August 12, 2010
My Philosophy? Treat Others Like You Want to Be Treated
Now Playing: Philosophy Skincare Giveaway at The Fashionable Housewife
As most of you know, I love entering contests; answering surveys; and giving reviews. Basically, anything where I can get something for free! Most of the time, I'm entering for products I don't know much about or have not previously used. Not this time. One of my fav blogs, The Fashionable Housewife, is having a Philosophy Skin Care QVC Giveaway worth approximately $80.
I have been a fan of Philosophy for at least a decade. They made one of the moisturizing lip balms I ever used, and they have deliciously scented body washes. (I was a fun of the gingerbread body wash.) I am also a huge of QVC. I watch it with the same regularity that people watch the news. (*SMH* I know, I know.) With that said, it would really please me to win this giveaway. If not me, than you. (I only say that half-heartedly because I REALLY WANT TO WIN. LOL.)
As part of The Fashionable Housewife's Philosophy celebration, they are giving away the Philosophy Eternal Grace spray fragrance & shower gel duo ($45) and Philosophy Your Best Skin 3pc skincare classics collection ($35). So why don't you head on over and enter at: http://bit.ly/philosophyqvc
August 7, 2010
Pleasantly Warm Face of the Day
Now Playing: face of the day featuring Nicka K Diamond Duo Eyeshadow
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
This morning I had some extra time, so I decided to do a full face of make-up. In retrospect, I think I should have gone with my CoverGirl Queen Collection Bronzer in Ebony instead of the CoverGirl Simply Ageless Cream Blush in Berry. I should really, really, really find a spot in my house where I can work in direct natural light. Actually, there is a great place but it is also a very inconvenient space--my living room. If I ever buy a roll top desk that I could transform into a vanity, it might work because I can hide my make-up works when I'm not using them. But, I digress.
Below is the full face. How do you like the vibrant golden yellow eye courtesy of Nicka D and N.Y.C. color?
1. I dusted my eyelid with E.L.F.'s Studio line translucent powder; 2. I dotted on a very thin layer of Ultima II base; and, then, 3. applied the yellow (the highlight side) from N.Y.C. Color's latest eyeshadow duo Upper Zest Side from brow to lid. (The yellow is much more vibrant when you dampened the brush, which I did. I used a tapered eye shadow brush to stipple on the color.
Finally, from crease to lid, I applied Nicka K Duo Eyeshadow in Toasted Almond. I swiped across both sides for a sunshine golden color. This picture came out dark, so it's not doing the vibrancy of the colors justice.
On my lips, I'm wearing CoverGirl ShineBlast in 880 underneath Black Radiance Liquid Lip Color in Coral Kiss. I used CoverGirl for moisturizer, because it really isn't highly pigmented. I used a light swipe of Black Radiance. Their coral is more pink than orange. It's a subtle hint of color. (I suggested using Black Radiance or any brand geared towards African-Americans or Latinos because you'll always get more color vibrancy.)
July 19, 2010
Libraries are cool
Now Playing: Brigham Young University Library Commercial
Topic: Random Thoughts
As a librarian and a fan of the Old Spice commericals, this parody commercial floored me. Enjoy.
July 14, 2010
Nails and Stains
Now Playing: Avon Nailwear Pro Nail Enamel and CoverGirl Lipstain
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I haven’t done any FOTDs in awhile. It’s just a little too hard for me to do it whilst my little ones are running around trying to get my attention before I go to work. However, I’ve still been doing my make-up each morning. Glamour magazine was right, a little bit of waterproof mascara and tinted moisturizer make it easy to do a flawless face during the heat and humidity of the summer. Goddess bless Kiss My Face’s tinted moisturizer and CoverGirl’s LashBlast Mascara.
I am also officially in love with Avon’s Nailwear Pro Nail Enamel which go on great and last more than just two days on my fingernails. Without a base coat but with a Seche’s quick dry top coat, their polishes last at least 4 days before it starts to show some wear. Two of my newest colors are complimentary shades of green--Jade (see color below) and Olive Green. I heart Olive Green (picture left) for it is a dark and sexy shade that is an excellent alternative to those who are addicted to dark opaque shades like chocolate brown, blood red, and black. Olive Green reminds me of the dark green industrial trash bags. If the pastel trend is what you’re looking for, Jade is an excellent alternative to the lilacs, blues and pinks that have been crowding the shelves.
