I get tagged quite often, and I am a turrible knucklehead about responding in kind. I don’t mean to be a jerk, I just get super busy and overwhelmed and before I know it, a month has gone by, then two, then three… and then ah forget it. But not this time! My friend in cocktails, Christina of E Beauty Daily, tagged me about a month ago in the perfect kind of meme for a product addicted bella like yours truly. Without further ado, here are my freshest beauty faves — quite a few of which are products I haven’t had a chance to review yet!
My Beauty Secrets:
My Foundation: I was stuck on Cover Girl’s Queen Collection powder foundation for a while there.. then I wandered into Sephora with Mama Bella. A very friendly saleslady made us out for the ripe targets we were, and proceeded to give me an unrequested makeover using Benefit’s Play Sticks (my shade? Teeter Totter). I had to buy it. And Mama Bella bought TWO! The reviews over at Makeup Alley are mixed, but this cream stick foundation works great for me as a spot concealer. I blend with my fingers (or a wedge sponge), dust with the aforementioned Cover Girl’s Queen Collection powder foundation and I’m GTG.
My Mascara: Oh boy. Or as my mom sometimes says, boysie kapoizie. I have an array of mascaras to choose from, and I switch it up on the regular… but my current favorite for day is Lash Blast, but for evening drama… I’m really digging Prescriptives Plush False Eyelashes mascara of late. It gives you that bold, thick, lash drama without any mess.
My Blush: I am currently obsessed with NARS Orgasm, and like Chrisette Michele, I prefer to use two shades — so Orgasm and b.l.a.c minerals’ toasty. Just a teeny bit really gives my cheeks a delicious glow.
My Eye Shadow: No pigment stands out better on my skin than MAC. I can’t deny it. When I use shadow, I invariably return to MAC. But I do love Urban Decay’s range of colors, and you know what — Make Up For Ever makes a fine Star Powder that I adore as well.
My Day Cream: Another product I don’t have a brand favorite for… of late I’ve been fairly obsessed with L’Bel Matte and Controle, but my regular, fave return-to-everytime day creme is Kiehl’s Abyssine Lotion Spf 15. My skin responds really well to it.
My Lipstick: I have what MAC makeup artist Victor C. once described as “a dry lip.” The skin on my bottom lip is continually dry and gets really flaky. Most lipstick accentuates the problem, so I don’t usually use lipstick ever. BUT I just discovered an AMAZING new product that has finally helped my lips heal and become completely smooth! Drumroll please…. for Einstein’s Lip Therapy!!
I love, love, love this stuff. The pink one is a moisturizing cream with Vitamin C beads to exfoliate lips, the red one is a cooling balm with cocoa butter to make your lips shiny shiny. So pretty, and so affordable. So after I use part 1 of the Einstein Lip Therapy, I stain my lips with Vincent Longo lip and cheek stain. My shade of choice is Apollonia. Ooh! After lip stain, I use either the Einstein part 2, or I layer with my sheer/slightly tinted lip gloss of choice. It makes my lip color last longer.
My Beauty Product Brand: I really don’t have one single brand that I adore above all others. I’ve liked everything I’ve tried from Philosophy, Shu Uemura, Vincent Longo, and BeneFit. I think MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Kiehls are excellent brands, and I use Milani on a regular. I also really like some of the niche brands by little companies, like Valana Minerals, and Sally B’s Skin Yummies (review coming soon!).
My Essential Beauty Product: I won’t leave the house without lip gloss. No, really. I won’t.
My Favorite Makeup Product: See above.
My Perfume: I think we all know how much I adore Mariah Carey’s M, but I haven’t yet gushed about M Gold, the “deluxe” edition, “the purest and most luxurious form of the M by Mariah Carey fragrance collection.” Gawd. It’s even more decadent and more marshmallowy, and comes in a frickin’ gold bottle (which I didn’t get, I got sent one of those teeny slice your finger open samples. I’ll splurge for Christmas — I mean, how limited could this edition be?
My Nails: I just can’t keep up with a manicure. In fact, my manicure skills haven’t improved much from when I was seven years old. So from day to day, all I do is slather my nails with Grow Tougher by Nail Aid. It works, it’s environmentally friendly, and it’s cheap. Can’t beat that with a bat.
Woman I admire for their beauty: Oh, there are quite a few women I look to for beauty inspiration. Angela Bassett. Mary J. Blige. Liya Kebede. Iman, of course. Those four come most immediately to mind.
Woman with the Best Sense of Style: Can I give a shout out to Michelle Obama right about now? The woman is flawless. My personal style is definitely funkier and younger, but I think her classic elegance should be applauded. And the New York Times agrees.
My Ultimate Dream (but I do not believe in selling my soul to the devil for it): I want to be published in national magazines, I want to write for the rest of my life, and more than anything else, I want to be a published author. I want to write lots of books, and go on book tours, the whole nine. Then I want to teach creative writing at some intimate gem of a college, and live happily ever after.
I have always aspired to be a novelist (and I still do…) but more and more I’m being drawn to nonfiction. An Afrobella book. What do you think about that, bellas?
How Do I Define Womanhood: Strength. Poise. Confidence. Responsibility. Knowledge through experience. Wisdom. I’ve been mulling this quite a bit of late. As I hurtle towards 30, I finally get it. I’m so not a girl anymore (even though I still reserve the right to act like one). I’m a woman, grown, responsible, savvy, and strong. It’s a mantle of pride.
My Favorite Fashion Publication: Um… let’s see. Suede’s long gone, so is Vibe Vixen. Essence and Ebony have stepped it up lately, but neither can really be called fashion publications. How’s about Bust? Is Bust a fashion… no? Um… OK. When I’m at a salon, the mainstream magazine I would first reach for would probably be Marie Claire, or Glamour. I like a mag with articles between the fluff, that features at least one page of stuff I can afford.
Whew! I actually cut out a few questions — this was super long. And I still have so much more to add! This beauty meme was pretty fun (and probably more detailed than it should have been), but I didn’t get to answer any hair questions! So I’ll post a part II favorite hair products post for you bellas soon. I’ve been reviewing lots of stuff here behind the scenes, and there are some GREAT new products for you gorgeous afrobellas (and fellas!)
And you know what, it took me this long to respond to being tagged, I’m gonna buck the cycle. I know how insanely busy my fellow beauty bloggers are, and I love hearing what you beautiful bellas out there in the real world are buying, trying, loving, and telling the world about. So I’m tagging you! What are your current beauty faves? Is there any particular product you’re singing to the heavens about?