One Brand Wednesdays Ep. 1

Maybelline Made for All Collection

Maybelline’s Made for All Collection by Color Sensational is to die for. It’s so nice to see brands making shades/products that are inclusive and universally flattering. I have to give Maybelline their props when it comes to being an inclusive brand because I feel like they have been on the forefront for years. I also have to admit that when I saw the claims I was extremely skeptical. “Universally Flattering” is a huge claim, but when I saw the shades swatched on Nyma Tang’s YouTube I instantly fell in love. She looked stunning in all the shades, and I figured that Maybelline had actually done their homework before they made that claim. Maybelline claims to have tested the shades on 50 diverse skin tones and the universally flattering collection comes in purple, pink, and red with a satin or matte finish. The shades really do look sensational on all complexions. These shades can be purchased at Target for $5.49. Check out my swatches below.

Red for Me

Spice for Me

Ruby for Me

Pink for Me

Plum for Me

Fucshia for me

Mauve for Me

Maybelline Tattoo Studio Brow Gel & Brow Pomade

I could not do a One Brand Wednesday Post and not talk about Maybelline’s Tattoo Studio Brow Gel and Brow Pomade. The Brow Pomade is $9.99 at Target and is a product I highly recommend. The pomade is phthalate and paraben free, long wearing, and smudge and transfer proof. The pomades come in a decent shade range and can be used to create a natural or dramatic brow. The Maybelline Pomades are more creamy than the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomades, and though I love the Maybelline Pomade the ABH is still my favorite. For the price and color pay off the Maybelline Pomade is a definite runner up and is the only drugstore pomade I’ve liked.

Maybelline’s Brow Gel ($8.69 at Target) formula is to die for. I have thick unruly eyebrows, so I love that the brow gel keeps your brow hairs in place. This formula is defiantly long lasting and if you don’t scrub your brows or sleep crazy the formula can last up to two day. This is also a product you can feel safe wearing to the gym as it is waterproof. I love this product because a few swipes allows me to fill in my brows to have a natural brow. The product can be built up, but if I want a more dramatic brow I will use the pomade first and finish it up with the gel.

A Note About Inclusiveness

I was watching Tati’s YouTube video about Best & Worst Foundations, Luxury & Drugstore. During the video she talked about how the Beauty Blender Foundation is one of her favorites. She briefly mentioned that they extended their shade range and basically said that we need to move on because the brand heard that the shade range was crappy and addressed the issue, “What more can we do?” I think part of the problem is a lot of darker complexion people feel like they are an after thought; let’s be real no one wants to be an after thought!  

Beauty Blender is a US based cosmetic brand with a diverse following in an extremely diverse country. In my mind in 2018 there shouldn’t be a big company that launches a product with minimal shades for deeper skin tones. The 32 shade ranges that launched focused mostly on medium tones and appeared to have a lot of similar shades. It’s great that someone can find several shades that work for them, but should that come at the cost of excluding deeper shades?

Beauty blender made a post on Instagram basically stating that they initially intended on launching more shades, but because the darker shades needed more TLC their launch was delayed. Based on how a consumer feels about a brand and how the brand represents them, one has the choice to support them or not. The big thing to me is that so many brands, especially drugstore brands (cough cough Maybelline) raised the bar a long time ago so why is this still an issue heading into 2019.  Launch products with an even amount of shade ranges and extend from there; don’t totally exclude any complexion. I’m more impressed with a brand that makes an attempt to launch an even amount of skin tones and misses mine then a brand that added mine later.

All Love 

Ipsy Made Me Buy It

I’ve been subscribed to Ipsy for around two years. Overall I’d have to give the company a 7 out of 10 rating. Some of the low rating may be because I haven’t been the best at updating my preferences and taking the quizzes to customize each months bag to my preferences. With that being said I have to say that each month I find at least one product that I love.

Who is Ipsy geared toward you ask? I’d have to say it’s geared towards people who are newer in the makeup game. People who want to try products before they spend a ton of money on them and people who are looking to save some coins. Ipsy always has savings for products offered in their bags and even products you may not have received in that months bag.

Here are a few of the items I’ve received in my Ipsy Glambag throughout the year that I’ve had to purchase.