A buy one get one free sale at Rite Aid this week led me to finally buy CoverGirl’s Outlast Lipstain in Plum Pout and Wild Berry Wink. I never used a stain before and I was very excited as I tore off the protective plastic and pulled off the cap. The marker applicator slide over my lips easily without dragging or drying. My lips looked pouty and sexily stained as though I had just eaten a cherry ice pop. However, the look didn’t last long. After a morning diet soda and mid-morning snack, the stain had disappeared leaving only a faint ring around my lips. I might try it under lip gloss to give my mouth that extra pop. On a scale of 5, I give it 2.5 stars. Buy it on sale, for sure.
July 3, 2010
I Shoulda Loved Max B4 He Left
Now Playing: Face of the Day with Max Factor Lip Gloss in 810 Vegas Nights
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
Late last year, I purchased two Max Factor Vivid Impact Eyeshadow Duos and one MAXalicioius Lip Gloss at a deeply discount price at my local drugstore. It was 75% off! It was a great deal, and I was giving myself major kudos for buying such great products. The Vivid Impact Eyeshadow Duos went on smooth; blened well; and lasted all day. (I purchased the colors Sulty Sage and Smoking Rose.) The lip gloss was vibran, shiny, and highly pigmented. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later did I find out that Max Factor was no longer selling in the U.S. market hence the deep discount. Now, I was kicking myself for not racking up on such a well-performing gloss. You can see it below on my lips. That, my friends, is only one swipe on the top lip and one swipe on the bottom lip without liner.
Formula D Minerals Ultimate Vegan Face Powder and Primer, $9 on Etsy
Kiss My Face Tinted Moisturizer in Branch, $9, drugstore.com
Formula D Minerals Vegan Blush in Flushed, $7, on Etsy
J2 Double-Sided Eye Liner and Shadow in Black/Silver, $3, beauty supply stores
Nicka K Duo Diamond Eyeshadow in Debut, $4, beauty supply stores. (It's hard to tell on the computer screen but darker color is a soft black with silver shimmer.)
Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara, $9, drug stores
Max Factor MAXlicious Lip Gloss in 810 Vegas Nights, various online sites, not available in United States drug stores, about $8.
July 1, 2010
KISS Giveaway at Susie's Home and Hobbies
Susie has a son, and her son is in a band called TYRADE. Tyrade has a chance to open for the legendary rock band KISS! In order to be interviewed by KISS, Tyrade needs to be in at least 5th place. After the interview, KISS will then pick the band they want to open for them. Right now, Tyrade is in 7th place right. So, why don't you go over to Susie's website, vote her son's band, and enter the chance to win a great basketful of make-up.
To enter this giveaway, you need to vote and also blog about the contest on your website.
1. Go here to vote: http://tinyurl.com/32bs6fb. Enter the zip code 14040, and your demographic infomation.
2. Then blog about the giveaway featuring the photo below so others will be encouraged to join Susie's giveaway and vote. Finally, leave ONE comment on Susie's blog that you voted with your email address and the link to your blog where you posted.
Face of the Day (FOTD)
Since I figured out how to take pictures using my webcam, I decided to try another face of the day post. The weather was mild enough for me to do a full face otherwise I would have just done gloss, mascara and eyeliner. Also, I had enough time before work to spend about 10-15 minutes putting on my make-up and to take a picture. I'm pleased with the outcome and all the products I used although I think the lipstick clashes a bit with my eye color even after I blotted. I should have worn gloss instead. Pish, posh, on with the show!
All over lid to brow bone--Orglamix mineral eye shadow in Chamomile ($5).
From lash line to crease--Orglamix mineral eyeshadow in Lilly Pilly ($5).
Lashline--E.L.F. waterproof eyelilner pen in Ash ($1)
Mascara-- Cover Girl Lash Blast Length Mascara in Blackest Black ($8). Lengthens, darkeness, and separates well. Can clump just a little bit so apply sparingly and build up.
Lipstick, no liner--Fashion Fair in Royal Orchid ($15, but I won this).
Face: Kiss My Face Tinted Moisturizer in Branch ($9). It is a very sheer coverage without a scent and it blends wonderfully. It's like you can't put too much on a sponge. It just blends and absorbs.
Cheeks: M.A.C. Ombre Blush in Azalea Blossom ($25, but I also won this).
Hair: Tight and springy (aka knappy) by nature, curls enhanced by Samy Curl Reactivator Lotion ($5).
