A Day In The Life: New Years Resolutions

crazy-celebration

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions because I don’t see a need to save one specific day a year to start changing something, bettering yourself, etc…

2014 has undoubtedly been a rough year, so with it finally coming to a close, I figured I should try out this resolution thing out. I plan to start a goal scrapbook (or something like it), but I think that if I write my goals/resolutions here where they are visible to others, I have more incentive to make sure I actually follow through with them. So without further ado, here they are!

1) Be happier. – It’s such a simple thing, but it can be so hard to do. I struggle with this a lot, especially since I am someone who tends to veer toward the negative. Going forward, I really want to make a more conscious effort to just let some things go, and not allow myself to get so hung up over certain things. If it’s making me unhappy, I’ll change it. Also, constantly working on this will allow many other areas in my life to improve as well, so I’m excited to work on this one.

2) Finances. – I want to just better my finances overall…be a little more financially responsible, and independent. You know?

3) Gain 500 follows on this blog. – I know it may not seem like that high of a number, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I’d really like to work on developing my content and my brand to attract more people to this site. This is something I am passionate about, and it’s been a really great way for me to concentrate positive energy. I really want to be able to share that with people.

What do you all resolve to do (or not do) in the New Year?

-Court


P.S. – To those of you who do follow this blog, thank you so much! I really appreciate the support, and I hope to develop better connections with you all in the coming time. Thank you so much 🙂

Clinique Surprise

I went to lunch today with my godmother, and she surprised me with a bunch of Clinique makeup! I can’t wait to play around with all of this stuff. I’ll also probably do a first impressions of certain groups of products (eyeshadows, lip products, skin products – maybe).

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Pictured from right to left

  • Palette containing “Twilight Mauve/Branded Plum” All About Shadow Duo & “Smoldering Plum” Blushing Blush Powder
  • All About Shadow Quad containing “Morning Java,” “Blushed,” “Hazy,” and “Jammin”
  •  Palette containing “Jammin'” All about shadow duo & “New Clover” Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher
  • All About Shadow Quad containing “Angel Eyes,” “Lavender Out Loud,” “Purple Pumps,” and “Graphite”
  • 2x High Impact Mascara – Black/Long Last Glosswear – Air Kiss Duo
  • 4x Repairwear Laser Focus
  • Lash Doubling Mascara
  • Lash Doubling Mascara/Different Lipstick – Glazed Berry Duo
  • Different Lipstick in “A Different Grape”
  • Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
  • All About Eyes
  • Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
  • Chubby Stick in “Voluptuous Violet”
  • Chubby Stick in “Chunky Cherry”

I’m very excited to try the lip products, especially the Chubby Sticks since I heard good things about those when they first came out. I’m also eager to try out the serums (Repairwear Laser Focus) since this year I want to take a lot more time out to better my skin. I probably won’t be doing anything with the mascaras yet since I plan to test them out with all of the other ones I got here .

Have any of you tried these products? What do you think?

-Court

A Day In The Life: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Today was a pretty nice day! I got to spend a day in Manhattan with my mom and my sister 🙂 We went to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the New York City Center. I saw this show last winter break with my godmother and really liked it, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when my mom offered to take me.

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The Company

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My beautiful mommy next to a picture of Founder, Alvin Ailey

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My little sister next to a picture of Artistic Director Emerita, Judith Jamison

There were a total of four dances performed – “The Pleasure of the Lesson,” “Awassa Astrige/Ostrich,” “Four Corners,” and probably the most well known, “Revelations.”

My favourites were “Four Corners” (which I enjoyed a bit more last year) and of course, “Revelations.”

“Four Corners”

“Revelations”

After the show finished, we took our time walking back to Grand Central to take the train home. On the way, I grabbed a bite to eat, and we saw a few of the decorations that were up for Christmas. We were going to stop over by Rockefeller Center to see the tree, but it was WAY too hectic, so we decided to pass.

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All in all, it was a pretty nice day!

I hope you all had a nice Sunday!

-Court

2014 Favourites| LA Girl Pro Concealer, ABH Dipbrow Pomade, and more

Hey everyone! It’s time for…..2014 Favourites! Here are products I’ve gravitated toward time and time again during the year, and will most likely continue to use going into 2015:

Beauty

1) L.A. Girl Pro Concealer: I love this concealer because it is opaque, and a little goes SUCH a long way. I don’t wear foundation, so having a good concealer on hand is very important for me. I love that this brand of concealers comes in SO many different shades and undertones, and that you can use so many of the shades across the board. For example, for regular concealing, I am able to use the shades Toast, Chestnut, and Beautiful Bronze. For highlighting, I’ve gone as “natural” as Fawn, and as extreme as Warm Honey, Toffee, and Medium Beige. All in all, the shade selection is amazing in my opinion, the finish is pretty natural, and you can get them as low as $2.50! What’s not to love?

