Why Masking Is Crucial

August 18th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Why Masking Is CrucialWe all love a fresh face, right? Smooth skin, small pores, no oily sheen- all of the desirable features edited onto model faces in magazines. Everyone knows those looks rarely come without a price, and that price is good products. Maintaining the appearance of facial skin has been a part of the feminine beauty standard for hundreds of years, and it continues today as thousands of products flood the market promising perfect skin in a jar. The truth is, there is no universal treatment for skin; this is because many types of skin exist. Some people naturally produce an excessive amount of oil, while others produce too little and are left with dry, flaky skin. Many others have issues with oil in some places, commonly the forehead and nose area known as the t-zone, while other areas are dry. Sensitive skin, pale skin and darker skin tones all have unique needs. Fortunately, one type of treatment that comes in many different formulas is universally loved and used by beauty addicts- masks!

Masking is the process of applying a paste or gel substance to your clean, dry face with clean hands. Before applying a mask, one should tie their hair back into a ponytail if necessary and use a headband to push their hair completely off of their face. Masks should always be applied gently in circles, avoiding the eye, nostril and lip areas. As a general rule, the masks are then left on for ten to fifteen minutes as they dry or solidify. Depending on the purpose of the mask and the material it is made of, it is then gently washed off using warm water and a clean washcloth or peeled off the face, beginning by rolling the edges by the jawline carefully toward the nose.

It is important to note that a good mask needs to be used only about once per week in order to avoid over-drying or irritating skin. Many types of masks exist for those of all skin types, but the best to use regardless of skin sensitivity are those made with natural elements rather than chemicals and artificial fragrances. Those with oily skin and large pores often benefit from the use of masks made of dead sea clay. For people with t-zone issues, white clay masks with algae extracts provide an excellent dose of non-comedogenic moisture while also pulling sebaceous secretions from unruly pores. Dry skinned individuals will be thrilled with peel off masks loaded with healthy oils and fruit extracts which strip away flakes and leave skin feeling soft and supple. These are just some of the many awesome types of masks available to beauty addicts to brighten up our faces and perfect our overall look.

Posted in Skin Care, Skin Care Products

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Five Must Have Beauty Indulgences

August 11th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Five Must Have Beauty IndulgencesWe’ve all seen the ads for the newest, latest products. Every day, there’s a new miracle cream or perfect serum. The truth is, tried and true must haves of the beauty world have stuck around because they work well. They are not a miracle in a jar, but they are products that are both indulgent and effective. It is worth it to buy top-shelf brands of these items, as they require less product and as such last longer and have maximum efficacy. These five indulgences are a must have for die hard beauty fans.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter has been used for many years to moisturize skin from head to toe. The natural antioxidant properties of the cacao bean derivative are excellent at hydrating skin, healing scars and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and stretch marks. When your skin is healthy and hydrated, it is more likely to look healthy and beautiful. Regularly moisturizing with cocoa butter after a shower does wonders for the face and body.

Sugar Scrub

Exfoliating is certainly nothing new, but you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a really good sugar scrub. Often mixed with jojoba oils and other natural plant extracts, sugar scrubs are pleasantly scented exfoliating treatment, which, when applied to the skin in a circular motion, help slough away dead skin cells. This leaves skin brighter, softens body hair for shaving and prepares it for moisturizing.

Hydrating Shave Cream

For anyone who prefers shaving over waxing, the nightmare of tiny cuts on the knees and ankles is something highly unpleasant to endure. There are some great shave creams on the markets, however, which use natural extracts to hydrate the skin and provide an extremely close shave. Anyone going from shaving with bar soap or shower gel to one of these creams will note a marked difference in the closeness of their shave and how their skin feels. These creams are most effective when preceded with an exfoliant, like the sugar scrub mentioned above.

Face Primer

One cosmetic product that is relatively new but has revolutionized the way people wear full coverage makeup is face primer. Whether silicon or water based, primers help to minimize the appearance of pores and facial imperfections when applied before foundation or powder. They are available in many varieties, including those which correct redness and combat oily skin.