June 25, 2010
At Face Value
Now Playing: Drug Store Make Up Reviews
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
In the following pic, I'm trying out my latest E.L.F. cosmetics haul. I purchased three liquid eye liners and two lip pencils. On my left eye, I'm wearing E.L.F. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Plum. Plum is a really, really, really dark purple. On the screen, it might read as black but it really is a dark purple. The application was easy and flawless. There was no skipping. Definitely 5 out of 5 stars. (I also got the waterproof eyeliner pen in Ash which is a very dark gray. It's a nice alternative to black.)
On my right eye, I'm weairng E.L.F. Liquid Eyeliner in Silver. I am a fan of the color but not of the pointed brush in the bottle. You cannot get a thin or fine line using the pointed tip of the brush, because you won't get much color. I used the broad side of he brush to achieve to get the line. This formula feels like water and takes a minute to dry. It is a fun product. I wouldn't use it unless I'm going out on the town for it takes a much more steadier hand for a precise application. It gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.
To complete my eyes, I used N.Y.C Eyeshadow Quartet in Glamorous. This eyeshadow goes on really smoothly. It is a rosey mauve neutral. Normally, I like my eyeshadows to be bright but I wanted the eyeliner to speak louder than the shadow. Like E.L.F., N.Y.C. makes affordable, fun, and trendy make-up. With N.Y.C. and E.L.F., I can see myself having lots of fun with my eyes in the fall. I am also wearing Cover Girl's Lash Blast Length Water Resistant Mascara in Very Black. Not since Maybelline's Lash Disvovery Mascara have I found a mascara with such a thin brush that can lengthen and coat both my upper and lower lashes without smudging during the application process. The eyeshadow rates a 4 and the mascara gets a nice plump 5.
Originally, I was going to show you my lips with just the E.L.F. Long Wear Lip Liner in Natural Blush on, but it looked horrible on my complexion. It was too pink for me. The texture is a little dry, so I would rub the tip between your fingers before the first application to soften it. Or, apply a very thin layer of colorless lip balm (try Eos), blot, and line lips as normal. I am wearing the queen of cheapie make-ups, Wet-n'-Wild. This lipstick color is the colorest I get to wearing a neutral color as I prefer my lip colors to really pop. (I don't have lips and eyes popping at the same time, though.) The color is 522A. It's a dark rose although the pink lip liner might be making it look brighter than it is. Lip liner gets 3/5 and the lipstick gets 5/5/.
Just to round out the look, I'm wearing Benefit Erase Paste concealer under my eyes and Cover Girl Simply Ageless Foundation in Toasted Almond (it wasn't until I took the photos that I realized that I might need 1 shade darker for the summer in Cover Girl foundations).
Tell me what you think? This was my first attempt at the face of the day/make-up review. Should I do it again?
Have a great weekend.
P.S.: I know the flash bounced off my finger nail funny, but the nail color is Mint Cream by E.L.F. that I was very excited about.
June 21, 2010
Things I'm Feeling This Month
Now Playing: June
Happy Summer Solstice! It's the longest day of the year, and it is a beautiful day in New York City. The sun is bright; the sky is clear and blue; and there is a slight breeze in the air. Not to mention, the humidity is blessedly low. What a great day to be long!! Besides June 21st, there are other things I'm feeling this month.
Although I'm a medium-brown skinned African-American woman, I am very pro sun-safety. I keep my young daughters covered in Banana Boat Baby Sunblock in 50 SPF sunscreen by and I keep my face covered in Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sunblock Oil Free Stick in SPF 30. I love it because it is sweat proof and it keeps my face moisturized without making me look greasy. (In the summer, my face is very oily so I have a tendency to skip facial moisturizer.)
The summertime is also my favorite time to watch television. I'm pleaseed that Drop Dead Diva has returned for its second season with a focus on jokes, romance, friendship, and legal drama without focusing on the main character's plus-size body. I'm also glad that Jane's, the main character, wardrobe has improved, which was probably intentional to show the merging of the two personalities inahabiting Jane's body. (For the uninitated: "beautiful-but-vapid model wannabe Deb suddenly finds herself in front of heaven’s gatekeeper, Fred, following a fatal car crash. Outraged by her sudden demise, she attempts to persuade Fred to return her to her shallow existence but is accidentally relegated to the body of the recently deceased Jane Bingum. An intelligent, thoughtful and plus-size attorney with a loyal assistant. Jane has always lived in the shadow of her colleagues, whereas Deb has always relied on her external beauty. By a twist of fate and a bolt of divine intervention, Deb must come to terms with inhabiting Jane’s curvier frame and learn to reconcile her beauty-queen ways with her brilliant new mind.)
