NYE Smokey Look

Hey y’all! I hope you all have an amazing New Year’s Eve and please look forward to much more content from me in 2016! It’s a resolution of mine to be one the ones to watch! Make sure you check out my NYE tutorial!

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Koh Gen Do Update

Disclaimer: I do not own or claim any rights to this image.

I am a Hautelook shopper. It is truly one of my favorite flash sale websites. With that being said, it’s no surprise that I receive email updates on  arriving beauty products. I opened an email this morning stating Hautelook would be featuring Koh Gen Do in the Beauty section of the site this week.

Immediately I thought I would have to discontinue my Hautelook membership as you know I have not been a fan of Koh Gen Do (evident in my last post). However, low and behold something fabulous happened! Hautelook, a subsidiary of Nordstrom, a brand who celebrates diversity; is carrying the Koh Gen Do Moisture foundation in two deeper shades! This is something up until this point I couldn’t even find on the Koh Gen Do home site.

Needless to say I am more than pleased that Hautelook is selling a larger variety of shades! If you feel as though you have been missing out check out the site. The sale ends in 1 day and 23 hours.

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Calling Out Koh Gen Do

Disclaimer: I do not own/claim any rights to the photo above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a beauty enthusiast like myself, then you have probably heard the recent buzz around Japan based brand, Koh Gen Do Cosmetics. YouTube is saturated with reviews and tutorials praising their Aqua Foundation. Big names like Jaclyn Hill, Carli Bybel, and Nicole Guerriero have all featured products in haul videos. Naturally I wanted to see what the this brand and their foundation is all about.

What I found was it is nearly impossible to find a shade in any of their foundations if you are any deeper in skin tone than the lovely Chrissy Teigan. So why the color chart above that clearly contains deeper shades? Admittedly I hunted for the image and evidence that this brand was not intentionally excluding deeper skin tones. The chart above is the 12 shade range for Koh Gen Do’s Moisture Foundation . However, these shades either no longer exist or are available outside of the scope of the average consumer. They do not appear on the North American Koh Gen Do website.

Upon further investigation I also discovered that Koh Gen Do only has a 7 shade range available in their ever popular Aqua Foundation. Big box retailer Sephora only carries 8 of the 12 shades available in the Moisture Foundation. Do I even need to mention what shades are excluded? Not even upscale Nordstrom has any of the deeper shade range available.

So the question I dare to ask is: in a society where many who are not black seem to believe that there are no longer color lines; how do they explain this blatant exclusion? Furthermore, how can anyone support a brand that is clearly not culturally conscience? As a person who does not like to make claims without foundation I went to Koh Gen Do’s Japan and Korea webpages to view their offerings, and their official North American Instagram page. As both Japan and Korea are 98% ethnically homogeneous nations, I was not stunned that neither Koh Gen Do site carried deeper shades.

Koh Gen Do’s Instagram feed features several people of various nationalities, but very few people of a deeper skin tone. Now I don’t have any resounding proof that the brand is discriminatory, and it isn’t my intent to prove them as such. I am simply shining a light on an issue of great importance. In the days before many of us were born our Black, Puerto Rican,  Dominican, Brazilian, Indian sisters could not simply go into a drugstore and find a foundation that matched their skin. Many brands have made strides against this, like L’Oreal who is responsible for one of the most widely known color ranges in North America, True Match.

With that fact being stated, how can anyone support a brand that doesn’t recognize that skin ranges in the most perfect of porcelains to the most even of ebonies?

 

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Beauty Deals & Steals: NYX Tricks of the Trade Travel Kit

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Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos nor am I claiming any rights to them. They were sent to me via email by NYX (customerservice@nyxcosmeticsmail.com)


 

Hi my belles! I am so excited to be bringing this post to you! This morning I was scrolling through my emails per usual, and I came across an email from NYX. I always check them to keep up with their new products, and this week they were promoting the NYX Tricks of the Trade Travel Kit. As a Freelance Artist I know how hard it is to find a collection of products for your kit that work. Well I am here to tell you I have tried nearly all of these (sans 2) products and they work! I think it is fabulous that NYX now offers these in a convenient kit. I have several of them in my train case already and they work as well as more expensive products on the market. The best part of this kit might be the tiny price tag…just $25 for all 7 products! In the words of Nitraa B…”you can’t beat that with a stick!” Available now on NYX’s website.  Happy shopping!

