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Emergency Beauty Kit: Date

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The Date Kit:

By Andrea Lara

There is a lot of thought and speculation about what goes into the perfect “Emergency Beauty Kit.”  Most of this pertains to a kit that will come in handy on a red carpet. Well, I’m not sure about you, but I am not in the habit of frequenting awards shows and movie premieres – much to my chagrin. Nevertheless I do need an Emergency Beauty Kit with me on a date, at the gym, and at work. It is only partially about vanity, these kits help keep me comfortable. 

We need to think about the essentials here, and what is absolutely necessary, since the bag you will be carrying is going to be small. Whatever lip color you have on you are going to want to bring with you – on most dates food is involved, which means sayonara lipgloss. I am a fan of the Buxom glosses, they are highly pigmented, have great staying power, and a minty scent – excellent for those upclose and personal moments. Bonus – they have mini sizes sold in sets of four.

Keeping with the mini theme, Altoids Smalls. The tin is tiny as well as the mints inside of it, this makes it easy to sneak one under your tongue in a flash and not annoy the heck out of you. I enjoy gum as much as the next girl, but I have an unfortunate habit of smacking it – not so sexy – a mini mint is much safer for me.

Floss. I like to think that I have good dental hygiene but this is not the primary reason for the floss pick in my clutch. Ever get a piece of spinach or steak stuck in between your teeth and have it be so distracting and uncomfortable that you can’t stand it – or worse yet – have it be visible? Story of my life. The floss picks are small and versatile – floss on one side, tooth pick on the other. What’s not to like?

Fragrance always makes me feel sexy or flirty depending on which one I choose to wear. Tucking a roller ball fragrance in my bag is a great way to revive how I want to feel on my date. It’s an easy way to freshen up in the ladies room after dinner. My latest favorite is Citron de Vigne by Fresh: summery, light, and sexy.

Hopefully now we can keep the emergencies to a minimum and the troubleshooting to a maximum. We’re savvy, we can do it.

Happy shopping!

Written by Real Life 101, Inc.

June 14, 2011 at 10:27 am

Emergency Beauty Kit: Work

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By Andrea Lara

There is a lot of thought and speculation about what goes into the perfect “Emergency Beauty Kit.”  Most of this pertains to a kit that will come in handy on a red carpet. Well, I’m not sure about you, but I am not in the habit of frequenting awards shows and movie premieres – much to my chagrin. Nevertheless, I do need an Emergency Beauty Kit with me on a date, at the gym, and at work. It is only partially about vanity; these kits help keep me comfortable.

The Work Kit:

The contents of your Work Kit are going to vary depending on what you do for a job. I am tailoring this section for a work environment in an
office or classroom; that being said, feel free to email me with questions for a more specific Work Kit geared towards your career and lifestyle.

As we approach the warmer months, and the lovely humidity that goes with them, looking polished at work can be a challenge depending on the commute you have and whether or not you can hibernate in air conditioning all day. One product to keep with you in your Work Kit is Blotting Papers. They absorb the oil/sweat from your skin without taking off your makeup. You want to pat them on the skin – not wipe – to ensure that your makeup doesn’t smudge. This is a quick fix to help keep you looking fresh as a daisy.

A great pick-me-up before that afternoon meeting or dinner with clients is to re-apply some eye cream. Throughout the day, that lack of sleep or stress from your morning conference call can catch up with you, and the first place you are going to see it is under the eye. When you have a spare 10 seconds (if you don’t have a spare 10 seconds – make the time – you deserve it), take out your eye cream and gently pat it under the eye (if you pat it, your concealer with stay intact). This will leave you looking and feeling refreshed and rehydrated.

A toothbrush and toothpaste take up too much space to keep them in your Work Kit; this is the next best thing: the Colgate Wisp. It is a disposable, one time use tooth brush with the toothpaste already applied. It comes in packs of 2 and in 5 flavors of toothpaste. You can brush anywhere, anytime, no water needed – truly ingenious.

Lip color! I like to keep two different lip glosses in my Work Kit: one for day and one to transition me to evening. I am a huge fan of Stila Lip Glaze – great color, great gloss, and each one (there are 30) has a different delicious scent to energize you throughout the day. My go-to day color is Watermelon, a sheer light pink, and my evening color is Black Cherry -reportedly also Angie Harmon’s – not too shabby.  You will become addicted to these puppies – consider yourself warned.

My feet are blister prone (thank you narrow heel, high instep, and low ankle bone!) which proves to be extremely unhelpful when I want to wear my latest shoe obsession. Regular bandages do not help; they simply do not stay in place and become more aggravating to re-adjust than dealing with the blister pain in the first place. Bless the individual who created the Band-Aid line of blister care products. There are two products that I have in my Work Kit at all times, the First Aid Friction Block Stick which you put on the areas where you think you might develop a blister, and the Advanced Healing Blister Cushions; these suckers do not move and work with the blister to help it heal. No more emergency shoe buying in the middle of the day because your heels have become a torture device.

