Nykia Spradley

How To: Have Smooth Skin All Winter

December 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm , by

It’s human instinct to want to hole yourself up in a hot-hot shower for five hours when the temps outside get chilly. Warm water hitting cold skin just feels lovely (add L’Occitane Ultra Rich Shower Cream) to the mix and you’re in heaven). But according to Beverly Hills based dermatologist Stuart Kaplan, M.D., long, hot showers could be doing more damage to your skin than good. The longer and hotter a shower is, the more natural oil it removes from your skin, making it dry and itchy. Instead, take 10-minute (MAX!), luke-warm showers. Pat (do not rub!) your skin until it is just moist, and put on an emollient cream like Eucerin on to seal the moisture into your skin.


How to Look Gorgeous in Glasses

October 22, 2012 at 11:26 am , by

Now that cute frames are a veritable fashion accessory (thanks, J. Crew!), we’ve been taking a break from our contact lenses and embracing the look. We’ve racked up enough compliments from coworkers and friends and yes, even our guys, to make us wish we could jump in a time machine and share the love with our fourth grade, four-eyed-self. Our one complaint, though is how glasses throw off our regular beauty routine. It’s as if there’s a whole different set of beauty rules that go with wearing glasses. We had a chance to ask Natalie Coughlin, Olympic athlete and new LensCrafters lifestyle expert, some of her favorite spec-techniques.

Do you apply your makeup differently or use different types of products on the days that you wear glasses?
If I’m wearing glasses, I want to be able to see my eyes, so I’ll use Sephora’s retractable eyeliner in Slate followed by Givenchy’s Noir Couture mascara in Black. To balance out the glasses, I’ll wear a sheer lip stain.  My two favorites: Tarte’s Lust or Tarte’s Enchanted.  If I want to dress up the look I’ll wear a stronger lip: Chanel’s Rouge Allure in Inimitable.

What are you biggest pet peeves when you wear glasses and have you learned any good trick to fix them?
I hate getting smudges on my glasses! Even though I try not to touch my lenses, they inevitably end up getting dirty from fingerprints or makeup. I keep disposable eyeglass cleaning wipes from LensCrafters in my purse to easily clean my glasses on the go.

Brows are big beauty trend and they make a big difference for your face. Do you find that wearing glasses calls extra attention to your brows?
I always make sure my brows are in shape, especially when I’m wearing my glasses or sunglasses. You’re calling more attention to your eyes so you want to make sure everything looks good. I make sure that my brows are well defined and groomed. I groom my brows myself using a slanted Tweezerman’s and brow scissors, Estee Lauder’s 2-in-1 Eyeliner/Brow Color to define my brows, then Anastasia’s clear brow gel to keep them in place.

You have such thick, beautiful hair! Do you favor certain hairstyles on days you wear glasses?
I have two go to looks on days that I wear my glasses, either soft waves or a simple chignon.  For the soft waves, I’ll use Pantene’s Moisture Whip when my hair is still damp, then will let my hair air dry.  After it’s dry, I’ll use Amika’s hair wand with the 1’’ barrel to define my waves.  For a chignon I’ll dry the crown of my hair to smooth any flyaways, then pull my hair into a low ponytail.  Then I’ll lightly tease my ponytail, then secure it in a chignon with two spin pins.

Are people often surprised when they find out that you wear glasses?
People assume that when I’m wearing my glasses, I’m taking advantage of the fashion frames trend and that they’re not prescription.  I’ve needed glasses since the 7th grade and luckily my prescription has remained relatively stable. My eyes are really sensitive and I like to wear glasses, but need to wear sunglasses when I’m outside.  Having a separate pair of prescription sunglasses helps protect my eyes, but is also another accessory!


How to Wear the Trend: Dark Lipstick

October 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm , by

A year ago we did a “How to Wear It: Dark Lipstick” post. Maybe we’re having deja vu because the deep berry trend is back this fall. It is the perfect shade for autumn after all, right?

Target beauty design partner and celeb makeup artist Napoleon Perdis took a break from prepping for his LA LIVE pop-up makeup station (stop by the Nokia Plaza on Wednesday Oct. 10th if you’re in the LA area) to weigh in on the trend and share a few tips for getting the dark lip look right:
How would you describe this latest version deep dark lips. Is it vampy?

The deep lip trend that we are seeing now is not vampy and not quite a classic red, it is more of a mood-driven, sophisticated deep berry pout.

Who can realistically pull off this looks?

Anyone can pull off a dark lip look, it just has to be the right shade and the right depth.

Does skin tone matter?

Skin tone plays a big role in how your dark lip look will read, or what mood it might create for your overall look. Aim for a dark lip that is not too dramatic a contrast to your skin tone. Anything that contrasts too much will lend itself to a washed out skin look and this can start to look a little goth. You still want to balance your dark lip with warm, soft skin textures.

Does the shade of berry matter?

Yes. Fairer skin tones look great in shades of wine and burgundy, medium skin tones are sophisticated in deep scarlet and cranberry, and deeper skin tones look amazing in shades of mulberry and blackberry.

Do dark lips make you look older?

They can do that if you work the wrong color and texture. To keep it looking fresh, modern, and flattering, go for textures that are more of a velvet feel in a semi matte finish, and steer clear of deeper shades that can be too brown based – you want to keep the warmth of a berry undertone to soften the lip look and not have it look harsh.

How should you prep your lips before wearing a dark shade?

