Products I Regret Buying

We’ve all spent those coins where we shouldn’t. Here are a few of my most regretful, heartbreaking purchases from my most beloved brands!

  • BareMinerals BareSkin Brightening Serum Foundation
  • Elf Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder
  • NYX Avant Pop Noveau Chic Eyeshadow Palette
  • Eyelure Exaggerate No. 145 Lashes
  • LA Colors DramatiLash Lashes in Delightful 974
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara
  • Elf Brightening Eyeliner Pencil
  • Maybelline ColorSensational Rebel Bloom Lipsticks (Blushing Bud & Coral Burst)
  • Forever 21 Mega Color Stick in Adobe Rose

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Elf Smudge Pots – Review

100_5338Hello, all! If you’re a budget savvy diva like I am, then you are more than likely very familiar with the brand elf. Now, the object of today’s affections is more of an oldie, but it’s still a goodie: Smudge Pots! They’re $3 and the ELF website is always aiming to hand out those deals and coupons.

The pots come in a very chic and classy clear pot that looks like glass, but definitely isn’t. It’s fine, though, because you can still get that rich queen aesthetic. The shadows inside have a very smooth and creamy feel, but the downside is that if you’re like me, and prefer to get the maximum pigmentation by using your fingers for application, the pots are a bit too narrow to get to the product without getting it clustered under your nails.

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Without Flash
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With Flash

In terms of pigmentation, color pay-off generally depends on the shade. Back to Basics tends to have the best stand-alone application on my eyes and Poppin’ Party is the most likely to get a little streaky on my lids. All of the shadows are buildable and once they’re on my lid, I usually get a solid 5 or so hours of uninterrupted wear. I find this to be a huge plus because it offers a lot of flexibility to the product. All of the shades can work as a decent primer or go on to make a great base for corresponding shadow colors that you want to layer on top.

In conclusion, I am a huge Smudge Pot fan and have recommended them to all of my friends and recommend them to you all as well! They’re versatile, they’re great for people who want quick pigmentation and don’t have time for brushes, and come in neutrals, bold shades, and shimmers! Spend your coins in a cost efficient manner and pick this up ya’ll (as long as your budget has accounted for it – $3 can be a lot of money and you should only spend it if you think it’s a great investment).

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ColourPop KaePop Quad – Review

Hello, all! I’m all here for trying new things and I love a good deal which has led to the culmination of this review. I’ve heard a lot about ColourPop cosmetics from the mystical world of YouTube makeup tutorials and am obsessed with trying out new eyeshadows, so I decided to pick up the KaePop quad from ColourPop. As usual, I signed up for their email list (which I recommend doing anytime you’re ready to make a purchase from anywhere for the first time), received my $5 off coupon, and dropped this gorgeous piece into my shopping cart.

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The quad contains 4 SuperShock shadows that come in a nice purple sleeve and are inside of a tiny cardboard box that looks a bit like a game of Connect 4. Because this is a collection of shadows, rather than a palette, they all come in individual small plastic pods with twist-off, see-through lids.

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Without Flash: Beverly, Wilshire, Sunset Blvd, and Crenshaw
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With Flash: Beverly, Wilshire, Sunset Blvd, and Crenshaw

The collection has 3 matte shades (Wilshire, Crenshaw, and Beverly) and one pearlized shade (Sunset Blvd). They swatch a little less pigmented than they apply to the eye, and go on best with the use of your finger (but you can use brushes too if that’s your jam). When it comes to color selection, I think they’re all beautiful shades, though I am rarely ever tempted to use all 4 shades together. Despite that, I do think it offers great versatility for making a bold look or a natural one.

In terms of texture, they’re very “squingy.” I personally love the texture and the only way I can describe it is like a firm sponginess. They’re quite malleable and apply in smooth layers. More specifically, they have a “cream to powder” formula which allows them to be built up on the lid or blended into the crease. My favorite thing about the formula of them though, is not the fun texture, but the wear time. Once they’ve had the opportunity to set on the lid, they lock on. Even without the use of a primer, they don’t break up on the lid, transfer, or crease which makes them the perfect base for other shades, an awesome primer for the lid, or a great product for if you’re in a hurry and are living for that one finger swipe!

Overall, I think this is a great quad, particularly for those who are just looking into trying ColourPop for the first time. They offer a great amount of versatility for looks that you can create and cost the exact same as they would if you bought them all separately (which, fun fact: you can buy the shadows individually if there’s just one shade that speaks to your soul for $5 each). Also, they’ve got an amazing wear time so even if none of these shades are your jam, the formula is amazing so I recommend checking out the site to see if any of their other shades are!

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January Favorites

Because I like to like things, here are some things that I liked a lot last month!

♥Products Mentioned:♥
Revlon ColorStay Foundation
elf Smudge Pots in Wine Not, Poppin’ Party, and Back to Basics
NARS Lip Pencils in Rikugien and Cruella
Side-Tassel Chunky Hell Booties
American Flag Beanie
Blanket Scarf
Pocky
The Amazing Book is Not on Fire
Troye Sivan “Blue Neighborhood”

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Revlon ColorStay 24 Hour Foundation – Review

Hello, all! If you are subscribed to my YouTube channel, then you know that I’ve been testing out the Revlon ColorStay 24 hour foundation. This product claims to be America’s most-loved longwear foundation (which, I have literally never heard anyone else say before, but alright) and comes in both a Normal/Dry Skin formula and a Combination/Oily Skin formula. As it is winter and the weather has stripped the life from my face, I went for the former! I picked mine up from Ulta for $12.99, which is on the higher end of drugstore pricing. Fortunately Ulta is running a Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale on Revlon products until February 13 or you can buy it from Walmart for $10.

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This foundation comes in what feels like a glass bottle with a twist-off lid and no pump, though I believe newer bottles should include that. It is fairly liquidy, but not so runny that it becomes difficult to work.

In terms of coverage, I would say that it is a medium and flexible. The first layer of it evens out my skin tone and reduces the appearance of hyper-pigmentation on my face and a second layer in the areas where my hyper-pigmentation is the most prominent cancels out the majority of the darkness without looking cakey. It also gives the skin a very natural, demi-matte finish, which is great for me because full on matte usually sucks every ounce of moisture from my face and a dewy finish leaves my face as greasy as a Pizza Hut pizza. In addition to having a nice finish, it also has a nice wear time. Though it is nowhere close to the 24 hours that the title claims, it does chill on my skin for a good 7 to 8 hours before it begins to look a bit less fab (though the wear time on me is sometimes about an hour less than that because I’m always napping in my makeup).

My favorite thing about this foundation, though, is the flexibility that it offers for different types of skin. In addition to coming in 2 different formulas to cater to normal, oily, dry, and combination skin, it has a wider array of colors to choose from than most drugstore lines. The normal/dry skin foundation has 12 shades and the combination/oily foundation has 20. While I do not believe there’s such a thing as “the perfect foundation,” this line offers so many options, that it comes close to it in my books.

Overall, I give this foundation a solid A. It has a solid wear-time, a strong color selection, and provides options for different skin types.

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Your Fave is Problematic: New Foundations

Today on Instagram I learned that a lot of people now believe that Lorac Cosmetics is “racist.” No, they have not accidentally dropped the N-word or openly appropriated black culture. In fact, most of the debate stems not from any sort of offensive inclusion of blackness, but on the exclusion of blackness from their new foundation line. While the debate is heated and often eye-roll inducing, I can ultimately say that I am quite pleased.LoracInsta

The debate is primarily concentrated on this post featuring a model with swatches of the 8 shades of their new Sheer POREfection Foundation which appears to only carry 2 shades geared more-so towards those of us with more melanin in our skin. In all honesty, I am past the point of being disheartened as Lorac’s most expansive foundation line includes a “whopping” 10 shades and the “perfect transition color” from their Pro Matte Smokey Eye Tutorial looks a bit like ash when I put it in my crease. Based on these experiences, I am not saying that I knew that their new foundation launch would not include a lot of black and brown friendly shades, but…let’s be real: I was not expecting them to launch a lot of black and brown friendly shades.

And, as previously stated, I am pleased with the drama. While, there is nothing positive about loving to invest in makeup products and not being able to because they are made without you in mind, there is something positive about beauty fans engaging in meaningful conversations. I was so hype to try a Benefit foundation after hearing one of my favorite YouTubers talk about it, but could not buy it because they did not have my shade. I was really excited to buy and review the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation when it first launched, but never purchased it because I knew that any reader darker than me would not be able to try it because they did not have their shade. As a black woman I have become conditioned not to expect my shade range to be included in a foundation’s launch, unless said launch comes from a company with “black” in its title. Black people come in all different shades of darkness and lightness and many times a great deal of us are completely excluded from enjoying new foundations because our shade has yet to be created. My black friends often ask me to help them choose the right foundation color or lament to me about being improperly shade matched by the artists at various counters and I often wonder, if this problem happens to so many of us, then why isn’t it t more broadly discussed?

For this reason, Instagram commenters, I salute you. You have continued to bring meaningful conversation to social media, and though your use of the term “racism” is overzealous and some of your opinions are a little wild (and others are flat out offensive) I am more than happy to see this challenge to the status quo. Continue to ask questions be it on why foundation launches are so limited, the truth behind consumer trends, and why so many of your fellow beauty lovers continue to reach for a comparison between brands like Black Opal and Too Faced, Maybelline, or Lorac. Let 2016 not be the year that we continue to hide behind explanations of the present condition, but let it be the year that we continue to push for what the near future can be.

*Note: This post does not exist as an attack on Lorac Cosmetics or any other mentioned brand. The original Unzipped Eyeshadow Palette is my 1 true makeup love and they are the creators of my favorite lipstick. This is simply a commentary on the themes emerging on the public responses to their recent Instagram post.

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Travel Makeup: The Kit

Questions: What is in my travel makeup bag?

Answer: Too much stuff.100_4873new

It’s winter break at my school and while no one is obligated to go home, we all were told that we definitely needed to get out. On the bright side I get to spend all of those fun holidays like Christmas and New Year’s with my family at my home-home rather than in the cold white halls of my dorm-home. On the more shady side, it meant that I had a lot of uncertainty in terms of what I should pack for such a vast amount of time, meaning that I grabbed a lot of brushes and ran like the wind. Here are the results.

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Brushes
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Face
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Eyes
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Bags

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Holiday Makeup Looks

I’m planning for a low-key holiday season, stuffed with plenty of Netflix (no-chill), cookies, and the smooth R&B tunes of Ariana Grande’s new Christmas EP. Spending the days with extra-chill vibes, doesn’t mean that my makeup has to be toned down as well. Whether you’re going out or staying in, I hope you enjoy these 2 makeup looks/inspiration that are sure to keep your face fly, festive, and fun.

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