Uncategorized

Superhero Beauty- The Eco Version

There’s nothing like your impact on an environment when you’re emptying an entire trash can of wipes after a week of playing in makeup. I’ll admit I used to be one of those who really had fun picking up packs and packs of disposable wipes at TJ Maxx. The different scents and the ease of use had me blinded. One day though I was actually dumping another basket of trash into a bag I never took out the week before and suddenly noticed the load of wipes in my bag. Eeeeeek!

The past few months I made a complete change. Set a budget, did some research and now I’m armed with an arsenal of re-usable wipes and life has improved drastically.

A snapshot of the types of re-usable stuff I use on my face.

They’re awesome! And affordable. I have an arsenal full of options that help me make my stamp on the sustainable world.  They wash so easily… I’m a throw it in a mess bag with the rest of the laundry girl.  No extra wash cycles or hand washing extras.  Sometimes they come out clean as the pic (All are ones I’ve already used).  Some get stained slightly by the products and don’t come out perfectly clean looking but are still clean and ready for re-use.

1. Premium Microfiber Cloths… so of course the ones I start with now are listed as unavailable on amazon. 😫 Its definitely a Face Halo dupe. You get 5 to a pack. Double sided so I can use it twice before I drop it in the wash. It says you can use water but I’m a micellar water user. They’re sold by Miss Savage so when the link goes live again I’ll update this post.

2 Washable Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads by Eco Nursing Pads … you get 14 of these in different colors and sizes. Yes, they’re primarily created for nursing Moms, but they work amazingly well as sustainable wipes for makeup and beauty use. I love these for face treatments especially. They’re big enough to really use for your whole face and neck. Super soft too! The company that makes them has STELLAR service.

3. Juniperseed Mercantile: This is one of my holy grail gem companies.  They have so many options for sustainable products and I’ve completely fallen in love with all their wipes and poufs.  As you can see I have quite a few!

  •          Facial Poufs: They have 7 different types of rounds that do everything from provide a great wipe, to exfoliation and spot treatment. I have a few of their types and I haven’t missed a disposable wipe at all.  They go from super soft to super sturdy.  I promise you, try them out.  Try a few out, its like cosmetic pouf Narnia!

Textures they offer:

-Cotton Chenille
-Organic, Unbleached Cotton Sherpa
-Organic Bamboo Terry
-Organic Bamboo Sherpa
-Organic, Unbleached Hemp Sherpa
-Organic, Unbleached Cotton Birdseye
-Organic Grey Bamboo Jersey

4.  Also by Juniperseed Mercanile: Organic Bamboo Terry UnPaper Towels and Baby Wipes…  I use these as my face only washcloths and even use them to steam soothe my face.  A quick dunking in some hot water and laying it across my face helps soothe my irritated skin.

So there you have it.  A glimpse into a world of things I use too… save the world. See I AM a superhero!

💄Make your mark: Im always looking to share and learn about eco friendly beauty options. Have something you think I should try? Leave a message in my comments! Thanks for reading and may your lips always be poppin!💋

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Battle of the Boxes · Uncategorized

Circle Circle Dot Dot

🤒So I’m sick. Sick sick. The kind of sick where several things are happening at once and what I thought was just a cold is so much more. The kind of sick when not even a gloss has touched my lips in 4 days.

Bronchial infection and for added fun let’s an an upper respiratory infection too. And let’s test positive for the flu, but then be told it’s probably a false positive. 🙄 Gotta love these “reliable” tests…

Are you like me?… I refuse to touch makeup when I’m sick. I’m convinced I’d store a cootie or two in my favorite gloss and then I’ll re-infect myself. That’d be the ultimate horror story, infection by gloss bomb. LOL 😫😫

I’ve been battling a fever since Monday and coughing since Saturday. You know me and fevers don’t get along. Doc says I’m not contagious when the fever is gone for at least 24 hours.

At this point between lupus and now this stupid double infection I’m probably in a leave without pay status. Because that’s exactly what I need in life… less money and more meds. 🙄 I lasted a smooth 3 hours at work Monday (after I knew I was sick but just trying to ignore it) before I was so dizzy and feverish that my coworker had to drive me home. And it’s only February! Smdh This just means my body has to get all the way right for the next 4 months. We’re not accepting anything else. Act up after June 14th please and thank you. Except NO don’t ruin my summer either.

Anywho now it’s Valentines Day and sitting up for any length of time makes me super tired. My throat is raw from coughing. I know rest, meds and lots of liquids is key… I’m impatient. I wanna sleep thru the night, walk a block without getting winded and having a coughing fit and have a temperature that STAYS under 100.

Post Office delivered my Boxycharm. I dare not try any of it on but here’s a peek of what I got. And stay tuned for a review post cootie.

Enough already… life is passing me by. And my gloss is getting lonely!

Circle, circle, dot, dot…

💄Make your mark: What was your MOTD Valentine look? Thanks for reading and may your lips always be poppin!💋

Monthly Faves:Sophia's Sparkles

January’s Sparkle Wins

I’ve been doing a lot of research on themes for my Shop My Stash (with a small budget) year.  One of the themes are giving those monthly obsessions a bit of shine.  Are you like me? Do you get hooked on a blush for days or weeks…. while others sit lonely in the drawer? I’m that girl who gets hooked on something and forget all the hidden gems in my stash.

Each month I’m giving a bit of sparkly shine to my monthly faves.  So if you catch me repeated the same product… help me out and chime in.

Winners of January: New year plus new resolutions means the choices this month have a lot to prove.  And prove they did.  Nothing like the early morning pre-work hum drum where the only thing that gets me out of bed is the time I let myself sit at the vanity and create a look.

Serum: Ayele Galore’s Garden

  • My post wash soother.  My skin has gotten very sensitive over the years.  So much so that sometimes even washing my face leaves my skin tender.  This serum has been like aloe on a wound…. soothing my skin blissfully.  Its got Vitamin C so it’ll also work to brighten my dark spots and overall skin.

Moisturizer/Oil: Ayele Sunflower Sweets Serum

  • Ok so I cheated…. this is another serum.  But it IS my holy grail moisturizer.  I got my first bottle late last year during a sale and from the moment I tried it its been my everyday moisturizer.  Some days it’s my only moisturizer.  Now I’m refreshed with a re-buy and I’ll never look back.  I notice that using this oil serum has made my “thought I was an oily skin” face less oily during the day.  Sound confusing? Me too! Gives a glow that helps keep my face from looking too matte under my foundations.  LOVE this stuff.

Primer: Maybelline Master Prime Primer

  • Got this mini in one of my subscription boxes last year but somehow it never made it into the “try this sample” rotation.  I wish I had tried it sooner.  I got the 050 Hydrate + Smooth version and its done a really good job of blurring my skin without making it look dry.  I’ll have to admit I’m not big on the benefits of primer, I rather go right into a sunscreen and then foundation.  If I have to do things right though…. this showed me that they are some primers that do what they say they will.

Foundation: Thrive Causemetics CC Cream

  • Finally tried this CC Cream after months of holding back.  First gotta love the shade match.  I am the color “Rich” and its almost like that foundation was born with me.  Its a perfect match.  It evens out my skin tone SOOOO easily.  I can apply with fingers, blender or brush and the finish is the same.  Smooth hydrated base to play on.  And its got 35spf.  And it donates to a worthy cause every time you make a purchase.

Concealer: L’Oreal Crayon Concealer

  • An oldie but goodie for me.  I have lots of concealers because it seems subscription boxes LOVE to send them out.  I’ve found some gems among the bunch but nothing that makes me want to give up the hunt.  One day I noticed this crayon concealer I’ve had for a while now.  And I rediscovered why I love it so much.  Liquid concealers have a tendency to make my tender, super dry under eyes even dryer.  With this concealer, it forms a thick but not too thick, hydrating, brightening layer that doesn’t sink into my lines and and stays put all day.  I have super dry eyes that tear constantly and this is one of those gems that don’t rub off.