Good Black Mascara

Black mascara is the little black dress of the makeup world. Just throw it on, and it can pep up even a totally fresh-faced look. The key, however, is to find a mascara that is not prone to clumping. The best mascaras have brushes that are slightly curved without an overabundance of bristles. These allow for the smoothest and cleanest application. Please note that mascara, no matter how much you love it, needs to be replaced every six months.

Posted in Bath & Body, Beauty, Fashion, Celebrity News, Makeup Products, Skin Care

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Summer Fragrance Guide

July 17th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Summer Fragrance GuideEveryone’s social life revs up in the summer. You want to look and feel your best, and that includes wearing a fragrance that’s perfect for the heat and fun — light and flirty, with a summery feel.

Go fresh and natural — natural scents, that is

Your best summer fragrance bet: something fresh and natural. Think sparkling, tart citrus and fresh berries. Think cool ocean waves and shady forest groves. Try a very soft floral note like freesia, magnolia, or honeysuckle. If you like spicy fragrances, you might love a scent that contains ginger or mint.

Save the heavy florals, patchouli, and syrupy vanillas for colder months — heat can actually make perfumes smell stronger, and you don’t want your fragrance to enter the room before you do.

Look for different formulas

Just can’t part with your usual perfume? Designers and retailers sometimes make lighter, limited edition “eau” versions of popular scents for summer. These fragrances have more of the fresh “top notes” and fewer of the heavier scents that develop last as you wear the fragrance.

Make it last with layers

Now’s the time to use beauty products — body washes, body lotions, and even shampoos — scented with your favorite perfume. These can help layer the fragrance and work with the way your body heat rises and falls to lessen the need to reapply your perfume during the day or evening.

Be aware of the fragrances of all your beauty products, though, and look for unscented products or versions so your perfume smells its best and isn’t competing with other scents.

Be ready to reapply

Summer’s light scents contain lighter and more volatile molecules, which means the scents will wear off faster. Alcohol- and water-based fragrances also don’t last long in high temperatures. Be sure to carry a supply of your fragrance in your purse for touch ups.

Try it in different places

Fragrance doesn’t work just on your skin. Spritz some on an inner hem (keep it away from the outside of your clothing; some perfumes can stain) or mist it on your hair for a longer-lasting scent.

A touch of scent works at your pulse points — behind your knees and inside your elbows — or in your cleavage, where perspiration can release the fragrance.

Help! I’ve used too much

If you’ve overdone the scent on your skin, use an alcohol-based sanitizer or individually wrapped alcohol wipes to remove it. Witch hazel can work, too, and so can a cotton ball dipped in unflavored vodka. These work best if used as quickly as possible after you’ve applied the scent.

Posted in Fragrances, Fragrances for Men , Fragrances for Men and Women

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Spotlight on Sophie la Girafe: Made by Concerned Moms for Caring Mothers

July 14th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Spotlight on Sophie la GirafeAlthough we tend to give our skin the most attention later in life when wrinkles begin to emerge and the effects of sun damage become noticeable, our skin is actually at its most vulnerable when we are at our youngest. The skin of babies and toddlers are particularly sensitive to ultraviolet rays, environmental toxins, and other dangers that we often fail to consider. Mothers should take every necessary precaution to protect their children on every front, including guarding their freshly-formed skin. However, most parents run into plenty of trouble locating products that use only natural ingredients while still providing real protection for a child’s skin. Moms can rest easy once they begin to explore the protective products that we will describe here. Sophie la Girafe is a company that is actually tackling this problem from the perspective of a mom. They are putting skincare products out there that toddlers actually need and will benefit from with every application.

They are hard at work developing certified-natural and organic products that are safe for children at any age. No ingredient that Sophie la Girafe includes in their products is questionable or in need of further testing. Not a single one of the products includes scents or allergens either. Children are only exposed to supportive and healthy ingredients that work with their bodies in order to enhance their natural mechanisms for protection against the outside world.

