Mental Health Monday

True health starts within. People often discount the mind body connection; to be truly healthy and happy you have to take care of your mental health. My mental health journey began when I was 6 months postpartum.

Postpartum depression for me involved having a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, crying spells, and a disinterest in life. My career no longer appealed to me. I hated getting up for work every morning and had little to no focus. I can remember being in the shower on one occasion and my little one walks in the bathroom in her walker and just sits there and screams and cries at the top of her lungs. I think that is one of the lowest points I’ve had as a new mom. I leaned my head on the shower wall and cried as well. I cried because I wanted to be away from her, cried because I felt bad for feeling that way. I cried because her father wasn’t there and because I just wanted to leave this earth. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts but I have had thoughts of feeling like I’d be better off if I wasn’t here or if I never had her. It hurts to say that because she my biggest blessing and greatest achievement. I just struggled with feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, irritability, shame, and guilt. At times I still struggle with these feelings.

Postpartum depression is the main reason I decided to go to therapy. In the short clip below I elaborate on why I go to therapy.

Therapy

Mental Health

Here’s a blog post I wrote pre-pregnancy and baby but I thought I’d still share it. Someone may need to hear this!

I read something the other day that perfectly described what a lot of us are going through in our late twenties and early thirties. The tweet described these years as the soul crushing years, and in so many ways that is true. The tweet went on to say how most people in this age group are struggling to cope with life changes. Our group of friends is getting smaller, our parents are getting older, and in addition to dealing with that we are dealing with financial messes we created in our early twenties. Many of us are also trying to juggle our new careers, marriage, babies, and our mental and physical health.

“We often are tired, not because we’ve done too much, but because we’ve done too little of what sparks a light in us.”

Alexander Den Heijer

Transitioning form graduate school to working full time was the hardest for me. By the time I entered my career I was my heaviest and was having a hard time motivating myself to get healthy and in shape. This took a toll on my mental health. I would often find myself laying in my room depressed. I wouldn’t go out and if I did it was often to spend money on shoes, makeup, or clothes. I truly believe that everyone at some point in their life deals with some form of depression; the stages after graduate school were definitely mine. I found it hard to cope with these new feeling of stress, depression, and financial instability. I thank God for praying parents, because I often think that if it was not for their prayers and continual love and support I would have sunk deeper into depression. One of the things that really helped me is that my parents instilled in me the love that God has for me and that I could always take things to him in prayer.

Often times we do not want to speak to people about what is going on in our lives because we’re afraid of being judged and find it hard to find someone we can trust. Let’s be real although it may come from a good place often our loved ones can be overly opinionated and judgmental. Even though you may not want to hear it sometimes it’s necessary to listen and process what your loved ones are saying. My mom would often tell me, “Idle hands are the devils playground.” This made me pour a lot more into doing things that I loved. I began to really dabble in makeup, outside activities, and considered taking cosmetology classes. I got out of bed and took more stock in my appearance. I began to make sure that I put more effort into my physical, mental, and emotional health. I started to pamper myself by getting my nails done once a month, keeping my hair done, and often tried to find the cheapest and latest ways to improve my style. I also began to make sure I got out the bed and out the house and tried different activities. I’m sure that my mother meant something more along the lines of community service, but it is hard for someone to be present and help others when they are hurting.

One thing I think that needs to be said is that when you are in a negative or vulnerable space you have to unplug form the matrix. Social media is both a gift and a curse. It’s great for networking and keeping in contact with friends and loved ones, but it also allows an avenue for negative thoughts and people to enter your life. Everything that glitters is not gold and everyone that is smiling in your face is not for you. Time shows peoples true colors and I encourage you to not let negative people and thoughts reside in your life. Social media allows us to see a lot of people’s success but not what it took to get there. With everything there is a process, and everyone’s journey is different.

Ultimately, the most important thing you have to learn during this time of life is how to unwind, relax, and surround yourself with positive and supportive people. You may not have the money to take a trip to Cancun, but you can find a nature trail to hike, kayak, exercise, or travel to interesting locations close to home. This isn’t the time to jump from relationship to relationship. This is the time to continue to get to know yourself and what interest you. Make new friends, enjoy life, explore, save money, but most importantly put God first.

Mental Health Check-in will be a regular segment on the blog. Email me, dm me, or leave me a comment if there is anything you’d like to unload or share. Sometimes just having someone to listen can ease whatever it is your dealing with. Please also take it to God in prayer!

Skims Cotton Lounge Wear Review

It’s time for another review. I must say I was initially not impressed with this line, but check the video out to see what I ended up loving.

