Beauty 101: Great Foundations for Every Skin Type

Wearing foundation can be a very scary thing, especially when your not sure where to start! With so many different kinds of foundation available on the market,  I can definitely understand why it may be confusing to figure out which foundation you should buy.

Here are some suggestions of great foundation options to try based on your individual skin type.

 

Normal

Having normal skin doesn’t mean that your skin is perfect, but it IS pretty close to it! Since you don’t have to worry about any scarring, excess oil, or dryness, you may want to opt for a lighter coverage foundation.  BB Creams and other tinted moisturizers are perfect for those with normal skin who only need to even out the skin tone.

(Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream- $9, Revlon ColorStay- $12, Urban Decay Naked Skin- $40)


Oily

If your skin is prone getting excessively shiny by lunch time, you definitely want to make sure that you’re using an oil-free formula foundation. In addition, you may want to choose a matte finish to help keep your complexion clear and smooth out throughout the day. Try to stick with a lightweight medium coverage foundation, as heavier formulas may clog up pores, causing even more oil production, and actually worsening the issue. Another technique that is useful when it comes to dealing with oily skin is setting your foundation with a powder to further reduce shine.

 (Maybelline Fit Me– $8, L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte- $13, Kat Von D Lock It- $35, Makeup Forever HD- $43)

 

Dry

Moisture is the key to wearing foundation with dry skin. Try to incorporate lots of moisture into your application routine by properly moisturizing your face before applying foundation. To avoid cake-y, flake-y, and un-even application it’s best to go for a moisturizing formula with a dewey finish, or a luminous foundation to give you that extra glow. It is recommended to avoid powder foundation as liquid and creams will be your best options.

(Black Opal True Color Creme- $9, Revlon Colorstay- $12, Nars Sheer Glow- $45)


Combination


Combination skin is one of the trickiest skin types to have, it is also one of the most common. Unfortunately, the combination skin war is a war of two battles, some areas tend to produce excess oil while other areas on the face can become dry and flakey. For this reason, it’s best to make sure that the entire face is fully moisturized before applying an oil-free formula foundation.

(Revlon ColorStay- $12Makeup Forever HD- $43, Bobbi Brown Long Wear- $48)


Acne Prone

Acne prone skin is a headache to deal with because not only is it prone to breakouts, but it usually comes with enlarged pores and excessive oil.  This type of skin is also prone to scarring, so a medium to full coverage formula going to be your best option for a more flawless look. You also may want to consider opting for a “natural” or “mineral” infused foundation to help you heal while you conceal.

(Elf Acne Fighting- $6, Bare Minerals Original- $29, Estee Lauder DoubleWear- $38)



Sensitive


Sensitive skin is often easily irritated and prone to itching, burning, and redness. Any type of product that you use with this skin type requires extra care. Just like when you’re handling your skin, you want to make sure that you are using makeup products that are gentle and natural. Be mindful of the ingredients as to avoid any allergens. There are a lot of foundation brands that are formulated specifically for those more sensitive skin types. Depending on the severity you may need to consider a medicated option.

 

(Neutrogena Healthy Skin- $13, Bare Minerals Original- $29, Cover FX Natural- $40)

Mature 

As we begin to get older, our skin becomes more prone to drying out easily and forming fine lines. Light, moisture rich, dewy, and luminous foundations work best for this skin type. You want to stay away from matte and heavier, full coverage foundations because they will flatten the face too much and bring unwanted attention to the imperfections in the skin. The main objective is to balance out the complexion, brighten, and reflect light to lift the skin.

(L’Oreal True Match Lumi- $11, Estee Lauder Double Wear Light- $38Nars Sheer Glow- $45)
 

It is possible that your skin could fall under more than one of the categories above. I definitely recommend that you try out a few different foundations to figure out which ones suit best for you.

 

P.s….

Want to try the high-end foundations for FREE? Sephora gives out free samples of any of the foundations in the store. Just request them from one of the store associates. Thank me later 🙂

 

Beauty Rules: 3 Basic Rules for Perfect Eyebrows

Eyebrows are literally EVERYTHING these days. I mean, I usually notice a person’s brows before I even look at their full face….I know vain, right?

With so many tutorials available at your disposal, in 2016 you have zero excuses to be caught with bad brows.  Doing, shaping, and filling in your eyebrows can be as easy or as hard as we make it.

Even though there is no ONE method to the eyebrow madness, there are a few basic rules you should follow when trying to achieve maximum fleeky-ness!

1. Use the correct color to fill in.

Eyebrows are usually the first thing people see on your face so you want to make them look as natural as possible. Nothing is worse than trying to fake an eyebrow using the wrong color! Making sure that the color you are using to fill in your brows is as close as possible to your natural (or current) eyebrow color will help you achieve a natural, non-drawn-on look.

2. Use short light-handed strokes.

The purpose of “filling” in our eyebrows is to make them look as if they are naturally fuller, as if “I woke up like this”. When you use drawn out, heavy lines, on your eyebrows they tend to turn out too harsh. Using short light strokes when filling in those brows actually mimics and gives the appearance of real hair.

*Quick tip: Using a freshly sharpened pencil helps the strokes to come out more “hair-like”.

3. Use concealer to clean up those edges.

Concealer is like the icing on the cake when it comes to bomb eyebrows. Using a good concealer that is one or two shades lighter than your foundation will help clean up any mistakes, hide any ratchet hairs growing in and give your eyebrows that freshly waxed look. Be mindful of making sure that your concealer is not too dark or too light (or too dry) as that can counter-effect your brows and actually ruin them instead of sealing the deal. Also, be sure to blend out the concealer with your foundation.

So now that you know the basic rules of a good eyebrow technique, be a good friend and share this article. Friends don’t let friends have bad brows. They just don’t.


What are your tips for a good eyebrow technique? Leave them in the comments below!

Gifting Guide: 10 Gifts Under $50


Christmas is next week! Can you believe it? Time is winding down FAST to find the perfect gifts for your friends and family. If you’re like me, you’re probably STILL scrambling to get some last minute things to put under the tree.

I’ve put together a list of super cute and affordable last minute gift ideas sure to make anyone merry! Check out the links below.

 

  1. Fruit Infuser water bottle : $13
  2. Techie gloves : $16
  3. Act Like a Lady Mug : $18
  4. NY Times Bestseller: The Year Of Yes by Shonda Rhimes :$15
  5. Stemless Wine Glass Set : $15
  6. Wax and Oil Warmer : $8
  7. Gilded Ceramic Coasters $28
  8. Bluetooth Headphones : $20
  9. Charging Case : $30
  10. Silver Plated Crocodile Frame :$25

 

Gift Guide: 15 Perfect Gift’s for Her (Without Breaking Your Budget)

 

It’s that time of year again! The season of giving is upon us and with so many people on our list holiday shopping can get a little overwhelming. Here are some great gift options sure to wow any female and take the stress out of gifting.

  1. Alex & Ani Bracelets : $28
  2. It Girl Fashion Mug : $18
  3. Electric Wine Opener : $29
  4. New York Times Best Seller: The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes : $15
  5. XMY Makeup Brush Set : $21
  6. Kate Spade New York Glitter Phone Case : $40
  7. Josie Maran Argan Oil Sensations Gift Set  :$48
  8. Kate Spade Ring Holder $40
  9. Taste Home For The Holidaze Makeup Palette Set : $49
  10. Bauble Bar Initial Bar Pendant Necklace Set : $58
  11. Rebecca Minkoff Leo Envelope Clutch: $95
  12. Colourpop Foxy Ulta Matte Lip Set  : $20
  13. Kate Spade Planner : $36
  14. Timex Watch: $37
  15. Prada Candy Perfume :$70

Pretty (No Carve) DIY Glam Pumpkins

Who else loves fall as much as I do? I mean seriously how could you not obsess over cozy sweaters, hot beverages, and don’t even get me started on pumpkin spice everything!

