Goodbye Summer '18

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I am so over summer! It’s never been my favorite season n it’s pretty much been raining in the DMV all summer ate-teen anyways. I am excited for these dmn kids to be back n school (remind me to vote for all year round schooling) n back to a bedtime..oh wait I was corrected by Mason to call it “curfew” becuz bedtime is for kids (which apparently at 11 yrs old he is not). Who needs an alarm to go off at 4am for work when u can be awaken by ur child playin that dmn Fortnite n chatting wit his friends on the headset while the lights are on n his door is open! I am ready for cozy nights, oversized sweaters n leaving my windows open for a crisp breeze to flow. I’m ready to start indulging in a pumpkin spice latte or 2 here n there n starting my LAST SEMESTER OF SCHOOOOOOL **cue crazy fan girl scream** I’m excited to see how well Mason adjusts into middle school. Oh lord…MIDDLE SCHOOL-EEEK!! The rest of 2018 is zoomin n soon we’ll be strolling pass trick or treating n getting ready to say Merry Xmas. Sheesh!! 




My will n energy to blog this summer was non-existent. I just needed a break-period. I refuse to force myself to write when I’m not feeling it so I left my safe haven space abandoned. Sorry. I had no urge to do photoshoots n enjoyed hibernating n peeping or I guess lurking social media. Folks really be desperate for attention these days. Is that clout chasing? Lol I love sayin that phrase to feel ‘hip’. I like to do secret social experiments here n there as it goes along with my psychology classes n be amazed. It’s like playing a crazy scientist who uses different subjects (social media) for experiments-which has technically be done for yeeears mind u; just in different forms. You can tell a lot about people by what they post esp those who take it seriously but I digress. Hibernating was really a low for me. I just had moments where I honestly didn’t wanna be bothered-period. Work or home! Is this the life of introverts? (I always thought I was kinda half n half cuz I do like being social sometimes) Nothing against anyone but I just didn’t wanna deal with people n my attitude of how I felt was clearly noticed by those who called me out on it-which I appreciate. It’s important to have REAL ONES in ur corner to call u out on ur shyt. If I can dish it, I can take it too. It was like my body n brain went on straight cruise control n I listened. For weekends on end I’d be lounging n lazy. I meeean it did benefit my wallet cuz I wasn’t spending as much but my normal routine of Annapolis runs n strolling thru Nordies was on PAUSE! I cringe at the mere thought :( If u ever wanna know who ur real friends are that actually care…fall off the grid n peep who actually takes the time or split second to reach out n simply asks how ur doin out the blue (via txt or chats for me cuz I HATE talkin on the phone) and spare me wit the “check on ur strong friends” bshyt. 




So yes, I am slowly but surely getting back in the groove of peeking my head out to play n preparing for 2019 as I overcome my lows. I mean we got a good 3 months left right…what will be my theme? Hmmm!! My Elevation 2018 is going fairly well. I’ve definitely done that with a few good choices made to better n simplify life. One of them was moving awaaaay from PG County. As a parent, I just could NOT continue to keep my child in the school system n just disappointed in how the funds from MGM didn’t trickle down (as voted) into the schools amongst other issues. It’s a convenient place to live but for the monies that county makes n the high azz taxes they have a nerve to charge-NAH. I’ve since elevated to a quiet, less violent (not that I lived in the hood), more bang for my buck community where white folks are my neighbors  we live amongst diversity. The amenities have spoiled me to truly enjoy being a homebody. Don’t let anyone tell u luxury living isn’t the way to go cuz it’s worth every phkn dime or last penny I got. Although Mason’s favorite part is the valet trash, I make sure he doesn’t get too cozy n still make him take it out every so often (ok just the wknds) to remind him of humble beginnings lol. The school systems are definitely better which was the deciding factor for me and offer more opportunities with educational programs of advancement becuz if college will be an option we not waiting for HS to prepare-it starts NOW. I’ll be lookin fwd to being more social n attending social events for blogging n women empowerments. That’s what I need-energy of strong women to keep building and uplifting tribes. It’s a great way to continue my journey to: Inspire.Motivate.Elevate <3


Smooches

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Top 5: High End Lippies

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A laydee can never have enuff lippies. The various shades n finishes can be overwhelming. The lip color can easily dictate ur mood. A red lippie means girl power n I feel strong n confident. A nude, I'm being low-key. A matte finish means I'm grown, a gloss finish means I'm being girly n playful :P However u choose to wear em there's no shortage of brands to cater to ur liking. Becuz of the price, high enders can get left behind for us of shaaaaade n melanin when it comes to searching reviews on 'em and if ur used to lower ends it can be quite intimidating. Don't fret, I was once on the edge on whether to take the plunge too. I haven't looked back since taking the leap.

