Nykia Spradley

Beauty Confession: What Are Your Summer Beauty Pleasures?

January 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm , by

Believe it or not, we are well into summer mode. When temps are in the 30s you kind of have to be, right? This time of year we’d give anything for the blissful days of bare legs and coral lips, but there has to be some trade off to living in NYC.

Being able to toss our hair up in a top knot without having to worry about fitting a knit hat over it, or showing off a super bright toe nail shade every other day are just a few of our best summer beauty moments.

What are your favorite summer beauty moments?

Get the Look: Rooney Mara at the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” NY Premiere

January 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm , by

If you’ve seen the trailer for the much anticipated “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” movie, you’re probably as shocked as us to know that the GORGEOUS woman in the above photo (Rooney Mara) is the actress who plays the movie’s rough and tough main character Lisbeth. The red carpet transformation was so drastic we had to find out how makeup artist Kate Lee did it. And as it turns out, the real magic lies in a little pink sponge called the beautyblender.

STEP 1 Use the beautyblender sponge to apply foundation. Rooney is wearing Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation, a long lasting formula that highlights her nearly flawless complexion.

STEP 2 Then, using the round base of the sponge, add a cream blush to the apples of the cheeks to really accentuate cheekbones.

STEP 3 Swipe on a dark, matte red lipstick, and pat gently with a soft tissue.

STEP 4 Apply two-three coats of black mascara to the top outer lashes only.

5 Takeaways from Juice Cleansing

January 9, 2012 at 9:59 am , by

I’ll admit it, I was definitely a bit nutso to embark on a three day juice cleanse at the height of holiday party happiness. But following a major OD on Thanksgiving yumminess, I needed a fresh start. There are tons of cleansing options out there, but Cooler Cleanse seemed like a good choice. It’s recommended that you sort of wean yourself off of meats and dairy in days leading up to the cleanse, and honestly that was one of the hardest parts of going through with the whole thing. But after it was all said and done there were definitely some lessons learned from the whole experience.

The juices actually taste good! Seriously, the thought of drinking kale juice was nauseating, but surprisingly when mixed with apple juice and some other good for you greens, it was pretty tasty. And Brazilian nut milk? Who knew?!
You don’t feel hungry. On the first morning of the cleanse all I could think about was a big bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. Instead of giving in I just sipped away on my juices and by dinner I surprisingly wasn’t at all famished.

You’ll realize how much you overeat. Once the cleanse was done I had thought up what my first solid meal was going to be, but when I woke up, instead of feeling incredibly hungry I actually wasn’t. Apparently one of the more known benefits to juice cleansing is a curbed appetite. That right there is enough incentive to do it again.

Leave the work to someone else. It takes a lot of discipline and will power to get up prepare six juices everyday. Seriously, who wants to do that? Also factor in the creativity needed to think up juice combos that are filling and taste good. Uh yeah, I’ll pass on that. So when three days worth of fresh squeezed and packed meals were delivered to my door, I was totally sold. It was all numbered so that I knew the order that I should drink them in. It’s all pretty genius.

It’s a good jump start: The first question people asked when I finished was if I lost weight. I actually wasn’t doing it to lose weight so I didn’t weigh myself beforehand. I was more interesting in the skin cleaning benefits. I feel a lot better even though the outside results weren’t major. My waist felt  trim, but that was likely from the water weight that I shed in 3 those days.


How To Wear It: Hot Holiday Nails

December 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm , by

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to paint little candy canes—or Santas…or reindeer—on each of your fingernails (unless you’re a 10-year-old). Here are a couple of grown-up ways to show-off your season’s greetings with lacquer.

Get glitter happy

Not only is glitter polish festive, but it holds on a little longer and is forgiving with chips and smudges, says celebrity manicurist Beth Fricke.  If you can’t find a glitter polish in the color you love, try putting a coat of sparkle over your favorite hue (and don’t forget to seal the deal with a good topcoat).

Break it up

Swipe your nails in a traditional red and then top them with silver or gold shatter polish. “It will look like you have an ornament on every finger,” says Fricke.  Apply polish and let it dry completely for 10 minutes, and then apply the shatter. When it is shattered to your liking, apply a shiny topcoat.

How To: Buy Fragrance for Someone Else (Who Is Really, Really Hard to Shop For)

December 12, 2011 at 9:59 am , by


It’s hard enough choosing a fragrance for yourself (do coffee beans work for you?!), let alone sniffing one out for your hard-to-shop-for mom/BFF/hubby/sister. But, according to Patti Kapla, resident fragrance expert at FragranceNet.com, there are a few ways to lead your nose in the right direction.

Be a snoop
Take a sneaky sniff at the scents already on his/her dresser, making a note of some names so that you can see what else these brands have to offer. “Look for similarities in the style of perfume and use this as your guide,” says Kapla.

Limit testing
Fragrances cycle through three stages of notes before they finally settle into their long-lasting aroma. That combined with your skin’s chemistry means the fragrance will smell differently as time goes on. Spraying yourself with numerous samples won’t accomplish anything. Kapla suggests sampling no more than two fragrances at a time.

Go with what’s tried and true
Still have no clue what fragrance to buy for someone else? Choose something with mass appeal, says Kapla. For guys that’s colognes like Acqua Di Gio (a fresh, aquatic scent), Cool Water by Davidoff (an intriguing blend of peppermint, rosemary), and Ralph Lauren Polo (a scent with masculine leather and tobacco notes).

Must-haves for women include Shalimar (the epitome of an exotic oriental fragrance), Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium (a bold and sensual blend of citrus, jasmine, vanilla and patchouli), and Thierry Mugler Angel (a fun, flirty gourmand fragrance).

Categories: Beauty, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: | 1 Comment

Do Good, Look Good: Second Annual Beauty Bloggers Online Auction

November 28, 2011 at 11:35 am , by

Is it just us or do the holidays seem to begin earlier and earlier every year? We’re not complaining, we’ll take any excuse to squeeze in a little shopping–and the ladies behind BeautyBloggers.org have given us even more incentive to open our wallets.

For the next two weeks, as you’re mulling over your gift list,  Karla Sugar and a roster of over 60 other beauty bloggers will be hosting their second annual online beauty auction. Proceeds are going to Doctors Without Borders, an organization that provides medical care to people in crisis, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation.
These beauty mavens have collectively rounded up a pretty impressive collection of products to auction off: a complete set of Peau Vierge skincare from Le Métier de Beauté (retail: $1,100), a mascara wardrobe from Lancôme, a set of “matched luggage” makeup travel bags from Stephanie Johnson, Armani’s mother-of-pearl holiday eyeshadow palette, and tons of other goodies.
So put your clicking finger to good use, someone on your list will appreciate it. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that your bucks are going to a good cause. Hey, it is the season of giving after all, right? The auction starts today and ends on December 12th.

Storage Wars: The Beauty Edition

November 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm , by

We’re guest blogging on Birchbox this week!


We’re all too aware of how insane magazine deadlines can be, which is why we’re amazed how editors can muster up the energy to blog in their spare time. And yet, somehow they do. This week, Nykia Spradley and Ayren Jackson-Cannady, the expert duo behind Gloss Daily, the Ladies Home Journal beauty blog, are on board for five days of expert tips, product recommendations, and more. First up: how to de-clutter your vanity.


There comes a point in every beauty junkie’s life when things start spiraling out of control. Your arsenal of products has the makings of an episode of “Hoarders” and the desire for more slowly outweighs any organizational judgment. It’s time for an intervention.

A few months ago we found ourselves at rock bottom. Products were spilling over everywhere. It was time to get clean. We headed to the Container Store for some assistance. Because our space is so limited, we needed something small enough to sit on a table top, but functional enough to fit everything. Here’s how it turned out (see above.)

You’d be surprised how not so ordinary accessories can double as awesome storage for your beauty goodies. Here are some ideas:

1.     Jonathan Adler Jet Set Coasters, $48

Yep, these are coasters, but the curved shaped is perfect for corralling loose bobby pins.

2.     Jamie Young Lighting Small Etched Hurricanes, $184

Pretty candle holders are perfect for storing makeup brushes.

3.     Macbeth Collection Tool Kaddy, $48

Since you may not ever use an actual handy tool, use a caddy for your hair tools.

4.     Dabney Lee Personalized Large Lucite Tray, $130

Lucite trays serve as an great base for a pretty not just practical makeup table.

5.     Pool Hana Floral 3-Drawer Organizer, $22

Hide your not-so-pretty beauty items in drawers.

6.     Jonathan Adler Pig Butter Dish, $68

Instead of hiding this ridiculously cute butter dish in the fridge, use it to stash small items like lipglosses and lipsticks.

7.     Bohemian Paisley Superstorage Lap Desks, $79

Use the hardtop to display everyday items inside is a ton of storage space.

Categories: Beauty, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: | 2 Comments