Speaking of pumpkins, after London and I went pumpkin picking I thought we’d try to do something other than carving this year. Even though fresh pumpkin is a lovely ingredient for fall recipes.I think I can skip the mess and just settle for the canned.

This time we ditched the knives and reached for the glitter to create a more glamorous touch to the season, and boy did we have fun! London really enjoyed herself…I mean REALLY REALLY enjoyed herself. I mean like glitter glued to her legs enjoyed herself.

In total, we had 6 pumpkins to decorate. I decided to create some Alanna Foxx originals while Lon headed straight for the sparkles. I’d say we did a pretty good job!

I started off by spray painting the stems of each pumpkin. Making sure to tape around the base of the stem, covering the pumpkin with tissue paper to protect from the spray paint. If you want to paint the entire pumpkin one color skip the protection and spray the entire pumpkin. Let that dry for about 30 minutes.

Next, do the opposite, protect the stem as you spray paint the pumpkin with two coats of spray paint. Allow to dry for about an hour.

To add glitter: Coat the pumpkin in spray adhesive and sprinkle with glitter. Sprinkle a little or sprinkle a lot you can even do two coats if you like. Seal the glitter in with clear spray sealer.

(My special little helper)

To add bling letters: Sketch out the letters you would like to be written on the pumpkin, a light market or highlighter is perfect for this. Using a glue gun apply rhinestones one by one, tracing the letters written on the pumpkin.

There you have it! This project was super easy and fun! All the items that I used will be listed below. Don’t forget to tag and tweet me your pictures if you decide to do one of these ideas, I would love to see how they come out!

*Products used
Glue
– Spray Paint (black, white, and gold)
– Glitter (both fine and regular)
Rhinestones
Washi tape* Be mindful of harmful chemicals when using spray paint, make sure the area is well-ventilated. 

 

Remember, pumpkins are fun to decorate all season, NOT just for Halloween. Happy Fall! ♥

Cheers! : Caramel Apple Sangria Recipe

Insert the infamous Caramel Apple Sangria. Amongst the many flavors that I associate with this season, caramel apple has got to be one of my favorites. It took me 3 liquor stores and a whole lot of questions before I got this recipe right.

I was looking for some version of caramel liqueur (a nonalcoholic flavoring syrup), only not ONE liquor store had anything in stock….in Atlanta…go figure. So I had to improvise and use buttershots instead. Now before you turn your nose up and say “eew”, trust me it’s AMAZE! – and it tastes nothing like butter.

Caramel Apple Sangria

1 cup Smirnoff Vanilla
1 cup Smirnoff Caramel Kiss
1/3 cup Dekuyper Buttershots
2 cups white wine (Moscato if you want it sweet, Pinot Grigio if you want it dryer)
2 cups Sparkling Apple Cider
A splash of Apple Cider
A Dash of Cinnamon
Diced Apples

Mix all ingredients together, adding the apples last. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours and serve chilled, garnish with apple slices. Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Happy Friday!

What is your favorite fall flavor?

Fashionista: Top 6 Shoe Fashions for the Fall

 

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1. THE ANKLE BOOT
Year after year the ankle bootie never fails us as a fall favorite. This style is so versatile! It can be worn as a flat or a heel making it super easy to dress up or down. This is the perfect shoe staple for your fall wardrobe.

 

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2. THE CHUNKY HEEL

The 70’s are back in full swing, groovy baby! These chunky heels are ripped straight from the psychedelic era. The nude and neutral tones help to add a more minimalistic vibe to this shoe. Whether in a super cute bootie or an open toed heel, I’m sure your feet will thank you for a stiletto break this fall.

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3. THE MARY JANE HEEL

This pump will forever be a classic. Mary Jane’s always add a tough of feminism to an outfit. Pair these with an a-line midi skirt or a mod mini dress and patterned tights, perfect and trendy for the fall.

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4. THE BALLET FLAT

This shoe will forever be a classic. The ballet flat is perfect for sprucing up a pair of jeans or a nice skirt. You can still get that classic dolled-up look without the pain of heels. They come in an abundance of different styles and colors, and the best part about them is you don’t even have to wear socks!

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5. THE HIGH BOOT

For the sexy woman in all of us there is the high boot. Take it mid calf, knee high, or dare you say thigh high this fall with this risqué trend. You can wear it as a flat boot, wedged, full on stiletto, or even a fun peep toe or sandal. This boot is another favorite staple for the fall.

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6. THE SNEAKER

Ahh the sneaker. Personally I am not a huge fan of sneakers BUT this fall they are definitely making a comeback. Sneakers are super comfortable, easy to throw on, and go with practically anything you can find in your closet! If you are like me and like to avoid laces whenever possible try some of the new slip on sneaker styles.

Which is your favorite shoe trend for this fall? 

Luscious Lips: Christian Louboutin Set to Launch Luxury Lipstick Collection

picture: Christian Louboutin

Hello lover!

It’s totally happening people. Creator of the world’s most coveted red-soled stilettos, Christian Louboutin, has ventured into the world of makeup, giving us luxury in a tube.

After the launch of his premier nail polish line last year, Christian Louboutin is further expanding his high fashion brand with quite possibly the most glamorous lipstick ever, set to debut this Fall.

picture: Christian Louboutin


The collection includes 3 finishes- Silky Satin, Sheer Voile, and (my personal favorite) Velvet Matte. There are 38 collection-inspired shades to choose from; think bold pinks, dark wines, naughty nudes, and of course the iconic Louboutin red.

The packaging definitely lives up to the Louboutin standards, with Egyptian inspired gold pointed tubes, mimicking mermaid tails and luxury bullets dipped in gold, with tiny little golden crown shaped caps. The signature colors are laced in black lacquer to stand out from the rest, as if anything Louboutin would ever be considered to “fit in”-ha!

picture: Christian Louboutin

What’s also really neat is that the lipstick actually doubles as a jewelry. Yes, you read that correctly, jewelry. There is a loop in the crown where you can attach a ribbon to wear your new high-end lipstick as a pendant. Pretty cool huh?

Of course the best things in life never come cheap so you can expect to pay a pretty penny for such a luxurious lippie, $90 to be exact.

picture: Christian Louboutin


The collection will launch on www.christianlouboutin.com and at SAKS in September of 2015, so start saving up your coins now ladies!

What do you think? Will you be purchasing?

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OOTD: Bronner Brothers Chic

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first Bronner Brother’s Hair Show here in Atlanta. I was super excited because I had always heard so many great things about this historic trade show but I had no idea what to wear. I decided to play it safe with my normal black and white canvas and throw a pop of color in there. And anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit extra, so even though I knew I’d be doing mostly walking all day, I still decided to #slay in my heels! I met so many awesome people from so many different places, it was really a great networking experience. Check out the outfit details after the jump.

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Head Beauty In Charge: T-Kea Blackman

For this week’s #HBIC I had the pleasure of chatting it up with the poised & zealous T-Kea Blackman of NSpire! I just adore her not only for the constant work ethic that she puts into building her brand but I also admire her ability to always NSpire!

How did the idea for Nspire come about? 

I randomly thought, what if people had all of their PR, marketing, and communications needs in one spot and they wouldn’t have to go anywhere else to get anything done. I asked people if they would hire a company like that, and they said yes! I thought it was a great idea but I was worried about what I would call it. I knew that I wanted to focus on projects and events with social causes attached to them. Then I started to look at it from a production angle, since I had a background in production and now PR background, I thought wow, I really can combine these elements. Before it had a name it was just a way for me to bridge the gap between everything that I like doing PR, events, networking, marketing, and inspiring through social advocacy. When I pitched the name Nspire to my business partner I wasn’t really sure but she was like “That’s it! Don’t over think it.” You couldn’t even imagine how many names I’ve gone through and thinking back now I’m glad that I didn’t pick any of them!
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs? 
For one, I would say to make sure you surround yourself with people who believe in you. People who aren’t entrepreneurs won’t understand your way of thinking. Some people just want to get a 9-5, make their money, and depend on that job. Entrepreneurs don’t think that way so you also need to start surrounding yourself with like-minded people because you need a strong support system.  Secondly, I would say never stop learning. Always read, I don’t care what it is just continue to educate yourself. Allow mistakes and learn from them, just know that you are not going to get everything right on the first try.
What has been some (or one) of the biggest mistakes that you have made so far, and what have you learned from them?
Considering that I am still in the early stages I haven’t made too many mistakes. My business plan, I haven’t completed it. I’ve worked on it but I haven’t been able to say “it’s done”. It’s a roadmap to your success and it makes your life much easier. If you want investors, you definitely want to have that business plan done. They are going to want to know things like startup costs, marketing costs, and so on. That’s the only thing that I wished I finished sooner and not have it lingering over my head because now that business is picking up, it’s hard to find the time to sit and complete it.
Who has been some of your biggest supporters? 
My mom, my family, and especially my friends Destiny, Breann, Giona, Keeyah. I have a really big support system. These are people that I KNOW I could call in the middle of the night and they will come running to help me.

What is it that motivates you? 
First and foremost, I would have to say God, because God has given me the vision for Nspire. Second I would have to say is student loans! I do not want to be one of those people who are paying off student loans for the rest of my life.  Nspire is not going to be my only business or my only source of income so I do know how important it is for me lay the foundation and have it stand up on its own two feet. I want to have financial freedom. Third, is the fact that I have so many family members, siblings, and just people in general that look up to me, what would they do if I just stopped? I feel the pressure!
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your non-work time? 
I like to hang out with friends, go to the gym, and I like going to the movies. I’m actually about to take myself to the movies tonight! I enjoy being around other people and it doesn’t take much for me to start a conversation with people. People call me the ‘networking queen’ because I’m always striking up conversation with strangers. Also, I like comedy clubs, laughing is one of my favorite things to do.
How do you handle stress? 

Oh my goodness, I’m actually a person that drowns in stress. I don’t manage stress well. How I am able to move forward? I just start spitting out scriptures to myself. I just have to remind myself of God’s promises. My favorite is Romans 8:28 “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” It’s not over until it’s good. No matter how bad something may seem, it is always going to turn out fine.

Who has been your greatest inspiration/ role model? 

Cathy Hughes, I love me some Cathy Hughes! She is the creator is TVOne, RadioOne, and InteractiveOne. She started as an on air radio personality and from there she built multiple companies. She was a single parent mother sleeping on the floor of her radio station because she did not want her dream to die. Her story is one of perseverance and hard work. I admire her for that. She wanted to give everyday people a voice, spread awareness about issues in the community, and effect positive impact. I’ve been able to meet her on numerous occasions, once when I was debating on going into business for myself. She told me to go for it! She asked me “what are you waiting for” and told me that she would look me up one day because she knows that I will be something great. In that moment I said “T-Kea you have to do it.”


What can our readers expect from you in the next year? 
Next year, Nspire plans to have an inaugural event to celebrate our success. Expect to see our name more. We are going to be a part of a lot of upcoming events and campaigns throughout the next year. Trust me, you will know more about who we are and what our mission is because Nspire will be everywhere.


What makes Nspire different from any other PR company?

We are a strategic communications firm that is very clear about our mission. “Our mission is to create social change by bridging the gap between entertainment and philanthropy. To raise awareness of various social issues shift perceptions and ultimately change behaviors.” Whether we are working on an event or campaign; it will always have a positive impact. We help our clients leave their mark with a touch of “Nspiration.”


Thank you so much for Nspiring us, T-Kea! If you would like to follow along for tons of great pr tips you can follow NSpire on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter! You can also check out T-Kea’s feature in the Fall 2015 issue of Howard University’s Alumni Magazine.



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