We use an shadow primer to make our eyeshadow show up more, we prime our faces under foundation, so why don’t we prime our lips when we want our lipstick to really pop? Some of us have barely any pigmentation in our lips, making every lipstick look almost the same as it does in the tube. But many of us have a lot of pigmentation in our lips, making the lipstick look completely different on then it looks on the back of our hands or in the tube. That’s where a primer comes in! Before primers, we used to just go over our lip area with foundation. But foundation isn’t formulated for the lips and these primers are. Here’s how:



  • Cargo HD Picture Perfect Lip Primer — This one really extends the life of your lipstick while conditioning the lips.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Primer — This one is super conditioning and 100% vegan but doesn’t combat pigmentation. I just wanted to include it for the girls who don’t have to worry about pigmentation but want to prep their lips with the most moisturizing primer out there.
  • Stila Lush Lips Water Plumping Primer — I love this one because not only does it neutralize pigmentation, it leaves a conditioning shield that locks in moisture.
  • NYX Lip Primer — This one is awesome because it ensures the lipstick won’t “bleed” or travel outside the lip line.
  • E.L.F. Studio Lip Primer & Plumper — I love this one because one side has cinnamon to plump while the other side locks in the color so it won’t smudge and lasts longer. And the price is amazing!


  1. Apply the primer all over the lip area like you would apply a lipstick or lip gloss.
  2. Follow with your favorite bright lipstick and notice the difference!! It will be much truer to the color in the tube.




wet hair style ideas the beauty dept

Lately we’ve been getting tons of request for wash and go hairstyles and I’m not user why considering it’s winter in many parts of the country. But let’s DO it! Apparently a lot of you leave the house or the gym with wet hair so we’re going to do a hairstyle that you can let air dry that will look better and better throughout the day. If you’re going to wash and go, all you really need are two things– a good SPRAY LEAVE IN CONDITIONER and a great GEL SERUM (that one is my favorite but if you would like a less expensive alternative, Loreal makes this GEL SERUM). Gel serums are meant for air drying or blowdrying into the hair. I discovered this stuff while working in the salon. I needed something for those who wanted to forego the blow-dry (i know, crazy right!?) so I started using it then. It’s pretty cool. It has the texture of a gel but doesn’t get “crunchy” because of the serum addition. It stays soft and adds light hold and good volume.

Start by spraying in a light layer of your leave-in conditioner and combing out any tangles.  Next add a dime or quarter sized dollop of gel serum to the palm of your hands and emulsify it in your hands. Spread it throughout the hair evenly. I put this all the way from roots to ends and then brush through because I like to know that it’s distributed evenly throughout the hair.

the beauty department wet hair style 1


Now add two regular braids going from the sides to the back of your head. Cross them over each other in back and pin them together using large bobby pins. You always want to secure wet hair a little more because it tends to slip a little.

wet hair style the beauty dept

Now twist small sections throughout the back. This will keep frizz to a minimum and will create separation in your waves. The gel serum will help minimize frizz as well. Scrunch the hair a little before walking out the door and let the rest of it air dry.

thebeautydepartment wet hair style

Remember, you’re not going to get curling iron waves, so don’t expect this to look like that. This is a wash and go hairstyle using your natural waves or curls. If you have straight hair, this will still work.

These wash and go styles are ideal for anyone with damage needing a break from blowdrying and curling, anyone rushing out the door with no time for styling or even you beach bunnies down in Australia enjoying the summer right now!

Do you find wash and wear hairstyles to be helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below so we can gauge your interest and know whether to do more of these or not!




It’s easy to want to paint foundation on with a flat foundation brush like we would a canvas on an easel. But when we do that, the foundation just sits on top of the skin instead of becoming one with it. Then it comes off on our phones (the worst!) or friends’ shirts when we hug them when it doesn’t have to be that way. If you switch tools and techniques, you’ll be much happier with the results. Change #1: switch from a typical foundation brush to a fluffy foundation brush. Change #2: instead of painting it on with a heavy hand, swirl it on with a light touch, building in layers. You want the pressure to be super light, as if you were an archaeologist dusting off an artifact. This ensures that you applying the thinnest layer possible as you go. Then if the area needs more coverage, you go back over it a few times until it’s covered. You’ll be surprised how many areas that you won’t have to go back over! And you won’t look like you’re wearing a mask. Here’s how:



  • I splurged a little with this foundation that has the perfect balance of coverage and lasting power, and has the best range of shades of any foundations out there.
  • I also really love this oil-free  long-wear one for its budget-friendly price and gorgeous finish.