Brushes

Luxie Beauty & F.A.R.A.H Brushes

Luxie Beauty! Man I could go on and on about this brand. I was so impressed with Luxie Beauty when I received my first brush that I had to buy more immediately. I currently have a nice collection of Luxie Brushes that I reach for often. I’m sure I’m not the only one who buys makeup products like they’re collectibles and never uses them. I’m happy to say that that is not the case with these brushes. Their brushes blend out creams, liquids, and powders like a dream. I notice a visible difference when I use these brushes. They don’t leave brush hairs all over your face, nor do they leave streaks. Your making a good investment if you invest in Luxie Brushes. I also have received quite a few Luxie Beauty Brushes in my Glambag after my purchase, which I’m not mad at. Brands are smart to partner with a brand like Ipsy to get their product out. I’d honestly never heard of this brand or seen beauty influencers talk about it and I don’t know why! An honorable mention goes to F.A.R.A.H Brushes. I like these brushes, not quite as much as Luxie but I’d recommend them. Here are some brands that I have not received in my Ipsy Glambag but I do recommend their brushes; MAC, Real Techniques, Morphe, Elf, and Eco Tools.

Concealer

Smashbox & IT Cosmetics

Concealer is one of those products it’s hard to sell me on. A lot of times the undertones aren’t right, the formulas not right, or they don’t come in a dark enough shade. I’ve recieved quite a few concealers in my Glambag but these are the only two that stood out and made me want to purchase them. I have combination/oily skin, I’m extremely oily in my T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and dry around my mouth and the sides of my jaw. I generally stay with matte products becaus that’s what I feel works best with my skin. The Smashbox Studi Skin Concealor worked wonders and has a good shade range. It didn’t dry me out under my eyes and stayed put once it was set. The amount that was applied in my T-zone didn’t have me looking like a grease ball so I was definitely impressed.

IT cosmetics is not one of those brands that I feel are geared towards deep and deep dark complexions so I have generally stayed away from it. When I received Bye Bye Undereye Concealer I was impressed that there was a shade for me. Not only did I find one shade but I found a few shades that work for me and I was impressed with the formula. If you need full coverage this concealer will definitely give it to you. This concealer also made me explore this brand a bit more. They have some beauty brushes, and mat tidying products but I’m still waiting for them to expand their shade ranges before I really get into the brand.

Primer

MAC & Elizabeth Mott

Generally when it comes to primers I’m not looking for a product to full in my pores or fine lines because frankly those aren’t issues I deal with. I like a primer that mattifies and moisturizes. I know some of you may be thinking, “How can one product mattify and moisturize?” I cant tell you that but I can tell you it’s possible. My absolute favorite primer is MAC Cosmetics Prep N Prime. This stuff is a dream, not only does it moisturize my dry areas but it mattifies my T-zone and allows my makeup to stay fresh all day. I’ve gone through a few bottles of the full size product. For primers an honorable mention goes to the Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Primer. I like this primer and if I’m trying to switch it up I will grab this one. I pretty much will only apply this primer in my T-zone as I feel it is not as moisturizing as my MAC primer.

Face Masks

BioRepublic, Fresh Garden, and Saem

Skin care is one of those things that is extremely important to me. With that being said I typically like to apply all natural skincare products to my face, especially since I know there is a whole lot of gunk in some makeup products. The face masks listed above by Fresh Garden, BioRepublic and Saem are amazing. Each one serves a different purpose but the ones I have tried have left my skin really supple and rejuvenated. Out of all of these I’d recommend BioRepublic the most.

Perfume

Born Lovely & Juliette has a gun

I think we all love to smell fresh but I generally stay away from perfume because of the chemicals in them. If I do wear perfume I prefer to apply it to my clothes and not my skin. These two perfumes are once I’ve had to purchase and are in my top three favorite scents. My favorite is Vera Wang Princess ❤️ If you love fresh clean scents you will like these. I generally go for fruity, fresh and clean scents.

Lip Products

NYX, Aurora, Hempz, & More

Lip products are probably the item I hoard the most and will impulse buy the most. I know I’m also not the only person that impulse buys and then regrets it; I’m a recovering shopaholic and working on saving more. I’d say that Ipsy helps me do that. I get to try out lip products for a while before I actually go out and buy them or purchase them on a website. Out of the products featured above I’m impressed with NYX Liquid Lingerie the most. I love the shade ranges and feel like they cater and complement a variety of skin tones.

So is Ipsy worth the momey? I’d have to say yes. It’s worth it for the variety of products you recieved and for the full size products you receive. I’ve recieved full size brushes, and full size items for brands like Smashbox, NYX, and IT Cosmetics. Just be sure to review your Glambag monthly and keep your preferences up to date.

XOXO 💋

Boohoo Maternity Lookbook

It’s been a battle for me during pregnancy to find clothes that are comfortable and actually grow with me. I purchased a few pair of jeans around month 4 that by month 7 I could no longer fit. I really have not wanted to spend a ton of money on maternity clothes and when I saw that Boohoo was having a 60% off sale I jumped on a few items. Check out a few looks I threw together featuring Boohoo Maternity Wear.