2) E.L.F. Liquid Eyeliner: I’ve mentioned this eyeliner on here a couple of times already, but I can’t help it. It’s my favourite eyeliner ever. It’s inexpensive, clocking in at only $1, and it dries to a nice matte finish without being too dull. The brush is just right, and allows enough control without being too stiff. Plus, it lasts a decent amount of time, so you’re not not getting the $1 worth. All in all, it allows for the perfect eyeliner application, and it makes drawing a cat eye effortless. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s only a dollar?

3) Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade: I’ve had this stuff since the beginning of 2014…and it still hasn’t run out. I’m not even kidding! I bought this January 2014 and I’m still not done with it, or near being finished. A little goes SUCH a long way! Plus, my eyebrows don’t go anywhere when I use this. What really did it for me was seeing how it worked at my job over the summer. I worked at a recreational day camp from 7:30 in the morning to 6 in the evening, and I had to swim every day. Did my eyebrows ever budge? Nope!! They Never. Went. Anywhere. All in all, this product can be a little pricey for some people at $18 a pop, but for the no smudge – no budge, I’d say it’s worth it.

4) E.L.F. Mineral Infused Face Primer: It’s not pictured because I ran out, but this is my go to face primer. It’s only $6 a bottle, and it works pretty well in my opinion. First, the packaging is great. It comes in a nice, simple bottle, and it comes with a pump that allows good control over the product. Next, since it’s a silicone based primer, it is very smooth to the touch. It glides onto the face very easily, and makes makeup go on a lot smoother. Plus, for me at least, I think it helps with makeup removal as well since it forms a nice barrier between your face and your makeup. All in all, I’d say it’s worth a try! Plus, E.L.F. now has this primer in other colours: Tone Correcting Green, Brightening Lavender, and Radiant Glow.

Skincare

5) Raw African Black Soap: As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been using this stuff for the past 6 months now, and the amount that I ordered still hasn’t finished. It’s 100% natural, so it doesn’t irritate my skin in any sort of way (not that I usually have problems, since my skin is not sensitive). My skin has been essentially blemish free since I’ve started using this soap, and I don’t think I’ll ever need another cleanser as long as this keeps working the way it has been. I recommend this to people with sensitive skin, since it doesn’t contain any chemicals or anything. All in all, this is one of my holy grail skin products…actually, it’s my only holy grail skin products, but that’s beside the point. I love this stuff and see no reason to ever use anything different.

Extras

6) Garden of Life Raw Meal (Vanilla): It’s about $40 a container, but I really like this stuff and I honestly feel a difference in my body when I drink this once a day versus when I don’t for long periods of time. It’s all organic and has a bunch of good foods, probiotics, and vitamins and minerals in it that make you feel great from the inside 🙂 It’s not the best tasting, but I have found that blending it with milk and banana (and cutting the serving down to one scoop) makes it taste a lot better.

7) Sour Patch Kids: Honestly, I don’t know what to say for this one. I just really liked Sour Patch Kids this year. All types. I don’t even really like candy, but there’s just something about these…

What products did you all enjoy this year? Looking forward to using anything in 2015?

-Court

Haircare Routine – Wash Day (as of December 2014)

People assume that going natural automatically means easier hair manageability. Personally, I think it involves a lot more work! I’ve been natural for about 2 years now, and I think I’ve only now gotten down a routine that keeps my hair shiny, moisturized, and healthy feeling. It takes so much experimenting to find out not only what products work best, but even which methods of physically dealing with your hair allow for maximum health.

In the beginning, I followed what people were doing on Youtube as far as the co-washing, oils, etc…, but I was pretty lazy with it. I wasn’t taking proper time to really apply the products in a way that allowed for good moisture absorption, and strength. As a result, my hair grew, but it was dry, dull, and my ends were atrocious.

After revisiting hair care sites, and talking with my friend who is much better than me when it comes to methods and products and things of that nature, I think I’ve found a regime that works best for me (in terms of wash day[s]). I’ll probably do a separate post about how I style my hair.

Week 1: After having product built up in my hair between washes, I use a spray bottle filled with 3 parts Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 part water to cleanse my scalp. I braid my hair in 4 equally sized sections, and spray the solution on my scalp. I massage the solution into my scalp, working one section at a time, and let it sit. After working through each section, I rinse my hair out to get rid of all of the dirt. After that, I unbraid and re-braid my hair in the four sections while I shampoo, and then condition my hair. After rinsing everything out, I apply Olive Oil creme and I seal with Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Week 2: I part my hair in 4 as I did with the ACV, but I just do a quick co-wash with my favourite conditioner instead. After that’s rinsed out, I moisturize with the creme and oil mentioned above.

