Birthday Beauty and Outfit on a Budget, Plus Lorac Megapro Swatches, Review and Look

Picture taken by me. Wearing Lorac Megapro and Nasty Gal dress.
Picture taken by me.
Wearing LORAC Megapro,  Nasty Gal dress and Bauble Bar earrings.
Photo taken by me
Photo taken by me

This past week was my birthday, and like most girls I wanted a pretty dress without the pretty hefty price tag. But finding a cute going-out dress on a budget isn’t the easiest of feats. Luckily, I have hunted for all the girls out there who need a dress for any special occasion. Below are a list of dresses appropriate for a nice dinner with family or friends, which also make these picks great for a wedding, or even a special date night. Best part is? They’re all wallet friendly!

Photo by Bruce Pearlman
My best friend, Brielle Stanks and me         Photo by Bruce Pearlman

Both of the dresses my friend Brielle and I wore for my birthday dinner were from Nasty Gal, my dress is still on sale for $39.20. Brielle’s dress is from last year, but below will be some great options like her’s.  Nasty Gal’s sale section is an abundance of wonderfulness you can’t usually find on many sites; I assure you, you are not getting the leftovers of what no one else wants here! Below are links to some great finds from Nasty Gal and other cool girl sites.


Nasty Gal’s Knitty Gritty Dress  $31.20

Nasty Gal’s Between the Pleats Dress $23.20

Nasty Gal’s Garden Life Floral Dress   $34.00

Missguided Lilja Asymmetric Bodycon Dress in Floral Print (similar to Brielle’s) $30.38

Missguided Letje Tailored Bodycon Dress with Contrast Detailing $32.28

H&M Lace Circle Dress (I own this in black, but I love the red too!) $39.95

ASOS Midi Bardot Body-Conscious Dress $37.90 (I love the forest green, also if you’re a student you can ger 10% off at ASOS)


Photo taken by me
Photo taken by me

The LORAC Megapro is easily the most coveted holiday makeup item this year. Like many makeup devotees I sat eagerly to get my hands on this, actually my sister did, as it was a birthday gift, but a lot of hounding her went into getting this  (sorry Rachel!). I love both the LORAC 1 and 2 palettes, and I’m glad to say the Megapro does not disappoint. It has a wonderful array of mattes, like every matte you’ve ever needed to blend the crease is here, and sparkling shimmers and satins. Some of the shades are a bit more powdery than the original 1 and 2, but these are still highly pigmented and blendable. If I can suggest one palette to put on your holiday wish list this is it, but it’s limited edition and currently out of stock (if I could insert a crying emoji, I would). Amazon and should restock, so get your hands on it quick!



Photo taken by me
Photo taken by me


LORAC Megapro eyeshadows: Sepia and Brown (crease), Maroon and Copper (lid), Deep Teal (lower lash line), Espresso (outer corner), Opal (brow highlight) and Sand (inner corner)

Eyeliner: Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES eyeliner in Azurite green similar here 

Gel Liner:  MAC Cosmetics BlackTrack gel liner similar here 

Brows: Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in Medium Brown and Milani Clear Brow Gel

Foundation: Loreal True Match Lumi in W1-2

Concealer: MAC Prolong Wear NW 20 similar here 

Blush: Maybelline Master Hi-Light in Coral

Bronzer: Tarte Park Avenue Princess

Highlighter: Physicians Formula Miami Strip

Lipliner: Jordana Rock ‘n’ Rose

Lipstick: Nyx Euro Trash

Lipgloss: Gerard Cosmetics Cocoa Bean

Beauty Talk from the Girls In Front Of and Behind the Counter


On a recent trip to shopping, I started thinking about the recommendations beauty and fashion consultants have given me over the years and I thought how great would it be to get their perspective for The Beauty Capsule? So I took a mini adventure through the flourescent aisles of Ulta Beauty, MAC Cosmetics and H&M.  I decided to add a few stylish customers to the mix, as I also wanted to see some cool girl insight on trends. Shopping at the mall just got a lot more interesting, see what I mean by clicking the pictures and responses above! P.S Matte lips and Lancome foundations  are huge for fall!



3 Halloween Looks You’ll Want to Wear All October Long

Halloween is my favorite holiday, I get to dress up as whatever fictional character I want and delve into those spunky bright colors I can’t wear on a normal day. Because let’s face it, wearing green lipstick to class may have people looking at you like you’re the new student from Mars. But on Halloween we get to embrace our inner warrior queens, evil villains and beloved princesses. For this years fantastically frightful season I’ve created three looks that cover most of the Halloween makeup spectrum using makeup you probably already own!


Daenerys Targaryen Photo taken by me
Daenerys Targaryen
Photo taken by me
Poison Ivy Photo taken by me
Poison Ivy
Photo taken by me
Princess Jasmine Photo taken by me
Princess Jasmine
Photo taken by me







Photo taken by me
Photo taken by me

Daenerys Targeryn 

Game of Thrones is my favorite show and one of my favorite book series, so when I saw Spirit Halloween was releasing Daenerys costumes I swooned. I went for Dany’s Dothraki look, which can also work if you’re a warrior princess or goddess this Halloween. This look is dewy and stripped down, making it super easy to accomplish. Products used are listed below.

Products and more affordable dupes:

Smashbox Oil-Free Primer (dupe here)

Loreal True Match Lumi W1-2

NYX HD Photo Concealer Wand Porcelain

Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in Medium Brown (dupe here)

Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer Park Avenue Princess (dupe here)

Naked 1 Palette Buck (dupe here)

Lorac 2 Palette Mocha

Lorac 2 Palette Cocoa

Loreal Telescopic Mascara

Loreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner in Brown

Milani Blush in Luminoso

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip in Sunset Strip

MAC Rihanna Highlight in Diamonds (Limited edition, similar here)

Jordana Lipliner Tawny

Sunna Claore Lipstick Prude (similar here in Honeyed)

Photo taken by me
Photo taken by me

 Poison Ivy

A few years ago this Batman villain rose to the top of Halloween costume lists when Kim Kardashian wore this look. I admit ever since then I’ve been obsessed with creating a Poison Ivy makeup look, and when I found a magically fierce Poison Ivy costume on I was ecstatic. This is definitely my favorite of the three looks and I hope this inspires you to bring out your inner bad ass, all while looking spellbinding.

Products and dupes:

Smashbox Anti-Redness Primer

Makeup Forever HD Foundation

NYX HD Photo Concealer Wand Porcelain

Revlon Colorstay Aqua Powder

Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer Park Avenue Princess

NYX Eye Base in Skin Tone

Kat Von D Spellbinding Shadow Palette Gunner and Birdcage (limited edition, similar here, here and here)

Lorac 2 LT Brown and Jade

MAC Gold Glitter

NYX Cream Shadow Aqua (dupe here)

Jordana 12 HR Eyeshadow in Endless Emerald

Urban Decay Half Baked eyeshadow (dupe here)

HIP by Loreal Cream Liner in Teal 

Ardell False Lashes Fright Night Dark Maiden 

Milani Luminoso Blush

Mary Lou-Manizer Highlight by the Balm (got mine for $10 on Hautelook, check their for sales)

Lime Crime Serpentina Lipstick (dupe here)


Photo taken by me
Photo taken by me

Princess Jasmine

Princess Jasmine wins hands down for having the dreamiest makeup and outfit look out of all the Disney Princesses. I mean this girl doesn’t wear a poofy dress and she has a pet tiger, what’s not to envy? unfortunately, I do not have beautiful caramel skin like this princess, and all the bronzer in the world can’t help that, but I’ve created a bold purple eye look anyone can wear for their look. Costume from Spirit Halloween. Products listed below.


Smashbox Oil-Free Primer (dupe here)

Loreal True Match Lumi W1-2

NYX HD Photo Concealer Wand Porcelain

Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in Medium Brown (dupe here)

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Kat Von D Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette Arcadia (dupe here)

Lorac SummerGLO palette purple shade (on sale)

Lorac2 Nude

NYX Crystal Liquid Liner in Crystal Pink

Loreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner in Black

Loreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Liner in Black

Milani Rose D’Oro Blush

Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls in Light Bronze

Maybelline The Buffs Lipstick in Maple Kiss

Gerard Cosmetics Lipgloss in Nude (dupe)



Makeup Artist Michelle Johnston Predicts Beauty Trends

Photo taken by: Michelle Johnston
Photo taken by: Michelle Johnston

Name: Michelle Johnston

Age: 22

Location: Long Island, New York

Makeup Certification: the nationally accredited institute, ICOES

Michelle Johnston did something that most of my college peers, including myself, aspire to do: follow our dreams. Michelle’s currently enrolled at the New York Institute of Technology for Hospitality Management, but she also is creating and cultivating looks for clients as a makeup artist! Michelle balances school and her makeup mastery, inspiring not just clients but all college-aged kids to turn their hobby into a reality. Michelle gives me the inside scoop on the latest trends and finds from the streets of New York, where beauty is a living dream.

Now for the insider insight…

Q.  Why did you choose to do makeup for a living?

A. I chose to pursue makeup because it has been my absolute favorite thing ever since I was very young. For as long as I can remember, makeup has always been my favorite hobby and is also something that makes me feel confident. I like to think of makeup as my creative outlet, it’s my favorite part of my day.

Q. Are you more inspired by runways or street style trends when creating looks?

A. I’m more inspired by street style trends when creating looks because I like to create makeup that is more wearable. While runway makeup is absolutely incredible, wearable makeup is my niche and what most people who wear makeup tend to gravitate to.

Q. For girls on a budget, what drugstore brand do you think is best?

A. I love Revlon and Covergirl. Revlon makes great foundations and my all-time favorite mascara is LashBlast by Covergirl. Both brands have great lipsticks, blushes and eyeshadows as well.

Q. What should every girl have as essentials?

A. Black mascara, some kohl pencil eyeliner, foundation and a good red lipstick!

Q.  What is the one beauty trend you wish would die out?

A. Bleached eyebrows. I’m in love with great eyebrows. I’m a huge fan of bold, properly filled in and kept eyebrows. They’re my favorite!  (P.S. Allure magazine agrees with Michelle!)

Q. Has breaking into the makeup industry changed your perspective on beauty?

A. It’s shown me that one person’s definition of beautiful is different from someone else’s. I think it’s amazing that one person can see one thing and the next can see something completely different. I guess that’s what makes the beauty industry so diverse and constantly evolving.

Q. What is your makeup/beauty staple?

A. Covergirl LashBlast black mascara, black liquid eyeliner and blush are my staples. I never leave the house without the three.

Q. Which makeup trend do you think will be huge for 2015?

A. Nude/almost nude/mauve lips seem to be very popular among the beauty community recently, and has become a favorite among myself as well. Less shimmer and more matte finishes are also trends I have noticed that I think will be huge in 2015!

Q. What do you love most about doing makeup?

A. I love being able to express myself and give others a confidence boost when doing makeup. It’s the best feeling.