Even Prettier in Person...

The DMV beauty bloggers met up last weekend, everyone was sweet as can be and I had a fabulous time! It was great meeting folks whose blogs I read on a daily basis. Plus it's so nice to be able to talk about the nuances of shadow colors without feeling like you're Rainman!

From left to right Shawnta, Yummy411, Juvenescent, Silvrlips and me

Figures I didn't take any pictures of my look that day. I was rushing to get there on time and when I got home the only thing I was thinking about was my bed. So here is a recreation...

On eyes: Not pictured UDPP; Lancome Shadow Duo in Sparkling Plum – Gold side(Highlight); Clinique Lash Building Primer; Cover Lash Blast Mascara in Very Black; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Very Black; Victoria’s Secret liquid liner in Blackout
Pictured: HIP Shadow Pencil in Unmistakable (base); HIP Shadow in Cheeky (light side - lid color, dark side - crease color); HIP Shadow in Flare Orange side (crease); Lancome Color Design in Topaz Temptation (outer crease); Lancome Color Design Defining and Sparkling Eye Pencil Duo in Sparkling Black

Face and Lips: Not pictured Bare Minerals Foundation in Deepest Deep (used as a Concealer); Valana Minerals foundation in Amber Dream

Pictured: Valana Minerals Blazing Bronzer in Bahia Tan; Milani Mineral Blush in Mai-Tai; MAC Lipglass in Pink Grapefruit

It was great company and great conversation! I can't wait for the next meeting!

A Natural Updo

I have a love hate relationship with twists. I love the fact that they're a great protective style and they're a really easy go to style but after 3 days I get bored and I really don't like how the front looks. So I decided to do something different after watching MsButterfli's loc updo video. I originally tried it her way and I didn't like how it looked so I tweaked it in a way that worked for me.

Step 1 - Start with a twisted head

Step 2- Take one section and cross it over. It doesn't matter which side you start with.

Step 3 - Repeat Step 2 on the opposite side.

Step 4 - Repeat Step 2 and 3 and continue as far as you want to go.

The results -
For the front I did my staple 2 strand flat twist style. I'm trying to learn how to do different things with the front but I always end up with this.

Sides -

Top -
It's a really cute style that got a lot of compliments. If you don't feel like redoing the front when it gets old just add a scarf and you're good to go for as long as you want.

One thing - when pinning your sections try not to do it too tight. The first day I wore it it wasn't tight when I left for work but as the day went on I had to get Jesus on the main line and ended up pulling some pins out.

New HIP and a Lash Hot Comb

I love Lucky Magazine, it's one of my favorites! So I'm looking through the August issue and and 2 things catch my eye... The first was a Loreal HIP ad. I see they have jumped on the metallic shadow train and have come out with Metallic Duos.

Fly high into a metallic world of color with HiP™ high intensity pigment Metallic Duos. Rich, high pearl shades are full of intense luminosity. On the Left: Intensely Luminous Shades to Shadow On the Right: Deeper, Dramatic Shades to Line
HiP™ Metallic Shadow Duos create crease-resistant, long-wearing metallic effect. And like all HiP™ high intensity pigment products all five duos pack more pigment—for elegant or edgy looks that let you wing it.
I haven't seen them in any of my local drugstores but I know some ladies have bought them. I'll pick up couple during the next BOGO sale.

The second was for Revlon's Gentle Heat Curler. Apparently I've been living under a rock and heated eyelash curlers are nothing new since my google search turned up a lot. Concept is simple before you apply your mascara you heat this little doohickey up and comb it through your lashes. First thing I thought was are they serious a hot comb for your lashes. Second thing was what if you burn your lashes off. I don't think it gets that hot but I can be a tad extreme sometimes. The Revlon curler is the twin of the Sephora Heated Lash Curler but it retails for $10 instead of $16. For some reason I would try this but the SpinLash I stay away from. Go figure....

FOTD 7/3 and Mini Review

Playing around in my makeup and this is what I came up with. I called myself putting on some lashes...didn't turn out so well. Well...the left eye was great the right one not so much. I tried to use the lash applicator that came with my kit and I really didn't like it. I think I may get the lash kit from Spehora. I saw a video on youtube about and it seems like it would make application a lot easier.

On eyes: Not pictured: UDPP; Lancome Shadow Duo in Sparkling Plum; Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express in Glam Black; Victoria’s Secret liquid liner in Blackout; NYX Liner in Black

Pictured: NYX Jumbo Shadow Pencil in Pacific (base); HIP Pigment in Teal (all over lid color); Valana Minerals Eye Indulgence in Royal Butterfly (outer corner and crease); Lancome Shadow In Rose Quartz (highlight); Lancome Shadow in Aspen Nights (outer corner and outer crease)

Face and Lips: Not pictured Bare Minerals Foundation in Deepest Deep (used as a Concealer); Valana Minerals foundation in Amber Dream

Pictured: Valana Minerals Cheeky Cheek Pot in Red Hibiscus; HIP Bronzing Powder in Thriving; MaxWear Lip Color in Tempting Vixen (clear side)

Mini Review - The Max Factor gloss is one of their lip shines. Straight up I don’t like it. The concept is simple and cool; you apply the color side wait a minute and apply the gloss and get a whole new color that will last all day. I have another one, Pomegranate Fusion, which is pink and purple. I don’t really like that one either but I like it much better than the Tempting Vixen. With Tempting Vixen it was beyond hard to apply the color side. It never looked even and was kind of blotchy. It dried to a really ugly dull color and no matter how many coats of the gloss I applied it didn’t get any better. The worst part was IT WOULDN’T COME OFF!! I’m not exaggerating when I say it took 10 minutes to get it off and I’m talking about 10 minutes of scrubbing and you still have little bits on. So when they say long lasting all day color they mean it. Let me add that it left my lips really dry. The best parts of the lip shines are the glosses. Those are very pretty. Good thing I got both on clearance and with a coupon. If I paid full price I would have been hot!!

My Hair Story...

Nywele said: I’d love to hear more about your hair:)

Here’s my story…

Growing up straight hair wasn’t a big deal. Little girls were supposed to look and act like little girls so either your hair was in pony tails with the matching ribbons or braided with beads on the ends. Straight pressed hair was only for special occasions and relaxers were for grown women or big girls. The only time I had my hair pressed as a kid was for First Communion and one picture day.

I got my first relaxer when I was 12 as a gift. My mom did my hair from that day until I left home for undergrad. I never had issues. I always had a full head of head, I never had scabs and I always had my edges. It wasn’t until I left home that my problems started.

Boston was the start of my problems. Growing up my mom always told me be very selective of whom you let in your hair and that everyone’s hand won’t agree with your hair and Lord was she right. My hair always looked nice but if you looked closer you would see it was all a front. The relaxer I grew up on they didn’t use. For the first time I was experiencing burns and scabs. It was disgusting. I lost length. My hair refused to go past my shoulders. The breakage I experienced wasn’t even funny. At least once a year I had severe breakage on some part of my head. Going to the salon was embarrassing, and tiring. Stylists always claimed that the one before them was incompetent and that they had the magic cure all, which of course they didn’t. My hair always recovered when I went home then I would go back to school and start the cycle again.

After graduation I moved back home and my hair thrived. It grew a little past my shoulders but not by much but there was no breakage. When I moved to DC the cycle started again.

When I got to DC I went to a salon by Howard’s campus and found a stylist that I was in love with. He did a great job and my hair was healthy with him. Then one day he’s gone and them trifling folks at the salon won’t give his forwarding info. It was downhill from there. I went through 5 stylists in 1 year and it was Boston all over again. The last one was horrible. She was late to appointments, and her skills were hit or miss. She couldn’t put in a simple pony tail. I mean how hard is it to do a ponytail. Put real hair in ponytail and wrap track around. Not brain surgery. This lady glued the track in to the middle of my head then did some MacGyver stuff with the rest of it. The 2 last straws were 1. a patch in the middle of my head was literally the length of my pinky. I was like this heffa burned my hair. She was like no girl that’s your stress spot. I was like stress spot my ass how about you don’t know what you’re doing. 2. I didn’t leave the salon until 10:30 pm, got home at 11 pm and I had been there since 4:30. I was fed up with my hair; I was tired of half ass service and having my time and most importantly my money wasted. So I decided to wear braids until I figured out what to do.

I had heard about going natural but it wasn’t something I was really interested in mainly because my hair had been relaxed for the majority of my life and it was all I knew. The only issues I had with natural hair were the care of it and what to do with it. I wasn’t worried about what anyone would think my main concern was the health of my hair. I research everything so I did the same for natural hair and found Nappturality. I think I lived there for months just reading and absorbing info. I began posting and it was great. After a while I was like this won’t be so bad and anything had to be better than what I was dealing with and decided to transition and stop relaxing. In the meantime I went to hair gatherings and kept reading and posting. I don’t now how long I thought I was going to transition for but by the 5th month I guess my hair got tired of the 2 textures and the relaxed ends started to breaking off. By the 6th month I was itching to see what my natural texture was like. I decided cut some of the front to see what the texture was like. Not the middle or the back but the front. My logic was- I’ll just slick it back. So I snipped a bit, snipped some more and next thing you know I had this bizarre mini fro mullet/relaxed ends thing going on. That’s when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to slick this down. So on December 23, 2001 I cut off all my relaxed ends had me a little fro and never looked back. As the years went on and I got more comfortable with my hair I spent less and less time on Nappturality and stopped posting and visiting. I recently went back but I just lurk.

My journey has been great. I’ve read some horror stories of some folk’s experiences and I can honestly say that mine has always been positive. I’ve never had anyone say anything slick to me, never had problems at work or finding jobs, and men love it. I do wonder if I had found that super stylist if I would have gone natural and I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ll never relax again. It wasn’t healthy for my hair and I’m much happier now. I don’t judge people for the hair choices they make because frankly I don’t care especially since I’m not the one caring for it. If I get the urge for a straight look I’ll pay a visit to the Dominicans or break out my flat iron.

I made a little montage of my hair through the years. Years are missing and I have no clue what that’s about. I used to have a hair album but I let the account expire. I couldn’t find the cd with the original pictures on it so I apologize that some of the pics are blurry. I don’t have any straight hair pics of myself. But if you know what a wrap/doobie/straw/flex set looks like then you know what my hair looked like. And yes I’m in the bathroom taking pics. I have no idea why the bathroom is my studio of choice…lol… Enjoy!!

Mini Haul 7/3 and Review

Got to love TJ Maxx and Marshall's! Bargain name brand shopping at its best. Don't sleep on their beauty sections ladies!

Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow Duo in Sparkling Plum. It’s a highlight and crease color combo. I love the packaging. The compact is really cute and has a great mirror. Retail: 29.00 Marshall's price: 7.99

Lancome Color Design Shadow in Aspen Nights Metallic. It’s a pretty Metallic Grey. Retail: 16.50 TJ Maxx price: $6.00 on clearence.

I placed an order with Valana Minerals for a mineral foundation in Amber Dream and a Cheeky Cheek Pot in Red Hibiscus; a deep burgundy with purple highlights and neutral brown undertones. The blush is really subtle. Just a hint of color. My order came with a free sample of the Eye Indulgence in Royal Butterfly; a rich purple with black undertones. I am in love with the both of them especially the eye indulgence. Dry it’s beautiful, I think applied wet with be just as nice.

Now for some swatches - Top to bottom:
Lancome Color Design Shadow in Aspen Nights Metallic
Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow Duo in Sparkling Plum
Eye Indulgence in Royal Butterfly
Cheeky Cheek Pot in Red Hibiscus
I forgot to swatch the highlight but it's a really light pretty gold

With Flash:

Without flash:

Review –

I'm somewhat obsessed with eye creams so I picked up 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. The company uses no synthetic materials, no toxins, harsh ingredients, or

chemicals. The eye cream is described as:

“Anti-inflammatory, caffeine rich green tea and coffee de-puffs and reduces swelling while increasing circulation to alleviate and brighten dark circles. Concentrated with potent anti-aging vitamins, antioxidants, and nourishing blackcurrant oil. Truly, 100% Pure.”

Ingredients: Organic Green and White Tea, Blackcurrant Oil, Organic Green Coffee, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Chamomile and Lavender wax, Pure Vanilla Absolute, extracts of Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Grapefruit Seed and Golden Seal

I noticed no de-puffing or brightening. What I did notice was horrible drying and burning when I used it. Not cool at all. My eye area actually looked and felt worse while I was using it. Great ingredients but it did nothing for me. It took a week using another moisturizing cream to get my eyes back to normal. It retails for $19 but I got it for 7.99 at TJ Maxx. This is one you can skip.