Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Diva Hauls + First Impressions: Black Radiance True Complexion Contour Palette in Medium to Dark

This palette has been all the rage among beauty enthusiasts of color since it hit shelves a few months ago. Black Radiance has been a favorite of mine because of their affordable and bold colored lipsticks. However, I couldn't let help but get it after watching and reading reviews singing its praises.

The contour palette comes in two shades: Light to Medium and Medium to Dark. I got it mainly because of the highlight shade, but the contour shade is nice and subtle and the sculpt shade can be used as a blush substitute.

From to l to r: Contour, Sculpt, and Highlight

Wearing highlight shade in tear duct area, the tip of my nose, cupid's bow, middle of chin and forehead, and top of cheeks. I love the way the highlight compliments my complexion and definitely plan to put this palette to work this summer!

Black Radiance products can be found on their website, Walgreens, Wallmart, and some Targets. It retails for $7.99.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Diva's Life: Regaining My Fearlessness

"I was such a dreamer. Whatever happened to me? Followed all the arrows...."

-Arrows by Szjerdene 

Since it's Thursday (#TBT), let's take a trip down memory lane. Four years ago I packed up my life and headed to Atlanta for an internship that would hopefully get me in the door of the beauty industry. I had only graduated college six months prior and had begrudgingly returned to my seasonal retail job part time to have some money in my pocket. Not the ideal situation for a recent grad armed with a biology degree. When people tell you to tell everyone who will listen what you want to do and listen when people are talking even you think the topic will serve you no purpose; do it.

I vividly remember going out for drinks the day after Thanksgiving  with my cousin, her best friend, and her cousin who was in town visiting. My cousin was asking what she was up to and I was half listening until she mentioned her interest in the same field I was trying to break into. This conversation eventually led to her telling me the name of the lab she interned at that made personal care product for larger and small brands. I got a contact name and that Saturday, not caring that their hours said M-F on their website and sent my resume over. I was so hungry for this opportunity that I had no second thoughts on how I would relocate my life if it worked out. Needless to say, after a phone chat, and another with my fam, I began to relocate. I had some money saved from my part time job, but no place to stay. I'm so thankful to my college best friend and her parents who opened their home to me for six months while I chased my dreams.

The internship turned into a job and great experience in product formulation. However, all things must come to an end, and I found myself at another just not in my desired industry. I then focused on gaining transferable skills. But that line was beginning to take a toll on me mentally and physically.  I wanted out! So many things held me back from leaving sooner, like rent, bills, money, etc. Then I thought to myself, I was my biggest obstacle. I never had all my ducks places perfectly in a row before I took an opportunity. Sometimes life doesn't give you all the pieces of the puzzle before you pass go, you have to find them on the way. So what was I waiting for? I was afraid. I had lost the fearlessness I once had. So I prayed about it and decided that I would not renew my lease and leave my job when I had to be out of my apartment. So that's exactly what I did. Faith without works is dead, so it was time to put in more work. But where would I go? Home.

I moved home last Saturday in an effort to free myself of the environment that was working against me. I needed to recalibrate my professional life up until this point and start over to move forward.  With this change, I am relying on the fearlessness I once had because I have a place to stay, a few leads to jobs but nothing concrete yet, and faith. Faith in myself and my higher power that I land on my feet and things will work out. Fashion and beauty are my passions and I have decided to wholeheartedly make a career out of it, no settling. 

As my mom once told me, "Just turn your lemons into lemonade. You can't take risks sitting still."

I'll keep you updated on my transition.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beauty Discussion: My Favorite Foundations and Bronzer for My Summer Makeup Routine

It's mid-June and the heat in the South has already reached disrespectful temps. Today is projected to reach a high of 100! I can't even imagine July. I plan to remain bare faced with a bold lip and clean brows all #summer16. However, when I must give a little face, I reach for one of three products. Check below for my drugstore and high end options.

Left: Covergirl Queen Collection Bronzer in Ebony Bronze, $8

If this is not in your stash by now, go get it. No exceptions. This has to be the best selling Queen collection product. It is raved about from makeup artists to beauty enthusiasts alike. That is because it gives a subtle glow without being too much and warms the face at the same time.

Middle: Becca Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation in Mahogany, $40, but often on Haute Look for $20

I love think for a skin like makeup look. I use light powder in my problem areas and leave the rest  radiate!

Right: Iman BB Creme in Earth Deep, $21

Iman knows melanin okay!  This BB creme is lightweight. It is thin enough to give coverage but melts beautifully into the skin. This has been a favorite of mine every since its release.

Hope this helps! I may actually do a summer powder and concealer edition.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Diva's Life, Beauty Discussion: The Summer of Color Pt. I

I have always toyed with going blonde, but never actually went through with it. I knew I wanted to go short again for my birthday, but choosing the right shade of blonde was a process let me tell you! There are yellow, white, red, and brown based blondes. Which one to choose?! I finally settled on one from Clairol. Get details below.

I have never been one to dye my hair often. I dyed it burgundy last fall to get used to seeing myself with colored hair.

Me with burgundy hair.

The Process

I went to my local barber for my cut and shape up. Yes, everyone was looking at me as if I was getting over a bad break up (why do people assume that?). I had received the WTF stares before, nothing new :). 

Funny SN: My boss even asked me if I were okay when I returned to work with my new hair. "Yes, I'm just fine," I said lol.

The bleaching process.

Disclaimer: I suggest you seek professional services for dye jobs such as this. While I did not and loved the results, the risk is on you for not getting it done professionally.

Dye applied to wet hair per instructions.

I chose a Clairol dye from their Jazzing line called Creme Soda.

I got my hair dyed in April and got a touch up about a month later. The second time around, I received the results I wanted with the initial application. We left the both the bleach and the dye on a tad bit longer to get even color throughout my hair. See below.

And there you have it! As far as maintenance goes, I still have the normal hair shedding. I wash my hair as I did before with black soap and follow with a cream leave in conditioner overnight. I may put some oil on my hair as needed, but that it is. It does not feel brittle or dry. Actually, my hair feels and behaves the same as it did when it was black. I never over manipulated my hair anyway so that may have something to do with it.

Stay tuned for Part II as I plan to go a darker as we get closer to fall!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Latest in Fashion News: Beyonce Snags CFDA Fashion Icon Award + Entire Acceptance Speech

Beyonce made a tour stop to accept her Fashion Icon award presented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). In her speech, she let the crowd known coming up in the fashion game wasn't easy, and the main reason her mom and uncle made Destiny's Child's first costumes was because the major fashion houses refused to dress them. She went on to state they didn't have the budget to buy labels and couture. Oh how the tables have turned. Check out a few snaps from the ceremony and read her entire acceptance speech below. Congrats Bey!

Beyonce is wearing a Givenchy striped suit and Christian Louboutin black peep-toe platform pumps.

“I feel so much love and I feel so proud right now. Thank you guys for this incredible honor. As long as I can remember, fashion has always been a part of my life. Its effect on me actually started before I was born. Most of you guys don’t know this but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money and could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition, so my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns, and made uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education. She then passed this gift down to my mother and taught her how to sew.”

“When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels didn’t really want to dress four black, country, curvy girls. And we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and creativity to giver her children their dreams. My mother and my Uncle Johnny, God bless his soul, designed all of our first costumes and made each piece by hand, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into ever small detail. When I wore these clothes on stage I felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armor. It was so much deeper than any brand name.”

“My mother — who’s so fabulous and beautiful and is here tonight, I love you — my grandmother, and my uncle were always with me so I could not fail. My mother actually designed my wedding, my prom dress, my first CFDA Awards dress, my first Grammy dress, and the list goes on and on and this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity, expression, and strength. It transcends style and is a time capsule of all of our greatest milestones. So to my mother, my uncle, my grandma, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having a presence is far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for showing me to never take no for an answer. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard, and live life on my own terms.”
“I want to say thank you to every designer who works tirelessly to make people feel like they can write their own stories. Y’all are fairy godmothers, magicians, sculptors, and sometimes even therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power you have or take it lightly. We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no color, no shape, no form. Just like all your work it goes so far beyond what the eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, to show people how to embrace their complications and flaws and see the true beauty that’s inside all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award I’ll never forget this night. God bless y’all.”

Image Source: CFDA
Article Source: Fashion Bomb Daily

Home Decor Inspiration: Chic Outdoor Living Spaces

So in my new place, I want to create a chic yet comfortable outdoor space.  Here are just a face spaces I spotted around the web that I am using for my inspiration.

Fold down table for a small balcony. Great idea. How To Decorate A Balcony In An Apartment:
Source: Home Edit

If narrow spaces can't allow for a full table, a half table secured to the balcony is innovative and conserves space.

And lastly, make it super-crazy-extra cozy with cheap mini lanterns.:
Source: Buzzfeed

String lights and an abundance of soft cushions and pillows are always a good idea.

Such a small space but wow what they did to maximize it.  love the colors  Like the flower pictures!!!:
Source: Wayfair

Wicker furniture, an outdoor carpet, and coordinating wall art make for a cozy space.

Small spaces can be fabulous, as you’ll see in these tiny balcony garden spots with moods that range from city sophistication to pure Zen.:
Source: Stylish Eve

Eye-popping colors and patterns in furniture and accessories can perk up anyone's mood.

Source: SoLebich

Use of colorful fabric shields from sun and adds privacy at the same time.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Diva's Life: I Am Going Home

My posts have been sporadic as of late and it is because I decided to shake things up in my personal life a bit. Read below to find out what has been going on in the past few months.

Whew! The first half of the year has been a world wind. Between school, work, the blog, and your usual adulting, I have been quite stressed. It was the middle of semester two of graduate school when I realized the program is not meeting my expectations. Yes, you read that right. People forget that yes, you have to convince the admissions officers that you are a good fit for the school, but the institution also has to do the same. While I learned a lot, I am in search of another educational path. Then there was the J-O-B. It left me unfulfilled, stressed, sick, angry, sad, and the list goes on. The industry I am working in is just not my steeze. I had been there for a little over two years and have been wanting "out" since about month six. Sad. When you have bills to pay, you tend to stay and wish for something better. As the bible verse says, faith without works is dead. So I meditated, prayed, silenced my thoughts, and listened to God, and He told me "Go" so I did. I told my family and friends I was coming home this summer I made the decision not to renew my lease and move home to "recalibrate my life" as I told my mom a few months before I actually put my two weeks notice in. Friday, June 3, 2016, is when I actually handed my boss my resignation and feel relieved  I can not openly talk about my plans.

These actions are so far away from my typical M.O. I have no job lined up, but have a brand new apartment attached to my name back in my hometown. Crazy, right?! This is where my faith walk comes in. I will admit, even after I made my decision, I still had my doubts. "Did God tell me to do this, or was this my decision?" I would ask myself. I had several interviews since I made my mind up to move home, but no offer letters.  I shared my worries with my mother and she got me straight.

"You can't think like that. You made the decision, and you can't go back now. You can't take risks sitting still. We will work it out. Sometimes you take risks and they don't work out. You just have to turn your lemons into lemonade."

So there you have it. I am going home, and of course, I will keep you updated on my endeavors. I am low key excited as I have not really lived at home since before I graduated high school. I was home for a few months after graduating college before high-tailing it to Atlanta. So ten years later I am returning. I don't know for how long or what is the next step afterward.  I will enjoy my family, and friends, see the little ones grow up and all the events you take for granted when you're living at home. The recitals, cook outs, game nights, etc. 

I am coming home.

P.S.  I have been toying with the idea of an online boutique that showcases not only my own handmade goods, but others as well. Also, I have plenty of ideas of how I want to revamp Diva Chronicles but just haven't had the time. So just stay tuned to this space to see what I come up with. Entrepreneurship has always been my end goal, it may come sooner than later.


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