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Beauty Deals & Steals: Wet N’ Wild | Fergie Highlight in Hollywood Boulevard

I recently paid a trip to my local CVS to use the plethora of Extra-bucks I had in my possession. As a bon-a-fide regular they know what I’m always on the hunt for; it’s like they make a point to ensure the NEW! displays are in my line of sight. On this particular day I went straight to the Wet N’ Wild section after seeing a new highlighter on Kathleen Lights’ YouTube channel. Needless to say with it’s $4.99 price tag I didn’t hesitate to lay my hands on Mrs. Josh Duhmel’s latest collab with Wet N’ Wild. It is everything I thought it would be and more! The pan and my pathetic swatch do not do it justice. This highlighter is smooth, buttery, glides on the face like silk, and is the perfect champagne gold color with a hint of a rosey hue. If you don’t believe me try it out yourself. You will thank me later!IMG_3999IMG_3997

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This product can also be found at Walgreen’s, Duane Reade and Walmart.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Review

Hourglass Edit

Today I am feeling inspired and lately that hasn’t been the case. If you didn’t already notice, there has been a lack of updated content! Anywho…I am not writing to discuss my personal life or recent resurgence of said “social” life, but rather the controversial item in the photo above. That little baby is the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit.

Hourglass compiled some of it’s best and brightest powders, blushes, and one bronzer to make up this palette. There are six pans total: (Left to Right) Dim Light, Iridescent Strobe Light, Diffused Light, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush, and Luminous Bronze Light. Each pan is approximately the size of an old school NYX powder blush if you can remember the square packaging. I saw mixed reviews on Sephora.com; many negative reviews citing the size of the pans as the palette’s downfall. A number of shoppers even went as far to say that they could not fit brushes into one pan without picking up product from another.

Other reasons for dislike or return were the price ($80), and value. After reading these reviews I admit I became a skeptic, but I waited for it to arrive before making any decision. When it came I was pleasantly surprised that many consumers over exaggerated about the size and value of the product. The pans are big enough for me to fit my E.L.F. tapered brush, Sigma angled contour brush, and Morphe M501 brush inside. I do not find it difficult to use and the actual powders are just as high quality as any other Hourglass product I own.

The intent of the Ambient Light Edit was to give Hourglass customers and newbies to the brand a chance to try six products in one palette. If purchased separately each powder would cost $35, a total of $210. I don’t know about you but I am not interested in dropping that kind of cash! The powders are light weight, not chalky, and give a beautiful lit from within appearance. The bronzer does have shimmer as it is mixed with lighting powder, so if a Matte shade is your preference this may not be your cup of tea. The pans offer plenty of product for occasional use, which is about how often most of us use these types of powders with many options in our collection! Overall, I find the palette worth the $80 price tag, and if you’re into Hourglass powders you’ll want to pick this one up for sure!

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E.L.F Matte Lip Color

ELF Matte

I recently posted a photo of myself on my Instagram wearing a bright berry lip that garnered lots of attention. (See Below) I was surprised at the amount of buzz I was getting wearing a $3 product! If only my higher end lippies got that much love. When a friend asked what I was wearing I didn’t hesitate to share my bargain beauty find. “You won’t believe that it’s an E.L.F. matte lip color, ” I boasted. “And it was only three bucks!” I have a total of four of these fabulous finds now: Berry Sorbet, Praline, Coral, and Tea Rose.

The formula of this product is smooth and glides on easily despite its matte finish. The pointed tip makes application a breeze even in those hard to reach corners of the mouth; it can even be used to line the lips so you can mix and match colors for a cool ombre look! There is no unusual smell to these babies, so if you are sensitive to what goes below your sniffer no worries E.L.F. has that covered. All in all there is nothing bad I can say about this product. It is lost cost and high quality that most matte lip lovers will flock to.

Of course you can still find E.L.F products in your neighborhood Target and at their website eyeslipsface.com but E.L.F. has also expanded their market into actual drugstores. I found my Coral lip color just last week in my local CVS and have seen several new displays in my Walgreens housing their products. They have even popped up in Wal*Mart! Needless to say if you want to find this product or another by E.L.F look no further than your usual drugstore haunts. Happy shopping!

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Me wearing Berry Sorbet
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Review: NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

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Long awaited…review on this product I have had for months! I think I have talked about this on my channel for the last six weeks, but I am just now getting around to posting this review. There is a lot of hype surrounding highlight and contour palettes right now. Frankly they are all the rage! Just about every major cosmetics label has one out right now: be it a duo, trio, six-pan, cream, or powder. The most notable of the high-end brands are Anastasia Beverly Hills and the Kat Von D Shade and Light. While I have tried a contour pan by Anastasia, I have not tried or purchased the palette by Kat Von D. I merely swatched the palette the last time I went into Sephora.

I was all set to shell out my $46 to purchase the Kat Von D palette until I saw a review of the NYX palette on Lustre Lux’s channel. At $25.99 the NYX palette was a fraction of the cost and NYX has a reputation of being a higher quality affordable brand. I purchased mine directly from the NYX website. It took entirely too long to get here, but when it arrived all eight of the pans were intact. I tried it out the next day, and one thing I quickly figured out is that the powders go on much better with a natural fiber (or natural fiber feel) brush as opposed to a synthetic brush. I use a natural fiber contour brush that I got in a set from Sephora.

When using a synthetic brush the color does not deposit on to the brush well; therefore the power is not as pigmented. When using a natural fiber brush the colors are pigmented and very blend able. The palette contains four highlight colors and four contour colors. I would say that this palette is great for all skin tones, but especially friendly for those of us with a bit more pigmentation than others! Which is my book is a win, however, if you are of a very fair porcelain skin tone I would steer clear of this as a contour palette. The colors may come off muddy on a very fair skin tone. I would also discourage anyone with a very deep skin tone from purchasing this palette. If your shade is an NC 55 or higher even the deepest shade may not give you the desired results for contour. Also the palette’s pans pop out to be replaced which is an extremely cool feature for a drugstore priced product!

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Overall I would give this palette a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Minus a star simply because you cannot use a variety of brushes with the palette. Many makeup lovers have synthetic as well as natural fiber brushes in our collections. Only being able to use a natural fiber brush with this palette is extremely limiting. Check out the swatches below!

Swatched with the Flash On

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Highlighters

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Contour Powders

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How I Care for my Skin

I recently posted a video on my new channel about how I care for my skin. I couldn’t go into too much detail there because videos are supposed to be a condensed version of what you may find on my blog. It’s here that I get to be a wordsmith and elaborate on what I could not orate via YouTube. The products I use regularly are listed below, along with the benefits I see after utilizing each product.

Hydrogen Peroxide

I’ll admit this one isn’t for everyone, and you shouldn’t use this everyday, but I use it every other day to rid my skin of additional bacteria that my cleanser may have missed. The great thing is that it foams so you know it’s working on all those nasty little buggers trying to break out your face. The body actually produces hydrogen peroxide through white blood cells as a first line of defense to bacteria.

Neutrogena Stress Control Toner

Ever used a toner that just made you say “ahhhhh” after putting it on your face? Then this one is for you! This is by far the most refreshing toner I have ever used and it works perfectly with my crazy stressed, hormonal skin! As we know I love my foundation, and this stuff gets any residual dirt my cleanser might leave behind. The best part is that it treats both active breakouts as well as emerging.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Cleansing Wash

If you haven’t had the chance to tune into my video, then you don’t know that I have very sensitive, very oily skin. I discovered Boots Expert Gentle Cleansing Wash after watching another fellow acne prone, sensitive skin YouTuber’s video, JoshCollierMUA. Josh’s skin is dry so I was skeptical on this one, but it really works! It’s a light, airy foam that penetrates the skin to deep clean and makes it feel soft and nourished. It also doesn’t have much of a smell which is great because some of us have faces that don’t agree with fragrances!

Queen Helene Gentle Oatmeal n’ Honey Scrub

In a world where one has plenty of options when it comes to facial scrubs, this $3 one by Queen Helene is bae!; for me anyway. I love this stuff! It smells yummy and oatmeal calms skin irritation and redness; not to mention honey is a pre-biotic that stops yeast and bacteria from flourishing. Yay for honey!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Sure you look like a creepy, little green martian when you put this mask on, but that is what pamper nights are for. You may look funny, but there is nothing funny about this powerful and inexpensive mask that draws out impurities with mint and sulfur. If you’ve got a “friend” that recently has taken residence on your beautiful countenance send him packing with the Mint Julep mask!

Freeman Clay Mask | Avocado & Oatmeal

This one happens to be green too but I promise it is worth looking like the Jolly Green Giant to have gorgeous skin! The bottle even says “purges pores”. It is a lot more mild than the Mint Julep mask and if you aren’t partial to the mint smell this is a great alternative. I love it for a nice switch up, because as we know our skin gets used to things, and once again it contains oatmeal which is fabulous for my irritable skin.

CVS Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF

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An awesome dupe for the more pricey Neutrogena moisturizer; I use this on my face every single day. It has light SPF so you don’t get that awful flashback in photos, but you still get the benefits of protection from the suns rays. I say that’s a win!

Pond’s Clarant B3 Cream

Because all of us cannot afford those fabulous lightening/whitening creams from Shiseido; this Pond’s cream is an amazing alternative. The price tag is also considerably smaller at just $4.98 at your local Walmart. This heavy cream packs a punch when it comes to moisture so you should use it at night when your skin is at rest and not exposed to the elements. As an added bonus this bad boy lightens and fades hyperpigmentation. Just be sure to stay out of the sun if you do wear this during the day as it will be counterproductive.

That about wraps up my laundry list of products! I hope you guys will check out my new channel and continue to support me there as well. Thank you for all you do! xo

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*Gorge Products Review

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I was recently sent a few samples from a company called *Gorge. I first encountered them on Instagram. Some of my favorite bloggers were buzzing about their hair products. Of course I had to investigate for myself. I went to their website to find out what all of the fuss was about. Needless to say, as a beauty vlogger/blogger I signed up as an “influencer” and landed some freebies.

Upon first use I honestly did not notice much of a difference other than my hair being a bit more volumized. I went back to the site to find out what hair types the product targeted. I found there was no type, but the claim was all hair types could use *Gorge’s products. Initially I was skeptical, as an ethnic person I often have a hard time with that statement.

I used the sulfate free shampoo, conditioner, and the leave-in spray. Each has a cute name like: I’ll Make you look Amazing, and No More Bad Hair Days. They also have sleek black packaging with colored, light reflective lettering. The packaging is awfully cute, but it’s what is inside that counts and let me be the first to tell you that what is inside is ahhhmazing!

The second time that I used the product. I had just added violet streaks to the front and a peek-a-boo highlight to the back of my head. After pre-lightning my hair with bleach and then dying it again I expected my hair to feel and look fried. Not thanks to *Gorge! My hair was smooth and silky like it always is and it may have even looked healthier than the first time.

I admit when it comes to hair products I am a picky creature of habit and I don’t like to try new things. However, this time I am glad I took the plunge and did not miss out on a fabulous product. *Gorge has definitely made a believer out of me and I will definitely be ordering full size product soon.

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2nd Wash

 

 

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Disclaimer: I am not a hair care professional or licensed cosmetologist. I also have thick, curly hair and only wash it once every ten days. Everyone has different hair texture so what works for me may not work for you.

 

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