Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Today is a day to be thankful. Thankful for a roof over my head, clothes to wear and food to eat. When you think of having a place to live, a warm coat to wear during Winter and a gourmand ambience surrounded by an abundance of amazing food, if you have all of these you are still richer than over 80% of the world. To think that as we sit and enjoy this day with our family, our friends and other loved ones, over half of the world is struggling for a place to live, a warm coat to wear and food to eat.
When I think of the less fortunate struggling just to get a glass of water or to wear a pair of shoes, I can only think of how life would be without those very basic essentials. I see the people who struggle as people who appreciate the finer things in this life rather than complain about them. It's like seeing someone upset over something so common and yet they dwell on it. Kind of like crying over spilled milk. Yet those people who do not have the same privileges do not waste their time. Why? Because they are trying to find milk. And although they may not cry over the same experience, the point is-they would cry if their milk did spill simply because that is the milk they need in order to survive.
Thanksgiving's origin is quite interesting, but the same message has always applied and still continues to do so-be thankful for what you have because there is always someone in this world, in this life that has it worse than you do. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have clothes to wear? Do you have food to eat? If so, you are still richer than over 80% of the world. If you think about this fact alone, you will recognize how true it is.
So, as I celebrate this day with my family, friends and other loved ones, I am very thankful for everything in this life. Each and everyday is a true blessing and with the love in my life and the love in my heart, I can only be forever grateful and thankful for the life that I live.
From my home to your's, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Victoria's Secret: Love Red Lace with Nude Illusion

There is something that should be said about the color red and the holidays. In fact, I think the two go together. A lot like coffee and mornings and mood swings and menstrual cycles. Ok, well, maybe that isn't the best analogy when describing a Victoria's Secret bra and panty set that I purchased, but I think you kind of get the idea.
This is a new addition to the Very Sexy line. This is the new Satin & Lace push up bra. The Very Sexy push up bra in Love Red Lace with Nude Illusion (GP4). I really love the color because it's quite intense and vibrant yet isn't too cool or warm. Almost neutral, I want to say.
What attracted me to this particular bra and panty set was it's vintage yet modernized appeal. The mesh cups with the lace really caught my attention. I also love the nude illusion and the fact that it is red. Red is one of those amazing shades that just really embraces romance. It's a lot sexier in person than it is in the image, which is so very sexy.

Would I recommend this color? Yes. Would I recommend this style? Absolutely. I cannot wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday and of course the days after, so I can use my Victoria's Secret Rewards cards. You are all the best and I hope you are having a wonderful day. Happy Holidays!

Victoria's Secret: Blue Sapphire Strappy Embellished + Citrus Squeeze Yellow with Silver Foil

Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love Victoria's Secret. The brand has evolved into something magical, offering everything from the most beautiful bra and panty sets to some of the greatest beauty essentials and much more. I guess you could say that Victoria's Secret is a big enough brand that it also includes lines, including the famous PINK line which has now evolved into a brand all by itself.  
I am obsessed with Victoria's Secret and my favorite line right now is from the Very Sexy collection. I find that the bra and panty sets are exquisite and made incredibly for the price. I also love the colors and designs they offer, especially for the holidays. My most recently discovery is the Very Sexy push up bras in Blue Sapphire Strappy Embellished (39S) and the Citrus Squeeze Yellow with Silver Foil (4BE) with the panties to match.
The details of the colors with the designs are beautified and the embellishments and details work immensely as decorations towards the fashion. The colors leave so much to desire and look prettier than I imagined looking at the stunning photo on the website. The Blue Sapphire is very similar to a neutral yet warm blue and although it is bold, I would say it's a cross between a cool navy blue and a warm teal blue. The Citrus Squeeze reminds me of a vibrant yellow that mimics a pale lime green. Almost as if a yellow shade decided to join forces with a lime green yet not as bright as either, but still vibrant.

Would I recommend these colors? Yes. Would I recommend this style? Absolutely. Happy Holidays!

Victoria's Secret: Love Red Lace with Pirouette Pink Lace

Victoria's Secret doesn't even have to have a sale and yet I find myself there searching for my next shopping victim. What more can I say about Victoria's Secret? They offer some of the best bra and panty sets along with other great essentials including beauty essentials.  They also offer great customer service too.
Recently, I was able to grab the Dream Angels push up in Love Red Lace with Pirouette Pink Lace (HE0) along with the panties to match. I believe the color in collaboration with the style really embodies the holiday season in the most festive yet sensual way possible. The Love Red is more of a cool red than a warm red, yet is a true red shade. 
Just like my recent purchases (thank you to my amazing boyfriend Joe) the style, the color, and the gorgeous design is what caught my attention and basically lured me in to choosing this one over some of their other styles. Also, like the previous it's actually prettier in person. So far, I am loving Very Sexy and Dream Angels the best in terms of quality, style, and color over any of the lines within the Victoria's Secret brand.

 I also managed to grab a pair of their comfortable slippers for only $25 and their Coconut Milk Body Oil for under $10. I also grabbed the body butter which was under $10, but is backordered and if I remember correctly should ship soon (I will have to look into it).
Would I recommend this color? Yes. Would I recommend this style? Absolutely. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

SUSU Handbags: Baxter Mermaid Fishskin Leather Crossbody Bag

Baxter Mermaid Fishskin Leather
Crossbody Bag
in Beige.
Created by Susu herself, this incredibly talented designer who resides in the heart of the big apple (NYC) and city of angels (LA) has quite the history in the business. Not only has she worked for BCBG Max Azaria, but she's established herself in the fashion scene many years prior to starting her own line of handbags.
Her luxury handbags are amazing, possessing only the finest materials including the greatest quality of leather. They are modern and classic. And depending on the type you get, they can really epitomize your mood.
Recently, it was an honor to be chosen to receive one of her amazing handbags (thank you Susu and eAccountable), the Baxter Mermaid Fishskin Leather Crossbody Bag in Beige which retails for $278. I absolutely love this bag and so far, have received quite a few compliments about it.
Not only does this amazing addition to SUSU Handbags include a genuine dual texture leather, the fishskin pattern makes it look like something you would find in a high-end boutique for thousands of dollars beyond the $278 price tag. The leather is also 100% authentic and quite soft, which I really love. I also love the idea that it's durable in a sense that you can tell it's not the type to wear off.
I also really love this bag because the strap drop is only 21" and it includes an amazing adjustable crossbody strap. This gives you the ability to wear this as a crossbody, as well as, carrying it as an actual handbag. With a width of 10", height of 8", and a depth of 3", this bag is great for carrying quite a few things and a lot bigger than I had originally assumed.
The center strap really adds a lot of definition to this bag along with the pivot metal closure. At first, I was sort of confused by the closure, until I discovered that all you have to do is line up the sides to actually open it.

I really cannot see anyone disinterested in this bag unless you are one who doesn't wear leather. If you are one who doesn't wear leather, you may not find this bag appealing. It is also quite simple too, so if you are interested in something a little more embellished and extravagant this bag may not be you. It is a crossbody style (which I understand, not everyone enjoys) but this bag is extremely versatile and goes with virtually everything.
To grab your SUSU Handbag, simply click here today.

FTC: I received this handbag in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Holidays 2015: Clarisonic

Clarisonic is a world-renowned skin care brand that works to reveal healthy skin. As the inventors of the first sonic skin cleansing system in 2004, Clarisonic has evolved into one of the biggest beauty brands in the world. Located in the heart of Redmond, Washington; Clarisonic is recommended by dermatologists, cosmetics surgeons, spas, and prestige boutiques and stores. Gentle enough to use twice a day, this brand offers some of the greatest skin cleansing devices on the planet. So, what are the best Clarisonic essentials for the holidays this year?

SMART Profile Holiday White Gift Set - This amazing Clarisonic gift includes the SMART Profile device, two extra brush heads (the dynamic facial brush head and the turbo massage body brush), a pedi smoothing disc, the pLink charger, a refining skin polish, and a refreshing gel cleanser. This gift also includes the limited-edition Keith Haring Bag. The SMART Profile device costs $265 alone, so aside from the device you are getting all of these other amazing essentials, which makes it a true beauty steal and one of the gifts you can give this holiday season. ($265 at Clarisonic)

Mia 2 Keith Haring "Dance" Skin Cleansing System - Recently artist Keith Haring lent his creatvity to the Clarisonic brand. His designs are quite iconic and featured on the devices which makes them quite unique. This Clarisonic gift includes the limited-edition Mia 2 Keith Haring "Dance" facial cleansing device, replacement sensitive brush head, the pLink charger, and a refreshing gel cleanser. This amazing gift also includes the limited-edition Keith Haring Bag. And like every other device, comes fully equipped with the 2-year warranty. (149 at Sephora)

Mia 2 Keith Haring "Dream" Skin Cleansing System - Keith Haring was an artist and social activist from Pennsylvania who died from AIDS in early 1990. Although he is gone, his art remains forever. Clarisonic has recently shared his designs by including them on some of the devices and on limited-edition device travel bags. Speaking of limited-editions, this gift is really something special. You will receive a Mia 2 in the color "Dream" (a stunning fuchsia-like-purple) along with two sensitive brush heads, a pLink charger, and a sample size cleanser. You will also receive a special edition Keith Haring bag which features his art. ($149 at Clarisonic)

Mia 1 Electric Pink Holiday Set - For the holidays this year, Clarisonic is offering their one-speed wonder in "Electric Pink" for under $100. The best part is you will receive a sensitive brush head, a deep pore brush head, a pLink charger, and a sample size cleanser to complete this gift. Talk about a real beauty steal. If you are searching for the perfect present, you can make any skin care lover's holiday with this one. ($99 at Clarisonic)

Mia 2 Starry Night Gift Set - This amazing Clarisonic addition includes a Mia 2 facial cleansing device in the color 'blue moon', the pLink charger, and a Sonic Radiance skin renewing peel wash. This amazing Clarisonic gift also includes a travel case in the 'blue moon' color. On top of these Clarisonic essentials, you will also receive the Dr. Jart+ BB Night Beauty Balm (travel size), the Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Serum (travel size), and the Boscia Tsubaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask (travel size). There is no need to contemplate and debate this purchase, as this is the perfect present for every beauty and skin care lover in your life. ($149 at Sephora)

Brush Head 4-Pack - Do you already own the Clarisonic sonic cleansing skin device? If so, then you just may want to check out their latest limited-edition holiday offerings, the 4-pack. Available in two sets (one for sensitive brush heads and the other for combination brush heads) each pack includes four brush heads. You get four brush heads. If you do the math, you getting four brush heads for the price of three. Whether you are searching for stocking stuffers or a stand-alone gift for someone who is a proud owner of the Clarisonic, this is the one. ($81 at Clarisonic)

Catch up with Clarisonic today. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Joyeux Noel, Celebrate Christmas in Paris with Too Faced Cosmetics

Le Petit Tresor
Bonjour beauty belles. Temps pour obtenir belle. Too Faced Cosmetics is offering quite a few gems this holiday that will allow you to experience the magic of Christmas as a true Parisian. They are truly bringing French glamour back with their Christmas in Paris collection. With an array of limited-edition items, including exclusives and new additions to the brand, you can expect nothing short of amazing this holiday season.

Le Grand Palais - Noël approche. The palette includes 18 eye shadows, two blushes, a bronzer, and a highlighter. In addition to the palette, you will receive deluxe sizes of your favorites which include a Better Than Sex mascara, a Melted lipstick, and Shadow Insurance. You will also receive a face kit that includes glamour guide tutorials that allow you to create so many looks. As a $378 value, you are getting a great product for the value too. The perfect gift for that beauty enthusiast and makeup junkie in your life. ($58 at Sephora)

Le Grand Chateau - This fabulous Too Faced addition includes three amazing palettes that would make any makeup lover happy this holiday. The palettes are French themed and include: Paris in Love, Paris After Dark, and Paris Au Naturale which really depict the true mood of a Parisian beauty. Each palette contains 18 stunning eyeshadows, two blushes, a bronzer, and a deluxe size of the best-seller Better Than Sex Mascara. This is a $215 value and it can be your's for under $50. ($49 at Too Faced)

Let Petite Maison - Fall is here, as Winter is near and before you know the holidays will be here. Tis the season to celebrating the beauty of Christmas in Paris. This wonderful palette includes 12 beautiful shades, a deluxe size of the award-winning Better Than Sex Mascara, and a face kit that shares three amazing makeup looks. Speaking of a celebration, this a $153 value, so you are definitely getting a lot of amazing makeup essentials for the money. ($39 at ULTA)

Melted Kisses & Sweet Cheeks - This magnificently sweet set includes three deluxe sized Melted lipsticks (Melted Nude, Melted Peony, and Melted Fig) with three deluxe Love Flush blushes (Love Hangover, Justify My Love, and Your Love is King). You can give each one away as a side gift as well as, a stocking stuffer or you can create one, stand-alone gift that will make any makeup fanatic's Christmas. With melted kisses and sweet cheeks this holiday, let's face it - everyone wins. ($36 at Too Faced)

Le Petit Tresor - Estes-vous excité à propos des vacances? The La Creme Color Drenched Lipstick is the perfect pairing for those Parisians looking to embrace the holiday. You get three full-size La Creme Color Drenched lipsticks in Nude Beach, Taffy, and WHAM! in a gorgeous glitter bag. Speaking of the the glitter and glam to-go glitter bag, it is the perfect necessity to keep in your purse or bag. Why? Because you never know when you will meet your match under the mistletoe. ($29 at Too Faced)

French Kisses Melted - Explore the perfect party pleasing pout of a true Parisian with this limited-edition set. Ths set includes four deluxe sizes in Melted Peony, Melted Chihuahua, Melted Metallic Macaron, and Melted Berry. Whether you are searching for the perfect stocking stuffer or simply looking for lipstick set that will make any beauty lover swoon, this is it. Under the mistletoe? Bisou bisou! ($25 at Too Faced)

Deluxe Better Than Sex Ornament - This limited-edition gift features a deluxe size of the Better Than Sex Mascara in a decorative festoon that will compliment any tree. Whether you are looking for a last minute stocking stuffer or a side gift that will create instantaneous happiness in any makeup lover's life, this is definitely the one. Les vacances arrivent! ($12 at Too Faced)

Avez-vous été bon ou méchant? For more information about the Christmas in Paris collection from Too Faced Cosmetics simply visit the official site today. Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Beauty talk with Amalia Moscoso about HairClutch by DAME

The amazing owners of DAME,
Amalia Moscoso and Debbie Bartes.
When Amalia Moscoso and Debbie Bartes created DAME, they had a vision. As a passion for hair and beauty, these childhood friends came together to make that vision a reality. DAME is known to create unique beauty products, including their latest amazing addition, the HairClutch. The HairClutch is a chic and stunning clutch-style bag that allows to safetly and securely carry your hair extensions. Recently, I caught up with Amalia Moscoso of DAME to talk about the HairClutch. Here is what she had to tell me...

Sarah Afshar: Hello Amalia. How are you? Tell me a little more about Hair Clutch…

Amalia Moscoso: I'm well, thank you for asking! HairClutch is a 3-in-1 solution for hair extensions. You can store your hair, travel with it , and style it while its hanging in the bag. It is the first of its kind and we have been honored a design patent, as well as a utility patent.

S.A: What inspired you to create this brand? Tell me a little more about the inspiration behind the brand and the hair clutch itself…

A.M: HairClutch by Dame is the first line of hair clutch to be launched. The inspiration for the product was simply need. I was a hairstylist for over 17 years and as a professional in the industry, I saw a need for us and our clients to have something to put our hair extensions in. we spend between 150-1000$ on human hair and until recently, there was nothing for us to store, travel, and assist with styling for our hair. Debbie Batres, a business expert, and I met in kindergarten and reconnected in our 20’s. It was like not a day went by. I brought this idea to her and together we formed our company House of Dame Inc. Our mission for the brand Dame is to create innovative beauty solutions for Dame.

S.A: I absolutely love the hair clutch, Amalia. It's fantastic for extensions and yet it's beautifully chic looking too.

A.M: Thank you very much.

S.A: With the amazing success of the HairClutch, I want to ask: do you intend to expand the brand in the future?

A.M: Yes, HairClutch has three versions that will fit into different markets of the hair extension industry. Dame will also have a life of its own as a solution based lifestyle brand for Dame.

S.A: What are your plans for 2016?

A.M: In 2016 we intend to continue building the HairClutch by Dame brand as well as, exploring licensing opportunities and mass distribution for the lower end line of HairClutch.

S.A: That is fantastic. Speaking of 2016, it's approaching very quick. The holidays are near. Do you have any plans for Hair Clutch and the holidays?

A.M: We have partnered with BoxyCharm on Instagram for a holiday contest giveaway. We will also be offering a holiday discount for orders of two hair clutches or more from our website.

S.A: That is so exciting. Is there a right or wrong way of caring for hair extensions? What is one hair care tip you want to share?

A.M: Hair extensions need to be cared for as one cares for their own hair. They need to be washed and conditioned regularly. Air dried is best. They also need to be stored and brushed out. Hanging in a HairClutch will keep them lasting longer.

S.A: Thank you for sharing that amazing tip. Do you test on animals? What is your stance on animal testing?

A.M: Absolutely not. Our factories have textiles that are not in need of animal testing. We don’t believe in cruelty of animals in any realm.

S.A: For all of those beauty and hair enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for the brand?

A.M: As dames, we love to take care of our beauty investments. We have makeup bags, toiletry bags, shoe bags, and now we have a storage, travel, and styling assistant for our hair extensions. You will extend the life of your hair and give it a home that is chic, and purposeful. In the future we will be a launching a full line of HairClutch in different sizes, styles, colors, and multi-purpose.

For more information, visit today.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Letters from the Labyrinth from Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Letters From The Labyrinth is the new and upcoming album from progressive and symphonic rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It is their sixth studio album, scheduled for release on November 13, 2015. Delivering the sounds of the season, the album offers 15 tracks by the band. Dubbed as the first hybrid album from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, this album was produced by Paul O'Neill, the founder of the band and co-produced by Dave Wittman. Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to new album - Letters From The Labyrinth. So, what did I think?
Time & Distance (The Dash)
Written by Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
The beginning of the song jumps right into an operatic chorus which reminds me of a Nightwish and Epica redux. The song is inspired by the changes of humanity through the years and is based on Night Castle from 2009. The lyrical delivery is majestic and consists of a choir of operatic sopranos singing through the entire song. The reverb works here and almost sounds natural. As the song continues, you can really get more of a rock sound. The sound is very much hard rock. The guitar riffs are good and really bring a whole meaning to the season.
Madness of Men
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven, Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
When I first heard this song, almost instantaneously, I could really tell this was going to be a song that would captivate the audience. The instrumental in this is so incredibly exciting, and I really love the delivery of this song. It's classical and timeless yet has that hauntingly beautiful symphonic rock vibe to it. I really love the piano sound in this song more than anything else. I think Beethoven would be very proud of this one. I love how the song starts light and yets darker and speeds up. This is what makes the Trans-Siberian Orchestra so magical.
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven, Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
First and foremost, the beginning of the song really starts out with a piano arrangement that is so exciting. I knew the moment it was played the angle it was going into. I really love how this song delivers both the classical and rock genres together instead of just starting with one and leading into the other. The guitar riffs are amazing. Jeff Scott's vocals are very strong and remind me of a 80's rock redux, which I really can appreciate. Out of the many renditions of this song I have heard, this is one of the best I have heard yet. In fact, I don't know if I would call this a rendition, but rather an enhancement.
Mountain Labyrinth
Written by Modest Mussorgsky, Paul O'Neill
This is one of those tunes that really grabs you instantly. The first thing that caught my attention was the ability to evoke such a hauntingly beautiful tune into something exhilarating. Like musical magic. It is very celestial yet virtuous. It starts out slow and innocent and really brings excitement towards the middle of the song which one can really appreciate. I really love the instrumental arrangement here, as it clearly works. This is definitely my favorite song from the album so far.
King Rurik
Written by Paul O'Neill, Vitalij Kuprij
The beginning of the song brings you a crepuscular keyboard solo which really renders a meaning here. Then about a few seconds short of a minute into the song, the song really picks up into an uptempo ballad. The song offers an amazing guitar riff that reminds me of The Who. The ending is something that leaves a lot to desire. Overall, the song is very powerful and the message is very clear here.
Prince Igor
Written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin, Alexander Glazunov, Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
The strings really come to life in this song and truly do take you to another place when the drum parts come in. At first, I was confused, but now I get it. The keyboard (the organ in particular) is really exciting in this tune. It is the 6th song of Letters From the Labyrinth and I find myself really appreciating the instrumental arrangement of the song here.
The Night Conceives
Written by Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
The classic guitar is the first part I hear and almost immediately I can hear various guitar riffs that tell me it's going to be more of a bluesy song. Shortly after, Kayla Reeves comes in. This song is very bluesy in comparison to most songs I have heard from the band. Kayla Reeves sounds fantastic. She's like a cross between Ann Wilson, Joan Jett, and Bessie Smith. The lyrics really depict a message. This is definitely not something you are use to hearing from Trans Siberian Orchestra yet it works. I really enjoy this song. If you are into blues music, I think you will not only love this tune, but appreciate it much more so.
Forget About The Blame
Written by Johnny Green
This is what is referred to as the Sun version of the famous song from Johnny Green. I really appreciate the execution of the song. It's more dark than the original and really brings something new and unique to the tune. Robin Borneman's voice is great on this track and you can feel the passion in his voice with this song. The lyrics really convey a purpose here.
Not Dead Yet
Written by Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
This song is truly something to desire. The opening bassline is quite uplifting. It reminds me of Walk this Way with more of a Funk spin on it. The rhythm is very evident here. The song is inspired by controversy based on the veracious lyrics. Russell Allen sounds great. He has a raspy voice that I really enjoy. After Allen sings his part, the composition starts to really take off. The guitars and drums are outstanding. I really love the use of the keyboard here.
Past Tomorrow
Written by Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
The strings and the piano are incredible here. Jennifer Cella has a stunning voice and really brings the song to life the moment she comes in. The song is dark Symphonic rock at it's finest with a classic crossover vibe to it. The song's storyline is stirringly striking too. If you are a fan of Epica, Within Temptation, Xandria, and Lacuna Coil, you will love this song. This is my favorite song from the album so far.
Written by Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva
When you first hear this song, you are not sure what it is until the instrumentals start to really take off. This power-ballad is a Savatage cover. For those of you who are unaware, Savatage was a heavy metal band created by Jon Oliva and his brother Criss in the late 70s. (RIP Criss Oliva) Adrienne Warren has a beautifully dark voice in this tune. Not quite buoyant nor melancholy, but somewhere in between. I really love how this song starts very light and ends dark yet you can hear where the moments are. It's very different from the original and almost as good.
Not The Same
Written by Paul O'Neill, Ireland O'Neill
First and foremost, when I first heard this, I could envision a gospel redux. Almost like Yolanda Adams or Christina Aguilera singing in a church surrounded by a choir. The song depicts a message, a real message about ignorance and bullying. It is quite expressive. The instrumentals are one thing, but when Kayla Reeves comes in, the song really takes off from there. She sounds amazing here. Absolutely amazing. Reeves has a lot of soul and the soul really sold me here. The piano leaves so much penchant. The songs just keep getting better. This is my favorite song of Letters From The Labyrinth so far.
Who I Am
Written by Paul O'Neill
Virtually instantly, I was getting sounds of classic rock. Very much The Who meets Queen with a hint of Mozart. The operatic choir here really works with the drums. The lyrics do not go unnoticed, but with such powerful instrumentals and vocals, that is the main focus on this song. It's a very exciting song and reminds me of a tune you would hear during an adventure. Absolutely outstanding. The music just continues to get better.
Lullaby Night
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach, Paul O'Neill
This is by far the best enhancement of Ava Maria that I have heard in a long time. To be honest, I wasn't sure if this risk would pay off because this song is very big and has been recreated many times, but it really works here. The melody has been darkened and refined, the notes really blend well making a timeless tune into a modernized earworm of euphoria. I also love the backdrops of vocal modicums. I get goosebumps just listening to this song. Trans-Siberian Orchestra really proves they can deliver some of the greatest music the world has ever heard with this song alone. My only con is that I wish it were longer. Do you think Bach is dancing in Heaven right now?
Forget About The Blame
Written by Johnny Green
This is another fantastic Johnny Green cover. Lzzy Hale's voice is really unique with this song. This is the Moon version. The acoustics really bring a rustic sound that does not upstage the vocal, but merely hides beyond the vocal stylings of Hale. Speaking of Hale, Lzzy Hale's voice really brings a very avant-garde rock to this tune. The best way to describe it is Suzie McNeil meets Joan Jett. Needless to say, I prefer this rendition over the Sun version. As the 15th track and final song to Letter's From The Labyrinth, this is also a featured bonus track.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra is filled with some of the most talented musicians in the world. The members of the band include: Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli, Luci Butler, Chris Caffery, Roddy Chong, Angus Clark, Joel Hoekstra, Mee Eun Kim, Vitalij Kuprij, Jane Mangini, Asha Mevlana, Johnny Lee Middleton, John O'Reilly, Jeff Plate, Derek Wieland, David Zablidowsky, and Dave Wittman.
Letters From The Labyrinth will be released on Friday, November 13, 2015. This is symphonic rock at it's finest. A plethora of melodies that produce only magic to the ears. This album brings you both light and dark polyphonies that cross into various genres while depicting a story that goes beyond any plot or libretto. A story that is so intoxicating and yet delivered in a hauntingly beautiful way. That is what music is all about. Would I recommend this album? Absolutely.

