Rue How-To: DIY Liquid Eyeliner

If you’re determined to master the coveted cat-eye (it took me months), you’ll appreciate this DIY. Before you head to the makeup counter and spend upwards of too much money on liquid eyeliner, make your own out of eye shadow already in your arsenal.

All you need? Contact-lens solution. I used Bausch + Lomb ReNu® multi-purpose solution. You’ll need three or four drops at most. Keep it on the dry side – you can always add more when you’re ready to use it. If you’re not a contact wearer, steal some from a friend or head to the drugstore and pick up a travel-sized bottle.

Tip: Hesitant about mixing a whole palette? Try dipping your eyeliner brush into contact-lens solution before applying your shadow.

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By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Did you find this beauty tip helpful? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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May 1, 2013

Creative Culture: Rue Gets Crafty

Here at Rue, we pride ourselves on our creativity – and that doesn’t end at our love for great writing, design, and killer fashion. Take, for instance, the newest addition to the after-hours lineup: the How-To Half Hour, designed to help each of us embrace our inner crafty kid.

Yesterday, we tried out this week’s Rue How-To and upcycled old T-shirts into Nantucket-inspired bracelets. How’s that for Earth Day spirit?

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By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

Are you creative like Rue Associates? Check out all of our openings on Rue La La Careers.

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April 24, 2013

Rue How-To: Nantucket-Inspired T-Shirt Bracelets

Remember when you were a kid and you spent summers making friendship bracelets and reading Judy Blume? Well, this week, we have a slightly elevated version of that. Slightly. You know that pile of T-shirts you’ve been hoping to donate for the last year or so? Now’s your chance to wear them in a whole new way.

Say hello to summer’s most versatile accessory. These upcycled bracelets can be stacked with colorful enamel bangles for work and cocktails, or worn on their own for beach weekends. You could even weave in chains, studs, or charms for an of-the-moment look.

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Once you get a rhythm down, the process will speed up. For the details on this braid, visit New York City blogger Lana Red – she’s broken down the steps in a helpful diagram. Not in a particularly crafty mood? Try a (super easy) traditional braid with multiple colors woven in.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Would you add these T-shirt bracelets to your stack? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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April 24, 2013

Rue How-To: Repair Your Cracked Pressed Powder

No matter how careful you are, eventually that pressed powder becomes just thin enough to crack into a million pieces. Maybe it spent the night in the car when it was negative 12 degrees out, or you left it in your checked bag by accident (dreaded baggage handlers). Or perhaps, like me, you’re a klutz, and you’re constantly dropping things.

Before you toss that can’t-leave-the-house-without-it bronzer in the trash, check this out. A couple of drops of rubbing alcohol, a few dabs with a spoon, and voilà – your once-on-its-last-legs powder has two more weeks to live.

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Tip: If there’s not enough powder left to re-press (or if it’s on its third drop), scrape it out of the compact, dice it up with a sharp knife, and pour it into a smaller mineral powder container.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

What do you think of this makeup tip? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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April 10, 2013

Rue How-To: Mix Your Own Nail Polish

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a stash of old eye shadow that you know you’ll never use again, but you just can’t bear to toss. Here is a simple, inexpensive way to make it new again – all you need is a bottle or two of clear nail polish. If you don’t have any at home, search the drugstore for the best, least expensive clear polish you can find (I wouldn’t go above $3.50).

Mixing Tip: Boost your new color up a notch by mixing multiple powders. Try purple with grey for a matte mauve, or lighten any dark shadow with white.

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By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Did you find this beauty tip helpful? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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April 3, 2013

Rue How-To: Coffee Bean Candles

From backyard cocktail parties to Sunday barbecues, springtime festivities call for a change of décor – and these candles are just the thing. Prep time: five minutes. Cost: pick up a box of tea lights at the dollar store, or at the grocery store where you buy your coffee – all in all, about six dollars. Result: candles that make the house smell like a coffee shop. BLG-1365_coffe-beans[2] By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

What do you think of using coffee beans for candles? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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March 27, 2013

Rue How-To: Wear a Scarf as a Wrap Skirt

Don't pack away those winter pashminas – they're about to become summer's miniskirts and beach cover-ups

From headband to halter top, there are many ways to repurpose a scarf… safely. So when blog browsing taught me a way to easily transform one into a miniskirt, I immediately thought wardrobe disaster – but then remembered my affinity for free clothes.

Start with a scarf. The one I used here is cashmere, 72 inches long, 32 inches wide, and fringed. Fold it in half (the long way) and begin. Tip: Unless you’re wearing it over a bathing suit, use a safety pin or fancy brooch for secure fastening.

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By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

How else would you wrap a scarf skirt? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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March 20, 2013

Rue How-To: DIY Bath Salt Scrub

Life moves fast (deep, I know). Chasing the bus down the street and getting to work on time is a daily challenge in itself. In an effort to slow the pace, I encourage you to rediscover the magic that is a bath. Spoon in a few scoops of these vanilla eucalyptus bath salts, light a candle or two,  and inhale the soothing aromas.

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A few helpful tips: Skip the first step and pick up a large jar of combined Epsom and Dead Sea salts at the craft store for only a few dollars. Also, if you don’t love the smell of eucalyptus, use any type of dried herb or flower (like lavender or rosemary). Finally, I used the same coloring and fragrance as I did for this DIY soap, so if you have any left over, save yourself the extra trip.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

How did your bath salt scrub turn out? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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March 13, 2013

Rue How-To: Make Your Own Hand Soap

Generally, I’m a liquid soap kind of person. But there’s something about these artfully designed bar soaps that spruce up a space. They also make an impressive gift in a pinch (just tie them with a ribbon). All you need are a few key ingredients. Choose your favorite colors (or ones that complement your wallpaper), any fragrance (from chamomile to peppermint), then melt the soap, stir it, pour it, cool it, and you’re done.

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Makes one 4-ounce bar of soap

What you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Opaque white soap (I bought a 2-pound pack of shea butter soap from my local craft store. You can also find it online.)
  • Glass bowl
  • Spoon
  • Food coloring
  • Vanilla fragrance or essential oil
  • Soap molds
  • Soap stamps

How to do it:

  1. With a sharp knife, cut a 4-ounce block of soap and place it in a microwaveable glass bowl.
  2. Melt on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then place soap back in microwave for three to five 10 – 12 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until soap is completely melted.
  3. Remove soap from microwave. Add food coloring to soap one drop at a time, stirring between each drop, until desired color is achieved.
  4. Add fragrance or essential oil. A good rule of thumb for fragrances is about 5 drops per ounce. Mix thoroughly.
  5. With your stir spoon, put 3 – 4 drops of soap on the bottom of the soap mold. This will act as a glue for the stamp.
  6. Firmly press the stamp into the mold with the design facing up. At this point, if your bowl of soap has hardened at the surface at all, give it one last stir, or place it back in the microwave for a few seconds.
  7. Pour the soap into the mold.
  8. Leave the soap out to harden for 40 minutes to an hour, or place it in the refrigerator for faster cooling.

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March 6, 2013

Rue How-To: DIY Lip Gloss

I’ve discovered the easiest way to make your own uber-moisturizing, inexpensive, and shiny-as-the-department-store-brand lip gloss. All you need? A few items from your makeup arsenal and a tiny bit of patience. Here are the details:

Rummage through your makeup and pick out a pot from an old powder or lotion sample – one that you won’t mind cleaning out. Can’t find one? There’s a space on almost every eye shadow compact with a small applicator brush (looks like this) that almost no one uses. This, my crafty friends, is the perfect spot for lip gloss.

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What you’ll need:

How to do it:

  1. Wash a makeup pot with soap and hot water. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Scoop about a teaspoon of petroleum jelly into the pot. If you are using the brush space next to an eye shadow, it will likely be less. Use your best judgment.
  3. With a knife, cut about 1/4 inch of lipstick and place it directly in the petroleum jelly. The lipstick is mainly for color. Use more or less depending on how opaque you prefer your gloss.
  4. Set your blow-dryer on low strength and high heat. Aim the air at the pot with 6 – 12 inches of space between the dryer and the gloss. This is where the tiny bit of patience comes in. Rotate the pot in your fingers as it heats for about 30 seconds, or until the materials begin to melt.
  5. Using a toothpick, stir the lipstick into the petroleum jelly. Blow-dry for another 30 seconds, then stir again. Repeat this process until smooth.
  6. Place the pot in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  7. Cap it, and you’re done.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Do you have any DIY lip gloss recipes of your own? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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February 27, 2013