Category: Beauty

Face Forward: Julep’s Mask Noir Facial Review

Julep Maven’s October box came with tons of goodies! And no, this sugar loving chick isn’t talking about the candy corn. I’m talking about the facial mask that was tucked in with the polish! Julep’s MASK NOIR with Power Cell Complex to be exact.

  • A peel-off mask of gentle kaolin clay and black volcanic ash.
  • Features and Benefits of Mask Noir:
  • Black volcanic ash boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial peptides.
  • Kaolin Clay is as gentle as it is deep-cleaning.
  • Incredibly clean, visibly brightened skin upon removal
  • Enriched with Julep’s proprietary Power Cell Complex™, a trio of skin-boosting superstars:
  • Rosehip seed oil – a nourishing oil (and natural source of vitamins A and C) that helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and post-acne marks. Contains natural fatty acids that bond moisture to skin
  • Malvaceae Lipid Extract™ – a lipid complex that provides immediate and long-lasting hydration and works to rebuild skin structure from the inside out
  • Green coffee bean oil – a natural anti-inflammatory that promotes cell turnover

Now, I’m pretty decent when it comes to French…blanc is white and noir is black. Seriously, I know that — but for some odd reason, “noir” didn’t quite register in my brain as quickly as it should’ve. First squeeze of the tube and thick “black goo” comes out (insert minor freak out) then I keep squeezing…MORE BLACK GOO! Then, it dawned on me…duh, Rena, it’s supposed to be black. NOIR. We’re just gonna say breakfast was skipped that day…hence the lack of brain cells smh.

Anywho…let’s see how using the mask turned out:

I’ve only used it twice so far which isn’t enough time to see a real difference in my skin. If following the instructions correctly, the mask should be applied twice per week so I’ll try my best to add this to my beauty routine. After the first use, my skin was definitely soft after peeling the mask off. I didn’t put on any moisturizer…only because I wasn’t going out anywhere but it definitely didn’t feel dry or dehydrated.

The cons of this MASK NOIR…it is messy! My nails were black, my sink was black, my cotton face cloth was black….everything was BLACK! Once the mask dries and you peel it off, there WILL be excess “residue” on your face that should be rinsed off. I soaked my face cloth in warm water and rinsed…well scrubbed with a little arm power (tad exaggerated). Nothing too serious but the little specks of “black goo” were everywhere.

Final thoughts…

I like it! After two tries my skin did feel softer and that’s a claim to its’ fame so that’s a plus! As far as the other things its supposed to do…just gotta wait and see.

PINKTOBER: Pink for Pink Lovers and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Nail Art

It’s no secret that I love the color pink.
So displaying the color in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month during October…I jumped on it!
This weeks mani and nail art is all in the name of Pinktober!
Essie ~ No Chips Ahead (clear)
Essie ~ Mademoiselle (light light pink)
Julep ~ Natalie (bright pink)
To get the solid color pink, I mixed the two pinks plus white polish until I had the desired shade. Any white will do, I used a cheap Wet-n-Wild .99 white polish. The glitter mix was purchased from eBay awhile back and fairly cheap. Definitely less messy than mixing up a batch yourself. It’s more convenient for me to buy pre-made mixes since I don’t use them that often.
So that’s it!
Happy Pinktober!

Herbal Essences Wants To #BanBoringBodyWash

That’s right! Just say NO to boring body wash!
That’s the new thing and it’s what’s new at Herbal Essences! It’s definitely not a boring body wash that’s for sure! The fine people over at Herbal Essences have a new body wash and it smells sooooo good!
Usually known for their fun and fruity hair products like “None of Your Frizzness” which is infused with mandarin crème and pearl. It fights frizzy hair and flyaways (clearly one of my faves.) Their body wash won’t disappoint either!
Starting with three absolutely intoxicating scents: Body Burst, Happy Go Lather, and Hello Hydration 
They want us all to get hooked and so far, I’m almost there!
I had the pleasure of getting a “perk” from Klout (because I clearly tweet way too much lol) and Herbal Essences provided me with TWO travel sized versions of the new body wash in Body Burst and Hello Hydration. There was also a bonus Walmart gift card in the box, helloooo mini shopping spree!
I was definitely skeptical because my skin is more sensitive than a newborns bottom so I’ve gotta be extra careful when trying new products on my bod. Figuring that I’ve used their shampoos and conditioners sans any problems, I went for it! After using the Hello Hydration and Body Burst body wash wash about two to three times a week for a full month, definitely no breakouts or post-shower regret. The fragrance left my skin surprisingly sweet smelling throughout the mornings. It wasn’t a strong smell but a soft subtle scent…I found myself sniffing my wrists and arms at random moments. Maybe it should come with a disclaimer: “Warning, may cause random body part sniffing!”
Overall, I say go for it beauty buddies!
Disclosure:  I was given a free product or sample because I’m a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Saturday Surprise!

There’s nothing like getting surprises…the good kind of course!


If you stylish sweets remember, I’m an “Influenster” and Influensters get goodies (sometimes not so good) things to test, try out, use and review. I received my first Influenster Voxbox a few months back and enjoyed testing out every product. Check out my reviews herehere and hereSince then, Influenster notified me that I was one of the top reviewers for that Voxbox (goodies) and was selected to get MORE goodies!!


Well, that was a month or so ago and I totally forgot all about it, until today! Surprise! More treats! My wonderful mail lady shocked me by ringing the bell and announcing I had packages! Now, me being me, I was worried that maybe I was the proud new owner of a big fake check from Publishers Clearing House but not this time. Anywho, ripping into the packaging and pulling out beauty products was way better!


Here’s the loot I snagged:




Huge thanks to Kiss and NYC Color!!


I’m not obligated to use OR review these products but you guys know me…….I’ll share the deets!


Stay tuned!


Let’s Go au naturale! #AllNaturalStyleSecrets

If you know me in the real world, you know that I rarely wear makeup everyday. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE MAKEUP but showing a fresh face to the world is a thing of beauty. It shows confidence and your natural features. So when Lucky Mag and the Lucky Mag Community reached out to do a post featuring a new natural product, I jumped at the chance!



Disclosure: I received a free sample of this product from Lucky and Seventh Generation for use in connection with this blog.





And here’s what I received! Seventh Generation Boosts: Firming




I’ve been using this product for 3 days and my skin feels ahh-mazing!



As my style is already fairly natural, I figured what way to show that off than in my “natural” habitat?! At home, relaxing on the couch while enjoying some tv! Natural is comfortable for me. A chambray shirt from Old Navy and curls are all I need for a relaxing evening. Keeping it simple is my secret to effortless style.





Trust me, you’re going to love it!

Naturally In Motion

Wow, it’s Wednesday already! I seriously had to at look the calendar on my lappy (laptop) to double check! If that didn’t blow your mind, the end of April is near. Next thing you know, we’ll be going to pool parties and walking out the door with wet hair again. Ahh the joys of spring and summer. The only thing I’m not looking forward to…bugs! I will scream, jump and act like a complete crazy person until someone comes to my rescue. Let’s just skip over and not even think about those horror stories, shall we?!


Hair, is what we’re talking about today. During the fall and winter months my hair is usually bone straight. That means, I’m washing, blow drying AND using the flat iron or pressing comb to get it done. Of course, those are the days that I don’t go to the salon. In the spring and summer it’s a totally different ballgame! I let my natural hair flag fly high! It’s all about washing, slathering a leave-in conditioner on and walking out the door, wet hair and all!


Having mostly “black chick hair” I’m always searching for new products to try and keep on my counter for everyday use. The grade of hair I have is pretty hard to describe…think “mixed” or interracial is the easiest way to explain it in its’ natural state. So when I was wandering the “Twitter streets” I lucked up and won a free sample size conditioner from Motions! If you missed that post simply track back and read it here: Motions Hair “Product Review”


Well, since writing that review, the lovely people at Motions and their PR firm (Siren) contacted me about sending over some goodies. Needless to say, I hopped on the chance to get some free hair products! I mean, what girl is going to turn that down?!