Look One

This Boohoo Maternity Top (Miracle in Progress Tee $8) is one of my favorite tees. Its comfortable and covers the baby bump. I’ve had a few tees where my stomach just hangs out the bottom and that’s not the look I’m trying to go for.

The pictures below I’m trying to show how the seam comes up the middle with these leggings, verse the ones that have a built in over the bump cover with the seam stopping lower.

These leggings are by far my favorite, they came in a pack of two with a gray pair for about $11.20. What I love about these is that they don’t have the over bump look like a lot of maternity leggings. I finished the outfit off with Steve Madden Puff Tennis Shoes $20, a BEBE Mini Bag $20, and my thrifted American Eagle Jean Jacket $15.

Look Two

For me pregnancy has been all about me feeling comfortable. This look is very relaxed and I love it. I paired my Chico’s Hello I’m Fabulous Tee $5, with the gray leggings that came in a two pack with the black leggings featured above.

I paired the look with Satin Baby Blue Converse $30, my American Eagle Jean Jacket, and my pink BEBE bag.

For another option I paired the outfit with the American Eagle Jacket, Steve Madden Shoes, and a black Jones New York mini bag $20.

Look Three

For this look I have a comfy Boohoo Tank $4, paired with Boohoo Maternity Leggings, and Steve Madden Platform Shoes $25. These Leggings come in a three pack for $12.80. I’m not as crazy about these leggings because they have the baby bump waist. They are comfortable but not as good as the gray and black pair featured above. To finish this outfit off I paired it with my Fashion Nova Jean Jacket $60, and a Tan Universal Thread Mini Bag $14.

Look Four

The Boohoo Leggings featured below are like the ones above, except they are a 3/4 legging. These have the baby bump seam (featured below) instead of the seam that comes up the middle of the leggings. These leggings also come in a pack of multiples for $9.60.

I paired them with a Boohoo Maternity Tank $4, an American Eagle Jean Jacket, Wild Fable Tennis Shoes $30, and gray sock.

Pajamas

I purchased a few sleep wear items that I thought were absolutely adorable. The first is a Boohoo Mama Bear Night Shirt $9, and a Mama Bear Night Set $12. Both of these items were affordable and extremely comfortable. Side note: These two items have a special place in my heart because I’ve called my man Bear since day one. If we were having a son his name was going to be Jessie Bear.

Boohoo Date Night Outfits

Look One: For this look I paired some Boohoo Maternity Leggings ($6) with an ASOS Maternity Cami ($20), and a pink Liz Claiborne Blazer (thrifted $7). I finished the look off with Steve Madden Clearer Heels ($49.99).

Look Two: For this look I used the same leggings and cami top from Look 1 and just paired it with a H&M blazer ($49.99), and Vincent Camuto Animal Print bootie ($50).

Look Three: For this look we again have the same cami paired with Boohoo 3/4 Leggings ($4). I finished the look off with a red XOXO Blazer ($5), Steve Madden Clearer Heels, and a Luana Italy purse ($375).

Look Four: This Look is probably my favorite and the one Bae will see on Valentines ♥️ Day. I have the same cami, 3/4 legging, and Steve Madden Heels. What makes this look really on trend is the thrifted Animal Print Newport News Styleworks Jacket. I love this jacket! It’s very on trend and was thrifted for only a dollar.

Look Five: For this look we let the the shoes do all the talking. For as long as I can remember I have had a thing for loud flashy shoes. These Steve Madden Crystal Booties ($89.99) are absolutely gorgeous. They are a little high, if your date is going to involve a lot of walking I’d recommend switching out the booties for a more sensible shoe. The same cami, 3/4 leggings, and H&M blazer are used for this look.

Hope you enjoyed these quick and easy Maternity looks featuring Boohoo. Overall I’d have to give the company 8 stars out of ten. Point are deducted for shipping speed and the quality of a few items.

Thrifting & Reselling

The other day I stumbled across an old thrift store that was pretty much an upheaved pile of junk with a few treasures thrown in. There were a ton of baby clothes, which I was tempted to buy. A lot of the clothes were nice items but the place was just a mess. You literally had to dig through unorganized piles of tools, clothes, books, and shoes. It sucked because here was this store in a good location, with a good amount of space an items that had so much potential. Owning my own store, or business has always been a dream of mine. Unfortunately for many of us we realized that many of our dreams slip through our fingers. It’s ironic that you can take out a student loan (with little to no hassle) but can’t get a loan to start up a business. To be honest I think I would have seen a better return on my investment if I’d used the same amount of money I’d taken out in student loans to open my own business, but I digress.

