of cushions can be perfect for when you have guests round. Instead of sitting on hard kitchen chairs, or all squashing up on one sofa, your guests can get comfy on a floor full of cushions!

Is It Time To Give Tough Mudder A Go?

It’s the season to create some personal goals. Well, it could be any season, as I say that all the time! Right now, I‘m contemplating a Tough Mudder. I fancy a challenge. I fancy new exercise clothes. And I fancy myself as a strong woman fighting through the mud to victorious applause.

What Is Thing Called A Tough Mudder?

Quite simply put, it’s a hardcore military-style challenge. More than likely, the hardest you’ll ever undertake. You’ll be put you through 10-12 miles of muddy terrain and taxing obstacles just so you can prove how tough you are. What I like about this event is that they don’t have winners and you’re not racing against anyone’s time. You have to have team members and it’s starting to make sense why. The idea is to support each other, fundraise for good causes and prove to yourself that you can rise to the challenge. The obstacles are team orientated (read heaving each other up through thick mud and dirty water) and really freakin’ hard. They promise 500,000 gallons of grade-A mud, 40 tons of ice, Electroshock Therapy and over 20 world-class obstacles. Are they insane? It would appear so. But they seem to be in good company. The founders of Tough Mudder call it a “butt-kicking” experience. And after my soul-destroying Soulcycle experience, perhaps it’s time for a new focus.

Image found on Flickr

Am I Tough Enough?

I guess none of us know until we get there. Figures say that only 78% get over the finish line. But if we do sign up to a Tough Mudder, we can definitely say we are brave. Running such a challenging course is going to take some preparation. And I don’t just mean buying some nice new gear that, let’s face it, is going to be too grubby to take home anyway. I’m talking about endurance training, weight lifting, healthy eating and trial runs.

Preparation is Key

What prep can you do? As we know, the event is all about teamwork and helping your own team and new friends up and across all those obstacles. You’ll need physical strength and mental stamina. Before doing such a challenge it’s worth training for at least three months. This is serious stuff! Incorporate running, jogging, weightlifting, skipping, push-ups and boxing into your new regime. Experts say that nootropics can give you more mental energy and focus, so it may be worth adding these to your diet too. Look out for classes near you that do circuit, obstacle and military training. You don’t want to be the only one at the event that can’t even lift one sack of sand. Try training outside, in the rain and on all different terrains. Use kettlebells, do quick-fire rounds of squats and work on your flexibility, agility and balance.

Is it Worth It?

Well, over $6.5 million has been raised for charity so far and over 2 million Tough Mudder participants seem to think it’s worth it. The question is; will you dare be one of them too?

5401097937_93000437c8_zImage credit: Flickr


Sure-Fire Ways to Lose 8 Pounds in 4 Weeks

When trying to lose weight there are lots of questions we have to ask. What are our lifestyle habits like? Do we live a relatively sedentary existence? Could we fit more exercise in each week? We also need to look at our eating behaviours. Do we tend to consume a lot of sugar, bread and pasta? Do we go for fast food rather than the healthier option? When answering these questions it often helps to keep a diary of our actions to see where we are falling short. But what we all really want to know is; how can we shift 8 pounds in 4 weeks? Below, I’ll go through some sure-fire ways to drop the pounds.


Image source: Public Domains


Let’s get your shape out of the way first. You can work out which body type you fall into by following a simple chart. Once you know where your problem areas are you can start tackling them head on. You then need to work out realistic goals. Can you commit to four days in the gym per week? Would you rather go swimming? Can you adopt the HIIT approach?  Are you able to drop 1,000 calories off your food intake each day? You need to ask yourself; what works best for you?


Image credit: Commons.Wikimedia   


How can you lose weight in a healthy, natural way? How can you keep the weight off permanently?

Ways to do this include:

1.)  Hard but sure-fire – cutting out sugar, bread and pasta

2.)  Aim to consume no more than 1,200-1,500 calories per day

3.)  Amp up the exercise – from walking and running to yoga and Pilates

4.)  Ease up on the alcohol

5.)  Drink more water and only snack when you need to

6.)  Go steady on portion sizes and eat most calories before noon


Found on Free Stock Photos


I wrote a blog post this year about small changes to make, and you can read it here to get motivated. Some people prefer to take baby steps on their weight loss journey and others prefer a hard-hitting approach. Do what works for you. The best diets for some people are aided by natural weight loss supplements that can be used in addition to a healthy eating plan. These supplements help to break down and block fat, suppress appetite and speed up the metabolism. Celebrities, trainers and bodybuilders often use these to aid weight loss. But you also have to put in hard work and dedication for a weight loss plan to work. One of the hardest parts of dieting is staying motivated and breaking habitual cravings. You can do this by getting a friend on board to encourage you along the way or perhaps keeping a photo diary of your results. There also lots of Apps out there that help you with your progress and keep you on track.


Image source: Pixaby  


The biggest and easiest start to weight loss is the simplest. Keep moving.  Our lives are ever more sedentary – from desk jobs and commuting to hours in front of the television and on social media. We’re never going to stop these things, but we can certainly balance them out with movement. Do something you enjoy and you have more chance of sticking at it. That could be rock climbing or weight lifting, samba dancing or tap. You’ll find your groove, and you’ll feel all the better for it. If you’re not inclined to sign up for gruelling exercise regimes, the best thing you can do is walk more. It’s an easy and rewarding way to burn up to 450-500 calories a day. If you can walk 10,000 steps a day (5 miles), you can burn up to 450 calories. Walking not only aids weight loss but is also beneficial for combatting mental health, dementia, diabetes and high cholesterol.

These are just a few awesome tips that can change the way you live and help you on your path to losing 8 pounds in 4 weeks. It is possible, and you can do it!

I Need To Think of a Title First.

After reading some of my new posts since re-launching ThriftyFashionista a good friend of mine announced that she wanted to start a blog as well. “DO IT!” I exclaimed. “I need to think of a title first”.  “No!” I told her! “That’s the least important part of starting a blog!” She just laughed and that’s the last we spoke on it.

So here we are. As a non-professional blogger, with multiple Tumblr accounts and close to 100 unfinished blog posts in the “notes” app on my phone , I have decided to speak about the art of blogging when you have no idea where to begin. All of these tips are my own opinions based on things I have done right, and things I have done wrong in the 9 years since ThriftyFashionista was conceived.


Over my 31 years on this planet I have called my self many things but “writer” was not one of them. Even though I have always been one. My obsession with writing began before I could even read when I would dictate stories to my mom and she would fill notebooks for me. When I was old enough to fill my own notebooks I couldn’t have enough of them. To this day nothing is better then a fresh blank book with lined pages. They are stacked around my apartment. Full, half full, and never used. Writing is the therapy I never thought I could afford and writing thoughts down (instead of speaking them out loud) has saved many a relationship in my life. If you have a thought or an opinion on something, anything, you can have a blog. My favorite blogs are full of stories and thoughts from the mind of the person writing them. Even with fashion blogs, I love the story behind the outfit, the inspiration, etc -but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a blog full of beautiful photography. Some of the best are the ones with an equal balance between the two. Point of all this: You can have a blog if you have a thought. Just sign up, and start writing to see where it takes you!


Yes, this is so cliche I know, but it is so very true. When I started blogging it was at the beginning of the fashion blogger boom. I read Fashion Toast and other bigger fashion blogs everyday wanting to be just like them, so I tried to emulate their posts. The way they talked about their clothes and fashion. Their play by plays on NYFW, etc. When really my heart was wrapped up in things like thrifting, flipping clothing for profit, styling, costuming, theatre,and health and fitness. A wide range of topics? yes! All what made me ME? For sure! It took me 9 years to realize that it was okay for me to talk about my feelings in my “fashion” blog. That just made it more of a “lifestyle” blog.



Do as I say, not as I do.

I am the least consistent person I know (well, maybe not the least). In any case I have so many ideas running through my head at all times that more often then not I get absolutely nothing done. My goal is to post to this blog every other day, but does that happen? Hell nah. Other things get in the way. This is something I have struggled with my whole entire life and something I have been working towards fixing more and more over the last couple of months. Working for yourself can be a challenge because you have to create your own structure and there is more often then not, NO ONE around to make sure you are sticking to your planned schedule. The struggle is real in this aspect. So what has been helpful for me? When I have a “down” moment (this can be when you are waiting for the subway, driving somewhere, in line at the grocery store) I think of a few topics I want to talk about on the blog then as soon as I get home I create “draft” posts for these topics. That way when I have a moment to write* I already have something to write about that I have thought about already. Ideas that just need to be fleshed out. This also leaves more time for fun things like taking pictures!

*More on this in a “moment”



This is just a great, everyday life lesson. Just another thing I need to practice everyday in my own life. For this particular topic I will use myself as an example.

Truth be told I have been contemplating coming back to fashion blogging for a long time. I love having multiple creative outlets. It’s what makes me a whole person . Over the past 3 or so years I have had no where to go that I actually needed to get dressed for. In fact I spent, and still spend most of my time in gym clothes and sweatpants. I liked the idea of picking out outfits and taking pictures again, really talking about my love of thrifting, etc. After looking through some popular fashion and lifestyle blogs I started to get discouraged. These days lots of girl’s hire professional photographers and take photos weeks in advance to use for their blog. Their content is meticulously planned and less spontaneous. They have real photo shop skills and great lighting in their apartments. 2 things I do NOT have. After a particularly rough year I said “F-IT”. My blog didn’t need all of that. I would write for myself with my own voice – and sometimes with NO photos *gasp*. This was MY BLOG. If it was too wordy then no one had to read it. All that mattered is how I felt about it. These days I choose to focus on how lucky I am to have a voice at all.




Depending on your type of personality you might choose to write and schedule many posts on advance, or you might choose to just write when the feeling moves you. The best part of blogging is that you are taking a moment for yourself to reflect on something. If you feel like you don’t have the time I can guarantee that you do. Log off of Facebook and put your thoughts into a place that just belongs to you.You can even turn your comments off.

So is there an art to having a successful blog? I’m sure there is. For now I am just focused on the 5 points I have written about above, and hope that maybe my voice and experiences can inspire of help someone else.




Life Update: POSHMARK (Shop My Closet)

Since I stopped selling vintage full time I have been jumping around between a few different gigs. My most favorite at the moment is doing television background work and I have had so much fun working on some of my favorite tv shows. I love television and spending a full day behind the scenes on set is as fun as it gets! My love for clothing and fashion has not wavered one bit and while working for a buy and sell website last year doing their social media I was lucky enough to (re)discover Poshmark (if you are thinking about downloading this awesome app PLEASE use my code: BPIL you get $10 to spend and I get $10 when you make your first purchase!) I had shopped on Poshmark in the past but within hours of putting up my first few items (from a bag of clothing I was about to donate) I started to make sales! Since Poshmark is also a social app it’s easy to get addicted to it. I have curated so many amazing gently used items into my “closet” and am so excited to use this blog as a place to show off my new available items, and also to show off some of my amazing finds!

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time you know how much I LOVE a good deal and poshmark is truly guilt free shopping!

I hope you will take a look and join me on there.

Also, Poshmark did NOT ask me to write this post. I am just so excited about my new venture I had to share!


You Keep Sayin’ No, No, No, No, No – When It’s really still No No No No No

Photo Apr 10, 10 50 27 AM

This is my second time writing this post. The first version was poetic and filled with mystery. “Was she really talking about what I think she’s talking about?”.

