BH Cosmetics Makeup Haul

BH Cosmetics is somewhat of a throwback brand for me.  It was one of the first brands I ordered online once I became interested in doing makeup.  It’s super affordable and they almost always have a sale.  You can subscribe to their mailing list for updates and coupons.

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Although affordable the quality is definitely better than the price tag.  Makeup is super pigmented and performs just as good as some of my higher end makeup.  Their makeup brushes are good too.  They offer sets based on brush type.  my favorite brushes are from their vegan line.

Recently I had to order some items for my kit.  I’ve been needing more color options for fair skin so  I ordered some setting powders, concealers and a blush palette.

 

These powders are the Studio Pro Matte Finish Pressed powders & are so smooth with great pigmentation.  They remind me of the MAC Prolong Wear pressed powder except MAC’s powder is $27; these were on sale for $5.59……Yes, a good powder for less than $6!!!!  FTW!

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Regular price is $7.99 but that’s still less than 1/3 of the MAC powder.  Yall know I love a deal and I’m super frugal so if I can get a good quality product for a cheap price I’m all in.  I tried it for 2 days and I’m happy with how it performed.  I used it to set my makeup and kept me matte for a good part of the day.

The concealers were on sale for $4.19 each, regular price is $5.99.  The blush palette ended up being around $5.  I’ve used their blush in the past and it lasts all day with pretty good pigmentation.  I haven’t tried the concelers out yet but I’ll let you know how they do.

Let me know if you guys have used BH Cosmetics products before.  If you haven’t give it a try and let me know how you like it.  You won’t be disappointed!

A Makeup Trend I Am NOT Trying & Wish Would Go Away!

There’s a recent trend in makeup, specifically, that I’m over.  It’s the unicorn trend.  I am sick of seeing everything unicorn.  Where did this even come from?  There are unicorn highlighters, serums/elixers, makeup brushes, makeup looks and Starbucks even had that Unicorn looking drink.  I refused to try that because it looked like diabetes in a cup….no thanks!

 

I’m all for creativity, especially when it comes to art and makeup artistry but this is just dumb to me.  It’s not a wearable look.  What’s the purpose behind it?  Where are you going looking like an imaginary animal?  I used to wear bold makeup looks pretty often; now when I wear makeup it’s more natural.  Even this unicorn look is too bold.  I would feel crazy wearing this kind of look to work, the mall, a date, or anywhere other than a stage.

Even lower end brands like Wet n Wild have collections dedicated to unicorns.

 

This look (left) is beautiful.  I love the mix of glitters on the eyes….but I’m sure this young lady is not going out in public with this look.  At least I hope not.  This would be ok for a fashion show or some sort of festival but definitely not every day.  She obviously is either a makeup artist or enthusiast; clearly very talented with makeup.

This look (right) is mainly the type of unwearable look I’m talking about.  It looks like there’s a rainbow on her cheek.

 

I’m just not drinking the kool-aid.  All trends aren’t for everyone and this one isn’t for me.  I like some of the colors, like the light pinks and lilacs.  They’re gorgeous colors to wear for spring and summer.  The main thing about this trend that annoys me is the rainbow/unicorn highlight simply because that’s what makes this trend unwearable for every day makeup.

There’s even a unicorn serum that’s supposed to be good for anti-aging, which is just a product that threw the word “unicorn” on it to make it more trendy.  This serum is a regular product; they just made it pink with purple packaging to fit the whole unicorn trend.  I don’t blame them because I’m sure it has sold well because of that.

I’m just not buying into this.  How do you guys feel about?  Have you bought any unicorn makeup or beauty products?

 

Skin Care Summer Essentials

 

Summer is right around the corner and there are some essentials that you need in order to keep your skin glowing and healthy.

1. First thing’s first…..sunscreen!  My friend recently got married and I gave her and her husband 4 cans of spray on sun screen for their honeymoon in St. Lucia.  Yes, it’s that serious.  Her husband was grateful because his skin started peeling on their last vacation.

Sunscreen should be applied any time you’re going to be exposed to the sun.  People tend to forget when on vacation; just remember to pack it in your bag.  You’ll be thankful later.  Not using sunscreen can cause your skin to burn and peel as well as suffer from long term issues like sun spots (hyper pigmentation) or wrinkles.  Don’t forget behind your ears, chest, back and neck.  People tend to forget about those areas.

2. Don’t forget about lip care.

I like Jack Black’s lip balm.  It’s super affordable and keeps your lips moisturized long term.  It has SPF 15.

3. I don’t wear makeup to the beach, but if you do I suggest wearing a bb cream or tinted moisturizer with an spf.  These products are lighter than a foundation and the sunscreen will protect your face from the sun.  You can also add some bronzer to your chest, shoulders, and arms to create a sexy glowing look at the beach.

4. A face mist can be a life saver on a hot day at the beach.  There are several brands that make facial mists.  I like MAC’s Fix Plus.  I like to put it in the refrigerator before going to the beach, then I throw it in the cooler with my drinks to make sure it stays cool once I get there.  A few mists on your face will keep you cool and your skin hydrated.

5. Make sure you have plenty of water!  Not drinking enough can cause so many issues besides dehydrated skin.  I carry a meal water bottle with me everywhere in the summer.  I fill it up every time I see a water fountain.

Stay tuned for the next post on what not to do when going to the beach!

Skin Care Summer Essentials: Prepping Your Skin for the Beach

While enjoying that time at the beach there are things that you shouldn’t do prior to your beach trip in order to protect yourself.

If you suffer from hyperpigmentation from post acne scarring to age spots make sure you prep your skin with that in mind.  Either use a Vitamin C product (which protects from environmental factors and helps lighten dark marks) or if your dark spots need to be treated you should be using a product with hydroquinone, which will help lighten, and eventually get rid of the spots.


There are also things you shouldn’t do before going to the beach:

  1. Don’t exfoliate within 2-3 days before going to the beach.  If you exfoliate and happen to get sand on your body and/or face it can leave your skin irritated and feeling raw.  That includes physical (i.e. a scrub) and chemical exfoliators (i.e. retinol).
  2. Don’t have any invasive treatments done.  Microdermabrasion, certain facials that exfoliate, and chemical peels are just a few of the things that should also be avoided.  The sun can cause reverse damage, undo the benefits and even cause more issues.  If you are going to have one of these done wait for at least a week after you’ve left the beach.
  3. Treat damaged skin.  If you have skin that is broken, irritated, red, or extra dry treat that skin before going to the beach to avoid more irritation.  The sand will exfoliate your skin; if you go there with irritated skin it will just over exfoliate.
  4. Avoid dehydration by increasing your water intake.  Sometimes we end up being at the beach all day.  Make sure you have enough water in advance and take water with you to the beach.

Most importantly have fun while at the beach.  This list may sound like a lot but it’s not.  You and your skin will appreciate the preparation.

Stay tuned for the next post that explains what you should do while at the beach!

Re-evaluating my 2017 Goals: Half the Year is Over!

Happy second day of June!!!!  It’s officially the halfway mark for 2017.

I’ve been analyzing how the first half of my year went.  It started off a little rocky with the death of my grandmother, but I have been able to cross some of my goals off my list.  At the beginning of the year I made a list of goals of what I wanted to get accomplished in 2017.  The main one was to focus more on writing, get my writing published on someone else’s web site and get paid for it.  I was able to cross that off the list when I started writing for an online publication in April.  Other goals include paying off debt (which I’m still working on) and evolving into a better me.

I recently turned 33.  A friend of mine asked me how 33 is going to be different from 32, which made me think…….I need to rewrite and come up with new short term goals for the second half of the year and long term goals for the next few years.

Its super important that you have goals that you work toward and hold yourself accountable.  I like to write mine down because if I don’t I’ll forget and not actively work towards them. Each week I write down a plan that will help me reach my goals.  I’m a very visual person so I like to make lists so I can cross things off as I get them done.  It makes me feel gook, knowing I’m being productive.  I encourage you to do the same!  What do you want to do?  How are you going to get there?

Here are a few of my goals for the second half of 2017:

  • Keep focusing on writing and get published on at least 2 more platforms, not including my own.
  • Generate at lease 2 more streams of income through writing and/or makeup/esthetics.
  • Establish larger brand identity.

What happens if you don’t reach your goals?

If I don’t reach my goals I don’t beat myself up; I start over with a new set.  Maybe the first goals weren’t realistic.  That’s ok.  Having something to work towards that will make you a better person keeps you motivated and gives you something to be exited for.

What are your goals for 2017?  Have you met any of them so far?

3 Things You Should Never Say to Someone With a Mental Illness

Whether you realize it or not you know someone who has a mental illness.  Some people are very open about it, while others (especially in the African American community) suffer in silence either because of denial or lack of a diagnosis.  Regardless of whether or not someone is open about his or her mental illness there is still a lack of empathy for those who have it.  A great way to overcome this is to be more mindful of the things you say.

I’m not an expert but I, myself having been diagnosed with anxiety, pay close attention to the things people say and what they have said in the past.  People are unsympathetic, lack compassion/understanding and can be downright mean about such a serious issue.  I have had to put some distance between myself and some people because of some of the ignorance that has come out of their mouth.

Here is a list of things that you should not say to someone with a mental illness:

1.“Get over it.” There is a difference between someone being a little extra dramatic every now and then and consistently over reacting.  If you know someone who gets extremely angry at the smallest instance, there is a chance there is more to it.  Consistent extreme mood changes and excessive anger are sings of untreated mental illness.

What you should do:  Recognize that there is no way on Earth to just get over a mental illness.  If you think someone you care about has an issue talk to them about it and let them know you are concerned.  There is a chance that they don’t know they have it or are in denial.  You coming to them could be the step that helps them realize they need to seek help.

