Classified Beauty: Exclusive Tips From Shannon O’Brien

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Shannon O’Brien’s work has been featured in CS Magazine, Refinery 29, and national ad campaigns, but that’s just the start. This isn’t why O’Brien’s clients rave about her, it all boils down to her incredibly refined work and relationships with everyone she comes across. Beauty can get complicated, and that’s why we asked Shannon to let us in on her favorite hush-hush beauty secrets & products. Now you can look like a glam goddess every day, all year long.

Shannon O'Brien

1. Makeup Forever Aqua Brow

This is so crucial if you love a strong brow.  Not only does it not travel or smudge, but it is waterproof WATERPROOF!  I love it particularly because it makes my brows a bit more buxom when they’re feeling a too skinny.  I play with my brow color a lot so I like to mix 2 or three to get the perfect shade.

2.  Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

This water based foundation is gorgeous, natural, and build-able.  It has a natural hydrated finis and I love to mix it with a beauty balm in the summer to sheer it out.  This is also a photo-friendly foundation.  Illamasqua also sells it with a “skin enhancer” color that when mixed in can highlight, contour, brighten, or bronze depending on the color you choose.  A++++++

3.  Sacha Juan Volume Shampoo & Conditioner

I just started using this combo and LOVE it.  I typically only wash my hair once a week so it’s important that the products I use hydrate my hair without weighing it down.  I even work about a quarter size of the conditioner into my hair after my shower to leave in for extra moisture.  I just like how soft and shiny it leaves my hair.  I am also a sucker for the simple packaging.

4.  Vaseline Cocoa Radiance Body Lotion

This is my all time favorite body lotion.  It leaves my skin buttery with a glow even the day after I use it.  It has a very subtle cocoa butter scent that makes me feel like I’m on vacation without being overpowering.  I keep it in my kit as well to knock out dry knees and an elbows on my models.  I feel like this stuff is magic.  My skin never feels better than when I use it and it’s a drugstore staple!

5.  SK-II Mask

This is the perfect cure for tired skin.  10 minutes in one of these babies and your skin is plump, radiant and super hydrated.  I like to use these the night before a big event to make sure my skin looks it’s best.  It is also a kit must have for VIP clients.  You look like Hannibal Lecter while using them, but I swear the pay off is worth it.

Swap Your Snacks

healthy snacks

Taking the time to make healthy snacks can seem like a huge hassle at the end of a long day. Processed foods can be an easy alternative, but is it worth it? Probably not. In ten short minutes or less, you can throw together a few ingredients that will be better tasting, less calories, and valuable to your nutrition. Martha Stewart has you covered. Sometimes, we just need a little inspiration.

1. Apples with cream cheese and raisins, and granola:

Sweeten any store bought cream cheese with a little honey. Halve an apple and scoop out the core, fill with cream cheese mixture, a little goes a long way. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and a little all-natural granola.

2. Updated ants on a log:

Halve a mini cucumber and scoop out seeds. Fill with hummus, top with chopped red bell pepper.

3. Mini pita pizza:

Separate a mini pocket pizza into two sections. Put in toaster, or toast in the over until golden brown. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and top with halved cherry tomatoes.Toast again until cheese melts.

4. Tropical Fruit Treat:

Cut pineapple and mangoes into long sticks. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir lime zest & agave syrup into low-fat Greek yogurt. Boom!


Dress Like A Fashionista Next Date Night

Much to people’s disbelief, date night and staying fashionable can go hand in hand. As a self professed man repeller, I love my Birkenstocks and boxy oxfords as much as the next fashionista, but sometimes have to hang them back up in the closet. My go to date night look has become a matching crop top/skirt combo, or throwing on a midi skirt. You can get the look too without sacrificing your savings, or your personal style.

date night fashionShop the look: Orange two piece set, ASOS. Black two piece set: Necessary Clothing.

Blackhead 101

Summer. So amazing for our souls, but so bad for our skin. Summer weather means dirt and grime building up in our pores, thus producing tons of pesky blackheads. A solid routine can help put an end to these little guys, for good.

1. Scrub. every. damn. day. Every morning, whether it be in or out of the shower, make sure to use an exfoliating face wash to open up your pores. Sebum, a sticky oil that causes blackheads, can get stuck in your pores and create a deeper issue later on. Squash it before it starts.

