Get Clear Skin with Curology

Skin care is something I have been focusing a lot more on in the past 2 years. It was a goal of mine this year to get into a skin care routine. I had major breakouts and all of the products I was using wasn’t working. No amount of water or clean eating helped clear it up. I got so frustrated and overwhelmed, I knew it was time to seek help. 

When I was younger I barely had pimples, let alone acne. This sudden break out in adulthood had me shook. I went to the dermatologist and she diagnosed me with cystic acne. The dermatologist prescribed me acne medication to prevent breakouts while we worked on the condition of my skin. I was initially against medication, but she assured me it was just to get my skin back to a healthy place, not forever. She also prescribed me a retinol to help with the big dark spots I had from acne scars. Initially when I went to the derm, I told her my goal was for my skin to look close to what it did in those pretty snapchat filters or Jhene Aiko’s skin- cause lets be honest sis looks like a walking filter-. I also wanted to brighten the burn marks from my laser hair removal- more on that in a later post.

Cystic Acne is when you have large painful breakouts deep in your skin. For women this is due to the hormonal levels due to mensuration. Cystic acne for women usually occurs along the jaw line and chin.

Of course, I got home and immediately researched cystic acne.-cause you know ya girl researches everything!-I found that I needed to eliminate a lot from my diet such as dairy. Which was hard because I love anything deep fried and smothered in cheese. I also ate yogurt daily for gut health, that was a no no. I cut the yogurt and started taking a probiotic pill instead. I drastically cut back on cheese, which was so hard. 

While my skin was doing much better, I wanted to get a routine down for it. I found myself using several different products for different things, but I didn’t notice a change in my skin. So I decided to simplify. I had been seeing Curology ads and it piqued my interest. My best friend tried it, which was the deciding factor for me.  

Curology is a subscription company that designs skincare specifically made for you by dermatologist that ships every 2 months. I loved this because I felt like I was using all these products because different ones did a different thing I needed. Curology made it so much simpler. 

I went online and took the short, but to the point skin quiz, and then took pictures of my face. My friend advised me to be very specific about my goal and skin needs while taking the quiz. I paid the introductory price $6.95 ( $4.95 shipping plus handling) for the trial products. About 2 days later, I got an email specifying what products I would be receiving along with a message from the dermatologist about how to use my serum in my routine and what formula consisted of. About 2 weeks later I had my products.- I’m assuming turn around time would be faster, if it wasn’t for Covid19. 

My package consisted of a month supply of their standard cleanser, moisturizer, prescription serum formulated for me, acne body wash and acne stickers. 

Trial Size

Cleanser

Ok. I love this cleanser! A little goes a long way and the formula leaves my face feeling clean, but hydrated and silky. I use this in the morning and night. I do find that on the days I wear heavy makeup, I would have to wash my face twice to really get all the makeup off. I take my makeup off in various ways. If I’m tired I will use a makeup towelette. If I have time, I will use almond oil or a cleansing balm like Ponds with a baby wipe or my makeup remover towel.- Ladies if you use coconut oil to take your makeup off STOP IT NOW!! Coconut oil is terrible for your face and clogs the pores.-Doing both ways I found I would still need to double wash. On days where I wore bb cream and foundation powder I would only need to wash once. Prior to Curology, I used the Neutrogena Hydroboost Lotion in the morning and the hydroboost gel in the evenings. I liked these, especially the lotion. The lotion is my favorite. Since Curology, I can’t see using another cleanser. 

Moisturizer

I cannot say enough about this moisturizer. It is so lightweight, but powerful. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and silky. I use this both day and night. Prior to Curology, I used Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Moisturizer, which I love. I would compare it to the Neutrogena Hydroboost or the Clean and Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel. Both are great for  spring/ summer months. In the fall/winter months I usually use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. It’s a little heavier since my skin is a little drier during those months. I run through the moisturizer a little more than the cleanser. I now only use the moisturizer in the morning and my CeraVe at night.

Serum

My serum contains Zinc Pyrithione- antifungal acne medication, Clindamycin- antibacterial acne medication and Azelaic Acid- treats acne and lightens discoloration. I only use this at night after the cleanser. I was advised by the derm to only use this and no other salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinol products.  My skin did rebel, which the dermatologist advised me would happen while my skin adjusted to the products. I had a small break out on my forehead for about 3 weeks. The first week was the roughest. The second week I thought the breakout had cleared, but it came back with a few new pimples. By the third week I only had one or 2 pimples. The last week of the trial, I was able to see my skin progress and it was looking good! My skin was breakout free and my texture/color was evening out. You do have an option in your profile to chat with the derm if there is anything wrong or you feel the treatment isn’t working. Curology provides give you 2 free chats with the sign up and a free chat monthly. You can of course pay to have more sessions as well. These sessions do rollover monthly. I reached out once to the derm assigned to me to make sure it was okay to use my prescribed retinol from my local derm. She advised me to alternate my days, I use the Curology serum every other day and my retinol on the off days from the serum.

Full Size bottle supply for 2 months dont let the size fool you they last!

The next shipment auto ships, however you have the option to cancel whenever you want. Curology will send you an email letting you know to make any changes by a certain date and also to update you on the shipment. You can also change the time frame in which you receive the package. I changed my shipment to receive the cleanser, moisturizer, and the serum- which is required– which totaled $52 plus shipping and handling. I opted out of the acne body wash and acne patches simply because I didn’t use the trial size. I do tend to get breakouts on my shoulders and back sporadically, I believe from working out, however, I haven’t had any recently.