Eyeshadow Palette: Morphe 35F Fall Into Frost

  • I love this neutral but so glam palette.  I can create so many looks with it from super simple, to night on the town.  Didn’t think I’d reach for it so often, but there’s something about the buttery  shadows that blend so easily that has me reaching for it more often.  If I’m feeling like I need a pop, I’ll blend this with a neon/bright eyeliner.

Eyeliner: Essence 18 hour Superlast, Waterproof liquid Eyeliner

  • Grabbed this on a whim at Ulta one day and I’ve reached for it every time I want an amazing winged eye.  Its got great pigmentation and the liner is so easy to use.  And affordable AFFORDABLE too. Essence needs to put out liquid liners in every color!

Mascara: Tarte Tartiest Mascara

  • Another subscription box gem.  It gives me great volume and doesn’t make me look like a raccoon by the end of the day.  Seriously…. what more do I need?

Brows: Benefit Goof Proof

  • Brows are the only makeup fixer I HATE.  I’ve got super thin and balding eyebrows and it can easily take me the longest time to do.  Goof Proof isn’t cheap, but its worth every single penny to me.  Pencil-ish items generally are annoying or take too long to apply.  This one is thin enough for outlines and thick enough to fill in my brows with little drama.  I’ll always re-buy this one…. without question.

Contour/Bronze: Beauty Bakerie’s Coffee & Cocoa Palette

  • The C&C palette is absolute perfection.  Yes, I use it to bronze and highlight.  I also use it for blush, eyeshadow and contouring,  Some mornings its this palette, some mascara, brow and hippie and I’m out the door.  Effortless, beautifully pigmented, buttery amazingness.  The colors are universal BUT also the most gorgeous shades for every melaninated magical girl.  One brush swipe to perfection.  Theres not many blush/bronzers I’d probably ever hit pan on but this will probably be the one I do in 2019.  I love it THAT much.  The single most favorite item I own. Yes, ever EVER.

Blush: Bare Minerals All Over Face Color in Glee Radiance

  • I know it’s supposed to be used an all all over face, but Its the perfect blush/highlight for me.  Pinky, shimmery awesomeness for the #TeamMajesticEffinUnicorn I am.  It doesn’t emphasize texture regardless of how lupus is treating my face that day.  It blends in so well while keeping its brilliance.  Oh how I love it so.

Highlighter: Artist Couture Collab w/Jackie Aina’s La Peach

  • I realize for me even though I probably proclaim pink as the leader of all colors and while I proclaim purple as my lupus fierce warrior color, peach is easily my most reached for color on my face.  And La Peach is magnificent.  I’ve used it as blush, highlighter, eye shadow and eye corner pop.  Sometimes all at once…. yes at once.  Even in winter….

Lip Liner: NYX Cosmetics Suede Matte Liner in Club Hopper

  • Team melanin loves a good brown liner.  I can go 90’s style and make the liner the star of the show on my lips.  Or I can blend it in to whatever color I’ve added.  It gives any color I wear just the right amount of warmth.  I have quite a few “brown” liners, but this month this was the one I grabbed for the most.

Lippie: NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Toasted Marshmallow

  • I don’t have a single clue why they call this Toasted Marshmallow.  It’s a gorgeous warm cranberry on me.  Its fit my winter look well.  I love the butter glosses and this is my first intense butter gloss.  Feels like a gloss/balm/with lipstick color blend. Perfection.

Gloss: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fu$$y

  • I don’t have to explain this to anyone.  HOLY.MUTHAEFFIN.GRAIL. I’m ready for Rihanna to just release glosses in all shades, sell them as a set and let me have a monthly subscription to automatic refills… for life.

Setting Spray: Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Primer and Setting Spray

  • I really did try to stop using this one in January, because I used it all of December.  It got about 4 days into January and then just pulled it back out into my every day stash. I haven’t used this as a primer, but it gets used as the layer over powder in my routine and then at the end to set my look. This one gives me that hydrated staying power I need to combat both the frigid outdoor temps and the indoor dry heat blasting at work.  And smells so yummy too.

💄Make your mark: What was your favorite item to use this month? Thanks for reading and may your lips always be poppin!💋

Uncategorized

I Don’t Wanna!