As stated previously...how did I end up here? How did I go from drugstore prices to super ceding MAC prices and not batting a lash to drop monies on THE most expensive lippie EVER!! My advice to beginners is always to not overdo it. Don't get caught up in the hype of scrolling ur TL to see influencers showing off high end shyt that ain't in ur budget-it's ok! Also, do not judge (nor secretly count my pockets). My vice isn't drinking, smoking or partying. It's makeup. I still have a wide range of brands I love that aren't so pricey n enjoy em just as much. People pay for what they want-period. On the flip side to that advice, there really are some high enders that are worth every penny. So what is high end??? I would say a luxury brand within the umbrella of Gucci n them or a price point of $30 n ova.


Learn the lingo:
DC-discontinued 
CCO-cosmetics company outlet
LE-limited edition
YSL-Yves St Laurent
TF-Tom Ford
CL- Christian Louboutin

Dior; Lipglow $34/Double Rouge Matte $37:
my first dip into high end and it feels every bit of luxury gliding on my lips. I love the lipglows n glad they are coming out with more shades every year. It's not a full on color. Just a hint of shade to ur lips without workin hard. NEVER leave em in ur car during hot weather-such a casualty. I use these ALL the way down beyond the nub. I literally SCRAPE the last bits n then it's on to the next. It's that serious. If ur more of a glosser the maximizer is a great option too. They don't have any strong scents n make me feel prissy luxuriating on my lips but more importantly-hydrating. They also have matte lippies I've dabbled in which glide on lovely w/rich pkg'in. WORTH IT!!!








YSL; Volupte Shine/Pur Couture $37:
These are like rubbing clouds against ur lips! OMG after I discovered my first one I went a tad crazy n grabbed more. Aside from the luxury of the package-I'm a sucker for packaging mmmm k these are amazing. The pigment of the shade in one swipe is THERE n they feel buttery on the lips BUT too buttery I will say cuz it becomes very slippery. Yes you'll need to reapply but so what, u will look divine pulling this out the clutch. Some of the shades I have are now DC'd ie Lingerie (left) which is one of my faves!


Tom Ford; Lip color $54:
I have such a love hate for TF. My favorite shades is hands down Sable Smoke n Deep Mink (now DC). I don't know what it is bout TF's nudes but they turn on me like the walkin dead n this is my THIRD time swapping it. I love SS so bad tho I am a sucker for punishment. I have not found a nude I love as much as this one tho but I have better luck with the white pkg'in. I am glad he's expanded to mini's for those not willing to drop $50+ for a full size. but u could honestly finish a tube of these becuz it's worth using everyday. FLAME is a phkn stunna. It's the most gorgeous red/orange ever to brighten ur face (similar to MAC So Chaud) n last all day. It's a rich matte. The packaging is heavy but so is the pigment. You would think at $50 a pop these would linger round but NOPE. When TF collections drop esp if it's LE shades they go QUICK!! Like hard to find-quick so if u snooze u will lose. If ur lucky, u can also find TF in CCO's for a good $30+. I was able to snag a DC'd palette in there for $40 n they normally $82-just saying!