My honest opinion: If you are just starting out in skincare, are looking to get a routine down or have very troubled skin –I would start with physically seeing a dermatologist first with troubled skin-, I would def start here. There’s so much out its hard to figure what to use and what works best for you. While I love the cleanser and moisturizer, there are drug store cleansers and moisturizers that are dups, contain more product, and are a little cheaper. The serum, you cant beat. Since it is made for you and you can change your needs at anytime, I would most likely stick with this product until you have your desired skin.

Speaking of skincare, I recently had the opportunity to talk about some skin care tips and tricks that aren’t widely known about in the black community with Let’s Talk About It with Jackie Wade Podcast and Youtube. You can watch part one here and part two here.

Overall, I love Curology and what it has done for my overall facial skin care health. My dark spots have lightened up quite a bit and my skin’s texture is a lot better.  I would definitely recommend giving it a try! 

Are you thinking about trying Curology? Let’s talk about it!

And remember,

Dont be bitter

Be Better!

**This is not a sponsored post.

Dont be Bitter be Better: 3 Reasons Why I Chose to be Single

Reading the heading of this post, I know you’re wondering why would one choose to be single.-Let me explain.- I found myself in an odd place. I was in a situationship that ended on good terms, we even decided to still remain friends. Even after the romantic phase was over, we would meet up for drinks and still text as friends. One day, I found myself blocked and ignored. This was someone who I had a fifteen year friendship with so to be suddenly cut out of their life was odd. I would speak when I saw them and nothing, not even a hello back. The need to know why I was suddenly being treated this way was growing inside of me. The more it happened the angrier I became. –I know what your thinking why did you continue to speak?- A part of me was all kill them with kindness, but another part felt it was probably agitating them that I did– that was the petty part of me.

Privately, I was very hurt by losing the relationship and the friendship. – I was hurt hurt. Mariah Carey’s breakdown ft Bone-Thugs and Harmony has never made more sense than that moment in time

The guy a dated after that 5months into the dating phase –not relationship but casually dating– he got engaged to someone else. Yes, you read that right, engaged to another girl while we were dating, and to add insult to injury I found about it 2 weeks later from someone who didn’t even know I knew him, let alone was dating him.- the audacity, tuh!-

I felt myself becoming bitter. I didn’t want to shut love out, but at that moment I didn’t know how I could continue to be so open to something that was literally ripping my heart apart. I prayed to ease the pain and bring me understanding. In the past, I had taken a break from dating before and dated myself, but I was still open to invitations. Initially when I took the first break, I was a 20 something year old who was lost. My 20s were rough and flew by. I am now a 30 something who has experience. I’m more settled now, I feel wiser like I have a new lens on life. I don’t feel so desperate to get to a finish line of a goal, until I started comparing my life to where I thought I should be for my age. So this decision didn’t come lightly. This time I decided to decline any interests. No dates. I didn’t entertain someone who was interested in dating. If they weren’t pre-existing non-romantic friendships, I wasn’t available for it. I wanted to completely focus on me and pour into myself. My prayers were eventually answered, but in praying I realized a few things about myself and how I approached dating:

1. Relationships were the goal
My goal was to be in a relationship. That’s it. That’s all I wanted. I had no clue what I was going to do after I got into one, but as someone whos never been in one, that was my goal. Somewhere along the way I began to be desperate to be in one. To be claimed, chosen, picked from the bunch. The older I got the more important it became. Towards the end of my 20s dating began to feel more of a hassle than fun. Dating was supposed to be the time of your life, but for me it felt like a means to an end.

If you listen to society, being single will have you feeling worthless. You cant possibly be anyone of value if you’re not in a relationship or married, your advice is worthless, you don’t understand anything as it relates to relationships and you can’t hang around the couple crowd if you are single. I have lost so called friends for being the single one. To be deemed “worthy” by society, I needed to be in a relationship.

I started to look at every possible love interest as “the one”. After the initial contact, I daydreamed about our life together. -if I really found you attractive.- I had an unrealistic expectation for every man who entered my romantic life. I was never in the present moment. I never saw it for what it was until it was over, and I was heartbroken, more so by the possibilities than by missing out on the person. –cause lets be honest, if relationships weren’t my goal there is no way I would have been with some of the dudes I entertained. They were definitely “what were you thinking?” type of guys, especially the 2 mentioned at the opening- I focused very little on the person and more on the end result.

2. Dating with Intention.
I investigated my dating history and they were all pointless. There were no clear intentions or standards set in the beginning. They were all “I like you, you like me, lets see what happens”. – 4 words no woman should fall for-. There were no clear boundaries. No clear communication. It was all unhealthy. Not only were the relationships not clear, but neither was I. I had no clue what I wanted in a relationship. I didn’t understand the value of what I was bringing to a relationship and what I should be receiving from one. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had no clue how relationships worked. Sure, I had examples, but they all seemed to be unhappy or settling for things that didn’t align with their morals or values. –and I did not want to be one of those people.- Even though I knew what I didn’t want, I still wasn’t clear on what I did want.

I’m a researcher, I have to have understanding. The “why” must be answered. So, I did what any researcher would do; I read. I read books, 4 specifically; The Conversation– Hill Harper, Relationship Goals– Michael Todd, Judge This Cover-Brittany Renner, and The Game of Desire– Shannon Boodram.

