September Favorites

My September 2015 favorites video is now live on my channel. I had a tough time selecting because there were so many items that I used last month that I loved, and some of.them didn’t make the cut.

I’m in the process of upgradding a few things, including getting a new computer and editing software, so my goal is to have more videos up during the week to correspond with blog posts.  Some of the videos I’m looking forward to getting up are my current wash and go routine, with the favorites featured in this video, and some get ready with me’s.

It’s hard to do hair videos, when you’re still in the TWA stage, I mean how many ways can you be shown a wash and go?  But as my hair grows, I will be doing more hair videos.

So enjoy this week’s video and stay tuned……

                   September 2015 Favorites


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All Me To Frolaborate

Shrinkage. Koily. Nappy. Kinky. Curl patterns, types, and high porosity. I love it all.

Wash Day, shampoo, conditioner, silicones. Things that in see discussed in the natural hair community, at length. Think pieces, Facebook updates and instagram photos of bomb twist and curl outs.

Seriously, I love everything about my natural hair. I don’t complain about shrinkage, I don’t fight my texture and I take as many selfies as I see fit, because at the end of the day, no one is going to love my hair the way I do. And while there are those that use wig and weave as protective styles, it’s not what I do. I don’t hate that, and I think those that do look fabulous.  I know there are many who think that they wear wig and weave because they hate themselves, but it’s really about preference. 

As much as I love my natural hair, there is one thing that I’m falling out of love with…..

The natural hair community.


Now before some come for my edges, hear me out. Because there is a valid reason for our falling out. And maybe, after seeing all that melanin win at the Emmys a week ago, we can be better.

I’m still waiting and holding my breath.

We constantly say, as black women, that we need to cheer when one of us wins. That we need to encourage and motivate each other so we all win. On the surface, I would say that’s admirable, and what we should all be doing. But I can speak from personal experience, we want to see women in the same circles win.

Here’s an example. 

I have a friend, she owns a business. I’ve worked with her for a few years now, and she’s finally getting to that point where she’s getting recognized for her work. But she doesn’t flash it – no fancy car, doesn’t have the newest gadgets, cameras……she actually had someone interested in what she was doing.

Then they saw her car.

Swerved harder than a poor man avoiding the collection plate in church.

My friend has helped me immeasurably in not giving up on my blog. And while I can’t completely afford her services, I do benefit because we share ideas, we rant, we help each other be better.

See that’s the key that’s missing for me, the inclusivity. And the fact that I’m not a part of the community because I don’t hang in the same circles as others in order to be seen as influential, valid, important, is what leads me to fall back.

Contrast that with a meeting that I had this weekend with some ladies. We were all from different backgrounds, different experiences, skin tones, hair types, and we all had one thing in common, our natural skincare and makeup business. We shared laughs, tips, ideas, hugs, and information. None of us feeling that if one was successful, there would be jealousy, cattiness, or opportunities for continued outreach.

Success is contagious, not exclusive to people who you think will help you look better. Yes, we all want to associate with those that share the same goals…but sometimes it comes in a Toyota, not a BMW.

So, what can the natural hair community do?


1.   More small meetups geared towards helping smaller, not as well known and popular bloggers to gain an audience.
2.    Share statuses on pages. Cross promote business, especially if you’re also about healthy living. There’s a huge market as women transition to natural hair, and it goes into taking better care of ourselves…..wraps, health and fitness coaching. It’s all a part of the bigger picture of making small business grow. 
3.    Watch the snark. Especially if you have followers who are looking at your business as a potential networking opportunity. I know I don’t like it, because if you’re talking about others like that, how are you going to talk about me?
4.     Keep your business and personal social media seperate. This helps people identify your business and will help in the snark patrol. I’ve found that I’m actually much more cognizant of what I post on my personal page. Not that it’s any different in tone. I just pick carefully when to be pissed and when to let it go. 
5.     Don’t be afraid to challenge information you have questions on. If you ask questions, and you get “read this, read that” or my personal favorite, “Google It….”.step cautiously. I know I can Google it. I know I can read, but things get missed and that’s why people ask questions. Answer your potential client, partner, networking opportunity. Trust me, this is huge for me. I’ve unfollowed and have cautiously chosen to limit contact with business who’ve approached me in a way that makes me feel like I’m wasting their time.

I mean, it’s a community, not a country club. If we are going to use what Viola said seriously, in quoting Harriet, about opportunities, we are going to have to carve out and create them for ourselves and others, because they”re not going to be given to us by those we are trying to gain a foothold with.

So, I may be on the outs with the community….we haven’t broken up.

Here’s to rebuilding relationships.

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Product Review | Younique Touch Liquid Foundation


Let me start with saying that I am not a makeup artist. I am an enthusiast of the craft, and love trying new products, brands and tools. I may not be a professional, but I do know how to apply my makeup and put a complete my face together. And the one thing that is always troublesome is finding foundations that match my skin tone and provide the coverage I’m looking for. I also realize that there are some great foundations out there, with the price tag to match. There are also some that are reasonably priced that work well. 

This past summer I wanted a dewy look and went with the L’Oreal Lumi Foundation, and it worked well. But of you’re oily, I suggest a primer. It also wore off quickly. I tried the Becca foundations and broke out the next day and took it right back.

As a Younique Presenter, I had been waiting to get the Cloud Nine collection as it had their new liquid foundation and concealer. I really wanted to try it so that I could make better recommendations to potential customers. And I can honestly say, after one full day, this is a great foundation.


The Younique Cloud Nine collection.

I’ve been wanting to try the cream foundation, but I find them to be a little heavier than in would like. And powder foundations never stay on me.  This foundation comes in a dropper bottle, and a little goes a long way.  I put a dime sized amount on the back of my hand and applied it with my ELF flat powder brush (if you haven’t gotten your hands on one, you need this to bless your life. Hands down the best brush for applying my foundations, and it’s only $3.00). I dabbled and then blended for a flawless finish. It looked like it would have been too light, but upon blending it actually oxidized to a perfect match. It also dries to a powdery finish, so you don’t need to apply a finishing powder, unless you wish to. I did, and I had to spray some fix+ to get rid of the masky look. Tomorrow, I’m going to try it without the powder, but the fix+ did the trick at melding everything together to make my skin look like skin.


1.     Excellent coverage
2.     Buildable coverage
3.     Lightweight
4.     Applies easily
5.     Long wearing matte coverage
6.     A little goes a long way, so while it’s in the
        pricier range of foundations, it will last you
        a long time. 

1.     Limited shade range in darker tones.
        If you are in between shades, you’ll have to
        buy two and mix.
2.    Price, which makes mixing prohibitive. The
        foundation is $39.00.
3.    It’s blendable, but quick drying, so work
       quickly, and in sections of your face to get
       even coverage.  This isn’t so much a con,
       as it is a tip, and one you should follow with
       most foundations. 

Overall, I give this foundation a 8.5/10 because I am oily combination and it matched me perfectly. The only reason it’s not a 10 is because of shade range for darker skin tones. But Younique is a young company, and I’m sure as interest increases, more shades will become available. 

If you would like to know more about these products, you can email me at, or click here: Younique Beauty

DISCLAIMER: I purchased these products with my own money, was not compensated for my review.

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Weekly YouTube Update

I’ve recently gone back to uploading videos twice a week, and this week we got a product review for Proganix Quench products and my Younique Cloud Nine collection. I’m definitely in a creative mood, so I’m taking advantage of what’s flowing through my head and putting it out there for you all.

If you have ideas of what you would like to see reviewed, looks, products, etc…..let me know in the comments below.

Here are the links to the two videos this week:

                   Younique Cloud Nine Haul


                     Proganix Quench Review

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I Hate Exercise


I’m not even going to lie…..I do hate it. But I can’t deny when I do activities I like it’s not the drudgery it can be. For example, I love swimming, walking, stretching. I don’t like running, weights, and any other exercise that prepares me for the zombie apocalypse.

The grunting. The sweating. Nope, it ain’t for me.

So this week’s SEW Challenge update is brought to you by my improved skin through increased water intake. This alone has made my skin look more radiant, and feel smoother and hydrated. Of course the taking the time in the evening to walk home from another bus stop has helped as well. The weights I am lifting, is basically my bodyweight, and that seems to help with the walking as I am less winded now than before I started this challenge. 

I did have some alcohol this weekend, and it did show in my eyes yesterday. It didn’t undo what I’ve been doing, but it does show me how small deviations from the challenge effect my skin and overall well being. That Redds Cider helped me get through a dreadful fantasy football weekend, and my Seahawks losing, but my skin did temporarily pay the price.

I’m coming up on the end of the challenge next week, but this week my goals are simple:

Keep up the water intake.
Eat more leafy green veggies.
Get that sleep in, back up to 7 hours and in bed no later than 10:00 pm.