So a tiny confession. I have sooooo much trouble giving bad reviews. It doesn’t matter what it is, restaurants, products… I just can’t seem to do it. So on this blog… don’t be surprised if I buy something and then you never hear me speak of it. Because I’d rather go mute, then say something bad.

I have no idea why I’m like this. I just… start thinking well maybe it’s just not for me… did I use the wrong primer, maybe I’ll try it again. Seriously I just feel bad for the people making the product. My wuss self is always like “Awww man I feel bad”. Which is ridiculous when I’m the one who’s spending my money on the product. I should be shouting it from the rooftops.

I’m sitting with 5 items I’ve either gotten in a makeup subscription or bought recently that people talk about and I’m like 🤷🏾‍♀️. In 2018 I tried two smaller makeup companies products that were absolute trash. Like… really cheap and awful on the skin. But I dare not say it… I won’t yuck anyone’s yum. And it’s not like I get PR or am being asked by a company to promote a product. No pressure to say something positive. And yet still… I just let it be. Lol

Now I will say I won’t ever say I like something that I don’t. That’s not me at all. Some things are just ok, some things are meh…iight I guess. Those I’d share. But the NOPES just quietly get gifted away or placed softly in the trash. Lol I can’t even fling things. 🤦🏾‍♀️

💄Make your mark: Anywho how are you with being critical about a product on the internet? Thanks for reading and may your lips always be poppin!💋

Inclusive Makeup Wow · Product Spotlight

Stop my Stash Gem: Black Radiance BB Cream

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I struggle between wanting to keep this gem a well kept secret and wondering why its not at the forefront of more buzz…. Black Radiance BB cream IS for us!

I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of foundations.  I’d prefer for lupus and life to leave my face alone.  Sure, send me a blemish when I stray too far off the balanced diet life.  Let me know when I’ve been out in the sun a tad bit too long without re-applying sunscreen. Otherwise, I’d be perfectly content with a dollop of serum and moisturizer and would totally skip the foundation routine.  But alas…. as we speak there’s some unexplained appearance of an African continent shaped dark spot on my nose that decided to come visit.

I’d been on a hunt for a lighter foundation like product ever since the talk of BB/CC cream hit the scene years ago.  On a random retail therapy day I ran across Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream…. and life has never been the same.  Eureka, a product that actually has shades that go beyond just one catchall “deep/dark” shade for people of color.  And it’s GOOD. AND its $6. The only problem I’ve had since…. is that my color isn’t sold in most stores.  No biggie, I’m perfectly ok with online shopping.  (Clicking purchase has the same therapeutic effect of handing my credit card to a machine to take my money).

Coffee Glaze even sounds fancy.  As a coffee lover I’m perfectly down for the description, the glaze of coffee awesomeness that hits my throat each morning is magical.  Wait….. this conversation can take a turn…. BACK TO BB CREAM.

Black Radiance is one of those companies that quietly have been putting out quality products for some time now.  Yes, I know it’s not Black owned.  Who cares if they actually are taking the time to put out GOOD products for people of color? I’ve been unfortunate enough to have sampled the “deep/dark” shade of other companies BB creams and their either too dark, too grey, too orange and too NO.  My coffee glaze gets it right.  Its got 15spf in it, which ins’t enough for full sun, but I appreciate that it’s even there and doesn’t make me look like fireplace ashes in the spotlight.

From the website product description: True Complexion™ BB Cream, the first mullti-purpose skin perfector from Black Radiance®, evens and refines darker complexions with 10 skin care benefits for natural looking radiance. Exclusively formulated to enhance ethnic skin tones, the lightweight, oil-free beauty balm moisturizes, conceals, primes, smoothes, and minimizes shine with blendable, sheer color and lasting SPF 15 protection.

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Colors: Brown Sugar, Cafe, Coffee Glaze, Chocolate and Honey Amber. Since I can’t be in the sun (my entire Caribbean ancestry cries big tears at this) for more than a few minutes all year round, Coffee Glaze is generally my year round color.  Gives my complexion a glow and evens out all the discoloration with no issues.  I apply with a foundation brush and off I go!

Enough gabbing about this amazing product, if its too good of a job I might have to deal with other “Coffee Glaze” sisters dipping into my stock!