Please feel free to share any post you’ve enjoyed and leave me a like and comment ❤️

Debt Free 2020: March Update

I hope everyone on this get out of debt journey with me is doing well. I’m not doing as well as I would like but by the end of March I will have paid off roughly $6,000 in debt. I’ve managed to save an additional $2,000 that stays in my savings account. I do have other savings and investment accounts that I recommend you do as well. One way I have been keeping track of my payment history is by using an excel worksheet like the one below. I also have a calendar that list every payment that needs to be made until the end of the year. I find this extremely helpful. I have automatic payments set up for all my bills but now make every payment as soon as I get paid. This has just been what works for me. I encourage you to experiment and figure out what works for you.

Excel Payment Tracker

The good news is that so far I have paid off one credit card. One thing I wish I would have done is followed Dave Ramsey’s advice and used the debt snowball method. The debt snowball method in a nutshell is when you list all your debt in order from smallest to largest and commit to paying it off in that order. As you pay off the smaller debt the money freed up then goes toward paying those larger debts. Typically with the debt snowball method you pay the minimum amount on all debt and put any extra money you have toward paying off the smallest debt. If I would have used that method I would be done paying off three credit cards instead of one.

The route I chose is someone like the debt snowball method. I committed to paying off the smallest debt first, but I also tried to get as much as my debt as possible below half the credit limit. I’m not sure if that was the smartest thing to do, but that’s what I did. I recommend doing some research and speaking with a financial advisor.

Neutrogena Favorite’s

Quick Disclaimer:

I am only a skincare and makeup enthusiast recommending products that I’ve used and enjoyed. As for the product ingredients, I recommend reading the label or looking the ingredient list up online and making your own informed decisions about what is best for you and your skin.

HydroBoost Whipped Body Butter

Neutrogena has some of my favorite drugstore products for sensitive skin. One of my favorite lines from Neutrogena is the Hydro Boost (HB) Line. I love to use the HB Whipped Body Balm, and HB Body Gel Cream – Fragrance Free for my body. If you have dry skin or dry patches I would definitely recommend these products. These two product will have your body feeling smooth and hydrated all day. A few of the facial products I enjoy from this line are the HB City Shield Eye Serum, HB Gentle Cleansing Lotion, HB Cleansing Gel & Oil Free Makeup Remover with Hyaluronic Acid, and the HB Hydrating Overnight Mask. I honestly cannot say enough good things about these products. I like to use the two cleansers to double cleanse when I’m wearing makeup, if I don’t have on makeup I’ll just use the Cleansing Lotion. One thing I don’t like is that neither of these products lather/foam. I know dermatologist suggest we stay away from foaming cleansers because they are drying, irritating, and can cause long-term harm to the skin, but I’m having trouble getting use to non-foaming cleansers. The HB City Shield Eye Serum is the first eye serum I’ve used consistently and it worked wonders. This eye serum helped remove the dark circles around my eyes, and leaves the skin around my eyes feeling supple.

If you try any new makeup products from Neutrogena I recommend these four: Shine Control Matte Booster Face Primer + Serum, Healthy Lips Lip Plumping Serum, Healthy Skin Radiant Setting Spray, Healthy Skin Radiant Cream Concealer (Golden Medium/Deep 01).

The Healthy Skin line is a newer launch that I have been enjoying thus far. The Radiant Cream Concealer is a good alternative for the NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer. I love the setting spray, it provides a nice mist to the skin that helps the makeup settle into the skin. The Face Primer is great for my oily skin as well. I love that it’s not to greasy but provides a nice even canvas for makeup application. If I had to recommend only one of these four products it would be the Lip Plumper. If you’ve followed this blog for a while then you know I love a good moisturizing plumping gloss. I love the applicator on this product and use it every time I apply makeup or lip gloss. It’s also a great product to add to your at home pamper routine. The product does provide a boost of collagen and has a slight plumping affect.

MoistureShine Lip Soother

The MoistureShine Lip Soother has got to be my favorite product from the entire brand. This is my all time favorite lip gloss it doesn’t provide any plumping, which is one of the things I like in a gloss. What I love about the gloss is that it leaves my lips feeling juicy but does not leave them sticky.

Gym Wear Haul

I’m feeling motivated to get back in shape and get in the gym so I picked up some gym wear. I know it’s all in my mind but I feel so much better working out when I look well put together. The video features Gym Shark, Puma, Adidas, and Nike. Give the post a like if you’d like to see more videos like this and let me know what your favorite outfit is.

Gym Wear Haul

DIY Projects: Desk Edition

In the process of moving and saving money I’ve had to get a little ingenious. I needed a desk for my office and I’ve had a wooden desk that I planned to revamp for years. I know most of us might not have a wooden desk that has been lying around for years (I might be a little bit of a hoarder), so I’d recommend checking out a local thrift store. The only products I needed for this DIY project were a sander, knobs, and spray paint. This project only cost around $80 for the knobs and spray paint. I used seven cans of spray paint and probably could have used less if I properly sanded the desk down. I also used rather expensive knobs so that is another area you could save money.

From Shabby to Chic

If I had to do it again I’d properly sand the desk down and use a spray paint primer. There were a few spots I had to go over more heavily because the wood was stained. This should go without saying but, please do not spray paint in the house or even your garage. This is definitely a project that needs to be done outside. Also depending on how old the item you are sanding is you want to be careful because the paint could be a lead base paint. If you have any questions about that I’d recommend doing some research and/or wearing a face mask.

Be on the lookout for more DIY Projects coming your way.

Skims: Satin Stretch Review

When I saw this collection I just knew I had to have it. The stretch satin material looked absolutely gorgeous and very luxurious. The colors were beautiful and I knew instantly that I would be stalking the website once they dropped.

I originally wanted the Smokey Quartz but was unable to get my hands on it because the smaller sizes sold out almost instantly. Can I just say I hate that! Why do brands, especially big brands like Skims make so few products? I NEED ANSWERS! I was only 3 minutes late to the launch and was only able to grab the bodysuit in, Desert Clay. Again, I’m so annoyed that I wasn’t able to get my hands on more and even more annoyed that you have to wait so long for the Skims inventory to restock! Big brands please do better!

What you’ve really been waiting for! I loved the bodysuit. I will say initially I wasn’t impressed at all! The package wasn’t great at all especially for the price, you can see me unbox the bodysuit below. Once I put it on I fell in love! The quality, the fit, and the feel was perfect. I enjoyed the fact that the bodysuit isn’t a thong bottom and the fact that my double D’s actually had support; you will need pasties because the girls will poke through. I will say that this bodysuit does not feel as compressive as shape wear and I believe she said it wasn’t meant to be shape wear. Nonetheless, it did a great job at smoothing out my back rolls. Depending on how your standing or sitting there may be a few rolls, which I’m not mad at. I can’t be mad if my clothes show what’s there.

If I had to describe the bodysuit in two words I’d say silky and smooth. It definitely felt luxurious and I can’t wait to style it a few ways. The video below shows how I styled it, more photos and styling videos will be added in a part two to this post.

Skim’s Satin Stretch Bodysuit Review

The only negative thing I can say about the bodysuit is that it doesn’t snap between the legs. If you have a weak bladder that could be a problem. Please make sure you consider where you are going and what you will be doing before you wear this out. Do not get caught slipping Sis!

Let me know with a like or comment if you’d like me to review more of Skim’s inventory.

Missguided Haul

It’s that time again, drum roll please…it’s Haul Week! This time I picked up a few items from Missguided. Missguided is one of my favorite “fast fashion” brand. You get cute quality clothes for a good price. There’s always a sale going, and items can be picked up at a great price.

Button Front Ribbed Bodysuit
Black & White

Here are the items I picked up and all the details:

  • Kissy Roddy x Missguided black graphic print long sleeve body – US6 $25.50
  • White Poplin Corset Shirt Dress – US8 $21
  • White Button Front Ribbed Bodysuit – US8 $11.50
    • Black – US8 $12.50
    • Lime Green – US6 $12.50
  • Purple Zip Front Kangaroo Pocket Sweat & Jogger Co-ord Set – US6 $25.50
  • Stone Hoodie & Jogger Co-ord Set – US6 25.50

Styling Video

I truly loved all the items I got. The white dress is by far my favorite. I initially was a little skeptical about the material, but baby when I put it on I felt amazing. I definitely feel like the dress looks more expensive than it actually was. The fit was great and I can’t wait to wear it on a date night! I also really enjoyed the bodysuits and sweat suits. The quality with all the items except the Lissy Roddy jumpsuit we’re great. I’d definitely recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

XOXO

Debt Free 2020

One of my personal goals for 2020 is to be completely debt free. Please keep in mind I am not including my student loans in this. I know for those of us who have student loans they can be a huge burden. I recommend tackling any other debt you have first and then addressing your student loans. Typically the interest rate on your student loans is significantly lower than any credit card(s) you have. If you address the credit card(s) or other loan debt first it will be easier to tackle student loans at a later date. Please note when I say later date I DO NOT mean do not pay on them now. If it is in your budget make sure you’re on some type of payment plan or pay the interest every month so you’re not shooting yourself in the foot.

I’ve always enjoyed writing out a budget but I’ve never stuck to them. The first time I saved more than 5k is while I was pregnant with my little one. Something about having a kid motivates you to get it together. Yes, at almost 30 I finally became somewhat financially savvy. I say somewhat because I have a long way to go as I’m sure many of us do. But I digress, lately I’ve been using the budget below to help me get it together.

Monthly Budgeting Tool – 1
Click the link above

This budget is simple and easy! Click on the link provided and you can fill in all your expenses and change it from month to month. What I like about this budget is that it easily shows you your income, expenses, and what you have left over. Don’t panic if your expenses are more than your income. Look at the budget again and cut some expenses. Be realistic! Eating out may not be in your budget, nor may entertainment, clothing, shoes, or beauty expenses. One thing Dave Ramsey always says that has stuck with me is, “You don’t need to see the inside of a restaurant unless you work there.” Those small purchases really add up so keep track of every dollar you spend. The draft budget I filled out includes some red boxes that help me customize the budget to my needs or remind me of certain things. Please do the same with yours.


One of the next things I did was start reading books and listening to podcasts. I would also recommend finding sites on Instagram or Facebook that encourage you to stay on course. Having a community that holds you accountable is extremely helpful. Leave a comment or send an email if you would like me to create a community where we check in on each other’s progress and hold each other accountable.

The internet can be a beautiful thing if used correctly. One person that has helped me out a lot is Dave Ramsey. I’m sure most of us have heard of him, but may have never paid any real attention to his methods. I encourage you to read some of his books. Here are a few of his books that may be helpful: Financial Peace Revisited, Smart Money Smart Kids, The Money Answer Book, Complete Guide to Money, The Total Money Makeover Workbook. Please also take advantage of his YouTube channel. He is giving out FREE advise and it just might help you!

Disclaimer: I feel like this has to be said I am in no way a financial advisor, I’m just sharing what I’m doing in hopes to help someone else. Please do your research and do what feels comfortable to you. Food, water, and shelter are things that you cannot live without make sure your basic needs are met and credit cards are not tools to live on! I hope some of my journey and some of what I’m sharing can help you or motivate you to take control of your finances in 2020.

Postpartum Shedding

Postpartum shedding, let’s talk about it! Postpartum shedding hit me around the three month mark. I have naturally fine hair and thus get my hair done accordingly. I know my hair cannot take a lot of tension or manipulation; with that being said I do get my hair done or do my hair myself because I am familiar with what it can handle. When I noticed the shedding I had just taken out some crochet box braids. Sis, when I tell you my hair was coming out in huge patches I am not exaggerating. My edges around the entire perimeter of my head were bald. I mean smooth as a babies butt bald, the Kim Possible naked mole rat bald. (Who remembers him?) I cried and cried and cried. There was basically nothing I could do and the excessive shedding lasted for months.

After doing a little research I learned that postpartum shedding is pretty common affecting almost 50% of women. During pregnancy hormones cause the hair not to grow on the normal hair growth and loss cycle. I think its important to note that for me I experienced additional shedding once my period returned around the six month mark. I cannot say for certain that there is a correlation between my period returning and my hair falling out; but we know that hormones increase hair growth. So I think the hormones associated with my period increased hair loss.

Typically during pregnancy the growing phase or cycle is extended with minimal hair loss. The hair loss that was delayed can fall out at once or over time. Most women will notice hair loss around the 3 month mark and the hair growth/loss cycle will typically return to normal around the six to twelve month mark. It is important to note that hair loss can also be related to a mineral or vitamin deficiency so please continue to take a pre or post-natal vitamin. If the hair lost seems excessive I encourage you to speak with your OBGYN or even a Dermatologist. For some women being on birth control can help.

Finally starting to grow again, September 20, 2019.

The picture above shows how my hair was looking once it finally started to grow back. Yes sis, I said grow back. My edges around the perimeter of my entire head left me! Gone! Vamoose! The picture below shows what the hairs looked like wet with conditioner.

October 1, 2019 wet with only conditioner.

I’ve finally come to terms with the hair loss. I’m currently 9 months post-partum and my hair has finally started to get back on its normal cycle. I’ve really struggled recently with wanting to cut my hair off, but I’m going to give my edges a year to grow back and start taking a hair, skin, and nails vitamin. I will definitely do a follow up post.

Tips to reduce hair loss:

  • Avoid hair styles that cause a lot of tension: pigtails, cornrows, braids, and hair weaves.
  • Use shampoos and conditioners that strengthen the hair and promote hair growth. Products with biotin would be a good start.
  • Consider taking a hair vitamin or increasing pre- or post-natal vitamin intake; birth control can even be an option. Vitamins recommended by the American Pregnancy Association include: Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Biotin, Zinc, and Vitamin E.
  • Make sure your diet consist of leafy green vegetables and fruits.
  • For my sisters, our hair is fragile when it is dry. Do not, I repeat do not comb or try to detangle your hair while it is dry. Dampen hair to detangle and make more manageable and please be gentle.
  • Minimize the amount of stress on hair; that includes hair dryers, flat irons, and hot combs.

Please note I encourage you to speak with a doctor. The tips provided are just suggestions to help lead you in the right direction. When it comes to taking a supplement speak with your healthcare provider and do what feels comfortable for you and your baby. Breastfeeding moms need to be especially careful about what you ingest; not just orally but through your pores as well. Most importantly Moms be sure to love yourself! You just brought life into this world! Just like your baby is growing leaps and bounds in front of you, your hair will grow as well.

Cheers!

3 Quick Everyday Makeup Looks

I’m one of those women who never wears makeup to work because I feel like I never have the time. I focus mainly on my skincare to ensure my skin is healthy and glowing. I encourage everyone to start with a good skincare routing or find someone that can help you with your skincare needs. With that being said I have been trying to find ways to do my makeup in 15 minutes or less and actually look well put together.

Here are some tips and tricks to start with:

  • Have all of the products you use on a daily basis or most often in one spot.
  • Decide what areas are most important to you! Is it color correcting, brow, or skin prep.
  • Find products that match your skin tone, texture, and temperament. Yes, I said temperament. My skin is very temperamental/sensitive. I’ve put products on my face that have instantly caused my skin to itch, burn, or break out.
  • Know your skin and what works for it. What works for Susan won’t work for Carol.
  • Enjoy the process! This should not be something hung that is stressful!
  • Have your brows neatly groomed! This makes a world of difference for me. I have naturally full unruly brows, so having them groomed makes a world of difference.

Products Used:

  • Covergirl Full Spectrum Matte Ambition in Deep Neutral 2
  • Morphe Fluidity Full Coverage Concealer in C 3.55
  • Fenty Setting Powder in Hazelnut
  • ABH Brow Gel in Dark Brown
  • Hard Candy Lipliner in Burgundy
  • Elf Plumping Lipgloss in Champagne Glair

Products Used:

  • Too Faced Born This Way Concealer in Hazelnut to spot correct
  • NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in Caramel to highlight
  • AC Cosmetics in Butternut Beige just the highlighter parts
  • Fenty Setting Powder in Hazelnut for the rest of the face
  • Bronzed with Covergirl Matte Ambition All Day Foundation Powder in Deep Cool 1
  • Huda Beauty Nude Medium Palette (I’d recommend skipping eyeshadow. I rushed through this part to get it done quickly and I think it shows. For people with greasy eyelids like myself I’d recommend set your lids and sweep your bronzer all over the lids!)

This look was all about skin prep! I used some of my favorite skincare products for the base of this look.

Skincare Products:

  • L’Oréal Vitamin C Serum – This stuff is The Truth! After pregnancy my skin was struggling and this stuff helped get me together. It definitely brightened and smoothed my skin. I could do a whole post on Vitamin C because I’ve been using it off and in for years. It helps your skin produce collagen, improves texture, brightens, and provides a healthy youthful glow. I recommend eating foods high in Vitamin C, taking a liquid or powder Vitamin C, and drinking a lot of water in addition to using a Vitamin C serum.
  • Collagen – I read somewhere that Vatamin C should always be followed by a collagen. I just use one I picked up at Marshall’s. I will go more in-depth about my favorite collagen in a follow up skincare post.
  • Vitamin E Oil – I saw a makeup artist on Instagram use Jason’s Vitamin E Oil prior to applying makeup and absolutely loved how it looked. The skin had a healthy glow and did not look greasy so I’ve been incorporating it into my makeup routine more.

This look was surprisingly my favorite! Easy skin prep, limited liquids & only 6 makeup products!

Products Used:

  • Elf Concealer in Deep Cinnamon to correct dark spots
  • NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in Caramel to highlight
  • AC Cosmetics Setting Powder in Butternut Beige Used very lightly to set the whole face
  • Bronzed with Covergirl Matte Ambition All Day Foundation Powder in Deep Cool 1
  • Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Palette – I used the dark brown shades to fill in my brows.
  • Lips: Elf Plumping Lipgloss

Find a route that works for you and your lifestyle.

Ciao ♥️

Sephora Favorites

Skincare

The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve paid attention to my skincare routine. When I was younger I struggled with acne and was able to clear it with the help of a dermatologist. Now at the ripe age of 30 I’ve finally learned to listen to my skin and use products that work well with my skin type. First, let me briefly mention that I have combination skin, mostly oily. I’m oily in my t-zone, mostly on and around my nose and I sweat the most on my upper lip (gross, I know). My eyelids get extremely oily throughout the day, but after I shower or wash my face I feel like the area around my eyes is extremely dry. One product that helps combat that issue is First Aid Beauty’s Pure Skin Face Cleanser. I have sensitive skin and my skin loves this face wash. I love that it lathers! Am I the only one who hates when my face wash doesn’t lather? Another one of my favorite skincare products in the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment with charcoal. I love this mask. The charcoal in this face mask isn’t too strong and doesn’t make me breakout. I recommend doing a patch test.

Brands Featured: GlamGlow, Buxom, Laneige, Sephora Collection, & First Aid Beauty

Lip gross is the one product I use daily. I hate having dry chapped lips. My ride or die Gloss is Buxom’s Plumping Lipgloss. My favorite shade is Celeste but they have a ton to choose from. I have to mention Elf’s Plumping Lip Gloss; I tried it a few days ago and was in love. It may take the top stop but I want to use it a few more times. I hate when lip products are suppose to be moisturizing but in the long run dry your lips out. One brand that definitely leaves your lips moisturized is, Laneige. They have presentation, packaging, and product quality down. I love the different scents that their products come in as well. The Lip Glowy Balm & Lip Sleeping Mask are my faves.

Complexion Products

My holy grail complexion Products don’t need much introduction because they speak for themselves. NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in the shade Caramel is a dream. This concealer has a good color range and blends into the skin beautifully. Hourglass Vanish Stick Foundation is the only foundation that I’ve purchased multiple times. I’ve purchased the shade Golden Almond, Almond, and Sable multiple times. This foundation is an oily girls dream! She is definitely a rider and doesn’t break down on me in this FL heat!

Brands Featured: Fenty, Hourglass, & Nars

F-E-N-T-Y was one of those brands I was dead set on not purchasing because I haven’t been impressed with almost every celebrity owned makeup brand. I feel like too often it’s a gimmick to just make money, but Sis if you felt like me throw that notion out the window! This brand is absolutely amazing and it caters to all skin types and skin tones. I still need to test out and play with the foundations and concealer; but honey this here Bronzer and Setting Powder is BOMB! Say bye bye to flash back and hello to a smooth flawless finish!

More Makeup

I have to start with Kat Von D Beauty. It is one of the first brands that I splurged on and is one the first brands that made me genuinely fall in love with makeup. The liquid lipsticks from KVD are one of my ride or die products. I know that they are going to perform well and hold up. I’ve also recently fallen in love with their lip liners and lipsticks. I probably own more of KVD than any other brand. My all time favorite palette is currently the Lolita palette by KVD. In my opinion this palette is unmatched when it comes to bendability, color pay off, and comfort, especially for purples.

Brands Featured: Smashbox, Urban Decay, Kat Von D, & Anastasia Beverly Hills

Another brand I’ve been obsessing over is Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH)! The product drops that have recently come from this brand have been phenomenal, well at least they look phenomenal. I purchased the new foundation and I’m working on purchasing all of the Norvina palettes. I will definitely update you guys on that, but the product we’re here for is the Shimmer Body Oil. Let me tell you if you go on vacation this is a must have product. I took this with me to the FL Keys and loved how it had me oiled up, shimmering, and smelling like fresh dessert!

The final product I have to mention is the Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick! I love this stuff almost as much as I love my KVD liquid lipsticks. I have multiple of both lipstick brands and I definitely think Smashbox is comparable to KVD. Always On has a good shade range and is a comfortable wear. It can be a little drying so I recommend applying a lip primer or lightly applying a lip gloss.

XOXO 💋

A Tribute to My Father

A Message to My Baby’s Father

I cannot stress enough the importance of having a father in your child’s life. I often feel like I hear people say a women can’t raise a man, or boys need their fathers. In many ways there is truth to that but I’d argue that fathers are equally as important in their daughters lives. My Father is the first man I ever loved and was the first man to love me. My Father loved me long before I even loved myself or could comprehend what love was. My Father showed me how a man is suppose to treat a woman; and I don’t mean wining and dinning a woman. What my Father showed me is far more important then that. He showed me how a man is suppose to respect a woman, love a woman, provide for a woman and their children. My Father made sure we had what we needed, not wanted. I have few memories of him being ideal or allowing the weight/stress of family life to lie solely on my Mother’s shoulders. At an early age he ingrained in me values, skills, and principles that I carry with me until this day.

I wouldn’t say a woman chooses a man based on the type of man her Father was/is, but he definitely plays a part.

I’ve never met a man with my Fathers even temperament, work ethic, knowledge, and genuine love and respect for the people around him. My Father is by no means super affectionate, but he’s there when you need a shoulder to cry on, when your boyfriends been cheating with Keisha from around the corner, or when the weight of the world seems to be tearing you down. In my life seeing how my Father treats me and responds to me has made me more aware of how my Heavenly Father feels about us, loves us, and wants to see us prosper.

I say all that to say Fathers never stop loving your daughters! Even if they marry the man you said was no good, or have a baby with the man you told them would break their heart. As a parent I don’t think you ever really know the impact you have on your child’s life, but I have to say love and emotional support help your child be able to face all of life’s obstacles. I can distinctively remember one particular time in my life where my Father came through in a major way. Not to get too personal there was a time in my life (really one of many-once you learn to love yourself they decrease) when I made some bad decisions. I felt alone, depressed, suicidal, and a plethora of other emotions. By the time I took it to my parents I was at my wits end.

Moms are so in tune with their children that my mom knew right away what was going on and when I finally broke down gave me an emotional response. (As child I don’t think we realize that the decisions we make often affect our parents. I recommend reading Stormie Omartian book, “The Power or Praying for Your Adult Children. That book really gives you some insight into what parents go through.) I’m not sure what my mom said to my Father or what his first words were but I do remember him holding me and letting me cry and telling me everything was going to be all right. That is a moment that has really stood out to me. There was no judgement, no harsh words, just unconditional love.

Thank God for both my parents because they balance each other. What I get from my Father my Mother could never give and vice versus.

I say all that to say to my unborn child’s Father, you are going to play the biggest role in your little girls life. She’s going to see how a man should treat a women through you. You will be the first man she loves and you will be the first man to show her unconditional love. That is a huge task, a task I feel comes naturally to most women, but something a man has to work towards daily and has to pray to God to help him perform right. She’s going to look at you and want to imitate you! She’s going to pick up on your words, your actions, and your speech. May God give you the strength and wisdom you need! ♥️

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart

7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

New Mom Chronicles

Episode One: Back to Work

I’ve never known a love so beautiful and fulfilling. As my little girl continues to grow I feel like my love for her grows. I constantly joke with my mom saying, “Is this how you feel when you see me?” I’m sure you never stop loving your children, but I do believe the love you feel for them probably changes over the years. I pray that it just continues to grow.

This is love!

Everyone keeps telling me to enjoy my time with my little one because they grow up so fast. I’m already starting to feel like that is so true even though baby girl is only 10 weeks. Some days I want to stop time so I can soak up every moment with my sweet baby Scarlett. She has already started to scoot around on her back and stomach and even tries to roll over. She’s outgrown her clothes and is wearing 6 month outfits. I want time to stop or slow down so I can soak up every moment with her. I just pray I get to be there for as many of these changes as I can.

Each day my little princess seems to do something new that amazes me. She’s perfect in every way and I feel like she’s growing up so fast. That’s probably why I feel so guilty when I have to leave her to go to work. As she grows and learns more I hope that she knows how much I love her and that I would sacrifice anything for her. I thank my Heavenly Father for her daily.

The guilt I’ve felt daily having to leave Scarlett is something I’ve never felt. I never thought that motherhood would come with so much guilt. Right now I’m more fatigue than I’ve ever been in my life and I’m an emotional wreck. This morning I had to fight back tears of sheer exhaustion and guilt. I didn’t want to come into work; I wanted to sleep and most importantly I wanted to be with my baby girl. I’m on my fourth day of having to be away from her for ten hours and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. I’m sure much of the emotions I feel have to do with the sheer exhaustion I feel, but I’m doing my best to push through.

Patience. That’s my word for the rest of the month. I just have to remember to have patience with this new journey. My family has grown and there are going to be some growing pains. I just have to start each day with a positive outlook, seeing as Scarlett is a morning baby and is always smiling at me that’s not hard. I make sure I love on her and bond with her as much as I can when I’m with her.

XOXO

Favorite Makeup Products 2018

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

This product has been my absolute go to since I’ve tried it. I have extremely oily skin and most foundations make me look like a grease bucket instead of giving me a natural glow from within. Not this foundation, it gives the “my skin but better look”! I love how it evens out my skin tone and blends in so beautifully. A little of this product goes a long way. Its creamy, light-weight, cruelty free, vegan, non-irritating, and blends out like a dream. This product claims to be long-wearing, waterproof for up to 12 hours, able to adjust to your body temperature to effortlessly blend into skin, and easy to use and apply. It also claims to improve skin appearance, cover redness and skin imperfections like skin discoloration, pores, blemishes, dark under eye circles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots. In addition this product is paraben free, sulfate free, phthalate free, fragrance free, gluten free, synthetic dye free, and GMO free. In the past I have put foundation (L’Oreal) on my face and immediately had my skin become irritated and itchy. By the time I took the foundation off I had a chemical burn, therefore I am extremely picky when it comes to my foundation and most products that go on my face. The $46 price tag is well worth it. This is one of the only foundations that I have emptied multiple compacts.

Physician Formula Healthy Lip Matte Liquid Lipstick

When I tried this liquid lipstick I feel in love. I love that they do not dry out your lips and have them cracked and cakey. This is one of the few liquid lipsticks that I have tried and have gone out and got the whole collection. This brand is cruelty free and extremely affordable. I purchased all of my liquid lipsticks from CVS and often did so at a discounted price and received CVS bucks to purchase more makeup. Check out the Highlight listed as Swatch Videos on my Instagram (@fromfarmingtofashion) to see some of the swatches. They look supple on the lips without being to matte and are transfer resistant. My favorites are Berry Healthy (one of the few pink shades I like), Fight Free Radicals (a gorgeous red), and Nutritious (a beautiful brown-girl friendly nude). The Brand as a whole I belieive could expand quite a few of its shade ranges in various products, but the liquid lipsticks cater to every shade.

