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I just joined Instagram under the username NouveauNikkiBeauty. Follow me if you want to see my daily makeup, fun adventures, and today’s breakfast!

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Best of Seattle: Julep Downtown

I have troll feet. It is an inescapable fact. Mangled, broken, sausage toes cling like barnacles to the ends of my wide, scaly feet. You may also remember that my hands ain’t much to look at, either. For obvious reasons, I try not to wear sandals unless absolutely necessary.  So it should come as no surprise that when sandals are absolutely necessary, I enjoy the occasional mani/pedi to beat my extremities into submission. Last month was no exception, as I was preparing for a week-long triple-date* beach vacation in Hilton Head. With high expectations, I scheduled an appointment for a pedicure and gel manicure at Julep’s salon on 5th.  Continue reading

Instead of [BLANK], Try [BLANK]

Instead of juicing, try increasing your water intake!

I’d like to make it clear that I AM NOT A DOCTOR, NURSE, OR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL IN ANY CAPACITY (I cannot stress this point enough). But it doesn’t take a medical degree to know that water is good for you. The human body is composed of roughly 60% H2O, with the brain claiming a whopping 90% water composition. Water is necessary. Not necessary in a I can’t believe you’re not on Facebook how do you even survive way, but in the more immediate basic needs mandated by the United Nations without which you will literally die sense of the word.

And after reiterating that I am not a physician, surgeon, nurse, dentist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, or shaman, I’d like to offer my personal, non-medical opinion that juicing is total bunk. Many people (particularly those with health-related Pinterst boards) are attracted to the promises of rapid weight loss, vitamins, antioxidants, increased energy, curing cancer, ending global suffering, and the kitchen sink. The truth is that juicing is potentially hazardous to your skin health (among other things). Luckily, the benefits touted by members of the juicing clan can be gained by other, less risky means. Continue reading

Celebrity Crush: Jean Godfrey-June

There’s a very unsettling side effect to being a consumer of celebrity culture, and that is knowing intimate details about a person you have never met before and who has no idea you even exist. You pick up personal facts like how Channing Tatum was a dancer in Ricky Martin’s music video “She Bangs,” or that when Leighton Meester was born her mom was serving time in a federal prison.

But my idea of a celebrity is a bit different from what most people would expect.

My number one celebrity crush is Jean Godfrey-June, Lucky Magazine‘s longtime beauty editor. I started reading Lucky  in 2002, two years after the magazine launched (and two years after Jean left her post as a columnist at Elle). The magazine played a pivotal role in developing my appreciation for mid-level fashion and cosmetics, as well as my procrastinating on 7th grade math homework. I devoured Jean’s monthly Beauty Closet piece in which she waxed poetic on her favorite products, managing to convey a compelling personal voice while simultaneously fitting the tone of the magazine. It was brilliant writing and the recommended products were always impressive (with the exception of next month’s ode to the innovative-brush-but-mediocre-formula L’Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Lashes mascara, but I understand that you’ve got to throw the advertisers a bone every now and then).

Point being, I know intimate details about Jean Godfrey-June. I know she prefers oils for skin care. I know she and I wear the same perfume (Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne, which she mentioned in September 2010 and December 2013, and which I began using in 2011 and wrote about a few months ago). Like I said, I’ve been reading this woman’s thoughts on life and beauty for 12 years. If I met her on the street I would feel compelled to ask how her daughter is doing and tell her about the new cleansing oil I’m using, but that would be creepy. We’re not friends. I’m just some obsessive weirdo fan. For all she knows I could be trying to Single White Female her and take over her life.* The cover photo with hearts I’ve drawn all around her face probably isn’t going to dispell any suspicions she might have that I’m a stalker. And maybe I am, because I really just wrote this article to brag about how Jean Godfrey-June and I both wear the same perfume, which is clearly evidence of my good taste in fragrance.  Maybe I am a little obsessive…

*Can I use film titles as verbs? Is anthimeria still cool? Are people still verbifying nouns? Is that still a thing?

Stolen From Your Granny’s Vanity

Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick in Persian Melon (top) and Blasé Apricot

Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick in Persian Melon (top) and Blasé Apricot

For years I have harbored an intense jealousy of older ladies. They have cool, colorful, eclectic style which favors piling on brooches and costume jewelry with wild abandon (a trend documented in the popular blog Advanced Style). They have awesome hair. And, like tiny white-haired hipsters, they were into vibrant lipstick before it was cool.

There is a little old lady product that has been doling out fresh, fierce pouts for eons. It’s in a tiny green tube that’s probably hidden on the bottom shelf of your local drugstore’s Revlon display. It has the flowery, powdery, perfumy scent of so many eccentric senior citizens in a church’s basement rec center on bingo night. It is Revlon Moon Drops lipstick. These tubes were available in delightfully vibrant hues before Bold Neon Lips were even a stray thought in Anna Wintour’s head (because we all know that Anna Wintour has been behind every major trend since 1965, and when she dies, Suri Cruise will inherit her fashionable throne).

As I previously mentioned, orange makeup in all its iterations is going to be a big trend for spring. I have embraced this trend in the lower frames of the above posted picture, in which I am wearing the shade Blasé Apricot. I’d describe this particular hue as falling somewhere between coral and heirloom tomato on the orange spectrum. The creme formula applied smoothly and wore beautifully for a couple of hours. It’s not a long-wear shade, but it had great color payoff and felt pleasantly moisturizing without feathering or bleeding. Persian Melon is an intense pink that is available in the same wonderful creme formula. They are currently available at Walgreens for $6.99.

Cop some fierce old lady style and try out Revlon Moon Drops lipsticks. The fragrance takes some getting used to, but the creamy formula is really top-notch.

Orange Is the New Black: Beauty Trends for 2014

We’ve been having a chilly (though unseasonably sunny) few days here in Seattle, and my understanding is that things are generally enveloped in a foggy grey blanket of blah back home in Chicago. When things turn chilly, dim, or generally depressing weather-wise (and, I suppose, life-wise), I like to amp up the cosmetic fun factor with a whole lot of orange. When I need to pull myself out of a dull, quotidian routine, a smattering of of tangerine powder and cantaloupe cream will do the trick in a jiffy. This surprisingly flattering hue that can create a range of impressions, from high-impact to subtle swaths of color.  Continue reading

Contouring: The Products, The Tools, The Color Theory

So pretty much everyone has done a contouring tutorial or video. Wayne Goss has done not one, not two, but three different videos. Jane Pratt’s beauty site xovain.com has published a couple of contouring articles.  As of late, the internet has been blowing up with glam_her_booth’s impressive contouring transformation, which has been reposted on various sites about a bajillion times.

Everyone should check out Tylor Kirsten (glam_her_booth) on Instagram, because she’s crazy talented.

So why should I bother with my own tutorial? It’s not going to be as pretty as Wayne’s and it certainly won’t be as dramatic as Tylor’s. Well, I’m gonna do what I do best: throw some science in this bitch. We’re gonna talk about color theory, we’re gonna talk about product formulations, and we’re gonna have an all-around good time. Let’s dive in. Continue reading