I have read The Conversation many years ago. I remember it being so packed with gems, that I wrote notes in the margins and highlighted sentences throughout the book. I decided to reread it. The gems were still valid. It is, however, geared more toward people already in a relationship, but it gave me insight.

I loved the Youtube series Relationship Goals so much! It was actually the first thing I watched while struggling through the pain of losing the friendship. I learned a lot by watching the series. So, when Michael Todd wrote a book, I brought it on preorder. The book was so different from the series, which I loved, no one wants to read something they’ve already heard verbatim. There were some parts of the book I disagreed with, but he does speak about all kinds of relationships as it relates to God. I had to keep reminding myself that the book isn’t just talking about romantic relationships. Also, every relationship doesn’t have to work according to someone else’s interpretation of the bible. Overall, I enjoyed the book and got a real grasp about faith in relationships.

Ill admit, I was a little reluctant to read Judge This Cover by Brittany Renner. Brittany Renner is a social media star who is best known for her sexy photos and fitness on Instagram. She has made a name for herself by posting workout videos and promoting fitness products. Brittany has been known to date some very famous people. It is said that most of the relationships she refers to in her book are about those famous people, although the names have been changed in the book. I was really shocked by how insightful this book was. I related to her and her struggles with dating. Though she was a little more free in her sexuality, I admired her willingness to bare it all in the book. She also gave a different perspective and some great advice. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. Most people I know that did read it, did so to be nosy about her life, but ended up loving the book for her insight. I’m telling you it was a great read!

Lastly, I read The Game of Desire. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. If you’re not familiar with Shannon Boodram, she is a certified intimacy educator who teaches people to be more competent and confident as it relates sexology. My judgement of the book pre-reading it was that it was going to be mostly about sex. While there is, of course, sex talk in the book, the book is mostly about you. Discovering who you are, your love language, your personality traits, your intimacy language etc, and how to use that to be present in your dating life. There is a workbook you can fill out prior to reading which I highly recommend. I learned more about who I am as a person reading this book, than I did about dating. I honestly wished I would have read this book first. This is a book I highly recommend everyone read.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

3. Self-Love
You knew we were going to end up here! I preach this. Every time I think I have finally obtained the highest level of loving yourself, I find something that could use extra work, a little extra love. When it came to intimacy and body positivity, I lacked majorly. I noticed in the bedroom or times of vulnerability; I was very mean to myself. –You know the talk “suck it in don’t let them see you have a gut, eww” “wear something to cover your arms no one needs to see those Hammocks” “ you want to wear shorts, have you seen your thighs??” “Make sure it’s dark when you take your pants off gotta hide those stretch marks, that’ll be a major turn off”.– Being sexual with some one may have felt good, physically, but mentally I was beating myself up with negative talk the entire time and after was worse.

I have struggled with my weight ever since I took the depo shot. My body has been through a lot. I have gotten trainers, changed my diet, taken weight loss pills, different diet fads all to try to lose weight. I cant remember a time in my adult life that I actually loved my body. There were certain things about myself I wanted to change, and I would, only to gain it back. Doctors would tell me to change my diet or to eat smaller meals more frequently and if I got sick they would say it was just a stomach flu. It wasn’t until I landed in the ER twice with the same doctor that pointed out that something wasn’t right; did I really start to find answers.

After getting diagnosed and getting a treatment plan together, I really began to focus on my health as a whole. I began to make the correct changes and my body actually responded. I began to look more and more like the person I saw in my mind. My self-talk became positive. Sure, there are still somethings I’m a little self-conscious about, but the positive outweighs the negative. The negative is what I strive to give the most love to. Constant reminders that we are regular people and look like real people. We don’t have tiny waists and giant asses. Our breast will have a little sag to them. Stretch marks are a part of growth your body is constantly changing, and facial hair is a thing, almost everyone has it. Society and social media will have you out here changing who you are to fit their standards of beauty rather than loving the way God created you. No knock to plastic surgery, if that’s a path you want or need to take to love who you are, more power to you, go forth and do that, but make sure it’s for you and not for the world. “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I have been purposely single for a year. Every now and again I’ll feel alone, but I’m not lonely. I have found less of a desire to be in a relationship and more of a desire to be comfortable with who I am before inviting someone into my space; my peace. I’m more understanding about my love life and what I need and require to continue to flourish and grow. I’m no longer feeling bitter…. I’m better.-does my tagline make more sense to you now?-

Would you take a year off from dating to learn yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, remember,

Don’t be Bitter,

Be Better!!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Chapter 28: Be Open

CaptureIt’s my birthday! A year of growth behind me and a new year of learning experiences ahead of me! I’m so excited to go in this journey. I always thought 28 was my mystical magical number. When I was younger it was the number I said I would keep forever whenever I was asked my age-true story– I feel like at 28 you know yourself now more than ever in your 20s. –Let me explain– in my experience my 20s have been nothing but one learning lesson after the other. It has been a struggllllleeee girl! I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do, I felt like for the most part, my 20s was this big black hole of not knowing. Add to that making huge mistakes and having to learn to deal with them. My 20s was pretty much like just figure it out. I wouldn’t change any of it though because everything led to this beautiful point: self awareness.grow-up

