Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The YouTube Game - Black Beauty Vloggers

This video was posted by stallion1920. I'm subscribed to her YouTube channel.

She raises an interesting question. When it comes to beauty YouTube videos and blogs, I watch/read a variety of people. It has crossed my mind on why certain YouTubers (I can't stand referring to them as "gurus". That's a whole different discussion.) and bloggers are more "popular" than others. But it has crossed my mind on why some of the YouTubers from various ethnic backgrounds have had better "success" in the YouTube/blogging game. Or why some of the more popular black beauty bloggers don't get products sent to them for review from brands like MAC, Urban Decay, Tarte, etc like some other beauty YouTubers and bloggers.  I mean their websites, channels and social media streams are just as good, so why do they get slighted? I know Urban Decay and Tarte have been called out for this many times.

Urban Decay and Tarte are two brands that I do enjoy and that I've mentioned on many occasions. Heck I've made recent purchases from both brands. It raises questions for me personally if I want to keep supporting these brand with my dollars, when it seems as if they don't care about me and others who look like me who are makeup lovers. If that makes sense. I mean what's so "hard" about showing products on deeper skin tones? Or partnering with other YouTubers and beauty bloggers of color on your product launches and hell even feedback on future products? We want to see what products will look like on someone who looks like us just like other beauty lovers! I guess that's too much to ask.

*ends rant* I may do a part two to this post.

Until next time...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

You Have a Favorite Product, So Why Buy Something Else?

Long tittle huh?

It's funny looking at various favorites videos on YouTube recently, blog posts or even my own thoughts on products and how someone has a product that they love and has given it "holy grail" status but still go out and gets/tries something new when it comes to beauty products. Especially base products like foundation, powder, primers, concealer and powder. The same can be said for other beauty related products like skin care and hair care.

I can see experimenting and playing around with color products and finishes but again once you have found your favorite red lipstick or a pink blush that compliments your skin tone, why do we feel the "need" to go get another? Or if you have a face wash that's working for you or hair styling product that's working great for your hair, why go out and try something else? If  the product stops working for you or there's a change in the product that you don't necessarily like then I can see going out and trying something else. Rhetorical questions I know and I'm guilty of this a hundred times over. I guess I'm trying to understand and change my way of thinking.

I recently decided that I am going on a drugstore makeup no buy until Easter. Doesn't see like much but since this is where most of my purchases have been the last few weeks, I thought it would be a good place to start. I've also been thinking on higher end items that I do want to pick up this year, so I can take advantage of various sales and deals from places and brands that I shop. Small steps to try and be more strategic with my purchases and not just randomly getting stuff here and there or just because.

Another random post done on the fly. So sorry if it's jumbled and doesn't make much sense.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Palette Play March 2014

I didn't do a recap of February in this post since I talked about all the palettes except one in my February Favorites. So you can check out my thoughts there. The eye section is the first part of the post. So you don't have to read the whole thing. It's a long one The palette I didn't mention was the Sonia Kashuk palette but I really don't have much to say about it. I only used it twice. I'm still meh about the palette. I think it's going to go in my giveaway pile.

This month I'm playing with eyeshadows duos. I love palettes but most of the time, I use a couple of shadows and go. If I'm really in the mood to do it "big" I'll use three lol. So duos are my happy place. I'll be playing with duos from elf, L'Oreal and Bare Minerals. The elf duos were from two holiday sets that I scored from Walgreens after Christmas for $2.50 each and the sets came with their eyeshadow brush. I'm tickled by these two sets because I think that the day set is more suitable for evening and the evening set is more suitable for daytime lol! Don' you think so?

Week of March 2 - elf 9 piece day eyeshadow set

Week of March 9 - elf 9 piece evening eyeshadow set

Week of March 16  - L'Oreal Hip Duos

As you can see I have a lot of these. I think I'll just grab whatever moves me that morning. So I'm not going to list anything now. But I'll definitely let you know which ones I reached for in next month's post.

Week of March 23 - Bare Minerals 2.0 Ready Shadows

I also have a lot of these. I'm going to do the same with these like the L'Oreal Hip Duos and grab whatever moves me when I get ready in the morning.

Since there are 5 weeks in March and it carries over into April, I'm going to add *pauses* Naked 3 palette into the mix. I had already decided that April was going to be Urban Decay month. This will be a good lead in for April :D I purchased the palette at the end of February. I've used it a few times and I love it. I'm glad I got it to try it out for myself. Reviews and such are good but sometimes you just have to get a product home and play with it. Let me stop here. I'll talk about it some more next month. So stay tuned...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February 2014 Favorites

I hope that everyone had a fantabulous February! Oh boy another long one here. Bare with me. Let's get to it!


Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes is one of the two mascaras that I have been playing around with for the last couple of months. I haven't had a tube in a while but I'm glad I have it back in rotation. This is an easy mascara to work with and remove. It's buildable without clumping and your lashes feel like your lashes. Glad I have another tube on hand when this one is done from the December TSV.

The other mascara I've had in rotation is Bare Minerals Lash Domination. This is a good volumizing mascara. I also like the wand. Once I used this and Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lahses up, I am only go to have one mascara in use until it dries up or I use it up. Thankfully I don't have that many unopened mascaras. I may revisit some former drugstore favorites and see if they are still favorites. Stay tuned on that.

Sleek's Vintage Romance Palette was one of the palettes for Palette Play February. This was my first time trying one of their palettes and I really really enjoyed it. The shadows are pigmented and easy to blend. I can't believe that this is a drugstore product over in the UK. I have my eye on some of their other palettes. We shall see if they end up in my stash. Lawd knows I don't NEED them but well ya know. I ordered this palette from a seller on Amazon but you can order directly from Sleek's site and they do ship to the US.

The Black Radiance 8 Pan Palette in Posh Plums was another fav from Palette Play February. I was in the mood to play around purples and this palette was right on target. The shadows are pigmented, easy to blend and it's inexpensive since it's at the drugstore. If you are a purple eyeshadow lover but don't want to spend a lot on a purple palette, quad or single shadows, then check this one out. I kept looking at Bare Mineral Ready 4.0 The Dream Sequence which is a purple quad. It's pretty don't get me wrong. I swatched it the other day in Sephora and I was like nope, I'm good. Not saying that Posh Plums has any dupes, but I feel that since I have it I don't need The Dream Sequence. Now that's progress :D I also have a quad from Smashbox that has all purples that I like better. It'll make an appearance in a Palette Play post. If you can catch a BOGO, I recommend getting Downtown Browns along with Posh Plums.

I picked up the Mally 5 piece Evercolor Shadow Stick Library from QVC. The shades included are Gunmetal, Trailblazing Brown, Taupe, Champagne and Shimmering Lilac. I enjoyed all of them but hands down my favorite is Trailblazing Brown. I tweeted Mally telling her that it's perfection and that it's brown girl approved lol. If you haven't figured it out by now, I don't have one lick of sense. It's a brown that would be flattering on a variety of skin tones. If you are on the darker end of the spectrum, this is perfect for a no makeup/natural look. Swipe this on your eye, throw on some liner and mascara and your done with your eyes. It's a good base for neutral brown looks too. It gives the prettiest sheen but not glittery at all. It's one I would definitely repurchase when the time comes. Now I want to check out the shade that's called Brown. I have a darker brown shadow stick of her's that's one of my favorites called Chocolate Diamond. Gunmetal is a close second. This is an instant smokey eye in a tube.


As I was putting my list of stuff together, the lips section was empty. I was like that can't be right! I had to think back to earlier in the month when I pulled out two red lipsticks from Revlon. Certainly Red is a blue based red and I think it's a red that is flattering on a variety of skin tones. It is a creme finish. Really Red is a bit brighter with a matte finish but not super bright. These two are some of my favorite red lipsticks. I wear both of these with the NYX Lip Liner is Expresso.  If you're looking to delve into red lipstick, start with one of these.

I picked up Bite Beauty's Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Vivid. The duo has the shades Violet (vibrant purple) and Palomino (vibrant magenta). I've heard good things about these lipsticks. They are expensive. A single tube is $24. I've had Mulberry on my wish list for a while now. So this duo is a good way to try two shades since it's only $12. These are so smooth, creamy and not drying on the lips. They go out like a lip balm and wear like a lip stain. I'm hoping the come out with another mini set during the holidays like they did last year.


I have had the Serious Skincare's C Power Enzymatic Facial Beauty Treatment with Vitamin C Ester since October. It came in the kit of items that I've mentioned before that I got from HSN. You're only supposed to use the product 2-3 times a week. I use it twice a week. Last month I paid more attention to my skin after using this product. I use it at night and the next morning my skin in smooth, bright and very soft. It's like I used a mask or some kind of scrub the night before instead of this treatment. I've been somewhat lazy when it comes to doing weekly treatments like a mask or scrub but I feel that I get the same results with this product.

The product claims are (from Serious Skincare's website):
  • Contains a unique blend of enzyme and amino acids selectively exfoliates skin cells
  • Moisturizes and optimizes the natural balance of the epidermis
  • Helps skin appear brighter Provides anti-oxidant and collagen-enhancing properties
It's available for purchase on its own from HSN.

I picked up the Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent from Ulta when I had a 20% off coupon and was getting some other items. I was hoping that they had the Dickinson's Witch Hazel Toner which they didn't and I wasn't in the mood to go to CVS just for one product. This toner does have witch hazel in it along with salicylic acid. I've been really enjoying using this toner. It's refreshing and does not burn my skin. It kind of reminds me of the Proactiv Toner. I haven't searched to see how they compare. I also like the packaging. It's not a super huge bottle. It doesn't take up a lot of counter space and will be easy to travel with when work travel begins.

I picked up the L'Oreal Youth Code Eye Cream from a seller on Amazon with free shipping. Woot! It was only $5 so I wasn't going to be crushed if I didn't like it. Turns out I really like this. It's moisturizing and blends into the skin nicely. It doesn't interfere with whatever makeup I have around my eye area. I love the metal applicator which is very soothing and cooling to the under eye area. Some of the product claims are:
  • Reduces signs of stress, fatigue and aging
  • Skin looks rested, smoother and youthfully luminous
  • Breakthrough genactiv technology helps increase skin's natural powers of regeneration, boosting skin's own capacity for recovery
  • The cooling massage applicator tip delivers instant de-puffing action for under-eye bags, while lightweight micro-pearls brighten and smooth.
So score for finding an inexpensive eye cream. I will definitely reorder.

Ok sooooo last month I said that once I used up Aveeno's Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes that I wasn't going to repurchase makeup remover wipes. I think I lied. I cracked the Aveeno wipes open this month and I have really be enjoying using them again. They are very soothing on the skin, very moist, they don't irritate my skin and they get the majority of my makeup off. On the days when I do workout after work, I grab a wipe to remove the majority of makeup. Then I cleanse with the Serious Skincare Glycolic Cleanser and Clarisonic. Have to check Ulta to catch a sale and use their $3.50 off $10 coupon. Or see if I have some reward dollars to use.


I was kind of obsessed with OPI's Boris & Natasha this month. This is one of the polishes I pulled out for Nail Polish Play for February. It is a deep plumy brown shade. I wore this polish 3 times for the month on it's own and accented with other polishes. The formula is nice, easy to work with and not streaky. It's opaque with 2 coats.


Oh Bath & Body Works! I fell down the rabbit hole back in undergrad. I had never heard of the store. President's Day weekend they have a buy 3, get 3 free promo going on and their hand soaps were on sale. I swear I feel like they practically give their products away with various promos, coupons and sales.  I had been stuck in the house for 3 days due to the snow we got. So I was itching to get out of the house. So why not go and spend some money? LOL! I picked up the scents Cashmere Glow and Amber Blush. OMG both scents are amazeballs! Cashmere glow has "a warm blend of golden peach, exotic berries and glowing lily petals indulged with shimmering vanilla and cashmere musk." It kind of reminds me of Amber Romance from Victoria Secret.  Amber Blush has "sensual blend of raspberry champagne, gardenia petals and magnolia blossom with a seductive kiss of crystallized amber and creamy vanilla suede." I'm a sucker for vanilla scents or anything that has vanilla notes in it.


