beauty

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.

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Kylie Jenner + Lips = Yawn

Get-Kylie-Jenners-Lips ll

I don’t know about you, but I am so sick of hearing about Kylie Jenner’s lips. Are they real? Are they fake? “HA! I KNEW THEY WERE FAKE!” Why the heck do we care? The allure around Kylie and her family is absolutely insane. I keep asking myself and everyone around me why are they here, but that’s a can of worms I don’t have the energy to open right now. Plastic surgery isn’t a terrible thing nor is it the issue surrounding Kylizzle. The problem I have with it is her age. No seventeen year old should be going under the knife, ever. I think it’s unhealthy for her self-esteem and incredibly irresponsible for her parents to allow her to get any surgery of that type.

I remember when I was seventeen. I was chubby, incredibly shy and I wasn’t the best at choosing clothes. But now looking back, as an adult, that stage of my life really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Yeah I felt like Shamu, but I had great friends, I got good grades, and I was always surrounded by people who loved me. I was extremely awkward, but what teenager isn’t? Our teenage years were a strange time for all of us; we weren’t children anymore, but not quite adults either. But if there’s been any time in my life I’m grateful for, it would be those years. Hands down.

My teenage years were a time when I got to know myself. I found out what I liked, disliked, who and what I wanted to be, what I stood for and valued. I thank God I had legs like an ostrich, a short trunk, and got overlooked by the varsity football players. Why? Because while they were chasing after tail, I was reading and comprehending at a college level. While my classmates were obsessing over what to wear to homecoming, I was practicing my violin solos. And when all the popular kids were going to parties, I was doing a superb job of not becoming a teen mother (we had quite a few of those at my school).

Seventeen year old Shaniece hated her flabby stomach, stretch marks, and little boobs. Twenty-six year old Shaniece loves her curves, wears her stretch marks with pride (like tiger stripes), and is fully enjoying her small boobs because she knows when she has kids she’ll wish they were small again. None of those insecurities matter in adulthood. That’s what I wish I could tell Kylie. They’re just lips! You’re still wildly attractive! I’m not condoning what she did but there is something people are failing to recognize: Kylie’s been growing up in the public eye for a while now. What may seem like a dumb teenage insecurity issue to us is magnified exponentially in her case. She constantly sees the embodiment of how society says she’s “supposed” to look like in her older sisters. Everyone expects her to follow in their footsteps, to be as cool or chic as them. That’s an incredible amount of pressure for a seventeen year old to have to deal with. Now throw in the fact that her mother is whoring out the family’s privacy for a quick buck, her dad’s now public struggle with being transgendered, and a completely clueless twenty-five year old father of one who’s praying on her innocence. With all that going on in the environment around her, for Kylie Jenner, using lip fillers is as serious an offense as getting a speeding ticket.

I don’t fault her for wanting full lips, or going under the knife at all. Hell, if I could afford liposuction I’d suck the fat out of everywhere. Kylie’s a kid, the real problem here is irresponsible parenting. Let’s just call a spade a spade, people. If my baby girl came to me and told me how much she hates her huge thighs, I’d tell her that every brick house and fine mama jama needs a strong base to keep her grounded. From a young age, I’d teach her that every freckle, imperfection and flaw makes her special and is absolutely necessary. I would not feed into her insecurities and suggest she alter her appearance, which is the route Kris Jenner took.

We need to do a better job at teaching our young girls to love themselves, flaws and all. Everyone loves to claim that they woke up like this

bey

(pun intended), but that just isn’t reality. We have this unhealthy obsession with perfectionism and pop culture feeds it. It sounds so cliche, but nobody’s perfect. No matter how hard your makeup bangs, how great you hair is on any particular day, or the superb level of fleek your eyebrows are on you will never be perfect, ever. And that’s ok. Every morning, I walk past the bathroom mirror as I enter the shower. Sometimes I stand there in front of it a little longer than necessary, stark naked, and stare. I look at my small breasts, my love handles (I call them handlebars), my thick thighs, my full backside and I say to myself, “Damn! I’m fine!” (quite loudly). I love the skin that I’m in, I love my flaws, I even love my little kangaroo pouch I get when I’ve eaten too much (my sister and I have coined this phenomena as a “food baby”). My awkward teenage years are to thank for that. I’m still awkward, and a little weird, but I own it. All my catch phrases, strange habits, and eclectic points of view are what makes me me. So yeah, I don’t give a hoot about Kylie Jenner’s lips. The tragedy in Nepal is more important than Kylie Jenner’s lips. Disbanding ISIS is more important than Kylie Jenner’s lips. And paying back Sallie Mae for my student loans is more important than Kylie Jennner’ lips. Imperfection is beauty, revel in yours.

Stay beautiful ❤

Africa the Beautiful

I have a lot of favorites when it comes to prints. Florals, stripes, and polka dots are some of my go-tos; but they pale in comparison to my love for African prints. The bright colors and intricate designs easily make them crowd favorites, but these designs go much deeper than mere adornment. These prints convey messages about historical and cultural landmarks, philosophical concepts and thoughts, as well as religious and moral values of society. The tradition of making these gorgeous pieces are passed down from father to son and from uncle to nephew, as well as from mother to daughter and aunt to niece.

The colors used in these beautiful motifs are just as important as the patters; the meanings and spirituality in their cloths are something the African people take very seriously.Gold, an extremely popular color, represents wealth and fertility. Red represents tension in the spiritual or political world and is viewed as the color of blood or death. Blue signifies love and peace, the sky, and is a harmonious color. Green represents prosperity and life, its also a medicinal color. And white is used to signify spirituality and purity. As you can see choosing an African garment to wear goes much deeper than finding a style that flatters you. This form of dress is very dear to the African people and shouldn’t simply be looked at as just a fashion trend. Here are several ladies that wear the style very well (its very hard to pick a favorite!):

Yaya Dacosta

                               YAYA DECOSTA

Zoe Saldana

                         ZOE SALDANA

India Arie

INDIA AIRE

Solange Knowles

                            SOLANGE KNOWLES

Angelique Kidjo

                        ANGELIQUE KIDJO

Keri Hilson

                        KERI HILSON

Thandie Newton

                         THANDIE NEWTON

Stay beautiful my loves ❤

Makeup Faux Pas You’re Probably Committing: Part One

There are times when I’ve looked at old Facebook pictures and and thought, “What the hell was I thinking?” I have tons of old photos where I’ve showcased how not to properly apply makeup. Among the losers are: horrible attempts to fill sparse brows, raccoon-chic eyeliner, and lip gloss applications that pop just a little too much. Below is the first installment of makeup faux pas we’ve all committed at least once in life, and (hopefully) have ditched. And if there are some you may still be doing without realizing it, keep calm because I’ve included some easy tips for fixing them.

wrong foundation

1. Wearing the Wrong Shade of Foundation

We’ve all done this, I certainly know I have. This usually happens more frequently when you’re trying to find the right shade of drugstore foundation. Those swatches on the shelf are so helpful. Yeah, no!

Fix: Choose two shades that come closest to your skin tone, apply each of them to your jawline, and then go outside to natural light and look in the mirror. Use your own judgement to see which one looks most natural.

dry skin

2. Applying Makeup on Dry Skin

Applying foundation to dry skin is an absolute no-no! Doing so only accentuates flakiness, and those dead skin cells left behind will sit on top of your face instead of blending in.

Fix: Exfoliate once a week, then apply a rich moisturizer afterwards.

wrong blush

3. Wearing the Wrong Shade of Blush

Blushes should compliment your natural blush tone, not make you look like an embarrassed cartoon character. And your nickname may be “China doll”, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like one.

Tip: If you’re wearing a bolder lip, make sure you pair it with a subtler blush. I guess Ms. Aguilera didn’t get the memo.

over bronze

4. Applying Too Much Bronzer

Over-liberal bronzer application has to be one of the biggest makeup blunders MUAs everywhere complain about. Your bronzer is supposed to give you a natural, healthy glow, not make you look like a bronze metal.

Fix: Don’t apply it all over your face. The only areas you should be focused on are your forehead, temples, and nose. And don’t forget to apply some to your neck as well.

brushes

5. Not Cleaning Your Brushes

Skipping out on cleaning your brushes not only keeps your makeup from looking fresh, but it can also cause break outs.

Tip: Wash them with a mild shampoo or instant brush cleaner, and replace your sponges regularly.

switch

6. Not Switching Makeup Seasonally

Have you ever noticed that your makeup always seem to run from time to time? This usually happens during the warmer months and right now, since it’s cold as bricks outside, it may not seem like such a big deal. *flips winter the bird* And while the weather may be terribly unforgiving, this next tip is pretty handy when we get ready to transition into Spring.

Tip: Switch formulas during the Spring and Summer to waterproof pencils and mascaras, as well as cream shadows to stop your makeup from smudging or running. You worked so hard on it, it’d be such a shame for it to melt away.

Hopefully you’ve seen the error of your ways and are taking the necessary steps to correcting what you’re doing wrong. Reading over many of these tips have definitely set me straight, and i vow never to commit these blunders ever again. I hope this helped you guys, and be sure to stay tuned for part two! 🙂

Stay beautiful my loves ❤

Girl On The Move

Hello beautiful people!

I haven’t shot a YouTube video in a while, and I was getting ready to run some errands and I thought “Why not make a video?”. This is a compressed version of how I usually get ready when I’m just going to be out and about all day. I just ran to the grocery store, gassed my car up, and did some Christmas shopping. Nothing too fancy. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel! ❤

Helpful Hints: Makeup Tips for Cocoa Buttered Beauties

Being a woman of color and shopping for makeup has to be one of the most frustrating experiences ever. The big name brand cosmetics companies often forget about those of us who have darker toned skin, and it often times makes us feel like we don’t matter. And if, by some stroke of luck, you do find a brand that carries a darker shade it almost never matches your complexion and that only adds to your frustration. Why is it that, in an industry that publicly claims to celebrate the beauty in each and every race, black and brown girls worldwide have issues finding cosmetics that cater to their needs? Worry not my loves, I’ve rounded up some tips straight from industry professionals that will put your beauty bummers to rest once and for all. So without further adieu, here are some helpful tips for you black and brown bombshells:

1. FACE

Flawless.

       

Avoid makeup that is too light, as it can make your skin look chalky. Yellow-based foundations work best for women with darker skin, you don’t want a color that is too cool (or warm) for the undertones you have. How do you figure out your undertone? Glad you asked! Cool toned women have pink, red, or blueish undertones. While warm toned ladies have yellow, peachy, or golden undertones. And neutral toned lassies have a mix of warm and cool tones. I know this may feel like you’re reading a car manual in Chinese so here’s a cheat sheet:

CoolToneWarmTonechart

There’s a really good method that makes figuring this out a cinch, but I’ll share it in another post. With foundation, the goal is to see the makeup disappear after applying it on your skin with no visible boundary between. Always test foundation colors in natural light, fluorescent lights like the ones in your bathroom can be a little iffy sometimes. Seeing it in natural light will also let you know how it’ll look when you’re out and about. If you have trouble finding the right color, try mixing two shades (one darker than your natural color and one lighter). I always do this when I’m low on my favorite color concealer, it works like a charm. Now as far as bronzer, the pros all say this: brown and copper compliment black and brown skin tones perfectly, and a touch of shimmer highlights cheekbones wonderfully. Blush is always a fun tool to work with, I love experimenting with different shades. Pink always seems to be the shade I go for. The great thing about pink is that it compliments all skin tones, so play around with different hues to see which one works best for you.

The gorgeous Aishwarya Rai

2. LIPS

If you’re looking to glam up your kisser then go for lips colors in earth tones, neutrals, pinks, and dark burgundies. And choose a lip liner that is close to the shade of lipstick you’re wearing. If you aren’t feeling as dramatic that’s cool too, a dab of lip gloss will give you a more natural and laid back look. The same lip liner rule applies to gloss too, sticking to a shade closer to what’s on your lips will help avoid a dark outline. No one likes chalk outline lips.

Yes ma'am!

3. EYES

dramatic metallic

Shimmery and metallic eyeshadows look amazing on black and brown skin tones. Feeling a little daring? Then try mixing two complimentary colors, like purple and gold (Lakers?), to intensify the drama. One huge point that many women of color don’t know is this: the darker your skin, the brighter the colors you can pull off. One of my dearest and most beloved older cousins is a woman who has a deep dark chocolate complexion. Absolutely flawless! The things she’s able to do with colors are amazing.

Sooo pretty!

I remember this one time in particular I was at her house while she was getting ready for a night out with her husband. Her foundation was set, lashes were all in place, and all she needed was a little blush to polish it all off. She pulled out her cute little compact and flipped it open nonchalantly. My mouth dropped in shock, it was orange! And not some rinky dink kinda sorta orange, like bright Orange is the New Black orange. As she lifted the brush to her cheeks, I watched in horror, trying my best to stifle the urge to smack it out of her hand. But my fears fizzled out when I saw how absolutely gorgeous it was. And then I got jealous.

To all my dark skinned divas I’d admonish you to not fear bright colors, they are your friends.

chanel iman

Accentuate your eyes with brown or black eyeliner. Brown liner is a great choice for a more natural look, and black always adds an element of drama. The same goes with mascara. I love using black mascara to make my lashes stand out, and when I’m going for a softer look I use brown. And if you feel like channeling your inner Hollywood it girl, false lashes are always a must. I have small hooded eyes, thanks to my granny (she’s Korean and Jamaican), so I use falsies to give me the appearance of a bigger and brighter eye.

A gorgeous neutral eye.

Falsies are forever <3

Despite the limited selection of brands that cater to women of color, there are some that are doing it right. In 1994 fashion superstar Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, professionally known as Iman, launched IMAN Cosmetics. The brand holds on to the truth that women of color represent many races, cultures, and ethnicities. Her line of cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances are designed for African American, Asian, Latina, and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a host of different shades. Her products are sold throughout the world including the US, Canada, the UK, France, Brazil, Africa, and the Caribbean. Other noteworthy lines include the Cover Girl Queen Collection, M.A.C., Black Radiance, and Fashion Fair

 

The beauty industry may not be hip on how awesome women of color are, but that isn’t a reflection of how we view ourselves. All skin tones are beautiful and unique in their own right. Embrace your melanin, it’s what makes you you. Zoe Saldana said it best: “Glamour is about feeling good in your own skin”. Nothing is more true than that. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Every freckle, stretch mark, and hair on your head is there for a reason, learn to love them. There is so much beauty in imperfections, being perfect is for losers. Be comfortable in your skin and revel in the fact that no one in the world can pull it off better than you. Stay beautiful loves ❤

Brown Girl Approved: Nude Lipsticks

Although everyone loves a good bold red lip, opting for a smokey eye and a nudey every now and again is always a nice change of pace. But when you’re a buttery shade of pecan, looking at some of the “nude” colors donned by many mainstream outlets (ummm hellooo YouTube beauty gurus) aren’t always flattering. There are many ways to get the perfect nude lip. The easiest being to take a dab of concealer, that’s closest to your skin tone, to you lips and finish with a gloss. And viola! But I’ve found five lipsticks that are definitely brown girl approved.

 

If you’re complexion is close to the hot mama Rihanna’s, try MAC’s Half N’ Half, $15

If your complexion is close to the oh so sexy Nia Long’s, try MAC’s shade in Siss, $15

Image

 

If your complexion is close to the very gorgeous Keke Palmer’s, try Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Hazelnut, $7.19

Image

 

If you’re complexion is close to the lovely Estelle’s, try Maybeline Color Sensational in Bean There (380), $7.49

Image

And if your shade of chocolate is deep and luscious like the stunning Camille Winbush’s, try Loncome Rouge Love Lipstick in Sultry Simplicity, $25

What to do when your lips are two different tones:

Blot them with concealer or foundation and apply your color. Easy peasy, right? I prefer to use concealer, after a long day it helps the color come off much easier when I’m getting ready for bed. Always remember to set your color with a good lip liner, it defines your lips and keeps the color from going everywhere. Hope this helped 🙂

Stay beautiful ❤