Hair & Beauty

Beauty Tip For Oily Skin: Milk of Magnesia As A Primer

A few weeks ago during the Elaine Luxe photo shoot, makeup artist Jeneal and I talked about various makeup tips. I had mentioned to her that I have combination oily skin so my forehead and nose tend to get really oily. To combat oiliness while wearing makeup, Jeneal recommended I apply Milk of Magnesia to my face as a primer.  I had never heard of this beauty secret before so I when I came home from the shoot that evening, I Googled “Milk of Magnesia Primer.” Apparently, a lot of people use this product as a primer. Who knew?!

MOM Beauty Tip For Oily Skin: Milk of Magnesia As A Primer

Available at Target for $4

Since Milk of Magnesia is dry, it mattifies the face for long lasting foundation wear.  Since I had plans to be out all day Saturday, I gave Milk of Magnesia a try. After washing my face and applying my daily moisturizer, I applied a THIN layer of Milk of Magnesia using a spray bottle (you can use a cotton ball, foundation brush or makeup sponge as well).  I let it dry completely before applying my tinted moisturizer. Make sure you blend in your moisturizer or foundation really well. After applying your tinted moisturizer or foundation, continue with your normal makeup routine (concealer, powder, etc).

I had my makeup on for over 12 hours Saturday and it held up well. I checked my makeup throughout the day and my forehead and nose weren’t really shiny. I think I reapplied my powder once since I hadn’t blended my concealer very well.  My face actually felt a little dry because the milk of magnesia makes your makeup matte, but my face didn’t appear dry. I think my face felt that way because I’m used to it being so oily.

Milk of Magnesia Demo Beauty Tip For Oily Skin: Milk of Magnesia As A Primer

No shine after 12+ hours of wearing makeup. Please excuse my hair frizziness lol

This was my first attempt so I’m definitely going to use Milk of Magnesia again the next time I wear a full face of makeup. I’m no beauty expert (I’ll stick to styling) but I do think if you have combination oily or oily skin, it’s worth a try. Check out what others had to say about using Milk of Magnesia on the Makeup and Beauty Blog and Makeup Alley. You can also Google Youtube videos.

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Shobha: NYC’s Brow Shaping & Waxing Salon Comes To DC

The struggle to find someone that can shape your eyebrows the way you like them is just as critical as finding the right hairstylist! After the lady I had gone to for a few years left the Perfect Brow kiosk at Tyson Corner mall, I struggled with finding someone that was consistent with getting my brows right. One of my brows is thin on the side; sometimes the hair removal specialists are able to keep a thick shape and length on with my “problem” brow. Other times they remove too much hair and it looks like part of my brow is missing. No bueno!

Earlier this year I received an email from the Marketing Coordinator for Shobha. Shobha is New York City’s hair removal expert offering a variety of services including threading, sugaring and waxing.  They moved to DC last month and the coordinator invited me to come in for complimentary brow shaping.

IMG 5706 Shobha: NYCs Brow Shaping & Waxing Salon Comes To DC

After going almost two months without getting my brows done, it was time for a shaping so I went to Shobha this past Tuesday. The space is bright but quiet and the staff is really friendly. I didn’t have to wait long to meet with the hair removal specialist Yamuna. While they do take walk-ins, it’s highly suggested that you make an appointment in advance.

IMG 5699 Shobha: NYCs Brow Shaping & Waxing Salon Comes To DC

What I liked about the threading appointment is that before starting, the hair removal specialist and I looked in a hand held mirror and discuss exactly how I wanted my brows threaded. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’m big on customer service and taking the time to walk through with a client how they want to look is very important.

IMG 5703 Shobha: NYCs Brow Shaping & Waxing Salon Comes To DC

Once we discussed my shape and my issue with my “problem” brow, Yamuna got to work and did a great job; she shaped the exactly how I like them AND she got the brow that I struggle with just right (it helped that I went almost 2 months without getting them done)! She concluded the appointment with a cool compress (since threading like waxing can sometimes irritate the skin) and then I was good to go. The receptionist at the front desk gifted me with a brow pencil and brush I look forward to trying.

