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1 Palette, 3 Looks: Urban Decay "Naked Smoky" Tutorial

Urban Decay has done it again. I just picked up the new “Naked Smoky” eyeshadow palette ($54, Sephora), and I am in LOVE.

The palette includes a dozen versatile and highly blendable shades, including four matte options. Don’t let the “smoky” description fool you -- the palette isn’t just perfect for creating dark, dramatic nighttime looks, but easy daytime looks as well.

The brushes that typically come along with palettes are total throw-aways. However, the dual-ended brush included in the “Naked Smoky” palette is actually quite handy. I was planning to run out to Target to pick up a pencil brush for easier smudging before I realized that one of the brush ends included with the palette was designed just for this task. Win.

Check out a tutorial of three of my fave looks from the Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette, as well as further details about the products I used, below!

Sweet Smoke

Colors From the Naked Smoky Palette:

  • Combust

  • Thirteen

  • Password

  • Smolder

  • Dagger

Additional Products Used:

  • Laura Mercier Longwear Eye Pencil in Violet, $24 at Nordstrom

  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara (used throughout tutorial), $23 at Sephora


Golden (Cat) Eye

Colors From the Naked Smoky Palette:

  • Combust

  • Dirtysweet

  • Radar

  • High

  • Whiskey

Additional Products Used:

  • L'Oreal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liner, $5 at Target (currently on sale online)


Colors From the Naked Smoky Palette:

  • Whiskey

  • Black Market

  • Dirtysweet

Additional Products Used:

  • Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil in Zero/Whiskey (Zero used in tutorial), $16 at Sephora


Have you picked up the palette too? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


- Kristen


Seven Easy Pieces (That Make You Look Instantly Put-Together)

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You may have heard the news that the legendary Donna Karan is stepping down as chief designer of her namesake company. Karan developed an approach to womenswear early in her career that put her on the map as a proponent of modern professional women. The concept was known as “Seven Easy Pieces,” a small collection of clothing that women could mix and max to create a number of looks for just about any occasion.

In honor of Ms. Karan’s illustrious career, here are seven easy pieces that can serve as the foundation for today’s modern wardrobe, and take the guesswork out of getting dressed for the office. We’re not talking about a strict uniform for every woman here -- each item offers opportunity to find pieces that are uniquely you.

1) Good Jeans

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From left to right: Zara, $26; H&M, $40; Old Navy, $25.

Blue or black, loose and distressed or polished and pegged, a solid pair of jeans creates a fantastic foundation for any wardrobe. Before you opt for a pair with too many holes, however, make sure that it’s an appropriate style for your workplace.

2) A Print Pencil Skirt

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From left to right: Ann Taylor, $89; Sam & Lavi at Nordstrom Rack, $60; GUESS at Bloomingdales, $59.

The shape is presentation-perfect, and the print is weekend-ideal. Which makes the boldly printed skirt a fantastic choice for both occasions.

3) A Statement Lip

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Clockwise from left: Maybelline® Color Sensational® Vivids Lipcolor in Vibrant Mandarin, $6 at Target; NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu, $26 at Sephora; Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, $13 at Sephora.

I know, I know … lip color isn’t clothes. But trust me, a bold lip immediately makes you look like you put a little effort into your look, and can add a chic statement to even the simplest of outfits. Whether you prefer brick red, fierce fuschia or another sick shade, find one (or three), stash a few in your purse, and you can instantly elevate any look.

4) A Badass Blazer

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Clockwise from top left: Textured Collarless Jacket, $28 at Forever21; Short Jacket With Faux-Leather Detail, $50 at H&M; Zipped Striped Blazer, $50 at Zara; Jacket with Shawl Collar, $50 at H&M.

Pop it over a tee and jeans, and you’re ready for work. Toss it over a tank and mini skirt, and your going-out outfit gets a bit more chic. Throw it on over your not-too-little dress, and your just-right-for-the-office ensemble is major meeting ready.

5) A Not-Too-Little Dress

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From left: Fit and Flare Dress in black, $30 at Old Navy; Sleeveless Dress in Cornflower Blue, $13 at H&M.