Friday, November 6, 2015

How to rock a short textured 'Do like Rumer Willis

Matrix SoColor Celebrity Stylist,
Nick Stenson at work.
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/
G​etty Images for Claire's)
Rumer Willis may be the oldest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, but what you don't realize is, she is a talented musician and actress too. Recently Rumer made her cabaret debut revealing more than just talent, but rocking hair. In fact, Matrix SOCOLOR Celebrity Stylist, Nick Stenson recently styled Rumer Willis for her Feinstein's/54 performance last night where she repped a short textured 'Do.

The question remains, is it possible to recreate this hair look at home? Absolutely.

First and foremost, you want to apply the MATRIX StyleLink Turbo Dryer Blow Dry Spray to slightly damp hair. It is important that your hair is not dry nor fully wet when applying this particular product. Now taking a round brush, you want to begin blowing out each section of hair.

"One of the biggest trends right now, is understated beauty. We all want that second day hair look, with some lived – in texture on the first day!" - Nick Stenson

As you continue, it is very important to protect the hair from heat. You want to apply the MATRIX StyleLink Heat Buffer Thermal Styling Spray as this will give you the added protection you need. Then, you want to take a 1 ½ inch curling iron loosely curl the hair.

"It’s important with short cuts especially, to not over work the hair and work with the hair ‘s natural texture. Layer in the product to accentuate hair’s natural feel." - Nick Stenson

Once you have curled the hair, you want to apply the MATRIX StyleLink Texture Builder Messy Finish Spray. Instead of using a brush or a comb, you want to use your fingers to comb through the hair.

To complete the look, you want to apply a dime-sized amount of the MATRIX StyleLink Gloss Booster. Why? Because this will add shine. Finally tuck the hair behind the ear.

How does it feel to rock a short textured 'Do like Rumer Willis?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Meet Yvette Masterson, President of Y Communications & Consulting

The beautiful Yvette Masterson,
president of Y Communications
& Consulting.
Y Communications & Consulting is a full service agency, specializing in beauty. Y Communications & Consulting offers clients everything from traditional PR, social media to product development consulting. Prior to starting the YCC Agency 15 years ago, Yvette Masterson was a fine jewelry and cosmetics buyer at Macy’s, so she has an understanding of what retailers are looking for. As a result, her clients greatly benefit from her experience in that arena. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Yvette Masterson. Here is what she had to say...

Sarah Afshar: Hello Yvette. Thank you for speaking with me today. What is the inspiration behind Y Communications? Can you tell me a little more about that?

Yvette Masterson: I am just a people person. Ever since I can remember I have been out there speaking with people about anything and everything. So the inspiration behind starting YCC was to create an agency that would create that kind of excitement, speak about our great clients and focus on what sets them apart from everyone else. Technology has really taken over and evolved, so we try as an agency to actually speak on the phone (when possible) and have that personal touch. Our team at YCC is a tight group of talented women and we all support each other. I really believe it’s important to have a strong unit.

SA: That is fantastic. Now, I have to ask - taking you through a 24 hour day, can you describe a day in the life of Yvette Masterson?

YM: Wow, it is never a dull moment. Always on the go! I am a mother, wife, and business owner. I’m based in Las Vegas, so when I am not traveling on business, I usually get up at 5 am and start my day at Zumba. I am an avid dancer, so I love to start my day with a 6 am Samba. After that, it’s school drop off and to the office. YCC has offices in NY and LA also, so we all have our daily calls to go over client strategies, events, etc. After a day at the office, I go to my other job as a mom and work on homework. My son, Blake jokes with me that he has to do his own projects…not me! I always have these big ideas and he says “STOP PR’ING me, Mom!” I have to say, I love creating over the top projects. I just can’t stop. Then, my husband Brad comes home from his job and we just hang out till 9 pm, then all the Masterson’s go to be. We are early birds.

SA: That is amazing. Let's talk about beauty! What are some of your favorite beauty products and why?

YM: I love lashes, lip gloss, cheek stains, and dry shampoo. Those are my go-to products. I just feel great when I have full lashes and rosy cheeks. If I was a stranded on a deserted island with these products, I could somewhat survive.

SA: Do you have an ultimate favorite? What is the holy grail beauty essential right now?

