Fenty Glossy Posse Mini Gloss Bomb Set – Product Review

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Fenty…need I say more? I’ve been a fan of the gloss bombs from day one, so when this cute little set was released, I knew I was going to purchase it! I am pretty basic and 100% consistent when it comes to my lipstick choices. I am a straight lipgloss or something in the nude/brown family but these glosses are far from basic!  I remember my first gloss bomb, I purchased the shade FUSSY. I’d seen it on a YouTube review and knew I had to have it. I generally shy away from pinks because as a black girl, the wrong shade of pink will have you looking real ashy. I knew after I opened it that the FUSSY shade would make an amazing top coat for my nude look, but I wanted to try it alone and when I did, I was amazed! It was absolutely gorgeous.

Now when I think of lipglosses, the first thing that comes to mind is sticky. Ugh, thinking about that glue like consistency of some glosses makes me cringe. The FENTY gloss bomb though, no stickiness at all! It’s actually very smooth and quite moisturizing! And can we talk about the scent? My goodness, it smells like candy, pink Strarburst to be exact.

Now let’s talk about this amazing set of minis.

I purchased this set during the holidays and was super thirsty so I opened them in the car. I decided to swatch them. Take a look!

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As you can see there is definitely some nice pigment. These glosses pair amazingly well with the “makeup no makeup” look and they totally make me feel like I’m back in the 90’s. They also make amazing top coats for your favorite lipsticks.

Let’s get into price.

This set retails for $42 at Sephora, not bad in my opinion. Would I recommend? Absolutely! So go out this weekend and pick one up, and pick one up for a friend.

 

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Beauty Product of the Week|Maybelline TattooStudio Eyeliner Pencil

Today’s product is small and unassuming but packs one hell of a pigmented punch! It’s none other than Maybelline’s TattooStudio’s Eyeliner Pencil. Before I get into it, let’s talk about the eyeliners of the past.

I grew up during the era when girls carried lighters that weren’t for smoking. The trusty BIC lighter was for the coveted eyeliner.

Let me explain.

Growing up in a super religious household, makeup was NOT allowed. This required some negotiating. We landed on eyeliner and lip gloss. Let me just say, this was before brows were a thing because I would have definitely negotiated those.

Applying the eyeliner – anyone who used to use eyeliners of the past knows that they were as dry as the yellow #2 pencil used for exams. This meant that the color didn’t show up until after you rubbed it back and forth on the back of your hand a few times, or if you were a genius like me, you took the lighter to the tip of the eyeliner until it warmed up and softened. Now why would one do this? Because when it softened, and after you blew it to cool it off just a tad,  it glided the blackest of black color on the lower lid. Can we say eyes poppin’?!

Fast forward! I am still a fan of eyeliner and recently I discovered Maybelline’s TattooStudio Eyeliner Pencil.

It was a fluke because I just grabbed the first one I saw. I got home, opened it up and it looked like a felt tip pen! Ya’ll I was excited, so excited that I decided to put it on right then and there. I began to apply it and I swear it was the smoothest, most pigmented eyeliner I’ve ever used and at $8.99, it’s a steal! This eyeliner definitely lives up to the claims:

  • 36-hour intensity
  • Glides on smooth and delivers intense eye definition in one stroke
  • Waterproof, no smudging, no fading

I can truly say that I am impressed! This is my new go-to! If you’re looking for a super pigmented, sharpenable eyeliner that you don’t have to warm first 😉, this is the one! 5 out of 5 ⭐️. Thank me later!

 

Weekly Style Roundup|Beauty Product of the Week|Where have I been?

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Where the heck have I been? Did you even notice that the weekly style roundups had disappeared? The beauty products of the week? Either way I’m back! Let’s get caught up! So much has been going on. I’ve been trying to figure out this blog situation; my blog identity, the whole nine. Where did I land? Well, LifeSTYLE, Fashion & Motherhood. That pretty much sums me up! I had to get clear on how I can best serve my followers/readers. I’ve already deemed 2020 the year of clear vision and I’m getting a head start.

A few months back I began posting Weekly Style Roundups and Beauty products which included an in depth look at my affordable looks of the week which I post on Instagram Tuesdays & Saturdays. It broke down the pieces, included links when available and pricing info. My beauty product posts were basically products I was currently using and obsessed with!

Now why did I fall off? Simply put, life. Things are a bit more settled and I’m getting my grove back! Just call me Stella!

I want to take this time to say thank you! Thank you to those of you who read my blogs. Share my blogs. Comment on my blogs. I appreciate each one of you! Thank you for sticking with me!

Now on to some recent exciting happenings! Through the process of defining my blog identity, I kept asking God for signs. This is something I do often when I’m struggling with a lack of clarity. I was asking what did Lifestyle blogger mean exactly. I mean, I know the literal definition, but what did it mean for me. Then I began to ask, what am I good at and who is my target audience? That’s when I came up with LifeSTYLE, Fashion & Motherhood. After I settled there, I began to question IF that was right…because OVER THINKER.

Went to bed one night and woke up to a bunch of Instagram notifications, one of which was from H&M. I honestly thought it was a joke when I read it at 3 AM because deep sleep…so I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and took a real good look. Y’all, it was a real notification from the real H&M! They had posted me, the not quite nano influencer, the small Lifestyle blogger on their Instagram landing page! Y’all, I was in complete shock! Remember, it was 3AM but I wanted to wake up the entire house and yell, “I’m famous!” I wanted to call my mama and tell her I made it! Yes, I’m that extra in real life, but this was a big deal to me! I had barely made it off the pity party train and woke up to this news!

Picture of me when I got the news at 3AM. I call these shades, “my extra” shades!

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This is me posted on H&M’s instagram page wearing one of their looks!

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So, while still riding this wave I received another message. Same week! This time it was from Ross asking would I agree to having my image posted in their marketing materials. I agreed of course and here I am again!

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I was so excited that I didn’t know what to do. I was also grateful for the opportunity! It definitely boosted my confidence and gave me an even clearer vision! I know what I want and THIS is definitely part of the vision! Stayed tuned folks because there is definitely more to come!

Until next time…🦋

 

An Epiphany about my Natural Hair

The other day I made a YouTube video talking about my natural hair, and in the video I said, “I didn’t know what my natural hair looked like until I became an adult.” In that moment, it was just something I said, but after I recorded the video it really made me think.

The first time my hair was pressed (straightened) according to my mother, I was about two years old, two!

By the time I was four I was rocking a Jheri curl.

Natural hair wasn’t really a fad. We had just left the era of the Afro and moved into the era of the press and curl.

Growing up you pressed “bad” hair, or you pressed hair that refused to grow as a way to pull it from the scalp, encourage it to grow. As a child you have no opinion and no say, and as a parent, you do what you feel is in the best interest of the child…and sometimes your self.

Nappy, something always used in a derogatory manner when I was growing up. Nappy meant bad, not manageable. “Girl, get that kitchen (a.k.a back of the neck). You don’t want no kunka bugs showing.” I can remember the countless Saturday’s spent in my grandmother’s kitchen while she pressed my hair using an old school pressing comb that went straight from the stove onto my hair. The holding of ears. The beads of sweat forming on my top lip from fear of being burned. Burns treated with butter (Lawd, butter is NOT for treating burns y’all. It traps the heat and makes the burn worse), and the repeating of “be still”.

Let’s look at the history of hair straightening in the black community. According to the BBC, in early African civilizations, hairstyles could indicate an individual’s family background, tribe and even social status. It is said that, the close proximity of ones hair to the sky suggested that it was the conduit for spiritual interaction with God.

So when did it all change?

It was said that after the abolishment of slavery, many blacks felt the pressure to fit in with white mainstream society and adjusted their hair accordingly. That’s deep y’all!

My first child was a girl. She was beautiful with a head full of hair! Thick, beautiful hair.

I followed in the footsteps of my mother and I pressed her hair when she was very young, about age four.

Damnit, thinking about this infuriates me. I can remember telling myself that I needed her hair to be easier to manage for me. My daughter hated getting her hair combed. She would hide all of the combs and brushes in the house. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with straightening hair, I’m just saying that in the process I forgot to remind her to love her natural hair. To remind her how beautiful her natural, God given hair was. Fortunately for me, I embarked on this natural hair journey while she was still young. It allowed me to teach her about her natural hair, and to remind her how beautiful it is. She’s been natural since middle school.

This really got me thinking about the irreparable damage (in some cases), and introduction of self hate (in some cases) in our communities so I dug a little deeper. Growing up my definition of good hair was soft, long and easy to manage curls. I’d always wished that my hair was more like that or like the hair of my mixed or white friends. I often questioned why God gave them the straight hair and us this “nappy” stuff. Y’all see where I’m going with this? I never looked at my desire for something other than what God gave me as subconscious hate. In my mind, I just wanted to fit in.

Forty years old, while recording a YouTube video I discovered something about myself that I never paid attention to. “I didn’t know what my natural hair looked like until I became an adult.”

Dear Little Black Girl,

Your natural hair is beautiful.

Jaz

Until next time…🦋

I Found The Fountain Of Youth

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Skincare, such an important part of my daily routine. As I’ve gotten older, skincare has reached a new level of importance. I have a morning routine and a night routine which I’ll eventually share on my YouTube channel.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a skin expert, Dermatologist nor Esthetician. I am simply sharing what works for my skin. Now let’s get into it!

My skin type? Definitely combination, and the combo depends on the season. Warmer months my skin tends to be more oily, and during the winter dry, flaky with a hint of oily. I’ve shared before that I’ve not always had a routine. I was definitely your Dove in the shower kind of girl, which I have nothing against, but my routine has evolved.

This serum by Lancôme, my girlfriend actually bought for herself. I’ve been using another brand and have no complaints, but I ran out of my serum. The Lancôme didn’t agree with her skin, so she gave it to me. I am always open to trying new things but I’d already found a routine that worked but when I ran out, I thought, perfect time to try it out.

My advice, anytime you’re applying serums, moisturizers or oils, do it right after you wash your face and your skin is still moist but not damp. I started using the serum on a Sunday. I will say this, if you’re sensitive to fragrances, this may not be for you because it does have a scent. Before I talk about the application, let’s talk about the design of the bottle. The bottle is beautiful! It looks “rich”, and at the price point…it should. Price starts at $52 and goes up to $178. For that price, it needs to give me new skin! The sleek glass design and dropper is convenient and genius. To fill the dropper, you simply press a button on the top of the bottle and it fills the dropper with the perfect amount. With this formula, a little goes a long way!

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I filled up the dropper, opened the bottle and poured it into my hand. I noticed immediately that it was a bit thicker than my current serum and had a cloudy but very pretty appearance. I applied it to my face and began to massage it into my skin. It felt luxurious!  After about a week of using the product, people started telling me that I was glowing. I wanted to attribute it to my new found happiness, but I knew it was the serum. After about a week my skin felt soft, appeared brighter and smoother! Ya’ll, I had that Bruce Leroy glow (movie: The Last Dragon).

This stuff is like liquid gold! It is indeed the fountain of youth in a little glass bottle. Here is the description straight from their site:

What it is:
With NEW tested efficacy, and for all skin types, a fast-acting anti-aging skin serum that instantly makes skin feel hydrated, smooth and soft, revealing more radiant skin in as little as seven-days.

What else you need to know:
No skincare routine is complete without a face serum. In just one bottle, this powerful anti-aging skin treatment, which contains Bifidus Prebiotic, targets the key signs of youth in in just seven-days: radiance, tone, elasticity, smoothness and firmness.

With new tested efficacy, this hydrating serum helps to accelerate skin surface recovery and strengthen the moisture barrier. The Advanced Génifique bottle also features an innovative self-loading dropper for the perfect usage amount/per application.

Research Results:
Based on self-assessments on 34 women in an 8-week study, after 1 week:
– 85% of women felt skin appeared more radiantbr

After 2 weeks:
– 94% of women felt skin appeared smoother

Based on self-assessments of 103 women in an 8-week study, after 4 weeks:
– 89% of women agreed skin felt softer

Based on self-assessments on 67 women in an 8-week study:
– 90% of women agreed skin appeared healthy-looking

The reviews – when my girlfriend was looking for a good serum, my mind was blown at the amount of reviews on this product. I can honestly say, I’ve NEVER seen a product reviewed like this one. Check it out!

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4.5 stars and almost 17K reviews! Mind blown! Do I even need to say that I’d recommend this product? You can clearly see that it’s a resounding yes based on my review. If you’re looking for an amazing serum and have a few extra extra coins, this is it! I absolutely love this stuff. I give this serum and 10 out of 10!

Now the real question is, who wants to buy me a new bottle?

 

Gel-X, does it live up to the hype?

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Gel-X, does it live up to the hype?

This week’s beauty item is Gel-X. Let’s talk about nails, I was a nail biter for the first 20 plus years of my life, which meant that there was no need for manicures or polish. I bit my nails like an addict, and I wasn’t your average biter, I bit them down to the quick! I finally quit cold turkey in my late twenties.

I started to see my nails grow and eventually started getting manicures. I can remember when gel polish hit the scene, I was fascinated but it took me a while to finally give it a try. I loved it, but I had a hard time finding a salon that got it right. The gel polish, while not acrylic was just as harsh when not removed properly. Here was part of the problem, most nail salons were more concerned with getting you in and out quickly that they wouldn’t allow sufficient time for the acetone to sit on your nails to loosen the gel to be removed properly and without damaging your natural nail. That very reason is why I went a very long time without getting my nails done until….. I found a salon I loved! Here’s a link to their Instagram account Luxe Nail Scape. Shout out to Yelp which is how I found them! If you live in or around the Bay Area and you’re looking for a salon with spa like vibes and super diverse employees, look no further! Oh, and they serve drinks.

