June Workout Schedule

Thursday, May 28, 2015

June Workout Schedule
For the last two months, I've been obsessed with Google calendar. It's easy for me to schedule all of my posts, know which posts I have posted on Twitter and Facebook, and I can organize my life just a bit more. So of course, I have my workout schedule all laid out. I have been pretty slackish in the fitness department lately, but I've been slowly getting back on track. This schedule makes it a lot easier for me to remember what I have planned though, and it is already taped on my wall. 

All of the orange is cardio, I'm not really going overboard on it, which I'm fine with, but since the weather is nice, I want to get my weekly run in again. Green is pilates, and lately I've been doing a lot of pilates. Purple is ballet, but I should add that I may interchange it with belly dance. Even though both ballet and pilates are technically body weight based exercises, I have included actual weight training on Thursdays. Those will probably be something like a Jari Love or Jillian Michaels DVD. And finally, daily yoga because you can never have enough zen in your life.

So there it, my (and yours if you want) workout schedule for June. Be on the lookout for a food based, coming soon!

Black in America | The Dark Skin, Long Hair Paradox

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Black in America | The Dark Skin, Long Hair Paradox

When I went natural, one of my goals was to grow long hair. At first, my goal was bra step length, then mid-back length, and finally waist length. I attribute my length to a very intimate knowledge of my hair. I listen to it, as if it held the knowledge of the universe in each little strand. So I know when it's time to moisturize my hair, when I have to wash, and when I have to just leave it alone. So, the first time someone questioned my race in regards to my hair, I was a little miffed to say the least...especially because I spent 5 minutes explaining my natural hair regimen to her.

Since then, I've gotten that question both online and offline, as well as being accused of wearing weave. While the questions and accusations are frustrating, the reason behind it is hurtful and ignorant. Because of my darker complexion, I can't have long hair. It can't be soft. It has to be short, dry, and "nappy." And if I want long hair, I have to rely on weave.

I've always had my blackness questioned. To many people, regardless of race, black people are a monolith defined by their interests, education level, and vernacular, instead of geographical ancestral origin. So, I’ve never fit the standard definition of “black.” As a petite, highly educated, Inland Northern American English speaker, who was born and raised in suburbs, I don’t fit the archetypal standard of a black woman…add the length of my hair into the mix, and I’m an anomaly (though I know black woman like me are not rare or even uncommon). Add on my darker skin complexion, and I’m the only known species of my kind in the universe.

I’ve gotten many assumptions about my background, of which the most common is Ethiopian. I’ve also gotten Hispanic, Filipino, and Indian (both American and Southeast Asian). When I follow up with “no, black American,” the puzzled faces are endless. Because if I am black, I am obligated to embody the negative stereotypes constantly bombarded by the media, news, and most importantly, the perceptions within their mind. I have to be separate from their stereotypes, which is, to say the least, disappointing and depressing. My sheer existence, an indication that their perception needs to be, at the very least, challenged, is not strong enough to shatter their prejudice. So they keep asking, “are you mixed?”

There is a bittersweet lining to the gloomy cloud of stereotyping. At least once a month, I get a very humbling message in my inbox; a parent thanks me for helping their daughter love her hair. I know it’s not easy for a girl, let alone a black girl, to grow up in this world. So for me to give a young girl the inspiration and confidence to love her hair, is one of the best compliments of all.

Practice Makes Perfect for Winged Eyeliner

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect for Winged Eyeliner

Last week, I told myself I would do a winged eyeliner everyday as practice. Since I am almost always running late to work, I practiced at night when I wasn't in a rush. But the practice is paying off. Not only am I getting better at it. I am also getting faster. When I first started, it took me about 4 minutes for each eye, and that was with a ton of mistakes. Now, I am at about 2 minutes each eye and the line is getting more precise.

Hopefully, I can be perfect with this at the end of the month. A winged eye is my favorite look so, here's to practice, practice, practice! Oh, and if you're wondering the lip color is NYX Matte Lipstick in Aria

MissGuided | Review

Saturday, May 16, 2015

FroBunni | MissGuided Review

A few months back, I attempted to buy some dresses from MissGuided, a UK clothing company. I was really impressed with the style of their clothes - very edgy and sexy, with a touch of class. So I bought this gorgeous dress, had some billing issues due to the different UK fraud protection laws compared to the US (they wanted a picture of my photo ID and a bill)...eventually I got the dress, but was so exhausted with the process that I couldn't write a review at the time.

Fast forward to now, and I saw some adorable dresses last week, purchased them and used a 20% off coupon (they always have deals), and got my dresses in a couple of days. The process was easier, faster, and no billing issues. And honestly, the dresses would've been worth the hassle if it did happen.

First of all, the quality is wonderful. The dresses were a little more expensive than what I normally go for, but it was worth the money. The red dress is just perfection in fabric. It's a skater dress that is a little sheer on top, but with a tank top, you can wear it to work. A petticoat is sewn in the dress making it feel very flirty. The white dress is also amazing, perfect for a date night. I tried the dress on with a pair of brown sandals, and I was literally ready to go out right then. I plan to definitely buy from this company again...actually, I am ready to buy another dress right now! That is how amazing those dresses are.

So, I would totally recommend the company (I shared the pictures on Facebook
already and got a ton of inquires). You may run into that billing issues, but honestly, the dresses are really worth it!

NYX Lipstick Swatched on Dark Skin

Friday, May 15, 2015

NYX Lipstick Swatched on Dark Skin
Top to Bottom
Lip Matte Cream: Prague,  Copenhagen,  Addis Ababa,  Monte Carlo
Matte Lipstick: Perfect Red, Angel, Aria, Merlot 
Simply: Red Russian Roulette, Red Leading Lady, Nude Sable, Vamp She Devil, Vamp Aphrodisiac Lipstick: Snow White 
High Voltage: Dirty Talk
Jumbo Lip Pencil: Plush Red

I have an obsession with NYX Lipsticks. They have an awesome selection of hues ranging from red, pink, brown, and plum. And pretty inexpensive and they're very easy to find (although I've found that some stores *cough Ulta cough* are always sold out of certain colors).

Yesterday, I took all of my NYX lipsticks and did a swatch test on my arm. Most (except for one or two) look great on my dark skin. 

Nude Lipstick for Dark Skin

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Nude Lipstick for Dark Skin
From left to right: Wet n Wild Mocha-licious, NYX Voltage in Dirty Talk, and Tropez (I don't know what color the Tropez was or if it's still being made)

I'm in a Facebook group called Makeup for Black Women, and I am learning a lot about makeup. My personal mission is to learn how to contour and to find the perfect nude lipstick. Since I am not ready to fully invest in a contour set, someone gave me the tip of buying an eyeshadow set and using that. So I picked up Maybelline The Nudes Palette, and I will be practicing how to contour this weekend.

One of my biggest challenges is finding nude lipsticks for my dark skin. I have been testing different colors, and I am having fairly decent success. So far, I have about six different nude lipstick colors (two are MAC and not good for my complexion...thank you MAC makeup artist, you were no help and cost me $32). Two of the other ones are from Wet n Wild, one from NYX, and another from Tropez. I've learned that for lighter nudes, like the mocha-licious, I will need to line my lips first with a chocolate colored lip liner.

I like how all of these nudes came out. My favorite is the NYX, but I am going to keep testing with the Wet n Wild. The Tropez is pretty dark, plus too shiny for my liking, so I probably won't use it again, but if I can find a color slightly lighter to that, it would be perfect.