IMG 5712 Shobha: NYCs Brow Shaping & Waxing Salon Comes To DC

One thing that did catch me off guard was the pricing, but then again Shobha is supposed to be one of the best!  After all, they have been featured in Lucky, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and more. It will cost you $22 to have your brows threaded. A bikini wax is $48.  I can get my bikini wax for less than $30 from a salon located around the corner from Shobha, so I probably won’t be stopping by for a wax. But brows are a different story. Those are seen on a daily basis which means I need to keep the brows in shape a lot more often! While it’s more than what I’m used to paying (I usually pay $12 for threading), I do believe in paying a little more to get exactly what you want. Fortunately, I’m not one that needs to get my brows threaded every two weeks, so I could pay the premium every couple months.

IMG 5701 Shobha: NYCs Brow Shaping & Waxing Salon Comes To DC

If you’re like me and have struggled with finding someone to get your brows just right, I do recommend giving Shobha a try. I think they offer a discount to first time clients and the service is definitely a step up from the brow kiosks you may visit at the mall.

For more information about Shobha and to see a full list of services visit www.myshobha.com

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EVENT RECAP: African Pride Ultimate Beauty Social

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the African Pride Ultimate Beauty Social at The Beacon Hotel in DC with Krystin of Be Loud Be You.  This invitation only event was hosted by Erin Bailey of Scandalous Beauty, Joi-Marie of The Fab Empire, Lianne Farbes of The Makeup Girl (FYI she partnered with MAC to create the Hocus Pocus eye shadow) and Panana Jackson of Very Smart Brothas.

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Me and Krystin

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Hosts of the Ultimate Beauty Social

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African Pride Products

The Ultimate Beauty Social featured brunch, an introduction to the new African Pride products and a very candid discussion about hair.  Some of the topics included natural vs. relaxer, popular hair trends in DC, hair in the workplace, whether or not men play a role in women’s hair decisions and more. It was VERY interesting to hear the different perspectives and stories about these topics; especially the men’s point of view!

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Blogger Yvonne of Pink Dollhouse discussing her experience using the African Pride Olive Miracle Growth Oil

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Brunch!

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Brunch!

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Me and my blogger boos Naseya of The Seventh District & Krystin of Be Loud Be You

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Gift bag goodies!

Overall, I had a great time attending the event. The brunch was good, the discussion was candid and of course it’s always great catching up with other bloggers and industry folks I hadn’t seen in awhile. I look forward to trying these new African Pride products, especially the Shea Butter Miracle Shampoo (great for those who are natural or transitioning) and Olive Miracle products.

To learn more about African Pride and the available products visit www.african-pride.com

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My First Weave + Being Insecure

At the end of 2012 I decided I was ready to change my hair again. After three years of short hair, I wanted to grow my hair out so I had the option to wear it curly or in top knots on hot summer days (getting my hair to that stage will probably take years)!  After talking to my hair stylist, she also told me I really didn’t need relaxers anymore so my last relaxer was in December. Let the process to grow my hair AND go natural begin!

In January I got braids. I wore those for two months and by the time I took them out, my hair was at the “in between stage.” It wasn’t really short and it wasn’t really long. The “in between stage” is the WORST so I thought I’d try getting a weave. Folks have testified that wearing a sewn-in weave helped their hair grow so why not give it a try?!

IMG 4517 My First Weave + Being Insecure

Day of weave installation

After doing some research and asking a thousand questions to friends and my hair stylist, I got a sewn-in a few weeks ago. When I see other women wearing good weaves, they look so natural. So I was hoping for the same result. Even though I had quality hair and the stylist did a great job with the installation, I didn’t FEEL like my weave looked natural. Once I stepped out in public, I immediately became insecure. Is the length of the hair too much? Does it look like I’m wearing a wig? People are probably looking at me and thinking ‘what is that on her head?’ These were the constant thoughts that ran through my head.

Part of the issue was that the stylist originally doubled up on some tracks which added extra volume.  After removing those pieces, the weave looked more natural but I was still uncomfortable.  I haven’t had hair past my shoulders since I was 8 or 9 years old so let’s just say walking around with long hair was an adjustment. Oh the tricks our mind plays on us when it comes to how we view ourselves!

My first Weave My First Weave + Being Insecure

2-3 weeks after installation

I’m not sure being uncomfortable with my weave is really a big deal, but the experience was definitely a lesson on how to deal with insecurities. My job as a personal stylist is to help women look and feel good about themselves; like so many women, I too sometimes don’t feel good about myself. We’re all a work in progress. It is natural for us to be insecure at times, but we can’t let our insecurities control us.  If you don’t think you’re beautiful, write “I am beautiful” on your mirror and recite it to yourself every day until you believe it. If you don’t like your current weight, decide today you are going to something to change it. If you’re insecurity is fueled by the messages you receive from folks around you, it is time to change your circle. If you’re struggle with insecurities, I challenge you to change your environment in order to turn those negative views into positive ones.

Although it’s just hair, being reassured by friends and strangers that my hair looks nice was the affirmation I needed to accept and embrace my new look. After all, I spent a pretty penny on this hair and installation so it has to work for the next 2 months! As I continue on this journey to grow my hair out, don’t be surprised if you see long hair on me again this fall.

What are some things you do to help you overcome insecurities?

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A$AP Rocky: Dark-Skinned Women + Red Lipstick Don’t Mix

ASAP Rocky Red Lipstikc A$AP Rocky: Dark Skinned Women + Red Lipstick Don’t MixA$AP Rocky is the latest entertainer to cause quite a stir with misguided comments about women.

In a recent interview with The Coveteur, A$AP Rocky shared his thoughts on red lipstick:

“But for real, for me, I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on the pair of complexion. I’m just being real. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that. Just like if you were to wear like-f*cking for instance, what do dark skin girls have that you know fair skinned girls cant do…Purple lipstick? Naw, that looks stupid on all girls! Purple lipstick, guys! Like, what the f*ck…”

I really hate reading rapper interviews because they never speak in complete sentences. But I digress…

Does anyone else think this is a form of colorism?? A$AP Rocky needs to leave beauty advice to the experts because he clearly knows nothing about red lipstick. Last time I checked, red lipstick comes in a variety of shades that compliment every skin tone! And don’t get me started on purple lipstick. Purple lipstick is gorgeous; especially a dark plum shade that can be worn during the fall and winter season. I LOVE my purple lipstick. It’s a great alternative to red and looks gorgeous against dark skin women.  As the Huffington Post pointed out, ASAP’s Rocky’s fellow Harlem-native rapper Azealia Banks is making a pretty penny off her purple-hued pout.

Messages like this by folks like A$AP Rocky only emphasizes why campaigns like ImREDy are so important. Women of ALL complexions need to embrace their beauty and not be afraid to wear whatever they want. Red lipstick is fun, fierce, bold, sexy and helps women exude a confidence they may not always show (At least it does that for me. I hadn’t worn red lipstick for over 10 years until I decided to participate in the ImREDy campaign). All it takes is a little trial and error to find the correct shade.

In response to this foolish statement about dark-skinned women and red lipstick, Clutch Magazine offers some great advice on finding the perfect shade:

  • If you have a warm, golden undertone (think Gabrielle Union), reds with a yellow or brown base will work for you.
  • If your skin is more cool and you have a red undertone (think Viola Davis) or blue undertone (think Alek Wek), deep reds with a blue base are your best bet.
  • If your skin is olive based (think Lauryn Hill), reds with a neutral undertone are the best way to go.
  • Bonus: If your lips are dark, dab some concealer on them to even out the tone before applying lipstick.

In the words of Tamar Braxton, A$AP Rocky “TRIED IT!” My advice to him: stick to rapping and modeling in magazines.