Week 3: Same as week 1 with the ACV wash prior to shampooing and conditioning, just to cleanse my scalp and giving my hair a little added shine. I moisturize my hair.

Week 4: Co-wash again! Then moisturize after.

This wash method, especially with the sectioning of my hair, really helps minimize tangles and breakage during my wash. Plus, my hair always comes out really soft and shiny when I’m done. I am thinking about adding in a deep condition and a protein treatment somewhere in there.

I’ll do another post about how I style my hair and maintain it in between washes to keep it healthy!

What do you guys think? What do you do to your hair?

-Court


Products Mentioned:

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Water

Organix Renewing Morocan Argan Oil Shampoo

Vo5 Herbal Escapes Kiwi Lime Squeeze with Lemongrass Extract Clarifying Conditioner

Tropical Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Hollywood Beauty Olive Creme

Finals week, stress, and skincare

With most of us college students already knee deep in finals and overwhelmed by stress, we may find ourselves neglecting certain aspects of our wellness. I come to you today with a few quick tips to help keep your skin fresh during this oh so stressful time.

1) DRINK PLENTY OF WATER – I know you’re always hearing this, but it’s true! Water does so much good for your skin and body. It helps flush out toxins, all while keeping you hydrated. There are different recommendations as to how much water you should drink per day, as you get water from certain foods and things of that nature as well. You can follow the 8 x 8 rule (8 eight oz. glasses of water a day), or what I do, drinking half your body weight in water in fluid ounces per day.

2) REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR FACE – I know it seems silly, but think about it: You’ve been up since 6:00 a.m., maybe 7, running around between the library, different printing areas, places to get coffee (gotta keep the energy up, right?), etc… You’ve been overwhelming yourself with information all day, and probably get to sleep around 1 a.m….or maybe even 2 or 3. You’re tired! You just want to throw your books on the ground, and plop in bed! You can do that…AFTER you wash your face. Leaving all of the oil and dirt on your face from the day is very bad for your skin. Plus, you’re depositing all of that gunk onto your pillow at night, so every time you rest your face on your pillow you’re putting all of that back on your skin.

3) GET PLENTY OF SLEEP – Nothing else you do will have that much of an impact unless you are getting enough sleep each night, or during the day at least. I know I’m guilty of staying up until obscene hours of the night studying, but I try to catch a couple naps during the day to make up for it. Not getting enough sleep puts your body into a state of distress, which in turn has a negative effect on your health, and of course, your skin.

4) RELAX – Last, but not least….relax! I know it can be hard with so many tests to study for and so much pressure, but take a little break here and there to try and keep yourself calm. Try watching a movie, taking a walk, listening to some music, reading a book (unless you’re tired of reading >.<), or any other activity you enjoy.

What do you all do to keep your skin fresh during Finals Week?

-Court

P.S. – Here’s a little throwback to Finals Week Freshman Year

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Good luck with finals everyone!

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color: Swatches

 Now, I’m not a frequent wearer of lip products (unless it’s chapstick), but for some reason I constantly find myself hoarding them. Since they’ve hit stores, I’ve accumulated  a couple of the Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color lipsticks, which retail between $1.49 and $1.99 a piece.

Here are some swatches of the ones I own (no lip liner, no flash)
I apologize for the quality, I used my phone:

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Left to right: 902c Bare It All, 903c Just Peachy, 901b Think Pink, 907c Mauve Outta Here, 905d Smokin’ Hot Pink, 915b Spiked With Rum, 914c Mocha-licious, 918d Cherry Bomb, 919b Vamp It Up, 911d Spotlight Red

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Left to Right: same order as above, no flash

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Left to Right: same order, flash

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902c Bare It All

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903c Just Peachy

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901b Think Pink

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907c Mauve Outta Here

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905d Smokin’ Hot Pink

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915b Spiked With Rum

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914c Mocha-Licious

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918d Cherry Bomb

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919d Vamp It Up

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911d Spotlight Red

Have you guys tried these? What are your favourite colours?

-Court

Sephora + PANTONE Universe 2015 Colour of the Year

Each year, Pantone gathers a colour committee that meets in secret twice over the course of the 12 months. The colourists pitch palette concepts, debate colour-related trends gathered from experts around the world – and ultimately pick which hue will be the new black.  – Alberto Nardelli, The Guardian

Yesterday, Pantone announced the 2015 Colour of the Year, Marsala:

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Basically, you’ll see this colour pop up everywhere from makeup (of course) to fashion, home decor, and the like.

I personally like the earthiness of Marsala! Plus, I like anything in the wine/brown family, so this is a winner in my book. I know that others aren’t too thrilled about the colour choice though, stating that’s it’s too muted, or too reminiscent of rust or dried blood (ew!)

Where do you guys stand? Are you feeling the “sophisticated, natural earthiness” or is it just “icky?”

Comment below!

-Court

Picture credits: