Thursday, February 25, 2016

Diva's Travel Guide: 10 Tips for Navigating New Orleans During Mardi Gras

Mardi Grad is over and you can very well say the same for February.  I went on an  all girls birthday trip earlier this month to New Orleans, Louisiana for Mardi Gras. To say we enjoyed ourselves is an understatement.  I've compiled ten quick tips to keep in mind if you plan to visit this lovely city during Mardi Gras. Check them out below!

1. Park your car and walk everywhere if you can. Traffic is bananas and many roads are blocked or only allow access to certain vehicles.

2.Wear comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting trampled on.

3. You don't HAVE to flash for beads, but I can't tell you what to do when your mama isn't looking. People will gladly hand them to you if you ask.
4. Speaking of beads, watch out for them. People throw them, sometimes entire bags, like footballs and we were literally ducking to keep from getting hit in the head. We still got hit once or twice.

4. Watch you purse! Carry a crossbody that you can keep an eye on or walk without one.
5. Not every part of town will put up with Bourbon Street behavior. Not all restaurants welcome the constant in and out and just popping in for bathrooms breaks.

5.  Eat the local cuisine, but keep in mind that if you like the richness of the food, your stomach may not.

6. Watch the parades. No lie, it seemed like a new parade was in full swing every two hours that Saturday before Fat Tuesday. 

7. Make time to take in the sites. There's markets, the river, and just look up at all the beautiful architecture.

8. Dress the Part: It is encouraged if you choose not to wear a costume were green, yellow, and or purple.
9. Stick Together: At one point we had to form a link line to navigate through the crowds at Bourbon Street. Use the buddy system and keep an eye on your people.

10. Have Fun! There is plenty to do and see, just be safe while doing so.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Diva Talks Culture: Celebrities Band Together to Help Fight the Flint Water Crisis.

While the political candidates and Apple v Uncle Sam have taken over our news stations, Flint, Michigan's water is still contaminated with lead. Many celebs from varying fields have come together for  #JusticeForFlint. Covergirl Janelle Monae, filmmaker Ryan Coogler and Grey's Anatomy actor Jesse Williams are just a few big names participating in a free event in Flint, Michigan in partnership with Revolt TV to raise awareness for the local residents. Details in the photo.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Product Review + PICS: Colour Pop Cosmetics x Its My Raye Raye Collaboration

This post is LOOONG overdue, but I digress. A few days before  the Thanksgiving holiday, I placed an order for the new lip products from YouTube star's Its My Raye Raye x Colour Pop Cosmetics collaboration. The range includes a lip pencil, Ultra Matte Lip, and a Lippie Stix. The line was very affordable totalling to just over $20 for all three products. Check below for swatches and my thoughts on these goodies.

All three products are in soft matte neutral shades that compliment various skin tones. Props to Raye for creating products that appeal to a wide range of complexions!

 I first tried the Ultra Matte Lip in StingRAYE. It is described as a cool toned mauve brown. On the website, Raye says “I want to have a shade that everyone can wear and feel confident in."

It dried to a matte finish pretty quickly and did not leave my lips feeling dry and cracked afterwards. There was only a slight tackiness after application, but nothing to write home about.

Next, was RAYEzor Lippie Stix. This one is described as a warm peachy nude and  dries to a matte finish. It has a bit more slip than StingRAYE, which makes sense that a lip liner is offered in the same shade. I also found that I did not get the same wear out of RAYEzor due to the slippage. I would say you could get 3-4 hours of wear, and less if you are eating and drinking.

Top: RAYEzor 
Middle: StingRAYE
Bottom: RAYEzor pencil

Final Thoughts

Very good for the price. Excellent pigmentation and the staying power for better than expected for the price point.
Texture: Smooth liquid and cream.
Would I purchase again? Yes, these are great everyday shades, plus it supports small businesses.
Would I recommend to a friend? 
Yes, and actually have already :).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Diva Hauls: Simple Micellar Water, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil, Night Renewal Cream, and Skin Therapy Cleansing OIl

I no longer have my 18-year-old skin. The eat and drink what you want, use any body lotion on your face,  skip face wash days, type of skin. I have the what you eat and drink, skip the cleanser and moisturizer, and your face will tell on you type of skin. My face has become noticeably dryer, even though I am still oily. The winter has been beating up my skin. My regular cleansing, tone, then moisturize routine wasn't cutting it. I needed more moisture. Enter the product above.

I bought Simple's Micellar Water because it is a lightweight cleanser and I intend to use it on the day where I just need to "wash the day away." I got the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil for a deeper clean on the days I wear makeup. I will follow up with the Skin Therapy Oil, and at night add more moisture with the Night Renewal Cream.

I used the micellar water followed by the skin oil and night cream last night. I woke up and noticed just how much more supple by skin felt from the added moisture. I will be using these products for the next month or so and can't wait to update you guys on the outcome!

Hair Discussion: 4 Ways I Styled My Two Strand Twists

Two strand twists are a popular protective style worn amongst African American women. They reduce the time needed to get ready while offering versatility with styling options. I had some installed in my hair before my trip to New Orleans, Louisiana for Mardi Gras because I knew I would be spending more time enjoying the scene than getting ready. Here are a few ways I styled my twists.

High Bun

On travel day/day 1 in New Orleans, I wore my twists in a high bun. Mainly because of the style of my sweater  and also it allowed my to sleep better on the car ride down because they were off my neck and didn't interfere with my neck pillow as I slept. 

Low Double Strand Twist Fishtail Bun

This specific hairstyle wasn't done by me, but my friend DaMonique who went to New Orleans with me. We were going to a birthday brunch for our friend, and I wanted a dressier hairdo. I prepped my hair by double-strand twisting the twists themselves. This gave the hair a little more texture and visual interest. I was inspired by a pic of Claire from Fashion Bomb Daily who wore her locs in a similar fashion. I loved how it turned out. The inspiration photo is below.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Diva's Life: How I Manage A Full Time Job, Grad School, and a Blog

The use of manage is used loosely, because sometimes I don't and something has to go, which is why I may not publish a post in a week or more. Here is how I attempt manage. This week is a perfect example. I'm traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras for the first time for a friend's birthday. I got the time off approved at work, so there is that. School, however, I have no off days. If it isn't an emergency, you're held accountable for late and missing work. So here is my game plan, so far it is working.

Assess the Situation:

My assignments are always due on Sundays by midnight. So this past Sunday, after turning in the previous week's assignments, I printed off the lecture notes for this week. I am taking two classes, so I really have to make the best use of my time. I knocked out one lecture Sunday evening after work and getting my hair done. Monday, I was off so I knocked out half of my lecture for my second class, then went to get my hair finished (I have Marley twists, it's a  process. Pics coming soon). Tuesday, I was scheduled to work from 10:30-7. I woke up at 6:45 am, stretched, made some tea, then at 7 am, got to work. I was done by 8 am. Now I have the evening to complete my discussion questions for Class 2, and the next day free to take my quiz for Class 1. That adds up to a free weekend in New Orleans! Well, not completely, free, I have to respond to two of my classmates assignments by Sunday at midnight. My school has an app, I have a smartphone, which means I can post while having cocktails :).

Take Breaks:

On my breaks in school work, I'll either draft or post to the site. I'm still working on drafting a week's worth of content the weekend before, but the way my life is set up, I'm lucky if I can consistently do that for one post.

Image result for take breaks from the computer

Be Flexible With Your Planning:

I make plans like this every week, especially if I know I am going out of town or going to an event. To add a wrench in things, my work schedule is not concrete. So I'm either studying early in the morning or late at night and blogging in between. Such is life.


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