Beauty

No, You Cannot Touch My Hair

I cannot tell you how many times—on the CTA in Chicago, while waiting in line at the Walmart pharmacy, and on the street— I’ve had someone ask to touch my hair. Friends, classmates, church members, and complete strangers always seem so comfortable touching my hair, with our without permission. These interactions often leave me feeling violated, angry, and frustrated. You’re probably wondering what’s so special, so absolutely extraordinary about my hair that magically turns the average pair of mitts into magnets. To be perfectly honest, nothing at all. Just your typical head of Black hair.

Non-black people don’t seem to understand why these social dealings evoke such high emotions for Black women, so I’ll explain why. But first I’ll give you the somewhat complicated history between my hair and I. For as long as I can remember I’ve always hated my hair. Now I know this seems a little counterproductive with me being a proud natural woman, but it’s the honest truth. I hated how thick it is, the curliness, and it’s rebellious and unruly nature. I hated the childish ponytails I sported day in and day out, plaited down to the tips and secured with a barrette. I hated how unpleasant life became every time I got it wet. And attempting to detangle it after a shampoo? Yeah, right! I remember sitting in between my mom’s legs every night before bed while she got me ready for the next day thinking to myself, “You know what? This is some bull!’

Different cultures have their own ceremonies that become a defining moment in a youngster’s life.  Young Jewish boys celebrate their transition into manhood with a Bar Mitzvah, while girls in parts of Latin America mark their journey into womanhood with a Quinceañera. Adolescent Black girls get perms and this is a monumental occasion, a right of passage. For us it means that we finally get to look like what’s been considered “normal”; “normal” meaning having straight hair. At age eleven my entire world changed, and my mom finally allowed me to get one of these coveted perms. I had lost all feeling in my scalp but I’d finally made it to the Promised Land.

My decision to go natural was an organic one, and about a year after I did the movie Good Hair came out and it had Black people, primarily women, in a tizzy. In the Black community the term “good hair” always reserved for biracial kids or the ones who claimed to have “Indian in their family” (growing up, the number of times I heard someone claim to be part Cherokee were too many to count). Their hair was considered “almost white” but it had an edge to it, the edge being the frustratingly perfect curl pattern that I could never seem to achieve. And then there was this myth going around that relaxing your hair made you a sell-out, that it’s a Black woman’s subconscious attempt to adapt her appearance to look like a White girl. That’s unfair. Yes, the standard of beauty has mainly (and some might say solely) highlighted European features for some time, but wanting super straight hair does not mean you inherently want to look or be White, that’s crazy. And that’s not to say looking or being White is somehow evil, but for so long the ideal beauty has always had blonde hair and blue eyes. So my decision to say no to the creamy crack and abandon everything I’ve ever know to be true about my hair was a pretty big deal. And I’ll have to say it was one of the best decisions I ever made, because with that giant leap of faith came an outpouring of self-acceptance.

From that day on my hair struggles became a cakewalk. I was flyer than ever, my life became full of glamorous selfies, and the lack of lye led me to discover unicorn piss actually cures cramps. Okay, not really. Trying to figure out the best products and regime was pretty difficult. I had to do a lot of research in order to figure out what works for me, all naturals are not the same. It took me a while to get my hair to cooperate and do what I wanted it to, so for someone to come up to me and stick their hands in my hair really pissed me off. The things I have to do to finesse my fro—washing it, detangling it, styling it—all take a lot of time; so yeah, the hands of a stranger aren’t welcomed. My journey as a natural has been a beautiful experience, but every time I encounter someone that’s a little too touchy feely I feel like a Pomeranian puppy. Once I was at work and I was discussing hair with a coworker who is also natural, we were exchanging thoughts on different products we use, and another coworker (a Caucasian woman) jumped in. “Do y’all spend a lot of money on your hair?” We both looked at each other like “Girl! Did she just…?” Now I love this girl I really do, she’s very sweet, and I know she didn’t mean anything by it but I just couldn’t believe she said that out loud. I was about to go all the way in on her, but I realized non-Black individuals really don’t know much about Black hair. I said, “Do you spend a lot of money on your hair?” and that question was met with silence. Instead of that snarky remark I should’ve taken that opportunity to explain to her just how different our hair is from everyone else’s.

We, Black women, are very sensitive when it comes to our hair; we always seem to find ourselves defending it, even amongst Black men. If you wear your natural texture it’s nappy, if you get a relaxer you’re a sellout, and if you wear wigs or weaves you “want to look/be White”, there’s absolutely no middle ground at all. In many companies, wearing a fro is a dress code violation; I remember my best friend recalling an incident at a former job involving this. She worked at a rather large car washing company, and one day she was secret shopped by the higher ups at corporate. She did pretty well, they said she was very polite and knowledgeable when it came to company policy, but when it came to her appearance they said she looked “unkempt”; she was wearing her fro out that day. I think “unkempt” was a politically correct way to say her hair looked nappy.

Once, in light of my mother’s burning desire to have grand kids, I folded under the pressure and decided to give online dating a try. This really handsome White gentleman sent me a message expressing his interest, and soon we exchanged numbers. Upon texting him I was flooded with a bunch of stereotypical Black girl question. Among “Can you twerk?” and “Is your booty big?” he asked “Is that your real hair?” As if he hadn’t offended me enough. So because my hair is long and curly it automatically has to be weave? This is an everyday struggle for naturals. I can’t tell you exactly what I said to him, but just know it was littered with some very colorful language. Why the anger, you ask? I’ll tell you why, take a trip with me back to the 1800s. I’d like you to meet Saartije “Sarah” Baartman

Sarah was a South African woman who, after being sold into slavery by the Dutch, was trotted around Europe for exhibition. She was fooled into believing that she would find riches and fame, but instead was put on display in both England and France because her large buttocks, big hips, lips and elongated labia were curiosities that Europeans had never seen before. In 1810 she became a freak show attraction, given the name Hottentot Venus. Surely she couldn’t be human because she didn’t look like a White woman, so therefore she was considered inferior and made to dance for the entertainment of White people. She was poked and prodded, absolutely humiliated. After the circus no longer wanted her she became a prostitute and later died from disease in 1815, she’d only been in Europe for five years and was 25 when she died. Even after her death she wasn’t allowed dignity; when she died they cut out her vagina, her brain, and her skeleton, preserved them in jars, and placed them all on display along with a plaster of her actual body. For one hundred and sixty years people could walk into a museum, look at Sarah Baartman’s vagina, brain and skeleton and see what she looked like naked. In 1974 they took down the display, but still kept her remains. It wasn’t until 2002 that they were finally sent back to her home in South Africa and she was given the proper burial.

History records that Sarah was a highly intelligent woman with an excellent memory, she had a particular knack for remembering faces. In addition to her native tongue she spoke fluent Dutch, passable English, and a little French. Aside from her large breasts and buttocks she was described as having graceful shoulders, slender arms, and charming hands and feet. She was also very skilled at playing the Jew’s harp, could dance according to her country’s traditions, and had a lively personality. If reading about Sarah made you uncomfortable it should, and I’m glad it did because that means we’re getting somewhere. Every time you reach out to touch a Black woman’s hair or make an offensive remark about it, whether knowingly or unbeknownst to you, you awaken the hurt and pain that comes with Sarah’s story; we become Sarah Baartman and we have no say so in the matter. Please don’t mistake my desire to want you to know how we feel as an opportunity to point the finger at White or other non-Black people as if to say, “Look at what you did to us!” I just want this to resonate with you.

Curiosity about Black hair isn’t a bad thing, and I’m sure many well-meaning people don’t mean to offend me in these situations. But there is a fine line between interest and treating Black women like urban zoo animals. If you have questions about natural hair or the Black experience that’s great, ask away! You can approach a close Black friend or coworker but tread lightly, remember we’re sensitive creatures. If you don’t have any Black friends you should seriously think about diversifying your circle. But if you feel compelled to reach out and touch, just remember it’s best you keep your hands to yourself.

A DIY Nail Tutorial For Even The Most Uncoordinated Diva

I’m the type of woman who sees tons of DIY tutorials and wishes she could accomplish such greatness. I always come across the cutest nail tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest and curse the universe because I’d be hard pressed to achieve dashing designs for my digits with such grace. Have you ever heard of two left feet? Well, I have two left hands (and I’m right-handed). But the tides have somehow turned in my favor, I recently came across the most amazingly simple nail art tutorial, and it’s super cute too! So if you’re looking for a cute new design keep reading, this one’s a total cinch via the good people at Lulu’s. Enjoy!


This chic design is deceptively easy.

blog signature

11 Great Style Tips For The Broke & Bougie

These style “bloggers” have some serious explaining to do. I’m all for great threads, and they look awesome, but you don’t have to break the bank to look chic. I see all these great pictures and witty quotes, but not too many posts about how get great clothes on a Ramen noodle budget. Again, I’m not trying to take anything away from these ladies and their tremendous success, but how is this helping the readers? As a blogger, I have to keep in mind that everyone who reads my material isn’t always sitting court-side at the Knicks game or vacationing in the Hamptons every other weekend. Most people can’t be at Fashion Week, and my job is to bring it to you guys *end of rant*. If you have champagne ideas but you’re on a kool-aid budget, I got you, just keep reading.


1. Eighty-six the cheap plastic buttons on your coat or blazer to make your look more chic.


2. A good embellishment can be pricey, so go for a simple bag without too much hoopla (i.e. glitter, sequins, and logos).

H&M Handbag $40


3. Kick your faux leather pumps to the curb and go for ones in faux suede, they look way more posh. 


4. Wrinkled clothes are a no-no — invest in a steamer.


5. Buy a slip! Inexpensive clothing usually isn’t lined properly, and a slip will prevent any and all wardrobe malfunctions (you never want to be that girl). It’ll also help your garments achieve a better fit and give them a more elegant flow.


6. When deciding on what pieces to buy, keep the fabric in mind. Tweed, cotton, and linen often look high-priced, even if they aren’t. Think quality.


7. Pilling knit pieces will have you looking hobo-chic (and that is not a compliment, despite what the hipster at your local Urban Outfitters tells you). A fabric shaver will take any outfit from drab to fab, and all for a measly $8 at Walmart. Go get one.


8. Find a tailor and devote your entire wardrobe to their magical genius. Sure, you’ll be ponying up more money on the front-end, but pieces that are customized to fit your body will always look more expensive.


9. Whatever it is, get it in black. It has a lovely way of concealing the telltale signs of being an inexpensive piece. Plus, everything in black always looks way more chic.

Naomi Harris in Alexander McQueen. Could she be anymore chic? *drooling*


10. Cheaper coats and dresses often come with their own belt or sashes–swap them out for better looking ones. This will hide their humble beginnings.


11. Pamper your footwear. You should take your heels to a cobbler for a good cleaning and to get the heel caps replaced, even if they’re inexpensive. Nothing looks worse than shoes that say, “All my life I had to fight…”


Stay beautiful my loves ❤

How To Get The Best Skin In Your 20s

Your 20s are a great time to start taking good care of your skin, and doing so will prevent signs of premature aging. You want to be the 35 year old woman at Starbucks that gets mistaken for 26? Now is the best time to start working towards that! Here’s a dermatologist-prescribed skin routine that will help you achieve that. And when that time comes, you’ll look back and be beyond happy you got with the program.


Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

Do you wash your face at night? No? Well start…like tonight. That wonderful mix of makeup, skin oils and dirt that you’re left with at the end of the day will not only just lead to blemishes. No, no. Cosmetics can also trap skin-damaging free radicals (really, really bad little suckers created by sunlight, cigarette smoke and pollution that latch onto cells like leeches and cause all types of mayhem that leave you with rough, saggy, wrinkly skin). These little hell raisers float around in the air against your skin and, eventually, lead to premature lines, wrinkles, and crepiness (not to be confused with creepiness, but is just as bad). I like Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash because it removes makeup and grime effortlessly without drying out your skin, and the spearmint scent is heavenly.

After a long day at the old ball-and-chain somehow you manage to fight traffic, crawl up the stairs, and pour yourself into bed. You’re too tired to wash your face and I feel you, no judgement here my friend. Face wipes are the laziest way to clean up when you’re too pooped to go the entire hundred. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are my go-to half-assed cleanup crew when I just cannot get with the idea of standing erect long enough to wash my face after a ten hour workday. Oh, and while you’re at it, give that phone screen of yours a good wipe too. All the dirt and bacteria on it can break you out. Yucky!

Foreo Luna

I know this may look like a self-love apparatus, and while it does vibrate, it’s for above the neck usage. Exfoliating cleansing brushes, like the Foreo Luna, get rid of the layer of dead skin cells that make your complexion look dull and boring. An unlike most cleansing brushes, this one is made of silicone, and that means it won’t grow bacteria so you won’t have to be all Monk about cleaning it. Use it once a day and watch how quickly your skin starts to glow. You don’t have to break the bank with this one, just find a great brush that will help the exfoliation process a smooth and enjoyable one.

Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream SPF 20

Wear an eye cream with SPF every day. Every. Single. Day. The skin around your eyes is so thin and sensitive, even a few minutes of sun exposure can amount to wrinkles over time. And I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but there aren’t many good eye creams with SPF. Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream SPF 20 definitely creams those other creams. It’s weightless enough to blend well with your makeup and it doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes. Your eyes are young, we want to keep them this way.

Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller

Puffy eyes look terrible on everyone and they scream, ” Hey everyone, look at me! I have terrible sleeping habits!” Luckily there are two great ways to get rid of the extra under eye baggage, the first being the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller. It shrinks those ghastly bags with caffeine and a cold metal tip, if you keep it in the fridge it’ll work even better. Another way to zap a less than fab under eye area is with this makeshift mask: take a cotton ball soaked in whole milk, half-and-half, or artificial creamer and lightly dab it in, DO NOT rub it (its sensitive under there). All three contain fat and proteins that will take care of those puffy eyes in about ten minutes.

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel

When your skin has ventured past the help of a tinted moisturizer, a facial peel with glycolic acid will revive it. Glycolic acid is a great exfoliator because it penetrates deep, that’s why its one of the best out. Try Avon’s Anew Clinical Advanced Texturizing Peel pads, they’ve won four Allure Best of Beauty Awards because they really get the job done. Tip: Apply a moisturizer right after using the peel, hydrating ingredients can penetrate the skin much more easily on freshly exfoliated skin.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to have a good moisturizer in your skincare regimen. The best ones use ingredients like glycerine and hyaluronic acid that actually suck water from the air and deposit it into your skin. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is definitely a winner, it’s lightweight formula smells like cucumber (yum!) and gives you dewy skin on the spot.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V

Practically every facialist and beauty editor known to man is obsessed with Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V, and I totally understand why. This breakout obliterating wonderfulness contains niacinimide (which controls redness), lactic acid (which cleans out pores), and sulfur (which laps up oil and makes your skin produce less of it). The only problem is that its kinda hard to get your hands on, there are only seven worldwide retailers that sell this little miracle in a bottle. Thank God one of those places is in New York, you can contact them and place your order over the phone or in person. Rescue Spa in Philadelphia carries it and so does Vicki Morav, which is also in New York. It’ll run you about $57-$59 which isn’t so bad. Now ladies this is an acid toner, so it will burn. A fellow blogger, Kerry over at Skin & Tonics, did an awesome review on this product and found that the original 1970 formula caused a good amount of burning and redness (sooo you should probably opt for the new formula. But hey, it’s your life).

Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50

If you only do one thing on this list (and I hope you do them all because they’re all muy importante) make sure its this: WEAR SUNSCREEN! This is the single best thing you can do for your skin ladies, you should be wearing an SPF 30 or higher everyday. An Australian study found that people who wear sunscreen everyday didn’t appear to age at all, and by at all I’m sure they meant much gracefully. Grabbing a bite to eat and being outside for even five minutes a day without sunscreen can break down collagen in the skin, and in a few years that could cause wrinkles. And while we’re on the subject lets debunk yet another silly myth that’s out there: My beautiful cocoa butter beauties need sunblock too! Yes, the melanin in our skin give us a sun protection factor (SPF) of 13 as compared to 3-4 for our caucasian brothers and sisters,but that does not completely protect us from ultraviolet sun rays. We aren’t immune from skin cancer either, so lather up. The sunscreen needs to be light, silk and sheer enough so that you’ll actually wear it. I like Coppertone Clearly Sheer Faces For Sunny Days because it doesn’t disrupt your makeup and the price tag won’t make you gag.

Okay ladies I’ve supplied you with the goods, now its time to take action. What’s your skincare regimen? Have any favorite products that cannot bear to live without? Tell me in the comments below! Stay beautiful my loves ❤ 🙂

How To Grow Long, Beautiful Black Hair That Makes Everyone Jealous

One of the biggest myths out is that African American hair doesn’t have the ability to grow as much  as other ethnicities. WOMP! So untrue. Any hair can grow easily with the proper care. As a natural girl, I’ve experienced so much growth just by cutting out harsh chemicals in my hair care regimen alone. The natural, coily texture of black hair is fragile and not many people know what it takes for our hair to thrive (shoutout to all the natural vloggers on YouTube, y’all the real MVPs). So if you’re interested in learning how to grow long, luscious locks keep reading for some great tips.


PROTECTIVE STYLES

I love wearing my fro out, especially now that my growth is way more noticeable, but doing so can keep you from getting closer to your desired length. As wonderful as a great curly fro is, it leaves your ends exposed and that can lead to trouble. While your curls are blowing in the wind as you channel your inner Diana Ross, they are tangling and dragging again car seats, coats, shirts, and sweaters. Or, if you’re like me, you constantly are running your fingers in your hair and that leads to breakage. The ends are the oldest and driest parts of your hair, which is why its so important to keep them safe. Protective styles do just that. Havana twists, box plats, wigs, and weaves (done properly by licensed professionals and not in a $50 weave shop *shade*) are all great ways to protect your hair. Wearing a silk or satin scarf or sleeping on a pillow case in either at night is equally as important.

AVOID DIRECT HEAT

Black hair tends to be drier than others, so overuse of blow dryers and straighteners definitely don’t do any good. Air drying is always the best option for your hair, but if you’re in the shop opt for the hood or bonnet drier instead. When you’re at home and you absolutely must use a blow dryer or flat iron be sure to coat your hair with some type of oil first (I love olive oil), and use a heat protectant for good measure.

CONDITION, CONDITION, CONDITION!

I used to be so afraid to shampoo my hair because I knew shampoos strip the hair of moisture, and I wasn’t trying to have all that drama (my hair was dry enough!). But there’s this great little thing called conditioner that settles all of that. Shampoos cleanse your scalp, while conditioners replenish the moisture that gets lost in the process. And, actually, if your scalp isn’t too dirty you can always co-wash your hair. What’s that? Co-washing is when you cleanse your hair using only a conditioner or cleansing conditioner. I like to do this in between washes because when my hair is properly conditioned it retains a lot more moisture, which is what you want. But be careful not to over condition. Also, make sure you’re utilizing a leave-in conditioner and a deep conditioner at least once a month.

NO MORE ALCOHOL

Products that contain alcohol strip the hair of excess oils, which is counterproductive. You can look at the ingredients of any given product and not physically see the word “alcohol”, but don’t be fooled. There are other products that can cause just as much damage. Steer clear of the following:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Propylene glycol
  • Mineral oil or petroleum
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Chlorine
  • Diethanolamine
  • Momoethnanolamine
  • Triethanolamin
  • Imidazolidinyl
  • Urea DMDM hydantoin

COMB CAUTIOUSLY

Thick hair can be tough to work with, you have to be patient with it. While combing your tresses always remember to be gentle. When you’re detangling treat your hair as you would a young child’s, carefully and gently. Divide your hair into sections, start at the ends, and work your way up to the root. Never, ever, ever comb from the roots, that causes major breakage. And don’t try to detangle dry hair, that also causes breakage.

RELAXED GROWTH

While the chemicals in relaxers can be damaging to hair, you still can achieve long hair with the proper regimen. Before using a relaxer always use a scalp protector, this shields your scalp and hair shaft from possible damage from the affect of the chemicals. Only put the relaxer on your roots, this keeps the rest of your hair from being over-processed. Don’t just sit in silence while your scalp burns, that’s insane. You’re edges will be way smoother than you’d hoped for once you’re bald. After you rinse, use a neutralizing shampoo to remove the relaxer. Before I was natural, I’d let the neutralizing shampoo sit in my hair for about five to six minutes just for safe measure.

Like I said before: it’s totally possible to grow your hair out with a relaxer, but it will be a little more challenging. It is so important for you to know your hair and not just trust what your beautician says; at the beginning, middle, and end of the day you’re the one that has to deal with it not them. Know when you need a relaxer, and when you can go without one. Try to stretch it out as long as possible. Some say you should only get them every 8-10 weeks, while others say every three months if you can wait that long.

MOISTURIZE!

Black hair needs moisture! Our natural, curly texture makes it difficult for oils to travel from the scalp throughout the hair shaft, so oiling your scalp is not enough. Pay super close attention to your ends and seal them with natural oils. When I wear my fro out, I make a point of making sure my hair is moisturized before I walk out the door. Before I retained the length I have now, I was hesitant to add water to my hair. The shrinkage is real in these streets! I’d just gone natural and hadn’t quite gotten used to my new shorter length (I felt like a bald eagle). Now all of that is behind me, I actually welcome my shrinkage. I’ll wake up, shower, unbraid or knot my hair, spray it with a little water, and add my oil and conditioner. Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry, I’ll un-do it right after I get out of bed, shake it out, hop in the shower, and add my oil and conditioner. The water from the shower lightly dampens my hair all over which I love, because when I’m using a spray bottle I may miss some spots. Adding the oil afterwards helps seal in the moisture really well; adding the water after the oil will only cause it to bead off the hair because oil and water don’t mix (#science). I love doing this in the summer; while my hair is air-drying the air feels so great on my scalp.

TRIM CAREFULLY

There’s a myth floating around that says you must trim your hair once a month, and to that I say WOOOMP! The key to growing long hair is to only trim it when you need to, and that will vary depending on how your hair grows. If you have hair that’s prone to splitting, that may mean every three months. If split ends are a non-factor for you, try to hold out to once or twice a year. And even if you do have to trim your ends often remember, you hair grows from your roots. It is way better to have healthy hair that’s a little shorter than you want at the moment, than having long hair that is completely dead at the ends. Not cute.

MANAGE YOUR STRESS

This one is a biggie for me because I live that stressful girl life. Work, school, family, and my relationship (with my awesome, amazingly stellar, sweet, supportive and devilishly handsome boyfriend) are all sources of stress. I often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day; I’ll have to complete reports for work, do homework, find time to blog, wake up in time to make it to church, and try to spend quality time with my honey when we’re not both busy working or half past dead from doing so. My whole life is stress and that can be really bad for my hair growth; stress can cause significant hair loss, and I’ve been there. If you want hair like Rapunzel, you’ll have to find ways to alleviate your stress in a healthy way. Exercising, sitting a quiet place, reading a book, and listening to soothing music (with wine) are all great ways to stamp out the stress in your life.

Following all these tips are great, but they are no good if you’re not eating a healthy diet. You can’t expect to put junk in your body and get Erykah Badu hair. Your hair is mostly protein and needs it to grow, so make sure you include enough of it in your diet. Water is extremely important too and so is iron, vitamin E, and trace minerals like selenium and copper. These all keep your hair in good shape, and they’re great for your body too. I have an iron deficiency and at one point I experienced slight hair loss. You best source of iron in your diet is meat; clams, oyster, and lean meats are great sources of iron. For vegetarians: fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils, and spinach are all great sources of iron. The problem with non-animal sourced iron is that the body absorbs iron less efficiently from plants. Its possible to eat a iron rich vegetarian diet and still not get enough of it. Talk to your doctor about your diet and ask for an iron test so they can check on whether you should consider taking an iron supplement. I hope these tips helped you guys, if you have any hair growing tips be sure to leave them in the comments below! Stay beautiful ❤ 🙂

Primer: The Great Houdini

I never realized how wonderful a thing primer was until I really got interested in makeup. I always used to think it was a little much until one day, it was a Tuesday, my world changed forever. I was so amazed at how smooth and easy it was to apply my foundation, it was like butter. And my pores? What pores?! The best thing, though, was that my makeup looked fresh all day. Before my great awakening, I’d have to stop and reapply my foundation throughout the day (which was such a drag). Primers are great bases for foundation, but there are many more great tricks this little miracle can tackle as well.

pink, green, and lilac primers

Dull skin is never fun, but there is definitely a simple solution for this problem. Lack luster skin is no match for light pink primers, they can add an amazing glow. I recommend the Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer. It’s silky, weightless and dries to a powdery finish. Lilac shades (like the one found in Revlon’s PhotoReady Color Correcting Primer) brighten sallow skin, and green formulas (like Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Primer in Green) neutralize redness.

dollop of primer

Too much of a good thing can be not-so-good, this is definitely true for primer. A little bit goes a long way, trust me. When you load up on primer, it pills under your foundation. A small drop, about the size of a raisin, is plenty. Gently apply it on the skin, and you’re good to go.

eyelid primer

The skin underneath your eyes is extremely sensitive, so when applying product in that area be cautious. Instead of rubbing, gently pat it into place and buff it out in a circular motion. Around the eyes and on the lids, primer is the ultimate three-point play (sorry, I’ve been watching the NBA playoffs with my boyfriend lol): it prevents makeup from smudging or creasing by absorbing oils, it diminishes crow’s feet, and it thwarts redness. Try Smashbox’s Photo Finish Lid Primer, it provides the perfect base for flawless eye shadow application.

lancome cils booster xl mascara primer

Want thicker, longer lashes? Layer on an eyelash primer under your regular mascara. Who knew such a thing existed? These formulas amplify sparse lashes and contain vitamin E or glycerin and condition lashes beautifully. Lancôme’s Cils Booster XL is the perfect candidate for such an effect. It’s thick, bushy brush is perfect for creating great fan-like lashes and the white formula goes on mostly clear. Just be sure to limit your mascara to two coats, any more will leave a big clumpy mess.

smashbox blemish primer

If your primer already contains anti-acne ingredients, its best that you skip spot treatments. Layering on too many acne-fighting products simultaneously can irritate the skin and cause inflammation. Try Smashbox’s Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control, the oil-free formula hydrates the skin but won’t clog pores—and the two percent salicylic acid content wards off blemishes.

Don’t you hate it when you see women with feathering lipstick, or when it starts to settle into lines of the lips? You see them everywhere: Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, DSW. The poor dears. Don’t be another victim! Use a lip primer, it locks down color and combats feathering, fading and transfer even after the world’s biggest cup of joe. I love the Lip Insurance Lip Primer by Too Faced, it’s hydrating formula is perfect for matte fanatics like myself.

makeup powder

Setting your makeup is a cakewalk, just remember this order: primer, liquid foundation (or tinted primer), translucent powder. I never thought a simple step could make such a huge difference, but it does. The water in your makeup and silicones in most primers repel each other, so if you touch your face both will come right off. A translucent powder stops this fiasco from happening. There are tons of these out, almost every line out has one, but my personal fave is the Smoothing Translucent Setting Powder from the Sephora Collection. It glides on effortlessly and I love the matte finish it gives my foundation.

If this hasn’t convinced you that a primer is a must-have in your beauty routine, I’m not sure what will. The benefits are numerous, so run to your nearest Sephora and scoop one up (I promise you’ll love it). There are even tinted primers you can wear alone like Sunday Riley’s Effortless Tinted Primer, doing so adds a nice wash of color (which is perfect if you’re going for an au naturel look). Seriously, go get one!

Stay beautiful loves

xoxo ❤

Nail’d It: Spring 2015 Trends

So you’re already hip to this season’s latest trends for your threads, but what about those darling digits of yours? WIth all the bright, beautiful colors and designs how’s a girl to choose? That my dear is entirely up to you, but I’ve taken the liberty to roundup a few trends that have graced the runways. Hopefully these ideas will be winners for you, or they may kick start a few of your own. Here are five manis that caught my eye and have made my “Try-THIS!” list as far as Spring nail art goes:

1.  Delpozo Spring 2015

These bold coral negative-space half-moon manicures were created using Essie Tart Deco ($9) At Delpozo.


2.  Erin Fetherston

This super cute design was created my manicurist Gina Edwards for Kiss and Broadway Nails. The gold strip on the crisp, white color is a nice minimalist contrast to the very ladylike collection at Erin Fetherston.


3.  Betsey Johnson

The embellished 3D manis at Betsey Johnson put a nice little snazzy spin on bridal nails. The look was created using Morgan Taylor Nail Lacquer.


4.  Baja East Spring 2015

Models at Baja East wore nails painted a cool marble gray with a bold white line.


5.  Angel Sanchez Spring 2015

The geometric blue and gray manicure at Angel Sanchez was created by Gina Edwards (yes, again) for Morgan Taylor amd was meant to juxtapose the feminine pieces in the collection. Smart, right?

Stay beautiful my lovlies ❤