💪🏾Make your mark: Have you tried Black Radiance BB Cream, or any of their other products? Thanks for reading and may your lips always be poppin!💋

Uncategorized

It’s Ok Not To Be Ok

“I’m ok” was something I said several times yesterday. And then the night hit and I wasn’t ok. And then I did the best thing I could do for me and called out. Which is a HUGE deal for me. I am the woman that goes to work often tired, in pain and barely able to move because the way I see it, if I can put one step in front of the other I go. Because there are those days when I can’t even get out of bed. Save those days… for those days, I tell myself. I know it isn’t healthy, but when you’re an independent woman you do what you have to. Yesterday reminded me… that mentality can most literally kill me, if I don’t listen. When the shock of yesterday wore off all I was left with was sheer terror and emotion. The night was rough. So I’ll pull the covers over my head today and turn off the world. And tomorrow I’ll move on. But today… I’ll just… be. -Lana Rafaela #brave #fightlikeagirl #lupus#fibromyalgia #alopecia #ovariancancer #survivor #spoonie #accountability

💪🏾Make your mark: No question this week. Just a huge hope that my openness pushes you to do more for you, each and every time you need it. Thanks for reading and may your lips always be poppin!💋

Uncategorized

10 Loves Meets Forgot to Post = Top 2018 Beauty Faves

Sitting around watching YouTube 2018 faves and realizing this post has been sitting in my drafts from before Christmas… unpublished 🤦🏾‍♀️. Dah well… let’s just keep it moving. It originally was a “what to buy a makeup lover for Christmas” list. Which… still works and is actually my Top 10 Faves of 2018.

Life is so much better with them.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb

-Ok as I’m typing this I see an announcement of a NEW glossbomb. *closes WordPress, 🏃🏾‍♀️💨💨💨 to Sephora app*. If that doesn’t tell you how much I LOVE this gloss… without a doubt it’s the BEST gloss ever. Smells amazing, and is thick and glossy without being sticky. I’ve gone thru several tubes of the original and will soon need to re-up on the 2nd release. I live for the thick, hydrating gloss. (Thin gloss can go kick rocks). And now she’s releasing a new pinky color. Life. Made.

Beauty Bakerie “Coffee & Cocoa Palette”

I had to every intention of doing a Blush & Highlighter post. (And yes, I do plan on still doing this) but I’ve literally not touched any other blush/highlighter or bronzer since I got this palette. It’s a quad, buttery, warm and PERFECT for Melanin skin. La Vida Mocha is my perfect blush color, a burnt orange that blends into my cheeks (Or eyelids) and gives me a warm pop. Anti-Depresso is my perfect contour/bronzer. Deja Brew is a lovely little transition color or a lovely blush color on days where I don’t want to much glitter. And the color You’re Grounded Works well for me as a highlight, blush, eyeshadow, anything I want it to be. I even tried it one morning right on top of a matte foundation and it gave the right amount of glow that I needed. If I want to be completely honest any one of the colors in this pallet have been on my face in any kind of position.

MFMG Liquid lipsticks (especially in Desnudo, Rust or Raw)

Truth be told I have a love-hate relationship with most liquid lipsticks. The amount of prep work and the perfect combination of balm that’s needed to keep some liquid lipsticks from falling into a pilly , nasty, patchy mess is too much for my early morning life before work. I promise you that MFMG is the only and I do mean ONLY liquid lipstick that works for me on a regular basis. It smells amazing and the color matches melanin skin so perfectly. I picked up about five or six of the colors a few months back during a sale I happened to catch online. Who knew that I was going to fall in love so deeply, so purely. 😂 If you follow me on Instagram you know my obsession with these liquid lipsticks. They fall into rotation easily because I can rely on them. They go on smoothly and they don’t dissolve within two minutes. For me they work well when I’m in a matte kind of mood and even when I want to throw a little bit of gloss on top. The colors are so amazing that those mornings when I don’t want to mess with anything other than brow filler and a little mascara I can throw any one of the colors I own on and get compliments all day long. I’m going to stick with this brand because they simply put… stick with me.

