Friday, May 28, 2010

Recent music purchases

I've spent a lot of time and money in the music store lately. It just seems like lots of good music from artists I like have been coming out. The following new albums are currently on rotation in my playlist:

There's "The ArchAndroid" by Janelle Monae:

Monae is one pint-sized powerhouse of a talent. She's got the voice, looks and ability to be a superstar. With "The ArchAndroid," Monae effortlessly blends rock, pop, soul and R&B into her own refreshing and interesting sound.

I'm also feeling Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' latest effort, "I Learned the Hard Way."

With this release, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings continue to bring their signature old school sound. (Amy Winehouse used the band on her hit album "Back to Black.") Stand-out tunes from "...Learned..." include "Money" and "Mama Don't Like My Man."

And last is Leela James' new album "My Soul."

James is a criminally underrated singer that makes sweet and soulful grown folks music. Her new CD flows in the same fashion that her previous releases have. Her voice is raspy but strong. She collaborates with Raheem DeVaughn on the beautiful "Unforgettable." And "Let it Roll" is about to be my life jam!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sally Hansen Diamond 12-hour lip treatment review

Name: Sally Hansen Diamond 12-hour lip treatment in "Marquise" and invisible lip liner

Claim: "Beyond Dazzling. Lasting Treatment Plus Multi-Dimensional Shine."

Game: This lippy smells divine. It's a thick formula that unfortunately didn't have much staying power. I had to keep applying it every half hour or so. The sparkly pink color was gorgeous on my lips though. I used the invisible lip liner but I felt it didn't do anything for my kisser. I loved the pigmentation of the lip treatment though.

Here's "Marquise" on my lips:

And here's "Princess" on my lips:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Song of the Day: "Everybody Got Their Something"

If Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin had a baby girl, she could possibly grow up to be the underrated talent that is Nikka Costa.
One of my favorite songs from the soul singer's discography is "Everybody Got Their Something."
The song is featured on Costa's 2001 album of the same name.
It was also featured in several advertising campaigns and television shows.
I love the beat, lyrics and her voice.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Erykah Badu tour coming to D.C./Baltimore this weekend!!

I got my ticket.
You have yours??
Well, go here to purchase your tickets.
Janelle Monae and N.E.R.D. will also be touring with Badu this Friday and Saturday in D.C. and Sunday in Baltimore.

Book Revew: "Cosmo's Sexiest Beauty Secrets"

I recently received my copy of "Cosmo's Sexiest Beauty Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Gorgeous" in the mail.
I won it from the lovely De of Beauty Logic Blog.
It's a neat little beauty book chock full of who-woulda-thought beauty tips.
It's broken down into sections for lips, eyes, face, nails, fragrance, skin, hair and spas.
There's even a section about what beauty things guys like.
One of the things that I learned was how to properly paint a nail.
You're supposed to first apply the polish in the middle of your nail so it slides onto your nail and not into the cuticles.

Here are some other tips from the book:

-Use a toothbrush to exfoliate your lips.

-Mix honey with your body cream to make it more moisturizing.

-Squeeze half a lemon into your bath water because the juice has natural acids that will brighten your skin.

-Soak your feet in a bowl of warm orange juice for ten minutes. The acids exfoliate your skin.

Overall, this is a down-to-earth book full of simple beauty tips.
It's easy to read, has nice pictures that make for nice visuals and has awesome beauty advice.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, May 21, 2010

Song of the Day: "Let's Groove"

Today's "Song of the Day" is paying tribute to my father, one of the coolest men to ever walk this planet.
He loved him some Earth, Wind and Fire.
And that's loved as in LOVED.
He knew everything about the band and their music; knew all the albums, songs, their history, everything!
One of my favorite EWF tracks is "Let's Groove."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

bareminerals foiled i.d. kit

My Bare Escentuals foiled eye tutorial kit came for free with my recent purchase.
The colors included are "Night Owl" and "Disco," two subtle but shimmery hues that can be wet or "foiled" for a more dramatic look.

Here's a swatch of the colors on my arm:

The kit also came with a double-sided brush.
The thing I like about this kit is that it's made without parabens, synthetic dyes and fragrances, Phthalates and sulfates.
The colors make for a dramatic or subtle eye.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What would you do with a million dollars?

I'm sure I've been asked that question a million and one times but I know exactly what I'd do with a million dollars.
First, I'd pay off my credit card balance. Second, I'd put some money in my savings account. Third, I'd have to be smart and invest a nice portion of it.
After all my financial accounts are taken care of, I'd definitely hook my family and (close, close, close) friends up.
Next, I'd make a large donation to my Alma mater Norfolk State University in the form of scholarship funds.
Knowing me, I'd probably give some more of the money away to other local charities.
Now back to me.
I know I'm going to have to take myself on a shopping spree at Sephora, Guitar Center, DSW Shoes and Marshall.
I'd also have to take a nice little trip to Africa, Bali, Portugal or somewhere around the world.
Whew! I feel kind of overwhelmed after writing all that. Guess why they say more money, more problems, right:)
What would you do if you got your hands on one million dollars??

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NOTD and another CVS haul

As usual, my nails look like a bag of Skittles.
Sally Hansen's "Spring Green" is on my right hand:

Sally Hansen's "Blue Me Away" is on my left:

And I went in CVS and cleaned up yesterday. I spent about $5 on $15 worth of goodies by using a $10 CVS money card and several coupons. I think I'm going to give most of these items away as gifts anyways. CVS is fast becoming my spot for hot beauty deals.

I bought some booties, a silk bonnet, a mesh sponge, some tic tacs, three bottles of nail polish, two lip glosses and one lip stick. Most will be given away as gifts to friends.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Product Review: N.Y.C. mascara

Rite Aid always has some good clearances on make-up.
I recently scooped up a tube of N.Y.C. mascara for about $1 because it was on clearance.
Here are the details on this mascara:

Name: N.Y.C. waterproof mascara in brownish black

Claim: "Lush lashes with staying power! N.Y.C. waterproof mascara lengthens and curls lashes with swim-proof, rain proof, cry-proof color. Professional-style applicator brush separates and defines lashes for maximum volume, maximum impact!"

Game: I noticed a little bit of clumpage going on after application but it did extend my lashes and stay on most of the day. It was kind of hard for me to apply the mascara to my bottom lashes. Overall, this is a simple, cheap mascara that I like. I'm keeping this in my pocketbook for the next three months.

This is what my lashes looked like before application:

This is what they looked like after one coat of the mascara:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

NOTD: Pretty pink

I've gone into safe mode, the safety that is a pink (or red) nail polish.
This lacquer is called "Dreamy Poppy" and it's from Wet n Wild.
It's a gorgeous pink. And timely for spring and summer.
Love the way it compliments my skin tone.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Honey mask review

I put honey on all things food but never thought to apply it to my skin until I recently read about the idea on a message board.
Honey is supposed to be good for acne and adding moisture to skin, according to the website
So for the past couple of weeks, I've been wearing a honey mask for about 30 minutes.

You don't need a lot of honey. I use about half a cup of honey for my mask:

It's gooey on my fingers:

Sticky too.

Here is the mask on my face:

It kept dripping and I kept eating it as it dripped, lol.

My skin felt softer and more supple when I removed the mask.
Have you tried a honey mask before? Do you plan on trying one?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NOTD: orange and green (and purple)

There are lots going on with my nails these days.
All of these colors are from Sally Hansen, Orly and Sinful Colors:

The beautiful "Snappy Sherbet" orange is on my right hand and a vampy purple from Orly on my thumb...:

...and this gorgeous spring green color from Sally Hansen on my left hand:

Monday, May 10, 2010

R.I.P. Lena Horne

The legendary Lena Horne died last night at the age of 92.
Horne was a trailblazer for all black women in the entertainment business.
I first learned about her as a little girl while watching one of my favorite movies of all time, "The Wiz."
Horne played the maternal and gentle Glinda the Good Witch in the movie.
I thought she was beautiful in her sparkly outfit and I loved the song that she sang with much conviction, "Believe in Yourself."
Sounds corny but I loved the message then and I still love it now.
I'm sure the angels are glad to have her in their company. May she rest in peace.

Here's the song:

Photo from Google images.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sephora haul:)

My order came in the mail yesterday.
It was the first time that I ever ordered online from the Beauty juggernaut.
The experience didn't feel the same as going in the store and swatching products but I still was happy to receive my order.
I'm almost out of my purity facial cleanser so I got a bottle of that for $10.
I also got a bareMinerals foiled eye kit for free and three samples.
I'll be doing reviews and swatches soon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My recent Mary Kay demo

When I lived in New York as a pre-teen, my adoptive mother sold Mary Kay items on the side.
I remember when the products first arrived at our Bronx house.
There were boxes of all sizes all over the living room.
Lotions. Creams. Nail polishes. Lip sticks.
You named it, it was there.
Too bad I wasn't into beauty products then.
That's why it was a pleasure to have a Mary Kay consultant give me a complimentary product demonstration last week.
Me and Victoria Shirah, an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay, first met at a local Target.
I was trying to figure out which bag of potato chips to buy. Little did I know, she was scoping out my skin.
Victoria came up to me and asked what products I used on my face.
Then she asked me for my contact information for upcoming Mary Kay events and deals.
Not long after, she called and said I won a free product demo.
w00t! w00t!
She came to my apartment last week and told me about the company and some of its products:

Here's her demo. kit spread:

I got to try Mary Kay's Satin Hands kit:

It made my hands soft and silky:

Victoria's compact:

I also tried some Eyesicles shadow. Here's a before picture:

And after:

And here's the lovely Victoria:

My favorite products were the Satin Hands items and Eyesicles shadow, which I will order and review soon.
If you're interested in buying Mary Kay items, contact Victoria Shirah at or visit her website at

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Another mini haul:)

Lawd help me.
I just keep running into deals I can't turn away from.
Today I found two jars of Giovanni organic body cream for $1 at Walmart.
Organic! $1!.
I just couldn't say no.
Then I found this cute Sinful Colors polish in "Opal Glitter" for $.50 in Walgreens.
I usually don't do glitter polishes because they are so hard to take off but I swatched this one in store and loved it.
Here's a pic:

Something told me not to go in CVS yesterday but of course, I didn't listen.
I used about $4 worth of coupons and ended up spending about $10 on a myriad of beauty products.
I got some CoverGirl lipstick, two Sally Hansen polishes and glosses, my first Orly polish, Burt's Bees lip balm and hand salve and Physicians Formula mascaras.
Expect reviews and swatches soon!

Song of the Day: "People Make the World Go 'Round"

I grew up listening to tunes from the popular 1970s soul group The Stylistics.
One of those songs was "People Make the World Go 'Round."
It flows with soft and harmonies and beautiful musicianship.
And lead singer's Russell Thompkins, Jr.'s falsetto is to die for.
Director Spike Lee used the song in his film "Crooklyn," and the song has been sampled by others.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend mini haul and NOTD

Happy Monday!
I had a great weekend.
Hung out with some friends on Friday.
My brother came to visit on Saturday.
Hung out with more friends on Sunday.
And I did some shopping!

I found some Sally Hansen polish called "Mochachino" for $0.68 and Maybelline mascara for $1 at my local Target's clearance bin:

Here's a swatch of the polish on my nails:

It's very winter-y but I still like the shimmer in it.

And I found this Miley Cyrus (you read that right) top at Walmart for $1: