New Beauty Products from Honest Beauty

Since the re-launch of Jessica Alba's Honest Beauty line, I had the opportunity to try a few of the new products last month. If you aren't familiar with Honest Beauty, it is a beauty extension of Jessica Alba's brand, The Honest Company. This brand boasts "high performance color cosmetics, skincare, and beauty products" that are free of harsh chemicals and cruelty-free.

And lucky for me, they are three must-have items in my beauty arsenal: a primer to hold me and my foundation down (no matter, whatever), mascara that makes my nearly nonexistent eyelashes look full and lush (or at least visible), and you guessed it--- a lip product that is flattering and makes me feel amazing when wearing it. Now did these three items I received from Honest Beauty meet my standards when it comes to beauty needs? Read below the jump to find out more!

honest beauty products

REVIEW | Intercepted by Alexa Martin

I thoroughly enjoyed Alexa Martin’s debut book, Intercepted. It’s a spicy, sports romance complete with complicated relationships, love triangles, unrequited love, and (dare I say) MEAN GIRLS. These are all the makings of a fun read.


Intercepted lured me in from the very beginning. I felt like I was in an early episode of The Game, smack- dab in the middle of a Sunbeam meeting. I don't know too much about football, so many of my thoughts on the “sport star’s lifestyle” has been jaded by that show and a few other reality-shows I won’t mention. I apologize in advance. But anyways, the main character Marlee was smart, quick-witted, and just a wee bit of a hot mess. And I was all the way here for her.

LIPSTICK LOVE | NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen

There's nothing on a late summer or early fall evening quite like a deep burgundy or plum colored lipstick. It's alluring. It's mysterious. It demands attention. And something about wearing one makes me feel so fierce!

I've had my fair share of experience with deep wine, burgundy, and plum lipsticks over the years, forever chasing that power I felt when applying my auntie's burgundy Fashion Fair lipstick as a little girl. And now as an adult, I make sure to keep a few in my arsenal to remind me of that powerful woman I've grown to be. One that never leaves my makeup bag is NYX Soft Lip Cream in Copenhagen. This lipstick has been a hero in my beauty arsenal for quite some time and is an instant repurchase each time I run out. Read the details below to find out just why I always come running back to her after the jump.

nyx copenhagen on dark skin

Favorite Lipsticks To Transition from Summer to Fall

What lipsticks have you been reaching for the most this summer? My beautiful blogger friend Chantel and I have been talking about lipstick favorites lately and decided we should share some together on our blogs. Chantel is a dope beauty writer that blogs over at Chantel Keona and keeps her readers on trend with the latest beauty and style finds! I couldn't wait to collaborate with her to collectively share a few of our seasonal favorites with our readers. The trouble is, however, I have so many lipstick favorites. This summer I have been picking up shades randomly, as my mood saw fit, so I had no clue how I would narrow them down. Then I had the perfect idea that brought my transitioning makeup bag to mind.

One of my favorite things about transitioning from season to season is updating my makeup bag. And while we have plenty more warm days of summer left, I thought I would start thinking about my transitions early. As I'm transitioning my lipsticks from summer shades to fall shades, I pulled a few of my favorites that I knew would transition well from one season to the next. So without further adieu, check out my picks below!

beauty blogger of color

Nude Manicure | L.A. Colors Color Craze Nail Polish in Intimate

Many will agree that keeping your nails in check adds to your appearance. For this reason, I try my best to make sure my nails are presentable at all times. And while it's been ages since I've gotten a professional manicure, I don't mind shaping and polishing my nails for upkeep. Some weeks this looks like getting rid of hang-nails and painting them a vivid, pastel shade. Other weeks merely consist of making sure I don't bite my nails or chip my polish.

nude nails on brown skin

This week, my nail care fell somewhere in the middle. I pulled out one of my favorite nude polishes, L.A. Colors Color Craze Nail Polish in Intimate and was reminded of why I love this polish so much. Nude polishes give nails a nice, neat manicure without all the fuss.

My Favorite MAC Lipsticks of All Time

If you've been reading the blog for a while, and even if you know me well, you know I could talk about lipsticks all day. I could go on and on about my favorite shades, finishes, and even dupes if it comes to that. And if you aren't careful, I'll talk you into trying a new shade or two. There's just something about trying a new lipstick that empowers me (and empowers me to empower other women as well).

One thing I haven't talked about in a long time in this space here, however, are my favorite lipstick brands. After gushing over my all-time favorite lipstick on National Lipstick day via Instagram, many people asked me about lipstick suggestions via DM. In fact, a few of you guys even asked me what some of my favorite MAC lipsticks were. And since MAC is one of my favorite beauty brands when it comes to lipsticks, I decided it would be cool to share my favorite MAC lipsticks here on the blog, too.

Not only do these high-quality lipsticks come in so many shades, there's a finish to suit everyone's fancy-- 7 to be exact. Everyone can find a shade that compliments their skintone. And MAC lipsticks always meet the criteria for what I'm looking for in a lipstick: great color pay-off, long-lasting, and great scent/flavor. So without further adieu, here are some of my favorites from the brand.


REVIEW | She Begat This: 20 Years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Joan Morgan

I fell in love with journalist + feminist author Joan Morgan’s writing after reading When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost years ago. So, when I found out she would be working on She Begat This: 20 Years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill plays loudly in the soundtrack of my teenage years and I still find myself learning and relearning love lessons as I listen to it today. Joan Morgan’s exploration of this album, along with the likes of Michaela Angela Davis, dream hampton, and DJ Beverly Bond (#BlackGirlsRock) is so necessary + such a dope way to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of such an iconic album. I read this baby last weekend and when I tell you I got my whole life, please believe me!

the miseducation of lauryn hill
I love how She Begat This opens with the late 90s when Lauryn Hill emerged on the scene as a solo artist and what makes this moment so iconic. Lauryn Hill created her own lane, sharing bold style choices, and a dark-lipstick, dread-locked aesthetic that was ahead of its time. I love that Michaela Angela Davis notes that she did this move to mainstream without “altering her blackness.” She began setting trends in her own way, making others take notice. This alone is a political AND feminist statement, long before the days of social media. Not only was it seen by women of color, but picked up on by Harper’s Bazaar, as they gave her the September 1999 cover. Not only was Hill's presence saying something serious, and her lyrics could rival many in the male-dominated space of hip-hop. Lauryn Hill was becoming an icon before our eyes and Morgan noted every detail, lest anyone forgot or didn't know how major this was in the 90s.

Raising Readers: How to Encourage Reading at Home

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BreakfastAndRead #CollectiveBias

My love of reading was encouraged at an early age by my mother. She kept the house full of books, building shelves adorned with everything from encyclopedias, fairy tales, children's books, and even literary workbooks she would find at local thrift stores and yard sales. Sparking my curiosity, I took these various books as a challenge to read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. As the years progressed, my curiosities grew, and my mom continued to gift me with books to feed them. Before long, I was not only fully immersed in reading, but also teaching everything I learned to my younger siblings.

Some of my fondest childhood memories start and end with reading. In retrospect, I see myself retreating to my room to bury myself in some fantastical read as an escape to a far away land. Then other memories involve mom buying me books from my wish list along with my favorite snacks to share with friends.

children's literacy


As tradition would have it, I encourage this same of love of reading in my children. What started as a weekly task I promoted heavily, soon grew into a healthy habit each of my children indulge in at their own will. And my heart grows full when I watch them reach for their books and snacks after finishing homework after school, just as I did as a child. How do we actually get our children to enjoy reading, you ask? In today's post, I'd like to share with you three easy ways to encourage early literacy in children at home.

REVIEW | From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Have you ever found yourself wanting to fit in so badly with the “cool kids,” you’d do anything to be a part? And if you’re shaking your head “no” straight away, imagine for one second that your one and only friend at school (who understands you better than virtually everyone) has been kicking it with the cool kids lately and you’ve been left out all by yourself. Many kids feel this pressure to belong, so this situation isn’t new to us. It’s one we find our friend Twinkle in the middle of as we get into From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon.

contemporary young adult fiction reviews

How to Keep Your Makeup Bag "Beach Ready" This Season

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadeBiotin #CollectiveBias

Do you update your makeup bag each season? As a beauty-loving woman on-the-go, I make sure to always update my beauty routine and products accordingly. And since summer is officially "beach season," I like to keep that in mind as I purchase new products for my daily beauty routine.

Since I live near a beach town, I know the feeling of wanting to head to the beach as soon as the weather permits. But I also want to look and feel my personal best when I'm there. That's why it's important that my makeup bag stays ready to head out to the beach at a moment's notice. Not only will having my favorite beauty products on deck keep me looking my best, they help me get my beauty routine together for the season with ease. Read below to find out how to keep your makeup bag beach ready for the summer.

Serving Face: How to Create a Signature Beauty Look

Over the years, I've had so much fun experimenting with makeup. I can't describe the joy I get from finding a foundation that matches my skin tone or a lipstick that looks amazing on my lips. And though I've had my share of bad beauty experiences (shaved eyebrows, ghostly foundation, you name it), I've enjoyed the journey to finding beauty products that work for me. One of the most rewarding things about this journey is creating a signature beauty look that ensures my makeup is fresh and polished for any occasion.


"What is a signature beauty look?" some of you may be asking. For me, my signature beauty look is how I wear my makeup on most days, complete with my holy-grail beauty products. Having this look as a part of my beauty routine helps me to do my makeup as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you haven't yet created a signature beauty look for yourself but are considering it, today's post is for you. Read below to find out why you need a signature look and how to create one of your own.

Why You Should Try These Pixi Rose Skincare Products

pixi skincare
If you've been here for a while, you probably already know how excited I get about trying new skin care products. Back during the spring months, I was adamant about being consistent with my skincare so that my skin would be looking its best once summer came through. One thing I was most consistent with was keeping my favorite Pixi beauty products in my skincare lineup. I had been using the Pixi Glow Tonic since the winter and fell in love. So when I received the Pixi Rose Flash Bomb and Rose Caviar Essence right before spring, I couldn't wait to see how they fit in my beauty regimen along with the Pixi Glow Tonic.

pixi skincare
The Pixi Rose Caviar Essence and Pixi Rose Flash Bomb came in some of the prettiest PR packaging I've ever seen along with the gorgeous Pixi MatteLast Liquid Lipsticks I raved about here. Each of these products are formulated with rose hip and rose flower oils, rose extract, and rose water. As a fan of rose-infused products, I couldn't wait to test these products out. Rose is always a welcomed addition to my beauty regimen in the warmer months. And now that I've used both products consistently, I feel I can best share my full experience with the products and how I used them in my skincare regimen.

BEAUTY | 3 Ways to Update Your Look

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #got2bMetallic #mebyme #sponsored

As a beauty blogger who had recently fallen into a beauty rut, I have realized how much a beauty update can turn things around! Something as simple as purchasing a new lipstick or changing the color of your hair can really boost your confidence. Not to mention, it can give you a reason to share your creativity with those around you.

beauty blogger
Today, I want to share three easy ways to update your look in a way that allows you to express your most bold, creative self. If you're like me, you've found yourself stuck in a beauty rut more times than a few. Why not try some new ways to share your creativity and look cute while doing it?

Summer Style Must-Have: Tidewater Sandals

As much as I love sneakers and my beloved heels, neither of them compare to a cute, comfortable pair of flip-flops. They are the unsung hero of my wardrobe, as they hold me down all through the warmer seasons. When I'm running around with the kids, while I'm making that quick grocery run, and when everything else seems to fail my poor, aching soles, my flip-flops are always there. Even if they're not on my feet, they're in the trunk or in my bag, ready to go! Anybody who has danced the night away in 6-inch heels (I'm somebody's club or otherwise) can appreciate my honesty here.

nc style blogger

So as the days grow closer to the times we will spend strolling the beach, visiting water parks, and enjoying the good outdoors, I thought I would share my current favorite pair of flip-flops from Tidewater Sandals with you guys.

Everyday Spring Beauty Look

Hello guys! Here it is the end of May, and I finally feel like I'm getting into the groove of Spring. The weather has been warm and sunny (with the exception of a few showers this week), and I'm loving wearing vibrant shades to celebrate the season. Keeping my vow to rock simple makeup and nude lips most days, I've fallen into the habit of grabbing the same makeup items. And since I've already shared this look with you guys on Facebook and Instagram, I decided I'd share all the details here on the blog.

beauty blogger

This beauty look takes about 10-15 minutes to do and features a new product I've tested and come to like. Can you guess what it is? Keep reading to find out more.

Review | All Summer Long by Hope Larson

School's out for summer and we can't wait to do ALL THE THINGS we have planned with our best friends. How many can relate to this feeling? Take your mind back to that summer between middle school and high school and ponder on how excited you were to finish middle school. There may have been nervousness looming about entering high school, but there was time to worry about that later. All you thought about was doing something amazing to commemorate THAT special summer. But what if your friends decided they had better things to do? In All Summer Long by Hope Larson, I took a trip down memory lane with my daughter as we read about a similar situation.


Everyday Beauty | The Natural, "No-Makeup" Makeup Look

Hello guys! I hope everyone has been having a beautiful spring so far! This season, I've been looking forward to swapping out my lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes to add bright, vibrant hues to my makeup bag. However, in my realistic everyday life, I don't always take the time to pull these beautiful shades together for an overall beauty look. As someone who spends most of her time in the home, I don't wear a full face of makeup every single day. But I do love throwing on my usual natural makeup look with cat-eye and nude lips just because.

beauty blogger

This natural, everyday look gives me just the right touch of coverage I need to feel confident without a heavy application of makeup. Not to mention, it only takes minutes to do!

Living a Blessed Life with Kim Fields

“Let life happen. Then be ready when it does.” 
-Kim Fields 
Blessed Life: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears, and Tales from Harlem to Hollywood by Kim Fields is a true testament of growth and staying the course in your life’s journey. In her beautifully written memoir, Kim Fields speaks candidly about the lessons she’s learned throughout her life as a childhood star, actress, creative, wife, and mother. Reading this book was so refreshing, because not only was she transparent about her trials and struggles, she also shared how she moved out of her own way to get through to the better days.

books by women of color

SPRING MANICURE | Trust Fund Beauty Polish in Game Changer


Getting your overall look together for Spring is never complete without finding the perfect nail color. As soon as the days grow warmer, I start reaching for all my bright, vivid shades of nail polish. I make sure to pick colors that will compliment whatever I'm wearing, look great on my nails, and make me feel happy. And I know I'm not the only one that feels so much better once I've gotten a fresh, brilliant coat of nail polish for the week.

REVIEW | Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink


I have been curious about the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink liquid lipsticks for quite some time. When they first came out, I admired the color range, but didn't go grab them right away. As they began to pop up in my local stores (which take FOREVER to get the new-new), I grew even more curious, but still didn't budge. However, after flipping through magazine after magazine featuring all these beautiful women rocking various shades of matte ink liquid lipsticks, I decided I would go ahead and give them a try if I catch them on sale.

REVIEW | Decluttering At The Speed of Life

I will admit that books on home organization don't always appeal to me. I am not easily urged to sort through things based on emotion, or whatever new way folks are telling us we should clear space in our homes. But after reading more about author Dana K. White and her blog, A Slob Comes Clean, I felt compelled to read this book. Her writing style and voice reads like an honest conversation I would have with friends, so I was curious to learn more about her methods.



Reading Decluttering At The Speed of Life was refreshing for me. I was reading along with someone who had a few of the same issues with clutter that I have, and she was tackling it. She had dealt with much heavier issues than myself and came out from under the clutter to help someone else. Now that is an impressive feat! This made me more inclined to listen to her advice. She doesn't shame you for your clutter either, but she does call you out on your stuff.

REVIEW | Pixi MatteLast Liquid Lip Collection

beauty blogger of color
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know how excited I get about updating my makeup bag each season. And since spring is finally here, I've been all about finding the perfect hues of rose, blush, coral and other softer, neutral shades to add to my beauty arsenal. Last month, I received a beautiful package from Pixi that included their entire Rose Essence Collection. And in this collection were five pretty lippies from the MatteLast Liquid Lip Collection. When I tell you I was over-the-moon hype about this package, please believe me! I could not wait to put these lippies to the test and see if they would find a home in my spring beauty arsenal. 

beauty blogger of color
The Pixi MatteLast Liquid Lip is infused with rose hip seed oil, giving lips the hydration you wouldn't normally expect from a matte lip product. And the fact that these lippies are also paraben-free/cruelty free made me even more eager to test them out. 

Dinner Made Easy With P.F. Chang's Home Menu Sauces

Nothing beats enjoying a delicious meal with the ones you love. And I'm quick to believe no one appreciates this more than a family waiting for mama to bring all the makings of this meal together at the table when dinner time hits. You know, one that's hearty, satisfying, can be prepared on the fly, and doesn't cost a lot of money to make. That's what makes for a good meal at my house. Meals prepared in my kitchen are fast, easy, and filling enough to accommodate my party of five.

I was able to accomplish all of these things and more, thanks to this VoxBox I received from Influenster a short while back. In this box, there was a bottle of P.F. Chang's Teriyaki Sauce, a recipe card, and a coupon to for another bottle. This started the wheels to turning in my mind as to what I wanted to make for dinner.

food lifestyle blogger


This Is It: The Inspiration Behind New Book by Daria Peoples-Riley


This week marked the release of Daria Peoples-Riley's debut children's book This Is It and I for one have been so excited about it!

"Daria Peoples-Riley’s debut picture book is a celebration of individuality, self-expression, and dance. Fans of Misty Copeland’s Firebird and Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop on Market Street will want to read it over and over again.

When a young dancer is nervous about her upcoming auditions, her shadow springs to life and leads her on a joyous exploration of their city. Soon enough, the young girl finds confidence in her skills, her body, and her ability to shine.

With an energetic, rhythmic text that begs to be read aloud and striking, exuberant artwork, This Is It is a love story to originality and the simple joy of movement."

Check out the book trailer here:


Read below to learn more about the book trailer and inspiration behind This Is It:

#KIDLIT | If You Look Up To The Sky by Angela Dalton

“Anything is possible.” 

How many times do we hear those words in the run of our busy, daily lives? Many of you may answer that you hear them quite often. Others may answer that they don’t hear those words quite often enough. Either way, most of us are familiar with the phrase. It’s a comforting affirmation that makes you believe in the stuff dreams are made of. If internalized, it truly helps us to believe that we can do and be anything we want to be. This can be incredibly comforting in times when so many things seem uncertain.

This is a message that I have been happy to take away from the children’s book If You Look Up To The Sky by Angela Dalton and illustrated by Margarita Sikorskaia. Written for children ages 3 and up, If You Look Up To the Sky is a grandmother’s comforting story to her grandchild in times of worry or uncertainty.


LIPSTICK LOVE | ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip In Baracuda

Just when I thought I had finally gotten control of my ColourPop liquid lipstick obsession collection, this beautiful rose colored lippie came along and changed my mind. I was minding my business. You know, I might have been browsing around checking a few lipsticks out, but had no intentions on getting serious about purchasing a new one. I remind myself each week that I have plenty of lipsticks in the stash that aren't getting any play. Then I vow not to buy any more until I hit pan on at least three or four. But then this one lipstick comes along, catches my eye, and I just can't stop thinking about her. That may or may not have happened when I met ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip in Baracuda.

I added Baracuda to my cart one week, abandoned it with about 4 other lippies that shall forever remain nameless, and kept returning to it on my phone later that night. And I promised myself I wouldn't buy it because I believed I already had a lipstick similar to it. Then I went over to my friend Google and started searching for swatches on various women in an attempt to convince myself that I did not already have said lipstick in this particular formula. Eventually reason kicked in and I decided against purchasing it, thinking that was the last I would see of Baracuda. That was about 3 months ago.

But you see, Baracuda has a way of showing up and showing out when she wants to. Do you know this lippie showed up in my Ipsy Bag out of the blue last month? Almost made me feel like we were meant to be together, y'all! Now the test would be if Baracuda could actually deliver like I hoped she would.


REVIEW | In Real Life by Cory Doctorow + Jen Wang

How do the decisions we make in the worlds we've created online affect our REAL lives? This is a question I had to ponder as I flipped through the pages of Cory Doctorow's graphic novel In Real Life, illustrated by Jen Wang. Keeping this thought in mind, I was able to thoroughly enjoy reading along and sympathizing with teenage characters who learned that the two worlds oftentimes collide with lasting effects.

book blogger


2018 Beauty Resolutions

I know to some, beauty resolutions may sound a bit trivial, but I love to set beauty goals. Why? Because this is one of the ways I remind myself to take the best care of ME. And while self-care doesn’t exactly equate to getting facials and pedicures at any given time, for some of us it does help. For one, it builds confidence. It helps me feel so much better when my hair is in place, my skin is glowing, my body is soft + moisturized, and my toes are pedicured with a pretty shade of pink. And who doesn’t deserve to feel good about themselves?

beauty bloggers

I will admit, however, that last year was a bust as far as my beauty goals went. I won’t say I completely let myself go, but I did stop paying attention to the things that made me feel my personal best.

LIPSTICK LOVE | NYX Lip Lingerie in Honeymoon

There's nothing like having a nice, nude lipstick in your beauty arsenal. Nude lipsticks can be worn anywhere, at any time, and for any occasion. They pair well with natural eye looks, glamorous ones, or even smoky-eye looks of varying shades. And if it happens to be an affordable nude lippie? That's even better!

I'm always on the hunt for a perfect nude lipstick, and thankfully I've come across many. This feat, however, has been met with a lot of resistance. For one, the nude lipstick shades I see online rarely look the same on me once I get them home and on my lips. I have found quite a few "my lips but better" shades, but that's been well after testing out lipstick after lipstick. Last year, as I was trying out the popular NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks, I came across quite a few affordable nudes. A line from NYX Cosmetics that claims to have a "nude for everybody" brought us 24 shades of neutral lippies with cute lipstick names to boot.

beauty for women of color

On a whim, I grabbed up NYX Lip Lingerie in Honeymoon and it's been love ever since. And every time I rock it, someone is asking me about it. Since it's become a favorite lipstick of mine, I decided I'd share a bit more about it here on the blog so you can weigh the pros and cons and see if this is a great lippie to add to your collection as well.
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