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How to Do Your Own Makeup for Your Wedding: Bridal Makeup Artist and Studio Sush Owner Susmta Patel Provides DIY Camera-Ready Makeup Tips

Jul 14, 2011 Author: Katie Lara | Filed under: Beauty, Wedding

Flowers, check. Dress, check. Photographer, check.

Now all you need is the perfect look for the big day. Always remember that when planning to apply your own bridal makeup, what you see in the mirror may not necessarily be what you get on film. But have no worries, Professional Bridal Makeup Artist Susmta Patel has provided tips that every bride should consider before the big day to achieve a flawless camera-ready look. Susmta Patel is a multiple threat in the beauty industry as a licensed makeup artist, aesthetician, nail technician, hairstylist and waxing expert. Susmta has consulted for some of the beauty industries most prestigious brands such as Shiseido, Lancome, Versace, Christian Dior, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Laura Mercier and Clinique.

Practice Makes Perfect

Take the time to practice putting on your makeup prior to the big day and have a camera handy. Snap away after completing the look and study the photo critically. Don’t put it to rest after one try— if you are not a professional makeup artist, experiment until you get it right!


The camera tends to capture oily skin. Be sure to moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer. Let it sink in for a minute and then start applying makeup. Also, do not experiment with a brand new/newly-tested, moisturizer on your skin to avoid any surprises.

Blend and Match

Wearing a beautiful strapless gown? Room lighting may be tricky. Look hard and close, and make sure your neck and chest match your face color. Pat some powder on your chest and neck to even out your tone. Before doing so, insert paper towels securely into your dress and let it cover your neckline to avoid a powdered messy dress! Be sure to blend the foundation around your neck and hairline to avoid apparent multi-colored skin in photos. Steer clear of shimmery bronzers and blush; they do not translate well on camera.

Paint Those Lips

Natural lip color or applying sheer gloss is a no-no for the big day. Color on your lips will bring life to those still photos. Lip gloss should be applied on top of color, not substituted for lipstick. To make your lip color last, prior to applying lipstick, line and fill in your lips with lip liner.


Bridesmaids are girl’s best friends and “foundation”, in more ways than one. So pass along a wedding day touch-up kit to your favorite girl. Be sure to include the essentials—lipstick, eyeliner and powder/foundation. Have her keep it throughout the night and remind you to refresh your makeup so your photos look good— from beginning to end!

Netflix Price Hike- Such a Terrible Business Move!

Jul 13, 2011 Author: Katie Lara | Filed under: Newsworthy

Netflix's recent price hike doesn't seem like such a great idea to me! Upon hearing the news I immediately went online and lowered my subscription! Basically they're charging now for you to use their streaming library to watch instantly. But have any of you ever used this? It's pretty terrible and most of the movies are available on the premium movie channels, which I already subscribe to! So what gives, right?

This is a great article from the Atlantic about why the Netflix price increase is such a stupid idea! I think it will def end up costing them!

How to Throw a Vegetarian Dinner Party that Wows for Non-Vegetarians! Plus the Best Vegetarian Bolognese Recipe!

Jul 10, 2011 Author: Katie Lara | Filed under: Food and Cocktails!, Lifestyle, Love and Travel

Yesterday I decided to have a few friends over for a dinner party. Being that my husband and I rarely eat meat anymore I of course wasn't really in the mood to make a carnivorous dinner. So I had to choose something that would please the meat eaters without using any meat or much dairy. I was craving pasta that I had seen on Oh She Glows fabulous blog. But being a fat girl on the inside, just one pasta dish wasn't going to satisfy me so I settled on making it a side by side pasta party! I decided to make Creamy Avocado Pasta along with Vegetarian Bolognese sauce. 

I had alot to live up to because my Mom makes the most fabulous bolognese sauce in the entire world so I wouldn't be happy if it tasted to vegetarian-ey. I think I found the perfect substitute for meat in the recipe! No one seemed to miss the meat! Red Lentils! Even their colors lend themselves to this recipe perfectly!

For appetizers I made little mini-skewers of cherry tomatoes, red-pepper marinated olives and fresh mozzarella! We also put out some cheese and grapes to keep things classy ;)

If you're wondering what's floating in the wine, that'd be frozen mango! We used this as ice cubes for the wine my friend brought that wasn't chilled enough. 

So here is the world's Best Vegetarian Bolognese Recipe! (or Vegan!)

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 large carrots, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
8 oz. package white mushrooms, chopped not too small
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 cup dried red lentils
1 28-oz can crushed organic tomatoes (unsalted)
1 28-oz can whole organic tomatoes, undrained, chopped (unsalted)
1 c. dry white wine
1/8 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tsp. salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven (I used my Le Creuset!). Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and red pepper, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat up, add the mushrooms and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Lower the heat back to medium, stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except salt and wine, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender. This usually takes 25 minutes, but they may take longer if your tomatoes are salty. Add salt once you've determined the lentils are done. Add the wine at the end when the dish is simmering to keep some of the wine flavor. Then if you choose, just before you serve you can add whipping cream and parmesan cheese to give it a heartier flavor.

I served this over linguine but you can use whatever noodle you want! Naturally. The lentils are the perfect substitute for meat. You really won't miss it!! Or the calories!!!

The green pasta I made is 15 minute Creamy Avocado pasta, a recipe from Oh She Glows. It was so fabulous I can't even tell you. It was rich and creamy and VEGAN!!! Perfect summer pasta or accompaniment to any meal. It seriously takes no time at all. You throw everything in the food processor and you're done! 

