UNMADE Has Moved

It’s true.

All new beauty posts will be hosted at my namesake site, LeslieAlmeida.com. With all of my personal and professional projects I have going on at any given time, I thought it would be easier to share all of my passions from one home. In addition to beauty posts, you will also find items about the food & dining scene in New Orleans, and personal profiles from those I admire. You can also follow me on Facebook & on Twitter. Please join me & say hello!


Posted in NEWS | ANNOUNCEMENTS | 5 Comments

COVET | Christian Dior Velvet Eyes Backstage Eyeliners-To-Wear

Verb: Yearn to possess or have (something).

If there is one item in my beauty arsenal that I stock up on, yet almost always neglect to use, it’s false lashes. I am persistently running late, so I rarely have the extra 10 minutes it takes to apply falsies. If I actually used the lovely wisps I have lying around in my bathroom drawers, I might be able to justify purchasing this COVET, the Christian Dior Velvet Eyes Backstage Eyeliners-To-Wear Adhesive Eyeliner Patches (wow, that’s a mouthful).

These reusable appliques are applied to the makeup-free eye area in place of conventional eyeliner to create a bold look. Can you imagine zero drying time for liquid liners? No transference of product to your upper lid? A truly no-smudge / no-fade eyeliner!? Yes, all of this sounds amazing, but for a product that I probably would not allow myself the time to apply, would only use for special occasions, and has a $59 price tag, I might have to pass and covet from afar.

Would you drop $59 for the Christian Dior Velvet Eyes Backstage Eyeliners-To-Wear Adhesive Eyeliner Patches?


Posted in COVET, EYE MAKEUP, EYELINER | 13 Comments

Zoya Smoke & Mirrors Nail Polish Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Emily W. for winning my Zoya Nail Polish Smoke & Mirrors giveaway!

Emily entered here, referred a friend AND tweeted the contest, so with her three entries, it’s no wonder she won! Thanks to everyone that entered and spread the word about it.

Emily chose Zoya’s CYNTHIA, which is one of the polishes I will be purchasing for myself, as well. This shade is a new one for fall. The lighter neutral-grey polishes are still popping up, but dirtier, grungier shades like Zoya’s CYNTHIA and CODIE are truly on-trend.


This giveaway was so much fun. I will definitely be hosting more. Thanks again for reading!


Posted in GIVEAWAY | CONTEST, NAIL POLISH | 4 Comments

Fall Hair Color by Paris Parker Studio

As summer turns to fall, your wardrobe isn’t the only thing in need of an update. Your crowning glory, your mane, your HAIR, duh, also requires a seasonal revamping. I usually begin brainstorming about my upcoming cosmetic and follicle changes a couple of months before it’s time to exact my plan. My conundrum this season was that I had recently started coloring my naturally soft black hair blacker than the blackest black. We’re talking taking a level 2 black to a level 1, if you know what that means. And if you do know anything about the science of hair color, you will know that you cannot easily lighten naturally dark hair, let alone dark hair with layers of black hair dye. I knew what I wanted for my autumn hair, but didn’t think it would be possible.

Fortunately, I was invited to meet with Angelle at the Paris Parker Studio on Magazine Street (New Orleans). I told her that I was dreaming of level 6 dark blonde accents on each side of my face, hidden under my longest layers for a more subtle look with the added benefit of hiding new growth. During my consultation, Angelle agreed that we may not be able to achieve level 6 or lighter, but she would aim for it. What we did achieve was a pretty, bronze-y auburn shade that takes on new tones depending on the light. If I had to give the shade a name, I would call it Autumn Perfection. See the results for yourself. (*Warning! These pictures are HUGE. I am having resizing issues with my WordPress theme, and have yet to figure out what to do about it. Many apologies in advance.)

So pretty, right? And it’s perfect for my line of work. One day, I may be picking out looks for a fashion spread at a trendy boutique, but another, I might have to have lunch with my boss and her business partners, a situation where I wouldn’t want to stand out too much. I already have a tattoo on my forearm, so in those more conservative situations, I don’t want to appear any more youthful than I already do. (I can’t believe how young some people think I am. It’s a blessing until you need to be taken seriously.)


So, if I want to show off the color, I can. (Amazing earrings handmade by Tressa of Flambeaux Design Company.)


And if I want a more subtle or conservative look, I can hide it.


I bet you think this is a “before” picture, right? Au contraire, mon ami. It is my super stealthy new color in an “after” shot! (Oh. And yet another fab accessory –the bracelet, of course– from Armoire Boutique.)

Ok. That’s about all the pictures of me I can take for the day.

Now, here are a few more things I would like to point out about Angelle’s approach to my hair:

  • Angelle had never done my hair before this service. Her consultation was thorough and, even before she knew I had worked in salons before, did not speak down to me or get huffy when she heard the level of enlightenment I was hoping to achieve.
  • She did not promise me a certain level of lift. Too many times, I’ve heard of stylists saying, “Yes, we can do that”, and then the client is disappointed when their expectant blonde is actually more auburn.
  • Angelle was not willing to compromise the integrity of my hair to achieve a higher level of lift, nor should she have been. I have worked with some very talented ladies in the past that have had to nurture damaged hair back to health after a stylist turned a client’s locks to stretchy threads of gum, all because the client demanded that their hair be lighter. (And yes, that is what will happen to your hair if you leave a hair lightener on too long. It will stretch and then snap off at the weakest point. It’s rather sad, really.)

My experience with Angelle at Paris Parker Studio on Magazine Street was a pleasant one, from her initial offer of coffee, tea or water (I gladly accepted two of those three), right down to my nearly nap-inducing blowout (she truly has a gentle touch). The Paris Parker line of salons and spas are Aveda Lifestyle stores, meaning they use and retail only Aveda products, a line I’ve been a fan of since I bought my first non-drugstore brand of shampoo (Black Malva, of course) back in high school. If you would like to chat with Angelle about what she can do for you and your fall color, see the info after the gallery to schedule your consultation.

Paris Parker Studio | Magazine 
5434 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 891-1012


Posted in HAIR, LESLIE APPROVED, SALONS | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Zoya Nail Polish Giveaway | Zoya Smoke & Mirrors

I have a fun giveaway for my fellow nail polish fiends! Zoya Nail Polish has released their Fall 2011 Smoke & Mirrors collection, and I want to give one bottle of nail polish from the collection to one lucky reader.

To win, leave me a comment at this post with your favorite color from the Smoke & Mirrors collection, and tell me what you are looking forward to the most for fall. If you win, I will send you a bottle of Zoya nail polish in that color. Want more chances to win? Refer a friend to the giveaway! Just tell them to state, “<Jane D.> referred me!” in their comment, and I will put another entry in the drawing for you. Want yet another entry? AFTER you leave your comment here, if you use Twitter, tweet, “I want to win @Zoya_NailPolish’s <insert shade name> in the #UNMADE giveaway! http://bit.ly/ZoyaUNMADE – @LeslieJAlmeida. Good luck!

One winner will be randomly selected. An email address MUST be submitted in the comment form (which will not be shared publicly or used for devious matters such as spam) so that the winner can be notified. Commenting will be closed on this post at approximately noon on Friday, August 12 and the winner will be selected around 2:00 p.m. (central time). If the color you have chosen from the collection is out of stock, a similar shade will be selected for you. The winner will have one week to claim their prize.


Posted in GIVEAWAY | CONTEST, NAIL POLISH | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments

Monthly Fashion Spread for New Orleans Living Magazine | August 2011

The month of August is fashion purgatory for those of us that live in warmer climates. Last month, when we were getting the August 2011 fashion spread together for the magazine I work for, I had a conversation with the lead graphic designer regarding the month’s “theme”. It went a little something like this:


Him:  Hey, you got a theme for the fashion pages so I can pick a background photo out?

Me:  It’s all about transitional pieces. You know, transitioning your summer wardrobe into fall.

Him:  What kind of picture can I find for that????

Me:  Hmm… Here’s some inspiration:

Picture a fashionable woman living in New Orleans, thumbing through the August issues of Vogue and Bazaar, sweating her ass off even though she is sitting inside her air conditioned house. Over her shoulder, you see her closet open and stacks of sweaters and boxes of boots are splayed out. Silently, she cries. Salty, steamy tears.

Does that work?

Him: I got a picture of watercolor paint.

Me: Well, then I guess that works!


See?! It is so very difficult to find inspiration in this heat. Check out my latest fashion spread for New Orleans Living magazine, August 2011 | Smooth Transitions, for my picks from local boutiques.



Amelie G Magazine Mid-Summer Release Party

It goes without saying that I love an excuse to get dolled up and socialize with friends. Last night, I attended the mid-summer release party for Amelie G magazine, a local fashion publication that’s recently gone national. The event was hosted at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and featured nibbles, music and a brass band to hype the crowd. Just a sweep of the eyes over the party-goers would tell you it was all about who was wearing what. Below, a few of my favorite attendees (and a couple of vanity shots).

A little ’70s glamour with a touch of Vampira.

Christy Lorio (slowsouthernstyle.com / Southern Fashion Bloggers), me & Liz "Money" Tuazon

Joseph Miner, filmmaker/visual artist, and friend, Alicia David

Nicholas Landry and Andi Eaton, NOLA Fashion Week founders

And, of course, the makeup run-down:

  • FaceChanel Vitalumière Moisture Rich Radiance Fluid Makeup SPF 15 in Clair. This liquid foundation provides me with the dewy complexion I crave. I have troublesome skin that is flakey in some areas and, without TLC, it is just plain dull. I don’t mind the bit of extra shine on my nose (where I am oiliest), because I would rather have excessive “glow” than to have a dry, ashy complexion. Additionally, I use Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base before I apply my foundation. Ladies, if you don’t use a primer because you think it isn’t worth the money, you couldn’t be more misguided. Le Blanc de Chanel fills in my “lines” (yes, I know I’m not wrinkly, but still…), minimizes pore size and gives my foundation a smoother canvas to work on. Find a primer that works for you and USE. IT. It’s a game changer.
  • Lip colorCoverGirl LipPerfection Lipcolor in Spellbound. I haven’t purchased CoverGirl products since high school, but after reading the rave reviews, I ventured out to my nearest CVS and bought two. It’s moisturizing and long-wearing. And by long-wearing, I mean that I can wear it to bed and wake up with it still in place. Er, not that I’ve done that or anything.
  • Eye linerMilani Liquif’eye Eye Liner Pencil in 01 Black. I’ve been a fan of Milani for a few years. It’s one of those under-the-radar drugstore brands, but most of the products I’ve tried have really delivered. This pencil goes on creamy and dries to a bright blacker-than-black fortress. In normal conditions, it’s pretty transfer-proof, but in the most humid New Orleans nights, it doesn’t quite hold up. I love it anyway, especially for the price.

For more photos and my random beauty outbursts, visit the UNMADE Facebook page, www.facebook.com/UNMADE.


Posted in EVENTS, FACE, FOUNDATION, LIPS, LIPSTICK, PRIMER | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Cosmetics Salesperson Loyalty

Some of you might remember your mother, grandmother or aunt having an “Avon lady”. You know, the one friend or friend-of-a-friend that they would buy Avon from, and wouldn’t buy it from anyone else.  It isn’t uncommon for someone to be loyal to their stylist or barber. After all, to trust someone not to royally screw up their coif is a pretty big deal. Whether you are a beauty product pro or only buy the occasional lip gloss, developing a relationship with the salespeople at your favorite cosmetics boutiques and counters will help you get more from your visits and purchases, just as developing a relationship with your stylist can. Not only will they learn what your likes and dislikes are, ultimately maximizing your time at the counter or store, but they’ll remember you when their brand is running a special promotion or you are wanting to try a newly released product. After all, the best customers always get the best samples.

Images Copyright Avon

I have a “Dior lady” (Thanks, Michelle at Macy’s Lakeside!), but I am currently in search of a “Lancôme lady” in the New Orleans area, considering that I only buy and use Lancôme mascara. Do you have a cosmetic salesperson that you pledge allegiance to?


Posted in DISCUSSION | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Southern Fashion Bloggers June Group Post | Summer Sandals

It’s time again for another Southern Fashion Bloggers group post! This month’s theme is Summer Sandals. As the only strictly-beauty blogger that participates in these, I work my favorites into these group posts to keep on-theme. Here, I am showcasing a hot pink polish on the toes while showing off a recent buy from Armoire Boutique on Magazine Street here in New Orleans.

I love the fun, cut-out detail and lacing. Definitely one of my favorite buys this summer. On another note, it is really, really difficult to take pictures of your own feet, especially with a cell phone, which is what I used to snap this pic.

View my previous SFB Group Post entry here. For more Summer Sandal fun from other SFB’ers, check out:


Posted in NAIL POLISH, SHOES, SOUTHERN FASHION BLOGGERS | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Essie | Mezmerised

Frosts? Forget them. Sparkles? I use them sparingly. While I don’t want to sport neon green polish when attending meetings or VIP parties with the more conservative crowd my work centers around, I do still require a fresh, bold color. Essie Mezmerised is the blue that you need for a fun, yet sophisticated mani, and it’s perfect for summer.


The blue is bright, but not loud. It’s trendy, but doesn’t scream “intern”. The latter is very important to me, as I am frequently mistaken for being ten years my junior by co-workers, business associates and, shockingly, even my boss.


Now, I do have one gripe, but maybe it’s just me. I have the darnedest time applying Essie polishes. I don’t know if it is because the brands I have stocked up on in the recent past have had giant brushes, but Essie’s brushes are very slender. I also think that my base coat of choice is not ideal to prep the nail before applying Essie shades. Some base coats just work better (or worse) with some polishes. A little experimenting is definitely in order. So, while my application isn’t as perfect as I would like, Essie’s nail polishes, particularly Mezmerised, are worth the trial and error.


Posted in NAIL POLISH | 5 Comments