The Basics

I’m not really one for playing around with basic pieces. I don’t own any white t-shirts and I generally prefer things with an extra flair to them (more bang for my styling buck), which is why when I head back to basics, I think more about playing with basic formulas and methods for styling.

It can be a little intimidating when you’re thinking up what you should wear and you’re looking through every single item in your closet. Should you hit the world up with a snazzy sparkly skirt? Make it a little fancy with a printed collared shirt? I recommend thinking of a simple combo and then filling in the blanks: Sweater + Jeans + Socks + Boots. From there, you hit that magical point where you’re restricting yourself to specific types of pieces, while still leaving room for your creativity to shine through. So style it up, keep it classy, and go bold while also heading back to the basics!

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Sweater: Newport News (Goodwill); Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters; Socks: ?; Shoes: Mossimo (Target)

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Valentine’s Day LookBook

Whether your V-day bae is an actual human being or the all powerful tri-force of Netflix, WiFi, and a laptop, you deserve to look a solid 10! Here are 3 outfits in under 2 minutes to offer some inspiration for looking lovely while you spend some time with your one true love!

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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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Pointless Sweater

I have a love of sweaters that runs so great that I don’t even have a need for them to be functional anymore. This sweater does nothing to keep me warm in this emerging winter cold and I decided to continue the trend of non-winter-functional pieces by layering it over top of this pastel, floral sleeveless button-down. I’m on this new kick of pulling my summer pieced into winter wear because I like a challenge (read: my wardrobe is not as expansive as I wish it was). Don’t limit your clothes to the season friends. Mix and match to your heart’s content. Live your dreams.

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Sweater Mountain Lake; Blouse: H&M; Skirt: Wall Flower; Tights: ?; Boots: Charlotte Russe

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