My Five Favorite Skincare Products from The Ordinary

As a skincare enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for the next best skincare products. Like the average consumer, I research products. I look online for their reviews. And because the promise of clear, radiant skin, I am convinced to take many of them home. Do they always meet my expectations? No. But is the pursuit of my skin's holy grail products still worth it? Absolutely. Because more often than not, I will find some pretty awesome goodies that fight for a spot in my daily skincare regimen. And if you've been reading here for a while, you know I have to share the goods with you guys, too!

While looking through previous skincare posts, I realized I did you guys a disservice. I have shared so much about The Ordinary brand for years through DMs, phone conversations, text messages, and emails, but I have never talked about them in depth here. A few years ago, I tried several of their products on a whim. Not only did they offer an array of products for my trouble areas (oily skin, uneven texture, and hyperpigmentation), they came at such an amazing price point. And while I've tried a few products that did not work for me, I found quite a few that I repurchase + keep in stock around here. Today, I'll be sharing five of my favorite skincare products from The Ordinary and how I incorporate them into my regimen.

skincare for hyperpigmentation

Sundays at Dre's | Volume 2

Sundays either go one of two ways around my house. I'm either planning for the week: making lists, sorting laundry, prepping meals, and reviewing important documents, or I'm in a state of deep reflection: making note of what has or hasn't been working lately and brainstorming ways to make things better. This particular Sunday is looking like the kind that calls for reflection. As we settle into the last month of the year, I've been considering a lot of things that need work in my life.  And while I'm not one to lament too long on anything, I am one to turn up the blues to be my soundtrack music as I journal about it all.

A mood of this kind calls for something a bit jazzy. A little bluesy, even. So, this second edition of "Sundays at Dre's" reflects that exact feeling and mood.

sunday at dre's

Sundays At Dre's | Volume 1

Sundays always feel like a reset around my way. This particular day of the week allows me the time and space to recalibrate, if you will. I spend my morning getting my praise and worship on, making something nice and savory to eat, planning for the upcoming week, and enjoying lots of quiet time alone.  And believe me, the quiet time really sets the tone for the week ahead. Not only does it calm me, it helps me to be present without becoming overwhelmed with the upcoming week's tasks. Sometimes this quiet time is spent with my journal. Other times it's spent with a blank canvas and some acrylic paints. Most often this time is shared with an engaging hardcover book. But no matter how I decide to spend quiet time on Sunday, my time is always illuminated by soundtrack music.

If you've been here for a while, you already know music is life. I have a playlist for every vibe, mood, experience, memory, and feeling, no matter how fleeting. Sundays are no different. For y'all that follow me on Instagram, you may be familiar with "Sundays At Dre's," the playlists I used to share over there in my stories on Sundays. Today I decided to share them in this space as well.

spotify playlist

Lipstick Love | Black Radiance Perfect Tone HD Lip Sculptor

As the seasons change, I always find a way to add a few new lipsticks to my makeup bag. It's such a habit! And while I like to peruse the beauty aisles for what's new, looking for long-lasting shades and finishes that promise to hydrate and show-out, I sometimes tip-toe back to the familiar. You know how it is. You get all the compliments from that lipstick you were rocking at the function last year only to find it has long run out. You recall that lipstick you used to wear before the pandemic that people passing by always said looked amazing on you and realize you need to see if it's still available in stores. Those were my feelings when I sought out to repurchase the Black Radiance Perfect Tone HD Lip Sculptor Lipsticks I swooned over in the drugstore a couple of years ago.

fall lipsticks

When I first purchased a couple of these beauties, I had not saw many reviews of them online. However, I haven't been disappointed by Black Radiance yet. With an array of shades to choose from and an awesome price point, I knew it would be no problem for me to purchase and repurchase these lipsticks for as long as they were in stock. And since I was so impressed with the formula, I bought quite a few as my local store started discounting them recently.

Read below the jump to learn more about these beauties!


"How do Black girls find freedom? Where do they go to find it, to feel it, uncomplicated and uncompromised?"

carefree black girls zeba blay

Carefree Black Girls is a collection of writer Zeba Blay's musings on the #carefreeblackgirls we identify with in society and pop culture. If artists like Lizzo, Cardi B., and Nicki Minaj come to mind, you are in luck, as they all make appearances in these essays. 

Blay writes with so much insight and introspection that I could not help but to lean in and nod repeatedly as she spoke about feelings I've had about my own body and life. The essay "Girlhood" could have easily been written for me, with my obsession with the Spice Girls (particularly Scary Spice) in middle school and my unrequited crushes on guys that would never really "go" for my type. 

It was cathartic reading Blay's experiences in this book, as they mirrored quite a few of mine-- giving me the language to articulate thoughts I couldn't quite form before. This was a great collection of essays that brought up so many points I can't wait to discuss with my good girlfriends. 

Thank you, Zeba Blay, for keeping these necessary conversations going. Special thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC!

To purchase your own copy of Carefree Black Girls on Amazon, click here


Riding Up The Coast With You On My Mind | A Playlist

There's something magical about traveling to a familiar location with the perfect playlist as background music. Ever went cruising to the beach on a cool summer night and the drive up always reminds you of "that particular song?" If you're like me, and you set your vibe with the most fitting tunes, this beautiful feeling may be familiar to you. But if not, and you're constantly searching for just the right song to set the mood, I might be able to help you with that. Imagine the late summer temps outside are equal parts cool and sultry. You're heading to (or from) that beach town you haven't visited since your undergrad years with the windows down and the winds blowing through your hair. The smell of salt is heavy in the air and it gives you all types of nostalgia. All my southern North Carolina folks know the vibes.  What songs are you playing? What music instantly comes to mind?

Alternative R&B vibes are some of my favorite types of playlists to make.  And because I've been enjoying late night beach rides this summer, I'm writing with some of my favorite riding tunes as background music. A friend of mine asked me to share this playlist publicly, so I thought I'd share it tonight with you guys! 


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