Another huge advantage of exploring what Sophie la Girafe has to offer is that they are totally focused on the education of the parent, giving them packages that include everything they need to get started pampering their child’s skin. These kits include a face cream, body lotion, gentle cleansers, and multipurpose oils that can be used on newborns. They have also taken the time to develop products that are ideal for keeping your child as clean and fresh as possible without exposing them to chemicals that are harmful to the slightest degree. The Baby Hair and Body Wash that they offer uses cleansing ingredients that are naturally-sourced from plant products that includes coconut. They are completely odorless while remaining totally effective and gentle.

Their products even make the ideal alternative for cleaning and complete protection for allergy-prone skin as well. Oat milk and lavender water allow for cleaning and moisturizing to occur at deep levels without the risk of any kind of inflammation. The textures in the products used for cleansing rely on ingredients such as cotton and other gentle fibers. For antioxidant protection, children gain the advantage of white tea as a primary ingredient. This active substance works to guard a child’s skin and hair over time. The face cream has the same natural foundations as all the other products, including ingredients such as Shea butter and Nordic blueberry oils.

Posted in Bath & Body, Bath & Body Products

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Eyebrow Extensions 101

July 7th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Eyebrow Extensions 101Do you ever get tired of filling your eyebrows in during your daily makeup routine? Are you more of a natural/no-makeup kind of girl, but your eyebrows are sparse? Eyebrow extensions could be just the solution for you!

Things to Know before Getting Extensions

There are three things you need to know before getting eyebrow extensions.
1. When you are researching technicians, be sure to ask whether they are licensed. This will insure that they are using the proper materials on your skin and that they were trained to put on the extensions.
2. Cost varies depending on who does the extensions, but they are usually upwards of $100.
3. Prepare to block out a couple hours of your day for the application. They can take anywhere from one and a half to two hours depending on the sparsity of your brows.

Extension Placement

After the technician cleans up your eyebrows with tweezers to remove any unwanted hair, he/she decides on the shape of the new eyebrow by taking into account the symmetry of your face. Then comes choosing the color of the brow hairs and finally, application.

There is no pain involved in the procedure of applying the hair to the eyebrow area. Each hair is applied with surgical glue one-by-one until the desired thickness is achieved. The technician’s ultimate goal is to make your eyebrows look as natural as possible from the moment you leave their chair to when you come back in for a fill (more on that below).

How to Maintain Extensions

If you are gentle with the hairs and do not tug at them or scrub them vigorously with a washcloth, they will last up to three weeks. As the hairs start to fall out, a fill will be needed where the technician goes back in and fills the areas where hair has fallen out of the eyebrow. The process of shedding the hairs is slow, as they do not each fall out at the same time, which allows the process to look more natural. If you decide you no longer want the extensions and do not want to wait for the falling out process, the technician call apply an oil that will remove them quickly and easily.

Overall, if you have the money to spare and a few hours, eyebrow extensions are a great addition to a bare or makeup-enhanced face. They may take a bit to get used to, but you’ll soon have the Kylie Jenner eyebrows you’ve always wanted.

Posted in Beauty, Fashion, Celebrity News, Eye Brows & Lashes

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Ingrown Hair SOS!

June 30th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Ingrown Hair SOS!There’s nothing more irritating — not to mention painful — than discovering an unsightly ingrown hair has set up shop underneath your skin. Ingrown hairs are raised, pus-filled red bumps that occur when dead skin becomes trapped inside the hair follicle, forcing the hair to grow underneath the skin. Though sometimes, ingrown hairs, just like zits, can go away in their own time, if left to their own devices for too long there is a chance they could become infected and lead to scarring. So remember: hands off! We’ll show you the steps and products you’ll need to banish ingrown hairs for good.