Read his full interview here.

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EVENT RECAP: Endless Touch Launch Party

Wednesday night I attended the Endless Touch launch party hosted by creator and hair stylist Alicia Holliday.  The party was held in the Art Room at Tabaq Bistro which served as the perfect location!

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Hair stylist, make-up artist and Endless Touch creator Alicia Holliday

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Endless Touch product basket

Alicia greeted all guests and spent time explaining the various products available along with background on why she decided to create Endless Touch. I must say, her product presentation was excellent. Pay attention to details folks!

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Endless Touch Body Butter

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Endless Touch product list and body oil

In the middle of the room there was a table where guest could sample the hair & body oil (which I love), body butter and body scrub in various scents.  Guests also enjoyed treats and a signature cocktail named after the mango flavored lip balm (my other favorite product).

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Treats by Simply Chic Cakery

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Juicy Mango Cocktail

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Me and Alicia

I had a great time at the event. I’m extremely proud of Alicia and love her new products (I was first introduced to her products last year a few weeks before I gave away the gift basket)!  If you love natural products and are interested in trying Endless Touch, please visit www.endlesstouch.biz.  Products are available for women, men and children. Alicia is currently offering specials for Valentine’s Day, so feel free to contact her via her website for more information.

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Giveaway: Endless Touch Hair & Body Products Gift Basket

I’m really excited about today’s giveaway! My friend and hair stylist Alicia Holiday recently created a line of 100% natural hair and body care products. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post a picture of her products.

endless touch Giveaway: Endless Touch Hair & Body Products Gift Basket

Endless Touch products include body butter, hair and body oils, body scrub and lip balm.   Products are available for men, women and children. The body oil is one of my favorite products.  It’s great to use after taking a shower.  Unlike other oil based products, the body oil absorbs quickly but still leaves your skin moisturized   I also tried the lip balm and body scrub. I love the lip balm because you don’t have to reapply it every 30 mins; this balm will keep your lips hydrated for a few hours.  The body scrub does a great job leaving your skin soft after use and like the other products, it smells amazing!

To honor the release of her new line, I partnered with Alicia to give away a gift basket! The basket includes a sugar scrub, body butter and hair/body oil. Enter the giveaway by using the widget below!

 Endless touch 2 Giveaway: Endless Touch Hair & Body Products Gift Basket

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information about Endless Touch visit www.endlesstouch.biz.

GOOD LUCK icon smile Giveaway: Endless Touch Hair & Body Products Gift Basket

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EVENT RECAP: Beauty That Starts Deeper Concert Series featuring Elle Varner

Clear Evite Howard Oct52 EVENT RECAP: Beauty That Starts Deeper Concert Series featuring Elle Varner

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend the Beauty That Starts Deeper Concert Series featuring Elle Varner. The event was hosted by CLEAR SCALP & HAIR BEAUTY THERAPY Ultra Shea and was one of many events to kickoff Howard Homecoming Weekend.

The event was held at Shadow Room and included delicious hors d’oeuvres and open bar!  When I arrived, I wasn’t directed to the official meet & greet session with Elle Varner that was set up for bloggers, so I was a little bummed since I was prepared to ask a few questions. However, I was able to find Nicole, the PR representative for the event, and she allowed me to briefly meet Elle Varner and take a picture with her before she hit the stage! 

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After taking a picture, I grabbed a cocktail and headed to the VIP section which included seating near the stage. For the next 40-50 minutes, Elle Varner sang tracks off her debut album Perfectly Imperfect  including “Only Want To Give It To You,” “Refill,” “I Don’t Care,” “What A Night” and “Leaf.”

IMG 2616 1024x1024 EVENT RECAP: Beauty That Starts Deeper Concert Series featuring Elle Varner
IMG 2623 764x1024 EVENT RECAP: Beauty That Starts Deeper Concert Series featuring Elle Varner
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All attendees left with gift bags that included the September issue of EBONY Magazine and a sample of the SCALP & HAIR BEAUTY THERAPY Ultra Shea Shampoo and Conditioner.