TF Sable Smoke 

Guerlain; Rouge G $37 ($17.50 for the case):
I was mindin my business in Tyson's Mall (Va) during a nordies anniversary sale years ago n stumbled upon this counter. With time to spare this lady picked out a color n I thought nothing of it but tried it on. OMG!! It was magical. I'd never had anything beyond MAC n NARS on my lips at this time but THIS was just the spark of where I am today. Even thinking of how to describe the feeling makes me moan n quiff. Her name was Gypsy n she stole my virginity. It felt like slow motion applying this on my bottom lip n then lightly moving to my top lip all the while erotically blending both lips by merging them together in a blottingly fashion which ends with the most sensual pucker. LAWD JESUS pass me a cigarette **blows out smoke** Gypsy was the most sexiest plum lip I'd ever seen n STUPID ME didn't get it becuz I was intimidated by the $52 price tag (at the time). Little did I know it was LE n although it made me feel sexy AF I am still to this day kicking myself for not leavin with her. Off the no bull I slightly have a tear forming writing this-so serious! COME BACK GYPSYYYYYYYYYY **cue Kim K ugly cry** I never quite recovered from that lost or shall I say...the one that got away **le sigh** Well fast fwd to today n they've revamped the line n also dropped the price. You can now enjoy the luxury at the expense of $37 as a refill bullet n grab a case for $17. The cases are adorbs making them interchangeable. It flips out to a mirror when u take it out. To say this lippie is worth it is an understatement. This shyt trumps em ALL n be killin it on the low. The line is mainly known for their bronzer n balls-I mean meteorites (which I hold a few of) but the standout is definitely the lippies for me. The only reason I don't have more is becuz...well Gypsy left a stain on my heart n I am desperately seeking susan so I settled for this one. GUERLAIN PLEASE BRING HER BACK FOR THE LOVE OF RAY J PLEEEEASE!!

The only remnants I have of Gypsy, circa 2014


Louboutin; Velvet Matte Lip Color $90:
Honey...Sugar...Baby...**lip pops** When the buzz of this comin out hit the blogwaves, I was already waste deep in luxury brands n once u fall into the rabbit hole there's no turning back (which is why I advise to be careful). Once u get a taste of luxury it's hard to go back down. 
"Aye baby see, when u used to filet mignon, it's kinda hard goin back to hamburger helper-its ur choice tho baby" 
Jay-Z



**Warning: arrogance n snobbish-ness starts NOW** the teases had us anxious n when that price dropped...we all knew it's what separated the girls from the womens **hair flip**. When we seen swatches u had to be VERY careful n think long n strong on which ONE to grab first. Then u have to also consider the swatches look different on tones n lighting. That price tag ain't no hoe!! I had to do it for the Cult-CHA tho. I blindly ordered Zoulou and it arrived the same as Prince Hakeem did in Comin to America. The UPS driver tossed rose petals down as he delivered my box. It was then gently opened with a golden letter opener w/the fingerprints of Queen Elizabeth's assistant. As the clouds parted for the gates of heaven to open, the light was shining upon this elegant box of glory n u could hear the harp strings in the background play ever so gently. The epitome of opulence daaaarling-WELCOME!!! I could care less about the fabric provided to wear it as a necklace. I mean come on...u already shytn on bytchez by having it in ur possession as is...how ostentatious must one be **cue Mayweather antics** This is a life changer. It does NOT disappoint AT ALL. The details in packaging is like none I've ever seen n u feel Godly dripping in all this royalness. The whole lipstick is just rich. It's not drying making it the perfect matte for me n no need to reapply. The bullet is quite heavy but I mean...that's what ur bag handlers are for **powder puffs decollecte** If u are a makeup junkie of a certain **ahem** level of elevation then no doubt u have at least ONE! If not, ur clearly outside of the velvet ropes n u may continue to stand in the lines...with the others **shoo hand motion as I side eyed those who waited in line for a FREE Mac lipstick** TUH. I have 2 nudes: Zoulou n Just Nothing. They are buildable to make em more opaque if needed but I keep it simple with one swipe or 2. I have to remind myself NO MORE NUDES when it comes to these becuz I think if ur gonna go for the gusto it might as well be a pop of color to enjoy!
(CL Zoulou on the left, CL Just Nothing on the right)