We have a hair section this month! Fancy!

Wen Winter Cranberry Mint Cleansing Conditioner is the new winter seasonal set from Wen. Baaaabbbyaaaayyeeee it smells SO GOOD! Just when you think Chaz Dean can't top the previous seasonal, he somehow manages to knock it out of the park. Not just with the scent but with the formula too. I feel that this one it is a bit smoother and creamier and my hair loves it! I'm so glad I got on the seasonal auto delivery in the larger sizes. I also use the seasonal cleansing conditioner as overnight deep conditioning treatments as well has a leave in along with the Wen oil that I'm about to mention next.

I got the Wen Fig Sweet Orange Oil in the Fig Ultimate Hydration Set from QVC. This is one of the newer Wen oils. I have only tried the Pomegranate Rosemary. I wasn't wowed by it. This one the other had is amazeballs! I love the smell and I love how my hair feels after using as an overnight treatment and adding some in my hair before I blow dry it. I'm hoping Chaz Dean has a deal on his oils this year. I have a 1 oz bottle of the Tea Tree Eucalyptus oil that I got in another set that I'm excited to try.

Keracare Essentail Oils For The Hair is a favorite from a loooong time ago. I started using this when I got my hair done at the JcPenny salon. They carried Keracare products. When my stylist left to open her own shop, I happily followed. Keracare products aren't readily available in all beauty supply stores. So I moved on from it. Found some retailers selling it online but their shipping costs were ridiculous! I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas. I found a seller selling the larger bottle with free shipping. So I jumped on it. I'm glad to have this back in my rotation. Especially since the original Wen Tea Tree oil that I enjoyed so much is no longer available and his new oils are pretty pricey. It's a very good hair oil. I mainly use it on my hair at night and after I blow dry my hair after washing. I'm toying around with the idea of getting some tea tree oil and mixing it in smaller bottle with the Keracare oil to use as an overnight treatment for my hair and scalp like I've done with the Wen Tea Tree oil. The Keracare oil does say you can use it a pre-treatment before shampooing your hair. But it doesn't have tea tree oil it in. If I give this a go I'll report back.

Random Stuff

I think I stumbled upon the Concord Grape flavor or the refreshe Sparking Water Beverage at Safeway either last month or in December. I saw it and was like *yonk* in the cart you go! I think it's my new fav! Gives me my grape soda fix. These sparkling water beverages are the best.

Everyone has a product or products that they just have to have on hand or they get antsy. Well at least I do. If I don't have baby wipes on hand then we have a problem. My favorites are the ones from CVS. I usually get the big 3 pack when they are on sale or if I have some CVS bucks to use. Well I hadn't had any CVS bucks in a while and every time I went to CVS they weren't on sale! One random CVS visit, I saw that the Pamper's Sensitive Baby Wipes were on sale. So I said why not. Dare I say that I like these better?!? They are a little larger are and a bit more moist than the CVS ones. I also tried them out on my face to remove my makeup and they were fine.

Surprise Products of the Month

So I pulled out elf's HD blushes the last week of this month to use into March. I hadn't really used them since I got them last year. The first once I used was Superstar which is a coral pink shade. Then I used Headliner which is a dusty pink shade. I was like wow once I put it on. Now this isn't a throw on a go type of product. They are hella pigmented and too much product does dispense out of the tube. I squirt the product on the back of my had, dab some and blend on my check with my finger and then take a small stippling brush (elf or Real Techniques) to blend. Seems like a lot of steps but it goes quick. You can build up the color on your cheeks. And can I say that they LAST ALL DAY! I'd come home in the evening and they look the same as applied earlier that morning. I guess I really didn't pay that much attention to these when I first used them. These are comparable to Makeup Forever's HD blushes but a lot cheaper! They are only $3 and there are 5 shades. So if you have a problem with your blush lasting all day then check these out! I wish they had a red or a orange one.

