Category Archives: Beauty

Under Construction…Back in 2015!

Where to begin… First and foremost I owe you a majorly humongous apology.  I apologize for disappearing and going black on the site for the last two months and with no explanation or even a sign of life of when I would be back.  The move to Dallas, TX for work has been such a rewarding experience but has definitely had it’s fair share of bumps in the road.  Like 99% of the blogging world I have a “9 to 5” that consumes a large majority of my free time and with this new position, at a brand new company I’ve struggled a bit finding the right balance.  This beautiful space that I share will all of you here is one of my most treasured creations. While I wished I’d have reached this discovery much sooner than now, I’m just happy I’m finally in a great space to get back to being an active member of the CSM community.

In preparation for the new year I’m currently working on a few new exciting updates and a few changes to help make the CSM community a more fruitful experience.  I’m bursting at the seams with excitement but will hold it in until 2015.

So cheers to an amazing year but lets raise our flutes to many more runways that await us in the new year!  In the mean time get sneak peeks of what’s to come in 2015 for CSM by following me on IG, Twitter & FB xo

Under Construction Pic

6 Hair Tricks to Get Through Summer!

hair braidAs of this past weekend it is officially Summer ya’ll!  This is hands down my favorite time of year for hair because the weather forces me to get more creative with my hairstyles out of sheer practicality (having long, thick, curly black hair that has an aversion to getting frizzy and unmanageable is the perfect combination to kick start anyone into hair creativity, am I right?).

Summer is all about being outside enjoying the beautiful warm weather while sipping cocktails at the pool or jammin’ out to your favorite DJ or band at a music festival.   For a long time I use to let my hair dictate what outdoor activities I’d participate in because of the haunting vision of a big frizz ball on top of my head.  Over the years I’ve picked up few tips and now I’m spreading the wealth because no one should have to experience what I call FBR (Frizz Ball Rachetness).  Check out my tips and give them a whirl and be sure to tell me which one became your absolute must because lord knows these have all come in handy in so many ways!

1.  Get rid of static with one amazing tool: A dryer sheet!  With one sheet, smooth it over your entire head going from root to ends.  To avoid getting static altogether, rub the dryer sheets on your brushes and combs before using them on your hair.

2.  Wild & unruly baby hairs? Spray a toothbrush with strong hold hairspray and comb down the baby hairs and this method works extremely well with taming cowlicks too. 

3.  Best trick to avoid chlorine hair? Pre-soak your  hair and ensure that you drench it with spray on conditioner.  This will ensure that when you are in the pool your hair will soak up the chlorine free water and conditioner and not the pool water.

4.  Frizz your biggest problem?  Reduce frizz by drying your hair with cotton tee instead of a towel.  Towels can cause a lot of friction which disrupts the hair cuticle and in turn will frizz.  You should then follow up with blow drying it on a cool setting.  Drying on a cool setting keeps the cuticle closed which will prevent frizzing.  Heat opens up the cuticle which means FBR.

5.  Natural Summer highlights?  Don’t waste your money at the salon, instead squeeze an entire lemon into a dish, dip clean toothbrush into the juice, and gently comb it through your hair.  Sit in the sun for 45 minutes-don’t forget to put on some SPF because why have highlights if your skin becomes leathery.  Repeat as necessary to achieve the highlight color you want to achieve.

6.  A clean scalp is a healthy scalp! Keep your scalp clean from all of the oil and product build up that can clog your scalp by cleaning your hair & scalp by mixing baking soda in water to create a paste that you use to wash your hair.  Then rinse out your baking soda paste with a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar.  Yes it smells fun, but your hair will feel so fresh and so clean!





#WWAW: Pampering is The Cure For Anything!