**comes back down to earth** If you are risky n wanna jump then stop pass a counter to do some swatches n find ur shade. I would go for a staple color-anything nude (those go first). I'm not big on reds but it's also a basic start (which is popular as much as nudes). When u really get comfy u can venture out in bolder colors-pinks, oranges, vampy...the ones u not grabbing for everyday but on the days u feeling boss bytch-ish. Take advantage of sales: 15-25% offs happen more often than u think (for some brands). Nordies does price matching too but it's random. My favorite time is holiday for SETS. YSL normally has a set of mini's and Burberry does a cute little box but it mainly comes with a red shade. Dior is now in...Ulta **le sigh** now let me say this...I have nothing against Ulta. They have an awesome rewards point system going on but it does somethin to my soul knowing I can grab a Dior lippie next to Maybelline **cringe** dare I say it...it cheapens the brand :7 You don't even see a commercial for Bentley's let alone see a sale on em-in case u never noticed. I was already done when MAC hit Ulta becuz it was such an exclusive brand n now...it's opened to the masses at a huge discounted rate. The thieves n those who don't appreciate really good brands take advantage of the opportunity to steal or open up shyt that ain't testers n drives the cost up eventually. phkn peasants!! The infamous question: Do I need these? **scrunches face to think** look...i'm sure u've grabbed a lot of things u don't "need" but i'm not minding nobodies wallet. Do what ur capable of n don't feel pressured or as if ur missing out becuz of the name-it's just makeup (but dmn it if u ain't got bragging rights possessing these-just saying). Is there anything you'd limit for love? Where does the buck stop? I can't bring myself to hit submit for an order of red bottoms (consignment or not) n I currently have Gucci MJ's in my wishlist that I just can't pull the trigger for-designer shoes just ain't my thing but I'm not opposed to it. Til then I'll indulge in their makeup lines which still makes me apart of lol-right. 

Smooches

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Overcoming A Miscarriage

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This time last year I was glowing in excitement as I was ready to embark on new life formed within my womb. The general rule is what? Keep quiet n wait til after 12 wks or something but mine is 5 months-no rhyme or reason tho. It’s just something I prefer to keep between the party involved n a few I carefully choose to share with until I feel like making an announcement. Speaking on a loss isn’t an easy feat to do. We normally keep it to ourselves becuz we feel nobody would understand but you’d be surprised with how many relate. Being preggers at 25 is a whole different ball game than anything after 35 as I was able to pay more attention and appreciate the changes within my body this time around. I’ve never had morning sickness but dmn it if heartburn didn’t take me out.




I admire women who share their stories of miscarriage (MC) aloud because nobody talks about it. You can find solace in someone u relate to for support. It’s almost like it’s a taboo topic but more so it opens u up to being vulnerable n judged. Do I share? How do I share? What do I share? Do I really feel like reliving it by explaining the shyt all over again? Ugh! I felt like how can I not esp if I wanted to later share a success story. I go from being so excited which was different for me becuz of all the previous ones it was like “oh shyt-wtf now” to oh nooooo. FINALLY I get pregnant on purpose with a purpose n it’s snatched from me. I felt like it was karma for taking for granted all the other times of it easily being handed to me n tossed like eeeh maybe next time becuz I know for sure I have a whole Josephine Baker rainbow tribe waiting on me at the pearly gates (don’t judge me). Yet I have no problem taking full responsibility for my choices and I don’t regret em. I’ve been a work in progress for some years now n made peace with a lot of past indiscretions honey. That’s why I’m such a beast today becuz I’m very aware of myself. After being on bedrest for weeks at a time my water broke too early n the end result was a miscarriage-THANK GOD I did have folks check on me as well as give me my space. Getting my body back into sync wasn’t easy becuz it still processed a baby being delivered. I gradually went back to work to resume my regularly scheduled programming but it was tough cuz it randomly crossed my mind n I’d be done for the day n retreat back into hiding. Slowly but surely I came back into normalcy and regained a sense of brighter days.




Many have asked if we’ll try again. I feel optimistic so why not. There are plenty rainbow babies amongst us and your probably one urself. If it was anything that would put my life in jeopardy-NO n since my doctor gave us the green light, it’s all I needed! For those who are trying-keep goin IF ur psychy allows becuz I can’t imagine going thru the devastation of an MC back to back n then u feel like u walkin on eggshells in hopes of-ya know, so it takes a toll on ur body n mental state. Just think, if women gave up after the first try or loss the population would prolly be half. It’s all in divine timing n whenever it’s meant to be soooo let me set boundaries now: do NOT ask me every month if I’m pregnant-it’s phkn annoying. I can see the reason why people keep shyt under wraps n private #HiKylie yet I know people have the best intentions and want to see us win…still it’s annoying! Even if and when it does happen I would do things a lot different the next go round like…not give a due date. Nothing else more annoying than u asking within those upcoming weeks “Is it here yet” n yall know I got a smart mouf so u ask me on the wrong day/time u will get ur feelings hurt. Please believe I’m not hardly press for the attention so depending on how u could perceive and receive this message it might translate to: ur on a need to know basis! It’s not to be mean n I don’t wanna sound bytchy but I am now VERY picky with who I share my energy (n self) with (even tho I am sharing it on this platform). I know how fake some folks can be as well as nosey so for something as important as this, I only want genuine people on my team. Whether that’s 2 people or 20, I prefer the quality over quantity any day. Thank you for ur words of encouragement, well wishes n prayers, they definitely don't go unnoticed and much appreciated. I'm open to receiving my blessings :)



Smooches

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Top 5 Series: Intro

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As promised i'll be doing my Top 5 series but I wanted this post to be a little disclaimer before I hopped into it. My top 5's will consist of anything from celebs, anything beauty, places to eat or shop-yall know I'm random. My first one will be high end makeup. Years ago when I came into the game, I started off with drugstore and graduated from there. My foundations and concealers came from makeup counters because I didn't know how to blindly match myself. Sephora and Mac were my besties esp Mac and I built a great relationship with them so I didn't have to clamor n wait in line for limited edition items that sold out asap (oh hi rihanna collection). While I joined makeup forums to keep up with "what's next" I didn't have any interest in trying high end becuz the price alone scared me. Like dmnnnn who in they right mind would pay $20+ for a lipstick (lippie) or $50+ on foundation. That's absurd. As I became more comfortable in the makeup world I still stayed within my lane of the Mac price range n a splurge for me was NARS.




One day I'm leaving out of nordies minding my business when this lady pulled me to try Dior. Why I didn't keep goin-I don't know but she paired a lippie n lip glow (balm) on me n it was like putting on the hat to Frosty the snowman. HAPPY BIRTHDAY-I came to life. I didn't take the lippie but the lip glow I knew I couldn't leave it behind n didn't care it was a whopping $34. I consistently use it n rebuy every 3-4 months so it's well justified now. 

Confession: Jumping into the high life I felt bad becuz those who aren't makeup junkies don't quite understand and u are then judged with the "u spent how much...on what" and the "u crazy" along with "such n such is cheaper" so I remained underground with my fellow makeup sisters on forums who embraced my newfound love n didn't judge.



As I became more open minded with trying high end I made sure I researched it first. I looked up swatches and reviews which I rely on if it's not at the counters. Makeup is trial n error. Yes, there are peasantry cheaper options n brands but I like what I like n don't apologize for it. It's not for everybody. The same way guys spend hundreds on Jordan's is the same way I might spend at Sephora. My makeup stash is my therapy n that I enjoy. That's that. I am fully out the closet now n not ashamed! I can easily walk out the house with a $300 face (which is why MUA's shouldn't short themselves n clients should appreciate the charge). Now...just becuz it's of high end doesn't mean it's better than. I have had some high end brands that were trash. There are also high end brands that don't necessarily cater to women of color (woc) shades. I am now to the point where I am picky with my brands becuz I know what works for ME. I also shop for it when my pocket allows so I'm smarter to shop during sale times to soften the blow. 




Treat cho' self-within reason. I have a habit of trying things in two's which is dangerous at these dmn prices. If u are interested in making the plunge, search youtube, beauty blogs n reviews. My reviews will not be politically correct. I can tell u right now, I'm not doing no list of ingredients, how many ounces in a product, what sweat shop the labels were made in or none of that. Imma keep it simple: price n if it's worth grabbing or not. I will say there aren't a lot of swatches for woc's pass my shade. I scoured the internet all night one time lookin for Tom Ford swatches n when I did find ONE her lighting wasn't great :( If u got a gift card laying around-go for it. Sephora has fall n spring sales with 15-20% off n that's when I mainly stock up-but again no pressure. I can't even remember the last time I've brought a Mac lippie but my last one was Guerlain-OMG!!! Now THAT is a brand that's worth it on or off a sale. 

Ok Top 5 High End Lippies...comin up...

Smooches

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