“Ideas are easy, implementation is hard.”

Guy Kawasaki

One thing I enjoy about thrifting is digging through junk to find a few treasures. I love that the items are not what everyone else has. Fashion is constantly recycled, so you can often find on trend items. Another thing I’ve gotten into is selling items myself. This day in age the internet makes it easy for us to connect with people from all over. I’ve been selling items online (EBay) for about ten years. What I’ve noticed when it comes to online shopping and reselling is that people are more likely to buy designer or brands that have made a name for themselves, like Steve Madden, BEBE, or Jessica Simpson. YIf you have designer brands like Chanel, LV, Gucci, etc., those items can be resold at a much higher value. If the items are in good condition they can be sold for essentially the same price you paid for them. Obviously people are looking for a deal and in my opinion depending on the wear or tear should be given that deal. When it comes to reselling items online you have to be very careful when it comes to cutting your prices. If you have items you paid good money for but just aren’t selling do not continue to cut your prices. Online selling is not fast money! You have to find the right site, and the right items for that site. There are so many sites that you can sell on. Personally I have only tried Poshmark and EBay (which I prefer). One thing I recommend is starting small to get a feel for the website and its policies, because lets be real people will try to scam you.

I hope these few tips about online selling helped you out. I encourage you to give it a try. We all have items in our closets that can be resold.

Yours Truly, Amanda

Excerpt From A 2016 Religious Liberty Sermon

Revelation 20: 2-6

Excerpt from my sermon on Religious Liberty (2016): I can’t believe I’m up here today but when God calls you to do something you have to move. As many of you know I’m in my last semester of grad school at USF, so between school and having to give the sermon today I have been overwhelmed. I was talking to a friend of mine about everything I had going on and was telling him how stressed I was and that I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do everything I needed to do and get my sermon ready. Do you know what he said to me? He said, “You believe in God right? So what are you worried about?” Wow! Now that is powerful especially considering the fact that it came from someone who does not go to church and does not consider themselves a religious person. I cannot stress this enough we have to practice what we preach. When God calls us to do something we have to have faith that he is going to give us what we need to get it done.

Church family pray for me public speaking is not my forte, but as my mom says when God calls you to do soemthing he will give you all that you need. How I feel reminds me of how Moses must have felt in Exodus 4:10-14. In verse 10 Moses says to God, “No, Lord, don’t send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I haven’t become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.” In verse 11 the Lord said to him, “Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? It is I, the Lord. Now, go! I will help you speak, and I will tell you what to say.” I’m claiming that today. God is going to help me just like he helped Moses. Amen. In verses 13 and 14 Moses goes on to plea with God to send someone else, but God insists that Moses does what He asked of him. But God does send his brother Aaron to help him, and spoke through both of them. Unfortunately, I won’t be getting that extra help, but we are going to get through it. Amen!

My mom asked me to give the sermon about a month ago. She calls me and says Amanda I’m the religious liberty leader at church and I’ve been looking for someone to give the sermon. And I’m thingking oh, no, here we go. I’ve been praying about it and guess who God led me to? She goes on to tell me it was me. I’m thinking are you sure? I tell my sister about it and she says, “Mom may want to get on her knees again and make sure.” But God makes no mistakes. Amen.

Open your Bibles with me to Revelation 20, reading just verse 6. “Blessed are those who were raised in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power. They will serve God and Christ as priest and will rule with Him for a thousand years.” Wow. Herein lies one of the greatest and most dangerously misinterpreted Bible texts of our time. Because it is the misunderstanding of this text that is leading more and more Christians here in America down a path that, not unlike Judas, will lead them to attempt a political solution for the wrongs of this world.

Religious liberty today in the United States is being threatened in ways that we, as a church, ignore on a daily basis. Christian’s today talk about the threats to freedom and the need to uphold our values in this country. Church leader, both Protestant and Catholic, for the last 20 years, and mostly under the direction and guidance of the Pope, have been shelving doctrine and uniting instead on the basis of a shared moral, social, cultural, and political value system.

I’m going to stop this post right here as I’m sure I took the latter part of my sermon from another pastors sermon on religious liberty. I don’t want to plagiarize and seeing as I cannot find the original to give credit I’m going to encourage you to look up a post on religious liberty and think about what it means to you. If you would like to see or hear the rest of this sermon please let me know.

Yours Truly, Amanda!