What a beautiful thing it is to actually know one’s self, to be confident in who you are, to proudly say this is who I am, like it or leave it I really don’t care either way! I know what I want to accomplish-might not know how to get there but at least I have purpose, right? – I know what I will and won’t accept from life, I just know! Boom that’s it. For so long it felt like I was walking through a dark hallway, no direction just literally figuring it out as it came to me- it’s a horrible feeling, but maybe it’s necessary-

“Rock Bottom is the solid Foundation on which I Built my life.”

qrE4K
Shit just got real

25 was a rock bottom year, I spoke about this in a past blog, but never really felt comfortable talking about everything I was going through.-however if you’re a loyal reader, then you know I was in a dark place-. I suffered the loss of a pregnancy, the loss of a friendship that I loved dearly, and the loss of financial freedom by having to file bankruptcy. 25 was hard,  a lot of pain and tears. Most days were a struggle to make it out of the bed, but thank God for family.

giphy (1)26 was a faking it till you make it year. 26 I literally picked myself up and started to figure it out. I made affirmations and goals. I planned for things I wanted to accomplish, I found my purpose. 26 seemed to go by very quickly. It was definitely a transition year.

27 was letting it all go and working on a foundation again. 27 taught me a lot of things. I call 27 my year of rebuilding. Now that I knew my purpose I began to work really hard at it and made strides. I also really began to understand myself. I feel like before 25 I had this idea of who I was, but I didn’t really know or to be clearer I had this idea of how I wanted the world to perceive me but I didn’t really know who I was. I feel like everything that happened after 25 got me to this point of knowing who I am, what hurts me, what angers me, what energy I wanted to entertain, and what kind of man I desire to have in my life.

Now that I’m moving closer to my 30s, I feel like I’m moving toward my best life. So often I hear people say that your 30s are the best time of your life and I’m inclined to believe them simply based of the feeling I have about moving into 28. I can see the light appearing in the tunnel getting brighter. It’s not full rainbows and sunshine but it’s not all darkness anymore either.

Capture1

I always give my birthday a theme. Be Open.

I watched a movie called ‘Love by the 10th date’. It was one of those lifetime movies where its cheesy and predictable, but it got me to look into my own life and I realized that I’m very open minded but I’m not a very open person. If something doesn’t appear how I think it should or doesn’t meet my expectations, initially, I shut it down. I’m especially bad at this when it comes to relationships, or just getting to know someone. I don’t know how to just have fun and enjoy the ride. I’m either all the way turned off or all the way ready to jump in-I hate being in the gray! Watching this movie I had an “ah ha” moment –hell typing this paragraph I had an “ah ha” moment- this is all a self defense mechanism. Rather than letting myself experience it, I try to figure out a way to protect myself before it can even go wrong by finding something wrong- and chile that’s just not living! – Or I get incredibly invested way too soon and scare the person away- in my defense though it’s incredibly rare if you can actually get me to like you!-

I’m not just applying this to my dating life, but in all aspects. I want to be open to all this beautiful universe has to offer me. Positive vibes only though!

tenor

 

What are some things you find yourself closed off to? What o you feel you could be more open to? Let’s talk in the comments below!

Until time!

XOXO

 

MissMamaQueen

img_4813

First up in my month of music, is MissMamaQueen who hails from Murfreesboro, TN. Starting her rap career as a Femcee at just 13 years old, MissMamaQueen has taken the femcee game by storm. MissMamaQueen has had a long and successful career with around a million in ringtone downloads, being on stage with Femcee Shawnna, and recently adding author to her resume with the book ‘Many Men’, MissMamaQueen has shown me, and others, that there’s nothing a woman can’t do.

You’ve had an amazing career in the hip hop music industry, being able to meet and rap with huge names within the female rap industry, who are your musical influences?

-Of course I have my favorite artist that I love to listen to such as Monica, Beyonce, Whitney, Eve, Shawnna, Lil’ Mo, and others, but they don’t have direct influence on my own music. What I can say, is the artist that I have grown into is the sound of Missy in  90’s. It’s that mixture of Hip-Hop, Rap, Love stories, and ballads. When I first got into music, I did find myself channeling Eve and Mia X, as I was trying to figure out my direction and lane. Being able to perform with Shawnna, and have one on one, heart to hearts about the music industry and being a woman in the industry, was definitely an eye opener for me. I tell her all the time; she taught me so much, specifically the importance of being a woman in the game and standing on your own. The last couple of years, I have found myself being comfortable with creating my own sound, following what my heart says, and not being influenced by what else is going on around the music scene.

Since you’ve been in the game for so long, where do you see your musical career going?

– I honestly have never looked at music as a career. Music has been a part of my life for almost 15 years now. To me music is an outlet and a talent that I have, that I share with the world. I record music all the time, without even releasing it. I know people say it all the time, but it really is a form a therapy for me. A lot of things I bottle up, but then go make a song about it. At the end of the day, regardless of how it plays out, I just want to be able to say I told my story, and people listened. Also, I believe 1000% in God aligning things and situations. I believe it’s going the way God sees fit.

I definitely understand that, blogging for me is the therapy that music is for you. You’re in an industry where it’s already stacked against you being a female rapper, what has been your experience with why it’s so hard to be a female MC?

-I think females make it harder for each other more than anything. You have females sleeping with the producers, engineers, and managers. You have females that don’t want to see another female shine, or they link/click up with who boosts their presence. Also you have females that are intimidated and offended by another woman’s confidence or willingness to stand-alone. I have always been the outsider especially locally. I’m not in to the fake networking and ‘buddy buddy’ system. I have rarely found genuine bonds. I see a lot of chasing other’s fan base. At this point, I don’t think it’s hard to be a female MC. I think it’s hard for women to respect themselves and step outside the local mentality and outside the box. When we realize that there’s more to it than rapping about how good your vagina or head is, or how many b**ches you will slap, it will makes sense. Although it shouldn’t be, I have noticed it’s hard for women to be real and 100 to themselves and the music.

  

I like that you stand by your morals and you don’t compromise yourself. You kind of touch on this with your song ‘Beautiful You’, its probably one of my favorite songs,-aside from ‘Imma Go Hard’- because I relate the most to it being that I never felt beautiful in my chocolate skin until recently, and it sends a positive message about self love and embracing your flaws, what inspired that song?

-‘Beautiful You’ has [got to be] the most genuine feedback from any song that I have ever wrote, from women and men all across the world. It’s one of my favorite and most personal songs. Anyone that has been in the studio with me knows that either I absolutely love a record or I don’t, from the moment the beat is played. A majority of the time, once I hear the first bars of the beat, I already have the title of the record or at least a theme. Every once in a while, I will hear a beat and get [a chill], that’s when I know it’s special. ‘Beautiful You’ was one of those times. My producer looked at me crazy because he had gotten on to me about doing so many slow ballads for the album. The first thing that came out was, “Beautiful You, Beautiful You, You’re Beautiful.”

How many times have we heard, “She aint no Beyonce, but she straight!” Society has told us what beautiful should look like.

If she’s dark skinned, she better have a nice body.

If she’s light skinned, she better have nice hair and pretty eyes.

If she’s heavy set, she has to have a cute face.

If she’s skinny, she has to have a big butt.

The inspiration for me was, “Wanting to inspire myself.” It’s okay to hear a man tell you “You are beautiful!” It feels good when you post a picture and people say, “You’re beautiful!”

However, you are the only one in the mirror in the morning and at night in those raw and rare form moments. How beautiful can you really be, if you can’t honestly tell yourself that you are?

You took the words right out of my mouth. I preach this every chance I get because it’s so important to have that self-love. With my blog I push for people to follow their dreams and find their purpose. I feel like many people give up on that dream, because it’s not an easy road, its hard work! What advice would you give to people- especially female MC-who are struggling to follow their passion?

-My biggest motto to live by is, “If it doesn’t feel right. It’s not right.” Remember, once you say something on record, it’s out there forever. Do not listen to the radio. Write and speak from your heart. No matter how twisted your life or situation is, there is someone out there who will relate. Your story is your story for a reason. Inspire yourself to inspire others. The road isn’t easy, and if it is there will be hell on the other side.

I’ve peeped that you’ve been in the studio lately, when can we expect some new music and where can the people who aren’t familiar with you, checkout your music?

-My album is in the production process and anyone who has done an album will tell you it’s the most frustrating and drawn out process you will ever see. I have no release date at this time. I want to make sure it’s done 100% before I set any expectations for myself or for my fans. This will be my first full production album, so I really want to take my time and go down the correct channels. We are looking to have it available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Store, etc. ‘Beautiful You’ is the only full record we have released so far. In the works of revamping my official fan site, but until then I have music on www.Reverbnation.com/MissMamaQueen . I’m in the building stages of getting a video together for ‘Beautiful You’, but it has to be perfect with a story line, so that’s something I’m working on now as well.

 

img_4819Well I for one cannot not wait to hear it! Just for fun, Its no secret that you are a Monica and Beyonce/destiny child fan, but you have to pick just one, who will it be?

-OMG. This isn’t fair at all! I would say Monica! I have had the opportunity to meet her and talk with her, and she’s just amazing all around. I relate so much with her personal story, life tragedies, and triumphs. She is so humble, and to me the underdog, but legend of the R&B world. She is comfortable with what she has meant to the music game, even if they never put her on the Whitney or Bey platform. She knows her crowd and who she inspires. If you have ever seen her perform live, you can see her genuine love for what she does. Yessss Monica! LOL.

 

I would’ve chosen Monica Too! A huge thank you to MissMamaQueen for allowing me the pleasure to interview her! I was very inspired and motivated. I love interviews where I can learn something in the process and this was definitely that for me. Click the link here to check out her music and check out the video below of what’s to come!

Until Next Time Guys!

XOXO

Happy Mother’s Day!

With today being Mother’s day, I wanted to take this time to tell my mother how much I appreciate everything she does.

img_9783img_0353  img_3212

BUT, I can tell you better than I can write it , so click the link → HERE ←and check out what I have to say!

Also, I’m curious to see if you guys are interested in seeing more or less videos so comment here, or on Youtube and let me know!

 

Until next time!

XOXO

Blinx into Mink Lashes and Hair Extensions

I love stories that inspire! Stories that motivate you to go after your passion, after all, the only thing stopping you from your dream, is you! What I love even more are people who all willing to risk everything to see their dreams come to fruition for a cause. I had the pleasure to interview a very driven talented lady, who is working hard to make her dreams come true and build a brand/business.