YM: My skin essential is Revive Light Therapy devices. I never thought I would be so hooked on a device. My panel is an investment at $350, but does everything and is so portable. The LED lights help treat acne, skin repair and prevent wrinkles with the amber lights for anti-aging. I can’t live without it! Now for my lashes, I get lash extensions which have changed my life so, I am ready to go as soon as I wake up. A total eye opener!

SA: What is your beauty regimen?

YM: I have been moisturizing my face since I was 9 years old. Seriously. My mother taught me to wash my face and moisturize every night, so it stuck. I am so glad because it really has proved to be an anti-aging preventative measure. I use the Peter Lamas Evening Age-Defying Facial Treatment, the Nourishing Buriti Oil Moisturizer and Firm, and the Lift Age-Defying Eye Serum. My skin just loves this natural line, Peter Lamas.

I don't wear makeup everyday so I keep it simple. My beauty go-to is Pixi Beauty. I love Pixi Beauty because every product has skin loving ingredients and makes you look like a fresher version of yourself. I am obsessed with the Mattelustre Lipsticks as they are long-lasting and provide your lips with full coverage. I also love the bright vivid hues.

SA: The holidays are approaching. What is happening at the agency?

YM: I love the holidays and it always comes way too fast. Time moves very fast in PR Terms. In December, we are working on client strategies and spring influencer events. I love holiday music, so we blast the tunes in the office and are knee deep in 2016.

SA: What beauty collections are you most excited about?

YM: I am all about new fun nail colors, so I am excited to see new hues from KBShimmer Nails. This indie line has the best shades and Crellys – a mix of a cream polish and glitter is amazing. I am obsessed! I’m also super excited to see the launch of Mix-o-logie fragrances this month, as they have 8 vials of rollerball fragrances that allow you to create new, custom scents. I love customizing my beauty, so this is right up my alley.

SA: For all of those beauty enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Yvette Masterson?

YM: Well, I am 48 and I just love beauty, skincare and hair. It keeps me happy and it keeps me young. I enjoy learning about all the new innovative treatments and technological breakthroughs in the industry. I love what I do. I wake up every morning and look forward to what the day brings. I started the agency 15 years ago and so proud of what we have built. My parents instilled in me to work hard for what you want and that is just what I have done. My day really never ends. I work until the job is done and sometimes it is not as glamorous as it sounds, but I still get so excited when we get a client featured in a magazine, TV or online. It’s a great buzz.

Catch up with Yvette at today.

Monday, November 2, 2015

SKAM artist merges with At Large Entertainment

SKAM Artist merges with At Large Entertainment.
Recently, DJ Artist and booking agency SKAM Artist has partnered with At Large Entertainment, adding more talent to a family of gifted artists and musicians. Sujit Kundu, the creator of SKAM has appointed Michelle Levy the founder of At Large Entertainment to be the Executive Director of SKAM's EDM Division where she brings talented artists to the SKAM family such as Dave Audé, DJs From Mars, StoneBridge and Micro. SKAM is host to over 80 DJ's and talent. Some of SKAM's finest include: Nick Cannon, Lil Jon, Samantha Ronson, Jermaine Dupri, Amber Rose, D-Nice, Mr. Mauricio, Blac Chyna, Havana Brown, Justin Credible, Eric D-Lux, Big Syphe, Ryan Cabrera, Tyson Beckford, Brooke Evers, Taryn Manning, DJ Irie, Sid Vicious, Vice and more. The amazingly talented Will.I.Am just recently joined the roster.

Sujit Kundu, founder of SKAM said "SKAM’s EDM roster has grown tremendously and Michelle is the perfect person to lead that division. I have a ton of respect for her work ethic and what she created with At Large Entertainment over the years. All of us at SKAM Artist are lucky to have her on board!"

Michelle Levy, founder of At Large Entertainment said "I have always admired the work that Sujit - along with the rest of the SKAM Artist team - has done for his clients. Now that I will be heading up the ever-expanding EDM department, I could not be more thrilled. The DJs from At Large who are joining the SKAM Artist roster are overjoyed! They’re so excited to now officially be SKAM Artists, and the future is looking brighter than I could have imagined!"

As you may or may not be aware, Kundu was chosen by Blackberry to be featured in their national 'Work Connected' campaign, which helped launch the Silver Edition Passport.

Catch up with SKAM Artist:

Official Website