“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” –Babe Ruth

“Success is dependent upon the glands – sweat glands.” -Zig Ziglar

“Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them every day, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.” -Brian Tracy

Lately, I’ve been noticing a TON of success around me – from my friends to my family, and several successes of my own sprinkled throughout… I am just in awe of it all! I know that success is a result of honest, hard work and there are many examples of this flying around my life right now 🙂 Please allow me to break it down…

A couple weeks ago, my fiancé helped lead his father to a BIG TIME victory within the political arena in our area. For the better part of our relationship, my fiancé had been working as the campaign manager for his father and I personally witnessed the long hours, countless meetings, many weekly phone conferences, dozens of email correspondence, and the list could go on and on and on (seriously!)… I have never before seen someone who commutes to and from Manhattan every day for his full-time job, then comes home to take care of his family and then heads out to a meeting or hops on a phone call related to the campaign (which would usually last 2 hours!) AND ran it all on a volunteer basis – say whaaaat?!! You could say that the big win was such sweet satisfaction for the family and I couldn’t be prouder of my husband-to-be! I am truly inspired by his passion, perseverance and constant high quality of work. 20131105_233508I am not the only person who admires this man. In fact, there are many people out there that I have seen & heard handing out compliments and praise for his hard work and dedication to the campaign. Voter results were directly linked to the effort put forth by the entire camp and everyone involved truly worked together toward a common goal. The success experienced is a reflection & prime example of how hard work + determination = success. Post campaign, my fiancé went ahead and started his own (drum roll please…) political blog! I am a HUGE supporter of this idea and encourage him to write about what he loves, and let’s face it, I’m doing the same thing 😉 There’s nothing better than discussing a topic that brings you sheer and utter bliss – well done, my love! Consider me one proud & overly excited little nugget!

A couple of my friends also found success over the past few weeks through hard work and determination – one just ran the NYC Marathon in early November (and I thought running 13.1 miles for my half marathon was tough!) and another was honored at a ceremony for making the Dean’s List this semester – woo hoo! These two near & dear friends put in their time and never let up. Get this – the runner started training while we were all on vacation together in Cape Cod! She would wake up early to finish her many miles of running before any of us had gotten up for breakfast IMG951521– major kudos girl! That was back in July and her training, hard work and ‘never give up’ attitude pushed her through to the finish line at the marathon this month. Let’s not forget that she too has a full-time job AND is currently in grad school getting her master’s – BANANAS! Here she is mid-run & so cute too!

My friend who received recognition for his accomplishment of Dean’s List this 1384838_10100172570399549_1666358120_nsemester is also a wonderful example of how hard work and determination will lead you to that sweet smell of success! This guy has a full-time job, working 60+ hours every week (regularly volunteers to take on overtime hours as well!) AND is in school full-time to top it off! He not only manages to be present at every single class, but he is excelling and going above & beyond what is necessary to pass the class. I am seriously amazed at how much he has taken on and how well he is managing it all. I imagine it must be tough, but all of that hard work is seriously paying off in a major way! I’m excited for him to graduate after one more semester – you got this!

Success for me, has come in several forms the past few weeks – so here goes:
• Supporting my fiancé & family throughout the campaign process and enjoying the big win on election night with them
• The LOFT Grand Opening Event at The Shops at Nanuet
• Love the ‘sneak peak’ pictures from our engagement photo session
• High marks on my exams at school
• Ordering the table centerpieces for our wedding (if you knew how much I worked to find the perfect piece, you’d consider it a real success too!)
• Having clients at school request & re-book with me because they were extremely satisfied with my services
• Positively contributing my love for makeup & ability to create eyebrows on one of the sweetest clients who is currently undergoing chemotherapy – She LOVED how they looked and I really felt like I made a difference in her day!

Be the BEST and reach for SUCCESS (knowing that hard work and determination are prerequisites!!)