Blinx is an upcoming hair and lash line owned by Toya Simmons. What I love about her business is not only does it promote feeling beautiful but a portion of the proceeds go to help fight a major cause! After a little research, I had to hear from the source. So without further delay, catch the interview below

blogger-image-1524985140First, can you explain to people, that may not be familiar with your brand, what it is?
Blinx is a luxury lash and hair extension line that caters to everyone from the everyday workingwoman to the high maintenance housewife.

Blinx is an interesting name, how did you come up with that name?
Well, when I initially decided to venture into the beauty industry I wanted to do Mink lashes only. I played with names that rhymed with Mink and had to do [with] eyes…naturally the first thing that came to mind was blink and I just put my spin on it with the x to replace the k… Surprisingly it has transitioned well with the integration of the hair as well.

That’s actually very creative! Why did you choose hair and lashes? Will you develop more in the beauty avenue?
I spend 90% of my life in weave lol and about 60% in lashes. So this is my passion. I walk, talk, eat, and sleep all things hair and lash so it just made sense. The fact that the hair industry is expected to gross 16 trillion dollars this year didn’t hurt either. I want to get my brand solid, make it a sisterhood name, and once I get this foundation built solid, …the correct way, I most certainly plan to develop more in this stream.

I, for one, will be very interested to see more. More requires help and you have a solid team behind you, which is rare to come by. What do they do and how did you come across such a solid team?
OHHHH MY GOD I do have an amazing team…they aren’t my team they are my family. The REAL kind and they do any and everything I need. There are no set roles amongst us, if it needs to be done, and I cant get to it, I rest assure that somebody is there to help and vice versa. I can’t ever thank them enough or properly convey just how much they mean to me, but I do try. Let me try to give you a quick rundown on everyone though…
Kristy Bowers is my wig maker. Any image you see from our initial shoot is a wig. She also helps me with marketing.
Samone Simon is my on set hairstylist, alongside Kristy.
Trecie Tharpe is my personal makeup artist (she’s retired from makeup now and only does it when I call her) she also helps with my branding and marketing.
Netra Thompson is my other makeup artist and she’s awesome!!!!
Tiffany Johnson is my spiritual advisor and motivator J . She helps me keep my Zen lol.
Oh and the most important part of my team isn’t a lady …he’s a guy and he’s my guy! Lol Chase Carpenter has done allllllllllllll the behind the scenes work from building the website, getting the IG page up and running smoothly, to scheduling the meetings necessary to get the launch campaign up and successful.
The models are called BLINX CHIX and they are Brittany, Mandy, Sharra, Sherria, Dev, & Ri’an and they are amazaeballs…

Everyone I mentioned I met in one form or another on a social media [site].

blogger-image-187133525Speaking of social media, I saw on Instagram, I believe, that a portion of the sales go to help find a cure for lupus, which I think is awesome; this is also something that is personal to you right?
Yes, a portion of the proceeds from every pair of the Butterfly lash will be donated to aid in fnding a cure for Lupus. Its very personal for me because in 2003 I was diagnosed with systemic lupus, and this is something [that] is very prevalent in young black women, yet no one has any real solid answers on it, and for me that’s a problem
I think that’s pretty dope, being that I recently just opened up about PMDD, which I was diagnosed with a few years ago, though not quite as severe as what you deal with, I think important to raise awareness to things that affect us, especially the African American community. My blogs all have a theme about purpose, inspiration, and following your dreams and goals. Was this always a dream or goal and what made you really push to see it to fruition?
My dream has always been to work for myself and be successful enough in that work that I can take the people most important to me and make their situation better. I have tried my hand at several different ventures, but none feel like this, none have come together so effortlessly like this lol, so I think this might just be it!
blogger-image--1449650033Well, I can say that everything I’ve seen looks really nice, so I think you may have stumbled upon something there! I think anything that sends the message that you are beautiful and your dreams matter in a positive way is something that the youth needs to know. What advice would you give to anyone struggling to follow his or her dreams or struggling to feel beautiful?
YOU matter. Don’t let your dreams and aspirations sit stagnant, feed them, nurture them, and watch them grow. GO FOR IT.
And Go for it indeed! I want to give a special thank you to Toya for allowing me the pleasure to feature her business on my blog! I’m excited for you! Good Luck on your launch, it’s going to be amazing I’m sure! Blinx launches on April 15,2016. Follow them on Instagram at @SheBlinx and hit up their website to get best quality of hair and mink lashes at http://www.sheblinx.com

blogger-image-1809092819Need a wig made after you purchase the hair? No worries they got you covered, Kristy is their in house wig maker, as Toya said any wig you see for the promos were made by Kristy, you can see her work below and also follow her on IG @Kustomzbykb

blogger-image--378127362blogger-image-165158231blogger-image-1696822868

The Blacker The Berry…

black is be    Growing up we are all self conscience of something. Some of these things we eventual grow out of and some things we hold on to. We may bury it and carry it with us wherever we go, or we choose to let it out and try to overcome it and work through it. I wrote a blog not too long ago titled flaws and all- if you haven’t, stop reading and go check that blog out.- I talk about how my flaws are my beauty. It’s what makes me unique; it’s what makes me different. What I failed to mention was the flaw that took me the longest to overcome.