I’m on the subway now. I am on my Iphone working to try and flesh it all out but I re-read it and I hated it. WTF am I even talking about? referencing the Phoenix and the death of dreams. I honestly ask myself who I think I even am a few times a week. Maybe when I started writing I was still in pain and couldn’t find my words. Let’s go with that.

Well I have found them now. I also have found the purpose of this post ( besides publicly bitching to make myself feel better – let’s be real).

Photo Feb 02, 10 43 17 AMPhoto Apr 08, 10 10 47 AM (1)

When I began the process for auditioning for Soulcycle (December 2013) I googled A LOT. What was the process like? How did people succeed? How did they fail? There were a few blog posts* and articles. A search now will yield even more information including a New Yorker article published early last month with interviews with much of the training team who I had spent the last 3 years taking class with.

What’s missing out there is MY story.

Not that my story is unique – there are a lot of people out there (I’m sure?) who have auditioned as many times as I have but there is no one writing about it. There is no one out there letting all the others know that it’s okay to fail and to put yourself out there as many times as you can actually stand it – and still not succeed in getting what you want.


First of all let’s not pretend for one second that I am over any of this. I had to physically unsubscribe from the email list, and unfollow anyone who works there off of Facebook to stop the sting. I don’t want to say I’ll never go back to class but I’m an overly emotional person and it hurts so much I need distance.

Photo Sep 30, 11 32 02 AM

I am breaking up with you Soulcycle.

You never wanted to be with me anyway.


Here is the number:

I auditioned for the SoulCycle training program 6 times over 2.5 years.

I am not going to take this space to speculate on the WHY’S I never made it to the second round of interviews or the “callback”- because that sends me down a rabbit hole of self doubt. Instead I’m going to just accept that I am not what they wanted and don’t expect I ever will be since I don’t plan on changing any part of myself (except maybe my hair color).

But Here is the good part: I auditioned for Soulcycle SIX TIMES!

I did not give up after 1,2,3,4,5 Rejections emails ( The same email in fact)

I kept going. I kept riding, I kept trying to improve my body and in the end I rode front and center in every class. I had strangers telling me how good I was, how much fun I was to ride next to, and how I helped them keep the beat.

For someone who grew up not knowing right from left ( I have dyscalculia – directional dyslexia to put it simply) this is one of my greatest accomplishments. Soulcycle became physical therapy… for my brain. No rejection email can ever take that away from me.

Photo Jul 26, 9 26 30 AM

This is some Instagram Real-ness

There are few dreams I’ve had that I’ve wanted as badly as to be a Soulcycle instructor:

1. To be Mimi in RENT ( luckily I still look young so still a chance)

2. To be with Adam ( we are married, check)

3. To get into NYU & FIT (check,check)

Because I learned that working hard and showing up can often yield positive results that’s what I did, and I fell in love. I used every positive affirmation, candle spell, manifestation trick in the book and here I am with another rejection email in my trash folder. Maybe there is something else I need to be doing right now, and I should just accept that. I can say with 100% confidence that I tried as many times as my heart could handle.

If you had asked me 2 years ago I would say



Photo Apr 19, 8 13 10 AM

But at 31 years old I have reached a point where if something is not working I need to try something else- or go a different way. I have no more energy, anger or tears for this.

If you have auditioned for Soulcycle (or anything really) and gotten that email. With no explanation and no why’s – don’t give up. Keep going until you physically can’t, keep trying until you can’t breathe. Put every ounce of your energy and life and soul into your dreams until they come true in the way you want or in ways you never even thought possible.

Put yourself out there! Even if it’s to the same people all 6 times and they know your name. Show them how you shine even when you’re terrified of failure.

My heart is full because I know I did my best and because of all the support and love around me and that helps the sharp stabs of pain I sometimes still feel. Is it sadness? Is it ego? Is it envy? Yes for sure, all of that, but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing


*Hallie Wilson Is a Chicago based Soulcycle Instructor who runs the awesome fashion blog Corals & Cognacs. I had the pleasure of auditioning with her in August 2014 and she made it through on her second try. Her story is awesome!