Now let’s get into Gel-X! I was getting my normal gel polish (which by the way they do an amazing job) but I was looking for something different. I kept seeing Gel-X so I inquired. My super dope nail tech Lezly   (click her name for Instagram page) told me what they were and what they were all about. I scheduled my next appointment to get them done!

What is Gel-X exactly? I went to the trusty inter webs and this is what I found:

Aprés GelX is the world’s first and only soft gel nail extension system! Fast and easy to apply, GelX nail tips and Extend gel are manufactured from cutting edge soft gel formulas for convenient soak-off capabilities. No filing needed, no dust, no odor, and no damage to natural nails!

After my first set, I was hooked!

What made me switch? I am iron deficient, and I noticed that while my nails were growing they were extremely brittle. Switching to the Gel-X has allowed my nails to get healthy again.

How long does it last? I think they are supposed to last 3 weeks, but my last set lasted a month, and that was with washing dishes several times a week and typing everyday.

Is it expensive? Expensive, no, but it is more pricey than your average acrylic or get service. You get what you pay for. When you break it down, you’re actually saving. Typical full sets last a good 2 weeks.

If you haven’t heard about it or are looking to try something new and versatile, I’d totally recommend Gel-X.

 

 

My Go-To Makeup Remover

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I don’t wear makeup often, but the products I use to achieve my makeup no makeup look still requires a solid makeup remover and I found one!

I really began to focus on my skin about a year ago. Now, I’ve always washed my face daily but I wasn’t into anything other than a little coconut oil to keep my face glowing and the old school cocoa butter stick for blemishes and I never wore makeup. As I dabbled more and more into the land of makeup I began to research all things skincare.

One day I decided to look for a good makeup remover, something other than my unscented Dove. I did my research and stumbled upon this product. It had amazing reviews so I decided to fork over $30 to try it out, and if you know me then you know I had to be serious spending $30 on one product! It didn’t help that the lady at the Macy’s sales counter was very very good at her job! I must admit, I wasn’t very familiar with the product other than what I had read about it, and being a black woman, I didn’t know how it would work on my skin. I had it about a week before I used it. I am also one that is consistency challenged when it comes to touching creams and what not so I wasn’t sure how this balm was going to work.

This product at first glance looks like coconut oil. It’s white and very thick. If it was in an unmarked jar, you might cook with it or put it in your hair. When scooping it out, it also feels like coconut oil. I began to apply the balm all over my face and it quickly went from solid to oil and I could see the products melting right off of my face, even my mascara and lip stain. Any mascara and lip stain wearers knows how much effort it takes to remove those products! I swear they want to make sure you get your moneys worth. I must say that I still follow up with a good face wash to get off any product left behind, but I was very impressed by how much this actually took off. This product like all of Clinique’s products is scent free which was a huge bonus for me and definitely a bonus to all of you out there with allergies!

Would I recommend this product? 100%

I would actually recommend several of their products which I’ll be talking soon in an upcoming post all about skincare so come back next week for a new beauty share.

What keeps my skin so soft?

Ok ya’ll, this week’s product is multi-use inexpensive one!

 

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Good ol’ Vaseline! Yes folks, your inexpensive drugstore store item. I always get asked about my skin. I also always get complimented by the nail techs who do my pedicures. They always comment on how soft my feet are and the fact that there is never much to scrub. I give all thanks to, Vaseline.

Growing up my parents always lathered us up in vaseline after bath time,  and back in the day vaseline used to make a medicated version that I swear all black folks swore by. Scraped your knee, get vaseline. Lips dry, use vaseline. Out of hair grease, use vaseline.

Let’s talk about the benefits of vaseline. I went to the inter webs and found an article detailing the benefits and here are a few;

  1. Heal minor skin scrapes and burns (grandma knew what she was talking about!)
  2. Moisturize face, hands and more
  3. Help for pet paws (Now this one I did NOT know)
  4. Prevent diaper rash (Used it for my kids and it worked)
  5. Remove eye makeup (You know that expensive cleansing balm we buy?)

These are just a few things that vaseline is good for. I must admit, I hate lotion. I hate the consistency and I haven’t found one yet that leaves me moisturized all day. One tip though when applying vaseline to cracked heels or skin in general. I put it on straight out of the shower while my skin is still nice and soft from the shower. After applying to my feet, I put on a pair of socks and allow the vaseline to work it’s magic. The next morning, feet are soft as a baby’s bottom.

What do you use to moisturize? Lotion? Body Butters? Oils? Vaseline? Let me know in the comments!