Our Pick: Burt’s Bees Peach & Willow Bark scrub; formulated with willow bark extract, this facial scrub deep cleans pores and gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells as finely ground peach stone polishes for a smooth complexion. This 100% natural scrub removes dirt and excess oil, leaving you with a refreshingly clean feel and naturally healthy-looking skin.

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2. Tone. The goal when using a toner, is to tighten your pores. Focus on spots where excess grease and oil build up, like your t-zone, forehead, and nose. If you have oily skin, this step is especially important for you. A toner can help keep shiny skin at bay, leading to a matte complexion. Stay away from dry areas, because toner will dry them out further and cause flaky patches.

Our Pick: Bliss Steep Clean Mattifying Toner Pads; I have been a long time user of Bliss products, and my skin thrives when using anything from the world class spa’s Steep Clean collection. These are perfect for oily and combination skin to reduce mid-day shine without leaving your cheeks peeling or parched. With salicylic acid, smartsponge technology (self activating oil-control spheres), and dead cell digesting enzymes, these are a no brainer.

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3. Two words: soft skin. After scrubbing and toning, you want to rehydrate your parched face with a non-oily moisturizer. Choose one with SPF to make sure your face is always protected.

Our Pick: Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream, SPF 15; This cream smooths and moisturizes in a flash. Listen to Allure: “this gentle moisturizer coddles even very sensitive and occasionally inflamed skin with natural, nonirritating ingredients. “

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4. Weekly mini facial. Pick a morning or night once a week, preferably after you get out of the shower to prevent dirt on skin, and really take the time to treat your skin. This may seem like a lot of effort, but this could be the difference between major blackhead drama, or clear skin. I use three different masks every Thursday morning and then follow it up with a heavy moisturizer. I’ve found that since I started this routine, my skin has a better tone, less blackheads, and I rarely have breakouts.

Our Picks, In Order Of Use:

a. Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask: This dermatologist-tested formula has the acne-fighting power of Benzoyl Peroxide to kill bacteria and treat existing breakouts. Cooling intensity builds as it penetrates deep into pores.

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b. Bliss Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask: This pore plunging, clog clearing mask will transform skin into a scene of extremely clean when used weekly for 15 minutes. Intensive exfoliation, oil elimination, and deep pore purging are a perfect for all (but especially pimple prone) skin types.

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c. Algenist Algae Brightening Mask: This will always be my go to product. No other product has given me results like this algae mask. Pricey, but worth every penny. The mask gently exfoliates with real leaves of sea kelp and delivers powerful antioxidant protection in a beautiful, freshly scented blue-green algae silt base. Its expert formulation is designed to visibly brighten, smooth, and hydrate while pampering your skin. If this is ever discontinued, I will cry.

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Regina George Syndrome


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Over the past few weeks, I have noticed myself running into an unavoidable amount of negativity. Whether it be random, on social media, or just plain mean, I really can’t seem to get around it. Over the past year of having my blog, I’ve gotten fairly used to comments full of criticism or hate, but my question is…why? Has everyone caught a serious case of Regina George syndrome?

Why do people choose to tear each other down for no reason, opposed to building each other up? What happened to the statement that “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all?”

The more I let things start to get to me, I began to ask myself why I was so bothered. If trolling Instagram or dedicating your time to making me miserable is consuming someones life, shouldn’t I feel bad for you? That is the conclusion I am sticking to. If someone has enough time on their hands to hate, let them hate, and feel bad for them.

This post is not a pity party, this post is to drive attention to the unfortunate growing issue of mean girls. I can’t even really say mean girls, because I was recently viciously attacked by a 40 year old man on Instagram for no reason. So, I’ll just say mean people.

Ultimately, this was a blessing in disguise because it brought me to The Kindness Campaign. The Kindness Campaign was founded in 2009 by two girls attending Pepperdine University who had both experienced bullying on campus. Their website says: “Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, both affected by bullying, decided to create a documentary and non-profit that would ultimately change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across America. The girls have gone on three national tours, spreading their school assembly program and documentary film in hundreds of schools and communities across the country.”

How nice is that? Kind Campaign is an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in KINDness that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime.” It all boils down to one simple thing: be kind to everyone. How hard is that? Not very.