Often, the best way to treat ingrown hairs is to prevent them from showing up in the first place. This means taking your time when shaving, and using a high-quality shaving cream. For ladies, I like the Whish Coconut Milk Shave Cream with Hair Inhibitor, which is perfect for sensitive skin and is formulated to ensure it won’t dry out skin. For the gentlemen, I’d recommend anything from The Art of Shaving, especially their luxurious Sandalwood Essential Oil Shaving Cream. If you really want to indulge, treat yourself to a complete shaving overhaul by picking up their Starter Kit, which includes a shaving brush, pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and aftershave balm. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even apply Dermalogica’s Pre-Shave Guard before you get started. It’s marketed towards men, but women can certainly benefit from it as well. Of course, certain types of hair, especially coarse and curly locks, are more prone to ingrown hairs than finer strands.

After shaving, immediately apply a balm to the area. I have two favorites to ensure post-shaving bliss. The first is Dermalogica’s Post-Shave Balm, which is formulated to specifically prevent ingrown hairs and is fragrance-free. If I’m in the mood for something a bit scented, I slather on Shaveworks’ Cool Fix, which helps to free trapped hair as well as to kill any bacteria underneath the skin.

Still, sometimes you can do everything right and still get an ingrown hair, especially if you have sensitive skin. If one shows up, we recommend not trying to dig it out yourself. If you just can’t resist, be sure to place a hot towel on the affected area to open the pores and soothe the skin, then remove the hair with tweezers like the ones in this Anthony grooming tool kit. Still, it’s really better to see a doctor, who may recommend antibiotics or other medication to reduce swelling and prevent infection.

Don’t let an ingrown hair get in the way of a day at the beach this summer!

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Posted in Hair Removal, Hair Removal Products

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Best Tips for Groomed Brows

June 26th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Best Tips for Groomed BrowsA beautifully groomed set of eyebrows can make such a huge difference in a person’s overall appearance. They can complement any hairstyle, and they can add depth to any person’s facial structure. Some of the easiest fashion tips have to do with people’s eyebrows. The following are some simple tips for groomed eyebrows:

Visit an Eyebrow Specialist

A person can groom his or her eyebrows either at home or inside of a beautician’s office. Most nail shops offer eyebrow waxing services. Some shops still conduct old-fashioned razor shaving or plucking. The method that a consumer chooses will depend on the length of time that person wants to spend in between visits. Razor-cut eyebrows are gorgeous, but they only last approximately three to five days before the hair starts growing back. Plucked eyebrows last a bit longer. They may stay trim for several weeks. Waxing is a process that will keep the eyebrows from growing back for the longest amount of time. Plucked eyebrows can take 30-45 days before the person starts seeing new strands of eyebrow hair growing back.

A consumer will want to visit a specialist for the time eyebrow waxing or shaving session. He or she can choose to maintain the eyebrows by revisiting the same specialists or trying some at-home procedures.

Choices for Maintaining Eyebrows at Home

Several stores sell eyebrow waxing kits. The kits cost $5 to $20, and they include the wax and the strips that the consumer will have to apply to his or her face. Another option for at-home eyebrow maintenance is to purchase a chemical that burns off the facial hair. Manufacturers sell products that come in gel or paste form. The use is very simple, as the person will only have to keep the paste on for a certain amount of time. Finally, another option for self-grooming is the self-performed razor cut. The razor-cut method could work well for a person who has a steady hand. The person could put shaving cream on the parts of the eyebrows where the hair is starting to regrow and follow that path until the eyebrows have a smooth appearance.

Grooming the eyebrows is less stressful when the person takes care of them consistently. Shavers will want to put a razor to them at least once every three days. Waxes and chemical users will have to work on them every few weeks.


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Spotlight on Fekkai Soleil Collection

June 23rd, 2015 | Contributed by:

Spotlight on Fekkai Soleil CollectionThe sun can be as brutal to your hair as it is to your skin — dulling its radiance and even fading its color. Keep your looking its best by indulging it before and after sun exposure with Frederic Fekkai’s Soliel Collection. The well-known celebrity stylist uses his experience to blend before- and after-sun products that offer extra hydration and shine to hair that’s been exposed to the sun and help you keep those straight-from-the-beach waves. Bonus: All Soliel products carry the citrusy fragrance of St. Barths in the Caribbean.

Pre-Soliel Hair Mist

Whether you’re on your usual daily rounds or getting in some well-deserved beach time, sun can damage your hair on any day, dehydrating it and fading the color. Before you step outside, use this lightweight mist — made with a UV filter — to keep the sun’s rays at bay. Infused with sunflower oil, Per-Soliel Hair Mist will leave your hair radiant and shiny. Be sure to take some with you wherever you go — it works best if you reapply it several times during your activity in the sun.

Apres Soliel Hair Creme

Already have sun damage? Quench it by working Apres Soliel Hair Creme’s multitasking creme into dull or dry locks. Your hair will go from blah to beautiful as the creme’s sunflower-oil base smoothes frizz, hydrates dry hair, and replenishes shine. The light citrus scent and luxuriant, radiant results will have you thinking you’ve just been to Frederic Fekkai’s ritzy St. Barths salon, even if you’ve never left home.

Soliel Beach Waves Spray

Get that tousled, straight-from-the-beach look beloved by celebrities any time with this invisible spray that adds texture, volume, and that elusive, citrusy St. Barths scent while controlling frizz. Stylist Frederic Fekkai created the “done undone” look of sea-breeze-tousled locks, so it stands to reason his Soliel Beach Waves Spray should be a favorite with beauty editors, stylists, and others in the know about great, attention-getting hair.

Soleil Hair Fragrance Mist L’Air de St. Barths

Stylist Frederic Fekkai may have done the impossible with this spray — he may have captured the essence of the Caribbean sun in a bottle. Citrusy and redolent of Caribbean sun, sea, and sand, Soleil Hair Fragrance Mist L’Air de St. Barths can freshen your hair between washings or just evoke happy beach memories. A spritz will tame frizz and refresh your do as well as restore its shine, giving you the bright, bouncy, noticeable, fresh-smelling hair you crave.

There’s an old saying that your hair is your crowning glory. With Frederic Fekkai’s Soliel Collection, your hair will look and smell its sun-kissed best every day, rain or shine.

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Posted in Hair and Scalp Treatments, Hair Shampoo and Conditioners

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5 Ways to Use Honey as a Beauty Product

June 19th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Not only does honey taste great, but it also has a wide range of skin and hair benefits. Honey, which is a natural humectant, so it has the ability to attract and retain moisture, making it the perfect addition to your beauty regimen. It is packed with antioxidants, nutrients and healing compounds which help to moisturize, fight bacteria and fight the signs of aging. Here are 5 “head to toe” ways to utilize the benefits of honey.

5 Ways to Use Honey as a Beauty ProductBath Soak
There is nothing more relaxing than soaking in a hot bath, but when you add honey to the warm water, you will also reap the rewards of softer, healthier skin. For skin that is as smooth and soft as Cleopatra’s, mix 2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of honey and a few drops of essential lavender oil. Add to a hot bath and soak for as long as you wish.

Hydrate Dry Cuticles
If your hands are starting to show a few signs of aging, reach for the honey to transform your dry hands into softer, more youthful looking and feeling hands. To hydrate dry cuticles, mix 1 teaspoon each of honey, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Massage the mixture over each cuticle, let it sit for about ten minutes and rinse in lukewarm water. For added softness on your hands, gently massage an even mixture of honey and coconut oil into your hands and let it soak in while soaking your cuticles, rinse well and pat hands dry.

Skin Clarifying
Raw honey is packed with enzymes that will help clean and clear pores and the antioxidants are excellent for preventing a buildup of bacteria that may cause breakouts and skin imbalance. To deep clean pores, mix one tablespoon of raw honey with two tablespoons of coconut oil and stir to a smooth consistency. Apply the mixture to clean, dry skin by gently massaging in a circular motion. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Acne Treatment
Acne is not only embarrassing, but it can also be extremely difficult to get rid of. Many people attempt to get rid of acne by using products that dry their skin out, but in reality, this only makes the problem worse. Honey contains natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that help to reduce the inflammation, irritation and redness, without drying your skin out. Make a honey mask with a mixture of 3 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1/2 tablespoon of milk. Mix ingredients until smooth, apply to face and relax for about 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. The coconut oil helps draw the impurities out of your skin, while the honey and milk smooths your skin and kills the bacteria.

