Monday, August 29, 2016

DIY Cocoa Shea Body Butter

It seems like every time I turn around I hear of another diagnosis of cancer. I recently watched a documentary on organic food and it said that 41% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. Such a high number!! What's surprising is that all the diagnosis I hear of have been young people, around my age or a little older. I can kind of understand cancer affecting those over 70, since cancer is a cell mutation and it makes sense that something may go wrong with a cells DNA that has been replicated over and over for years (don't mean to sound callous). But why is it affecting young people more and more? Is it the food, air, personal hygiene products? I don't know. All I know is I have tried to reduce the amount of "junk" I use on my body. Which includes lotion. I used to want all the Bath and Body Works/Body Shop lotions and pretty smelling products. Now, I'm over it (I still use makeup with junk in it- can't help myself!). But here's how I make my own Body Butter.

It's not like the emulsified stuff you find in the stores. It takes a little longer to absorb, and it's not the yummiest smelling stuff on earth. But it get's the job done! You can make it smell better by using refined oils and butter's but I prefer the benefits of using the virgin or unrefined stuff. More healing properties and less messed with. Who wants Shea Butter that has been bleached? Not I!

Anyway, the best thing about making your own is you can add anything you like. And you can adjust it depending on your preferences. This particular batch is a little more solid, but still melts easy. I like it more solid because I feel like a little goes a long way. When it's softer I tend to use a lot more than necessary and end up greasy! 

I start by placing the Cocoa and Shea Butter in my container and then placing that in a bowl of hot water. You can use the microwave, but I like the hot water method better. It's a more gentle way of heating the oils. I used a stick of Cocoa Butter (1 ounce) and two heaping teaspoons of Shea Butter.

You can always melt it in a bigger container and whip it, but I've never been able to whip it and have it stay whipped. It ends up as the same hardened texture anyway. You may have a better outcome though...
Then I add a heaping teaspoon of Coconut Oil and about 7 teaspoons of a liquid oil. This time I used Jojoba, Walnut, and Sweet Almond oil. You can use basically anything you have. You can add Olive or grapeseed, it's really whatever your prefer and whatever you have on hand. You can add one oil or several varieties if you want. Just don't forget to stir it up a little.
 Fragrance oils.
Essentail Oils

I popped it in the fridge to cool. I should have then added essential oil or fragrance oil but I completely forgot. So this time I have unscented, which smells like Shea Butter and Coconut Oil. I prefer essential oil to fragrance oil, only because fragrance oils probably don't have the best ingredients. But who really knows since they don't really have to label it. I have a small collection of fragrance oils so I do use them, but in the future I would probably stick with essential oil because I think they are better for you. Lavender is a great one to start with, or peppermint oil. I would use about 10 drops of essential oil and adjust based on your preferences in the future. 

And there you have it, Cocoa Shea Body Butter. Good stuff! 

I still like to buy natural lotions but I always have a little I made myself on hand!

Note: If you scent with essential oil, be careful not to use a citrus. Citrus oils are photosensitive and can damage your skin if you put it on and then go in sunlight. Sometimes I do use citrus oils but I make sure any skin I've applied it on is not exposed to sunlight or only use at night! 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Summer Makeup: Coral Orange Ombre Liner

I've been busy reading. I've read a ton of books these last couple of weeks. I read Allegiant, that last in the Veronica Roth trilogy. I didn't really like it as much as I thought I was going to, and now I'm not even excited about the movie. Well, I wouldn't seeing Four (because he's fine!). Then I read Withering Heights by Emily Bronte because I need to read more classics. I wasn't a big fan of that although I did read some interesting discussions on it that made it a little more interesting. And lastly, I read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I love Jane Austen novels. It wasn't as good as Pride and Prejudice but I liked it. I think I read it back in middle school. Now I'm trying to get my hands on the latest Harry Potter book. I'm a big fan of Harry Potter but I've been kind of scared to read it since I've hears so many mixed reviews on it. But I'll never know until I read it. So much reading! Which is why I was long overdue for some fun shadow. 

I did a blue/green ombre liner last time and this time I wanted to try a coral/orange fade. So that's what I did. Unfortunately it didn't come out quite as good as the blue/purple one. Maybe the colors just aren't bold enough on my skin-tone. Oh well, I still ended up liking it. 

I used a white eyeliner pencil as an outline for the liner first. I think this is where I went wrong. I couldn't get the shape right because I was too lazy to sharpen the pencil. Smh. 

Then my colors refused to stand out. I used MAC Coral, NYX Africa, and MAC Orange. I think I needed a deep standout red and the NYX wasn't that. It was more orange than red. I should have used my Electric palette. Then I went in with the Physician Formula felt liner, which I need to review. So far I love that liner though! It would have helped if my mascara was more popping. That Revlon Ultimate All in One just doesn't give me those stand out lashes. 

I didn't cover the white well enough. Whoops!

I'll keep trying! Maybe I needed a Hot PINK? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Deep Steep Sugar Candy Apple Argan Oil Scrub Review

I've used up about eight of these scrubs, all in different scents. I love them. I'm not sure if it was my switch to natural soaps or these scrubs but my skin is a lot smoother than it used to be. And that's without lotion. It's probably a combination of the two though, to be honest. Anyway, I got this for $3 on clearance at TJ Maxx. The best price I have ever seen for them.

Deep Steep claims:
Deep Steep's moisturizing Argan Oil Sugar Scrub gently exfoliates dead skin cells, leaving smooth, radiant, polished skin.

This particular scent is part of their holiday collection. I believe they release the same scents every year but don't quote me on that. The scent reminds of me the sugary apple scents that you find in Bath and Body Works. It's a sweet apple scent with just a hint of tart to it. It almost smells like the old school Herbal Essence Shower Gel I used to go crazy for. If you love apple scents or even just really fruity scents this is definitely one to try out. I really like the scent. And it sticks to you. I usually catch a  whiff of it throughout the day when I use it. 

Like all Deep Steep scrubs, it is extremely moisturizing. It leaves behind an oily coating after you rinse that allows you just towel dry and go. It feels as though you applied moisturizer! Almost like a two in one.

As for scrubbiness, it can be very gentle. I like something a little rougher so I use it on dryer skin. If you need something a bit gentler just use it on wetter skin. It does dissolve a little quicker using it that way though.

It's not recommended but I have even tried it as a gentle face and lip scrub. My skin is always extra hydrated the rest of the day and my lips are super smooth.

It's all natural, cruelty free, non-gmo, vegan, and made in the USA. 

Sugar, Sugar Cane Extract,  Apple Extract, Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Aroma, Rosemary Extract

I love it because the scent really reminds me of Herbal Essence shower gel. I remember buying a bottle back in the 6th grade. It was m first "fancy" shower gel and all my own. I rationed that stuff out like a crazy person to make it last longer because I loved the scent. Definitely a favorite out of all the scents I have tried from Deep Steep. They really should consider making it permanent- this and the peppermint!

Do you have a favorite scrub? Let me know in the comments!

Freddie Jackson

Freddie Jackson is the man. I love, love, love, love his music. His music is a staple in Smooth Groove radio for a reason. I have about eight of his songs, and all eight are my absolute favorite Freddie Jackson song.

I guess if I had to pick a favorite it would definitely be Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake). I can't resist singing along whenever it's on.

My Jam. Words can't express how much I love this song. It's called You Are My Lady.

Love this Duet! They don't make them like this anymore.

The man can sang! He was working that audience out!

My Freddie Jackson Playlist:
I Could Use A Little Love Right Now
Jam Tonight
Have You Ever Loved Somebody
A Little Bit More
I Don't Want To Love Your Love
Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)
You Are My Lady
Love Is Just A Touch Away

Classics! Every one of those songs. Nobody smooth talks (sings?)  lyrics like Freddie. Trust me. Download these songs immediately! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Urban Decay Naked Palette: A Review A Couple Years Later

The palette that started the whole neutral palette craze. They claim one is sold every 6 seconds. That's  a lot of palettes. And a lot of money Urban Decay is raking in. I've had mine a couple years now and reviewed each color separately not too long ago. Now that I've had it a couple years, I figured I would re-review it. Why not?

Urban Decay claims:
It’s the palette that revolutionized neutrals forever. Loaded with 12 bronze-hued shadows in an insane range of textures only Wende and our product development team could dream up—including matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle—Naked proves that neutral is anything but boring. From the palest champagne to the grittiest gunmetal, it’s all here. Whether you’re going for a laid-back, beachy vibe or black-tie drama, you’ll definitely look better Naked.
Every shade features our Pigment Infusion System™, a vehicle for color that holds tightly to pigment and gives the formula its glide. The proprietary blend of ingredients allows color to weave itself through the Eyeshadow formula. What does all that mean? Insane color payout. Sparkle that doesn’t fall. Color that stays on your lids. And a velvety, suede-like smoothness and blendability.

The chocolaty velvet case is emblazoned with the word 'NAKED' in gold foil lettering. (Just wait 'til your friends see you pull this sexy thing out of your bag. Jealous!) The mirrored case also includes a professional-quality, cruelty-free double-ended shadow/blending brush AND an Eyeshadow Primer Potion sampler with resealable samples of ALL FOUR formulas (Original, Sin, Eden and Anti-Aging). Each sample holds about a week’s worth of Primer!

It comes with 12 full size shadows, a brush, and a primer potion (not sure if it still comes with the primer and the brush is a little different now) for $54. A regular eyeshadow will cost $19 from the regular line, so you are definitely getting a deal! I was lucky, my little sister bought mine for me as a birthday gift-Thanks Little Sister! I was so surprised and very grateful because this was definitely my first pricey palette  and it had been on my wish list awhile(besides the Urban Decay Black palette!).

The palette is mostly cool-toned with a couple of warmer shades, although most people might tell you differently. I think it depends on skin tone which way colors pull sometimes. 

Most of the shades are quite pigmented and I would say I get an average wear of around 4-6 hours or so before I see fading or creasing. Some a little sooner depending on the weather. A good primer should help though.

1. Virgin-Described by Urban as a Pale Beige Nude Satin. I would say it's more of a white champagne satin. Unfortunately shades like this are plentiful in palettes, and I don't get much use out of them. I've been using it as a highlight because I'm currently trying to use it up, but there are better shades out there for me to highlight with. I mix it with Naked in the palette to tone it down some. Probably works better on someone with a lighter skin-tone though. D

2. Sin- Urban describes it as champagne shimmer. I would agree, it has a hint of pink which is worth noting. Doesn't come across on my skin that way. It swatches a pink champagne but goes on my eye a golden champagne. Strange. It's an OK color. Nothing worth raving over for me. D

3. Naked- Urban describes it as a nude, I say it's a cool tan. The formula is excellent, the color is awful. I've been mixing it with Virgin as a brow highlight, but otherwise it's not a good color for me. No matter what I do. F

4.Sidecar- Urban describes this as beige with silver micro glitter. I'd say it's more a golden brown. And the GLITTER. Pretty color but I hate the FALL OUT. No matter what I do. I've been thinking of turning this one into nail polish.  C-

5. Buck- Urban says this one is a fawn brown. I would say it's a medium brown  that can have the tiniest hint of purple on the eye. One of my faves in the palette. Alone it looks exactly like the natural shadow my eyes naturally have. So perfect for the no makeup look. Or just to add in to blend out anything. Or just to pair with other shades as a crease color.  A+

6. Half-Baked- I avoided this for years thinking I hated yellow golds. But it has a hint of copper to it that makes it a lot more wearable than I thought originally. Summer must have.. A

7. Smog-  Urban calls this a deep coppery bronze. Definitely a deep warm bronze color and my absolute favorite shadow in the palette. It's my perfect one shadow and done, quick and easy eye look. I used it all the time until I realized I didn't want to use it up. Now it's on ration, because I don't want to buy the full size at $19. A++

8. Darkhorse- Urban describes it as a deep mocha. I would say it's a little more complex than that. It's a deep golden bronze. Sometimes the gold really shows through. I like it as an all over color. It's nice color but I wouldn't be too upset if I couldn't buy it again.  I'll enjoy what I have though. B

9. Toasted- Urban says this is the color of an shimmery antique penny. It's a mid-tone pink brown. I love the color in the pan, but it just doesn't do too much for me when I wear it. I've seen it took great on others though. I had high hopes for this one. C