Shop for this dress with Goldilocks in mind: not too short/tight/revealing for work, not too matronly for Friday night dinner. That’s right, you’re looking for a dress that’s just right. Sure, that might make it a bit tougher to find, but when you do find it, you can dress it up, dress it down, and wear it pretty much anywhere.

6) A Button Down

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Clockwise from top left: Women’s Vacation-Scene Shirt, $16 at Old Navy; Women’s Patterned Oxford Shirt, $25 at Old Navy; Printed Boyfriend Shirt, $50 at Gap; Poplin Press-Stud Shirt, $40 at Zara; Stretch Classic Button-Down Shirt, $30 at J.Crew Factory.

The classic button-down is endlessly versatile: tuck it into a pencil skirt, pair it with jeans with one panel tucked in, throw it over a tank and cutoffs on vacation, toss it over a dress instead of a jacket . . .

I could go on, but you get the point.

7) A Pretty Top

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Clockwise from top left: Top with lace, $10 at H&M; Kimchi Blue Canyon Popover Top, $54 at Urban Outfitters; Lace Peplum Top, $40 at H&M; Tri-Cut Blouse, $78 at Anthropologie.

A pretty top is also super versatile. Look for options that would be adorable at date night with a little skirt, as well as appropriate for the office peeking from beneath a jacket.

Any alternates in your top seven?

- Kristen


Six Sexy Summer Sundresses

I prefer dresses to any other article of clothing 365 days a year. There’s nothing easier -- or more feminine -- than throwing on a dress.

With the first day of summer right around the corner, even if your wardrobe revolves around pants, now is the perfect time to add a few new dresses into the mix.

Here are six awesome options, all $80 or less:

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Zara Printed Dress with Pleated Pockets, $80 at

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Old Navy Women’s Sleeveless Jersey Dress in Paradise Blue Print, $29 at

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H&M Jersey Dress in Nat. White/Patterned, $18 at

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Band Of Gypsies Print-Mix Twisted-Strap Dress, $70 at

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Zara Printed Dress, $80 at

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Silence + Noise Cooper Knit Jacquard Bodycon Dress, $70 at

- Kristen



Stay-all-day Eyeshadow 

Ever have a day where you expertly apply your eye makeup only to have it slide around and fade off by 5 p.m.? There are too many to count! I've finally figured out the perfect combination of products to stand the test of time. Now, from morning to night, my work is in place. I love these three quick steps to make sure my look lasts all day. 

  • First: Apply an eyeshadow primer. I love Lorac Behind the Scenes. I use a pea-sized amount, split across both lids, using the tip of my ring finger. Give it a few seconds to dry (I normally use this time to curl my lashes).
  • Second: Neutralize the base. I use the soft ochre paint pot from Mac. You can use a synthetic brush or the pads of your fingers to apply. Gently pat across your eyes - I go from lash line to eyebrows, with the product doing double-duty as a subtle highlight on my brow bone.
  • Third: Lock it all in with shadow. From my Lorac Pro palette, I pick up a bit of Peach on a flat brush and sweep it across my crease and mobile lid (any shade close to your skintone will do). This makes sure that any shadow I apply next glides seamlessly on and doesn't pull or over-deposit color.

This stay-all-day trio has been giving me a full day's wear of even the most subtle eye look and is perfect for powder or cream products. The layers don't feel heavy and a makeup wipe or any cleansing oil will take everything off. Three quick steps that are totally worth it for a lasting look.



Mama Wants a Brand New Bag

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It’s time to lighten up, people. Why not celebrate the start of spring by giving your black bag a break and opting for a bit of color, or perhaps a smaller bag that literally forces you to travel lighter?

Whatever your purse preference may be, here are 5 awesome options under $100.


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Sondra Roberts Small Bowler Satchel in Pink (also available in yellow and black), $50 at

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Mini City Office Bag in Sky Blue, $80 at

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Structured Envelope Crossbody in Yellow (also available in blue and black), $25 at

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Jessica Simpson Hazel Perforated Flap Crossbody, $50 at

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Color Block Messenger Bag, $80 at

What else is on your spring shopping list?

- Kristen