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.

Styling My TWA with Suave Pro Naturals from Family Dollar

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

How do you maintain your "look" when you are constantly on-the-go? This is a question I hear a lot among women these days. Everyone is always so busy. I can admit that I will get caught up in the everyday hustle and struggle of keeping up with family things and life things so much that I find myself crunching time. And while it may seem easy enough to sacrifice personal care for extra time crushing my to-do list, I try not to.

I do believe that looking your personal best does not have to take a lot of time or money. And lately since doing the big chop, I've learned that less is actually more when it comes to maintaining my hair. When searching for the perfect products to style and care for my Type 4 natural hair, I want to use affordable products without sacrificing quality. Since purchasing Suave Professionals for Natural Hair with Natural Shea Butter & Pure Coconut Oil products from Family Dollar, I am able to keep my curls looking great in no time and at an affordable price!

suave pro naturals

What I love about the Suave Professionals for Natural Hair​ line is that each product was formulated specifically for natural hair. These unique formulations were influenced by a community of over 5,000 women with natural hair to deliver the rich moisture and gentle care most needed by women with curly, coily and wavy hair. Keep reading to check out how I style my TWA with Suave Professionals for Natural Hair to achieve soft, moisturized curls.

REVIEW: There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Just when I thought it was impossible to gush over one of Sandhya Menon's characters more than I have Ashish Patel from When Dimple Met Rishi, along came Sweetie Nair in There's Something About Sweetie. I mean, there's just something about her that made me fall in love. Obviously!

contemporary young adult fiction
There's Something About Sweetie tells the story of a soon-to-be seventeen year old Indian-American girl and her self-love journey. This journey affects everything around her, from her choices, relationships with others (especially her mother), and her ability to share her voice with others, both figuratively and literally.

How I Created a Morning Routine I Could Stick To

How do you start your day? We all want to put our best foot forward when it comes to having the most productive day possible. Some can't do it without a steaming, rich cup (or two) of coffee. Others can't do it without an early morning walk.

As much as I've tried to tweak my early morning routine, nothing motivated me to wake up early to do all the things. And no matter how much I've tried, mornings just weren't my jam when it came to being my most productive self.  My brain was in a scramble most days and I was often moving on autopilot. I knew I had to prepare at night for the next day, but even the preparation became a daunting task. I wanted to make my routine fun and not the monotonous adulting 101 to-do list that I dreaded. I needed to get excited about my mornings so that I could bring my best self out for them each day.

Recognizing this need made me consider the things that brought me joy and made me excited about starting the day. There wasn't some magic formula created by someone else that would trick me into suddenly becoming a morning person. But I could put routines in place that encourage and inspire me in my first waking moments each day. Check out how just a few small things make a world of difference in my mornings below.

Date Night Makeup | Springtime Smoky Eyes Fit For Royalty

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

Every now and again, every woman should be made feel like royalty. Whether it's through preferential treatment from her loved ones, a special gift for herself, or even an evening spent feeling like her most beautiful best. And for this reason, every woman should have at least one beauty look or two in her arsenal for when she's showing up to the world as the royal goddess she is. For occasions like this, especially date night with my husband, I like to have a nice, simple smoky eye trick up my sleeve. The classic smoky eye is subtle, not too harsh, but still has the intensity to make folks stop and take notice.


For my most recent date night, I wanted to look like royalty, but I wanted to do it with minimal effort and budget, of course. The NEW COVERGIRL Premium Eyeshadow Palettes at Walmart offer just what I was looking for when it came to creating a fresh, new look for said date night out. We are well overdue for some alone time these days and I wanted to make sure I gave him a look unusual from the barefaced and barely pulled together TWA I've been sporting for the last several weeks. My goal was to create a simple smoky eye with that star factor, so I chose the NEW COVERGIRL Premium Eyeshadow Palette in Overthrown palette to bring my look to life.

5 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Creative Rut

Have you ever experienced a creative rut? You know, that dark time when it seems like nothing you attempt to create materializes to much? Writer's block shows up like an uninvited guest and takes the spare room, kitchen, dining room, and before you know it, the whole house? While that may seem like an extreme metaphor, I believe you get my point. I think at some point or another, all of us creatives have fallen prey to the dreaded creative rut.