  1. Pump a few drops of foundation onto the palm of your hand or a glass palette.
  2. Dip the fluffy brush into the product and pull it across to thin it out as I demonstrated above.
  3. Start lightly swirly across your cheek. Don’t stroke hard! Lightly build!
  4. Continue along your forehead.
  5. Don’t forget your chin and neck!
  6. Go back over any areas that need more coverage.

Then spot conceal any problem areas with concealer and finish with a dusting of powder.


post/graphics: Kristin Ess

post/graphics: Kristin Ess

We’re headed into Spring and although we certainly get our nails done in the fall, our digits seem to get a lot more play in spring and summer. We thought it would be fun to create a must-have list that includes our favorite things (both new and classic) for mani lovers everywhere!

  1. CRYSTAL NAIL FILE: I am head over heels in love with the crystal nail files. I had never used one until last year and it changed everything for me. Emery boards are not on option anymore. Although it appears smooth it files my  nails just as well as any other file and the texture of this file creates a smoother edge, creating less cracks, chips and breaks. How did I not know about this sooner!?
  2. GENTLE NAIL FILE: This will be ideal for anyone with fragile nails because you want to preserve the strength of the nail and not rough it up too much. It’s smooth as well and a tiny bit less expensive. (But if you can spend a few more dollars go with number 1!)
  3. CUTICLE NIPPER + PUSHER: I have tried so many nippers and I find that many of them fail when it comes to making a clean cut. I love this one because it does just that which leaves me with zero hang nails.
  4. NON-ACETONE POLISH REMOVER WIPES: How amazing and wierd are these?! I was so skeptical the first time I used them. They’re for removing regular polish. They’re non-acetone and leave your nails/cuticles feeling super soft and nourished… somehow.
  5. NO-SPILL ACETONE DISPENSER: Sometimes I like my real acetone. I know it’s bad and try not to use it much, but when I do I HAVE to have one of these dispensers. You push the top down using a pad or papertowel and avoid the dreaded acetone spill.
  6. CUTICLE CREAM: Keep those cuticles moisturized! I tried this recently and I love it. It’s not oily so I can put it on before I leave home without worrying about getting oil everywhere. Lots of vitamins in this little guy.
  7. ANTI-FUNGAL CUTICLE OIL: Some people get fungus in the cuticle area of their nails or underneath. That causes breakage and brittleness. Avoid that by adding some drops of this as instructed.
  8. CUTICLE OIL PEN TO-GO! I have this in my purse always. (Okay, and one in my car)
  9. NAIL (AND HAIR) SUPPLEMENT These are some of my favorite hair pills, and they promote nail growth as well. So this is really a two-for-one sitch. Most hair pills promote nail growth because the same vitamins tend to boost both.
  10. NAIL KALE! This polish has VITAMINS in it!!! What else can I say. And they have some great nude shades for which are great for the upcoming months.
  11. NO-LIGHT GEL POLISH If you follow me on instagram you know I love this stuff. I have used it for months now and it really helps my nails grow because it’s harder than regular polish but you don’t need the UV light, which I find irritates my fingers. The topcoat is the key! Also, look at that gorgeous shade of marsala– Pantone’s color of the year, duh!
  12. POLISH WALL ORGANIZER: Get it together! Feature your faves and look like you’ve really got your ish together while you do!
  13. NAIL ART ROLL UP: I’ve laid off the nail art, personally, but I have some friends that are die hards. This is one of my favorite kits for nail art.
  14. NAIL POLISH TRAVEL CARRIER: If you’re a manicurist or you know one, this is a great gift for traveling with tons of polish.

Got any mani must-haves? Tell us!!!