Being always on the go traveling for work coupled with a hectic work schedule that demands a lot out of me during the week it’s such an amazing treat for when the weekend hits to spoil myself with a little pampering.  This past Sunday not only did I indulge myself in a blow out but I topped my day off with champs, lots of laughs and all while feeding my nail crack fix with stunning nail art.

meFirst Stop: I’ve been a fan of the Drybar ever since they tamed my tresses for New York Fashion Week last year.  Long story short, I committed a major hair faux pas and forgot my hair product.  I literally did a small prayer to the beauty gods that I would be able to get in on a last minute appointment and with a lot of amazing customer service from the Drybar team they secured me an appointment with plenty of time for me to get my tresses treated before I hit my long day at the tents.  When I heard they were opening a location in Chicago I squealed with joy because with that one accommodating appointment they had secured a customer for life (I mean seriously, the pricing is unbelievable and coupled with customer service that is out of this world what more can a girl ask for right?)  So on this trip I decided to change up from my ‘Cosmo-Tai’ and opted for some glam & volume and chose the ‘Southern Comfort.’

me 2Second Stop:  Set with my Hollywood glam hair I made my way over to the #AuthenticBliss being hosted by Authentic Noise PR media event.  What better way to continue my day of pampering than attending an event all about mini massages, make-up consultations and nail art manicures by Astrowifey & Notable Nails featuring beautiful nail lacquer by LVX.

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photoAll in all Sunday was such an amazing day filled with glam hair, some new nail crack and all with bottomless mimosas and bellinis with amazing company.  Never underestimate the power of little pampering treatments and I would highly recommend treating yourself to some glam hair & nail crack!


Morgan Marie Beauty dishes on their ‘Top 5’!

I had the amazing opportunity to chat with 2 beauty aficionados taking the Chicago beauty industry by storm. Morgan Byrne and Marie Neri are the dynamic duo behind, Morgan Marie Beauty, offering mobile makeup services and finer quality cosmetic products.  With well over 23 years of beauty industry experience it goes without saying that these ladies have plenty of tricks and tips to help make our beauty lives a little easier.  So with their undivided attention I picked their brains for a solution to solve an age old conundrum that I along with many of you have struggled with throughout the years: What are the ‘Top 5 products’ that they believe should be in every woman’s makeup bag that can take your beauty look from day into an evening look.  Well ladies here is what these beauty mavens had to say:

These are our top 5 products that every woman should have in her makeup bag to take her from a day look into an evening look. We feel that in order to have a polished and fresh face from day to night, you need to address all the major features of the face.

  1. Starting with complexion, use your favorite foundation or tinted moisturizer. Perfecting your complexion makes your eyes and lips stand out more.  So to create the perfect complexion, we recommend using our foundation brush, which is designed to seamlessly work liquid or cream foundation into your skin to minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines. This duo fiber brush creates a build-able coverage while also providing an airbrush finish
  2. Next, follow with a blush to the apples of your cheeks to give a healthy glow to your face.  Using a Morgan Marie Beauty blush brush, apply blush to the apples of your cheeks to give yourself a healthy glow. Our blush brush is an ultra soft, duo fiber brush, uniquely designed to create the perfect “watercolor” blush application that adds stunning dimension.
  3. Apply a lengthening, thickening mascara to your lashes. This helps to open and define the eyes.  We recommend perfecting your mascara application with our metal lash definer, which separates and individually defines your lashes.
  4. To add dimension and color to your lips, we recommend using Morgan Marie Beauty lipstick finished by a MMB lip gloss. They both give long lasting color and shine to lips.  Color
  5. All the steps above will be effortless and flawless using Morgan Marie Beauty brushes. To get the best makeup application, you need to use  high quality brushes that are approved and used by professional makeup artists.


Want to get more info about Morgan Marie Beauty?  Check out there site here


Vidal Sasson’s David Reposar comes to Chicago!

Earlier this May, I enlisted the help of beauty aficionado and fellow Chicago blogger, Arianna Green to give her insight on Vidal Sasson’s coif-licious  “Salon Genius” at their VIP Preview hosted at the flagship Chicago Walgreens.