2.“Just pray about it.” Black folks are known for saying to this to everyone about any and everything.  I do believe that you should seek guidance from whatever higher power you believe in, however, mental illness cannot be prayed away.  If ignored or left untreated it will get worse PERIOD.  Help can be in the form of medication, meditation, therapy, change in diet, or a variety of other methods.  Prayer alone will not make it go away.  If someone tries to talk to you about mental illness, or anything for that matter, saying “Just pray about it” or “Give it to God” is very dismissive.  It’s as if you’re implying that it’s something temporary when it is so very permanent and deserves and requires to be detected and handled properly.

What you should do:  You can pray with and for them.  If it’s someone you really care about, first acknowledge that you understand it’s not easy to talk about something like this & help or encourage them to research how/where to get help.

3.“I can’t help you.” If someone comes to you asking for help or tells you something that is a clear sign that they need help…..help them!!!  Depression and negative/suicidal thoughts are things that go hand in hand with mental illness.  If someone is brave enough to share something with you or ask for help, try your best to help them as delicately as possible.

I went to a friend during a very hard time and that was pretty much her response.  I don’t know if things will ever be the same because letting someone I trusted know that I needed help was hard enough. This type of response is pretty much a “friend” rejecting you and your feelings.

What you should do:  Let that person know that everything is ok.  Ask why they feel that way and get them to open up.  Help them realize that you love them and so do their friends and family.  Saying “I love you” may seem small but can mean the world to someone who feels unloved. Mental illness will have you believing that no one on this Earth gives a damn if you live or die.

I know having a friend or family member with a mental illness can be a lot; it can be exhausting but if you love or care about someone you will help them fight the fight.  That’s what life feels like sometimes, like you’re constantly fighting something.  What that something is is the negative thoughts that can take over the mind.

If you feel you’re not strong enough or just don’t want to be bothered with anything I’ve described, you should kindly remove yourself from that person’s life.  I’ve had to distance myself and just not talk to certain people because they give me anxiety.  I used to feel bad, but not anymore.  For the sake of my health I do what I have to do to stay as healthy as possible.  Everyone deserves to do the same.

Jessica’s Story of Postpartum & How She Beat It

Today I will be featuring an awesome young lady who is no longer scared or silenced by her mental illness.  I just want to thank Jessica from the bottom of my heart for helping me to bring awareness to mental illness, especially in the African American community.  She’s a regular person who could be your friend, cousin, aunty, church member, or even you.

Here is her story:

I’m Jessica. I’m a serial entrepreneur and a divorced, homeschooling mom of three.   I’ve always been pretty mellow, emotionally. I definitely am more on the rational side. And, like most black women, I had internalized that idea that “strong” means you don’t cry, and crying or expressing emotion was “out of control.”

So imagine my surprise when, after the birth of my first child, I often found myself crying in the shower, fantasizing suicide and cutting myself.

Yeah…It was a lot for me to process, too.

To make matters worse, I was in a toxic marriage at a time before people were even talking about Postpartum Depression. Neither he nor I knew what was wrong with me. We both thought I was “crazy,” “weak” and “losing it” and of course we thought it best if we don’t tell anyone. Without us explicitly discussing it, it was somehow obvious to me that it was something I needed to try to hide, something shameful.  So I coped by cutting, because physical pain was easier to treat than the vague, suffocating, emotional pain that had no real source. And eventually got better.  That is, until my second child was born.

In the wee hours of the night, while trying to breastfeed, I found myself crying again for no reason. This time, I knew better than to let my unsupportive husband know or see. I soothed myself by playing out the different ways I could end my life…trying to figure out the least messy, least melodramatic. However, this time, the topic of Postpartum Depression had just entered our cultural consciousness. I didn’t talk to my doctor about it because, y’know, shame…but I felt like it was something I should look into.  When I got pregnant with my third child a few years later, for the first time a doctor just asked me outright “Do you struggle with any mental health issues? Any self-harm or anything like that in your childhood?”
“Uh, well. Yeah I was a cutter after I had my first child.”

The doctor’s eyes were full of concern. She questioned me further and we decided that what I was suffering from was Postpartum Depression. Together we made a plan to get ahead of it. I went to counseling throughout my pregnancy to develop behaviors to help when I felt myself slipping and I was giving and prescription to Cymbalta for after my daughter was born.   And it worked, she was the only child who got me at 100% because this time I was healthy and had the support to deal.

That was ten years ago.

Since then I have had two bouts of depression. Only this time, I didn’t stay silent. I understand know that depression is not about personality, strength, or weakness…it’s about physiology. It’s science. This is something my “rational” mind can understand. If changes in my body can create illness in my lungs or stomach or heart, why not also the brain? It’s an organ like all the rest. No need to make it personal.

Now, I am very open about seeking counseling or therapy when I feel imbalanced, mentally. I am extremely more mindful of my diet and take self-care seriously. Especially now, juggling being a single, homeschooling mom and business owner, my self-care has never been more crucial. People often tell me I look like I have it all together, or that I make it look easy.  I am very quick to tell them “well, that’s just because I unplug from Facebook during my bouts of depression!” I never ever want to hide that part of myself from people again because, hopefully, by being candid, I can show people that it’s okay to acknowledge that sometimes you can’t out-think your body’s chemistry.