Hopefully, now we can keep the emergencies to a minimum and the troubleshooting to a maximum. We’re savvy, we can do it.

Happy Shopping!


Spring Fever Shopping

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by Andrea Lara

I have spring fever and it is pouring buckets outside today in Boston. The sky is black, I need an umbrella, a coat, my Hunter boots, and a knit winter hat. Just when I was ready to scream for help, call 911, and stick my head in the fireplace, I happened to receive some exciting fashion news that turned my depression-fest around. So whether you are experiencing gorgeous spring weather or the dreaded storm that I have on my hands, I hope that you will find something here to strike your fancy. Enjoy!

One of my dear friends and colleagues has a unique and steadfast accessories rule that I believe is the opposite of Miss Coco Channel’s. This said friend and colleague, Jeannie,  always says “Before you leave the house, take a look at your accessories and add one more!”

In the spirit of this fabulous statement accessories, and adding one more to my collection as well,- take a look that these babies! They are the “Byzantine Nights” earrings designed by elementsinspired. Made of citrine, topaz, and peridot, these gold hoops will set you back a mere $21, make you want to throw on a smoky eye (see the Real Life 101 video for further instruction ;)), eat fabulous food at a great roof top bar, and dance the night away.

I almost had a heart attack when I heard that Calypso St. Barth was designing a line for Target-literally, a heart attack. But when I received the exact date that it was going to be launching in the stores I was thankful that I was sitting down so I didn’t smack my head on the hardwood floor as I passed out. May 1st ladies and gents, May 1st. Do you recall the “open, open, open..” ads of years past? Well, that is going to be me at 7 a.m. on May 1st (did you get that May 1st is the date?). The line will include woman’s and children’s clothing, as well as home goods for $1.99 – $79.99. Amazing!  While I haven’t seen the entire lookbook, I am a long time Calypso lover (even the bridesmaids at my wedding wore belts designed by Calypso) and what I have seen is stellar, beachy, and classic Calypso.  My husband asked what I was crossing days off the calendar for and I told him that Christmas was coming early this year for our family – he looked at me, nodded, and walked away (it’s ok, he knew I was nuts before he married me). May 1st people!

I have been hearing for over a year now that I need to be cleansing my face using the Clarisonic . Those on the band wagon; Tim Quinn (Armani’s celebrity face designer, and Allure Magazine’s “Mr. Perfect”), Fresh, and our own founders of Real Life 101, just to name a few…none of these people/companies sell the Clarisonic incidentally). Reluctantly, I broke down and purchased one. Well folks, it was the best decision regarding my skin that I have made in quite some time. I have only been using it for a week and my skin is glowing, clear, and my foundation has never looked better. It is also quite convenient that it allows you to use whatever cleanser you want with it, that is a huge advantage and money saver. I know that it is an investment but from what I have seen and experienced, it is worth it. After all, we only get one complection, so we need to keep it looking as good as it can for as long as it can – oh and the Clarisonic is completely pain free (aside from the initial purchase).

Orange! The color of the sun, it stimulates creativity, vitality, and enthusiasm. Orange is Lady Luck’s color, as well as my mother’s and Tory Burch’s. I adore that orange is alive and well for Spring/Summer 2011. One of my favorite orange pieces of the season is the Michael Kors Orange Silicone Watch. While this is not the cheapest trend around priced at $160, it will be with you for years. I am the lucky owner of two Michael Kors time pieces, and I have nothing but great things to say about their durability (I’m not very nice to my watches; I’m forever banging them around). What I love about this trend is that it looks good with just about every outfit conceivable- whether you are in your swimsuit (the watch is water resistant to 5 ATM), lunching with the ladies, or out for the evening in your LBD, this watch is going to look rockin’. If orange isn’t your color, fear not, it comes in three other colors – the blue is my second favorite.

I am usually not a fan of the “celebrity fragrance”;  they can be trite, overly indulgent, and created for silly reasons. However, Jennifer Aniston’s new fragrance is everything that she promises it to be – beachy, sexy, and clean. It was such a pleasant surprise to pick up the bottle, take a whiff, and deem is worthy of a trial spritz. After a few hours I loved it just as much if not more than when I first sprayed it, therefore leading to my purchase – only $39. Can’t beat that price for a new fragrance, I’m used to the $60 minimum. In the spirit of Ms. Aniston’s work with St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, she is donating $1 for every “Like” that the fragrance receives on the Sephora: Jennifer Aniston Jennifer Aniston: Women’s Fragrance. Good for her!

I will try to remember that “April showers bring May flowers.” And as always, happy shopping!


March Madness Shopping

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by Andrea Lara

While my husband is completely engrossed in March Madness and “bracketology” (which I somehow manage to misspeak and always call “bracketeering,” followed by much ridicule), I become enthralled with all of the new spring fashion and beauty products: this is what I call a “win/win” situation! My list was extremely difficult to narrow down as the Spring 2011 collections are FAB-U-LOUS! Not to mention the never ending accessories, shoes, and color, color, color! I hope that all of you have more self control than I seem to have lately.