Meh Products of the Month

The Nude Awakening Palette from Wet n Wild released last spring. I was unable to find it and the other palette that released at any of the drugstores in my area. My beauty pusha was nice enough to scoop both palettes up for me. I hadn't used it until this month for February's Palette Play. A lot of people compared the shades in this palette to the original Naked palette. Now let me first say that I love the original 3 8 pan palettes from Wet n Wild (The Comfort Zone, Petal Pusher and Blue Had Me At Hello) along with the their trios and the 6 pan palettes. This one just didn't do it for me. These didn't seem as pigmented to me as their shadows typically are and I felt like I had to keep packing on color. I was so surprised and kind of disappointed. Maybe I'll reach for it again and give it another whirl.

I don't have it to show you but Revlon's lipgloss in Rose pearl was a "YouTube Made Me Do It" product. Emilynoel83 had talked about it, I thought it was nice and I picked it up. I think from Ulta. I know I had worn it and I liked it at the time. Fast forward to this month. Did my makeup one morning, went to put this gloss on and I was like on hayle naw. Took it off and put something else on. I gave it another whirl on a Sunday when I was kind of bumming it and went out to run some errands. It was somewhat "better" but I still wasn't feeling it. So needless to say it got tossed. I'm iffy when it come to frosty and pearly shades on my lips. This color was close to the natural color of my lips and it just was a no go for me. I need to go through my lip colors and reevaluate them.

I think I've mentioned in a previous post that I've had a tiiiiime with eyeshadow primers! I had heard good things about the Milani Eyeshadow Primer. So I said why not and gave it a go. This primer did not work for me! I swear by like noon I had creasing. Ugh! So this is going in the giveaway pile.

I don't have this to show you because I already returned it to Sephora. On the last Wednesday of the month, I went to Sephora. I picked up Makeup Forever's Mat Velvet + Foundation. I had heard good things about it from some YouTubers whose opinions I value, so I decided to give it a go. *sigh*. It is a full coverage foundation. I've come to the conclusion that me and full coverage foundations do not get along. I picked up the shade Coffee and it was kind of weird. Once I did my whole face and everything set it was kind of ok. One minute I felt like it was ok then too light the next. I wasn't comfortable with it and I know the next shade up would be too dark. Also I want to say it broke me out but it's almost that time of the month, so it cooooould be that. But I'm pointing fingers at the foundation. I told a couple of people that I think the makeup gods are telling me to stick with what I know and what's working for me in terms of foundation. I did order Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation during the friends & family sale in February. I've had good success with several Bobbi Brown foundations. So I'm not too worried *knock on wood*

And there you have it. Again I'm so sorry that this is long. I'm going to try and come up with something different for next month.

On to March and maybe some more posts. We shall see. If there is something you want to see or talk about let me know ;)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Nail Polish Play March 2014

Due to being stuck at home a few days due to the weather and being stuck on OPI's Boris & Natasha, I didn't use everything from last month.  I didn't use the Sally Hansen Salon Effects and Nails Inc Bling It On - Denim & Studs . I'll put them back into the mix at some point but I've had Essie on the brain lately so March is Essie polish play! Yay! Don't they look cute in my bowl?!

Essie is my favorite nail polish brand. I picked up a mini cube of their new Resort collection. What's cool about this collection is that it's only 4 polishes and the mini cubes only includes four polishes. So yay!!! I like these mini polishes. I also pulled out the polishes from their Fall 2011 collection. This was the first collection where I bought all the polishes in a collection from a brand. So this is more than 8 polishes but oh well. We'll see how this goes.

Here are the polishes from the Resort collection:

  • Cocktails & Coconuts
  • Under the Twilight
  • Resort Fling
  • Find Me An Oasis

Here are the polishes from the Carry On Fall 2011 collection:

  • Lady Like
  • Carry On
  • Power Clutch
  • Very Structured
  • Glamour Purse
  • Case Study
And for giggles, I also pulled out Mint Candy Apple since Essie keeps posting it on their Instagram page. I also picked up Penny Talk recently. This is one that a lot of people have raved about. Let's see if it lives up to the hype.

Also I forgot to mention that I had ordered some dotting tools (pictured in the bowl)  from Amazon and got them in January. It took a while for me to get them but I didn't know that they were coming from China lol!! The were very inexpensive and shipping was free, so I'm not tripping on how long it took for me to get them. So lets see if I can incorporate some dotting action this month!