beauty · life curation · luxury · style

Get Ready With Me – Trying Makeup From The Beem Box

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all have been doing well. I took a little blog break because my offline life was crazy for a few weeks. That being said, I decided to do a video putting on my makeup and discussing what’s been happening in my world. As a bonus, I used products from previous Beem Boxes. I’ve mentioned Beem Box in other posts (like this one and this one) and I was really excited to show how certain products looked on my skin.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back with more content tomorrow. Take care!

beauty · luxury · style

Trying New Makeup – LYS Beauty Haul

Happy Monday, lovelies! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. We had some great weather (a spring precursor, if you will) and today is even warmer (though we do have a bit of rain). I’m still smiling from this fantastic weekend!

Last week, I shared a new video reviewing some products that I got a few weeks ago. I bought some products from LYS (Love Your Self) Beauty after I tried one of of their products that was featured in the Beem Box (I’ll post a link to that video shortly).

This is a clean, vegan, Black woman owned brand, and I love the stuff that I got! I got introduced to the product through the LYS Beauty Matte Bronzer in Strength (Dark). After perusing their website, I realize there were a LOT more products that I wanted to try. So I splurged on some foundation samples (LYS Beauty Mini Triple Fix Serum Foundation in the shades DN5, DN6 and DP5). I was really impressed by the company’s color range: the foundation is available in 35 different shades! So I got the three shades that seemed closest to my complexion. In my video, I swatched the colors (no worries: the video will be posted below).

I also decided to try the LYS Beauty Higher Standard Satin Matte Cream Blush in Empower (a deep berry plum shade). The formulation is soft and buildable: I’ve used it twice and I love it! I’m excited to try Inspire (a vibrant terracotta hue) and Passion (a vivid fuchsia pink shade). For those that don’t know, blush is probably my favorite color cosmetic to apply: it adds life to your face and instantly gives you brightness and dimension. I pretty much always throw on blush, even when I don’t do a full face of makeup. So finding a cream blush that I love is a real treat!

I decided, on a whim, to try some of the skin care offered by LYS Beauty, too. The LYS Beauty Think Bright Glow + Hydrate Serum with Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid is a reasonably priced product that promises to “a succulent glow and long-lasting hydration”. I’m doing an in-depth video and write-up about this product separately, but I wanted to mention it, since it’s part of my purchase. I have . . . Thoughts! But again, that’ll be coming your way soon.

Finally, the company graciously threw in a freebie for purchasing over a certain dollar amount, namely, the LYS Beauty Mini Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil. This is such a great lip product that is perfect for adding moisture and shine without weighing your lips down or feeling sticky/tacky. I love it!

Below, you can see the video where I first learn about LYS Beauty, as well as the video showing you each of the products of this haul. Additionally, one of my favorite YTers, Cheryl over at Free Range Diva, reviewed the LYS blush. You can check out Cheryl’s review here.

That’s it for today! I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your day, and I’ll talk to you all soon. Take care!

beauty · luxury

Let’s Talk About the Beem Box

Happy Monday! I’m so glad to be back at the blog after spending a few weeks investing in my self care, relaxation, and overall wellness.

I’ve been publishing a series of pre-filmed videos on my YouTube channel, including a number of videos about beauty products. I’ve shared several videos about Beem Box, a subscription service offering cosmetics and skincare for women of color (my first Beem Box review is here).

My first Beem Box review

Since my first box, I’ve received three more, for a total of four Beem Boxes. So I feel confident that I can discuss the products and service objectively, as someone that has purchased multiple boxes and used products from each of them. Here are the pros and cons that I notice from the Beem Box:

Pros

  • Reasonably priced ($45 per box) and the value of the products in each box far exceeds the price
  • Provides me with the opportunity to try brand that I’ve never heard of before
  • There is skincare in each box, so the focus isn’t exclusively on cosmetics
  • Beautiful, decorative boxes that are recyclable
  • The perfect amount of products: not too much, not too few (just enough to try until you get the next box)
My second review

Cons

  • You only have one option for delivery frequency (one box every 8 or so weeks)
  • There aren’t different levels of subscription so you can’t opt for a “deluxe” or upgraded box
  • Sometimes the products aren’t stellar (I’ve been underwhelmed by a couple of items)
  • The description cards no longer show the product original pricing (which is helpful for comparing the box’s value to the box price)
My most recent review

Overall, I enjoy the boxes and the cons certainly don’t outweigh the pros. I love getting to try new stuff every few weeks, and it discourages me from overspending in other places. I love that I get a few cosmetics and a little skincare in each box. Also, the fact that each box has products from vegan, cruelty free, and women-owned businesses is a huge plus. This is a great service that also makes a great gift, too.

Do you have any subscription services that you love? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

beauty

Beauty Review – Kara Beauty With You Eyeshadow Palette

It’s been a while, but I was overdue for a beauty product review. So, I picked up one of the eyeshadow palettes I’ve gotten in a previous Beem Box (I reviewed that box here, and I’ll also insert the video below), and decided to give it a try.

The palette is by Kara Beauty, a woman-owned cosmetic company that products cruelty-free and vegan products. I received the “With You” palette in my Beem Box. The palette has 8 neutrals, which can be combined in numerous ways to make some “perfect for every occasion” looks. At first glance, I thought that the colors weren’t dynamic enough; however, as I thought more seriously about it, I realized that these shades are actually perfect. Each color is easily interchangeable with another, and are perfect as transition, highlight and intensifying shades when combined with a more colorful palette.

if you have warm undertones, these are all very flattering shades. The packaging is pretty standard: it’s made of lightweight cardboard material, has a magnetic closure, and also has a mirror. The shades are as follows: Baby, Always, Garden Date, and No Doubt on the top row, Your Smile, Magic Portion, Two of Us and Soft Hug on the bottom row.

Now, for the real test: I swatched the shades so you can see how they show up on brown skin. Here’s how that went:

Needless to say, I’m disappointed in most of the shades. I take no issue in the shades that went invisible on my skin due to them being so close to my skintone, but what was really frustrating was how many layers I had to apply of No Doubt, Your Smile, Two of Us, and Soft Hug, just so it would show up in the picture. The deeper tones are definitely patchy, and I wouldn’t use them unless I was pressed for time and didn’t want to find another palette/comparable shade. I noticed that the website has rave reviews for this palette, but I’m assuming that’s because the reviewers have lighter complexions. On my skin, it takes a lot to make these colors show up, which is why I’m not enamored with the product.

Another concern I had was with the shimmers (Garden Date and Magic Portion). These are gorgeous in the palette but they don’t work well if you plan on applying with a shadow brush. The shimmers are definitely best for finger applications: when I applied them with my fingers, I had much better intensity. I tried this with the deeper shades (specifically, Your Smile and Soft Hug), but again, it came across patchy.

My final thoughts on this product is that I’m not a fan of it. I wouldn’t be opposed to trying other products from this line, but I just don’t think that the eyeshadows were great. I’ll probably end up giving it to my daughter so she can play with them (I already have similar shimmer shadows, so I don’t have to hold onto the palette just for those two shades).

Have any of you tried Kara Beauty’s products before? I’d love to hear your reactions in the comments below! Also here is my video when I give my first impression. I thought the product would perform better when I took the time to do a proper swatch, but I was incorrect (as I’ve already explained). I hope you all enjoy! Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

beauty

Review: The Ordinary Foundation and Concealer

You all are aware of my undying love for The Ordinary skincare. But, when the company strays away from offering skin actives, things tend to go left (as you may remember when I reviewed The Ordinary sunscreen).