This past week has been extremely busy, exciting and definitely a little cray cray for myself & my family. Amazing opportunities have been given to us and we are all just beaming with pride & joy at the moment. My weekly highlight began approximately one month ago when I was approached by LOFT to host their Grand Opening Event at their brand new location at The Shops at Nanuet. Naturally, there was no hesitation in my voice when shouting ‘YES!’ to this incredible opportunity. After offering my RSVP prematurely, I then decided to listen to the details of the day and how it would all roll out. They told me I would be the official “host” of the event…greeting guests, interacting & mingling with those roaming the store, offering style advice & beauty tips and providing 5 minute mini makeovers to women. They mentioned that I would have signs up around the store bearing both my first & last name, as well as my blog name and logo. HELLO?! Pinch me! LOFT was also sending me a $150 gift card to go shopping for a trendy / hip outfit specifically for the Grand Opening Event. Lastly, they requested that I ask a fellow makeup artist to help me with the mini makeovers (insert Jackie B… she was fantastic! Thanks girl!). I mean, it really doesn’t get much better than that folks! I was fully on board & seriously looking forward to partnering with LOFT for this.

Since day 1, the LOFT team was uhhh-mazing! Since their goal was to find a local, community influencer to help create buzz around their kick-off launch party, I wanted to confirm their belief & faith in me and demonstrate that I was, in fact, the right gal for the job! For a couple weeks, I was posting the digital flyer like a mad woman – on different blogs… various Facebook pages… the Rockland County Times…hanging it up at beauty school, talking about it non-stop to anyone that would & could listen etc etc. I would not stop babbling until I felt I had reached as many people as I possibly could, letting them know about this fabulous event taking place right in their own backyard! Who wouldn’t want to shop around with refreshments in hand, catchy music playing in the background and the opportunity to not only win prizes & receive a free tote with any purchase, but to also get a makeover for free by me!?

1456870_10201298462168427_476596818_n 20131107_181019 Jackie and I set up shop right at the entrance of the store. The music was booming on the other side of the door and the energy & vibe was really high that night! I wanted all shoppers, especially those who came in to support me, feel welcome & at home upon entering the store. The goal of the grand opening was to provide the ultimate shopping experience – and I do believe we accomplished just that! Between the two of us, Jackie and I completed approximately 10-12 gorgeous mini makeovers on girls of all ages! I really love the satisfying feeling I get when I play a part in helping women feel even more beautiful and confident with just a touch of my favorite products 🙂 The ambience was further set with fancy (pronounce with an accent, of course) butler-style hors d’oeuvres and delicious signature cocktails floating around the room. Every time I turned around, I was being offered something scrumptious! I also caught glimpses of the cutest little LOFT tote bags on everyone’s shoulder – if you purchased a product, this was your complimentary gift! I’ve already used this tote a number of times since the grand opening… it’s adorable and useful – please and thank you! Prior to the start of the event, the LOFT team gave me a pleasant surprise by handing over ‘blogger pick’ hangtags for me to place on few of my favorite things! It was pretty cool to have my style mapped out in-store for guests to check out and potentially purchase. I did actually see a few people walk out with some of those items!
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I had a wonderful time hosting the LOFT Grand Opening Event & am just so appreciative to have been given the opportunity to work with such a great company. Professionalism, enthusiasm, and pure passion are all things I could tell run through the LOFT team and this was extremely contagious on grand opening night – it truly contributed to the overall success of the event! I am proud to have been part of such a memorable evening.

Thank you LOFT!

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Today is Veteran’s Day & I’d like to take a minute to say THANK YOU to those who have served this country for the greater good of all Americans. We owe our rights, freedom & independent lifestyles to these brave men & women. This topic hits near & dear to my heart, as my fiancee is an Army Veteran of 2 wars – The War in Iraq & in Afghanistan. Other close friends & relatives of mine are also Veteran’s whom I respect & love so much. Everyday, but today especially, we should take a second of our time to be grateful for & acknowledge the sacrifices made by these selfless heroes.

THANK YOU VETERANS. WE APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE. LOVE YOU!

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It all started a month ago when I went ahead and splurged on the Urban Decay Naked 2 eye shadow palette $52 USD at Sephora (aka my second home). This product seemed to be ‘all the rage’ amongst many makeup artists, so I decided to give it a whirl myself. I am totally new to the whole concept of the makeup ‘palette’ as of lately and I happen to be enjoying every single minute of it so far! Having multiple color options available at my fingertips is truly exciting and oh, so convenient! Prior to attending esthetics & makeup school, I didn’t feel that owning a palette was completely necessary. And after all (I thought), when would I or could I use ALL of these colors?! It’s amazing how 1 product can completely change my attitude toward the ‘palette’ – it’s glorious!

I’m not typically a believer in one size fits all… with the exception, of course, of my favorite Victoria Secret lacie undies (3 for $33 USD!). HOWEVER, the Urban Decay Naked 2 eye shadow palette is truly 1 item that fits the universal mold. You can literally use this product on every single eye color in existence. The palette boasts 12 rich and dreamy colors – ranging from pale to dark shades and matte to shimmery finishes. The BEST part = you can mix and match texture and color as much as you want to, and no matter how you blend it… it looks incredible – For reals! I tend to gravitate more toward the classic smokey eye when using this palette (as seen on my model Stephanie during the makeup competition at school).2013-10-10 18.42.57

To achieve the same look I used on Stephanie, here’s the breakdown:

Base color on entire lid, brow bone + tear duct – ‘Bootycall’

Crease only color  – ‘Snakebite’

Mid lid color – ‘YDK’

Outside corner of lid color – ‘Busted’

But I also love that I have the option of creating a softer, more neutral & natural look too (did a demo of this on my own peepers shown in this photo)! 2013-10-28 22.48.57The possibilities are endless! You’ll also be pleased to know that this palette includes a cute, travel-size Lip Junkie lip gloss in ‘Naked’ and a double-ended, full-sized shadow/crease brush – oh yeah!

I’ve been recently introduced to a brand that I am quickly realizing is just fabulous all around – ladies & gents, I present to you… BH COSMETICS!!! I can’t say enough about this company. They have fantastic, high-quality products, at an affordable price, each delivered in extremely attractive packaging. I truly adore their promotions & specials on makeup sets that allow you to try many unique products without breaking the bank. Really, what more could you ask for?! This brand is definitely geared toward the makeup artist, but I urge all of you little nuggets to take a look at their website for products that may very well tickle your fancy. My fancy was a bit over-tickled since I bought 6 different palettes and a 36 piece makeup brush kit upon my first visit to their site (no big deal and totally worth it!). I am currently hooked on & obsessed with their 10 Color Camouflage and Concealer Palette $12 USD (that’s right…another palette!). 2013-10-28 22.46.18The creamy texture blends into skin effortlessly, leaving you with a flawlessly finished face. I’ve been using this product on dark circles, blemishes, light scarring and uneven skin tone which helps to achieve that clear complexion we all crave. With 10 gorgeous colors available, it literally covers every variation in skin tone that I’ll come across. I can also mix and blend colors together to create yet another color match. The palette itself is light-weight and easy to carry on-the-go. It’s sleek looking to boot!

I believe that an awesome brush is another reason as to why products can glide on smoothly to skin. Without a great brush, it doesn’t matter what type of product/brand you’re using… it just won’t work properly. My newest gems are my Real Techniques brushes and I just can’t get enough of them. Not to worry – I’ll do a future post dedicated to brushes only, but in the meanwhile, I am enjoying playing with my new pretty palettes and cannot wait to continue to use BH Cosmetics on both myself and clients 🙂

much love, my nuggets!

Nanuet_GO_Eblast_1 I have some EXTREMELY EXCITING news to share with all of my Sweet Little Nuggets that has been in the works for a couple weeks now! (Drum roll pah-leeeese…) Yours truly will be hosting the Grand Opening Event at LOFT in The Shops at Nanuet (New York) on Thursday, November 7th from 6-9p! BOOM! Pinch me, I feel like I’m dreaming 🙂 I will be in-store giving five-minute makeovers while you shop, sip on some light refreshments and listen to live music – aka PERFECTION! And to top it off, with a purchase of $75 or more, you’ll receive a complimentary tote that you’ll love (while supplies last, of course!). So hit the town, bring your friends and check out the BRAND NEW LOFT store front at The Shops at Nanuet. I can’t wait to see you all there & be sure to stop by the makeup station to get a gorgeous mini-makeover.

 

As always, thank you so much for your support. See you there! <3

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makeup competition - stephanieI wanted to share with all of you some very exciting news! This morning I got the opportunity to participate in a bridal makeup competition at beauty school… And guess what?! THIS little nugget won 1st place! Ahhhh! As you can see, my model is just gorgeous and a pleasure to work with (thank you Stephanie)! I had a wonderful time during this competition and look forward to doing more bridal looks in the future! All of my classmates did a beautiful makeup application on each of their models and I could see how the judges had such a difficult time choosing the winner. It feels good to absolutely LOVE what you’re learning <3

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Cheers to learning the art of makeup application! xo

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So I’m part of the population referred to as “Gen Y”… Millenials, if you will. And if you want to be totally blunt and straight forward – 30 years old is staring me directly in the face! We are the children of the “Baby Boomer” generation. We are the ones constantly connected to the internet, better known as the smartphone 🙂 We are ready & more willing than our elders, the Gen X & Baby Boomer generations, to test out & try various products after checking the reviews online.  We also have a tremendous amount of spending power and we’re not afraid to shell out those dollars to get what we want! Hence, contributing to my obsession with seeking out the best skincare & makeup products on the market – it’s a “Gen Y” thing 😛

So, what does this all mean? It means although I do try many, many products, I choose to share my absolute favorite finds with you little nuggets. And since I’m part of the Gen Y population, I am becoming more concerned and aware of ‘preservation’ – using products that help keep my skin looking bouncy and beautiful!

I was introduced to the skyn ICELAND skincare company this past summer when I attended their fashion and beauty blogger event at Henri Bendel in NYC (Read all about that fabulous event here). As soon as I product tested items in the goodie bag I took home that night, I was hooked on this brand. I am not typically a masking gal. Yes, I love & use my skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gel Pads once per week, however, a full face mask isn’t usually my forte. I knew that skyn ICELAND would be launching a brand new face mask this Fall, but wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My little nuggety package arrived last week, and I have been happily product testing their Fresh Start Mask with Ice Age Mud ($39 USD for 6 masks) ever since 🙂  This unique mask comes in 2 easy-to-follow steps. You literally can’t mess it up since each part is clearly labeled on the package and instructions are simple to follow – phew!

IMG_20131007_205510Step 1: Spread an even layer of blue clay (it is in fact blue!) over entire face. This clay is an oxygenating mud from the Ice Age that goes on with a refreshing, cooling sensation. Sounds powerful, right? It is!

Step 2: Spread an equally even layer of gel over entire face, blending in with the blue clay. This highly effective AHA gel complex is composed of 5 fruit and sugar acids that work together to detoxify and relieve overly stressed skin – we all need this!

After you gently rub & work contents into skin from both step 1 & step 2, get ready to watch / feel the magic happen! It’s not ‘technically’ a step, but I like to think of this part of the application as ‘step 3’ since you can actively feel the mask becoming warm & foaming up, as well as, seeing it change color from blue to white.  But there IMG_20131009_075935is so much MORE that this mask is doing…and it’s all happening within the 10 minutes of leaving it on the skin! It promotes cell turnover for better cell efficiency & function, eliminates dry & dead skin cells at the surface of the face, detoxifies skin leading to improved tone & texture, and lastly (& to my delight) it improves skin density to counteract visible signs of aging! Woo! The Gen Y inside me is oh, so grateful!! After 10 minutes, you remove the mask with a warm, water-soaked towel, revealing a brighter & visibly more radiant complexion. This mask is super soothing, easy to use, smells amazing and gives you that extra added glow. And when I say “glow” – I REALLY mean it! Not only are the immediate results right after removal incredible, but the morning after you applied the mask, you will look in the mirror and just think WOW-eeee! Instead of looking like you just rolled out of bed, you will be happy to see a face that’s bright with a much more even tone & texture – smoother than silk! I just loved trying out this mask, and my friend Samantha who is a big skyn ICELAND supporter shared some of her own reviews with me on the Fresh Start Mask with Ice Age Mud too! Always good to read different POV’s 🙂 But I think you’ll notice we’re basically in agreement on this one!

“It has helped with drying up some blemishes which is great. It also definitely does promote cell renewal because I noticed that dead skin was coming off at a much quicker rate than usual, helping for new skin to appear. I think I am noticing a change in the overall clarity and coloring of my skin. Things are slightly more even toned than before. I think what is the coolest part though is you wake up looking pretty awesome, which is a nice confidence booster in the morning”

Masks are ALL the rage in skincare beauty now. I have tried several and this mask holds the #1 spot in my heart. I love that when I put this mask on I feel like I am fully pampering myself. The benefits are wonderful and I’m looking forward to seeing even more improvement in my skin with continued usage. Thanks skyn ICELAND for creating this one – it’s a winner!

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“Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” –Ralph H. Blum

“The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.” –Ralph Ellison

This month has been a whirlwind. I just don’t know where September went?! I guess the famous saying holds true – “time flies when you’re having fun!” …And “fun” is an understatement!

At the very end of August, I announced to you little nuggets that I got engaged to the love of my life… Eeee! 1186221_10202195146666670_127070942_nShortly thereafter (3 days to be exact!) I took my very first steps on the journey toward my new career by starting esthetics & makeup school 🙂 Somewhere in between the best day of my life personally and the best day of my life professionally, I moved in with my fiancé. Oh, and let’s not forget wedding planning has already commenced (making significant progress too!) As you can see, things have been GREAT, GRAND, and WONDERFUL, however, my head has been spinning & I want to be able to fully enjoy this special point in my life. So, it’s time to blog & breathe…

Ever notice how much things can change in just 1 year!? It’s truly amazing to me how drastically different my life is now, compared to what it was just a mere 365 days ago: A Marketing professional in the heart of Manhattan (literally – 14th floor of the Empire State Building), part of a brand new & fresh relationship, and meeting a new group of friends (which I didn’t realize at the time, would end up having a very positive impact on my life). Fast forward 1 year, and now that I’m in school to become a licensed esthetician & makeup artist, engaged & just part of the crew… I can look back, objectively, and see how the “end” was actually disguising itself as the “beginning.” How can this be, you ask? Well, I’m hoping I can provide a bit of perspective and life experience to clarify (I just heard my mother’s voice echoing after typing that last sentence… Oy!).

When a significant personal relationship in my life fell apart a couple years ago, at the time, I was devastated. I’m sure you can all relate to investing time, emotions, and in many cases, money, into someone that you ‘think’ is the one. The ending of that relationship was JUST the beginning. It was the final stepping stone to the person I know in my heart I want to and am meant to be with. If my last relationship remained the same and didn’t end, then I wouldn’t have been open or available to meet and fall in love with my dreamboat 🙂 I am currently hearing my inner mom voice kick-in once again when I say “hindsight is 20/20.”  If you knew then, what you know now, in my mind, you just won’t grow up properly. You wouldn’t learn to appreciate certain things or people in life, if you didn’t go through terrible experiences firsthand. It is in fact, those terrible things that give you the strength and courage to learn how to overcome challenges & move forward. There is no better teacher than life experience.

A common theme in my life and something I have found, repeatedly, is that when one door closes, there are many other doors swinging wide open for me with new & exciting opportunities. When my career in Corporate America came to an end, I was initially scared-to-death and nervous for the future, but those nerves were really the catalyst that propelled me into finding out what I really want to do. The “end” of a traditional Marketing career path was really disguised as the “beginning” to pursuing my dream of becoming a makeup artist / licensed esthetician. Again, ‘hindsight is 20/20’ in this situation too! Had I known then (in college) what I know now (5+ years in Corporate America), I would have chosen the current path I’m on from the very beginning. But, ya live and learn, right?! And I can honestly sit here and say that I’ve never been happier or more certain of how I want to spend my days, then I am today. I genuinely enjoy going to esthetics & makeup school. I just love all of my classmates & coaches and I’m soaking it all in like a little nuggety sponge. I actually look forward to the next day, and the next, and the day after that… it’s fabulous! I also just shared with you little nuggets, that I won the September 2013 Business Student o1381724_595851517139765_1720924837_nf the Month Award! Completely unexpected, but I am so incredibly grateful & appreciative of having received it. Adding it to the portfolio, pronto! Woo! So, from my experience, it goes to show that if you truly love and enjoy what you do every single day, you just do it without thinking about it or getting anxiety over it. And somewhere along the line, you may even get a cool award for the work you’ve done – Sweet!

If I can leave you all with one last piece of my twenty-something two-cents, it’s this – embrace the “end” because you never know when it is in fact a new “beginning.” It might be THE moment that changes your life & you’ll look back in 1 year and be surprised at how far you’ve come!

xox

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“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark.” –David Ogilvy

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather, a lack in will.” -Vince Lombardi

“We have the power within, but the secret of success is to employ our power and talents and be prepared for opportunity when it comes.” –Walter Matthews

Dreams CAN become reality. Yes, I believe in this wholeheartedly. HOWEVER, this concept & way of thinking was proven even further yesterday afternoon. As most of you little nuggets know, I was lucky enough to be personally introduced to Laura Geller (yes, THE Laura Geller!) via special family friends. I could barely sleep the night before and kept talking about it to anyone that would listen (so really, my mother and fiancé – thanks you two!). But it’s not every day that you get a chance to stand in the middle of a makeup studio with the gal that actually created & developed the brand that bears her name. My own vision is similar to Laura’s Upper East Side makeup studio – Stock piled product lining the walls, gorgeous blushes and eye shadow palettes along the beauty bar, and to-die-for lip shades waiting to be worn. Not to mention, the gorgeous Geller Gals providing amazing customer service to all while roaming the floor.

Yesterday was part of Laura’s “Fall Into Beauty” Event at her makeup studio where she was showcasing the brand NEW launch of the new Baked Elements Foundation, along with the rest of her latest / ‘What’s Hot’ products. IMG_20130922_214751She had makeup artists set up & working their makeover magic right in front of you. Her products truly speak for themselves and it was clear when these women were leaving the chair with smiles on their faces and a brand new beautiful look. Isn’t there just something about being part of making a person’s day just a little bit brighter – ahhh… love that feeling! Well, my crew and I couldn’t resist buying products of our own while there. My mother and her friend loved Laura’s Blush-n-Brighten in “Down To Earth” ($31 USD) and I opted for her Dream Team Duo Kit ($25 USD) which includes a Blush-n-Brighten Baked Cheek Color in “Raspberry” and a Dream Creams Lip Palette in “Raspberry” with an ever-so-convenient retractable lip brush. IMG_20130922_215712Not to worry – this product review will be in shortly! I’ve already started using the lip palette… and it’s ohh so la, la lovely! 🙂

So, as to not let the precious time I had with Laura go to waste… I got to asking questions. Naturally, how did you start in the beauty biz and do you enjoy traveling (she’s everywhere people!) were my top two questions. I was thrilled, excited and blown away to learn that she started her beauty career at Capri Cosmetology Learning Center (ehh hem… the SAME SCHOOL that I am currently enrolled in for Esthetics & Makeup)!! OK, OK.. I will calm down. But it gets even better. She grew up in the same County I grew up in and currently reside. And to top it off, she attended the same exact high school as my mother. She’s been an artist in many aspects of makeup – theatrical / stage, fashion and bridal makeup (this is what I’d really love to do!) and most recently, selling her products via QVC and other retail channels like Ulta. I loved her before meeting her, and I love her even more now! I can’t express to you little nuggets enough about how warm, friendly, outgoing, personable and overall, kind, Laura Geller is. You can visibly see she absolutely, positively, LOVES what she does.

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And Laura made her dreams into reality. She didn’t just daydream about her own brand, she created it. She didn’t just talk the talk…She walked the walk. Bottom line…It’s really real. And that’s the biggest inspiration to me. She doesn’t know it, but she is definitely one of my role models. A business woman who has stayed true to her roots and treats others as if she’s known them for years is a beautiful thing! I hope to one day be standing in my own makeup studio, like Laura Geller, surrounded by products that bear my name.

Cheers to BIG DREAMS & turning them into a REALITY! xo

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NEVER ever FORGET those who have been deeply affected by the horror of 9/11/01. Today, we should take the time to remember every single person who lost their lives 12 years ago. To the families of the each victim and all first responders, you are in our thoughts & prayers every day, especially this one – 9/11/13. xo