The event featured dry styling sessions with Vidal Sassoon leading stylist David Reposar and style advice from Chicago’s very own Kevin Aeh.


Each girl had the option of signing up for a time with David to have their personalized makeover.  It was a full service saloon held on the second floor of the Look Boutique, filed with Curling Wands, Irons, Dryers and more. It was Salon Heaven to say the least.

Trusting your locks in David’s more than capable hands, was such a refresher because he shared tips about how to style and protect your hair.  Here are some of his tips that he shared for girls with texture:

  • When your hair has texture, it’s important to use a mousse or a styling crème. Not only does it moisturize your hair when pulling and pinning it, it allows the hair to bend to style as you please.
  • Mousse also ads as an Anti – Humectant. It’s normal for frizz on rainy days, but there’s no reason you can’t wear your favorite ‘do during some showers.
  • Conditioning is KEY! You can use conditioner as a pomade, or you can use conditioner to protect the ends of your hair while styling.

Based on David’s tips for textured hair Arianna embraced his product recommendations and swears by The Moisture Lock Shampoo & Conditioner and the Volume Foaming Air Mousse.  If you have been searching for over the counter products to help maintain and achieve salon quality for your textured hair this is worth a go.


For more information about Vidal Sassoon’s new Pro Series visit their website. Vidal’s mantra has always been, “if I was going to be in hairdressing, I wanted to change things”, and we have to agree that he has.



CSM has a new look!

I seriously can’t believe that the day has finally arrived and I can finally unveil CSM’s new grown and sexy makeover!  When CSM first launched back in April 2011 it was because I needed a pure, raw and tangible outlet for all of the fashion ramblings and opinions I had about the industry.  Over the years you the CSM community have helped me to truely mold and define who and what CSM is and should be.  My initial outlet has become so much more than I would have ever expected and so to have undergone such an extensive and much needed makeover was truly empowering.

The first and major change is CSM’s defining logo!  I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I literally agonized over what the logo would be visually for the first 2 months of this 6 month makeover journey.  Thank goodness for creative design guru and web genius, Laura Granlund of inTIMIDnation for taking all of the feedback you all have given me over the years (and yes, I had it all stored up in my brain).  To now have an actual visual representation of CSM is legit incredible.  So if you are in need of anything graphic/web design related I would highly recommend reaching out to her (literally kept my sanity for these last few months-trust me ask my husband).

CSM's New Logo

Okay I digress, let me get back to CSM’s amah-zing transformation.  The next major change and is the more obvious one, I’M NOT ON BLOGGER ANYMORE!  Yup, CSM needed to put on her big girl panties on and step into the real world of blogging and that required a new handy URL and so naturally it’s  Now, you all can update your favorites with the new link and what’s even more handy is that the name is in the new URL so you’ll never forget it right?

These next few changes were all about me keeping you all in mind.  One big important change for you is that I wanted to make it as navigationally friendly as possible.  With that in mind  it was really important for me to have a ‘Categories’ tab front and center so that you all would know exactly what the content of CSM is plus you could drill directly into whichever specific category you were looking for and/or wanting to delve deeper in to.

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Another great addition is that you can see I still have all of the old categories you all love like “Pasifika Fashion Series”;  “Shop Local”; “Fashionable Dining” plus a few new ones like “WWAW” (What Would Ana Wear) and “Splurge vs. Save.

Now, peruse and make yourself at home because I’m looking forward to seeing more of you and for a longer time.  Next time, cocktails are a must! xo


[Chicago Beauty Review] Sine Qua Non Hair Make-over!

Sine Qua Non, a premier hair & beauty salon have been styling Chicago for the last 19 years extended me the opportunity to come in and experience first hand just what makes them such a one-of-a-kind hair & beauty salon.

