December 30, 2010
Now Playing: My 2011 New Year's Resolutions
Topic: Random Thoughts
As the year comes to an end and the second decade of the 21st century begins, I decided to come up with my 2011 list of goals. I'm going to go with the word "goals" because resolutions seems too restrictive. Goals are fluid.
Find a new church/spiritual home closer to my house that is inclusive--one part Christian and one part Unitarian Univeralist.
Buy more fresh cabbage because I like eating cabbage, and I'm good at cooking it.
I want to eat better--more vegetables, less cola.
Find an indoor exercise to do Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday mornings until it gets warmer and I can start walking outside again.
To remember to take my daily multivitamin every day.
To yell less at my children.
To get my hair cut professionally more often. (I got a hair cut about 2 weeks ago, and I've been getting lots of compliments. Holla!)
December 29, 2010
Just A Few Of My Favorite Things
Topic: Random Thoughts
October 19, 2010
This ELF is Better Than the Ones That Work for Santa
Now Playing: E.L.F. 32 Eye Shadow Palette and Eye Primer
I've been a bit on a mini-spending spree. Something about money being tight makes me want to spend more rather than less. My attitude is better get stuff now before I don't have any more money to get anything. I try not to get too silly or exorbitant with my spending, but to find something that is expensive and will bring me joy. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) Cosmetices comes into the picture. Besides the awesomely inexpensive prices, they also have really excellent coupon codes and deals.
Here's a tip, follow their blog!If you're one of the first 25 blog registrants to post a comment to a story, you'll score a $5-off coupon. Depending on what you buy, it's almost like getting a free piece of a make-up. This is what I experienced last week when I scored this mini eye shadow palette filled with an array of 32 colors. It is only $5 although it looks even more expensive. The case sleek and black, and contains a mirror that's perfect for at your desk touch-ups. It's also very light and slim. It fits into my handbag without adding bulk.
On my bare eye, the shadow lasted about four hours before creasing since I have oily eyelids. If I had used a primer or base, I'm sure I could have eked out another couple of hours. The colors are bit darker than they appear in the palette so don't be too heavy handed. Also, ditch the eye shadow brush included and use one of your own. (I recommend Smashbox's Crease Brush #10 or E.L.F.'s All Over Eyeshadow Brush.)
I also recommend using it over their $1 primer. I did a skin test on my inner wrist and it lasted for hours, even after I washed the dishes. Imagine how it will handle the shadow. Go on, splurge yourself for a little money. If you spend $10 by October 25, you'll receive a free E.L.F. Studio 27 Piece Mini Make-up collection that contains 9 eyeshadow shades, 1 cream eyeshadow shade, 1 blush, 1 bronzer, 10 lip gloss shades, 1 brow powder, 1 eye liner pencil, 1 dual ended eyeshadow applicator and brush, 1 face brush and 1 lip brush. The hardest part of this offer is figuring out how to accumulate at least $10 worth of products since the prices are so damn low. lol. (I'm thinking about their translucent studio HD powder, $6, and another eye shadow palette for Christmas presents.)
October 6, 2010
Maintaining Your Status from the Great Hereafter!!
Now Playing: Otrib, an online funeral planning/memorial site
Topic: Random Thoughts
Now folks, I've heard of everything. But when BzzAgent sent me an introduction to try out the new Facebook app, Otrib, my jaw hit the ground. It was too surreal for me not to sign up. Besides allowing you to honor a loved one's life and help plan and manage your final arrangements on the internet and off, Otrib will help you create a "virtual will." In other words, name someone the executor of Twitter, Facebook, blog and other online presences when you die. They will be responsible for closing or continuing the account.
In my honest opinion, when I die, my Facebook account will not be "carrying on" without me. However, who will remember to closeout my accuont in the middle of mourning me? Although the application requires too much access to my Facebook account for my maintaining my privacy levels, I do see how it could be a good service. If you take a look at it or sign up, please tell me what you think.
September 7, 2010
The Big Fall Round Up
The best part of my 4-day Labor Day weekend, besides not having to work, was catching up on all my September 2010 fashion magazines. Whew, I swear each year those issues get bigger and heavier! (I still have the September issue of Harper's Bazaar to get through, and I've already received the October issue of Lucky!!!) Well, what's bad for me is good for you. I've complied a list of fall fashion trends to look out for and how to achieve them on the cheap. You can achieve these looks by shopping at the following eRetailers: Old Navy; Fashion Bug; Payless Shoe Source; and Target. Are you excited yet? I know I am. Shall we begin?
5 Fall Fashion Trends
1. Mad Men Era Retro/feminine shapes: Think nipped in waists, full skirts, and defined shoulders. It's Dior's New Look for the 2010s, like Target's take on it with this nifty shirt dress. It comes in red and black, and is less than $40.
2. Menswear : This trend has been hanging tough for the past couple of seasons. Think feminizing Mad Men's anti-hero Don Draper's look--pointed toe oxfords; wide length trousers; form fitting pants suits; and over sized watches. Your fashion icons should be up and coming crooner Janelle Monae and Katherine Hepburn.
(Piece together these two matching separates from Old Navy for an inexpensive suit. The darting on the blazer will give you the feminine look you want in your menswear.)
3. Animal prints: Mainly leopard in its traditional brown/camel colored family. If you're feeling daring, try a neon leopard print like this wallet from Fashion Bug.
4. Gray: To hell with the washed out, heathered looks of your gym sweats. These grays are dark enough to replace your black staples, but bright enough to give your wardrobe a lift. Soft pale grays will give your white blouses a break, and allow your jewel tone accessories to pop! (Check out Target's Dolce Vita studded oxford in gray, and those shoes are three trends in one! Me likey!)
5. Studs/ornamentation: Everything from shirts to purses seem to have a hint of metal ornamentation. However, you will not be channeling Sid & Nancy's punk rock days. These studs a flatter and faceted.
6. Chunky knits: Nothing screams fall like wrapping yourself in a big warm knit sweater. This year, they will be coming in all shapes and sizes. Replace your trusty blazers and suit jackets with hip length chunky cardigan for a twist on your career wear. Also think about rocking a sweater dress with your knee-high boots and a sexy waist-cinching belt.
August 22, 2010
I Created a Fall Clothing Database
Now Playing: How I Spent My Vacation
Topic: Random Thoughts
My Fall Clothing Wardrobe.
Look who figured out how to use Excel!
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.
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