Monday, November 30, 2009

Performance of the Day: Janis Joplin "Summertime"

I've been obsessed with this 1969 Janis Joplin performance since discovering it on YouTube a few weeks ago.
I wrote about Joplin's album "Pearl" last week and have been mesmerized by her music since discovering it.
This is probably one of my fave performances of all time.
Maybe it's how rough and good Joplin's voice sounds.
Or perhaps, it's how homeboy freaks the guitar like his life depended on it.
I can't give an explanation but whatever it is, every musical element is coming together and makes this song sound like magic.

Video courtesy of

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NOTD: More Wet n Wild and Nail Decorations!

I've been seeing lots of decals on nails and wanted to try the design for myself.
I recently bought a pack of Fing'rs' 3-D stick on decals and a bottle of Sally Hansen Maximum Growth quick dry top coat from fiveBelow for $2 each.
First, I painted my nails with wet n wild's Inferno, which is a highly pigmented orange.
Next, I applied yellow flower decals to the right corner of each of my nails.
Finally, I used the quick dry top coat to seal the decals and dry the color.
Loving the results!
My nails look professional and pretty!
The orange is goregous but the decal really makes an elegant statement.
I'll be using the decals more in the future.

And I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy Turkey Day holiday weekend. I have so many things to be thankful for, and not just on Turkey Day. Best wishes and good blessings until next week:)

Making Your Own Lip Gloss

The ingredients: one small beet, two tablespoons of powered sugar, three drops of olive oil, one Vitamin E tablet and several sample jars.

Mix 'em all up.

My beet-stained hands.

I poured them in leftover sample jars from Sephora.

I let them sit overnight.

The final product on my lips.

I recently came across this recipe to make your own lip gloss via
The ingredients included one small beet, three drops of olive oil, two tablespoons of powdered sugar, one vitamin E tablet and sample jars.
I washed the beet and chopped it into one-inch pieces. Then I placed it in a microwave for one minute so juice can come out. I had to heat up the beet for another minute because there wasn't enough juice the first time around.
(I later ate the beet. Yum.)
Then I mixed the beet juice and the other ingredients. I ended up adding more powdered sugar to the mixture because it wasn't thick enough.
I then poured the mixture in the small containers and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Sadly, I wasn't too happy with the results.
The gloss didn't last long and wasn't as moisturizing as I thought it would be.
After a while, I could feel little clumps of powdered sugar forming on my lips.
The gloss did taste good though, lol.
Despite the results, I'll probably try making the gloss again because it was fun and pretty cool making my own lip products:)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ever tried clear mascara??

I've seen blue and green and red and even purple mascaras, but I didn't know that clear mascara existed. (Please excuse the innocent ignorance there.)
Last month, I got a tube of Maybelline's Great Lash clear mascara for free by using a voucher that was on the back of an old Walgreens receipt.
I recently tried the mascara out and it's not bad at all.
Maybelline's line of Great Lash products usually do a good job of extending lashes. I've used their mascara in brown before and like it.
But I also like this clear mascara because it has that "je nais se qua" factor to it. It gave my lashes some volume and didn't overpower them.
I think I'm gonna keep this little baby in my bag.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, November 20, 2009

Janis Joplin's "Pearl"

Janis Joplin's "Pearl" is the most recent record to really resonate with me.
I bought it for $1 from a local thrift store a couple of weeks ago and listened to it for about five days straight.
The first side of "Pearl" begins with the strong guitar rifts of "Move Over," which is my second fave jam on the album.
Joplin belts her heart out on the next tune, "Cry Baby."
Her version of "Half Moon" is OK, but it's not touching the funky one done by Chaka and Rufus.
The instrumental "Buried Alive in the Blues" ends side one. Sadly, Joplin was supposed to add her vocals to the track the day she died.
Side two begins with the passionate "My Baby" and continues with the hit "Me and Bobby McGee."
"Mercedes Benz" is a nice a cappella that's kind of ironic, given that the Port Arthur, Texas native drove a Porsche.
My fave track on the entire record is "Trust Me," a ballad about taking time in a relationship and letting love develop.
"...My love is like a seed baby.//It just needs time to grow," belts out a vulnerable Joplin.
And trust is just what I've done in Joplin's music.
Listening to this album has made me a fan of the often troubled singer, who died from an overdose in 1970.
Vice or no vice, there's still something very intoxicating and raw about this album.
The same could be said for Joplin's talent.
Her voice is steeped in blues and soul that's coming from something so real.
Her vocals aren't perfect, they're very raspy but still passionate.
She sung from her gut and it's just so soul-stirring; even gives you goosebumps.
It's evident that Joplin loved blues singers Big Mama Thornton, Lead Belly and folk artist Odetta.
But Joplin also left behind an influential musical legacy of rock, soul and blues.
Singers such as Nikka Costa, Joss Stone and Linda Ronstadt definitely took notes.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Product Review: fabindia soap

Several of the beauty items I brought back from India was a bar of seabuckthorn soap from retail store fabindia.
The soap comes with a scrub on one side, which would be nice if it wasn't too tough on my skin.
The scent is sweet and not overbearing but still, me no likey.
I'm not feeling this bar of soap.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NOTD: wet n wild's new craze polish line

Wet n wild's new craze line is currently my polish of choice.

I've been on a wet n wild polish trip lately and maybe that's because their colors are cheap and lovely.
I recently scooped up four colors from their new craze line:

Nocturnal: a midnight blue and almost black but very vampy.
Inferno: a happy and bright orange reminiscent of Autumn.
Goldmine: a highly-pigmented and sunshine of a gold.
Rustic: a shimmery brown akin to Autumn.

I've got to say, I'm happy with the results of this line.
I've had the colors on since last Wednesday and they didn't start chipping until Sunday, and that was only on one finger.
I currently have all four colors on my nails and they look adorable.
They're vibrant, shimmery and make my hands pop.
My fave color is Inferno because it compliments my skin tone beautifully and is a pick-me-up kind of hue.
The colors are also toluene, phthalate and formaldehyde free.
Another win for wet n wild because I'll definitely be using these colors more.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Latest Record and Beauty Hauls

My latest record collection additions.

I have six additions to my record collection:
-Carole King's "Music"
-Hot Chocolate's self-titled 1975 record
-George Benson's "Weekend in L.A."
-Joan Armatrading's "Track Record"
-Charley Pride's "The Best of Charley Pride"
and Janis Joplin's "Pearl"

Each record was $1 and I got them from my local thrift store.
I've listened to everyone but the Charley Pride and George Benson records because I can't stop listening to "Pearl."
I'm going to write a review on "Pearl" soon because it has too much soul.
The other reviews will come soon too.

Here are the beauty products I scooped up this weekend.

And in beauty news, I got a lot of stuff from Sephora yesterday:
a 10-shadow palette from Tarte cosmetics (since I'm trying to use more organic and natural products) and a small jar of solid perfume from Pacifica. Since I spent over $50, I got a cute clutch with eight samples in it. I also picked up two packages of soap from Trader Joe's. Reviews will come later on these products.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NOTD and Walgreens Haul

Bijou Blue with silver lining is currently on my nails.

The latest hue on my nails is Bijou Blue from wet n wild's Wild Shine line.
It's a warm blue and looks like a winter wonderland with the Silver Glitter Art Deco lacquer painted across my tips.
The blue is a pretty color but I'm not feeling the combination.
I think the silver would look better if the blue was darker.

In other polish news, Walgreens had a buy one get one free (!!!!) deal on most wet n wild products and I scooped up four bottles of polish from their new craze line:
Nocturnal is a dark, midnight-ish blue that might work well with my silver lacquer.
Inferno is a beautiful, bright orange that reminds me of autum.
Goldmine is a strong, shimmery gold.
Rustic is a metallic brown.
Essentially, I paid about $1 for each bottle, since they run about $2 each.
I also got two tubes of waterproof liquid eyeliner in Black-Brown and Espresso.
These are my first tubes of liquid eyeliner so we'll see how they do vs. pencil eyeliner.
Expect reviews in the next couple of weeks.

Here's some polish and eyeliner from my Walgreens haul.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veterans Eat Free at Applebee's Wednesday

Veterans and active duty military personnel get to eat free at Applebee's on Veterans Day, which is tomorrow.
Just show proof of your military service and your free and well-deserved meal will be granted.
I have five siblings in various branches of the military and one is currently serving a tour in Iraq.
I appreciate all they do to serve their country:)

Visit Applebee's for more information.

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Amerykah Part 2 Street-date (hopefully)

So the street-date for Erykah Badu's "New Amerykah Part 2: Return of the Ankh" is Feb. 23, 2010, according to the lovely folks at
(We'll see how that one pans out, especially knowing Badu's
Badu's supposed to release a new single, "Jump in the Air and Stay There," soon.
She's also supposed to be in the studio mixing two other singles, one of them allegedly featuring rapper Lil Wayne.
I'm crossing my fingers on this one.

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Money Moment:

I've been hearing good things about the Web site so I recently signed up for it.
The site helps you track your spending habits by linking with your bank account.
The results can be scary but very eye-opening, depending on how you spend your money.
It breaks down purchases into several categories such as gas, clothes, food and entertainment.
This is a good Web site for people looking to rein-in spending.

Photo courtesy of

Product Review: Petal Fresh Organics Body Butter

Since I ran out of body cream last week, I decided to pick up a jar of Petal Fresh Organics' Tea Tree & Pomegranate Body Butter.
The six ounce jar costed only $3 from T. J. Maxx.
Me likes it.
The butter is lightly scented and provided a nice level of moisture on my dry skin.
Best of all, the butter is free of parabens and artificial colors. It also has natural and organic ingredients.
Good stuff all around.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, November 6, 2009

Storing Nailpolish

If you look closely in the above picture, you can see nail polish in my fridge.
Lots of it.
They're next to some yogurt, vinegar and a bottle of lemon juice.
Yes, you are seeing that correctly.
My boyfriend jokes me all the time for this but I've read here and here and lots of other places that storing nail polish in the refrigerator actually reduces pigment caking and prevents spoilage.
So there ya go.
Do you also store your polish your refrigerator?
If not, where do you keep your polish?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Music Moment: Chaka Khan and "Ask Rufus"

I grew up listening to Chaka Khan because my adopted mother played her music all around the house.
Chaka's music was also on our radios and TV sets.
I liked what I heard. And at a very young age, I knew she was a force.
I really started to appreciate her when I got older delved into her discography.
One of my fave records featuring her is "Ask Rufus."
I bought this record for under $5 at a flea market in Norfolk, Va. last year.
The album was released in 1977 to lots of fanfare. It sold over a million copies and spawned several hits.
Chaka and Rufus had a magical music connection.
Rufus' trailblazing musicianship complimented Chaka's soaring vocals, and it's evident on "Ask Rufus."
Side one flows from the bouncy "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up) to a funky and sweet "Medley:..."
It ends with my fave track on the record, "Everlasting Love."
I first heard this song a few years ago while talking to one of my former journalism professors.
He was trying to hip me to the loveliness of this song but I just didn't get it then.
Now, I do. (And you better believe it will be on my wedding play list.)
Side two of the record starts with the gorgeous "Hollywood."
Soul singer Erykah Badu covered this "song" for the "Bamboozled" soundtrack in 2000.
My second fave song on "Ask Rufus" is the majestic and light "Magic in Your Eyes." Chaka's voice is so pure on this that it gives me goosebumps.
She closes the record with the vocally aggressive and impressive "Egyptian Song."
It's no wonder that R&B singer Prince has called Chaka "the mother of all voices."
She proves it on "Ask Rufus" and more.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Product Review: Biggs & Featherbelle Soap

The Bigs & Featherbelle Goodie Bar soap is aptly named.

I've finally tried the Biggs & Featherbelle
soap I bought during Artscape this past summer.
The Baltimore-based company is run by two sisters who focus on handmade and natural products.
In addition to soap, the company also sells lip balms, bath soaks, body scrubs and body butters.
I forgot what kind of soap I bought because it didn't have an official wrapper on it but it looks like I bought the Goodie Bar (the bar I have closely resembles the image on the Web site; forgive me for that oversight.)
The aptly named Goodie Bar contains cocoa butter, goats milk, macadamia nut oil and sweet almond oil. All these ingriedients are good moisturizers.
The bar also contains Balsam of Peru, which soothes chapped skin.
During my shower, the bar felt very good on my body.
It worked up nice little suds, which I love, and cleaned my body pretty well.
I liked the scent, it wasn't too overpowering but it was very light.
I'm now a new fan of line and can't wait to try other products from this company.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nails Of The Day: Mauve Frost by wet n wild

Here's the Mauve Frost on my nails without a camera flash.

Here's the Mauve Frost on my nails with a camera flash.

Today's color, wet n wild's Mauve Frost, is an ode to autumn.
I've been doing a lot of dark nail colors lately but this time, I wanted a hue akin to fall.
I bought this color earlier this year and have only used it a couple of times since.
Mauve Frost has an old lady vibe about it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's something quietly elegant about this color. It downplays my hands and makes my nails look mature.
I also like the color's metallic shimmer and pink and brown undertones.
What a nice ode to fall.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weeknd Goodies: Freebies and One Dollar Deals

My, my, my...look what $1 can buy.

This Bath & Body Works lotion and panties and lip gloss from Victoria's Secrets were all free.

After a demanding work week, I decided to treat myself and go shopping on Friday and Saturday.
I needed some winter items and I had several coupons and freebies to cash in.
Payless had a 50 percent off sale Friday, courtesy of Oprah so I bought two pairs of much-needed boots and leopard print flats.
The Wet Seal had some really good clearance accessories for $1 so I bought a studded belt, a pink animal print scarf, a black floral necklace and light gray tights.
My freebies haul included lotion from Bath & Body Works and a pair of panties and lip gloss from Victoria's Secret.
New York & Company had a crazy clearance sale going on so I got some $8 cardigans and $10 pants for work.
All together, I was blessed to spend under $150 on my purchases, which were much-needed investments for my winter wardrobe.