RIP Essence Beauty Box

Essence Beauty Box
It saddens my heart to say that Essence beauty box is coming to an end! I got an email yesterday at 3:13 pm ET that the Essence Magazine’s monthly subscription beauty box was coming to an end with September being the last box. I mention the time because earlier that day, I had written a blog post proclaiming how much I loved the subscription box and it was scheduled to go live today.

As a bit of background if you are not familiar with subscription boxes, they are curated monthly subscriptions of beauty or hair samples that get delivered to your house every month. Birchbox is the grand dame of the subscription box genre. These days, there is a subscription box for EVERYTHING including food, clothes, pets, etc.! Even celebrities have gotten in on the action including Kate Hudson’s Fabletics and Giuliana Rancic’s FabFitFun

I was beyond excited when Essence announced the launch of their own box for women of color. And while there are a million beauty boxes out there, very few of them cater to women of color.
The products in the Essence beauty box where really great! You actually got a generous amount of product and they made sense (sorry, but if you have natural hair like I do, you go through half a bottle of conditioner and traditional sample sizes just will not do).

So RIP Essence Beauty Box, I hope another comes along soon to make up for this void!

Sephora Subsciption Box

Be still my heart! Yup, just as the header said, Sephora is launching a subscription box! So really, what has taken them so long! You are all my people, so I know you are well aware of Birchbox! Well, our beloved Sephora will be competing with  the subscription box giant.

The service will be called “Play! by Sephora” and will roll out in limited edition this September and  will be available nationwide in 2016. For $10 a month, subscribers will get five deluxe samples of beauty products a month!

The first box is themed around “Uncovering The Essentials,” and will include: Sephora Collection Rouge Infusion lip gloss in Peony, Marc Jacobs Beauty gel crayon eyeliner in Blacquer, Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Face Crème, Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil and Glamglow Supercleanse facial cleanser.

The service launches in September 2015 in three test markets (Boston, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio).

I can’t wait to get my hands on this subscription box! I figure I already spend like half my paycheck there, what’s another $10!

5 Amazing Things You Can Do With Lipstick

By Evelyn Walker

As a simple lip balm gal, even I can admit lipstick is a pretty amazing product. It was one of the first cosmetic products invented! Ancient Egyptians used to crush gems – yep, actual precious gems – and apply the crystals to their lips. And that’s not the only innovative lipstick use to be created. Deepica Mutyala, a professional beauty expert and vlogger posted a video in January that became an instant hit. She found an unorthodox way to conceal dark circles using red lipstick. Check it out!

Here’s what you need to know before getting started:

For a dark skin tone – an orangey-red lipstick like e.l.f. Studio’s Velvet Rope should do the trick.

For an olive/light skin tone –a peach or coral lipstick like Wet n Wild’s Silk Finish 15 Minutes Aflame is a better choice.Lipstick Post 1.jpg

So once you’ve got the right lipstick for your skin tone, here’s how to cover up those under eye blemishes and dark spots using Deepica’s beauty hack.

  • Make sure your face is clean and product free
  • Get some lipstick on a shader brush
  • Apply it evenly over the areas you want neutralized
  • Don’t try to blend it into your skin just let it sit for a minute
  • Then apply your regular concealer over the lipstick
  • Using a blending sponge, blend out the concealer
  • Continue with your normal beauty routine

Once the concealer is properly blended and set with translucent powder, you should find that your complexion has evened out. It may take a few tries, but lipstick as a tone corrector definitely works! Click here to see it done on lighter skin.

Lipstick can also be used as other products like:

Eyeshadow base

Lipsticks have that creamy texture which works perfectly as an eyeshadow base. If you’ve got lighter shades of lipstick like beiges and pinks, you can use them to make your eyeshadows pack more of a punch. It’s easy!Lipstick Post 2

  • Prime/moisturize your eyelids
  • Apply the lipstick onto the eyelid with an eyeshadow brush
  • Cover the lids evenly and blend the outer edges
  • Apply eyeshadow and eyeliner as normal

The result is beautiful! The lipstick base makes the eyeshadow color look more intense and it will help your eye look last longer. You can try experimenting with different shades of lipstick and complementing eyeshadows to see what works for you.

