November Beauty Favorites

I know it has been a long time since I've shared a monthly beauty favorites post with you guys.  But as I was looking at my vanity and thinking of how much I've been grabbing for certain items lately, I decided to get back in the swing of things.  Here are the beauty products I've been giving the most play in November.  

fall beauty

MANICure Mondays: With a Chance of Rain

Hello ladies!  I'm very excited about MANICure Monday this week because I am trying something new.  While browsing around on Facebook, I saw this black manicure via Tamelia Beauty Shop and fell in love with it.  I knew I had to try it for myself.

Being that I didn't have a black matte polish to truly bring this inspiration to life, I decided to use Sinful Colors nail polish in Savage again this week.  Besides, my nails were still slightly stained from using it last week anyways (remember I said the staining from Savage was a pain, right?).  So I used my Out The Door Super Fast Drying Top Coat to place small dots on the nails to mimic the look of raindrops on the nails.

Here's the finished look without flash.  
It doesn't even look like the same polish as last week does it?

So what are your manicures looking like this week, ladies?  Tell me all about them in the comments! 

My Current Beauty Wish List

Beautysets - My Current Beauty Wishlist

What's on your current beauty wish list?

Guest Post: Hit The Delete Button

The other day I was watching Joel Osteen on television and he was talking about deleting negative things people may say about us. A lot of times we accept negative criticism that people say to us like, “you're never going to amount to anything in life" or "you’re never going to be the person you think you are going to be when you grow up (doctor, lawyer, etc.).”  When people keep talking about us negatively and we listen, we start believing it. We start saying to ourselves, "I will never ever be able to do that." "I don’t have the capability to do that at my skill level." Now we’re so deep in our own negative thoughts that down the line we won't be able to accomplish the things God has called for us to do.

Instead of internalizing negative comments from others, we need to delete them. How, might you ask? By telling yourself just the opposite. Say to yourself, "I will be that [doctor or lawyer] when I grow up." "I do have the skills required to land the job I desire." Never give up when you’re trying to reach your goals. 

When people say "no," never give up and keep pushing towards that yes. I think about Abraham Lincoln, when he kept pushing towards his dreams. He never gave up despite the failures he kept running into. He would eventually accomplish his dream of becoming president. I bet when he was failing, people probably said, you need to stop embarrassing yourself and quit already. He never saw himself failing, just getting better until he reached perfection. That’s how we need to see it in our own eyes, that we’re not failing-- just getting better and better every day to get closer to our dreams. 

The key points from this message are:
  Don’t accept negative comments from others
  Don’t you start thinking negative about yourself
 Start deleting negative criticism and start thinking positive about yourself and dreams
 You’re not failing, you’re just getting better and better everyday

Even though it might be hard to put negative comments behind you, please try and just ask God to help you. I hate to see people throw away their dreams, based on what others say about them. Don’t allow them to have their victory.  Prove them wrong and ask God to guide you towards your dreams.

How do you combat negativity from others?

Guest Post Written by Shanay Worthy of

Tuesday's Tunes: Volume 5

Happy Tuesday, folks!  How are you all doing today?  I hope all is well with each and every one of you and I thank you kindly for dropping by my little piece of the blogosphere today.  Without further adieu, let's get into some of the music that's been oozing through my speakers today while I've cooked, cleaned, danced, laughed, and sorted laundry.  Here goes!

Be Thankful for What You Got by William Devaughn-  Now this is truly Cadillac riding music.  Though I don't have a great big Cadillac (lol)  I'm thankful for the many things I do have.  I love listening to this song, not only because it's a smooth tune, but because its message is so spot on.  Be Thankful for What You Got is a reminder to do just that, take the time to appreciate what you have been blessed with. There are many others who are praying for the things many of us spend too much time complaining about.  Just in time for the season of being thankful, William Devaughn will get plenty of plays around my way.

Gotta Man by Eve-  It doesn't take much for me to put a little E-V-E into rotation.  So when this song played on Pandora this afternoon I was standing up reminiscing and singing, "Gotta man that I think I'm gon' love forever, and forever we'll be together."  Something about this song reminds me of a simple kind of love.  You know the love when you're drawing hearts in the margins of notebooks with your name and someone temporarily special affixed in their middles?  That kind of love.  Gotta Man is the type of love song we could definitely appreciate coming from a self-proclaimed pit-bull-in-a-skirt that is still just as relevant today as it was years ago.

Poetic Justice by Kendrick Lamar featuring Drake-  I think this has been my favorite song since Kendrick Lamar dropped Good Kid M.A.A.D City a few weeks back. Not only is it sampling one of my favorite Janet Jackson (yes Ms. Jackson the one I adore) songs, it shares the same title of my favorite movie, Poetic Justice, starring her also. Now whether you analyze the title as paying homage to Janet, or see it literally meaning 'virtue is rewarded and vice is punished' is totally up to you.  Like many of us who write our feelings better than we vocalize them, Kendrick says that he can "never right his wrongs unless he writes them down for real." Poetic Justice is definitely served in this hip-hop slow jam as Kendrick Lamar and Drake tantalize and mesmerize us with their lyrical prowess.

Come to Me (Peace) by Mary J. Blige- Hearing this song this afternoon made me think of my cousin Tay.  We always have the most in-depth talks about life, love, relationships, and womanhood.  One day while riding to one of our favorite eateries, she was playing this song.  And boy was she feeling it!  She was singing it boldly and beautifully like she was feeling it in her bones.  See, that's what a Mary J. song will do to you! It will have you swimming or sinking deep in feelings you didn't even know you had!  As Mary and Tay continued on with their duet, I began listening to the lyrics and missing that love I was praying would find its way back to my heart also.  We were in that moment three women all begging to make peace with the same thing.  And before I knew it we were in tears.

It's So Hard by Big Pun-  I didn't know Big Pun personally nor am I aware of what he did in his personal life.  But I was saddened by his passing back in 2000.  I was surfing through YouTube today when I came across the video and just knew I had to add it to today's playlist.  I mean, everybody plus one were in this video, showing love and paying homage to the late great rapper Big Pun. It was so warm to see people coming together to celebrate a life.

What have you been listening to lately?  
What's that one song have on repeat these days?

Weekly MANICure: Featuring Sinful Colors in Savage

Hello ladies! I hope everyone is well and getting into the spirit of thanks!  In fact, I was hoping to do a more festive manicure this week for Thanksgiving.  I thought about using a beautiful cranberry shade and maybe set it off with some gold glitter or flecks similar to the nail look that Mimi was rocking here recently. But then I changed my mind.  The girly girl that is addicted to soft colors always wins in these types of battles.  I started missing those bright blues and soft lilacs of the spring and summer seasons, so I went on a hunt to the bottom of my storage units for those shades.  I came out with Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Savage, which is a teal matte formula, and Essie Nail Polish in Playdate, a lilac lacquer that is among my favorite polishes.  

Now the Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Savage is a pretty tricky polish. Yes, the color is beautiful and quite different from other polishes I own.  But the formula is matte, which I've only worked with twice, and it leaves your nails stained. I used it anyways, decided to leave only one nail matte on each hand, while using my trusty OPI Nail Polish in Servin' Up Sparkle to coat the others.  I even pulled out my dotting tool and nail art polishes to make a design on the accent nail.  Oh and guess what? I CUT MY NAILS!

This is everything I used:

So what are your manicures looking like this week, ladies?  Did you dress them up for the holidays?  Or did you choose colors according to your mood like I did?  Or maybe you didn't use any polish at all?  Either way, I want to hear all about it in the comments!

MANICure Monday Featuring Essie's Stylenomics

Remember the last manicure post I shared with you guys?  It was done with my beautiful beloved Bubblegum pink from e.l.f. cosmetics.  And to be quite frank with you, I'm in love with that tiny bottle of pretty pink heaven nail lacquer.  However, I did feel like it was time to start embracing other colors of polish. It's the fall/winter season and there are so many dark and jewel-toned hues to try out!  But I can never bring myself to abandon pink.  

This morning I decided to break out my bottle of Essie in Stylenomics that I received as a Klout perk a while back and fulfill my promise of wearing a dark and tragic shade of polish this time (and Mimi laughed when I said it, I know lol).  Interestingly enough, after applying the polish, it didn't seem dark and tragic at all.  This dark green shade was very rich and deep.  I love it!

It wouldn't be me if I didn't throw some glitter here and there so of course I accented my ring fingers with Sinful Colors polish in Nail Junkie.  What a fitting name for a nail junkie, right?  

And as I admired my nails, I immediately began going through pink polish withdrawal.  I was thinking that it would have been much cuter with a pink accent nail.  My mani needed a bit more oomph and I had no clue how to give it such... And then I thought back on that Louboutin inspired manicure I saw a couple of months back and I came up with the great idea to give this dark color some contrast.  I painted the underside of my nails with Sinful Colors in Soul Mate and absolutely loved it!

So what are your manicures looking like this week ladies?  Did you play it safe with familiar colors and acrylics or did you go bold this week?  Perhaps you decided to skip the polish altogether.  Either way, I would love to hear all about the details in the comments. Let me know!  

My Skin Care Products + Regimen (Updated)

aveeno mark

It's been a while since I've shared a skin care post with you guys, so I thought now would be a good time to give an update!  This is the current skin care regimen I'm following and have been following for several months now. Though the product line-up may seem pretty simple, it does a great job of keeping my skin in check.  I have combination skin, which causes my t-zone to be more oily in the warmer months and fairly dry in the winter months.  My biggest skin concerns are keeping my skin radiant and firm (yes, anti-aging concerns ALREADY) and correcting my acne-scarring and hyper-pigmentation   Through this regimen, I've been able to take care of these issues quite well.

The Products

  1. Ambi Complexion Cleansing Bar- This bar is boss at keeping my skin clear without being too drying.  It does not, I repeat, IT DOES NOT lighten your entire face. People sometimes see the Ambi name and assume such, but I use it to fade scarring.  
  2. Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Detoxifying Scrub-  This scrub has skin brightening properties, which helps my dark spots fade quicker.  It sloughs off dead skin so gently, it can actually be used daily.
  3. mark. See Things Clearly Brightening Moisturizer- This moisturizer has radiance-boosting properties also.  Though very light in texture, it is chock-full of antioxidants such as lotus flower, that help keep the skin clear.
  4. Avon Anew Clinical Eye Lift- The Eye Lift Cream helps to decrease fine lines and puffiness around my eye area.
  5. Olay Professional Pro-X Brush- The Pro-X brush used in conjunction with my cleansing bar, gives me a deep cleansing for a fraction of the price of a Clarisonic.  This brush is very budget-friendly!
  6. mark. For Goodness Face Antioxidant Skin Moisturizing Lotion- This moisturizer doubles as a sunscreen, as it has an SPF of 30.  Its main ingredients are dark chocolate and blueberries, which are both antioxidants. 

The Regimen

Daily: I cleanse with Ambi Complexion Cleansing Bar using the Olay Professional Pro-X brush to cleanse deeply.  I then moisturize with mark. See Things Clearly Moisturizer or mark. For Goodness Face Moisturizing Lotion. I alternate between moisturizers when the seasons change, as For Goodness Face has an higher SPF which is better for summer months.
Nightly: I repeat the same cleansing and moisturizing routine in the above step.  Before moisturizing, however, I use a cotton ball to apply lemon juice to my scarring. I do this 2-3 nights weekly.  I follow up by using Avon Anew Clinical Eye Lift around the eye area to decrease fine lines and puffiness. 
Bi-weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays): along with daily cleansing and moisturizing, I add an additional step to my routine by exfoliating with Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Detoxifying Scrub. 
On Fridays I add an at-home steam facial to the regimen: I simply heat distilled water and rosewater, grab a towel, and bask my face into the steamy goodness (just not too close to the water)!  At times, I replace the rosewater with an essential oil, such as tea tree oil or peppermint oil. 

The Lifestyle

Doing these seven things consistently have definitely kept my skin in check, with little to no breakouts and acne scars fading into the abyss. Check them out:

1. Drinking more water- As someone who has been plagued with acne-prone skin and scarring since adolescence, I learned to eliminate sodas from my diet back in my teens.  Though I've always been keen on drinking water, I haven't always drank as much as I should.  According to a Daily Water Chart (that my friend Drea shared with me via, someone my size should have a daily water intake of at least 1/2 gallon.  So after seeing this, your girl definitely had to step it up!
2. Eating healthier foods that are good for my skin . It's amazing the difference your diet can make in your skin.  I'm telling you, whatever you're feeding yourself internally definitely shows on the outside.  Just adding superfoods like yogurt, salmon, spinach and green tea into my diet have improved my skin's clarity and radiance.  For more great foods for your skin, click here.
3. Changing my pillow case at least twice weekly- Planting your face on not-so clean linen nightly is a no-no.  This is self-explanatory.
4. Cleaning my satin hair scarf twice weekly- Yes, I religiously wear my scarf to bed.  I have to keep my moisturized tresses in place!  But if one doesn't routinely keep her scarves clean, the breakouts are soon to come.  To find out the easy, economical way I keep my scarves clean, click here for Youtuber jmarie's instructional video.
5. Keeping my cellphone clean or away from my face, if possible- We all know that cell phones can carry several germs from all of the handling.  The same goes for our hands.  That's why I keep my hand sanitizer on deck at all times and carry electronic cleansing wipes (like the ones you use to clean your computer and tablet screens) to keep my phone clean.
6. Wearing less makeup- Contrary to popular belief, I do not wear makeup everyday.  As a WAHM, it really does me no good to be all made up with no where to go EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  But when I am out and about during the week, I've been wearing minimal makeup as you saw last week.  Not wearing a full face all the time definitely helps my pores breathe! Now the weekends are another story lol.
7. Pampering myself and eliminating stress- It has been said several times that stress is not good for the skin. Now I'm not sure of the scientific facts linking stress to breakouts, but I do know when I'm stressed, it shows on my face.  In my case, it may have lots to do with the fact that stress causes me to indulge in poor habits, such as eating junk food.   But when I pamper myself, by getting manicures and pedicures, enjoying a night on the town, or simply having quiet time alone in my home space with my music and candles, my overall health reaps the benefits. Skin included.

*One thing my skin care regimen currently lacks is a nightly serum.  I was using Avon Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum, but it's getting to be a bit too greasy for my taste.  So if anyone has any suggestions for an anti-aging serum with retinol, please let me know in the comments!*


Guest Post: Being You While Doing You

You were made to be an individual. You were made to be you. It’s so much harder to try to fill someone else’s shoes than it is to walk in yours. How often have you found yourself trying to fit in and then ask yourself, “Who is that girl?”

These are tried and true methods for staying true to you in a world full of wannabes:

1.   Spit it out (tastefully).
Are you too afraid to speak up?  Have you found yourself stumbling because you are too embarrassed to tell the truth?  That's a clear sign you are not being true to yourself (or to those around you).  Identify at least one situation in which you have not said what you need to say.  Then, schedule a definitive time to address the issue or the person tastefully. Do not waste anyone’s time or energy pretending everything is A-OK when it is just the opposite.

2.  Express your style in your personal appearance.
It may seem vain, but coming from the right “place,” it is not.  Clothing is a language all its own.  What does your current style say about you?  Is that message being communicated to those in which you interact?  As I transition from one stage of life to another, I am redefining my personal style.  Out with the trendy college wear and in with a more office chic look.  Be creative enough to dress in a way that makes you feel good, even when your choices are restricted for professional reasons (i.e., office environment, uniform).

3.  Do the right thing.
There is nothing more authentic than walking out your morals and values for the world to see.  When your actions do not line up with your walk, then it is no surprise that your conscience kicks in waving a red flag.  Practice integrity and truth and you will have a sense of peace about your decisions and actions.

4.  It is okay to still be growing.
Most of the time, when we are uncomfortable in our own skin, it is because we are having growing pains gains. When you go with the flow and stop fighting growth then you will enjoy the process so much more.  

When are you most likely to not be yourself?  Are there consistent things you do that do not reflect your true self?  What holds you back from being your true self?

Be more authentic today.

For more from the lovely Karen, visit her site at

Be sure to also check Karen out:

Pink Manicure of the Week

Yes, ladies!  I have another pink manicure to share with you all this week.  I originally had not planned to share a manicure post this week because this look is very similar to the last manicure I shared.  But when I saw that Mimi and Lynn had a Manicure Monday link-up going on this week, I just had to take part!  These ladies love a good manicure just as much as I do and they have began a weekly link-up to share their love of pretty nails with the blogosphere.  

In my normal mani fashion, I have a pretty pink polish with a touch of glitter on the accent nail.  Since I wanted to partially embrace colors of the season and add a touch of "vamp" to my manicure, I decided to add a rich burgundy to my accent nail under the glitter.  For this manicure I've used e.l.f. Essentials Nail Polish in Bubblegum Pink, Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Rich in Heart, and O.P.I. Nail Polish in Servin' Up Sparkle (from the Serena Williams Collection from waaaay back).  Check out the polishes in the pictures below with and without flash.  It's crazy how much difference flash makes!

How are you rocking your nails this week?
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