Sunday, March 30, 2014

Where To Put Your Beauty Bucks: Splurge or Save?

We have all heard the old saying “You get what you pay for." When it comes to makeup cost/quality let's be honest it's a slippery slope. Sometimes the price tag isn't necessarily the the best indicator of makeup quality but other time dishing out the extra cash is a necessary thing. There are drugstore products that are just so great that there are no high end products that can compare, and in some cases high end is ONLY way to go! 
So where do you drop your cash & where do you pull back?
Reality is you don't have to go broke to get ALL of your must have cosmetics. There are corners you can cut. It's all about knowing what items are worth the investment and where you can pinch a few pennies...and most of us live in a some high end and some drugstore products. What a wonderful balance!
Remember (before you litter the comments with busts for your girl) there are always exceptions to the rule! This isn't a cosmetics blanket statement, these are just some things I splurge and save on.
Let's get to the dirty stuff!
There are plenty of fabulous drugstore foundations but if you have the opportunity to splurge DO IT — This is especially if you have problematic skin or wear foundation every day. The skin’s pores will absorb much of your foundation and less expensive ingredients will result in breakouts.
Aly Approved: Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation $42, Shiseido The Makeup Dual Balancing Foundation $38, Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup $39.
Images Courtesy of
This isn't a top priority but if you like to set your base with a powder it's a must. A better quality product will prevent you from looking cakey (no one likes that!) Splurge on this item especially if you wear powder more than three times a week.
Aly Approved: Estee Lauder Double Matte Oil Control Pressed Powder, $29, Make Up Forever Duo Mat Powder Foundation $34 & Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, $45.
Images Courtesy of &
Quality ingredients are key here, too.  Like a shield for your skin, primer prevents your makeup from being absorbed by your pores. You don't always have to go high end but you will definitely spend more than $25 even with a drugstore substitute like L'Oreal's Miracle Blur. Have you primer pull double-duty by getting it with an SPF.
Aly Approved:  L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Finishing Cream $25 & Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (1 oz) $52.
Images Courtesy of & 
Bad bronzer is like a bad haircut — hard to hide! 
Cheap bronzers have a tendency to border on orange and to make your face look “muddy” rather than sun-kissed. 
A high-end  bronzer can be key to contouring your face or brightening up your look.
Aly Approved: Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder With Real Cocoa $29, Guerlain 'Terracotta' Light Sheer Bronzing Powder $50, Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base $48.
Images Courtesy of, & ME!
When it comes to your lashes, bargain is the way to go. 
Even make-up artists go budget here FYI!
 This is the one product you will go through the fastest, or have to throw out within 5 month deadline.
Considering all the options available you for just under $9 you will spending pennies for million dollar results!
Aly Approved: L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara Carbon Black $8, Maybelline Volum'Express The Rocket Mascara $8 or Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara $3
Images Courtesy of, &
Eye shadow is the most versatile accent you can add to your face. Trends change with every season, every fashion and every whim, so why drop lots of cash on something that will change sooner than you think? Instead, have fun with lots of different low-price options & colors! 
Aly Approved: NYX Eye Shadows, Eyes Lips Face &Wet n Wild Color Icon Shadows. All three brands have singles, trios & large palettes ranging from $1 - $15. 

Click name brand name here to go to their websites: 

People always looked shocked when I bring a Wet n Wild Product to the register, "Is that brand any good?" IS IT EVER! Their shadows are velvety & the colors are so intense you will be floored.
Images Courtesy of & ME!
Collage Made Using InstaMag Application
When it comes to your pout you don’t have to go pricy. 
From lip balm to lip stains, the drugstore is packed with reasonably-priced products for color or cure!
Aly Approved: EOS Lip Balm $3.29, Jordana Easyliner For Lips $1.99 , Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick $8 or L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss Lip Gloss $7.95
Images Courtesy of,, &
You can definitely go bargain when it comes to eye liner. Believe it or not, the quality of the high-end eye liners often play catch up to those available at the drugstore.
Aly Approved: Milani Eye Tech Liquid Liner or CoverGirl LineExact Liquid Eyeliner $6. Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner $8.
Images Courtesy of, &
So there is it loves where I cut back & splurge (most times). Again remember I still buy cheaper foundation or an expensive eyeshadow or blush but I try to stick to these suggestions. 

If you want to see where you can get the products I recommended check out my Luvocracy Page By Clicking the logo below.
It's like Pinterest but links you to where you can actually PURCHASE the products.

Hope this helps you & as always stay fabulous, strong and driven!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Wedding.....

Hello Strangers! Where ya been?!? You don't write, you don't call, you don't visit? BAH!
I know I know I'm terrible friend I disappeared on you BUT I 1) have a good reason and 1) for the new year I've promised to do more of what makes me happy & that's this blog and all it's readers.

So my reason that I have been MIA for the past 7 months!?!
Drumroll please....
Another Tiger Tamed (Not really just found the perfect man but I always wanted to say that!)
The wedding was the biggest (and most stressful) production of my life as I did all the planning myself... Uhm well I had the help of my fairy godmother friends & wait wait my husband too! (God Forbid I take his "Wedding Planner" Badge away) But most of all he put up with me as I slowly descended into Bridezilla status.... just the mention of a seating chart still makes my eye twitch. 

 I'm going to have another post where I review my vendors but in the meantime here are some pictures &basic info :) 


Gotta hand it to my husband he did a great job! He had my engagement ring custom made by a jeweler nearby in NYC.
Our Bands were also from there:
(Will Post Info on Jeweler in Later Post)
(Shotty Cell Phone Photography By Me)

 Did everything through 
I didn't do a "Save the Date", instead set up a password protected website throughout the & sent the website info along with the invitations... figure people lose the directions anyways!

I went to Kleinfeld for my dress & Veil.
The gown was a Pnina Tornai Sweetheart Ball Gown in Satin & the veil was Peter Langner ( with Satin Lining.  

My maid of honor was my sister (DUH of course). My other bridesmaids were my husbands' daughters, my childhood friend and two of my college buds.

Their dresses were Bill Levkoff (Bridesmaid Dress Style in 769), Chiffon gown with a sweetheart neckline. Ruched criss cross bodice with straps that form a V in the back in the color Rose Petal.

Here they are so handsome! They look like Ocean's 11! This is my husband Tom (Such a fox I know). His Best man was his son. His other groomsmen where his cousin, childhood friend and my little brother. They are all wearing Men's Wearhouse  Tuxedos.

That's my dad own tux (not sure from where) & my mom's dress was a custom dress from Diane & Co.

Done by a close friend. I call her my saint and fairy god mother. She is a Make-Up Artist but doesn't do weddings. 
She came just because she knew I needed her there by side (Awwwww). She's camera shy and very private so pics or info sowy!
Will get list of products & post later on.

My hair was done by Theresa (I met her through my day job) she is hairstylist (duh) and a super talented one at that. I wore Bellami Hair Extension (Bellissima 220g 22 inch in Chocolate Brown) & I had a half up, half down hairstyle. 

Ceremony Room

Reception Room


All Pictures In This Blog Post Were Shot by Nyla Photography.
Aside from my shoddy photography work that I point out!


Something old & something blue... 

was sewed into the inside of my dress (They did this at Kleinfeld) it was a piece of lace from my dad's baptism blanket from 1953. My grandma had it saved and my aunt has kept it safe since she became my guardian angel.

Something New...
Was my wedding gown (no surprise there) & pearl and diamond necklace my parents had bought many years ago and I had never had a chance to wear. 

Something Borrowed...
 As a beautiful pair of daisy diamond earrings belonging to my Make-Up Artist/Saint/Fairy God Mother.

I had a whopping 4 pairs of shoes for my wedding. 
I had 2 for the ceremony (I whimped out on the sky high first pair I had bought for my ceremony)
Then I just gradually bought/wore shorter heels until I was in my bridal ugg slippers (HEAVENLY)

Left: Steve Madden Carriie Blush Multi/ Right: David Tutera Joy in White
Left: Nina Earleen in Ivory Luster / Right: Ugg Ansely I Do! In White
(Shoe Pics Courtesy Of Moi)
I wanted something that was more along the lines of headband tiara more than a crown tiara... makes sense? This was from Forever 21 (My mom bought it forever ago)

We got a Photo Booth where you could get pictures to take home (All the pictures were stored on a USB so we got a copy of all of 'em) 

Calligrapher: A Touch Of Ink 


Wedding Card Box: Diamond Decor.

Cake Toppers:  
The cake was provided by the venue and spruced up by the florist.

Not all people that participated in my wedding are on this post. It's not a slight it's just because not everyone is a big fan of posting their picture online and you can't blame 'em!
On a personal note I often refer to my saints/fairy godmothers.... 2 close friends that without them I would have probably just lost my mind but instead they helped me with bouquets, details, getting my hair to be the perfect shade. They kept me sane, safe and serene.

Like I mentioned earlier this is not a review post.
There are only things that I will recommend blindly at this point: The venue, photographer & hairstylist.

A Post With Reviews & (Hopefully) Video is On It's Way....

Mrs. Aly 

All Pictures In This Blog Post Were Shot by Nyla Photography