Beauty Blast: Curl Gel-les’c (Curl Jealousy) from Curls

Natural Hair Products

The PJ in me has been on a roll lately!  After keeping my obsession for hair products has been kept under control for awhile and found some great products that my curls love, I’m still itching to try new brands.  When the folks over at Curls, a hair care brand that caters to natural hair girls like me, sent over their hair gel, I couldn’t resist.  I’ve seen their products on my many trips down beauty aisles but hadn’t heard anything about them. I was also interested because I haven’t expanded my hair gel horizons, sticking to the only one that gives me the hold and shine my hair needs without flaking.

So what is Curl Gel-les’c  (pronounced Jealousy)?  It’s a cross between a gel and serum.  It promises to give curls the moisture and shine it needs while holding curls in place and banishing frizz.  You can use it on wet, freshly washed hair to keep your curls in place while they air dry or on 2nd (or 3rd!) day hair to get rid of frizz.  What I liked the most about it was how light it was, especially for the front of my hair.  My curls there are much looser, finer, and the first to frizz up.  So this gel was perfect for that section of my hair. I got the shine and hold I needs first thing in the morning without my hair feeling greasy and weighed down.  It worked well on the rest of my hair, though it’s much thicker so it needs a lot more gel.  It also smells great too, which is another plus!

 Have you tried any products from Curls?  I know I’m curious to see what other good stuff they have. 😉

 

Photo courtesy of Curls

FTC Disclosure:  The product mentioned in this review was received as a free sample.   All opinions are my own.

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Beauty Blast: Bioré Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser

Skin Care

Ya’ll this skin isn’t what it used to be!  Despite keeping the same regimen I’ve had for years, my skin is breaking out more than ever.  Recommitting to my fitness goals has me sweating more than ever too! My old one just wasn’t doing the job anymore, so this review was just in time!  I had the opportunity to use Bioré’s Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser for the past month.  It promises to wash away pore-clogging dirt, oil, and makeup that cause breakouts with salicylic acid and pore-opening warming clay.  It’s also supposed to treat the blackheads and acne that’s already there.

The cleanser itself comes out thick, a dime-sized amount enough to do the job.  When you rub it between your fingers, it warms up instantly much to my surprise!  The heat unfortunately doesn’t last once you apply it to your face but you can feel the dark blue exfoliating beads.  After rinsing it all off my skin felt refreshed and clean, my cotton ball not picking up much dirt when I followed up with my toner.  It also does an awesome job washing away makeup.  As for breakouts, I haven’t seen much of those.  In fact I can only remember one time where a pimple was trying to show its face but I quickly nipped that in bud!

Do you use Biore?  What products are your favorites?

 

PS:  You still have time to enter the #PlusSizeGiveaway.  You don’t want to miss a chance to win a $250 Gift Card now, do you?

 

Photo courtesy of: Biore

FTC Disclosure:  Product mentioned in this review was received as a free sample.  All opinions are my own.

Want To Go Pro? 4 Things You Need To Do First

madamenoire.com

madamenoire.com

Have you been blogging for awhile and want to make it your full time job?  I talked about being a full time writer for years, dreaming about it when I filed into work every day.  I finally took the leap January of this year and let me tell you, I love what I do!  That doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park by any means. I’m working harder than I ever have and I’ll be the first one to tell you it’s not as glamorous as you may think.  It takes a lot of work, persistence, some serious planning, and realistic expectations.  Freelancing is not for the faint of heart and it takes awhile to be able to make the full time money you may be used to.  I freelanced on the side for years before leaving my job and I’m super fortunate to have a very supportive husband.

So if you’re serious about making blogging your profession, here’s what you need to do first.

Create a Business Plan

Blogging professionally is a business – you are the company, boss, employee, and brand.  You have to sell yourself and your blog.  In that respect, you need a business plan.  It doesn’t have to be anything super fancy, but it does have to be detailed enough that you have a clear idea of who you are as business, where you want to go, and what you have to do to get there.  I wrote a business plan for my blog two years ago, using Yuli Ziv’s fashion blogging book as a guide.  She breaks down everything, asking the questions you need the answers to in order to have a clear vision of your business.  Some of those questions I asked myself while putting it together were things like:

  • Why does your blog exist and how is it different from all the others?
  • What services will you provide?
  • Who is your target market? (i.e who are the people who will be reading your blog? Age? Gender? Occupation)
  • How is your blog going to make money?
  • What’s your competitive edge?

This step is essential because it’s your big game plan that will set the tone for everything else you do to make your writing dream a reality.  Take your time with it.  Put in some serious thought. Then move on to the next step.

Do Your Research

Now you know exactly what type of blogging business you’re getting into, look up people who are doing the same thing you want to do.  I love reading bios because they not only give me a better idea of who the writer is and what the site is all about, it gives me a sense of perspective.  Many of the professional writers I aspire to took at least 5 years to get to where they need to be.  That means, I’m probably not going to be at their level in one year or even two.    Another thing you need to look for?  What they’re doing right, what you need to learn to be just as good as they are, and what you can offer that they can’t.  Also, look into groups and blogs that are catered to type of business you want to do.

Break Down the Business Plan into Smaller, Attainable Steps

Now it’s time to break down your game plan into smaller, more bite sized steps.  Setting small weekly and monthly goals will make the journey to your dream job less overwhelming.  It also gets you into the habit of staying organized and meeting deadlines – two major skills you need when you strike out on your own. I go into more detail about this here, sharing my experience with breaking down blogging goals.

Get Busy!

You’ve got your plan.  You’ve got your research.  Now it’s time to put it into action.  This is what separates dreamers from doers.  Opportunities aren’t going to fall into your lap and life is too short to put those ambitions on hold.  I’m not saying you have to quit your day job tomorrow but I am saying you need to start taking those steps you outlined in your plan so you can get much closer to your goals.

I would love to hear from you!  Tell me about your blogging dreams.  What are you doing to reach them?

I’ve got a lot more blogging advice for you here but before you do, make sure you enter the #PlusSizeGiveaway.  $500 in gift cards can really help get your blogging dreams off the ground!

Beauty Blast: Pixi Beauty Products

Makeup

While I love trying bright and bold looks, it’s always nice to get to the soft, subtle side of beauty life every now and again.  I mean let’s face it, I’ve traded a lot of my nights out with friends to days out with toddlers and families.  So a clean, but still fun day look is what I need.

That’s where Pixi Beauty comes in!  Created by makeup artist Petra Strand, their motto Makeup to Wake up is evident with ingredients like caffeine and chamomile infused into their beauty products. Keeping the busy woman in mind, they offer flaw-fixing and youth-enhancing cosmetics that can pull double (or triple!) duty.  My life has definitely been crazy lately, including this past weekend.  So this was the perfect opportunity to put the Perfection Palette, Crayon Combo, and Tinted Brilliance Balm to work!

Friday Morning’s Look

Makeup Tips

Most of my mornings are spent hanging out with my little girl and Friday morning was no exception!  We hit the library for a story time program, which means a lot of moving around (and singing!).  I went straight to the Perfection Palette to create a classic day look – highlighter shade on the lids, a slightly darker shade on the brow bone, and a dark shade in the creases.  I had 16 shades to choose from, with the lightest shades on top graduating down to darker ones.  The lightest shadows were too light for my complexion, so I had to go a little darker for a highlighter shade.  I went with a shimmery brown color for my brow bone and the dark, chocolate shade for the outer creases, which had the richest pigment out of the three.  Included in the same palette are three cheek powders and I applied the first one.  The color looked great in the package but had a hard time showing up on my skin.

To keep things soft and subtle, I used the Tinted Brilliance Balm in Nearly Naked.  It’s packed with Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Jojoba oil, and Rose Extract to keep lips moisturized. It goes on soft and smooth and my lips feel fantastic!  Not only that, the color gives them the right amount of color for a nude lip look.

Saturday Afternoon Look

Natural Looking Makeup

The next day it was a 1 year old birthday party (are we noticing a trend, here? LOL).  While I was looking forward to celebrating my daughter’s friend’s big day, I knew I had an afternoon of chasing her around in front of me.  Not only did I need to my makeup to look nice and appropriate for the occasion, it needed to last so I didn’t look as tired as I would feel at the end of it!  Time to see if my Crayon Combo would give me the soft smoky look it promises.  I used the medium bronze color to fill in my lids.  It goes on smooth and blends easily,  however it blended in too well and you couldn’t see it.   So I went over them with a lighter, shimmery shadow from the palette.  I had much better luck with the liner, a deep chocolate brown color that glided on smooth, giving a soft, smudge look sans the smudging.

I gave the blush another go, choosing the second one and that worked much better too! I could see the hint of soft purple on my cheeks, which is exactly how I like my blush.

Also in the palette are two face powders, a highlighter and bronzer.  I dusted the bronzer all over my T-zone, the color playing very well with my foundation.  This type of powder always seems to be a hit or miss for me so I was thoroughly impressed!  I’m also happy to report that my makeup survived the party without a hitch!

Sunday Afternoon Look

Makeup

And the events don’t stop!  Yesterday was my cousin and his wife’s baby shower.  I hadn’t seen that side of the family in a long time so I wanted to up the makeup ante a little bit.  For my highlighting shade I wanted a punch of color, so I went with the shimmery burgundy color in the palette.  I then dusted a matte brown shade in the creases to make sure my lids stood out.  I loved the liner in the Crayon Combo so much I had to use it again and the same went for the bronzer.  Out of the three looks, this one was my favorite. 🙂

Have you tried any products from Pixi Beauty?

 

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the #PlusSizeGiveay!  There’s $500 in gift cards up for grabs so you don’t want to miss that! 

 

Photos courtesy of Pixi Beauty

FTC Disclosure:  Products mentioned in this review were received as free samples.  All opinions are my own.

Fierce Natural Hair: Long and Curly

*Warning. This post can cause some serious hair envy*

One of my initial goals when I stopped relaxing my hair was to get it grow longer than what it was when it was relaxed. Back then it would reach the tip of my ear and break off.  Now I’m happy to say that after 3 years of leaving the relaxer alone, my hair is the longest it’s ever been.  I definitely reached that goal but that’s not to say I don’t want to go longer!  That’s what today’s hair feature is all about.  It’s true that there isn’t a magic product or hair style that will make your hair grow any faster but that doesn’t mean we can’t wish there was, right?

Natural Hair Styles

Tumblr

Long Natural Hair

Black Girl Long Hair

Natural Hair

Natural Black Girls Rock

Natural Black Hair

Onycworld.com

Wash and Go

Natural Black Girls Rock

Colored Natural Hair

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    The advice and reviews of this blog are solely the opinions and experiences of the writer, MJ, unless otherwise specified. Products being reviewed have been obtained via free samples from featured companies unless otherwise stated.
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