I love who I am. It took me so long to become comfortable and unapologetic with whom I am. It also took me a long time to figure out who I was, who I wanted to be and who I aspired to become. We all go through situations that shape and mold us to whom we are presently and who we will become. My main purpose was to talk about those situations that may be difficult to talk about, but people could relate to. To use my voice to expose deep issue that we I go through in life. I’ve been through a lot. More than meets the eye. To understand it we have to go to the beginning.

beautiful“Being a dark skinned black girl is a part of me. It’s something that I can never change, but I always wanted to.

I grew up in a neighborhood where it wasn’t exactly the hood, but it wasn’t middle class either. It was where they would put the elderly or disabled and every now and again, if you were lucky enough, they would place the people who didn’t seem like “hood rats”. Every now and again a select few slipped through the cracks. For the most part, it was a quiet neighborhood, but it was still the hood.

I went to a predominately white school. Sometimes I would be the only black kid in the class. If I got lucky there would be two of us, but I would be the only one that was aware.- I was very much aware that I came from a different background.-

My grandmother and mother always made it a point to teach me and my brother how to be proper, to have manners, and to never be a product of your environment. –be of the world, but not in it.

This made the kids in my neighborhood treat me as an outsider. Not only did I carry myself like I was above the hood, but I was pretty …for a dark-skinned girl. It’s funny; I always thought that phrase was a compliment. For a dark-skinned girl. Like the color of my skin somehow tarnished my beauty. Like I was less than. Like lighter skin was inferior to mine. The color of my skin somehow made me the scum. I was the blackest, or the darkest they had seen, so I must be the lowest of individuals. Forget my intellect, or my wisdom, or even my contributions to the world. Forget my degrees, my etiquette, or my beauty. No I’m dark skinned, I am not worthy of such status or accomplishments or education.

6a7d11960e9bb92d83727a4ecc737f24The white kids from school they accepted me until they became aware. I remember it like yesterday. It was my birthday and like any little girl in elementary school, I wanted to have a big birthday party and a sleepover. My mother worked her ass off to make sure I had it. After the party was over it was time to go back to my house for the sleepover. It was me and my 3 best friends, who all happened to be white.

In my neighborhood all the houses looked the exact same. Red brick one the outside with heavy metal doors. The inside had cylinder bricking all painted ivory. My mother was a great decorated, one of her many trades, and she always had the places hooked up. You never felt like you were in project housing when you were in our house, at least if you were from there.

My friends noticed right away. They each one by one started to feel scared. Before night fell they had each called their parents to pick them up, some even crying.

I hated myself even more. I began even harder to conform, to blend in, and to fit in. I knew if I could just get rid of my dark skin that they would love me.

it-isnt-a-matter-of-black-is-beautiful-as-much-as-it-is-white-is-not-all-thats-beautiful-quote-1The teachers picked on me. And when my mother would have my classes moved, the teachers would talk to each other and it would get even worse. My mother eventually withdrew me from the school and I went to stay in Texas with my grandmother.

This school was more diverse. My teacher was a young petite lady. My best friend was Asian and I wasn’t the only black kid in class, in fact if memory serves me right there were more black kids than white.

The kids there didn’t care about your skin color. I loved it there. I began to discover who I was beyond my skin color.

My days there were numbered. My grandmother could no longer care for me, she had a lot going on and was about to move to go back to school for another degree. I hated to leave. I felt so free there. It felt like where I should be.

When I came back home I had a “take no shit from no one” attitude. I went back to the same school with the same issues as a different person. I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind for fear I wouldn’t be accepted. My new best friend was black, and he was unapologetically black. He helped me develop what my mom liked to call “the black girl attitude.” I was going to need it; the next chapter of my life was middle school and if I thought things were bad before. Well they were about to get worse.”

naturalblackwomanThats from something special I’m working on. Looking back now, I wish I would’ve told myself you are fine, you are beautiful, your black is beautiful! I wish I would’ve loved myself more. And realized that God knew exactly what he was doing when he decided to make me dark-skinned. I wish I could have told myself its them not me. I wish I could’ve learned sooner that its ok not to fit in and to stand out means more than I could ever know. I wish I would’ve realized sooner that the whole world would be trying to obtain this coco butter brown skin. I wish I had a crystal ball that I could see this day and age trying to obtain all the features I was naturally born with.

I’m glad I know now. I’m proud to wake up every morning and have this gorgeous shade of brown skin. And I hope anyone reading this knows too. We were not made to be put in a box and considered the same. We were not made to feel inferior to others. We were not made to conform.

We were made beautifully flawed. We were made beautifully

#BlackLivesMatter                                #MyBlackIsBeautiful5dc2d0c77ba94b147ae8a55df7b5d743
P.S Go check out my last video –
The Downside to Social Media

P.S.S go check the video out for this blog here! The Blacker the Berry

Who Do You Love?

Valentines-Day-Chuck  As a single person with friends, married and in relationships, it looks as though it’s a long road. You begin to get questions such as when are you getting a man? You’re too pretty to be single? You must be lonely? And you even begin to question yourself, what’s wrong with me? I wish I had somebody to go here, why can’t I find a decent man? I too put myself in this boat.

pk3h2GdElEexThen something strange happened. I began to take the focus off of finding a man and put the focus on me. I began to find out who I was, what I wanted, and what made me happy.

What I eventually learned was that I like being single! -say what?- you read that right! I like having my space. I enjoy my peace and quiet. I like time to myself. I like getting to discover who I am and what I like and don’t like.

