life curation · style

Using Kibbe’s Metamorphosis to Enhance My Style

One of my passions is fashion, as you all already know. I love shopping and I’m constantly trying to refine and perfect my personal style. Luckily, I am friends with some other stylish ladies that are on the same path: we are all seeking to create the best physical presentation of ourselves.

An absolute angel in a Facebook group I’m part of posted some information on David Kibbe and I started reading it out of curiosity. Imagine my surprise as I discovered the secret to mastering a consistent and impeccable personal style! As it turns out, the best way to style your clothing is to use your body type and facial features as a guide. It’s genius: emphasize your natural curves and lines, and you can’t help but look your best!

I did the Kibbe quizzes linked here, here and here.  The first link is a quick summary of the Kibbe quiz, and the subsequent links are the two-part quiz with photo illustrations. You have to combine the results of Part 1 and Part 2 to come up with an overall score. The quizzes confirmed that I’m a Soft Classic, which resonates deeply with my personal tastes.


Some Soft Classic staples (from Pinterest)

This revelation both excites and frustrates me a bit. Now that I have a clear idea of what silhouettes will most flatter me, I have to go through my closet and clear out the items that don’t suit me. This will be an ongoing project for the next couple of weeks, but it will be worth it.


This dress that I purchased from Boohoo is perfect for a Soft Classic

So far, the Truth is Beauty website has been one of the best ones for explaining the Classic archetype and the Soft Classic (Romantic Classic) subtype. I can’t wait to show you all how I factor this new information into my style repertoire!



Review: Life of a Bombshell Mini-Haul

I bought some Life of a Bombshell products several months ago but never got around to doing this review. Between work, travel and the bazillion other reviews I did, I missed reviewing these items.

But now I’m back, and I’m ready to talk about them!

I’ve reviewed Life of a Bombshell before in this post. The gorgeous rose gold brushes are still holding up well (though I broke the handle on one of them – clearly *my* issue, and not anything wrong with the brand itself). I’m a fan of the brand because it’s a small, woman-owned company.

I purchased three of the liquid matte lipsticks, in Passion, Purpose and Master Plan, as well as the High Maintenance eyeshadow palette. I also order the creme sheen lipstick in Barbz, but I haven’t worn that one yet, so I won’t be reviewing it in this post (I’ll probably review it on Instagram in the next couple of days).

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So, let’s talk about the liquid lipsticks first. These did have a matte finish but they were non-drying and applied smoothly. The colors were GORGEOUS, vibrant and long-lasting. Passion is an intense fuschia, Purpose is a lovely purple shade – not as dark as plum but not as light as orchid – and Master Plan is a rich, gingerbread hue. I often combined Passion and Purpose for a bright and eye-catching lip shade. At work, I reach for Master Plan when I want an easy neutral shade to wear.

Swatches (top to bottom: Master Plan, Passion, Purpose) without and with flash

Wearing a combination of Passion and Purpose

Now about the palette. I. LOVE. IT! The colors are beautiful and applied easily. The pigments are smooth and can be easily intensified for dramatic looks. I like that the palette combines shimmers and mattes, and, instead of having a strictly “rose hued” palette, the company wisely included a green shade for variety. Genius!


The only two things I wish is that the company named the shades and included a mirror in the lid. It would be a lot easier to describe the combination I used for my eyes if the shades were labeled (for easy reference). However, absent of shade names, I’ll do my best to describe what I’ve been rocking recently. I love using the matte tawny (top row, 2nd shade) as a transition color, oat (bottom row, 1st shade) on my brow bone, shimmery cerise (top row, 3rd shade) on my lid and the deepest shade – the soft raisin one (bottom row, 3rd shade)- in my crease for depth. It’s a soft, easy look that’s both polished and pretty.

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Swatches of the eyeshadow shades: the first 4 are the top row; the remaining shades are from the bottom row

The products are reasonably priced and perform well. I’ve been complimented on several of the looks I’ve created with the lip and eye shades. I highly recommend that you try them for yourself!

international · travel

My Time at Nairobi National Museum

You all know how much I loved my time in Kenya. I wanted to make sure that I took in the local history, arts and culture while I was there because, why travel if you don’t wnat to learn about the place you’ve traveled to?

While in Nairobi, I visited the Nairobi National Museum. This museum DID NOT disappoint! I took photos in every area except the art gallery, in which photography was prohibited. Which is a real shame, since the artwork was wonderful. However, I understand the need to protect the artists from having their work ripped off and duplicated without credit.

Without further ado, here are some of my photos from the Nairobi National Museum:

Photos from the exterior of the museum

The mammal exhibit


Decor inside of the museum

The bird exhibit


Drawings from Joy Adamson,

Artifacts from the exhibit describing social customs in Kenya

Artifacts from the political history of Kenya


I wish I could have visited this museum again, because one visit simply wasn’t enough. This area is so rich in history, beautiful and culture: Kenya is an incredible experience. I highly recommend anyone visiting the area to go to the Nairobi National Museum. The price of admission is roughly $12USD for nonresident adults and $6USD for nonresident children. It was worth every penny!

life curation · words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Maria Callas

Did you all know that I love opera?