Shampoo and Conditioner Booster
The nutrients and natural enzymes in raw honey will give your hair shine and bounce, without weighing it down. To strengthen your hair, while adding fullness and shine; mix 1/2 tablespoon of raw honey to your usual shampoo and rinse well. Add one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of coconut oil to your usual conditioner, applying thoroughly to the bottom half of damp hair, starting with the ends and working up. Let the mixture remain in your hair for about 20 minutes and rinse well.

There are several types and brands of honey to choose from, but the best honey for your health and to use as beauty products is raw honey. Raw honey has not been treated, so it contains more natural enzymes and antibacterial properties.

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Posted in Health and Nutrition

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Five Makeup Tips for an Instant Mood Boost!

June 9th, 2015 | Contributed by:

Five Makeup Tips for an Instant Mood Boost!Nothing is sure to pick up your day and turn around your mood like an instant, mini-makeover. Have you ever noticed how when you leave the hair salon, you always seem to be in a good mood? Well, not everyone can go wash and style their hair in the middle of the day, but one thing you usually can step away to do, is touch up your make up. Somehow, taking on the world with a fresh face gives you the boost in confidence you need to turn your attitude around and feel much better immediately.

Here are 5 Quick Makeup Go-To’s to Boost your Mood:
First, never underestimate the power of a great set of lashes. Whether it’s dealing with a frustrating boss, a difficult peer, or just a rude man at the post office, people are sure to respond to you differently when you look at them with a set of big, doe-eyes. Never forget your favorite mascara. One of my personal favorites is Young Blood’s Mineral Lengthening Mascara

Next, for a little extra charm, be sure to curl your lashes! This step can make all the difference in the world – a curled set of lashes frames your eye perfectly and makes it impossible to look away. Try Paula Dorf’s CURL-UP Eyelash Curler

If mascara and an eyelash curler are too much trouble to keep in your purse, you can always try out a curling mascara, such as Size Queen by Too Faced

Third, never neglect your lips. Lip gloss only takes a second to apply, and it gives your make-up a polished look that makes you look put-together, even if you feel frazzled. My personal favorites are in natural, nude shades, and always add a lip-plumping boost. While I would usually opt for a product like Too Faced Lip Injection to use on a regular basis, something like Joey New York Collagen Boosting Duo, that comes with two colors on either end – I love the Sheer Pink/Natural Nude combo – gives you options in the moment, even if you’re on the go!

Fourth, make sure to have your favorite blush or bronzer with you, and a brush to apply it with. Knowing you have a beautiful glow will make you feel as refreshed as you’ll look. Something like Youngblood Natural Radiance (Sunshine) will do the trick perfectly and is subtle enough to look natural. Sometimes, just taking the brush you normally use with your bronzer gives you the subtle enough boost to your color that you’re looking for, without even applying more of the product.

Last, but definitely not least, check to see if you need to grab a Facial Blotting Paper. This will help take away any shine on your face and will make your make-up look brand new. If you have it on you, you can always add on a bit of light foundation powder. Try Jane Iredale – Facial Blotting Papers.

After whatever has been bothering you, taking the time to follow these five, quick steps, is sure to give you the mental space needed to take on your day with a fresh outlook. Sometimes it helps to keep a little cosmetics case in your purse, with these go-to items and any others you think might help you take back your day. Including sample sizes of any of your favorite products – especially fragrances – is a great way to keep cosmetics on you, even if you prefer to leave your bag at home.

Sometimes, a bad day is exactly the excuse we need to take a few minutes to pamper ourselves!

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Posted in Cheek Makeup, Eye Makeup, Lip Makeup, Uncategorized

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