ColourPop Karrueche Collab Brown Sugar Collection

I want to completely say that I think that the Karrueche x Colourpop Brown Sugar collection is one of the most slept on releases of the 2018 season. She got it all the way right… from the eyeshadow palette to the eyeliner gel’s and definitely those amazing lipsticks. As we speak I’m still mourning the loss of my Cinnamon lipstick that disappeared Black Friday. I can suppose at some lucky person picked it up perhaps sanitized it and is in love in the way that I’m in love.  Please know that I will be replacing it. I also own the colors Brick and Chocolatier. Brick runs deep brown with some red and Chocolatier is a deep deep brown. Look for more details on this collaboration in a future blog. I’d like to focus solely on the items I have and the items that I know I need to add to the collection to have the full collection and yes, it’s that good.

Urban Decay “Born to Run Palette”

-The Urban Decay Born to Run pallete easily is my pallete of the year.   It’s never been the same. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have a whole drawer of other palletes that I can choose from. Sometimes I literally have to hide this pallete from myself. It’s perfect, there’s no other way to describe it. The colors are amazing, the pigmentation is spot on,  the colors can be worn solo dolo or blended together to give eyeshadow awesomeness.  This would probably be the first pallet that I would absolutely buy over again I’ve never had to replace a pallete. I’ve never hit pan on every single color but I guarantee you this is going to be the one that I do it with.  You can go completely nude, you can go business professional and you can go super glitzy glam nightlife. This pallete is perfection.

Ayele Sunflower Sweets Serum

After seeing people talk about the serum online for several months I finally cut took advantage of the Black Friday sale and picked it up…. it is now my only facial moisturizer. The Sunflower Sweets Serum is an oil which kind of scared me  at first on my combination skin face. What I’ve noticed though is that it glides in so smoothly and gives me a glow without being greasy. It lasts all day. My skin can randomly get super dry and between lupus and the winter weather my dry skin suffers. Sunflower Sweets Serum…. oh my goodness thank you! I deal with chronic dry eyes and the serum under my eyes has helped to keep the skin from being irritated.  Do you self a favor and try it out. I almost wish that this serum was sold in body size format because I would certainly use it all over the body.

Scentbird Subscription

-If you’re a scents lover like me you know you can easily spend so much money on perfume’s yearly. For about $15 a month I now get an opportunity to try out all the perfumes that I’ curious about.  Scentbird says that each spray on gives you 30 days worth of a perfume however I’ve been using some of my  perfumes for longer than 30 days. It’s definitely the most cost-effective way to check out a ton of different perfumes.

 LA Girl concealer

So I have about three concealers that I love.  The one that is the most affordable is the one that I love the most and that’s the LA Girl Concealer. They come in a ton of colors that are super inexpensive and they are super amazing. Remember me mentioning my dry eye condition from above?  The LA Girl Concealer not only hides the dark circles under my eyes but also protects the skin under my eyes from irritation. This one blends seamlessly into my skin. I love it! There are a variety of colors so you can buy a couple for different areas of your face depending on what look you’re going for.

NYX Eyeliner Or Lip Pencils

I don’t think I’ve ever walked into a Target or an Ulta without walking out with at least one or two more colors of the NYX pencils whether it’s eyeliner or lipliner. I own tons of these liners, they’re affordable, the color pay off is amazing and they last all day. I’d list all the colors I have but there’s literally not that much time left in the year, lol.

Masks

I was a really infrequent user of masks and not really understanding their purpose before this year. I got a mask subscription and now I have become a lover of all things Skincare and masks. I have a ton of different brands from a ton of different countries and companies and there’s only been perhaps maybe one or two that I haven’t liked. Other than that masks have been amazing for my skin. I’m a daily makeup wearer and I do believe that the masks are the reason why my skin hasn’t reacted badly. It hydrates my skin, brightens it and keeps my skin in tiptop shape. Grab a couple of masks at whatever store you’re in and add it to your make up skin care.

Make your mark: What is your 2019 Beauty Resolution/Goal/Dream? Happy New Year! Check me out on Instagram @thepippilife and let me know you’re coming from the blog! Thanks for reading and may your lips always be poppin!💋