Well, I decided to try their foundation and concealer. It wasn’t my first rodeo with their foundation, but since the line has expanded its offerings, I figured I could find a better color match now. I was incorrect. However, the concealers weren’t too bad: I liked the color, texture and the coverage. For the price, it wasn’t a bad experiment overall (the products are very affordably priced). I bought the following items:

  • Coverage Foundation in shades 3.0Y, 3.1R, 3.1Y
  • Serum Foundation in shades 3.1R and 3.1Y
  • Concealer in shades 3.1Y, 3.2N, 3.2Y
(photo courtesy of The Ordinary)

The Coverage foundation is formulated for oily skin, and the Serum foundation is for drier skin. The concealer is formulated for all skin types. I swatched the products and did a whole YouTube video on it. You can watch it here:

Have you all tried any of The Ordinary’s color costmetics? What were your thoughts on them? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

beauty

Review: The Beem Subscription Box

Happy Tuesday! Today I’m sharing a fun new subscription box with you all, that I think you’ll really enjoy if you have brown skin.

The Beem Box is a bimonthly beauty subscription service that offers products that are customized for your skin type, skin routine, makeup preferences, and complexion. The color cosmetics offered in each box are selected especially for your skin tone, so you never have to worry about whether the shades will suit you. The box is priced at $45, and the items included in each box exceed the sticker price.

Photo courtesy of Beem Box

I received my first box at the beginning of the month, and I was pleased with the variety of products I received. In my box, I got Ahoy Love Nourishing Cream Cleanser by Earth Harbor, Prep the Pout Lip Kit by Project Lip, With You Botanical Eye Shadow by Kara Beauty, Zaron Highlighter Palette in Gold Rush by Felicheeta Beauty, and Chella Eyebrow Pencil in Delightful Deep Brown by Chella Beauty. I got a chance to do an unboxing on my YouTube channel. Here it is:

I’m looking forward to trying all of these products and giving more in-depth reviews in the weeks to come. Look out for updates soon!

beauty · culture · life curation · luxury

Five Easy Ways to Be More Like Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Happy Monday, friends! I hope the beginning of your week is pleasant and everything that you need it to be.

Recently, I reviewed Archewell Audio, the podcast project started by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan. I’ve been fascinated with Meghan for quite some time: I love that she is graceful, elegant and intelligent, and she uses her influence to create positive changes in society.

As part of learning more about this brilliant woman, I read a bit about her and found that there are many things that she’s done to position herself as a woman of status and influence. I made a video highlighting five of those qualities.

The qualities I discussed are as follows:

  • Learn a foreign language
  • Take up a luxurious hobby
  • Eliminate or reduce meat from your diet
  • Wear blush
  • Start a blog

By engaging in one or more of these activities, you can live a little more like Meghan.

Do you have any Duchess-worthy tips? Let me hear about it in the comments below!

beauty

Beauty Review: Kandi Koated Cosmetics Glaze Illuminating Lip Shine

When I first got my Kandi Koated products, I was excited to try them and let you all know how they work. I’ve always been a fan of a good beauty review, and these products don’t have eearly enough reviews online, so I knew I had to add my voice to the mix and make sure that I discussed Kandi Koated.

As promised. here is my review of the Kandi Koated Glaze Illuminating Lip Shine. I purchased it at the same time that I purchased the concealer. The packaging is the same gorgeous rose gold hue, and the applicator features a doe-foot tip. I purchased the lip shine in the color Corset (I don’t think this shade is currently available).

According to the Kandi Koated website, the lip shine is described as, “Ultra-rich lip gloss that can be worn alone or layered over your favorite lipstick for added color and gloss! Delivers a bright and beautiful shine.” The description is correct: the lip gloss is shiny and adds a brilliant tint to your lips. This product has a lovely iridescence that looks both pink and purple at the same time.

Swatch of “Corset” by Kandi Koated Cosmetics

I love that the product is non-sticky and unflavored, so it can be easily layered with other lip products, but it’s lovely enough to wear on its own. This product is lightweight and VERY wearable.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely! It’s reasonably priced and performs well. I’ll certainly purchase it in additional shades in the months to come (I have to use up some other products before I can justify buying more makeup!).

beauty

Can Sephora Redeem Itself?