(True Blood has also returned. Yum!)
I'm also feeling podcasts this month, which are helping me through some difficult times. My favorites are The Week According Frangela; ESV: Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary; Two Whole Cakes Fatcast ; and Body Love Wellness.
I'm feeling two books. One is the wonderfully written Young Adult Novel Secrets of Truth and Beauty. Secrets of Truth and Beauty is a multi-layered coming of age story of 17-year-old Dara Cohen. Once a junior pageant winner, Dara is now an overweight teen with some very deep-seeded self-loathing and dysfunctional parents. When an English assignment is misinterpreted, she is removed from school and forced to go to therapy. Striking out on her own, Dara tracks down the long lost sister she never had and spends the summer working with her on a goat cheese farm. During the summer, Dara makes a good friend; finds love; and self acceptance.
Crazy Busy Beautiful: Beauty Secrets for Getting Gorgeous Fast by Carmindy unveils nearly 600 quick and easy beauty tips for women of all make-up application levels. It is simply awesome. I'd gift it to girls and young women starting out with wearing make-up, and need help on where to start.
June 17, 2010
My Review of Leading LadyÂ® seamless underwire plus size bra
Comfy, Smooth, and Shapes Well
from Brooklyn, NY
out of 5
Cup Fit: Feels too big
Band Size: Feels true to size
Pros: Comfortable Fit, Good Support, Good Coverage, Comfortable Material, Figure-Flattering
Best Uses: T-Shirts, Office, Going Out, Everyday
Describe Yourself: Practical, Comfort-oriented
Because I have tear drop shaped breasts, the bra cups felt a little big at the top but I filled out the bottom and sides well. It is a very comfortable bra and I didn't feel like I was wearing underwire. It was breathable, supportive, and practical. I can wear it with everything with confidence.
June 10, 2010
My Review of 3/4-sleeve ponte knit plus size dress by Chelsea Studios
Now Playing: Chelsea Studios by Women Within
Classic But Plain
from Brooklyn, NY
out of 5
Fit: Feels true to size
Waist: Feels true to size
Length: Feels too long
Pros: Figure Flattering, Nice Fabric
Cons: colors not as bright
Best Uses: Date Night/Night Out, Wear To Work
Describe Yourself: Casual Dresser
Comfort vs Style: Comfort Driven
This dress is perfect for a polished and sophisticated look, but it will be a boring dress if you don't dress it up with accessories. I purchased the navy color and it was too dull--not as vibrant as I would have liked it to be. I would have kept because it would have been a perfect fall and winter staple but my husband's disapproving face forced me to return it.
My Review of Reach Technology's Layered Look Pant Suit
Now Playing: Roaman's
Originally submitted at OneStopPlus
Reach Technology™ Layered Look Pant Suit
Our exclusive Reach Technology has breathable knit gussets under arms for a custom-fit bustline and lets air flow through to keep you cooler and wick away moisture. Jacket has contrast detail at notch collar, sleeves and curved hem. Novelty buttons in front and mock buttons on cuffs. Mock breas...
from Brooklyn, NY
out of 5
Waist: Feels too small
Sleeve Length: Feels true to length
Chest Size: Feels true to size
Pros: Classy, Affordable, Attractive Design
Cons: Cheap Feeling Fabric
Best Uses: Interview, Office Meetings, Church
Describe Yourself: Practical
When I opened my package, I was immediately awed by the jacket. It was very professional and fit well. The pants were too long; too tight in the waist; too loose in the hips and thighs; and the material felt very cheap. I know it was made from polyester, and I don't have problems wearing polyester but this fabric didn't feel at all breathable. It felt hot and itchy. If I didn't like the jacket so much, I would have returned the suit. Now, I'm just searching for a matching skirt to make a suit. Thank goodness I bought this on sale for $22.99.
June 8, 2010
A Creamy Review
Now Playing: E.L.F. Nail Polishes and Translucent
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
Last Saturday, I received my highly anticpated opaque pastel colored nail polish from E.L.F. in the mail. I was not disappointed. The mint cream was exactly as I had pictured. It starts off a bit sheer, but I was able to get my desired look after three coats. I suspect it would have only taken two if I had not used a base coat--something I don't normally do. I topped it off with a Seche Vite fast drying top coat, which gives the color a slight sheen but it isn't glossy. Thus far, the manicure has lasted three days on my short nails with only the slightest wear that is only noticable to me. I have given my girls a bath; washed the dishes; and spent countless hours typing on the computer so this is quite a pleasant surprise. Even better, everyone has given me compliments on the color. The lilac nail polish was darker in color than I had imagined. I was hoping for something a bit pinker. (Think of the greige with a few drops of purple mixed into it.) I would call this color a neutral with a twist. It doesn't scream out at you and the color is very complimentary to different skintones, but it is unique enough that you don't see it every where. As with the mint cream polish, it started out a bit sheer which I attribute to using a base coat. It took three coats to get the look I wanted. (Four on my pinkie toes which are darker in color than my other four toes.) There hasn't been any chipping and I've been wearing open-toed shoes for the past three days. The lilac color will transition nicely into the fall and winter weathers. This is my first time using E.L.F. nail polish, and I was pleased. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it 4.
E.L.F. is having a sale this June. Free French Manicure Set with $15 Purchase. Use code POLISHED through 6/30. So, why don't you treat yourself to some wallet-friendly polishes that reflect this summer's hottest beauty trends.
June 2, 2010
Wanna Buy Some E.L.F. Make Up From Me
Now Playing: I Am An Affliate for E.L.F.
As you may have noticed, the United States' economy is in the toilet although experts say the recession is over. It may be over, but recovery is still far off. Yours truly is in a tough predicament. The city and state-funded non-profit organization for which I work (a public library) is getting hit hard. Funding from the city and state governments have been severely slashed, and it is causing them to go into crisis mode. In order to maintain some services, the library system for which I work is planning to close 16 locations (out of 60). It is also planning to reduce service hours of those remaining open. Finally, they're laying off employees. Where does this leave moi? Probably on the unemployment rolls. Last week, I received a conditional pink slip stating that I will get laid off if the city and state budgets get adopted as is. The library system will simply not have any money to pay most of of it's workforce.
After a week of woe is me, crying, and eating comfort food, I decided to do something. I decided to become a E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) cosmetics affliate. This means when you click through my site to buy make-up from E.L.F., I get a commission. It's a small income, but every little bit helps. And this is where you, my dear friends and followers, can help. You can purchase the super affordable E.L.F. (most items between $1 and $5) through my blog. You can recommend E.L.F. to your friends and colleagues, and click through to my blog.
To get you started, I'm going to give you a list of my current favorite E.L.F. Products:
E.L.F. Small Eye Brush
E.L.F. Hypershine Lip Gloss in Vixen
E.L.F. Nail Polish in Mint Cream
May 27, 2010
Drowning in Creamy Mint
Now Playing: Pastel Colored Nail Polishes
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
About a month ago, I saw a beauty blot post about mint cream colored nail polish by Essie (Mint Candy Apple and Turquoise & Caicos) and E.L.F. cosmetics line of opaque pastel nail polishes. Since then, I've been absolutely obsessed and searching for versions of the color high and low. I spent my Mother's Day gift money on two of Sally Hansen's nail colors-- Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Mint Sprint and Complete Salon Manicure in Fairy Teal. The dark teal nail polishes went on smooth and quickly with Sally Hansen's new wider brushes. They also last very long. As beauitful as the colors were, I still looked for something lighter and mintier in color.
American Apparel's nail lacquer in L Espirit is a wonderful opaque and semi-matte lilac and Office is close to the mint cream I crave. Their entire summer collection would satisfy my current hunger, but my general dislike for American Apparel and rumors of faulty polish bottles prevented me from doling out my lunch money to buy them. Recently, I did take a gander at Revlon's and L'oreal's pastel lilac colors. When I tried Revlon's (Lilac Pastelle) in the store, it was too sheer. L'oreal's in Party Hop was very close but required way too many coats.
Finally, in an act of desperation and a bit of recklessness, I ordered the colors that I desired most from the E.L.F website. The best part: I had a $5 off coupon and all I had to do was pay for shipping. I'm trembling for excited. In the meantime, I'm a fighting the urge to spend the last $2 in my pocket on an inexpensive mint cream nail polish at a local beauty supply store on the way home from work. Oh, what's a girl to do.
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