REVIEW | Dressed in Dreams by Tanisha C. Ford

“Each time we stand before our closet to pick out our clothes, we make a series of choices about how we want to appear before the world. This is just as true for people who claim not to care about clothes as it is for self-proclaimed fashionistas. It’s because we recognize that the way we adorn ourselves communicates something about who we are and where we come from.”

Dressed in Dreams: a Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion by Tanisha C. Ford has easily been one of my favorite reads so far this year. Part history lesson in style, part coming-of-age tale, Dressed in Dreams lures readers into the world of a Midwestern Black Girl defining herself one wardrobe choice at a time.

IN MY BAG | The Lip Bar Liquid Mattes

If you are a beauty lover like myself, I'm sure you're no stranger to beauty brand The Lip Bar. Often  introduced as the brand of colorful lipsticks first seen on Shark Tank, The Lip Bar is so much more. This Detroit-based vegan + cruelty brand created by Melissa Butler (that started off selling lip products online) has recently expanded to selling eye and face products as well. And for customers like me who hate running out of their favorite lipsticks and waiting for them to ship, the lip products are now sold in Target.

With the launch of The Lip Bar's new products, particularly the Fast Face Kits, I've been reminded of why I fell in love with this innovative beauty brand. After my first purchase of Purple Rain a few years ago (because, Prince), I knew this brand would be one to look out for. Not only were the lipsticks offered in vibrant, in-your-face shades, they were cruelty free AND created by a black woman. While there has been a boom in liquid matte lipsticks in recent years, one could get overwhelmed shopping in stores looking for shades that actually looked flattering to wear. Finding a brand that had all complexions in mind made me feel like I had found a winner in The Lip Bar.

And since I've been giving plenty of fall lipstick suggestions in my DMs, I decided it was about time I shared my favorites from the liquid matte line here on the blog. Keep reading below the jump to find out which four I'm keeping in my makeup bag this fall and how to catch them on sale for a limited time!

REVIEW: SLAY by Brittney Morris

SLAY by Brittney Morris is about a 17-year old black girl named Kiera Johnson, who seemingly leads an ordinary life from the outside looking in. She lives in the suburbs of Anytown, USA with her parents and younger sister, Steph. She and Steph both attend Jefferson Academy, a preparatory high school where they, along with Kiera’s boyfriend Malcolm, are the only black students.

Having previously attended a predominantly-black school, Kiera is all too familiar with code-switching and being the “black authority” to her best friend Harper and her other classmates. Aside from holding it down as her boyfriend Malcolm’s “queen,” Kiera seems to have no safe space where she can just be herself.

That is, until we find out that she is not only a gamer, but game developer of super popular virtual reality game SLAY. It’s a multiplayer universe similar to Black Panther’s Wakanda, where Kiera reigns as character “Emerald.”

Kiera has been running this game for three years, while her family, friends, and even her boyfriend are none the wiser. No one realizes Kiera even plays video games. Kiera feels safe in her virtual fantasy world until tragedy strikes, bringing her perfectly crafted virtual oasis, SLAY to the headlines of international news.

Natural Fall Makeup with Believe Beauty

Fall is officially here, ladies and gentlemen! And I, for one, am so excited about it. As much as I love packing away my warm weather clothing for apparel suited for cooler temps, I get more hype about updating my makeup bag. This means swapping my BB cream and tinted moisturizer for foundation, using darker, deeper eyeshadows, and pulling my nude, wine, and berry colored lipsticks out. And if you're like me and love taking long walks down the beauty aisle, updating that makeup bag can become expensive if you're not careful.

That's why I've recently gotten familiar with the Believe Beauty line that launched this Spring in Dollar General. This line has quality, cruelty-free cosmetics with each item retailing for $5 or less. And it has everything from lipsticks, base products, and eye makeup on down to nail polish and beauty tools. Does that make your beauty-loving heart as happy as it does mine?

Since I've been grabbing for said Believe Beauty products exclusively at Dollar General so much lately, I decided I would not only share the products but the look I achieve while using them. Read more below to check out each step I took and each Believe Beauty product used for this easy look.

My Experience With Scentbird: a Review

scentbird subscription service

If you have ever entertained the idea of trying different fragrances before choosing a signature scent, I'm sure the word Scentbird has come up on your radar a few times. This popular subscription service has not only assisted me in finding a signature scent for each season, it also brings me joy to receive a monthly fragrance catered to my tastes without leaving the house!

While I love shopping for new fragrances in department stores, I often find myself wanting to switch up my scent. Whether the season changes or my mood does, I love having the option to do so with ease. And spending a lot of money on a bottle of perfume I won't finish is not in the best interest of my frugal purchasing habits right now.

For that reason, I've found myself completely stuck to my Scentbird subscription for a little over a year. It's given me the opportunity to "date" different scents before committing to an expensive single purchase of perfume. Under the break, I'd like to share with you how my Scentbird subscription has been working out for me so far. Hopefully after this review, you can determine if Scentbird is or is not the right subscription service for you.

Skincare To Try: Pixi Glow Tonic Collection

If you've been here for a while, it's no secret that I'm all about that GLOW life. One of my main beauty + personal care goals is achieving blemish-free, glowing skin. And because of this goal, I've tried more than a few skincare products over the years. Since being introduced to Pixi Skintreats by way of the cult favorite Glow Tonic a few years ago, however, I am happy to say that I have added a few more "glow-boosting" goodies to my arsenal.

With the growing popularity of the Glow Tonic, Pixi recently launched an entire skincare collection centered around the product. So you know your girl was over-the-moon hype (per usual) when Pixi sent me a package containing said collection earlier this summer!

The main reason I was so excited about the Glow Tonic Collection is that while I love using Glow Tonic, I've longed to use an entire skincare line that works toward my singular goal of having radiant, glowing skin. I didn't want to continuously purchase a cleanser from one brand, hunt for a moisturizer from another brand, and settle for a serum from an entirely different brand just to build a regimen that works for me. Read below to find out how I've incorporated each product from the collection into my skincare regimen.
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