If I haven’t mentioned it before, let me say it clearly: I LOVE opera music. I’ve played different instruments in the past but I’ve never been a good singer. So, I am always enchanted by a beautiful singing voice (it’s one thing that I do not possess!) One of the most legendary opera singers of all time is the tragic but insanely gifted Maria Callas.


Maria didn’t care for her voice: it lacked the lightness and smoothness generally expected from sopranos. However, Maria was a mezzo-soprano that had trained her voice to the point of accommodating multiple vocal classifications. What she disliked about her voice was the single quality that makes her sound unique and captivating.


Sadly, she had many painful experiences in her life. A tense relationship with her mother eventually resulted in them ceasing to speak to one another. Earlier in Maria’s career, she suffered from obesity that impacted her ability to perform; ironically enough, her drastic weight loss has been thought to be one of the main factors in her eventual vocal decline.  A torturous love affair with Aristotle Onassis that resulted in Maria’s ultimate heartbreak, when Onassis married Jacqueline Kennedy and relegated Maria to mistress status.


It’s the pain of Maria’s life that lends the tender, heart-wrenching quality to her singing. And for sure, she did have some joys: she thrilled many audiences with her dramatic soprano range, she traveled the world, and she LIVED a bold, full life. Maria, may you continue to rest in peace.


(photos courtesy Pinterest, Quotesurf, and Classic FM)


Can Deciem Turn Things Around?

During the month of February, one of my favorite skincare companies, Deciem (the company that offers The Ordinary products) experienced a lot of turmoil. The firing of the co-CEO, the subsequent resignation of the CFO, accusations of racism, as well as social media “meltdowns” from the founder, Brandon Truaxe, have loyal fans of the company wondering, “Will Deciem survive?”

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I’ll admit, I was confused over what was happening within the brand. Generally, major changes in leadership – when there was no indication that there were any existing problems – is ominous. It appears that the company is going through some sort of growing pains: astronomical success and growth seems to be testing the professional relationships of the executive leadership within the company. I hope that Deciem can overcome these challenges: they offer wonderful products at superb prices. They are truly democratizing high-quality skincare, , and the last thing I want to see is a company like this crumble under the pressure.

You can read more about Deciem’s trials here. Fingers crossed for them: I hope that they can work through this!


art · life curation

Art Synchronicities


When I went to the National Portrait Gallery to view the Marlene Dietrich exhibit (you can read all about it here), I got a bit of a surprise. While walking around and trying to find Marlene, I came across a painting that stopped me in my tracks. You can see the painting below:

This painting is the very same one that was my most likely doppelganger, per the Google Arts & Culture app (you know, that app that I wrote about a while ago). Of course, on the app, the painting is listed as being at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. However, it is currently at the National Portrait Gallery, as part of The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers exhibit. I’m pretty sure that the painting will return to the High Museum in September, when the exhibit draws to a close.

I examined the painting and found myself smiling. The vivid colors can’t be captured via camera: it must be experienced in person. The focused gaze, the high cheekbones, and the richly hued skin did, oddly enough, remind me of myself. Of all of the paintings to make it to this exhibit, this one made the cut. And of all of the museums I could visit in DC (and there are PLENTY), I ended up at the National Portrait Gallery. And this painting had an entire wall to itself, so I couldn’t miss it as I walked to the Dietrich exhibit. I figure it was meant for me to see it. Oh yes, and here is the photo that convinced Google Arts & Culture that I am Alma’s incarnate:

I’m delighted that I got to see this painting: as always, art is best experienced in person. This is one of several portraits depicting the working class in the first half of the 20th century. I encourage you all to go and experience the exhibit for yourself, if you have the chance!

reading list

Book Review: The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

As you all know, my January book review was overdue because of my wonderfully restorative Nairobi vacation. Now, I’m finally giving you all my (very late!) review of Tim Ferriss’s “The Four Hour Work Week”.

This book has been around for about ten years, and it focuses on showing entrepreneurs and employees how to minimize their work hours and maximize their life enjoyment. Tim’s methodical approach to reducing work and creating systems that allow more freedom and income is nothing short of inspirational.

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The author, Tim Ferriss (photo from his website)

Tim provides specific steps for making money online and negotiating remote work agreements, so that readers can start spending more of their time in meaningful, life-enriching activities. I am a big fan of any materials that encourage people to create truly satisfying lives, so Tim’s message definitely resonated with me.

The book is voluminous so I won’t give a chapter-by-chapter overview like I did with The Best Year of Your Life, but I will confirm that the book includes testimonials and hacks that could be very useful to anyone that is willing to give it a try.

My only advice for this book would be to focus on implementing the concepts and principles first, because jumping directly into the Income Autopilots could be an exercises in frustration and futility. While I think the framework for Income Autopilots is effective, the book *is* ten years old and the Internet has changed a lot. That being said, having the groundwork – the mindset and approach as explained by Tim – in place already would prevent some of the mistakes that may come from trying to implement older strategies. Also, I’d advise that any interested readers be sure to listen to Tim’s podcast, as this is consistently updated with Tim’s most recent tips, hacks and life advice.

Overall, this is a great book for any aspiring entrepreneurs or for employees that are ready to create some real work/life balance. I’ll be referring to it throughout the year, as I’m interested in trying some of Tim’s techniques to see if I can increase my income and reduce my reliance upon my current employment.