Friday, February 27, 2015

The Light

Have you ever felt like you were in a thick, mind-numbing fog?  Like you were stuck in a dark hallway... a hallway so dark that it totally blinded you, rendering you helplessly immobile and unable to see your way out?  Those already familiar know that I've been searching for a home/apartment as well as trying to get some other things lined up.  I've been kinda feelin' my way through it all while beseeching God for clarity and an open pathway to my desired destination.  And after what has felt like an eternity of endless wandering (and wondering), I am finally starting to feel the warmth of the light at the end of the tunnel on my face.

It sort of came on me, or fell on me, like a ton of bricks.  It was an epiphany that was a slow and steady bloom at first, but quickly caught momentum as it enveloped my entire body in a weighty, passion-soaked ambition that I haven't experienced in a very long time.  And ever since it has taken root and lodged inside my belly, I haven't been able to keep still.  I've intimated as much on Twitter; I've been so distracted this entire week, my mind's been racing with all these new ideas and things I want to do - that I NEED to do - that I haven't been able to focus on too much else.  It's like God was waiting on the perfect time for me to receive His perfect counsel and now everything is flooding in on me all at once.  And I'm so excited! 
Now, it's going to take me a little bit to fully plan this out and a few months still to see the first part come to fruition.  But I'm completely ready to put in the work!  The dense fog I've been trapped in for many moons is dissipating.  And the tunnel?  There still is a tunnel.  But there's that light at the end of it, too.  I can see it.  I really can.  I can see the pathway - my own tailored pathway - and have begun a persistent amble towards its door.  My vision for my life and how I want to live it has finally been restored to a perfect 20/20, y'all.  And that fluttering in my gut?  That just means I'm nervous... and happy... and pregnant with a whole new set of possibilities to give birth to.  

I am finally starting to feel the warmth from the light at the end of the tunnel on my face.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Weekend Report: Re-CoverGirl

Hey, guys!  We've only got one more week in the month of February.  Can you believe it?  Time is racing by.  I've been kinda nursing myself back to health this week on account of catching a case of the sniffles a few days ago.  It's nothing full-blown.  However, with the congestion that's taken a stranglehold of my nostrils as well as caused my voice to drop to a deep, scratchy, unladylike baritone that would have given Lou Rawls a run for his money, I won't be doing too much this weekend.  But I would still like to put on a "good face" and doll myself up a little, though.  So, with that in mind, I pulled a basic 1-2-3 look together... using an old drugstore find as the main attraction.

Starting out as a base on my lids will be a throwback from way back: a frosty, pale pink Paint Pot from MAC called Fresco Rose.  Not only do Paint Pots help color-boost your eyeshadows, but they also do a great job in keeping them in place and preventing them from creasing.

Layered on top will be a quad from CoverGirl that I've mentioned in passing before.  Don't know the name of it (or if it even had one), but it's filled with pinks and berries.  I will be recruiting the two most pigmented out of the four - the carnation pink and deep wine color.

After applying the two shadows and then adding MAC's moody eggplant shade in Shadowy Lady for depth, my eyes should end up looking like this:

Rounding out the color crew will be Revlon's icy Gentlemen Prefer Pink on my lips...

... and Inglot's #63 blush on my cheeks.  After the dust has cleared and the final brush has been laid down, my face should end up looking like this:

So there you have it - my cure for the "kinda-sick-but-don't-wanna-admit-it" weekend blues.  Well, maybe not the cure, but certainly a supplement to the cure.  Hey, I'm already on the mend and feel my bout of the sniffles coming to an end.  Therefore, I'm writing my own prescription to help speed up my recovery: two shades of berry with a swig of pink should do the trick.  It's a healthy dose of "Look good, feel better".  And with me more than ready to get my health meter back to a robust 100%, I am definitely all for it!        

Monday, February 16, 2015

Barbie: Timeless Silhouette

Her box has seen better days.  But nestled away behind a window of cellophane guarded by peek-a-boo panels decorated with her image is an elegant beauty who remains untouched by the hands of time.  She's the belle of the ball.  A debonair debutante with style and flair to boot.  She's Timeless Silhouette Barbie and, if you have a moment to lend me, I'd love to introduce you to her!

Resplendent in a simple color menu of pink and black, she is quite the vision.  From the crown of her head to the soles of her feet, every inch has been meticulously manicured and composed to bring about the symphony of loveliness you see before you.

The strapless bodice of her gown is a rich, velvet black trimmed in pink satin.  A demure bow of the same color provides the perfect accent to the upper left frame while draped over her shoulders is a flow of tulle highlighting the two contrasting shades - each claiming its own spotlight on a separate arm.

Far from being austere either in manner or appearance, Barbie flaunts a sense of frivolity with a bevy of black silhouettes in various poses dotted across the hemline of her full, pink satin skirt. 

As for her accessories, she kept it classically conservative with a single string of white pearls around her neck...

... as well as a matching pair of pearl studs in her ears.  A set of cotton-white gloves and jet-black heels round out the ensemble.

Unencumbered by an onset of fussy curls and such, her face is an understated vision of soft pink - both on her eyes as well as cheeks.  Her full lips crank the tone up a notch with a rimming of hot pink before settling on a repeat of the softer hue in the middle of her pout.  Her high ponytail, secured by a ribbon of black satin, gives the perfect complement to her countenance.  She is perfection with a capital "P".    

So there you have it!  This Timeless Silhouette beauty is more than just a pretty face in a pretty gown.  She is elegance personified.  She's a winsome nod to an era gone-by when being glamorous required a lot more than just fancy clothing.  It took a keen fashion sense with a dash of poise, refinement as well as some other intangibles - all of which Barbie has an abundance of.  She's truly one of the "classics".  And I'm so glad to have her in my collection! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Josie Maran Cleansing Oil

Well, guys... I'm at it again.  Curiosity has once again grabbed me by the collar and compelled me to try yet another face product - this time a cleansing oil, which to me sounds like an oxymoron.  Oh, I've tried cleansing balms, which I had no issues with and are mostly oil-based.  But to bathe my face in a liquid oil with the expectation of it cleaning it like a traditional cleanser?  Sounds like a pore-clogging catastrophe in the making to me.  After receiving a freebie recently, however, I temporarily cast my doubts curbside.  I got a sample of Josie Maran's Argan Cleansing Oil and decided to give it a go.  

Argan Cleansing Oil is gentle face cleanser from model-turned-organic beauty advocate Josie Maran.  With the aid of safflower, almond and argan oils, this all-natural cleanser was formulated to hydrate and rejuvenate as well as deftly remove makeup without leaving skin feeling tight or dry.  It boasts a non-greasy texture and is free of parabens and sulfates. 

To use the oil, instructions are to "pour it on dry hands then apply evenly on face".  After opening the bottle, I immediately noticed the smell.  It's a very pleasant fragrance that's akin to... *sniffs bottle again*... akin to oranges.  It's quite citrus-centric.  Quite lovely, actually.  Proceeding on with the instructions, I applied a nice amount to my face then massaged it over my skin with water-laden hands.  At this point it didn't transform into a "rich milk" like advised, but rather a thin cast of white that I rinsed off with warm water.  At this point, my face didn't feel clean to me and still a little slick, so I followed up with my normal face wash for good measure then patted dry.

All in all, I like the idea of it (i.e., it being all-natural and having hydrating properties), but I can't wrap my head around its concept yet.  And I wasn't too fond of the greasy way it left my face feeling, either.  It didn't feel like it had been thoroughly washed.  But I may continue to use it as a primer of sorts or pre-wash to my normal face wash.  We shall see, though.  To its credit, it hasn't broken me out or caused any dermal explosions (YET!).  But other than that, I'm just so-so on it.

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil is available at Sephora and retails for $32/6 oz.         

Friday, February 6, 2015

My New All-Star Lineup

OK, I think I finally got it.  After losing my headliner Fresh Soy shampoo (which has been unceremoniously discontinued) and then drafting Phytocitrus to fill the empty spot (which I love, but run through at a rapid rate), I believe I have finally settled on an all-star lineup of hair products to help me keep my tresses in check.  I've kept quite a few of the veteran players from the old roster while rounding up three rookies to add to the new one (two of which I've already reviewed).  So, without further ado, here's the lowdown on my new lineup.

After bathing my hair in its golden elixir of pineapple-smelling goodness, I am now sold on Garnier Fructis' Triple Nutrition shampoo.  Easily procured via drugstore and other local venues, it did not strip my hair of its moisture and worked well with my forever-love, KeraCare Hydrating shampoo.  Barring any type of catastrophe (e.g., any signs of dryness, breakage, product buildup or residue), Triple Nutrition will remain a part of this dynamic duo for a good, loooong while.

Having earned a permanent seat in the ranks of awesome conditioners, which also includes my Lacio Lacio Leave-In - another must-have, is Infusium 23's Moisture Replenisher.  It gives perfect slip for stress-free detangling while lending my hair enough moisture without making it limp.  Really good stuff!

Two more OG's from my original group of HG's: Paul Mitchell's Skinny Serum, which I use as a heat protectant while flat ironing, and Bain de Terre's Recovery Complex serum, which I use as a finishing gloss.  Tried and true, neither of these superstars are in jeopardy of losing their place in my heart (or on my head).  EVER!

Paired with my Nexxus Comb Thru hairspray is the last of my newbies: BB Pump It Up Styling Spritz.  Anyone who's familiar with this one knows that its hold can be pretty lethal.  I was really hesitant to try it, but so glad I caved because I love the shine it leaves behind.  And to avoid the super starch-like finish its known to give, I spray it on my hands first then distribute it through my hair.

I've learned over the years that I really have to pay attention to my hair, especially the ends.  Only within the last, I'd say, five months or so did I notice that my ends started looking kinda rough despite diligently trimming every 6-8 weeks.  It looked healthy, but I was starting to get "hooks" on my ends instead of them laying smooth and straight.  I later surmised that it was due to my residence's hard water depleting the moisture in my hair and me, in turn, not compensating for it.

A few snips later and with the right lineup of products, I am back in the saddle again with my hair now feeling as good as it looks.  My ends feel feathery and light and smooth.  Crisis averted, coif saved!  #YAY!

So there you have it!  That, my darlings, is my current and pretty much permanent lineup of hair care wares.  I'm loving the way this motley crew is keeping my 'do healthy and flowing.  Therefore, I'm done.  I'm hanging up my hat, y'all.  No more trying out new hair products for awhile.  With my stable full of new staples, there's no need.  It's a stellar roster that I'm completely satisfied with.  And one that I know for sure my hair is thankful for.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Liebster Award - 2015

I would like to thank Sarah Besaw for nominating me for The Liebster Award, which is a blog tag that "pays it forward" by helping you get to know bloggers you may already be familiar with while exposing you to those you may not.  Sarah is a blogger who loves to talk about beauty and fashion, so please be sure to check her out at:  

Thanks again, Sarah!

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Once tagged, answer the 11 questions posed by the one who tagged you
  • Then, in return, pass the award along to blogs with less than 200 followers by informing them of their nomination and tagging them to answer your set of 11 questions  

OK, time to answer some questions!

1.  Any plans for Valentines day?
I do have some plans for V-Day, but not exactly sure of the details as the person I will be spending it with has not spilled the beans yet.  (Uh-oh!)

2.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am pretty high on the happy meter with where I am in most facets of my life right now; however, I do hope to be deeply entrenched in an additional passion that I won't reveal at this moment, but will definitely come to light if I continue to pursue it.  (Stay tuned!)

3.  Has blogging changed your life in anyway? 
I wouldn't say that blogging has changed my life, but I will say that it has kept me creatively viable and exposed me to new things and people.  And I like that.

4.  Favorite movie to watch to cheer you up?
Two really funny movies that always have me cracking up are Galaxy Quest (starring Tim Allen) and Life (starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence).  Heelarious!

5.  One makeup product that you couldn't live without?
I can go without a lot of things, but I absolutely cannot, WILL NOT, go without putting on some type of lipstick/lip product.  It's my must-have hands down.

6.  Who is the person that inspires you to be a better person?
A better person?  I'm not sure.  But Toni Morrison inspires me to be a better writer.

7.  Do you enjoy sweet or sultry foods more?
Oh, I definitely have a sweet tooth that's waaay beyond the help of rehab.

8.  Do you have a goal for 2015?
My main goal for this year is to travel more.  And go farther than before.

9.  One piece of clothing in your closet that you can't wait to wear for Spring?
I have a pair of gold wedges that I can't wait to rock.  And believe me - you will be seeing and hearing about them soon enough.

10.  Favorite song at the moment?
Believe it or not, I don't really listen to the radio a whole lot, so I don't have a favorite song at this very moment.  (Sorry!)

11.  If you could choose one place to work (realistic or not) where would it be?
If I had my way I would have worked at/on 30 Rock with Tina Fey in whatever capacity (but preferably a writer).  I think she's absolutely hilarious and hanging out with that cast and crew would have made for some wild and crazy blog posts indeed!

And now my nominees!  I tag the following:
(beauty blogger)
(food blogger)
(gifts/life blogger)
(life blogger)
(fashion blogger)
(beauty blogger)

And here are my Questions:

1. What are you wearing right now?

2. Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, what is it?

3. What was your favorite cereal growing up?

4. In your opinion, what's your best physical feature and why?

5. Hot dogs or hamburgers?

6. How much longer do you plan on blogging?

7. What makeup item (if any) do you regret buying?

8. Favorite nail polish color?

9. Name one thing you are determined to do differently in 2015 than you did in 2014?

10. Are you left-handed or right-handed?  Or both?

11. Sum up how the new year has been for you thus far in one word.

OK, nominees, it's your turn to churn out some answers!  Thanks in advance for accepting the tag for this award and I look forward to reading all of your responses!