Kat Von D: Current Crush Glitter Gold, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick & Lip Liner

Current Crush: Glitter Gold is a gift I received around Christmas. I immediately feel in love with this product after the first try. I love the versatility of this product and the way it dries down matte. I was able to place this product on my hooded lids and had zero creasing or transfering. This cool to the touch glitter gel blends out beautifully to give a golden highlighted look. It can be worn on the lids, lips, or anywhere else on the body. I love that this product allows you to explore your creative side with its versatility. It glides on smooth and creamy and I find that I like to use a brush to place it and my finger to smooth or blend it out. This product is cruelty free, vegan, and paraben free.

@katvondbeauty

I have a ton of Kat Von D products that I could put on this list, but I tried to be fair and not overload you guys with one brand. Two products I could not skip over are the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks & Lip Liners. The Liquid Lipsticks are long wearing, very pigmented, nondrying and give a comfortable lightweight matte finish. Out of the 42 shades offered I only have a few, but I do plan to build my collection in 2019. The Everlasting Lip Liners have become a favorite of mine as well. These Lip Liners are a little on the expensive side, but totally worth the splurge. The Lip Liners come in 30 shades and are long wearing, water resistant, and do not bleed. Personally I like to line my lips with them pop on some gloss and hit the road. My absolute favorites are Hawkwind, and Crucifix. These bad boys are definitely a must have, they don’t skip or tug at the skin, nor do they bleed outside the lip line.

@katvondbeauty

Brushes: Luxie Beauty & Morphe Brushes

The quality of your brushes helps determine how you makeup will look. I hate doing my makeup and finding brush strokes on my face, or even worse the brushes leaving hairs all over the place. Morphe brushes are affordable and offered in a variety of designs and bristle types. I would definitely recommend them to any makeup enthusiast. Another company that produces some high quality brushes and deserves to be mentioned is, Luxie Beauty. I first received these brushes with my Ipsy subscription and loved them so much that I had to make a purchase. Luxie Beauty is cruelty free, 100% vegan, and slightly higher in price. With Luxie brushes I feel like you pay a little more for the more luxurious packaging, and various brush branding or color schemes. I would say that both brushes preform similarly, but Luxie Beauty being cruelty free and 100% vegan give it a one up on Morphe. Also, I love the fact that Luxie Beauty allows Ipsy to provide full sized makeup brushes in their Glam Bags. It is a great way for Luxie Beauty to advertise their products and reach a demographic that wouldn’t normally gravitate to the brand.

Setting Products: Morphe Setting Spray & Too Faced Setting Powder

When Jackie Aina helped Too Faced extend their shade ranges for their Born This Way Foundation and Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer I had to try them. The foundation is currently on my list of products to try. ( Please don’t go broke buying makeup! Set a budget and only spend that amount. Sis, you are not a beauty influencer and you are not getting products for free, so spend your coins wisely!) I believe Too Faced released their Born This Way Ethereal Setting Powder or extended the shade range around the time Jackie Aina helped extend the concealer and foundation ranges, so I had to try it around the same time. I fell in absolute love with the Setting Powder in Translucent Medium. I loved the silky lightweight formula, and the luminous finish it gave my skin. One thing I will say is do not pack it on because you will start to look cakey. A plus side to Too Faced is that it is cruelty free and the setting powder is made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Another important point to make is that this product is made with hyaluronic acid, which is said to help hydrate the skin and reduce wrinkles.

I have to briefly mention the Continuous Mist Setting Spray by Morphe. This spray is the bomb.com! I love the way it evenly mist over the skin. This product has been a absolute life saver. I know for a fact that I am not the only person who has sprayed a setting spray on their face only to have it come out in this ugly squirt that leaks down your face, or leave a weird residue. With this setting spray you don’t have to worry about any of those issues. I love how it is evenly mist over the skin and helps the makeup settle into the skin. The only down side to this product is the fragrance.

@morphebrushes

Buxom Plumping Lip Gloss

If someone asked me, “What is the one product you can’t live without or leave the house without?” I would have to say lip gloss. No one wants to be walking around with dry crusty lips or skin. It’s uncomfortable, unattractive, and most importantly painful. For a short spell my lips were contstanlty cracked in the corners, peeling, or bleeding. To remedy this problem I first tried a ton of drugstore products, only to find out they made the cracking and peeling worse. The only drugstore products that worked were CarMax and Vaseline, but I wanted something that was a bit more light weight and gave me a light splash of color. I found everything I wanted and more with Buxom’s Plumpling Lip Gloss. I love the color range, the bits of sparkles/glitter in some colors, and the tingling feeling as it slightly plumps your lips, most importantly I love that it leaves my lips feeling hydrated and supple.

@buxomcosmetics

Please note all images were taken directly from the beauty brands Instagram accounts.