Naturally when I received the invitation I was a bit apprehensive.  So, if you don’t already know I have really curly hair.  Let me say that again, I have really curly, wavy, frizzy, unmanageable hair.  I’ve had way too many nightmare hair encounters to count and because of this I’ve become a skeptic of trying out a new hairdresser.

Even though I’ve had such a horrible experience finding the right match it hasn’t stopped me from being on the hunt for the perfect hairdresser to tame my wild mane.  Half a dozen mushroom shaped layers and botched trims in Chicago,  I can honestly say that I have found my hairdresser.  After much trial and error, I’ve identified key signs/questions to immediately look for when trying out a new hair dresser:

1. Does the hairdresser have the same hair texture as yours?
2. Do they share personal tips for hair management and/or routine?
3. Do they explain and walk you through each step of the plan that they have for your service?
4. Are you smiling at the end?

After so many hair disasters I was very pleased to have experienced just what made Sine Qua Non “an indispensable or essential ingredient”.  I happily answered “Yes!” to all of my 4 questions.  And the best part of all of this is, I finally found my hairdresser!  Mischa is officially my Chicago curly hair expert and I can already foresee that we are going to become hair besties.

P.S. For all of my curly haired readers who struggle to find the right product and product regime to follow, I have been using Mischa’s recommendations and I cannot live without them.  My hair still feels and looks as healthy as it did as when I left Sine Qua Non.  Bumble and bumble Bb Tonic Lotion & Bb Curl Conscious Defining Creme are literally ‘water’ for my curls.

Pastel Ombre: 3.1 Phillip Lim Inspired Nails! 3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2012 RTW Collection

When I first seen Phillip Lim’s Spring 2012 RTW Collection I could not help but be inspired by the flirty and fun color palette.  Aside from the beautiful soft colors, I was mesmerized by the fluidity of the fabric.  Phillip Lim created such a stand out collection that was not only stunning in palette but made approachable by the easy-going and drapey silhouettes.  The relaxed and soft lines were a definite juxtaposition to the eye-popping colors.  What was even more bewitching about the colors were the selected combinations.  My by far favorite combination was the ensemble above.  Essie’s color polishes were a perfect choice in replicating this pastel ombre color combination.

Essie Nail Polish: Playmate (Purple), Action (Orange), Lapis of Luxury (Blue)

I specifically chose Essie’s Playmate (purple), Action, and Lapis of Luxury (blue).  I also decided to not turn this into a color blocking inspiration because the Phillip Lim ensemble was such a perfect pairing that the literal interpretation for the pastel color sequence was pure perfection.

See my manicure below:

I encourage you to not hold back on your inspiration and try out this pastel ombre color combination or any other set of colors that spark your creative juices! 

Want to update your hair do? Try out one of these Hair Tutorials!

With Spring in full swing and Memorial Day weekend around the corner, this is the perfect time to give yourself a really quick & easy instant makeover.  I’ve picked out my top 4 video hair tutorials that cover everything from a beachy wave, braids and even the current trend fav-the sock bun.

 The 5-Strand Braid has my name written all over it, which one has you anxious to give your hair a new change?

5-Strand Braid:

Beachy Waves:

Casual Sock Bun:

Cute Milkmaid Braids:


Color Block Nails Louise Markey Style!

It’s simple, color blocking is still very much a relevant trend for Spring 2012 and I’ve decided to take it to the next level and draw inspiration for my most recent manicure from Louise Markey’s Spring 2009 collection.

Louise Markey Spring 2009 Collection, London Fashion Week
I chose 3 vibrant OPI nail polish colors to emulate one of Markey’s signature color-blocked tiered cocktail dresses: Ski Teal We Drop, Kiss Me On My Tulips, and Who The Shrek Are You.

In color order pictured above: Ski Teal We Drop, Kiss Me On My Tulips, Who The Shrek Are You

The key to accomplishing this trend is to select at least 3 colors, but also to purposefully alternate the colors in a “random” order.

I encourage you to pick a color palette you are inspired by and try this color block nail trend!