I could tell that even my carnivorous houseguests were satisfied by their vegetarian dinners! Thanks for coming over y'all! Organic Product Find! Ghassool Purifying Paste!

Jul 10, 2011 Author: Katie Lara | Filed under: Beauty

My new favorite product is by Shea Terra Organics. It's called Ghassool Purifying paste and comes in two frgrances: Ghassool L'eau de Fleur D'Oranger and L'eau De Rose. It retails for $22. It's easy enough to use. All you do is slap some on yourself, let it set for 10 minutes, sit and look like a freak in the meantime and then rinse! 

It's made with pure Moroccan Ghassool clay, which is ancient rare lava clay. The benefits of this stuff is that it softens the skin leaving it silky and smooth. The silica rich content of Ghassool Purifying Paste promotes the healing of cracks, wounds and even acne, while it pulls impurities from the skin. Now granted I've been loading up on green smoothies lates but I have been getting tons of compliments on my skin! I honestly did see a difference after just one use. I love the stuff. Its consistency and scent is nothing like you would imagine mud to be! It has a light scent and isn't messy at all. Here I am using it on a relaxing Sunday AM while my husband is asleep! 

best purifying mask

I love Shea Terra Organics because they source their ingredients from Africa's pristine environments, untainted by pollution! Shea Terra Organics Ghassool L'eau De Fleur D'Oranger and L'eau De Rose Purifying Paste is $22 and are available at

Kraft Adds Cauliflower into Macaroni and Cheese! What a Crock!

Jul 7, 2011 Author: Katie Lara | Filed under: Food and Cocktails!, Health, Organic

In what is the latest effort to get children to eat their 'veggies,' Kraft has slipped "cauliflower" (yes, it's meant to be in quotations!" into its classic staple, Mac-n-cheese! According to the Chicago Tribune, "the company freeze-dries cauliflower and pulverizes it into a powder, then uses that powder to replace some of the flour in the pasta."

It is my biggest pet peeve that companies are allowed to call this a serving of vegetables! Come on! If something is that processed it's just not the same as eating a stalk of the white stuff! Vegetables lose many nutrients when freeze dried and certainly their fiber when they're ground up and processed beyond recognition.  I think it's a travesty how companies like this market the idea to parents that they're fulfilling their children's nutritional needs! I'm a big believer in "eating your vegetables" but they need to be just that, veggies! Yes, your kids may want to feed them to the dog or slip them into the plant but if you learn to prepare them the right way, your kids will eat them! Check out this recipe for Spinach and Artichoke macaroni and cheese! Not the healthiest dish fat wise but at least it's real cheese and real vegetables! Plus you can modify to add low-fat cheese, whole grain pasta and more veggies!

Allowing our youth to think that anything in a box that can sit on the shelf for a year can contain your full serving of "vegetables" is absolutely ludicrous to me!  

Brooklyn’s Best Kept Secret: Lester’s Warehouse!

Jul 7, 2011 Author: Katie Lara | Filed under: Cheap Thrills, Fashion

Where do those in the know go when they want European and designer clothes without the designer prices? Fashion insiders skip the usual suspects like Loehmann’s and Century 21 in favor of Brooklyn’s best-kept secret: Lester’s Warehouse Outlet. From must-have styles from seasons past to one of a kind sample collections, the warehouse is the ultimate destination for high-fashion finds. The Brooklyn mainstay houses labels like Current Elliott, Tucker, J Brand, Vince, and Elizabeth & James, spurring smart Manhattanites to hop the B train in search of a bargain.

Unlike other outlets, Lester’s Warehouse Outlet offers the same level of professionalism, care, service and selection as all other Lester’s locations—the qualities that have kept customers coming back for over 60 years. With sought-after styles for all ages at 50-80% off, Lester’s Warehouse Outlet makes the whole family clamor for fashion. A hidden gem, the outlet is tucked away in a quiet pocket of the borough, without traffic and crowds—leaving you free to focus on your shopping.

WHERE TO FIND IT: 2411 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11223-5021

Mama Mio Gets Waisted! Rehab for Your Abs!…with No Nasties!

Jul 7, 2011 Author: Katie Lara | Filed under: Beauty

Every day almost I torture myself at the gym doing what seems like an endless amount of crunches and yet it seems like no matter what you do, you just can't get your stomach to be as flat as you want it. When Mama Mio sent me a sample of their rehab for abs I was definitely skeptical. So I decided to try this baby out before I went away to VT and had to put a bathing suit on. I have to say, the results I saw weren't huge but I definitely felt like I was seeing something. To be honest I don't have much of a stomach and if you know me you probably want to punch me for saying that it's not flat so I'm not the ideal candidate who may see the biggest results.  However it made my stomach feel tighter and just a little less wobbly (*yes those are the technical results).

What makes it work? It's derived from brown algae, which helps stimulate natural adrenaline, it has caffeine to stimulate circulation, it has Pepha-Tight, which has tightening effects on the skin. Plus my favorite is that it doesn't contain unnatural colourants, parabens, sulphates, synthetic fragrances or xenoestrogen!

You're supposed to massage one-two pumps for 30 seconds a day. It is supposed to help sluggish digestion, which is another cause of bloated bellies.

Celebrity fans include Angie Harmon and celeb trainer of Halle Berry and Jessica Alba, Ramona Braganza. Do you think we're crazy for thinking it might work?

Get Waisted is Available at for $56. Have you tried it?

*I received this product in consideration for a product review but as always all opinions are honest and I only share products that I think are worth sharing!

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