Blush/cheek stain

If you’re looking for the perfect blush to match your lipstick, look no further – it’s right in front of you! Lipstick can substitute as a cream blush and it’s super easy to apply. No melting or mixing necessary.Lipstick Post 3

  • Rub some onto your finger from the tube
  • Dab it onto your cheek bones
  • With a clean finger blend the lipstick out

After that easy-peasy process you should have a lovely, soft tint to your cheeks that goes perfectly with your lipstick.

Lip gloss

If you’re crushed that your favorite lipstick is running out or has broken, fear not! You can turn it into a lip gloss. Lipstick Post 4

  • Mash up the lipstick in a bowl using a spoon
  • Mix a little Vaseline/petroleum jelly into it
  • Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds
  • Mix the melted product together

And you’ve made your own lip gloss! You can add more Vaseline if you want the gloss thicker or substitute it with clear lip gloss.

From an eyeshadow base to a tone corrector, your lipstick can be turned into some useful makeup products. With a little experimenting you could even create your own custom concealer or highlighter from an old lipstick.

Do you use your lipstick in an unusual way? I’d love to hear about it!

Storing My Makeup


Being a blogger, I have acquired a lot of beauty products over the years. Finding a place to store all of that makeup, nail polish, moisturizer, etc. was definitely a challenge. Initially, I stored everything in multiple makeup bags but it was not very convenient. Having to go through a bunch of bags to find a particular eyeshadow wasted more time than I care to admit. I looked for ways to streamline my makeup storage and after some searching online, I found this great set at the Container Store. I bought five pieces in the Luxe Acrylic Modular System and these pieces worked best for my needs, however, you can mix and match them how you see fit. I’ll be honest, they are a bit pricey because each piece cost between $11.99-$29.99. I have the following items from the collection: One Large Acrylic Makeup Organizer – $29.99; Two Wide Medium Luxe Acrylic Modular Drawer Clear – $29.99;  Two Half Tall Luxe Acrylic Modular Drawer Clear – $19.99 each. In total, this storage set cost me $110 plus tax. Pricey I know, but well worth it.


For my makeup brushes, I went to Michael’s and bought decorative fillers river rocks for $6.99 and this Glass Cylinder Vase for $3.99. It is a perfect for storing my brushes and keeping them all together.


For all the other makeup this I do not use regularly, I store in makeup bags!


In writing this post, I also found cheaper sets online like this one from Amazon for $28! It is a little bit smaller than mine but so is the price.


Flashback To Sunny Costa Rica


Dress: Old Navy (Similar); Hair Chain (Similar)

This being Flashback Friday, I had to talk about my amazing trip to Costa Rica last month. Especially now that I have to endure the snowy DC weather! I was in Costa Rica for my friend Crystal’s wedding. The ceremony was in Jaco, Costa Rica at this amazing resort, Zephyr Palace. For lodging, I stayed at the sister resort Villa Caletas. I am telling you now, run to this amazing paradise because everything about it was spectacular!

The sunsets are like nothing I have ever seen before and the view from the resort left me in awe. With the hustle and bustle of life, it was really calming to take a moment in the evening to watch the sunset and remember there is more to life than errands, bills and all of the other trappings of adulthood that keep us up at night. Not a moment went by that I did not think about how lucky I was to be in this majestic utopia. Best of all, I was lucky enough to travel with an awesome group of friends. My dear friend Leslie even convinced me to go ziplining (yup, I was REALLY scared but faced my fears)!

For my outfit to the wedding, I wore an orange maxi dress from Old Navy. I found it on the clearance rack for $12! I loved the dress and the color screened tropics. Since the dress itself was simple, I added the hair chain to give it that Grecian vibe. I bought for less than $10 at a beauty supply store in Houston. I did a smokey eye and a nude lip.


Inifinity Pool




ME Costa Rica 1


Crystal and Jake’s wedding was hands down one of the most amazing weddings I have ever been to. To start, the location was breathtaking! The bride and groom reminded me of Ken and Barbie! The reception was beautiful, the décor was exquisite and you saw the bride’s touch in every detail. I know, they look fantastic!




Springing Into Bridal Season

My friend recently got married in what is hands down THE most amazing location I have ever been to for a wedding (more on that wedding later this week). She looked amazing and her hair and makeup were perfection so I asked to meet her beauty dream team, hairstylist Carissa and makeup artist Colleen PR Partners in Metro Center

Lucky me, I was invited to PR Partners Boutique Bridal show on Sunday and had a chance to meet the owner of the salon  Jacqui Davis and the rest of the staff. I also got to see a sneak peek of things to come for wedding season (April – October). The evening was complete with hair and makeup demonstrations, mini skin treatments sweet treats and champagne. Here are some pics from the event!


