I have always been a fan of the NARS Duo Eyeshadow, it is well pigmented, has interesting and flattering color combinations, and wears extremely well. That being said, their new Spring 2011 Duo Eyeshadow in color: “Nouveau Monde” is absolutely to die for. It is a color combo that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as an everyday “go-to” pairing but if you give it a try you will discover the most beautiful, flattering, fashion forward look that can be worn with just about any day or evening look. It is a combination of a periwinkle purple and an olive gold and truly, truly stunning. I have one in my kit for clients and shoots and another one just for my own personal wardrobe. Gorgeous!

I adore scarves, all scarves, cashmere, cotton, silk, linen…. you get the idea. Usually a good quality scarf is going to run you a pretty penny, or so has been my experience until I found the Nordstrom Oversized Tonal Stripe Wrap; it is a mouthful but for a scarf like this priced at $28, they can call it whatever the heck they want! What I love about this scarf is its versatility, color variety, and the fact that it keeps its shape even after it has been shoved in my handbag for two days. It is light weight making it perfect for spring and summer; speaking of summer, I am planning on making it my new sarong come June – and as my husband (who is as corny as Kansas in August) would say, “What’s sarong with that?”

Since Tom Pecheux has become Estee Lauder’s new creative director, we have seen this tried and true American brand turn in to a company that is designing and executing the makeup for Derek Lam’s show during New York Fashion Week. With edgy new colors, the reformulation of almost all of the color in this line, including 30-some new lipstick and gloss shades, the product that grabbed my attention the most was the new Pure Color Nail Polish in Purple Passion. Perfect for spring toes or in my case fingers! I truly can’t get enough of this color, and the added bonus is that I have not had any chipping yet and it has been on for about four days – that is pretty darn good considering I am constantly washing my hands, using eye makeup remover and makeup brush cleaner.


With Spring upon us comes warmth, beautiful blooms and scents. Here in Boston it is still a bit chilly to have the windows open, but I still want that Spring aroma. Well folks, I have found the answer to that problem – the Bellini Candle from Calypso St. Barthe. The notes that jump out to me are grapefruit, white peach, coconut and sandelwood – a.k.a heaven. It is subtle but manages to fill my home with it’s sublime scent. Not to mention the fact that it is hot pink! It also makes me want to throw a few Bellinis back – which I may or may not be known to do.

Keeping with the theme of great scents, I’m sure you are all acquainted with fragrance maven Jo Malone. Well, this scent genius has teamed with celebrity hair colorist Beth Minardi to bring us Luxury Color Care Products. As you can imagine the scent alone makes picking up a few of these babies worthwhile, but the kicker is that they actually do what they say they are going to do! Whether you have hair that is treated with permanent or semi-permanent hair color, highlighted, bleached, or hair that is basically a brillow pad, Minardi has something for you.

My final spring love affair is with the most flattering, comfortable, versatile skirt I have ever had the pleasure of putting on. Designed by Bailey 44 this amazing creature looks fabulous (if I do say so myself) on me, (I am 5’9 and have a curvy/athletic build), a client who is 5’1 (and smack dab in the middle of menopause and fighting the extra weight that comes along with it), and another client who is 5’4 and has a classic boyish shape. It comes in black and taupe, sizes extra-small through large (I have the medium), and although it is $108 it has already paid for itself with the amount of compliments and “please tell me where you got that skirt” – I always share.  My clients…not so much (and that’s okay too). This may be the only skirt that I buy all season – I love it that much.

Enjoy the Spring sunshine (while wearing your favorite sunblock of course) and as always, Happy Shopping!

Bronzer Tutorial

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Have you ever wanted to look more tanned on your face without going in the sun?  Watch our video on how to apply bronzer to solve this problem instantly. 
Products: Bronzer brush was Trish McEvoy brush 37 . The bronzer was Too Faced Sun Bunny.

Balancing Lip Color with Eye Color

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Now that you know how to do the smoky eye technique, let’s look at how to balance a dramatic eye look with  lip color.

Lip gloss brush was Trish McEvoy brush 44 The lipgloss Origins Caramel Candy 04

Written by Real Life 101, Inc.

February 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

How to do a Smoky Eye

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Have you ever wondered how to do a smoky eye?  Watch our video for how!

Eye Shadow Primer: Base Essentials in Bare by Trish McEvoy with brush Trish McEvoy 40 Medium Laydown
Light Shadow: NARS Biamitz with brush- Estee Lauder Blending Shadow Brush 25
Darkest Shadow: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in Anthracite with brush- Buxom, Buxom Stay There Eyeshadow Brush
Fun Accent Color: Bare Escentuals with brush- Trish McEvoy Brush 29 Tapered Blending
Light Shdaow Again: Estee Lauder Blending Shadow Brush 25
Eyeliner:  Bare Esentuals Midnight Sky with brush- Bare Escentuals Full Edged Liner Brush
Mascara: Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara