Glam feature

Glam Feature: Last Minute Manicure Solutions

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This past weekend I had a photo shoot. Exciting! I had everything packed and ready to go when I realized I hadn't gotten a manicure. I quickly threw my pink polish into my bag and a few minutes before the shoot, slapped some on. Needless to say, it got wrinkled and smudged so I kept my nails out of as many close up shots as possible. Whether you have a photo shoot, pageant interview, special event or job interview, your nails say a lot about you. So what do you do when you realize you won't have time to stop by your local nail salon? Here are three last minute manicure solutions!

1. ImPress by Broadway

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Impress nails saved my life earlier this year. I was called for a last minute promotional modeling gig where I was going to be the host who welcomed and signed everyone in for a celebrity comedy show. With no time to spare for a manicure, I ran to the pharmacy and bought imPress nails by Broadway. There was no way, I was going to welcome people with crusty looking hands (not that my hands were but you get the point). During my hour long commute on the train, I discreetly matched my nail sizes, peeled the adhesive part of the nail open and pressed them onto hands. No one could tell the difference and I was absolutely impressed (no pun intended). image

They cost less than $10 and are easy to use. If you wear them longer in length than your own nails, you may notice that the material is more pliable than your average press on nails, which did freak me out at first but worked out just fine. They were easy to use and lasted until I forcefully peeled them off a week later. Here's their website for more info.

2. Jamberry Nails

 

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Jamberry's are pre-desiged nail wraps that stick and stay on using heat for 3-5 seconds. So if we do the math, it'll take roughly an hour to get these babies on. I could ramble on about how to use them but I'd rather show you.

http://youtu.be/KaykpuMe53w

I'd recommend using these if your nail salon is already closed and you won't be able to get to them in the morning before your interview or event. I love the fact that Jamberry nails come in so many styles and a good range of sizes. They resemble and have been reviewed to last as long as a gel/shellac manicure but cost way less. image Unfortunately, these can't be bought in stores but luckily I found out that my friend Nancy sells them online! Plus, there's a month-end promotion going on to bring in new designs. Click here to see them all and for more info. Mine are in the mail and I can't wait to try them. According to the reviews I've seen, (good and bad), this is definitely for the DIY/ artsy girl like myself. Those who gave it a bad review had wrinkles in theirs which I can't understand how when all the necessary instructions, tools and tutorials are provided. Not for the "faint of arts."

3. Priv

image Okay now Priv! Can I tell you how ridiculously genius this company and app is? So, this is for my ladies (and gents) who can't get to the salon because for one reason or another you're stuck at home but want the authentic manicure experience and can't do it yourself. What do you do when you're hungry and can't leave? You order in! Same concept with Priv. Priv has a list of licensed professional nail technicians that you can find on their app who come to you. All you do is enter your location and the nearest registered techs are readily available by appointment. There are ratings from other customers, a photo of the person, and little bio. I've met a Priv nail tech at a beauty event so it seems that they show up for more than just house calls. Priv also has a variety of on-call beauticians ranging from hair stylists to fitness coaches. Check it out here or download the app and take it for a spin.

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This is what their app looks like. You just select your desired service, book your professional and bada-bing-bada-boom! Finito. I'd recommend Priv also for meeting you on the set of your photo shoots if you're uncomfortable with having a stranger in your home.

Well, these are my three last minute manicure solutions. I hope they've been helpful and if you know of any others, feel free to comment below.

Xo,

Luxe LeBlanc

Glam Feature: Operation PROM Gala

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Imagine it's your senior year and one of the most memorable nights of your life is fast approaching. Unfortunately, hard times have hit home and your choices are between affording prom dues and looking bad or looking good for prom but hoping the staff will make an exception for your dues. The odds of the latter are less likely but no one wants hideous photos as memories. That's where Operation Prom steps in!

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Today's Tuesday Glam Feature is Operation PROM. If you haven't heard of this organization, you need to know about them! Founder Noel D'Allaco saw the need to provide prom dresses for young girls who couldn't afford one and began this dress drive organization "creating prom memories that will last a lifetime."  Noel aka the "Fairy Prom Mother" has restored hope in the lives of many high school seniors who would have easily forfeited this well earned experience. She even went to the extent of raising enough money and support to host a prom for Channel View High School when their funds were drained from much needed repairs caused by the destructive hurricane Sandy. See here.

The Gala

image1 You're probably wondering, "why the heck are you talking about prom in September? Can we get through homecoming first?" Well, smarty pants, I wanted to make sure you get first dibs on tickets to Operation Prom's 11th Year Prom Celebration that raises funds to make stories like these above possible and keep the organization going. It will be held in January, so I figured I'd give you a heads up on getting your tickets, gowns and tuxedos before the holiday season hits. Here's a direct message from Operation PROM Founder, Noel D'Allacco:

Dear Friends of Operation PROM,

With the 2015 Prom season approaching, I am excited to announce that the Operation PROM 11 Year Anniversary Gala will be held on Friday, January 23, 2015. I encourage you to save the date, and join us at our Prom-themed gala at the Royal Regency Hotel in Yonkers, NY. Ticket and sponsorship information will be available soon on our website: www.OperationPROM.org. I can assure you, you don't want to miss this amazing event!

Thank you for continuing to support Operation PROM, and our 12 Chapters across the U.S. For more information on how to donate, or to volunteer, please contact: Info@HelpPROM.org

Sincerely,

Noel D'Allacco

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I've had the honor and pleasure of working with Operation PROM as a volunteer stylist and loved every minute of it. Noel is one of the most hard working, big-hearted people you'll ever meet and I'd love it if you'd join us at the gala or support online. Be sure to bring your family, friends and a date. And of course if you're in need of an After 6/ Glam Sylist for this or any other special occasion, Luxe LeBlanc is at your service. Just email me at info@luxeleblanc.com and we'll get you looking like the dream that you are.

Love,

Luxe LeBlanc

Glam Feature: Olivia Pope Meets The Limited - 'Scandal' Collection

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If you know me, you know that I love "Scandal" and most of all Olivia Pope's fashion sense. This is of course attributed to the very talented and tasteful costume designer Lyn Paolo. Lucky for us gladiators, we can stop drooling and dreaming of ways to emulate the scandalous leading lady's wardrobe because... Are you ready?... Olivia Pope meets The Limited! image

Now, this news gave me a bittersweet reaction. Bitter because I can't remember the last time I've stepped foot into The Limited, let alone seen one. In fact there are NONE in New York City. Trust me, I doubled checked their store locator.

Sweet because well, it's about time!! So much so that I'm willing to take a personal trip out to Jersey or Westchester to get a closer look myself.

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According to the New York Times on 9/14/14

"The 'Scandal' collection at The Limited contains more than 70 items, with prices from about $49 to $250. The garments are due in stores and online next week and are scheduled to be available through May, the end of the 2014-15 television season."

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One concern -- I get it, tall women are often required to model, as we can see above however, I loved that Kerry Washington, (5'4) who is closer to average height exuded power in her costume garments, that were well tailored to her body. So, I hope there are petite, regular and tall sizes.

What do you think? Will you be Pope-ifying your closet this fall? To get first dibs once The Limited makes the "Scandal" line available to the public you can click here or type in www.thelimited.com/scandalstyle For now, you'll find this message: image

In the mean time, countdown: nine days 'til Scandal season 4!

Your Glam Stylist,

Luxe LeBlanc

Glam Feature: Miss Haiti 2014 and MeJeanne Couture

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Miss Haiti 2014

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Congratulations to the new Miss Haiti 2014 of the Miss World beauty pageant, Carolyn Desert who took the crown by fierce.  Yes, I mean it, she was absolutely fierce and might I add stunning in her custom made yellow MeJeanne Couture gown. The 25 year old restaurant owner spoke profoundly about how important it is for women to shut out the voices that dictate who we should be and listen internally to our true selves. Carolyn stated that women are pillars of families and ultimately the world in an interview with Digicel. The interview is in Haitian Creole but I've written the English translation below.

http://youtu.be/LRAQ1VMvJuM

"My name is Carolyn Desert, I'm 25 years old. I'm from Haiti, Port Au Prince but I spent ten years living in Miami so, I would consider myself a diaspora.

What's important to me is that women learn to know themselves, love themselves and know their worth. It's very important to me because I feel that we have so many sources telling us how to be, how to look, how to act, that there are many of us who never take the time to learn what's in our core, what we're made of, what we like. Therefore, for me it's very important for us to pull ourselves away from all that's in style, all trends, all that they say we should be so we can search for what truly makes us happy. For example, myself, a few years ago, I decided that I'm [going to] truly look at myself. What is Carolyn? Not a young lady who's eighteen years old who goes to school and the likes. It's what truly makes me, me and when I took this step back, I learned a lot about myself and I realized my worth. The fact that I know faults, my qualities, what makes me, me, what I need to work on, I learned a lot.

Firstly, I decided to remove [my] relaxer. Yes, it's hair and hair only but for me it signified a lot. It signified that I was comfortable with what I had, what God have me, my culture, my roots.

I learned to appreciate [Haitian] creole because I grew up in a school where they practically told you, 'you cannot speak creole,' 'you're not supposed to speak creole' and I never took the time to think about why. It was just "no." Then I thought to myself and I said 'I'm Haitian,' the first country to remove itself from slavery under the French. We've kept our language, therefore, that's what we should speak. So, all these things, through learning myself, I saw that it really pushed me to do extraordinary things because I believed in myself. I came to know that I'm unique for a reason. God made me the way I am for a reason. Therefore, it pushes me to do all that I want. I push myself with all my potential because I've come to know who I am.

So, this is what I see is most important, that the women, not that I have a problem with the men, but I always say that it's the women who carry the world. It's us that holds the world, it's us that carries the world. If we're not comfortable with ourselves, if we don't know ourselves, the world won't know themselves either. Therefore, to me, it's the most important to me that women who are the pillars of the family, that they stand firmly, know themselves and know their worth. Yes."

Such a strong and powerful message! Carolyn touched on hair and I have to say, I've noticed that the Lupita Nyong'o Caesar hair cut trend has greatly influenced the modeling industry. If you don't believe me, go on a clothing store's website (i.e. express.com) and you'll very likely find an African American model, with a Caesar. While I was getting tired of seeing this, I am delighted to see a women with the cut crowned! As you may have seen in my pageant photos or followed me during my campaign, I touched on the importance of representing your true self instead while I sported my afro during the Miss Westchester pageant competition. I love that Carolyn was able to show her true beauty without hiding under the expected waist long weave. Don't get me wrong, I switch my hair up all the time and did just that for my wedding but it takes a bold and confident woman to shave off her hair and compete in an industry that glorifies a specific look. So, thank you Lupita for making it more acceptable and to Carolyn for owning her natural look.

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MeJeanne Courture

image This post is a two fold feature. I'd also like to congratulate MeJeanne Couture for the spectacular evening gowns that each contestant adorned. This sea of beauties all wore a similar a-line silhouette however each had their own color and details. The color choice for Carolyn could not have been better. It brought out her gorgeous skin tone, smile and eyes. Growing up, I hated pleats but the overlapping details on this number is to die for. I love MeJeanne Courture's designs.

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Oh! Speaking of yellow, did you see the cape dress the contestants wore for their opening number? Talk about show stopper! Simply lovely.

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Skimming through their Instagram (@mejeannecouture), it seems MeJeanne Courture is a dress whisperer. Just tell them what you envision yourself in and they will bring it to life. I look forward to dressing my prom, pageant, red carpet and bridal clients in MeJeanne Couture. Tremendous talent! For more information on your own custom dress, email info@mejeannecouture.com.

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A job well done to Carolyn Desert the new Miss Haiti 2014 and MeJeanne Couture. Good luck at the Miss World competition this December in London, England.

Love,

Your Glam Stylist Luxe