IMG 2649 939x1024 EVENT RECAP: Beauty That Starts Deeper Concert Series featuring Elle Varner

The atmosphere was perfect for the intimate concert and Elle Varner put on a great show!  Along with singing songs off her album, at one point during her performance, she sang renditions of Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down” and Frank Ocean’s “Thinking ‘Bout You.”  I am a fan and LOVE her album. I listen to it almost every day while riding the metro to work, so I was extremely excited to attend the event. If you don’t have her album, I highly recommend you get it!  Track #5, “Not Tonight,” is the truth!

The concert series continues in Durham, Atlanta and Tallahassee in conjunction with the homecoming festivities of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in those cities.

IMG 2626 764x1024 EVENT RECAP: Beauty That Starts Deeper Concert Series featuring Elle Varner

With Naseya of TheSeventhDistrict.com above. Please check out her site for more photos and to see video from the official meet & greet session.

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Video Tutorial: How To Create A Smokey Eye

Alicia Holiday is not only a great hair stylist (she’s responsible for my fabulous cut!) but she’s also a makeup artist.  I have a habit of wearing the same make up looks over and over again, so I was excited when I found out she began creating video tutorials on how to create fabulous looks.

Below is a tutorial by Alicia on how to create a smokey eye.

0 Video Tutorial: How To Create A Smokey Eye

0 Video Tutorial: How To Create A Smokey Eye

To view all of her videos, click HERE.  You can also check out her hair styling work on Facebook.  She is also offering $5 off your first salon visit. She is located at The Edge Hair Studio in Wheaton, MD. If you’re interested in receiving the $5 coupon, please let me know.

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Beauty Tip: Less Is More

Less Is More Beauty Tip: Less Is More

I’ve come across a few women who love to look made up.  They have on THICK makeup, long weave and form fitting attire.  One day I ran into a woman who usually fits that description when seen out in the city.  This time however, because we were at a local restaurant, she didn’t have her weave in, bare face and very casual outfit.  She looked so pretty!! The guys I was with even complimented her and told her how much better she looked without all the hair and makeup.  She of course thought that she looked bad and I tried to reassure her that men like less when it comes to makeup and all the extras.  All the guys shook their heads in agreement.

Fast forward to earlier this week when I was reading ESSENCE. I came across an article titled “He’s Naturally Attracted To You” written by Sha Stimu.  Stimu discusses how he dated a woman who wouldn’t let him see her without her weave in and when she did finally take it out for 2 weeks, she didn’t believe she was pretty, no matter how often he complimented her:

I want a woman to be able to look in the mirror and be comfortable with who she is.  A woman who couldn’t love herself as nature made her was not someone I could be with for the long haul….it’s really upsetting to me that so many women try to look like a video model or celebrity in their daily lives.

A lot of women would be surprised to hear such a thing.  The behavior of men often contradicts this idea of less is more. But I’ve heard men talk about it before; they don’t really like all the extras when looking for a serious relationships:

Men are visual creatures. But the women men like to check out are different from the ones we commit to. – Stimu

When it comes to makeup, I’m a true believer that makeup should ENHANCE your natural beauty.  It should add a little something extra. I love makeup just like the next woman but it shouldn’t be used to create a new face.  Similar to shopping, when applying makeup, play with your best features.  Great cheek bones? Have fun with blush.  Your makeup should not be so thick that it looks like a completely different face and could melt if you were to stand outside in the sun (I’ve seen that too)!

There’s nothing wrong with adding beauty products to enhance our looks. Many of us get our nails filled every two weeks, while others rock a weave every few weeks.  But all of that should look natural.  Don’t let makeup, weave and other fake assets define you!  I would hope when you look at your natural self in the mirror, you truly love the skin you’re in!

Sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on. That’s when you’re the prettiest I hope that you don’t take it wrong. – Drake

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