Valentine’s Day Fashion Guide

If you are anything like me, you are probably looking for a fabulous Valentine’s Day outfit. Have no fear, I have combed the web for some of my favorite looks. Even though am single girl, I will be painting the town red. I am visiting my friend in San Francisco and my sister will be joining me!

I myself can’t get enough of a classic look that entails a white button top and this amazing skirt. LOVE!!! Now, I don’t believe you have to wear red just because it is Valentine’s Day. However, this skirt is everything.

Chic Valentine's Day Outfit



I absolutely love these ensembles. They are chic and perfect for dinner and dancing!

Valentine's Day Date Night

Product Review: Paula’s Choice Liquid Exfoliant

Paula's Choice BHA

I have been a fan of Paula Begoun for over 10 years now. I have always had acne prone skin and many years ago, someone recommended I pick up “Don’t Go To The Cosmetic Counter Without Me”, the book served as my beauty bible for many years. I purchased many products based solely on Paula’s recommendations. So I few weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to try a product from Paula’s skincare line Paula’s Choice. I had been breaking out and was in the market for a new exfoliant  product.  I purchased the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant As usual, Paula did not disappoint!

The first time I used this beta hydroxy acid (BHA) product, I applied it at night and I saw a difference the very next morning. I had some acne coming in and it knocked almost all of them out except for a pesky zit on my cheek, but 2 days later, it was completely gone. I read some reviews on the site from consumers that said this product made their skin oily, that was not my experience. But then again, I already have oily skin and I do not think this contributed to it at all. I highly recommend this product. My skin is so much clearer and it has also helped with my hyper pigmentation. Salicylic acid allows the cells on your skin to loosen allowing dead skin cells to sloth off and make room for new skin. If you have never used a BHA product before, I would recommend starting office with every other day to see how it works for you. I do not use this product everyday although you certainly can. I would say when my skin is fairly clear, I use it every 2-3 days. If I have been traveling, I will use it more daily as I have a tendency to slack on my skin care regimen when I am away from home.

As a side note, and this is also mentioned on the site, if you have an allergy to aspirin, you definitely was to stay away from this product. Salicylic acid is a derivative of aspirin.

This is off course my opinion on this BHA.

Black Friday Beauty Deals 2014

Happy Thanksgiving my beautiful fashionistas! Hope you have an amazing day with friends and family ! 

But what is Thanksgiving without the anticipation of the Black Friday Frenzy! Have no fear, I have all of your beauty deals covered. Take a look!

M.A.C Smoky Black Friday Palette 


On November 28 only, M.A.C is offering their Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in a new trio of shades as an exclusive online-only edition for a brilliant take on the smoky eye. The Smoky Black Friday Shadow is $25 and available at M.A.C

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette, $34


Makeup Forever 


(The deals boutique only, will honor phone orders) 2 for $10 Aqua Shadows, 2 for $10 Aqua Eyes Lagoon Green, 2 for $10 Aqua Liner from Sepia Collection; $150 Make Up Artist Picks Set (was $300), $34 Artisan Brush Set (was $65), $19 Aqua Shadow Kit (was $38), $9 Extravagant Eyes on the Go Set (was $18)

Sephora Black Friday $10 Deals


At Home Suave Spa Secrets

Sauve 1

There is nothing like going to spa and leaving all of your worries behind for an hour or forever. But alas, we can’t all live the life of Kim and Kanye so we will have to settle with going to the spa once in a blue moon. You can always create the spa experience at home for a significant ! Cue the Sade or Enya like tunes and drift away!

This past week, I have been using Suave® Professionals premium body care line. I used the Awapuhi Infusion Awapuhi Ginger & Honeysuckle and the Moroccan Infusion body wash. They smell amazing! After taking a shower, I just loved how the Awapuhi infusion made the entire room smell like a little bit of heaven!

Along with the body wash and lotions, the line also includes Moroccan Infusion Dry Body Oil Spray. The spray is a light mist and contains Moroccan argan oil and best part it is not greasy.

You can find the entire line at Target, Walmart or Walgreens.

Suave 2

Suave 3

#SuaveSpaSecrets, #suavebeauty