Don’t get me wrong every now and again it’s nice to experience those things with another. But I’m so invested in myself and the life I’m creating for me that it’s going to take someone pretty amazing to distract, attract me. I’m young and God willing I’ll live a long life and be able to experience that with the one God blesses me with, but for now I’m having fun. I’m investing in myself. And I must say I’m loving every minute of it!blogger-image-1106284924

Watch the latest video here:
Disclaimer

LIKE-COMMENT-SHARE
And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!!

You Have To Do It For You!

blogger-image-600708143I’m a firm believer in if you do what you love success will come. It may not be within a week/month/year, trust it will take time. You will have to work hard! But if it’s something your very passionate about, it won’t seem like work at all.Find what you love to do and do that. I would rather be broke and doing what I love to do than miserable and making somebody else rich in the process.

If you can’t stop thinking about it; DO IT! I had dreams when I was younger. I was very passionate about certain things. Somewhere along the way I felt like my dreams weren’t valid. My dreams were too big to reach. I would constantly talk myself out of those dreams “like girl tone it down”. I think this was because I didn’t see anyone else reaching for these dreams. At a young age, I was preached at to go to school, get good grades, and get a good job. That was the path that was said to me so much; I kind of lost sight of what it was I really wanted to do and began to adopt that view. I think this is mainly why I am taking so long to finish school –lol- because I know that it’s not what I am passionate about. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work, I just didn’t want to. I felt like it was a waste of time.- I’m going to finish thoughblogger-image-1530819145

It wasn’t until I lost my financial aid did I really began to think about what I wanted to do in life. When making this decision I had to realize I couldn’t do this for anyone, but myself. I thought about all the things I loved to do, like hobbies or things I would love to do. This took some soul searching. I didn’t really get to explore a lot of things I liked when I was younger due to time or money. I come from a single parent household. My mother didn’t always have time to take me to practices due to her work schedule. I was in band in elementary school and danced when I was in middle and high school, but that was as far as it went. If the bus couldn’t take me home, I couldn’t walk, or I couldn’t find a ride, IT WASN’T HAPPENING. So I didn’t really get to explore the things I really wanted to, like gymnastics, volleyball, cheer leading, dance team etc. Now that I am older, it was a bit more challenging to find things I am passionate about. I would be so envious of people who knew without a doubt that they wanted to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or own their own business. I found myself comparing my journey to theirs. Asking myself why can’t I be more like them and what are they doing differently than me?
Now, if you’re religious-like me- this is where God became a huge factor. I was lost and I needed guidance. I began to be very specific in my prayers. This is just what worked for me. Now that I know what I want to do and I have a vision in my head of the “end game and finish line” –let’s be honest it aint over till you’re 6 feet under- I’m killing myself trying to make it happen. I work a full time job, a part time job, and after that I hustle for myself. It’s hard. I’m not going to lie to you, but at the end of the day-I sooo hate that phrase, but it’s fitting here- I know I have to push myself to do better and get to where I want to be. You have to do it for you!AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKSAAAAJDc3MmQzOGJkLTNhNGItNGRiZi05MjkyLWE1MmEwOTIxNjdhMg

Flaws and All

flawsDisclaimer– I run a very open honest blog. This is what I consider a no judgment zone blog ( is there even such a thing these day YES!) the subject in this blog is very touchy for me so if you feel like y   our going to judge either exit stage left, or keep your negative opinions to yourself.

As the title suggest, I will be talking about flaws, or what is considered a flaw. In today’s society we put a huge amount of pressure on celebrity’s to look a certain way. In actuality, we put this pressure dfbon everyone, myself included. I find myself taking a million selfies just to get the perfect picture and even that picture gets some editing. Often times when a picture is snapped of me, I hate the outcome. I don’t consider myself ugly-everybody should think of himself or herself as the most beautiful person in the world-but I do believe in bad pictures or angles.

blogger-image-69863838Why do we put this pressure to look a certain way that can often be way different from what we actually look like? Or why are we so embarrassed about what we consider physical flaws that we become obsessed in hiding them? For example, (and I can only speak for myself and what I consider my flaws to be) I have facial hair like nobody’s business – I could probably grow a beard faster than my brother lol- ok its not that bad, but still. It has become such a hindrance (because tweezing the hair leaves behind dark spots) for me that I have become accustomed to different methods to get rid of it. Although I am looking into more permanent solutions, for now before I take a picture I find myself making the perfect pose to hide my scars -which are mostly on my neck-. Or let’s say it’s a body issue, I struggle with my weight, mostly because I’m a stress eater and a bottomless pit around that time of the month -sorry fellas- here lately I’ve gained more weight than usual and although it’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be, I still find myself wearing spanx or a corset to smooth it out. Muffin top is a no-no boo boo
get-your-life-copyWe as women put so much pressure on ourselves and for what? The things we considered imperfect, a man doesn’t even notice. And we as woman are so hard on other women. We will pick each other apart as if we were dipped in gold ourselves. The most beautiful picture on Instagram will have something wrong with it to somebody. So again I ask, why are we killing ourselves for the opinion of another that we will never be perfect for?

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Today I say stop being so hard on ones self about the standard of beauty. You set your standard. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So I urge you in this post to spread positivity! Give compliments not criticize. We ladies have it hard enough as it is. So live in your flaws! Let it fly free! ROCK THE HELL OUT THAT SHIT!blogger-image--617808458