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Product Review: Image Skin Care


It’s one thing to like and love makeup and to be enthusiastic about it. But what about the canvas you’re painting?

Our skin is our bodies largest organ. It breaths, sweats, takes in and purges what we put into it. So, while I may struggle with losing weight and getting physically fit, one place where I’m actually winning is in keeping my skin healthy. I do struggle with the occasional acne outbreak, but staying in my routine of washing my skin twice a day keeps it under control.

This week, I sampled the Image products, and I have to say, I was hesitant because I’ve never heard of the brand and because I’ve tried so many different products over the years and been disappointed. So before I get to my reviews, here’s some background information.

Image skincare is a “cosmeceutical” line meaning that the ingredients are pharmaceutical grade. Prices for the products I used (and pictured) are:

Ageless cleanser (glycolic, foamy cleanser) $27 6oz tube
Vital c cleanser (creamy no foam) $27 6oz tube
Resurfacing mask $29 2oz tube
Moisturizer spf $34 3.2oz tube

I was actually given these products to try by a salon friend of mine, Ehrin Campbell,  who has colored my hair previously. I was pleasantly surprised to receive these and to find out that she actually uses the products herself and offers the services in her Spa and Salon, High Maintenance on 6th avenue in Tacoma, Washington. Those professional treatments range in price starting at $65 and going up. And I’m definitely going to get one, as I think it’s important to treat yourself, but also get information and products that work for your skin.

My skin is combination/oily. Meaning, my cheek area stays pretty dry, and my forehead, nose and chin can get oily, but my breakouts are in the drier areas of my skin.

I used both cleansers, alternating between them every other day and evening. I eventually used the ageless during the day, and the Vital c at night to avoid excessive dryness. I have to say that I liked the Vital C better as it doesn’t foam, and worked a little better at removing excess makeup, but both left me with smoother, clearer and brighter skin.

The Ageless Resurfacing Mask I used once, as I often do with masks. It worked very well. Non abrassive, non irritating, no severe stinging, or tingling. It just worked. I’ve tried many of the more pricier masks on the market, and couldn’t wait to get them off my face, and when I did, redness on my upper cheeks would appear.  I didn’t get that with this mask. I definitely think it can be used more than once per week, especially if you’re a makeup wearer. However, I stick to once a week because I’ve found that this helps keep my skins natural oils balanced.

The Ageless Moisturizer was the true test. It’s an SPF30 moisturizer, which for darker skin tones usually means you can get a slightly whitish mask to the skin, and this did happen with me. For me, it means it can make my foundation look cooler toned on my skin. The next day I used a primer and it significantly reduced that issue. My skin was definitely moisturized, and lasted all day. I never got excessively oily either, which meant I didn’t have to blot as much during the day. It’s also the same price as my current moisturizer, but has the added benefit of sunscreen, which you need when using cleansers that have any kind of resurfacing agents, such as glycolic acid.


These pictures were both taken with my camera phone and in natural light (slightly overcast day). I’m wearing makeup in both pictures. The differences I see are in the eveness in my skin, less blotchiness, especially around my forehead and chin. And while I’m smiling more in one picture, the overall eveness of my skin is noticeable.

Overall, I was impressed with this line, and would highly recommend it. They also have an organic line, that according to Ehrin, is “great at removing makeup and dirt without compromising my skins ph level.” I’m looking forward to trying that line and making my final decision on a skin care regimen soon.

These products are only available in Spas and by licensed aestheticians. To read more check out their website here:
Image Skin Care
To get more information about facial services at High Maintenance Salon, click here: High Maintenance Salon .

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The Skin Chronicles: I Need A Cure


The hunt is on. I mean, for real this time.

I’ve been looking for a really good face regimen that meets all my needs: aging, combo/oily skin, not a lot of wrinkles and I want to even out my skin tone. The key for me is to find products that are mild but strong enough to cleanse but not abrassive. I’ve tried Clinique, Lancome, Philosophy, Origins….and even drugstore – Simple is the current brand I’m using.

You could say I have commitment issues when it comes to face care. I know what I want, but have always been reluctant to spend excessive amounts of cash for skin care. Part of this may have to do with my blindness regarding my skin. As a Black woman, my thinking has been just willing to accept that we don’t show age as quickly and relying on my melanin to protect me from harmful UV rays.

This has led to a couple of realizations:

1.    I should have started this year’s ago.
2.    I’m not that melanated (to my discontent, trust me on this one. I’ve always wanted dark chocolate/ebony skin that looks smooth and beautiful. I’m more the shade of a caramel macchiatto. Not bad, but I should be using more sunscreen)

Real talk? I have been relatively fortunate in the wrinkle deflection arts. I don’t have any. I have a few fine lines and some patchiness. What’s been my nemesis is adult acne and hyper pigmentation. So I’ve done some research on some products I received this weekend, and here’s hoping this series of products works.


These products are only available through a liscensed Aesthetician and sold in Spas and Salons. This is a week’s supply, so I should have a slightly better opinion on how they work by the end of the week. I’m pretty excited for the Ageless line, because it meets most of my needs – gently cleansing, light fragrance and resurfacing without irritation and dryness.

I’ll have a video by Friday to fully discuss the product, what I liked, how they worked and pricing. But the lowdown on specifics for how I’ll be reviewing products going forward is pretty simple.

1.     Price
2.     Effectiveness
3.     Packaging
4.     Availability
5.     Ingredients

As always don’t be afraid to share what works for you as well. I’d love to hear suggestions. Because I’m finding I can use the cheapest of makeup to achieve a great look, but I can no longer skimp, skrimp and economize on my skin care regimen.

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Cosmetically Challenged


Ever had a conversation with someone, and when it was over, you wish you had done more than sit there and feel like you were being judged for your response?

This happened to me last weekend, and also during the week. Last Saturday, I had an interesting conversation, surprisingly about hair and makeup. I always find it interesting when the conversation turns to these topics with us black women and how the tone turns to inquisitive/judgemental of women who take time to do more to their hair and makeup than the next. The questions are usually “Why take all that time?” And “It seems unnecessary.” When one of them turned to my husband to ask  him  “how long does it REALLY take her to get ready?” Thats when I low key, turned to my sister and started talking about ANYTHING else. Because I knew it wouldn’t matter what I said. I was going to be judged because I decided to wear makeup, take an hour out of my day, and look nice for a dinner with friends and family. The fact that she asked my husband how long it really took me, meant , to me, that it must take me a ridiculous amount of time to put on makeup in the morning, and I must be lying about that hour.


I wanted to ask, what’s the reasoning behind the question? Do you feel that women who wear makeup are liars? That somehow, we are deceiving people with our dark arts of contouring and highlighting? Or maybe, it’s the constant Barbie doll comments? Why would a black woman wear peach tone, opaque lipstick?

As for the hair, I get that one. No one wants to take all day to do their hair, and as a natural, it can take a little longer for us to do our hair than most. We hear the terms ‘Wash Day’ and cringe. But I was, and am, one of those naturals who like to feel actual water touch my scalp. I like shampoo and conditioning. I love when my twist outs come out looking like Michaleangelo personally hand painted my curls and twists and coils.

And that same judgmental feeling came over me. I shouldn’t be judging these women for their comments, it’s how they feel. But it raised a good point for me regarding the natural hair and beauty industry here in the Seattle-Tacoma area:

How much money do we really spend on cosmetics and beauty items here? Does it differ by age?


Surprisingly, it does differ by age, with women in their early twenties and women in their fifties spending about $4500 annually on skincare alone. I’ll have to do some more demographic research on how much more, less black women spend. But I’d wager we spend a little more because we have specific hair care needs. This is definitely something for me to look in to.

I’m just still taken back to the conversation, and why it felt more judgey towards me, than vice versa. So, I’ll ask you all – what is it about makeup and hair that pits women against each other? Why do we need to make comments about the amount of gold eye shadow one chooses to wear? And if it’s such a patriarchial way to define beauty, why are WOMEN actually leading the way in creating businesses geared towards beauty, health and fitness?

Let’s talk about it.

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…..But You Don’t Want To See It


The struggle is real.

We hear it a lot. We see it as a hash tag, or a funny meme. And we see it for stuff that isn’t even a real struggle, like natural hair shrinkage, or not being able get your green smoothie to not look like baby poop.

No, the struggle is real to be healthy in a society that doesn’t really care about health.

Fad diets and extreme excercise routines. Spartan, cross fit, mixxed fit, hiit, pop up high intensity workouts to make you look and feel like you’re doing something healthy are prolific. I can’t scroll my Facebook and Instagram feed without seeing something about the new dangers of eating at this or that restaurant. Or, and these are my favorite, a fear mongering post that hasn’t been fact checked and goes viral. When you simply state it’s not accurate, you get named the hater. The thing with extremes, whether it be a news item, or a new exercise/diet regimen, they are not sustainable over time. Not for the average woman of 48, who doesn’t exercise regularly.

So, when I wanted to do something simple I thought this will be a good idea for me. I can be extreme and know that I can’t sustain extreme. The exercise routines I see are just not sustainable – for me. The SEW Challenge is simply, as I’ve stated before, getting more Sleep, moderate Exercise and drinking a gallon of Water a day.

As week two comes to an end I’ve learned a couple of things…….

People like extremes. If you’re not near death at the end of a spin class, the exercise wasn’t successful. Cheat meals, are only allowed after you’ve had a week’s worth of organically milled dirt, your own filtered tears and organic coconut milk. 

And because you already LOOK healthy, you get encouragement……”you go girl,” “you look fabulous,” and “keep it up.” Meanwhile, I’m over here struggling to find compression pants and breathable shirts so I don’t pass out from heat exhaustion.

No encouragement either. Unless you count the viral videos of people who classify themselves as comedians, who make viral videos about fat people, call body positivity enabling obesity, and tell me I need to go to the gym  – while I’m at the gym.

People who look healthy get encouragement, fat people get derision. Even in the simpliest of attempts to make themselves healthier.

Yes, I did the SEW Challenge as something to help me. I also wanted to share it in hopes that other people would want to do something that doesn’t require a small loan to start.

So, yes, week two has been a real struggle. To stay motivated and interested. To keep moving, drink that water, and get the little bit more exercise I need. But I learned this week is that I really can’t rely on other people to sustain the same amount of effort as I can. I also need to keep it fun. The minute it moves into drudgery, I have to change my mindset. The biggest thing is to not let setbacks discourage me. And keep me from continuing, in spite of the images, articles and posts that say I can’t be successful doing it this way.

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It’s All About Me

I wanted to do something different for September, to kick off these last four months of 2015. And while I don’t fancy myself an exceptional writer, or think anything I put out in the universe is particular poignant, I didn’t want to let the blog flounder anymore. Because I didn’t want to give up on me. Even though it felt as though so many other people had.

So, do a challenge is what came to mind. I didn’t want it to be so hard that I would quit after week one, and so easy that it wouldn’t feel like I had accomplished anything in the end. So, get more sleep, excercise regularly and drink a gallon of water a day.

So what did I learn after week one:

Number one


I’ve realized that even these simple steps aren’t for everyone. Some may feel I’m being to soft and easy on myself. Well, as someone who doesn’t exercise regularly, this is enough for me to get going. I don’t do extreme dieting g and exercising and I like food and I like to eat. So my next challenge will most likely include more changes to my diet. But right now, regardless of how many people are doing the challenge, the goal is to remember to do it for the only person that matters……YOU.

Number Two: Keep it simple. Don’t over extend, or do more than you know you can handle. Doing to much can discourage you from continuing and you risk injury if you’re doing too much, too soon after being sedentary.

Number three: Be an encouragement to yourself and others.  If you would like to encourage others who are doing similar challenges, or following me on this one…..and the post about it on any social media that you follow them on, or know them in real life….thumbs up that status and give that person a high five. Because encouragement is needed to keep people going. I know we live in a do it, grind, hustle for yourself society. But no one wins on their own.

That leaves me with how I did this week.
Sleep…I didn’t get 8 hours, I got about 7 each night, which is still 2 more hours than I normally would get a night. I definitely felt more alert at work, and fell asleep quicker at bed time. I limited my electronic use in bed and turned it off promptly at 10:30, which is the latest I’d stay up. I do struggle with waking up in the middle of the night, but that only happened twice, instead of the normal every night. This has to be the biggest change for me in my sleep habits.

Exercise. I’d do this at work. A couple quick trips to the gym on break, as we have one in the basement of my job. Or I’d get off at an earlier stop and walk farther. Weight training has basically been supporting my own weight with planning, or wall sitting in sets of five, and stretching. Not exactly 30 minutes, but definitely more activity than normal.

Water….1 gallon every day but yesterday, and I could tell the difference. I definitely noticed that my legs and ankles were less puffy at the end of the day, and I ached less. Probably from getting up more frequently to go to the ladies room. But it definitely curbed appetite, especially when drinking a glass before eating. I’m sure I’ll see more improvements to my skin as the month progresses.

Weight. I started the challenge at 326, I’m at 322.8 as of this morning. I don’t have a goal per se this month, but anything less than where I started is a win.

That’s it for this week and I’ll check in with more things that I find to incorporate as the challenge progressess.

Thanks for everyone’s support so far this month.

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