10. Hustle- A deep purple brown. I have to be careful or it can get quite muddy. Works best as an all over lid shade for me and paired with dark matte brown shades from other palettes. B

11. Creep- A grayish black with multi-colored sparkles. Sparkles don't transfer much though. I prefer my blacks very dark and without the glitter. I could do without it. D+

12. Gunmetal- A dark blue grey shimmery shade. An odd color to include in so many bronze, beige, brown colors. I have another color similar that I like a lot more than this. I'm just not really a fan of it and it doesn't look that great on me. D

 The primer is OK, but I like the Too Faced primer better. And the brush sucks. It's usable, I just never liked it.

Oh yeah, almost forgot packaging. I like it. It's kind of velvety. And none of my shadows have ever broken and it's done it's fair share of traveling. I like it better than their other packaging on the other Naked palettes. 

Would I buy it again? No. There are some colors that I absolutely love and others that were fun to try but don't work as well for me as I would have liked. I love Buck, Half-baaked, and Smog. And I think Hustle and Dark Horse are OK if I'm careful with them. And I wish Sidecar didn't have glitter. The rest I straight up don't really like. 

This palette could also use a couple improvements. More matte shades would be nice. Some deeper matte browns in particular. And I would take out some of the cooler shades like Gunmetal and Creep. 

Although I am really glad I was able to own the legendary Naked palette, I wouldn't purchase again. If I did manage to use the entire palette I would probably want to try something new, like the Naked 3. Or possible the new matte palette. But then again looking at all the light shades, maybe not! For now I'll stick to rationing my favorite colors so I'll never run out.

While I probably wouldn't purchase it again, I can see why it was such a popular palette. I've seen some people that this palette looks amazing on. But of course that varies depending on your skin, eye, and hair color. I wish there was a warmer Naked Palette. With more oranges, browns, golds and matte shades.  Maybe Naked 4? Who knows!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Favorite Makeup Resources

Make up can be quite intimidating to learn. How do you match foundation, contour, add blush, attach false lashes, get the perfect summer bronzer, create glowy skin? The questions never end. But there are definitely a lot of places to get answers. These are my favorite!

1. Books- Can't go wrong with books. I have a couple and love the ones I have. I felt like I learned a lot from reading just one that I have watching hours and hours and youtube. Sure, it's always nice to have a video tutorial but having solid info in a book can't be beat. Some of my favorites include Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge and Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin.

2. Makeup Addiction Reddit- I check this out most for beauty news. And the Makeup Discussion is even better. Some posters have posted things that really made me think about the constant consumerism that the beauty industry pushes amongst other things. Sometimes it's nice to read a variety of opinions on all thing beauty.

3. Youtube- This one is obvious. I have a couple favorites: Lisa Eldridge, Jordan Liberty, and brands that do helpful tutorials like NARS etc. But be careful because youtube can have you looking a mess if you follow the wrong people. Or maybe not if you like the heavy looks that are popular now. Just depends on your preference.  It's helpful for product reviews and tutorials especially!

4. Makeup 411- Want to know what your favorite celeb wore in a movie? You may be able to find it on here. I wish it had a better search function, but it's fun to check out.

5. MakeupAlley- If I want to read a review, I check here first. Sponsorships and free products have made it hard to trust popular youtubers. And I like being able to search for people that have similar complexion or skin type to me. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have as many reviewers as it had in years past, but it's still worth checking.
EDIT- Forgot to add this one, but I often lurk Keven James Bennet's IN MY KIT group. I've found out a ton reading his posts and other posters that you can't find elsewhere. He really does have a lot of great information so it's worth joining the group. Also, I love the discussion that often come up concerning the way of the beauty industry now! Great resource! 

And don't forget Temptalia for swatches. I wish she had swatches on different skin tones but it is what it is.

I think that about wraps it up! What are some of your favorite resources? Let me know in the comments!

Oh yeah, I posted a couple amazing Olympians and needed to add these incredible ladies! They did their thang. And I heard one of them is a Hamptonian! Go ladies! Go ladies!

And can't forget Usain- he's fast! And this picture cracks me up every time.