Many factors may cause the uninspired feeling we experience during a creative rut. Sometimes it can be onset by lifestyle changes. Other times it can be triggered by traumatic events occurring in our personal lives. And since I've recently been working diligently to pull myself out of one, I decided I would share with you guys a few ways I've done (and still doing) so.

3 Reasons to Add Daily Devotionals to Your Morning Routine

Do you ever wake up in the morning and crave something, not quite sure of what it is? You know, some type of anchor you can hang on to that will carry you and sustain you throughout the day?

Many of us know that how we actively start our days have lasting effects on how our day will play out. That's why I like to make sure I do everything I possibly can to start my day out with encouragement and positive reinforcement.

Because it's easy to slip into a funk if you let yourself. 

Yesterday's disappointments can creep up on you and stir in your mind longer than you want them to. Everything you didn't get a chance to finish up last week can fill you with more worry than you can handle in your early waking moments. And sometimes unexpected stresses and worries will have permeated your mind space before you can even get up and reach for that coffee. You're all in a funk before you even hit the shower and you are wondering how you even got there.

favorite daily devotionals

So to combat any negative thoughts that may come my way, I try to armor myself with the Word as soon as I get up and think about it. Starting your morning off in prayer is a good way to armor yourself with the presence of the Lord. Filling yourself with His promises by the way of the Word is a way to protect and affirm yourself, should any doubt or negativity present itself to you throughout the day.

An easy way to get scripture in your system as soon as you start your day is to use a daily devotional. Daily devotionals give you the Scripture in doses, easy for consumption. and even easier to relate to and apply to your everyday life. Here, I share three reasons to add a daily devotional to your  morning routine.

WINTER GRAY NAILS | Trust Fund Beauty Polish in Zero Carbs

Since the new year is upon us, many have been thinking of ways we can make changes in our appearances. Some of us have changed our hair. Others are thinking of adding more color to our wardrobe. And if you're like me and looking to make changes on a smaller scale first, you're up to changing your lipstick and nail polish shade. Switching up from your usual nude/taupe polish doesn't sound like too big of a risk, right?


I was looking to try a new color altogether. And luckily for me, I received a nail polish from Trust Fund Beauty in my Ipsy bag unlike any shade I owned. At first I wasn't too excited about it. With a name like Zero Carbs (to a woman that LOVES her carbs) and a shade that didn't wow me when I looked at the bottle, I wasn't sure what to expect. But thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.

2019 Beauty Resolutions

When you are setting goals and making resolutions for the new year, do you add beauty to the equation? As a beauty blogger, I tend to reflect on my beauty habits often to determine what works for me from one season to the next. Sometimes I realize I need to put more effort into routine hair care. Other times I've challenged myself to wear lipstick more often during the week for a quick confidence boost.

Setting these beauty goals are small, yet fun ways I remind myself to maintain optimal personal care. And we all know that taking better personal care of ourselves can make us feel a lot better about our well-being. When I've taken the time to keep my nails trimmed (or painted), hair done (or at least clean and combed), and my skin on point (especially during that hormonal time of the month), it does wonders for my confidence. And who doesn’t deserve to feel good about themselves?

Last year, I made small yet attainable beauty resolutions you can read all about here. And since I did a great job being consistent with those, I decided to adapt and create similar goals for 2019. I've seen improvement in my personal care since late 2017, and I truly believe keeping myself accountable with beauty resolutions helped.

Wild Women Do | An Ode to Natalie Cole

Have you ever longed to be a wild woman? In so many ways I long to be a wild woman--- a woman who throws caution to the wind and laughs in the face of things others fear. I want to take risks with no fear, guilt, or regret. I'd like to entertain the notion of doing something totally spontaneous before my logical self cautiously convinces me otherwise.

So that, ladies and gentlemen is what I'll BE. I'm going to do whatever feels good in my heart, what resonates with my spirit, and what I know I need to do to thrive. I can't sit here with an idle walk and tied tongue any longer. I have places to go and things to do. I'm gonna do me and I won't regret it.
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