I say line lips first, and last, when working with dark shades. By lining the lips first, you establish the boundaries of lip before you saturate your lips in intense color, but you also finish the lip with the ability to perfect the lip shape further and keep the color in place with the texture of your lip pencil as a barrier to ensure it stays put. Dark colors can make the lips appear smaller as it absorbs light not reflects it, so for those women that want to wear the trend but maintain beautiful pouty lips, pop a dab of gloss on the center of the bottom lip to reflect the light and give the appearance of a fuller lip. Additional tip: Before you start a deep lip, always conceal your lip line first to even out any uneven natural lip pigment, ensuring you will always get the cleanest lip look possible.

Are bright shades still acceptable to wear into the fall and winter? If so, how?

Of course, I say adding lipstick is an instant image adjustment so be driven by your mood, or wear a bright color as a quick pick me up.


How To: Choose Between a Salt Scrub and a Sugar Scrub

October 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm , by

Surprise! You don’t have to choose between the two stellar skin polishers, because we found a product that uses both salt and sugar (and it’s DIVINE!). Mor’s Salt & Sugar Body Scrub harnesses the powers of smaller sugar particles and larger salt particles to buff away every manner of dry, flakey skin. Plus, it contains hydrating avocado and jojoba oils and elasticity-boosting vitamins just because. Oh, and the scent!? We’ll just say that we really wish smell-o-internet existed because you guys would die!

Do you prefer salt or sugar scrubs? Or, could you care less—as long as it leaves your skin feeling like silk?


How To: Find Your Curl Cure

September 24, 2012 at 11:53 am , by

No two curls are the same. And nobody knows this better than Shelley Davis, founder of all natural curly haircare company Kinky-Curly. Read on for her Fall styling/product tips broken down by twirl pattern.

If your hair is Wavy & Thick…

Combat frizz with a serum or oil that coats the hair and blocks humidity. Rub a little into palms and then distribute through soaking wet strands, suggests Davis.

If your hair is Curly & Thick…

Rake a bit of deep conditioner through wet or dry strands before bedtime. In the morning massage a few drops of warm water into your hair, working it into a gentle lather. Rinse and style as usual. Your curls will be beautifully defined!

If your hair is Wavy & Fine…

“Spritz a lightweight curl spray on slightly damp hair, then lightly scrunch or twist it,” says Davis. Pat down flyaways with a touch more of the curl spray. Try not to overdo it though, as it will weigh down the hair.

If your hair is Curly & Fine…

Embrace moisture! Hydrate your strands with a light leave-in conditioner. You can use  the leave-in on wet hair or to reactivate dry curls on day two, notes Davis.

If your hair is Tight…

Remember this: M.W.C.; moisture, weight and control. To achieve M.W.C., first apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner to wet hair. Then top it off with a hydrating gel.

Do you have curly locks? What’s your styling secret?


How To: Get Jordin Sparks’ Beauty Look From ‘Sparkle’

August 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm , by

To say that we were “excited” about the premier of Sparkle would be a gross understatement. We love girl groups—shouts out to En Vogue, Destiny’s Child, and the Spice Girls—so to be able to watch 116 minutes of one (even if it is fictitious) makes us an extremely happy bunch. We’re really looking forward to checking out all of the costume changes and makeup looks the actresses go through in the movie. Lucky us; we didn’t have to wait very long. Black Opal (the flick’s official makeup sponsor) sent us a how-to for a look inspired by one of the movie’s stars—Jordin Sparks.

The Look: “Spicy Ingenue”

Step 1

Start by applying concealer one to two shades lighter than your actual complexion. Apply in the center of the forehead, bridge of the nose, center of the chin, underneath the eye from the inner corner back to the hair line. Once foundation is applied to the skin and blended where it meets the areas you concealed you will have a achieved a dimensional canvas to build on.

Step 2

Use powder over the areas you used concealer. This will set the makeup and prevent it from creasing while leaving the rest of the skin to glow.

Step 3

Apply bronzer on the apples of the cheeks and across each brow bone.

Step 4

Line the lips with taupe lip liner and smudge the inner-corner of the lips with the same liner. Apply and blend a warm pink lipstick into the lips and lip liner.

Step 5

Using the Black Opal Gold Galaxy Eye Shadow Palette, apply the darkest color at the base of the eye lid, onto the lid and smudge the color into the crease of the eye. Use the lightest color in the palette on the brow bone.

 Step 6

Softly brush brow powder along the brow hair, shaping and filling in any holes. Start out light handed and build to desired shape and intensity.

 Step 7

Mascara the lashes by starting at the base of the lash line, wiggle the wand and pull through. Repeat several times.


How To Avoid Warm Weather Hairstyle Meltdown

August 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm , by

Whoever said that Mother Nature isn’t a powerful force was just crazy. Summer rain leads to major humidity…which leads to seriously sweaty roots…which leads to frequent shampoo sessions…which leads to dry, frizzy ends. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle. Enter dry shampoo. The hair washing stand-in has the power to lift oil from the scalp, absorb dirt and product build-up, and leave hair looking and feeling fresh. Take that, Mother Nature.

Here’s the best way to dry-shampoo, courtesy of Ammon Carver, Artistic Director for Matrix:

1.  Comb or brush through your hair to distribute oils evenly.

2.  Start at the top of your head, create a center part and spray lightly along the part, holding the dry shampoo an inch or two from your head.

3.   Make another part about a few inches away and repeat.

4.  Continue creating parts and spraying on each side of the original part until you reach your ears on each side.

5.  In the back, start at the crown of your head, create a horizontal part and spray.  Continue parting and spraying to the bottom of your head.

6.  Gently massage the powder into your scalp, as if you were lathering up your shampoo.

7. Wait a few minutes to allow the powder to absorb the excess oil and dirt.

8. Brush through to remove all of the powder.  Flip your hair upside down and brush through once more.