A section of the website allows people to anonymously share their stories of harassment. Many of them start with the sentence “It started in 5th or 6th grade…” This broke my heart. At such a young age, kids are seeking out ways to terrorize each other for no reason. The lasting impact of negativity can be damaging, so let’s make an effort to stop this now.

I’m pledging to get involved with The Kind Campaign, and you can too at

Treat Yourself

Realistically, we cannot always afford to treat ourselves all the time. Sometimes, you have to walk past the shiny new Jimmy Choo’s calling your name at Barney’s.

Sometimes we have tiny wins (like not spending a small fortune on the Jimmy Choo’s we are ogling.) We get all of our work done early, you go to the gym consistently for a month, you haven’t texted “that guy” back for a whole day…the list goes on and on. Essentially, there is nothing wrong with a tiny treat for a tiny win.

My tiny treat is always something chocolatey. If you’re going to do it, do it right. Last week, I had all of my tiny treats in one night. Godiva hosted a wonderful dessert tasting at their flagship store in Chicago, and it was truly the perfect experience. Course upon course of Godiva truffles, Trufflelata sips, and soft serve came out as each one was explained.

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Personally, I love any form of chocolate and hazelnut, so the Hazelnut Crunch Trufflelata will always have half my heart. The other half of my heart will belong to Godiva’s chocolate soft serve, which could not be any more delicious.

What are your tiny wins? I would love to know, so please feel free to share in the comments below!


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This post was sponsored by Godiva Chocolate.

Saturday Sips: Bobby Flay’s Mojito Limeade




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1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 limes, cut into wedges, plus more for garnish
2 cups crushed ice, plus more for serving
1 cup Lime-Mint Syrup, recipe follows
1 liter white rum
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Club soda
Lime-Mint Syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 limes, zested
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves


Muddle the mint leaves and lime wedges with 2 cups crushed ice in the bottom of a large pitcher. Add Lime-Mint Syrup, rum, lime juice, and more ice. Top off with club soda, to taste. Pour into glasses over ice and serve. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and mint sprigs, if desired.
Lime-Mint Syrup:

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime zest and mint, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to infuse the syrup with the flavor of lime and mint. Strain out the mint and zest and refrigerate the syrup, covered, until cold.

Oxblood For Fall At Every Price


best fall make up

1. MAC Lipstick, $16.00. 2. Essie Nail Polish in Wicked, $8.00. 3.Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quad in 37, $61.00. 4. NARS Lip Pencil in Matte Train Bleu, $25.00.

Fall Lust List: If Boots Could Kill

If boots could kill, this one would knock them dead.

I am a huge fan of transitional pieces that can take me from day to night considering that I am often bouncing between classes, meetings, and events. A great shoe can make an outfit, which is why I’ve been relentlessly searching the interweb for the perfect fall boot. Behold, the Stuart Weitzman ‘Demiswoon’ Over the Knee Boot. If I could only buy one thing this fall, hands down, these would be it. The rubber wedge makes them easy to wear all day, and durable enough to run around the city streets in. The stretchy material would fit perfectly over dark wash jeans. throw on a white t shirt and leather jacket, good to go.

So…can the shoe gods just send these to my door…or? I’ll be waiting.


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Beauty Tips & Tricks: Renowned Hair & Make-Up Artist Kristen Pulice Gives Us The Scoop

Kristen Pulice has been all over the world, and somehow Chicago was lucky enough to be graced with her presence. Traveling with L’Oreal and The House of Bumble to London & Paris, Kristen knew she was in the right place. Pulice has made a name for herself as one of the most sought after hair & make-up artists in Chicago, and is not stopping there. Having personally worked with Kristen when she was kind enough to donate her time to For The Sake of Fashion, Streetstylechi knows first hand how contagious her bubbly personality is, and what an attention to detail she has. She has since worked with major companies, including Olay, Venus Gillette, John Frieda, Secret Deodorant, Mucinex, Crest White Strips, Express, The Limited and the television talk show The Steve Harvey Show. We are excited to see what her next move will be!

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Kristen was nice enough to put together a list of beauty tips & tricks for us. This will keep you looking prim and put together through these last sweaty August days. Take notes ladies!


  • Dry shampoo is awesome. Not only does it become your best friend on days

when you don’t feel like washing your hair but it also works as a great dry


  • Ditch your hairspray when teasing your hair and swap it with dry shampoo.

It will give your hair grip when you tease it and you’ll get a lot more height.

Spray it at the base of your hair in the crown area of your head, brush out any

remaining white residue and tease away.


  • Hate those little baby fly away hairs? Spray some hairspray onto a

toothbrush and tame them!

  •  Want the best beach wave spray? Next time you go on vacation and are

at the beach, take an empty water bottle with you and fill it up with ocean

water! Once you get home get an empty spray bottle and fill it with the ocean

water and you’ve got the best beach spray ever. (And it’s FREE!)

  •  Before going swimming, wet your hair completely and apply conditioner

from the base to ends. Too much chlorine and salt water is drying and

damaging and doing this will help protect it.

  •  Men…greys come with age and it’s totally okay to go to the salon and ask for

“grey blending”. This will help get rid of some of the greys but won’t leave

you looking like you clearly went and got your hair colored. Just be sure

to go to a salon and have it done as opposed to using the boxed color at the

store because it will be obvious that you colored it.

  • Speaking of the boxed color at the stores, please, please stop trying to color

your own hair with it. It’s so bad for your hair because it’s made like a “one

size fits all” meaning that the formulas in them are extremely strong and

harsh on your hair because they formulated to work on every type of hair.

I know it’s more expensive to go to a salon and have your hair colored but

it’s totally worth it. Also, if you mess it up and then have to go to a salon,

corrective colors are pricey and you’ll be pretty mad at yourself for having to

spend a lot of money that you probably were trying to avoid spending in the

first place.

  • Ladies please be sure to blend your makeup so you don’t get that line where

your face and neck are two different colors. Take your bronzer and with a

big makeup brush and blend it down onto your neck. (Don’t forget the back

of your neck if your hair is up!)

  • If you want big eyelashes, take your eyelash curler and warm it up a bit with

your blow drier prior to curling them. Be sure to only warm it up a little and

test it by feeling the temperature before you use it so it’s not so hot that it

burns you. Think of it as a curing iron for your eyelashes!

  •  Men, sometimes you guys have crazy eyebrows and hairs that grow on your

ears. When you’re getting your haircut ask your hair stylist to help you out

with them. They’ll trim them for you.

  • Got a strong cowlick? Wet your hair where it’s located, apply a small amount

of styling cream, hold the hair taut in the direction you want it to go and and

blow dry it.

  • Think out of the box with your makeup. Just because something is labeled

as an eye shadow doesn’t mean you can only use it as an eye shadow. It can

double as a highlighter or a brow powder etc.

  • Adding a drop of red food coloring to your self tanner will make it look more

realistic. Instead of the dreaded orange color, you’ll get a color that looks

more realistic and like you’ve just gotten back from a tropical vacation.

Sounds scary but it works!

  • Cutting your hair on a regular basis will NOT make it grow but it DOES help

keep your hair healthy. If you’re someone who never cuts your hair because

you want it to grow you’re not helping yourself. Once you get a split end it

slowly begins splitting up the shaft of your hair. This causes it to eventually

break which then makes your hair look thinner. If you’re trying to grow your

hair and hate getting it cut, go get a trim at least every 3 or 4 months so you

can prevent split ends from happening.

  • Have a wide nose? Make it appear slimmer by contouring and highlighting it!

Take your bronzer and apply it down both sides of your nose and then take a

highlighter and apply it down the center of your nose.

  • Applying highlighter to the bow of your lips will make them appear bigger.

So will applying a small amount of lip gloss only to the center of your lips.

  • Have a special event where you want your makeup to last all night? Invest in

a makeup setting spray. Urban Decay makes a great one called “All Nighter”

which can be found at Ulta or Sephora. After you’ve finished your makeup,

spray a light coat over your face and party the night away without worrying

about having to reapply anything later.

  • Want the perfect beachy wave? Wrap your hair around your curling iron

instead of clamping it. Leave the bottom inch and a half of your hair out and

away from the heat. This will create a beach wave as opposed to a full curl. If

your hair is too waved, give it a tug while it’s still warm to loosen it up. Shake

out when finished and you’ve got the perfect beach wave!

  • Got a red zit that you just can’t seem to cover? Use a green concealer. The

green will help cancel out some of the redness.


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