So, here’s what the lovely ladies shipped over:



The Entire Line of  Naturally You



Moisturizing Cleanser

Smoothing Conditioner

Radiating Gloss

Define My Curls Creme

Hydrate My Curls Pudding

Deep Conditioning Masque


Hmm…I couldn’t WAIT to dive into all those jars! There was only ONE teeny-tiny problem…I JUST GOT MY HAIR DONE! Not a complete bummer because I was able to use one of the products which I’ll share with you another day. Soon as it’s time to wash my tendrils this weekend, I’m grabbing these yummy smelling delights!


Now, when I started this blog, I never in a million years ever thought I’d get freebies. I do this because I love it not for anything in return. Having a voice out in the blogosphere for a shopaholic curvy chick that rambles and loves sports is important! Anywho, neither Motions or Siren asked for anything in return. That doesn’t mean I won’t give you guys the dish on how good or bad these are in hopes that it helps someone out there.


Friday Faves

We made it to Friday stylish sweets!!
It’s almost like a Christmas miracle in April! This really did feel like one of the longest weeks in a while to me. Not sure about you guys but I’m DEFINITELY happy to see the weekend. It might just be time for a little whine *oops* wine…for all us over 21 of course. In the meantime, it’s still early in the day on Friday so we’re going to stick with “daytime” topics…like a few of my favorite things! No, I will not pull a Oprah on you or dig in my bag of “you get a car” tricks, I will, however, tell you about my faves!
Since I started blogging on a regular basis about beauty & fashion, people always seem to ask me if I can recommend any good skin/body products for them to try. The best product advice I can give is, a list of items I use every single day. My Friday Faves that you see below are absolute life savers for me. If I run out of any particular thing (which happens a lot because I always get down to the last drop and totally forget to swing by Target sometimes) but if it’s gone, my world crumbles…just a little.
Here are those favorite things:
1. Pink Fragrance Mist ~ $25 ~ PINK Victoria’s Secret
Let me start off by saying this: ladies (and gentlemen) VS has always been known to supply us with great smelling products for EVERY woman. Whether you’re into fruity scents, strong musky scent, perfumes, or body sprays/mists…Victoria’s Secret has it all. I love the PINK scent in both perfume and body spray. I use the spray religiously because it gives me that same perfume scent but it’s not as powerful and it allows me to use as a refresher later in the day.
2. Refreshing Lip Balm w/ Pink Grapefruit ~ $3 ~  Burt’s Bees Lip Balm 
The pink grapefruit concoction is usually ONLY available during the spring and summer months so if you’re going to try it…buy it now and buy A LOT! Not only does it smells like you’re eating the juiciest grapefruit on planet earth but it seriously puts tons of moisture into your kisser! Plus, you’ll have just a hint of shine which is perfect for those who aren’t looking to wear anything heavy like a gloss. I love it so much that I practically buy in bulk! There’s one in every bag I carry, the car, and I even found one in a pair of my jeans before I went to wash them haha! Amazing!
3. Eye Liner in Dark Black/Black Ebony ~ $26 ~ Le Crayon Khol by Lancome
Ok, I know you’re looking at that $26 price tag for “just an eyeliner” but hear or read me out. This Lancome liner goes on so incredibly smooth every   single   time  I    use   it! Bonus, the black pencil that I use is super duper black. Sometimes I find myself going over my top lids more than once with an ordinary liner but not with Le Crayon Khol! One swipe and done. Little shopping tip…buy when a store is offering bonus buys i.e. Saks. You know, when you spend $65 you get a goodie bag filled with TONS of stuff! This helps ease the pain of paying that $26.
4. Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuacu Butter ~ $10 ~ Burt’s Bees Natural Body Lotion
Back to Burt’s Bees! I have the most sensitive skin known to man or woman. It’s awful and it’s been this way since I was born. Anything can break me out, make me itch or send my skin into a tizzy so I use EXTREME caution when it comes to body creams and lotions. For example: little known fact about me….I’m allergic to Neosporin…Neo-sporin! YES! The ointment that’s meant to heal cuts, I’m allergic to it *sigh* So, when it’s time to choose a body lotion, it’s either trial and error or stick with something thick and cocoa buttery. Burt’s Bees Richly Replenishing lotion does it all without breaking me out or feeling sticky. Rub it on and it absorbs practically instantly!
5. Sensitive Skin Moisturizer ~ $9.99 ~ Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture
Speaking of sensitive skin, Neutrogena has me covered, literally. This facial moisturizer is great for those of us with the sensitive gene and those with combination skin. It’s thick enough to get rid of those dry blotches yet light enough to absorb without clogging your pores. Absolutely worth it.
There you have it! My favorite beauty and body products that I cannot live without. If I knew the secret recipes and ingredients for making these products at home, I’d hustle myself into a sweat everyday making me a lifetime supply of everything! So, I hope this helps a few of you stylish sweets out or even gives you an idea to try something new. Til later…have an outstanding weekend!

Going Green

I went green!

Not the environmentally safe term “green” but the color green! (Although…going green for the environment is EXTREMELY important)

At midnight, I decided to do my nails. Yes, I know…silly silly girl you’re going to fall asleep with wet nails! Nonetheless, I painted and striped my way through the night.

 Totally in the spirit of the Irish, I grabbed three different greens!

Woke up to these little cuties! It was like the polish fairy said “she’s sleeping so peacefully, let’s only mess up this mani a little tiny bit.”

Well thank you!

Not my best work at midnight but it’s not too shabby either!



Nail Art DIY: Kisses


Hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday February 14th better known as Valentines Day! Whether you celebrate the “holiday” or not, I’m always sending smiles and hugs your way. Just to update you-stylish-sweets-you; I’m still having laptop, battery, power cord issues but don’t fret. There’s currently a battery on its’ way to me as you read this! According to my shipment tracking numbers, it should be here by Saturday! With that said, I’m sending the rest of my love to the mail and delivery people!

What’s a blogging girl to do without her laptop? Easy…shop! I had a little retail therapy in the form of beauty products (nail polish goodies to be exact.) I made a trip to Target to get oohh I don’t know, maybe three or four things but ended up at the register with a buggy full of stuff. Target gets me EVERY single time you guys!

The Beauty Loot:
Paint & Stencil Kit by Kiss
Price: roughly $6 for each set/kit.

I purchased two kits, Gala: White, Black and Silver Glitter along with the Masquerade: Hot Pink, Blue and Green. Each kit comes with three nail polishes and 30 different sticker stencils. The nail polish has a long and thin brush attached to create the small designs with the stickers. For this weeks mani, I chose to use the Masquerade kit because it has the pink polish, jackpot! Now, this seems easy enough to use, right? Right. Well, it’s easy but it’s also tedious and time consuming.

First, you have to paint your nails and let them dry completely otherwise, once you put the sticky stencil on your nail, the paint won’t last. Then all that hard work of staying inside the lines for two or three coats would be all for naught. Here’s what I did, painted my nails the night before then applied the nail art 24 hours later. That pretty much assured me, the base coat was dry.

Now, the fun part! Picking a stencil from these 30 stickers. Since it’s the week for lovers ie Valentines Day, I went with hearts…can’t go wrong with hearts! Kiss’ directions tell you to wipe the excess polish off the brush and gently sweep the brush across the nail. Yea, umm no. You’ll quickly realize you’re going to need that excess polish in order for the shape of the heart to actually transfer onto your nail. I’m not saying just drop polish on the nail but it’s sort of a trial and error type deal. Once you do two nails, you’ll know exactly how much polish you need for the desired effect.

Once all of that is finished, you’re done! Now, me being the perfectionist that I am, I went back over the hearts with polish to fill them in for a more vibrant look. On a couple nails, I applied more polish than needed to give the bigger hearts a 3D or puff paint effect. Of course, I didn’t use the stencils again because I’m positive it would never fit back in the exact spot.

Here’s the final results! I’m a lefty and you can definitely tell which hand looks best lol! It’s so much harder for me to work with my right hand and paint my left hand but it still came out pretty good!

Overall, the Paint & Stencil Kit is a fun nail art pack that allows anyone to become a nail tech for a day or two. With that said, I’m almost sold. Glad I’ll have these great nail polishes with thin brushes to use with other nail art projects but the chances of me using two whole days for another nail art project are pretty slim. As always, I’m willing to give it another go…stay tuned to see what else comes out of these kits!