At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year, many of us were stunned to hear that Sephora, one of the largest and most popular beauty retailers in the US, unceremoniously laid off more than 3,000 employees. However, it wasn’t the act of laying off the employees that was shocking (many other retailers had done the same and, with so many stores closing during this period, many anticipated that layoffs and furloughs would happen). What was distasteful about the action was how it was done: Sephora released the employees during a conference call, and were provided less than one hour’s notice before the call occurred.

This mass layoff created some bad PR for Sephora, and I wondered if the company could redeem itself. After all, many businesses are finding that dominating in a particular industry does not make them immune to criticism from and rejection by previously loyal customers. Brand loyalty is a fickle animal and any missteps could result in major losses over the long term.

Only time will tell whether Sephora will redeem itself from this PR nightmare. The company has a history of supporting various social causes and has a culture that encourages inclusion and acceptance of all people. So perhaps the established goodwill of the company can help it ride the wave of criticism related to this mass layoff. I’ll keep any eye on things over on their Sephora Stands website and see what happens. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

beauty

May Empties

It’s time for another empties post! I’m still committed to using all of my excess/duplicate products and documenting my progress in minimizing my “stuff” and only replacing items as I completely use them up.

Yesterday, I discussed the Pixi Rose Tonic that I enjoyed, so that empty won’t be discussed here. However, there are several other empties that I’m going to mention today, as some of these are items that I will purchase again, while others are items that have been discontinued or that I don’t need to replace.

I’ll start off today’s post with a supplement that I’ve been using for several weeks now. I’ll be discussing this supplement in this week’s Fibro Friday post, but for now, just know that I have already purchased another bottle of chelated magnesium. Magnesium is essential for normal body functions and nearly 70% of the population are magnesium-deficient. I have enjoyed using this supplement to support my fibromyalgia relief regimen.

Country Life Chelated Magnesium

Next, I FINALLY finished off this ancient jar of moisturizer LOL! I found this unopened jar of Far Away by Avon among my mom’s old products and decided to use it and see if it was still fresh/uncontaminated. The product worked just fine and I used it up in less than a month. I typically do not like Avon fragrances but due to the age of this product, the scent had faded tremendously and I enjoyed the much lighter concentration of the fragrance.

Avon Far Away Perfumed Skin Softener

Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish ™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in the shade Almond was my go-to face product in 2016. I loved how it looked on my skin and I really liked the fact that a little product went a long way. While I love the product, I won’t be replacing it soon, as I already have a TON of foundation and concealer that I need to use before I justify an additional purchase. However, in the future, if I decide to get another stick or cream foundation, this is the one I will purchase.

Hourglass Vanish ™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Another Avon product that I found in my mom’s old product box was the Sunny Splendor Hydrating Shower Gel in the Strawberry & Guava fragrance. I loved this light, fresh fragrance and I really enjoyed the fact that it didn’t leave my skin feeling too dry and stripped. I don’t know that I’d go as far as calling it “hydrating” – I didn’t feel that significantly added moisture to my skin – but I feel that it worked well and didn’t aggravate my somewhat dry skin. This isn’t an item that I’d seek out to use again, but it was fine and performed as expected.

Avon Naturals Sunny Splendor Hydrating Shower Gel in Strawberry & Guava

Finally, I used the last of my Mary Kay (MK) Timewise Night Solution. MK has changed their product lineup and this item is no longer available, but since I enjoy using gels and serums, I continued to include it in my routine along with my many products from The Ordinary. I like how it kept my skin hydrated overnight without making my skin feel greasy. If it ever becomes available again, I’ll certainly repurchase it.

Mary Kay Timewise Night Solution

Those are my May empties! I’ll be back next month with a whole new bunch of empties to discuss. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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