Never have anything to wear? Read this: 5 tips to keeping the perfect outfit in your closet!

nothing to wear

Why is it that every time you have somewhere to go, the first thing you say is “I have nothing to wear!?”   Then you run out in a rush to find an outfit and end up paying full price for something you don’t even love.  Fortunately, it doesn’t happen to me very often.  So, I am sharing my 5 tips to keeping the perfect outfit in your closet for every occasion. Continue reading

BB Beauty…Creating the Illusion of Flawless Skin

I admit it…my daily look leaves much to be desired.  Since I work at home, most days my outfit consists of jeans, sweats and t-shirts.  And very little…ok, no makeup.  So on the occasions that I do go out (which is hardly ever since I moved to Ohio), I try to look my best.

As I was preparing for my recent trip to the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, I realized I was in need of some new products.  Before I buy ANYTHING new, I always get samples—sometimes two!  I like tinted moisturizer because it provides decent coverage but is not as heavy as a liquid foundation.  I have tried and absolutely love Laura Mercier’s oil free tinted moisturizer.  It’s perfect for those that don’t like to wear a lot of makeup.  But before I could actually buy it, I started to hear all of these great things about BB cream.  BB stands for blemish balm or beauty balm.  This miracle cream is basically a tinted moisturizer, primer, concealer, moisturizer and sunblock all in one.  It also controls oil.  Apparently, it’s been around for years but has recently made its way to the United States.

I did some research and decided to try Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream.  I stopped in Nordstrom’s to get a sample and was wooed over to the bareMinerals counter by a salesgirl with flawless skin to try bareMinerals Foundation.  On one side of my face, she applied the bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer, followed by bareMinerals Foundation and finished with translucent powder.  On the other side, she applied the Smashbox BB Cream.  It looked great alone, but she applied the bareMinerals over it for additional coverage. Both sides looked amazing, so I decided to try it all.  I got samples of the Smashbox, but bought the bareMinerals because it came with the foundation, translucent powder, bronzer and 3 brushes and brush shampoo for $62!  It also comes with a DVD so you can learn the “swirl, tap, buff” technique to apply it. Besides, Nordstrom’s has a great return policy, so I figured I would just take it back if I changed my mind or didn’t like it.  The other thing I like about bareMinerals is that is does not carry bacteria like other foundations, so it does not expire.  That’s a big plus for me since I don’t throw it out as often as I am supposed to.

A few day’s later, I was headed to New Orleans.  For my daytime look, I used the bareMinerals primer, foundation and pressed powder.  The primer is AMAZING!  It really smoothed out my fine lines so my concealer went on really nicely I didn’t have to use as much.  It has a bit of shimmer and really brightens the skin as well.  (My friend tried it and ended up using it the whole trip!)  At night, I used the Smashbox with the bareMinerals.

By the end of the trip, I only had only complaint—everything was a shade too dark (this is why I love samples).  It worked out okay because it just made me look like I had a tan, so I skipped the bronzer.  When I got back, I exchanged the bareMinerals with no problem and got new samples of the Smashbox in the right shade.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any good close up pictures of my face, but trust me if you try any of the products, you won’t be disappointed.  Just remember to get samples BEFORE you buy:)

*Note—If you think that the Smashbox is too pricey, try Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream.  It’s featured in the August issue of Essence Magazine and is only $8.

Encouraging Kids to Dream

About four years ago, I read this amazing book called Goals by Brian Tracy.  The book is all about how the simple act of writing down your goals and reviewing them everyday can change your life.  A part of the book talks about visualizing your dreams can turn them into reality.  Now, I’m sure quite a few of you are rolling your eyes and thinking about how you are going to scream if you hear this “happy thoughts” crap one more time.  And a big part of that is because you have lived life and had some experiences that say otherwise.  To truly submit to this idea of self -fulfilling prophecy, you would have to completely change your thinking.  And let’s face it, the older you get, the less likely that is.  But still, anything is possible.

After I read the book, I believed it was possible.  But I wasn’t thinking about myself and my dreams as much as I was thinking about my daughter Journey.  I thought about how her little mind is like clay and can still be molded to believe anything. I thought about how most of us start out like that and somehow along the way insecurity, fear, doubt and conformity turn the clay into concrete.  Most importantly, I thought about how different I might be today if I had grown up believing that I was good enough, pretty enough, and smart enough when feelings of self-doubt would arise.

I immediately went out and bought Journey a scrapbook and together we created her Dream Book.  She was three at the time, and always asking for everything she would see.  At the time, she was fixated on all things pink and set her sights on a pink house, a pink kitchen, a pink car and two puppies.  She even named them—Kero and Fluffy the Puppy!  We cut out pictures that she chose and pasted them into the book.  I told her if she kept believing and working hard, she would get everything in the pictures and more.  At one point, she got the kitchen and the car, but still no house.  One day she says to me, “I have to work harder, I still need to get my pink house.”   Since then, she has created pages with things she likes to do, places she wants to go and what she wants to be when she grows up.  If you ask her what she wants to be, she will names a few careers but always ends with “I want to be the girl who changes the world.”  And I know she truly believes it.