Thursday, February 25, 2010

100% Pure Lip Balm Review

I've been a fan of 100% Pure products for a while now, so when I came across this $2 organic mint lip balm in T.J.Maxx recently, I had to get it.
The lip balm is 100 percent natural and vegan.
It has anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants in it too.
I can feel its minty tingle when I put it on my lips. It kept my lips moisturized in this brutal cold weather.
I'm impressed and happy with it's performance.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

5 inexpensive ways to show you care

Most people who know me know that I have a huge, warm heart.
I give of myself and don't expect in return and I've mastered the art of listening.
I'm the one who sends thank you cards or a small gifts for whatever reason.
I know and love how it feels receiving a small tokens of appreciation.
You see, I've always believed that the small (and inexpensive) things in life matter.
With that said, here's a list of five inexpensive ways to show your appreciation for someone you care about:

1. Send a card: Showing someone that you took time out of your busy schedule to send a hand-written note means the world, especially in the age of all this technology. I always keep cards on hand and get them for really cheap at stores like Marshall's and T.J. Maxx.

2. Make a small gift: Whether it's a piece of jewelry or another craft item, homemade gifts are priceless. And nothing says from the heart like homemade baked goods made with warmth and love.

3. Give a magazine subscription: Some magazines are offering two-for-one specials, meaning you pay for the price of one subscription but get a magazine for yourself or a friend. I recently took advantage of Essence magazine's offer and got a subscription for myself and my fave aunt as a surprise gift.

4. Give a donation in a friend's name: This is gaining in popularity because of the economy. During Christmastime, I interviewed people who were doing this instead of buying their families gifts.

5. Smile: Sounds cheesy but it can warm up someone's day and it exercises your facial muscles:).

Image courtesy of

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

NOTD: Sinful Colors

This is "UFO" without a flash.

This is my fave of the two "Paris" without a flash.

I bought my first two Sinful Color polishes from Walgreens yesterday for $0.49 each.
Of course, they were in the clearance bin.
The colors are Paris, a gold, and UFO, which is an orange-y shimmering hue.
The polishes are made without toluene, formaldehyde and dbp.
My fave is Paris.
I usually don't do glittery polishes but this one is pretty.
Kind of reminds me of a faux minx mani.

Korres Mascara Review

So I've been using this Korres mascara since December, when I bought it from Sephora.
It came with a 5-piece eyeliner set that I paid about $25 for.
The mascara is formulated with Abyssinia Oil, which is a botanical that helps with lash volumizing.
I thought the wand could've been a little bit longer but the brush helped lift and separate my lashes.
There was a little bit of clumpage, but I managed to clean it up with my fingers and a Q-tip.
In addition, the mascara is formulated without parabens, sulfates and other common toxins found in traditional mascaras.
Overall, I like using the mascara with my Korres eye pencils, but I found it to just be OK.

Photo from

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Farmer's Almanack: the best that $4 can buy

Every time I try to visit Virginia to see my family and friends, I end up canceling the trip because of inclement weather such as flooding and snow storms.
This has happened three times now!
It's frustrating because it throws my plans off and I can't argue with Mother Nature.
One thing I've done to help with my planning is I recently bought a copy of J. Gruber's Town and Country Almanack.
Although I paid only $4 for it, there's a wealth of pretty good information in here, like weather forecasts, cleaning tips and historical facts.
When I was a business intern at The Virginian-Pilot, the former business editor would regularly consult the farmer's almanac for story ideas and article context.
Here's an example of a story I wrote where my former business editor told me to cite information from the almanac for context.
Here are a few other random bits of info. from the almanack:

-it gives the best times and days to go fishing
-it gives information on American history such as presidents, vice presidents, state flowers and state birds
-there's a section on farm and garden tips
-there's another section giving health advice
-the almanack gives cleaning, cooking and handyman tips

Please don't ask me why I didn't invest in a copy sooner.
I don't know why, but I have my copy now and will regularly consult it.

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I found a $30 black suit from T.J. Maxx!!

Here's a pic of my $30 suit from T.J.Maxx. Holla.

I had been in the market for a solid black suit since I didn't own one.
They're good to have around for work and job interviews.
And any image consultant will tell you about its power.
So finding the perfect black suit had been my mission.
After shopping around at different places, I had a major break-through Saturday night.
But first, I have to tell you the back story and why I feel so special about this purchase.
Last week, I bought a pair of black Editor pants and a suit jacket from Express for about $150.
I returned both pieces on Friday since they didn't match and the pants were slightly too big. (FYI: I bought the pieces in the first place because I had a serious coupon.)
Afterward, I went to Macy's and found a nice black suit for $95.
I had every intention of keeping it until I came across a better suit on T.J.Maxx's clearance rack.
The price tag? $29! Yep. No lie.

Here's the evidence.

I tried the suit on. It fit perfectly. I bought it.
Then, I rushed back over to Macy's and returned the $95 suit.
My debit card must be mad at me, but I'm a bargain hunter.
I love deals like my little $30 suit (it was $30 after taxes).
And I don't think there's anything wrong with looking good at an affordable price.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sephora and LUSH hauls:)

I keep saying I'm not going to buy many beauty products.
But then I keep running out of them or I'll walk up to Sephora and can't seem to walk past it.
Temptation is the devil, I swear it is.
But I don't feel half as guilty for my recent Sephora haul because I bought several "needs" that included:

-tarte's tickled cheek stain which cost me $30. I've used their products before. They're natural, eco-friendly and work well. This stain was very soft but worked well with my complexion.
-tarte's natural eye primer for $20 and helped my shadow last all night so I was happy with this purchase.
-three samples of free bareMinerals foundation
-one sample of Carol's Daughter lemon and rose hand cream

I spent $50 in Sephora but it was well-worth it.
Even got my face done in smokey eyes (Korres shadow, liner and mascara) and used the tarte cheek stain on my cheeks:

I usually go in Sephora with a bare face and nails so I can sample different products and get the consultants to give me tips and stuff. LOVE that place.

I also went into LUSH.
I had only been in there one other time and I was too distracted by a phone conversation to really pay attention to the products.
But I listened this time. The consultant was telling me how their products are made from natural ingredients and are vegan, vegetarian and earth-friendly.
Me liked that.
I ended up buying a mint-chocolatey soap for $9 and two little lotion bars for about $8 a piece (I got a free soap tin since I bought two bars).

OK, now these little lotion bars surprised me the most!
Thinking it was soap, I accidentally wet the oval one, lol. The sales lady was like, "Nah boo, this is lotion!"
I loved the whole concept of them, though.
You just rub your hands over the bars and there's your moisturizer!
The two I got were made with Shea and cocoa butters, and essential oils.
This was great because I just recently switched to using natural Shea butter again for my face and I was in the market for a facial moisturizer.
The heart-shaped bar has real chocolate in it. How sweet! Both of the bars surprisingly quenched my skin's thirst and made me feel really soft.
They weren't greasy or oily and smelled so good.
LUSH is my new fave destination for natural goodies.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Betty Davis top!!

I recently got my Betty Davis top in mail from American Apparel.
w00t! w00t!
It cost me $33 but I heart this woman's music from the marrow of my bone so it was well-worth it.
The shirt is long and will probably be perfect with leggings or skinny jeans.
Betty's commanding Afro is on the front, while her long body is on the back.
The purchase also came with a free download of hard-to-find music from Anthology Recordings.
Fashion + music = a win-win combination for me:)

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weekly Glamarazzi Roud-up

Edited By: Iggi
Hello Glamettes!! This week has been a whirlwind of activity: Blizzards, Valentine's Day and NYFW etc... However the Glamarazzi roundup is still filled good and plenty with the best of the best glamour links on the web. Enjoy and remember, we are always happy to consider new members. You can find out more about that HERE
Her Goody Bag: Pastels Trend Alert: Get The Look: Chanel Iman
Make-up/Music/Money/Me: 10 nails, 2 colors, 6 days.
Obsession Isn't Just A Perfume: Is you iPhone too boring to be seen with? Turn it Fashionista!

I Heart Cosmetics: After I hunted down the Michael Kors collection for Estee Lauder on London's Oxford Street there was a Very Hollywood Haul
The Informed Makeup Maven hangs out with fellow Aussie, Napoleon Perdis Backstage at NYFW Fall 2010
The Style Aficionado has noticed a lot of bare faces at New York Fashion Week
LiAnn at Sparklecrack Central posts the first of four rainbow-eye looks, beginning with Qualities: Forgiveness
Hot Beauty Health has Current Fashion Trends
Kurly Bella Product Review: Pantene Relaxed and Natural Breakage Defense Deep Conditioning Mask
Glamour Whore takes you along on a MODELCHICK's journey from black to platinum blond.

Trash can be treasure

Lotion. Hair spray. lip gloss. Body cream.
When I get done with these products, I try to find some kind of creative way to reuse the containers or jars.
I'm currently using an old body cream jar to hold my rubberbands, and I'm using an old candle jar to hold my make-up brushes.
Another old body cream jar houses my buttons.
How do you recycle your old product containers? What do you put in them?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Leela James!!!

This is the first single, "Tell Me You Love Me" off of her upcoming album "My Soul."
I love this woman's old school sensibility and husky voice.
Very underrated in my opinion.
The album drops on May 25 via Stax Records and will be an automatic cop for me.
Enjoy the video!

Products I'm Using Right Now

I've been buying and trying out lots of product lately and instead of writing individual reviews, I thought I'd share several of the items in one post:

1. The Body Shop's Sisal Wash Cloth: I got this baby for $1 several weeks ago and liked the soft hardness of it. It's not concrete hard but both tough and gentle enough to exfoliate your skin and stimilate circulation. I've been applying my soap and shower gel on it and love it.

2. 100% Pure Organic Strawberry Lemonade Body Scrub: This company can do no wrong. This scrub smells just as delicious as it feels on my body. It reminds me of summer, a season that I am desperately hoping would quickly arrive. The scrub isn't too oily and does its job.

3. yes to carrots lip balm, tint and shine: I'm not a big fan of this company's lotions and creams, but they've won me over with their lip products. They are made with vitamins and minerals that leave your kisser feeling soft, shiny and sexy. My fave is the Red Hot lip gloss, which is a nice substitute for red lipstick.

4. Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Butter: I got this butter for about $4 from a book store clearance sale and it's a dream. It's highly hydrating and smells like warm weather. I've used their products before but this is by far my fave.

5. Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover: $17 is a lot to spend on nail polish remover but this little mama was worth every penny. It's an oil-based formula that kept my nails hydrated, unlike traditional polish removers. And the lavender smell was pleasant.

Photos courtesy of Google.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Song of the Day: Zap Mama's "Where are You?"

I love Zap Mama and this song.
The Belgium group blends African and European musical sounds to create soulful and multi-dimensional music.
"Where Are You" is a song featured on the group's 2007 album "Supermoon."
It's about a love that hasn't been found.
I know some people can relate to that feeling. I sure can.
That's why I heart this song.

Monday, February 15, 2010

10 nails, 6 colors, 2 days

Happy Monday!

I went crazy with my nails this weekend.
On Saturday, I bought three Nicole by OPI polishes in Let's Get Star-ted, Wild Blue Yonder and Wink of Twink:

I've used this brand before so I know how good the polish is. Plus, I paid about $4 for all of them since I used a Walmart gift card and two $1 off coupons. They usually retail for about $7 each.
My fave of the trio is Let's Get Star-ted.
It's a clear, sparkly hue with cute little stars in the polish:

Isn't that cute!!??

I also love the Wild Blue Yonder, which is a gorgeous bright blue with a gem-like quality.

I mixed all three colors for different looks:

Here's Wild Blue Yonder and Wink of Twink. Please excuse the image quality. I tried my best to get a close-up of the colors.

And here's Wild Blue Yonder and Let's Get Star-ted.

So there were your five nail colors, lol. I'm gonna play around with these polishes more in the next few weeks. They've got me all excited (yes, good polishes can do that to you:=}).

And on Sunday, I went to see my nail technician James.
He's the one who did my $1 mani about a month ago.
Well, James worked his same magic on my feet and again on my hands.
I would show you a picture of my feet but I'm sensitive about them so, I'll
just leave you with an image of my hands:

Aren't they puuuurdy??

James used the Color Club's Wild Child. It's a nice hot pink that I wanted to use in celebration of Valentine's Day. And it was the sixth color on my nails this weekend. How fun and sweet:)

And I was blessed to get out and do some shopping this weekend. I was suffering from cabin fever which was a direct result of this snowstorm that dumped about 50 inches of snow on the Baltimore area in less than a week. Here's my beauty haul from Target:

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Erykah Badu video:)

My fave singer Erykah Badu released to new video to her song "Jump Up in the Air" with 'Lil Wayne today.
I love it.
And that's all I'm going to say since I'm slightly biased:)
Enjoy the video below:

Weekly Glamarazzi Round-up


 Glamarazzi finished 

Edited by: Keedah
 Fashion Week is finally upon us which means we'll be hyped up on Diet Pepsi or coffee (or both), running on mininal sleep, and bustling from event to event so we can bring you the latest happenings in the fashion industry. And the blizzard that just hit the New York area isnt making it any easier, but alas we make sacrifices for the sake of fashion. Links this week will give you insight on what trends to expect in the next few months. And as always, if you want to join The Glamarazzi you can find the info

Music Review: Gil Scott-Heron's "I'm New Here"

Young people often roll their eyes, suck their teeth or even ignore the advice of their elders.
They shouldn't.
You see, old(er) people have lived and therefore experienced things.
They know.
That sense of knowledge is heavily evident while listening to Gil Scott-Heron's new album, "I'm New Here."
Scott-Heron is a conscious singer most famous for his 1971 hit "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."
"I'm New Here" is a mix of spoken word and songs that detail family, love and life.
It begins with Scott-Heron speaking about his broken family in "On Coming From a Broken Home Part 1."
The album's first single, "Me and the Devil" is a dark and grungy song where Scott sings "...Me and the devil are walking side by side..."
One of my favorites on the album is the interlude "Parents," where Scott-Heron tells people to listen to their mom and pops. "I believe the the spirits are your parents...they want you to live on because they want to live on...," he says.
My other favorite track is "I'll Take Care of You." The song is very sad, but honest and poignant.
Scott-Heron continues to school in "New York is Killing Me" and "Running."
He ends the album the way he began, by talking about how his broken home affected his life.
"I came from what they called a broken home," Scott-Heron says. "My life has been guided by woman and because of them, I'm a man..."
Deep words from a man whose advice and new CD shouldn't be ignored.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, February 11, 2010

EcoTools brushes review

In my quest for natural and organic products, I've learned that some items can be a bit pricey.
So I took comfort when I recently scooped up this ecotools by Alicia Silverstone make-up brush set for about $10 from Target.
The set comes with four brushes for blush, shadow, mineral powder, lashes and brows.
The brushes were very soft on my skin and blended my make-up very well. They are made out of soft taklon bristles and highly sustainable bamboo handles.
The bag is made with natural hemp material and the floral design on it is printed with non-toxic inks.
Even the packaging material is made from 30 percent post-consumer recycled content.
This is good news all around.
Who can't be happy when using a quality product that's also good to Mother Earth?

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bag of Bags

Before I give a gift to someone, I usually go to what I call my "Bag of Bags" to look for something nice to place the gift in.
My Bag of Bags is filled with all kinds of goodies including gift bags, wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift boxes and ribbon.
These things were once items that I received as gifts over the years and instead of throwing them away, I reuse them.
Most of them are so pretty that I don't even want to throw them away.
I got this idea from my adopted mother, who kept a big bag filled with all kinds of gift-giving items.
Do you have a Bag of Bags somewhere in your house?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Boscia Clarifying Detox Mask

     I got a sample of Boscia's Clarifying Detox Mask last year and have had my eye on it for some time.
     It was on my holiday list so I picked up a tube during one of my recent Sephora outings.
     The product has no preservatives and uses natural fragrances and color. I currently use the toner on my face and like it.
     The mask went on creamy and light.
     I rinsed five minutes after applying it. It didn't leave that cakey after-feeling that some masks do.
     My face felt softer and cleaner afterward.
     This mask can also be used as an intensifier.
Overall, the mask was worth every penny of the $25 that I spent on it.

Photo courtesy of

Monday, February 8, 2010

Song of the Day: "I'll Be Around" by The Spinners

One of my adopted mother's favorite musical groups was The Spinners.
She had their "Greatest Hits" CD and would play it all the time.
One of my fave songs from the group is "I'll Be Around."
Although the song is about a breakup, it reminds me of my little sister Nicole.
We would listen to the song together and sing the lyrics word for word.
I always think about her when I hear this song.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Valentine's Day Giveaway Winner is...


Congrats Shaim for winning my Valentine's Day contest! I will contact you regarding your shipping information. Thanks everyone for entering and supporting my blog and Happy Lover's Day:)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Badu's first single "Window Seat"

Here's Erykah Badu's first single "Window Seat" off of her upcoming "New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh." It's a classic Badu song, mellow and soulful. Nice to know she's returning to her roots with the album, which is due on March 30. And here's the very clever cover single:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trader Joe's Soap Review

     I knew Trader Joe's had quality and affordable foods, but their soaps surprised me.
     I've been using the Oatmeal & Honey pure vegetable soap for a couple of months now.
     Funny because it smells just like cinnamon. So good.
     It worked well though.
     I liked the little flecks of oatmeal it it. They made for a slight exfoliation effect on my body.
     I also liked the lather action that came with this bar.
     I also used the lavender and lemon soaps.
     My fave out of all the soaps is the lemon.
     It smells like a dream and works really well.
     Overall, I feel these soaps do their job.
     Trader Joe's and soap: who knew they'd be a good match?

Photo courtesy of

Weekly Glamarazzi Round-up

Edited by: Iggi

It's about that time again...Glamarazzi time!! Once again the Glamarazzi ladies are bringing you the creme de la creme of the web's best beauty/fashion/glamour links. We are getting bigger and bigger and couldn't be happier about it. Also, Keedah and myself are always happy to consider new members so feel free to contact us in regards to joining the glamarazzi team. You can find the details HERE

Let's get started...
Kurly Bella shares her secret to making money while shopping. Yes, I said while shopping. Fabulous...
The Style Aficionado wants your tips on how to wear the newest addition to her shoe collection. Help her out..
Krasey Beauty goes Up and Away with China Glaze for spring.
Make-up/Music/Money/Me has a way to increase your chances of getting a Valentine's Day gift... Enter her Valentine's Day Giveaway

Don't be another Valentines Day clichè! Do you really need another heart necklace? Obsession Isn't Just A Perfume has something a bit more luxe and modern.

Sucking it in for the beach is so 2009. Diary Of A Style Addict has a better way... Spanx isnt just bodyshapers, they recently launched a swimwear line so you can look nipped and tucked poolside.
Project Danielle has a $25 Sephora gift card up for grabs with the One World One Heart Giveaway. Also there's almost 1000 blogs giving away other prizes.

Blaq Vixen Beauty invites you to Rethink What Matters with Bare Escentuals!
Glamour Whore has begun her Valentine's Day countdown and Nars "Love Thrill" is on her wishlist...and I'm sure it will be on yours too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentine's Day Giveaway!!!

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and if you're me, you made your plans weeks ago.
Now I do believe in romance throughout the year, but I usually do participate in some type of Valentine's Day activity.
This year, I'm getting a manicure and $1 pedicure from James, who did my $1 mani several weeks ago. And I'll probably also go see a movie and do a little bit of shopping.
Just because I'm single doesn't mean I can't be my own Valentine:)
Now for my first official giveaway, the prizes include Physicians Formula lip veil, eyeliner, yes to carrots lip balm and a Sally Hansen nail polish.
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment with a link to your blog, twitter account or another form of contact telling me what your Valentine's Day plans are for this year.
Contest ends at 5 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, Feb. 7 and I'll announce the winner from a drawing that Monday.
Good luck!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baking Soda for you face and NOTD

Baking soda can be used for a myriad of things: cleaning, cooking and even as part of your beauty regimen.
I've recently started using baking soda on my face.
I saw this tip on a message board and was a little skeptical until I tried it out.
I mixed it with my regular facial cleansers and liked the soft exfoliating action that it gave.
Afterward, my face felt really clean and soft too.
Apparently, the baking soda is good for acne, rejuvenates skin cells and balances your skin's PH balance.
Have you ever used baking soda on your face before? If so, did you like the results?

Photo courtesy of

And here's what's currently on my nails:

The colors are "Inferno" from wet n wild's craze line and "Midori" from zoya, my new fave polish brand at the moment.
I love multi-colored nails, especially with bright, festive and happy hues.
Can you tell I want summer to get here ASAP?? LOL.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What are you gonna do with your tax refund?

With tax season in full swing, many people are trying to figure out what they'll be doing with their tax refund.
I already knew what I was going to do with mine months ago:

Credit card: My goal is to pay off my credit card this year so most of my refund will probably go to my card.

Savings: My trip to India left me broke and it ain't a joke so I will use some of my refund to pad my savings account.

Bills: I have some big expenses such as car insurance approaching so I'll use some of the money for that.

Donate: I've donated money to several organizations for Haiti relief and wouldn't mind giving more.

Self: You work hard, you play hard. I plan on getting a little something something for myself.

Now I''m not sure exactly how much I'll be getting back, but my tax lady said I will be blessed to get a refund. What do you plan on doing with your refund?

Photo courtesy of