Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How To Get FREE Makeup

I'm sure the word free is what brought you here.  But, I said it...FREE!  The costs of makeup add up.  Believe me I know!  Even drugstore items can easily total 40.00 USD more with 5 to 6 products.  Besides stalking all types of sales...take advantage of ways to try new products without spending.

Free Samples
Many beauty retailers offer samples with any purchase.  Samples allow you the opportunity to get one to two uses of a product to try it out.

Coupon Codes
The internet is your friend.  Beauty retailers email and release coupon codes for free items all the time.  Before making a purchase on any beauty website, I check for coupon codes to receive some new or favorite goodies.

Reward Programs
As a way to retain consumers, businesses are offering reward programs.  These programs can offer any thing from discounts, dollar amount deductions or credits, and/or free deluxe items.  Reward programs usually are free to join and require minimal personal information for registration.  My personal favorite programs are Ebates, Sephora's Beauty Insider and Ulta's Perks.

Partition To Makeup Brands
Partition to beauty brands to test, review, and/or become an affiliate of the brand.  Many YouTubers and bloggers receive products for advertisement of a particular brand.  Some companies may reach out to you or contact the company that you are interested in.

Enter A Giveaway
Follow all of  your favorite brands on social media.  Many companies offer giveaways on their social media accounts.

Refer A Friend
Companies such as Ebates, Mr. Rebates, Hautelook, etc. offer dollar amount credits or gift cards for referring a friend.  Normally the friend has a certain amount of time to make a purchase once signing up in order for you to redeem your reward.  Hautelook offers a 20.00 USD credit for a referral....that's free money!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tea Time: Friends many of have them.  But, many of us have "real" friends?  Don't worry I'll wait. 

So, what is a "real" friend first of all?  When I think of a friend, I think of my confidant, shoulder to lean on, partner in crime, the person who encourages my clown behavior...  I also think a friend is someone who can tell you the truth even when no one else will. 

Now there is a season for everything including relationships.  Some relationships just are not meant to last the test of time.  But why does it seem that it is so hard to find a friend that can be what I would call a "real" friend?

These days it seems as though some people are looking for someone who can only benefit them.  If there is no benefit or gain then there is no real friendship.  Those needs dictate what friendship level you are on, e.g. best friend, associate, etc.  As I have gotten older, my friends have become few...almost non existent.  Getting closer to the big 3-0 means more personal and career preparation. So, it is expected that some friendships will be stressed and tested.  But where are my friends when I'm going through stress and a test?  Where are my "real" friends?  What are your thoughts on friendships?  Stay FABULOUS!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Why I Wear Wigs

Youtuber:  BeautyByJJ
I get this question so much.  You hair is so long...why do you wear wigs?  The answer is simple... convenience.  Currently wigs are my preference for protective and lazy day styles.  Wigs do not carry the same old negative connotation...wigs are for old women, women with no hair, people with no money, etc.  Now, many women chose to wear a wig instead of sew ins, quick weaves, and/or extensions. 

Wigs allow you the flexibility to secure and remove your hair without fuss.  I can do my hair in record time when it is styled in advance on a manikin head.  You just put it on and go!  Many companies are making high end and low end wigs with very close resemblance to one's natural hair.  I do not secure my wigs to my hairline, so there is minimal damage to your edges.  Wigs also allow you the flexibility to change your hair often...try styles that you may have always wanted to try.  Do you wear wigs?  What's your opinion on wigs, weaves, extensions, etc. ?

Try one.  Stay FABULOUS!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tea Time: Body Image

I think the world has taken a turn for the worse.  Today, I should want a booty like J Lo, lips like Angelina Jolie, breasts like Kim Kardashian, a nose like Halle Berry, hair like Jennifer Aniston, and so on and so on.  Can't I just look

Society has definitely taken a different angle on beauty.  Beauty is no longer emphasizing what the good Lord gave you...but it's getting what you want and how large you want it.  Where do I begin with how fake our bodies have become.  Young women and men are getting cosmetic procedures at younger and younger ages.  According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistics, 63,623 cosmetic surgical procedures were performed on people age 13-19 in 2013, while 155,941 cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures were performed.  The justification is that these procedures prevent teens from withdrawing socially in their teens and suffering compounding consequences in their early adulthood.  It is said that teens get surgery to fit in, and adults get surgery to stand out.  So, is it ok to tell your child that if they do not like something physically to change it?

Why not embrace it?  Many young surgeries are targeted at nose and breast corrections.  We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know growing up that we all just want to fit in and look like everyone else, but we have to learn to embrace uniqueness.

I, personally, struggled with being the lanky, acne prone child, teenager, and adult.  I am apart of what you would call the "itty bitty titty committee".  I also wanted to change my hair type, skin color, eye color, nose, lips, and just about everything else.  I was not the definition of beauty (especially not for an African American woman).  And, I used to think that one day I will grow out of it or pay to change it.   As a teenager, I hated my body wondering why was I the only one in the family like this.  I was often teased and still currently teased about my size for my age.  I still possess that teen, boyish body that the good Lord gave me.

But, at some point during my early adulthood, I realized that I am perfectly fine just the way I am.  My parents told me this repeatedly growing up, but it wasn't until one day a few years ago that I became ok with being me.  Now, I still have my insecurities and flaws that I dislike.  (I still get asked if I'm in high school!)  But, I have learned to live with them because that makes me who I am.  The concept is not to make myself look like a beautiful woman; it is to be a beautiful woman and let everyone else jump on board.  I learned that I would have to accept myself and others just as they are.

We have missed that mark with the concept that beauty is on the inside.  A "beautiful" exterior with a horrid personality is still ugly in my opinion.  Your exterior is just like clothing and can change often...why focus on the exterior when it could vanish tomorrow.  Your character and personality will always be there. I was so afraid for people to know about my vlogging and blogging because they would judge me based on my appearance.  But, I learned that sometimes the flaws that someone picks out are the insecurities that they have for themselves.

Do not let anyone deter you from being you.  Be unapologetically you.  Stay FABULOUS!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Bath and Body Works $3 Sale!

It's that time again!  Bath and Body Works has all signature body lotions on sale for 3.00 USD.  The sale is for today only.   Grab yours while supplies last!  Stay FABULOUS!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Are Drugstore Prices Too High?

19.99 USD
Do you think that the drugstore makeup quality is improving?  Do those improvements come at a higher consumer cost...or can we chalk that up to inflation?  These are the questions that I am asking myself when I am walking down the aisles of CVS, Walgreens, Target, etc.  Of course, we are seeing sales of all sorts for the drugstore brands, but some of the original prices for these drugstore brands are topping over 20.00 USD.  I do not normally plan to spend over 50.00 USD (including BOGO sales and more) in a drugstore.  But, slowly I am beginning to feel as if the 50.00 bucks spent on a handful of products in the drugstore should just go toward a favorite product at a place like Sephora, Ulta, etc.  Don't get me wrong, there are some great products out there...I just expect to find them at a reasonable price.

Rimmel London 4.49 USD

One brand in particular whose prices are increasing to the top of the drugstore market is Loreal.  Loreal's new Infalliable line had me thinking that I was shopping at the MAC counter...not because of the product, but the price.  Their setting spray retails for approximately 16.99 USD.  You can buy MAC fix plus for 22.00 USD or fix plus mini for 10.00 USD.  The Infallibale foundation retails for approximately 12.99 USD (that's what I paid at Target).  The formulation was pretty good, and the color match was ok being the darkest shade in the line.  The bottom line is...rather than have a so so color match, I would much rather purchase a 27.00 USD MAC foundation.  For us women of color, we are still waiting on the variety in shades to increase in the drugstore department.  Many women of color purchase two colors to get the best result.  If you purchase two Loreal foundations, you would be paying approximately 26.00 USD.  I would much rather buy the high end, better quality, better color match, etc.  Now, if I have a good color match then the price is decent...dare I say somewhat reasonable.  But, in my college days, I wouldn't pay over 8.00 USD or 9.00 USD for a foundation. Now the prices are slowly rising.  The politics of makeup, right? I think that Loreal and Revlon has the best color selection for women of color (not many but better than the rest!).  I would like to see some more improvements in formulation in order to justify the price hikes.

So are we overpaying for drugstore makeup?  Are drugstore prices reasonable for your beauty needs?  Stay FABULOUS!

Milani 8.79 USD

Revlon 7.79 USD

Physicians Formula 11.95
Loreal 16.99 USD

Loreal 12.99 USD

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cover Fx Custom Color Drops First Impressions

So I received a deluxe sample is the Cover Fx Drops several weeks ago, and I had been waiting on a opportune moment to try it out.  With that being said, I am not doing an all inclusive review because that would require me to test this product out in several different ways, and this product can be used in many different ways.  Sephora states that this is "a revolutionary drop formula of concentrated pigments that allows you to weightlessly transform products in your beauty regimen into your ideal coverage".
"This innovative formula contains Flash Fusion Technology, so as soon as you drop in and mix with your favorite product, nothing but pure pigment is left behind—allowing you to customize your ideal level of coverage. Blend them with anything liquid to create your desired coverage, including moisturizers, serums, oils, primers, foundations, and tinted moisturizers that are water-, oil-, or silicone-based. Simply adjust your coverage by the number of drops you add. The pigments are coated with lecithin, which is biochemically similar to the skin, to ensure seamless blending, precise control, and the smoothest application."

I received a deluxe sample in N100.  My first time trying this product, I used my Becca Ever Matte Poreless Primer and the recommended number of drops for coverage (approximately three).  The color match was perfect, and I had a lightweight satin coverage.  I set it with my MUFE pro powder.  The wear time was not so perfect.  After an hour of wear, oil started breaking through in  my T-zone.  After about 4 hours, I was just flat out shiny/oily!  The primer used is my favorite and the only primer that I use for all of my foundations, but it did not work well with the drops. 

Customizable drops is an interesting concept, because I have to have at least one other product to make this product work whether it's a foundation, moisturizer, primer, etc.  The cost is 44.00 USD for 0.5oz of product, which is less than the normal 1oz foundation.  Of course, the drops are pure pigment, so the bottle should last for quite some time.  I am not thrilled with the idea of mixing things; especially purchasing a high end product just for that sole purpose.  The idea seems cool enough, but I do not think it's worth it.  I will use the rest of my sample, and I will most likely mix in with my fall foundations to adjust the color.  What do you think?  Stay FABULOUS!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Too Faced Peanut Butter And Jelly Palette In The Works

I think that Too Faced is doing it again! Another awesome eyeshadow palette in the making. This photo was posted on Jerrod Blandino's Instagram, and I'm itching to see a release date. Too Faced's Chocolate Bar palettes are top performers, and I expect great things to come. Get excited! Stay FABULOUS!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Shopping List For Sephora Rouge VIB Sale

Sephora's Rouge sale starts tomorrow!  For sale information click here.  VIBs will be able to access the sale during 11/13-11/16 using code VIB20.  The Rouge members will receive 20% off your entire purchase with the online code ROUGE20.  You can use this code as many times as you like in store and online during the sale dates.  So the next question is what should I buy? I would like to point out the Sephora and many other retailers rarely discount the products that are available for the sale.  My suggestion is that if you have a high end item on your wishlist, this is the time to get it!  We all have our favorites and staples...stock up.  Gifts!  This sale is right at the beginning of holiday season, so there are a large number of sets available for purchase for yourself, family and friends.  Take a look at what's in my shopping cart!  Stay FABULOUS!

1.  GlamGlow Stay Sexy Clearing Set 69.00 USD
2.  Sephora Collection Sleeping Mask Discovery Set 20.00 USD
3.  Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb 5oz 215.00 USD
4.  Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector 36.00 USD
5.  Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Black Plum and Rich Brown 24.00 USD
5.  Too Cool For School Egg Cream Sheet Mask 24.00 USD
6.  GlamGlow Gift Sexy Ultimate Anit-Aging Set 69.00 USD
7.  Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Amande 29.00 USD
8.  Makeup's Best Friend By BeautyBlender 40.00 USD
9.  Sephora Collection Stand Up And Shine Prestige Easel Brush Set 130.00 USD
10. GlamGlow Poutmud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment and Wet Lip Balm Duo 39.00 USD
11. Black Up Cosmetics Matifying fluid Foundation 41.50 USD
12. Viseart Eye Shadow Palette 80.00 USD

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Let's Talk About Highlighters (WOC Friendly)

Stock Photo:  Moonstone, Opal, and Topaz

Oh the days for highlighting and strobing!  I personally do not see the difference between the two, but both techniques aim to create the illusion of the sun hitting your face in the most flattering places giving you the look of a sunkissed goddess.  That's sounds perfect, right?

There are a million and one tutorials describing how to achieve this look for every face shape and just about skin color.  Of course, I would like to increase the amount of information that you find for women of color.  Often, we are overlooked when it comes to certain topics.  We like to glow too!
Stock Photo:  Moonstone, Champagne Pop, and Opal

Now, what are the best shades and products for women of color?  My favorite brand for highlighting is Becca Cosmetics.  They make the most gorgeous, buttery highlighters.  They have several colors that can accommodate all skin types.  My favorite highlighters from Becca are opal, champagne pop, topaz, blushed copper, and rose gold.  Becca makes the highlighters in a pressed, cream, and liquid form.  Unless it is limited edition, the same colors can be found in each formulation.
Stock Photo

Another popular brand is the Balm.  I just recently acquired the Manizer sisters Betty Lou, Mari Lou, and Cindy Lou luminizers.  I purchased a holiday palette that included all three luminizers for 28.00 USD.  These provide beautiful highlighting, but the shimmer may be a little chunkier and less finely milled than the Becca highlighters.
Stock Photo:  Gilded Honey

Laura Geller has a couple of highlighters, but my favorite is gilded honey.  It's a rich golden glow that creates a gorgeous sheen on women of color.

Stock Photo:  Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks and Highlighters are excellent quality.  I own one shimmer brick and highlighter.  These are a long time favorite for many.

But, there are so many brands that offer highlighters for every skin tone from NYC, Physicians Formula, MAC, Anastasia Beverly Hills (my NEXT purchase!), Makeup Forever, and so many more.  I would like to note that MAC has some great highlighters, but I just wish everything wasn't LIMITED EDITION!  The extra dimension highlighters, skinfinishes, and a few limited edition collection highlighters are gorgeous if you can get your hands on them.

Now that it is holiday time, you can find many of these products in sets or discounted in flash sales.  Glow and stay FABULOUS!

*Watch me glow!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tea Time: The Price Of Fame

From time to time, I will divulge some of my personal thoughts on life, love, beauty, etc.  The price of fame came to me as a title because of the recent articles of celebrities' public rants demanding privacy and "equal" treatment.

I recently read an article about Marc Jacobs's rant about the media reporting about his "exclusive" parties with his friends and unhappy professional relationships.  He wrote a letter to the editor/author insulting and misinterpreting the motive for the article.  Entertainment.  Simple as's business.

Now, I do not condone the constant scrutiny and invasion of privacy that many celebrities endure.  But, there is a price to fame.  Media reports celebrities' every move because some people literally want to know every single thing that a person does, e.g. when they rise, sleep, brush their teeth, etc.  Especially in this day and age, reality television is what sells.  Just about every major television network and Internet network have endorsed some type of reality show.  "Real life" and "Everyday life" sells.  Celebrities want everyone to know that they are just like everyone else...and they are human just like everyone.  There's just one catch...their talent has caused them to be held to an higher esteem then everyone else...they're "famous".

The problem is some celebrities do not volunteer for a reality show, but the media will create a storyline for them anyway.  Celebrities want to turn their performance on and off, but the spotlight deems otherwise.  Celebrities are unfortunately always on platform with an audience watching. 

Everyone has the right to vent their frustrations.  But, they must remember it is a part of the game.  Public attacks on the media does not improve on any part of the situation.  The price of fame includes forfeiting most of your privacy.  It's in the fine print when you become famous.  Hopefully a new trend will arise later where discreetness and privacy are popular...yeah, I doubt it. 

Your thoughts?  Would the price of fame deter you from aspiring for a life long dream?  Stay FABULOUS!